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Consumer Electronics

Did Sonos Just Obsolete Their Remote?

July 28, 2012

Sonos users rejoice - you can now control the volume level of your
music with the volume buttons on your iOS device. Prior to this software upgrade you had to use the slider switch on your Apple device. Now Sonos sells the nice, fancy Sonos Control for their WiFi home stereo solution for $349 and the best reason to purchase one of these is because of the fixed volume buttons and of course the fixed mute button which allows instant volume scrubbing.

You see without a fixed button to control button it takes time to reduce volume in response lets say to a ringing phone. First you have to press a button to wake your iPhone, etc.


Beyond Amazon Price Match - What Best Buy Must Do

July 24, 2012

Recently I was in a Best Buy store while traveling because I needed three items which retailed each for $99. I needed one right away but the other two could have waited. So while in the store I decided to do something novel. I picked up all three items and went to an employee in the store and explained I would rather buy all three of these items right now but I can’t see paying retail when Amazon sells this product for $73 each.

Can Discounted Hardware Compete with Apple?

July 10, 2012

Microsoft Store in Danbury, CT


Global Apple stores are brimming with traffic with municipalities tripping over each other to get Apple to open stores in their areas. At the same time, the Microsoft Store in the Danbury Fair Mall in Connecticut had a fraction of the foot traffic of the nearby Apple Store this past weekend according to fellow TMC blogger Tom Keating. The good news for Steve Ballmer is Tom likes the layout of the Microsoft store better. These are his exact thoughts:


My next thought was, "It's better." The Apple Store has this clean simplistic design with lots of white and clear plastic, but it lacks the fun factor and has this almost cold, hospital, sterile-like atmosphere.

Should RIM Be Judged on its Hires or Fires?

July 3, 2012

No company wants Apple as a competitor as the company has more momentum than the euro crisis. But that is the challenge companies like Nokia and RIM face on a daily basis. Yesterday I delved into the problems RIM faced because it had an email-centric view of the world which was just as keyboard-centered as it was focused on asynchronous corporate communications.

This morning I had a chance to speak with Luca Filigheddu who is the new BlackBerry Developer Evangelist for the Italian market.

Nexus Q: Google's Lateral Move into the Home Entertainment Ecosystem

June 28, 2012

There has been massive speculation regarding Google’s decision to purchase Motorola Mobility. Many, including the author believed this move was primarily driven by patents but it is becoming clear that even if this was the case, the search leader has looked to Cupertino as a guide and decided it too needs to be a hardware company building out ecosystems. Yes, Google, a company which makes most of its revenue via auctioning ads - having no brick and mortar stores, is getting beaten in terms of market cap and sales growth by Apple, a company which relies on malls and physical stores for a good part of its revenue.

Google obviously thinks it can take Apple on and while most of the tech sphere is focusing on the company’s Nexus 7 tablet, I find it only mildly interesting.

Surface Tablet: Microsoft's Desktop Hail Mary

June 19, 2012

If you are Steve Ballmer, going to the mall and walking by an Apple Store loaded with people buying tablets, music players and phones which don’t run his software has to be as pleasurable as preparing for a colonoscopy. He further has to hate the fact this once left-for-dead enterprise not only has a larger market cap than Microsoft, it has helped usher in what many people call the post-PC era. That one’s really gotta hurt.

Even Google is doing hardware

As Predicted: Apple Pays Less For Components and Charges More for Devices

May 31, 2012

I recently had a chance to use the Nokia Lumia 900 and at the local AT&T store here in Norwalk, CT – the device sells for just $49.99. The phone is gorgeous and powerful and is cheap. If you order the phone online in fact you pay $99 so in select stores you get a 50% discount. If you call the same AT&T store, the automated system even tells you about the Lumia 900 before you are able to speak with a live agent.

Why Facebook Needs a Phone

May 29, 2012

Facebook as the dominant social network is becoming the replacement for the phone. Nowadays in fact it is fairly common to use Facebook as the primary way to stay in touch with others – especially among those under 30. The point here is that the phone is becoming the Facebook communicator.

And with mobile adoption continuing ta a blistering pace – many people have multiple mobile devices in fact, Facebook should be sitting pretty, right?

Turns out Cisco Cius Can't Compete With the iPad Either

May 25, 2012

Company after company is learning what most of instinctively know already – competing with Apple head-on is like trying to tackle a freight train with your bare hands as it is barreling down the tracks in your direction. Amazon with its Kindle Fire competed on price and used its services to subsidize the device. Other tablet makers are finding it virtually impossible to compete without such advantages.

Disruption Targets Currency Exchange Kiosks

May 25, 2012

Technology has resulted in massive margin compression among industry after industry. Retailers have to struggle to make money to pay their brick and mortar overhead while consumers routinely see and touch the merchandise in their store while buying it online simultaneously. A coworker in fact detailed how he saved $30 on an iPad case buy using eBay on a computer from the Apple store he was in.

But the retail story isn’t a new one – we wrote stories at TMC in the nineties about the death of brick and mortar and certainly the loss of Circuit City was in-part caused by competition not only from WalMart and Costco but Amazon.

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