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Rich Tehrani
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Consumer Electronics

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.

Yahoo Reinvents Mobile Browser with Axis

May 23, 2012

Yahoo has taken the mobile browser and improved it dramatically by integrating search and allowing users to view results rapidly without the need to open page after page. While Google allows similar functionality on a desktop what Yahoo! has done here is put the results of browsing up top where they should be. And with the simple swipe of a finger a user can scroll through pages after page to see the site they are looking for.

If you take the best parts of Google Instant and the now defunct visual SearchMe bowser and put them together with some added features you get Yahoo’s Axis.

Sonos SUB Expensive but Convenient

May 22, 2012

Sonos makes a great WiFi-based sound system allowing wire-free sound in any room in your home. The only problem with this strategy is that Apple and its AirPlay wireless streaming system is a peripheral competitor and when you go up against Apple well, let’s just say bad things happen to your company. So it makes sense to expand into areas which allow you to live within the Apple ecosystem.

Sonos hopes the leading-edge design of their latest SUB speaker will make customers shell out a very high price and show it off.

CableWiFi: Cablecos Offer Free Roaming on 50k+ WiFi Hotspots

May 21, 2012

If you happen to be a customer of Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox Communications or Time Warner Cable, there is some really good news in the form of an official sharing agreement of WiFi spectrum allowing customers of any of these cable companies to gain access to the WiFi networks of any of the companies.

In Norwalk, Connecticut or Cablevision country, you could drive a few dozen miles in one direction and run into a Cox Cable jurisdiction and a few dozen miles in another direction gets you into Time Warner territory. Of course your situation may vary but it is great to know that as you travel around the US you will have access to lots of access points which were once off limits.

In April, 2010 some of these providers stuck a similar deal but to date I have never been able to successfully use WiFi belonging to the other providers - just Optimum WiFi provided by Cablevision.

Perhaps I will have better luck with the new network which has the SSID of CableWiFi. In a perfect world - you log onto this network and use it as you roam this vast country we call the U S of A.

The best news is as 4G providers start to become more restrictive on their bandwidth use, WiFi networks provided by the cablecos will come to the rescue meaning consumers will have to think long and hard before switching from cable to telco-based service home broadband.

Could Verizon and AT&T counter this offer with their own "bundle" of wireless and landline service? Yes, absolutely.









Gadgets to Have Integrated Welcome Ads Soon?

May 18, 2012

If ads on the Kindle Fire Welcome Screen are successful, others will follow



There are a few things which are well known about Amazon’s Kindle Fire. First of all at $199 the company either loses money or at best breaks even depending on which analyst you speak with. We also know the version of Android the device runs is unusual as Amazon has its own proprietary shell around it.

Intel Finally Gets Mobile?

May 17, 2012

Intel is selling its computers quite nicely into PCs and servers and although we are in a so called "post-PC era" people keep buying computers by the tens of millions. The long-term challenge is in-part ARM, the instruction-set architecture which is being turned into highly efficient chips used in most mobile devices.

The challenge of course for Intel is the typical one of disruption from below. An example is how RAID allowed inexpensive and less reliable hard drives to replace larger disks in the market.

Likewise, the ARMv8 64-bit architecture application profile was defined two months ago and at some point soon we will see these chips in the field. Moreover, expect them to rapidly go multicore if not initially.



The Most Comprehensive Interop 2012 Video Interviews

May 16, 2012

In case you missed Interop 2012 in Las Vegas and even if you were there – I have some really good news for you. TMC was there and we shot about seven hours of the most important and engaging interviews possible. We have all the companies you need to know about in spaces such as private and public cloud to big data, analytics, network testing and more. We spoke with the small upstarts and the giants like HP, Cisco and IBM.

Ultrabooks Finally Get Needed Attention From Intel

May 4, 2012

Intel is running a new ad touting the long-lasting Ultrabook which has hours of battery life. And while I applaud Intel for finally acknowledging this category needs marketing I am still at a loss. You see battery life is one of the features which makes a MacBook great and so is the wonderful design. We all know Ultrabooks exist almost exclusively so PC makers can compete with Apple.



So this being the case why do all the Ultrabooks except the ones from Asus and possibly Samsung look like absolute crap?



Brightcove Sales Reflects well on Video, Cloud, HTML5

May 4, 2012

What happens when you sit at the intersection of cloud, HTML5 and video - especially when tablets and high-resolution smartphones are being sold by the hundreds of millions? The answer is - if you are Brightcove, that your sales grow rapidly. In fact the company just announced earnings of $19.9 million which is up 53% YoY. Sure, this isn't a huge number but the percentage is obviously intriguing.

Moreover, gross profit for the first quarter was up 56% at $13.6 million.

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