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Gadget

Why Apple Needs an iLane Bryant Phone

November 7, 2012

It may seem obvious that Apple needed to offer a smaller iPad now but when I suggested the idea in November of 2011 I received criticism from many who thought Apple didn’t need to “dilute” its product assortment of iPods and large iPads. Steve Jobs also disagreed with me but as Henry Blodget points out, Steve was wrong.

And this was a rare misstep for Jobs who showed a God-given ability to know what consumers want across various industries -before even they did.

The challenge however for Apple remains the same as the one I pointed out when I first tested the Motorola Droid X.

The reason Apple lost the PC war had to do with the open nature of the PC market – where competition led to a huge price/performance advantage for computers based on the Microsoft operating system.

A Little Heavy Chrome

November 1, 2012

Google has a new heavy metal-based TV commercial which has a Halloween undercurrent. The ad touts the $249 Samsung-made Chromebook as being smaller, better on batteries and good for “scaring off viruses.” It goes on to discuss its lack of phantom files and crashes. Although the video has had under 100,000 views I can see it going viral and perhaps adding a zero to that number.

What is unclear is how much demand there will be for a cloud-based laptop which seems to ape the look of an Apple computer at a fraction of the price.

WebRTC: The Phone meets the Web

October 19, 2012

We have seen the multi-billion dollar communications market get disrupted as the phone met the IP network. In the video below Phil Edholm describes how with WebRTC, the phone meets the web. As he describes, even though IP communications has been around for more than a decade, there hasn’t been a fundamental change in how we communicate. We still hang our phones off servers which allow communications to take place.

For Microsoft Surface, Is it Mission Impossible?

October 16, 2012


Microsoft, here is your mission. Take a device which has become synonymous with the term “post-PC era” and topple it. Go up against a company which is considered cool and somehow transform your image to be as cool. If you decide to accept this mission you must take your reputation for developing bloated operating systems and software and scale it all down to run in a tablet form factor where a person can use the device for an entire day without recharging.

Microsoft, SNL, Sprint and Softbank News for Monday October 15, 2012

October 15, 2012

Microsoft is jumping into the music business and this is perhaps the biggest news of the day and possibly the week. Redmond is now offering ad supported music streaming and going up against Sirius XM, Pandora and Apple’s iTunes all at once. Boasting a 30-million strong library of songs, users can listen to playlists for free or download to own music across their TV, computers and smartphones. The ad-free version is $9.99 per month and includes access to music videos as well.

 

Warren Buffet Investing in Risky Tech Without Knowing it?

October 11, 2012



As news breaks that Coca-Cola is mulling a $10 million investment in Spotify some people may think back to Warren Buffett’s comments on the tech market – saying he wouldn’t invest in it because he didn’t understand it. While some took this comment at face value, it seems the spirit of the comment was that Buffet is a value investor often holding a company’s shares for years or even more than a decade. Trying to figure out who the tech leaders will be over such a long time is very difficult if not impossible.

Interestingly, Coca-Cola is a great example of a Buffet investment – it is a leader in its space and much of its revenue is derived from Coke and its variants which just happen to be addictive due to their caffeine content.

Major Flaws in Ballmer's Apple-Fighting Strategy?

October 11, 2012


It really is shocking that Apple has pulled so far ahead of every other device maker with designs that are more art than technology focused. For those of you familiar with Bang & Olufsen products (BeoSound 8 pictured above) you know in some ways Apple’s designs are a copy of this iconic audio manufacturer meaning Apple didn’t entirely invent cool looking consumer electronics devices and others should be able to compete effectively in the space.

I am sure Microsoft agrees but as they’ve watched Apple become the cool and fast growing computer company they used to be, they determined they need to be more like Cupertino. This of course is the reason the company decided it was more important to design new hardware than keep their partners churning out directly competitive products happy.

Microsoft Hopes Free WiFi Will Persuade Developers

October 8, 2012

Google has been a steady sponsor of free WiFi in airports and subway stations for some years now but Microsoft has decided such sponsorships make sense for them as well. Specifically, the company is paying Boingo for the privilege of supplying free wireless access in parts of San Francisco and Manhattan.

The reason for the generosity has to do with Redmond celebrating Windows 8 and looking forward to introducing the new Windows Store for Windows 8 to the app builder community.

"At Microsoft, we know that amazing apps are being built in New York and San Francisco, and we want to give talented developers the chance to launch their businesses through the Windows Store," said John Richards, Senior Director at Microsoft Corp. "We hope our Boingo Wi-Fi sponsorship will introduce the Windows 8 opportunity to app builders in NYC and San Francisco, while providing folks with Wi-Fi connectivity on-the-go."

Don't Believe the Apple MapGate Hype

October 1, 2012

Apple has become so successful that journalists seem to go in for the kill if a new service doesn’t work perfectly. To some degree the company has executed so well, this is to be expected. The latest issue is the company’s decision to replace Google maps with its own maps in iOS6. Users have complained about less than perfect directions in some cases as well as some satellite images which are warped and frankly quite odd looking.

LBS Needs Trust

September 28, 2012

For over a decade the communications industry has been waxing poetic about the potential for location based services or LBS to change the world. The idea was mobile commerce would be unleashed as coupons would be flashed in front of users as they walked near a coffee shop or fast food restaurant.

That future is here to a certain degree but the one missing ingredient is trust. You see users more than likely want curated offers.

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