iPad Kerfuffle

Apple announced this morning that it sold more than 300,000 iPads on opening day. The comprehensive number includes pre-order pickups, deliveries to channel partners and walk-in sales at Apple Stores. Additionally, customers went home and downloaded more than 1,000,000 apps (oh, it’s on) and 250,000 ebooks.
The underlying problems, things like the lack of multitasking, expandability, the anemic iBookstore selection–all that stuff has been covered in the initial reviews. It’s something else entirely to actually have an Apple iPad in your hands, playing with it–you’ll discover quirks that only come from use, and the Internet community has been very vocal about them.
Here are some examples of the ways our Most Innovative Companies are taking advantage of Apple’s new tablet.
Even though the iPad looks like an iPhone built for the supersize inhabitants of Pandora, its ambitions are as much about shrinking our laptops as about stretching our smartphones. Yes, the iPad is designed for reading, gaming, and media consumption. But it also represents an ambitious rethinking of how we use computers. No more files and folders, physical keyboards and mouses. Instead, the iPad offers a streamlined yet powerful intuitive experience that’s psychically in tune with our mobile, attention-challenged, super-connected new century. Instant-on power. Lightning-fast multitouch response. Native applications downloaded from a single source that simplifies purchases, organizes updates, and ensures security. Apple has even developed a custom chip, the A4, that both powers the machine and helps extend its battery life to 10 hours. The iPad’s price puts it in the zone of high-end netbooks: $500 for a basic 16-gig, Wi-Fi-only model.
Before the iPad was launched, most of the information we had about the device was provided by Apple and a few trusted partners. With it now in stores, consumers and business can see for themselves what there is to like about it – and what is missing. For the most part, marketers’ business case for the iPad – eventual large scale adoption because of the Apple name, the promise of iPad apps etc – appears to hold true, according to the numerous reviews that ran this weekend. That said, there are some missing features and functionality with the iPad that should give marketers pause.
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New Rules: Apple, Luxury

If thinking about altering a wildly successful business sounds a bit contrary to you, in “We Should All Get It Wrong Like Apple,” Jonathan Weber points out that Apple does none of the things that pundits always say you should do to succeed in the Internet economy. No blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, free samples, asking for feedback or engaging with the customer base for the sages from Cupertino. Why, they even do a heck of a lot of advertising in the dead-tree mediums, as well as broadcast TV and billboards. What lessons are to be learned? 1. It’s all about good product. 2. Brand marketing still matters. 3. Real-time engagement with customers is not a required course of action.
Instead of the marketing status quo, Bastien we has proposed the “anti-laws of marketing”: 18 axioms that include: raise your prices to increase demand; advertising does not aim at selling; and – most importantly – do not pander to consumers’ wishes.
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Tablets: Apple, Microsoft

The excitement in the tech world about Apple‘s rumored iTablet (iPad?) is getting close to fever pitch, culminating with an article in The New York Times today. But all the evidence suggests that the seeds of the iTablet were planted decades ago–so we’ve made a timeline for you. A real Apple junkie would connect the rumors of the upcoming device all the way back to a conceptual movie made in 1987, during the reign of John Sculley. Yet apart from the failed–if amazingly visionary–Apple Newton Message Pad, Apple’s activity has only kicked into overdrive fairly recently.
macbook tablet
Rumors abound regarding Microsoft‘s “Project Pink” Zune smartphone, but the device since disappeared from the news. It’s back again, matched with exciting rumors of an MS Tablet PC.
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iPhone leads in satisfaction … but where’s it made?

iPhone, Verizon Lead in Smartphone Satisfaction
Despite the traditionally high Blackberry penetration among business users, smartphones with more consumer-oriented functionality – such as the iPhone, Google’s Android and Palm Pre – score the highest in a customer satisfaction study (pdf) from CFI Group. The CFI Group Smartphone Satisfaction Study, based on surveys of more than 1,000 US smartphone users, also found little relationship between smartphone satisfaction and consumer satisfaction with network provider. Verizon and T-Mobile get top scores for satisfaction in this category, despite the fact that the iPhone is exclusive to AT&T.

iphone love

MIT’s Media Lab has designed a way to help you understand the economic and ecological implications behind different products you buy–it’s an interactive map that displays where each component came from. Specifically designed to be a “collective tool for transparency and sustainability,” SourceMap’s intended to demonstrate how important supply chains are, and what the consequences of each part of the chain work out to be. It’s set up like a social network, so that anyone from producers to end-users can take part (as long as you’re a registered member). Check out the demonstration video to get a better insight:
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Techno Deathmatch: iTablet vKindle, Pixi v iPhone

The hype around the iTablet is reaching a fever pitch with the Kindle increasingly looking like yet another example of Apple roadkill. If Apple can consume 32% of the profits in the mobile phone biz in less than three years, it should be no problem to swallow the nascent e-reader business in one quick bite. No sooner had Jeff Bezos graced the cover of Fast Company than the Kindle was pronounced dead by the digiterati (actually, it was “Kindle in Danger of Becoming E-books’ Betamax,” according to Brett Arends in the Wall Street Journal). With competition for e-readers heating up, will Jeff be able to defend his walled garden from rivals inside and outside the category that he built?
itablet

Palm Pixi v iPhone
Palm‘s Pre was heralded as a potential iPhone-killer well ahead of its launch, but in the end it didn’t quite deliver. Its performance was slightly ahead of the iPhone 3G, but lagged behind Apple’s revamped iPhone 3GS (aided in part by Apple’s enhanced iPhone firmware which works on all its smartphones). Then we heard rumors that Palm was working on another webOS phone, but it had possibly been delayed due to poor Pre sales. That phone was codenamed Eos and Pixie, and it’s turned out to be the new Palm Pixi–a candybar phone with much simpler design than the Pre. So much simpler, in fact, that it’s probably fairer to compare the Pixi’s performance to the older iPhone 3G–which is still on sale, and is Pixi’s closest competitor. Pixi’s less capable than the Pre, and priced more cheaply, and it makes even more sense.

Report: Steve Jobs concentrating on tablet (news.cnet.com)

Steve Jobs is Hard at Work on Apple Tablet (shoppingblog.com)

Analyst: iPhone secure against competitors, AT&T not so much (venturebeat.com)

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iPhone: The Hummer of cellphones

iPhones Overload AT&T’s Network, Angering Customers
“Slim and sleek as it is, the iPhone is really the Hummer of cellphones. It’s a data guzzler. Owners use them like minicomputers, which they are, and use them a lot. Not only do iPhone owners download applications, stream music and videos and browse the Web at higher rates than the average smartphone user, but the average iPhone owner can also use 10 times the network capacity used by the average smartphone user. “They don’t even realize how much data they’re using,” said Gene Munster, a senior securities analyst with Piper Jaffray. The result is dropped calls, spotty service, delayed text and voice messages and glacial download speeds as AT&T’s cellular network strains to meet the demand. Another result is outraged customers.”

erics huge iphone

Photo: Eric’s iPhone

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Microsoft v Apple (Stores, Laws)

Microsoft to Build Retail Stores Right Next to Apple’s?
I think most people in Marketing admire how Apple use their stores to build their brand story. Last winter, Microsoft announced that they’ll be opening retail stores; today, they confirmed that the first ones will be opening this fall. Some of them will apparently be located right next to Apple stores(!) The designs of the store aren’t public yet–but their recent “concept” store on the Redmond campus manages to look exactly like the love child of a Circuit City and a Walgreens.

microsoft-store_4801

[This – above – is a joke. That – below – is apparently real]

microsoft retail store

In the latest twist in the computer wars, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner stated publicly yesterday that attorneys for Apple demanded Microsoft pull its “Laptop Hunters” campaign that shows buyers comparing prices between Macs and PCs. And Apple’s keeping quiet on the subject. The campaign, created by Microsoft’s consumer ad agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, began running in March and marked a new ad strategy from the software giant: painting rival Apple as pricey. By some measures, the ads have been successful in boosting Microsoft’s “value perception.”
Microsoft has reported a disappointing 17% slump in revenues as it was hit by competition from Google and Apple and falling demand for new computers. Results for the three months to June saw net profit for the period at $3.1bn (£1.9bn), down by 29% from the same period a year earlier. Revenue came in at $13.1bn, down 17% from a year ago.
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