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?
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)
Now, Steve Jobs got out of jail with Apple loyalists once already after the $200 price drop fiasco. This latest development. however, may just be going too far …
Evidently an Apple software update is disabling iPhones that have been unlocked by owners who wanted to choose which mobile network to use. Earlier this week Apple said a planned update would leave the device “permanently inoperable”. Yowch!
Apple requires iPhone owners to take out a lengthy contract with AT&T in the United States but there are a number of programs on the net that unlock the device for use with other networks. Thousands of iPhone owners hacked their device to unlock it for use with other mobile carriers and to run a host of unsupported programs.
On Monday Apple issued a statement in which it said many of the unauthorised iPhone unlocking programs caused “irreparable damage” to the device’s software (yeah, right). The company said this would “likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable when a future Apple-supplied iPhone software update is installed”. That warning has now proved correct as many owners are reporting their phones no longer work following installation of the update.
As if this wasn’t enough, some owners are reporting on technology blogs and Apple’s own forums that the update is also deleting contacts information, as well as photos and music, on iPhones that have not been modified in any way.
You may have read that some Gen Y twerp just made $25mill by hacking an iPhone. I confess I had a genuine “WTF?” (as we say over here) moment when I read this. According to the Globe & Mail, 17 year old New Jersey student George Hotz sold a hacked iPhone on eBay for $25mill? “I started working on it the day it came out,” he told The Globe and Mail Friday after posting a complex step-by-step guide to unlocking the device. Any comments relating to “he needs to get out more” have been effectively silenced! Ah well, good luck to him.
UPDATE: I now learn that he actually received a Nissan 350Z as barter … just hope he didn’t flunk Driver’s Ed …
Well I am hoping that this blog will become somewhere that people come to for some insight on the key issues facing marketers today … just kidding. To that end I would like to kick off the doubtless sporadic Linkfest with an important NPD Story: Fried Pepsi. I kid you not folks, if your blood has been positively flying around your arteries of late, you might want to mosey over to the Colorado State Fair and slow it down a little. I was hoping for a “Caramilk Secret” style “how did they encase Pepsi in batter” scenario, but alas they just mix the Pepsi syrup in. Denied! Not sure if this has anything to to with Colorado locals CP+B(!) This important story also puts me in mind of another gone-but-not-forgotten fried food innovation: the “Ketchip”. Genius!