Posts Tagged: Apple

Jun 12

The Next Big Tech Battle: It’s Not About Single Devices Anymore

This week Google had its big I/O conference where it announced many of the new products it has coming out in the next few months. Two of the big surprises of the conference were the Nexus 7 ( a 7 inch tablet) and the  Nexus Q ( a cloud powered television media system). Most puzzling is that these products don’t particularly add anything to the Google’s core competency which is selling advertising but digging deeper you’ll see that this is part of a larger play to stay in the game against two other big rivals.

Android, IOS and soon Windows 8. What do they all have in common? Initially they were all platforms (or in Microsoft’s case based off a platform) for mobile phones that have since expanded into tablets and now television set top boxes. All three firms are making pretty heavy investments into products that most likely do not have high profit margins.  But in addition to this, products along all three of these company sets will be connected to a central content system where users can buy apps, video, audio and image (books/magazines) based content.

Ah ha! So essentially what the plan for these three is owning the media distribution system and making profit off of any royalties generated from the sale of media content. Where previously the war was over which computer operating system a person used or their search engine now the fight is over where they consume their content from. With content moving away from traditional sources such as cable providers, book stores and news-stands, being able to own an ecosystem that allows people to purchase media where ever they are is a big move with potential for a lot of profit.

Where will things go from here? So far Apple has the strongest foothold with iTunes entrenched as the first to launch. Can Microsoft and Google catch up being later into the game? Absolutely! Microsoft has the advantage of being a leader in the console gaming market which places them in a strong competitive position to Apple TV. As for Google, they are currently # 2 in the smartphone market using an open system where as long as it’s an Android powered device it will work with Google’s content distribution systems.  The big marketing move for all these players will be to get consumers to purchase into their whole line of products making them the primary content provider.

It will definitely be interesting to see where things go for these three firms and how competitive factors will come into play. Will cable providers and the big studios choose sides like in the fight for Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD? Or will they  move to limit things all together? What will happen to single device manufacturing firms such as RIM ? With the technology industry moving so fast the next year or two will be ones to watch to see where the cards land.

Oct 11

Why the iPhone 4S Was Not For The Early Adopters

Its now been a few hours after the much anticipated iPhone announcement.  The upcoming  iPhone 4S has been announced and the general sentiment I’m seeing from those with a vested  interest in Apple (ie: Investors) and those who are fans of the brand (early adopters,iPhone users) is of general disappointment. No there aren’t any huge innovations. No the iPhone hasn’t been completely redesigned. Without a shiny object they all can swoon over of course they are disappointed. For Apple at this moment  though that’s not  really important. This launch wasn’t a showing of Apple’s latest and greatest. Simply put this launch was designed  for everyone else!

Keeping Up With Competitors:

Apple is smart in realizing that the market is making a small shift. Previously phones with single core processors were good enough but soon that won’t be the case. With competitors like LG and Samsung bringing out phones with Dual core processors, consumers consumers will see two things when they buy a new phone over the next year: phones with 2 cores and phones with only 1.

As a tech company, Apple needs to have this upgrade because when they are being compared to other high spec’d phones they definitely don’t want to be seen as one of the firms in the second column with only one core. What could it mean for Apple if they did? This would be seen as a slow weakening of the brand. For a company that has built a brand on being innovative to be seen as falling behind is a big deal and in this sense the iPhone 4S ensures that Apple in the short term is able to keep up with ‘the Joneses’.

Getting the rest of Consumers On Board:

In selling phones Apple is also  unique against its competitors that it sells just one brand. For a company in Apples standing only to have one phone means that the market  it can target is very limited. Much like the release of the iPhone 3GS  sold along side the iPhone 3, the addition of the iPhone 4S opens up a new product line for Apple which allows them to sell to different segments (along the lines of the “Technology Adoption Lifecycle‘).

Looking at this cycle its easy to see that Apple’s early adopters are already very settled into the iPhone 4 product line (as well as into multi-year contracts) and aren’t very likely to buy anything just yet. What the iPhone 4 will do is grab tech consumers  who need a phone now and  are neutral to what phone they get as long as its  the latest technology. They will see that Dual Core is the latest and greatest and in their research Apple hopes that these consumers will go its way.

Moving back down to the iPhone 4 this is a phone for those who are more so  in the middle ground and would probably be considered the Early or Late Majority. In their eyes they know that the iPhone is a solid product but they are a bit more sensitive to price and not as sensitive to technical specs. They like that they can get the iPhone 4 at a cheaper price and are willing to give up that its only about a half generation off of what the latest model is.

Last but not least is the iPhone 3GS which is the bottom of the barrel phone. Not to be mistaken as a bad phone, this phone is now considered aging and is primely targeted at the Late Majority and Laggards who don’t care for the latest and greatest technology but are more so price sensitive and will see having an Apple Phone as an added bonus to a purchase they make more so out of necessity.

Early Adopters and Apple Fans Will Have Their Turn:

As disappointed Apple Fans and early adopters are that they don’t  have a new shiny product they can swoon over, I think its safe to assume that come early 2012 (if not sooner) Apple will have some  new product announcements to make. Of course its key that for Apple to stay relevant they need to be constantly innovating and giving customers an opportunity to invest in its brand. Looking outside of this though  something just as  important for Apple to grasp onto is an expanded market share. By expanding its product reach along all lines of technology consumers  they ensure that a larger audience has its hands on their products and supply them with the incremental cash flow they need over the longer term.

Nov 09

Talking Tech on MacDose!

I actually now have the time to post this! So I’ve been having some back and forth conversations with 3 Canadian techies Alex Flint, Matthew Couto, and Nile Livesey which has been majorly  feeding my need for tech and giving me a few laughs ( Matthew especially is an interesting guy! ).  Well Matthew and Nile are a pair that run Perpetual Radio networks…. which has a little to do with radio but a lot to do with consumer tech!

They kindly invited me and Alex to take part in their weekly podcast Macdose  which I was involved in Episode 5 and spoke as well on Episode 6, but that’ll remain a lost episode(tech issues on a tech show, ironic!) . This weekly podcast and all the hilarity that ensues centers around Apple Computer corp. and in  particular Mac products. I’m in no way an expert. I’m typing this right now on an Acer laptop unfortunately! But I figure it  may be  cool to be involved.

For those of you interested, Episode 7 is going to be recorded live and unedited (which is even more hilarious!) this Sunday starting at 12:30 on Blog TV . It will be later posted on the PRN site. Feel free to check it out!  Overall big kudos to these guys for running Perepetual Radio Networks, its a cool upstart site that I hope goes places for them!

This weekend will be a serious time of ‘geeking out’ which I haven’t been doing in a while .Tomorrow I’ll be at Gamercamp which should be absolutely awesome. I’m looking forward to hearing  some insights on the Ontario electronic entertainment industry and seeing some awesome independent gaming demos! Should be great times, expect a blog post on that soon!!

Erm yeah… contact information.  Time to start adding that again! If you want to get in contact with me directly, feel free to hunt me down at or on twitter where I’m @kevrichard.

Jan 09

Steve Jobs: I’m not dead yet!!

This is a pretty insane case of the CEO being part of a company’s brand. Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple has come out in a public letter stating that he is in good health and not dying! Much like earlier this year after a presentation of the Iphone 3G , rumors about his health have been circulating around the net after it was announced that Job’s will not be giving the 2009 keynote at MacWorld.

After this announcement Apple stock took a significant dive falling to $83.35 a share from $100 in mid December. Steve Jobs in his statement attempting to prevent further damage , stated that he was skipping MacWorld this year to focus on a recent hormone imbalance that has been causing him to lose significant weight over the past year and that he is OK staying on as CEO for the forseeable future.

With Job’s prostate cancer announcement in 2004 pundits and investors have taken an increased interest in his health giving rumors like this very quick legs. While Steve Jobs has been instrumental upon his return in bring back Apple co. to great success , he has now in my opinion become a liability to the firm. Being so strongly associated with the brand (among some apple fanatics he’s seen as a savior) investors and customers cannot see a future for this company without its ‘great leader’.

My prediction for the year is either while becoming fed up or slowly forced out of the company Steve Jobs will step down from his position as CEO and take a more consultative role . While he’s done such great things for this company I think this is an example of how a company cannot have a single figure head or public face to the firm because like in the case of Steve Jobs’ if they are unable or unsuitable to represent the firm , the company overall becomes weaker in the eyes of the public.


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