Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
Mobile carriers in the UK — 3, T-Mobile and Orange — are providing iPads through a subsidized model, perhaps as early as year’s end. Fresh on the heels of the UK carriers, Japan's mobile provider Softbank has just announced a subsidy program for iPad. Apple's competitors, who have been unable to compete pound-for-pound with iPad's pricing, thought they had found Apple's soft underbelly via the carrier subsidy model; however, it appears Apple is more than willing to play the same game, but that's where Apple stops playing fair.
The UK carriers are taking an agressive approach, bring iPad to the masses for around £199, with a two-year subscription. But in Japan Softbank's approach is nothing short of stunning, offering the iPad for free, with a two-year contract.
When Steve Jobs introduced us to Lion (OS X 10.7) back in October, there were a few items that were certainly interesting to note:
A lot more is in-store for us with Lion. Steve said he only had a limited amount of time to share with us some key features. What I think that really meant is he wasn't quite ready to reveal the massive change (and improvements) Lion will bring to our computing lives. Lion will be the next giant step away from computing as we have known it for the past 25 years.
Apple, Inc. the darling of the consumer industry, adored the world over, yet hated by others. But it isn't the consumer that's fallen out of love with Apple. Just look at Nielsen's latest iPad is number one survey if you have any doubts. Apple's enemies live in the corporate space. Large tech and service-based companies that once scoffed at Apple being nothing more than niche player are lining up in droves to bash Apple in the public square.
With success come enemies — and for Apple list grows long:
When September rolled around and we revealed Apple would likely hold a Special Event in October, revealing the all-new MacBook Air, we felt a wee bit apprehensive in doing so. At Three-Guys-And-A-Podcast we can't say we feel any less squeamish about looking forward to Apple's next Mac hardware special event either, but here we go again...
Since Apple has quit attending the MacWorld trade show, MacBook Pro launches roughly follow a fall or spring release schedule. This year proved to be different due to the MacBook air being the major Mac focus for the fall/winter timeframe. January will likely be reserved for Apple's annual iPad refresh. This leaves April as Apple's launching point for the all-new MacBook Pro design. We don't believe this will be a simple refresh of the MacBook Pro, rather, Apple will deliver an all-out redesign, the big brother of the MacBook air.
News Corp and Apple are teaming up to bring you an iPad only newspaper called The Daily. It will push content throughout the day and cost $99 a week. The content will be exclusive to the iPad as it will not be available online or in print.
If News Corp was developing this type of application alone, I might question how successful it will become. The fact that Apple is also working on this application almost insures that this will be successful. Apple will not only bring its marketing power to bare, but also their application development know how. This should be a great looking application if nothing else. Rupert Murdoch is fully behind the iPad and this application, so he should be putting some good editors and writers on this project. Will those writers know what to write for a publication with a limited amount of viewers, especially at the beginning? We will have to see what the content is looks like to find out. Either way, it is an interesting experiment to see if people will pay for news content.
If you haven't seen T-Mobile's latest television ad campaign you will, as they're running it heavily. Multiple versions of the campaign have already aired and it seems to be a campaign T-Mobile will be fixed on for some time.
Unfortunately for T-Mobile the ad smacks of desperation. It is a cheap knock-off of Apple's award-winning "Hello I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" campaign, but in this rendition, T-Mobile plays the good looking hipster, and the iPhone with AT&T is the dumb and dumber tandem.
Watching Microsoft open their latest store (luck number seven to be exact) in Bellevue, WA on Thursday was quite a display. It reminded me of Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney's Say, Say, Say video. If you're too young to know what I speak of, Michael and Paul pull into an unsuspecting town in the 30's or 40's, and excite the crowd with a new magic elixir that will make the weakest man strong or heal an aching back, you know, infomercial stuff.
Watching Microsoft's "customers" consist mostly of teen girls for Miley Cyrus tickets, mixed with a few Microsoft loyalists really started to make me queazy, and it brought me to realize exactly what this store is:
RIM has a video up on their YouTube channel showing that the iPad is slower than the Playbook in browser performance. Now, I would like to go and look at this playbook and see how it compares, but the Playbook is not available. Basically it is still vaporware, so until RIM actually starts selling this Playbook, it really does not matter. Now the Playbook is supposed to come out sometime in the second quarter 2011 and have a sub $500 price. We should really wait until RIM has a shipping Playbook before performance tests are conducted. It would be better for RIM just to demo the cool new features instead of trying challenge their competitors with vaporware products.
When Apple's home page post declared an event for Tuesday morning, with visuals suggesting this would be an event the entire world should tune into, it quickly had many on edge. Would this event, tagged with the comment "Come back tomorrow for an exciting announcement from iTunes" finally deliver the iTunes cloud or backup technology we've been waiting for, or perhaps something far better?
No. Not even close.
In October Apple introduced us to the all-new MacBook air lineup through a special event held at Apple's Cupertino campus. But Apple's MacBook air event was not the typical show Apple had held in the past. Oh sure, Steve was on stage with his great looking presentation, and the message was filled with Apple's typical "amazing" and "stunning" venacular, but there was one little addition; the event was streamed.
Today Apple unleashed a special event for tomorrow morning, 7 AM Pacific, as a live stream. Double expresso mandatory.