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Amazon's Major Miss "fire"

by: Mark Reschke | Aug 14, 2014

Amazon_fire_phoneAmazon CEO confidently strolled onto the stage on June 18, and introduced the world to Amazon’s first-ever smartphone — the fire Phone. The fire Phone shipped with a few novel ideas, such as tangle free earphones (that’s the claim), a 3D display, and an easy way to channel any online purchase right into Amazon.com. Then came the fire Phone reviews — and they were not pretty. Next came the actual product launch, and sales have equaled or fallen even shorter than the poor reviews it had been given. Amazon’s fire Phone is already in massive trouble, which seems more than strange, given it is the latest in a line of never-ending Android smartphone launches. Why would fire Phone fail to do well within the large Android crowd?

Amazon launched fire Phone exclusively with AT&T wireless. Amazon targeted its launch at millions of iPhone owners currently on month-to-month payment plans or iPhone owners whose two-year commitments were and/or are about to expire ahead of iPhone 6’s launch. This would appear to be a perfect time for Amazon to swoop in and steal away iPhone sales, converting a healthy dose of AT&T customers to fire Phone. But either Amazon executives ignored, or did not believe one major piece of data  –  iPhone loyalty figures hover around 90%. The idea that Amazon could somehow deflate that figure by converting iPhone users who are no doubt waiting for iPhone 6/air to launch is a bold miscalculation. AT&T is struggling to sell the fire Phone to anyone, let alone loyal iPhone users who are, in, out, or nearly out of contract.

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Is Apple's stock poised for another jump?

by: E. Werner Reschke | Aug 11, 2014

AAPL Stock 2009-2014

For the past several years owners of Apple’s stock must be pleased with the company's leadership. The stock price hit a lul during the first half of 2013, but since then AAPL has returned to its pervious value. The real question is what will happen next.

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iPhone 6, iPhone Air, Rumors, Sapphire Display, iBeacon

Follow the rumors surrounding the forthcoming iPhone release, supposedly slated for September 9th, via an Apple Special Event held in San Francisco, and it might make your head spin.

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Yerba_buena_apple_special_event_september_9Yesterday John Paczkowski of re/code stated Apple, Inc. would be holding a Special Event on September 9. Many sites had been claiming a mid-September or October announcement for a forthcoming iPhone launch, however, it appears Paczkowski has the inside track on all-things Apple events.

In the past Apple has launched products, such as the iPod, on-campus, hosting the media in their own Town Hall auditorium. But over time Apple has shifted their Special Event venues to downtown San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The auditorium can seat roughly 550, two times more than that of Apple’s aging Town Hall facility, giving the company a stronger real-time reach into the tech media.

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Intel_tablet_adLast night, while stumbling upon Penn & Teller’s whimsical Fool Us TV show (sorry, I really don’t watch much live TV anymore — thank you Apple TV), I found myself watching what I thought was another Microsoft Surface commercial, wasn’t a Microsoft ad at all. Rather, it was a generic Intel tablet commercial, pushing the idea that Intel-based tablets are what people need (not ARM-based or iPad tablets). Just how desperate is this dual-force Microsoft and Intel I wondered?

Microsoft’s failing campaign to sell their heavy, battery draining 2-in-1 Surface Pro is one thing, but Intel trying to sell the idea that the only type of tablet worth buying is due to something the user will never see, touch or understand – the processor. Apple’s dark decade of the 90’s laid the groundwork for Intel to advertise to, what could be described as, low technology information consumers. Intel was successful in pushing the idea that when looking to buy a new PC, that only an ”Intel Inside” PC was worth considering. 

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Apple's (Potential) Big Fall Line-up

by: E. Werner Reschke | Aug 01, 2014

Jobs-ipad-keynote2010 was the last time the Apple faithful were treated to a new product category launch. The iPad made its debut just three years after the incredibly successful iPhone introduction. Over four years has passed since the iPad was announced, yet Apple has produced nothing “new.” Over the years iPhone and iPad have certainly improved — iPad now has a mini companion — but Apple’s history has set expectations for the company to launch something yet unseen, yet unknown, or yet to be done, every few years.

This Fall presents Apple another opportunity to break the cycle of just another set of upgrades to current product categories. The iPhone 6 (aka iPhone Air) is most likely going to sport a larger display (or displays), but it may be a new product that steals the show. Under Tim Cook’s leadership, there have been two special events in the Fall. A September show (2012, 2013) and an October show (2012, 2013). October is a special month for Apple as it is the beginning of its fiscal calendar. If you have never worked for a fortune 500 company, let me tell you, that is a big deal. Never under estimate when products launch and how they are tied to how bonuses are calculated.

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Two_iphone_6Rumors continue to mount that Apple’s Sapphire glass production continues to plot along at a pace which cannot meet a heavy launch demand come September. Many are pointing towards 5.5" Sapphire production issues, which would make sense due to the overall display size, let alone the production volumes which Apple’s heavily funded supplier, GT Advanced Technologies, must produce at an ever increasing pace.

The Sapphire glass is being manufactured in a new production facility in Arizona. If it is unable to achieve output numbers sufficient to launch the a 4.7" and 5.5" iPhone in tandem, it could have a disastrous effect on the overall launch of iPhone line. The tech media is always ready to pounce on Apple if it takes a misstep, especially on such a prestigious product as the iPhone.

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Ballmer’s Microsoft - The Lost Decade

by: E. Werner Reschke | Jul 11, 2014

Steve Ballmer

In 2004, just ten years ago, the New England Patriots were the NFL’s new dynasty with three Super Bowl victories in four years. Lost, Amazing Race and 24 were the top three hit television shows. The U.S. war in Iraq was just one year old, and Microsoft was the undisputed king of the tech world.

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AT&T Mobile Share Family Plan

AT&T’s heavily promoted Mobile Share Value plan has been a huge success for AT&T Wireless. The program stopped the bleeding of customers migrating to aggressive campaigns from the “un-carrier” T-Mobile, while at the same time targeted higher priced Verizon plans.

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T-Mobile: Trying to Change The Carrier Game

by: E. Werner Reschke | Jul 07, 2014

T-mobile-setting-data-rates-for-music-to-free

T-Mobile, the 4th largest cell phone/data carrier in the U.S., is trying to shake things up a bit by rolling out multiple offers — that do not charge for data usage. When cell phones first came out in the 90’s, it was talk-time that was restricted by cost. Each plan had “so many minutes” of talk-time in the plan. But thanks to the wonder of competition, carriers built out their networks and beat each other down with better and better talk-time offers until talk time became unlimited on most plans. Today it is almost assumed that a plan of any value will have unlimited talk-time.

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