In January 2010 the air was ripe with possibilities. Conventional wisdom (translation: a slew of rumors) told us the iPhone was now free to break the shackles of AT&T and roam amongst other US carriers. Apple's three years of bondage to AT&T was over. It's now September 22, 2010... guess again.
|Shackled to AT&T?|
|Apple is reaping great rewards in Europe and throughout the world with multiple carriers offering the iPhone, so why the lack of choice in the U.S.?|
A recent survey by ChangeWave suggests that at up to 53% of Verizon customers are somewhat, or highly likely, to acquire an iPhone if their carrier had the handset. Credit Suisse issued a report stating 23% of AT&T's iPhone users would defect to Verizon if they carried the device.
Apple now has the iPad well out in front of the competition and largely nailed the product design and interface from the day of launch. iPad is nearing 3 million sales per month, which won't be easily matched by any one product for years.
Given Apple's memory purchase leverage, it's own in-house chip design and sunk costs into precision tooling and manufacturing capabilities, how will the competition compete? For quite some time to come... they can't.
Now that Apple's exclusive contract with AT&T is rumored to be over, many are questioning why Apple hasn't re-engaged the other big-boy on the block — Verizon?
Verizon was Apple's first choice in carriers, but apparently Verizon told Apple to pound sand (no way Verizon would subsidize Apple's phone more than their other partner's phones). History then tells us what happens when you don't play nice with Steve Jobs: first he rubs you off his Christmas Card list and second vows to make your company a footnote for the technology history books.
Often we're so enamored with Apple’s cool technology that we forget that Apple, Inc. is a business. October is a very special month on the calendar for Apple, as it's the first month of their new fiscal year. This is why Apple typically releases updates to its product line in October/November — to start the year off with strong revenues. Consider...
|2008-Oct.||MacBook Air launch, MacBook and MacBook Pro updates|
|2009-Oct.||Mac mini, iMac and MacBook updates|
So far this year most of the products in Apple's arsenal have already been updated. So what hasn't? We think it might be a revamped MacBook Air. The MBA has been out of the limelight with Apple's genius with the iPhone and iPad. But the MBA may still have a place in the laptop lineup that makes sense. While we don't have any "insider info" we think that Apple will once again show off its "magical" design prowess and deliver an updated MBA that makes us all drool and think, "Gee, I'd like to have one of those" even if we don't need one.
The fall season of Windows Phone 7 is upon us, and that means Microsoft's advertising dollars are going to be thrown upon us in grand fashion. Granted, I've never viewed their advertising as effective, and I don't see the nearly $500 million spend doing much for Microsoft this Windows Phone 7 either.
Moving beyond Microsoft's self-generated marketing hype (already discussed here), Windows Mobile 7 is set to launch into an eerily similar market void created by an imploded Microsoft Kin 2 phone...
The similarities of Kin 2 and Windows Phone 7 are recognizable, and like the Kin 2, Windows Phone 7 seems bent on finding a mass market of social media users. Kin 2 died off faster than Matt Leinart's quarterback career, so why are we to think Windows Phone 7 will be any different? Will Windows Phone 7 take off simply because the devices that deploy it won't resemble a hockey puck, and $500 million will be spent on ads? Doubtful.
Yesterday, during Steve Jobs presentation at Apple's special event, a rather un-noticed salvo was launched. It wasn't Apple TV's new hardware and software, promising greater things to come, nor was it Ping which set the table for social networking. These products were nothing more than mere flybys.
Steve Jobs shot straight across the cell carrier's bow, and the weapon used was FaceTime on iPod touch. Perhaps Steve was too subtle, and thus most missed it, but I don't think so. "...and a lot of people call it an iPhone without the phone." said Jobs. Steve also pointed out "It's also an iPhone without a contract." Herein lies the heart of Apple's game.
Dan Wineman over at Venomousporridge has an interesting take on what the forthcoming iTV remote may look and act like. The basic concept is a merge between iPod touch and Apple's magic track pad.
It's a cool concept that primarily focuses on gaming, yet it falls short in how controls may actually work at a granular level. To name but a few, how does one pause, fast-forward or rewind video content? Apple is high on gestures, but for a living room-based device, two-finger turn for rewind, four-finger spin for fast-foreard, and triple-tap for pause hardly sounds intuitive.
Can anyone tell me where Mac OS X 10.7 is? It was MIA at the WWDC 2010 — the regular stomping grounds for such news and announcements. Apple continues to be hush-hush about what 10.7 will feature. Moreover, any search on the term "Mac OS X 10.7" turns up little as far as actual content — where debate about the project cat name seems to be the only main relevant information out there.
Where art thou oh Mac OS X 10.7? Where art thou!?!?
Analysts, a host of journalists and the tech blogosphere are all buzzing about Apple's special event on September 1st. Their common thread? A new version of Apple TV, dubbed iTV will show up at the event. Some are even predicting a new MacBook Air along with an iTV unveiling.
There's just one big problem with all these predictions, they don't hold true to Apple's latest August/September events. Apple is very good at focusing the media's attention on what it wants them to focus on. Based on Apple's event history alone, it seems the focus will be entirely on new iPods and perhaps an iTunes via the cloud reveal, nothing more.