Sales figures have yet to be officially released about Apple Watch’s Christmas holiday success. Matter of fact, Apple has yet to release sales figures concerning Apple Watch and their policy isn't likely to change any time soon. All I know is that over the holidays every retail outlet that had some sort of “sale” or “special bundle” for Apple Watch and sold out of the most popular models quickly. This phenomenon gives credibility to my earlier claim that the problem with Apple Watch is not any of its features, but its price.
2016 is a year where Apple has the ability to do two things:
The brave new world of online entertainment is here, and the only way traditional network television (ABC, CBS, NBC, etc) will be able to survive is by purchasing live sports contracts and being ready for unforeseen news events with live coverage.
I cut the chord several years ago. I’m saving myself about $70/month, well over $2,000.00 in total so far. I subscribe to Netflix and also picked up the Tennis Channel Plus’ Apple TV package. It doesn't matter to me if I watch Seinfeld (via the free Crackle Apple TV app) or Blue Bloods on Netflix. These shows can be watched at any time, in any decade. Great TV comedies and dramas stand the test of time (Original Mission Impossible, Original Hawaii 5-0, etc...). So if Person of Interest is 4 years old, what do I care? I don’t need to see it on Tuesday night at 9pm (or whenever it airs) in order to enjoy its value. I can watch it this year or the next. It is these type of shows (comedies & dramas) that used to be the staple of network television. Not any more.
Brothers Mark and Werner wish you and yours the best for 2016. We'll be back Monday with more original insight, thoughts, and the stray rumor or two, on all-things Apple. Until then, enjoy the break and have safe and happy holiday.
Amazon paired Fire TV with Nick Nolte. Google tried Kevin Bacon in their Google TV ads, while Roku’s used families and customer testimonial commercials in an attempt to make waves. Until the arrival of Apple’s 4th generation Apple TV, the company was content to do virtually nothing to advertise their cord cutting device. Not since the original Apple TV launched in 2007 had Apple delivered a single television commercial. While Apple sat back, satisfied with its “hobby” gaining modest sales via word of mouth, the challengers took sales leadership. Signs that things would change for Apple TV’s fortunes began in January, 2015, when Apple CEO, Tim Cook, announced Apple TV had sold over 25 million units. The "hobby" phrase, often associated with Apple TV from Apple’s management was dropped, and signs were in the air that the company was about to get serious with Apple TV.
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas.
The Census and the Birth of Jesus
Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone went to his own town to be registered. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
I’m a late adopter. I know that. I usually wait a while for a concept (especially in tech) to prove itself before I jump in feet first. My first iPhone was not the original but the iPhone 3G (part of the delay was to wait for AT&T to bring decent service to my home). I rarely, if ever, upgrade iOS on the day it is released, but wait a week or so before taking the plunge, including minor bug fixes. I'm just a wait and see kind of guy.
So with Apple Music I took the same approach. I knew I had a 90 day free trial, but decided to wait to use begin that trial period when I would want to listen to music. That opportunity came when I took a road trip last weekend. Long drives in the car are great for audiobooks and podcasts, but at some point I want music — and not any kind of music — my kind of music.
When the World Wide Web made its debut in the mid-90's, the mantra that was born alongside was “Content is King.” What it meant was that you could have a pretty website that contained animated dancing, twirling babies (actually something semi-popular back then — albeit a little creepy), but if your website did not have content people were looking for, you may get a lot of one time visitors, but that would be it. Without valued content, websites were just organized electrons.
Nearly 20 years later the same can still be said for any online presence, but it can also be said for a lot of other content delivery platforms — including Apple TV. While the latest revision of Apple TV has a much better remote and includes Siri for finding content, if Apple TV does not have the content you want, having a better remote means nothing.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has halted its negotiations with television networks due to the fact that a sub-$30 package arrangement cannot be settled upon. Apple has been hoping to finally provide its own unique streaming service package for Apple TV. Again negotiations have failed. Fine. The big boys don't want to play. Move on Apple. The horse is now officially dead.
Apple's leadership is showing signs of understanding that this endless feet dragging game by the major network holders is fruitless, and is now taking a different direction. Eddy Cue, Apple Sr. VP of software and services, suggested to buzzfeed that Presidential candidates should launch their own Apple TV apps. It appears Cue, like other content providers such as Netflix, is taking another route to flush out new Apple TV content. Unlike Netflix, that gambles big on high production cost original programming, Cue seems to be searching for those capable of producing, quick, low-cost streaming solutions, unique to the industry.
Steve Jobs was a unique visionary who rarely, if ever, second guessed himself. His instincts were spot on 99.5% of the time. Whether it was the original Bondi Blue iMac, the iPod, iPhone or iPad,... Steve just had a knack of what the market wanted and when it wanted it (Cube not withstanding). Steve also wanted the product line at Apple to always be simple and clean. There was no cross over from one model to another. Each item sat in its own distinct space of price and features.
Tim Cook on the other hand seems to find his strength as manager — managing the business. From supply chain to logistics Tim Cook is the man. However, Tim has a very different approach when it comes to timing and product “space.” Yesterday was another glaring example how different these two men approach running Apple. Steve Jobs would never have released any new products (iPhone case with battery included or an iOS SD card reader) a mere 17 days before Christmas. Adding to the noise, yesterday Apple also updated iOS to 9.2, OS X to 10.11.2 and tvOS to version 9.1. Under Jobs all these goodies would have waiting until the new year. Instead Tim’s approach is to launch now, in the middle of the shopping season.