It has been a week and a half since the Apple Keynote came in like a lamb and roared out like a lion. Many items were of great interest: the next generation OS X, now called Mavericks, iOS 7, a new MacBook Pro sporting the energy saving Haswell processors, iWork for iCloud and the all new Mac Pro.
As a professional marketer and technologist it is the Mac Pro that interested me most in last week's Keynote. While Phil Schiller showed us a lot of glitz and glamor, talked specs until we were green with envy and even hinted when this bad boy will be released into the creative wild (sometime in 2013), the one item Schiller avoided talking about was price.
Sky Gamblers - Storm Raiders is a World War II area combat flight simulator. Players can participate in dogfights, protect fleets or cities, and attack land targets. Planes fly in many different areas of War World II like Pearl Harbor, Midway, Germany, and France. It is available for the iOS and Mac. The Mac version’s normal price is $4.99, but it does come on sale for as little as $0.99.
Storm Raiders can use a joystick, gamepad, or a keyboard for controls of the Mac version. The keyboard does take some getting use to, but it works well for those who don’t have a game controller. Flight simulation is fairly complicated, but the developers did a good job simplifying the controls as much a possible. The heads up display works well by showing what is needed, but not taking a lot of screen space up so the player can see what is happening in the game.
Is Apple’s stock being manipulated by major players heading into Apple’s earnings report? That's the question, as AAPL took a beating today, falling below $400 a share after Jefferies Investment Bank noted Apple may slow it's iPhone production. The investment bank created a self fulfilling prophesy with investors, as the firm cut Apple's target from $420 to $405.
The qualifier term “may” could not be more timely, as Apple's third quarter is nearing its end, and pricing of the stock needed no more than a shove to send it spiraling downward. What better time than for an investment bank to release a negative statement regarding potential iPhone production?
Google Reader has been the dominant RSS reader for more than five years. Even though it is the top RSS service on the Internet, Google announced in March that it is shutting it down as of July 1. For those who are still using Google Reader, the July 1 shutdown is almost here. The time to look for a replacement is now.
When Google first made the announcement, an alternative was hard to find, as most RSS readers used Google Reader as their back end. A lot has happened in the past three months as services are coming online to compete for the Google Reader users. Among those that are ready, one is standing out above the rest.
Apple, Inc. is selling products cheaper than its competitors? Not possible many might say, but the truth is Apple has slowly shifted into the price leadership position with many of its product offerings.
Apple waded into the smart phone market with iPhone starting at $599, but within two months it was reduced by $100. The price reduction didn't last long either, as Apple quickly jumped into the subsidized game.
Remember 1995, when everyone didn't have a PC, tablet or smart phone? It was a time when people were getting excited about the summer launch of Windows 95. Many people bought Windows 95 because other people were buying it, and one guy even purchased a copy just to be part of the craze — he didn't even own a PC. Yet this seems to be the way that Microsoft and its partners still think advertising works.
The AppleTV is a nice device for the living room. Right now, it can play music and movies from a number of sources like iTunes, YouTube, Netflix, or an iOS device through Airplay. Through Airplay, the AppleTV can also mirror the display of an iOS device and a Mac Computer.
Mirroring a Mac display on the AppleTV is nice, but it is limiting. Users can’t watch an Internet movie on the AppleTV and still use their Mac at the same time. This limits the usefulness of not only the AppleTV , but also the Mac. This is all going to change this Fall.
TV network The CW and Apple joined forces last month as The CW will be bringing its programming to AppleTV. This may not appear to be blockbuster news, as The CW already has their ad supported content available via an iOS app, Windows 8, Android and XBox 360, but adding AppleTV to the mix — the one device that is a dedicated to content streaming — reveals that at least some networks are ready to forgo the traditionally heavy handed cable operators and set themselves free.
Apple is rebooting its award winning ad campaign, but this time around it has Tim Cook’s signature all over it.
Apple is taking to the airwaves with a new 60 second ad campaign, focused solely on its brand. Apple’s first brand reboot came in 1997 when Steve Jobs reemerged as Apple’s iCEO and left an indelible mark on the culture of tech, with the amazing Think Different campaign. No products, no glitz, just the impactful words “Here's to the crazy ones...” Apple positioned itself as the heart of the nonconformist during a time when 95 percent of the world was using a Microsoft PC.
Apple's Think Different campaign rang true to its 1984 Superbowl ad, in which Apple would topple a world enslaved by the power of IBM. Apple’s new “Designed by Apple in California” theme does not harken back to this previous idea, nor should it. Apple is no longer the outsider looking in, but is now the standard bearer by which all others are measured. “Here’s to the crazy ones” has been replaced with the opening phrase “This is it,” while we see a woman enjoying a moment with her music via Apple earbuds on a commuter train. Immediately, Apple is stating that their brand has arrived, that what they are making just works. Throughout the ad the message that all Apple wishes to be and achieve is now being experience throughout the world.
This past Monday, Phil Schiller launched the updated MacBook Air during Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote, but the update fell on deaf ears, as the MacBook Pro lineup was left unchanged. The current MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro with retina display were not even given Intel's latest processor upgrade, know as "Haswell." Many are wondering what was behind Apple's decision to leave their flagship laptop languishing while the entry level MacBook Air was given so much attention.
Currently, only Apple and a handful of niche vendors (such as Dell's Alienware gaming division) are getting a supply of Intel's Haswell chipset for their ultrabook laptops. Intel's shortage of processors during their production ramp may be one of the reasons Apple was unable to deliver both MacBook lineups with the processor upgrade, by why did Apple choose the Air over the Pro?