This weekend I spent some time watching college football and some of the NFL. I always find it fascinating to see who is spending big bucks to advertise in this expensive sports-drama space. In August Microsoft made a big splash about the Surface Pro 2 tablet (modified for exclusive NFL use) being the NFL’s sideline tablet of choice, after paying the NFL $400 million to join in of course. This weekend I saw a few commercials for the Surface Pro 3, going head-head against a Macbook Air. I also observed several Samsung commercials. One Samsung ad explained how the iPhone 6 Plus 5.5" screen is no big deal because Samsung had such a device in 2012. And then there was the Google Now commercial, where Google’s digital personal assistant is asked how long Koala bears sleep (up to 18 hours according to Google Now — if you’re curious).
It started earlier this month, when actress Jennifer Lawrence’s iCloud account was hacked and nude photos of herself (she stored in iCloud) made their way across the internet. In Tim Cook’s interview with Daisuke Wakabayashi at the Wall Street Journal he said iCloud is completely secure and that hackers guessed the right answers to a series of questions to get into Lawrence’s iCloud account. Lesson: Make sure your passwords and security questions are not obvious and easy to guess.
On Wednesday (17-Sept-2014) Apple released its newest mobile operating system iOS 8. By default iOS 8 has encryption turned on. This means data stored on an iOS 8 device is encrypted, as well as the transfer of that data, to and from iCloud. This is the first time encryption has been turned on by default. In response to Apple's beefed up security measures Google has announced it will also encrypt data by default with its next operating system release — Android L — to ship next month. However, with Google's Android, only those buying a new device with Android L will ever receive the encryption, as Android hardware makers do not upgrade older Android versions on sold on their devices — Apple does, and iOS upgrades are always free.
It happened slowly and subtly, so much so you might have missed it. Apple has morphed itself from a desktop computer company and into the fashionista of high tech.
Apple’s mammoth construction crew is not just digging up a bit of dirt and pour some footings here and there. No the Space Ship Campus Builders are moving and reshaping the earth to an astounding extent. The main trench dives 4-5 stories below the earth’s surface, and the saucer design is so large one might wonder if this is Apple's new campus or a SuperCollider project. But some of these latest high resolution images and non-sponsored video give us the best look into just how secret and expansive the mega building will be.
Now that the third OS X Yosemite public beta has been released a clearer picture of when OS X Yosemite’s Gold Master version — the final version — will be ready for download. We continue to predict that Apple will hold true to form and have another Special Event in October. October is a special month on Apple’s calendar as it is the beginning of a new fiscal year, and most corporations like to start their fiscal year by exceeding expectations instead starting behind projected sales and revenue numbers.
Washington Square, Tigard, OR Apple store expansion
Apple adding new stores in the U.S. may have slowed from its once torrid pace, but that is not to say Apple does not continue to grow its retail presence. Apple retail locations initially averaged 6,000 sq. ft. but recently have been expanding in size and scope. In late 2011, 8,400 sq. ft. was the average Apple retail size, but even these stores could not keep pace with the amount of traffic Apple was producing. Today, original Apple stores are being replaced with stores over double their original size to around 15,000 sq ft.
Today Apple announced over four million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones were sold within the first 24 hours of accepting pre-orders. A little math reveals Apple was selling iPhones at a rate of 46.296 iPhones per second! Apple mentioned iPhones sold over four million in 24 hours. Getting a bit technical, 47 iPhones sold per second equals 4,060,800 iPhones solid in a 24 period, matching Apple's statement. Considering Apple’s servers were going down due to massive volume during the first 2-3 hours the iPhone became available, it is truly a staggering number. Meanwhile, Samsung threw caution to the wind blitzing the Sunday NFL crowd with a new Samsung Galaxy Note ad. Truth be told, it was not so much a Galaxy Note ad as it was a “We are better than iPhone 6. Do not consider buying iPhone 6. And look, we have a stylus!” ad.
Late last week Wells Fargo customers received an email from their bank notifying them that they were fully onboard with Apple Pay. The email starts by saying,
In 2011, Samsung launched the Galaxy SII with an – at the time – massive 4.3" display. The launch was a key moment in time for the Korean tech giant, as the company heavily leveraged their larger-than-iPhone display sizes. But starting today, the display options from Apple arrive in three flavors; 4", 4.7" and 5.5" displays. The major advantage Samsung had over the iPhone is now officially gone. Samsung's display supremacy has just run aground on an obvious question: What does Samsung do next?
Hot on the heels of Apple's special event, Samsung's ad agency of record RGA pushed out a slew of advertisements, bashing everything from Apple's event streaming issues, to the fact Apple now offers large display smartphones... Many of these ads have a nonsensical core to them, but apparently, bashing Apple (whether it makes sense or not) is the core to their advertising strategy. But advertising is one thing and countering Apple's latest iPhone lineup is another.
Forget about Apple's courtroom battles with Samsung. On Tuesday Apple launched what can only be described as an all-out nuclear attack on Samsung. Apple has taken the war from a nearly broken court system and onto the consumer battlefield. Apple's dual combination product launch wasn't just a shot across Samsung's bow, it was a devastating blow to Samsung's front line which is rapidly collapsing.
In 2007 Apple's original 3.5" iPhone display was massive, but while their engineers were focused on delivering amazing high resolution 4" displays in ever-greater iPhones, Samsung rapidly deployed their patent infringing products with even larger display sizes which many consumers rapidly adopted. Some say Apple stubbornly stuck to the 4" display size, giving away market share in regions outside the U.S.. Low-end smartphones and large screens expanded Samsung's market share grip, as many Asian consumers could not afford both a tablet and a smartphone, thus one large screen device acted as a tweener product that met both needs. Samsung took advantage of the space Apple seemed to have no interest in serving.