If Detroit’s top brass are operating with the same acumen as former General Motors CEO, Dan Akerson, Apple should be tripling their car efforts. Apple taking on Akerson and other automotive "whiz kids" may make former Motorola & Microsoft CEOs (Ed Zander and Steve Ballmer) look like a geniuses.
Earlier this week, Akerson spoke to Bloomberg about rumors of Apple getting into the automotive market. “I think somebody is trying to cough up a Hairball here,” Akerson said. He continued on, talking of how those outside the automotive industry don’t understand it, with the end result being a lot of work for extremely low margins. Akerman ended his comments with a warning to Apple. “They’d better [understand the automobile industry] if they want to get into hard-core manufacturing. We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into a car. They have no idea what they’re getting into if they get into that.” When asked how he would deal with Apple, his response was “How do they deal with us? That’s the question.” Oh wait, that last comment wasn’t Akerson, it was former Motorola CEO Ed Zander that uttered those disparaging comments against the iPhone. But Akerson’s comments are not falling far from the failed “mock Apple” tree. Perhaps history is about to repeat itself – again.
If rumors come true, expect Apple to send out invitations tomorrow for a Special Event to take place on Tuesday, February 24th. Recently Apple has given short notice between announcements for Special Events and the actual event itself. While seven day is cutting it close, the reasons make sense. First, this Special Event would coincide with what would have been Steve Jobs’ 60th birthday. Second, we needed to get beyond the long-holiday Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend in the U.S. Any invitation sent out before then would have had less impact. Announcing tomorrow makes sense in that there will be few, if any, distractions.
Why Apple would hold a Special Event in the middle of the quarter is two fold. First, Apple would spend some time reviewing Apple Watch and showing us a bit more how it works and why we all need one. Apple would also reveal more specifics on pricing, so people can know what their desires will cost them. Second, Apple would use the event to introduce a new 12" device. There has been much speculation that a forthcoming 12" device could be a MacBook Air (to replace both 11" and 13" models) a MacBook Pro or an iPad Pro (here and here).
April is almost here, and that means the launch of Apple Watch. The one looming question we here at T-GAAP have is, “What problem does Apple Watch solve?” Will it tell time better? Will it be a better status symbol? Is Apple Pay enough to make it valued and unique? To answer these questions we took a look at two previous launches of brand new Apple products and the time piece industry itself to find the answers.
Apple’s iPhone entered a market during a time when “smart phone” meant a devices such as a Blackberry that could handle email and not much more. Many tried but failed with web browsers. Managing contacts and calendar events was a downright nightmare, and the phones themselves were clunky and difficult to use. No one loved their mobile phones, everyone just put up with them. Enter iPhone. iPhone made all of functions exponentially easier. The multi-touch interface and full screen display made using iPhone simple yet elegant. iPhone did everything well and that was just the beginning. Once Apple delivered the App Store the entire platform exploded.
Some say Apple’s inability to pull off content deals with resistant networks is hampering the diminutive little device from being a runaway success. Others have said Apple TV is dated due to a lack of hacking features that no longer work, while others are bemoaning the fact that Apple has not updated its disappearing-in-couch remote, nor has Apple added voice control. None of these are major issues slowing down Apple TV.
At the heart of Apple TV's problems is the entertainment industry itself, and the reason is simple.
It is coming, in April 2015, to an Apple Store near you — Apple Watch. This is a big, big deal. While millennials have dismissed watches as an unnecessary item for daily use or for fashion’s sake, that is all about to change. Apple Watch will transform the time piece industry into something brand new, and into another industry which Apple will dominate.
Currently watches do one thing well — tell time. They are also fashion accessories. What you wear on your wrist (or don’t wear) says a lot about you, much like the car you drive or the shoes you wear. That said, it is difficult to tell the difference between a Seiko, Citizen or Omega. They all look like nice pieces of jewelry, but that is about it. However, when you see an Apple Watch, you will know it is an Apple Watch. Its styling — from the watch’s face, to the band, to how the owner interacts with it— will tell you immediately, this is something different and something that brings attention to those who wear one.
Apple’s fiscal second quarter iPhone sales were simply amazing, but the Cupertino company is showcasing the value in diversity more so than any of its competition. Microsoft is simply a decades old franchise, one-hundred-percent dependent on Windows. Google just showed how unsuccessful it is outside of anything but search. Apple’s model of software coupled with various hardware businesses can withstand blows, and expand in ways that continue to defy the odds — and its detractors — alike.
Microsoft, the once mighty and feared software giant, is only a footnote outside of Windows sales. Office is the monster of business workflow, but without Windows and the forced Office bundles, who would value Word or Powerpoint over other solutions available today? Everything Microsoft had, has, and will have, revolves around Windows nothing more. Bing, Xbox and Windows Phone are all long-term financial nightmares for the Redmond, WA techno-giant.
Podcast Episode 106: Let’s Wait A While. We’re back and better than ever. After a six month break, Mark & Werner hit the podcast-waves with fun, excitement and information only fit for a king.
To whet your appetite, here are a few of the topics covered in our latest creation of infotainment:
If Apple were an ocean liner and Tim Cook her captain, there is little doubt that the USS Apple would be parsing the open waters at “full steam ahead”. While Steve Jobs turned Apple around, was very good at gathering top talent and then focusing that talent on a few key ideas — bringing excitement to the world with new gadgets and gizmos we all had to have, Tim Cook has brought stability to Apple.
Research, rumor and a timely update, inform us that Apple will be holding a special event in February 2015. Exact timing is still unclear, but Tuesday, February 24th, may indeed be the event date, with an as of yet unknown announcement.
Can you hear it? That is Apple’s stealthy, yet highly effective marketing arm about to blow the media’s doors off with Apple Watch hype. This will not be some Microsoftian campaign, where massive kiosks are displayed in Times Square in an effort to create some sort of false enthusiasm. Nor will Apple’s promotion include renting Radio City Music Hall, containing several dance routines and a skit about a single Mom (thanks for searing that into my brain Samsung). Once the holiday season is over, with Christmas iPhones having been unwrapped and the New Years parties complete, Apple will start a quiet, yet savvy campaign for launching its market disruptive Apple Watch.