Ever read an Android blog or an iOS blog? How about watching people trying to decide which smartphone to purchase in a Best Buy, an Apple or Carrier retail store? It's quick fun, if not shocking, but much more than that, it is quite revealing.
IDC’s latest market share numbers are figures should make Android's Mom proud. Roughly 81% of the world during the September 2013 quarter picked purchased some type of Android smartphone. Meanwhile, Apple saw a decline in share from 14.4% to roughly 13% during the same year-over-year quarter.
It wasn't complicated. The Big 3 automakers sold fleets of cars, each owned great chunks of market share, and all were amazingly profitable. Coke dominated soda market share, reaping fantastical profits as a result, and Google dominated global share with Android, piling up mounds of mobile cash for over a decade...
Hundreds of millions of Apple users are diving ever deeper into the diminutive fruit company's ecosystem - Apple's rabbit hole if you will.
Starting out on the deep end of the pool, is akin to entering a companies guarded fortress with arms open wide. It's a risky proposition. But for Apple users, heading into the iOS or OS X world is like walking into a securely developed fun park. iOS 7, iCloud, and the forthcoming OS X Mavericks will have users experiencing Apple's seamless solutions more so than ever before. And there is little worry within the minds of these users because they are loving the Apple experience.
Analysts, investment firm researchers, and over caffeinated personalities like Jim Cramer, want it both ways with Apple. One one hand they are crying a river that Apple did not deliver a stunningly feature set laden free iPhone (subsidy driven), that costs $300 or less if purchased outright. "So much for the low end," Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha stated in a note to investors. "Touch screen ID's? Yeah, that's what I've been waiting for," said Jim Cramer dripping with sarcasm.
On the other hand, they want Apple to make 40% gross margins and reign in massive market share growth at the same time. They can't have it both ways, yet this is the cry of Wall Street.
A lot of buzz is being bantered around regarding Google's latest homegrown device called Chromecast. In the wake of Google's failed Google TV effort, Chromecast does not offer a keyboard nor is it being heavily marketed by Kevin Bacon. Chromecast is also not the over priced Nexus Q part II. So what is this $35 USD Chromecast device?
Chromecast is a wifi dongle for HDTV's, allowing users to stream from Chrome equipped devices. In other words, Chromecast is Google's version of Apple's AirPlay technology – and that's it.
Steve Ballmer has done a good job at Microsoft, and Tim Cook, if measured in the same way, should be fired. This is according to Ed Bott, the award winning writer of ZDNET. During the infamous online technology show, TWIT (This Week in Tech), Ed stated “Steve’s done a pretty good job. There aren’t too many CEO's in the tech industry today that are capable of continuing to make a profit. I mean, by that same logic Tim Cook should have been fired three months ago.”
The question of whether Best Buy will eventually go out of business has shifted from “if” to “when” over the past year. The big box retailer is losing money quarterly, has very little cash available and continues to spiral into debt. There are signs it may experience a renaissance with UHD (4K) TV's entering the market in earnest this fall, coupled with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launching in time for the western holiday season. However, this will this be a short-lived adrenaline rush, and does Apple stand to gain or lose once Best Buy closes down their last location?
Best Buy’s stock is bouncing back, and analysts are predicting great things for the company. Samsung is in the midst of its Best Buy store-within-a-store build out, while Microsoft recently announced it will be doing the same, with other big name players likely to follow suit. The hope for Best Buy is that companies like Samsung, Microsoft or even HP building their own pavilions inside Best Buy to reap the success Apple has achieved with their own store-within-a-store concept.
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.