T-Mobile, the 4th largest cell phone/data carrier in the U.S., is trying to shake things up a bit by rolling out multiple offers — that do not charge for data usage. When cell phones first came out in the 90’s, it was talk-time that was restricted by cost. Each plan had “so many minutes” of talk-time in the plan. But thanks to the wonder of competition, carriers built out their networks and beat each other down with better and better talk-time offers until talk time became unlimited on most plans. Today it is almost assumed that a plan of any value will have unlimited talk-time.
It may be going unnoticed, but Apple is quietly going about, continually gaining mobile market share, building an ever-larger iOS customer base world-wide. If anyone is noticing, it's Apple’s competitors of iPhone and iPad. Samsung, LG, HTC, Nokia, Motorola and others are doing their best to keep pace. Ironically, it is Apple’s competition that are proving to be their own worst enemy.
Maturing markets typically lead to consolidation and uniformity, but this is not what is taking place in the mobile space. In recent years, only Apple and Samsung have been profitable within the smartphone and tablet markets, leaving HTC, LG and others searching for ways to make a buck, which is leading to a massive fracturing of the mobile OS market.
Earlier this week I reviewed the Surface Pro 3 and how it stacked up against the MacBook Air as an ultrabook laptop. I wore the objectivity cape as long as possible, but it was simply no contest. From hardware to operating system, the MacBook Air delivered a vastly superior ultrabook experience. But the Surface Pro 3 claims something the MacBook Air does not – that it is the best of a laptop and best of a tablet. The former was covered, but now it is time to dig into the latter. Does the Surface Pro 3 make for the best tablet when compared against the leader of the pack, the iPad Air?
Microsoft has been keen to market the Surface Pro 3 against the MacBook Air, but raw processing power of the Surface seemingly gives it an advantage over the iPad Air, not the MacBook Air. Geekbench testing reveals Surface has the power edge over the iPad Air:
Some things in life are just inevitable. If you eat one potato chip when the entire bag is available, it is inevitable that you will eat more; if you drink often in bars and pubs and then drive home, it is inevitable you will someday get a DUI. If you are in Vegas and on a lucky streak, if you keep betting it is inevitable that the casino will win all its money back and then some.
Costco’s Mobile Online Store is offering iPhones and iPads with steep discounts. Below are a few screen captures of pricing deals found today. Earlier this month we broke the story about Costco selling iPhones and iPads in their club warehouses starting June 27th. However today Costco began offering Apple deals online.
Beginning June 27, iPhones and iPads will once again be sold through Costco Wholesale. Apple's strong march back into Costco means Samsung will no longer be going unchecked within the U.S.'s largest club wholesaler. Apple will soon be reconnected the club's higher income Americans, tp which Costco largely caters.
The average annual household income of each Costco membership is $96,000. The typical Costco member who purchases technology at the retailer is not part of the early adopter crowd. Rather, Costco members largely tie into what is called the "laggard" segment of the market, settling on whatever Costco is offering. This is a large high-income segment Apple has been missing for the past four years.
In 2010, Apple and Costco parted ways. At the same time Apple’s divorce with Costco was being completed, dealings with Walmart and Sam’s Club were heating up. Coincidence? We didn’t think so then, and now we don’t believe that's the case now. But rumor is, Apple and Costco are putting aside their differences in order to team up once again.
An email that's been circulating the past week is claimed to be from the Wireless Advocates CEO (Wireless Advocates owns the wireless kiosk contract at Costco), which states:
This year’s WWDC 14 keynote was a treasure trove for developers. From an all new coding environment to a bounty of new API’s, and even an improved iCloud architecture to leverage — the show was pure developer candy. Apple also gave consumers something to look forward to coming this Fall. Apple’s Sr. VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, delivered iOS 8 Extensibility. For users of Apple’s mobile devices iOS 8 Extensibility is going to be a very big deal.
A two hour Keynote by Apple at WWDC 14,... and no new hardware. To some this was a big disappointment. Wall Street reacted (as they always do) by sending AAPL stock down on Monday, but on Tuesday they had reconsidered and sent Apple’s stock to another 52-week high. Along with Wall Street others had eagerly anticipated at least a new iPhone or were hoping for something else, something big — like a new category product (iWatch or a new form-factor Apple TV). But a new hardware announcement did not happen, and there are some good reasons why.
Yesterday, Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3 tablet/laptop. As the number indicates, this is the third iteration of Microsoft’s tablet coming less than two years since the original Surface RT was foisted onto the marketplace.
The Surface Pro 3’s runs atop Intel’s i3, i5 or i7 processors and Windows 8. Battery life is said to be about 9 hours for web browsing and has storage options of 64, 128, 256 and 512GB. A USB 3 port is included. However, the big feature is the new 12" 2160 x 1440 display. Microsoft is again positioning the Surface Pro 3 as both a tablet and a laptop — portability and power to be both. But Surface being a laptop and a tablet is exactly what Microsoft claimed of the original 10.9" Surface. Whatever the flawed reasoning, Microsoft continues to double down on on their previously failed mantra.