When Steve Jobs took to the stage in San Francisco's Moscone Center on January 27, the world knew what to expect: Apple would finally announce its long-awaited tablet. With that pre-determined focus and the anticipatory roar for the next "insanely great" thing, most missed the larger announcement of the day. Steve Jobs did not simply announce the company's latest creation; he completed a task first made public in January 2007, when the company dropped "Computer" from its name to become Apple, Inc. The real news hidden in plain view as Jobs unveiled iPad was the repositioning of the company that created the personal computer.
Slate's insightful piece by Annie Lowrey, "Readers Without Borders," highlights one of the most cringe-worthy excuses for failure: the marketplace.
There may be more bears in publishing than there are on Wall St. This isn’t new to the current recession; as Ken Auletta recently noted in the New Yorker, “publishing exists in a continual state of forecasting its own demise.” Now add to that traditional gloomy propensity today’s market conditions - a period when most industries are wrestling with digital disintermediation and even wholesale redefinitions of function. You get a complete meltdown.
Trapit For iPad is the latest in a wave of news-reading apps designed to make finding and reading online content on a tablet easier, more intuitive and elegant.
CloudOn - yes, the company known best for bringing Microsoft Office to the iPad – has just closed a $16 million Series B round led by The Social+Capital Partnership with participation from Translink Capital as well as existing investors Foundation Capital and Rembrandt Venture Partners. Mamoon Hamid, General Partner at Social+Capital, will now join CloudOn’s Board of Directors as a part of the funding. The raise speaks to the demand for traditional productivity software on the iPad, but also hints at bigger plans for the startup, which has a vision that re-imagines how productivity should work in the new mobile age.
Microsoft Corp. unveiled its own Windows-powered tablet computer called Surface, altering its strategy of focusing on software and relying on partners to make the machines in a renewed attempt to take on Apple iPad.
Tablets are on track to fundamentally change the computing landscape. The handheld devices of various shapes and sizes will be in the hands of 34 percent of the U.S. population by 2016, predicts James McQuivey, principal analyst at Forrester Research.
Math nerds and historians, it’s time to get excited. Minds of Modern Mathematics, a new iPad app released Thursday by IBM, presents an interactive timeline of the history of mathematics and its impact on society from 1000 to 1960. The app is based on an original, 50-foot-long “Men of Modern Mathematics” installation created in 1964 by Charles and Ray Eames. Minds of Modern Mathematics users can view a digitized version of the original infographic as well as browse through an interactive timeline with more than 500 biographies, math milestones and images of relevant artifacts.
Remember Next Issue Media, the “Hulu for Digital Magazines” consortium made up of the biggest names in publishing? It has finally delivered something worth talking about: Call it Netflix for Magazines. The pitch is simple and intuitive: All the magazines you want, delivered digitally to your tablet, for a flat fee of either $10 or $15 a month.
why is it that consumers are still paying through the nose for e-book titles that ought to cost a fraction of the price charged for the used hardcover version?
Esquire magazine, a monument to male vitality, seemed about to keel over in 2009. Famous for laying down a much-followed literary track with an article in 1966 by Gay Talese titled “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” the magazine found itself gasping for breath and fighting for survival. Amid the plague that hit the magazine industry back then, Esquire was worse off than most. Beaten up by a crop of lad magazines like Maxim, then hammered by the flight of advertisers and readers to the Web, Esquire suffered a 24.3 percent loss in advertising pages compared with 2008, which was almost as bad, by the way. A Web site for investors, 24/7 Wall Street, predicted in 2009 that Esquire would be one of “Twelve Major Brands that Will Disappear” the following year.
General Mills’ Pillsbury believes the generation of moms raised on email, Web and texting are also ready to use their smartphones to activate a TV spot. A new TV campaign for the brand’s Crescent baked goods can be recognized by the popular Shazam smartphone app to trigger mobile screens full of complementary content.
The CEO of Amazon.com, in regulation blue oxford shirt and jeans, is sitting in a conference room at his company’s spiffy new headquarters just north of downtown Seattle. It is mid-September, exactly one week before he will introduce a new line of Kindles to the world. He has already shown me two of them—one with a touchscreen, the other costing just $79—but that’s not what’s truly exciting him. It is a third gadget, the long-awaited Amazon tablet called the Kindle Fire, that represents his company’s most ambitious leap into the hearts, minds, and wallets of millions of consumers.
When it comes to brand love, consumers are notoriously fickle -- particularly when it comes to technology. That's apparent when combing New Media Metrics' Leap Index, which measures emotional attachment to brands to predict purchase behavior.
Amazon.com Inc. said it is testing a major redesign of its website, an overhaul that could refashion the way people shop on the world's largest online retailer. The new site appears to have been streamlined for use on a tablet computer, online-commerce experts say, indicating that the Seattle-based retailer is trying to improve the shopping experience on Apple Inc.'s iPad—or its own competing device. Amazon is expected to release a tablet in coming weeks, people familiar with the device have said.
For the first time in its history, the editors at The New Yorker know which articles are being read. And they know who's reading them.
When the album designer Michael Carney submitted his proposed cover for the Black Keys’ album “Brothers” last year, he and the band were a little anxious. Seeking a change from their previous, illustration-driven packaging, which he’d also designed, Mr. Carney devised the simplest of covers: two sentences — “This is an album by the Black Keys. The name of this album is Brothers” — set against a black background.
The corporate e-mail server is down, but work doesn't grind to a halt. Everybody just switches to Gmail, Skype, or BB Chat to get around the inconvenience. For the most part, they're using these consumer technologies at work already — often because they're better than anything the IT department can provide.
Cloud computing offers a value proposition based on convenient services that you pay for as you go. Customized solutions can be offered in a flexible and secure environment. Companies can offload their noncore technologies and focus on their core businesses, providing a better product for their customers. But cloud computing is based on the premise that users will always have access to the cloud service.
Steve Jobs turned Apple Inc. into the world's most valuable technology company with high-tech products like the iPad and iPhone. But one anchor of Apple's success is surprisingly low tech: its chain of brick-and-mortar retail stores.
Atari SA, a onetime pace-setter in videogames, has a new plan to become relevant again.
BEIJING—Burberry Group PLC is outfitting its stores in China with the latest digital technology, including touchscreens for customers and iPads for staff, at the start of a world-wide campaign to shake its stiff, older image and win over younger customers.
Toys "R" Us will soon be selling iPads alongside G.I. Joes, PlayStation games, and Legos. And did you know? One in five U.S. teens owns a tablet PC (which basically means an iPad). iPads: Apple's doin' it for the kids.
How many will we carry? What will they look like? What will they do?
A quick quiz in "masters of experience design." When you hear the name Steve Jobs, what products come to mind? iPad, iPhone, iPod, iMac, some others, perhaps. OK, now the same question of product associations - with the name... ready?... Shigeru Miyamoto. Go for it. Plenty of people will know the answer right off. But lots of people have no idea who Miyamoto is - even though they know his products quite well.
The frustration that the country’s magazine and newspaper publishers feel toward Apple can sound a lot like a variation on the old relationship gripe, “can’t live with ’em, may get left behind without ’em.”
Of late, I've been thinking a lot about visual storytelling and the various ways that the Internet and digital devices like the iPad require us to process information and content. Over the past decade, there has been an astounding rise in the value of visual literacy -- the ability to process information and content that is delivered via images rather than text. When you think about it, all of the most popular forms of new Internet content - whether infographics, casual games or video clips - place a premium on visual storytelling. At the end of the day, the Apple iPad is primarily a device for consuming visual content.
The HP Slate has been announced and the blogosphere seems to be a little confused, not least because many of us thought this was never going to see the light of day.
Now this is an odd – if telling – move. All Wi-Fi-only iPads will appear at Verizon stores on the same day they are set to appear at AT&T stores. The trick? Verizon is selling the iPad and a MiFi 2200 mobile hotspot for the same price as the iPad 3G, a move which points to closer cooperation between big red and Cupertino.
It's here: After months of teasing, RIM's revealed its iPad rival. Except it's targeted at Enterprise customers. Or so says RIM anyway. Meet the PlayBook. Debuting the BlackBerry on stage at the RIM developers conference, after months of speculation, rumors, and hype, RIM's Mike Lazaridis noted it was the "first professional tablet." Be that as it may, it's definitely a swipe at the iPad, which many commenters have suggested is more of a consumer media consumption machine, despite an impressive uptake in enterprise markets which was recently enough to cause city analysts to up their Apple stock predictions. (RIM, remember, was already on a high after quarterly earnings jumped a surprising 68% from the same quarter last year.) What's inside RIM's PlayBook?
In a year already marked by innovations, Apple on Wednesday unveiled advances on multiple fronts that drove home its ultimate goal: to become the architect of home entertainment.
Whoever said technology was dehumanizing was wrong. On screens everywhere — cellphones, e-readers, A.T.M.’s — as Diana Ross sang, we just want to reach out and touch. Scientists and academics who study how we interact with technology say people often try to import those behaviors into their lives, as anyone who has ever wished they could lower the volume on a loud conversation or Google their brain for an answer knows well. But they say touching screens has seeped into people’s day-to-day existence more quickly and completely than other technological behaviors because it is so natural, intimate and intuitive.
Just as the iPad has proven to be a boon to magazine publishers, newspapers have flocked to the device too. All of the major western newspapers have an iPad app now: the New York Times, Wall St Journal, BBC News, USA Today, Financial Times, and others. There are also new forms of news services that have arisen based solely on the iPad's touchscreen interaction and multimedia capabilities: Newsy and Flipboard come to mind. In this post we'll look at how some of the leading newspapers are using iPad, what the user experience is like, and what could be improved still. We'll specifically look at WSJ, NYT and Newsy.
Whole Foods Market is launching an iPad/iPhone/iPod touch app designed to help people live healthier lifestyles. The retailer's "Mission App," available for free download on iTunes, offers 70 challenges/missions that involve users engaging in a series of steps to earn "badges and bragging rights." Badges are earned for exploring a range of "delicious, nutrient-dense foods" that can contribute to a healthier diet. Each user first creates a profile in order to track earned badges. Badges fall into areas such as organic foods ("Organic Avenger" badge) and locally sourced foods ("Local Yokel" badge).
As early data on iPad apps trickle in, one thing is clear: It's going to require mountains of metrics for advertisers to pony up for the new platform's ads -- and their high prices. But early data from Conde Nast will bolster the argument the iPad is worth a premium, as it's delivering on reader attention better than other media channels.
The New York Times is offering a platform that other publishers can use to produce their own apps for devices starting with the iPad and iPhone. The first publishers to sign up to use the platform, which The Times is calling Press Engine, are the Telegraph Media Group and three A.H. Belo newspapers: Dallas Morning News, Providence Journal and Press-Enterprise in Southern California. The publishers keep any advertising and circulation revenue the apps bring in; they pay the Times a one-time license fee for the platform and then a monthly maintenance fee.
Pulse is teaming up with Posterous to create a simple way for users to create their own “Pulses.” What this means is that they can with one tap add any article to their own Pulse — thus making any user an aggregator of news. Posterous comes in because each of these Pulse items are transfered to a free blog which is automatically created for you. “This blog will post the articles you have picked, hence enabling you to share this even with friends who don’t have Pulse,” Alphonso Labs co-founder Akshay Kothari says. But if your friends are using Pulse, there will be an easy way for them to subscribe to your Pulses, simply by searching for their name or username.
While 2009 was arguably the year brands embraced the iPhone, developing apps left and right, the iPad doesn't seem to have inspired the same enthusiasm. Magazines have embraced the iPad, but despite the product's hype, larger screen and dual-touch technology, brands haven't followed suit.
Apple Inc. is boosting efforts to appeal to a new type of customer: small businesses. The consumer electronics giant responsible for the iPhone is seeking to hire engineers in as many as a dozen U.S. retail stores to put together Apple-based computer systems for small businesses, according to recent job postings on Apple's website. The employees would implement computer systems for clients and are expected to be proficient in networking hardware and server platforms. "Thousands of businesses run on Apple products," the posting reads. "Many more would like to, and that's where you come in." The new positions mark the latest development in Apple's evolving strategy, which has historically focused on the consumer market and niche businesses, like design and media firms. Now, Apple wants to leverage its popular iPhone and iPad devices, using their appeal as a selling point for more expensive products, including its line of Macintosh computers and servers.
While the raison d'être for the tablet computer isn't yet clear, interactive media and personal data management both need transformative apps.
Carole Mallory was Norman Mailer's mistress. Seducing him probably wasn't that difficult, though, as he was already on his sixth wife at the time. Marketers seek to seduce. So do painters, authors and job seekers. The most important thing to understand about seduction is this: it only works when the other person cooperates, contributes and is at some level interested in being seduced.
Amazon.com Inc. said it reached a milestone, selling more e-books than hardbacks over the past three months. But publishers said it is still too early to gauge for the entire industry whether the growth of e-books is cannibalizing sales of paperback books, a huge and crucial market.
While much of the buzz around iPads has focused on publishers and their digital magazines, one of the few brand apps on the market sounds like a publishing project, too. Kraft Foods wowed the iPhone-toting masses with iFood Assistant, one of the first brand apps to actually deliver utility on the smartphone, and now the food marketer is following suit with its first app for Apple's iPad.
Borders' new e-book store is now open for business. The bookstore chain officially unveiled its new e-book store on Wednesday, with a million and a half electronic books, both paid and free, in a variety of formats, including ePub, mobile, and PDF. Customers can read the e-books using free software powered by Kobo and designed for different devices, according to Borders. The lineup includes existing applications for the PC, Mac, iPhone, and iPad, and new apps just launched for Android and BlackBerry phones, all of which are available at Borders' Web site. In addition to reading the books through the apps, users can browse or search for e-books, download specific titles, and access and manage their e-book libraries.
Apple promotes developers behind apps for Disney, Pandora, games and other content on its just-released iPhone iOS 4 and still-hot iPad (3 million sold in 80 days) devices. With Conde Nast today announcing that its shuttered Gourmet magazine is being revived as a digital-only brand, Gourmet Live, optimized for the iPad, will other old-school media brands skip the Web to head straight to the iPad?
It's early days for advertising on Apple's iPad, but advertisers running campaigns on the device over the last four weeks say people are watching -- and a lot more than your typical rich-media web ad. Much of that can probably be explained by the fact that the iPad's early adopters find just about everything on the device -- including the ads -- a curiosity. The question is whether those rates will stay high once the novelty of the device wears off.
People are more excited about the prospect of content delivery than they are about the devices the content may be delivered on. According to a survey of 1,200 U.S. consumers by Chadwick Martin Bailey, people were significantly more excited about the prospects of renting movies over the Internet and surfing the web while watching television than they were about 3D televisions, the iPad and Google-powered Android phones.
Apple Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs, in a broad-ranging discussion, took more potshots at Adobe Systems Inc.'s Flash software, vowed not to get into search despite Google Inc.'s move into Apple's turf, and called Apple passing Microsoft Corp.'s stock valuation "surreal."
In the high-stakes race to catch Apple Inc.'s hit iPad, the Android operating system that Google Inc. popularized in cellphones is emerging as an early front-runner. Tablet-style computers—a moribund hardware category until the iPad started generating buzz earlier this year—are expected to be a big topic at next week's Computex trade show, a major forum for product announcements by manufacturers of personal computers.
f the new Apple iPad is for multitaskers, then Amazon.com's Kindle is for die-hard readers, and that's OK with Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. Speaking at Amazon's annual shareholder meeting Tuesday in downtown Seattle, Bezos acknowledged nine out of 10 households don't necessarily do a lot of serious reading. Still, he said the Kindle can compete with the iPad by focusing on die-hard readers, just as heavy-duty cameras remain relevant despite the spread of camera phones.
People who find the Web distasteful — ugly, uncivilized — have nonetheless been forced to live there: it’s the place to go for jobs, resources, services, social life, the future. But now, with the purchase of an iPhone or an iPad, there’s a way out, an orderly suburb that lets you sample the Web’s opportunities without having to mix with the riffraff. This suburb is defined by apps from the glittering App Store: neat, cute homes far from the Web city center, out in pristine Applecrest Estates. In the migration of dissenters from the “open” Web to pricey and secluded apps, we’re witnessing urban decentralization, suburbanization and the online equivalent of white flight.
In the massive new Barnes & Noble superstore on Manhattan's Upper East Side, generous display space is devoted to baby blankets, Art Deco flight clocks, stationery and adult games like Risk and Stratego. The eclectic merchandise, which has nothing to do with books, may be a glimpse into the future of Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest book chain. Electronic books are still in their infancy, comprising an estimated 3% to 5% of the market today. But they are fast accelerating the decline of physical books, forcing retailers, publishers, authors and agents to reinvent their business models or be painfully crippled.
Since late 2005, Apple's stock has quintupled. With a market capitalization of close to $250 billion, Apple is (at least today) the third most valuable company in the world, behind ExxonMobil and Microsoft. It's a stunning story that's been dissected to death, but still remarkable enough to warrant reflection. Ten years ago — three years after Chairman and CEO Steve Jobs had returned to "rescue" Apple — the company was still largely treading water, with a relatively meager $3 billion market capitalization. Its personal computer products had a loyal following in niche markets, but that was about it. Over the past decade, Apple has launched five legitimately game-changing innovations.
Verizon Wireless is working with Google Inc. on a tablet computer, the carrier's chief executive, Lowell McAdam, said Tuesday, as the company endeavors to catch up with iPad host AT&T Inc. in devices that connect to wireless networks. The work is part of a deepening relationship between the largest U.S. wireless carrier by subscribers and Google, which has carved out a space in mobile devices with its Android operating system. Verizon Wireless last year heavily promoted the Motorola Droid, which runs Google's software.
The burgeoning legal challenges to Apple over its rapid advances in mobile computing mounted on Friday when Finland’s Nokia launched a patent infringement suit over the iPad. Nokia accused Apple in a US federal court in Wisconsin of infringing five patents in the iPad, which has sold 1m units since its US debut in March. Nokia’s suit cites technology used to enhance speech and data transmission and antenna innovations that allow for more compact devices.
Apple has granted AT&T an extension of its iPhone exclusivity agreement in a "Faustian" bargain that sees AT&T providing "low-cost and truly unlimited data plans for the iPad." But the extension is only for six months, and then the service goes up for grabs again, much to the delight of Verizon, whose grab for the iPad was purportedly rejected. If it's in the stars, Verizon could be getting access to the iPhone in 2011.
A review by the team at PSFK shows that most luxury brands are unprepared to leverage the changes in web use that products like Apple’s iPad and iPhone are driving. Out of the top 10 luxury brands ranked by Forbes in 2009, none of their websites worked sufficiently to match their desktop-web-experience. Only Gucci seems to have created a site that can handle the technology requirements that Apple has placed on its mobile devices.
Netflix appears to be ready to take its video rental service to international markets, a recent job posting suggests. The company has an opening for a director of product management to “drive the Netflix team to clearly understand what work must be done, and in what order, to achieve international scale most quickly.” Stateside, Netflix is doing quite well. Its video-streaming service is now in high demand on Nintendo Wiis and iPads and is coming soon to iPhones and iPod touches.
Invaluable as innovation may be, our relentless focus on it may be obscuring the value of its much-maligned relative, imitation. Imitation has always had a faintly disreputable ring to it — presidents do not normally give speeches extolling the virtues of the copycat. But where innovation brings new things into the world, imitation spreads them; where innovators break the old mold, imitators perfect the new one; and while innovators can win big, imitators often win bigger.
In the first weeks of the iPad launch, retailers have been largely left out of the conversation. But industry executives believe the device could have a major impact on everything from retailers' catalogs to e-commerce to enhancing the in-store experience. So far, few retailers have embraced the new Apple device even though many already have iPhone apps. Gap, Gilt.com and eBay are among the retail brands that have created iPad applications, while Puma is expected to add iPads to its stores late this year.
A belated blog on Hits and Misses for 2010. Please vote by clicking here. Then we meet back in a year and see how we did.
A push for real and meaningful innovation permeates the business environment. Leading brands embrace innovation as a tangible driver of business performance as opposed to a meaningless moniker-and inculcate true innovation and entrepreneurialism into their cultures, employees and overall enterprises. Innovation in the Re-Invention Economy shows its evolved self in every aspect of organizational drive and is industry agnostic in its rapid manifestation.
Apple has been forced to delay the international launch of its new iPad tablet computer by a month to the end of May because it was struggling to meet strong demand from US customers. The computer company said it had sold 500,000 iPads in the US in the first week since launch but was not able to keep up with demand. Analysts had originally forecast that the company would sell between 100,000 and 400,000 units in the first burst.
I read an article in The New York Times about a contest being hosted by OgilvyOne to find the "best salesperson in the world." However, it's not a Rolls-Royce contestants must convince consumers to buy, but an ordinary red brick. News of this contest hit the business pages and blogs just as reports about Apple's ( AAPL - news - people ) latest innovation, the iPad, hit the front pages and every other media channel. As a branding veteran, I couldn't help but note how these individual stories characterized the two fundamentally different starting points for achieving the same ultimate marketing objective: Make the sale. Let me explain.
It certainly was a diverse week in the social media sphere, with the the iPhone OS 4.0 reveal, Digg’s CEO shakeup, Tiger Woods’s new commercial and the Baja California, earthquake’s coverage on Twitter and YouTube. And, as if the aftershocks from the natural disaster wasn’t enough, we’ve been practically flooded with iPad news since its launch this past Saturday.
News of note from our Most Innovative Companies, including Twitter, GE, Netflix, and HTC.
Enter iPad. The proponents call it a radical new dominant design for computing. Don't buy the hype, say the detractors: the iPad's just another land-grabbing walled garden. Both sides are right — and wrong. The iPad is a revolution waiting to happen. But the revolution's biggest roadblock is Apple itself.
Apple Inc.'s iPad appeared to get off to a strong start over the weekend as swarms of buyers flocked to stores after weeks of publicity about the tablet-style computer. But the long lines soon faded, and few stores sold out of the device, which continues to face questions about how broadly demand for it will spread beyond technology enthusiasts.
Electronic books are expected to be a major selling point for Apple Inc.'s iPad, which goes on sale Saturday. But competitors, particularly Amazon.com Inc., could end up as major e-book providers for the new device. One reason is that Apple won't start with the same leg up over competing content providers that it has had with the iPhone and its iPod media players, which have built-in connections to the company's iTunes music and video store.
For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.
In 10 years of reviewing tech products for The New York Times, I’ve never seen a product as polarizing as Apple’s iPad, which arrives in stores on Saturday. “This device is laughably absurd,” goes a typical remark on a tech blog’s comments board. “How can they expect anyone to get serious computer work done without a mouse?” “This truly is a magical revolution,” goes another. “I can’t imagine why anyone will want to go back to using a mouse and keyboard once they’ve experienced Apple’s visionary user interface!” The haters tend to be techies; the fans tend to be regular people. Therefore, no single write-up can serve both readerships adequately. There’s but one solution: Write separate reviews for these two audiences.
Traditional newspapers and magazine publishers are gushing about the iPad's potential to reinvigorate their businesses as the gadget changes readers' lives, but coverage in their own publications is far more restrained in tone. In the weeks since Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, its coverage in major magazines, newspapers and wire services has been neutral an overwhelming 76.8% of the time, negative 17.4% of the time and positive just 5.8% of the time, according to analysis for Ad Age performed by Vocus, a provider of public relations management software that includes media monitoring.
Hulu, the popular and free online video hub, has some things to celebrate as it heads into its third year. The site, a venture of NBC Universal, the News Corporation and the Walt Disney Company, has been profitable for two quarters, Jason Kilar, Hulu’s chief executive, said in an interview on Monday. Hulu has successfully brought online TV into the mainstream. And now it appears set to move beyond standard computer screens with an application for Apple’s iPad, four people briefed on its plans said. But there are signs of dissatisfaction in Hulu’s house.
Zinio's CMO Jeanniey Mullen on the benefits of catering to Steve Jobs' audience.
MediaPost reports that Apple's next next big thing, after iPads invade the world next weekend, will be iAd, a mobile advertising platform to be debuted April 7. Coffee dates and patent suits aside, this could be the true Apple-Google battleground.
While the high and low ends are thriving, the middle of the market is in trouble. Previously, successful companies tended to gravitate toward what historians of retail have called the Big Middle, because that’s where most of the customers were. These days, the Big Middle is looking more like “the mushy middle” (in the formulation of the consultants Al and Laura Ries). The companies there—Sony, Dell, General Motors, and the like—find themselves squeezed from both sides (just as, in a way, middle-class workers do in a time of growing income inequality). The products made by midrange companies are neither exceptional enough to justify premium prices nor cheap enough to win over value-conscious consumers. Furthermore, the squeeze is getting tighter every day.
Everyone who jammed into the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on January 27, 2010, knew what they were there for: Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ introduction of a thin, always-on tablet device that would let people browse the Web, read books, send email, watch movies, and play games. It was also no surprise that the 1.5-pound iPad resembled an iPhone, right down to the single black button nestled below the bright 10-inch screen. But about an hour into the presentation, Apple showed something unexpected — something that not many people even noticed. In addition to the lean-back sorts of activities one expects from a tablet (demonstrated by Jobs while relaxing in a comfy black armchair), there was a surprising pitch for the iPad as a lean-forward device, one that runs a revamped version of Apple’s iWork productivity apps. In many ways, Jobs claimed, the iPad would be better than pricier laptops and desktops as a tool for high-end word processing and spreadsheets. If anyone missed the point, Apple’s design guru Jonathan Ive gushed in a promotional video that the iPad wasn’t just a cool new way to gobble up media — it was blazing a path to the future of computing.
With location-based services as the latest fascination, and iPad orders increasing daily, many brands are tackling the question of whether launching a mobile app makes sense for their business and customer base. We looked to a couple of thought leaders in the digital and mobile marketing landscape to help provide some perspective and thought starters for what brands should consider while evaluating this opportunity.
The Apple iPad, hitting stores April 3, is one of the most-hyped products in technology history. There is talk that it could revolutionize computing and media. But when it comes to new products, great expectations can doom products that don't measure up to them.
Palm kept its word this week and disappointed investors with dismal 3Q results. Investors responded by slashing another 20% from the embattled company’s shares. The financial situation doesn’t seem very good, and time is running out to turn things around as Palm continues to loses the big bets it has placed on the Pre and Pixi. The good news? The phone is becoming just an app on a smart, portable device. The disruptive contours of that smart, portable device is still in flux, and about to get buffeted again by the release of Apple’s iPad in about two weeks. This is anybody’s game — heck, if even Google is worried about the next Google, why can’t Palm be the next Palm? Here are five ideas humbly suggested to get the iconic company back on track.
Wired is one of the few magazines I read cover to cover. It consistently exposes me to new ideas and topics. For that, I'm grateful (and a longtime subscriber). But when it comes to the iPad, I really don't understand what the Wired crew is doing. Yet, reading over this analysis piece by Reuters' Felix Salmon, I'm dismayed to see a return to the days of silos and closed content. Here's how Salmon puts it.
Apple Inc. is still trying to secure media content for the iPad with just weeks to go before the tablet computer's release, said people familiar with the matter, as the company tempers some of its initial ambitions for the much-hyped device. Since the iPad became available for pre-order last Friday, Apple has seen strong demand and sold hundreds of thousands of units, say people familiar with the matter. One of these people said Apple could sell more iPads in the first three months than it sold iPhones in the three months after the smart phone's debut.
I’ve been trying to organize my thoughts about the iPad and the direction that Apple is taking computing along with it. It’s really an extension of the way they look at the iPhone, which I found unsettling at the time but with the iPad, we’re all finally coming around to the idea that they really, really mean it.
Threatened by Apple Inc.'s growing stable of portable devices, Sony Corp. is developing a new lineup of handheld products, including a smart phone capable of downloading and playing videogames, according to people familiar with the matter. The Japanese electronics giant also is developing a portable device that shares characteristics of netbooks, electronic-book readers and handheld-game machines. The device is designed to compete against multifunction products such as Apple's coming iPad tablet, these people said.
Now that the histrionics surrounding the debut of Apple's iPad have fizzled into a rational, and often uninspired, discussion of the device’s actual merits and shortcomings, Apple is left with the iReality of the iPad. Reviews are mixed, but the brand is being proactive about taking the lead regarding the public conversation.
Magazines, books, newspapers -- all that printed stuff is supposed to be dying. Advertising pages, which have been steadily declining, dropped 26% in 2009 alone. But here, surely, was some evidence that publishing might have a chance. If an adolescent who otherwise spends every waking hour on a laptop still craves the printed word, then maybe, just maybe, there's a little new growth left in old media.
It used to be that a basic $25-a-month phone bill was your main telecommunications expense. But by 2004, the average American spent $770.95 annually on services like cable television, Internet connectivity and video games, according to data from the Census Bureau. By 2008, that number rose to $903, outstripping inflation. By the end of this year, it is expected to have grown to $997.07. Add another $1,000 or more for cellphone service and the average family is spending as much on entertainment over devices as they are on dining out or buying gasoline.
Apple clearly recognizes the importance of the mobile web, but did they get trigger happy and launch the iPad too soon? The launch of the new Apple device has lit up the internet with all sorts of criticisms, praises, questions and opinions. A question remains for those of us in the search marketing and social media world—how will these tablets incorporate the use of social media?
Even before Apple announced the iPad last week, the Internet was going tablet-crazy. After speculation, literally years in the making, finally came to a crescendo, the public reaction has been decidedly mixed. Discussions about what’s missing and why the announcement was a disappointment have been covered from nearly every angle. However, whether Apple’s iPad ultimately succeeds or fails, it is yet another sign of an emerging device class. With Google (Google), Microsoft, and others investing in researching tablet-style computers, this is a trend that will not begin or end with the iPad.
Last week a temporary cease-fire went into effect amidst a brewing battle between Amazon.com and Macmillan, a unit of Germany's Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GMBH and one of the largest publishers in the US. The battle was over the price of ebooks on Amazon's site. Macmillan insisted upon -- and eventually received -- a 30-50% increase over the $9.99 loss leader price for new releases that helped build Amazon's dominant position in the ebook market. But only after an attempt by Amazon to wield its distribution power to force Macmillan to back down. (You can read the details at this link).
When I picked up my iPhone over the weekend, I had an epiphany. I was using the LinkedIn app to confirm an invitation to connect, and it hit me: This is the future of mobile computing, the mobile web — the mobile experience. No, I’m not saying the LinkedIn app is the future per se (that’d be silly), but rather the overall concept of it. The LinkedIn iPhone app is, in my opinion, better than the actual LinkedIn.com website. Same goes for the Facebook app compared to Facebook.com. Gone are their busy, tab-infested UIs. In their stead are beautiful bubbly icons screaming “Touch me!” We no longer have to squint or click around in search of the feature we’re trying to access: The button is right there in that simple interface for us to tap. The Facebook and Linkedin apps are two key examples of popular services whose iPhone apps outdid the websites they were trying to “port.” They’re two gems glistening brightly for the future of mobile.
After a weekend of brinksmanship, Amazon.com on Sunday surrendered to a publisher and agreed to raise prices on some electronic books. Amazon shocked the publishing world late last week by removing direct access to the Kindle editions as well as printed books from Macmillan, one of the country’s six largest publishers, which had said it planned to begin setting higher consumer prices for e-books. Until now, Amazon has set e-book prices itself, with $9.99 as the default for new releases and best sellers.
The digital publishing industry and consumer advocates breathed a sigh of relief when Apple chief executive Steve Jobs revealed that the iPad would use the open EPUB format for the electronic books it sold through the iBooks store. Unlike Amazon, which has quickly grown to be the world’s largest seller of e-books, it appeared Apple was steering away from introducing its own file format that would only work on Apple products. Instead, by choosing EPUB, a more common format, it looked like Apple was breaking with its past walled-garden approach. Those hopes were quickly dashed. According to executives in the digital reading industry, Apple is planning to add its own digital rights management software. Apple could not be reached for comment.
Advocates wary of the Apple device say Amazon.com's e-reader has its new rival beat on battery life, weight, cost and reading experience.
Apple has generated a lot of chatter with its new iPad tablet. But it may not be quite the conversation it wanted. Many women are saying the name evokes awkward associations with feminine hygiene products. People from Boston to Ireland are complaining that “iPad,” in their regional brogue, sounds almost indistinguishable from “iPod,” Apple’s music player.
New products like Apple's iPad are changing the Internet in fundamental ways. Author Josh Bernoff talks with Kai Ryssdal about how the golden age of the Internet is over, and how the Web is shattering into pieces.
Traditional media -- notably representatives from the reeling print world -- were conspicuously absent from Apple’s elaborate rollout of the iPad, its highly-anticipated tablet computing device. But publishers, advertisers and analysts remain optimistic that magazines and newspapers will ultimately receive a readership and business boost from the new product, which was unveiled during a press event in San Francisco yesterday.
You have to give it to Apple. The company has an uncanny knack for seizing the moment and whipping journalists and consumers into a frenzy. The latest wave comes from today's launch of the iPad tablet with iBookstore content store. As always, there's a lot to like about Apple's device. The user interface looks great, the bookstore seems intuitive, and Apple set a price point (at least for the entry level iPad) that positions the device well in the marketplace. The hype bar was set so high that inevitably some people were disappointed - Dan Frommer from Silicon Alley Insider called it a big "yawn" that won't define publishing the way many experts projected.
When I woke up today, it took me about half an hour to get up to speed with the iPad (I’m in Croatia, so the bulk of the news came in overnight for me). After I’ve read a couple of articles, I already knew everything there was to know about it (and more): its advantages, its flaws, and its potential. But hidden between the lines of all that iPad coverage I’ve learned a thing or two about Apple and its plans, mostly from the things iPad is missing.
Steven P. Jobs has finally introduced Apple’s new tablet computer, called the iPad. The question now is whether regular consumers will buy the iPhone-like device, which starts at $500 and can cost as much as $829. Mr. Jobs, appearing energized but gaunt, a result of his ongoing health challenges, unveiled the iPad at a press event here on Wednesday morning. Its features and specifications, once the stuff of Internet myth, are now sharply in focus: The half-inch thick, 1.5 pound device will feature a 9.7-inch multi-touch screen and is powered by a customized Apple microchip, which it has dubbed A4. The iPad will have the same operating system as the iPhone and access to its 140,000 applications.