In 1984, the Apple Macintosh brought the humble mouse widespread fame in the personal computing marketplace. By the looks of things, Apple may just be the big cat that puts the mouse out of its misery. Will your next Mac be the first computer to abandon the tried and true mouse interface entirely?
Trent Reznor is known in the music industry for being a risk-taker, musically and technologically. Though a critically acclaimed artist, Reznor has led an enigmatic existence, and his dark, electronic musical style conjures images of drilling down into and exploring outlying areas of a mysterious abyss. It's a natural fit, then, for him to feel at ease connecting with his fans in the virtual world.
I frequently find Fast Company to be a frustrating read; it’s had more than a hard time finding a relevant voice post-dot-com. The magazine’s recent take on Amazon’s decision to release both Kindle 2 and an e-book reader app for iPhone and iTouch proves how old the publication’s vision of markets and technologies really is.
I never really liked that Lance Armstrong. The silly pandemic of me-too rubber bracelets he inspired. The nude cycling fetish. The bizarre attraction to pencil-top troll Ashley Olsen. I just wasn’t a fan. But I’ll be damned if his iPhone app isn’t saving my life.
In the wake of the Consumer Electronics Show, we look at the most promising products for 2009 and discuss our favorites from 2008... Palm stock jumped 34% Friday after the company wowed CES with the prē, the first real contender for iPhone killer. Noteworthy features include quick scrolling though open applications, a three megapixel phone with flash and slide-down QWERTY keyboard.
We're confused by this derivative spot for the Blackberry Storm, the company's new iPhone "me too." Is this Blackberry, Apple, or Target?
By developing an application, brands have the opportunity to strengthen their relevance in the daily lives of consumers.
The patent describes designs that could have a seamless, continuous surface resembling the fourth generation iPod nano, as well as other shapes closer to the current iPhone, but with every surface a touch-sensitive glass display.
Windows Phone shipments surpassed those of the iPhone in Argentina, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa, and the Ukraine.
From rooftop bashes and acquisition talks to staff clashes and layoffs, Hipstamatic’s founders and ex-employees describe the startup’s losing struggle to keep pace with Instagram, Facebook, and others in the white-hot photo-sharing space.
In January of 2007, not long after Steve Jobs unveiled Apple's first iPhone at that year's Macworld conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sat down for an interview with CNBC in which he was asked about his initial reaction to his competitor's new device. He guffawed. Really, whole-heartedly guffawed. "$500 full-subsidized with a plan!" he said. "[It] is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email machine."
After releasing two generations of iPhones with exactly the same form factor, Apple is expected to show off a new chassis design — and possibly new materials — in its sixth-generation smartphone. And a little-known alloy that Apple has quietly been using for the past two years could be just the ticket to make consumers swoon.
Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, who made the BlackBerry a leading business tool but then presided over its precipitous decline, said they would step down on Monday as co-chairmen and co-chief executives of Research in Motion. The two men, in developing the innovative device that was the first to reliably deliver e-mail over airwaves, turned a tiny Canadian company into a global electronics giant. But they are stepping aside after disappointing investors and leaving customers wondering whether RIM still has the ability to compete, and perhaps even survive, in the rapidly changing markets for smartphones and tablet computers.
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.
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.
People are getting antsy for the iPhone 5—agitated, even. And all the anticipation may be building the mythical gadget into something greater than it is—people may end up being disappointed if it doesn't wipe your bottom along with everything else.
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.
The age of boots-on-the-ground activism has largely been passed over for organizing into Facebook groups and online petitions. And while those things are good ways to motivate people, real world action still works. ONE's new iPhone app lets you sign petitions, but also makes it easy to do things like call the White House or even helps give you information on how to get out to a real live protest. And--of course--there are plans to gameify everything. Prepare to compete for the title of most involved activist.
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.
If you can't do it right the first time, then do it better the second time. That's one of my favorite guideposts for sustainable business success, and Verizon is my latest poster child for this truth of business strategy (and life).
According to a survey of almost 60,000 people — more than half of them iPhone owners — AT&T was rated the worst wireless service provider in the United States.
ARStreets is a new location-based game for the iPhone which allows users to create and post visual tags on real world locations.
Apple has trademarked the phrase "There's an app for that," a slogan that has just abut entered common usage in reference to, well, just about anything.
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.
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).
It’s like the most persistent sales clerk you’ve ever encountered. Major retailers are working with a new smartphone application that tracks and offers promotions to shoppers as they move from outside the store, to counters, to cash registers — even inside the dressing room (now that’s persistence). The app, called Shopkick, will be available on Tuesday for the iPhone and in the fall for Android phones. And with five major companies supporting it — Macy’s, Best Buy, Sports Authority and American Eagle Outfitters, along with the Simon Property Group, the prominent mall operator — it is getting a big introduction.
Last October, media marketing firm Greystripe released a study of working moms who use their iPhones for everything from banking to social networking to making purchases. Dubbed the "iPhone Mom," this audience segment depends on the iPhone for managing their lives to entertaining their children. Just over half use their iPhones at the supermarket, according to the study.
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.
Nielsen's second-quarter statistics for smartphones are out, and of course it involves the quickly evolving and often bloody fight between Apple's iPhone and the various phones using Google's Android. For the first time, more new purchasers (within the past six months) have chosen Android more often than iPhone. Android accounted for 27% of those smartphone sales in the US, while the iPhone snagged 23%. BlackBerry, of course, remains on top.
Some of the nation's biggest media companies and advertisers, seeking to develop new ways of measuring audiences, could make Apple Inc.'s iPhone the vehicle for a study of how Americans consume media on a range of devices—from TV sets to mobile phones to computers. The study would be one of the first major initiatives of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, a high-profile collaboration between the media and ad industries begun last summer with much fanfare.
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.
I watched with growing dismay and disbelief as Steve Jobs struggled through his press conference last week about the iPhone 4 dropped calls. It's a classic example of how not to conduct public relations.
eBay is on a mission to make itself an online destination for fashion-conscious shoppers, first with the launch of fashion.ebay.com in April, and furthered today by the launch of its eBay Fashion iPhone app. As one would expect, the app gives users access to eBay’s listings in the fashion category, as well as the “Fashion Vault,” eBay’s version of Gilt Groupe, a site that offers a mix of designer luxury goods for up to 70% off retail prices beginning at noon ET every weekday (incidentally, one of Gilt Groupe’s founders was a former eBay employee).
Apple CEO Steve Jobs addressed these issues Friday from the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. His take? There's a small problem, but one that was blown out of proportion by the press. For once, it may be hard to argue with Apple's best salesperson. What are the ramifications for a brand that rarely deals with a crisis on this level? Experts agree that Apple will be just fine.
Apple will give iPhone 4 customers a free protective case, or "bumper," to remedy its much-publicized reception problems when the device is gripped a certain way. During a press conference July 16, aimed at quelling the controversy over the issue, Apple CEO Steve Jobs also said anyone who buys the iPhone 4 by September 30 will be eligible for a free bumper. And customers who are still unsatisfied can get a full refund within 30 days of purchase without being charged a restocking fee.
It’d be an understatement to say that this has been a terrible week for Apple, and we haven’t even reached the halfway point. On Monday, Consumer Reports dealt a devastating blow to the iPhone 4 when it declined to recommend the device to consumers due to the antenna reception problem. Consumer Reports concluded from its tests that cell reception is indeed lost if you cover up the small gap between the two metal bands on the bottom right corner of the phone. The media quickly picked up the story.
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.
“The leak in your home town” is an iPhone app that lets users see the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill whenever they see a BP logo. A user simply launches the app and aims their iPhone’s camera at the nearest BP logo. What the user sees is one of the broken BP pipes coming out of the BP logo, and out of the pipe comes the oil, pluming upward. “This work mixes computer generated 3D graphics with the iPhone’s video camera to create an augmented reality. The user is able to see the computer generated 3D objects at specific locations in the real world. The 3D graphics create the broken BP pipe which comes out of the BP logo. “An important component of the project is that it uses BP’s corporate logo as a marker, to orient the computer-generated 3D graphics. Basically turning their own logo against them. This repurposing of corporate icons will offer future artists and activists a powerful means of expression which will be easily accessible to the masses and at the same time will be safe and nondestructive.”
The first of Apple's iAds are expected to start popping up on iPhones later this week, but don't expect all the marketers that have committed to the platform to be there. A check-in with declared iAd advertisers found that many are still in the early stages of flushing out concepts and creative. Some are weeks -- perhaps months -- away from having an iAd in the system. What are the i-advertisers up to? Here's a look at some of those willing to share.
On Wednesday, May 26, 2010, just after 2:30 p.m., the unthinkable happened: Apple became the largest company in the tech universe, and, after ExxonMobil, the second largest in the nation. For months, its market capitalization had hovered just under that of Microsoft -- the giant that buried Apple and then saved it from almost certain demise with a $150 million investment in 1997. Now Microsoft gets in line with Google, Amazon, HTC, Nokia, and HP as companies that Apple seems bent on sidelining. The one-time underdog from Cupertino is the biggest music company in the world and soon may rule the market for e-books as well. What's next? Farming? Toothbrushes? Fixing the airline industry? Right now, it seems as if Apple could do all that and more. The company's surge over the past few years has resembled a space-shuttle launch -- a series of rapid, tightly choreographed explosions that leave everyone dumbfounded and smiling. The whole thing has happened so quickly, and seemed so natural, that there has been little opportunity to understand what we have been witnessing.
AT&T’s exclusive deal with Apple for the iPhone in the U.S. has proven to be something of a mixed blessing. It has delivered new customers and lined its corporate coffers, but it has simultaneously strained the very fiber of the AT&T network. Faced with new but unhappy customers and a flailing brand image, AT&T is turning to social media for a quick fix. In keeping with its "Rethink Possible" campaign, it's taking its customer care service to the social Web.
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?
My latest Apple-aholic's post. On Apple's relentless revitalisation with the iPhone 4. Video of it here. This will help them grown even further, and challenge RIM/Blackberry for Smartphone leadership. Latest data shows they now have a 28% of the US smartphone market. And in fact, they are already the leader brand in the US in terms of smartphone browser usage (how much time people spend web surfing on their phone).
If you were wondering why both Apple and AT&T melted down when taking orders for the iPhone 4 on Tuesday, we have the answer. Apple sold 600,000 of the things. According to Apple’s press release, “It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions.”
AT&T Inc.'s website, unable to handle the demand for Apple Inc.'s new iPhone on Tuesday, had difficulty processing orders and in certain instances appeared to reveal subscribers' personal information to strangers. Although the scope of the problem and its underlying cause couldn't immediately be learned, some AT&T customers, who were logged into AT&T's website as themselves ended up in other users' accounts.
Apple has elevated the iPhone brand again and forestalled rivals’ ability to claim parity. Leading up to the launch of the iPhone 4, run by the iOS since it powers the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, there were whispers everywhere about the Android’s turbo-charged innovation cycle, the end of iPhone envy and how other smartphones from the likes of HTC were closing the gap. Now it wasn’t like the iPhone was becoming a commodity device, but you could see some parity on the horizon. Even Sam Diaz got over his iPhone envy. Enter Apple CEO Steve Jobs who was having none of that talk. Jobs talked about the mix between technology and liberal arts. The emphasis is on technology as an art form.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs' unveiling Monday of the next-generation iPhone — it's thinner, has a higher-resolution display and comes with video chat — may have lacked a single "Wow!" moment. But coupled with the launch of a new operating system and mobile advertising service, the message to competitors was unambiguous: Catch us if you can.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new iPhone 4 and stated that there are over 100 new features on the phone, but he touched on just a few today. The iPhone 4 features what Apple calls a Retina Display which has four times the pixel density of the current iPhone 3GS within the same amount of space (326 ppi). As has been previously rumored, the iPhone is now confirmed to feature a 640x960 display which makes it the highest resolution display on the smartphone market (most high-end Android phones feature an 480x800 display). The actual display size remains unchanged at 3.5-inches and has an 800:1 contrast ratio.
Many details of Apple Inc.'s new iPhone are already widely known, but expectations are high for the fourth-generation smartphone's official unveiling this week at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. As he has in the past, Chief Executive Steve Jobs will be kicking off the annual event with a keynote talk on Monday. But unlike in previous years, attendees already know at least part of what to expect, thanks to a report in April by Gawker Media LLC's Gizmodo blog, which published photos and descriptions of a next-generation iPhone found in a Silicon Valley bar.
For the last two years, unlimited data plans have given app-hungry smartphone users an all-you-can-eat buffet. But will customers react to AT&T’s new, limited menu by simply eating less? Some software developers fear they will, and if that happens, the caps on data use that AT&T has imposed could also make consumers lose their appetite for the latest innovations.
In a significant shift in how phone carriers bill customers, AT&T Inc. will stop selling unlimited Internet data plans to new customers that buy smartphones and iPads, and will instead begin charging more for heavy bandwidth users. New AT&T customers will have to chose between two data plans with monthly usage limits—and pay additional fees for extra use. Existing customers, however, can stick with their current plans, AT&T said.
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."
App store analytics startup Distimo just released its May report, and zoomed in on the average number of days applications across various categories maintain their top rankings in Apple’s App Store. Analyzing data collected from November 2009 to April 2010, the company found that paid applications in the Top Overall, Games, Business and Entertainment categories stay in these categories for 27, 39, 59 and 38 days on average, respectively.
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.
Did Google just turn the tables on Apple? Having entered the mobile software market late with its Android offering, Google's initial efforts were a pale imitation of the iPhone OS, a clunky user experience on sub-par handsets. Fast forward to 2010. Suddenly, Google Android is winning over the hearts and minds of technologists and signing up 100,000 converts a day. That raises the question: Is the iPhone losing its sheen?
Lies, damned lies and statistics: You can play games with numbers, and recently the game has been to show Android phones are beating the iPhone in the U.S. Now new data proves that in the rest of the world, Google's still chasing Apple.
US retailers have become engaged in a battle for hearts and mobiles. As leading retailers, including Walmart and JC Penney, continue to grapple with the potential of the internet, the proliferation of smartphones has inevitably caught their attention. Three years after Apple launched its first iPhone, mobile connectivity is shaking up the way retailers do business, not only online but in their stores.
For Research in Motion, the maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, staying No. 1 isn't about apps or fancy hardware, it's about cost effectiveness. For all the hoopla surrounding Apple's iPhone and the various Android smartphones that have hit the market recently, many forget what is still, by a healthy margin tops in the market: RIM's modest BlackBerry. And RIM intends to stay on top by doing what it does best: offering something that's more affordable and can operate on wireless networks more efficiently than its flashier competition.
U.S. consumers are coming around to the Android operating systems for their smartphones, with the system moving past Apple to take the No. 2 position behind category leader RIM during the first quarter of 2010.
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.
The chief marketing officer of wines in the U.S. for the alcoholic beverage giant is too busy figuring out how to get more people to buy some of its 75 brands. It is a tough job. Americans have all but stopped buying wine that costs more than $30 a bottle. The action, what's left of it, is in the $7 to $15 range, and profits are elusive. (Dollar sales in the U.S. were off 3.3% last year on a 1.2% volume gain, says Beverage Information Group of Norwalk, Conn.)
U.S. antitrust enforcers are taking a keen interest in recent changes that Apple Inc. made to its licensing agreement with iPhone application developers and are likely to open a preliminary investigation into whether the company's actions stifle competition in mobile devices, according to people familiar with the situation. The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department, which are jointly tasked with enforcing federal antitrust laws, are holding discussions over which agency would hold the inquiry, these people said. Apple, the FTC and Justice Department all declined to comment.
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.
Journalists are already getting warmed up for the next big Apple event, the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, where they will most likely get a look at the next generation of the iPhone. But there might be fewer people lined up, and not just because we got a peek inside the new model when photos of a prototype were leaked on a blog two weeks ago. We also got an unflattering peek inside the company itself.
A new check-in app for objects is turning soda cans into media channels. StickyBits, which launched during South by Southwest Interactive in March, is an app that lets users affix video, photos, text or audio to real-world objects, as long as those objects have barcodes. This is an example of what some call physical URLs, and while StickyBits is in its early days, consumers are already turning their iPhone and Android apps to consumer package goods, meaning user-generated clouds are starting to form around real cans of Coke and Red Bull.
As we move into the second week of the iPhone-left-in-the-bar saga, the plot is moving from a technology news story to a legal one — and entering a cul-de-sac of speculation. As I reported today with my colleague Brian Stelter, late Friday evening the authorities in San Mateo County, in California, seized computers belonging to Jason Chen, the editor of the technology blog Gizmodo. The computers are part of an investigation surrounding the iPhone 4G left in a bar that Gizmodo paid $5,000 for, and then published pictures of on its Web site.
The Gizmodo-iPhone saga continues. Gizmodo, the technology blog that recently published details about Apple's next-generation iPhone after paying $5,000 to get its hands on the device, posted documents today showing that police raided one of its editor's homes. A search warrant posted by Gizmodo says police on Friday seized computers, cameras, hard drives, business cards and computer servers from the home of Jason Chen, the site's editor who last week published details about Apple's unreleased smartphone.
Last week I presented at Stanford Graduate School of Business in a session on Mobile Computing called, "Creating Mobile Experiences: It's the Platform, Stupid." As the title underscores, I am a big believer that to understand what makes mobile tick, you really need to look beyond a device's hardware shell (important, though it is), and fully factor in the composite that includes its software and service layers; developer tools and the ecosystem "surround." Successful platforms, after all, are more than the sum of their parts' propositions. They are not simply a bunch of dis-integrated ingredients.
Mark Brooks wants the whole Web to know that he spent $41 on an iPad case at an Apple store, $24 eating at an Applebee’s, and $6,450 at a Florida plastic surgery clinic for nose work. Too much information, you say? On the Internet, there seems to be no such thing. A wave of Web start-ups aims to help people indulge their urge to divulge — from sites like Blippy, which Mr. Brooks used to broadcast news of what he bought, to Foursquare, a mobile social network that allows people to announce their precise location to the world, to Skimble, an iPhone application that people use to reveal, say, how many push-ups they are doing and how long they spend in yoga class.
For all the talk about Foursquare, one of the coolest features that gets very little buzz is the Tips area. Here, you’ll find suggestions about venues from other users of the service. And if you’re friends with a user who has left a tip, you’ll get a notification with the tip on your iPhone when you check-in somewhere close by. The History Channel has decided to make use of this feature in an interesting way.
AT&T added fewer contract customers during the first quarter, a sign that competition is heating up for new subscribers in the crowded wireless market. The trend also calls into question where AT&T and other wireless subscribers will find growth in the future. The company, which released the information as part of its first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, also took a significant hit to due to health care reform.
Own an iPad? Downloaded the eBay app? You should. It is by far the best way to experience eBay. Watch Movies? Seen the IMDB App? It is so much better than the website. Use Twitter? 81,43% chance you are not using Twitter.com but an App. It seems that more and more Apps are replacing websites in a time when more and more applications are moving to the web. What exactly do we want? Email went from the Application to the Cloud with Gmail, and we love it. The same for Flickr for photos and Google Docs for documents. At the same time Twitter started out as a website but quickly moved to applications on multiple platforms. It is clear that just moving everything to the web isn’t the ultimate solution for everything. That eBay and IMDB app are clear examples.
For anyone who has ever lost a cellphone, remember this: it could be worse. You could be the person who left his phone in a bar in California. And it wasn’t just any phone; it was a supersecret version of the next iPhone. That model is not expected to be formally unveiled for a couple of months.
Technology bloggers were riveted over the weekend as photos of what may be a yet unannounced next generation iPhone began circulating. Pictures of the device first appeared on the technology blog Engadget. And now the product itself has fallen into the hands of Gizmodo where it has been prodded and ripped apart as if it were little green aliens from another planet. Gizmodo editors are not saying how they acquired the device.
You know a concept is gaining traction when companies start springing up to enable it. Not long ago we saw the launch of B1G1 to enable the “buy one, give one” donation programs that have become so popular, for example; now, from the world of restaurants, there's Blue Shoe Mobile Solutions, a company that focuses exclusively on developing branded iPhone apps much like the one we just covered at Wagamama.
In a dense, 87-page report, Morgan Stanley analysts have charted the most important online trends and predicted the future of the Internet. In addition to forecasting more online shopping and showing the geographical distribution of Internet users, the study also shows a dramatic shift toward mobile web use. Including devices such as the Kindle, the iPhone and other smartphones, web-enabled tablets, GPS systems, video games and wireless home appliances, the growth of the mobile web has been exponential — and we’re still just at the beginning of this cycle. Morgan Stanley’s analysts believe that, based on the current rate of change and adoption, the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015.
AT&T is undertaking an ambitious rebranding effort under the banner "Rethink Possible" that includes a redesign that updates its trademark logo. The new theme attempts to position AT&T as a lifestyle company and elevate it from the recent ad sniping with rival Verizon. "Rethink Possible" will inform all advertising from the country's fourth-largest spender going forward.
In just three weeks, the new PayPal Mobile iPhone app has been downloaded more than one million times. PayPal Mobile 2.0 appeared in the App Store on March 15 with an array of new features, including the ability to “bump” money to friends. PayPal worked with the developers from Bump Technologies, the company that makes the Bump iPhone app, to make the process of sending money faster and more fun.
Nokia retains a massive share of the global mobile phone market, but cracks are beginning to appear in its once-impenetrable leadership. In particular, the electronics brand is struggling to defend its lead in smartphones - the fastest-growing and most profitable part of the mobile phone business.
With a carrier-agnostic iPhone coming to market later this summer, the conventional wisdom is that AT&T will lose customers (its phone coverage and iPhone service haven't been stellar) and a lot of profits (some say the iPhone has been not only its brightest but biggest single source of earnings). I say it doesn't have to work out this way. There's a post-generification breakout strategy for AT&T, but it would require a massive rethinking of its brand and marketing communications. Here are the three core realizations the company's brain trust would have to reach.
Last year, Palm had the hottest handset not named iPhone. The Pre was the company's long-awaited Hail Mary -- or at least its best shot to revive the once-storied brand and reclaim a bit of the hand-held market Palm created. Today, the Pre is not selling and nor is its cheaper, lower-end model, the Pixi. The company's stock plunged 30% on a fateful day last month as two analysts cut their price targets to zero and Morgan Joseph & Co. analyst Ilya Grozovsky called Palm "essentially in an accelerating death spiral."
Apple is set to drop AT&T as the exclusive carrier of its high-selling iPhone and introduce a new version of the handset for Verizon, which would ship next fall, according to the Wall Street Journal, ending the three-year lock AT&T has had on the iPhone in the U.S. (abroad, the iPhone is usually available on multiple carriers). So what will it mean if the iPhone is added to the nation's largest mobile network -- and one of its biggest advertisers? Expect a ripple effect for other handset makers, the app economy and mobile advertising that plays out something like this.
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.
This morning, eBay introduced two new iPhone applications, designed to make sellers’ lives easier when it comes to listing items on the giant online marketplace from their Apple phones. The ecommerce juggernaut also casually mentioned that it is on pace to reach a whopping $1.5 billion worth of goods sold via mobile phones in 2010 – more than double the mobile GMV (gross merchandise value) it registered in 2009 ($600 million).
Zinio's CMO Jeanniey Mullen on the benefits of catering to Steve Jobs' audience.
Apple Inc. plans to begin producing this year a new iPhone that could allow U.S. phone carriers other than AT&T Inc. to sell the iconic gadget, said people briefed by the company. The new iPhone would work on a type of wireless network called CDMA, these people said. CDMA is used by Verizon Wireless, AT&T's main competitor, as well as Sprint Nextel Corp. and a handful of cellular operators in countries including South Korea and Japan. The vast majority of carriers world-wide, including AT&T, use another technology called GSM.
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.
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.
Although BlackBerry is the most widely used smartphone system in the United States, with 43 percent of the market, its application strategy seems to have failed. Research in Motion's BlackBerry App World is significantly less crowded than Apple’s App Store. As of the beginning of this year, there were around 150,000 applications in iTunes, whereas BlackBerry App World had between 10,000 and 15,000 applications and Android was slightly higher, but in the same ballpark. There is not too much going on in terms of branded BlackBerry applications and it is rather ironic considering its marketshare.
Instant access to burritos bigger than your head is the clear selling point of Chipotle's iPhone app. But if we put culinary convenience aside, the app itself is an interesting mix of simple design, e-commerce functionality and location tools. I've been digging into the app for a while (digging does not equal "eating," in case you're wondering), and I found three aspects to the app that could prove instructive for developers and businesses pursuing their own mobile paths.
Mobile phones are fast becoming the way consumers find coupons, research products, compare prices and make purchases. It makes shopping easier for consumers, but that doesn't mean retailers are thrilled at the prospect of consumers consulting mobile phones from their aisles -- after all, does Best Buy want you to know that the item in your cart can be had cheaper at Amazon -- and purchased right now on your phone?
Vogue readers with iPhones are getting another toy to play with this month. The magazine is launching an application that looks like a fun shopping and styling tool but is actually a savvy way to connect the magazine and its advertisers directly with readers' wallets.
Mobile question and answer startup ChaCha has been able to turnaround its model, possibly achieve profitability, and raise boatloads of money, much to our surprise. Today, ChaCha is rolling out a Facebook application allows users open access to questions and answers from both ChaCha and all of their friends.
Remember the Great Sling Spat? A year ago, Sling Media, a subsidiary of EchoStar, introduced a nifty application for the Apple iPhone that allowed users with a Slingbox at home to watch and control their home television signal from their handsets. The only problem: AT&T said that such a bandwidth-intensive video service would overwhelm its network, so it limited the application to work only over an iPhone’s Wi-Fi connection. TV lovers and techies worldwide cried out in anguish.
AT&T said Thursday that it will invest an additional $2 billion in its network in 2010 to make sure it keeps up with the growing demand from new smartphones and other 3G data devices, such as the Apple iPad, on its network. During its fourth quarter 2009 conference call, Chief Operating Officer John Stankey said AT&T plans to spend between $18 billion and $19 billion in 2010 upgrading its wireless and backhaul networks to handle the onslaught of new traffic. This is roughly $2 billion more than the company had invested in the previous year. Specifically, Stankey said AT&T will add 2,000 new cell sites and upgrade existing cell sites with three times more fiber links than it had in 2009. This will increase capacity for the backhaul network that connects the cell towers to AT&T's main network. The backhaul portion of the network is a critical component to AT&T's network. With these upgrades in place, Stankey said the company will be able to easily upgrade in the future to 4G wireless technology.
We have seen several epic marketing wars: The Cola War of Coke vs. Pepsi, The Beer War of Budweiser vs. Miller, The Mouthwash War of Listerine vs. Scope and The Battery War of Duracell vs. Energizer. But they all fail in comparison to the money and firepower currently being expended in the Cellphone War between AT&T and arch-rival Verizon Wireless. Last year AT&T and Verizon Wireless spent a combined $4 billion in advertising to blast consumers with 615,000 television commercials. Yet, despite the incredible sums spent and the enormous volume flooding the airways, most consumers are still confused.
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.
Nike is giving us their taste in mobile marketing with True City, an iPhone app with the tagline ‘Making the hidden visible.’ It combines social elements with current mobile technologies to create a next-gen city and travel guide for six European cities.
My, how the digital times are a-changin'. We're downsizing to small screens, friending the world, thinking in 140 characters and downloading -- dare I say -- "billions and billions" of apps designed to make everything we do simpler, faster and more convenient (well, we think). And so, only days into 2010, it seems fitting to take a big look over my shoulder (and even into the mirror) and affix labels and buzzwords to our curious stampede to the social media and mobile future. Here's my top 20.
To most people these days, an "app" is something you download on your smartphone to help you do a specific task -- say, find a good nearby restaurant. But big tech companies, seeing how applications have boosted the appeal of gadgets such as Apple's iPhone, are starting to view apps as low-cost enhancements for a broader range of products, from netbooks to TVs and beyond.
A longtime quest to bring the Internet to the living room has entered a new phase, borrowing a page from Apple Inc. and its iPhone. Companies are now racing to build marketplaces for TV programs that act much like iPhone apps, able to interact with social-networking services, play games, call up movies and other Web content—all using a remote control, rather than a computer equipped with browsers. The TV applications are designed to exploit new consumer electronics devices with Internet connections that are beginning to appear in homes in significant numbers.
Google stepped up its attack on the smartphone market on Tuesday, introducing a new touch-screen handset called Nexus One that is widely seen as a rival to Apple’s iPhone. Google also said that it would sell the Nexus One, which it called a superphone, exclusively through a new online store. Google, which earns the vast majority of its revenue from advertising, said it was dipping its toes in the direct retailing business not to reap profits from the sale of phones but to broaden the availability of handsets running its Android software.
The coverage of Google's Nexus One "superphone" - officially unveiled today - was swift and almost universally positive. The HTC-designed device looks beautiful, its functionality sounds fantastic, and by all accounts it looks like a viable competitor to Apple and Research in Motion in the smartphone market. In this case, however, there's more to the story. Google's distribution approach has the potential to dramatically accelerate a broad disruption in the mobile phone market where the balance of power shifts from carriers and retailers to device, software, and applications providers.
Looking to build on the momentum of its iPhone and iPod, Apple Inc. will unveil a new multimedia tablet device later this month, but isn't planning to ship the product until March, say people briefed by the company. While the device's ship date hasn't been finalized and could still change, people briefed on the matter said the new product will come with a 10 to 11-inch touch screen—which would make it closer in size to Apple's line of MacBook laptops than its smart phone.
How you use your mobile phone has long reflected where you live. But the spirit of the machines may be wiping away cultural differences.
Reasons to feel bearish about Microsoft aren't hard to find. But it's the software giant's diminishing profile in the mobile world that is the talk of Silicon Valley right now. The explosion of mobile applications on devices like Apple's iPhone and Motorola's Droid presages far-reaching changes in consumer behavior. Google gets that. Aside from helping develop the Android mobile operating system, the company plans to buy mobile ad firm AdMob. And now it is working on plans to sell its own phone. It's a different story at Microsoft.
Google will start the new year with a mobile product announcement, setting the stage for what is turning into a showdown with its former ally Apple over mobile computing devices. The search group revealed earlier this month that it had issued employees with a mobile device to test, though it did not give details. On Tuesday it disclosed that it would hold an event at its headquarters in Silicon Valley next Tuesday for a mobile announcement, prompting speculation that the device would be unveiled.
In 2007 Steve Jobs launched the iPhone with a fanfare of fiery rhetoric. The iPhone, Apple's chief executive claimed, was three "revolutionary" devices in one. Combining a touch-controlled iPod media player, a phone and an "internet communicator", the iPhone was "a leapfrog product that is way smarter than any mobile device has ever been". In contrast, when Mr Jobs introduced the App store a little less than 18 months ago, his vocabulary was considerably more muted.
The mobile phone is quickly becoming Santa’s biggest helper. Powerful software applications for devices like the Apple iPhone are making it easy for bargain-hunting consumers to see if another retailer is offering a better deal on a big-screen HDTV or pair of shoes and to use it to haggle at the cash register. Online retailers are revamping the mobile versions of their sites so consumers can make purchases without tedious typing. And offline retailers, battling for every last dollar, are sending cellphone users electronic coupons to lure them away from competitors.
Research In Motion Ltd. reported surging profits and sales of its BlackBerry devices while rival Palm Inc. posted another quarterly loss amid signs that consumer demand waned for its newest smart phones. The results showed the diverging paths of a market leader and an underdog in an increasingly competitive smart-phone market. Shares of the two companies moved in opposite directions in after-hours trading. RIM's shares jumped 12% to $71.21, while Palm's shares fell 8.7% to $10.70.
Verizon Wireless made clear from the start that its Droid smartphone was designed to put pressure on Apple, the maker of the iPhone, and AT&T (T), the exclusive U.S. iPhone carrier. As part of a $100 million marketing push, Verizon Wireless enumerates several ways it believes the Droid outperforms the iPhone. Yet analysts say the Droid and other devices that sport the Android operating system may also take a toll on Research In Motion, the maker of another smartphone, the BlackBerry. "It's clear there's been a lot of marketing at Verizon around the Droid, so that is going to hurt RIM," says Raymond James (RJF) analyst Steve Li.
Ford Motor Co. is working to offer drivers a way to upgrade the electronics in their vehicles, much the same way they can add applications to their iPhones and BlackBerrys. The car maker hopes to persuade software developers to tap the Internet service, GPS location-finding capability and digital-music setup already found in its Sync entertainment-and-communications system, which it developed with Microsoft Corp. Such applications, or "apps," might do such things as give directions to every espresso shop along a highway open after 9 p.m., or allow friends to follow one another to a location through a GPS process called "breadcrumbing."
For those keeping score, here’s how the rankings of search engines have changed since Microsoft entered the race with Bing six months ago. Google, of course, remains the runaway leader and there are no signs that its market share will do anything other than keep inching up. It went from 65 percent in May to 65.6 in November, according to data released by comScore to analysts late on Tuesday.
Magazine publishers are taking a mulligan. After letting the Internet slip away from them and watching electronic readers like the Kindle from Amazon develop without their input, publishers are trying again with Apple iPhones and, especially, tablet computers. Although publishers have not exactly been on the cutting edge of technology, two magazines — Esquire and GQ — have developed iPhone versions, while Wired and Sports Illustrated have made mockups of tablet versions of their print editions, months before any such tablets come to market. Publishers are using the opportunity to fix their business model, too.
Back in the good old days, Microsoft did desktops, Google stuck to search and Apple made toys for people in polo necks. No more. The superpowers of the technology world are at war, and like real wars, the battle is happening on several fronts. They're fighting on the desktop, they're fighting on mobile phones, they're fighting in the browser and they're fighting in your front room. Who will prevail, and who will end up in a bunker?
NBC has joined the immortals of marketing stupidity. This year the molting peacock network and president Jeff “Have They Fired Me Yet?” Zucker decided to turn five of the primest pieces of prime-time real estate — the hour between 10 and 11 PM from Monday through Friday — into the Jay Leno hour. The result? A 28% drop in viewership (through mid-November). This has not only killed network revenues but done in affiliates who have no lead-in for their late news casts.
Two titans of the tech world, Google and Apple, may soon be engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Or, more precisely, handset-to-handset combat. Google plans to begin selling its own smartphone early next year, company employees say, a move that could challenge Apple’s leadership in one of the fastest-growing and most important technologies in decades.
If there’s anywhere left in the world where it’s still impolite to flash a BlackBerry or an iPhone, it’s Nokia’s annual analyst meeting. But earlier this month, as executives talked up the company’s plans for 2010, the optimistic message from the stage was belied by the behavior of the audience. In the back of the room, one money manager after another distractedly toyed with a competing device, typically a BlackBerry, even as cheery PowerPoint slides promoted Nokia’s latest offerings.
Apple sued the cellphone maker Nokia Corporation on Friday for patent infringement, a countermove to Nokia’s earlier suit against technologies used in Apple’s iPhone. Apple’s lawsuit claims Nokia is infringing 13 of Apple’s patents and says the company chose to “copy the iPhone,” especially its user interface, to make up for its declining share of the high-end phone market.
In recent months, tech blogs have been abuzz with rumors that Google is planning to market its own smartphone based on its Android operating system. The plan would signal a more aggressive effort by Google, which so far has relied on partners to build and market Android phones, to become a force in mobile devices. It could also put Google at odds with those partners, which include Verizon Wireless and Motorola, and it would sharpen its competition with Apple, whose iPhone dominates the high-end smartphone market in the United States.
Video entertainment was “the one that got away” from Apple, but recent moves reveal the company is taking a second stab at the category, and that streaming video will play a major role. The addition of video cameras to Apple’s latest iPhone and iPod Nano were just the first hints of the company’s new personal-media strategy. The company is also building a 500,000 square-foot data center in North Carolina, which could provide the massive bandwidth required for ubiquitous streaming video. And Apple’s recent acquisition of Lala suggests it’s interested in rebooting iTunes into a streaming service, according to Wall Street Journal. That means music, in Lala’s case, but the same infrastructure could be shared with streaming video.
iPhone owners may love Apple’s sexy mobile device, but they absolutely can’t stand AT&T. It ranks dead last in customer satisfaction for dropped calls and spotty 3G service, a sore spot that Verizon has been poking at with new ads. Now the U.S.’s second largest wireless provider is looking to turn things around, hopefully before it loses iPhone exclusivity rights. Its newest strategy is especially unique, though, because it comes in the form of an iPhone app called Mark the Spot [iTunes Link].
Even as his advertising offensive against arch-rival AT&T continues to be the talk of the industry, Verizon CMO John Stratton took to the podium to explain why the "Maps" campaign was necessary. In this seven-minute video, he recaps Verizon's entire nine-year marketing history. In its latest move, the company abruptly threw out its prepared holiday ad campaign to replace it with the results of a data survey it commissioned of its own and AT&T's national G3 footprints.
The iPhone is a cultural icon of the digital age. Apple's "There's an app for that" slogan in commercials is even repeated both as a punch line and a nod to the ubiquity of new applications on the so-called "Jesus phone" platform. Many top brands have tested its waters. Coke has two iPhone apps, as does Nike. Procter & Gamble has several, including Tide's Stain Brain, which helps consumers find ways to remove stains. All are searching for the secret formula that will unlock the promise of mobile marketing: a utility or piece of entertainment that is with consumers at all times.
Apple Inc.'s iPhone on Saturday will finally go on sale in South Korea, a country that prides itself on creating and consuming cutting-edge technology but where the government raised trade barriers on smart phones to protect domestic manufacturers and carriers for several years.
The guys at TechCrunch have popped an exciting post this morning: Multiple sources have suggested to them that the long-rumored Googlephone is for real and coming soon. Sadly, they miss the really exciting implications of this. TechCrunch's leads come from their sources and are unconfirmed, but they're certain of a couple of things: Google is for sure building its own-branded smartphone that it will sell directly through the usual retail channels. It was to have hit the stores before the holidays, but setbacks have pushed the launch into early 2010. The hardware will, of course, be made by someone else (a "major phone manufacturer") and it will most definitely be Google branded unlike, say, the T-Mobile G1.
Microsoft Windows continues to dominate the PC market with a 90 percent market-share stronghold, but when it comes to smartphones, Microsoft is getting beat up worse than a mustachioed villain in a Jackie Chan movie. Windows Mobile has lost nearly a third of its smartphone market share since 2008, research firm Gartner reports. Windows Mobile had 11 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter of 2008, according to Gartner, and last quarter Windows Mobile’s market share plummeted to 7.9 percent. Meanwhile, Apple’s global market share grew from 12.9 percent to 17.1 percent, and RIM saw a rise from 16 percent to 20.8 percent, according to Gartner’s figures.
Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo Co., is a self-proclaimed Apple Inc. fan. He carries an iPhone and uses a Mac laptop. So when Mr. Iwata says Nintendo and Apple aren't competitors, he should know what he's talking about. Nintendo, whose gadgets and software dominate the portable-videogame market, faces the greatest risk from the emergence of Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch as gaming platforms. But Mr. Iwata says attempts to create a rivalry between the two companies make him "uncomfortable," because he says it isn't true. He argues the companies appeal to different consumers.
There is a lot of speculation on why Google is buying AdMob, but the obvious reason is that Google wants more direct access to what they are betting heavily on--that mobile is the next great advertising medium. They've made a huge bet on mobile with Android--which is an obvious move to own the mobile search ad market, but now they've got their hooks into the mobile display ad market as well. But what many might be missing could be the biggest reason Google ( GOOG - news - people ) bought AdMob: the data.
Looking ahead to 2010, marketers will be facing Olympic hurdles that will require steadfast agility just to stay in the game, much less to hit the finish line ahead of the competition. Here are 10 ideas, wrapped in Olympic glory that should deliver the gold.
Apple, once untouchable in terms of marketing, has gotten a little roughed up lately. For much of the decade, Apple got away with bashing longtime adversary Microsoft without repercussions. Apple also dominated the MP3 player category without a serious rival. But now, as Microsoft has reinvigorated its marketing and it navigates into the phone handset category, suddenly everyone is bashing Apple.
How's this for a gripping corporate story line: Youthful founder gets booted from his company in the 1980s, returns in the 1990s, and in the following decade survives two brushes with death, one securities-law scandal, an also-ran product lineup, and his own often unpleasant demeanor to become the dominant personality in four distinct industries, a billionaire many times over, and CEO of the most valuable company in Silicon Valley. Sound too far-fetched to be true? Perhaps. Yet it happens to be the real-life story of Steve Jobs and his outsize impact on everything he touches. The past decade in business belongs to Jobs.
More than a hundred people were lined up at midnight Thursday outside a Verizon Wireless store in midtown Manhattan to be among the first people to buy the new Motorola Droid. About 65 eager shoppers lined the south side of West 34th Street across from Macy's in Manhattan at 11:30 p.m. Thursday waiting for the store to open. Verizon opened the store from midnight to 2 a.m. to give people in the Big Apple a head start on the morning cell phone rush. By midnight, when the doors officially opened, about 100 people stood in line as Verizon officials ushered in customers 25 at a time.
I used to carry a Blackberry……during the golden age of the Blackberry, when it was first nicknamed the “Crackberry.” I remember fondly images of people squishing their Blackberries between the window and the window shades on airplanes to get better reception for just that last email before takeoff. It was a revolutionary device for sure, and RIM did a great job in its development. Legions of corporate IT staff will only support that device, and more individuals carry it quite loyally. However. I hadn’t been paying attention to their advertising for a while, until I heard a recent iPhone commercial. I heard the Beatles “All you need is love” and then I looked up and saw… Well, I saw that it was an ad for the Blackberry, not the iPhone. All I need is love? For an addicting device? For the workhorse business device?
Touchscreen smartphones are the thing in the U.S. this year, with sales growing so rapidly it would give the Ares I-X a run for its money. And next year the pace of the change is going to be even faster. Welcome to the touchscreen era. Comscore's data looks at the three months ending August of this year versus the same period last year, and the numbers pretty much speak for themselves: Among U.S. smartphone subscribers aged 13 and over, some 33.8 million owned regular push-button smartphones, against 23.8 million owning touchscreen ones. While that data looks stacked in favor of regular push-button phones, check out the growth rate. Smartphone ownership grew a whopping 63% over last year, proving this is the smartphone age all right--dumbphone sales simply can't compete with that growth. And touchscreen smartphone sales exploded 159% at the same time, which is incredible.
Last week, I reviewed not one, but three new phones. You’d think that would be enough for a while, but fall is peak season for new mobile devices, and another major release — Motorola’s Droid — is upon us this week. But before we get to today’s big review of the Droid, we need a noun. What should we call these iPhone-like, touch screen Wi-Fi phones with music and video, real Web browsers, e-mail, sensors (light, tilt, location, proximity), and, above all, app stores? These machines can download thousands of free or cheap add-on programs — “apps” — and become GPS units, musical instruments and medical equipment. “Smartphone” is too limited. A smartphone is a cellphone with e-mail — an old BlackBerry, a Blackjack, maybe a Treo. This new category — somewhere between cellphones and laptops, or even beyond them — deserves a name of its own.
When you think of corporate smartphones, you tend to think almost automatically of RIM's BlackBerrys--they're solid, reliable, iconic, successful and have sewn up something like 40% of that market. The iPhone, with its glossy looks, high-tech allure, reputation as a gaming and entertainment platform and relatively high unit costs isn't something you'd necessarily associate with a corporate environment. Apple itself has gone on record to state that the tens of thousands of apps that are helping to make the phone a success (thousands of which seem business-oriented) are most definitely not business tools, implying the phone itself isn't.
For the third year in a row, Apple's iPhone will enter the holiday shopping season as the smartphone to beat. But this year, it actually has some respectable challengers. Perhaps the best rival will be the new Droid phone by Motorola for Verizon Wireless. Running the newest version of Google's Android operating system, Droid includes an improved web browser, free turn-by-turn navigation, a gorgeous screen, a slide-out keyboard and a super-fast processor.
It's official: The popularization of poop is a solid movement. And marketers smell an opportunity. None other than the New York Times reported last week on the increasing amount of marketing activity being devoted to the "moist toilet-paper category." Wet-wiping is a burgeoning business, and it's not just for babies' behinds any more. That makes sense, as demographic data demonstrates the country is aging. That's why, from Cialis to Activia, a lot of TV advertising now is dedicated to products that harden your tool and soften your stool. So it should come as little surprise that advertisers would be the first to jump on this opportunity to bolster their bottom line. Product needs to move as often as bowels do.
Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry mobile device, is trying to broaden the brand's appeal beyond e-mail-obsessed professionals. The Waterloo, Canada, BlackBerry maker recently launched an international ad campaign with a new tag line: "Love What You Do." The ads feature BlackBerry users enjoying life outside work.
In the past few weeks, Verizon Wireless has fired a pair of loaded torpedoes at rival AT&T—and more notably Apple, a company often viewed as a sacred cow in both the marketing and technology spheres. Telecom experts say that such an Apple offensive is long overdue, though not without risk. Still, most observers doubt that Verizon’s attacking posture indicates that the company has given up on the ultimate prize—being able to offer Apple’s iPhone on its network once AT&T’s exclusive contract expires.
With Apple posting record profits last week, thanks in large part to brisk sales of its iPhone, it may seem downright crazy to mount a smartphone challenge at all, let alone one that takes direct aim at the iPhone. But that's just what Verizon, Google and Motorola are doing. With a teaser ad from Verizon zeroing in on the device's perceived shortcomings, such as its lack of a physical keyboard, the triumvirate is beginning a big push for Droid, the flagship device of the Google-backed Android operating system. So far, industry observers are unmoved by the buzz and give the Droid long odds in its bid to become the next ubiquitous handset.
Tension has been building behind the scenes for some time between two of the world’s technology titans. That friction became public on Thursday October 22nd when Nokia, the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, lobbed a lawsuit at Apple, alleging that its American rival’s iPhone infringes a number of Nokia’s patents. Apple, in the words of one of the Finnish firm’s executives, is “attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation”.
The Google Custom Search Blog announced the release of a mobile friendly Google Custom Search engine interface support for devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch, Android and Palm Pre.
Volkswagen of America is launching the newest-generation GTI exclusively on an iPhone app, a cost-efficient approach the automaker said is a first for the industry. How cost efficient? When the marketer introduced the GTI in 2006, it spent $60 million on a big-budget blitz with lots of network TV. By comparison, an executive familiar with the matter estimates the annual budget for mobile AOR services is $500,000. And while an iPhone-only strategy may seem limiting, consider this: In September, Apple reported there are more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide. By comparison, CBS' "NCIS," the most-watched show for week ending Oct. 18, reached 21 million viewers and commands an average price of $130,000 for a single 30-second spot.
Jeff Smith is a diligent social-networking user, but he doesn't own a PC. "I prefer a cellphone and a service for a cellphone," says Smith, 40, a postal worker in Detroit who served as an Army Ranger in Desert Storm and Somalia. For about a year, Smith has used MocoSpace (for "mobile community space") to chat, meet people, search the Web and play games. "Anything else feels like too much." The majority of people who participate on social networks do so from their PCs. Yet a growing number — many of whom can't afford a PC or would rather not use one — are using mobile devices to tell their friends where they are and what they're up to and for sharing pictures.
Whatever rumors were brewing a few months ago that Apple would break its exclusivity with AT&T and take its iPhone to other carriers, it's a good bet they can be put to bed for now. Less than two weeks after Verizon Wireless aired a TV commercial that takes aim at AT&T's network service, it's now going straight for the iPhone. The teaser campaign, which plugs the new Android device and debuted Saturday night during the playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels, is, however, causing some head-scratching.
At first glance, Foursquare, the location-based mobile application capturing the fancy of hip, young urbanites, is a fun bar game that lets users compete for points and badges for going out at night. But dig a little deeper, and the service, which I just profiled in The Times, is also a handy, user-generated city guide. “The game elements are fun and people definitely like competing against their friends,” said Dennis Crowley, co-founder of the company. “But getting people to do something they haven’t done before — that’s where Foursquare gets really interesting.”
Verizon and Motorola finally lifted the curtain on their new Droid Android phone yesterday. Make no mistake, this is Android’s flagship product, and the first phone that will pose a significant threat to Apple’s iPhone. And it will be available very soon, possibly as early as the end of this month. MobileCrunch has been tracking the phone, which has also been called the Tao or Sholes, for some time. Just about anyone who has come in contact with the phone can’t stop talking about it. And from what we hear, they have good reason.
PepsiCo has found itself at a crossroads regarding its now infamous “Amp up before you score” iPhone app. The NC-17 rated application offers pick-up lines, strategies for picking up married women, a scorecard for sexual conquests and other edgy content. After PepsiCo received complaints that the app reinforced stereotypes about women, the company tweeted an apology as well as posted an explanation on Amp’s Facebook page. Still, the app remains available much to the disdain of some. “The app hasn’t been pulled so the apology is disingenuous, is it not?” said Lynne Johnson, svp, social media for the Advertising Research Foundation. “It’s time to pull it and go back to the drawing board.”
PepsiCo has inserted itself and several of its brands into a heated debate surrounding an iPhone app launched by its Amp Energy brand. By introducing a Twitter tag #pepsifail, the company has spread the news further and associated its flagship brand with the sexist app. So is it a savvy, transparent social-media move or is it simply exacerbating the damage already done?
Samsung Electronics Co.'s profits are on the rise again as its chip and display businesses recover from operating losses earlier this year. The turnaround recently helped push its market capitalization past Intel Corp.'s for the first time. But amid that success Samsung also is trying to address another concern: matching Apple Inc.'s ability to sell content and software that run on cellphones and other devices. Apple's iPhone has led the way in demonstrating that consumers are becoming more interested in devices that can tap the Internet or run clever applications. The same phenomenon is spreading to TVs and DVD players, which increasingly will be connectable to the Internet in coming years.
Smartphones are not only revolutionising the mobile phone industry. They are also about to change the way we use computers.
Each year at Razorfish we release our Digital Outlook Report in which we make predictions about the trends, developments and opportunities that will dominate the next calendar year. Fortunately no one's keeping score. For the last four years running we've said the coming year would be the breakout year for mobile. So far that hasn't happened. Since we've been wrong so many times before, I will take a more cautious approach here and simply say that 2010 is the year in which marketers need to make a serious investment in their mobile strategy.
Every few months it seems the digerati go on a hunt for the next "shiny object." We tire of what's in front of us. We are eager to explore the next big thing. Marketers, perhaps out of fear of being left behind, are often right in step when plunging into new technology. That latest object of our desire is Google Wave--a new, real-time platform that combines e-mail, instant messaging, document creation and collaboration. You can't spend any time on Twitter without geeks lusting after Google Wave invites, which are hard to come by because only 100,000 have them. The hype rivals the hoopla surrounding the iPhone before its launch.
Anyone who has followed Apple news/rumors/patents over the past couple of years has probably noticed a certain trend emerging: Apple seems to be slowly shifting its entire line of products to touch-based computing. That is to say, it’s moving its products away from buttons and keys, towards manipulation through a touchscreen interface. While obviously, MacBook trackpads have used some level of touch for a long time, this trend really started with the iPhone, which presented the first excellent use of multi-touch in a consumer device. From there, Apple slowly began adding multi-touch support to the aforementioned notebook trackpads, to the point where they all now feature it. And then of course, there’s the iPod touch, which is an iPod with multi-touch support. But where things really start to get interesting is when you look at Apple’s patents and the rumors that spin out of them.
Polo Ralph Lauren has long been out in front of its luxury and fashion peers when it comes to technology. The brand was among the first to embrace e-commerce, and, in more recent history, it has been aggressive in its use of mobile marketing. Last year alone, the company went live with a mobile commerce platform, began using QR Codes and launched its first iPhone app (this month it launched its second app around its Rugby brand). The "Make Your Own Rugby" iPhone app allows users to personalize rugby and polo shirts, as well as upload their photos to virtually try on the shirt.
Although a bit late to the party, CNN has made a decisive entry into the mobile news space with a well-designed iPhone app with that costs $2 to download, nothing to use and makes it easier for citizen journalists to file their own video news reports from the field. And in choosing a middle ground in the free/fee debate CNN is carving out a niche that extends their free online offerings to the fast-growing mobile platform while charging something for the work that goes in to developing for the iPhone platform — and there are ads too.
Men's Health has aggressively moved into the iPhone Apps space over the last three months, with applications that detail workouts, help users select smoothies and help guys figure out the right pickup line for the right situation. Its three paid apps have collectively snared 50,000 downloads. Matt Bean, brand editor at the publication, has been spearheading the push, and he talked at the Ad Age and Appolicious Apps for Brands event about some basic things publishers should be thinking about when moving into the space.
More than a year into the age of the iPhone app, brands are starting to get on board -- and best practices are emerging. At Wednesday's Apps for Brands event in New York, marketers taught other marketers what's worked for them. Here are 12 lessons culled from the day, during which MLB.com CEO Bob Bowman and marketers from Kraft, Bank of America, Benjamin Moore and AKQA convened to talk about what they've learned from their early, successful forays into the space.
Starbucks is launching a store-finding and menu-information application for the iPhone, and is testing a second app that will let customers use the phone as their Starbucks card. The two apps are the coffee chain’s first for the iPhone and iPod touch. It has previously offered mobile services, such as the ability to send a text message to locate a nearby store, and has worked with Apple to make in-store songs available through iTunes.
There might be an app for everything, but does everything need an app? When it comes to brands, it's easy to wonder if the rush to get into the App Store is more about marketers snapping up the shiniest new wonder than thinking about apps as strategic-marketing tools. Luckily, as the app business has grown, the apps themselves have grown up. While the Zippo lighter -- enormously popular at 5 million downloads and counting -- remains a bit of an anomaly, most branded apps have moved from the simple "wow" or novelty factor to include branded utility, relationship building and even sales.
When a product is so completely and rightly designed, it has aesthetic and functional elements that are clearly stated and obvious. The product itself communicates without words its utilitarian value, ease of use, and beauty, and you perceive the quality-contributing elements instantly. Think about your own special products that you love. It may be your Levis, your iPhone, your Porsche, your Aeron chair, whatever. All elements seem to dance together, right? Purpose, form, details and color are naturally wound together so tightly you can't really separate them. There is unity and wholeness, and it is so evident that this thing will totally satisfy a physical and/or emotional need.
AT&T knows its iPhone-burdened network has become a public relations mess, with a number of major news outlets recently recounting how heavy iPhone use has resulted in spotty service. But the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier's latest effort -- meant to address its network and explain why it took so long to turn on a long-awaited multimedia message service for Apple's iPhone -- isn't helping.
Yes, he’s back. When the Apple event started today, CEO Steve Jobs took the stage to a very long standing ovation. He used his opening remarks to talk about the importance of organ donation. Jobs noted that he now had the liver of a person in their mid-20s who died in a car crash. Jobs urged everyone to think about organ donation, as it saved his life. After that, Jobs thanked Apple’s executive team, and especially Tim Cook, who steered Apple’s ship in his absence. But then it was time for Jobs to quickly move into some impressive statistics.
The prefix “smart” indicates that smartphones are better than other phones, but this hasn’t been entirely true in the past. Yes, a smartphone can do a lot of things a regular phone can’t, however – by definition – it’s far more complex, has a steeper learning curve, and is generally not the device of choice for most of the population. This has changed in the past couple of years. Recently, Bernstein Research’s analyst Toni Sacconaghi has predicted that the smartphone market will grow 27% in 2010 and 2011, after having grown about 35% every year over the past three years. This is good news for Apple, whose iPhone – a smartphone, and the only phone Apple sells – only needs to grow with the market to achieve amazing sales numbers. But why is this happening? Have more people suddenly decided they need more powerful, but also more complex phones in their lives? I doubt it.
We recently described a lot of ways augmented reality (AR) is going to appear on a mobile device near you soon. But now it's here: The first "real" iPhone AR app has gone live in the iTunes App Store. It's specifically for Parisians. But it's arrived earlier than expected--weeks before Apple said it would be allowed. And by early, we mean it's arrived in the App Store by stealth, snuck in as an added-feature in an update to an existing app--Metro Paris Subway. It's unofficial because technically Apple's is not opening the doors to full AR until it releases the new 3.1 code for the iPhone, which is widely expected in September. This code will add in a few more hooks to make AR apps work in a fully-integrated way with the iPhone's video functions...but it seems that Metro Paris's developers PresseLite have found a way to get it all working pretty well with the existing iPhone 3.0 code.
If you've wondered why the marketing world is obsessed with creating apps for the iPhone, take a stroll down the hallways of Kraft Foods, Gannett and German publisher Axel Springer. There you'll see a sea of iPhones as the brand makes incursions on RIM's BlackBerry, once acknowledged as the smartphone of choice for corporate America. In a recent conference call, Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said about 20% of Fortune 100 companies have purchased a total of 10,000 or more iPhones since the handset's release in 2007, and scores of government agencies and businesses have each purchased more than 25,000 iPhones for their organizations.
It goes without fail, whenever a new product is released from a Gen Y "it" company, my phone rings off the hook. So why are people calling a financial guy when a new product is released? Because these "it" companies market so well that the consumer wants to be an owner ... of the company.
You've heard a lot about Augmented Reality recently, but what is it--and why exactly should you care about the technology? We spoke with Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, one of the founders of Layar, an Amsterdam company that is leading the charge with their smartphone app, to gain insight.
One of the best books of the year is undoubtedly “Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean,” by Roberto Verganti. In it Verganti, a favorite of this blog, attacks one of the central mysteries of innovation–how can a company successfully create a product that is a radical break from the past, and which shows the way to a new future?
Media brands are jumping onto the iPhone. USA Today? There’s an app for that. “The Rachel Maddow Show”? “Entertainment Tonight”? Public radio? Yes, yes and yes, there are apps for those. Now, if only there were an app that showed media companies how to make money on the iPhone.
Paragon of Rust Belt manufacturing and an icon since World War II, Zippo wears its American-ness on its sleeve. So does its VP-sales and marketing, Mark Paup, who has spent his entire 15-year career at Zippo and now leads all sales, marketing, design and product development for the Bradford, Pa.-based company. A smoker who rides a Soft Tail Nightrain Harley, you could say Mr. Paup, 44, fits the psychographic of the Zippo consumer.
Not many branded iPhone games have broken through, but a new one from U.K.-based Barclaycard has quickly become the most popular free, branded game in the history of the iTunes App Store.
The Federal Communications Commission late on Friday entered the fray over consumer calling choice on mobile phones, sending letters inquiring into Apple’s recent decision to reject Google Voice applications on its iPhone. The FCC’s letter asked Apple to detail any influence AT&T, the iPhone’s exclusive US carrier, may have had in its decision. Google’s applications would have allowed users to make less expensive international calls.
Apple’s iPhone App Store may be a resounding success. But Google says app stores are a dead end. Sour grapes? Maybe. It’s no coincidence that Google has placed its money on web-based applications, for its mobile Android operating system as well as its forthcoming Chrome OS. Vic Gundotra, Google’s engineering vice president and developer evangelist, said on Friday at the Mobilebeat conference in San Francisco that the future of the mobile industry lies in web-based applications, rather than native software coded to run on specific smartphone operating systems.
Michael Jackson's memorial service drew a surprising number of eyes to TV sets July 7. Even more surprising was the number of people who watched the farewell on their phones--nearly 1 million.
In the two weeks since Google announced it would open up AdSense for mobile, serving up text and display ads inside apps, there are signs the online-ad giant -- and marketers -- are still figuring out how to create good experiences for mobile users.
With more than 60 percent of Toyota Motor’s WAP traffic coming from the iPhone, the automaker decided to take a different approach to mobile with the promotion of the newest Prius car model. To better cater to these loyal iPhone users, Toyota launched a mobile site optimized specifically for touchscreen devices such as the iPhone. IPhone users can access the Toyota site at http://m.toyota.com and click on the Prius icon to get rerouted to the iPhone optimized site.
Attention, iPhone users: We've found a way (via Pre Thinking and Sprint's Facebook page) that you can save up to $1,200 over two years on your service plans! All you have to do is buy a Palm Pre and sign up for service with Sprint.
As mobile users increasingly flock to the fancy applications on their smartphones -- and potentially spend less time on the mobile web, where Google has staked its lead -- the search giant had to find a way into those apps. So it is using its contextual ad program to serve up text and display ads inside mobile applications.
Dying to hear how the stereo system of an Infiniti convertible sounds? Check your mobile phone. The automaker has a mobile music application that runs on Facebook and plays melodies on mobile phones while users ogle pictures of the new G37 convertible. The Tokyo-based auto company is also buying text ads on mobile news feeds and embedded spots for mobile video.
A growing chorus claims that Apple’s questionable approval policy for its iPhone application store raises issues with net neutrality. Free Press, a group that advocates the idea of an open internet — that is, one in which consumers have the right to browse the web and run internet applications without restrictions — is the latest of several organizations to call out Apple for its inconsistencies.
Is our increasing desire to stay in the loop distracting us from the people who should matter the most in our lives?
Gadget lovers have never had it so good. It seems, suddenly, that personal computing devices are turning up in all shapes and sizes. For nearly three decades, the PC has dominated the landscape. But a surge of innovation is ripping through personal technology as companies from the computing, mobile phone and consumer electronics worlds all race to define the next intelligent mass-market item.
GoodGuide, a Web site and iPhone application that lets consumers dig past the package’s marketing spiel by entering a product’s name and discovering its health, environmental and social impacts. “What we’re trying to do is flip the whole marketing world on its head,” said Mr. O’Rourke. “Instead of companies telling you what to believe, customers are making the statements to the marketers about what they care about.”
This week’s social media news was dominated by three stories: the launch of Facebook Usernames, the activation of Twitter Verified Accounts, and the announcement of Apple’s iPhone 3G S. Mashable brought you all this news, including live coverage of the Usernames launch from Facebook HQ.
One of the more important features of the new iPhone may be the least-widely heralded by the tech punditry: it has a compass. This matters not because now you'll always know which way is North with the iPhone, or even because you can make a quick-and-dirty metal detector with it. It matters because it finally opens up the iPhone to real augmented reality.
Apple's iPhone and other smartphones are generally good for Google: Anything that gets more people using the internet on their cellphones -- and using Google, the web's dominant search engine -- is going to help Google someday make a market in mobile advertising. (That is, as long as it's not cutting down on the amount of time they use the web and Google on their computers.) But Apple's iPhone App Store -- a huge hit -- is not as good for Google. While Google has a tiny business displaying in-app ads, the rest of the movement toward mobile apps and app stores is currently bad for Google. Why?
In today’s recession-racked economy, penny-pinching is a national pastime. But people are still opening their wallets for smartphones. Sales of BlackBerrys, iPhones and other smartphone models are rising smartly and are projected to increase 25 percent this year, according to Gartner, a research business. Widely anticipated new models like the Palm Pre, which went on sale nationwide on Saturday, will help fuel that growth. Meanwhile, total cellphone sales are expected to fall.
Apple executives didn't throw any curve balls at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference today in San Francisco. But the iterative changes hidden within a new, faster iPhone -- and the previously announced software upgrade -- could change not just consumer but also advertiser behavior. Here's a run-down of what's new and what it means to marketers.
A pair of mobile studies in the last week offer a sobering contrast to the hoopla surrounding the launch of the Palm Pre Saturday and the upgraded iPhone today. Based on a survey of brands and agencies, the Mobile Marketing Association estimated mobile will garner less than 2% of total marketing dollars this year.
As companies give mobile-phone advertising a try, many are starting to focus on the search ads that have worked so well on personal computers.
Once, just having a smartphone application was enough, but the era of novelty -- the blowing, shaking, one-trick-pony app -- is pretty much over. To rise above the clutter, an app has to be truly useful, whether it's created by a brand or by an entrepreneur.
Busch Entertainment Corp., a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, is unveiling a social-media brand campaign today that playfully raises awareness for its theme parks, which include SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. The cross-platform effort comes just in time for summer, the entertainment company's biggest season. Ad Age spoke with Exec VP-CMO Joe Couceiro, who has been at the company for 28 years, about the new campaign and its branded app, Worlds of Discovery Photo Adventure, which he said he considers "one of our more creative efforts."
I was in my local Barnes and Noble on Sunday and I bought two books. Both of them from Amazon, online, using my iPhone while standing in the isles. Of course I felt bad. I learned about these two books thanks to Barnes and Noble. They ought to have made the sale.
Mitchell Waite could think of only one reason that Apple’s legal department would leave a voice message last February asking him to call back: he was about to be sued. He called back and discovered that his life was about to change no less than if the lottery authority had told him he’d won the big prize: Apple had decided to feature iBird in a television commercial.
The latest edition of the New Yorker features a cover done by artist Jorge Colombo (who we first noticed back in March), Colombo made the entire piece using a simple $5 iPhone app called Brushes.
For more than 100 years brand marketers have largely focused on push - a mix of tried-and-true tactics that include paid and earned media. However, that was before the Attention Crash, which is changing the economics of digital marketing. The endless supply of content is taking a toll. It has forced consumers to make hard choices about where and how they spend time. Today people are browsing less and going deeper into a small number of sites. The exact mix of destinations change. What they have in common, however, is that they are all useful.
Glympse is just one of the companies presenting the latest in geo-aware technology at the O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference, which takes place this week in San Jose, California.
Microsoft is continuing its attacks on Apple products as overpriced with a new Web campaign for its Zune portable media player. In a Web video, financial planner and former reality show star Wes Moss presents the case that the 120GB iPod would cost $30,000 to fill with music buying songs at $1 each at the iTunes Store. "People worry about the capacity of their iPod," Moss says in the 30-second spot. "What about the capacity of their bank account?"
Madison Avenue is plowing more resources into a new marketing medium: Apple Inc.'s iPhone. In the past several months, companies such as Burger King Holdings Inc., Zippo Manufacturing Co. and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. have experimented with promotional software applications that can be downloaded onto the iPhone, or they have created ads that are placed within other popular applications for the device.
As the world goes Kindle and iPhone-mad, paperbacks and mixtapes become worthy of devotion. Llewellyn Hinkes sees his entire music collection disappear and wonders what it meant.
I was an early believer in Kindle, but I thought it would evolve more quickly than this. Kindle DX is a step forward—more than the Kindle 2—but there's still work to be done.
Adidas is no stranger to the street culture scene, and their latest move seems right on target: the Adidas Urban Art Guide to Berlin is an iPhone travel guide listing Berlin’s best graffiti.
Apple's rejection of a Nine Inch Nails iPhone app update caused a mini-firestorm across the Internet. Apple-bashing may be the important part of the story to some, but there is a business lesson amidst the noise.
Human beings are undeniably social creatures. Gamers are, too. So the gaming landscape is beginning to look very interesting as platforms become increasingly connected, and social networks become increasingly open. For example, Facebook Connect has opened up an API for the iPhone. The iPhone happens to also be seeing quite a bit of success with games. The two are already merging in some initial game efforts, but the growth potential is huge.
Microsoft is in talks with Verizon Wireless to launch a touch-screen cellphone on the carrier's network early next year, in a bid to compete with Apple's iPhone.
Amid all the talk about what the iPhone has done for AT&T, Verizon is also delivering -- without a killer handset.
Apple yanked an ill-considered iPhone application from its App Store yesterday after strenuous objections from several parenting groups. The "Baby Shaker" app featured a loud, crying baby that would stop only when the iPhone user vigorously shook the phone. It went on sale on Monday for 99 cents and was pulled two days later.
As the executives at Apple (AAPL) were passing around the Dom Perignon, their counterparts at other companies which design and manufacture smartphones were putting all sharp objects out of reach. In a recession, there is only so much air in any room. Smart phone sales are suffering like all consumer electronics. If the iPhone is doing extraordinarily well, others are doing badly.
I download new iPhone applications almost every day. Today I got something that lets me rotate 3-D models of molecules, and another one that reads my mood if I simply touch the screen. I'll never use either of them, of course, but it sure is fun. It's also partly why iPhone doesn't have BlackBerry's corp cred.
The Wall Street Journal, one of the few newspapers that charges for content online, released an app for the iPhone Wednesday which sets their content free, poking another hole in one of the internet's oldest pay walls.
Probably one of the biggest criticisms that the iPhone gets is that it’s considered not the best phone for business. That judgement is based on the comparison on the keyboard and email functionality with the Blackberry. This new iPhone ‘Office’ ad suggests that the App Store might just change our view of the device: while for many of us we find our work days spent sending and receiving missives, Apple reminds us that there’s much more to running business and the phone might “just have an app” for all those other tasks we should be doing instead.
Few traditional media companies have scored major success in the Apple App Store, the increasingly popular outlet where outside programmers and developers can launch programs or tools -- i.e., applications -- specially designed for iPhone users. In fact, games dominate, based on comScore’s ranking of the top 25 downloaded applications.
Trent Reznor was backstage one afternoon last summer, fooling around with his iPhone to stave off boredom before a show, when he realized that fans standing in line outside were broadcasting photos from the scene using their iPhones.
A South Bay business has now found an innovative way to use the hottest trend in social networking to help keep the business growing.
EBay Inc.'s Skype unit plans to release a version of its Internet-based phone software for Apple Inc.'s iPhone. The move, set to be announced Tuesday, puts Skype more directly in competition for wireless voice services with network operators such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless.
Skype is planning to launch its service for iPhone users on Tuesday and for BlackBerry in May as part of its effort to expand beyond desktop computers.
As agencies herd their clients onto the iPhone-application bandwagon, brands are happy to climb onboard. After all, what marketer wouldn't salivate at the engagement prospects behind the 800 million games, utilities and entertainment downloaded from the App Store? And with handset makers Research In Motion and Nokia set to launch their own app storefronts in the coming weeks, app fever is sure to get more fuel. But the rush to apps has led to a backlash in some quarters, and a call for more measured thinking around branded apps.
Electronic Arts' iPhone version of Scrabble now supports Facebook Connect, offering players the chance to compete against friends whether they're sitting at a desk or standing on the bus.
The Pre, Palm's ridiculously slick new mobile phone, stole the show at CES this year. Good looks helped, but mainly it was the Pre's iPhone-like touchscreen technology that wowed the industry crowd. Sure, the Pre has a built-in keyboard, but all anyone wanted to do was drag their fingers along the screen and make magic happen: pop windows open, scroll through sites, fling the contact list to the bottom of the display. The gestures were intuitive, fun, and basically copies of Apple's.
It’s mindless, fun, and nostalgic. And it represents a kind of archaica. Archaica has been around for years, of course (I mean, it started with the first Macintosh desktop), but the iPhone has pushed the idea further back in time and simplicity—beyond just metaphorical representations of anachronistic things (like files on a desktop) to a kind of hyper-naturalism.
The number of apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch is nearing the 30,000 mark but hardly any application takes advantage of the network effects that lie within the Apple ecosystem. Most developers simply ignore the fact that all iPhones and iPod Touches are interconnected globally and roll out stand-alone applications. This is one of the major reasons why the vast majority of fun apps lack stickiness and are easily forgotten after a few quick bursts.
Apple is making it easier for developers to create iPhone applications, which could increase its smartphone market share.
Apple's sneak peek at iPhone 3.0 shows that most of its smartphone rivals, such as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, Android maker Google, and Microsoft are still far behind in mobile software. Can they catch up?
Apple announced Tuesday a host of new features for the next version of its mobile operating system, iPhone 3.0. Among the additions are two features that the company has long been criticized for overlooking: The ability to cut, copy and paste text between applications, and support for multimedia messages.
Apple's iPhone 3.0 event today made it abundantly clear that the iPhone is evolving into a gaming machine. Here's why:
In a shot across the bow of other mobile phone makers that are rushing to emulate aspects of its popular iPhone, Apple on Tuesday previewed some features that are due out in the next version of the phone’s software.
Progress isn't all breakout products and scientific coups. In fact, some of the most salient indicators of the direction of technology come in re-directions of products and services we use every day. Here are seven subtle changes to the tech landscape that hint of bigger things to come.
Apple's third-generation iPhone must adopt several crucial features to outsmart competing smartphones, developers and enthusiasts agree.
The weekend's big news at South by Southwest: Facebook has launched Facebook Connect for iPhone apps.
The latest example of a cool marketer-created iPhone experience is not an app but an ad. Apparel maker Dockers San Francisco has created a "shakable," motion-sensitive ad that uses the phone's motion-detecting feature.
The iPhone's lead over smartphone upstart Android may be short-lived, according to an industry watcher's predictions. Android smartphone sales will outstrip iPhone sales by 2012, market researcher Informa Telecoms & Media has predicted in a new report.
Research In Motion (RIM) yesterday announced its application store for BlackBerry devices, now called as App World. The service, previously known as App Center, will offer BlackBerry owners an easier way to buy and install new applications on their phones, similar to Apple's popular App Store for iPhones.
That was quick: A week after the Amazon Kindle 2 started shipping, Amazon's Kindle iPhone app is now available for free download. What is it? A very basic e-book reader app that syncs up to your Amazon account to access the Kindle books you've purchased. You can't buy books directly from the app, but you can via a computer or the iPhone's Safari browser (or a Kindle). Good enough.
Shaking up the nascent market for electronic books for the second time in two months, Amazon.com will begin selling e-books for reading on Apple’s popular iPhone and iPod Touch. Starting Wednesday, owners of these Apple devices can download a free application, Kindle for iPhone and iPod Touch, from Apple’s App Store. The software will give them full access to the 240,000 e-books for sale on Amazon.com, which include a majority of best sellers.
Apple's iPhone has wowed most of the globe — but not Japan, where the handset is selling so poorly it's being offered for free.
Our breakdown of the 500 million apps populating the App Store was correcto: A study by Pinch Media shows only 20 percent of people use free apps again after the first day they download it.
Palm has confirmed that games will be among the applications available for the Palm Pre, although exactly what type of games will run on the handset remains unclear. In an interview with Engadget, Palm said games will be part of the Pre experience, along with various other applications that will be offered through a Palm-style version of Apple's App Store. Mobile gaming is extremely popular on the iPhone and iPod Touch, and is a big part of Apple's pitch for those devices.
All of the music in the Presidents' iPhone app is available in streamable playlist form, so you need to be connected via cell or Wi-Fi in order to hear it. Songs can be played in order or shuffled, while "Buy" links let you add any of the songs to your normal iTunes collection so that they can play offline. As for Apple, it's happy to collect 30 percent of the price of the app for distributing it -- the same share it takes when songs are sold through the more conventional iTunes music store.
Coca-Cola has joined the stampede of brands onto the iPhone with a new app for users to play a 21st century game of spin the bottle.
Consumers seem risk-averse and hunkered down at the moment, and spending on the nonutilitarian is getting a bad reputation. But before you consign the venturesome consumer to the remainder bin of history, consider the surprisingly vibrant market for iPhone applications — the downloadable mini-programs that can be added to Apple’s famous mobile device.
To date, the much-hyped online video platform Joost has struggled to build a sizable Web audience. But surprisingly, the startup appears to have a red-hot iPhone application.
Apple turned in a strong holiday sales season as executives tried to reassure the market that the company would be fine even if CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs isn't able to return from medical leave.
Location changes everything. This one input—our coordinates—has the potential to change all the outputs.
Inside the GPS revolution it's more than maps and driving directions: location-aware phones and apps now deliver the hidden information that lets users make connections and interact with the world in ways they never imagined. The future is here and it's in your pocket.
One of the coolest apps on the iPhone isn't Pandora or Facebook: It's recipes and shopping lists for Kraft singles, Jell-O gelatin and Minute Rice.
A new iPhone application from Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle is taking mobile applications in a completely new direction, affording consumers and companies the ability to make their lives simpler. A mobile ordering application will allow you to place your order from wherever you are via your phone, even in advance of arriving at the store.
The scholars and other thinkers over at Freedom to Tinker are predicting some obvious and not so obvious outcomes for 2009.
The big theme at this year’s Macworld Expo is not a product, it’s a year: 2010. Next year’s conference is touted on banners, information booklets, and even the show badges, which come with an ad for next year’s event — the first without Apple, its anchor tenant.
The retailer is selling the phone, but not at the steep discount previously reported. Instead, it's AT&T that will be the low-priced leader, selling $99 handsets -- albeit refurbished and for a limited time.
USA Today has made available its own application on the Apple App Store, for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed and developed in cooperation with Mercury Intermedia of Brentwood, Tenn., the USA Today app -- which is free -- allows users to browse and read stories from all the newspaper's print sections: News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech and Travel. Articles can be shared via e-mail, text message or Twitter, and are automatically saved for later reading.
There was a time when a glowing Apple logo symbolized radical nonconformity. Being part of a miniature customer base was, to Mac users, like being a member of a holier-than-thou, secret society — a "Cult of Mac," if you will. But when Apple's ecosystem grew beyond notebooks and desktops to phones and internet services, that era came to an end.
ScrollMotion, a New York mobile app developer, has concluded deals with a number of major publishing houses, and is in talks with several others, to produce newly released and best-selling e-books as applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. Having these big names is a big step forward for iTunes itself in becoming an e-book shop and the iPhone in becoming a legitimate e-book reader and competitor to products like the Kindle and the Sony E-Reader.
The ailing creator of the iPod and iPhone is next to irreplaceable. No other chief executive is so inextricably linked to his company's brand and products. As one Wall Street analyst put it this year, "Apple is Steve Jobs, and Steve Jobs is Apple." Alas, Jobs is all too human.
The North Face and REI compete for the hearts and minds of snow enthusiasts. Now they're taking their battle to a new front: the iPhone.
Applications -- particularly iPhone applications -- are gaining traction among advertisers because the rich user experience delivers deep engagement, the new metric in the brave new world of mobile.
With Amazon's new iPhone app. you can snap a photo in a store or on a friends' book shelf and Amazon will find you the item for sale on its site.
Apple doesn't want you to believe what it says, even though the company claims it's not lying. That's the gist of the Cupertino company's legal response to a lawsuit regarding allegedly misleading advertising for the iPhone 3G.
Facebook apps are so yesterday. Target is pushing into new frontiers as one of the first brands to build an application for the iPhone.