Category Archives: Digital Lifestyle

Disrupting Updates

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Amazing. The first night that you decide to sit down to write at your desk since the baby was born, and what do you find?

The brand new HP laptop you purchased a few weeks ago is busy installing 1 out of 10 updates!! God knows how long will it take for it to finish. And I wonder, who the hell told Windows that I wanted to waste my time updating right now!!It is ok, I say to myself. Relax, accept the issues as they come. Go take your iPad and write on it. Like in the old times, when you wrote Digital Renaissance on the tablet. The iPad is always ready and won’t disappoint you. Or so I thought, because the only grayed “waiting” icon on the iPad screen this time is Evernote! Evernote is also updating now, just at the time I wanted to use it! For God’s sake. Who on Earth decided that 22.30 is the time to update software when you don’t ask for it?

Forget the iPad! You have the MacBook Air you use for work. It was not what I wanted, because I can’t unplug the HP while updating and I can not shut the lid down or it won’t update. So I try to put both laptops on the desktop. Not the cleanest desktop, and not the most inspiring minimalist environment. And just when I was about to get inspired after the techie things were resolved…. the baby cried. What a wonderful writing session. I am going now to put him to sleep. I hope I’ll be back in a while….

I am back. It took me a while to sleep the baby. I just checked the Windows update: still 8 out 10. I check the iPad, it sure has finished… but what? Now it is not only Evernote that is waiting, the Chrome icon is also waiting to make sure I can not access Evernote from the web either. Thanks good the Mac Book Air is not part of the conspiracy against me writing tonight, so here I go.

You can only wonder how the computing industry has reached so far as to understand speech, recognize faces, propose automatic improvements to photos and videos, and yet computer still don’t get something as simple as not disrupting you with an update just at the precise time you want to WORK!!

Can’t Windows updates, or Apps updates or Antivirus updates or whatever updates stop interrupting you when you want to work? Is is that difficult to achieve? We already know that Microsoft is a true specialist in that area, in forcing you to update and restart your computer whenever they feel like that, without any respect for want YOU want to do with the computer at that time, whether it is important, critical or simply entertaining to you.

A few minutes have passed, and my iPad crashed. Dead. Now I realize the reason why Evernote and Chrome apps were stuck in Waiting was because I ran out of memory space. It seems 32GB is not enough for my apps, regardless I do not take any pictures of videos with the iPad not to consume the precious Apple tiny storage.

Apple sins with “disrupting updates” are clearly not the same kind as of Microsoft. Apple issues have more to do with being stingy. Very stingy. When smartphones continue increasing their power to run heavy software, when their cameras get more an more megapixels, 4K video, slow-motion video and so on, how can Apple still think that a 700 Euro iPhone 6 can live with a miserable 16 GB? These guys are STINGY, GREEDY.

Apple is sitting on a ton of piles of billions of dollars in cash, and is reportedly strategizing on what to do with it. Let me do one suggestion: Apple please return to please your customers, instead of starting to piss them off!

It is ok that you charge more than double the price of what the equivalent device for competitors charges, but at least do not be MISERABLE with memory.  I am pissed at Apple heavy updates eating my memory, forcing me to delete apps every day and forcing me to ignore the camera in the iPad.

If the next iPad does not come with more of the cheap memory you can buy for a few bucks, I swear this iPad that I was just forced to restart to complete those disrupting updates will be my last. As of today I would rather buy an Android device with TONS of cheap storage so that I can actually do things other than get “disrupted” by updates.

The iPad’s Disruption Of The Windows PC Market

Windows PC vs iPad
Chart via Horace Dediu

Now we can actually confirm that the day the iPad was introduced, Personal Computing changed forever.

Two years earlier, 2008 was the year of the netbook. Analysts would doubt whether Steve Jobs was right to dismiss netbooks when he insisted Apple would never launch one.

And once a gain his genius was spot on. In 2010 the iPad created a new category that made netbooks completely irrelevant. The rise of the netbook signaled a need for light computers with long battery duration and just powerful enough for everyday use. Now we know the answer was not going to be just a smaller PC.

The inevitable growth of broadband pipes and services in the cloud are a perfect fit for tablets, phablets and smartphones to become a more and more frequent replacement of laptops in our daily life. In emerging markets the leapfrog to wireless broadband and mobile computing is a reality. It will only accelerate the trend the chart shows.

Microsoft has a big problem with mobile and tablets. Windows 8 is a compromise to address tablets and desktops, but it is not working neither of them. Microsoft faces disruption in the personal computing space they used to dominate. Compromises have never worked well in face of disruption.

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Why iOS is not doing that well in Europe?

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You will find more statistics at Statista

Among all regions, Europe is by far the worst for Apple, as the chart shows. Surprisingly even Windows Phone is getting close to iOS market share in Europe.

The reason is quite simple:

ipad-price-spain ipad-price-US

The price for the lowest spec iPad in US is $499 while in Spain is 499 Euro. For years Apple has maintained a pricing policy where prices for their products in Europe follow the 1 Euro = 1 USD rule. At today’s exchange rate, an iPad costs 36% more in Europe than in the US.

We all know the Apple target client is not price sensitive, but in a Europe in recession with an impoverishing middle class (specially in southern countries) it is not a surprise that Samsung and Android are doing pretty well.

If Apple wants their market share in Europe to resemble US, they’d better change their pricing policy in Europe. Otherwise they risk to be beaten by (shame on you Apple) Windows Phone!

 

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Marketers, do you really consider iPads as mobile?

percentage-of-retail-e-commerce-dollars-spent-via-mobile-devices
You will find more statistics at Statista

Prediction is hard, specially when it’s about the future.

The chart shows the incredible growth of mobile commerce. Excited? Well, not so much. It’s all driven by the iPad. When ten years ago many analyst predicted that mobile-commerce would be the future, few actually meant tablets to be part of the story?

One thing is that Steve Job presented the iPad and the Macbook Air as mobile devices. Another thing is that for digital marketing purposes, analyst consider it so.

Despite sharing the same OS as the iPhone, the use of an iPad is actually closer to a laptop than to a smartphone. I often buy from Amazon using my iPad instead of my laptop, even when at home. Same for online banking. In both cases, I use the original website, not the mobile one. When I am on the go, the iPhone is always with me, but not the iPad. When I am sitting in a Starbucks I may take an iPad, but still, it replaces the laptop rather than the mobile phone.

Categorizing the iPad as mobile is misleading. The use of a tablet differs from. If you are making decisions on your ad budget based on an analyst that categorizes iPad as mobile, think twice.

That said, technology-wise it has a big implication. Kill your Adobe Flash site if you haven’t yet. Just bet on HTML5 for all versions of your site, mobile, tablet, laptop-desktop or TV.

mobilecontentmarketing

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Is this the End of the Smartphone Era?

When Nicholas Carlson wrote that the end of the smartphone era is coming, he overstated the comment I made to his post the day before. He had asked his readers whether Sailfish OS was the next big platform. I answered:

DOA. I bet the next big platform won’t look like a phone.

That sparked Nicholas’ imagination and the next day he came with his post: The end of the smartphone era is coming.

Is this the end of the Smartphone era?

Of course not. The point is not that the smartphone era is close to its end. The point is that to disrupt a market taken by iOS and Android, you’d better come with something radically different. Else you have no chance. If you are able to wow consumers into a new platform, it won’t be a phone.

The next platform will not look like a phone.

Google knows it and that’s why they lead the pack to explore what the next step will be. Google Glass is the most visible example. Watches and other wearable computer gadgets will surely spark your imagination. You could argue those things are not new, but hey the Tablet was not a new concept and it was not a reality until Apple made it happen. Glass today is not compelling enough, but if they fix a few things, I would bet it will. Maybe that’s why Microsoft reportedly issued a patent application for a similar concept.

The platform that ends the smartphone era is still unknown. For sure, it’s more likely to look like Glass that than a phone.

If you were wondering to wait until next Xmas to renew your smartphone, no need to.

How different you have to be to beat iOS and Android?

Samsung Note was a perfect example of how to make something different from the iPhone riding on the wave that people talk less and less and write, read, listen, watch or take pictures much more.

Amazon was disruptive in the business model. They sell the Kindle Fire at a loss, because they are in the content distribution business.

But Windows Phone and Blackberry. Sorry guys, so far you are just changing colors, and have no chance unless you come with something that breaks the rules again. Maybe RIM could keep exploring keyboard and variants: Many of us still complain about typing on an iPhone compared to how good it was to type on a Blackberry.

Any other new platform like Meego/Sailfish cannot just bet on being more open than Android. Android is open enough. But hey it is good for us consumers that someone keeps Google honest in not being evil.

How did disruption look in the past?

During years, Nokia kept doing telephones with a dial pad, despite you make most calls from your address books, and despite the huge growth of texting. RIM, Microsoft PDA-phones had already moved a step forward, though it was Apple who reinvented the phone.

The iPhone was a totally disrupting concept with a ‘wowing’ UI and a breakthrough decent mobile internet experience, that had nothing to do with horrendous WAP or Brew.

In short: The end of the smartphone era is not coming (soon)

You are happy with your iPhone or your Galaxy, and just wonder whether this is the end of the smartphone era. It is not.

 

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Will Google Glasses Cross the Chasm?

Less than one day since Google released their Project Glass video, everyone is talking about it. The objective is met. People talk about augmented reality, immersive apps, wearable computing… People even make fun videos of it.

Since Google wants to start a conversation, here are my views:

Why not a Shades form-factor?. No matter how many photos of pretty models you show, even early adopters will hesitate to go out with that thing on their faces without disguise. One of the glasses killer apps is to ‘secretly’ remind you the name of the person you just bumped into — but it has to be ‘secret’, you need the privacy of sunglasses! By the way,  you would mostly wear them while walking in the street, just as you do with shades.

Spoken commands are a show-stopper. How many people do you see in the street talking to Siri? I can imagine people having a chat with Siri in the car, far less while walking. You need Thought and Eye control to go mainstream. Didn’t IBM say we are not that far from that?

– Only measured by the interest raised, Google, please pursue by all means! You will get there!! And you will get people to finally upload to G+!! (just kidding)

Once more, Google, you have captured our imagination, just as you did with your self-driving car. Awesome! Thanks for inspiring us into the future.

 

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Disruption: Technology or Business Model? Definitively, not Laws

Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com, according to the quarterly results just released.

  • For every 100 paperback sold, Amazon sold 115 Kindle books
  • For every 100 hardcover sold, Amazon sold 300 Kindle books
  • The Kindle store has over 810,000 ebooks
  • 670,000 ebooks are priced at $9.99 or less

In just 3 years, Amazon has taken the eBook from nothing to mainstream. Amazon has managed to take the book transition to digital without suffering the pain the music labels went through with mp3. How did they do it? First, with a great device, the iPod of the ebooks. Second, no fear to cannibalize their own business. Third, force publishers to accept the $9.99 price policy. Same recipe as the iTunes “take it or leave it” $0.99 a song.

Amazon and Apple set the example of companies taking advantage of technology to drive new business models that are changing industries. The Netflix $7.99 a month all-you-can-stream is another bold proposition for consumers, that is shaking the Pay-TV industry.

The right offer for digital content at the right price is not only changing industries in US. It is also driving piracy down. Meantime countries like France, UK and Spain struggle with nonsense laws that not only are useless against piracy, but that are also stopping the development of a legal digital content market.

Legislators in Europe should stop making laws to preserve the status quo. Else US companies will have total domination of digital media by the time old Europe reacts.