Tag Archives: Apple

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.

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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The Reason Why Apple’s Stock Is Sliding

applecharts-growthyoy

See those huge growth peaks in 2008, 2010 and 2011? They are the result of two products that changed two industries forever: mobile and personal computing.

The chart just shows what’s normal when you hit a homerun with a product that shakes an entire industry:

– in 2008, it’s the iPhone 3G
– in 2010 and 2011 it’s the iPad and iPad 2

You can only get that type of growth when you launch a new product that creates a new market category by itself.
Is the current growth of “only 20%” a sign that Apple is losing its mojo? No.
Can you expect Apple to grow at 70-80% YoY as they did in the past without releasing a new breakthrough product? No.
Is there any product in the pipe with such a potential? I don’t think so. TV is in the radar, but I wouldn’t bet on it to be as big. Google/Youtube seems in better position to disrupt TV — and I don’t mean Google TV.

Apple’s stock price has dropped 35% since September, reducing in $250 billion the company’s market cap.

The market is just coming to terms with the fact that you don’t change an entire industry as big as mobile and personal computing every couple of years.  Not even if you are Apple. The growth Apple had was exceptional, and you can’t expect it to continue at that rate just with new versions of iPhones, iPads and Macs.

Anyway, a 20%+ growth YoY without any new bomb product, is a growth most companies only dream of. And Apple mindshare of higher-income customers looks intact.

 

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Connecting the dots: Why the iPod changed the world?

Via Business Insider.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.”
                   Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005

In 2006 it was clear that mobile phones and MP3 players would converge. Nokia, the smartphone leader at the time, already incorporated mp3 players in their phones. In Japan, KDDI had the most advanced mobile music service in the world, selling millions of songs per month downloaded from mobile phones.

For Apple, the iPod was at risk. At that time the iPod had become the product that had turned around Apple. iPods were more than 50% of Apple’s revenues in 2006 — see chart. Nokia was set to go for the iPod. Apple had to defend. The iPhone development was a matter of survival. Eat or be eaten.

Before the iPhone was unveiled in 2007, anyone would have bet that handset makers (and telcos) were in better place to win the race for the converged phone/MP3 player.
Few would have bet that a company with no experience in mobile would succeed to put a solid product in place so quick. In the early 2000s all main handset makers came from telecom vendors: Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens, Alcatel, Motorola, NEC coped the top of the charts. Even Sony had to join forces with Ericsson to play in the field. Microsoft venture into smartphones had given expensive and unstable smartphones after many years of experience with PDAs.

Then the genius of Steve Jobs made it. Leveraging on Apple’s core competency in making computers, they made a leapfrog. With no legacy to respect, unlike Nokia.

Today the iPhone is more than 50% of Apple’s revenue. It was the stepping stone without which the iPad had not had the form and success it had in changing personal computing forever.

The iPod today is less that 5% of Apple’s revenues. It went from 50% in 2006 to less than 5% in 2012. Had Apple failed to win the battle for the convergent phone/Mp3 player, Apple would have not even survived with a leading product such as the iPod.

It’s the perfect model for a market dominant player to lead disruption. It was the leader in the MP3 segment who drove its cannibalization and won. Cannibalize to survive. Easier said than done.

Connecting the dots
If Jobs wouldn’t have bet on the iPod—which at the time was not an obvious product for a computer maker—, Apple would not have been in such a good position to enter mobile and reinvent it. And without the iPhone experience, the iPad wouldn’t have been the hit that has changed personal computing. In hindsight, without the iPod, the tablet might have not existed as we know it.

 

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Why Google Acquires Widevine?

W3C’s HTML5 FAQ page might give some clues (see screenshot) about why Google buys Widevine, a DRM vendor that powers Netflix among others. What if Google adds DRM to HTML5 video?

Google did something similar when they bought On2 and open-sourced VP8 as part of WebM. This move pushed MPEGLA to make h.264 royalty-free for Web video. The iPad did the rest to accelerate adoption of HTML5/h.264 video in the web.

HTML5 video with DRM is what Youtube needs to convince content owners, movie studios in particular, that their content will be protected. Furthermore, HTML5 video with DRM, combined with cool HTML5 UIs, makes the Web Browser an ideal front-end for video on any screen. Where there is a browser, Google will make money with ads.

Adding open source DRM to HTML5 is consistent with Google’s web centric vision. Chrome OS is a perfect example of that vision, illustrated in this recent post on Google’s blog (with Eric Schmidt’s talk on the Chrome event this week).

I tend to think Google sees this acquisition more strategic than just adding DRM to GoogleTV.

The Netflix Storm

Combine this chart with how Roku, AppleTV, GoogleTV will sell this Xmas, and you have a nightmare after Xmas for Pay-TV and cable operators in US.

Comcast knows well. It is easy to see why they had some peering issues with Level 3 over Netflix traffic increase, and why they want to acquire NBC.

If Apple would strike a deal for live premium sports, the nightmare of cord-cutters would become a reality for Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon and AT&T. Netflix for films, Hulu/iTunes for TV shows, plus live sports. What else do you want for your TV?

Only premium live sports is keeping early adopters to cut the cord. If gone, it would be only a matter of time before the tornado. No wonder TV rights for sport events are so well paid.

Chart via CHART OF THE DAY: Netflix’s Growth Should Scare HBO

Apple and 1984

The chart posted under the title Android Phones Will Sell Well This Holiday Season might have been done to show that consumers still buy more computers than iPads and more smatphones (non-iPhone) than iPhones. But think twice…

Are you saying that 18% of people will buy an iPad vs 20% buying a computer? Almost as many iPads as computers! many of which will be Macs!!
Are you saying that 13% will want an iPhone, vs 19% any other phone, when the iPhone is only available in one single carrier in US?
Are we comparing the iPad to the total consumer computer industry (which includes a healthy portion for Apple)?
Are we comparing a single phone model in one carrier to the rest of smartphones across all carriers?

How far are we from complete domination by Apple?
How far are we from an Apple world, just like 1984, guided under our beloved master Steve Jobs?

I would not be surprised that in a few years kids start asking why we named a fruit after the name of the maker of the iPad.