The Apple Watch (iWatch) [Video]

The Apple Watch is finally here. This video, which was released four months ago, was pretty much accurate. With the exception of the NFC enabled payment system.

 

 

The Apple Watch might get Apple some more customers, and is another goodie for the fanboys to collect. However, it’s not clear if the iWatch has enough features to convince those of us who had forsaken a wristwatch for being a mono-functional device in a multi-functional world, to return to owning a timepiece. More discussions in #hkuiom !

Samsung v. Apple

This infographic by MBAOnline.com highlights how Samsung is catching up with Apple in the numbers game and exceeds Apple in everything, except the thing that matters – profits. A key point is that Samsung’s R&D spending is 3 times that of Apple. Implications are long term …

 

Samsung vs Apple Infographic

via MBAOnline.com

Steve Jobs Memorial Video

Apple paid tribute to Steve Jobs on the one-year anniversary of his death by posted the below memorial video, titled “Remembering Steve”, on its home page.

 

 

As I wrote a year ago, very few people have had such a profound impact on the world as Steve Jobs.

 

Very few people have had such a profound impact on the world as Steve Jobs. On his passing, we have lost a champion – the Da Vinci and Edison of our times. As the creative genius behind Apple and Pixar, Steve Jobs was a pioneer of the digital age. His creations, ideas and simple elegant solutions touched the lives of millions of people. His legacy will inspire countless others to try to change the world and make it a better place.

Thank you for everything. Rest in Peace Steve.

World’s Largest Retailer: Apple

Apple recently became the world’s most valuable company – EVER. The below infographic by statista showcases exactly how much larger Apple’s market cap is when compared to other largest companies, media companies, and tech companies. But then, as the following infographic by onlinemba illustrates, perhaps one should not compare Apple with other ‘pure play’ technology companies. After all, not many tech firms  have nearly 70% of their workforce spread across 400 retail locations, which attracted 85 million footfalls (and thus potential customers) in Q1 2012!

 

apple---the-most-valuable-company-in-the-world

Image via Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista.

Apple Stores Infographic

Image via OnlineMBA.com

See the original Statista infographic on Apple’s market cap here. See the original OnlineMBA inforgraphic on Apple’s in-store retail here.

Apple: finally making a play for riches at the bottom of the pyramid?

Apple’s iPhone 3GS is now available in India for less than 200 USD (Rs. 9999).

Image via Wikipedia

This represents a price reduction of 50% over the past year or so and might signal a change in strategy. Apple might be finally moving to tap the riches at the bottom of the pyramid and trying to gain a foothold in the fast growing smartphone market of India. As this article correctly points out, the iPhone 3GS is still a superior when compared to the low-end Android phones offered to the Indian consumer. Coupled with its ability to upgrade to IOS 6, Apple might finally have a winner.

Or this might just be another ‘inventory clearing exercise’ as Apple readies for the launch of the iPhone 5. Either way, one hopes that increased iPhone sales in India will lead to an improvement in the Apple Experience and service coverage available in India.

Smartphone Wars: iPhone Trade-Ins

 

 

On the heels of recent news that Samsung has overtaken Apple as the largest Smartphone manufacturer, one is seeing more aggressive marketing. There was a recent deal on Groupon in Hong Kong, which offered a Samsung Galaxy SIII in return for an iPhone 4S plus 90 US dollars. While this seems quite a steal, there were not many takers for this deal. This implies that either folks are not keen on the switch (iPhone 4 s to SIII), or that there are better (cheaper!) trade-in offers available in the Hong Kong market. Note that long-term contracts are not in vogue in this market, hence contract lock-in can be plausibly ruled out as the cause for low uptake of this offer.

 

Image via Groupon (Hong Kong)

 

Harry Potter ebook model a success?

Pottermore‘s experiment of bypassing the distributors seems to a be a success.

Is this a peek into the future, where successful authors (or their publishers) will bypass platform owners (Amazon, Apple, and others) and directly offer e-versions of their top sellers to customers?

British versions of the Harry Potter series My...

Image via Wikipedia

Despite the wide availability of pirated copies, the ebook versions of the books have been widely successful.

During an interview with Radio Litopia’s “The Naked Book” Wednesday afternoon, Redmayne said Pottermore sold more than $1.5 million worth of Harry Potter books in the store’s first three days online.

via Pottermore Sells $1.5 Million Worth of Harry Potter E-Books in 3 Days – John Paczkowski – Media – AllThingsD.

What is to be seen is if JK Rowling will follow a similar strategy for the sales of her new novel. Though ebook prices have been announced, it is still not clear if the publisher of this book will bypass the Amazon, Google and Apple platforms. A Kindle version is currently available for pre-purchase, but eventually, this link might forward buyers to the publisher’s website.

The Casual Vacancy

480 pages (approximately)

ISBN  9781408704202   (hardback) price £20.00

ISBN  9781405519229   (ebook) price £11.99

ISBN  9781405519212   (audio download) £20.00

ISBN  9781405519205   (CD) price £30.00

via THE CASUAL VACANCY – Little, Brown Book Group.

Apple to make iOS app development easier than ever?

AppleInsider.com has reported that Apple has filed a patent for a WYSIWYG editor of sorts, that will enable non-programmers to create iOS apps. This proposed digital content authoring tool would use pre-defined app templates to make app creation easy for people who don’t wish to code.

 

In other accompanying art, the filing shows a number of examples of software that could be created with an amateur-friendly content creation tool. One simple example is a game of tic tac toe, another shows a menu from a coffee shop, and a more complex example features the ability to purchase video of live performances from the show “American Idol.”

Creating these applications would be a simplified process in which the user could select a template for their software. From there, they would begin to fill in the pieces and build their own iOS application, webpage, or advertisement.

 

Patent 1

Image via AppleInsider.com

 

While this is still just a patent filing, it does fit in with Apple’s objective of reducing the friction in bringing Apps to the App Store. As building apps becomes easier, a proliferation of localized apps will increase the network of the Apple ecosystem as well as provide a nice launch pad for their (app embedded?) NFC based payment system.

 

Patent 2

Image via AppleInsider.com

 

Read more at Apple wants to make it easy for non-programmers to build iOS apps.

Harry Potter eBooks augur changes in digital publishing strategies?

The Harry Potter books are now available for purchase in ebook formats at pottermore.com. Though Amazon lists them as available, clicking on the purchase links redirects users to the pottermore site. Is this a peek into the future, where successful authors (or their publishers) will bypass platform owners (Amazon, Apple, and others) and directly offer e-versions of their top sellers to customers? By avoiding these platforms, will authors / publishers be able to charge more (or less) than the platform driven price tags of $9.99 per book? (The Harry Potter books are available for $7.99 for the first three, and $9.99 for the other four. There is also a bundle price of $57.54 for the whole collection.)

This move comes on the heels of JK Rowling‘s announcement her website that she is working on a new novel, targeted at adults.