Tag Archives: Android

iPhone 6 – a “cheaper” version of the iPhone? Is that really wise?

True to form Apple will release the iPhone 5s later this year, probably scoop up some of those iPhone 4 users who have not yet upgraded. Maybe Apple does not want to lose them to Android…nah no one would make that switch!! Anyways. What is interesting is the rumors that Apple plans to follow that release up with an iPhone 6…but it will not be a generation leap for the phone but more of an inexpensive model to go after emerging markets aka China and India. Wise move or sign that the Jobless company is still struggling to find their innovative fast ball? Going after the likes of China and India makes perfect sense – that is where much of the growth is happening.

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Apple needs to get a product into those markets that can compete with the less expensive Android versions as well as the likes of Nokia. Makes good business sense. However, this feels like a shift for our friends at Apple. Couple this with the iPad mini, which from a business stand point made sense – go after the tablet market that was being dominated by the Kindle. The iPad mini coupled with the iPhone 6 and it feels as if Apple is not longer looking to lead with innovation but instead focus on diversifying their existing product portfolio to compete in markets they otherwise ignored. Has the Apple innovation engine run out of steam? Maybe. Or is Apple looking to solidify some of its business, focus on some aspects that could be seen as weak spots in their business. Let us imagine the following:

  • Apple leverages the iPad mini to go directly after Amazon with their Kindle. One might argue that introducing the mini has already knocked out one competitor, albeit a weak one, the Nook from Barnes and Noble. While I do not think it will take out the Kindle, it is clearly offering a viable substitute product for those looking for a 7 inch tablet. Apple now has a product that can compete at all levels of the tablet market. Check.
  • The new iPhone 6, if it is what the rumors claim, gives Apple a device that can go head to head with the less expensive smart phones. This will give Apple a device that can compete with Nokia, who still has a large ownership of the emerging market. Really this is a play to try and fight off Microsoft and their OS that has, no surprise, been adopted by Nokia! Of course it will also allow for Apple to expand its portfolio to compete with Android.

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With Apple putting together some offerings that can get them into a more diverse market, they will then be able to refocus on bring us the “next” innovative device. The iWatch? Refocus on the Television? Enhance the iTunes experience?

Let us see what the next few months hold for Apple. For now I think that what we are seeing a business being run like a more “traditional’ business. It is too much to ask for any company to innovate at the pace they did at the end of the Steve Jobs era. Does this mean that Apple is done innovating? Let us hope not. But making sure your business is taken care of first will allow for Apple to one day be able to get back to giving us innovated consumer devices.

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Filed under Current Events, Smart Phone, Tablet, Technology, Wireless

Blackberry’s last stand?

The new Blackberry Bold 9780 is going to be available to the public later this month…some seem to believe that it could finally be the answer from RIM to the Android phones and the iPhone. The upgraded operating system, long overdue, apparently will be a quantum leap in terms of web surfing. Well that is good since the old Blackberry browsing was awful! There will be a 5 megapixel camera, I will say that I was disappointed that I did not have the same built in camera options on the iPhone 4 as I did on my Blackberry – playing with speed, black and white and white light – to name a few. The new Blackberry will also have increased on-board memory…I guess no more need to pull the battery every day to clear the cache.

Here is what is missing….applications. Okay this is not something new I realize, but what makes smart phones attractive is the ability to provide a dynamic and attractive platform for app developers. I am not sure that RIM has figured this out yet….the new version of the Bold might give RIM a boost, maybe  it will challenge the iPhone…then again wasn’t the Torch suppose to do that?

RIM you need to realize it is all about the apps…and you are still third in line for developers.

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Blackberry vs the rest – the battle for smartphone supremecy

As I wrote in an earlier post, RIM has an uphill battle when it comes to maintaining their place in the market. There is an interesting poll launched by ZDNet. From the early results, it appears that RIM is holding on to its lead versus their biggest competitors – Android, Apple and Windows (yes they are still around!).

These results as of 3:00pm EST on August 20 2010. Interesting data, but again something that Blackberry and RIM need to lean on – that from the business side of the world they can still command a leadership role. It is up to them to market and speak to this rather than worrying about Android and Apple – and how cool they both are!

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Blackberry – get back to your core business…businesses!!

I had a good lunch today with a former colleague today and our discussion at one point turned to the world of mobile devices. One company that came up was RIM and the Blackberry…mind you we both worked with RIM via our former employer so we  had been exposed to the Canadian company at a deeper level than simply as users of their hand held devices.

We both lamented at how far RIM has fallen in the world of smart phones. Remember when the Blackberry was the “coolest” device one could own? It was the one device that we could get our emails on, make calls, had a fully qwerty keyboard and eventually do some web browsing. Wow. It was great! Then other players came on the market to compete such as Palm’s Treo. All this changed beginning of 2007, with the announcement of the Apply iPhone. Of course some scoffed at the  new kid on the block, you could not remote scrub the phones if lost, you did have the speed of a Blackberry server to deliver your email and sync you calendar and overall the new iPhone was a cute toy but would not get into corporate America. Throw into the mix the fact that Steve Jobs always seemed to be allergic to the corporate business and RIM thought their world was safe. Ooops.

Today, we also have the Android from Google that has come out with a vast amount of devices running the operating system coupled with the newly released iPhone 4 and are breaking down the barrier between consumer and professional smartphones.

This past weekend, RIM released their new hand held, the new Blackberry that would once again seize what is rightfully RIM’s a leadership role in the smartphone space. Unfortunately the sales from the first weekend were nothing short of a disappointment  – 150,000 units sold. Compare this with iPhone 4 that sold 1.7m units during its first weekend. I realize we can argue that we are comparing apples and oranges, but the perception is that RIM has completely lost its fast ball. Some would even argue that RIM is on the verge of…saying bye bye.

Now the reality is that RIM still holds a solid market share 43% vs Apples 25% an enviable position, except when you realize that Apple grew that share from nothing to where it is today in 3 years. Couple this with the rapid growth of Android from Google and you have a situation where RIM is fighting a defensive battle against 2 formidable opponents. However there is a silver lining in all this…something Jay brought up today at lunch. The other news about RIM has surrounded their problems with the government in Saudi Arabia and the fact their encryption is too strong to be snooped on. Now RIM has had to allow governments to have some visibility into the communication. If the governments of Saudi Arabia, China, Russia to name a few cannot break your encryption what does that say about  your security? It is pretty darn solid.

Rather than competing with Apple and Google on the “coolness” factor – go back to your core business – the business world! I realize that the iPhone is creeping into that space, but rather than trying to compete on the battlefields dominated by Apply and Google position your devices as rock solid, robust, safe and can be trusted to protect your corporate information. Hey if the Saudi government cannot hack it, how could your competitors? I am sure that most IT departments and companies would much rather know their corporate smart-phones have this level of security.

It might not be sexy, it might not have a coolness to it but companies are not all Nike, Adidas, Disney, Apple, Google, Facebook…but there are many businesses that grind away without the “coolness” glow and do very well at it. It might be time for RIM to recognize this and focus on this strategy, otherwise, as George Colony wrote, it might be goodbye RIM.

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