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Showing posts from August, 2011

Steve Jobs resignation: Timing we should have expected and technology we should expect

Apple has a real knack for shocking us.  Every time, about five seconds after the shock, we all realize that we should have expected it.  The fact that we didn't expect it is what's made Apple Apple.
"Hey, why didn't we think to integrate a media device with a media store?"
"Hey, why didn't we think to build a touchscreen interface for dragging things around a screen instead of touching buttons and scrollbars?"
"Hey, why didn't we think to build a 10" device for movies and content consumption?"

Similarly, I think that this is the perfect time for Steve Jobs to retire.  This week. This day.  And the really shocking thing is that nobody predicted it a week ago.
The whole industry is in the middle of uncertainty right now.  How will Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson and LG change their strategies in response to Google's buying Motorola? Will Nokia succeed at resurrecting itself as a top phone maker, and will Microsoft do the same with Win…

Google buying Motorola: The 3 C's of convergence, competition & core business

Google’s announced acquisition of Motorola Mobility is the subject of many articles and analyses, and the true consequences may not be known for years.This Grizzly Analytics update points out the following for your consideration:
The reality of recent convergence in the mobile OS area will keep most Android phone makers with Android. Android’s spread is moving competition back into hardware, where Motorola will have little advantage over other Android phone makers. Google has a vested interest in separating Motorola Mobility from both its core Android business and its core Google business, and a history of maintaining separation. Google is likely motivated by Motorola’s patent portfolio. Google might be quietly interested in Motorola Mobility’s home devices business.
Mobile OS Convergence has resulted in three major mobile OS platforms, two of which (Android and Windows Phone) are available to the broad market of phone makers.This will limit the options of companies such as Samsung, HTC, LG…

Apple Innovation in Content Consumption Technology

A fascinating blog article came out a few days ago in CultOfMac titled, surprisingly, Why Apple is Done Inventing New Devices.  Not the title you'd expect from a very pro-Apple blog focused exclusively on Apple devices.

I happen to think that the article's conclusions are all wrong.  But the article is still a must-read.

The article makes two basic points.  First, Apple reinvented itself in the last 90's not as a computing company but as a "content consumption technology" company.  Just as Microsoft defines itself around software, Google around advertising, etc., Apple at the time defined itself around content consumption, and this drove the development of the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad and so on. 

Second, the author claims that because of this, Apple is done creating new devices:  "...that’s why Apple is done creating whole new platforms. There will be nothing in the coming decade equivalent in newness to the iPod, iPhone and iPad."  He goes on to say …

Amazon Local deal service: Soon on mobile

Amazon recently launched their AmazonLocal deals service in a handful of US cities.  The service is a lot like GroupOn and other deals services - users subscribe to deals in a particular area, and receive electronic vouchers in their e-mail inbox each day.  This area has been getting a lot of attention, including the Google Offers service and Google's recent acquisiton of DealMap, leading up to GroupOn's expected IPO.

This new deals service is a natural for Amazon, who is already a top trusted name in consumer on-line purchasing.  Most people do a lot more purchasing through Amazon than through Google or any other big player.

Amazon appears to have big plans for Amazon Local.  They're busy hiring mobile developers for their Amazon Local team, clearly building a mobile app and infrastructure for a phone-based Amazon Local experience.  They're targeting iOS and Android platforms, as well as a mobile web version.  They're using their Amazon Web services system on the …

How PayPal and Amazon can scoop up the mobile payments market

On the one hand, everyone's getting excited about mobile payments.  The credit card companies and mobile companies are working together on it, and lots of surveys show that people like the idea (here, here and here, to name a few).

On the other hand, it's slow in coming.  Technology providers are downscaling their forecasts for NFC-enabled phones, insiders think it will take a while to build the necessary infrastructure, and some NFC-powered phones (from Nokia) won't be able to make secure payments.  And many users are nervous: they want service from companies they trust, and as much as they want to make fast payments, they're not sure about putting their credit card numbers into their phones.

But Grizzly Analytics predicts that mobile payments, at least in the short term, is about to be scooped up by PayPal and Amazon.

Standard NFC payments work very hard to be safe and secure.  This includes having a Secure Chip on the phone that stores private information safety (en…

NXP projections for NFC: A signal about iPhone 5 not having NFC?

One of the biggest areas of speculation these days about the iPhone 5 is whether it will have near-field communications (NFC), the technology used both for in-store payments and for getting information from RFID tags inside advertisements, products and more.  With lots of people talking about NFC, many have assumed that iPhone5 would have NFC.  But there have been a lot of indications that it won't.

Today NXP, one of the biggest makers of NFC technology, lowered drastically their projections of how many NFC-capable phones will ship in 2011, from 100 million to 40 million.

My question is simple:  What changed that caused NXP to lower their projections?

In the past few weeks we've seen lots of strong moves in the NFC area.  This includes strong consolidation of efforts of major players in the traditional payment space, along with several initiatives from strong players in the on-line payment space (1, 2).  And a big NFC tag printing company released big news as well.

Presumably …