Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

October 19, 2010-

This last week a number of well-respected analysts and research centers released reports discussing the pervasive dominance of “post-PC devices.” Specifically the discussion is revolving around mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and e-readers. The Pew Research Center released its report on “gadget ownership” which demonstrated the overall dominance of cell phones in the U.S. Technology market. Pew surveyed 3,001 American adults and decided upon the “key appliances of the Information Age.” Those which came out on top were cellphones, PCs, e-readers, and Mp3 players.

Gartner and Forrester also threw their hat into the “buzz” ring. Gartner released its own report Friday which proclaims tablets the new cellphone. In the study Gartner reports that tablet sales have reached 19.5 million units this year and estimated that tablet sals would increase to 150 million units by 2013. In fact, Carolina Milanesi, a research vice president at Gartner, claims mini notebook computers “will suffer a “strong cannibalization” as the price of media tablets” drops nearer to the $300 mark.

In their report, Forrester chose to address head-on the new era security concerns that companies and consumers will experience as society continues to adopt these post-PC devices. In its report, Forrester discusses the additional security companies will have to implement for mobile devices commonly now used both at work and at play.

Yet as these respected analysts hail the new post-PC era, tablets and e-readers are still exploring the new hazards of a post-PC world. Just this week the New York Times posted an article which discusses the temperature control problems for Apple’s iPads and compares it to Amazon’s Kindle. Or, as the New York Times wrote it, “It seems that some iPads do not like direct sunlight, saunas or long walks on the beach.” And with the iPhone 4G’s antenna challenges earlier this summer, it’s clear that we’re nowhere near having worked out all of the kinks even as the mobile device market continues to innovate and we adopt their emerging products.


September 02, 2010-

The new Nano and Apple TV aside, one of the more interesting announcements from Apple during their September 1st music-themed event surrounded Ping, Apple’s new social networking functionality within iTunes.

Unfortunately for Apple, the buzz around Ping isn’t all good, in fact much of it is negative. Reviews are currently expressing their disappointment over the lack of artist buy-in, comment censorship, the lack of Facebook integration, its partnership with LiveNation, and a few of its other features, or lack thereof.

However, many of the negative reviews that Apple is experiencing on Ping’s launch seem to stem from comparison to Facebook. Yet comparing Ping to Facebook is really like comparing those oft-referenced apples and oranges. In reality, Ping should be compared with Pandora, Deezer and other social music sites and recommendation engines that have gone social.

To compare Ping to Facebook is to misunderstand what Ping is attempting to do. Namely, it is attempting to sell you music by helping you to understand what is related to what you have already declared you enjoy. As the New York Times article reviewing Ping described, “With it, users will be able to follow friends and see what music they have bought or enjoyed, what concerts they plan to attend and what music they have reviewed. They will also be able to follow bands and get updates on their new releases, concert tours and other events.”

Ping is clearly attempting to be more music-focused than Facebook, and beyond incorporating the “follow” and “like” capabilities that Twitter and Facebook have made a part of the modern lexicon, the bulk of its resemblance to the world’s largest social networks is in the fact that it wants you to have friends, and to like things, and it wants to know who your friends are and what you like. In essence, it is being a social network.

The act of comparing Ping unnecessarily reiterates Facebook’s position as social networking platform to the world. Yes, Facebook is dominant in the social networking world. But is it the only social network? No.

Of course, there is one feature that Steve Jobs and his team seem to have explicitly designed to be distinct from Facebook, as described by the New York Times article, “Mr. Jobs said Ping would have simple privacy controls. Anyone will be able to follow bands and receive their updates, and users will be able to say whether they want to be followed by anyone or only by people they approve.”

Take that, Mark Zuckerberg.