Call your legislators to let them know how you feel about their vote on #CISPA! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=564519693592703&set=a.251867728191236.64940.251838778194131&type=1&theater
Neven Mrgan's tumbl: Speculation regarding a possible "SmartBand" product -
A few weeks ago, I briefly posted that between the two currently-rumored Apple products, I was more intrigued by the possible “watch” than the TV set. It seems simpler, more unique, and less of a logistical nightmare to build, sell, and support.
This was just an intuition, since I wasn’t really…
The post reblogged below first appeared here exactly a year ago yesterday. The “color Kindle touchscreen device” was the Kindle Fire. Apparently, Apple wasn’t ready to pull the trigger then. But, in the next two months, they will. It’s not much of an ambush, though. More like Amazon hearing the footsteps behind them getting closer… and closer… Still, not a bad call.
I love Amazon. I think the Kindle is very cool. I really think Amazon is the only company capable of leveraging something that could successfully compete with the iPad.
MG Siegler just revealed that he has seen and touched and used a device intended for that purpose – a color Kindle touchscreen device with a 7 inch screen running an Amazon-developed fork of Android. It won’t support the existing Android marketplace – it is rather designed to be primarily a reading/media/web device, leveraging Amazon’s book, music and video sales engines.
…and they plan to sell it for $250, starting in November.
This fits right into my idea of what might be a credible iPad competitor. (Not an “iPad Killer”. Unless someone can compete with the mighty iOS software library, there can be no such thing. Period.) They could do what everyone else has failed to do – create a real tablet market as opposed to an iPad market.
I almost hate myself for thinking of this, but…
Do y’all remember back before the iPad was released and rumors floated around about a 7 inch screen device in the works at Apple? Even after the iPad came out, there were persistent stories about prototypes with a smaller form factor. I even vaguely recall some half-believable stories about Apple lining up a supply of such screens. Nothing ever surfaced, however.
But we know Apple can build such a device. That’s pretty much a lead-pipe cinch. I’d give good odds that a prototype exists of a 7 inch iPad. Of course, they have no reason to release such a device as long as they can already sell every iPad they can make. Unless a viable alternative appears at the lower end. Like, say, now.
Suppose… suppose they built it. In fact, suppose they are ready to build it now.
What price point could Apple hit with a device equivalent to an iPad 1 (equivalent processor, no camera, no GPS, wi-fi only, 16 GB flash memory) sporting a 7 inch screen? Could they hit a $250 price to match the new Amazon Color Kindle? Almost certainly.
In truth, they wouldn’t have to hit a $250 price point at all. The added value of a full-fledged iOS device that would run all existing iOS software (possible on a 7 inch device if the screen resolution matched the iPad 1 in a smaller form factor) would make the iPad Mini a no-brainer purchase over a Kindle Color even at $300.
The question is not “Could they do it?” – the question is “Would they do it?”. It might even be “Have they already done it and just not pulled the trigger?”.
Yews, I know it is positively paranoid of me to think of such a thing – Machiavellian McLimore, I am. But still…
Could they…? Would they…? Will they…? HAVE they…?
Isn’t there an Apple event coming up real soon…?
As I’ve often said, when Andy Ihnatko talks about Apple or the technology industry in general, I’m listening. Unlike so many so-called “journalists” or “pundits” who have earned neither of those designations, Ihnatko speaks without hidden agendas. He isn’t there to tell you how to think. He’s there to call your attention to things you might be wanting to think about, and to make sure you have enough info to consider them intelligently. The fact that he can do so while still being one of the most entertaining writers around is a bonus.
So when Ihnatko offers guidance about what the verdict in Samsung vs. Apple could mean for the future of the phone & tablet market, it is good idea for you (and me) to know that.
If you haven’t read the Ihnatko piece yet… well, what the heck are you doing listening to me first? Click on the link above and hear his first reaction to the verdict. I have, and while I have to — reluctantly — agree with much of it in the short term, I think the long term effect will be quite different.
Ihnatko says “If the decision stands, it’ll make it far, far more difficult, expensive, and risky to be a company that designs phones and tablets.” I think he’s right as far as that goes. He also says “If the verdict stands, then the costs of the judgment will be reflected in the cost of mobile devices. Furthermore, other manufacturers will feel the need to buy Apple’s official permission to build useful phones, passing down the possible $20-per-handset fee.” He’s right about that, too. Anyone who buys a non-Apple smartphone is going to pay more for it.
Where I don’t agree is with this: “The biggest losers here are consumers.” And with this: “Friday’s verdict doesn’t feel like justice. It feels like the day when Apple lost a hunk of its public persona as sweet hippies motivated by excellence and freedom, who win by making the best products.”
Consumers will take a hit, assuredly, in the short term. But they were already being short-changed by an industry that would very much like to return to the pre-iPhone days. In those days everyone took the easy route and made phones that satisfied the industry as a way to milk their customers endlessly with virtually no real use of technology to improve their customer’s experience. Consumers hated their phones, but since everyone was making essentially the same thing, no one cared about what consumers wanted, let alone about what they needed but didn’t know was something they could ask to have.
Apple changed that by making the first real improvements in the cell phone experience in years. They spent a lot of money to do it. More importantly, a lot of good people who took pride in their work and their visions spent long days and nights away from their families and their other pursuits. They were motivated by more than money. They were motivated by pride and by a personal vision they shared with Steve Jobs and the rest of their Apple colleagues.
I’m no Pollyanna. Money drives Apple. It must — they have stockholders who are never satisfied, no matter how good the company’s growth and performance. But what made Apple different was a constant belief that vision attracted money, rather than money being something that could buy vision. Time has proven them right.
Even so, Steve Jobs was more than once bitterly disappointed by people who thought the process of creation could be furthered with a shortcut, taking the vision of someone else and using it without doing the work and putting in the thought — instead just pretending you understood what it meant. Microsoft did that with Windows, Google did that with Android. Jobs never understood this mindset, and never forgave it.
Where someone sees a vision, embraces it, is inspired by it, and wants to be a part of it, you get innovation on top of innovation. When someone copies the trappings of a vision just to say “Me, too!” in hopes of profitting from the spread of that vision and without really sharing it or understanding it — that does not promote growth or innovation or anything other than stagnation. It takes bread out of the mouths of the real innovators without contributing anything.
Google was slavishly copying Blackberry with their early work on a Google phone, even though Blackberry had long since gone stagnant. Later, Google took advantage of their open partnership with Apple to switch gears and do the same to them when it became clear that people were responding to Apple’s direction. Again, they largely did this with no direction or vision of their own except a desire to have the same level of success as Apple without really knowing how to get there.
The Samsung case shows the end result of that kind of “innovation”. The evidence gathered undisputedly showed that Samsung was happy to offer customers no more than the same old crap that allowed the wireless companies that were their only really valued “customers” to bleed consumers without caring about improving their lot. When Apple outsold them in droves, giving those coinsumers a new alternative, they looked at their products in comparison and, rather than working to make their products better for the consumer, they deliberately chose to take the easy way by just copying Apple’s look without understanding the philosophy behind it in the least.
Samsung’s own documents conclusively show their mindset. “We can see our products are perceived as being less desirable than Apple’s products. We don’t know why (and don’t care to really make the effort to determine why) Apple’s work is superior. So we will set out to just make our products more like Apple’s products to siphon off some of their success.” Steve Jobs was fed up with that kind of thinking. Samsung hoped that Jobs’ death would find Tim Cook more willing to accept this. They were wrong.
The Apple v Samsung verdict will cripple the “smartphone” industry only because so much of that “industry” only consists of companies trying to make a fast buck copying what Apple accomplished. As soon as some company combines real vision with a willingness to embrace risk in the pursuit of a move forward, it may be Apple that finds itself needing to catch up. I look forward to that day, but it isn’t likely to come soon. Inertia paralyzed the phone industry for years, and for the most part contines to do so.
If the Apple v Samsung verdict has a chilling effect on “copycat innovation”, the consumer will take a hit in the short term but in the long view it will promote real innovation by forcing companies to actually attempt to seek better ways to serve their customers instead of just trailing along behind the crowd without knowing why. Technology companies and the public are better served by anticipating what customers will want tomorrow and using technology to fill needs that the public does not yet know they have — as Apple has done.
Apple v Samsung’s legacy may be to force a “smartphone” industry hat rose on the backs of first Blackberry, then Apple, to stop tweaking the smartphone and start designing the devices that will supplant it. If they can do a better job of that than Apple itself, great! Sooner or later, someone will. But they won’t do it while whining about Apple suppressing their “rights” to share the success that the whiners didn’t earn.
When I am gone from this oppressive planet
My spirit will to Luna City fly,
Where disappointment no longer can hurt me
And gravity at last I can defy.
I’ll finally give thanks to Neil and Robert,
Then join the countless others in that place
To wait for Humankind to come and seek us,
And take our race, at last, out into space.
Ihnatko: Near-total victory for Apple stifles phone, tablet design -
This link isn’t here because I agree with it. It is here because anyone who has any interest in Apple or the technology industry at all should be listening when Andy Ihnatko is talking. I’m listening, but I’m not convinced.
More in a bit…
10 Things You Need to Know About the Future of Television -
A really great presentation which breaks down some myths and hurdles on the road to a new TV paradigm.
Here’s CouchGuy out on a limb again…
The next really big consumer device will be an easy-to-use 3D printer. Not something a hobbyist can use with a lot of fiddling around — a consumer-level plug and play device you hook wirelessly to your home network
and dump standardized 3D object files to from your laptop or iDevice.
Put in plastic pellets on one end and take out finished items on the other. Make that work reliably without fuss, and you can write yourself a blank check that consumers will cash for you.
If I were in charge at Apple, I’d have had a hush-hush skunkworks team developing this for some time.
Maybe they have…
If I were Apple, I’d have a Skunkworks project working on that right now.
Batman // Art by Gonzalo Ordóñez Arias
If you’ve got an American Girl Doll (We’ve got like 5 here thanks to way too generous grandparents) or want to make Molly, Addie and Ivy a little bit more awesome, then I’ve found the perfect thing on Etsy; Wonder Woman Batgirl and Supergirl costumes.
I’m ordering that Batgirl costume.
Superheroine costumes for the American Girl dolls!