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Posts Tagged ‘ios’

Apple’s Dominance, In Context

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We all read the headlines today that position Apple as one of the most powerful companies on earth. Most everyone understands the magnitude of Apple’s ascent from the doldrums of the late 1990s and early 2000s. But do you really understand Apple’s power in the market? If you’re not a hopeless Apple nerd like me, allow me to provide you some context:

Last Thursday, Apple’s stock hit $494/share, making Apple worth more than Microsoft and Google — combined. When you look at what Apple purportedly has lined up for this year, you realize they still have tons of upside. How successful will the iPad 3, iPhone 5, and rumored Apple TV/iTV be? I wouldn’t bet against them.

And then there are the observations from David Leonhard over at the NYTimes Economix blog:

• With a market value of about $460 billion, Apple is worth more than Google, Goldman Sachs, General Motors, Ford, Starbucks and Boeing combined.

• Apple is now worth almost twice as much as Microsoft (about $258 billion) and more than twice as much as Google ($198 billion).

• It is also worth more than twice as much as General Electric (about $202 billion), I.B.M. (about $224 billion) or Wal-Mart ($212 billion).

• Apple — ranked 35th in the Fortune 500, which is based on annual sales — is worth eight times as much as the company just below it on the Fortune list (Boeing, at about $56.5  billion). Its value is 20 times as much as the company just above it (Medco Health Solutions, about $23.4 billion).

If you want a glimpse of just what the iPhone hath created, understand that today, Apple’s iPhone business is bigger than Microsoft in its entirety. Let that sink in for a bit. Even if you removed the iPhone business from Apple, what’s left of Apple would still be worth more than Microsoft. 15 years ago, Apple was on the verge of death. And now this? Amazing.

Finally, in 4Q of 2011, Apple took 80% of all profits in the mobile space. Eighty. Percent.

All this from a company that a decade ago was making candy-colored iMacs and this thing called an iPod, which was not met with a favorable popular reaction.

My, how times have changed.

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Windows Phone Was a Response to Apple’s iPhone

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Josh Ong, reporting for AppleInsider:

Microsoft’s head of software design for Windows Phone has admitted that the company completely redesigned its mobile operating system platform as a response to Apple’s iPhone and the “sea change” it created in the industry.

Joe Belfiore, one of the first engineers brought to the new Windows Phone team when it was formed, made the comments in an interview with The New York Times.

“Apple created a sea change in the industry in terms of the kinds of things they did that were unique and highly appealing to consumers,” he said. “We wanted to respond with something that would be competitive, but not the same.”

According to the report, “once the iPhone exploded into the marketplace, Microsoft executives knew that their software, as designed, could never compete.” In December 2008, Microsoft’s then head of mobile engineering called a meeting to decide the fate of its aging Windows Mobile software. Seven hours later, Myerson and his team decided to scrap the OS and start again from scratch.

One could argue extremely cogently that everything that has happened in the last five years in the mobile market was in response to the iPhone.

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What Apple’s iMessage Does to Text Messaging

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Here’s Neven Mrgan illustrating what Apple’s iMessage — the new iOS-to-iOS messaging service — did to his text messaging usage:

Note the iOS 5 launch line — that’s when iMessage was introduced.

This matches my experience directly. Almost everyone I message frequently has an iPhone, and my sending of actual text messages has dropped massively. It’s to the point where if I see the green message button/bubble (which signifies text messaging), I’m actually surprised. 90% of what I send uses iMessage’s blue buttom/bubble. iMessage absolutely cannibalizes traditional text messaging usage.

For you BlackBerry users out there, think of iMessage as Apple’s version of BlackBerry Messenger (commonly called BBM).

I love this trend. Not for me alone, but for consumers. As it stands today, wireless carriers price text messaging at astronomical levels, especially considering there’s no magic voodoo involved. It’s old technology at a premium price, and it’s almost all profit for wireless carriers.

iMessage sends information using your plan’s data pipe, and has the added benefit of confirming message delivery and showing when your correspondent is typing.

And it’s free. It can save you money per month. Value add.

If you’re an iPhone user and you haven’t enabled iMessage, you’re missing out on potentially being able to save a few bucks per month by reducing your text messaging plan. To enable iMessage on your iPhone, go to Settings -> Messages -> and flick the iMessage switch to ON. Easy.

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RIM Now Worth Less than Apple’s App Store Alone

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You read that right: RIM, as a company, is now worth less than Apple’s App Store, a fragment of a company, alone.

An analysis from Trefis places the value of the App Store at 2 percent of Apple’s market cap. AAPL stock has a market cap of $354 billion, or more than 50 times greater than RIMM, and 2 percent of that means the App Store contributes $7.08 billion to Apple’s market cap.

“The App Store is probably worth more than BlackBerry,” Hall wrote. “All of BlackBerry. Just the App Store. Nothing else. Not the iPhone or iPod. Not Mac. Just the App Store.”

This makes me both sad and angry. I mean, I’m sitting here shaking my head.

I’m sad because BlackBerry was my real introduction to smartphones. (We won’t count my fling with a Kyocera 7135, which was awful.) It was the first device that brought mobile messaging and email to the masses, and it gave us the ability to check the web, however awkwardly, on the go. BlackBerry was the leader: everyone had one, and they worked.

You would think RIM would have been able to parlay that early momentum into a broader vision, one that took the platform well beyond messaging. But you’d be wrong.

That’s why I’m angry. Through either sheer, bald-faced laziness or incompetence, RIM did essentially nothing notable for the past five years. Bombarded by Apple and Android — who now own the mobile space — RIM released reheated versions of their QWERTY devices, a few models of touchscreen devices that were universally decried as garbage, and then built a rushed, half-baked tablet to try and react to the iPad. As of this writing, they still have no next-gen OS that will appear before late 2012. The PlayBook tablet, especially, illustrated the company’s lack of vision and strategy: not only did the device get met with poor reviews and even poorer customer demand, but RIM went and built 2.65 million units of the things and later had to eat the losses as a $485M writeoff. Finally, as icing on the cake, a couple of RIM executives hopped on planes and began drunkenly chewing through restraints, which they found themselves in after some pretty horrific behavior.

And now, today, RIM is a shell of what it used to be. And certainly an even thinner shell of what it could have become.

If Apple’s Phoenix story is the tech world’s yin, RIM’s foibles might very well be the yang.

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The Great Tech War of 2012

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Utterly fantastic article in Fast Company by Farhad Manjoo about the greatest tech showdown of our time, all likely going fully thermonuclear next year. With players like Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon in the mix, this isn’t the minor leagues. Who winds up on top here controls the innovation economy moving forward, and there are sane arguments for each as the winner. The following excerpt sums up the vast power and influence these companies have over our technological lives:

To state this as clearly as possible: The four American companies that have come to define 21st-century information technology and entertainment are on the verge of war. Over the next two years, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google will increasingly collide in the markets for mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, social networking, and more. This competition will be intense. Each of the four has shown competitive excellence, strategic genius, and superb execution that have left the rest of the world in the dust. HP, for example, tried to take a run at Apple head-on, with its TouchPad, the product of its $1.2 billion acquisition of Palm. HP bailed out after an embarrassingly short 49-day run, and it cost CEO Léo Apotheker his job. Microsoft’s every move must be viewed as a reaction to the initiatives of these smarter, nimbler, and now, in the case of Apple, richer companies.

And:

According to Nielsen, Android now powers about 40% of smartphones; 28% run Apple’s iOS. But here’s the twist: Android could command even 70% of the smartphone business without having a meaningful impact on Apple’s finances. Why? Because Apple makes a profit on iOS devices, while Google and many Android handset makers do not. This is part of a major strategic difference between Apple and the other members of the Fab Four. Apple doesn’t need a dominant market share to win. Everyone else does.

If you asked me to list the four biggest players in the tech space, this is the list I’d jot down.  And the scary thing? I’m a customer of each.  In Google and Facebook’s case, I am the product itself.

2012 will be anything but dull.

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Oracle Mobile BI

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We have discussed OBIEE and its analytics capabilities in detail in previous blog posts here on Unfiltered.  So it follows that we’d call out that Oracle announced the availability of a new Oracle BI Mobile option, which allows any OBI 11g customer to deploy all their existing dashboards to mobile devices (iPad, iPhone) without any re-programming or manual porting efforts.  In today’s remote-but-connected work environments, the ability to have analytics always available is key.  As we have emphasized in the past, BI is much more than reporting, and having mobile capabilities allows you to make business decisions while traveling and away from the office. We’re not talking second-rate representations of your dashboards and analytics, either — we’re talking about the real thing. In mission critical environments, no longer do you have to wait days to take action if  you’re away from the office.  In many instances hours (let alone days) can be critical, so extending BI analytics to mobile devices can have a very broad positive impact.

Below are links to two short but very good demos on Mobile BI applications. You should check them out.

  1. Here’s an intro to Oracle Mobile BI.
  2. Here’s a brief rundown on Oracle Financial Analytics Application for mobile.

After reviewing the demos, if you have any questions, please let me know. As always, I’m happy to chat.

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SlideShare Ditches Flash

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The hits just keep on coming:

SlideShare, the website for sharing PowerPoint presentations and other documents, has had a major makeover. The company has ditched Adobe Flash technology entirely, and rebuilt its website using the HTML5 markup language, SlideShare co-founder and CTO Jon Boutelle will announce at GigaOM’s Mobilize conference Tuesday.

This means that SlideShare is now viewable on every kind of mobile device, from iPads to iPhones to Android devices and beyond. Another perk is that the website is now 30 percent faster and its files take up 40 percent less space than they used to. Search engines can now read the content within SlideShare slides, meaning that presentations hosted there should start to get much higher page rankings on sites like Google. Text within documents can now be copied and pasted, as well.

Another Flash casualty lost to HTML5 and the prevalence of Apple’s  iOS. And platform technology notwithstanding, look at that list of downstream benefits: slide content now exposed to search spiders, full mobile device support without clumsy plugins, smaller files, slide text copy/paste.

Flash is being marginalized daily.

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Flash Media Server 4.5

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So Boy Genius Report got everyone pretty worked up when they wrote last week’s article entitled, Adobe Finally Brings Flash to iPhone and iPad. I got not one but several emails asking me what this really means, and one telling me that the day had come: Apple devices now support Flash and I’m wrong when I say, “That’s not what Adobe announced.”

The problem is that BGR has the announcement’s reality entirely backwards. This is what Adobe actually announced:

With Adobe Flash Media Server 4.5, media publishers now have a single, simple workflow for delivering content using the same stream to Flash-enabled devices or to the Apple iPhone and iPad,” Adobe said in a statement. Flash Media Server 4.5 allows publishers to stream Flash content to iOS devices, which means support within the iOS Safari browser is not required. Instead of relying on a device’s processor to render the stream, which often degrades battery life and slows a device down, Adobe’s Flash Media Server 4.5 does all the legwork.

Translated from Geekese to Realworldish: the new Flash Media Server will send HTML5 video to iOS devices. It will also send pure Flash-wrappered video to other devices that support native Flash.

Let’s say that one more time: the new FMS will not send Flash to iOS devices, but HTML5 video, which is what Apple has been arguing for and embracing since it got into the mobile game with iOS as an operating system.

Translated yet one step further: this is Adobe supplicating, knowing full well that iOS won’t be supporting Flash anytime soon.

So why do this? Easy: the iOS market is too big to ignore. You have to build inroads to it lest it start eroding your product’s marketshare based on its sheer size. Had Adobe not done this, HTML5 would still be served en masse to iOS devices, just not by an Adobe-powered server.

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Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 8/19/11

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Today I am going to make up questions from imaginary readers and then answer them in a Q & A format. For those of you keeping track, this does indeed mean I’ve gone completely bananas. Then again, I’m starting to think that’s what you expect from these Friday posts.  Here goes.

Q: Seriously, are you nuts?

A: Probably. I’ve been told such on more than one occasion. I tell myself it’s all in the name of creativity and being a ‘writer’ (note the apologetic quotes there), but I don’t think I’m fooling anyone, including myself. On an unrelated note, I’m pretty sure I can communicate with cats.

Q: Are you having a hard time coming up with Friday posts? It sort of seems like you are.

A: What gives you that impression? Just because my last two Friday posts involve made up emails from pretend correspondents and a schizophrenic Q & A self-interview doesn’t mean I’m struggling at all. I’m a professional; I’m well above mere nuisances like writer’s block. To come up with a Friday post, all I have to do is lie awake in bed lightly sweating for a night or two per week, talk to myself, and suppress my growing curiosity about combat knives and we’re all good.  I also argue with podcasts in my car, but that has nothing to do with the creative process.

Q: What book are you reading right now?

A: The Dirty Life, by Kristin Kimball. It’s about a metropolitan chic urbanite-turned-farmer. It’s about the author falling in love with a self-possessed farmer named Mark, choosing a future with him, and the transition from city-dweller to full-on farmer.  It’s fascinating, especially the areas in which Kimball talks about how much work the farming life is, but how much she came to appreciate it’s simplicity, physical labor and connection to her food and ecosystem. Reading it, I can’t help but think we all should be required to work a year on a farm. I think it would result in a lot less whining.

Q: If you could buy any car right now for track purposes, what would you look at first?

A: The 2012 Mustang Boss 302. This thing is ripping up tracks everywhere and besting cars three times its price.  Previously, I would have said a Nissan GT-R, but every time I say this I get into huge arguments with Gayla Burns, a Corvette enthusiast, and then things get thrown and broken and we get put into time-outs by people who don’t understand cars. So now I am aligning myself with the Mustang out of sheer self-preservation, because Gayla has a wicked arm on her. I mean it.  When she was younger, she tells me, she used to throw a pigskin over them mountains.

Q: Can you do any funny accents?

A: Yes and no. I do this flimsy British thing, which is so flawed, so deeply wrong on just about every level, that it winds up something new altogether, which is funny unto itself.  But is it funny because it’s a good British acccent? No. As my good British friend Stuart told me once after a Red Wings game, “You should never again do that accent for any reason, for anyone, ever. You’re embarrassing yourself, mate.” He gave me a solemn look and didn’t smile a bit. Then he ordered a hamburger and that was that.

Q: What are your thoughts on spiders?

A: They’re not insects. They’re subterranean demons who do us the service of eating bugs to endear themselves to us. Address with extreme prejudice.

Q: You’re a strange person and are making me uncomfortable. Maybe we stop doing this and you just give us some links?

A: Yes, okay. Probably a good idea.

Gout is on the rise in America, right alongside diabetes and hypertension. No correlation, I’m sure.  *cough*

If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you owe it to yourself to get Shaun Inman’s game, The Last Rocket. It’s a throwback 8-bit platformer, and it brings back the good ol’ days for those of you who grew up with Nintendos and Commodore 64s. Why are you still reading this?

Postcardly turns your emails into postcards delivered in real-life by the US Postal Service. Great for friends and family who don’t use email.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

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Linkology: The Best of the Internet for 3/18/11

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Know This

Gmail power user?  If so, check out Smart Labels, new from Google Labs.  This is the logical extension of Gmail Priority Inbox, released last year.

The iPad 2, after two and a half days of being on sale, is sold out everywhere.  (I can testify to this personally.  Over the past weekend, I walked up to an Apple story only to be intercepted by an Apple employee in a blue shirt who told me, before I could say a word, that the iPad 2 is sold out, they don’t know when they’re getting more in, and my best bet was to order online.  I asked him if that’s what he tells anyone he makes eye contact with.  Yes, he said, and some who don’t.  That’s what sort of interest Apple retail locations are seeing.)

Speaking of the iPad 2, the Smart Cover is getting a ton of press.  iFixit has the skinny on how it works: “There are a total of THIRTY ONE magnets within the iPad 2 and Smart Cover: 10 magnets in the iPad 2, and a whopping 21 magnets inside the Smart Cover. They’re the reason why the cover works so well with the iPad 2.” Someone cue the “Magnets.  How do they work?” meme.

Firefox VP on the future of Flash.

Slate’s alternative NCAA brackets — you can pick the school color version, or the mascot version.  None of that pesky ‘information’ people like to use to make ‘informed’ decisions so they can ‘win’.  Bah.  Kick it old school and go with your gut!

Read This

From a random find on Wikipedia: The Cotard Delusion. Scary and fascinating at the same time.

Humans, monkeys and most other primates age the same way.  So much for the notion that humans age more slowly.

Watch This

This man, a ‘Tough Mudder’, is my hero.  I am not kidding.

A very excited turtle.  What else do you need to know?

Have a good weekend, everyone.

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MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

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