Tags: Apple, Eric Schmidt, google
What happens when a warm front and cold front collide? Usually, extremely violent weather, which could include, torrential rain, lightning and thunder, hail, and tornadoes.
Steve Jobs is back at the helm. In addition to getting down and dirty on the product stuff we are now seeing him take care of some looming issues around people. He isn’t wasting any time in taking care of those matters.
What we are seeing is a clash between the “open” warm front (Google) coming from the north to Cupertino running into the “closed” cold front (Apple). Ok people here it comes.
This is about future strategy of Apple and Google. Board conflict is just the general issue that seems to get everyone’s attention. It’s not about that. It’s about the “Cloud Collision”.
“Scotty More Power” – Users Love the iPhone Blackberry and Portable Devices and Applications January 28, 2009Posted by John in Technology.
Tags: Anton Wahlman, Apple, Apple App Store, Blackberry, iphone, Portable Devices
by Anton Wahlman
With the Blackberry app store launching by the end of March 2009, a
dramatic new problem will emerge with full force: Where is the
application memory to run these new applications? In order to
understand the magnitude of this problem, we have to look at the
mother of all app store pioneers: Apple (AAPL) and the iPhone.
Ask almost any iPhone user what excites them about the iPhone, and
almost all of them answer immediately that it’s the app store, with
many thousands of apps available. Many iPhone users have page after
page after page worth of applications that they have downloaded. It
seems like iPhone users install dozens and dozens of applications, and
I don’t see any signs of abatement. We may be entering a situation
where most iPhone users love their platform so much because they have
hundreds of applications running.
The Blackberry app store is being launched for the obvious reason that
it’s becoming the critical tool in the competitive tool kit. Without a
vibrant developer community, it’s very difficult to compete. The
analogy with the PC world is pretty strong, and possibly even stronger
given that location-based services generate so many more application
possibilities that aren’t as meaningful in the PC world. Here is the
problem: An iPhone has 8 gig or 16 gig worth of memory, compared to a
Blackberry, which has 64, 96, 128 or 256 meg worth of app memory,
depending on the model. Yes, I know these numbers are not perfectly
“apples to blackberries” (no pun intended), because Blackberry has an
expansion card slot and the iPhone doesn’t, and so forth. But keep in
mind that the Blackberry’s expansion memory is for multimedia
(pictures, music, etc) storage, not for running apps or even
containing things such as the address book that synchronizes with
Outlook. One can also argue that an iPhone typically contains a lot
more multimedia than most Blackberries, but Blackberries also synch
with iTunes for DRM-free content, so that gap should narrow as
awareness of this ability grows.
Those caveats aside, the SMALLEST iPhone (8 gig) has 32x the
application memory of the LARGEST Blackberry (256 meg for the 8900
model). The manner in which most users will feel this dramatic 32x
difference is in the ability to install new apps. Clearly, while some
Blackberry apps have tended to carry a small memory footprint, one of
the attractions of the iPhone is that those apps are very rich in
their appearance and functionality, so in order to compete, Blackberry
apps may have to become larger in order to be competitive.
What does this mean? It looks like this clash of Blackberry’s app
store vs the very small app memory will mean many unsatisfied users
who will be lighting up the customer service switchboards like a
Christmas Tree. Many people aren’t likely to understand why they can’t
download/install/run all of these new apps, and their devices could
start to freeze up, and their old emails and instant messaging
conversation could be wiped to free up memory.
This is both a challenge and an opportunity for RIM (RIMM). The
challenge will be all the unhappy customers calling to complain about
the lack of ability of their current devices. The opportunity will be
to start selling new Blackberries with an app footprint equal to, or
greater than, the iPhone. Such a “forced upgrade cycle” is not free,
and it is unclear how consumers will react to this. Either way, for
Blackberry to go from 256 meg or less worth of app memory in its
devices, to 16 gig and more – a 64x increase – will mark Blackberry’s
most important generational shift in the company’s history.
The installed Blackberry base is now approximately 20 million. Ask
yourself: How many of these will use the Blackberry app store as the
excuse to go to another platform such as iPhone, Android and Palm,
versus how many will upgrade to another Blackberry containing some 64x
more memory than your current Blackberry?
Tags: Apple, Apple Computer, Steve Jobs
This email went out to Apple employees. Steve will take some time off to focus on his health. I would like to wish Steve a speedy recovery. Meanwhile, COO Tim Cook will take over day to day operations.
Here is Steve Job’s memo to employees:
I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.
I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.
Update: For more information on Steve Jobs health that has been reported check out this playlist put together by DJ
Steve Jobs Health Memo – Apple MacWorld 2009 – Hormone Imbalance Has Caused Him to Chill A Bit January 5, 2009Posted by John in Technology.
Tags: Apple, Apple MacWorld 2009, Macworld 2009
I just read at AllThingsD that Steve Jobs has publicly announced that he has a hormone imbalance and that will be preventing him from doing the Keynote at Apple MacWorld 2009. Steve, in rare form, announced that he is “Chilling Out” with his family rather than preparing for MacWorld 2009. Good for Steve. He has poured his heart and soul into Apple and turned that puppy around from the dismal state it was in when he took over over a decade ago. All the recent health speculation comes to an end now. Steve will be around for a while. Being the CEO of any company never mind Apple can be a like a “meat grinder” so it’s great to hear that Steve is taking some time to “chill”.
I got to know Steve’s family over the past few years here in Palo Alto and I’m glad to see that he is focusing on his family while maintaining his CEO post at Apple.
Letter From Apple CEO Steve Jobs
Dear Apple Community,
For the first time in a decade, I’m getting to spend the holiday season with my family, rather than intensely preparing for a Macworld keynote.
Unfortunately, my decision to have Phil deliver the Macworld keynote set off another flurry of rumors about my health, with some even publishing stories of me on my deathbed.
I’ve decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show tomorrow.
As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my #1 priority.
Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause — a hormone imbalance that has been “robbing” me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. Sophisticated blood tests have confirmed this diagnosis.
The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward, and I’ve already begun treatment. But, just like I didn’t lose this much weight and body mass in a week or a month, my doctors expect it will take me until late this Spring to regain it. I will continue as Apple’s CEO during my recovery.
I have given more than my all to Apple for the past 11 years now. I will be the first one to step up and tell our Board of Directors if I can no longer continue to fulfill my duties as Apple’s CEO. I hope the Apple community will support me in my recovery and know that I will always put what is best for Apple first.
So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this.
Update: Apple just posted the announcement on Steve Jobs’ health status on their Apple.com.
Measurement for ITunes Validated By Big Publisher on ITuns – Plug-In Model by Volomedia Is Working December 17, 2008Posted by John in Technology.
Tags: Apple, itunes, Volomedia
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VoloMedia, which provides advertising and reporting solutions for portable video and audio from the PC to devices such as iPods and iPhones, today announced Ringtales as the latest content partner to adopt the VoloMedia iTunes plug-in, extending the value of their popular podcasts by measuring ad consumption in their content wherever it is downloaded.
Ringtales is the publisher of “Dilbert,” recently selected by iTunes as one of the best video podcasts for 2008, and other popular podcasts such as “The New Yorker Animated Cartoons.” In addition to adopting the VoloMedia iTunes plug-in, Ringtales is driving consumer subscription and showcasing the “Dilbert” podcast to advertisers through a microsite located at http://www.volomedia.com/volocast/landing/dilbert. By integrating VoloMedia’s iTunes plug-in, Ringtales enhances the audience reach, tracking, measurement, monetization, and reporting of their podcasts whether consumed on PCs or iPods and iPhones.
Plug-in for iTunes is the best way to measure success on anything from ITunes or the web. What’s interesting to me is that plug-ins are being validated by big publishers/broadcasters. This is an indictment of the state of the online video metrics market. No one really has a great solution on podcasts and video in the market unless they have a plug-in or deploy a flash client.
I think that we’ll see plug-ins become more standard as publishers/broadcasters look to monetize their content and more importantly for advertisers to pay higher CPMs for targeted conversion.
Death of MacWorld – MacWorld Is Dead December 16, 2008Posted by John in Technology.
Tags: Apple, macworld, Steve Jobs
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This marks the end of MacWorld. MacWorld is now officially dead. This will mark the end of an era and start the beginning of a new world order. I expect MacWorld to fold shortly after this next event. No Apple no MacWorld. It’s been nice knowing you.
Apple Announces Its Last Year at Macworld
CUPERTINO, California—December 16, 2008—Apple® today announced that this year is the last year the company will exhibit at Macworld Expo. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will deliver the opening keynote for this year’s Macworld Conference & Expo, and it will be Apple’s last keynote at the show. The keynote address will be held at Moscone West on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. Macworld will be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center January 5-9, 2009.
Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.
Apple has been steadily scaling back on trade shows in recent years, including NAB, Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo and Apple Expo in Paris.
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.
Google and Intel – Weaving the Web Of Relationships October 28, 2008Posted by John in Technology.
Tags: Apple, google, Intel
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Interesting article on Intel. This brings up some interesting data points. The relationship between these companies is compelling. The Intel CEO sits on the board of Google and the CEO of Google sits on the board of Apple.
Within five years, they estimate that Google will purchase one-third of all microprocessors
The best business development has always been with the CEO.
Apple ITunes Gets An Upgrade – iTunes Now Has Business Model for Podcasting or Downloadable Media – The Holy Grail for Downloadable Advertising and ROI October 21, 2008Posted by John in Technology.
Tags: Apple, itunes, Volomedia
Update: Just emailed Jeff Karnes VP Marketing and Products at Volomedia and he says a press release will be out shortly. He confirmed the story that was broke by adweek and mediaweek.
Update 2: Here is a screenshot of ITunes having Sharing functionality – very flash like – I wonder if this is a direction that Quicktime will go…Hmmm Notice the share features on this screenshot from Volomedia’s new plug in. The site to view the plug in is here.
Podcasting or Downloadable Media is mainstream no debate there, but how do you make money? That has been the question from day one.
“Follow the money?” Not on Apple ITunes. It’s more like “follow the metrics” which until today didn’t exist on ITunes.
Content and applications are in demand for portable devices just look at the success of ITunes Store and the App Store. People are downloading more stuff day in and day out.
Apple ITunes has hundreds of millions of downloads and yet the only business model is for the premium content. Apple ITunes which gave independent content developers massive distribution also led to its less than stellar monetization capabilities. Podcasting now called downloadable media has been very successful. Yet advertising uptake has been slow. Metrics on the user consumption has been lacking.
The ITunes benefits which made Podcastings mainstream is also contributing to it’s lack of money making capability. Said another way there is no online advertising business model for podcasting on iTunes. Why?
ITunes has been hampered by two major problems: 1) user interactivity and 2) advertising friendly capabilities and metrics. Outside of ITunes subscription model for music, movies, and TV shows, ITunes has no business model for podcasting content developers. Until now.
Volomedia announces a new platform features that upgrades Apple ITunes user experience and gives advertisers a solution for metrics and ROI.
On the users side Volomedia is bringing sharing and recommedations to the ITunes (iphone) platform. On the advertising side Volomedia has the metrics that enable budgets to be set with ROI in mind.
These two major advances that enable a business model in ITunes for podcasting and downloadable media. Volomedia is announcing that they are providing the solution for advertisers that can give deep metrics on when downloadable media has been downloaded and more importantly played.
The biggest requests that every content developer is asked from advertisers are “how do you know when something was listened online and offline (portable ipod or iphone)?” and “how do advertisers get the right advertisement in context to the programs that are consumed?”. Volomedia solves this problem.
Volomedia announces that they are offering a plug-in for ITunes that offers advertisers the ability to get the right metrics and serve the right ad to users.
New Trend – Download Something For Good Content
Volomedia will be riding a new trend of late that shows that users will download a utility to get access to good content. We are seeing that today as users download a client app or small plug-in to get access to either higher quality (HD) content or mainstream content. Users want good content and will download something like a plug in. If you look at the success of new players like Hulu and some P2P networks they all have plug-ins or user apps. More evidence that we are in a downloadable society look at the success of the Apple App Store.
Money talks: Online advertisers want to get access to this mainstream downloadable media market, and they are demanding metrics. Volomedia’s plug-in will generate more dollars to content developers because it closes the loop on the “right” metric – a user subscribed to content actually watched or listened to it. This benefit alone will create a boom for content developers.
The fact is plug-ins works especially in tough economic times. Money (online advertising) funds content and more money will enable more content development and unlock the premium content from the big producers. Look at the recent Saturday Night Live success of the Palin skit. The recent success has carried over to their entire program lineup. One skit designed for being portable and pervasive has created a big business benefit for the entire NBC SNL site and content base.
Apple ITunes never innovated on a business model for podcasting. Today Apple ITunes and downloadable media is getting a major upgrade from Volomedia. I predicet that Volomedia’s solution will be welcomed with open arms by advertisers.
The old saying goes follow the money… and the money (aka online advertising) has been demanding metrics.. So maybe we should say “follow the metrics”.
“Apples and Googles” More Like “Apples and Pears” – Bad News for Enterpreneurs? Where’s the Halfway House – July 20, 2008Posted by John in Technology.
Tags: Apple, entrepreneurship, google, startups, Steve Jobs, venture capital, wall street journal
All the talk about companies being sold, founders getting ousted, and ventures failing or being killed by VCs. This seems to be the trend in Silicon Valley and around the world. The captial markets are a mess. The Wall Street Journal has a story on it today in a post called “Who’s going to fund the next Steve Jobs?”. James Freeman really nails this story and highlights very accurately the ugly trend being witnessed by many entrepreneurs out there right now. This is a big problem with serious economic implications.
This post hits home with me because I’m an entrepreneur living in this market with four kids and it ain’t pretty. The capital markets are in the tiolet and founders around the world are working hard to find no buyers of their ideas or products. It’s a bootstrapping market. The entreprenerial market isn’t broken or starved for good ideas and needed innovation. Instead the ecosystem is stuck in the sand. Incubators are clearly seeing the action and see the need for innovation. Some bright lights are shining out there like Y Combinator among others, but overall it’s pretty dark.
What does this mean?
Bad news for entrepreneurs short term and bad news for innovation long term. M&A doesn’t yield innovation. Passionate and skilled entrepreneurs need the runway to make their visions happen. Lack of exit stunts the available growth capital needed for those next big ‘Apples and Googles”. Big ventures take 3-5 years to develop. Problem today is that capital isn’t founder friendly. Founders getting ousted after one year doesn’t make innovation happen. I’m seeing more founders on the street then ever before. There needs to be a new financial model or new incubator model (or halfway house) for founders and entrepreneurs. Y Combinator calls it a startup for startups.
Big problem is that initial public offerings of young companies had become rare. Venture-backed IPOs in 2005 and 2006 were far below the levels of the early 1990s, never mind the boom years that followed. A recovery in the early months of 2007 still didn’t push IPO numbers anywhere close to the number of young companies being acquired by bigger, more established firms.
Love this passage from James Freeman of the WSJ. “This is bad news for the U.S. economy. Does anyone think that we would be better off if Bill Gates and Michael Dell had sold out to corporate behemoths early in their careers, instead of leading their firms for years as public companies? Would consumers enjoy the same vibrant market in Web services if Yahoo had gobbled up a nascent Google? How powerful would our computers be if Intel had become an IBM subsidiary, instead of going public in 1971?”
“Of course we can’t run these experiments. What we do know is that entrepreneurial drive, combined with venture investors’ money and experience, plus access to the public markets, equaled a tech revolution and an industry that is the envy of the world. That model may be collapsing.”
“True, investment in U.S. venture funds is holding up well despite the market downturn, with investors pouring $9 billion into this asset class in the second quarter. But over the long term, venture investments have to result in a healthy number of home-run IPOs to justify the risks and offset the inevitable failures. The industry cannot continue raising the money to fund American innovation if its returns trail the stock market indexes, as they did for the five-year period through 2007.”
“Some have ascribed the broken venture model to the “cheap revolution,” meaning that, thanks to earlier innovations, the tools to create new tech products are so cheap that entrepreneurs don’t even need funding from venture capitalists. That’s great, but we’re not seeing a flood of IPOs of young companies built without venture money, nor the creation of lots of privately held global powerhouses. By and large, founders of Internet startups are not creating companies with the dream of conquering the world, but rather with the intention of selling to Google, eBay, Yahoo or Microsoft.”
“Our society should be encouraging these entrepreneurs to dream big. Instead, they’re looking for the exit before they have to deal with the burdens of our public markets.”
“An acquisition generally means that the founders move on, see projects they championed get axed, and watch old colleagues get fired. How many company founders would aspire to conduct a sale of the business instead of a public offering, absent some bizarre and unnatural conditions in the market?”
Of course I’m biased but founders and entrepreneurs need to be in charge. Never fire the founder in a changing market.
Note: Steve Jobs was ousted by his investors (Venrock Associates) only to come back and change the world a second time. Can you imagine August Capital firing Bill Gates. Good venture capitalists understand the long term value of entrepreneurship not just the quick flip.
Tags: android, Apple, developers, google, iphone, iphone vc fund, kpcb
Apple® today previewed its iPhone™ 2.0 software, scheduled for release this June, and announced the immediate availability of a beta release of the software to selected developers and enterprise customers. The iPhone 2.0 beta release includes both the iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK) as well as new enterprise features such as support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync to provide secure, over-the-air push email, contacts and calendars as well as remote wipe, and the addition of Cisco IPsec VPN for encrypted access to private corporate networks.
The bid deal here: Answer to the Blackberry which dominates the enterprise.
Apple announced that is targeting enterprise customers with a wealth of new feature on the iPhone. The iPhone will now support push email/calendar/contacts, global address lists, Cisco IPsec VPN, Certificates and Identities, WPA2/802.11x and remote wipe. In addition, Apple is bringing the oft-requested support for Microsoft Exchange via Microsoft ActiveSync — Apple licensed ActiveSync specifically for this purpose.
Another big bombshell is the KPCB $100 million dollar fund for entrepreneurs who build ontop of the iPhone SDK. The applications developed by iphone 3rd party developers will be available for free or for a fee in Apple’s Appstore. Great move by KPCB. Lets just hope they don’t do what Facebook did – open up grant money and piss off every developer on the planet with high expectations.
Apple just continues to execute. They are making Google’s android project look feable. Note: the iphone VC fund is 10x the size of Google android. Plus word on the street is that Android is all vaporware with Microsoft locking up all the intellectual property via the danger acquisition – I hope that isn’t the case. I am a big fan of Google’s open approach across their businesses – another post for another day.
Today it’s all about Apple and Developers.