by Jin Kim
“The only hope for Apple and its suppliers is the possible launch of a low-cost iPhone later this year, which may help the U.S. company to gain market share in fast-growing emerging markets such as China,” said Capital Security analyst Diana Wu.
Look at what Apple has done in the last 15 years. Does it look like Apple has been going after market share? No. Sure, Apple enjoys its market share growing as much as the next company, but for Apple it’s merely a side effect.
I don’t know whether Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone or not, but Apple has made transparent its low-cost iPhone strategy since introducing the iPhone 3G: With each new iPhone version the previous version receives a price reduction. The iPhone 5, like all previous iPhones except for the original iPhone, started off at US$199*. When the new iPhone comes out the iPhone 5′s price will drop to $99. The low-cost iPhone? Seems obvious: the $99 iPhone 5. And the iPhone 4S becomes the free iPhone.
One last point: Even if Apple’s existence depended entirely on the iPhone why would a low-cost iPhone later this year be Apple’s only hope? I was under the impression Apple was making a tidy profit from selling iPhones.
* With a new two-year contract, of course.
Check out Oblivion 2013 Extensive Behind the Scenes Inside Look; it’s awesome.
The Apple of 15 years ago was just as controlling, arrogant, and likely to overuse the word “magical” in advertising as the Apple of today, but now, they’re claiming they effectively reinvented the smartphone market and the tablet market. This is infuriating not because it’s transparent bullshit, but because it isn’t: they have a pretty good case for those claims.
But when we’re discussing our goals, our passion and the way we interact with the culture, it seems to me that what works is significantly more important than what’s new.
New for the sake of new is likely to turn out badly. Think Microsoft Windows Vista. Windows XP wasn’t new, it was actually quite old, but it worked, as well as Windows could. Microsoft decided it was time for something new and introduced Windows Vista. It had a lot of new in it, but it didn’t work very well.
As consumers we actually need something new once in a while, but the time between new things depends on design: Is it a classic design that ages gracefully? Or is it a trendy design that lasts but for a season?
If a company is in the business of maximizing sales in the short term going after fashion trends is probably the right strategy. Trendy shoppers like new and the more new you have the more they’ll buy. If on the other hand a company is in the business of maximizing profits in the long term researching and developing something that is new and works better is the right strategy. But as is always with making something good it takes time.
More important, tacking an S onto the existing model number sends a rather weak message. It says that this is our “off-year” product, with only modest improvements. If holding off on the big number change achieved some great result, I might think otherwise. But look what happened with iPhone 5.
This model brought major changes: bigger screen, better camera, greater speed, all on a thinner and lighter body. Yet its improvements were still dismissed by many as “incremental.”
I agree: if Apple’s going to keep using sequential numbers (rather than feature-based names, like the second iPhone being named “iPhone 3G”), they should just give every model the next number. The next iPhone should either be the iPhone 6 or the iPhone Something Else, not the iPhone 5S.
I agree with Segal that tacking on an S is no good, but I disagree the next iPhone should be called iPhone 6. To get away from both the perception of incremental improvements and confusion as to what the numbers after iPhone mean Apple should completely do away with suffixes on the iPhone. The next iPhone and the one after that and the one after that ad infinitum should simply be iPhone.
iFixit: The Oculus Rift sports an Innolux HJ070IA-02D 7-inch 8-bit LCD featuring a 1024×600 pixel format, 300 nits, 800:1 contrast ratio, 50% CIE 1931 NTSC color gamut, 170/170 viewing angles, and an on/off response time of 35 ms.
Philip Elmer-DeWitt, Fortune:
The results of Piper Jaffray’s 25th bi-annual teen survey came in Tuesday afternoon. Once again, it showed Apple to be the most desired brand among American teenagers who care about things like smartphones and tablets, although Google’s Android did make some gains.
The Panasonic ZT60 will remain the best plasma TV the company makes. Panasonic Display Vice President Kiyoshi Okamoto confirmed to The Verge further plasma display panel research and development will be no more.
Over the years a lot of my friends have sought my advice on what TV to buy. To make sure I give them the best advice I ask a lot of questions. One of the questions is, “Are you a sports nut?” If they answer yes, I recommend they purchase a plasma TV, a Panasonic plasma TV. A plasma TV has no detectable motion blur, a feature money can’t buy on even the best LCD TVs. Sure, it consumes a bit more energy, but you can save a lot of money by going with a plasma TV over a high end LCD TV.
The end is near for plasma. It’s a bit sad. Even though Panasonic is diverting research and development toward OLED TVs, it will be many years before we see price/performance ratios close to plasma TVs. Panasonic will sell plasma TVs “into 2014 at the very least,” but if I were a sports nut, I’d make sure to grab the biggest ZT60.
The New York Times: Argentina, India, Poland, Russia, South Africa, and Ukraine, according to IDC.
Update 2013.03.30: This, as well as many others, was in response to Frank X. Shaw’s post on The Official Microsoft Blog taking a potshot at Blackberry and Apple:
Windows Phone has reached 10 percent market share in a number of countries, and according to IDC’s latest report, has shipped more than Blackberry in 26 markets and more than iPhone in seven.
Six of the seven countries where Windows Phone shipped more than iPhone were mentioned above. The 7th ‘country’ is the “rest of central and eastern Europe” including Croatia. South Africa, Ukraine, and the 7th country each represent less than 100,000 Windows Phone import units in Q4’12. That’s not a lot.
Windows Phone is impressive considering it was designed from the ground up by Microsoft, but for Shaw to brag about something that’s really about nothing is grasping at straws. Admit growth has been underwhelming and a lot of work still needs to be done. We don’t respond well to unfound boasting, but we do respond well to honesty.
*Selling: The official number of imports into the country. Who knows how many are actually sold to end users.
There was no way I was going to take the iPad with me unless Steve personally approved it.