And the latest Apple pitchman is…legendary film director Martin Scorsese. A new ad for the iPhone 4S hit the web this week that has the filmmaker talking to Siri–Apple’s vocal interface designed to answer users’ questions and take various commands. While previous commercials were designed to showcase the utilization of Siri in consumers’ everyday lives, this one demonstrates its practical use for business-related purposes and it is also the first time we are seeing it used in public. Continue Reading
What does the iPhone have that other smart phones do not? Siri. That is why Apple has rolled out a huge marketing campaign in recent months with movie and television stars using the novelty feature to show the Android loyalists what they are missing. Continue Reading
Check out the latest iPhone 4S commercials. They use New Girl star Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson to promote the smartphone, but really they are promoting the utilization of Siri. The feature has been a bit controversial as many considered it to be a mere novelty act with no real added benefit beyond screwing around when the device is first purchased. Apple is hedging its bets though in that Siri might provide their product with a unique advantage over rival smartphones, so it is in their best interest to get people using it even if that means teaching the public how it is done.
Earlier today, Apple announced it had finally come to a conclusion as to what it will be doing with its tremendous cash reserves. The company is opting to give it back to shareholders in the form of $45 billion in expenditures over the next three years via a $2.65 a share quarterly dividend and a $10 billion stock buyback which should make their stock much more stable in the long run. While $45 billion is a great deal of money, it should be noted that the $550 billion company currently has $100 billion in cash just sitting there doing nothing.
What they would ultimately do with this money was the subject of many rumors and debates over the past few years as it seemed like an inevitability that the company would opt to make a big acquisition with it. Today’s news only confirms that the strategic course of Apple will remain the same. They will continue to focus on what they do best–offering consumer-centric hardware that pushes the limits of technology in the face of preconceived cultural limitations–rather than dabble in diverse acquisitions that fail to align with the company’s core image. That is not to say that Apple has never made a purchase of another company or will never do so in the future, but they are far from being Google in terms of the search giant’s growth by acquisition approach.
As of this post, there are no solid numbers on the first day sales of the third generation iPad which just launched in the United States this past Friday; however, many already see Apple to be in a great position moving forward without any such corporate buyouts because tablets are continuing to progress into a must-have commodity rather than a mere luxury. The company’s market share of the segment currently exceeds 60%, and the sub-industry is projected by some to surpass that of the desktops/laptops as early as 2015 in terms of global unit sales.
It is this coupled with the market share stability of the iPhone that is propelling the company larger. The company just hit $600 a share for the first time last week, and with buzz around the recent rumors that Apple is shopping for television parts, many analysts are predicting $700 a share before the year is out.
Check out this NSFW video from the people at Funny or Die where they review the third generation iPad. The device is loaded with tech upgrades, but perhaps its most anticipated new feature is the temporary purpose it brings to our lives. Good stuff from FoD.
In speaking with numerous consumers since the reveal of the third generation iPad, I am getting the feeling that the general consensus out there is that core consumers perceive Apple’s latest tablet as ‘nothing new.’ They understand it will sell tens of millions of units, but they do not really grasp the reason why which is leading some of these people to believe that the iPad 3 is over-hyped.
One particular conversation shocked me as a relative went as far as to say that the device would not sell as well as the iPad 2. I immediately interjected by rolling off the latest analyst projection figures and mentioned that pre-order demand was currently outstripping supply despite efforts from Apple to avoid such a scenario. What got lost in the exchange though was that Joe Average does not care enough to decipher the differences between the two devices–retina display, improved cameras, faster processor, 4G connectivity, dictation, and a significant graphics upgrade. Perhaps it is the lack of an iPad redesign that is fueling this occurrence. Whatever the case, the bottom line is that these sentiments are not affecting sales of the third generation SKU’s in the slightest. The iPad is about to explode onto the scene when it hits retailers tomorrow as preliminary data suggests Apple could move 1 million units in its first 24 hours at retail which would be double the launch figure of its direct predecessor.
With this gap between consumer sentiment and these numbers, my general inclination is that the level of upgrades do not matter as much as one would suspect because this sales surge may just be the simple case of a product seeing organic growth in its life cycle. What really could be happening is that the tablet industry is beginning to shift from the first mover stage to a phase characterized by rapid growth. The previous generation showed off the first signs of this divergence; however, sell through failed to reach mainstream proportions as many considered the device still to be a niche offering that lacked purpose in their everyday life until recently when changes in media consumption and social interactivity patterns changed that. Should this prove to be the case, the current 50% year-to-year growth figures for the new iPad might prove a bit too conservative.
Late last week, I posted a public service announcement of sorts mentioning that the coveted third generation iPad was not selling out nearly as fast as expected due to anticipated high demand met with Apple readiness. It really was not because people had given up on tablet PC’s that pre-orders for the upgraded unit were still available, but rather a company who had learned from their previous lessons. The news today is that after almost six days of having first week delivery status via the Apple Store, the product has now slipped to a two to three week delay.
Why is it so far off? You know those rumors that have been around the net for months preceding the unveil for the latest iPad? Well, that is because in order to meet initial demand Apple needed to amp up production very far in advance leading some to believe this new delay could ultimately turn into a far more brutal one by Friday’s launch date. With the world expecting to get their new iPads soon as well, there could be significant talk of a shortage into mid-April. Maybe a retail presences will alleviate such worries, but only Apple truly knows the extent of any potential ‘shortage’ in the States right now. Perhaps an Ebay price check will become a good public barometer for such an occurrence once launch subsides.
Congratulations to everyone who pre-ordered the iPad last Wednesday, and to all those who have neglected to pre-order one, there is always the line in front of your local retailer.
This post might balance out the iPad pre-order story I uploaded this morning by giving a little love to Google’s Android mobile operating system. A report out today shows that 48.6% of the 101 million smartphone users in this country currently use a smartphone that utilizes that particular OS. This number is 2.3% higher than last quarter which ended in October showing the Microsoft’s push into the industry is yet to impact Google’s market share. Naturally, it is worth mentioning that Google capitalizes on fees from app purchases rather than sales of Android driven units, so this does not directly translated into a pile of money for the search giant.
It might actually mean more to smartphone manufacturers like Samsung that need to lean on the OS in order to compete with the likes of Apple which is known for supplying both the hardware and software in their devices. Apple is a distant second in this report with 29.5% market share which is a number that refuses to slide as more and more of these reports come out through the years. In other words, we can now say more positively that Android is very unlikely to crowd out Apple from the industry like Microsoft did with desktops in the 90′s–something many have speculated would ultimately be inevitable.
Looking towards the future, this could have huge implications on the tablet industry as Apple loyalists will likely stick with them even when rival tablets begin to emerge as legitimate challengers to the iPad within the next half-decade. Do not expect Apple to pump the brakes through on the iPad’s continued development. They understand what happened during the smartphone era that lead to Android’s fruition and it seems like their company’s ongoing strategy concerning tablets has been to keep margins low to avoid a welcoming environment for rival corporations. That is actually why many believe it will be an inevitability that Apple releases a smaller version of the iPad as there exists a clear market for it that only the Kindle Fire appears to be tapping.
Yesterday featured the unveil of a brand new iPad, and the news today is that the tech company has shockingly met the crazy high demand for pre-orders this time around. With the device expected to launch a record number of tablets nationwide in merely eight days, the company has somehow managed to meet that demand as after 18 hours of pre-order availability many SKU’s are still showing a delivery date of March 16th–launch day.
Yes, it may not be as big a deal as the original iPad to iPad 2 conversion for typical consumers because it pretty much looks the same, but the savviest of Apple diehards know that this internal upgrade is a doozie. Add that to the standard ‘skip a generation’ Apple consumers who are wanting to upgrade their first generation iPads as well as the people who want to get in on something perceived to be the future of home computing, and you have a recipe for juggernaut sales data.
In terms of features for those of you who have not heard, it has most everything rumored except Siri. Instead, the device will sport a feature called Dictation which really will not be much of a deal breaker as the iPhone’s personal assistant is still merely a novel approach to communicating with your computer at this point in time. The new iPad does however have a retina display, 4G networking, 1080p HD recording, a vastly improved camera, faster processing, and an improved graphics capability.
That last feature comes much to the dismay of companies like Nintendo who intend to focus their next generation video game consoles around a tablet. While fairly meaningless right now, a continued effort to improve graphical power and sync with multiple devices in the living room could mean a whole lot within two years when Wii U, PS4, and XBox 3 are all at retail.
Aside from all this, the only let down for the iPad 3 was that it is not called the iPad 3. Apple has chosen to go the iPod route with this one by adding (3rd Generation) to the iPad title. This does not excite consumers nearly as much as giving a clear ‘this one is better’ tag to its products outside of parentheses, so the logical explanation for this move is that the company wants to free up the subtitle slot for branding space should the company opt to offer smaller SKU’s at a later date.
It has been clear for some time where television is headed, and until now it looked like the war for major content distribution online was going to be played out by Google and Apple alone. Continue Reading
Intel’s PC Client Group revenue is up 22% year-over-year which gives us our news story: The PC is not dying after all. According to an article on over at Wired, what Intel’s quarterly results essentially mean is that the computer market remains very healthy despite the rapid growth of tablets. Continue Reading
There was a lot of hype surrounding the new iPhone, but perhaps the biggest reason it did not live up to expectations was because of its name. In the following FoD video, the choice of name is taken on as it shows the disappointment surrounding the iPhone 4S. Continue Reading