#iphone

Suzanne Vranica:

Samsung gave ABC smartphones to use during the broadcast and was promised its devices would get airtime, these people said. At least one of the product plugs was planned: during the “red carpet” preshow, ABC ran a clip of six aspiring young filmmakers touring Disney Studios. The group were seen in the video using Samsung devices.

The origin of the “selfie” shot was a little different. Ms. DeGeneres, in the days leading up to the broadcast, decided she wanted to take “selfies” during the show and ABC suggested she use a Samsung since it was a sponsor, another person familiar with the matter said.

"Suggested".

Better yet:

During rehearsals Samsung executives trained Ms. DeGeneres on how to use the Samsung Galaxy, two people familiar with the matter said.

"Trained".

And the kicker:

The Samsung stunt didn’t come off without a hitch: many people were quick to note on Twitter that the Oscar host was also tweeting during the evening with rival Apple’s iPhone.

Backstage, of course.

Some Thoughts On Facebook Paper

I’ve been trying out Facebook’s latest app, Paper1, all day and thought I’d post some initial thoughts.

1) It’s very well done. Some of the design seems a bit heavy-handed at times, but it’s responsive and sleek.

2) I’ve already replaced the standard Facebook app on my phone with Paper. It has basically everything you need from Facebook except Events, which you have to assume is another one of the stand-alone apps they’re working on.

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Jean-Louis Gassée:

Picture two iPhone users. One has a spanking new iPhone 5S, the other has an iPhone 5 that he bought last year. What do you see? Two smartphone users of equally discerning taste who, at different times, bought the top-of-the-line product. The iPhone 5 user isn’t déclassé, he’s just waiting for the upgrade window to open.

Now, replace the iPhone 5 with an iPhone 5C. We see two iPhones bought at the same time… but the 5C owner went for the cheaper, plastic model.

We might not like to hear psychologists say we build parts of our identity with objects we surround ourselves with, but they’re largely right. From cars, to Burberry garments and accessories, to smartphones, the objects we choose mean something about who we are — or who we want to appear to be.

This is a subtle point, but I believe it’s exactly right. With the iPhone 5c, what you ended up having was a (very) visual clue to others that you went out of your way to buy a cheaper iPhone. Right or wrong, that’s likely the first message being conveyed.

Previously, if you bought the $99 iPhone (or the $0 two-year-old variety), all that was conveyed was that you may have just had the old top-of-the-line version and were waiting to upgrade.

Apple’s position as a premium brand cuts both ways. And that’s too bad because the iPhone 5c really is a great iPhone.

Jay Haynes takes me to task on a point I made recently:

MG Siegler noted that Apple “wants to be the ones to disrupt themselves… But never with stakes this high…”. But I would argue the stakes were incredibly high when Apple decided to disrupt the Mac and the iPod (both about 100% of their revenue) at the same time. And history is a good indication that Apple is probably thinking about disrupting the iPhone, even now. A truly disruptive product to the iPhone might not emerge for years, but I can’t think of another company that would prepare for and execute a self-disruption strategy like Apple. It is in their culture to do it, as long as the new product is insanely great. As a result, Apple deserves a higher future growth rate than the market is currently giving it.

Sure, I guess what I meant was that the stakes have never been this high in terms of the revenue. Of course Apple wants to be the one to disrupt the iPhone and they’re thinking about it — I’m just not convinced it’s possible to replace such a high level or revenue. And that’s not a knock on Apple, I’m not sure anyone can. The iPhone is just that good of a business.

Another point Haynes makes that I absolutely agree with:

Microsoft made the mistake of targeting the “iPod market” with the Zune. But JTBD theory shows us that there is no such thing as an iPod market, just as there isn’t a cassette market, an LP market, or a CD market. Companies get disrupted because they define the market based on their product, not on the customers job-to-be-done, e.g. the markets for listening to music and discovering new music.

That’s exactly the right way to think about it. It’s the end, not the means.

The iPhone Company

It’s Apple earnings day which means two things:

1) Wall Street freaking out amidst record numbers.

2) Lots of people on Twitter linking to lots of different charts trying to explain Apple’s quarter.

I’m pretty sure we’ve reached peak chart.

The issue is that the only real things these charts show at this point is that Apple is both a habitual company and a money-making machine. And, to some extent, they prove the law of large numbers. The charts aren’t going up-and-to-the-right as fast as they used to because well, there are only so many people in the world who can buy Apple products.

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The All-Day Battery

Basically, every day is the same. I wake up, I get ready for the day, I grab my phone, I grab my Mophie, and I’m off. About halfway through the day, my phone dies and my Mophie saves me. I get home and I charge both devices to get ready for the next day.

First of all, it’s ridiculous that Apple isn’t in this business themselves. I know that they want to portray the notion that the iPhone battery is “good enough”, but it’s not. I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s just not adequate for a full day of usage for many people. And I’m not sure what’s so wrong with admitting that and offering solutions to “power users”.

And, of course, it’s hardly just Apple. Basically every smartphone aside from a few which are mediocre devices, lacks a battery that is adequate for the modern needs of a power user. Just amongst my friends (again, mainly power users), roughly half seem to carry around a battery charger on most days.

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Craig Mod:

After two and a half years, the GF1 was replaced by the slightly improved Panasonic GX1, which I brought on the six-day Kumano Kodo hike in October. During the trip, I alternated between shooting with it and an iPhone 5. After importing the results into Lightroom, Adobe’s photo-development software, it was difficult to distinguish the GX1’s photos from the iPhone 5’s. (That’s not even the latest iPhone; Austin Mann’s superlative results make it clear that the iPhone 5S operates on an even higher level.) Of course, zooming in and poking around the photos revealed differences: the iPhone 5 doesn’t capture as much highlight detail as the GX1, or handle low light as well, or withstand intense editing, such as drastic changes in exposure. But it seems clear that in a couple of years, with an iPhone 6S in our pockets, it will be nearly impossible to justify taking a dedicated camera on trips like the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage.

I know a lot of people hate this reality. But it is going to be a reality.

Verizon Has A Funny Definition Of “Global”

Yesterday, as I landed in a foreign country, I did my normal routine: switched off airplane mode on my phone, waited for signal to kick in, repeat, repeat, repeat.1 Once I connected, in poured the push notifications, the first of which is usually a text from the foreign carrier I just connected to warning me that I’m roaming and threatening to take my first child for every MB of data used. Yesterday, the message was a little different.

It was actually a text message from my U.S. carrier, Verizon, notifying me to turn data services off or use WiFi to avoid data charges. I thought nothing of this since I had the global data plan already enabled on my phone. Next, in came the foreign carrier text telling me the current take-your-first-child rates: $20.48 per MB of data used. Not even one minute later (I checked the time stamps), a third message came in, this time from Verizon again, alerting me that I’ve “exceeded $50 in global data charges.”

Again, I didn’t think too much of this because I knew my global data plan was enabled. That plan allows you to pay $25 for each 100MB of data usage when traveling abroad — still a rip-off, yes, but a relative steal compared to the aforementioned take-your-first-child rates normally associated with international data roaming. Because I had been in another country a few weeks prior, I thought such a message might just be a residual warning from data usage on that trip.

Nope.

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