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Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

Words from the Woz: marketing is crucial

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Woz quote“Creative things have to sell to get acknowledged as such.” So says Steve Wozniak, creator of the Mac computer and technology icon. Wozniak, understands the power of marketing as well as that of techonology. “It’s a lot easier to think of an app and write it than it is to convince people to want it,” he said more recently.

Although Steve Jobs is always cited as Apple’s marketing guru, Wozniak fully grasps the need.

Wozinat, the lunch speaker on the second day of the upcoming Digital Summit Atlanta May 20- and 21, added, “Marketing is crucial.” You’ll get a powerful dose of marketing savvy at the Digital Summit Atlanta event, the Woz himself may supply a few take-aways.

His quotes go viral on the Internet, where they end up on uncountable Facebook pages in boxes with his picture.
We thought you might enjoy a look at some of the best.

Here they are just a few:

“If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it’s within your reach. And it’ll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build. It’ll be worth it, I promise.”

“I learned not to worry so much about the outcome, but to concentrate on the step I was on and to try to do it as perfectly as I could when I was doing it.”

“All of a sudden, we’ve lost a lot of control. We can’t turn off our internet; we can’t turn off our smartphones; we can’t turn off our computers. You used to ask a smart person a question. Now, who do you ask? It starts with g-o, and it’s not God.”

Most online Americans have smartphones, nearly half have tablets

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

tablet computersTablet ownership as of May 2013 is closing in on a majority of Americans who are online, 8 to 64, across the United States, with 44% of the population owning a tablet in their household – up from 30% in 2012 which is a 47% growth rate in one year.  Already a majority of online Americans (54%) ages 18 to 34 own a tablet.

Smartphone ownership has now broken the majority barrier and reached 61% of online Americans as of May 2013.  Over 79% of all online Americans 18 to 34 now own a smartphone.

The rapid growth of tablet use suggests that many of us want bigger screens than most smartphones have for many of our mobile device activities. We wouldn’t be surprised to see hybrid devices with screens 5 inches to 7 inches becoming increasingly popular.

America is now a mobile connected country

Mike Vorhaus, President of Magid Advisors, a unit of Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. says, “America is not just a connected country now, but a mobile-connected country.”

Magid has just concluded their 2013 Magid Media Futures study including a section dedicated to tablets and smartphones.  The study covers a nationally representative population of 2400 respondents who are 8 to 64 years old and have access to the Internet.

Over half (53%) of all tablet owners in the U.S. have Apple’s full-sized iPad, steady since last year. When you also include the ownership of iPad minis, 59% of tablet owners have any iPad.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire has risen to 31% of tablet owners vs. 28% in 2012. Personally, here at the TechJournal, we love our Kindle Fire, but it does have distinct lacks compared to both the Google Nexus 7 (with a new model allegedly coming in July) and the Apple iPad Mini. It lacks a microphone and dictation software – which we believe is the future of mobile device interfaces. So we’re considering the upcoming new Nexus model as our next tablet purchase.

The Samsung tablets now account for 19% of tablet owners vs. 13% in 2012 – the highest growth rate among tablets this last year.  A third (32%) of tablet owners have multiple brands of tablet devices in their household. We were not crazy about the 10-inch Samsung model we tested, but they have made advances.

Android now a majority in the US

Android logoAndroid smartphones now account for a majority of smartphone owners in the U.S. at 53% vs. iPhones at 41%.  Samsung captures the largest group of Android owners at 50% (26% of all smartphones).

Just under 1 in 10 (8%) of smartphone owners own multiple brands of smartphone devices.  See charts attached for owner adoption and market share data.

App spending was up huge in both the tablet and smartphone markets over the last 12 months.

Tablet app spending growth

Tablet spending on apps grew 42% year-to-year, while smartphone spending on apps grew 44% year-to-year.  Tablet spending on apps in the last 12 months was $2.3 billion among American tablet owners. For smartphone owners the app spend in the last 12 months was $1.7 billion.

“The smartphone has become a mini-TV for many consumers,” Vorhaus said, with 38% of smartphone owners regularly watching video on their smartphones and almost 40% of those consumers are watching full-length movies and TV shows on their smartphones (16% of all smartphone owners).

Tablet users are also big fans of watching video on their tablets with 63% of tablet owners saying they regularly watch video on their tablets.  Much of this tablet viewing is full-length movies and TV shows with 69% of all tablet video viewers regularly watching long-form video, which is 42% of all tablet owners.

In the year ahead Magid anticipates major growth in smartphone and tablet penetration in the U.S.  By this time next year Magid estimates that 67% of online Americans, ages 8 to 64, will have a smartphone and 54% of online Americans will have a tablet.  That represents a 10% YOY predicted growth rate for smartphones in the U.S. and 20% growth for tablets.

Industries and companies MBA students see as ideal employers

Friday, June 7th, 2013
Google

Google ranks number one among MBA students asked to name ideal employers.

MBA students no longer see the financial industry as the golden path to riches, apparently. It has seen a steady decline in the ranking of ideal employers by Universum Global since 2009.

The 2013 rankings saw just one bank, Goldman Sachs; hang on to its coveted Top 10 spot – no other bank made the Top 10.  Of the students who still consider banking a top industry, one of the top three employer attributes attracting them is prestige.

Technology is still an attractive industry, if the MBA student rankings of their ideal employers is a guide. Among the top ten are Google, Apple, and Amazon.

 

The most preferred industry for MBA students, Management and Strategy Consulting, sees prestige as the 10th most important attribute, behind others such as leadership opportunities, a creative and dynamic work environment, and challenging work.

Consulting secures the top industry title

Management and Strategy Consulting is the top industry of choice for MBA students and elite strategy consulting firms McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company and The Boston Consulting Group have all retained their Top 10 positions this year, but broader professional services firms are gaining ground.

Deloitte“What is interesting as you look at the data is that the elite strategy consulting firms have stayed stable or decreased in the rankings; however, other professional services and consulting firms (Deloitte, IBM, PWC, Accenture) have all risen in the rankings,” saidMelissa Murray Bailey, Universum President of the Americas.

“As leadership opportunities are one of the key attributes attracting MBA students to this industry, this trend could be a result of the larger firms’ concerted focus on offering a greater variety of career paths than before.”

Strong consumer brands make an impact

AppleApple’s MBA ranking stayed steady at #3 this year and Amazon was right behind after having jumped two ranks from #6 to #4. Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, LVMH, and Unilever also featured within the 2013 Top 30. Similar to Management and Strategy Consulting, the attributes attracting MBA students to Consumer Goods (the second most preferred industry) are leaders who support development, leadership opportunities and a creative and dynamic work environment.

While all of the Top 30 consumer goods organizations obviously have strong consumer brands, this doesn’t always correlate with a strong employer brand.

“A strong consumer brand is a blessing and a challenge when it comes to managing an employer brand,” advised Bailey. “I would go as far as to say that when a company has a strong consumer brand, it needs to work even harder to make its employer brand known to potential candidates.

“Otherwise, there is the risk of disappointment and high turnover when students have jumped to the wrong conclusions based on what they know about an employer brand. The two can and should complement each other, but the messaging needs to be focused and deliberate to ensure success.”

Top 10 Ideal Employers for MBA students:

1. Google, 2. McKinsey & Company, 3. Apple, 4. Amazon, 5. The Boston Consulting Group, 6. Bain and Company, 7. Nike, 8. Walt Disney, 9. Deloitte, 10. Goldman Sachs. Please visit CNN Money for full list:http://money.cnn.com/news/economy/mba100/2013/full_list/

Apple rules in the Enterprise, consumers prefer Android

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
iPhone

Enterprise users prefer iPhones and iPads, while consumers tend toward Android devices, study says.

Enterprise mobility trends do not mirror consumer preferences. Despite the hold Android has on global market share, the Good Mobility Index reports that iOS remains the preferred enterprise platform, says  Good Technology.

Android is poised to continue to take share, but the total number of Android device activations increased just five percentage points year over year, despite the explosive growth the platform achieved in 2012.

The total number of activations on iOS devices dropped by nearly the same figure year over year, but the platform remains the clear market leader with 75 percent of total device activations.

“With bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies now becoming the rule, rather than the exception, it’s more imperative than ever to have a cross-platform solution that can be deployed across the number of devices coming into the workplace,” said Christy Wyatt , CEO and President, Good Technology.

“And despite what device they may be using, users want a seamless, integrated experience that allows them to be as productive on the go as they are on their desktop or laptop.”

iPads, iPhones most popular in the Enterprise

Apple iPad3s

Apple iPads

Good’s Quarterly Mobility Index shows the iPhone 5 topped enterprise users’ most popular device list, followed by the iPhone 4S, and the latest generation iPad came in as the most regularly used tablet.

Perhaps due to explosion of application transformation in the enterprise, another key finding bucking global purchase trends is enterprise tablet usage.

One in four device activations is now happening on a tablet as activations have grown to 27 percent of total device activations in the workplace; in contrast, worldwide figures from IDC show that tablets represent only 1 in 5 devices shipped in the tablet and smartphone category in this quarter.

Claiming seven percent of overall device activations for the quarter, the Samsung Galaxy SIII was crowned the most popular Android device, playing a substantial role in fueling the growth of total Android activations. Among Android devices, activations of tablets almost doubled in Q1 2013 compared to the previous quarter.

Additional report findings include:

  • Total device activations jumped almost 30 percent year over year, with 99 percent of activations on iOS and Android platforms.
  • Activations from Android tablets almost doubled during Q1 2013 while iPad activations dropped by five percent.
  • The Financial Services industry continued to lead other industries in total device activations with 24 percent, as well as iPad activations with 30 percent.
  • There was a two percentage point jump in total device activations across the public sector compared to last quarter.

An ongoing initiative to track activations across the breadth of mobile platforms and devices, the report leverages findings from the more than 5,000 Good customers worldwide to highlight global mobility trends and usage patterns. The full report is available to view in PDF.

Tablet sales to hit $64B, tide turning to Android

Friday, April 12th, 2013

tabletsThe convenience and mobility benefits afforded by tablet computers are showing no signs of slowing interest after record unit shipments and revenues were reported by device vendors in 2012.

In 2013, approximately 150 million tablets (up 38% year-over-year) are forecasted to ship globally worth an estimated $64 billion (up 28% from 2012) in potential end-user revenues, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research.

Apple shipped 60 percent of total

So far, Apple has reigned since the introduction of its iPad in 2010, though Samsung and others continue to erode its early success.

About 60% of last year’s tablet shipments used Apple’s iOS operating system software while 37% were based on Google’s Android OS (or development forks of Android, such as found on Amazon’s Kindle Fire slates).

The remaining 3% OS share consisted of Windows (Windows 7, 8, or RT), BlackBerry Tablet OS, and unidentified OS implementations.

Tide turning toward Android

Android logo“The tide is definitely turning toward Android-based tablets, though Apple will not slouch as it feels the competition approaching,” says mobile devices senior practice director Jeff Orr.

“The iPad mini was a timely introduction in 2012, though ABI Research remains cautious about the bottom line impact this is having for Apple.

Here at the TechJournal, we think the late Steve Jobs was wrong when he said tablets needed those 10-inch screens. The 7-inch models are much handier and with the exception of all those regular sized iPad sales, we think they’ll dominate the market.

Personally, while we enjoy our Kindle Fire, we are waiting to see what Google offers in its upcoming new Nexus 7 tablet release expected in July. We suspect Apple will release an updated iPad mini in the not too distant future as well.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: what will make tablets even more useful, salable and dominant is better voice control – something Apple’s Siri and the dictation features on the Nexus are approaching. Better accuracy and true dictation ability are crucial to easy control of these devices without a keyboard.

The first quarter of 2013 should be the first time where production was able to meet market demand and a better sense of how much 9.7” iPad volume has switched to the smaller, lower-cost mini will be understood.”

Samsung could challenge Apple

ipad4

iPad 4

The next opportunity is for a vendor challenger to break away from the pack and move closer to Apple. Most would consider Samsung the likely pursuer, though the company was mired in legal proceedings during much of 2012.

The success Samsung has seen during the past year with smartphones, Android OS, and the Galaxy Note II is expected to migrate across to tablets in 2013.

“A well-executed Samsung tablet strategy could double the company’s market share this year,” adds Orr.

Unfortunately, there are few “fast followers” capable of emulating the ownership of technology that Samsung has, suggesting that more innovation is necessary within the Android OS that pulls tablet OEMs closer to Apple.

These “Media Tablets and eReaders” Market Data findings are part of ABI Research’s Media Tablets, Ultrabooks and eReaders Research Service (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/service/media-tablets-netbooks-ereaders/).

Combined digital and traditional marketing work best

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

By Allan Maurer

Joellyn "Joey" Sargent

Joellyn “Joey” Sargent.

One mistake brands sometimes make today is that with digital and social media so prevalent, they sometimes think “We don’t need print, TV or traditional marketing anymore.”

That’s usually not the case, says Joellyn “Joey” Sargent, a principal at strategic marketing and management consulting firm BrandSprout. “People don’t live in their computers,” she says. “They drive, watch TV. Looking at your customers’ lifestyles and figuring out how to reach them in all kinds of places is critical.”

An avid fan of technology and innovation, Sargent’s approach merges new media with traditional marketing. Before founding BrandSprout, she spent 20 years leading marketing strategy for businesses ranging from start-ups to the Fortune 500, including UPS and BellSouth (now AT&T).

As a senior marketing executive, she had global responsibility for branding, marketing strategy, communications and product management functions. Sargent has been quoted in Fox Business, Huffington Post and Social Media Today. She holds an MBA from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Read her blog at www.Fresh-Sprouts.com.

Participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit

Sargent is among the digital marketers, web strategists, senior Internet executives, thought-leaders, and entrepreneurs participating in the upcoming Digital Summit in Atlanta May 14-15. She also appeared at the event last year and you can read our interview preceding her presentation, “In the Age of Social Media, Companies don’t fully control the brand” here.

“It doesn’t make sense to try to reach customers from only one angle,” Sargent says. “You should start with a strong understanding of your target market and what they enjoy doing, what’s appropriate for them, where they are hanging out, what they’re reading and where they’re interacting.”

Sargent notes that while you could spend a lot of money on hard core research, you could also find out much of this information by “Talking to your customers in the field. Observe their behavior. Drill down on how they found out about you, who else they looked at, options they considered, and why they chose you. You’ll find good ways to get in front of them.”

Look for the most effective approaches

You will really want to look at the most effective approaches, she adds. “You might get in front of them 10 ways, but some are going to be better than others.”

Just as a quick example she says, “Someone waiting in a bus shelter will see a sign there, but if you’re in traffic, you might not notice a sign on a bus going by.”

You have to think about not only where you’ll get their attention, but also, where can they potentially take action?

Don’t do too much

One mistake marketers make, she says, “Is trying to do too much and cover the waterfront, be on every social network. That’s not productive because you spread yourself too thinly. Find the right places to connect with your customers.”

Even then, you have to think about what is appropriate for each social network. Photos of a company bowling team might work well on Facebook, but not on LinkedIn.

On a website your customers frequent, you might choose to have a pop up offer a newsletter if it offers a gateway to content they are interested in, she suggests.

“At the same time,” she warns, “You don’t want to jump in front of them if it’s not relevant to them. Find those opportunities where it is appropriate to get in front of them and they can make mental connections as to why you are there.”

Merge online and offline efforts

One thing that is particularly important – which she will discuss in more detail and with examples at the Digital Summit, is the need to merge offline and online marketing efforts.

“You have to be careful not to seem creepy,” she says, “such as when you download a brochure and the next thing you know your phone is ringing.”

Instead, she says, “If someone is engaged on a website, take it further. Can we give you something in hard copy? An invitation to an event we’re hosting? A workshop? Those are great for the more complex sale.”

For retail, offer a coupon, get them in the store. “For someone without a history with the brand, getting them to come in is a big deal.”

It’s a time-consuming process, but it’s not the kind of thing you can do and say you’re done, she notes.

A continuum, not set it and forget it

“It’s a continuum. The market changes. There are new opportunities for connecting with your customers. You need to be more nimble than ever.”

Once upon a time companies could do an annual marketing plan and that was it. “Now you have to do it every month,” she says. “People who go through the set it and forget it process end up spending more money than they need to by not optimizing their program.”

Finally, Sargent says, “Make sure you know how your digital marketing affects your overall corporate goals. It’s not about having 10,000 leads, it’s about having leads that bring you customers to help you grow over time.”

 

LTE smartphone and tablet sales surged in Q4 2012

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

mobile devicesTablet sales exploded nearly 300 percent over 2011, Apple regained its smartphone market share lead, and LTE smartphone sales rose 151 percent in the 4th quarter of 2012, according to Infonetics.

FDD-LTE was the biggest driver for smartphone growth in the final quarter of 2012, with unit growth of 151%, the second straight quarter of triple-digit growth,” reports Julien Blin, directing analyst for consumer electronics and mobile broadband atInfonetics Research.

TDD-LTE smartphones are also ramping fast, albeit from a much smaller base, despite a temporary dip in growth in the 4th quarter. In 2012, 5 times as many W-CDMA/HSPA smartphones shipped as LTE smartphones. By 2015 we expect LTE smartphones to overtake W-CDMA/HSPA.”

Blin adds, “Similarly in the tablet space, the growing popularity of low-cost LTE tablets, shared data plans, and improved LTE network coverage (especially in developed markets like North America and Western Europe), will drive LTE-enabled tablets to close the gap on WiFi-only tablets by 2017.”

MOBILE BROADBAND DEVICE MARKET HIGHLIGHTS

  • The global smartphone market totaled $247 billion in 2012, up 51% from 2011
  • Owing to the introduction of the iPhone 5, Apple regained its lead in smartphone revenue market share in 4Q12 with 37%, followed by Samsung with 29%; Samsung maintains its lead in smartphone unit share
  • Sales of tablets reached $42 billion worldwide in 2012, jumping 281% over 2011
  • In 2012, shipments of standalone USB mobile broadband cards grew steadily, driven by W-CDMA shipments in developing countries and LTE growth in developed markets
  • Meanwhile, embedded cards declined as the more functional tablet segment overshadowed embedded PCs and mobile internet devices (MIDs)
  • Infonetics expects the number of global mobile broadband subscribers (phone and PC) to grow from 1.2 billion in 2012 to close to 3 billion by 2017

Which is better, a Mac or a PC? Sudoku knows

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

sodukuThe developer of PictureSudoku.com says he’s done some number crunching that may finally settle a burning technology question: Which is better, Mac or PC?

PictureSudoku.com sees about 5,000 visitors per month. It lets users play a picture form of Sudoku puzzles in real-time online.

The website monitors several components that gauge a player’s performance:

1) the player’s hardware used
2) the player’s choice of internet browser
3) the player’s speed to complete a puzzle

As a player progresses through the Sudoku puzzle, hints are provided on request. It was hint data, when combined with the three factors above, that puzzle developer, Simon Broadley , thought might punch up the score of one platform vs. the other and one browser vs. the other.

View charts    

Computer Choice:

http://www.xpresspress.com/images/Sudoku-speed-computer.png

Browser Choice:

http://www.xpresspress.com/images/Sudoku-speed-browser.png

ipad3“There is a definite connection between computer and browser choice and how fast people complete a picture Sudoku,” stated Broadley.

The data also made Broadley wonder whether one platform (and by extension, consumer) is smarter than another.

According to the findings, iPad users required four times the number of hints when compared to Mac desktop users and 60% more hints than Windows desktop users.

“This may be attributed to more children using the iPad,” Broadley hypothesized.

But don’t fret Apple fans, the narrative shifts when puzzles are played on the desktop.

MicrosoftWindows users required more than two times the number of hints than Apple/Mac users.

And when the Safari browser is deployed, Mac players became supercharged, finishing puzzles faster than any other hardware/browser combination.

Desktop Macs with Safari are smarter—at least for PictureSudoku.com play.

“By far, the slowest play was through Internet Explorer,” Broadley stated. “However, those players still required fewer hints than Firefox users. The figures go against logic which suggests more hints slow down a game.”

And the winner is …

“Sorry, PC users. For this round, Mac is the winner,” Broadley concluded. “But it’s only a game.”

Founded in 2007 as a programming challenge, PictureSudoku.com was created by developer Simon Broadley of Stonehaven,Scotland.

Smartphone makers may be losing billions in revenue (infographic)

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

iPhone 5sAre smartphone makers losing billions of dollars a year due to poor revenue management?

According to Gartner, Inc., a leading IT research and advisory company, given that chargeback credits can exceed millions of dollars per month, wholesale distributors can severely undermine profitability through inaccurate and inefficient processes, with revenue leakage accounting for as much as 1-2 percent of gross revenue.

Manufacturers also face similar revenue leakage exposure and although the percentage might seem small, for technology giants such as Apple and Samsung, this could mean billions of dollars in lost revenue each quarter.

Why does this matter to anyone but a manufacturer? It’s pretty basic: if the manufacturer’s costs are higher, so is the price consumers will have to pay for devices.

Here’s an infographic detailing the problem from Revitas, which, not surprisingly, sells  solutions for contracts, pricing, and compliance.

Wi-Fi still the dominant mobile data network

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
WiFi icon

Researchers say they can boost the speed of public WiFi networks by up to 700 percent.

Wi-Fi remains the leading data network for on-the-go data consumption in the five leading Arbitron Mobile-based smartphone panels.

People on Apple iOS devices use the most data and the most WiFi.

Even as carriers aggressively promote their newest generation of cellular data networking, the Arbitron smartphone panelists in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and China, still consume nearly two thirds of their mobile data through public and private Wi-Fi networks.

Wi-Fi Data Consumption by Arbitron Mobile-based Smartphone Panelists
Sorted by average mobile data consumption per month (cellular +Wi-Fi)
% via Wi-Fi Cell + Wi-Fi Data

MB/User/Month

% of panelists
> 1,000 MB/month
U.S. 61% 1,496 49%
U.K. 69% 1,181 37%
Germany 63% 861 37%
France 53% 730 24%
China* 70% 719 25%
Source: Arbitron Mobile Index: Executive Summary Reports, 4th quarter 2012
* Operated by iResearch using Arbitron Mobile technology
iPhone 5

The iPhone 5

The United States and United Kingdom have the heaviest users of mobile data in their Arbitron smartphone panels. A substantial share of the data consumption—61 and 69 percent respectively—relies on Wi-Fi networks.

China and France have the lightest users of mobile data in their Arbitron Mobile-based smartphone panels, both in terms of the average monthly data consumed and the share of the panel who consume more the 1,000 MB a month.

However, their respective share of Wi-Fi networks as a data source stands at a polar opposite.

China panelists consume the largest share—70 percent—on Wi-Fi networks.  French panelists, consume the smallest share—53 percent—of mobile data on Wi-Fi.

In all five of the Arbitron Mobile panels, Apple iOS users are heaviest consumers of mobile data and are the heaviest users of Wi-Fi for their on-the-go data needs.

Data Consumption by Leading Mobile Operating Systems
Sorted by average mobile data consumption per month (cellular +Wi-Fi) on iOS
Apple iOS Android
MB/User/Month % via Wi-Fi MB/User/Month % via Wi-Fi
U.S. 2,512 66% 821 57%
U.K. 2,216 80% 740 64%
China* 1,636 81% 347 65%
France 1,527 70% 635 52%
Germany 1,203 71% 566 56%
Source: Arbitron Mobile Index — Executive Summary Reports, 4th quarter 2012
* Operated by iResearch using Arbitron Mobile technology

Apple iOS was the predominant operating system among the heavy data users in these five smartphone panels.  Seventy-two percent of iOS users in the U.S. and German panel were in 1,000+ MB/month club; in the U.K., 76 percent, and in China 60 percent. In stark contrast, only 29 percent of the iOS users in the France panel consumed more than 1,000 MB/month in the fourth quarter 2012.

What can companies learn from those earning great reputations?

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

The Harris PollAmazon is on a roll. In addition to topping a list of 25 retailers with the best mobile satisfaction ratings during the recent holiday shopping season, it also edged out Apple as America’s most reputable company, according to the 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study which engages over 14,000 members of the general public to measure the reputations of the sixty most visible companies in the country.

And companies can learn from how the leaders gain their stellar reputations.

This is Amazon’s first time earning the top ranking, but the fifth consecutive year with a great reputation score. The Walt Disney Company, Google, and Johnson & Johnson complete the top five. This is Google’s eight consecutive top five appearance, an incredible achievement for a fourteen year old company.

AIG and Goldman Sachs return to the bottom two reputation positions on the list of the most visible companies, joined by Halliburton, American Airlines, and Bank of America. With a full six point increase in RQ score though, Bank of America had the highest year-over-year increase in the 2013 study. Best Buy and Honda experienced the greatest decline in RQ scores, 6.76 and 4.73 points, respectively.

RQ measures six dimensions that comprise reputation and influence consumer behavior.

The dimensions and the 2013 leaders are:

  • Social Responsibility – Whole Foods
  • Emotional Appeal – Amazon.com
  • Financial Performance – Apple
  • Products & Services – Amazon.com
  • Vision & Leadership – Apple
  • Workplace Environment – Google

graphicAmazon’s reputation strength runs wide and deep as it ranked in the top five in five of the six dimensions of reputation. Amazon had a five point advantage over any other company in the study in the dimension of Emotional Appeal, despite an entirely virtual relationship with the public. Amazon also achieved the top rating in the dimension of Products & Services.

Amazon earned nearly 100 percent positive ratings on all measures related to Trust. More than 50 percent of respondents also recall discussing Amazon with friends and family in the past year, and nearly 100 percent of these conversations were positive.

“Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive,” adds Fronk. “

Nine of ten would recommend it

And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than nine in ten members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family.”

The results for Apple and Google are equally as impressive as those for Amazon and continue a compelling trend that has been developing for the past few years – companies that begin in the technology sector, which is by far and away the highest-rated industry when it comes to reputation, absorb the reputation equity from the industry, then transcend the industry to become a more multi-faceted business.

Companies that are able to do this are perceivedto “Play A Valuable Social Role,” a characteristic, which according to the RQ study, has become a key driver of reputation.

Kindle

The Kindle’s eInk technology frees you from LED glare and eye-strain – and you can make the fonts as large as you like.

As a longtime Amazon customer, we can understand why it has such a great reputation, despite moves such as encouraging “showrooming,” viewing products in stores to buy later online.

It’s customer service is beyond first rate. We dropped and broke our first Kindle e-reader when it was out of warranty and they still replaced it free, overnight, and we didn’t even have to pay postage. When a large package of books went awry and never showed up, they simply resent the order.

Banking industry shows gains, still low ranked

The banking industry is not so lucky. It showed some encouraging signs in 2013. Positive ratings of the industry are now 25 percent, a more than 50 percent increase from 2012.

Wells Fargo became the first of the four big banking companies in the past four years to move from negative to positive equity in the dimension of Emotional Appeal. Harris’s fourteen years of conducting the RQ study show that a company cannot build or maintain positive reputation without this positive equity. Wells Fargo also received significantly higher marks on attributes related to its people and work environment, and it is possible that these may be the first signs of a bank once again being seen as trusted.

But in our conversations with sources, the banking industry is still most often cited as having abysmal customer service and is viewed as frequently predatory. The continuing mortgage default problem hasn’t helped.

What can companies learn from the 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study?

Companies need to evaluate and understand the increasing importance that playing a valuable social role has on reputation, purchase consideration, advocacy and positive word of mouth. This is about a business having a purpose, not just checking the box on social responsibility or sustainability.

Additionally, companies need to adapt to a major trend in consumer behavior. More than 60 percent of consumers now “pro-actively try to learn more about how a company conducts itself” before they are willing to consider that company’s products or services. This group, which Harris calls Seekers:

  • Proactively engage in conversations with others about what they find out about a company;
  • In 60 percent of cases, decide NOT to do business with a company because of something they learn about that company; and
  • Actively try to influence friends and family on whether to do business or not with a company based upon what they have learned about that company’s conduct.

 

A majority of enterprises support Apple devices, but they have gripes

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
Apple iPad3s

Apple iPads

A large majority of Enterprises are either supporting iPhones and iPads at work now or plan to, says InformationWeek Reports. And, while they give them high marks for user satisfaction, they nevertheless have gripes: they’re too expensive and hard to upgrade.

Findings: 

  • 85% of decision-makers report they support iPhones, with an additional 4% planning to do so; 90% currently or plan to support iPads.
  • 87% of those supporting or planning to support Apple smartphones or tablets give the devices high marks for end-user satisfaction, but 45% say the upgradability is poor or very poor.
  • 64% of decision-makers report having no Apple servers in their organizations.
  • 45% say their top gripe with Apple products is the devices are too expensive for the value provided.
  • 23% of decision-makers rate Apple’s enterprise security and device management excellent or good; 31% say it’s poor or unacceptable.

The report author, Richard Hoffman , is owner of Geomancy Consulting, an InformationWeek contributor and former technology editor for Network Computing.

Black Friday hits a billion in online sales for the first time

Monday, November 26th, 2012

comscoreAlthough Black Friday usually conjures up images of people waiting in long lines at retail stores, this year it was also the heaviest online spending day to date, according to digital measurement service comScore.

In store sale, in comparison, were down as many shoppers avoided those lines to do their gift-hunting online.

For the holiday season-to-date, $13.7 billion has been spent online, marking a 16-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year.

Black Friday (November 23) saw $1.042 billion in online sales, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2012 and representing a 26-percent increase versus Black Friday 2011.

Thanksgiving Day (November 22), while traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 32-percent increase to $633 million.

“Despite the frenzy of media coverage surrounding the importance of Black Friday in the brick-and-mortar world, we continue to see this shopping day become more and more prominent in the e-commerce channel – particularly among those who prefer to avoid crowds at the stores,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni.

“With Black Friday online sales up 26 percent and surpassing $1 billion for the first time, coupled with early reports indicating that Black Friday sales in retail stores were down 1.8 percent, we can now confidently call it a multi-channelmarketing phenomenon.”

Fulgoni added that Thanksgiving Day itself, usually a lighter online shopping day, is gaining steam as well.

Today, Cyber Monday, is expected to be the heaviest shopping day of the season with sales approaching $1.5 billion or more.

ComScore says Amazon led the online sales parade so far this year, followed by Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Apple.

We think this is a bit of a surprise: digital content and subscriptions were the top-growing online retail product category, up 29 percent from a year ago. The proliferation of smartphones, tablets and e-readers is driving the demand for digital books, audio & visual content, says comScore.

Toy are also doing well, gaining 27 percent,  followed by Consumer Packaged Goods (up 23 percent), Video Game Consoles & Accessories (up 18 percent) and Consumer Electronics (up 18 percent).

Apple may have another hit on its hands with iPad Mini

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
iPad Mini

Phil Schiller showing the new iPad Mini at Apple’s launch event this week.

Apple may have another hit on its hands with the iPad Mini when the new 7.9 inch tablet becomes available for pre-orders today. Bizrate Insights says 15 percent of online buyers across its network plan to purchase it pretty much immediately.

Haley Silver, vice president of Bizrate Insights says, “For context, we saw a lower number in 2011 around the introduction of the iPad 2—with the same top reason cited for not purchasing. These numbers today would indicate that Apple has another huge hit on its hands.”

The top reason cited for not purchasing is a lack of a defined need, as reported by over 39 percent of respondents.

Is the price right?

Introduced this week, the iPad Mini will be available for pre-orders starting today. It features a slightly larger screen than other one-hand tablets, includes the popular Siri voice personal assistant and dictation, front and rear cameras, and access to the massive number of apps available in the iTunes store.

It is priced at $320 for the least expensive model, which some believe may be too high to compete with the $199 tablets available from Amazon and Google. Here’s a CNET review comparing the iPad Mini to the Google Nexus and Amazon Kindle Fire HD.

It has been a long time since we were tempted to buy an Apple product, because for all their beauty and innovative design, we generally find them over-priced.

The iPad Mini temps us, though, primarily because the ability to do many tasks using Siri or dictation instead of a virtual keyboard is what we think will really make tablets more productive and less just media consumption devices.

The Google Nexus also offers a dictation feature, and we have been tempted to try that, as well. But we’re also interested in dipping back into the Apple ecosystem. We even considered buying one of the new iPod touch models, but at nearly $300 for a smaller screen and fewer features than the iPad Mini, we’re not sure that’s such a good deal.

Kindle Fire

A Kindle Fire tablet computer

We love our Kindle Fire, which we bought soon after its launch, but it is primarily a media and entertainment device.

It’s great for media snacking via apps such as Pulse and Flipbook, watching videos, reading books and magazines from our digital Amazon purchases, or playing a quick game of Angry Birds or working a chess problem. But even typing in passwords via a virtual keyboard is a pain.

But we have no interest at all in the new Kindle Fire HD.

Apps are a main reason to buy Apple

Also, many apps still do not run as well on Android as on the Apple iOS and some just do not work right at all on my Kindle Fire. Access to the Apple app store is not a minor reason for buying at least one Apple touchscreen product.

While we are often early adopters when we decide to try a new device or technology, we may wait for the actual hands-on reviews to come out before actually buying that iPad Mini, if we do.

Gizmodo doesn’t much like the iPad Mini screen, saying it’s inferior to the Kindle Fire HD, the Nook HD, and the Google Nexus 7.

How about you? Planning on buying an iPad Mini or any of the other new Apple products just launched? Let us know in the comments. — Allan Maurer

Listen up iPhone users: stay out of the kitchen (infographic)

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

iPhone 5sApple iPhone users prize their devices but many lose them to accidents – not on the go, as you might expect, but mostly around home. The number one spot for iPhone accidents? The kitchen.

But just for future reference, it’s not a good idea to put your iPhone in a washing machine, either.

SquareTrade, which sells technology protection plans, says its research shows that 51 percent of iPhone accidents happen around the home, most (21 percent) in the kitchen.

The study also revealed that “unusual” iPhone accidents are much more common than previously expected: In addition to an astonishing 9% toilet mishap statistic, the research shows that 5% of iPhone users have put an iPhone in the washing machine and 6% of users have put their device on top of their car and then driven off.

Smartphones have become our third hand – our instinctual resource for information and entertainment,” commented Ty Shay , SquareTrade’s CMO. “Whether or not you’re the one in ten that drops your iPhone in the toilet, you’re likely taking your phone everywhere, and that habit needs protection.”

While one might guess that the yard and the swimming pool are risky settings for the iPhone, SquareTrade’s Device Danger Zone Survey1 revealed that the top five danger zones around the home are:

  1. the kitchen (21% of accidents around the home happen here)
  2. the living room (17%)
  3. the bathroom (16%)
  4. the driveway (10%)
  5. the bedroom (8%)

Here’s an infographic detailing the research findings:

iphone accident infographic

The best apps for learning on Apple iOS devices (infographic)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

AppleMobile learning is a hot area for Apple iOS apps, from brain exercises to math, science, geography, languages, and productivity, among other areas.

But with hundreds of thousands of apps in the Apple Store, finding the best can be a challenge.

That’s why OnlineUniversities.com created this infographic of the best iOS apps for learning:

Best iOS Apps for Mobile Learning
From: OnlineUniversities.com

Apple’s iPad Mini event happening Oct. 23?

Friday, October 12th, 2012

AppleAll expected Apple new product announcements spur a rash of rumors, but those swirling about the iPad Mini may be resolved by Oct. 23, according to a report from AllThingsD.

It reports that Apple will unveil the new device at an invitation only event set for Oct. 23 – three days ahead of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet hitting the street.

It cites “people familiar with Apple’s plans.”

So far, details on the iPad Mini are minimal. Sources say it will sport a 7.85 inch display.

Reviews largely favorable for iPhone 5 speed, battery, more

Monday, October 1st, 2012
iPhone 5

The iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is praised for speed, call clarity and battery life on Viewpoints a consumer reviews and product rankings website. Some Apple fans even gush over the troubled Apple Maps feature some say was a $30 billion mistake.

Based on consumer sentiment, the iPhone 5 32GB ($299) is rated 94/100, ten points higher than the average smartphone rating.

Speed

Besides a larger screen, the most significant changes from the iPhone 4S are a faster processor and the ability to use advanced cellular networks, 4G LTE.

“I will say the web browsing does seem faster…the speed increase is noticeable.”–Matt

Battery life

Nearly everyone reports the iPhone 5 battery is stronger compared to older iPhones.

“With Wi-Fi turned on, playing games, accessing the web and on a hour-long conference call, the battery never faltered. After 24 hrs and heavy use, more than 60% power still available.” –TerryNakagawa

“…5am until midnight … can’t complain about that.” –Kyrshen

Maps

Apple replaced Google Maps with its own program, which lacks functionality, like display of public transportation, an “epic fail” according to one reviewer. The maps do offer turn-by-turn directions, as well as restaurants as landmarks. Most Viewpoints reviewers aren’t inconvenienced and like the look:

“The new Apple Maps are just stunning, the 3D angle and flying sensation are terrific.”–

GibOlander

Sure, there’s hubbub around Apple Maps. But think of it this way… the iPhone 5 has more computing power than NASA did when they sent a man to the moon in 1969. The phone is spectacular.” –rma288

Personally, here at the TechJournal, we’re amazed at how Apple fans even gush over features for which the company had to apologize, such Apple Maps. The iPhone 5 may have more processing power than when NASA sent a man to the moon, but just about every electronic device with a silicon brain on the market does.

I can’t see myself EVER going back to Android!…Gorgeous. Sleek. Modern” –Jnystul

Admittedly, Android has its problems: we recently downloaded a chess board app that is supposed to let you use it to follow a game in a book. We even paid five bucks for it and it doesn’t work. We’ve read that many apps don’t work properly or have fewer features on Android.  The folks at Appcelerator tell us that one reason for that is that there are so many flavors of Android.

Viewpoints General Manager Denise Chudy says, “Based on early reviews, people are obviously passionate about the iPhone 5. It’s our hope that those insights help others decide if the iPhone 5 is the right choice for their needs and budget.”

 

Kindle Fire HD impresses some, others waiting for iPad Mini

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Bezos with Kindle Fire HD

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces the Kindle Fire HD.

Have you looked at the features in the new Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7″ tablet? Amazon is doing some aggressive advertising of the device on TV, but in a survey of more than 2,000 consumers, 45 percent said they were “unimpressed” with the new device.

More than half of those surveyed by couponcodes4u.com already own a tablet: 45% said they owned an Apple iPad device, while 19% said they owned a Google tablet. 16% of respondents who owned a tablet said they’d opted for a Samsung branded device, while 13% said they already owned a Kindle/Amazon branded tablet and 7% said they owned another type of tablet, such as the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Personally, we’re happy with our original Kindle Fire tablet model and Wifi Kindle e-reader, so we’re waiting for the tablet wars to thin the offerings or considerably improve them before buying another.  The original Kindle Fire does have drawbacks – no microphone, no memory card slot (it’s not alone there), and poorer screen resolution than more current models of several other brands.

We’re mostly interested in improved dictation features, however – using a virtual keyboard is torturous and even using an external one doesn’t make doing much writing easy on a 7″ screen.

We’re convinced that a tablet (or smartphone) device with very accurate voice recognition is eventually going to change the tablet/phone environment.

In the survey, when shown the features and specs on the new Kindle Fire HD, 55 percent liked the look of it – with the majority approving of the price, 27 percent liking the connection to Amazon’s content library, and less than a tenth (9 percent) citing overall specifications. (See a review of the new Kindle Fire HD.)

Respondents who said they were unimpressed by the new Kindle Fire HD were asked to explain why, to which 45% admitted that they preferred a “larger screened tablet”, while 39% said that the Kindle tablet didn’t blow them away due to ‘not matching up to competitors’. In addition, 11% of consumers said the tablet “didn’t offer enough apps” to keep them interested.

When all respondent were asked whether or not the new Kindle had enough to hold their interest if and when the iPad Mini was released this year, 39% of respondents said it would. However, 54% of respondents said they would be more likely to opt for the iPad Mini when it is released, while 7% of respondents admitted that they would “consider” both tablets.

Mark Pearson, Chairman of CouponCodes4u.com, said, “Another day, another tablet release! With the popularity of Amazon and the Kindle tablet driving the small tablet revolution, it is no wonder that consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to personal gadgets. As the Kindle is very different from other tablets, we wanted to see how consumers have reacted to the latest release of the Fire HD and if they had the chance, and obviously the funds, whether or not they would trade it in for the iPad Mini.”

He added that it’s surprising that even many who like the look of the Kindle Fire HD would consider an Apple iPad mini.  “While many people have voiced a negative opinion about Apple and the products of late, you cannot deny the power of their marketing campaigns and products.,” he said.

 

Appcelerator report: A mobile startup could disrupt Facebook

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

By Allan Maurer

Lyla McInerneyUPDATEd – Mobile developers think that a mobile-first social startup could disrupt Facebook and grab market share from the current top dog in the social media pack. So says Appcelerator’s Q3 2012 mobile developer report, which is chock full of surprises.

In the largest mobile developer survey ever conducted, Appcelerator and the IDC surveyed 5,526 Appcelerator Tianium developers on their feelings about current debates in mobile, social and the cloud and about their development priorities.

The report warns that history shows major technology shifts can transform businesses and industries. It happened with the introduction of the web and “mobile will be not exception.”

Mobile has the power to disrupt entire industries

Mobile has the power to reshape entire industries and changes can be swift. But it is not enough to just port elements of an existing business model over to mobile, the report says.

And, if a billion dollar company with more than three-quarters of a billion users like Facebook could be disrupted, “Other mature, stagnant companies should take note,” says Lyla McInerney, vice president of marketing at Appcelerator.

McInerney tells the TechJournal, Developers believe someone can take a mobile first approach and disrupt any industry. It’s a cautionary note, but also a real opportunity.”

She points out that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted recently that Facebook is not doing as well as it wants to in mobile and has to do better, saying building its mobile on HTML 5 was a mistake.

The Appcelerator report notes that developers expressed dissatisfaction with nearly every aspect of HTML 5.

“Facebook didn’t think about how to deliver on mobile,” says McInerney. “They just carried it over. As Zuckerberg said, ‘Good enough is not good enough.’ Companies need to think about how to do mobile best.”

Jonathan Rende

Jonathan Rende.

Build mobile differently

Jonathan Rende, vice president of products at Appcelerator, adds, “This underscores the debate about whether mobile is an extension of the web or something completely different.”

It needs to be built completely differently, Rende suggests. Otherwise, “A startup can come in, take a fresh look at your business and take market share away from you.”

Lots of businesses and industries heard that about the web itself more than a decade ago, now, and the ones that ignored it paid a high price.

The speed at which mobile is happening, though, “Is much faster” with mobile, Rende says.

Developers not as interested in Android

Yet another surprise in the report is that developers have lost some interest in developing for Google’s Android mobile operating system. Considering the increasing number of devices running Android, we thought that was odd.

Rende explains that much of the problems developers have with Android is due to “fragmentation. Developers have to deal with all the different flavors of Android rather than build it once and have it run on various platforms. If you implement your app for one particular device, there is no guarantee that it work the same way on another device.”

Nolan Wright

Nolan Wright.

Nolan Wright, Appcelerator’s CTO and co-founder adds, “Another thing is that the (Apple) iOS system is really successful and a better way to monetize mobile apps. And Enterprises are more interested in iOS than in Android. The Apple ecosystem is so tight it is a seamless experience for developers and consumers.”

Among the report’s findings:

Mobile developers predict demise of Facebook. Mobile Developers believe that Facebook is at risk of being disrupted by a mobile-first social startup. A resounding 66% of mobile developers state that it is likely to very likely that a mobile-first social startup will disrupt the market for social applications on mobile devices and take market share from Facebook.

Top predictions for mobile in 2015. The mobile market is evolving at breakneck speed, with developers predicting that by 2015 they will be building mobile applications for more than smartphones and tablets. Televisions, connected cars, game consoles, GoogleGlasses, and foldable screens all ranked high on the list of form factors in 2015.

RIM declines to all-time low, providing an opportunity for Windows 8 to become a strong third OS for which to develop mobile apps.Mobile developers “very interested” in building apps for the Blackberry phone fell to an all-time low of 9% from almost 40% in our January 2011 survey.

Developers remain excited about cloud storage and Backend as a Service, specifically citing the capabilities for applications and data to move across different devices and for secure access to information from anywhere at anytime. The potential remains wide open, however, as only 17% currently implement mobile BaaS.

Developers are excited about new Apple features. The iOS features developers are most looking forward to using are Apple Maps (over 37%) and enhanced Siri (22%). Faster processors, LTE conductivity, and a larger screen are the advances developers most hope for in the next version of the iPhone.

Apple continues to reign as the platform of choice for developers. Apple maintained its dominance at the top of developers’ list for mobileapp development this quarter, with 85% of developers very interested in building apps for iOS smartphones and 83% equally focused on iPad apps.

Android development declines for a fourth quarter. Android’s return to decline in developer interest levels is disconcerting, with now fewer than 65% of developers very interested in developing for that tablet platform.

HTML5 Still Not Good Enough. Developers ranked their satisfaction with nearly every feature of HTML5 as neutral to dissatisfied, including user experience, performance, monetization, fragmentation, distribution control, timeliness of new updates, and security.

The new Wall Street Journal’s list of the top 50 venture-backed companies expected to become the “Next Big Thing,” includes Appcelerator. The Wall Street Journal considered more than 5,900 candidates for inclusion in this year’s list. Appcelerator was selected for its ability to reduce development time and costs for mobile applications.