Apple and HP earned the top spots in the computer sector of the 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings. At the other end of the spectrum, Sony and Lenovo were the lowest-rated computer makers.
“Apple continues to be the customer experience leader in computers, but HP has narrowed the gap,” states Bruce Temkin , managing partner of Temkin Group.
The Temkin Experience Ratings evaluates three areas of customer experience: functional (can customers do what they want to do), accessible (how easy it is to work with the company), and emotional (how consumers feel about their interactions).
The ratings include 10 computer makers: Acer, Apple, Compaq, Dell, eMachines, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo,Sony, and Toshiba.
Here are some additional highlights from the ratings:
The computer industry has been steadily improving over the last three years, from an average Temkin Experience Rating of 54% in 2011 to 60% this year.
Apple is the highest-ranked computer maker for the third straight year, ranked #134 across all industries. It’s rating of 64%, is one percentage point below its 2012 rating. It also led the industry in the accessible and emotional components of the ratings.
HP is in second place in the industry with a rating of 62% and leads in the functional component. The company’s ratings increased three percentage points since last year, narrowing the gap with Apple.
Dell showed the largest improvement over 2012, with an increase of six percentage points.
The lowest-ranked computer makers are Sony and Lenovo, with ratings of 54%. Both of those firms had the largest declines in the industry.
Sony is the lowest rated in functional and accessible components and Lenovo is the lowest rated in the emotionalcomponent.
The average rating for computer makers places the sector tied for 13th out of 19 industries.
The 2013 Temkin Experience Ratings along with other ratings can be accessed at the Temkin Ratings website,www.TemkinRatings.com.
Looking at a holistic view of smartphones, tablets, and PCs, one thing is clear – smartphones and tablets are driving mobility growth.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, vendors shipped 367.7 million desktop PCs, portable PCs, tablets, and smartphones – a collective view IDC refers to as “Smart Connected Devices” – the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12), up 28.3% from the prior year.
As desktop PCs and portable PCs declined (-4.1% and -3.4%, respectively), the overall smart connected device space continued to surge to just over 1.2 billion shipments cumulatively in 2012.
Tablet shipments see largest growth
Tablet shipments experienced the largest year-over-year growth in 2012, up 78.4% over 2011, while smartphones grew 46.1% but accounted for 60.1% of all smart connected devices shipped throughout the year.
After finishing 2011 second to Apple in the smart connected device market, Samsung arose to the number one position in 2012 with just over 20% share across the four device categories. Samsung shipped 250.0 million PCs, tablets, and smartphones in the past year, up 119.3% from the previous year, driven largely in part by its surge in the smartphone space.
Average tablet selling price declined
While Samsung managed to ship more smartphones and portable PCs than Apple in 2012, Apple led all in tablet shipments, was eighth in portable PC shipments, and fifth overall in desktop PC shipments.
“Smartphones and tablets are growing at a pace that PCs and tablets can’t realistically keep up with because of device prices and to some extent disposability,” explained Ryan Reith, program manager, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC.
“The average selling price (ASP) for a tablet declined 15.0% in 2012 to $461, and we expect that trend to continue in 2013. However, smartphone APSs are still lower at $408. We expect smartphones to continue to carry a shorter life cycle than PCs for the years to come based on price, use case, and overall device size.”
Rounding out the top 5 smart connected device vendors in 2012 was Lenovo at number 3 with 6.5% share. Lenovo’s strong point is still in portable PCs where it shipped just over 30 million units in 2012.
Fourth quarter saw Apple resurgence
However, smartphones are a growing space for the Chinese vendor as shipments grew from 3.7 million in 2011 to 23.7 million in 2012. In the fourth position was HP with 4.8% share, however shipments of smart connected devices were down 8.5% year over year primarily for the lack of smartphone and tablet offerings.
And in the fifth position was Dell with 3.2% share, down 12.9% from 2011 as it also struggles with a lack of presence in the smartphone and tablet markets.
“The fourth quarter market share numbers showed a fairly dramatic resurgence for Apple,” said Bob O’Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays.
“After falling well behind Samsung early in 2012, Apple came roaring back in final quarter of the year thanks to its latest hits – the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini – and reduced the market share gap to less than a single percentage point. The question moving forward will be whether or not Apple can maintain its hit parade against the juggernaut of Samsung.”
Top 5 Smart Connected Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q4 2012
(shipments in millions)
International Data Corporation predicts that video game sales for console systems will rebound from a tough 2011-2012 as new platforms hit the market.
“2011 and 2012 were tough for many console game disc developers and publishers,” says IDC’s Lewis Ward, manager of its gaming service.
“With the advent of eighth-generation consoles, starting with the Wii U, historical norms strongly imply that game disc revenue will stop bleeding in 2013 and rise substantively in 2014.”
“The console ecosystem is in a state of flux since these platforms need to support an ever-growing array of non-gaming features and services at the same time that game distribution and monetization is moving in a digital direction,” said Ward, research manager of IDC’s Gaming service.
“At the same time, it doesn’t appear that alternative platforms — set-top boxes from cable companies, Web-connected smart TVs, and so on — are positioned to materially disrupt the trajectory of the ‘big 3′ console OEMs in 2013 or 2014. Discs will remain the console game revenue mainstay for years to come.”
In December 2012, PS3 system shipments eclipsed the number of Xbox 360’s shipped worldwide, despite the PS3 launching a year later than the Xbox 360 (an estimated 77 million bundles versus approximately 76 million bundles shipped)
Nintendo’s Wii U will find an audience; global bundle shipments will exceed 50 million by year-end 2016
The volume of packaged game discs shipped will decline an average of roughly 3% per year through 2016, as console spending shifts into digital channels
Consumers want car connections
Consumers want digital connections in their vehicles, says a study of more than 2,100 US adults by Johnson Controls.
Some of the key findings from the study include:
Interest in greater connectivity via one’s vehicle is high.84% of vehicle owners1 would like to control the features in their vehicle via a touch-screen infotainment system; 83% want to get updates to vehicle infotainment systems delivered wirelessly; 76% would like to connect to the Internet using their vehicle as a Wi-Fi hotspot; 67% would like to download applications directly to their vehicle; and, 61% would like to pay for something using a debit or credit card linked to the infotainment system in their vehicle.2
Safety is the single most important feature3in the selection of a vehicle (75%).The delivery of vehicle infotainment safely will be critical to consumer adoption and consumption.The second tier of important features includes vehicle diagnostics (49%) and navigation (42%).4
Smartphone apps most associated with a vehicle include:Maps/navigation = 52%; News = 45%; and, finding locations = 34%.
When it comes to downloading smartphone apps to a vehicle via an interactive screen, vehicle owners who use downloaded apps on a weekly basis would prefer traditional channels.62% have a preference for where they would download an app for their vehicle, and of those with a preference, 60% would prefer downloading from an existing app store (e.g., App Store for iOS, Amazon Appstore for Android), 38% would prefer a new app store for vehicle-specific applications, and 37% would prefer the app maker’s website (e.g., Pandora, Google Maps).
When it comes to accessing a vehicle app, vehicle owners who use downloaded apps regularly want apps they know and are comfortable with.Two-thirds (64%) want the menu options in their vehicle to be the same as on their smartphone (i.e., a full list of menu options available).
Social media stock tracker launched
WebMediaBrands Inc.’s (Nasdaq: WEBM) SocialTimes launched the Social Media Stock Tracker covering the weekly stock performance of companies within the social media and Internet sectors such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Zynga, and Groupon.
Each weekly report, published on Saturday mornings, discusses key developments and provides analytical commentary on the most interesting and controversial events that impact the public companies in these sectors.
The Social Media Stock Tracker is prepared by Nathan Drona, a former senior analyst in equity research with coverage of the Internet and media sectors and the former director of a global hedge fund focused on technology and life sciences.
He was also a senior investment banker focused on M&A for international companies in technology and life sciences, and has been a board director for several public and private companies.
Console games remain incredibly popular, particularly the “Halo” and “Call of Duty” franchises right now, but are mobile and tablet games cutting into their luster?
We’ve been playing video games since the days of the first Atari consoles (and before that at good old fashioned arcade consoles). Today’s console games are achieving continually more realistic graphics, intense, involving story lines or challenges, and sales rivaling hit movies.
But the convenience and addictive quality of mobile and tablet games you can play anywhere, anytime are gaining in popularity. Will they challenge the console game business?
Here’s an infographic from DailyFinance.com examining the question, is the console dying?
Technology companies claimed eight of the top ten spots on General Sentiment’s brand value ranking in Q2, with Google reclaiming the top spot from Apple, which held it the previous two quarters.
General Sentiment measures the media value of a brand by tallying the worth of its exposure in news stories and social media. The company says it examines 50 million sources. Positive mentions raise a brands score while negative comments or stories lower it.
“Google regained the top spot in the Impact Media Value rankings thanks to buzz about new and improved products, including Android4.1 (Jelly Bean), the Nexus 7 tablet, the Nexus Q, and the Google Glass prototype,” the report says.
The report says the Google brand generated $756 million in “impact media value,” followed by Apple, at $594 million, Microsoft at $356 million, and Amazon at $331 million.
Others in the top ten included Samsung, Sony, Disney, FedEx and Yahoo.
Losers included ACE Group, Avery Dennison, AmerisourceBergen, Amphenol and University of Phoenix. The University received negative publicity as President Obama signed an executive order to protect veterans from deceptive recruiting methods used by some higher education institutions.
JPMorgan Chase collected the highest negative perception media value.
Pentax digital SLRs have high satisfaction, report says.
Online buyers of digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras pay $1,291, on average, for their camera, up from $937 in 2011, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera Online Buyer Report(SM) released today.
The report examines satisfaction with digital single-lens reflex camera brands among verified online buyers.
Responses were collected via PowerReviews—a social commerce network recently acquired by Bazaarvoice—and reflect the attitudes of actual DSLR camera owners who used an e-commerce site to make their purchase.
The study measures satisfaction with DSLR cameras across five factors (listed in order of importance): picture quality (including picture clarity, sharpness and color); durability and reliability (including damage resistance, battery life and sturdiness); variety of features (including zoom, image stabilization and low light settings); ease of operation; and shutter speed/lag time (overall speed of the camera, including shutter lag time).
Pentax ranks highest in online buyer satisfaction with a score of 899 (on a 1,000-point scale), followed closely by Nikon (891) and Canon (888).
Pentax performs particularly well in durability and reliability; variety of features; ease of operation; and shutter speed/lag time, while Canon performs well in the picture quality factor.
“Pentax’s customer base has shifted since 2011 from casual photographers to those who consider themselves semiprofessional or professional photographers,” said Sara Wong Hilton, director at J.D. Power and Associates.
Shift in how photographers see themselves
“In fact, across the industry, the results indicate a slight increase in self-identified semiprofessional photographers, possibly leading to the purchase of more high-end camera systems.”
The ease in using digital cameras has led to many people acquiring photo skills. Her at the TechJournal, we know several writers who added photography to their services, although they never used sophisticated film cameras.
Despite a shift in DSLR camera buyer demographics, overall satisfaction remains stable (888 in 2012 compared with 887 in 2011).
The 2012 Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera Online Buyer Report is based on responses provided to J.D. Power and Associates through PowerReviews from more than 8,100 verified buyers who purchased a DSLR camera online. The study was fielded from May 2011 through April 2012.
Although smartphone shipments grew 41% year-over-year to 144.6 million as of the quarter ending March 2012, many smartphone OEMs are not enjoying the benefits of a rapidly expanding market. Samsung and Apple captured 55% of global smartphone shipments in 1Q’2012 and over 90% of the market’s profits.
The question remains: can anyone break away to become a strong third in this market?“
As Nokia’s market share in China plummets, the competition to fill this power vacuum has the potential to make or break smartphone OEMs currently struggling with profitability and differentiation”
Of the top ten smartphone OEMs, only Samsung and Sony experienced sequential growth in shipments over 4Q’2011. Nokia witnessed a 40% sequential decline in shipments and may soon be passed by ailing RIM in shipments despite the BlackBerry maker’s 20% sequential decline in shipments. “At this point in the year, Nokia will have to grow its Windows Phone business 5000% in 2012 just to offset its declines in Symbian shipments,” says Michael Morgan, senior analyst, devices, applications & content.
As the smartphone markets of North America and Western Europe pass 50% penetration, smartphone OEMs should seek growth in key markets, such as China, which continues to show strong shipment growth of over 80%.
Despite the shipment growth opportunities that China offers, smartphone OEMs will have to contend with local vendors ZTE and Huawei whose cost structures are tailored to deliver smartphones and homologated content ecosystems at the lower price points needed to drive growth across the country. “As Nokia’s market share in China plummets, the competition to fill this power vacuum has the potential to make or break smartphone OEMs currently struggling with profitability and differentiation,” adds Jeff Orr, practice director, devices, applications & content.
You can’t say Apple product owners are not loyal to the brand.
As speculation surrounding the possible launch of an “iTV” from Apple continues to mount, new research from the Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices (CHD) advisory service shows that nearly half of existing iPhone users would be very or somewhat likely to buy an Apple iTV soon after its launch.
“More than one-quarter of non-Apple TV owners could potentially migrate to an Apple-branded TV in a fairly short period of time.”
“Although the details of a possible Apple smart TV are still unknown, existing Apple customers clearly demonstrate strong interest,” says Jia Wu, Director and report author.
“Meanwhile, consumers are still sensitive to price, even if Apple does launch another groundbreaking product. The success of an Apple iTV hinges on Apple’s ability to match innovation with appropriate price points.”
Apple, traditionally reliant on high device margins, would be challenged to find the right price/demand balance for an iTV. While 35 percent of surveyed US consumers indicate willingness to pay $1000 or more for an Apple-branded TV, only 14 percent would be willing to pay any more than $1600.
“Samsung, Sony, LG and other major TV manufacturers are most threatened by the prospect of an Apple iTV launch,” notes Kantideep Thota, Analyst. “More than one-quarter of non-Apple TV owners could potentially migrate to an Apple-branded TV in a fairly short period of time.”
Personally, we may wait a while to buy an Internet TV and in the meantime we’re using an inexpensive Sony Blu-ray DVD player with wireless built-in and a number of apps for things such as Netflix, Amazon video, Hulu, and many other services.
It was one of the easiest tech devices we’ve ever used in terms of set-up (painless) and use (equally painless). The apps it comes with and that get added as it updates more than meet our needs at the moment. Actually surfing the web from the device isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but the apps make much of that unnecessary.
Considering the cost difference (a thousand dollars or more), anyone considering an Internet TV should at least take a look at much less expensive stand-alone connection devices and the connected DVD players. — Allan Maurer
As Facebook heads toward what may be the most anticipated initial public offering ever, Socialbakers, a social media analytics firm, says the 900-million-plus member Facebook platform helps big brands penetrate emerging global markets.
Socialbakers’ analysis not only highlights the social network’s exploding international reach but also how the world’s biggest brands are tapping into the social economy to build international momentum.
The data examines the Engagement Rate (ER) of brands—a clear measure of brand engagement—in the top 10 countries with the largest Facebook user base.
“Facebook is clearly giving social-savvy companies unprecedented access to build dynamic relationships and grow revenue in key markets,” said Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab.
“It can be incredibly time-consuming and difficult to go to market in new regions with a localized website or microsite, even for some of the world’s biggest companies. And even then, you’ve still got a static presence that fails to truly engage your target audience. Facebook eliminates that barrier to entry by providing a well-entrenched and steadily-growing platform.”
Kraft Tops the List of Fastest Moving Brands Three of the top five Fastest Moving Global Brands come from the Kraft family. The company’s Halls, Trident and Chiclets lines made major gains over the past year, boosted by strong audience engagement in Brazil (the second-largest Facebook audience). L’Oreal Paris Brazil and AXE Indonesia (Unilever) round out the Top Five.
Consumer Goods Win Big Around the World Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs) have emerged as industry leaders on the global scale, with half of the Top 10 Fastest Movers falling into this category.
CPGs also dominate in key growth markets. In Brazil, the most engaged brands are CPGs, and in the United Kingdom, Cadbury Creme Egg and Cadbury Wispa rank in the top two. In France, M&Ms boasts the highest engagement rate of any brand in the nation.
“CPGs have historically been early adopters of social media in well-saturated markets,” Rezab said. “So it only makes sense that they leverage this strategy to dominate in these high-growth markets as well.”
Mobile/Telecom Move the Needle in Emerging Markets Mobile brands have also made big moves among the top 10 Countries, as well as in some smaller, yet highly engaged markets.
As the proliferation of mobile devices continues to permeate virtually every corner of the globe, carriers and device manufacturers are leveraging this momentum to engage audiences and expand their reach.
BlackBerry, which has fallen behind the pack in the U.S. mobile market, is among the top three brands in Mexico and Indonesia. Samsung and Nokia top the leaderboard in Turkey and Mexico, while regional player Vodafone has by far more fans and higher engagement than any other brand in India.
Fan Engagement Highest Among Emerging Markets It’s no surprise that, among the top 10 brands, the overwhelming majority of Facebook fans hail from the U.S.
However, fans in emerging markets are much more actively engaged—a metric that proves to be very valuable in gaining international traction. Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines rank in the top three in Engagement Rate.
Meanwhile, four of the top five Fastest Moving Brands saw their biggest gains in the booming market of Brazil.
“Engagement is the core of the social economy—people buy what their friends buy and recommend,” Rezab said.
“Simply having a lot of fans isn’t the answer to building a strong social economy presence—they must be active. Growing that engagement and viral reach is the key to success, especially in international markets.”
Is Apple TV going to be as disruptive to TV makers as the iPad was to PC makers and the iPhone to cell phone manufacturers? Maybe not, but it is poised to create new opportunities for developers by bringing the Apple operating system into more homes.
KAE a leading strategic marketing and research consultancy and Toluna, a global pioneer in online polls, surveys and opinions teamed to release a major new study illustrating how large manufacturers could lose out if Apple launches a physical TV set.
Overall, the study highlighted that 25% of consumers in the US find the idea appealing and would buy it once it becomes commercially available – compared to 30% in the UK.
Consumers that already own at least one Apple device are more likely to buy an Apple TV set, 2 in 5 (US 38% – UK 43%) find the idea appealing and would purchase should the product become available.
Lee Powney, chief commercial officer at KAE said: “The huge potential of an Apple TV set, although impressive, should not be seen in isolation. Such a move would be an incredibly powerful extension of the iOS platform, accessed via a more compelling device option than Apple’s current offering (Apple TV).
“It would create new monetisation opportunities for developers and accessory manufacturers by bringing the Apple experience further into the home.”
He added, “This would strengthen both the ecosystem and the benefits that consumers derive from owning many differing Apple devices. Will Apple do this?
“The pressure to maintain the lion’s share of preference from ecosystem members and create additional device-to-device interaction benefits for consumers means it should do this, and must do this.”
Who would hurt?
Sony, Samsung and LG are the market-leading brands most likely to suffer should Apple decide to launch its mooted Apple TV concept. In the UK, a sizeable 38% of current Sony TV owners and 36% of Samsung TV owners claimed they find the idea of an Apple TV appealing and would buy one. In the US, the brand most at risk from the concept is LG, where 3 in 10 (31%) of owners would be likely to convert should an Apple TV become available.
Approximately 3 in 5 US consumers questioned who were very likely to buy the TV said they trust Apple to produce a high quality TV set (59%), a sentiment echoed by UK consumers (62%).
Design also features highly in respondents’ reasons to purchase with over half of all those likely to buy claiming that Apple’s reputation in ground-breaking design would no doubt also be used in TV (52% in US and 58% in the UK).
KAE says, “Although this wave of research looked only at the USA and UK, we believe that the greatest revenue opportunities in 2013-15 for an Apple TV set are clustered in the ‘home territories’ of Apple’s TV competitors – i.e. Japan, Korea andChina. We’re excited at the prospect of measuring that potential and the impact that success will have on Apple’s share price.”
Consumers were asked which features they felt an Apple TV set would be equipped with: The top anticipated feature for potential customers of the unconfirmed Apple TV set is similar for both countries, which is the ability to connect to the internet (73% in the US & 75% in the UK).
The other top features selected by potential US customers were running apps on TV (44%) and the ability to synchronise automatically with other Apple devices (41%).
For the UK market the other two main features expected were the ability to synchronise automatically with other Apple devices (47%) and for the device to be 3D enabled (41%).
This survey is the latest in a series by KAE conducted to assess Apple’s potential to extend into new categories. To view previous research please visit http://tinyurl.com/84uozly
Guests say their favorite in-room amenity is the use of iPads for guest services, local information and personal use.
The overwhelming majority of customers are highly positive in their views on tablet PCs as expressed on the internet.Social media research specialist DigitalMR measured thousands of comments for slate devices across September-October 2011.
Over two thirds (68%) of all views measured were positive with only 32% negative.
Apple recorded a 33% share of all positive comments but more worryingly a 46% of the smaller pool of negative ones.
Next placed is Amazon with 19% of positive mentions and only 13% of negative, followed by Samsung with 15% of positive mentions and 18% of negative ones.
Apple’s upgrade may have caused negative comments
The high percentage of negative Apple comments is likely to be related to problems that users faced in upgrading to Apple’s new iOS 5 software in October.
At $199, we think the Kindle Fire is a good buy for the money
Personally, we’re more than happy with our $199 Kindle Fire tablet. It has its eccentricities, but they all do. For what it is, though, a way to play games, listen to music, read, surf the net, even watch videos, it’s handy, fun, and easy to use. We didn’t like larger tablets such as the Galaxy Tab nearly so much.
Results are based on comments posted by consumers on the major tablet models made by: Apple, Motorola, Samsung, Blackberry, HTC, LG, HP, ASUS, Sony and Amazon across September-October 2011.
DigitalMR’s analysis (powered by SocialNuggets) is based on comments posted via a range of relevant websites and open access social media platforms. It measures, not only the number of comments posted by consumers on the internet, but also their sentiment – whether posts are positive or negative in nature.
Managing Director of DigitalMR, Michalis Michael commented: “Apple’s high negative score shows they may have become a victim of their own success with iOS 5. The free upgrade caused a spike in demand, leading many users to complain on forums that they kept getting error messages and that the download was taking too long.”
All the brands measured, achieve a positive Net Sentiment Score (NSS) for Sep-Oct. NSS provides an overall percentage score of net positive posts. A positive score means a tablet attracts a higher proportion of positive than negative posts.
The average NSS taken across all brands measured is 36% which is very high compared with other industry sectors. This is good news for the tablet industry as it shows that generally customers and very satisfied with their products and are happy to spread the word online.
However Apple achieves the lowest NSS of 21%, just below Motorola with 22%. The best NSS scores are achieved by newer entrants to the market achieve. Sony is top with 87% (although this is based on a relatively low number of mentions overall) followed by Asus with 73%.
DigitalMR measured thousands of customer posts across Sep-Oct regarding the features that tablets offer. The most talked about features (both positively and negatively) are “operating system” (18% share of positive comments vs 30% negative) and “application” (20% positive vs 21% negative). Click here for more data
“This morning is the second time that my Motorola Xoom has frozen up on me since I received it back from Motorola after the 4G LTE upgrade. Has anyone else had problems with this? I never had any problems whatsoever with this tablet prior to the upgrade”. https://supportforums.motorola.com/thread/60568
“I agree with previous two reviewers – IPAD that worked perfectly, now doesn’t work at all since upgrade, a total waste of money. More than the money, disappointment at being unable to send photos home to loved ones. http://store.apple.com/uk/reviews/MC531ZM/A
Click here for further customers comments and more about the web listening report
The infamous hacker group Anonymous, which led numerous cyberattacks and pranks in 2011, has posted a video compiling images from its attacks, pranks and jokes during the year and warning to expect more in 2012.
Among other targets, the group took down a Web company hosting child porn sites, threatened Mexican drug cartels and has said it will “kill Facebook” in February.
The group, which adopted the now familiar Guy Fawkes mask as a symbol of its rebellious nature, launches Denial of Service attacks on various public and private entities as well as hacking and disclosing information.
It also hacked and published information from Apple, made high profile attacks on Sony Bank of America, Seria, a BART site, a Church of Scientology site, and much more.
It generally has a “cause” for its actions, protesting censorship, child porn, or foreign or domestic political moves.
The video ends with a speech Charlie Chaplin made at the end of his film parody of Hitler, “The Great Dictator,” which seems oddly appropriate to the group’s message.
Steve Jobs’ sister Mona Simpson published an emotional eulogy for her brother in the New York Times, disclosing, among other things, that his last words as he looked at his family and then, over their shoulders past them, were, “OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW!.
Simpson noted that “Novelty was not Steve’s highest value. Beauty was.” That’s evident in the products Apple makes.
Simpson also said Jobs sketched devices to hold an iPad from his hospital bed. She shares details of how Jobs fought his illness, his dedication to working every day, and how he faced death.
Amazon signs Disney for Prime
Amazon.com today announced a new licensing agreement with Disney-ABC Television Group that will allow Amazon Prime members to instantly stream a broad selection of library content from ABC Studios, Disney Channel, ABC Family and Marvel. The agreement was brokered by Disney-ABC Domestic Television with Amazon.
Amazon Prime is an annual membership program for $79 a year that includes access to Prime instant videos as well as unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on products Amazon sells. Buyers of the Kindle Fire will get free month of Amazon Prime with the tablet.
Prime instant video is a benefit for paid Amazon Prime members. Prime members get unlimited, commercial-free, instant access to nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows at no additional cost.
Since the launch of Prime instant videos, Amazon has secured licensing deals from partners such as CBS, Fox, PBS, NBCUniversal, Sony, Warner Bros. and many more. For anyone who watches much video online, Prime sounds like a good deal.
Popular Disney-ABC Television Group offerings for Prime members will include:
Prior seasons of current ABC hit series “Grey’s Anatomy”
All episodes of recent ABC favorite “Lost”
Prior seasons of Disney Channel’s popular animated series “Phineas & Ferb”
Prior seasons of ABC Family’s groundbreaking series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” including the most recently aired episodes from summer 2011
Prior seasons of Marvel’s animated shows “Spider-Man,” “X-Men Evolution,” “Thor & Loki: Blood Brothers” and “Iron Man: Extremis”
All episodes of ABC Family’s “Greek”
All episodes of “Felicity” from ABC Studios
Google bringing original content to YouTube
With online video streaming shaping up as one of the battlefields on which the Internet giants such as Amazon and Google are playing out their commercial wars, Google says it will bring a plethora of new original content to YouTube.
Google;, reports say, is spending north of $100 million to develop shows built around Deepak Chopra, skateboarder Tony Hawk, comedian Rainn Wilson and others.
The company, which is also building a YouTube app for Google TV, said it will pay content creators 55 percent of ad revenue from the videos.
A recent poll by Phoenix Marketing International asked Americans what type of computer they would consider purchasing or want to receive as a gift. Surprisingly, over 70% of 13-24 year olds selected a laptop computer with less than one-tenth picking a tablet.
While we see the tablet numbers more than double to over 20% for Generation X and Y consumers, their laptop demand is still strong at over 50%. When it comes to Laptop brand preference we see Apple and Dell running neck and neck, each having an over 60% consideration set.
Three quarters considering the iPad
When it comes to Tablets over three-quarters of consumers have Apple in the consideration set followed by Dell at over 50%. Sony, HP and Samsung have healthy scores and are being considered by around one-third of Tablet interested consumers.
“While current results show laptops are in high demand, the recent introduction of impressive, less than $200 tablets and Ereaders on steroids such as the Kindle Fire, could cause actual purchases this Holiday Season to unfold much differently than anticipated,” commented John Schiela, Co-President of the Converged Technology and Media Group at Phoenix.
Perhaps more interesting than the device demand is how these devices impact entertainment behavior. Almost 9% of current adult Paid TV subscribers report being likely to discontinue Paid TV over the next 12 months. The leading substitute, being cited by 55% of Paid TV cord cutters, is streaming TV shows and movies from the Internet.
“Driven by a vast amount of Internet accessible media and powered by advanced technology, the media industry is poised to enter an explosive age of change not seen since the 1972 roll out of HBO,” stated Edye Twer, Co-President of the Converged Technology and Media Group at Phoenix.
Success in gaining market share didn't help Asus keep up with its level of support
Is your computer one of the more reliable brands? Who would know which brands are the most reliable? Computer repair firm RESCUECOM has the data.
“During these economically stressed times, when 90 perceent of people believe we are in a bad economy, it’s even more important to know what products will save you money down the road. Reliability is one of the best indicators of how much your technology will cost you over the long haul,” stated David Milman CEO of RESCUECOM.
The Computer Reliability Report gives an unbiased summary of the most reliable personal computer manufacturers. The top five brands with the best overall reliability in Q2 2011 are:
Asus/Sony tie (73
Several significant changes occurred during quarter 2.
Asus took a nosedive in the second quarter, going from second position to fifth in reliability. Asus experienced skyrocketing percentages of market share throughout 2009, and maintained excellent customer support during that time. It seems they are not able to maintain that level of support with all the new customers, however, and are barely holding on to a position in the top five for this quarter.
HP/Compaq, still the clear-cut leader in market share, essentially maintained its same level of reliability from the first quarter to the second. HP’s move from the fifth spot to the fourth place is due to the significant drop in the reliability rating of Asus.
Toshiba, on the other hand, is the only manufacturer that increased in its reliability score over the first quarter.
RESCUECOM’s first quarter report called attention to Samsung as a brand to watch. Even though its market share does not place this manufacturer in the lineup of top manufacturers, Samsung continues to rank high in reliability.
Dell, on the other hand, maintains second place in market share of computers sold, yet lags far behind others in computer reliability.
Are these results consistent with your experience? Personally, we’ll never buy another Dell. One of the firm’s laptops died on us after only two years and later reports noted the company knew it had a problem with some bad drives. We were surprised not to see Acer on this list. We’ve had few problems with several Acer laptops, although we wish the chips in some would handle more RAM.
We think it’s interesting that Apple – which is often touted for its reliability – doesn’t have an even higher score.
RESCUECOM used the following data to calculate reliability scores for the Q2 2011 Computer Reliability Report:
*U.S. Computer Market
Share (Percentage Share of
Computer Repair Share
(Percentage of service calls
The number of U.S. consumers planning to purchase a smart TV has nearly doubled in less than a year, according to new consumer research from Parks Associates that has implications for Internet marketers, content providers and others in the digital world.
These households, representing 50% of the nearly one-fourth of U.S. broadband households planning to purchase a flat-panel TV, anticipate an average cost of $1,000 for the smart TV, defined as an HDTV with built-in Internet access capability. That seems a bit high to us. Consumers will likely find better bargains than that.
Ad campaigns sparked awarness
“Advertising campaigns from manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung, and VIZIO have boosted consumer awareness and interest, making connectivity a must-have feature for new CE products,” said Tricia Parks, CEO, Parks Associates. “Younger consumers especially want the extra benefits on their new TVs of going to the web for social networking and on-demand video or subscription entertainment options.”
Consumers’ preferred entertainment and social networking options on connected CE devices such as Blu-ray players, game consoles, and smart TVs include the ability to stream and download movies and TV shows as well as access to Facebook and online music.
Apple the preferred brand
The survey also shows 19% of broadband households intend to purchase a tablet in the second half of 2011.
“Apple is the preferred brand by far, capturing over 40% of planned tablet purchases for the rest of 2011,” Parks said. “Apple has a very strong reputation in consumers’ minds, with over 70% of consumers familiar with the brand rating Apple as ‘innovative’ and ‘cool,’ although considerably fewer rate it as ‘affordable.’”
We suspect Amazon’s new Kindle Fire and other late year entries in the tablet market that are priced more reasonably may slice into Apple’s tablet pie. — Allan Maurer
Can Amazon’s new tablet computer, reportedly a souped up version of its popular Kindle e-reader, compete with Apple’s iPad? Thus far, would-be tablet competitors have not fared well against Apple brand power and the iPad.
Motorola, Acer, and Blackberry maker Research in Motion all tried to grab a piece of the tasty looking tablet computer market, but their efforts failed to make a real dent in Apple’s iPad share. Motorola did manage to see off its TouchPads, the most recent entry in the market, at fire sale prices of $99 each (and may make more available next month).
But the New York Times says a competitor is on the verge of introducing “the best-placed challenger of all: Amazon.com.” Quoting analysts, the Times says the Amazon tablet will undercut Apple’s price by about half and sell for around $250. It will have a 7 inch touch screen, with a bigger screen model coming in a year.
The Amazon device, while possibly not quite as powerful as an iPad, will handle the uses most people want from a tablet computer, easy access to email and the Web, and to Amazon’s vast store of books, music, and videos. It is the only Apple rival with the later advantage.
Whether it is a serious iPad competitor or not, it will certainly give Barnes & Noble’s color Nook some grief in the marketplace. B&N is striving to switch to digital before it ends up in the same place as its competitor, Borders, which will soon be completely gone.
One analyst quoted by the Times expects the Amazon tablets to sell as many as five million devices initially.
TechMediaNetwork nabs $33M financing to broaden reach
-TechMediaNetwork Inc. a technology media company that produces news and reviews in the technology and science verticals, today announced a $33 million Series B financing from ABS Capital Partners, a leading growth equity investor. Existing investors Village Ventures and Highway 12 Ventures also participated in the round.
TMN will use the funds to increase its acquisition program, further expand its growing news organization, enhance its monetization strategies and increase the distribution of its content. As a result of the financing, ABS Capital General Partner Ralph Terkowitz and Principal Paul Mariani will join TMN’s board of directors.
“Both organically and through complementary acquisitions, we are constantly looking to strengthen and broaden our expansion in the technology news market,” said Jerry Ropelato, CEO and founder of TechMediaNetwork. “The increased reach and influence of our network will continue to deliver more value to our readers, affiliates and advertising partners.”
TechMediaNetwork delivers technology news and product reviews across its 16 different web properties, featuring such flagship sites as LAPTOP, SPACE.com, TopTenREVIEWS and TechNewsDaily. TMN connects consumers, small publishers, advertisers and ecommerce vendors through a network of trusted information, revenue opportunities and audience reach. T
The Company has syndication partners, including Yahoo!, MSNBC.com and the websites of Fox News and CBS News, and advertisers such as American Express, AT&T, Canon, General Motors, HP, Kodak, Sony, Symantec, Toyota and Warner Bros.
Tumblr cranks the wheel on $85M funding
Tumblr, the blogging platform that soared from 2 billion page views a month earlier this year to $13 billion now, and boasts 30 million blogs generating 40 million posts a day, has raised a massive $85 million funding.
Led by Greylock Partners and Insight Venture Partners, the round included The Chernin Group, Sir Richard Branson, Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures and Sequoia Capital.
WordPress, by comparison, supplies the platform for more than 59 million websites.
Tumblr also surpasses both Wikipedia and Twitter in pageviews and does about half as many as AOL and Craigslist, according to TechCrunch.
More than 299 million people view more than 2.5 billion pages each month on WordPress.com, according to the site’s own statistics page.
Do you know why Tumblr generates so many pageviews? It’s because they make it easy to connect to other blogs and bloggers and scroll rapidly through page after page of posts. I sometimes look at 100 pages in half an hour. — Allan Maurer
In a year that IT security experts have labeled the “Year of the Hack,” Bit9’s Third Annual Endpoint Survey of 765 IT executives revealed that Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks — like the one that infiltrated RSA, a division of EMC, and defense contractors this year – are of most concern to IT and security professionals.
However, despite the concerns about APT attacks, the survey also showed that executives are not doing enough to protect against unauthorized software and malware from infecting their desktops, laptops and servers.
Sixty percent of the respondents said they are concerned about APT attacks, more than double the next closest response, showing the growing anxiety among IT executives around modern threats.
The second biggest hacking concern among IT executives, at 28 percent, is having one of their own employees steal company data and post it online, much like what happened at the Department of Defense (DoD) with WikiLeaks. In third place, at 26 percent, are concerns around a vendor partner being hacked, much like what happened to Epsilon earlier this year. And in fourth place, at 25 percent, are concerns over a cloud application breach, much like what happened with Sony.
Risky behavior common
While worry remains high around cyber security breaches, the survey also showed a surprising 60 percent of the IT executives use either a written policy based on an “honor system,” or have an open software environment without a security policy in place. However, risky behavior doesn’t stop there. A narrow majority of companies surveyed (51 percent) said they allow their employees to download and install software.
The companies that allow employees to download software often find digital music sites like iTunes, social media sites and instant messaging software on its endpoints. Additionally, almost 80 percent of companies allow employees to use removable storage devices, exposing companies to the loss of sensitive data and intellectual property while increasing exposure to malware.
“Breaches that occurred in the first half of 2011 have changed the rules of security by exposing high profile companies like RSA, Sony, Lockheed Martin and numerous others,” said Tom Murphy, chief strategy officer, Bit9. “Our data finds that companies are increasingly worried about advanced persistent threat attacks, but they continue to engage in risky behaviors. Companies are gambling on a losing game by failing to put security policies in place. It’s not a case of if a breach will occur, but when and how severe.”
Additional findings from the survey include:
Companies continue to allow employees to engage in risky behaviors: IT executives have become even more hands-off in their software usage policy over the past three years, with 51 percent of respondents admitting that users have full rights to download and install applications. These relaxed download policies have increased 12 percent from 2010 when 39 percent said they did not have a policy that prohibits employee downloads. That figure increased by 22 percent from 2009 figures. Additionally, nearly 30 percent of IT executives allow the use of personal mobile devices at work that connect to the company Intranet.
Endpoint security failures can take down networks: While the majority said they have not experienced network outages due to unauthorized software or malware, almost 20 percent of IT executives admit that unusual software found on the endpoint has resulted in crashing the company’s networks. These crashes meant lost productivity. Of those who experienced downtime, 30 percent said the crashes took down their network for three to six hours and 89 percent said the crashes lasted two hours or less.
Successful breach of company’s inbox stirs emotions: More than a quarter of IT executives would be mildly embarrassed by a breach exposing their company’s inbox, while more than half admitted to being mortified. Most noteworthy is that seven percent claim that their company would be out of business if such a breach would occur.
The Third Annual Endpoint Survey from Bit9 Inc., the market leader in adaptive application whitelisting, provides insight from IT and security professionals in technology/software, government and defense, financial services/banking, and retail. The survey is designed to gauge endpoint security issues, employee behaviors and topline concerns that enterprise professionals grapple with every day.
Only about a third of online consumers believe that most websites are safe for shopping, an 11 percent decrease since McAfee conducted the survey in 2009. The majority of online consumers, 84 percent, continue to have some level of concern when providing personal information online, according to a study of consumer sentiment toward online shopping and security by McAfee, (NASDAQ:INTC) and conducted by Harris Interactive,
“While consumers are faced with more options than ever for shopping online, it’s clear that one of their biggest concerns – security – remains,” said Steve Petracca, senior vice president of global consumer marketing at McAfee. “It is important for online retailers to recognize, understand and assuage these concerns in order to increase sales and earn trust from their customers.”
The research showed that online consumers are more concerned about online shopping security than they were in 2009, despite advances in technology and in the popularity of online shopping. In fact, only six percent say they do not worry about security on the Internet.
The survey found that many online consumers would override their concerns about risks if they felt that they were receiving a substantial price discount. Despite their security concerns, four in 10 consumers admitted to having purchased from sites where they were unsure about the security of their personal information. In those cases, a discount in the 11-30 percent range is what drove them to make a purchase.
Increased Confidence in Trustmarks
At the same time that overall confidence is falling, consumer confidence in trustmarks is growing, especially for consumers shopping on small independent sites. According to security experts, SSL and a trustmark indicating a full privacy and data protection policy are the leading indicators that a site is trustworthy:
Seventy-five percent of consumers indicate they would choose a site with a trustmark over a site without one;
About one third of consumers would choose a small independent site with a trustmark over a larger well-known site when making a purchase;
Nearly four in 10 consumers indicate they might spend more money online if they had a guarantee of security;
About one-third of consumers indicate that they might even spend an additional 25 percent or more.
The Consumer Online Shopping survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of McAfee, between May 19 and May 31, among 605 adults, ages 18+, who shop online at least occasionally. McAfee was not identified as the sponsor of the research. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.
I’ve been shopping online since the beginning of e-commerce and only had one real problem (undelivered merchandise and no response from the retailer for a niche item from a one-store retailer). If my own habits are any guide, I tend to buy from established retailers with good customer service. (When an Amazon package went wrong for some reason, they just sent another; when my first Kindle seemed to malfunction, they replaced it instantly).
When I do shop with less well known online retailers, I do more research on the company’s reputation, look at reviews (some have that “fake” sound, but I have been fooled by positive reviews that did not reflect my subsequent experience). My greatest fear these days is that Internet retailers are not taking sufficient security measures to protect their customer information (as a rash of high profile security breaches suggest).
Those security breaches of companies as sophisticated as Sony and CitiBank have to give one pause. But as this study suggests, I’ll take a risk on an e-commerce deal that offers a significant discount. But all in all, these findings suggest online retailers need to get their security acts together and make sure shoppers know they have.
“Data breaches are spiraling out of control, and companies like Sony, Citi and Epsilon are finding out just how expensive it is not protect customer data properly,” stated Suni Munshani, CEO of Protegrity and author of the report. “The right combination of data security solutions like tokenization and consistent security policies would have prevented all of the three data breaches mentioned in the report and saved those companies tens of millions of dollars in damages and litigation.”
Protegrity, a provider of end-to-end data security solutions, published a report analyzing the recent data breaches at Epsilon, Sony and Citigroup. The report, entitled “It’s Not Just About Credit Card Numbers Anymore,” highlights the growing trend of hackers targeting personally identifiable information (PII) such as email addresses and passwords, as opposed to financial information, and offers advice on how these data breaches could have been prevented.
The report also examines the best data security approaches and how companies can implement them to ensure that they will not fall victim to a data breach in the future.
Highlights of the report include:
A detailed look into the Epsilon, Sony and Citigroup data breaches
Best practices for protecting financial information and PII
Why tokenization is the best way to protect all data types