Posts Tagged ‘Steve Jobs’
Monday, September 24th, 2012
A first-ever study of iPhone 5 purchasers reveals that 51.7 percent of Apple fans value their iPhone over their wallet, according to a poll by ProtechYourBubble.com, a gadget insurance comapny.
Who would most iPhone buyers most want to have lunch with? That’s an easy one: Steve Jobs – although dining with a ghost might be disconcerting. But a significant number would choose Einstein. They’re a brainy bunch, those iPhone 5 buyers, except maybe for the 17 percent or so who would lunch with Lady Gaga.
The most also think that if Siri were a real person, she would look like Angela Joli, so the Apple fan’s mind isn’t entirely on Steve Jobs and the theory of relativity.
Other results indicate:
- Of the Apple fans waiting in NYC lines, 74 percent were male and 26 percent were female and their average age is 25.
- 40.6 percent of Apple customers have previously purchased three or more earlier model iPhones.
- Apple fans waited an average of 2-4 hours in line to get their hands on the new release.
- 33.6 percent of Apple fans would prefer to have lunch with Steve Jobs. Others include 27.3 percent want to break bread with Albert Einstein; 23.1 percent want to spend time with JFK; whereas only 17.5 want to hang out with Lady Gaga.
- If Siri were a real person, most Apple fans in line (27.8 percent) imagine she would look like Angelina Jolie. Tied in a close second with 25 percent of the vote are Betty White and Cameron Diaz.
- The new features Apple fans are most looking forward to using include the bigger screen with 41.7 percent of the vote; a stronger battery came in second at 29.2 percent. The sleek design received 25.7 percent; and a more powerful camera received 22.9 percent.
- 32.2 percent of Apple fans are planning to buy iPhone 5 insurance.
- 43.4 percent of the people polled did not know that replacing their iPhone 5 without a contact can cost as much as $749 versus the subsidized rate of $299 for the iPhone 5 32 GB underscoring the importance or researching and purchasing gadget insurance.
- The second most popular brand for Apple fans is Samsung. Other popular brands include Sony, Starbucks, Gucci and Nike.
“People increasingly regard their iPhones as their most valued possession and as a result, we have seen a 50% increase in smartphone insurance since the announcement of the iPhone 5,” said Stephen Ebbett, President of ProtectYourBubble.com.
“With a$749 price tag for the iPhone 5 32 gb and the technology’s boundless capabilities to store and make use of personal data and content, it’s easy to see why.”
ProtechYourBubble.com sells iPhone insurance plans to US customers for $7.99 a month.
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
Most of the developed world knows by now that Steve Jobs passed away in early October. And just about everyone equates Jobs with the company he co-founded: Apple.
Fewer put his name to Pixar and Toy Story, or as the largest shareholder of Disney (as a result of the purchase of Pixar).
But since he was so closely tied to the image of Apple, what has been the impact on the company’s image since he died?
At the beginning of May, iGR conducted a major survey of U.S. consumers to provide data for upcoming research reports.
Image of Apple since Jobs’ dealth
Aside from questions about use of WiFi, tablets, smartphones, applications, content and LTE, iGR also added a question about respondents’ image of Apple since Steve Jobs died.
Specifically, the question asked: How has your perception/view of Apple changed (if at all) since the passing of Steve Jobs?
iGR’s consumer survey showed that:
- 1 percent said that their image of Apple had much improved since Steve Jobs died
- 3.5 percent said their perception of the company had improved
- 84 percent said their image of the company had not changed
- 9.4 percent said that their perception has worsened
- And 1.7 percent said their perception of Apple had greatly worsened.
Obviously, with 11 percent saying their perception of Apple had worsened since Jobs died is a concern — this is a large enough group to negatively impact Apple sales.
Since the survey used a large sample size, iGR can look at the demographic splits and find more about the 11 percent:
- Those with a worsening image of Apple are 12 – 18 percent more likely to be men and to be over aged 45 years.
- The 11 percent are also likely to have higher household incomes, higher educated (at least a college degree) and married.
- Having children in the household did not seem to impact the perception of Apple.
But the good news for Apple is that the 11 percent with a worsened perception of Apple are approximately 12 percent more likely to be Android smartphone users, specifically with Samsung or Motorola smartphones.
In general, current Apple users were far more likely to fall into the ‘no change’ category than have a better or worse view of the company.
“iGR believes this is important for Apple’s future. While a significant number of people said that their perception of the company had worsened, the core Apple user base seems to be unmoved in their views of the company,” said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry.
“While they may mourn the passing of Jobs, it seems that the Apple faithful are staying put.”
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
Was Steve Jobs really an "innovator," or was he a showman and marketing genius?
The 2012 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index indicates that young Americans are acutely aware of the importance of inventionand innovation in their personal lives, and within the context of the nation’s economy.
Yet most feel there are factors that would prevent them from furthering education in or entering inventive fields, posing a threat to the pool of future U.S. innovators and the country’s economic prosperity.
“Hands-on invention activities are critical, but few too many students have opportunities to learn and develop their inventive skills”
A Threat to U.S. Innovation
The annual Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, which gauges Americans’ perceptions about invention and innovation, surveyed Americans ages 16 – 25.
When asked about how new technology like smartphones and tablets influences and impacts their personal lives, 40 percent of respondents said they couldn’t imagine their life without it.
Americans also have a clear understanding of the role invention and innovation play in the health of the nation with nearly half (47 percent) saying that a lack of invention will hurt the U.S. economy.
Those surveyed, however, may not be the ones to take-on the challenge; 60 percent say there are factors that could keep them from pursuing an education or career in science, technology, engineering or math – fields that yield invention and lead to innovation.
Thomas Edison Chosen over Steve Jobs as Greatest Innovator
Though part of the “Apple Generation,” many young Americans surprisingly chose Thomas Edison (54 percent) over Steve Jobs (24 percent) as the greatest innovator of all time, demonstrating that education around the history of invention exists in today’s curriculum.
However, it may not be strong enough to inspire young Americans to make the leap into innovative fields themselves. When asked what other factors would stop them from pursuing innovation-driving fields, nearly half (45 percent) said that invention is not given enough attention in their school.
Additionally, 28 percent said their education left them unprepared to enter these fields.
“Hands-on invention activities are critical, but few too many students have opportunities to learn and develop their inventive skills,” said Leigh Estabrooks, the Lemelson-MIT Program’s invention education officer.
“This year’s survey revealed that less than half of respondents have done things like used a drill or hand-held power tool, or made something out of raw materials in the past year. We must engage students in these types of invention experiences as well as provide a strong STEM education to drive future innovators.”
Driving Future Innovators
American youth feel that education is most in need of a new, inventive solution, more than other fields like healthcare, energy and finance.
They also believe there are several ways to generate aspiring inventors by reforming learning experiences both in and out of the classroom.
Fifty-four percent said including invention projects during school, or a creative field trip could be a solution; while 52 percent said simply giving students a place to develop an invention could do the trick.
Outside of the classroom, a majority (80 percent) expressed interest in education training courses to help them become more inventive and creative. Fifty-eight percent said an opportunity to participate in an invention-related national service co-op, such as a training program where aspiring inventors can “shadow” working professionals in science, technology, engineering and math would encourage aspiring inventors in the U.S.
Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, supports such ideas. “These encouraging statistics show that young Americans have an interest in learning more about invention. At the Lemelson-MIT Program our mission is to celebrate and inspire invention. We invite communities to join us by giving youth access to role models and hands-on programs like InvenTeams to help them become more inventive in their personal and professional lives.”
Now in its ninth year, the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Initiative inspires and empowers youth to invent by engaging students in creative thinking, problem-solving and hands-on learning. Granted up to $10,000 each, InvenTeams create and pursue a yearlong invention project addressing real-world problems such as energy efficiency and disaster relief.
Friday, January 20th, 2012
Apple’s recent entry into the educational textbook market with highly interactive digital textbooks available on the iPhone and iPad and the updated version of its iTunes U, which offers teachers digital tools, is its latest effort to modernize the U.S. education system.
A pet project of the late Steve Jobs, the digital textbook move is only Apple’s latest foray into the education field. Apple Marketing VP Phil Schiller says the company owes much of its early success to education, where its Mac computers were often standard equipment.
We’re not sure Apple can rescue education from its mounting woes, many worsening because of the economic distress of recent years, but technology can certainly help. Jobs isn’t the only tech titan who wanted to revolutionize education. Jim Goodnight, founder and CEO of Cary, NC-based SAS, has also promoted the idea of using technology to improve schooling and even supports a North Carolina high school putting some of his ideas to work.
OnlineEducation.net created this infographic asking, “Can Apple Save Education?”
Friday, November 4th, 2011
By Allan Maurer
Google has already had to deal with one of its own employees posting a rant about its redesign of Google Reader that looks as if it were done by someone who never actually uses Google Reader. Now, it has just introduced its new look for Gmail – an equally stark redesign that blinds you with white LED light if you view it on a desktop.
More LED light flooding screen-weary eyes is not something we needed.
This is a classic case of fixing things that are not broken and making them worse in the process. It would be wise for Google to provide a way for users to keep the old looks if they prefer them – and we suspect we’re only one among many who find the changes make things worse rather than improving them.
For one thing, creating such a stark look that glows like something radioactive is not just hard on the eyes, it is if anything, less effective functionally (the appearance, not the features). You could light a room with Gmail open on a desktop screen.
You have to ask, did Google do any usability design testing before making these sweeping changes? Why did the company think them necessary?
Nothing wrong with simple
We just interviewed Marshall Brain, founder of How Stuff Works, who will be doing a session at the upcoming Internet Summit in Raleigh, NC, Nov. 16 on when fashionable design is necessary and when it’s not. Often, Brain tells us, simple works for certain audiences as well or better than all the bells and whistles designs.
Top sites such as The Drudge Report or Craig’s List make do with the most basic sites possible. (Look for our interview with Brain next week. He retired from HowStuffWorks this past summer and is up to new things).
But we’re not dissing the simplicity of Google’s new designs. It’s more human engineering we’re thinking about. What works best. Human engineering is something too many tech companies have ignored to their later dismay.
Years ago, we wrote a story for the late, still-missed OMNI magazine in which a human engineering expert noted that most nuclear power plant control rooms looked as if someone had put all dial, controls and switches in a box, then thrown them against the wall and placed them where they landed. We feel that way about the design of numerous tech devices we have used or tested, from smartphones to tablets and operating systems.
One of the reason’s for Apple Inc.’s great success, as most commentators noted after Steve Jobs recent death from cancer, is of course, its attention to design – and not just beauty, but in a pragmatically useful sense as well.
Google says its Gmail changes include improvements to search and other functions and that may be. But the design changes are almost a backward step.
If they represent the way new CEO and company co-founder Larry Page is approaching things, it does not bode well for Google going forward.
We’re not alone
Now it’s normal for people to dislike change when they’re used to something, and perhaps everyone will just get used to the new look on Gmail, Google Reader and its other products, but we doubt it. We’re not opposed to change on principle by any means. And, generally, we like Google’s products, which we use daily, including both Reader and Gmail.
Famously, one of Google Reader’s former Project Managers Brian Shih post calling the Google Reader design a terrible decision got lots of press.
We’re not alone in disliking the changes. Andy Beal over at Marketing Pilgrim hated the Google Reader changes.
Peter Smith at IT world reports that the buzz on the Google changes seems universally negative for Google Reader but find the Gmail changes ok. He likes some of those changes.
Personally, we’ve already send comments to Google via its feedback button telling them how much we dislike the Gmail changes. How about you? Have you experienced Google’s new look? Do you find it better? Worse? Neither?
Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Hagens Berman, a consumer rights class-action law firm, has filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit claiming that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and five of the nation’s top publishers, including HarperCollins Publishers, a subsidiary of News Corporation (NASDAQ:NWSA), Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group Inc., a subsidiary of Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO), and Simon & Schuster Inc., a subsidiary of CBS (NYSE:CBS), illegally fix prices of electronic books, also known as e-books.
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the lawsuit alleges that the publishers and Apple colluded to increase prices for popular e-book titles to boost profits and force e-book rival Amazon to abandon its pro-consumer discount pricing.
According to the suit, publishers believed that Amazon’s wildly popular Kindle e-reader device and the company’s discounted pricing for e-books would increase the adoption of e-books, and feared Amazon’s discounted pricing structure would permanently set consumer expectations for lower prices, even for other e-reader devices.
“Fortunately for the publishers, they had a co-conspirator as terrified as they were over Amazon’s popularity and pricing structure, and that was Apple,” said Steve Berman, attorney representing consumers and founding partner of Hagen Berman. “We intend to prove that Apple needed a way to neutralize Amazon’s Kindle before its popularity could challenge the upcoming introduction of the iPad, a device Apple intended to compete as an e-reader.”
Suit says publishers forced Amazon to discontinue discounts
The complaint claims that the five publishing houses forced Amazon to abandon its discount pricing and adhere to a new agency model, in which publishers set prices and extinguished competition so that retailers such as Amazon could no longer offer lower prices for e-books.
If Amazon attempted to sell e-books below the publisher-set levels, the publishers would simply deny Amazon access to the title, the complaint details. The defendant publishers control 85 percent of the most popular fiction and non-fiction titles.
Berman noted that while Amazon derived profit from the sale of its Kindle and related accessories, likely allowing the company to discount e-books, Apple was steadfast in maintaining the 70/30 revenue split it demanded with its App Store.
“Apple simply did not want to enter the e-book marketplace amid the fierce competition it knew it would face from Amazon and its discounted pricing,” Berman added. “So instead of finding a way to out-compete Amazon, they decided to choke off competition through this anti-consumer scheme.”
Complaint cites Steve Jobs interview
The complaint notes that Apple CEO Steve Jobs foreshadowed the simultaneous switch to agency pricing and the demise of discount pricing in an interview with The Wall Street Journalin early 2010. In the interview, he was asked why consumers would buy books through Apple at $14.99 while Amazon was selling the same book for $9.99. “The prices will be the same,” he stated.
While free market forces would dictate that e-books would be cheaper than the hard-copy counterparts, considering lower production and distribution costs, the complaint shows that as a result of the agency model and alleged collusion, many e-books are more expensive than their hard-copy counterparts.
“As a result of the pricing conspiracy, prices of e-books have exploded, jumping as much as 50 percent,” Berman said. “When an e-book version of a best-seller costs close to – or even more than – its hard-copy counterpart, it doesn’t take a forensic economist to see that this is evidence of market manipulation.”
Berman pointed out that The Kite Runner, for example, costs $12.99 as an e-book and only $8.82 as a paperback.
“What is most loathsome about the behavior of Apple and the publishers is that it is stifling the power of innovation, the very thing Apple purports to champion,” Berman added. “A few big-business heavyweights are taking a powerful advancement of technology that would benefit consumers and suffocating it to protect profit margins and market share.”
According to the lawsuit, Apple and publishers were concerned that Amazon’s $9.99 uniform pricing for bestsellers would create market pressures for other e-booksellers – including Apple – to do the same, cutting into profitability.
The lawsuit goes on to claim that because no publisher could unilaterally raise prices without losing sales, they coordinated their activities, with the help of Apple, in an effort to slow the growth of Amazon’s e-book market and to increase their profit margin on each e-book sold.
Ebook buyers may be able to join the class action
The lawsuit claims Apple and the publishers are in violation of a variety of federal and state antitrust laws, the Sherman Act, the Cartwright Act, and the Unfair Competition Act.
The named plaintiffs, Anthony Petru, a resident of Oakland, California, and Marcus Mathis, a resident of Natchez, Mississippi, each purchased at least one e-book at a price above $9.99 after the adoption of the agency pricing model.
Once approved, the lawsuit would represent any purchaser of an e-book published by a major publisher after the adoption of the agency model by that publisher.
The lawsuit seeks damages for the purchase of e-books, an injunction against pricing e-books with the agency model and forfeiture of the illegal profits received by the defendants as a result of their anticompetitive conduct, which could total tens of millions of dollars.
Hagens Berman invites potential plaintiffs to contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 206-623-7292.
You can learn more about this case by visiting www.hbsslaw.com/ebooks.
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs will disclose the company’s new iCloud service in his highly anticipated keynote address at the Apple Conference this week. Reports say the new service will let users scan their music ocllections and duplicate them in the cloud.
Apple’s new Western North Carolina Data Center under construction will be the hub for the new cloud offering.
Both Amazon and Google recently launched similar services.
Most people would rather bounce a check than lose their cell phone
NASHVILLE, TN – Asurion, a company that helps people protect their mobile devices, has launched a mobile mishaps contest designed to find some of the most peculiar, odd, outrageous and downright funny stories about how U.S. consumers have lost or broken their mobile phones.
Prior to launching the contest, Asurion partnered with Opinoinology, an online market research fieldwork provider, to conduct quantitative research to learn more about Americans and their mobile phones. Among many other findings, the research shows that 5 out of 10 consumers would rather bounce a check than lose their mobile phone.
“This contest will help us all learn from each other’s accidents and reinforce the need to protect our indispensible mobile devices – and even allow us to have some fun along the way.”
Asurion will award one 64MB Apple iPad 2 to a contest winner every two weeks for a six-week period, equaling a total of three winners between today and July 12. Written submissions will be accepted, with photos and/or videos as supplements.
Winning entries will be featured on the homepage of the Asurion-sponsored GottaHaveMyMobile.com, a consumer education website for mobile phone insurance. Participants who don’t win in one round of judging will be automatically placed back into the pool for the next round of judging. Winners will be notified via email.
How to Enter
To enter the mobile mishaps contest, participants see: bit.ly/AsurionContest to fill out a short online form where they can also upload an optional video and/or photo. During the three rounds of judging, one winner will be selected by a panel of Asurion judges.
Additionally, contest participants and non-participants throughout 2011 can learn more surprising and interesting research by liking GottaHaveMyMobile.com on Facebook.
Response rate to posts on Facebook fan pages is low
Simplify 360, a social media brand monitoring platform, did a simple study of 50 Facebook brand fan pages, a random mix that included consumer brands, sports teams, and publications).
It found that 1 million Facebook fans hit the like button only 826 times and produced only 309 comments per post.
Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
VIERA, FL — SkyCross, a global designer and manufacturer of antennas, says phone makers and consumers should treat Apple’s iPhone 4 antenna problems as a learning moment, because 4G technology means antenna issues on smartphones may be a continuing problem.
The company said mobile device manufacturers and consumers should take a time out from the “Antennagate” controversy to review radio-frequency issues and their effect on smartphone performance.
As the wireless industry transitions to 4G technology, antenna issues will become more significant since multifunction smartphones require multiple antennas for full broadband connectivity.
SkyCross specializes in optimizing wireless connectivity in consumer electronics devices. Over the past 10 years, SkyCross has built a commercial knowledge base and an extensive portfolio of patented antenna designs and techniques for the mobile device, notebook, access point, and consumer device markets.
SkyCross iMAT is a technology for super fast broadband networks that enables a single device antenna to deliver the performance benefits of multiple antennas without creating interference issues.
The “hand effect”
“It’s true that antennas in smartphones and other handheld wireless devices are affected by the way in which the user holds the device,” said Charles A. Riggle, SkyCross VP of Marketing and Business Development. Antennas on the Apple iPhone4 are exposed to the user’s touch, and the so-called “hand effect” is magnified due to the conductive nature of human skin on these metal antenna elements.
“Apple is a premier design innovator, but more extensive device tests are often necessary to observe these behaviors and identify a remedy before launching a product,” he said.
“Frequently, it works better if the OEM can focus on the coolness of the design and the rich feature content and leave wireless performance to those whose sole focus is RF. This puts functional expertise where it is best carried out on both sides of the product solution.”
A non-conductive coating could have been applied on the metal ring around the iPhone4 to protect the exposed antennas from unintended signal attenuation when the user’s hand crosses the so-called “antenna gap.”
Alternatively, after the phone was manufactured, a low-cost, one-inch “bandage” could have covered up the gap, making bumpers unnecessary. Since every single phone model is different, hand effect must be minimized through an iterative design process of moving and adjusting the antenna structure until the device meets mobile operator and regulatory performance goals established for that particular device in multiple usage cases.
Designing smartphone antennas is a complex problem
“In antenna design, there is an age-old conflict in the compromise between form and function,” Riggle explained. “Antenna engineers are constantly challenged to do more with less and develop new ways of incorporating radiating structures into phones in the smallest space possible while still meeting mobile operator radiated-performance tests and adhering to mandatory RF regulatory requirements.”
Designing antennas for today’s complex multi-band smartphones is both an art and a science.
Antenna designers must balance the technical challenge of designing antenna elements that are effective radiators of the signals transmitted and received in as many as 10 operating frequency bands. It has to do this with the mechanical challenge of placing these antenna elements into a device that fits in a consumer’s pocket, is mostly a metal and glass screen, and also has cameras, speakers, a keyboard, and a big battery.
On the technical side, the antenna must be large enough to efficiently transmit radio signals without reflecting RF energy back into the transceiver as heat, which wastes battery power. The antenna must radiate those signals on channels as low as 700MHz where the wavelength of the transmitted signal may actually be larger than the phone itself, and as high as 5GHz where the signal propagates a significantly lesser distance per unit of power output.
On the mechanical side, the antenna must be small enough to allow sleek, thin, and compact phone designs. It must also be located within the device to maximize its ability to get signals into and out of the phone without exceeding government power and RF exposure limits. Also, antennas must be designed not to create interference or be affected by nearby objects such as transceiver modules, speakers and digital cameras.
“Apple’s genius was in utilizing a major mechanical design element as the device antenna,” Riggle continued. “With the metal ring around the perimeter of the iPhone4 for the main radiating elements of the antenna, Apple eliminated the need to reserve dedicated volume within the phone for these antennas.
That made the device more compact, allowed the screen to occupy as much of the front surface as possible, and enabled use of a larger battery to increase usage time between charges. Since the phone must operate on numerous frequency bands, multiple antenna elements were incorporated into the metal ring with small gaps between major radiating structures. These gaps caused problems.”
“Apple’s problem spotlights how important the design of antennas can be,” Riggle said. “After all, antennas are the only parts of a device that touch the mobile network and are crucial for the reliable high-speed connectivity demanded by subscribers of today’s 3G and 4G wireless networks.”
We appreciate SkyCross taking the time to explain the antenna issue in tech terms, but many of our readers seem to think that the Apple antenna issue is a lot of noise over a minor problem. Others, however, particularly in the tech media, have been critical of the way Apple CEO Steve Jobs handled the press conference on the issue.
Friday, July 16th, 2010
CUPERTINO, CA – Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs told a press conference this afternoon that the signal problem with its iPhone 4 is minimal, resulting in only .55 percent of buyers’ complaining about what he said is the best-selling phone ever. But even a small problem is too much, Jobs said, apologizing.
“We’re not perfect. Phones are not perfect,” Jobs said. He pointed out early that other smartphones have similar problems, although media outlets covering the conference were complaining he spent 20 minutes downplaying the problem and blaming the media. He also said the company had fixed a software problem resulting in incorrect signal strength phone bars.
Well known tech commentator Leo Laporte called Job’s press conference remarks “Nixonian,” referring to the ex-president’s attempt to spin problems.
Jobs said one solution is to use the bumper case, which Apple will provide free to iPhone 4 buyers – or a refund for the case to those who bought it. Since Apple can’t make enough bumper cases, Jobs said iPhone 4 users can buy a case from a third party.
Unsatisfied users can bring back there phone for a full refund for up to 30 days after purchase if it’s undamaged, Jobs said.
Other commentators suggested that Jobs made the press the villain by saying reports demonized a minor problem. “When we have problems like this, we take it personally,” Jobs said.
Jobs said he thinks the company has gotten to the heart of the problem, which is that smartphones have weak spots.
Apple stock rose in reaction to the press conference.
By Allan Maurer
Contact Tech Journal South Editor and writer Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournalSouth dot com.