Archive for the ‘apple’ tag
Wow, what a week for Apple in the news.
- First, the iPad launches. The media embargo lifts. Favorable reviews (would you really expect anything less from Walt Mossberg?) pour in, but some negative reviews surface as well. Turns out, Apple sells 450,000 units in the first week. Success? Too early to tell, but those sales numbers a bit north of where I thought they would be.
- iPhone OS 4.0 is unveiled on Thursday. Lots and lots of good stuff in here. Apple seems to have done a great job thinking thru the multitasking issue. Background GPS + local (local as in local to the phone..not notification system) notifications is going to be huge. And it’s just plain hard not to be giddy about background voip and music. As many of my Android friends have reminded me, yes Android has supported this since ‘09, but that’s not going to kill the glee that thousands of iPhone devs and tens of millions of iPhone (err make that iPhone 3GS +) users will feel come the official launch.
- The launch event also confirmed iAds, that is Apple’s very own ad network for iPhone apps. We all knew this was going to happen once Apple bought Quattro. Some of my friends in the mobile ad world are calling anti-trust on this. One of Steve’s key points about iAds is that the in-app ads will actually expand into an HTML5 window that floats above the app and allows the user to interact with the ad without leaving the app. Now, if this functionality is not made available via the SDK, then yes I do believe this is anti-competitive. If they don’t then there’s really nothing that stops any other ad network (Google/AdMob, etc..) from implementing the same. However, Steve claims that iAds will strive to make mobile ads more engaging than current mobile ads. I think this goal + the official Apple association + the non-disruptive-to-the-app user experience will be very appealing to big brands. Steve estimates that Apple could be pushing 1B ads daily given current iPhone app usage. Obviously that number is sort of like a TAM measurement at this point. But with this announcement Apple is arguably the new #1 player in mobile advertising…for now.
- Finally, the terms for iPhone 4.0 SDK imply that developing an app using a non-Apple approved languages is prohibited. What this means is that Adobe’s Flash-based iPhone developer tools are banned. In his (personal) rant today, Lee Brimelow, evangelist for Adobe, makes it clear that this has nothing to do with Flash player support for the iPhone (which I think it’s pretty fair to assert now is not going to happen anytime soon if ever because this effectively would allow apps to be delivered to the iPhone without going through the iTunes App Store). But, banning developer tools? Just doesn’t make any sense to me. Why is Steve so anti-Adobe? I guess he forgot the 1990s when Adobe was arguably a key reason for the survival of the Macintosh (and hence Apple itself).
Finally though, one can’t help but wonder if this closed-off approach to the iPhone is going to eventually do Apple in once again. I tell a lot of friends that Steve Jobs is a visionary and innovator for the ages..one of the greatest ever. However, he also has a huge ego. I argue that Steve represents both Apple’s ability to create new paradigms and Apple’s inability to capture, in the long-term, dominant share of the market that paradigm shift creates. Of course, the clearest example of that is the Mac and the PC market. Will this be repeated again in mobile? Well, Apple once again is alienating hardware vendors (by not opening the iPhone OS), alienating developers (limiting funtion and distribution of apps), alienating many users (for some of the above reasons as well as pricing and carrier limitations), and is now potentially alienating the ad/monetization world. We’re already seeing numbers that suggest Android’s smartphone market share is catching up real fast on the iPhone. My guess is by the end of 2011, we’ll start to know the answer to this question.
To end this post on a positive and inspiring note, if you haven’t watched this video of a 2 year old girl’s first experience with the iPad, you must watch this video. The iPad may not change the world but man you can’t help but watch this and believe Steve when he said the iPad is “the most important thing I’ve ever done”.
PRN (Paul, Rishi, Nick) just launched a new Facebook app called My Apple Life. It allows users to share the Apple products that they have and want on their Facebook profile. Also, users can find others that have the same products that they do and engage in discussions like “What’s the best waterproof case for my iPod Nano?” Check it out…
The Steve Jobs Keynote this morning left most, including many Apple die-hards, wanting a bit more to talk about. The item that caught my attention the most was Steve’s announcement that Apple had sold its 1 billionth song on iTunes. Pretty amazing.
I dug up some fun facts about iTunes:
- “The billionth song Speed of Sound was purchased as part of Coldplay’s X&Y album by Alex Ostrovsky from West Bloomfield, Michigan. As the grand prize winner he will receive a 20-inch iMac, 10 fifth generation iPods (5 white/5 black) and a $10,000 gift card good for any item on the iTunes Music Store. In addition, Apple will establish a scholarship to the world-renowned Juilliard School of Music in his name to commemorate this milestone.” Lucky bastard! (Wikipedia)
- 42 million iPod products have been sold. That’s approximately 25 iTunes downloads per iPod sold.
- At last measure, approximately over 3 million songs sold per day or over 2 thousand songs sold per minute!(Pocket-lint.co.uk)
- In it’s first year, Jobs predicted iTunes would sell 100 million songs. iTunes fell short selling 70 million songs.
- iTunes has 83% of the $1.1 billion online digital music market (Red Herring article)
- It’s estimated that Apple’s profit margin on each song is in the low single digits, or in other words, a few pennies per song sold. Assuming 5%, 1 billion * .05 = $50 million profit since iTunes launch
- Only iPods are compatible with Apple’s DRM. Why? The purpose of iTunes is to sell iPods, not to sell music. The fact that Apple is able to turn a profit on iTunes is all gravy. However, while it’s not really an apples-apples comparison, one could say that the purpose of MacOS is/was to sell Mac hardware….that didn’t work out to well in the long-term.