Saturday, July 27, 2013

Apps and Services To Augment Mobile Market

Source: Barron's.

I don't know if Apple's last quarterly announcement spoke to a saturation of the high end market or not. I don't know if Samsung's reduction of the just released Galaxy S4 spoke to the same thing. But there is a change in the buying habit of the smartphone market that could be bigger than just the top end.

But looking at Apple's iTunes revenue growing of 25% to nearly $4 billion, you have to take notice. It's likely that Amazon and Google saw some kind of growth that points to a shift in how they see their apps/mobile ecosystem.

More so than Apple, at least in the beginning, Google likely saw Google Play as a source of direct revenue and profit than Apple. Apple wanted to sell iOS devices and Macs and it's iTunes ecosystem was to be an integral part of that. It was mean to operate at a break even point only. But as revenue exploded, it's like iTunes has added to the billions in cash that Apple gets every year.

For Amazon, it's Kindle ecosystem was mean to get people hooked in and continue shopping with it. More and more, its own ecosystem is valuable as an avenue to direct profitability.

This comes to my point. These operators of App Stores will rely more and more on them as perpetual sources of income so long as their mobile users, be it iPhone, Nexus, or Kindle, continue to spend $.99 for an app or $1.99 for a TV show. All of that adds up.

It'll be interesting to get some kind of color on how much each mobile user spends after buying a phone or tablet. As the market matures and the app buying experience becomes more prevalent, the revenue Apple and Google will generate from each user will only increase.

- Posted using Mobile

Friday, July 26, 2013

Twitter Can Inform You When You've Lost $2 Million

Source: Bleacher Reports.

Yeah, this hurts. An American football player, meaning not soccer or kicking a rounded white/back ball around, lost $2 million dollars because he failed to show up for a team workout in San Francisco. You're asking why is this so important that we would put it on Clouding Around?

Well, there is a social angle to this. See, the football player, Tarell Brown of the San Francisco 49ers found out that he lost the $2 million, just simply for not showing up and which reduced his salary of nearly three million down to $925,000 from, of all places, Twitter.

That's right. Twitter. Social media.

Of course, there is a couple of lessons to be learned from all this. One, make sure your agent, lawyer, or whoever your power-of-attorney charge is knows what they are doing. Needless to say, Brown fired his agent.

Second, Twitter is big. You don't want to go to CNN, Fox News, LA Times, or even Facebook for breaking news. You want to go to Twitter because that's where news happens fast. It is being read and followed. Then it gets retwitted over and over.

While I feel bad for Brown, let's not forget that he's still going to make around $400K after taxes this year. That's like eight times the average salary of an American family.

And the dude is pretty good so I wager he'll get a new lucrative contract after this season (his last with SF).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

You Have To Have $5 Million ($1 Million In Cash) To Be Rich But Yesteryear Millionaires Better Off

If you've got more than five million in asset and about a million of that in cash, then you're rich. I don't if that puts you in the 1% like Mitt Romney or President Obama but I figure you should be okay. Even three to four million is fine too. Being far from all that, I'd have to take your word for it.

Your word is that of a majority of investors from UBS Investor Watch who was asked about this. (Today MSN).

However, I like to chime in a bit about this even though I'm not in the millionaire club. I did spend time pondering how much would I need to have to feel secured and wealthy. And I take you back to the 80s when as a kid, I became aware of the value of asset and money.

Then in LA, you can get a decent house for $80,000-$100,000. In a very nice neighborhood too. Some of those folks were millionaires too. But like $1 to $2 millionaires. Growing up, they were folks that I wanted to be like when I grew up. That means they should have bought about 10 to 20 of those houses.

That was how I measured rich as a little dude.

If I take that measurement to today's buying power, those millionaires in the 80s have more purchasing power than today's $5 millionaires. Most decent houses in Los Angeles are closer to $800,000, even $1 million a pop. That means they can only buy 5 to 6 houses at most.

Now, I'm not saying that I would not want to be in a $5 millionaire's shoes. But I wonder if being a millionaire today means anything anymore.

I think it's time we stop throwing the "millionaire" term around, come up with a new term and set our standards and dreams a bit higher. Me?

I want to be a decallionaire.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, July 22, 2013

Microsoft Needs To Continue To Invest In Surface, If Not For Its Own Fate, But To Put Competitive Pressure on Chomebook and Apple

I know that many folks are very happy over the near $1 billion charge that Microsoft took out on the dismal sales of Surface tablets. I reckon it's for both the RT and Intel versions. However, Microsoft, successful or not (Xbox is a success while we can get into many of its other failures like Zune), has never been known to go to bat once and leave the game entirely.

It spent years on Zune and ended with an utter failure that decimated not only its own effort in the portable and streaming music industry but those of its partners as well. Xbox is a bit more successful and I think it's beginning to eek out a bit of profit even though the console market could be in trouble. For argument's sake, let's call this a success.

Either way, Microsoft didn't put one out product, see it fail, and walk away entirely. Even with Kin, which lasted only months, Microsoft is back now with Windows Phone with increasing success.

So, while Surface sales have not caught on like many in Redmond and Microsoft fans hope (I like to consider myself one of them. I have a Nokia Windows Phone), I also believe that Microsoft has learn from the market, which it usually do, and will make changes to the next generation hardware and put on a new marketing push later this year.

And maybe Microsoft will lose another billion between 2013-2014 but it is essential that it fight, bite, and scratch its way to relevance in the tablet market which most believe is the future of computing.

It's essential because we not only need Microsoft's vision for the future of computing, it also serves as a competitive force that Apple and Samsung cannot ignore. On top of that, because Microsoft has both an ARM and Intel version of the Surface, the future generations of tablets will continue to put pressure on the growing Chromebook market as well as Intel-based tablets.

It's likely that Apple will release its own OS X Intel Mac that is a hybrid between a laptop and a tablet (I'll explain why later).

For now, I'm taking a way and see attitude towards the Surface even thought one can be had for $350. I'm waiting to see what improvements Microsoft will make for Surface 2 before I decide.

For Microsoft, it doesn't have a choice even if it doesn't want to serve the market. It has to serve itself if it doesn't want to become irrelevant in the future of mobile computing. Already, Windows 8 adoption and sales have dropped due to a drop in global demand for PCs as tablets continue to grow wildly. Eventually, it could get to the point when even Microsoft's core businesses like Office gets affected as people realize they can live without it.

- Posted using Mobile

iPad Battery Life: Apple Has To Increase It To 15+ Hours Now That Macbook Air Can Do 12 Hours

I totally enjoy the fact that my iPad has long battery life and I appreciate the ability to go through a couple of days or more without worry about having to charge it. Still, one can't get enough of hours as far as battery life goes. My ideal battery life for a mobile device, be it a phone or tablet, is a week.

Obviously, we are years if not a decade away from that realization. For now, I believe Apple has to increase the battery life on the iPad further. For three generations now, the iPad has been stuck at 10 hours. It's time that we see Apple increase that by 50% to 15 hours of battery life. There are a couple of reasons why the 2013 iPads slated to be introduced this fall has to have increased battery life.

One, like I said, it's been three years since the original iPad and we're still at 10 hours. The ability to have a nearly day-long battery for a mobile device has changed how we have become a mobile society. The ubiquity of the iPad cannot be understated. And that's all possible because of the 10 hour battery life.

If the iPad has only 5 to 7 hours, believe me when I said this and I'm sure you'll agree, a lot less folks would be carry it around as a laptop replacement.

Increasing the iPad's battery life now from 10 to 15 hours would elevate the iPad to another whole new level. This feature alone could propel Apple's fastest growing device to another level and further revolutionize how the modern society compute on the go.

The second reason is the new 2013 Macbook Air line and its incredible battery life. In the latest update, Apple has increased the Air's battery life a mind-blowing 12 HOURS for the 13" Air and 9 HOURS for the 11" Air. That is up from 7 hours and 5 hours respectively from the previous versions. Until the introduction of the 2013, the iPad was still the king when it comes to pure battery life. Now, it has been upstaged and given the increasing importance of the iPad for Apple and in the lives of mobile warriors, it's important that Apple remind the market that the iPad is the future of computing by increasing the battery life further (I'm sure Apple will add new features to the next iPad beyond just battery life).

And we do know that at some point, Apple will increase the battery life of the iPad, even the iPhone. But the increase in battery life has to be a bold statement. Increasing the next iPad's battery life from 10 hours to 15 hours would be a very bold statement. increase it from 10 to 12 hours is nice but will not have anywhere near the same impact.

And this is why I'm hoping that while there will be a new iPad mini like design for the regular iPad, Apple's need to make the iPad lighter and thinner won't come at the sacrifice of the ability to increase battery life. I love my iPhone 5 and if there is one major complaint I have with it: Apple made it thinner and lighter but Apple could have added more bulk and weight with a bigger battery.

Put these two reasons together, Apple would have some even better to knock over its competitors. It's hard pressed that Android or Windows RT tablets even have 10 hours of battery life even today. A fifteen hour long iPad would further solidify iPad's place as the most used and recognized device while it continues to decimate the PC market.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Attempted Hack Made Apple Take Down Its Developer Site For An Overhaul

This is a statement from a email Apple sent out regarding their prolonged downtime of its developer site. Apparently, it redid its site and database, and beefed up its security after an attempted hack to access encrypted information.

Here is Apple's statement:

Last Thursday, an intruder attempted to secure personal information of our registered developers from our developer website. Sensitive personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed, however, we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed. In the spirit of transparency, we want to inform you of the issue. We took the site down immediately on Thursday and have been working around the clock since then.

In order to prevent a security threat like this from happening again, we’re completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database. We apologize for the significant inconvenience that our downtime has caused you and we expect to have the developer website up again soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Blackberry Sends Flagship Z10 Down To $0

Source: Phone Arena

Thing have really gotten bad for Blackberry. I'm the hopeful optimistic type so when I don't say this lightly. But I'm about to call it for Blackberry.

It's over. I'm am sorry to say. I can't see Blackberry pulling a super magical rabbit out of a hat. At this point, it doesn't been have a hat to pull anything out of.

There is a very, very slimmer of chance things can improve. Its Q10, a form factor that most Blackberry fans and most business users are familiar due to its physical keyboard, maybe stave off any Android and iPhone assault this fall and winter a bit.

Even then, it's only a temporary measure at best. It's unlike Blackberry has what it takes to move beyond 2014 as an independent concern.

Even now, Blackberry is having trouble keeping its head above water in its fight against Windows Phone for third place in the mobile market. Once a while back, Blackberry could rely on third world markets to gain in these markets but that is now largely Android's domain.

And with the high end of the market dominated by Apple and Samsung, things in the middle could get worse for Blackberry if the unicorn $300-400 iPhone becomes real.

Maybe when I see a price drop for the Q10, I'll pick one up. Who knows? It may be the last modern Blackberry with a keyboard from the Waterloo company.

- Posted using Mobile

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...