Monday, August 31, 2015

Apple Flexes iOS Muscle With Cisco Deal - Another Sign of New Apple Under Tim Cook

Apple announced a networking deal with Cisco to optimize Cisco's network hardware for iOS traffic.  It not only shows a new serious push by the Cupertino, California company to move past its consumer-oriented past into enterprise (along with the previous massive IBM partnership), it shows that Apple under the leadership of Tim Cook is ready to grow into new markets by leveraging its popular mobile platform.

Under the terms of the deal, Apple will work with Cisco to create a fast lane for the iPhone and iPad. More than that, the two companies will work to create an integrated and more collaborative environment for Apple devices. 

What is interesting about Apple's enterprise deals is that the success of Apple's iOS devices owes largely to the BYOD (bring your own device) culture in enterprise with massive armies of mobile warriors wanting to use their iPhones and iPads instead of company-issued devices.  The Cisco deal is just a recognition that Apple has to do more for its enterprise mobile users.  This means other companies as well which means we will hear more about these types of deals coming from Apple in the future.

Would this have happened under Steve Jobs?  Probably but not with the attention and focus that Tim Cook has put into these deals.  The enterprise has always been a tough nut for Apple to crack and Cook and his team recognize this window of opportunity. 

This deal probably means nothing for regular iPhone and iPad users.  However, we will never know what kind of new lessons Apple will learn from the Cisco partnership.  With both companies focusing on optimizing performace and security, we can possibly see some of that migrate over to Apple's own consumer-class network devices, the Airport line.  Even for home use, many users would not mind an Airport device beefed with Cisco technology.  

Wearable: Android Watch Now Available on iOS, What and Why

Android Wear is now an app on iOS that can work with the iPhone.  This is huge news.  First, let's go through a bit what it does and then why now.

What it does is allow the user to access their Google-based information on compatible Android Wear watches (so far, looks like only one LG model works with more compatibile devices on the way) to be connected with Apple's iPhone family, second biggest mobile OS after Android itself in terms of market share.  You can access weather, flight information, and some notifications.  It is likely anyone who uses iMessage or Apple's dedicated apps will be out of luck in terms of notifications.  But if the user or users live in the Google world, that really does not matter all that much.

Now comes the why.  There are two main possibilities.  Google does not want to cede the lucrative iOS market to just Apple even though Apple offers a much more integrated Apple Watch and Android Wear will only offer a subset of Android Wear functionalities due to limitations Apple put on app and hardware developers.  Google figures 100% of nothing is still nothing and it'll take what it can get.  And what's more, should iPhone users want more from Android Wear, well, then they best get an Android device to pair with it, won't they?

Second possibility is what the Apple Watch is doing to the market.  Perhaps greater share of iPhone users are buying an associated Apple Watch than Android users are buying an Android Wear device.  Hence, if iPhone users are more likely to buy a watch to pair with their iPhones, it makes sense that Google will try to muscle in a bit regardless of how limited it might be.

The true reason is likely somewhere in between.  Do not be surprised if Apple offers more iOS apps for the Android beyond Apple Music.  Apple has been hiring more Android developers and it's likely a suite of Apple apps will be showing up on Android in the coming year. 

So, it will go both ways. It really does not hurt either companies to offer wearable apps on each others platform.  Wearables are the next battleground for tech companies.  And for mobile warriors, the more competitive the markets are, the better they are for us. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Social: Extortion Over Porn, Kids Need to Wise Up

Let this be a lesson not just for kids but adults as well. You really want to think twice before sending pictures and personal information through regular text app, email, and, of course, social media. A man in LA had been charged with extortion over nude pictures teens sent him. 

Why anyone would send a naked picture of themselves on the Internet in this day and age, I'll never know. You have to know that if a man is asking you to do this, it's not a good idea or that the man is a nice guy at all. 

And more kmportantly, where were the parents?

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Apple Is Making Apps for Android - Why Now and What Apps or Services We Like To See from Apple

When asked about iTunes on Windows, Steve Jobs said it was like giving someone in hell a glass of cold water or something to that effect.  Well, it does look like the Apple under Tim Cook realizes that Android with such a large market share globally is too much a market to ignore. 

We'll talk why Apple is doing this now and what apps we like to see migrate from iOS to Android.  First, why now?

Well, as well as Apple is doing financially, it does want to do better and the low hanging fruits are fewer and harder to find.  It's why Apple has moved into new markets like the wearable with the Apple Watch and the rumored look into the auto industry.  Still, as far as the mobile market is concerned, we are not even at half time yet.  So, Tim Cook is looking towards Android.

When Apple introduced the iPod, it did well but it did not really take off until Apple made iTunes available on Windows, allowing Windows users to enjoy using the most popular MP3 player in the world.  And while Apple made billions from the iPod family, the halo effect on other Apple products and services were not to be ignored.  We'll come back to services.

So, let's focus on the halo effect first.  The iPhone became such a financial success largely on the back of the iPod - the good will generated from the iPod allowed mobile warriors to consider the iPhone.  If the iPhone is as good as the iPod in their pockets, then they should give it a look. And now, hundreds of millions of iPhone users agree.  And on top of that, this good will that was transferred to the iPhone is now being transferred to the Apple Watch.  And who knows what other future Apple products will benefit simply because it's from Apple.  Had the iPod been a flop for whatever reason, well, then it's likely the iPhone would have met the market with a greater deal if suspicion and skepticism. 

By sell affluent and middle-class Android users on Apple apps and services, that could generate enough halo effect that when it comes time to upgrade their devices, they might consider the iPhone or iPad now that they have had a taste of Apple's ecosystem.  We are probably talking about iTunes stores and Apple Music to start.  Perhaps, even iCloud apps and services as well.  And if these Android users become iPhone converts, maybe they'll move deeper into Apple's open arms and embrace the Macs and Apple Watch or the iCar.

Now we come to services.  Apple has been making a bigger hay about its services sector.  And with the 11 million possible Apple Music subscribers along with a growing app revenue, Apple is looking at making a serious chunk of cash from content only.  This is all before the Apple TV service that is looking less and less like an unicorn and more of a real deal.  Perhap by Christmas, Apple's services revenue could be leaps and bounds beyond what anyone on Wall Street is expecting. 

Now, if you can add a few million of the global Android market to pay for Apple services, that is a serious chunk of cash. 

The only argument is to what degree is Apple willing to offer Android users its apps and services and what its motives are.  The motives are laid out above - halo and to generate paying customers for services. But Apple's model to balance between giving Android users just enough to get a taste of the iOS side of things or whether it is happy with just Android users paying for services is debatable. 

The thing is that switching from one ecosystem to another can be an expensive proposition.  For some, its a no-brainer.  After investing a lot of money on content and buying apps, forget about it.  For others just starting out or have yet to buy too much into the Android system (or iOS), making a switch involves very little to no sacrifice.  Apple maybe just be planting the seed for that. 

Looking great for Apple, right?  In a great position to steal users from Google? Not necessarily.  Google has offered apps for the iOS for years, locking tens of millions of iPhone and iPad users into its services.  For iOS users who are heavily reliant on Google services and are considering a move to Android, it's an easier decision to make.  In fact, with Android apps more natively integrated Google services than on iOS, it would benefit them immensely.  In light of this, some might consider Apple creating apps for Android users a defensive move.

Whatever the reasons are for Apple, one thing is clear.  Competition is great on any platform especially with a deep-pocketed player like Apple.  

iPad and WWDC Prediction: Apple Will Upgrade Siri And Users Will Not Be Able to Choose Between ChatGPT or Gemini

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