Month: August 2011

If the Xoom was a failure…

Back in April I pointed out the drastic difference between the initial sales figures of Motorola’s Xoom tablet and the iPad 2:

According to Apple’s June 22nd, 2010 release, three million iPads were sold in the first 80 days after launch. This works out to 37,500 iPads per day. The Xoom’s 100,000 in 40 days works out to 2,500 per day. A drastic difference.

At the time, Business Insider declared the Xoom a failure. If that’s the case, at 100,000 sold in 40 days, what does that make the TouchPad?

According to AllThingsD, Best Buy has moved roughly 25,000 of the 270,000 that it purchased, not accounting for customer returns. This works out to about 500 per day since launch. According to their sources:

Best Buy, sources tell us, is so unhappy that it has told HP it is unwilling to pay for all the TouchPads taking up expensive space in its stores and warehouses, and wants HP to take them back. HP, for its part, is pleading with Best Buy to be patient. We’re also told that a senior HP executive, possibly executive VP Todd Bradley, is slated to travel to Minneapolis soon to discuss the matter with Best Buy executives.

Much of the marketing around iPad competitors (if you can call them that) is based on differentiation, or no marketing at all. Motorola had their “white earbud” ad that run during the Super Bowl ‘big game’, while HP and RIM did very little to promote their products. These companies seem to be investing significant resources in developing products without making any significant investment in marketing.

When the iPad was announced there were many questions about how it would fit into the consumer’s life. Many insisted the product would fail simply because they couldn’t rationalize it’s use cases into the traditional PC-oriented world. Apple knew they had something amazing, but they also knew that the only way to communicate the device’s place was to get people to try it.

What marketing message did this spawn? “Magical and revolutionary.” There was no use case, feature set, or problem-solving pitch. The message was simple: ‘this is amazing and you must try it!’

And guess what? It worked.

Internet Access is a Right

Comcast has announced it’s Internet Essentials program, wherein low-income families will be eligible for Comcast internet access for $9.99 per month.

From their website:

  • You get fast home Internet service for only $9.95 a month, plus tax
  • You never have any price increases or pay any activation or equipment rental fees
  • You can buy a computer at initial enrollment for the low price of just $149.99 + tax
  • You can get free Internet training — online, in print and in person

I think this is fantastic. Access to the internet provides endless opportunities for learning and acceptence into the global community. The debate about how internet access plays into fundamental human rights has been gaining global attention.

Here are the requirements:

  • Be located where Comcast offers Internet service
  • Have at least one child receiving free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program
  • Have not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days
  • Not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment

Again, I applaud this. I don’t always agree with Comcast’s practices, but this is a step in the right direction.

Guilt by Association

Mark Raby at TG Daily commenting on a study by Lookout Mobile Security:
If you own an Android phone or iPhone, you’re 2.5 more times likely to accidentally download malware today than you were in January.
Let’s take a look at the report that spurred this article (which Mr. Raby never actually linked to):
Android users are two and a half times as likely to encounter malware today than 
6 months ago and three out of ten Android owners are likely to encounter a webbased threat on their device each year.
The statement in which the “2.5 more times likely” comes from does not reference iPhone:
In just three short years since introducing the iPhone SDK  in 2008, Apple boasts over 425,000 apps available for iOS devices.  Seeing similarly explosive growth, the Android Market now contains over 200,000 apps after only a short period of time.
The study goes on to summarize the security features of the iOS platform:
In terms of app distribution, Apple’s App Store for iOS utilizes a curated app review model in which all apps submitted by developers go through a manual review process with restrictions based on policies regarding issues such as data collection, API usage, content appropriateness, and user interface guideline compliance. This model is designed with the assumption that apps will only be downloaded from Apple’s App Store, as some security restrictions are enforced during the review process but not necessarily enforced on the device itself. 
The study clearly demonstrates the differences between the App Store and the Android Marketplace. The warnings about security and malware are almost entirely aimed toward the Android platform.

Taking this study and lumping in iOS (Or ‘iPhones’, as Mr. Raby says, as apparently iPad and iPod Touch don’t exist) is pure an exercise in link-bating. The article is unfair, misinformed, misleading, and utterly useless. Another possible headline may read; “Those who live in Salt Lake City or Utah State Prison more likely to be assaulted by inmate armed with shiv fashioned from toothbrush.”

Wait, what?

So I guess if you have a Google Alert set up for “iphone malware” you’ll get some stories about this, but please, Mr. Raby, next time try reading the study before posting.