Apple’s Low Cost iPhone – Good or Bad Idea?

Apple LogoBelieve it or not, this isn’t as slam dunk as you might think it is…

Emerging markets are a big deal.

In areas like China, Korea, parts of Africa, etc., where there are untapped consumers just waiting to buy a smartphone, the right device at the right price can sell and sell very well. Low cost, low margin phones are intended to make money in volume sales.

According to an article published on TUAW, former Apple CEO John Sculley agrees that Apple needs to produce the low cost device, which for many in those markets, is the only computing device they will own. While Sculley acknowledges that there’s “nothing wrong” with the current iPhone, he also acknowledged that Samsung is very good at what they do, and implied that Apple needs to figure it out and provide a competing product.

Sculley agreed that Tim Cook is the right person to lead Apple at this time due to his operations experience. Apple’s decision to cut its product update cycles to 6 months instead of 12 will require solid supply chain experience, and that’s right up Cook’s alley.

While its still unknown if a low cost iPhone would make an appearance in either the US or Europe, there seems to be a shift in thought in the smartphone arena. Lower cost, unsubsidized devices seem to be the direction that the world wants the industry to go. That being the case, I suspect that we’re going to see a number of exciting changes over the next year or so.

Whether or not a low cost iPhone is a good or bad idea is going to be validated by Apple’s financial and stock performance. The markets seem very fickle right now, with Apple stock jumping 3-5% over the past couple of days on news of component order cancellations and their 2013 product pipeline, respectively. Until the world decides that Apple knows what it wants to be when it grows up, I’d expect a great deal of fluctuation in their stock price and speculation in the news regarding the company’s viability in a post-Jobs era.

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Internet Explorer drops below 50% of Web usage

Even by the most generous estimates, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is used by barely 50% of Internet users worldwide, meaning that we are approaching or even past the point where most people aren’t using the browser. It’s been a shocking decline from the mid-1990s when as many as 95% of people were on IE. But the big story now isn’t Microsoft’s losses, but rather that it’s Google picking up much of the slack.

It’s important to note that the methods used to create browser market share figures vary from source to source. Most involve using website traffic logs which record the browser used by each visitor to a site. Some of the leading market share figure reports come from web analysis companies who get data from hundreds of thousands of clients, making a reasonably representative sample of the entire web, but this can vary. Still, even while the figures vary (and most sources already have Microsoft below 50%), the pattern is consistent.

For the second half of last decade, it looked as if the company’s main challenge would come from Mozilla’s Firefox browser, but Firefox’s market share has largely flatlined for the past couple of years. Instead it’s Google’s Chrome that is on the ascendance, with its market share almost trebling in three years and the browser taking the number two spot in some measures.

Why the trend? Well, in Microsoft’s case the fact that it’s the default option has finally come back to bite it. Simply put, while more and more people are experimenting with alternative browsers, few people switch to Internet Explorer. Meanwhile Microsoft’s in-built advantage of being the default option on most computers (which was the subject of a European Commission investigation that’s led to users being actively offered a choice of browser while installing Windows) is becoming less significant as more and more people use smartphones and tablet devices.

As for Chrome picking up the slack, that’s largely because of two main advantages from a “sandbox” system that means each open tab is treated as if it were a separate application. That means that if there’s a problem with one tab, the others continue to work without slowdowns or crashes; meanwhile any infected webpages are ring-fenced so that they can’t damage the rest of the computer.

Perhaps even more amazingly, there are even predictions Chrome will take the number one slot by June 2012. That’s based on the simple logic of taking the growth or decline of each browser across the first half of 2011 and working on the basis that market shares will continue to grow at the same rate.

Whether that’s really going to happen on such a timescale is a little more debatable. Many of the people who’ve switched to Chrome are “early adopters” who are more prepared to try out new things, while those remaining on Internet Explorer may be much more wary of changing. That’s likely to mean Chrome’s growth rate inevitable slows down.

That said, the pattern is clearly there and not only does it seem conceivable Internet Explorer will one day lose its crowd, but Chrome seems by far the most likely successor to the top spot.

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Kindle Fire and Touch will not hit the European market

Several sources already confirmed that the new tablets from Amazon will not come soon to UK or other European market. The Android based Kindle Fire and the touch-screen e-book reader are not available on Amazon UK and that’s due to the fact that both products were not distributed on the European markets.

The cause of this delay is Amazon’s Kindle Fire Silk browser present in the latest tablets, which rises serious security concerns. It seems that this browser is collecting all your Internet history in order to obtain faster access to web-site pages. It may sound weird, but in order to be the fastest tablet browser, Fire Silk is showing a copy of any accessed web-site which is saved in the cloud. This is doable thanks to the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) which is used as a Web proxy. Anytime you are stationed on a page, Amazon has to keep the connection between your device and EC2 open, making it obvious how easy your activity can be tracked.

The European data protection laws doesn’t accept this security breaches making it impossible for Amazon to sell these products abroad. Although it was meant from the beginning to use an European data center, the officials still think that data can be vulnerable to US law.

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Firefox 4 beats IE9 in usage share

According to NetApplications, Firefox 4 usage share increased twice compared to Internet Explorer 9 in half the time. As of March 26, IE 9 usage share was 1.78 percent in 12 days. By comparison, Firefox 4 had 3.64 percent usage share in just 5 days.

In the first day of release, Firefox 4 recorded a number of 6 million downloads compared Internet Explorer 9 record of only 2.35 million downloads. In February, before these two major releases, the usage share on the web browsers market was like these:

IE usage share was 56.77 percent, according to NetApplications. By comparison, Firefox usage was 21.74 percent. Chrome recorded 10.93 percent usage share in February and Safari: 6.36 percent up from.

In conclusion, both web-browsers (Firefox and Internet Explorer) are still on top covering the majority of the market.

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Google has launched the new Market that lets you install new apps to your phone directly from the website

Great news for all who own a phone powered by Android. Google has launched the new Market that lets you install apps to your phone directly from the website, without even touching your phone. All that you have to do is find the app on the Android Market website, hit the install button, and it will automatically get installed on your phone. If your phone can’t be accessed (e.g. it’s not connected to the internet) it will be installed as soon as the device goes online.


Another excellent feature is that we can share our apps with friends through Twitter. About the apps that you’ve already purchased and downloadeded, if you sign in to the website with your Google account and click “My Market Account”, you’ll see all those apps.

Note: Make sure that you go into your phones settings > Accounts and sync, and you enable Background data and Auto-sync.

Check this out!

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Joost To Become The World’s Largest Video Platform

Adconion Media Group, an independent global audience and content network, announced today its board of directors approved Adconion’s video product, Joost Video Network, to be spun off into a separate standalone business with the intent to form the world’s largest video platform effective immediately. The newly launched Joost, a digital media company, will be dedicated to providing premium branded solutions for advertisers and brand marketers seeking to reach their targeted audience with engaging and high impact in-stream and in-banner video advertising. The new unit will be led by Nick Higgins as executive vice- president, where he was previously the head of global video at Adconion Media Group. Prior to joining Adconion, Higgins was at MSN where he held several senior positions over the last 10 years.

Joost also offers branded entertainment services through its partnership with RedLever, a state-of-the-art, global studio specializing in developing and producing brand-integrated content for the Web. And as a standalone business unit, Joost will benefit from a better-defined, more distinct and expanded role in the video marketplace. The new unit will concentrate on leveraging its core strengths in three primary areas:

– Owned and operated Joost.com which includes pre-roll, in-banner and site skinning capabilities among;

– Exclusive partnerships including exclusive site and inventory representation as well as exclusive content; and

– Premium relationships which includes but not limited to pre-roll and display network, in-banner videos and Joost distributable player

Joost will continue to focus on building its premium video network but will now also increase its exclusive audience and global reach across it’s owned and operated Joost.com, and will continue to sign exclusive site representation deals with leading video and entertainment sites. The new unit will improve its market visibility as an online, brand-centric video provider of choice, and will be able to react even faster to client needs and dynamic market changes.

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