Tag Archives: Apple

Does Palm Pre have a chance against iPhone? IMO: No, but it probably doesn’t matter

At CES the product I was most excited by was the Palm Pre. After all, they had hired a bunch of people from Apple and it went further than the iPhone in many places. It had a keyboard. It has an OS that let you run multiple applications at the same time (something the iPhone doesn’t do) and did copy and paste. The OS seemed even better thought out than the iPhone was. Contacts collected data from Facebook and other social networks.

It looked like it would win in the marketplace.

But now it’s March and the tides are changing.

First, last week Apple came out with a set of APIs for the iPhone that many people missed because they were drinking at SXSW. More on those in a second.

But today stuff is leaking about a new iPhone that’s coming out.

Now I’m starting to doubt whether Palm can make it. I’m not the only one.

Lots of iPhones at iPhoneDevCamp

It’s shocking, actually, how well Apple has done with developers. Remember, I was at the first iPhone Dev Camp (included here is a picture of those who attended the first Dev Camp). Apple didn’t show up (a couple of employees did, but they weren’t even allowed to acknowledge that they worked at Apple). How did they turn developers onto the iPhone?

1. Apple sold more than 10 million phones.
2. The experience of using the iPhone got geeks excited. So excited that they put together their own DevCamps even though Apple was pretty clueless.
3. Apple turned on a store that let lots of developers build businesses that are rocking and rolling. Success pulls in even more developers.
4. Now Apple is throwing marketing dollars behind developers. I’ve seen tons of TV ads that Apple’s done. I’ve seen cool Apple ads on the web. The whole front of Apple stores right now features apps.
5. The new OS, coming this summer, lets developers do even more with their iPhones. Pandora’s CTO, Tom Conrad, talked with me at SXSW last week and he was drooling over some of the kinds of things he’s going to be able to build for the new OS and that was before he heard the rumors of the new iPhone.

Can Palm compete with this? If they do, I’ll be the most shocked blogger out there.

I think the bigger question is can Palm get enough hype to push it into a second place status and tear away market share from RIM, Microsoft, and Nokia. The answer to that one is yes.

Why? Because the Palm Pre is so much better than any other phone other than the iPhone. (The Palm is better than the iPhone, actually, but only if you don’t consider all the apps that are being built for the iPhone and only if you don’t consider the new 3.0 stuff that Apple announced last week).

I bet this is the strategy that Palm’s going for. They know not everyone will go for an iPhone. Some people hate Apple (yes, it’s true). Some can’t stand the touch keyboard. Still others still like Palm or just want to use Sprint instead of AT&T.

So, I don’t think there’s any way for Palm to really tear much market share away from the iPhone, but they can do a pretty nice business going after everyone else.

Either way, if I worked at Nokia, Microsoft, or RIM, I’d be working extra hard to figure out how to deal with Apple and Palm. They are going to make 2010 really rough for other cell phone manufacturers if things stay the way they are.

The fun thing about this industry is that in a few months everything can change in a couple of months. Hang onto your seats.

UPDATE: @ian_Wright asked “Do you think Android has a chance?” Yes, definitely. But they are fighting over #2 space too. It looks like Apple isn’t stumbling with developers like it did in the early 1990s with the Macintosh, so it’s going to be very difficult for Android to get mindshare over the iPhone. But Android can easily compete with Palm. Losers here? Nokia, RIM, and Motorola.

Also, @whurley points out that two members of the original iPhoneDevCrew have already put together http://predevcamp.org and it will be in more than 60 cities.

You are an idiot if you sell your Apple stock tomorrow

It’s too late to sell your Apple stock. If you sold it today, you are a genius. But tomorrow? You’ll be the biggest loser.

Why? Apple has the best team, the best distribution, the best supply chain, the best management in the business.

Everyone, from Palm to Microsoft to Google wants to be like Apple.

Hint: they can’t.

Hint: they won’t (although Palm got very close by hiring a ton of key iPhone execs and developers and PR people away from Apple).

Apple is more than just Steve Jobs. Now you’re about to find out just how much more.

If you sell your stock you’re an idiot. Yes, it’ll be down big in the morning. Yes, the news is sort of shocking. But Apple is fine and we’ll all buy the next big thing that they do no matter who brings it to us. Steve Jobs has built a killer team that everyone wants a piece of and that culture will be around for years. I met many of them in China and they are regarded among supply chain guys there as the best in the business (and the most demanding). That won’t go away because Steve isn’t at the helm anymore.

Oh, and to Steve Jobs: I wish you and your family all the best. This is a tough business to be in front of all the time and you’ve set the standard very high for your team. Now stand back and watch them shine.

Steve Jobs out of Apple due to health reasons

Thomas Hawk (his day job is as a financial planner and stock broker) just posted this to friendfeed:

CNBC says Apple’s stock has been halted pending news.

Twitter is going nuts.

CNBC just reported that Steve Jobs is out until at least June due to medical reasons. More over on this thread on friendfeed.

Here’s the email that Steve sent to all Apple employees (as posted on Apple’s web site):

Team,

I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.

In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Appleā€™s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.

I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.

Palm did what Nokia, RIM, and Microsoft couldn’t: build a better experience than Apple

When I sat down at the beginning of the Palm Pre announcement press conference I was expecting to watch the death of a company. Palm? Give me a break. It would NEVER do anything interesting and Nokia, Microsoft, RIM, and expecially Apple were about to kick it into the deathbin of history.

I was wrong. WAY WAY WAY wrong.

Palm just did what Nokia and Microsoft and RIM couldn’t do: deliver a better experience than Steve Jobs did.

“Give me a break Scoble, you are drinking the shiny new object Koolaid,” I can hear you saying.

This is why I didn’t post a blog about it all day, even though everyone else did. I wanted to let the Koolaid wear off. I went back to the Palm booth again tonight just to make sure what I saw this morning was real.

I learned even more stuff that just blew me away.

From Palm? Give me a break!

Nokia’s devices that I saw last month just suddenly seem so lame.

Why? Well, when you look at the Nokia N97, which will be out at about the same time as the Palm Pre, you see that they also have a nice UI, but it falls apart when you click down into apps and try to do things. Palm doesn’t fall apart. Click down and you keep getting shocked.

Palm’s bet on social networking integration is a game changer. Click into a contact and you see people’s Facebook info and other info from their social networks. That is huge and not many people will get it.

Palm’s web browser is easier to get around than the iPhone’s is. Dave Winer will like some of the touches that were integrated here.

Are you surfing the web and alert comes up? Your web page doesn’t disappear. Really nice touch.

Are you a developer? Everything is based on standard webstuff. Javascript. Et al.

Cut, copy, and paste. Anymore to say?

How Apple centric is the new Palm team? Well, Chris McKillop is director of Software at Palm. He worked on the iPhone team (showed me pictures of me and my son buying iPhones at the Palo Alto store). One of the PR people at Palm did PR at Apple. Jonathan Rubinstein, who runs the Palm Pre team and led off the announcement, was a key person in development of the iPod and lots of people followed him from Apple to Palm, I heard from several people today.

Here’s some videos.

Peter Skillman, director of new product experience at Palm, shows the out of box experience and how the device’s size compares to the iPhone.
A piece of the announcement event today where they showed off some of Palm Pre’s web features.
Here’s another video of Peter showing off what he thinks the coolest things about the Pre are.

Anyway, the bottom line is Palm has a real winner here. It shows that you can never count a company out. Even one that looks like it’s already out of the game.

What real-time keynotes need (VentureBeat wins Apple keynote race bigtime)

You will read TONS of stuff about Apple’s keynote. I’m watching it right now on several screens.

Why? Because in real time everyone is putting up slightly different stuff.

Venture Beat has a friendfeed room where you can watch in real time like a chat room, or you can view it standard threaded style.

That is very cool. Especially when compared to TechCrunch’s live coverage, which makes you refresh the page manually. So 1994. What, is Arrington trying to increase his page views artificially?

Compare that to Gdgt, which is where the two top guys from Engadget, Peter Rojas and Ryan Block are posting their coverage. They are posting pictures and flowing text in live. Really great stuff, especially when you put them in a window next to the VentureBeat live stream.

The standard place my son goes is MacRumorsLive. They are doing an excellent job too, but gdgt’s photos and VentureBeat’s interactivity are making them look old and tired.

ArsTechnica is posting photos and text live, but they make you refresh your page manually, just like TechCrunch does.

Finally, Engadget is doing their usual excellent job, but their page needs to be refreshed manually too.

What this does point out, though, is that there’s a real-time web, but that they aren’t integrated. Imagine if there was one place you could watch EVERYONE post in real time. Not possible yet, but I bet that by next year friendfeed will get everyone to build live rooms there. VentureBeat is winning this game by a HUGE margin!

Why is VentureBeat winning?

1. Their room refreshes live without having to refresh your browser page.
2. Their room has interactivity so people watching at home can ask questions.
3. Their room has text, photos, and potentially video from Qik cams and such.
4. Their room’s items and threads are all permalinkable. I could link you to something very specific there. For instance, here’s where they posted a photo of iPhoto Books. I can’t do that to the other live rooms.
5. Their feed can be reused and reshared in other places on friendfeed and on Twitter.
6. Ostensibly they could even mix in other feeds from their competitors through RSS searches. I have a CES room where I’m doing that, for instance.

This isn’t even a close race. If you want the best live experience there’s only one place to go right now. VentureBeat FTW!

Well, until I found Chris Pirillo’s Ustream where he’s posting the audio live. But I posted that to the VentureBeat room too. :-)

UPDATE: It got worse for gdgt.com and macrumors live. MacRumors’ site was hacked during the keynote and gdgt.com was unavailable during part of it.

UPDATE2: other people are using friendfeed to report from the keynote, but I can only pay attention to so much! I’ll put the best of those on my “liked” page. :-)

UPDATE3: I missed a few. Gizmodo has a nice live feed. AppleGazette is using CoveritLive. So is GeekBrief.tv.

Whew, that’s a lot of live feeds to watch! I think the smart ones are just going to wait to get the TechMeme
blog storm later. :-)

UPDATE4: Pirillo’s audio stream went down with about 20 minutes to go. Luckily MacTips Podcast had a live audio stream going too.

Are bloggers & social networks killing the big shows?

I’ve noticed a trend lately (actually I noticed it back when I worked at Microsoft and my bosses kept refusing to buy booths at conferences, saying they didn’t return the ROI, but that trend has grown and grown big time). Big companies are throwing their own parties to get news out inside of going to big trade shows. Last night I was at Facebook’s party, where they told everyone they had just passed 140 million users. That deserves a blog post of its own, but we’re here to discuss the trade show crunch.

Earlier in the year we attended a day-long event where Electronic Arts introduced a bunch of bloggers to Dead Space, here’s our video with the producer of that.

I’ve watched as Apple invites a few hundred bloggers and journalists into a conference room at its headquarters in Cupertino and gets the news out to the world without having to go to an expensive venue.

What changed?

Blogging and online video.

Big companies are looking at the millions of dollars they spend for booths (not to mention bringing employees to) and are realizing that it’s just not getting the return on investment that they should get.

My sponsor, Seagate, told me they are reducing their spend this year at CES. AMD and Delphi are doing the same thing and I’m hearing about many other companies who will either stop going, or reduce the size of their booths, either this year, if they could, or in 2010 (contracts make it tough to shrink booths as fast as companies might want).

The news is all over the place about Apple’s decision to stop going to MacWorld. It’s being discussed on FriendFeed big time. This post’s thesis got 40+ comments in about an hour.

To me this makes total sense. Why? 44,000 people go to MacWorld. Hell, a lot more people watch Engadget report from that much cheaper conference room.

And Apple has the personal touch already thanks to their stores. They don’t need to meet with consumers anymore in expensive trade show booths that, simply, aren’t a very good experience anyway.

So, what should we expect over the next year? A lot of bad news for big trade shows.

What’s killing them? The Internet. You can launch a product live now from a living room. Thanks to Stickam, Ustream, Qik, Kyte, YouTube, Flixwagon, Viddler, Vimeo, SmugMug, etc and blogs.

Just give the people on Facebook something to pass along and talk about and your product is out there, big time.

I wonder, will 2009′s CES be the last one I attend? I remember when I thought that about Comdex, which everyone thought was too big to die.

I think it’ll be a miracle to see CES make it to 2011. Why? Blame it on the bloggers.

That all said, I’m participating in a bunch of events at CES and I’m tracking them all (and ones at Macworld) on my Upcoming.org calendar. Hope to see you there. It might be our last time!