Results tagged “Apple”

AP Analysis: FBI Drops iPhone Case Against Apple [Source:]

The world seemed to come to a standstill when the United States government ordered Apple to unlock an iPhone that had been used by a suspected terrorist - only to have the company refuse. That the average teenage hacker could have possibly unlocked the iPhone was not the point; it was a matter of principle.

Apple claimed that if a government could order it to unlock one phone, then it could conceivably order it to unlock any phone. It would put the company in a difficult position with its loyal customers, who become loyal in part because they assume the company protects the data it receives from them.

The Environment Is Our Business

Here's a glimpse of the small steps we are taking as an organization to better this planet

Today, on the occasion of the World Environment Day, I want to seed a small thought. When we think of saving the environment, why do we only think at the doomsday scale - probably even feel bogged down? While global warming, climate change, carbon footprint, deglaciation and deforestation are issues of serious concern, shouldn't we also focus on the little differences that we can make, everyday?

I can tell you that the large corporates or non-government organizations are already doing what they can: Apple's new headquarters will be entirely solar powered, Google is committing to renewable sources of energy, and Infosys is pioneering radiant cooling in its buildings in India. How is it that we - you, me, and every other person - don't figure in a narrative where we are both the prime actors and the biggest beneficiaries?

Can Style Trump Technology?

Will Fashion Fall for Apple Watch? [Source:]

If there's one thing the great Modernist movement of the mid-20th century taught us, it's that form follows function. We live in world pretty much defined by that mantra. As the technology around us becomes more sophisticated, it's clear that what we focus on as consumers is how the technology can liberate us. The styling or the packaging comes in a distant second.

Or does it? I have been fascinated by various reports that Apple, anticipating the launch of its long awaited Apple Watch, is training its sales associates to emphasize the styling of the Watch. Training its sales staff to discuss fashion is incredibly new territory for a technology company like Apple. So much so that a prominent Apple follower recently wrote that many of the company's newest hires come not from engineering firms but from the likes of luxury fashion retailers such as Burberry, Yves St. Laurent, Tag Heuer, and Louis Vuitton. Sales associates are being given crash courses in how to deal with would-be buyers of the watch by using age-old luxury retailing tactics - not something a technology company and computer maker has typically had to think about.

Anticipation Builds for the iCar

Apple's Electric Car Plans: Should Tesla Worry? [Source:]

A couple of weeks ago I came across an interesting technological rumor: that Apple is making plans to build a car. Yes, an iCar. It helps the general buzz that Apple has reportedly been very aggressive in its poaching and hiring of talent from Tesla, the maker of futuristic, battery-powered vehicles. Apple has also made no secret that it wishes to dominate the wearable computing sector, which, if defined widely enough, includes driveable platforms. Even more industry buzz to add fuel to the proverbial fire: Silicon Valley entrepreneur Kyle Vogt's company, Cruise Automation, is expected to begin selling technology that lets cars drive themselves - the first company to do so. All that talk of a Google car and we've been missing some fascinating activity in the space going on right under our noses!

Who Spearheaded the Digital Revolution?

J.C.R. Licklider was one of the founding founders of the modern day Internet [Source:]

I see on TV news that people wait in lines for days to buy a new mobile phone or tablet. Current events got me to thinking: What if I were to walk down any street in any city of the world and ask a random passer-by about who were revolutionary figures in, say, the histories of India and the United States. Chances are that anyone would very quickly be able to tell you about Gandhi and Washington in their respective quests for freedom. But if you ask those same passers-by who were the fathers (or mothers) of the global digital revolution, they'll likely be at a loss for words.

This would be an interesting experiment, because a random person would take the mobile device he's holding (or the new one he's hoping to buy this weekend), access the Internet, and search for those leaders of a digital revolution that continues to shape our world. The irony is that even those digital devices or a quick web search - results of their spirit of innovation - might not reveal key names from history!

Goodbye Doc!

Tim Cook talks about Apple watch [Source:]

There has been a huge buzz around the recent announcement of Apple watch in the wearables segment. The watch has nicely packaged social, fitness, home, health and payments into a single device. It has a number of optical sensors, which along with an accelerometer would be able to measure an individual's activity and heart rate in detail. The apple Health app, along with the new developer tool called Healthkit, provides new ways of tracking these vital parameters and promoting a healthy regimen.

There is an interesting correlation between the cost of electronic devices like camera lenses, touch glass and fingerprint readers, once they have been incorporated into a mass market mobile smartphone. Studies have shown that the cost of such devices drop faster than Moore's law once a leading smartphone (e.g. iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, etc. have adopted it). What is studied less is that this price drop could have a huge impact on adjacent markets and spawn a new range of solution offerings, which was not possible before due to the high input cost of these devices.

A New Perspective On The User Experience

Tim Stevens talks about the new Apple launches  [Source:]

Apple users are a dedicated group. They remind me of automobile aficionados, whose magazines are largely dedicated to sneaking into corporate proving grounds and snapping photos of next year's model on the track. In that same spirit, Apple fans are always trying to get sneak peeks at what the company has in store for them. They are very vocal about what kinds of features next year's model should have, or the power under the hood, or the overall design.

Savvy enterprises listen to their consumers. Just as something as mundane as the cup holder came out of drivers requesting that their favorite car companies install secure places for their cups of coffee, computer manufacturers depend in part on the desires of their consumer base. That's why I was floored to see the size of the new iPhone 6 Plus. It's more than just a smartphone. It's what's known as a "phablet," and it means that Apple is now treading in waters in which it said (until quite recently, in fact) it would never be caught.

Number of Banking Apps Has Low Correlation to Satisfaction

The Best in Personal Banking Apps [Source:]

I think I might need an advanced degree in computer engineering to use a few of the apps that my bank has provided me. There are so many apps to begin with. Not all of them are easily accessible nor is it always apparent as to how to go about launching them. I thought online banking was rooted in convenience. Indeed, maybe there's the rub: the distinction between online banking and banking apps.

The influential tech consultancy Gartner Group has even gone on record warning banks that the sheer number of apps offerings could eventually hurt customer satisfaction in a major way. The analysts at Gartner cite two issues in particular. The first is that there are so many apps that banks make available to customers that they've essentially inundated the space. With so many available to one customer, each one gets less and less promotional airtime and therefore less use. If that weren't bad enough, it's a chore for a customer to find the app that she needs. One of the reasons for this confusion is that banks release apps often listed by line of business.

Verizon Labs; Where Innovation Happens [Source:]

Sometimes we need an event to jar ourselves out of our comfort zones. For me, the sad and tragic saga of a passenger airliner that was apparently lost over a remote stretch of ocean was just that sort of event. For more than a month now, much of the world has been perplexed by how something so large and technologically advanced could seemingly vanish into thin air. Up until very recently, search and rescue officials hadn't the slightest clue as to what happened to the large jet with hundreds of passengers onboard - most of them owning and operating mobile communications devices.

The reason this event served as a kind of wake-up call to me was that it showed the limits of the Information Age. As digital consumers, we carry smart phones that can ping a retailer and let it know where in a grocery store we are, and whether we are browsing, say, laundry detergent or tomatoes. Based on that instant geographical information, the store can then text us with a coupon for a certain kind of tomato or announce a two-for-one special on our favorite detergent.

Technology Moves Management At Light Speed

Kodak: From Blue Chip to Bankrupt [Source:]

We all have strategy maxims we cherish. So it's not easy for me to challenge the well loved musings of the greatest business thinkers of our time. I'm not the only one, however. Several strategists, for instance, have been questioning the notion that enterprises must focus primarily on building up long-term competitive advantages.

Yet it seems technology has created markets and enterprises that come and go like the wind. If we concentrate on parsing Big Data and focusing on the market-related issues of the moment, it more often than not seems that there is also a need to build 'transient competitive advantage'. This idea is one of several that have come from an ingenious essay by a well-respected business strategist.

One of the most striking things he reveals is that that every two weeks a new company replaces an old one on the Standard & Poor's 500. Plus, in recent decades the average lifespan of a company has declined sharply to 20 years from 60 years. If your organization does build up a solid competitive advantage over your rivals, chances are that advantage won't last very long - whereas in the old days it would sustain the enterprise for years against all newcomers.

Why It's Either Rise or Demise For Them

iOS 7 vs Android Jelly Bean vs Windows Phone 8 vs BB10 [Source:]

Today, the Android computing platform boasts a 72 percent share of the 1.5 billion smartphones in use on Planet Earth. That's up from 55 percent one year ago. Apple's iOS comes in at an 18 percent share, holding steady from about the same share last year. It helps that Android accounts for 80 percent of the new smartphones hitting the market this quarter. So it's likely that its share of the market will only increase for the foreseeable future. The most interesting aspect of this? Blackberry, which used to command a majority of global market share up until a few years ago. It's once-sizeable lead of some 40 percent market share in 2008 eroded to just 4 percent this year.

True, Apple's iOS remains popular in the United States. But Android is the undisputed smartphone champ when you look at the global market as a whole. In the rapidly growing smartphone markets of China and India, for instance, Android is the platform of choice. Those two markets, along with other large, emerging economies, are where much of the smartphone-and-tablet story will play out in the coming decade.

The quickly evolving market for mobile platforms should serve as a lesson to all of us in the technology sector. You're only as good as your most recent product or service. That particular product or service might be an update to a long-running brand or it might be an entirely new offering. Either way, it pays to keep your enterprise focused on new entrants and how they approach a market in which you hold a comfortable lead. Blackberry continues to be the mobile platform of choice for some large corporations. What we've seen, however, is that consumers have no qualms about using one platform for work and an entirely different one in their personal lives. I would have never predicted that millions of smartphone consumers would pay for the privilege of carrying around two devices. Who welcomes that inconvenience? Apparently lots of people.

Tablet, Thy Time Has Come

Top 5 tablets and mobile phones from MWC 2013 [Source: WhichWebsite]

Just when you thought your smartphone was the center of your digital life, something new comes along. This year we've officially passed the threshold into the new computing model with tablets becoming the platform of choice. Doesn't it seem like we just took delivery of our smartphones like, uh, yesterday? To be sure, the smartphone's trajectory is going up, up, up. It has enormous growth potential. But it's sobering nonetheless that the computer industry and the marketplace that drives it sometimes seem to be moving a lot faster than we are. Like a shark cutting through the ocean at breakneck speed while we're just treading water.

Mary Meeker, the former Internet analyst who's now a major player in the private equity world, outlined the exponentially rapid growth of the tablet in her annual internet trends report. First the big picture: Meeker says that global traffic of mobile devices as a percentage of global Internet traffic is unrelenting. It's been growing at 1.5 times a year for some time now and is likely to maintain that rate for the next few years. The trend line, therefore, is that mobile devices accounted for 0.9 percent of Internet traffic at the end of 2008. By the end of 2014, they could account for a quarter of all Internet traffic.

Sidestepping Pitfalls in the Search for Technology Innovation


A very successful private equity investor once shared with delegates of a packed conference that he spends more time on the road than he does in his office. The reason, he said, is that he wants to see firsthand the types of companies in which his firm is considering investing. Not only that, but he would go to exotic lands during theworst times (weather-wise) of the year. Monsoons would hit the coasts, earthquakes would shake cities, and snowstorms would cripple roads and airports. It wasn't a fun task, he said, but it allowed him to see how the land's commercial enterprises faced challenging situations. Being a private equity investor is about identifying growth where others can't. The globetrotting on the part of this particular financier was just one of his tactics to identify which foreign companies had systems and processes in place to deal with unexpected events.

Turning a Business Model On Its Head

Edward Rybicki, Process Integration Officer, Volkswagen Group of America, on Infosys' long-term approach to IT. 

Remember when the Saturn brand took the car world by storm 20 years ago? They shook up the industry by offering no-hassle pricing, friendly sales associates, and plastic, dent-resistant panels that could hold up to the meanest, run-away shopping cart in a parking lot. But the brand's initial appeal wore off after a while. For starters, the company failed to anticipate that loyal Saturn owners would be looking to upgrade to a larger, fancier model. They didn't have such a model ready for showrooms until five or so years after the brand's launch.

Farming It Out Without Giving Away the Farm


"Now don't get me wrong. I like innovation; just not too much of it." That's what I imagine I would hear if I were a fly on the wall of certain corporate headquarters these days. Large companies that once zealously guarded their technological innovations are now opening the floodgates of access to such technology.  Yet, they're grappling with just how wide they should throw open those floodgates. Indeed, it's a delicate balance: If there's too little innovation on the part of your collaborators, you're pretty much out the game. But if they take what you gave them and innovate too much, they stand to take control of the very technology you once called your own.

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Today, you can actually watch streaming television on a tablet device, thanks to the technology advancements in the last couple of years.  Cablevision was one of the first to launch it for TV watchers, and TV has worked its way into the "let's-stay-wired-experience" anywhere and all day long.


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