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Just in time for my annual $99 hit, details are starting to leak out of Cupertino about an improved version of Apple’s MobileMe due this summer(ish). The good news is I have a new Apple product to sweat for the next 4-6 months, but the bad news I’m still going to blow a C-note just to be able to screen share ­– the very definition of throwing money away.   So why should you care, especially if you’re not a fully vested Apple fanboi? The answer is equal parts simple and cross-platform – your iTunes library streamed anywhere you want music. Yep, theoretically there will be no more creating playlists to manage how many songs can fit on your iPod, iPad or iPhone, or having to plug devices into a single computer. That certainly resonates for those of us who split time between a desktop and laptop computer – and…
Wednesday, 12 January 2011 17:27

What Matters More? A Carrier Or A Phone?

Written by Dave Walters
As a customer of virtually every major cell phone carrier over the last 15 years, I’m not going to dispute Verizon has always had the best call quality and fewest drops. I don’t need any stats or an engineering degree to know CDMA handles calls better, which should be Job One of a smart phone correct? The problem with Verizon was always an ultra-crappy selection of phones (yes, I still recall being the a Blackberry laggard with my oversized 7750 when everyone else had their light new 7100). But all that changed yesterday with the announcement the iPhone 4 is available on Verizon in early February. But should anyone outside of overloaded network nodes like San Francisco and NYC care? It’s pretty straightforward if you boil it down to numbers. If you have a contract, AT&T likely has you by the short hairs after upping their smartphone cancellation fee from…
I’ve been a Best Buy fan for years, and not just for midnight game console lines or a series of Reward Zone shopping events where I’ve cranked some sweet deals. The epic example was my Samsung 50” plasma HDTV I bought two years ago for $699 one Sunday night. That was a hot price already but they actually sent me a $100 price adjustment check two weeks later (auto price matching FTW!). So yeah, I love me some Best Buy but they deserve some cred on a bigger level too. From a market perspective, it’s hard to argue they weren’t the biggest winner in the demise of Circuit City’s retail business in early 2009 – even if many analysts believe Circuit City was effectively killed by a timely combination of Wal-Mart selling cheap Vizio flat-screen TVs, and a horrendous management team. So how – during miserable economic conditions – did…
It was the week before Thanksgiving, and one of the stranger stories I’d seen in a while flew through my tweetstream: Amazon has created a movie studio called – brilliantly enough – Amazon Studios. I literally scratched my head for a couple days trying to figure out why, and am just now coming to some conclusions. While I can understand the play on a couple levels, I think some of their ‘innovations’ aren’t going to go over well. But perhaps that’s the point; change the rules of the game altogether. At a minimum, they have an interesting take. On first examination, the venture looks a lot like any other slightly random co-marketing deal undertaken by a category leader. Amazon has a first look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures, which kinda says traditional Hollywood movie-making tactics but Amazon Studios is bringing some rather unconventional web-style collaboration dynamics into play. In what I…
While everyone in my tweet stream is clamoring about the digerati’s opinions from the Web 2.0 Summit, the Beatles invading iTunes or girls’ youth soccer drama, I was pleasantly surprised to read the news on Isis today. And who’s Isis you ask? Just a mobile payments company that’s joint-owned by AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, and who just announced mobile payments are coming to your smartphone. Yeah, this ain’t some obscure startup promising (yet again) to crack mobile payments – this is the big boys making it happen. So let’s look at how this might play out. First, it’s logical to look at Japan and South Korea as predecessors in the uptake of mobile payments. The folks at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas (of all places) produced a nice historical roadmap a couple years back. In short, the Number 3 cell carrier market-wise in South Korea (LG) partnered with…
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