Could OAPs be Apple’s Secret Testing Team?

Saw the video below and had one of those massive “what if” moments – How ‘Steve Jobs’ would it be to test new Apple products on single, old-aged individuals who probably won’t spill the beans?

Who else are you going to sit an iPad in front to do user experience testing without the secret leaking? And how would it inform your product design versus testing with the standard man on the street? Would you end up with something more intuitive that “just works”?

Is the alternative to believe that they threw these things together without any exposure outside of the company?

See what you think, I’d say stranger things have happened…

March 20th, 2012


Kindle 3G – Early thoughts

My brother and I have a kind of gentleman’s agreement to buy each other the gadgets we want but can’t justify as Christmas presents every year. What’s more, we cunningly subvert the despotic rules of our childhood by giving and opening these gifts long before Xmas day.

This was how I ended up with the shiny (actually virtuously matte) new Kindle 3G in my hands.

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December 4th, 2010


Dell’s Streaky Tablet Strategy

An unidentified non-Streaky Dell tablet

Don’t get me wrong, Dell don’t exactly *need* a tablet PC right now. For a start, they don’t have the OS for it and in reality, the iPad is also too pricey for the mainstream Dell audience to shell out. They aren’t going to buy it instead of a laptop, for example.

However, if Dell let Apple get a year’s head start without anything competitive to show in the area, they wouldn’t end up competing with just the iPad but the iPad 2, some kind of Google machine and likely something from the likes of HTC, HP and co. too.

With this in mind,  they had to do something and quick. Android was really all they had to play with so I can only assume they chucked it onto a few form factors before collapsing in tears at the horrors of Android 1.6 vs the slick and clearly tablet-ready iOS.

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July 23rd, 2010


Apple’s Razor Sharp New Direction

With the iPad, Apple has clearly slashed its usual profit margins and priced the device to sell. I think this marks a fascinating shift for the company toward the classic ‘razor blade‘ strategy of providing a cheap platform to enable a steady revenue stream.  The announcement of iAd only confirms this, introducing yet another example of the minimum effort/ maximum profit scenario that the iTunes store whet their appetite for so long ago.

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April 12th, 2010


Have Apple Miced an Opportunity?

magicmouseIn today’s Apple update, there’s one element for me that’s far more exciting than the others and yet at the same time, really disappointing.  The new Magic Mouse.

Sure, iMac users can now woosh around and no longer have to live in jealousy of their MacBook brothers and let’s not understate how nice that will be for them.  But if you’re going to play around with the core interface elements, why stop there?

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October 20th, 2009


Where do you keep your Chromium?

cloudQmarkWho knows, Chrome OS could finally be the missing link that brings Linux into the big time but I’m interested is how the ecosystem will grow around it.

Surely Google will release some kind of Skydrive where you can store your content, freeing up space inside those tiny netbooks but will it be free or a pay service like Picasa Web Albums currently provides.

Answers on a postcard please.

July 10th, 2009


Thoughts falling far from the tree?

Imaginative Apple Tree photo...With thousands of millions of downloads zinging their way to the 17 million iPhones out there in the wild, it'd be hard to argue that Apple aren't on to something with the App Store.

But I think there's a clear and greater opportunity on the horizon. (more…)

June 10th, 2009


Sometimes business just ain’t pretty

Today saw a million angry iPhone worshippers all cry out at once as Apple revealed the ‘shocking’ news that they won’t be giving each customer hundreds of pounds worth of hardware for free. Or at least, not this time…

A number of thoughts strike me on this.

One, the free upgrade of last summer served its purpose; it sent the userbase through the roof and opened the door to a long term cash generator in the App Store. At the time, many laughed and claimed Apple were reacting to disappointing uptake at the £275 launch price.

However, in reality this early adopter tax filled the coffers while they waited for the real money-making dynamic to arrive. With these observations, how should we consider this year’s launch?

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June 9th, 2009