Why It Would Suck to be Dell or HP Right Now: Apple, the German Car of Consumer Electronics

Feb
18
2012

Why It Would Suck to be Dell or HP Right Now: Apple, the German Car of Consumer Electronics

Category: apple,dell,social media,tech opinionjmacofearth @ 4:39 pm

Screen Shot 2012 02 18 at 4.34.39 PM Why It Would Suck to be Dell or HP Right Now: Apple, the German Car of Consumer ElectronicsYou’ve heard… Right? Apple is going to release the iPad 3 in a few weeks. Oh, and the iPhone 5. And, wait that’s not it, a completely redesigned MacBook Pro. And it’s not like Dell and HP have any really exciting tricks up their sleeves. Well, Dell at least is coming out with some fairly innovative designs (the new XPS 13 for example). HP… well, HP is still trying to determine if it wants to be in the PC business any more. (Cause selling ink jet ink is like selling crack.)

So looking around for the metaphor to describe the computer industry, the phone industry and the tablet manufacturers, I came up with cars. This is a branding exercise we used "back in the day." If your product was a car, what car would it be?

Apple has a small share of the overall computer and consumer electronics market. Let’s say Apple’s products are like the German cars on the road. The MacBook pro is BMW. The iPhone 4 is Mercedes. The MacBook AIR is Porsche. The iPad is Audi. And finally the iPhone 3gs is Volkswagon.

So let’s see where the other big guys fit.

Dell, I think, would be the Toyota of computers. Lexus models with the Latitude and a few exotic designs. The Toyota brand would be most of the Latitude line and some of Vostro, hardy, somewhat stylish, and reliable. And then Scion would be the Inspiron, flashy, stylish, and cheaply made. And I guess Alienware would be the NSX of the line.

HP would be the Ford or Chevy of computers, but it’s too far off the map to be so mainstream. So let’s say HP is the Kia/Hundai of computers, a long-ass warranty but boy are you going to need it.

I guess Asus might be the Nissan. And Toshiba and Fujitsu would be the Subaru and Mitsubishi.

So when you’re driving around and you see the German cars on the road what do you think of? Expensive? High-performance?

And while you don’t see as many of them as say Toyotas or Fords, you will see a lot of them. And that’s just fine with Apple. I’d take margin over volume any day. Just look at everyone else’s balance sheet.

Okay, so final thought. Now imagine that BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes are all about to come out with game-changing models. If you are Dell what do you do? Wait and see what they produce so you can get into production with a knockoff in 3 – 4 months? Do you try and anticipate their clever innovations now with the best designers you have? Do you release press releases about your innovative designs that are in the pipeline? (Yes, Dell is going to reenter the tablet market.)

Maybe you go for the cost angle and produce ever cheaper computers with bright plastics and blinking lights.

I don’t know what you do. Because, in fact, Apple is about to release a three-fold hurt on the electronics markets: laptops, phones, tablets. And I’d rather be on Apple’s team. The other guys are going to continue to take a beating. And if I had cash I’d buy some more Apple stock. It’s gonna be a long year for everybody else.

Sure, I am a mac fanboy. But with good reason.

UPDATE: A friend who still works at Dell pointed out, 90% of Dell’s business comes from business and not the consumer. Um, yeah, and Dell’s new SMALL OFFICE segment is 1 – 9 computers. And I would argue that the individual walking into a Best Buy, regardless of their position within a company, is a consumer. My Dell friend might argue that this is a total unrelated shopping experience, and I would again disagree. Consumer offers and products drive business buying decisions at some level. This is why my Dell.com redo is completely focused around the product and not the type of customer. Business may be Dell’s master, but product is Dell’s gold or lead.

And my latest fix:  Fixing Dell.com Part 2 – Dell’s Business Addiction and Achilles Heal – The Business Side

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: http://uber.la/2012/02/apple-now/

Several Dell Decks and Posts I’ve created:

Other posts about kicking ass in social media:

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Mar
07
2011

Apple iPad2 vs Android vs Blackberry and the World

Category: apple,social media,tech opinion,tech reviewsjmacofearth @ 8:35 pm

 

applevsbb Apple iPad2 vs Android vs Blackberry and the World

Oh wait a minute this was going to be a tablet discussion. Let’s see there’s something called Honeycomb (I think this is the Android/Chrome OS for tablets) there’s the Xoom from Motorola (I guess banking on their RAZR success), and the Playbook from RIM. And all of them are entering the tablet race a year after Apple’s iPad crushed the category. And many of them have still not shipped a single unit. While Apple is rolling out the iPad2 (and iPad3 this summer) with calculated speed. [Update: read Jeff Bullas post on Why the Kindle Fears the iPad.]

So what about this tablet vs smartphone discussion? I think we need to talk about that too. And here is the latest data from comscore that shows Android is on a powercurve to the #1 slot. [More info on my Android phone experiment: End of my first week with an Android phone]

Screen shot 2011 03 07 at 8.09.04 PM Apple iPad2 vs Android vs Blackberry and the World

Okay so that begins to make the tablet discussion a bit more interesting. And of course the Android OS is making a strong showing, every vendor other than Apple has to use something. And my friends Windows ain’t it this go around. (Even HP jumped ship on Microsoft’s tablet, gesture-driven OS.

Screen shot 2011 03 07 at 8.40.50 PM Apple iPad2 vs Android vs Blackberry and the WorldSo RIM is a falling star. Will their Playbook have some amazing feature that you just can’t get on another OS? (For me, with the phones, the Blackberry keyboard is still a thing of wonder, and the only reason I haven’t bought or switched to an iPhone.) So if the Playbook has some secret sauce, what is it? With their phones it’s Microsoft Outlook Integration. Tablet? Perhaps they have something so secret nobody’s heard of it yet. (It’s kind of like what everyone was saying about the iPad a year ago when it was released, "It’s like a huge iPhone. Will anyone be saying that about the playbook? It’s like a huge Blackberry? I don’t think so. They’ve got to give it something nobody else has or suffer under the heavy competition from the army of Android tablets.

Screen shot 2011 03 07 at 8.36.02 PM Apple iPad2 vs Android vs Blackberry and the World

And moving on to Android. There is no question that Google is here to stay. And in every market they enter they usually (and literally) kill the competition. (Example: Google Analytics killed all but the largest analytics companies.) And as a phone platform the Android appears to be the tinkerers OS of choice. IF you want to noodle around with your phone’s settings, and load a jillion and one cool apps, and hope you don’t do something to crash your phone. I’ve seen some amazing Android installations. And it seems that once you get it tuned, it is an awesome system. (Almost as good as… Sorry, I couldn’t help it.)

So here’s the pundit’s spin that we are used to hearing by now. "If you want to geek out and mess with the OS get an Android phone. If you just want it to work really really well, get an iPhone." I mean, a bazillion users can’t be wrong. And there is no secret that the iPod/iPhone platform is the largest install base of any mobile gaming platform: you do like games don’t you?

So comparing Android OS/Chrome OS/Honeycomb with the iPhone OS is not quite fair. With phones AND tablets, if you like the way the iPhone works you’ll like the way the iPad works and visa versa. Apple has shown their leadership and vision for consumer electronics and gadget development. The iPad is so far ahead of the soon-to-ship competitors, that when the iPad3 arrives this summer, the "android" consortium will still be fiddling with getting their v1 devices behaving.

And here’s my final confession. I want an iPhone. I am a Mac through and through. BUT… I like my phone carrier enough to skip the iPhone and get an Android phone. But not until I find a device with a keyboard that’s half as nice as my BB curve.

@jmacofearth

permalink: http://uber.la/2011/03/iphoneos_vs_android/

 

 

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May
17
2010

Just Click It Links for Monday 5-17-10: Microsoft IE, Facebook Privacy, Apple iPad

Category: just click it (hot links),microsoft,social mediajmacofearth @ 2:08 pm



Mayors of Starbucks Now Get Discounts Nationwide with Foursquare

It had to happen. Foursquare is tying into Foursquare promotions. I saw this coming, but now I might have to join the movement… Nah… I’ll check in on my own, thanks very much.

Check Your Facebook Privacy Settings With ReclaimPrivacy

Fighting privacy battles with Facebook, is like trying to protect your online data from Google. All I can say is, "Good luck." The rest of my advice is, "Be informed, and turn the shit off if you are worried about it. And if it *really* freaks you out, just quit using Facebook. And then get over it." But all my rants aside, there are some issues with Facebook’s rampant use of your images, your "likes" and other information that they want to use and sell to third party vendors. I’d say these are worth opting out of.

How Facebook’s ‘Community Pages’ and Privacy Changes Impact Brands by Jeremiah Owyang

When JO speaks you need to listen. One of the smartest guys in social media and business metrics. Here’s the nut:

Facebook has launched  several new policies and features since the F8 Conference ‘Crusade of Colonization’ which has resulted in a large backlash from media around user privacy.  It’s not clear if beyond the vocal media if users will leave the site in droves.  Perhaps more importantly,  Facebook launched “Facebook Community Pages” (read the official post) a feature that aggregates content from wikipedia and Facebook wall posts.  Think of it as a cross between Wikipedia with user comments –sometimes unwittingly.  These changes cause confusion for users, diminishing control for brands, and strains on the already torrid relationship between Facebook and brands.

What if FDR’s Ideas Ran the C-Suite and Your Social Media?

I can’t help to think his words and wisdom might serve us all now as we look for leaders — not dreamers — to change the world and get growing again.

Federated Media goes all Facebook for this Monday’s SIGNAL.

Microsoft Needs to Stop Trash-talking IE6 and Just Trash It

Microsoft Australia has launched an online campaign to try to persuade people to stop using Internet Explorer 6. The campaign likens the browser to a carton of milk: you wouldn’t drink nine-year old milk, so why would you use a browser of a similar vintage?

The iPad: Beautiful product demos, rich presentations & seamless syncing between HQ and travel

We’re not waiting. As soon as the iPad was unveiled, my team saw its potential and ordered a few. For $31 worth of apps, total, we’ve turned the device into a powerful way to show off our products and keep our travelers in sync with each other and our Austin HQ. Our Sales Directors, Client Success Directors and Market Developers attend around 30 total events per quarter, from the Bay Area to London and beyond. When they bring along fully-equipped iPads to each conference, show, meeting and client dinner, they’re bringing with them a way to enrich each interaction.

How To Get Verified on Twitter

Twitter verifies a limited number of accounts. There’s no guarantee that your verification request will be processed by Twitter. I know of several celebrities whose verification request was turned down by Twitter. Therefore, Twitter advises users to apply for a verified account only if they are under the threat of impersonation account.

And if you can’t get Verified, you can go to an earlier post of mine

So If I Can’t Get Twitter-Verified, I’ll Just Create An Elite Club Of My Own

@jmacofearth

permalink:

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Apr
06
2010

Getting Down to Business with the Apple iPad

Category: apple,social media,tech opinion,tech reviewsjmacofearth @ 3:50 pm

I can’t stop talking about it, I can’t stop writing about it, and yet there it sits in it’s nifty little $30 black case, sleeping. Or I guess technically it would be hibernating. Or is it just OFF? (Reminder to pose question to iPad dev team, who don’t read my blog.)

So here’s the dilemma that faced me this morning as I was heading to a business meeting.

Screen shot 2010 04 06 at 2.38.44 PM Getting Down to Business with the Apple iPad

Well, I have to tell you I went with just the iPad. My notepad was in the car. And I was immediately disappointed by my inability to take meaningful and creative notes on the iPad.

Screen shot 2010 04 06 at 2.38.26 PM Getting Down to Business with the Apple iPad

I flipped through several drawing apps I had downloaded. Doodle Buddy, Draw and the free Adobe Ideas. I missed my pen and paper almost the moment I turned on the iPad.

So far here is what I have found to be amazing on the iPad.

1. eBooks. No mystery there. What if you could carry your entire book library in your little device? Kind of like the iPad was to your music collection. No more waiting room boredom, whip out the iPad (Kindle, Nook, Sony -can’t-recall-the-name device) and you are all set. Reading on the iPad is pretty amazing. Highlighting and bookmarking your place is intuitive and fast. And something about the flip of the pages that seems very Bladerunner-like. This is what an electronic book should be like. (All of mine are free versions from Google’s Project Gutenberg.) And of course there is a Kindle app for the iPad so Amazon’s site does not know what hit them. I have a Kindle account with my iPad. Not that I’m going to buy a Kindle book any time soon.

2. Games. Doodle Jump is amazing on the iPad. Shanghai Lite is a cool mahjong interface. The app is free but compared to other mahjong games it is very slick, so I bought the $1.99 additional layouts package. And lastly Frenzic, is a game I have loved on the computer. And on the iPad you begin to see how the non-linear aspects of the touchscreen are going to change things significantly.

3. Netflix. Sure streaming video, playing back full-screen movies on this little device is just plain cool.

4. Facebook. This was my first real use of the onscreen keyboard. Making an entry to my Facebook wall. What’s amazing about the web on the iPad is the ability to re-size the website on the fly with a pinch. I was able to get just the content on screen, no ads, no extra stuff. I could position the annoying right gutter off the iPad all together.

But in the end, it really is just another computer. And the comparison is often not fair.

Screen shot 2010 04 06 at 2.44.44 PM Getting Down to Business with the Apple iPad

So I CAN use the same bluetooth keyboard to access both the iPad and the MBP. So it’s not going to be about typing. But there are simply some tasks that won’t translate to the iPad without some effort and perhaps different ways of thinking.

In a recent discussion with our dev team on iPad vs Android one of the developers played with the iPad for a few minutes and declared that he was switching to being and iPad convert. He played with the iPad for a few more minutes. And then something happened. He said, putting the iPad down, "Nah, I don’t really want one."

One of the anti-iPad enthusiasts said, "See that’s why I think it’s gonna fail."

Here’s what I told them. It’s just a computer. When you stare into the void of the internet what you see reflected back is …

Screen shot 2010 04 06 at 3.26.18 PM Getting Down to Business with the Apple iPad

… yourself.

@jmacofearth

permalink: http://bit.ly/workin-ipad

The latest:

The entire Uber.la Apple iPad coverage can be seen via the iPad-iWay tag.

Other sources of inspiration and iPad evaluation:

Forrester CEO reflects again on the Apple iPad: The IPad Problem: Where’s It Going To Live?

Forrester CEO to other CEOs: Beyond IPad Yadda Yadda

iPad signals the future of software. There are two old software models. The first is where the software runs on your laptop — this is the Microsoft model embodied by Office. The second is the software as a service/cloud model with the software running on a server somewhere out on the Internet — this is the Google and Salesforce.com model. I’m simplifying, but in the former, the software runs on a local device. In the latter, the software sits out on the network.

iPad (and the iPhone before it) elegantly combines the two models.  Software on a powerful device seamlessly (that’s the key word) cooperates with services available out on the network.

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Apr
03
2010

"It’s Today, It’s Today, It’s Today!" Apple iPad’s Around the US Are Ready for UnBoxing

Category: apple,social media,tech reviewsjmacofearth @ 7:19 am

j j leaving porta 2010 Its Today, Its Today, Its Today! Apple iPads Around the US Are Ready for UnBoxingIn the movie Stuart Little, the boy wakes early and runs around the house, "It’s today, it’s today, it’s today!"

This morning, 7AM, my son quietly got on top of me and suggested we leave the beach in the dark so we would be closer to the Apple store when everyone woke up.

As we discussed his plan I told him about my dream of being in line for the iPad and never actually getting it. His dream, he said, involved a triacorn (three-horned unicorn) and a singing iPad.

So we’re leaving Port Aransas at 7:20 for the long haul back to Austin and "our" iPad.

Here we go…

And two more:

Screen shot 2010 04 03 at 5.04.58 PM Its Today, Its Today, Its Today! Apple iPads Around the US Are Ready for UnBoxing

Screen shot 2010 04 03 at 5.04.46 PM e1270332501759 Its Today, Its Today, Its Today! Apple iPads Around the US Are Ready for UnBoxing

@jmacofearth

permalink: http://bit.ly/ipad-dreams

The latest:

The entire Uber.la Apple iPad coverage can be seen via the iPad-iWay tag.

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