That $76 billion cash pile currently gathering interest over at Cupertino — well technically Nevada — is about to get a whole lot heavier. Despite scepticism from the markets (and from certain bloggers you might unfairly mention) Apple's iPhone 4S will be met with the kind of power-packed consumer demand that has presaged the arrival of its antecedents. That's assuming reports in the SMH about pre-orders are to be believed. And frankly, there's no reason to doubt them, even if they are a little self serving.
It turns out that the 4S is just too damn jam packed with Google keywords to be ignored. Great, tasty, spider feeding, page impression-inflating keywords like; Siri, wifi, 8 megapixel camera, iPod, 1080p video recording, face detection, battery life, video playback, download speeds of 14.4Mbps, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, discount credit card — oohh feel the Google Love.
It can't #iPhone4Sfail. No wonder Telco retailers are dusting off the heavy-duty whacking sticks to beat down the maddening masses, yet again. The wisdom of crowds indeed.
This report into local smartphone markets by Telsyte's Foad Fadaghi suggests that almost nine out of 10 iPhone users plan on purchasing an iPhone as their next smartphone. That's a level of loyalty that frankly blows away the competitors, which are still registering loyalty rates in the still respectable low 60 per cent range.
Telstye says Apple will have 42 per cent market share by year's end, and IDC says that over the last few quarters it is basically already there. Customers coming off contract from their embarrassingly unfashionable iPhone 3GS are expected to drive much of the early demand.
But both analysts recognise that Android is on the rise. Eventually Android will overtake Apple; that's just the pure economics of cost and demand. Which is not to say there won't be times when Apple rips back into the lead occasionally — that's just the product cycle.
Meanwhile, if you're the kind of IT manager who likes their mobile fix in tablet size doses, Motorola had just released what ZDNet called its enterprise tablet. The Wi-Fi-enabled Motorola ET1, according to the story; "comes with 8GB of storage, front and rear-facing cameras and a hot-swappable battery that will last for around eight hours, and can have a number of add-ons to it, such as a barcode scanner or a magnetic strip reader, that connect to the ET1 via a slot or Bluetooth." Unsurprisingly with specs like that, the retail outlet markets are in the crosshairs.
It's called perspective.
Turns out that, yes, Australians do love shopping online, but mostly they love shopping online in Australia, as this report about Sensis research apparently demonstrates.
The mighty Aussie dollar (at least until very recently) certainly had an impact, but the practice is now so embedded that currency fluctuations are likely only to moderate the practice at the margins. Indeed currency fluctuations are more likely to drive a change in vendor selection in future, rather than a change in channel selection, we suspect.
So the next time a rich greedy retailer tells you how Australians have to work harder to make their way in the world, or lift their productivity or give up their penalty rates, remember what a gang of shameless failures they turned out to be, and how quickly they went begging for tax payer protection the first time one of those cheap Chinese blowtorches was applied to the belly of their own body corporate.
A day late, a buck short, and maybe cheaper if you Bing a friend
Finally, and perhaps a little late, Microsoft looks like it is getting itself into the daily deals market, courtesy of Bing, according to Techcrunch.
Says Robin Wauters, the service will be "powered by white label group buying platform service provider Tippr, a well-informed source tells me. You don’t have to take my word for it: Microsoft and Tippr are testing the service right now, and the Bing-exclusive daily deals site is hiding in plain sight."
The story also notes this latest effort from Microsoft is not simply a rehash of the earlier Bing Deals offer which aggregated deals from other providers.
Prepare yourself for an orgy of coverage on Facebook's (finally) iPad app. Now that's some sweet, sweet Google Love right there... oooh yeah baby.
Andrew Birmingham is the CEO of Silicon Gully Investments. Follow him @ag_birmingham on Twitter, but only if you own an iPhone4 or later, as this blog is not compatible with earlier models.