Stories by Andrew Birmingham

Thursday Grok: Are iPhone 4S sales about to tank?

Tracking market share on a weekly or monthly basis, as many product managers do in the IT industry, is a guaranteed first class ticket to the Loon Lounge. You need to ride the helicopter occasionally, take a look through the wide angle lens. Breathe in for seven seconds. Hold for five seconds. Breathe out for seven seconds. Much better. Now panic — iPhone 4S sales may be tanking.

Monday Grok: Groupon is a crock

For the record, and so you can hold him to account in future, long after others have stopped caring, Grok thinks Groupon is a crock.

Wednesday Grok: No juice in your sparkling iPhone 4S

Batteries are boring...until they stop working, then they are very, very boring. Right now, the most boring battery in the world is the one in Apple's new iPhone 4S. Where's our talk time? Where's all that tasty standby time?

Tuesday Grok: Is Facebook already more profitable than Amazon?

Relentlessly, and from far away it seems effortlessly - Facebook marches on. The future belongs to Mark Zuckerburg, or at least a few fleeting years of it, as it once belonged to the Tom Watsons at IBM, and Bill Gates at Microsoft and Steve Jobs at Apple.

Monday Grok: Counting numbers on The Australian's pay wall

Waves of creative destruction have defined the emergence of digital channels on the Web. So have the struggles of incumbents to adapt. This article is free, but if it were published over at The Australian, sooner or later you would run up against its very permeable pay wall which launched today in response to its failed online advertising model.

Wednesday Grok: 99.4% approval in the People's Republic of Telstra

Telstra received a stunning 99.4 per cent (and rising) vote of approval for its NBN deal with the government. That tells us two things. Firstly, the government is paying too much. That's why they got knocked over in the stampede by TLS shareholders. And secondly, that the shareholder who suggested to Telstra’s board yesterday that the country was becoming increasingly like a third world dictatorship had no idea how ironic his comments really were.

Friday Grok: Apple v Samsung, 30-love

Apple won its injunction against Samsung, delaying at least for several months and perhaps permanently the distribution of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in its current form in Australia. The permanence of the result comes from an earlier threat by Samsung to take its bat and ball and go home if it missed the key selling cycle around Christmas. The argument being that the world will have moved on too far without them.

Thursday Grok: PayPal cranks it up, again.

Sometimes massive change arrives by millimetres. All of a sudden everything you understood about the world just flipped on its axis, and you never saw it coming. On that count, it wasn't Apple's iPad that first tipped the joint upside down. Instead it was iTunes: An easy, painless and friction free way to manage micropayments. Consumers just natively got it.