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Tag: iPhone

The Cigarette of This Century

Tuesday, 3 July, 2012

“Today, all our wives and husbands have Blackberries or iPhones or Android devices or whatever — the progeny of those original 950 and 957 models that put data in our pockets. Now we all check their email (or Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram, or…) compulsively at the dinner table, or the traffic light. Now we […]

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When Manuel Castells predicted that Nokia would rule the world

Monday, 2 July, 2012

The true hoarder never throws anything away. This obsession leads to all kind of complications, though, not the least of which is domestic strife. Still, there are moments when the hoarder’s passion is vindicated. This is one such instance. We have here a faded newspaper clipping dated 18 June 1999. The publication is The Observer […]

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Now: crowdsourcing crowds

Monday, 28 May, 2012

Launched last week, the Now iPhone app detects hot events taking place in four major cities: New York, Paris, London and San Francisco. Other metropolises will follow, no doubt. Berlin, Sydney and Vancouver are three on the Rainy Day list. The nifty thing is that the app rates “hotness” by analyzing the number of photos […]

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Shorts for summer

Wednesday, 23 May, 2012

How can publishers get the time-poor back reading again? Answer: Shorts. No, not drinks or men’s clothing. The shorts here are what Random House calls Storycuts and Pan Macmillan calls Short Reads and Penguin calls, simply, Shorts. Rainy Day has opted for a Penguin on the iPhone with “The Making of the Greek Crisis” by […]

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How those Yahoos! destroyed Flickr!

Wednesday, 16 May, 2012

In one of the best articles of its kind for many a long day, Mat Honan of Gizmodo exposes corporate stupidity on a staggering scale in a piece titled “How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet“. Money quote: “There’s a difference between a missed opportunity and a complete fuck-up. When Yahoo failed to capitalize […]

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The crooked Path

Thursday, 9 February, 2012

A year ago, the tech press was all abuzz with rumours that Path, a social photo sharing and messaging service for mobile devices led by former Facebook executive Dave Morin, had received a $100-million buyout offer from Google (with $20 million more in incentives). Drunk on the hype of his entrepreneurial virtuosity, Morin rejected the […]

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Three stars for those Michelin apps

Monday, 23 January, 2012

Chapeau! Last year, a total of 1.4 million Groupe Michelin applications were downloaded from Apple’s App Store and three of them were among the 2011 bestsellers. ViaMichelin Mobile in the navigation category for iPhone, Restaurants in the France – The Michelin Guide Restaurants 2011 in the lifestyle category for iPhone and the MichelinFrance map in the navigation category for iPad.

Michelin Guide Although Michelin is not exactly a startup (it was incorporated in 1888), the company has always been at the cutting edge of innovation. After all, its core product, tires, are complex things with an evolving role in the safety and comfort of the driving experience. Talking of driving, those who find themselves in the centre of France this year should visit L’Aventure Michelin, which recounts the company’s historic journey from Clermont-Ferrand to the App Store. The secret of its success is that Edouard and André Michelin weren’t just great innovators, they were marketing geniuses and superb businessmen. Their big insight was that if people took more trips, Michelin would sell more tires. To encourage motorists to hit the road, they got into the content business and Michelin became famous for its roadmaps, for its Red Guides that grade hotels and restaurants, its Green Guides on regions and countries and the literary Guides Bleus, which offered cultural interpretation of destinations. And when smartphones came along, Michelin was well positioned to port its award-winning content onto the new platforms.

Now, it seems a more radical shift is in the works. According to a report that appeared in Le Monde on 14 January, “Michelin dans la tourmente” (Michelin in turmoil), the days of the Guide Michelin are numbered… in paper form, at least. The company is contemplating making it available digitally only. Why? The venerable Guide sold 107,000 copies in France in 2010, which is a drop of of 22 percent compared to a decade ago when sales topped 400,000.


Nokia makes phones, but Apple makes money

Wednesday, 11 January, 2012

Has it really been five years since Apple launched the iPhone? Apparently. The “revelation” was on 9 January 2007, but the wide world had to wait until June that year before the magical device was made available to consumers. From the get go, the iPhone was a hit. And, apart from a few tweaks, it’s essentially the same phone today as it was five years ago. The screen size hasn’t changed and the mix of Gorilla glass and aluminium is as compelling now as it was then. In fact, the package is so captivating that Samsung is now making near-perfect copies and flogging them shamelessly as it they were something original. As one wag pointed out recently, Jonathan Ive now leads the design team at the world’s two most profitable phone makers.

Apple iPhone3 As RIM and Nokia look on in desperation, the question everyone’s asking is what will Apple do next. A clue can be found in Walter Isaacson’s magnificent biography of Steve Jobs: “One of Jobs’s business rules was to never be afraid of cannibalizing yourself. ‘If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will,’ he said. So even though an iPhone might cannibalize sales of an iPod, or an iPad might cannibalize sales of a laptop, that did not deter him.” Jobs launched the iPhone at a time when iPods accounted for nearly half of Apple’s profits, yet a free iPod was a feature of the iPhone. Unsurprisingly, iPod sales have declined since 2007. But the success of the iPhone has made up for the loss. Interestingly, the iPod was five years old when Apple launched the iPhone so, if form is any kind of indicator, this should be the year when Apple gets back to cannibalizing its children.


The provisional wing of Occupy Wall Street

Thursday, 22 December, 2011

Dublin’s newest favela can be found on Dame Street in front of Ireland’s Central Bank. The occupants of Dame Street, however, do not appear to be suffering very much at the hands of the system they wish to destroy. Indeed, if only these scruffy types were to sell their iPhones and give the proceeds to […]

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