Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Loren on the Plight of the iPhone unLocker

Our story so far: Apple releases the iPhone. It only works with AT&T in the USA. Some folks hack it to unlock it for use with any mobile carrier (losing some features in the process, but gaining freedom). Apple discovers that some of these hacks "cause irreparable damage to the iPhone's software, which will likely result in the modified iPhone becoming permanently inoperable" after the next software update. Oops.

Loren Feldman, of 1938 Media, master of empathy, commiserates with the brave souls that unlocked their iPhones.

Mickeleh's Take: Look on the bright side: you still get your $100 store credit.

(Tags:, , , , , , , , )

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Microsoft Tool Forecasts Continued iPod Dominance over Zune

Steve Rubel points to a new Microsoft tool that helps advertisers sharpen their ad buys by rating the Online Commercial Intent of various queries and visits to websites. The idea is to rate the value of advertising not simply by counting impressions exposed to a target audience, but by whether the audience visiting a given site or entering a given query has a commercial intent to purchase.

Enter a URL or a query into a tool and you get a rating. Rubel lists various popular sites by their Commerical Intent index, with Consumerist and Gizmodo ranking at the top and Web 2.0 faves Wikipedia, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter ranking near the bottom. (Bear in mind that there's a hefty disclaimer saying this is merely proof of concept and "the tools do not provide or display conclusive results; rather, they are designed ro produce anecdotal information that might indicate a trend or behavior that seems pertinent to an individual advertiser.")

For fun, I tried queries on iPod and Zune. Turns out that people searching for iPod have better than a 93% commercial intent, while those searching for Zune have between a 68% and 76%.

Oddly, the tool won't give you the same number twice in a row. For Zune the results varied widely: successive submissions yielded results of 0.7259, 0.7496, and 0.65499.

Mickeleh's Take
: Anybody remember back a year when Zune was promoted as the iPod killer?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Google Docs May Be Good. Their Video is Great

Today, Google fills out their online application suite with a presentation tool. I don't have time to evaluate it and review it. I don't need to, because I'm sure that others are rushing to do so. Check with Techmeme.

What I'd like to do is review the marketing video that introduces the concept on Google's blog. The video was made by CommonCraft and it's brilliant in its simplicity and clarity. CommonCraft, by the way, is two folks who live just across the lake from me in Seattle: Lee and Sachi LeFever.

They found simple visual metaphors, a low-cost production technique and, above all, they make the benefit of the product crystal clear. If you need to explain something complex, get in touch with these folks.

Mickeleh's Take: I love that you can see the strings. That's the coolest thing about this video.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

iPhone Early Adopter Tax refund? (Thanks Unca Steve)

I'm sure there's something I'll be able to do with my $100 store credit. Kudos to Apple for responding so quickly to the waves of resentment triggered by the sudden dramatic price drop on iPhone.
I'm in New York with the MWA production crew that put on the HP event last night. Two of my colleagues (including the actual MW of MWA) snapped up two of the now cheaper iPhones.
I'm posting from the Apple Fifth Avenue Store looking for Genius Bar service since my MacBook suddenly decided to show me the dreaded folder icon instead of booting up.
The place is mobbed at 10:15. Everyone is schnorring some free computer and internet access. Except for the fact that there are no drinks and no chairs. And the tables are a little low for comfort, the place has the feel of an Internet Cafe.

One of my fellow net schnorrers is dealing with the low table by adopting a Senator Craig style wide stance. But with the trousers up.

That iPhone Early Adopter Tax (shrug)

I missed the announcement yesterday. (I was working with the MWA team on producing the HP product event that ran last night, and somewhat pre-occupied.)

I learn this morning that Apple had revved the entire iPod line, but the only bit that penetrated my pre-occupations yesterday was the price-drop on the iPhone. (The Jefferson Graham and Ed Baig Q&A with Jobs focused on the price drop and captured the lede this morning on Techmeme as well.)

The only email I got on Apple's event this morning was on the price-drop. Someone asked me if I had any theories. Yeah, I got a theory: Steve wants to sell a shitload of iPhones.

iPhone was clearly designed (and marketed) for the mainstream. Apple is buying a lot of TV time to get the iPhone mini-demos in front of gazillions of viewers. But $600 for a phone is not mainstream pricing. Frankly, neither is $400. Ah, but $400 as a price-drop from $600? Now that smells like a bargain.

Mickeleh's Take: A price drop on iPhone was inevitable and widely predicted. The surprise was the timing. So soon? I paid $200 for only six weeks of what Owen Thomas pegs as nothing more than smugness? Did I overpay? Could I have bought that much smugness for less? Probably not.

(Tags:, , , )