Over the past 18 months, the mergers and acquisitions chief at Apple has been scouring the globe looking for deals, snatching up everything from search engines and data analytics to mapping software and motion tracking chips.
An anecdote: I wanted to wear Google Glass during the birth of our second child. My wife was extremely unreceptive to this idea when I suggested it.
This, I have come to realise, is the fundamental problem with wearables - not just Glass; you look and behave like an absolute tit. I hope the future of hardware is something better, wearables seem to be like pagers to me; they’ll have their space but ultimately only dorks will use them.
In the fallout of mutually-assured nuclear destruction, your vegetables will be measured for radiation as you cut them and the ghost of your father will taunt you every morning by waking you up and suggesting you wear adult-sized shirts.
Takashi Amano & Cliff Edwards are full of bad news ahead for Nintendo:
Nintendo Co.’s prospects for meeting its profit and sales forecasts for this year are diminishing after Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. each sold more game consoles in 24 hours than the Wii U maker did in nine months.
Not good — especially when you consider:
President Satoru Iwata vowed in October he would meet a forecast for 100 billion yen ($974 million) in full-year operating profit and 9 million units in Wii U sales. Analysts are skeptical, with the average estimate for profit at 57 billion yen and for sales at 6.2 million units.
That’s a huge gap. We’ll see, but it’s definitely not looking good:
Those moves may not be enough to make up lost ground, as the company sold just 460,000 Wii U machines in the six months ended Sept. 30, about 5 percent of its target for the fiscal year. Nintendo reported a net loss of 8 billion yen in the quarter ended Sept. 30, saying Wii U hardware “still has a negative impact on Nintendo’s profits.”
Five percent of the yearly target, six months in. And:
Shares of Nintendo have lost 82 percent of their value since closing at 72,100 yen in November 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Yikes. And that’s with the stock gaining41 percent this year. And:
The Wii U features a tablet-like, 6.2-inch touchscreen controller that lets players connect wirelessly to the console and shift the display between the device and a television. In the nine months from January through September, the company sold 850,000 — fewer than Sony and Microsoft did during the first day their new consoles were released.
Hard to overstate just how awful and embarrassing that is — especially since those consoles don’t seem that great either.
This is turning very ugly very quickly for Nintendo — which is sad, but not shocking.
“We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.”—Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human
“I think we can probably do better for consumer names than ‘Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 1020. Yet, because of where both companies are and the independent nature of the businesses, we haven’t been able to shorten that. … Now, we can simplify the overall consumer branding and messaging gets much simpler. That is an efficiency of being one company.”—
I mean, he actually said this — while typing on his Microsoft Surface RT with Windows RT featuring Office 2011 Pro Plus with Microsoft Live SkyDrive for Enterprise Workgroups using Azure for the Cloud 2013 Bing Edition 7.43 and a Touch Cover.
“When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards! We can have a revolution! But the networks are really in business to give people what they want. It’s the truth.”—Steve Jobs (via sisyphean-revolt)
Certainly, there isn’t a Steve Jobs at Microsoft, nor is there a Jony Ive. But the fact that Ballmer only mentioned the word “design” once in his memo—referring to Microsoft’s marketing and advertising—shows he perhaps still hasn’t realized Microsoft’s greatest and most underutilized strength.
It’s interesting given how much praise Microsoft received for don’t-call-it-Metro Metro that more hasn’t been done to unify this across all the products.
It’s true that I don’t like Samsung’s blatant copying of Apple products, but I really do hate Wall St. too. It’s wrong for any company to see their stock tumble because analysts were wrong in their forecasts. It’s happened to Apple when they reported record profits and now Samsung. Analysts should be downgraded, not the companies delivering record profits.
FierceWireless: Looking back, if you could do things over again with the rollout of webOS, would you do anything differently?
Rubinstein: Well, I’m not sure I would have sold the company to HP [Hewlett-Packard]. That’s for sure. Talk about a waste. Not that I had any choice because when you sell a company you don’t get to decide that. Obviously, the board and shareholders decide that. If we had known they were just going to shut it down and never really give it a chance to flourish, what would have been the point of selling the company? I think the deal we had with Verizon really hurt us, but who knew that at the time? These things are all hindsight.
FierceWireless: Before Palm was sold to HP, do you think looking back it would have been better to have sold webOS phones through multiple carriers besides Sprint at the beginning?
Rubinstein: We would have loved to, but that wasn’t the reality. We almost had deals with Verizon and with Vodafone, and in the last minute both of those guys decided not to go through with the deal, so we had a deal with Sprint. It wasn’t like we made a choice of, Oh, we’re going to go with Sprint. We were negotiating with everybody. And the Sprint deal was the best deal we could get at the time. Palm was dying when I got there. It wasn’t like we had the pick of the litter. Everybody forgets that Palm was pretty much dead when we did the recapitalization. It had no future at the time.
Everywhere one looks, Google is doing remarkable things. It could soon overtake Apple in downloads of applications; it is developing self-driving cars; people wear its kooky augmented reality Glass spectacles…
Instead of refocusing Yahoo, Marissa Mayer is broadening the company. That’s odd, given that Yahoo was once considered a bloated, obsolete leviathan. But it turns out giant internet conglomerates still have some big advantages.
I am really, really fascinated by what Mayer is doing at Yahoo. It’s incredible to see such a lame duck get some mojo back – and it really is working; Yahoo is interesting again.
However, at the root of it all, I think there is one fundamental problem: Yahoo wants the 16-24 age group (which is correct), but their brand is so unbelievably uncool that not even Tumblr can change that. What Yahoo really needs to do is reinvent its image: new logo, new corporate mission, new vision.
Above all, however, what Yahoo really needs to do is shed the fucking purple. It’s an awful colour, and married with that dreadful typset on the logo and the stupid exclamation mark… it all just screams ugh.
Shedding the purple and changing the logo alongside an announced new corporate slogan will fix a lot in terms of making Yahoo cool again.
With iOS 7, Apple will drop the shiny, transparent time bar on the top of the Lock screen in exchange for a shine-free, black interface. Additionally, the square-grid for entering a pin code has been replaced with round, black buttons with white text and white borders. Additionally, sources say that notifications on the Lock screen may see improved manipulability with gestures.