Tag Archives: Samsung

Five signs that you’re a Fanboy

Have you seen this person? Looked in the mirror lately?

Have you seen this person? Looked in the mirror lately?

With the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the inevitable phone wars have begun afresh.

Don’t act like you don’t know what the phone wars are.

The ongoing comparisons between Apple and Samsung or iOS versus Android.

Invariably, these little skirmishes arise whenever Apple drops a new product (and never the other way around).

But that’s beside the point.

Or is it?  Hmmmm….

Anywho, every so often users on both sides take to the interwebs to pronounce their allegiance to (or disdain for) one side or the other.

Your’s truly is no exception.

I’ve been known to malign an Android owner or two in my day.

No. I don’t own stock in Apple, and no Samsung owner ever kicked my dog (I don’t even own a dog).

“So why the hostility?” you ask.

Well, that’s easy.

Usually, I’ve got a cogent argument supporting my pro-Apple stance.

Sometimes, not so much.

My blind allegiance is often questioned, and I’ve always assumed it was because Apple simply made a better product.

But with the release of the iPhone 6, which is really Apple’s version of the larger Samsung family of devices, the questions of my blind allegiance are….well…valid?

So I’ve done a little introspection and I think I’ve got it.

I’m a fanboy.

Like millions of others, when it comes to anything Apple, I go balls to the wall.

I readily admit my fandom, but others can’t seem to self-identify (as I have).

So today, I’m going to share with you the top five signs that you too, are a fanboy.

1. You wait in line the day a new device drops.

More accurately, you camp out for days leading up to the release of a new device.

Only true fanboys place such importance to being the first ones to own a device that they’re willing to risk their lives, brave poor weather, take time away from the families or jobs to sit on a line and wait.

Will they win a prize?

Receive an award?

Be recognized for their achievement?

No. No. And no.

So why do they do it?

For the visceral feeling they get holding a brand spanking new device that no one else (yet) has. That’s why.

Oh. And they’re fanboys.

hundreds-line-up-in-front-of-an-apple-store-in-central-berlin-germany

Now y’all know you’re supposed to be at work! WTF?!

2. You take pro- (or anti-) device claims at face value.

If anything that Apple (or Google) publishes in anticipation of a release gives you wood and you regurgitate the features and capabilities as fact, sight unseen, you’re a fanboy.

So what you’re getting all your information from the rumor mill?

If Apple says it, it must be true. Right?

town crier

3. You take criticism of your device personally.

Everyone knows that Apple’s battery life is notoriously horrible. Or that Android devices routinely freeze, crash and drop calls.

But if you’re a fanboy, and someone utters a word against your favored device, all you hear are fighting words – and you’re literally ready to fight.

I remember when the Samsung Galaxy GS3 dropped.

Several of my so-called friends copped it and were all ga-ga over it.

I had one of the first GS3s in my office and had a chance to take it for a test drive.

Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed.

I posted a blog with my two cents, and was immediately set upon for posting negative reviews.

I had to unfriend a few folks after that.

iPhone-5-Android-Market

Don’t know why the illustrator decided to cast the Android as the Jedi. Android is definitely the dark side of the force. Hello?

4. You’ve never owned the competing device.

As a result, you’re totally ignorant about what an iOS device or Android can or can’t do.

It’s hard to offer any legitimate critique of a competing device if you’ve never owned one.

But that doesn’t keep fanboys from making far-reaching pronouncements about the inadequacies of the opposition.

Wouldn't you rather hate in ignorance than admire with full information?

Wouldn’t you rather hate in ignorance than admire with full information?

5. You still rock Blackberry.

There is no more profound evidence to the existence of a true fanboy, than Blackberry owners.

Despite the obsolescence (or near obsolescence – they’re clearly on life support) of Blackberry devices for several years now, there are still legions that swear by these blocky, keyboard bearing pieces of antiquity.

blackberry passport

Will the Blackberry Passport help to revive the dying brand? Not likely. But we have a new device to make fun of!

Now if you have any doubt whether or not you’re a fanboy, ask yourself, “When was the last time you owned <input name of device you don’t currently own here>?”

If you can’t remember, you’re a fanboy.

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Filed under advocacy, digital advocacy, iPhone, mobile

Magna Carta goes platinum? Yeah, I called that.

MCHG_cover

I have been vindicated – VINDICATED I tell you!

I know you’re like, “what’s this fool blabbing about now?”

Bear with me.

Yesterday, Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album, initially released on July 4 exclusively via mobile app, was officially certified platinum.

Right now, you’re probably thinking, “so effing what?”

Well I’ll tell you effing what.

Jay Z’s album being certified platinum in less than one week after it was released, and the same day it was available in stores, means the rules are being rewritten.

“What rules?” you ask.

THE rules.

Of music promotion.

Media promotion.

Brand promotion.

You might be thinking, “but Samsung paid $5 million, how is that re-writing the rules?”

And that’s a fair question.

The fact of the matter is that Samsung’s deal with Jay Z, to purchase 1 million copies of Magna Carta and give them away free, made his platinum certification a foregone conclusion.

Magna_Carta app

It also means that his actual sales are going to get a major boost.

It’s been forecast that Magna Carta’s first week sales will eclipse those of his previous best seller, The Blueprint 3.

But the bigger issue is that in embarking on this ambitious app-only pre-release, both Samsung and Jay Z, realized the massive impact (and value) of mobile and social media to their respective brands.

Their initiative effectively leveraged social media and mobile to make the Magna Carta album and the Samsung Galaxy line of phones, two of the most talked, blogged, tweeted and tagged subjects of the past three weeks.

At this point, you’re probably asking, “so why do you feel vindicated, Stephen?”

What does any of this have to do with me?

It’s quite simple really.

The mobile phone is the most ubiquitous personal device ever.

Social media has proven to be the most powerful marketing tool ever.

The music industry is a natural fit for both of these powerful tools.

For years, I’ve been pushing these strategies to folks in the music industry.

Most of the time, I feel like I’m talking to myself.

The responses were always the same.

“No.”

Few could see the utility of an app as a promotional vehicle.

And those who could either lacked the will, power, willpower (not to be confused with “will” or “power”) or money to pull the trigger.

There were no case studies to support it.

No established ROI.

Nuthin’.

And no one was trying to give shit away.

“We’re in business to make money,” they’d say.

To which I’d respond, “how’s that working out for ya?”

In my head.

You can’t say that kind of shit in a meeting when you’re trying to get money.

Well you can…

I digress.

But seriously, it was always an uphill battle, trying to convince the powers that be that I knew what the fuck I was talking about.

Although many of us have foreseen the demise of physical sales, the music industry has been slow to accept this fact.

And subsequently even slower to adopt strategies to bring them in line with the new digital age.

With Jay Z’s highly publicized deal with Samsung, and FunkMaster Flex’s earlier app-exclusive release of his Who You Mad At? Me or Yourself mixtape, you’ve got two powerhouses leading the charge.

And maybe folks will start thinking about how they can use mobile apps and social media to drive engagement and conversion.

I routinely drop jewels like this, but I guess I’m just ahead of my time.

Will my phone start ringing off the hook, with music executives begging me to help them craft their digital strategies?

Probably not.

But they should.

Even if they don’t, I’m cool.

Being right is satisfaction enough.

But any record executives out there within the sound of my blog…call me.

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Filed under advocacy, branding, digital advocacy, mobile, social media

What the f*@# do you mean you don’t have an iPhone?

20130701-183251.jpg

You can file this under rant.

One of the things that boggles my mind, is when someone in the mobile space says that they don’t own an iPhone.

Whoa!

Hold your horses.

Before you start prattling on about the whole Samsung/Apple debate (Winston), know that that’s not where I’m going with this.

Simmer down now.

iPhone is just a placeholder.

The title to this post might have been “What the f*@# do you mean you don’t have an <insert name of mobile device here>?”

But that didn’t quite roll off the tongue.

Feel me?

Honestly, I could care less about your mobile device preference.

Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, Motorola, I could give a rat’s ass what you like.

As long as you own a smart phone capable of approximating the intended feature or functionality you’re trying to vet, we’re cool.

But when you’re building a mobile site, developing an app, using QR codes, or integrating augmented reality…

ANYTHING that requires a proper smart phone to experience…

And don’t own a proper smart phone…

You. Sound. Crazy.

At least to me you do.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve talked to folks about how a feature works or is supposed to work.

And learned – in the midst of that discussion – that they’ve never actually tested the issue being discussed on a device.

Or, worse yet, that they don’t even own the friggin’ device to test on.

I mean really?

How do you form your lips to critique something you’ve never tested?

Why are we even having this discussion?

Trying to describe a function or feature to someone who doesn’t have the device in question is like trying to describe color to a blind person.

No. It’s actually worse.

Especially if that person is making decisions in the absence of valid information.

Sure, wireframes, mock ups and emulators can help you imagine what the finished product will be like.

And they’re great for what they’re for – modeling.

But there is nothing like experiencing a thing on the platform for which it was intended.

And there’s nothing more valuable than getting feedback from an actual user.

Now, truth be told, I used to be one of the people of whom I speak.

Back in the day, I blacked out on Android users, but never owned an Android device.

My opinions of Android’s inadequacies were wholly based on conjecture not fact.

I have since seen the error of my ways, copped a Samsung GS3 and tested countless other Android devices.

So the disdain I now feel for Android devices, is steeped in fact.

But I digress.

My point is, don’t be like the old ignorant Stephen, casting stones in a glass house.

Be like the new Stephen, who opens the window to cast his stones carefully and with precision.

Now class, what have we learned today?

1. Stephen has a low tolerance for BS.

2. If you’re developing for mobile, you’ve got to have a mobile device.

I’m done.

Rant over.

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Filed under iPhone, mobile, opinion, rant, technology, Uncategorized

Jay Z and Samsung go digital. Apple, you’ve best bested (again).

Samsung has once again upped the ante in the war of cool against Apple.

This time, they've enlisted the aid of hip hop heavyweight, and all-around media mogul, Jay Z.

If you've been paying attention to the interwebs, you might have caught wind of the latest partnership between this mainstream music icon and the tech company actively trying to dethrone Apple.

The pairing, in and of itself, isn't particularly novel.

Not even for Samsung, who previously enlisted King James at the start of the season last year with the Galaxy Note II.

But what is exceptional, is the fact that Samsung is giving away Jay Z's next album.

You heard me.

Everyone who owns or cops a Samsung Galaxy device, will also get Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail album a full week few days before its released in stores.

Now I don't know how many people are actually going to buy a new phone or trade up, just to get an album they can purchase for 10 bucks.

But Samsung definitely gets dumb cool points for inking a deal with Hov for the right to distribute advance copies of his album with their phones.

I mean really, how cool is that?

Jigga Jay Z?!

Apple may have made digital music cool with the iPod, but Samsung just made digital music way cooler with this coup.

Jay Z is veritably hip hop royalty, so this deal is a pretty big….deal.

The bigger issue, as I see it, are the possibilities for media and technology companies to do these types of collabos in the future.

I've always been a proponent of utilizing technology as a means through which to build audience.

With the plethora of artists and devices out there, nowadays you need a hook if you really want folks to pay attention.

Something to differentiate your offering from the masses and reel your audience in.

And recently, I've seen evidence of the more savvy brands implementing the strategies I talk about ad nauseum.

Check the FunkFlex App, and you'll see what I mean.

FunkMaster Flex is one of the few artists that I've seen, who thoroughly gets it when it comes to merging celebrity with technology.

And he's freaking it, at that.

The FunkFlex app comes preloaded with goobledy gobs of content.

He dropped his entire mixtape via his app and it features a who's who of hip hop and R&B.

FOR FREE!

To this day, if you cop the app, you'll still be able to get loads of exclusive free content.

As a result, his digital footprint is large, and growing daily.

Movie studios are also starting to realize the inherent value of producing apps to accompany the lead up to the release of a new movie.

Virtually every movie I've seen in the recent past has had an app.

Some good.

Some not-so-good.

But all players with skin in the game.

Which underscores my point.

Every new artist should have a app.

Old ones too.

It shouldn't be an afterthought.

It should be the way you introduce your artist to the masses.

That app should be preloaded with a bunch of songs, videos and pictures, and every single social media profile that artist uses to interact with their fans.

Music should stream, in full, and the app should be enabled with push notifications, featuring calls-to-action, inviting users to rate the app, purchase tickets and use the embed social share features to broadcast their affiliation with the artist to their larger network.

And giving them the ability to buy tracks wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Don't trip.

Having an app is not an inexpensive endeavor.

Samsung dropped serious coin for the right to distribute Jay Z's album.

To the tune of $5 million.

And we all know that every artist can't afford to do Samsung/Jay Z type deals to attract new users.

But I'm sure Samsung thinks they got a bargain, so it's all relative.

The truth is, deals like this don't have to be so one-sided.

New artists should seek out brands like Metro PCS, Boost and Virgin Mobile, who all want to enhance their phone offerings to compete with the big boys.

While contract free phones are all the rage, having a phone pre-loaded with free music from underground or up-and-coming acts is definitely a strategy we're going to see more of.

Magna Carta is just the beginning.

 

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Filed under apps, branding, digital advocacy, mobile, technology

The Galaxy S IV is coming! Apple be very afraid.

Is Samsung the Apple-killer?

Is Samsung the Apple-killer?

Back in the day, I could have cared less about non-iOS device leaks.

If it wasn’t an iPhone or an iPad, it didn’t matter.

The only leaks that interested me were about Apple.

Period.

Whenever a new Apple product was announced – or rumored – I’d scour the interwebs, looking for photos or reviews.

I’d follow endless threads of speculation about which features would be included and which would not.

I would consume any article from any source like manna from heaven.

But if it wasn’t an Apple product, I could give two shits.

But yesterday, something unusual happened.

I saw a Techcrunch article with leaked pictures of a Samsung.

It was the new Samsung device, the Galaxy S IV.

And I found myself…

Wait for it…

Reading the article!

Who knew that there was this whole other world of leaks?

Who knew that non-iOS leaks were newsworthy?

Who knew the Chinese were as inept at keeping Samsung’s secrets as they were Apple’s?

I have to admit that I was intrigued with what this new Samsung has to offer.

Although I despise Android devices, they’re giving Apple a run for their money.

In fact, Samsung is outselling Apple in China.

Analysts predict that Samsung will completely overtake Apple when it comes to innovation with mobile devices.

So they must be doing something right.

But if leaked photos weren’t enough, now there’s a video too!

Notice the background iPad audio in the video.

Ironic, isn’t it.

If these leaked photos are any indication of the public’s interest and penchant for non-iOS devices, then I need to pay attention.

I must be ill.

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Filed under iPhone, mobile, technology

iPhone Mini my arse! Five reasons why Apple won’t make an iPhone Mini

iPhone Mini? I say nay!

iPhone Mini? I say nay!

Rumors have been circulating that Apple is planning on releasing an iPhone Mini.

The rumor stems from speculation that Apple wants to introduce an iPhone product with a lower price point.

Thereby, allowing Apple to compete more effectively with the likes of Samsung, LG and Nokia, which are flooding the pre-paid phone market with several low priced smart phones.

Analyst suggest that Apple will be forced to enter this market to compete effectively.

I, for one, think that all the speculation around the ‘iPhone Mini’ is a bunch of malarky.

And here are five reasons why.

Reason No. 1: The iPhone is not for the poor.

All smart phones are luxuries. Period. They are made for people who want the convenience of being able to make a phone call, draft, read and reply to emails, surf the internet, complete mobile transactions, get directions, etc., on the go. They allow folks to perform tasks that they could other wise perform through other means, directly from their device.

This convenience comes with a price tag. One that is usually high. Whether it’s the price of the device itself, or the subsidized price and the attendant contract, they’re not for those light in the pocket (or with low credit scores).

Reason No. 2: A pre-paid iPhone diminishes the brand.

Although the iPhone isn’t as exclusive as it once was, an iPhone designed for the pay-as-you go consumer, takes away from the exclusivity of the brand. If you either can’t afford an iPhone, can’t clear the credit check to get a contract or simply don’t want to be locked into a contractual commitment, keep it moving! I hear there are a bunch of Android devices at Metro PCS. And you’re not going to find an iPhone among those choices.

Reason No. 3:  An iPhone that works on more wireless networks makes more sense.

One of the things that has impacted the growth of the iPhone is the fact that Apple kept the device exclusive to a select number of carriers for so long. AT&T used to be the only show in town. Then a few years ago, they opened it up to Verizon. And now T-Mobile and Sprint offer them.  A more strategic move for Apple is opening the iPhone up to additional wireless providers, whose users aren’t ready to jump to other providers just to get their iPhones on.

Reason No. 4:  The iPhone 4s is already a cheaper model.

As we’ve seen several times in the past, whenever Apple prepares to release a new model, the price of the older models drop dramatically in price. Today, you can cop a 4s for $99. Folks who aren’t prepared to shell out $199 for a new phone, can still get in on the iPhone movement with the 4s, the next best thing. Offering another device at the $99 price point (the alleged price of a stripped down iPhone) would cannibalize their own market.

Reason No. 5: No one at Apple seems to know what’s going on with the alleged iPhone Mini.

Earlier this week, there were reports from reputable sources that the iPhone Mini was being planned. Several claimed the source of such a suggestion came from Apple. However, this week Reuters ran an article which claimed that Apple’s marketing chief, Phil Schiller, dismissed such rumors.  Needless to say, there is clearly no ‘meeting of the minds’ inside of Apple. So I’m going to read that confusion as a negatory.

Although not a formal part of my list, the most important reason that Apple shouldn’t make a mini is simply that Apple is a market leader because it is a market LEADER.

Not a market follower.

Sometimes the burden of being a market leader is not debasing yourself by following others.

Sure, these guys are making money hand over fist with these low-priced entrants.

But your pockets stay lined.

Once you start playing their game, will you be able to force retailers, like Best Buy, to give you shelf space?

Can you continue to extract a king’s ransom for the right to carry your phone?

Will Apple still be seen as a premium brand?

No. No. And no.

Stay the course Apple.

No. iPhone. Mini.

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Filed under branding, iPhone

iPhone 5 vs. Galaxy SIII. And the winner is…iPhone (of course)


SGIII and iPhone 5

So I’ve had both my iPhone 5 and my Samsung Galaxy SIII for several months now.

And while I’m an unapologetic Apple fan boy, I have had the opportunity to rock the SGIII for a minute.

As such, I’ve formed an appreciation for both Samsung products and the Android OS.

If you’ve been following the mobile space, you know that Samsung has been making aggressive moves to compete with Apple.

Indeed, for most tech observers, it really is a two way contest, Apple vs. Samsung (and iOS vs. Android).

Apple’s once unmatched dominance has been tested, and fissures are starting to appear in the foundation.

But just because folks are buying Samsung devices in droves doesn’t necessarily mean that they make better phones.

Or that Apple isn’t the King of the Hill.

So lest anything think that the fact that Samsung’s shipping millions of new units each quarter mean that Apple is slipping, I decided to do a head-to-head comparison between the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy SIII.

And put such foolishness to rest.

Spoiler Alert: the iPhone wins.

Now we already know that the SGIII is bigger (and wider) than the iPhone 5.

We know that the SGIII has NFC (near field communication) and the iPhone 5 does not.

The SGIII can view Flash content and the iPhone 5 cannot.

Wirefly already broke it down for you Android lovers.

I’m not interested in the things we already know.

So I narrowed my focus to the activities or functions that aren’t really assessable on paper, and which I rely upon most:

  • Battery life
  • Apps
  • Texting

Battery Life

I don’t know about you, but I HATE the fact that mobile phones die so quickly. I don’t care what kind of phone you’ve got. If you use it with any degree of regularity, your phone dies. The batteries drain so quickly it’s laughable. Both the iPhone and SGIII get poor marks for performance in this area.

On paper, the SGIII seems to have longer standby and usable battery life. But in my unofficial field testing, and in real life, that’s not the case.  I’ve never actually measured the amount of usable (vs standby) time I get, but this weekend, I left both devices alone for four hours, to see which would have more juice left when I returned. They were both at 100% before I started my test. However, when I got back, the SGIII was at 67%, while the iPhone was at 92%.

In my day-t0-day, I routinely pick up a dead SGIII, which infuriates me to no end, considering how lightly it’s used.

Advantage iPhone.

Apps

Apps are my business. As such, I’m constantly testing UI, functionality and usability. For many of my clients, apps have to work in both iOS and Android environments, so having the iPhone 5 and SGIII is more function over fashion. Even though the Android marketplace has been around for a bit, app developers have not seen fit to create apps with the same fervor as they have for Apple. As a result, you’ve got more ‘launcher’ apps in Android, which open mobile websites than you have pure apps.

Those apps that do exist on both platforms, simply don’t perform the same. For one, the SGIII is so unwieldy that it’s difficult to manage with one hand. Plugging in your username and password, or simply navigating from thing to thing is a challenge.  The fact that you can’t simply go back a step on apps, from within the app, and have to use that quirky back icon on the phone to reverse is another thing that I can’t stand about the SGIII. Especially if you’ve been using the phone for a minute and the icon isn’t illuminated.

On the SGIII, apps are crap.

Advantage iPhone.

Texting

In the US alone, mobile phone users send over 200 billion text message a month. Texting has replaced traditional phone calls as the preferred mode of communication. And it’s uber important to the kid because it lets me communicate with clients, colleagues and family, quickly and easily.

Before I got the SGIII, I was pretty comfortable texting. I could fly over the iPhone’s touch screen keyboard, authoring and sending text messages with ease. But ever since the SGIII hit my palm, I’ve regressed into a fumbling bumbling idiot. The keyboard is also one of my biggest issues with the SGIII. The buttons are so small and cramped together, that I frequently hit the wrong button, and end up having to delete and re-enter things. And did I mention that wacky back button?

I’m sure folks who are familiar and comfortable with the SGIII keyboard will protest, but WHATEVER!

Advantage iPhone.

Conclusion

The iPhone 5 beats the SGIII for battery life, the usability and functionality of apps, and the ease of texting.

I’m sure I’m going to get a flurry of comments (or at least one comment – Winston Clayton) about how I’ve been somewhat less than objective in my assessment.

To be fair, I am biased.

Note the spoiler alert above.

But when you’ve been rocking with the best mobile device maker for the past decade, toppling them is no simple task.

And despite the opinions of the Samsung bandwagoneers, Apple still rocks!

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Apple 1 (billion). Samsung 0.

Samsung is cute and all, but original…not so much.

Yesterday, it was announced that the jury in the Apple patent lawsuit against Samsung had returned a verdit in Apple’s favor on virtually every count of their complaint.

The jury determined that Samsung had, in fact, ripped off Apple’s designs for the popular iPhone and iPad devices.

Despite a spirited defense, and counter complaints against Apple, alleging that Apple had infringed upon several of Samsung’s patents, the jury soundly rejected Samsung’s arguments and found in Apple’s favor.

The jury found that several of Samsung’s products illegally used Apple’s patented “bounce-back” feature when a user scrolls to an end image, and the ability to zoom text with a tap of a finger.

In so finding, they awarded Apple $1.05 billion, about $1.5 shy of what Apple was suing for, but a marked more than Samsung expected to pay.

Apple’s lawyers, seeing blood with the jury verdict, are now asking the judge to levy treble damages (triple the amount of the actual damages awarded a prevailing plaintiff, leveled to punish the losing party for willful conduct).

Of course, lawyers for Samsung immediately filed an appeal, seeking to reverse the jury verdict and challenge the damages awarded.

It’s unlikely that they’ll be successful.

But the bigger issue are the implications for the rest of the mobile phone industry.

Samsung isn’t the only mobile phone maker to use Apple’s bounce-back or zoom features.

A full range of Android devices are likely going to be in Apple’s crosshairs soon enough.

Samsung was one of the first companies to leverage Google’s Android platform on it’s devices, but it is far from the only one.

Motorola, HTC, and LG are all handset makers utilizing the Android operating system in their phones, but Samsung was by far the leader, with over 20 million Android smart phones sold since their introduction in 2010.

The real impact of this verdit will be seen in the coming months, as manufacturers determine whether sticking with Android will expose them to the type of liability Samsung has been exposed to.

If anything, this verdict re-establishes Apple claim to innovation.

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10 Billion App Downloads and You DON’T Need One?

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard the recent announcement by Apple that they’ve just eclipsed 10 billion app downloads in the Apple App Store.

Starting from the release of the iPhone in 2007, the Apple App Store passed the 1 billion download mark in April of 2009, after opening in July of 2008. That’s a ridiculous pace by any standard.

Tap Tap Revenge is one of the more popular iTunes Apps

Even though much of this traffic was driven by highly popular titles like Tap Tap Revenge and Angry Birds, the reality is that apps have captivated much of the public’s attention, and are as common as the devices upon which they are deployed.

If you’re not an Apple-o-phile, you’ll still be impressed by the estimated 2.8 billion Android apps that have been downloaded to date.

Android is making a strong showing in the app space as well.

What does this all mean?

It means that people find great utility in their mobile devices and much of that utility has been driven by apps.

It also means that apps are a useful tool for brands interested in providing utility to their audiences, in what is becoming an increasingly traditional methodology.

Own a brick-and-mortar establishment? You should have an app that at a minimum, provides turn-by-turn directions to your door. Sure, they can go to GoogleMaps and find you, but why give Google those metrics? Why force your potential customer to take that extra step?

Are you an artist? Your app should stream your music (or at least snippets), provide access to your music video, pictures, show dates and special event, like listening parties or release dates. If you’re interested in making money, your app should direct users to your mobile-based store front allowing purchases downloaded directly to their device.

Maybe you’ve got a service-based business. Your app can simply be an abridged version of your website, providing one-click access to your phone, email or full mobile site. You can also use push notifications to send out blog posts, where you showcase your service-specific knowledge and expertise.

Five years ago, when I was working with The Marksmen and we were introducing DOT.TUNES, the first iPhone app which allowed users to remote access their entire iTunes library from any device capable of an internet connections, we realized that we had an uphill battle, as smart phones (and the concept of ‘apps’) were still very niche.

I acknowledge that we were ahead of our time (DT was released prior to the availability of Apple’s software developer’s kit) and were definitely on the leading edge of the entire app movement, but even then we realized that apps were how mobile users would access and consume content.

Mobile phones, including smart phones, would invariably have memory and processing constraints, and apps offered a simple way of providing one-click access to great utility, without compromising memory or processing speeds.

Fast forward five years, and Google, Nokia, Samsung, Blackberry, Palm, Windows all have their own apps, and are all seeking to replicate Apple’s success.

Big brands like Hyundai, Pepsi, Old Navy, Walmart, all have apps. And smaller brands are starting to embrace apps as well. WeHarlem’s app, provides a social media app developed specifically for Harlemites. There’s even a Dutch municipality which allows users to file complaints via an iPhone app.

IMO, if you’re a brand looking to forge deeper connections with your core audience, penetrate the market, provide greater utility to your current customers, or simply take advantage of the numerous opportunities that mobile applications provide, developing an app for your brand is a wise investment.

If you’re interested in learning more about mobile applications, and how they can help your brand, feel free to shoot me an email or give me a call.

I’d love to hear from you!

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