iPhone on Verizon

Just a quick post, but I’ve just noticed that Verizon are today due to announce the much rumoured partnership with Apple and the launch of the Verizon iPhone. For many of my former colleagues and friends in the US, this will be marvellous news as they will be able to break free from AT&T.

And as one who has just landed back in the UK and bought an iPhone on the 3 network – one of five available options – I can only say what a great step forward this will be.

As ever, to have a choice in most matters is fabulous.

The Beatles Sell 2m Songs on iTunes – From Social Media, not Search!

This is fascinating and a wake up call to those who doubt the future of social commerce.

The following  are excerpts from an article on Danny Sullivan’s Search Engine land blog

Billboard magazine reports that The Beatles sold more than two million individual songs worldwide and in excess of 450,000 albums in its first week on Apple’s iTunes Music Store. (The Beatles’ catalog was added to iTunes on November 16th.)

According to Experian Hitwise, it was social media — not search — that drove a lot of the online interest and, more importantly, the online traffic surrounding The Beatles addition to iTunes. Consider this stat: On November 16, the first day Beatles songs were available on iTunes, 26% of UK traffic to Apple.com came from social media, about double the amount that came from search.

And Hitwise says Apple received a “huge spike” in UK traffic coming specifically from Facebook. The week prior to The Beatles launch on iTunes, Apple was the 86th most popular outbound destination from Facebook; after the launch, it jumped up to the 20th most popular. Hitwise says that one in every 200 web site visits that left Facebook went straight to Apple’s web site.

To an extent this demonstrates that you reep what you sew – sew what? (sorry). Certainly the blogosphere was buzzing with word that,  according to Apple, “Tomorrow will be a day you’ll never forget” the day before the announcement that iTunes was to offer Beatles songs. But the fact that Apple chose to seed this information on social media so heavily shows just how important this movement is going to be in the future?

What is the long term future for search marketing given the consolidation of social and search functionality between Facebook and Microsoft in apparent alliance against Google?

A Dose of Reality – From Me to You

On Monday, the Apple website stated that “tomorrow will be a day you never forget”. The blogosphere could barely contain itself (guilty!) as we contemplated just what this could mean!

To add to the excitement, Zuckerburg was unveling the details of Project Titan, not being the ‘GMail killer’ that had been whispered about.

In the end, Project Titan left me feeling slightly confused, while the Apple announcement concerned the launch of The Beatles back catalogue on iTunes.

The latter felt a little like a let down too. But of course to everyone else, this was a big deal. A dose of reality, like a cold bucket of water served to illustrate the importance of not getting too sucked in to our own little world.

But do people still BUY music??

iPad Sales Fall Short of Target

Quarterly results published by Apple yesterday revealed that 4.2m iPads had been sold, down against analysts predictions of 5m.

This is against a backdrop of encouraging sales data for the iPhone – 14.1m (up 91.4% on the same quarter last year) and iMac computers – 3.9m (up 27% against the same period).

I would suggest that supply problems – I certainly noticed my local Best Buy were out of stock recently, combined with consumers awaiting the launch of iPad 2.0 are significant factors behind these reports.

However, as reported here, the iPad is shortly to be available in Wal-Mart and is already being stocked by Target as Apple makes attempts to widen distribution.

I stick to my prediction that the iPad will become the dominant platform for accessing the internet in 3-5 years.

Am I wide of the mark?

iPads in Wal-Mart

This isn’t a comment about the fact that people will apparently soon be able to pick up an iPad at their local Wal-Mart, it’s more to do with how this makes you feel.

How would you feel buying an iPad from the Apple store (on or offline) as opposed to Wal-Mart? In the same way, how do you feel about buying potatoes from a Jewel Osco, or a Co-Op, as opposed to a farmers market or Waitrose.

How important is price for you? How important is service? What about the warm feeling you get from some stores that you don’t from others?

I’m intrigued.

I think Wal-Mart are making big strides in changing their image. Their green scorecard isn’t just lip service, it matters now.

Of course, Apple must be desperate to secure greater saturation before the Playbook and Android tablets start making headway, but by allowing distribution through Wal-Mart and Target, they are surely taking a risk with the Apple reputation?

What products will Wal-Mart merchanidse alongside the iPad? Will Apple have the same sanctuary they enjoy in Best Buy?

I’ve just noticed this post is full of questions!

What do you think?

iPad Sales Set to Outstrip iMac Sales in 2011

Anyone who doubts that the dominant platform for accessing the internet in the future is going to be the iPad should read this.

Sales are now forecast to outstrip the sales of Macs themselves in 2011. But the interesting phrase here is “Mac for the masses”. The Mac v PC debate is an old one, but the introduction of this new hardware into the market, partly smoothing the edges of carrying a laptop around, while at the same time offering the best experience of surfing the web, raises the stakes.

Why carry a laptop around when an iPad can do everything it does? Couple this with computing in the ‘cloud’ and the size of the hard drive becomes less important. The iPad gives people a great taste of just what computing on a Mac means.

The iPad is of course also now responsible for the growth in the number of mobile applications, many of which now give people a better online experience than a traditional website.

While plenty of PC users bought and became advocates of the iPhone, it was still a phone – something that the desktop PC wasn’t interested in competing with. But the iPad moves into its territory. It’s also much more affordable than a laptop.

But of course Apple will be sure to release iPad 2.0 sometime soon. It will iron out many of the teething troubles of the original – but will it work with flash? Will it have a camera and USB ports?

Before becoming one of those contributing to the sales of iPad next year, you may want to wait.

But then what about iPad 3.0?


I downloaded Apple’s iTunes 10 last night, with its new logo and funky new features, the most talked about of which, and the one I was looking forward to investigating the most, being Ping.

Ping is Apple’s ‘social network for music’.

“Now your music is more social. Join the conversation, and follow your favorite artists and find out what your friends are listening to with iTunes Ping”

“Follow your favourite artists and be part of their inner circle”.

“See what kind of music your friends and friends-to-be are into. Then follow them with a click.”

“Check out who your friends are following and who’s following them right back.”

“See what your friends are listening to, who they’re talking about, and what your favorite artists are up to — all on one page.”

I don’t get it.

None of this sounds in any way of interest to me. I don’t want to know what my friends are listening to. I’m not bothered about letting them know what I’m listening to. They don’t care.

Isn’t that the point about music? It’s so personal.

The quotes above all sound as though they could have been written for the Bay City Rollers Fan Club members on an ad in ‘Look In’ magazine circa 1973.

Maybe that’s it! Ping could work for 12 year old Justin Bieber fans – but is that the demographic being targeted here by Apple? As they are also selling film rentals, I doubt it.

Maybe I’m completely wrong, but Ping sounds to me like Apple trying to shoehorn a square peg into a round hole. “We have to get in on this social thing. Come back to me some ideas”.

It’s not a natural fit in anyway.

If I was minded to tell my friends what I was listening to (Billy Bragg and Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue), I’ll do it on this blog thank you very much. Not that you care. I promise I’ll never tell you what I’m listening to again.

Am I completely wrong?

Tell me what you think.