Tag Archives: apple

Will HBO Go Be The Straw That Breaks The Camel’s Back? Please?!


Apparently Apple is in negotiations with HBO to provide their HBO Go mobile app which

allows on-demand streaming of their shows to the AppleTV platform without having to pay for the HBO channel from a traditional cable or IPTV provider like Comcast or AT&T.

The service presumably will not be for free and one will have to pay a ‘micro subscription’ using the Apple iTunes store for the service. This would be just fine with me – the start of the ala carte model I’ve been craving for years.

Hey media provider: Quit subsidizing crazy small channels with ridiculous reality-tv programming and let the content stand on its own! If you provide me with quality programming that I’m interested in I’ll buy it! I might even end up spending just as much with you as I already do, as long as I feel I’m getting value for my money.

Someone is going to finally do this and when they do it will be a revelation – I want to be able to buy a subscription to a certain channel perhaps but even more I want the ability to have access to certain individual PROGRAMS that I can watch on demand immediately as soon as they are available in traditional broadcast. This includes sporting events and special events like the Grammy’s.

I want the ability as well to 1) own the content forever and redownload/stream on demand or 2) to have the content cost less but expire after a certain time or 3) be able to subscribe to older content made available in bulk on demand (the Netflix model).

Please let HBO finally give Apple an opportunity to break into this model and provide me with the programming that works best for us as individuals!

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Mobile: The Tip of the Spear for Electronic Commerce

I was speaking at MobileCON 2012 in San Diego a week ago and it was amazing how many people were talking about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and how prevalent smartphones have become.

Palm VIIMy first wireless device was the Palm VII in 2001 and while it was very cutting edge for the time, using it to perform more than basic functions like reading e-mail or news updates was arduous. I did it because it was ‘cool’ and I didn’t mind spending three times as long to do something like order movie tickets than it would take through traditional methods. My wife, however, would never think of paying a premium for technology just for the sake of being cool in a nerdy sort of way and that’s what ‘smartphones’ were up until 2007.

When Apple released the original iPhone all that changed. All of the sudden the use of a ‘smartphone’ was so easy and so intuitive that it’s use no longer slowed us but now made us more efficient. The massive adoption of iOS, Android and Windows Mobile devices has finally given rise to the possibility of real-time personalized, location-based marketing and commerce experiences because we have become fully committed to our mobile phones.

Today we are so intrinsically tied to our mobile devices and we are loathe to part with them. There are over a billion smartphones in use today and 84% of us say we couldn’t go a single day without our smartphone. 65% of us would rather leave our lunch at home versus our smartphone and half of us would rather leave our (real) wallet at home instead of our smartphone.

Mobiles have truly become a part of us and retailers and marketers needs to take advantage of that in new and innovative ways. New approaches to making the shopping experience easier and providing more suitable offers for the consumer; ways that increase their efficiency and make their lives simpler.

Augmented Reality for In-Store OffersIdeas like geo-fencing like BestBuy to provide real-time contextual offers to customers who are in the proximity of a location at a certain time. Or providing the ability to create shopping lists online at the desktop or mobile and then being directed through in-store mapping to efficiently pick up those items. Or going beyond bar code scanning to ARISTO (augmented reality for in-store offers) like Wal-Mart providing real-time product updates and pricing in a visual manner within the store.

How about gathering sentiment and consumer data directly from your customers, their tendencies and habits as well as their opinions and choices? A plan for big data and real-time  analytics to gather insight about the customer helps deliver more precise offers that have more meaning and are more likely to be accepted.

How is your company using the mobile devices of your customers as the ‘tip of the spear’ for your personalized commerce initiatives?

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iPhone 5 Wishes More Related to Service Providers than Apple

iPhone 5 Desires

On October 4th, 2011 Apple will unveil the new iPhone 5, along with iOS 5 and it’s new iCloud service (which I explained in an earlier post I believe to be the most strategic play in the trio).

A quick look at this info-graphic from the Wall Street Journal though shows us that most of what consumers want in their new iPhone is more applicable to the communications service provider than it is Apple.

Of the 6 items listed that would cause customers to upgrade – two are hardware requests for longer battery life and a better camera while three are in the wheel house of the CSP – unlimited data, no contracts and no-cost wifi tethering.

The final one – unlimited storage in iCloud – is the kicker. As I said in my earlier post this is absolutely a need that a CSP could have filled – and they could have charged for it. They wouldn’t have even been limited to the iOS platform either – allowing Windows Phone 7 and Android customers to participate as well. By doing so they could completely change their relationship with their customers – turning them from antagonists to advocates – and making them far less likely to be willing to switch providers.

If not careful, CSPs will be regulated to being a commodity interconnection service to connect two digital points in space without providing any inherent or additional value or seeing any revenue from what transpires between those points.

Get relevant!

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Hey Mr. Telco – Apple is Getting Ready to Scoop You Again!

Sometime in early October 2011 Apple is going to release the iPhone 5 and along with it iOS version 5. The concern for communications service providers (CSP) raised most seems to be around a feature called iMessages, which allows instant messaging between all iOS devices and perhaps all MacOS devices. I believe the impact of iMessages to CSPs for this services for a number of reasons will be almost imperceptible in revenue and data traffic.

There is, however, another feature being released with iOS 5 that will have a much more drastic impact on CSPs from both a customer value and a network data standpoint – iCloud.

I speak to a lot of communications service providers (CSP) and most of them are hyped up about the idea of offering services ‘in the cloud’ to their customers to enable quicker time-to-market and more flexible and cost-effective long term benefits. They seek to provide enterprise class hosting, storage, order management, HR services, CRM and other traditional enterprise class applications. All great ideas and they are all hard at work with their heads down – and they are all doing the exact same thing.

To date not a single one has indicated to me that they have any initiatives to offer cloud services to their consumer market customers. Of course consumers are interested in different capabilities and have different needs – but the cloud value is the same, ease of implementation, low startup cost and the ability to disperse the cost over an extended period of time. And ‘stickiness’, the ability to have a customer’s digital lifestyle more tightly tied to them. While the leaders of CSPs continue to list over-the-top providers (OTT) like Google, Hulu and Apple as one of their top concerns they continue to miss opportunities to re-take the value position through innovation and insight.

There are over 200 million iOS devices out there so it is entirely conceivable that Apple is going to enable consumer-class cloud services for up to 50 million users overnight – and every single one of them is going to be able to store and stream digital media from this service. This has the potential to have a significant impact to CSP data traffic with ZERO opportunity for more revenue outside of tiered data plan growth which CSPs are routinely villified for. And that’s just a start, once the customer is connected even more with iTunes via iCloud Apple has the ability to offer cloud services beyond storage and streaming.

Communications retailers must learn to think about game-changing approaches that differentiate themselves from not only their traditional competitors but from the new ones as well.



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