John C. Abell

The Apple doesn’t fall far from the threes

October 19, 2011
What goes up must come down. Right?

Well, maybe. But for those of you who think Apple is going the way of Netflix, or even Google for that matter — the former got severely punished over cavalierly raising prices and for Qwikster, the latter lost its steroidal stock mojo a few years ago — I’d think twice before I follow the herd to the exits.

The feminine iStique

October 13, 2011

Katharine Herrup, friend and editor (depending on how this goes, not necessarily in that order, or either, for that matter) has challenged us with a simple question: Why aren’t there more über successful women in tech, and everywhere, for that matter?

More like a whisper than a bang

October 6, 2011

By John Abell
The opinions expressed are his own.

(This column was written hours before the tragic news of Steve Jobs’ passing. For my thoughts on him, please see ‘We All Called Him Steve …‘ and for my reaction to his stepping down as Apple CEO in August, ‘A World Without Steve Jobs‘.)

We all called him Steve …

October 6, 2011

By John Abell
The opinions expressed are his own.

I was a very late comer to the Apple party. My first taste was a G4 laptop, $1,100 from Prior to that, my close friend and colleague Samer Farha, the Apple evangelist in my life (we all had one) gently prodded me in the direction of Cupertino, with little success until I finally, and suddenly succumbed — just as one can’t ride a bicycle until one can, and then there is no turning back.

Amazon lights a fire, Apple ices the cake

September 29, 2011
That was the week that was.

I can imagine saying that in years to come about the eight days that began on Wednesday with Amazon’s paradigm-busting entry into the tablet business, its deeper walk into the cheaper e-ink e-reader woods with less expensive Kindles, bookended next Wednesday by Apple’s latest iPhone(s) reveal.

What would Netflix do?

September 20, 2011

By John C. Abell
The opinions expressed are his own.

There was a time, actually not that very long ago, when the headline for this post would have been an excellent question. NetFlix enjoys customer loyalty which rivals the rarified levels of Apple. Its stock price was setting records — so much so that some head-scratching Street types couldn’t exactly explain why, without resorting to the sort of “good will,” “first adopter,” and “eyeballs” metrics that got us all into trouble a decade ago. Netflix even got extra cred with the Netflix Prize competition, a $1 million bounty for anyone who could just incrementally improve the service’s legendary recommendation algorithm.

Windows 8: Worth the wait, but is it too late?

September 14, 2011

The release of Windows 8 is now in the home stretch, and the vast majority of the world’s computers are about to begin getting the digital equivalent of a complete makeover.

Whither AOL and Yahoo?

September 8, 2011

About 1,000 years ago, while I was working at Reuters, I did a couple of really smart things: I bought shares in a dial-up Internet company with a mere million or so users, and a web search and catalogue service with a very funny name.

The future is calling, AT&T, and it’s not T-Mobile

September 2, 2011

By John C Abell
The opinions expressed are his own.

The proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger is shaping up to be an iconic business case saga and a judicial milestone. Who would have thought that nearly 40 years after the U.S. Department of Justice convinced a judge to break up “Ma Bell” that the DoJ might be able to convince another judge to tell that same company you can’t get too big again?

Irene-ocalypse: not ‘Lord of the Flies’ quite yet

August 31, 2011

For the past few days I’ve been engaged in a social experiment, not of my choosing, and possible only in the digital age. Hurricane Irene knocked out power, and, more importantly, most Internet service in my modest corner of Westchester County, New York — rendering one of the most affluent parts of the country a backwoods, digital have-not.