MediaFile

If you sell iPhone, they will come… and sit in filth

iphone launch att
Five days after thousands lined up around the world to nab the iPhone 4 at Apple stores around the globe, the lines are back. Now its customers who ordered the smartphone from retail stores run by AT&T, the exclusive U.S. provider for the iPhone.

Shoppers braved the early morning heat, and Times Square grime, to get their hands on this version of the phone, which is already a huge hit, selling 1.7 million units in its first 3 days on the street.

Hardware love aside, blogger Kevin Tofel says that AT&T’s new upgrade policy and phone data  pricing plan played a significant role in spurring customers to order the device.

I’m all for gadget love, and have stood on my share of lines. But, dudes, seriously, you might not wanna sit there. A few hundred thousand folks walk by the Times Square AT&T store everyday and you have no idea what crawls around that patch of ground after we chuck our hot dog wrappers, gum, and myriad bits of grossiosity. yuck.

Thursday’s Media and Technology Roundup

RUSSIA/Russian president at Twitter, off to Silicon Valley-Reuters
“Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited microblogging sensation Twitter and sent his first tweet message on Wednesday before heading to U.S. technology hub Silicon Valley, which he sees as a possible model for Russia to follow,” writes Peter Henderson.

Fans scramble for Apple’s iPhone upgrade- Reuters
Apple fans queued overnight by the hundreds outside stores in the United States, Europe and Japan to snap up the latest iPhone, setting a new benchmark in the fast-growing smartphone market.

Apple’s new iPhone approaches as iPad surprises again-Reuters
“Apple Inc has sold 3 million iPads in less than three months, a faster-than-expected pace that boosted its stock days before the company’s newest iPhone hits store shelves,” reports Gabriel Madway and Paul Thomasch.

HP buys Palm — who cares?

HP’s deal to buy Palm underlines the keenness of PC vendors to jump into the booming smartphone game, but will likely have very little impact on the smartphone market. HP has agreed to pay $1.2 billion for loss-making Palm, best known in recent years as the investment target of U2 lead singer Bono. The firm only sold 2.4 million smartphones in the last 12-month period, giving it just over 1 percent of the market.

In the last few years all top PC vendors — including Acer, Lenovo and Dell — have rushed to the surging smartphone market hoping to boost profits. So far only Apple has succeeded, and it has taken over two years for it to build up global phone distribution.

Top smartphone vendors Nokia, RIM and Apple boast much higher profit margins than PC vendors. HP’s gross margin for its most recent quarter was 22.8 percent, just half Research in Motion’s 45.7 percent margin, while Apple’s was 41.7 percent.

Apple’s Jobs: “Butterflies” and more jabs at Google

jobs1The media and industry analysts gathered at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, on Thursday got a heavy dose of commentary from CEO Steve Jobs on a range of subjects, representing probably his biggest mouthful in a single setting since returning from medical leave last summer.

In a session that lasted more than 90-minutes, including Q&A with reporters, a clearly energized Jobs expounded on the iPhone’s new system software, his nerves ahead of the iPad launch, Apple’s new role as a peddler of mobile advertising, and of course Google, the company’s nemesis du jour.

Jobs announced Apple new iAd platform, which thrusts the company into a small but fast-growing market where Google also has designs.  But Jobs made clear that his company had no plans to become a “worldwide ad agency,” and he acknowledged that Apple was indeed pursuing AdMob when Google swooped in to buy the mobile ad firm:

Dell says it won’t chase Apple in tablet race

dellstreakThe iPad is officially on the market, and here come its rivals. Dell and HP, among many others, are planning to bring their own touchscreen tablets to consumers some time this year.

Dell will launch a 5-inch tablet (said to be called “Streak,” although the company has not officially bestowed a name) in the next three to six months with a yet-to-be-named wireless carrier (AT&T would make a lot of sense, given that it will carry Dell’s first U.S. smartphone later this year).

Neeraj Choubey, general manager of Dell’s tablet division, said the company deliberately stayed clear of the iPad launch so as not to be too closely associated with the device.  The iPad, at 9.7 inches, is nearly twice the size of Dell’s tablet.

Google’s Nexus One muzzles the foul-mouthed

One of the most innovative features of Google’s new Nexus One is the built-in voice recognition. But there’s one major limitation that Reuters discovered while putting the smartphone through its paces: the phone is a bit of a prig.

N1Screen1Try uttering a curse word into the Nexus One, and the well-mannered device will automatically replace the offensive expression with a string of # symbols.

Thus, a jocular text message inquiring about a buddy’s whereabouts is transcribed as “Hey #### where are you?” on the Nexus One; A spirited rejoinder to a dubious assertion becomes “that’s bull #### and you know it.”

iPhone shortages “nice problem to have”

Tongues are still wagging about Apple’s blowout quarter, which saw the company brush past Wall Street forecasts, sending its shares north of $200. But as Wall Street waited breathlessly for the latest iPhone numbers, it was the company’s Mac line that stole the headlines, posting blockbuster 17 percent unit growth.

So what was the deal with the iPhone? Unit shipments rose 7 percent to 7.4 million units, far from chopped liver but just below the consensus estimate. What? Apple missed? Well it wasn’t quite that simple. Seems the company simply couldn’t keep up with all the folks clamoring to get their hands on the latest model, the 3G S.

Apple COO TIm Cook called it “a nice problem to have in the scheme of things,” and called 3G S demand “phenomenal.” He said demand simply outstripped supply in most of the countries where it was selling the device.

from DealZone:

Pricey Palm attracts attention

If you want to take a bite out of Apple’s piece of the staggeringly huge (but difficult to quantify in $$$ terms) smartphone market pie, you’d better either have the magical new “thing” or be willing to spend to buy it.

As Anupreeta Das reports, Palm – one of the stalwart originals in the mobile handset space -- has remade itself into a terrific target with the success of its Pre. Palm’s stock got a jolt this week on talk that Nokia could be considering a bid. But as she explains, Palm may prove to be too pricey a purchase, even for those with deep pockets.

Since introducing the Pre, Dell, Microsoft, Nokia and Motorola have been mentioned as possible suitors. If one of these cash-rich companies was to bid for Palm today, it would be targeting a stock that has quadrupled this year. Complicating matters, “details on how many units it has sold are skimpy, making it difficult to value the success of Palm's turnaround story,” she reports.

from Summit Notebook:

Dell’s enterprise chief pooh-poohs netbooks

Netbooks: flavor of the month? Not according to Dell's Steven Schuckenbrock.

The PC giant's head of enterprise sales was quick to point out flaws in the stripped-down, no-frills mini-computers that have garnered rave reiews for their ultra-portability and anywhere-connectivity.

"Netbooks are a secondary device. The user experience of a netbook is just not as good. It's slower than a conventional notebook computer," Schuckenbrock said at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York.

Perhaps that's why Dell was slow to get into a space dominated early on by aggressive Taiwanese upstarts like Asustek. Dell, the once-preminent U.S. personal computer manufacturer, which has steadily given away market share to rivals from Hewlett Packard to Lenovo, unveiled its first netbook only in September.

from Summit Notebook:

Verizon and iPhone: Deal or no deal?

Verizon Communications Chief Financial Officer John Killian had a lot to say about how well his company's smartphone and data business is doing, but skirted the elephant in the room at the Reuters Global Technology Summit: Is his company going to strike an iPhone deal with Apple?

Killian refused to comment on whether Verizon is talking to Apple about selling the iPhone once rival AT&T's exclusive contract with the iPhone maker ends next year.

"Our PDA, smartphone and data business is growing incredibly nicely," Killian said. "Our strategy is to have multiple devices. I'm not going to comment on Apple or the iPhone, but... we don't feel we're going to be at a market disadvantage in the PDA space as we go through today or 2009."