Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
One of Major League Baseball's top executives may not think Apple's iTunes app store is particularly user friendly, but he's not about to offer advice to the hottest technology executive on the planet.
Robert Bowman, the head of MLB Advanced Media, the league's Internet and digital business, loves apps. He wants his sport's games and other content to be on every wireless device out there and think apps will begin to shape how websites are designed.
"We actually think it's going to invade the website. We think people like apps," he said at the Reuters Global Media Summit. "They're easy to understand. They're compartmentalized. It's a quick way to get information."
That said, the Apple and Google app stores leave a lot to be desired, Bowman said.
"The app stores are not well laid out. The app stores are very hard to figure out. Even Apple ... they do a great job, but they're hard to understand. The Android app store is very hard to understand, so it's hard for people to find the content."
But, when asked what he would do to improve Apple's app store, Bowman demurred.
"I don't think I'm going to get very far giving Steve Jobs advice," he said of Apple's renowned CEO. "He's done pretty damn well not listening to me for the first 57 years of his life and so I'm just going to continue to let him not listen to me."
Bowman acknowledged that the Android app store leaves him "a little bit more frustrated."
However, the baseball executive is not alone is finding the app stores frustrating.
Despite charging $14.99 a pop, baseball has sold nearly 600,000 apps this year between the Apple and Android platforms, he said.
Bowman also dismissed questions about the future of set-top boxes or big TVs, saying both are not going anywhere.
"I don't think there's any history of media dying," he said. "I still listen to radio in my car.
"The big TVs aren't going to go anywhere. It's like the automobile," Bowman added. "We're a country that likes big TVs.
Watch out for that smartphone! The iPhone, Android phones and the like are the weapons of the latest technology war, in the view of flash memory maker SanDisk, which supplies the memory chips that hold pictures, video and apps to the phone makers.
"We sell them ammunition. There is a war going on and we sell the bullets," Eli Harari told the Reuters Global Technology Summit.
Say it's not so -- 'the cloud' isn't ready for prime time? That's the view from networking company Brocade, whose marketing chief compared the hype to the rush years ago to call center outsourcing.
All those applications and data that live off your computer somewhere in the Internet make up the cloud, from Google word processing software to your home pictures and video, and it is hot, hot, hot. But Brocade chief marketing officer John McHugh told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in San Francisco that big business was not ready to embrace it for sensitive data and the most important applications.
Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdams kindly spent some time with us this afternoon and spoke at length about the future of LTE (Long Term Evolution) 4G high speed Internet from the No.1 U.S. wireless phone company.
Asked if there was "any hope" that Verizon would have the iPad anytime soon, McAdams laughed:
If you had paid $3.5 billion for a skyscraper named after bankrupt automaker General Motors, wouldn’t you want a tenant to come in and pay you another few million to rename the building, with the added bonus of giving it a name not associated with a failed recipient of government largesse?
Boston Properties, which bought the building last year, located at the southeast corner of Central Park in Manhattan, is not known to be shopping around the naming rights to the building, but a top real estate broker in Manhattan, known as the “Queen of the Skyscraper” has one suggestion if ever it is : Apple.
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.
In China, Apple’s iPhone commands a strange presence. Perenially “coming out”, already widely available on the black market, viewed with trepidation by local telecom players but with undisguised lust by affluent consumers.
Sanford C. Bernstein Toni Sacconaghi thinks the wildly popular device will arrive in the Middle Kingdom before the end of the year, after a long haul of negotiations with state-run telecom carriers keen to control the content to be sold over the gadget.
Sehat Sutardja, the CEO of chipmaker Marvell, doesn’t have much respect for digital picture frames. “It comes with a dumb processor – a really, really dumb and stupid processor,” Marvell’s founder said while speaking at the Reuters Summit on Monday.
Sutardja is not dumb. He is an engineer who claims an impressive 154 patents. He is also co-founder of Marvell, which sells computer chips that make devices like the iPhone and BlackBerry “smart”.