Keeping an I off Apple Watch

We think apart from the sort of spotting of some grey shoots of recovery in Apple revenue figures that possibly the most noteworthy disclosure in the results concerned a, arguably forward looking statement as follows in the *conference call.

Nancy Paxton -  Senior Director of Investor Relations

“We’ll be creating a new reporting category called other products. This will encompass everything we report in the accessories category today including Beats headphones and speakers, Apple TV and peripherals and accessories for iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod.

In addition, we will begin to include iPod sales in the other products category and we will also reflect sales of Apple Watch in this line item once it begins shipping in early calendar 2015.”

So is Apple Watch a product group as, possibly, indicated in their Store header or like Apple TV is it a sort of hobby?

We’ve had a feeble attempt at restating the latest quarters figures to see what it might look like. In practice we expect iTunes etc to be promoted. Going way back in time iPod was of course the first new product group after Mac starting in 2004 and likely being the largest revenue generator from 2005 through 2007 or 2008 when it was overtaken by the iPhone.

We guess that as with recent restatements only the last couple of years will be included in fiscal 2015 results.

The categorisation of the Watch as an Other product we regard as being defensive and to an extent Tim Cook’s reaction in the *conference call when directly questioned by Ben Reitzes on the topic really confirmed this.

Ben Reitzes – Barclays

“… Tim, I was wondering what we were to make out of your new segments with the Apple Watch being in the other category. We were just a little surprised to hear that because it seems like such a substantial new category and you could sell may be even tens of millions of unit.

So by putting it lumped in the other with iPods and a lot of other things, does that say something about your expectations for that product or do you think that you’ll just break it out after a little while?”

Tim Cook – CEO

“Probably it says nothing about our expectation for the product. We didn’t form those categories based on expectations. We looked at current revenue, today revenue, and decided that we would leave everything that wasn’t a Mac, an iPad, or an iPhone or a service in one kind of category.

In the future, we might decide something different, but for now, in Q1 we’re not shipping any iPhone or excuse me, Apple Watches and so it seems appropriate to start it that way.

And also to be also straight is I am not very anxious in reporting a lot of numbers on Apple Watch because of the — and giving a lot of detail on it because our competitors are looking for it and so aggregating it is helpful from that point of view as well.”

At the minute if it looks like, smells like, and is categorised as an accessory, (within Other products) then that’s what it is likely to be and remain, we think, and we are disappointed. But then you would expect us to be lobbying  for an iWatch product group wouldn’t you!

 

* Extracts from Seeking Alpha’s transcript

The Skinniest Thinnest Apples

The media event yesterday as anticipated produced updates for iPads (iPad air 2 & iPad mini 3) the iMac with a new 27” 5k retina display together with a quicker and cheaper Mac mini. There were also quite a few words about the iPhone 6 an d Apple Pay (commencing Monday 20th October).

Mr Cook was, to us, a little more humorous than usual and this was also attempted by some of his colleagues. You can review his and the product intros with their video of the event. Its about 80 minutes in total, but if after Mr Cook’s intro if you fast forward to about 35 minutes that’s when the new iPads start appearing (all with touch id incidentally).

Having mentioned the rather larger September event apparently it cost around $1 million which to us is not a huge amount in the context of their sales and marketing activities.

Continuing on the humorous note when Craig Federighi was talking about the programming language Swift he said that it’s new enterprise partner was both impressed by & also using it widely. We were very amused by appleinsider’s live commentator when he blogged “iBM excited about Swift”. Nice touch we thought!

Next week on Monday October 20 you can tune in at 2pm PT to catch the audio of the live conference call to discuss their FY 2014 Q4 results which will have been released about 30 minutes earlier.

We do like Apple‘s skinny product line picture & hope they don’t mind us using it. 10/10 for whoever or the agency which came up with the idea!

Eye I there’s a new robovac in town!

It’s the Dyson 360 eye TM .

Launched yesterday by its namesake in Japan it could arrive in the UK towards the end of next year and at 100,000 yen it likely costs around $1,000 which at current rates ($1.63 = £1) might imply a price of over £600 over here.

The Apple approach, of not first but probably the best, seems to be in evidence.

Allegedly it has been under development for 16 years which predates the iRobot Roomba!

It has its very own website  and android & iOS apps should appear for really remote robotic control!

 

Some of the features are given as:

  • Fast 360º camera (30 frames a second)
  • Powerful lithium ion battery providing a 29 minutes operation between charges
  • Light 200w digital motor operating at 78,000 rpm
  • Wifi connection for smartphone apps
  • Continuous tank tracks
  • Full-width brush bar with carbon fibre filaments

You can register to get updates on the website.

We’ll leave you with the most popular 360 eye video.

Get an iCon for the IoT

That’s Internet Connectivity for the Internet of Things of course. The iCon (we love the name)  is a recently launched Kickstarter project from Floyd Lau founder of Amptek Technologies Inc which is based just north of Toronto.

The project is a credit card sized single board computer with numerous connectivity options or as he puts it “…an affordable short range wireless platform for people to experiment and to develop their own unique machine-to-machine applications.” “uClinux is the default operating system for the iCon”.

He’s looking to raise $55k (Canadian) for the project and, currently you can sign up for an iCon for starters at $99 (Canadian).

(Update September 7 2014 See also in the comments that it is available for $90 US from SemiconductorStore.com).

We’ll leave you with his video

Imagine Millions of Free Embedded Images

Getty Images  yesterday announced the availability of a large number of their images on an embedded basis for use onblogs and some social media platforms (twitter & tumblr)

Their words are:

“Share images on blogs and social media

Getty Images is leading the way in creating a more visual world. Our new embed feature makes it easy, legal and free for anybody to share our images on websites, blogs and social media platforms.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Click an image’s embed icon (</>) from the search results or image detail page.
  2. In the embed window, copy the embed code.
  3. Paste the HTML code you copied into the source code of a website or blog where you want this image to appear.*
  4. Publish and share!

Search images available to embed

·       For full details on how embedded images may be used, please see our Terms of Use.”

We have done a little experimentation and would add:

  • Hover over the image to check if the embeddable icon is there, if not move on!
  • Click the image for both the social media & embed facilities.

As with YouTube social media images operate by way of a precomposed link.

This is an extract re usage from their terms of use.

“Embedded Viewer

Where enabled, you may embed Getty Images Content on a website, blog or social media platform using the embedded viewer (the “Embedded Viewer”). Not all Getty Images Content will be available for embedded use, and availability may change without notice. Getty Images reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove Getty Images Content from the Embedded Viewer. Upon request, you agree to take prompt action to stop using the Embedded Viewer and/or Getty Images Content. You may only use embedded Getty Images Content for editorial purposes (meaning relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest). Embedded Getty Images Content may not be used: (a) for any commercial purpose (for example, in advertising, promotions or merchandising) or to suggest endorsement or sponsorship; (b) in violation of any stated restriction; (c) in a defamatory, pornographic or otherwise unlawful manner; or (d) outside of the context of the Embedded Viewer.

Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetise its use without any compensation to you.”

Well done we say and even if, as other commentators have noted, it may lead Getty Images to include adverts at a later stage we have no objections.

One mini suggestion is that on their filtering search facility it would be nice to have embed, twitter and Tumblr categories!

We’ll leave you with an I image from their collection!

Streaming Sticks & the iPlayer

Roku  announced their Google Chromecast competitor the Streaming Stick TM earlier this week with a US price of $49 vs Google’s $35.

More importantly, for us over here, Roku are making their stick available in the UK from April. Whilst the $ conversion rate is unimpressive £49.99 is not wholly unrealistic if it performs as well as their existing offerings.

In our words it plugs into your TV’s HDMI port and needs power via a USB input either from a TV connection or via an AC adaptor. It’s basically controlled from a remote.

Roku say:

  • TV compatibility – HDTV’s only
  • 500+ entertainment channels
  • Built-in wireless
  • Plays up to 1080p HD video
  • Control with included remote or mobile devices (via free Roku app)
  • Send videos, photos and music stored locally on your smartphone to your TV via the Roku app
  • Dual-band wireless
  • Cast to TV direct from the Netflix and YouTube apps
  • Tiny stick. Big entertainment.

Roku say  they have over 8 million players streaming 1.7 billion hours of content in 2013 which they reckon translates into 13 hours per week per player which is quite a lot!

In the meantime the BBC have announced that BBC Three could well become a solely online broadcaster available via their iPlayer – maybe they will launch their own streaming stick the iPlayer for iPlayer! 

We’ll leave you with CNET’s instant reaction to the Streaming Stick – remember they are informing a US audience re content etc

Keep an I on our Year – 2013 predictions review edition

Well…. we came up with, unsurprisingly, 13 predictions which can be revisited at your leisure and our embarrassment!

Of our 11 technology forecasts, even with the corporate rose tinted glass view, possibly 4 proved to be almost accurate.

Our greatest howlers included:

  • Twitter not having an IPO
  • Nominet quietly shelving its .uk proposals
  • Kindle Fire and Nexus tablets battling it out for second place….
  • Apple introducing both an iWatch and an iTV

On the non technology front our cricket forecast was half right but we narrowly missed predicting a year end Ashes lead of 4-0 for Australia in the return fixtures!

On the Weather front, according to the latest estimates for 2013, the UK overall rainfall is likely to turn out to be 1,079.8mm which is indeed, AS PREDICTED, lower than the 1981-2010 average of 1,154mm and almost 20% below the horrendous 2012 level. So in old money we only had 3.5 feet ish of rain last year.

Emboldened by our improving accuracy compared to the previous year we are now off to concoct some 14 or so gems for 2014 which will appear early next week!

 

 

 

 

 

Keep an I on our year (2013 edition)

The top 10 articles in the year as visited by you were:

  1. The Tech Rich List 2013 (April 22) 
  2. Peeks Vision (August 16) 
  3. ITV’s Colour picking finger likin’ transformational logo  (January 15)  
  4. Two thirds of worldwide e-commerce sales generated by four countries (June 28) 
  5. Five win 4 G but Tesco doesn’t (February 20)
  6. Aereo antenna could add to zero TV homes (April 8) 
  7. Will we all spend £200 on Christmas (August 20) 
  8. Twitter and the Growth of the Active Passive user (January 30) 
  9. Iceland Delivers (May 7) 
  10. The UK Top Mobile Retailers (April 11) 

Our regular features, again in popularity terms, have been:

  1. Our weekly Best Selling Business Books which were dominated this year by Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean in  and StrengthsFinder2.0            
  2. Monthly Retail sales analysis – The Latest being Novembers impressive results.
  3. Apple‘s quarterly results for 2013. Q1Q2   Q3  & Q4
  4. Le Web in London & Paris            

We will early in the new year review our last years predictions and embarrass ourselves yet again.

The product of the year is likely the iPhone 5S  and our start up company has to be Tile  

HMV were rescued, sort of, and their now hiistoric Nipper Channel   reminds us of their lively past.

Our top pic of the year has to be of the Red Arrows opening the first day of the First Test at Trent Bridge which was the start of our Ashes win which compares well with the current debacle!

Our top video of the year was Lindsey Stirling’s Minimal Beat highlighting the huge number of countries visited during her world tour. She’s off again in 2014 but just round the USA & Canada for now!

We will finish 2013 with our traditional thanks (for visiting us during the year) and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when we hope to greet you again!

The Rise and Rise of the MailOnline

Earlier this week Mediatel came up with the header graph based on ABC’s latest figures for newsbrands and they mentioned in their article the situation re the Sun in particular and News UK in general as follows:

“News UK titles, including the Times and Sun+ are not reported in the current ABC findings. However, figures from SimilarWeb, a web metrics company, suggest that global visits to the Sun+, which last month placed content behind a paywall, dropped from 37.3 million in July to an 14.4 million in August – a drop of 60%”.

So we’ve, sort of added the Sun+/Sun estimates assuming 31 days in the months into our table. It’s a bit Apples and Samsungs Oranges but shows some rather interesting points.

  • The Mailonline really does dominate its got virtually double the visitors of its nearest competitor.
  • The overall figures after the Sun went behind its paywall show less of a drop than we thought – under 1%
  • The winners are Telegraph, Mirror Group Digital, MailOnline and The Independent
  • We are at a loss as to why guardian.co.uk lost so  many in the month (although there might just be a link to the Telegraph’s gain).

We know our figures are incomplete in that The Times (and in fact The Financial Times) is absent but according to Mediatel columnist Raymond Snoddy  “”The official line is that talks are continuing on revealing the online figures which are diligently collected every month by the ABC but which cannot be released without permission, this may change in the future!”

Another unknown to us is why The Independent doesn’t rebrand itself as the “i” online but then we would wouldn’t we! They are already some of the way there when they say “Get an i on your iPad”!

Incidentally we’re pleased to see that all the Newsbrands operate with the relevant ubiquitous .co.uk domain … apart from FT.com – shame!

The iPlayer packs a punch

Click to see

The BBC have just released their Monthly Performance Pack for the iPlayer for January (pdf) and whilst not quite a knock out it certainly highlights the move to mobile.

We’ve done one of our tables on the change between January 2012 and 2013 for  Programme requests (TV only ie excluding radio) extracted from their graphic.

 

 

The increase in “mobile devices” ie Mobile and Tablets is incredible. Up from 20 to 75 million that’s a factor of 3.75!

Looking at the, sort of, market share change in the percentage table shows mobile & tablets gaining over 20% from Computers and TV Platform operators (that’s the likes of Sky and Virgin Media carrying the iPlayer service).

Mobile is catching Computers rapidly and is only 12 million or 5.6% behind in January. We guess they could overtake after Easter!

We were somewhat surprised at the comparatively low performance of Internet TV /connected devices but perhaps this is further down the line so as to speak.

The BBC headline from Dave Price, Head of BBC iPlayer is “…..a record-breaking festive period, with performance driven by new mobiles and tablets unwrapped on Christmas Day, and it looks like these devices have yet to be put down.”

Many more interesting statistics in their pack, and we expect some further increase in February as Sky Go has only just managed to update their systems to cater with our Nexus 7 Jelly bean update so we and a few others have been diverted to the iPlayer for the last week or two!