Archive for the ‘phone’ tag
We’ve seen a lot of leaked iPhone 5 parts, including a new battery and longer cases, but so far we’ve had to imagine how they would all fit together. Thankfully, a new diagram from the folks at iFixYouri makes sense of the madness.
Using what’s supposedly a leaked version of the next iPhone’s motherboard, the repair firm was able to make educated guesses of where many of the other leaked components would fit in, 9to5Mac reports. While it’s far from conclusive evidence that any of these parts are legitimate (especially since it’s not scaled for size), the diagram certainly hints at some interesting connections.
Or maybe we’re just reading way too much into images of mystery hardware.
Don’t expect the iPhone 5 rumors to slow down anytime soon. The closer we get to the phone’s announcement, currently expected for September 12, the more gadget geeks will scoop up any crumb of new information. And the potential for juicy revelations will be huge, since the next iPhone will likely be a major revamp on the iPhone 4′s design.
The next iPhone (which will likely just go by “iPhone,” like the new iPad) will likely sport a longer screen around 4 inches (compared to the standard 3.5-inch screen), as well as a thinner body. Sharp has said that it will begin shipping displays to Apple this month, which should be enough time for Apple to make a September launch. Sprint has also lowered the price of its iPhone 4S models, which is a sign that it needs to clear out stock to make room for something new.
Since the acquisition was finalized in May of this year there has been a ton of speculation as to what exactly Google will do to take the ailing mobile manufacturer out of its current state and into the future. The first step is the unfortunate elimination of about 4,000 jobs which is 20% of the workforce.
The New York Times reports
The cuts are the first step in Google’s plan to reinvent Motorola, which has fallen far behind its biggest competitors, Apple and Samsung, and to shore up its Android mobile business and expand beyond search and software into the manufacture of hardware.
The turnaround effort will also be a referendum on the management of Larry Page, Google’s chief executive, whose boldest move has been the $12.5 billion acquisition.
Though Google bought Motorola partly because of its more than 17,000 patents, which can help defend against challenges to the Android operating system, it also planned to use Motorola to make its own, better smartphones and tablets.
While I hate to see this kind of thing considering the human cost, it was bound to happen. When a company spends $12.5 billion to acquire anything, it will have a mission to make that entity work. Right now, Motorola Mobility is certainly broken as it is getting killed by Apple, Samsung and others. As a frustrated DroidX owner (yeah it’s old but I am changing soon but not to a another Motorola product that’s for sure) I can see that there is work to be done.
So what will Google do as it cuts people as well as 1/3 of the 94 worldwide offices the company has? Good question. Here’s some corporate speak to give an idea.
“We’re excited about the smartphone business,” said [Motorola’s new chief executive Dennis] Woodside, who previously led Google’s sales and operations for the Americas. “The Google business is built on a wired model, and as the world moves to a pretty much completely wireless model over time, it’s really going to be important for Google to understand everything about the mobile consumer.”
What is even more telling is that these cuts were not just aimed at the rank and file employees. In fact, it looks like Google is placing the blame on Motorola’s slide at the top.
In addition to the coming cuts, Google has gutted Motorola management, letting go 40 percent of its vice presidents. It also hired new senior executives. It will shrink operations in Asia and India, and center research and development in Chicago, Sunnyvale and Beijing.
It looks like the new CEO is also following a trend made popular by his new owner which is to streamline operations and get more focused on a few things rather than everything.
Mr. Woodside also plans to cut the number of devices Motorola makes from the 27 it introduced last year to just a few. He wants to make the company’s products cool again by loading them with things like sensors that recognize who is in a room based on their voices, cameras that take crisper photos and batteries that last for days.
That’s nice to say but it’s also ‘future-speak’. For instance, I will not wait around for the new ‘cool’ stuff promised by Woodside because I need a new phone now and I don’t see a reason to get another Motorola device considering my current level of discontent with my phone right now. If I were to stay an Android user the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or the Galaxy S III look a lot more attractive today.
This is going to be a long and difficult road to make Motorola cool again. I’m not saying it can’t be done. If nothing else Google has deep enough pockets to ride this out and accomplish its goal if money is the answer. Trouble is, it may be about more than money and then we all need to wonder whether this move will ultimately make Larry Page look like a genius or something much less nice and attractive sounding.
What’s your take?
Several months after completing its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Google is finally beginning to shape the mobile company for its own purposes by cutting the fat.
Motorola Mobility told employees yesterday that it would lay off 4,000 workers (or 20 percent of its global workforce) and close a third of its 94 offices, the New York Times reports. Additionally, the company will focus on developing a few devices, forgoing unprofitable low-end products, similar to the strategy Taiwanese phone maker HTC has employed.
The streamlining isn’t too surprising since Motorola Mobility has struggled with sales and profitability over the last few years. In Google’s recent Q2 earnings, Motorola Mobility reported an operating loss of $233 million on $1.25 billion in revenues (10 percent of Google’s total revenues).
The restructuring will cost Google no more than $275 million in the third quarter, according to an SEC filing from this morning. Google says it will provide “generous severance packages” and outplacement services for the affected Motorola employees.
So how will Motorola make consumers care about its products again? Dennis Woodside, the company’s new CEO, tells the NYT that it will focus on things like long-lasting batteries, better camera sensors, and technology that can figure out who nearby people are based on their voices. The company will also develop simple and emotional ads — like what Google has started doing recently (and which Apple has been doing for years) — that will focus on Motorola’s product strengths.
Big surprise, right? Motorola may be better off trying to figure out ways to surprise consumers and truly differentiate itself from the competition, instead of pursuing standard marketing and product upgrades.
Via The Next Web;Photo: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat
The Koss Striva Headphones Stream Wireless Tunes from Your Gadgets or the Internet Right to Your Ears [Stuff We Like]
A few months back, the folks at Koss sent us a pair of their Striva Pro headphones to try out, and after putting them through their paces, I can say they’re some of the best wireless headphones I’ve ever used—they sound great, let me listen to music from my phone, computer, or even streaming from the internet, all without wires, anywhere in range of my Wi-Fi network. Even so, great audio and convenience come with a catch. More »
Editor’s Note: Buy, build or both? This is the eternal quandary for many marketers and salespeople looking for a reliable list to contact. We’ve asked Andrea Johnson, Senior Editorial Analyst, MECLABS, to cover both sides of this debate. Today, she explores the downsides of list buying. It’s the start of a three-part series. The next two posts will focus on how to build a list and then on how to use a purchased list if you choose to go that route.
You’re on deadline when an email flashes across your screen. You don’t recognize the company or person who sent it. The subject line is meaningless. You instantly banish it to the junk folder and carry on with the task at hand.
Or your phone rings. You pick it up to hear:
“Hi, this is Ima Teleprospector calling from Irrelevant Company, and I wanted to find out when you might be purchasing Irrelevant’s Products.”
The interruption has made the Irrelevant Company even more so.
I wish I could say these scenarios are exaggerations, but they currently happen at offices everywhere … every day. Why? Because there are marketers and sales professionals still entrenched in the ’80s. They treat email like direct mail, where you:
- Buy a list
- Flood a certain ZIP or SIC code with a cleverly designed message
- Wait for the leads to pour in
In fact, a couple of weeks ago, one of the members of the B2B Lead Roundtable group on LinkedIn asked:
“I am looking for input on lead purchasing. What data should I know before I purchase a list?”
I took this question to leaders at HubSpot and ExactTarget, organizations that launched marketers into this millennium by providing tools and knowledge to use today’s marketing channels in a way they consider more effective.
Mike Volpe, CMO, Hubspot; Ellie Mirman, Head of SMB Marketing, HubSpot; and Chip House, Senior Director of Relationship Marketing, ExactTarget, agreed that no amount of data will help in a list purchase.
They have one piece of advice: Don’t do it.
Here are three reasons why (and I’m sure they could offer more, but these are enough to strike fear into the heart of any marketer):
Downside #1: You could decimate your company’s email marketing program
When you send emails and text messages without the recipient’s prior permission, the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act strictly requires the email makes it clear that what the recipient is receiving is advertising. (And we all love getting email advertising, right?)
“Names on any list you purchase did not give your company explicit permission to email them,” says House. “So when you email them, it’s unsolicited spam and you run the risk of having future emails blocked by Internet Service Providers.”
House explains anti-spam organizations will seed lists with spam traps – inactive email addresses – which email deliverability experts refer to as honeypots. (Picture Winnie the Pooh’s arm, or head, getting caught in the honeypot, and you can quickly understand what these traps are meant to do.) Legitimate companies will quickly scrub these inactive addresses from their email lists after they get a bounce message, while list providers may not. And, if these addresses receive an email from your organization, it could be targeted as a spammer, irreparably damaging your future email deliverability.
Downside #2: The response rate will be nil
Mirman insists relationships are critical to email marketing success, and buying lists does not buy an instant relationship.
“There are a lot of email best practices around segmentation, behaviors and triggers; you cannot practice any of these when you buy a list,” says Mirman. At minimum, she says:
- The recipient must recognize you and your company
- The email should respond to her past engagement with your company
- It must offer, in response to that engagement, something she’ll value
Downside #3: You’ll harm your brand’s reputation and your sales results
“People don’t like getting cold calls,” says Volpe. “And you risk having your emails end up in spam filters because people don’t want emails from people to whom they have not given permission.
“In some regions of the world, like Europe, automating emails to people without their permission is against the law,” he points out.
Ultimately, when emails end up in spam and phone calls end up in voicemail or, worse yet, in a dial tone, conversion and close rates tank, resulting in an unhappy sales team.
So what’s a marketer to when he needs leads fast?
“Names on list are not leads,” counters Volpe. “Doing marketing right, building relationships and creating love for your company, requires some work. Suck it up and do your job, and please stop giving marketers a bad reputation by cutting corners.”
To give you a full look at all of your options, on August 27, on the B2B Lead Roundtable Blog, I’ll provide actionable advice to help you get started building your list. After that, we’ll look at how to purchase a list and what to do with it, if you choose to go that route.
If you need to upgrade or repair electronics, the iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit has enough driver bits, spudgers, and miscellaneous tools to open, disassemble, repair, and reassemble your phone, laptop, or most other electronic product. More »
Social media sites like Facebook have become a central part of the lives of many families, letting them keep tabs on each other’s lives through pictures. But they’re not for everyone. My mom and dad, who live in the U.S., have no interest in joining Facebook. They are okay with email, and my dad will even video Skype if his wife, my stepmom (a computer scientist, as it happens), sorts it out for him. But you know what? They still really love it most of all when I send them a real letter with photos of me, my husband and our two kids. And you know what else? I’ve really fallen off the wagon where letters are concerned. I’m terrible at finding time to sit down and write them, and then getting around to sending them.
So I was especially excited to hear about HiMom, a YC-backed mobile app, part of the current class, that lets you create postcards from pictures you’ve taken on your phone, and then send them to your parents — or anyone else you’d like to keep in touch with on a regular basis. To me, it seemed like the perfect union: it takes something I am already doing to record and create things (using my phone) and matches it up with how my parents like to get their content (in a physical form).
“HiMom is about improving engagement between the young social networking generation and those who are not connected there,” co-founder Martin Poschenrieder says. As with a lot of YC products, the founders have been using their YC classmates and past work contacts as guinea pigs, and the service, they’ve found, is being used just as much by those living near to their families as it is by those who are many miles apart — the latter use case coming out of the founders’ own backgrounds, two Germans in Silicon Valley whose families are still back in their home country.
The app works simply enough: with the iPhone app, you can use any picture you have taken on your phone, or from your iPhone library via iCloud, and turn it into a postcard. You have some options for borders and filters on a full-sized postcard picture; and you can type a message. And in a nice touch, you can also “sign” the card either with a scribble of your name or another doodle. You can then send it as a postcard for $1.99 or as a free email.
Before I go any further with this, I’ll say yes, I know there are already a bunch of photo sharing apps, and even hundreds of postcard apps, out there already.
Postagram is one of the biggest, and its developers Sincerely are now working with Facebook on a postcard service to create images out of Facebook photos specifically. And with so many more, is there really room for another?
I think yes, particularly if HiMom follows through on the trajectory its founders have started. HiMom does what its name says: it is about creating and sending postcards, and building up a relationship specifically around one or two particular people — in this case between you and your parents, grandparents or others who are not necessarily connecting with you in your busy life.
By narrowing the focus, it becomes something you could potentially use more regularly as part of that specific relationship. In that sense, it’s not unlike Pair and Cupple, social networking apps designed for groups of two. By focusing on building social relationships outside of the more established social networking norms, it’s not unlike YC alum Family Leaf (a family-based social networking platform for families who don’t want to or can’t use Facebook).
HiMom has some automation built into it as well: an upcoming update will offer a daily alert at 11am, and future versions of the app, Poschenrieder says, will let users change how often and when this alert comes, to remind you to send over a card your contacts. Other features to come will include a read receipt, “so that you see when your mom opened the notification email,” Poschenrieder says, as well as a “thank-you” button for your recipient to reply automatically, as well as address book integration: right now you have to enter recipients’ addresses manually. Integrating the address book might widen the number of people you would use HiMom for as well.
What’s potentially even more interesting is how the HiMom framework could be developed for more than just postcards: think of how, say during a birthday or special occasion, you can add a bouquet of flowers or chocolate (or other gift) delivery, in addition to the postcard.
And that could loop in with some of the e-commerce knowledge of Poschenrieder and his co-founder Markus Jura.
The pair are both German and met while working for Accenture in Europe. When they were in London applying for Y Combinator, they actually pitched a completely different idea, around product sharing between people. (That idea was parked when they realised that “acceptance from local merchants in the U.S. was different than in the UK,” Martin told me.) It’s not too surprising to see YC startups changing this way; after all, the incubator has an ethos of backing talent, not specific ideas.
Things like physical gifts could be something to explore further down the line. For now, it’s about sending a beautiful postcard in place of what was there before… which, for many busy professionals, may well have been nothing.
App.net, Dalton Caldwell’s audacious Twitter clone, just reached its $500,000 funding goal on Kickstarter with almost two days to spare. Just a few days ago, it looked unlikely that Caldwell’s user and developer supported ad-free Twitter clone would reach its funding goal. A last-minute push of new sponsors, though, just pushed App.net past its funding goal. The project currently has over 7,500 backers, including almost 6,000 people who used the campaign to pre-pay $50 for an annual App.net membership and just over 50 backers who put down $1,000 for access to the service’s developer tools, phone support and a personal meeting with Caldwell.
While our own MG Siegler is rather skeptical about App.net’s long-term potential, there seems to be a sizable contingent of users and developers who are looking for a viable alternative to Twitter (and who are willing to pay for it).
App.net promises to give its users total control over their data and “to support 3rd-party devs making a living and maintaining a good lifestyle.” Caldwell argues that an ad-supported social network can never put its users and developers first.
You can see App.net’s alpha in action here,
App.net, of course, isn’t the first company trying to disrupt Twitter and/or Facebook. The most prominent recent entrant in this market is probably Diaspora, which also ran a Kickstarter campaign to get started. While it’s still under active development, the project never quite took off.
Getting stuff to go viral is sexy. It’s a miracle when it works. It makes you famous.
Everyone wants to get tweeted, liked, mentioned on a blog, spread by email and watch the numbers go up and up and up.
The thing is, drive-by viral traffic doesn’t convert. 50,000 visitors might end up buying just 23 items.
Ultimately, if you want to get elected, make a sale or even change minds, you can’t survive on viral traffic, no matter how big the tsunami is.
After I started talking about permission marketing, the question readers wanted answered was, “how do I get permission in the first place?” The answer was to create an ideavirus, an idea that spreads. And then, as it spreads, don’t try to make a sale, merely work to earn the privilege of a follow up, the opportunity to reconnect over time. By email, sure, but phone or reputation are fine too.
Ten years later and the ego pendulum has clearly swung in the direction of the virus. That’s what we brag about and what is too often measured.
How many eyeballs are passing by is a useless measure. All that matters is, “how many people want to hear from you tomorrow?”
Don’t try to convert strangers into customers. It’s ineffective and wasteful. Instead, focus on turning those momentary strangers into people eager to hear from you again and again.
Yes to spreading ideas. Two yesses to using those ideas to earn permission going forward.
A little over a year ago, cloud communications company Twilio launched Short Codes, dedicated 5 or 6 digit numbers for sending and receiving text messages at volume. Since then, Twilio has become the fastest-growing short code provider and has found surprisingly differing uses for its product.
“People have started using our Short Code product in ways we didn’t ever expect,” Patrick Malatack, the product manager in charge of Short Codes, tells me.
Malatack says they have seen “dramatic adoption” of the product, as hundreds of Short Codes have been registered in the past year. While hundreds of phone numbers in a year would not be a significant sum, Malatack explains that most companies only have one short code, so the number represents their number of clients. Twilio would not release exact numbers, but said that only a few thousand Short Codes exist, so hundreds is a significant chunk of the market.
Twilio clients include WalMart, which offers special daily discounts to customers vai text messages that they can redeem for a limited time, and the City of Philadelphia, where the police use Short Codes to enable residents to send crime tips vai SMS. Twilio says that since its launch in April, Philadelphians have made texting with Twilio the fastest growing avenue for crime tips.
While mobile short codes have been around for almost a decade, there are only a few thousand in the US. Twilio’s main competitor, mBlox, has been in the space for a while, but Malatack says Twilio differentiates itself by trying to “democratize communication” and make Short Codes available to everyone from major corporations to “two guys in a garage” startups.
Members of Malatack’s team thought they would see Short Codes used more for coupons and marketing when they launched, but they’ve seen it adopted much more widely by enterprise (for things like two factor authentication) than they expected.
Malatack says the company is now focused on expanding internationally, as many startups have international customers from day one. He adds that the company thinks it should be as easy to send a text message or make a phone call from country to country as it is to send an international email.