Techzone 360 Week in Review


It was an otherwise fairly quiet week overall. Notwithstanding the release of iOS 7 on September 18, and the fact that the new iPhone 5S and 5C officially went on sale on Friday, it was a week that most device makers took a breather on. Of course the release of iOS 7 and the new iPhones certainly had an impact. We ourselves will not be rushing to the stores until the rush is over. And in any case, the champagne version we want won't be available any time soon.

There is plenty of chatter elsewhere about how the day has gone and how the weekend will go (the estimate is 5 to 6 million), but we are left with an interesting question - did Apple really underestimate the desire for the new color or was it a well-crafted marketing ploy to generate desire and create demand by initially keeping it in short supply? More on this next week. For the record we expect blowout sell through numbers way beyond 6 million.

One thing that was also in short supply was enough access to iOS 7 upgrade access - many folks ended up having to constantly retry gaining access - with some reporting over 90 minute delays before getting through to actually verifying and installing the new version. Clearly demand has been huge and we anticipate Apple delivering huge upgrade numbers - a welcome sign for the iOS ecosystem. We went through the process with five separate devices on Wednesday and though we did encounter a bit of a wait we successfully upgraded iPhone 4S, iPad 4 and iPhone 5 devices without a hitch.

Having done so we remain utterly amazed by the noise out there about how iOS 7 is a huge departure from all previous versions. In fact iOS is a huge departure but hardly because of the vast improvements in the user interface! The real changes are underneath the covers - both for the enterprise and in the fact that Apple is now bringing iOS 7 and Mac OS much closer together. The radical shift is in the 64-bit architecture, not in the user interface. Much more on these two issues next week - stay tuned.

Speaking of the question of Apple's champagne iPhone 5S shortage being a planned marketing effort, we have been thinking about the rather pronounced shift in who now owns and will own the functions for delivering mobile app and mobile Web. Will it continue to be the CIO that has traditionally owned it or a new class of upstart maverick CMOs who believe that they have the far better pulse on what enterprises need to deliver on the mobile front? New research from NetBiscuits strongly suggests that the CMO will win this battle, though we and NetBiscuits both believe the function needs to be an equally shared one. Are CIOs too ready to cave in to CMOs?

Continuing this theme of "the battle" this week also brought a focus on just how well Netflix is doing in its war (well, tech media calls it a war, Netflix just calls it smart business) against the cable companies and content providers. Pay-TV providers charge a hefty premium above and beyond first and second-tier packages for the “movie” channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, etc.) that carry some of the most-watched original series. The problem is that those at lower package levels miss out. Netflix on the other hand is delivering original content to "the masses" and it looks to be a winning strategy.

Our car enthusiast colleague Rob Enderle, who has provided some interesting insights on Tesla's electric cars (and their use of tablet technology), is certainly someone who appreciates the cutting edge in automobile high tech. But Rob is not at all amused by what he is seeing with respect to the phenomenon of self-driving cars and car autopilot technology. There is a lot of stuff going on here but Rob believes most of the current thinking is truly stupid and dangerous. Why is Rob so worried?

Also on the radar this week is the issue of the now almost invasive rise of the bot-driven trading ecosystem. It is certainly true that algorithmic and High-Frequency Trading (HFT) have contributed to real problems in stock markets around the world, and the recent blips the global stock market exchanges have encountered in recent days are almost always traceable to HFT issues. But there is another issue we, as humans, need to be concerned about here - has HFT "unleveled" the investor playing field? Are we now or soon to become so disadvantaged as to make investing a hopeless cause?

While pondering these two rather negative views of current technology trends, there is one new bit of technology that, at least, should make some businesses happy. Ask any business-to-business marketer what tops their wish list, and more likely than not you will hear that they all wish they had a tool that would increase the hit rates they have on their websites for turning anonymous visitors into qualified leads. BrightInfo's new Content Recommendation Engine may very well now deliver exactly such a wish fulfillment and allow companies to find ways to turn anonymous users into qualified leads. That would be very cool for any business.

Have a great weekend. And happy shopping if you are heading off to find yourself a champagne iPhone 5S.

Edited by Tony Rizzo

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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