Apple has just announced selling their 3 billionth song through iTunes. And while they're chucking numbers about - their library now offers 5 million songs, 550 TV shows and 500 movies. What's with all the 5's?
Oh and apparently they are no longer the 5th (again) largest music retailer in the US - they've just overtaken Amazon and Target to become the 3rd. I guess that makes them about a year away from becoming number 1!
Given that today they announced hiring Youtube's CFO who joined them right before they got bought buy Google - you've gotta ask yourself who's gonna snap up Facebook?
Well its between Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
Yahoo gets the prize for the most desperate. Microsoft the most confused and Google the most powerful. So, if its cash their after Facebook will go with Microsoft. If its partnership/merger status then Yahoo and if its sheer cool and stock WOW its gonna be Google.
It looks like Apple is planning a follow up cellphone to the iPhone (which is a marvel of form and function) based on the iPod Nano. Apparently it'll cost around $300 and offer more limited functionality than the iPhone.
Will it be called the iPhone Nano?
Apple sure are serious about the mobile space. Mind you, given how well the iPhone is selling - so they should!
I realize now that after using my iPhone for 3 days I'm hooked. Early connections stresses and strains are slowly fading from my newly organized ego.
Actually this is the device I have been waiting for for 20 years. I'm not that old! I was interviewed on prime time British TV in the early 1990's (it's a long story) and I pronounced the future of the 'digital diary' (well it sounded good then).
A device that effortlessly takes care of your life, wife and strife all from the inside of your over-tight denim pocket. Organizer meets diary, Filofax, calculator and one day even phone. And since those early days a stream of digital organizers, PDA's and then Smartphones tried and failed.
And I should know for my great, great... grandpa invented the worlds first ever commercial diary. Then I ran one of the leading Smartphone software companies etc etc. (Obviously before becoming the professional photographer that I am today).
So now I feel like I have finally arrived - or at least my pocket organizer nirvana has. Welcome iPhone - good job Apple.
Why? Find out in the upcoming days... And I even have my portfolio in my pocket (photography not stocks dozo!).
So, I queued for 2 hours last night to collect the most expensive cellphone on this planet and was promised that signing on is 'a breeze'.
I get up this morning excited about Day 1 with my iPhone.
I plug her in and wait while iTunes updates itself for the iPhone. Maybe 5 minutes. That's OK.
I then wait while iTunes takes me through the set up process only to find out that if I want to set up a family plan I can't do it through iTunes and have to call AT&T. I mean its just a friggin' family plan - not a shuttle to Mars!
After an hour waiting for someone at AT&T to pick up I give up. Today is a busy day for me - I have a gallery opening. After all I spent a fortune on a (i)phone/organizer so time is money - right?
At this point I have queued 2 hours at the Apple store and a further hour waiting pointlessly for a customer service rep. Nearly 24 hours later I still can't activate my iPhone. I feel as hung up as the guy in the picture.
OK, so I joined the geeknorati last night at an inconspicuous mall in Long Island (to avoid rambunctiously pointless queues) and dished out a small fortune to, well, say I got one of the first iPhones.
Plus if this does prove to be iDay (or not) then I thought my kids should see it (assuming it's not the not!).
OK, so the kid part was reaching. I just couldn't resist...
We returned way late so I'll be gearing up today. Think of me.
A start-up called Omnifone run a buy a UK entrepreneur called Rob Lewis (hey, I know you!) is about to launch a rival to iTunes - in Europe and Asia.
They have teamed up with most major handset makers, 30 mobile operators and the 4 big music labels to offer a service called MusicStation which allows you to download unlimited music to your mobile phone only (no CD or PC) for $15 per month.
Given the reach, the service could be available on hundreds of millions of phones and be available before the iPhone outside the US.
Steve Jobs may have finally found his match. The only potential flaw in the system I can see is not being able to copy my MusicStation music to my PC. Maybe that'll come down the road.
Safari 3 has been released (it's much closer to Mozilla Firefox and faster) for Macs and PC's. I still think Firefox is the best browser for bloggers though.
And Apple TV is fast becoming a tool to take on the cable companies. Starting this fall Apple hopes to launch a video-on-demand service which will enable us to rent Hollywood's best (they hope) for a few bucks and no doubt bounce it around our living room TV's along with family vid's from Youtube.
iTunes becoming a media company? You bet. That should fuel a few more years of mother ship growth.
Microsoft's brand new, about-to-be coffee table computer looks a mean device.
"The “surface computer” features a 30-inch horizontal monitor embedded in the table, where users can move screen objects around with their fingers. Objects placed on it will be automatically identified."
Catch: for now it'll cost $5,000 - $10,000 and solely for the corporate market.
So Google's about to start selling digital books. Oh God, really? How? Why? Not now... please!
I hear readers scream out.
A few short months after Sony launched the Sony Connect service and device, intended to do for books what Apple has done for music (right...), Google seems in on the game too.
Does this mean that we are finally ready for the online book revolution? Not on your iPod! The world is about as ready to devour digital novels as they would swig digital M&M's.
Lets face it, there is not one compelling reason to switch from paper books. They are portable, cheap and easy to read. Digital readers are expensive and about as easy to read as Tolstoy.
Plus, people still enjoy building libraries and showing off books on coffee tables etc.
Is there any justification for the digital book? We think not, or at least not until someone cracks low cost printing that produces good looking in-house/in-copy-store versions. A photo printer for books.
I could well see buying a digital book to archive permanently so long as I could print out a sexy looking version whenever I needed it (for less than buying it in the store). And if I could even choose my own dust cover design? Well, now I'm getting mildly excited.
2007 looks set to deliver two hotter than hot tech trends/realities.
First up will be the battle for video over the Internet and our very own living rooms. Help!
Expect Microsoft and Apple to dominate. Microsoft using video games and the XBox as their Trojan horse while the company formally known as Apple Computers will ride the popularity of iTunes to inject Apple TV's into the back of countless TV's.
Video over the Internet will continue to be dominated by Google (YouTube), MySpace, AOL and Yahoo (who may be forced to merge or get swallowed by Microsoft). iTunes will be the only destination to make any money. DVD sales will go the way of CD sales - down the toilet!
The second most sizzling sector of 2007 will be mobile - finally!
Not because cellphone users will approach 3 billion or because more than 1 billion handsets will be sold. Neither will it be thanks to the gradual and painful roll out of 3G et al speedier networks. It will not be thanks to mobile Internet killer (Bill) applications or mobile TV.
It will be thanks to two impending and growing threats to the inflexible and stagnant mobile phone companies - Wi-Fi and Apple's iPhone. The one-two from a competing network's unending proliferation and power plus a computer company's real deal product will jolt the rest of the industry into untold innovations and partnerships.
The mobile phone operators will finally open their networks to the real Internet and stop hogging their highways. As a result consumers will no longer get ripped off or disappointed. The mobile Internet will become a reality and mobile network providers will realize that if the only let go they will make money out of this game. If not - bye, bye revenue growth.
All in all 2007 looks quite exciting. Particularly if you're Apple, Google, News Corp or Disney. The rest will scramble. Some successfully and some not. Enjoy the ride.
Apple yet again rocked the tech industry by simultaneously and synchronously shaking up both the mobile space and our living rooms. All with just two products; the iPhone (unless of course Cisco have their way) and the Apple TV. How 'du jour' is that?
Enough to ensure that Apple's shares shot up while mobile handset makers throttled down. Microsoft's remained as flat as a pancake/Zune on its back.
And I was about to go and buy a video iPod - no longer. How many others will follow suit?
Apple's decision to call their new PC/Mac to TV set top box the Apple TV as opposed to the iTV presumably means that one day they will create an all in one intelligent TV with the Apple TV embedded.