And to follow up yesterday's post, Tim Cook tries to debunk negative news on the Watch with positive spin about holiday sales. "Sales are off the charts." How about sharing some actual numbers, Tim? It's not that we don't believe you but showing the numbers make your argument a lot stronger.
Check out this latest report on the market for wearables. Inexpensive fitness trackers are outperforming the Apple Watch. I find this quite interesting and a reversal of what happened with tablets. The iPad outperformed basic e-readers and became the tablet of choice largely due to its enhanced functions. With fitness trackers, though, consumers prefer an inexpensive and dedicated device. I'm still on the fence over whether to buy a Watch.
Here's the opinion on Mac products that I value the most. Walt Mossberg gives a balanced summary of the positives along with the negative aspects of Apple's new MacBook Pro. My take? It's too pricey at $1,500 for the entry level and $1,800 for the model with the Touch Bar. I would be very concerned about the lack of ports. I teach with my MacBook Air and hook it up to a VGA monitor, power supply, and audio jack. In addition, I frequently connect a USB DVD drive to show video clips. How many dongles would I need to accomplish that with the new model? For the moment, I will soldier on with my trusty MacBook Air, the best laptop that Apple ever produced.
Mauro Porcini who is the Chief Design Officer for Pepsi recently shared his list of the best books for design and business leaders. I have read most of what's on his list and my choice (if I had to pick just one) would be Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley. I've recommended this book to my seminar students and the feedback has been very positive. You won't be disappointed if you invest the time to give it a read.
My favorite definition of a brand is the promise of an experience. Recently, Fast Company posted an article on extending the brand experience through artificial intelligence. Products like Amazon's Alexa are beginning to establish a relationship with customers and this connection then personifies the brand. In other words, a brand now extends well beyond a logo and tagline to a smart app or virtual assistant that anticipates your needs. It's a short but interesting read.
This has been coming for awhile but it's still somewhat shocking. BlackBerry will stop making phones and focus on software and security systems. It's a sad end for the company that virtually invented the smartphone. It's also a useful reminder of what can happen when a competitor disrupts an established market with a new technology. Apple introduced its first iPhone in 2007 featuring touchscreen technology. That tuned out to be the beginning of the end for BlackBerry.
Wow, are you ready for supercars from Apple? If this rumor is true, Apple is negotiating to purchase McLaren. The company makes high-end sport cards, operates a Formula 1 team, and has a lot of expertise in engineering. The speculation is that Apple needs more automotive expertise to build its rumored autonomous vehicle, codenamed the Titan project. One thing is for sure. It would qualify as a small investment for a company the size of Apple with all of its cash reserves. It would also confirm the rumors that Apple will enter the EV sector of the automotive market.