Saturday, September 29, 2007

1USD=0,70€ but not for Apple

I still have to blame my beloved Apple for a policy that could alienate a significant number of customers and prospects in Europe.
The European currency is still very strong vs the USD and the current exchange rate is close to 1USD equivalent to 0,70 €.
This is a great advantage for the US companies exporting their goods to Europe as far as it is not seen by the European customers as an unfair tax.

Apple is benefitting as many other companies but its policy of the same price everywhere is putting this excessive benefit in display.

Give a look at Apple site and choose a product.

US store IPod Touch 16 gb at 399 USD
Italy store IPod Touch 16 gb at 399 €

Wait a minute this is a parity between USD and € and I can see it in Apple website.

Again I recognize that a company is looking for the highest revenue but this is rather offensive from my point of view.
And if a friend of mine is travelling to the US, should I feel guilty in purchasing the product there and saving a huge amount of money?

How do you feel when you think that somebody is profiting too much?
What's your opinion whe you feel that you pay too much a product?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Think different? Not even this time

For the second time in few weeks, Apple does another huge mistake.
The launch in the European market of the IPhone may prove to be another loss of grip on the reality of a different market.

The first launch will be in Uk, then France and Germany. Then Italy.
The technology adopted to support the web browsing is based on Wi-fi spots.

Now, I do not know who was building the business plan for the launch but:

Italy is by far the biggest market in Europe for Smartphone
Italian consumers are by far the fastest in adopting new smart devices and in replacing the older devices
Italy is not covered by a significant network of Wi-fi spots
Italy is the second market in Europe for density of mobile phones (number of device vs population), first is Luxembourg

Not to take in consideration these figures in developing the product was a huge mistake as it is now to market it with huge limitation for the biggest market.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Think different? Not this time.

I've been thinking lately about the Apple move to rebate the IPhone cost, all the discussion and the comments. Than I read today this interesting analysis by Ruth Sherman in Fast Company.

In all the comments, and in this one too, I feel that there is a missing link: Apple acted as the major mobile phone device producers do.
They launch a cutting edge model at high price, after three months reduce the price and after six/nine months sell a mssive quantity to the phone carriers to give it for free to their subscribers.
This is the rule except for the top seeling product like the Motorola Rzrs, which remained at very high price longer than usual.
IPhone was not seeling good and Apple followed the industry track.

If the commenters do not get this point, any analysis, even the smarter one, is based on wrong assumption.

The real mistake was that Apple does not probably felt comfortable in this new industry and the business model does reflect it clearly.
To enter in such a market for the first time ever and sign an exclusive deal with one carrier is a stupid move. IPhone should have been sold in the Apple store without any obligation to subscribe a plan with given carrier.

The Apple mistake was not to act as Apple is expected to do.
They were not confident enough to challenge the market and changed as it was for IPod and ITunes.

Apple did not think different and now pay the price for the betrayal of the core brand philosophy.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The naked truth

Well, eventually someone from the recording industry, had the guts to admit a reality revelead on blogs since months: the recording business model is done.
Rick Rubin, the new co-chairman of Columbia Records, is the first man from the industry to face the reality.
His solution is to transform the way to purchase music: instead of buying a cd or download an mp3 and pay money for each purchase, the new model is based on a monthly subscription that allow to download a free number of tracks.
Apparently Columbia new model could look for additional revenue from live venues and merchandise.
Read on Cnet and on NYTimes
Sorry if I quote myself but I could have tell this to Columbia for definitely a smaller amount of money and few months ago.
Still the approach is questionable.

The real issue is that Recording industry must shift to Music industry.
Today a Recoding company launch an artist an get revenue from CDs and legal download, period.
Tomorrow, the Music company should sign an artist for his/her entire artistic life: CDs, Download, live venues, merchandising.

Until that day, Recording companies will be in the dark ages.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sept. 5th Apple news

The so much rumoured news, to be released by Apple next Wednedsday, is the revolution in the phone bill: the IBill.
The IBill is a doc sized around 10 gb that will include all the info you need to know to remember how you used your I-Phone.
To have access to I-bill you need to expand the memory size of your I-Phone and the doc will remain on the device for 6 months before selfdestructing.
This is the sneak preview.

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