Apple remixed nearly everyone in the industry to arrive at this design
I’m disappointed by iOS 7. I’ve already written about my disillusionment with Apple’s direction (namely how they continue to borrow ideas from their competitors), but the redesign of the iOS has me confused.
I get that why some features other companies already have (like the Yahoo Weather app) are used as inspiration. But the borrowing seems blatant. Nothing about the new iOS feels new. Maybe it’ll be better once I get a chance to try it out, but for now, I don’t think Apple has done a good job quieting the criticism that they’ve lost their innovation touch.
Here’s what Google has in store for the Gmail inbox. By the end of the video, you’ll be asking yourself … “wait, why doesn’t this already exist in my inbox?” This, friends, is Google firing back at Mailbox.
If this is really Google’s answer to Mailbox, they’ve failed miserably. The beauty of Mailbox is how intuitive it becomes on your phone. This launch will most likely look better on the desktop version. And Mailbox isn’t just about having certain emails in specific places. It’s about increasing efficiency by letting you quickly sift through the clutter.
I just don’t see how this is all that different from setting up filters in your emails automatically.
The more I read about these futuristic and ridiculously expensive new headquarters from most of the major tech companies (recently it’s been Amazon, Apple, and Facebook), the more I wonder why they aren’t spending their money on something more worthwhile. I get it, they want to keep their employees at work all day. And they want to use these cool new aesthetics and features to lure them in.
But there’s so much else they can do with these resources. I don’t see how the benefits outweigh the costs (especially with a company like Amazon, who has such slim margins to begin with).
Whatever era you call it, post-PC or simply PC plus, the Mac vs. PC war has ignited once again today. In a fresh Windows 8 ad, Microsoft is directly attacking Apple’s iPad on price, an approach it took during the early Vista days with low-priced laptops. It’s also doing it in a way that parodies Apple’s own commercial, complete with Siri’s voice.
Key phrase: “during the early Vista days with low-priced laptops.” Something tells me this is going to be ineffective at making customers think twice about the Surface. I’m not sure why they’d always assume that going negative toward their competitors is the best way to sell products. It just makes them look catty.
What’s Going on at HTC?
HTC is in a state of free fall. They were once the top of the Android market. But now, it’s lost several key executives, including Chief Product Officer Kouji Kodera, VP of global communications Jason Gordon, retail marketing manager Rebecca Rowland, director of digital marketing John Starkweather, and product strategy manager Eric Lin, according to The Verge.
Not to mention the fact the HTC First, the supposed Facebook phone, may be discontinued soon after suffering poor sales. And the HTC One, the model the company put all of its power into creating, isn’t doing as well as expected, largely because of supply shortages.
HTC never found a proper response to Samsung’s incredible rise as the top smartphone maker. They didn’t have an answer for Samsung’s $4 billion marketing budget. And none of their products could match up well with the Samsung Galaxy series. The release of the HTC One, the first of their smartphones to garner significant praise from every gadget critic, may be too little too late. Unless the company’s quarterly earnings improve drastically, they may have to consider other options to stay afloat:
- Merge with another struggling phone maker, like LG: Motorola was struggling until Google swooped them up.
- Abandon Android: This is the most expensive, and therefore least feasible option, but Samsung may be too dominate with Android to fend off.
- Go after emerging markets and exit the US: There are plenty of other regions that Samsung and Apple aren’t completely dominating, like Asia.
- Change nothing. Unless they get a new CEO or the situation becomes dire, this seems like the most likely option. They’ll continue on this painful path until they either luck out with a new phone, or become obsolete in the smartphone space.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was facing a Congressional panel today with tough questions about the way the company has organized itself in an effort to lower its tax burden. But at the end of the questioning, John McCain had something else on his mind. That, friends, is what we call a softball.
Congress has turned Apple into a major scapegoat over their tax planning strategies, simply because they need someone to blame. But here’s the real issue: companies have been doing this for a long time, and it’s completely legal because of the loopholes in the corporate tax code.
Legislators can call in any of these tech CEOs to discuss their effective tax rates, but they can’t charge them with any wrongdoing. The only way they can make corporations pay more is by overhauling the corporate tax code (something the two parties have yet to agree upon). Right now, these hearings are nothing more than a dog and pony show to make the general public believe Congress is doing something to punish these companies. But they aren’t. These companies will continue to use these planning strategies (such as keeping foreign profits overseas to avoid the 35% US tax rate) until they have a reason not to. Ultimately, these companies answer to shareholders who want to see a lower tax bill. Journalists and legislators may be shocked by hearing how Apple has lowered its tax rate, but shareholders just want to see how much money Apple saved.
Of course, Apple isn’t entirely alone with the bad press. Globally, Google and Amazon are currently in hot water over their effective tax rates. These companies are using tax strategies such as transfer pricing to move their IP and resources to countries with lower tax rates. And again, this is all completely legal. And this isn’t new. Legislators have just started targeting these companies because of major deficits and a need to blame someone. Never mind the fact that these same countries keep lowering their corporate tax rates to try to attract these same companies to move their operations.
I think the tech industry is being criticized the most because of a lack of a strong lobbying front. Some major manufacturers and oil companies have lower rates, yet no one seems to be attacking them. And why? Because they’ve been playing the tax game for far too long and know how to work legislators. So many of these tech companies are too new, and even worse, they don’t seem to be working together to push their messages.