Why I’m thinking of ditching my precious iPhone for an Android | gigaom.com


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After several years as a devoted Apple iPhone user, I have been tempted by the dark side — I am considering giving up my beloved iPhone for an Android device, and the main attraction is the openness of the ecosystem that Android takes advantage of.
If you don’t like personal stories about infidelity, please read no further. After being in love with my iPhone for several years now, my attentions are increasingly being pulled elsewhere — and I’m not fighting it. I’ve been an iPhone fan ever since I first got my hands on one: it instantly made my BlackBerry feel like an ugly brick that was designed by orangutans. All I wanted to do was hold it forever, and that’s almost exactly what I’ve done since I first got one — until, that is, I switched to using an Android phone over the holidays.

I didn’t decide to try an Android phone because I was dissatisfied with Apple or the iPhone — in fact, I still think the iPhone is one of the best-designed and most appealing products of any kind that I’ve ever used. I have a MacBook Air and an iPad that I also love using, and I recommend them whenever I get the chance. But I will confess that I have been looking enviously at Android phones for a little while, after seeing friends like my GigaOM colleague Kevin Tofel using them and then borrowing one last fall for a trip to Amsterdam for our Structure: Europe conference.

Part of what I was interested by was the larger screens on the Nexus and other phones — I like to read webpages and other documents and look at photos on my phone, so more screen real estate was appealing. But I was also interested in the openness of the Android ecosystem, and whether that would be a benefit compared to the walled garden that Apple runs for iOS.

Apple’s garden is beautiful — but the walls aren’t

There’s no question that Apple’s garden is beautiful, as walled gardens go, and it is extremely well-maintained; nasty or disturbing apps are kept out, and everything is checked to make sure it works properly, and that is definitely a big benefit. In other words, the bars are hard to see behind all those beautiful flowers. But in some cases, useful things are kept out as well, whether it’s content or applications — or ways of integrating with other networks and services that maybe don’t meet Apple’s standards (or aren’t willing to pay Apple for the privilege).

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Here’s one anecdote that sums up the differences between the two platforms for me: when I took a photo with the Android phone (a Motorola Razr HD), it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could beam it to my TV somehow — I have a media hub from Western Digital that has all my photos on it, and usually I have to copy the pictures from the iPhone to a computer with iTunes and then share them with the WD hub. But I figured maybe I could beam them from the Android because the hub is a DLNA device (DLNA is kind of the open version of Apple’s AirPlay standard for wireless networking). Within five minutes, I had downloaded an app that beamed my photo to the WD hub, and we were looking at it on the TV. I did the same thing with a YouTube video. Leer más “Why I’m thinking of ditching my precious iPhone for an Android | gigaom.com”

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Digitizing the doctor’s office: 7 ways technology will shape healthcare in 2013 | gigaom.com


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SUMMARY:

What does the boom in digital health mean for the health care industry overall? As a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report lists the top issues in health care, we take a look the ways in which technology could shape the industry…” At the Consumer Electronics Show this week, all kinds of health devices and apps are taking center stage. But beyond potentially improving the health of individuals, what does the boom in digital health mean for the health care industry over all?

by  | gigaom.com

This week, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released its annual report on the top health industry issues. The document touches on everything from state debates over establishing Affordable Care Act-mandated health insurance exchanges to employers’ new role in providing health care to the growing influence of the consumer. Chris Wasden, PwC’s Global Healthcare Innovation Leader, chatted with me about how technology specifically fits into the bigger picture and the ways in which it will impact the industry in the next few months and years. Leer más “Digitizing the doctor’s office: 7 ways technology will shape healthcare in 2013 | gigaom.com”

Freemium has run its course | By Rags Srinivasan


By Rags Srinivasan, management professional
http://gigaom.com

“We are now seeing the end of the freemium model — signing up users for free and trying to upsell,” said Christian Vanek, CEO of the Boulder-based SurveyGizmo, in a recent phone conversation.

“6.5 million unique users is not all that it’s cracked up to be. I don’t want hits. I want revenue. I want a real business,” said Matt Wensing, founder and CEO of Stormpulsein an interview with Mixergy.

“Make a product people want to pay for,” said Marco Arment, founder of Instapaper, in a Planet Money interview.

Three easily available examples do not make indisputable evidence against freemium. Just like Dropbox, Evernote and RememberTheMilk do not make a case for freemium. But these three quotes reflect a return to the roots of marketing — starting with customer needs, choosing the needs you want to serve and getting your fair share of the value created.

In the oft-cited Hershey’s experiment that started the free-mania, behavioral economists from MIT tested customer preference for Hershey’s and Ferrero Rocher chocolates at two different price points. For one group, they offered Hershey’s at one cent and Ferrero Rocher for 26 cents. For another, they offered the chocolates at zero cents and 25 cents respectively. When the Hershey’s chocolate was free and the Ferrero Rocher chocolate was 25 cents, 90 percent of the participants chose Hershey’s. $0 price seems to have done the magic in driving customer adoption. The result became the foundation of the freemium school of thought — free is free marketing. First use the free version to drive adoption and build a large customer base, and then find ways to monetize that base by upselling the paid version and selling extras.

Ninety percent is an eye-catching statistic in books about the freemium model, but let’s stop and ask some basic questions about running a profitable venture.

  1. What do you know about your target customers?
  2. What urgent needs do the free and paid versions meet for these customers?
  3. Will the products remain relevant in the customers’ future?
  4. If fifty other sellers stand next to you and give away free Hershey’s chocolates, Skittles etc., what will happen to your share of the market?
  5. As a startup founder, which customers should you focus on first with your limited resources?

The five questions above are the key principles of marketing… Leer más “Freemium has run its course | By Rags Srinivasan”

What is the next industry Apple can disrupt? Banking!

“The strength of Apple’s relationship with consumers is a result of its ability to redefine the terms of competition in an industry and design emotionally rich ‘human’ experiences,” said Powney. “This research tells us Apple customers perceive a fit where at first glance we would assume the brand could not travel. To observe a ‘wrong’ and ‘make right’ is a core characteristic of this business. Apple’s ethos, its way of being and way of doing is instinctively understood by its customers. This makes it a truly dangerous animal to a startling array of sectors.”

Maybe not banking, but how about mobile payments?

Again, Apple, is very disciplined about what areas it moves into and is famous for saying “no” to all kinds of projects. But the numbers indicate an openness from the public for Apple to get into more financial services. Apple may not want to get into banking, which would carry a lot of regulatory burdens, but it could take that trust and build a mobile payments service, something we’ve speculated about.

Apple’s brand is very much tied to computing and services built around that. But increasingly, the bigger game in mobile is turning to payments, which could be worth $670 billion by 2015. That’s a market that everyone from the carriers, banks, credit card companies and a host of start-ups would like to own. Apple already has a strong financial relationship with its consumers via iTunes, which is believed to have more credit cards on file than any other company. Apple has already applied for patents that could lead to an end-to-end system that would include mobile marketing, mobile payments and mobile retailing.


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While anticipation grows for a possible Apple television launch at some point, the company may want to think about diversifying into banking. A new survey of 5,092 respondents in the U.K. and the U.S. from marketing and research consultancy KAE found that one in 10 people would consider banking with Apple, and 43 percent of existing Apple users would.

Apple becoming a bank is a pretty off-the-wall idea and not likely to become reality any time soon.

But the study demonstrates the kind of trust that Apple has built up with its brand. Two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents cited “trust” as their primary reason to consider Apple for banking, and a little over half believed Apple could making banking with them easy to access and manage and reliable. KAE said that Apple would face no capital constraints in building a deposits base, even with its recent dividend and share buyback plan. And with its history of successfully cross-selling products, its potent retail locations and affluent customer base, Apple would be well positioned to become one of the most profitable consumer banks, KAE said. Leer más “What is the next industry Apple can disrupt? Banking!”

11 Practical Business Uses for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

I’m often asked how social networks can be used for practical business purposes. While convincing people that LinkedIn is a good professional tool is not hard, many folks are not using Facebook for anything other than communicating with friends or playing games, and are not using Twitter at all; articulating the business value of Facebook and Twitter to those people can be challenging.

Are you looking to convince a colleague or a client of the value of social networks? Or perhaps you are still not quite convinced they are actually useful for work? Here’s a list of some basic ways you can use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for specific business activities. No bells, no whistles, just business…


By Aliza Sherman
http://gigaom.com/collaboration/11-practical-business-uses-for-linkedin-facebook-and-twitter/

I’m often asked how social networks can be used for practical business purposes. While convincing people that LinkedIn is a good professional tool is not hard, many folks are not using Facebook for anything other than communicating with friends or playing games, and are not using Twitter at all; articulating the business value of Facebook and Twitter to those people can be challenging.

Are you looking to convince a colleague or a client of the value of social networks? Or perhaps you are still not quite convinced they are actually useful for work? Here’s a list of some basic ways you can use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for specific business activities. No bells, no whistles, just business… Leer más “11 Practical Business Uses for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter”