Monday, 30 July 2012

What I've been reading this week

I’m of the belief that participants in the TMT industry need to read widely in order to understand the present and future dynamics of the market. To that end, this post is a collection of the articles that have caught my eye.

This week: BBC turns to Adobe for Olympian effort, Facebook rapidly turning into disaster, Apple quarterlies, MS avoids $1000 tablet howler

Digital media

A really interesting article on how the BBC is using Adobe Primetime to stream the huge volumes of video generated by the Olympics. Adobe are really on the up. I hear great things about their products in digital video and electronic publishing. Time to buy?

iPhone is the best platform for mobile advertising; rich media is the most effective ad medium on mobile... but it’s expensive to make, Opera... An interesting set of statistics, nonetheless.

Corporates find Twitter more appealing than Facebook for their social media presence.

All bad news for Facebook – profits and revenue plateauing. Time to use that “business genius”, Zuck. Or are you actually Yahoo! in disguise?

One thing they have got right is the use of Facebook profiles as general identification across the web. 48% of web users of social login surveyed had used Facebook thus. Not sure whether there’s money in it, though.

Talking of Yahoo! – a new CEO for them. Welcome to the executive revolving door, Marissa Mayer. Her chances of success outside the cloistered executive suite at Google? Zero. You’ll be needing that maternity leave to recover, Marissa.

Social media is fast becoming an important part of the news story arc. It enables journalists to maintain audience interest in a story without resorting to the saturation bombing tactics of 24 hour news. AP have now issued new guidelines to journalists to cover changes in consumer expectations.

Business models

A paper on how the US is falling behind in provision of the bandwidth that the author believes is the key to 21st Century competitiveness. The UK, on the other hand, is well served by our competitive markets and densely packed population. We’re in a great position.

O2 are the latest operator onto the wifi bandwagon, offering free ad-funded wifi in London ahead of the Olympics.

UK 5th operator, 3, have gone one step further, offering 7Mb of 3G broadband in exchange for watching a minute of adverts. Useful for occasional users, but the “20Mb” daily average that 3 quote is a bit dated.

A week after launching their own OTT TV offering, BSkyB have announced an investment in US video streaming business Roku. For those of you not familiar with it, Roku is very similar in concept to Apple TV. Or YouView, if it had launched in 2007.


I’m not sure whether we’ll be seeing this in devices any time soon, however Apple have patented a “5D” technology that enables users to interact with devices situationally (ie through their relative position to the device) and through the amount of pressure they place on the device’s surface.

It doesn’t surprise me that Apple will have several different versions of the iPhone 5 to cope with different spectrum variations of LTE. It’ll be a good few years before consistency begins to emerge in spectrum assignment for the new standard, so Apple won’t be alone in this.

Superpower politics

Another brilliant quarter for Apple, despite what the “analysts” are saying. In a quarter where it’s biggest line is nearly 2 years old, they still grew 20%, scoring major wins, like doubling Mac sales to education and selling 1Mn iPads to schools. Oh, and smashing the Galaxy S3 in the sales charts.

Here’s a relief for those desperate for Windows 8 – the Surface tablet that uses it won’t cost $1,000, contrary to rumours last week. I still expect it to be more iPad than Nexus 7 in price.$1k-after-all/

More patent conflict – this time Apple vs Google over the Kodak patent estate.

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