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Apple News & Analysis

Apple Pay: Using Its Midas Touch to Reinvent Mobile Payments

2014-09-October-Apple-Buying.jpgWith Apple Pay, Apple is once again doing what it does best: reinventing existing markets, products and business models by delivering a simpler, more stylish and more streamlined user experience. Let's face it: Apple has a knack for making things frictionless and more exciting.

And its ability to market new services and create demand by seducing consumer’s appetite for making things in life easier is a lesson for all marketers. That’s true innovation.

Why Apple Pay Will Boost Mobile Payments

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Apple did more than announce its new, bigger iPhone 6 and super sized iPhone 6 Plus and much-anticipated Apple Watch earlier this month.

It also showcased its new mobile payment system, Apple Pay. Though payment via mobile devices using near-field communication (NFC) is not a new concept, Apple went beyond the norm.

Rather than just add an NFC radio to its new phones and watch and call it a day, it engineered a complete payment system and network. It's now ready for launch with its other new products, which is very likely why Apple Pay will succeed where other NFC payment systems have failed.

Mobile Devices are the Gateway to the Internet of Things

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is all about devices: how we interact with them and the data they produce. 

One key piece of the IoT that is often overlooked is our mobile device. On the day Apple releases its iOS 8, there's no better time to point out that mobile devices are really our gateway to the IoT.  

As we move around from location to location our mobile device, which is packed with sensors and numerous wireless radios, helps us seamlessly communicate with various other devices. Some of these devices might be in our homes, some our offices, some in our cars or the stores we shop in.  Still others, we wear on our bodies. 

Hootsuite, Nuance - and Everyone Else - Bite into iOS 8

2014-17-September-a-finger-in-my-apple.jpgThe Apple-a-day news picks up steam today with the release of the newest version of its iOS. Apple — with just the slightest lack of modesty —  calls it “the biggest release since the launch of the App Store.”

The update offers fewer visual improvements but more under the hood changes, tech writer Mark Rogowsky explained in a comprehensive blog post today. As he noted:

"In many ways, it’s a more exciting upgrade for those who live on their mobile devices. Yet a great deal of the potential is tied to an upgrade of Apple’s Mac OS X, called Yosemite, that isn’t expected until next month. And most apps will need upgrades to exploit the most powerful features of iOS 8."

The big deal: iOS 8 enables new connectivity between the cloud, personal devices and installed apps. And companies, brands and app developers everywhere are taking advantage of the new capabilities, including Hootsuite and Nuance.

Why Marketers Should Care About Apple's iPhone 6

digital marketing, Why Digital Marketers Should Care About Apple's iPhone 6

A bigger iPhone 6 screen may make some butts look bigger.

But it also opens larger opportunities for digital marketers.

Digital marketers can capitalize on a new market, take advantage of higher-resolution screens with video marketing and expand marketing opportunities to beyond tablet users -- even, perhaps, the youngest of those users.

How big is this opportunity for digital marketers? So far, Apple reports 4 million pre-orders of the iPhone 6 and 6 plus.

"Previously, many mobile branding campaigns have focused on tablets," said Tom Bash, manager of product strategy and operations at Exponential. " With the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, these campaigns can offer a more optimized experience on users’ devices that are accessible on-the-go, always-on, and at arm’s reach."

Apple Gives 'Em What They Want: Phones, a Watch and U2, Too

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Bringing to light several predictions about Apple’s new product announcements, Apple’s big press event yesterday, streamed live from Cupertino, Calif., did not disappoint.

Despite setbacks with streaming at the start of the event — complete with Chinese voiceover and several outages — viewers were finally able to hear and see live demonstrations of Apple’s newest products, notably two new iPhone models and a first of its kind Apple Watch. 

It's About Time: The Apple Watch is Here

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Everyone has been wondering when Apple would unveil its smartwatch. Rumors about its entry into this niche of the wearable tech space have been swirling since the Sony SmartWatch hit the market in 2012, and they intensified after Samsung introduced the Galaxy Gear last year. 

Now the wait is over.  Exactly a year after CMSWire reported how disappointed many Apple aficionados were when the tech giant failed to introduce an iWatch at its big press event, Apple made the big reveal.

At the end of today's press event, after he showed off the two bigger and ostensibly better iPhone 6 models, CEO Tim Cook said he had “one more thing.”

Yes, the very simply named Apple Watch

View of the Apple iPhone 6 Launch - from a 9-Year-Old

customer experience, Viewpoint of the Apple iPhone 6 Launch - from a 9-Year-Old

PEABODY, Mass. -- So here we are, fresh off some conversations with Apple workers and customers at the consumer technology giant's brick-and-mortar store inside the Northshore Mall in suburban Boston.

It's the day of the big iPhone 6 launch, and we've got news to report. Stories to tell.

So what do we have?

"You got nothing," said my afternoon-reporting companion for the day, Matthew, my 9-year-old fourth-grader lucky enough to have a half-day today. 

Apparently, he's Bob Woodward.

"What are you going to write about?" he asked rhetorically, after listening to interviews I had with iPhone 4 users. "Oooh, I have an iPhone 4. Woo. Woo."

Why Dell Just Unveiled the Dell Business Phone

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It’s not April and this isn’t a joke. Dell introduced the Dell Business Phone just minutes ago.

It’s interesting news to begin with, but the fact that it comes on the same day that VMWare’s AirWatch makes its Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Enterprise File Sync and Share (EFSS) announcements, at its annual user conference, makes it even more so.

Never mind the fact that Apple is expected to be unveiling its new iPhones later today. We doubt that those will have an immediate enterprise twist, especially because the IBM + Apple news around mobility in the enterprise was made last July.

Is Dell’s timing a coincidence? We think so. It’s hard to imagine why it would want to risk its vitally important news to get lost in the crowd. So what card is it playing?

A Bigger iPhone Will Just Make My Butt Look Big

2014-09-September-Gordon-Gekko-mobile-phone.jpgEveryone's excited about the prospect of an iPhone with a bigger screen. Except, apparently, me.

Why do I want a bigger phone when the pockets in my jeans are still the same size? 

At the risk of sounding trite and lame and, yes, sophomoric, size isn’t everything.

Maybe I'm too eagerly betraying my age, but I can remember the first mobile phone to ever appear in a Hollywood movie: “The Brick” held by Gordon Gekko, the character played by Michael Douglas in 1987′s Wall Street.

And like everyone else who thought the idea of getting a phone call someplace other than a home, an office — or, if you were really cool, a restaurant — was an unrivaled step forward for mankind, I was impressed. 

Then something even more amazing happened. Mobile phones got smaller and smaller, small enough, in fact, to clutch discreetly under a table when you were waiting for that oh-so-important call in an inappropriate place.

So why are we so excited that phone screens are getting big again? 

There's no difference in call quality … Ah, that's it. I still use my mobile phone to call people. Silly me.

What Apple is Cooking Up: iPhone 6 and iWatch Rumors

Only Apple could get away with it.

Thirty years after Steve Jobs unveiled the first Macintosh at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is back home. Tomorrow it's expected to launch the iPhone 6, and possibly even unveil its latest entry into the Internet of Things, a wearable computer called the iWatch. 

As usual, the invitation to the two-hour media event that starts at 10 am PDT (1 pm EDT) tomorrow sheds little light on what will happen. But speculation about the iWatch was fueled by the fact that Apple extended invitations to top fashion editors and bloggers.

The invitation simply states, “Wish we could say more."

Artificial Intelligence is Resurrecting Enterprise Search

2014-08-Sept-Oleson-Image1.jpgThe future of enterprise search is bright. Recent announcements show enterprise search is taking a number of different forms. Microsoft has been stirring things up in the cloud with Delve -- the next generation Office Graph, based on search-driven discovery of activities and feeds. And some unlikely partnerships have been announced to combine consumer mobile technology with an enterprise injection. I'm ready for an enterprise search that understands me and gives me results based on my interests, location and social distance (i.e., people I work with the most). We've also seen the use of voice for search gain popularity as the lines between work and life blur.

If the Cloud Isn't Safe for Jennifer Lawrence, Is it Safe for Enterprises?

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What bad timing for Box. On the eve of Boxworks, the enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) vendor’s biggest user conference to date, we saw headlines asking  “Are we too quick to trust cloud storage?”

The question didn’t come out of thin air.

Over the Labor Day weekend, nude, private photographs of model Kate Upton and Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence began to go viral on the web.  They had been taken, it seems (not verified) with iPhones and stored on the iCloud. Hackers allegedly accessed the photos, posted them on the popular image-sharing site 4chan and voila!

Not surprisingly, the photos spread rapidly on social media sites like Twitter.

A Graceful Exit for Box?

2014-18-August-Exit.jpgJust a little more than two weeks from today, on Sept. 2, Box CEO Aaron Levie will host BoxWorks, the company’s biggest pep rally of the year. There’s a nice line-up of all-stars keynoting — Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, Disney’s Jeff Katzenberg, LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner and Aneesh Chopra, former CTO of the United States.

And then, of course, there’s Levie himself. Not only is he Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year, but he’s also got celebrity-like status in Silicon Valley. Never mind his Hollywood connections to the likes of Ashton Kutcher, who invested in Box, and Oscar winner Jared Leto who reportedly visited the company earlier this year.

Samsung Pushes Open IoT with SmartThings Buy

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Samsung has just made a play for a bigger stake in the Internet of Things. It plans to buy SmartThings’ open platform for monitoring, controlling and automating homes from a single device.

The deal, which was announced late last week, will see Samsung buying SmartThings — reportedly for the relative pittance of $200 million — which will then operated as an independent entity under its founder and CEO, Alex Hawkinson.

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