Posted by Rick Stine
on October 18, 2010
, Consumer Products
“We still have a few surprises left for the remainder of the calendar year.”
That’s Steve Jobs commenting on Apple’s strong quarter which saw big increases in computer sales, iPhone sales and the most recent product added to its must-have arsenal: the iPad. The company said it has sold 4.188 iPads in the most recent quarter. That pushes the number sold since launch to nearly 7.5 million units.
Jobs took aim at Smartphone competitor Research In Motion, saying Apple sold more iPhones this quarter than RIM sold Blackberrys in the most recently reported quarter.
One cna only image what Jobs has up his sleeve.
Research In Motion, the company that makes those devices that people stare at while walking through Manhattan while intermittently bumping into fellow pedestrians, reported fairly strong earnings today – albeit earnings that fell short of what the Wall Street wizards hoped to see. (Revenues grew 35% year over year, and gross margin was up to 45.7% versus 40% a year ago.)
So what was it that got the Wall Street types so worked up?
Posted by Gabriella Stern
on January 27, 2010
Actually, that’s not me. I’m an admirer of the Apple-Jobs phenomenon – from afar. The last Apple I owned was a Mac II in the late 1980s; it did what I needed it to do as I typed up grad school research papers. Today, I own an MP3 player, but not an iPod. Mine is a Zen, by Creative Arts; I bought it when we lived in Singapore. It works fine – I listen to music and watch old episodes of “Weeds” and “Dexter” during the daily train commute. (My husband downloads this stuff for me – a sign of how un-tech-savvy I am.) I have a Blackberry – that is, it has me in its Crackberry grip. It’s my phone, my email, my address book, my “to do” list – and my route to online newspapers and magazines. Small as the Blackberry is, I manage to read it for an average of three hours a day. You may be like me – intrigued by all things Apple but not obsessed enough to really care what the new tablet’s called (iPad) or to road-test it when it hits stores. All that said, if the new Apple tablet is totally and utterly convenient for all the functions described above, I may buy it. (The price, around $500-800, looks reasonable.) Moreover, if fairly neutral, even apathetic, people like me succumb, the sky’s the limit for Steve Jobs’ company. You see, Jobs already owns the die-hard Apple freaks, and he’ll never seduce the anti-Apple clique. But middle-ground people like me – fly-over country, so to speak – who use cell phones, MP3 players and Blackberries, but find one or all of them not quite right for our multi-media purposes – we just might be lured to Apple country with the right new product.
The only thing slightly dilutive to the embarassment that accrues from realizing I have become way too attached to my BlackBerry device is the firm knowledge I am not alone.
I am confident I am not the only person in the Americas Tuesday night, who upon noticing a too-long delay between receipt of emails, started monkeying with the instrument with increasing amounts of frustration and despair.
I am confident I am not the only person who shut the instrument off, took out the battery, and, when the thing still wouldn’t work, again carried out both procedure. I did eventually go to sleep. No messages from about 730 pm to 230 am U.S. eastern time.
Research in Motion, the company behind BlackBerry, apologized today to users for the email outage, citing technical factors.
As discouraging to the company as no doubt such outages are, they do perversely prove the loyalty and dependence of the customer base. Not bad things for a business.
Posted by Rick Stine
on December 17, 2009
It started out as a bad day for Research In Motion. The maker of the popular Blackberry SmartPhones had a major crisis on its hands – Blackberry Internet Service users were without service for many hours. These are the non-corporate folks (read consumers) who contract through AT&T and Verizon, for example, to use their Blackberries. And this is just the market RIM has been going after – The Toronto Star said about half of Blackberry owners are consumers and it is the area it sees growth; nearly 80% of its new accounts in the second quarter came from consumers. It’s never great to have a service outage but the timing wasn’t great – the same day the company planned to release third-quarter earnings. After a disappointing second quarter report several months ago, the outage today could have been an ominous sign for skittish investors. But it wasn’t. RIM reported very strong earnings and a nice increase in sales that sent its shares up more than 11% in after-hours trading. The company earned $428.4 million on sales of $3.92 billion. In the 2Q, it disappointed with earnings of $475 million on sales of $3.53 billion. Many were wondering if Apple and its iPhone were stealing grabbing Smartphone share away from RIM. But RIM reported strong new account numbers today as well. It will be interesting to see if this means a slowdown for Apple or rather Smartphones cutting more broadly into traditional handheld phone sales, like those made by LG, Nokia or Motorola. The chart on the next page shows new account growth at RIM.
Posted by Rick Stine
on April 03, 2009
Comparing iPhone Apps
Neal and I visited our Hong Kong bureau this week and had dinner with many of our Newswires colleagues. One thing that struck me – how many of our fellow reporters and editors had SmartPhones, and in particular, iPhones. Here, an editor and reporter (on the right side of the picture) are comparing what applications they have on their iPhones. SmartPhones are becoming a huge force in the mobile phone market. Handset sales in North America grew 3.3% to 182.2 million in 2008, a Gartner analyst told Newswires reporter Roger Cheng. And that’s during a recession in which many expected to see a big decline in sales of hand-held phones.