Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
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Posts from — May 2008

Roku’s Netflix Player vs. Apple TV: unboxing and first impressions

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Netflix and Roku are stepping up to the plate with a media hub that promises a much less expensive way to watch movies online without a per-movie cost. In this preview ahead of our full review, we unpack the device and give our first impressions on how it stacks up to Apple’s offering.
Like Apple TV, the partnership between Netflix and Roku has given way to a compact box for streaming select movies and TV programs directly to your television. The $100 box serves up unlimited content from Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” section as part of the standard subscription price of its DVD by mail service. The 10,000 Watch Instantly “movies and TV episodes” include many documentaries and older films, but provide a wide range of options that were previously only viewable from a Windows PC, due to the use of Windows Media DRM that is incompatible with Macs.

Continues: Roku’s Netflix Player vs. Apple TV: unboxing and first impressions

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May 31, 2008   No Comments

Three Barriers Holding Up Apple TV

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Compared to the high profile sales of iPhones, iPods, and Mac computers, shipments of Apple TV are barely registering. Pundits present rival media boxes as potential “Apple TV killers,” but the entire market segment seems to have little life in it yet. Here’s what’s holding the market for downloadable videos back, leading up to what Apple can do to shake up the market and why it is unique in being able to disrupt how the world watches video.

[Read more →]

May 30, 2008   35 Comments

Apple’s AirPort grabs 10.6% share of 802.11n WiFi market

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While Apple’s share of the entire US PC market hovers between 6% and 8% depending on the source, its share of the 802.11n WiFi base station market is even higher.

Stephen Baker, an analyst for market research firm NPD Group, told AppleInsider that Apple took 10.6% of the market in unit volume last month. He added that the company’s revenue and profit share on sales of the routers are even higher. Last year, Apple noted on its website that the AirPort Extreme was ranked by NPD as the top selling 802.11n router. While Apple no longer advertises that, Baker said that the AirPort Extreme has been the top selling 802.11n router for five of the last nine months.

Contiunues: Apple’s AirPort grabs 10.6% share of 802.11n WiFi market

May 22, 2008   4 Comments

Obama’s Apple, McCain’s Microsoft: the Politics of Tech

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Daniel Eran Dilger
While the United States prepares to elect a new president, candidates on both sides have made interesting comments about their affiliations with tech companies and their perspective on issues facing the tech industry.

Here’s a look at Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain compare, looking first at how each relates to Apple and Microsoft, how corporations are leveraging money and political power to shape public policy to fit their own interests, and followed by a look at each candidate’s stance on issues related to technology.

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May 21, 2008   101 Comments

Mobile EEE PC, UMPC, and Internet Tablets vs the iPhone

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Throughout the 90s, Apple’s increasingly precarious business was hobbled and complicated by the albatross of the Newton. As Apple abandoned the sophisticated but unfinished and ultimately unprofitable platform in early 1998, Palm began selling its wildly popular PDAs while PC makers struggled to copy that success in the mobile market with clumsy WinCE based devices.

Ten years later, PC makers are still failing to understand mobile devices as Apple launches its game changing WiFi mobile platform. Here’s why PC makers will be similarly left behind in their fight against the iPhone in the market for low cost mobile devices.

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May 20, 2008   26 Comments

Newton Again: iPhone vs the Mini-Laptop

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Daniel Eran Dilger

Apple’s WiFi mobile platform, represented by the iPhone and iPod touch, appears to echo elements of the history of the company’s Newton MessagePad from a decade ago. This time, as a decade ago, Apple engineered a highly specialized device and integrated software while the company’s PC competitors lined up rival products that were largely gutless, impractical, instant eWaste units powered by software inappropriate for use in a mobile device. Here’s a historical comparison of the mid 90s Newton with today’s iPhone platform, leading up to what can be drawn about the future of Apple’s mobile WiFi platform compared to the Asus EEE PC and similar devices.

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May 19, 2008   20 Comments

iTunes’ Content Pricing Not in Crisis

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Apple critics have been working to push the idea that the company’s pricing models in iTunes are in trouble and that HBO’s recent deal to sell shows for $2.99 per episode will cause a stampede toward untenably higher pricing. They’re wrong, here’s why.

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May 15, 2008   17 Comments

WWDC sold out with over 5,000 attendees

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Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, scheduled for June 9-11, has sold out for the first time ever. Attendance at the event has rapidly grown as interest in the Mac platform has snowballed in proportion to rapid new sales of Macs.
Build It and They Will Come.
This year however, WWDC is expanding to address the new iPhone mobile WiFi platform, an new expansion Apple illustrated in WWDC marketing with a photoshopped doubling of San Francisco’s landmark Golden Gate Bridge.

Continues: WWDC sold out with over 5,000 attendees

May 14, 2008   No Comments

QuarkXPress 8 to target Adobe’s Creative Suite this August

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Quark, Inc. is preparing to release a major new version of its flagship QuarkXPress software this fall, aimed at cementing its lead in the market for professional desktop publishing against Adobe’s rival InDesign product, AppleInsider has learned.

People familiar with the release say the new version is slated to take on the publishing features of Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash in a revamped, standardized, and polished package that will temporarily be offered as a free upgrade to new buyers of the existing QuarkXPress 7 ahead of the 8.0 release in the August timeframe.

Continues: QuarkXPress 8 to target Adobe’s Creative Suite this August

May 13, 2008   6 Comments

iPod Game Console, Tablet at WWDC? Highly Unlikely

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Inventory shortages of the iPhone appear to predict the launch of a new 3G model, long expected to be released this June around the first year anniversary of its debut. However, the rumor mill has recently kicked into overdrive to predict the arrival of another new device based on the same platform, either focused on gaming or serving as a tablet device. This is highly unlikely, for the following reasons.

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May 13, 2008   47 Comments

From Vista to Zune: Why Microsoft Can’t Sell to Consumers

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Microsoft’s marketing of Windows Vista and the Zune have failed in large part due to the fact that Microsoft has not learned how to effectively sell consumer products. Consumers buy Windows and Office, but that’s because they have no choice, not because of the company’s marketing savvy. Microsoft only effectively markets its products to businesses, which represents a very different type of sales relationship.

Businesses are so used to disgorging overloaded language about facilitating and empowering that they don’t find Microsoft’s marketing of the same caliber all that difficult to swallow. Consumers are a whole ‘nother ball game, and Microsoft is striking out in efforts to reach them. This has big impacts on the company’s future prospects.

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May 12, 2008   40 Comments

Climate Counts’ Fake Attack on Apple

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Copying the self-serving campaigns run by SVTC and Greenpeace, the group Climate Counts has made Apple, Inc. the core of its latest press releases. The group says Apple “is not yet taking meaningful action on climate change,” and is a “choice to avoid for the climate-conscious consumer,” but then points out that its “action” metrics are all based on ineffectual political posturing. And the reason for the tough critique: Apple elected not to join the Climate Counts consortium last year and throw money at the group’s ineffectual efforts to “facilitate engagement.”

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May 10, 2008   47 Comments

Zune Sales Still In the Toilet

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Daniel Eran Dilger
Microsoft has been keeping awfully quiet about sales figures for its Zune, a product that many Windows Enthusiasts originally predicted would cause considerable grief for Apple’s iPod. However, despite a new model refresh last fall and plenty of advertising, Microsoft has been left to announce that its actual sales are still a joke.

According to an Associated Press article citing Jason Reindorp, Zune’s director of product marketing, the device has sold “just north of two million” between its debut in November 2006 and May 2008. Apple has sold roughly 76 million iPods during that same period, more than doubling the installed base of iPods since the Zune’s debut.

[Read more →]

May 9, 2008   41 Comments

Flash Wars: Adobe Fights for AIR with the Open Screen Project

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Flash has plenty of enemies and obstacles, but it also enjoys wide deployment and familiarity. Two areas where Flash can offer real value is in displaying and packaging video on the web, and in serving as a Java replacement for developing applets. Here’s a look at how Adobe is working to defend its strengths in the face of competition, and how its efforts to open the Flash specification in the Open Screen Project play into these efforts.
Continues: Flash Wars: Adobe Fights for AIR with the Open Screen Project

May 7, 2008   1 Comment

Flash Wars: The Many Enemies and Obstacles of Flash

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While widely deployed as a web plugin and among the few web technologies that have become a household word, Adobe’s Flash has more than a few substantial enemies that would like to see it replaced, cloned, or erased.
Additionally, Flash faces a number of significant obstacles that are its own fault. These also erode Adobe’s position and have helped force its hand in opening the Flash specification. Here’s a look at the external competitors of Flash, and how Flash has hurt its own chances to establish itself as a web platform in the future.

Continues: Flash Wars: The Many Enemies and Obstacles of Flash

Rene Ritchie presented Flash cookies as another thorn in the Flash platform for users, as described in the article Flash on iPhone: Video Dream or Privacy Nightmare? – Phone different

May 6, 2008   4 Comments