Why the law will stop Apple 4K being as big a hit as Amazon and Google competition

(I’m not going to say too much about the Apple event – that’s Ewan Spence’s gig, but there are two things that stick out and are worth a quick comment…)

So the Apple 4K has been announced and Apple pulled off a nice unleaked surprise in that the company is offering 4k material for the price of the non-4K content. But it’s not going to be enough for the machine to take off like competing devices from the likes of Amazon and Google for two simple reasons – the main one is cost, but the second one is to do with the long arm of the law… Continue reading

Nokia’s chance to be the next Apple of journalism and PR – roundup of media phones for 2009

I’ve made no secret of my admiration for what the Nokia N95 can do as a reporting tool (or PR for that matter) – and the material gathered by the Manchester Evening News‘ Nicola Dowling validates that even further but the Nokia N97 looks like it could take things to the next level.

However it won’t be alone – though I think Nokia has a chance with the N95 and N97 to become to journalism and media gathering what the Apple and the Macintosh (along with Adobe and Quark) did to desktop publishing.

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O2 cock up iPhone 3G Launch?

There’s a PR point to this one: According to The Register and the comments people are leaving O2 stores and an Apple store after waiting up to two hours for their new phones – and leaving not only empty handed, but also giving negative interviews to reporters.

Ouch.

Surely after last year, someone saw this coming? Yes, the phone didn’t launch great here last year but this was the version – and at a price point – that everyone could get behind.

The PR response seems quote interesting though – more or less a denial that there’s a problem while people are going online and saying there is a problem, but from O2 there appears to be no attempt to counter the online moaning. Surely they have a team monitoring and countering this stuff? That’s basic in this day and age. If I was them I’d have someone right now logging on to every blog and forum where there is a moan and countering it. Or at least be honest and upfront with people.

iPhone gets media friendly with iPhone 3G

Well, the new iPhone is out (let’s be honest, we don’t need hyperlinks for this one) and while the 3G and unlimited data plans will make it a winner for most, there’s a couple of other add-ons available via the Apps Store (via iTunes as with all things Apple) that make it an improvement on what has gone before for media types (and, as far as I know, most of these work on the original iPhone).

There appears to be at least three voice recorders – ranging in price from 99p to £6 – which is such a basic omission I really don’t know why Apple left it out. The only questions remaining are what audio format they use (and quality), if they sync over to your mac/PC for editing and if they also record phone calls as well as chats.

There also appears to be a form of file manager, which goes a long way to address the concerns of those who moan that they can’t use their iPods/iPod Touches as a storage device. Again, there’s a couple of questions involved in how it works, but again, it’s an improvement on something Apple inexplicably removed from these iPods.

The NY Times has also managed to bring out a nice iPod-friendly version of its paper, which begs the question of why no paper from the UK thought about doing the same. Given the size of the code, I can’t imagine it was a programming nightmare to do and it would have been nice bragging. (and yes I know a few online editors think that the size of the screen means most people will surf about. I think for a year or two yet, it might be nice to have mobile only versions).

The one thing that surprises me by not being there is a version of MS Office. I really thought MS would have had something in there for kick off in a friendly style format.

For me though, it’s still a no-buy for a few reasons:

1) My N-95 has a built in video camera and 5M camera. The ‘JesusPhone’ doesn’t. Now the video may not be HD quality, but it’s decent and there are a lot of impromptu times in my life where I need a video camera and regardless of what some people say, you just can’t always lug about another piece of kit.

2) Why would I go from a decent 5M to a decent 2M camera? That makes no sense at all. This is the one area of the iPhone where you can tell it was designed for the US market and not abroad because everyone on this side of the world left 2M cameras behind ages ago. Heck in Asia they are on to 8M.

3) Stuck on an Orange 18 month contract (1 year to go). Even if I wasn’t I probably wouldn’t for the above reasons, but as I’m going to go into a rant about this lot soon, let me just say that anyone who isn’t an Orange customer: you lucky gits. There has never been a company so awkward and hellish to deal with as a customer.

(and for those of you sick of the iPhone, The Register has a list of competitor phones here.)

AP suddenly gains 10million reporters thanks to the iPhone

Well, how long before the BBC nab this idea? As part of the iPhone 2.0/iPhone 3G release, it’s been revealed that AP has an app ready for it which will let you submit pics and text to them (which has been greeted by some) but how will these people get paid or is web2.0 being used again to drive nothing more than some free pics and text? And who’s the poor soul who will have to wade through all of the content for quality?

And never mind the current rows over net neutrality and the iPlayer eating bandwidth. Once the iPhone does video, that AP link will get swamped – especially as by the time we get to v3 of the iPhone – there may well be 15million plus people using it.

(thoughts on the upgrade to the iPhone: it’s a nicer piece of kit now at a far more sensible price, but I’ll stick with Nokia’s N95. The UI might be an absolute dog, the GPS may be horrific and Orange may be complete ripoff pricing merchants with a terrible sales service – in store and on phone – but the ability to forward emails, attach a keyboard and record video/audio make it the better workhorse for now.)

I wonder though…is there a future in this for newspapers. Say, a newspaper did a tie-in with Apple and a mobile network. Joe Punter gets a free iPhone and cheap rate in return for filing stories…I wonder if that could work. Would the paper get a boost if you tied in hard-copy sales to keeping your phone?