26 January 2010

1st Hands On Review of Apple iSlate!

Check out Walt Mosspuppet's review of the magical new product from Apple! Apparently, it'll even get a unicorn to deliver a pizza to your door... it's that good! :)

22 January 2010

Frog Designs Apple Tablet - 27 Years Too Soon

Give credit to Frog Design for keeping good files. In a move clearly "designed" to draft on the publicity surrounding Apple's up-coming product launch - that of the much-rumored tablet - the Frog folk have released images of the prototype work they did on a tablet for Apple... In 1983!

By the way, the move worked. WIRED picked up the story.

19 January 2010

Poorly Kept Secret = PR and Momentum for Apple

In case you've been stuck in an ice cave in Antarctica since last summer, you've heard the "rumor" by now that Apple will soon introduce a tablet device. You first saw the device mentioned in a g-thought last August. Since then, despite Apple's reputation for secrecy, details have been sneaking out.

Today, news outlets are atwitter (yes, pun intended) with the fact that Apple will host a press event for its "latest creation" on 27.January here in San Francisco (I'm here on a brief business trip). WIRED will actually have a team on-site at the event to live blog and photo document the event.

What I appreciate about all this buzz is the great leverage of marketing resources on display. Apple will advertise the new product; there's little doubt that it will get behind any significant product launch. But let's look at the pre-launch campaign for a moment... Rumors arise last summer, the idea that Steve Jobs wants a "Kindle Killer" sneaks its way into the press during the fall, and more recently the Wall Street Journal reports that HarperCollins Publishers is negotiating an e-book deal with Apple.

How successful has all this PR, rumor, and innuendo been? Google returns 15,400,000 results for a search on "Apple tablet". Compare that to 8.7 million for "droid phone", a product currently supported by an extensive ad campaign.

The communications are leverage Apple's brand and connection with its consumer base. The early leaks provide both an opportunity to gauge reaction and build anticipation. If the idea flops, well, at least they avoided a poor launch and its accompanying expense. If the idea is picked up, shared, and dissected, it's a much better bet for a launch. Heck, some of the commentary might even help refine the final offering.

And, for a brand like Apple, with a thriving fan base, the early momentum generated through PR, sharing among the fans, etc. is most definitely a competitive advantage, which in this case, should cause concern at Amazon. It's one thing to face a Kindle Killer, it's another altogether to face such a product with the mass and momentum of the Apple brand behind it.

11 January 2010

Rules for Innovation, Brands Style

My friend and former colleague, Robert Brands, recently wrote a book on innovation. In his first column for Business Week, he discusses Innovation Made Incarnate. Enjoy!

05 January 2010

Kindle Killer Nears & Google Reaches a Nexus

Back in October, I posted a g-thought postulating Apple's rumored tablet device would be a Kindle Killer. The rumors have turned to expectation, with launch announcement expected later this month. VentureBeat recently put a nice perspective piece together on the iSlate (as folks expect the new Apple product to be dubbed). I continue to wonder what Amazon might try to do to rejuvenate the Kindle with new competitive pressure promised for this year.

By the way, while at VentureBeat, take a peek at the live blog on today's introduction of Google's Nexus One mobile phone. Or you can just go to Google's own online introduction of it: http://www.google.com/phone. At first blush, it's an exciting device. What do you think?

04 January 2010

iGet Googly About 2010

Well, the new year is upon us. Tomorrow, Google is slated to announce their new phone, one which is not tied to a specific carrier. Not to be outdone, Apple is expected to confirm launch of the iSlate tablet later this month. Oh, and sandwiched in between is the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Maybe the only folks not excited by these events are at Amazon, since it's likely the Kindle that's gonna lose steam this year.