Five Digital and Social Media Stories Worth Reading This Week

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Here are five stories pulled from the headlines to get you up-to-date this week on digital and social media news. I’ve done the research for you. You can thank me later.

It’s the year of the “Influencer.” IBT: In Search Of The Real Thing: Why Global Advertisers Like Coca-Cola Are Ditching Celebs For Little-Known Instagram ArtistsPULL QUOTE: It was all about selfies for Christine Adelina, until May 1, 2014. That’s when the 22-year-old student and obsessive Instagram poster from London learned her large following on the photo-sharing app could translate to some decent income. After attending a meetup for Instagram “influencers,” she switched from bedroom and bathroom selfies to artistic portrayals of the world around her, now spending at least three hours a day on the app. And brands are gawking — handing over ad dollars to Adelina and other so-called influencers, anywhere from $300 to thousands of dollars depending on the deal, to join their marketing campaigns. While some sponsorship deals simply reward users with gifts for sending out company-related Instagram posts, others are contracted. Take Nabisco’s #PuttingOnTheRitz campaign, for example. That marketing strategy to promote new Ritz Crisp and Thin crackers — to which Adelina and a handful of other contracted influencers submitted two photos for this June  — reached 7.5 million people. One post from British blogger Tanya Burr, who boasts 2 million Instagram followers, drew 110,000 likes.

It’s the latest sign that Madison Avenue and its counterparts worldwide are recognizing the pitch power of organically born social media stars like Adelina and Burr. They can be just as influential, or even moreso, as celebs like the Kardashians. Consumers, the thinking goes, may connect more readily with individuals who lead lives like their own. “For ‘Putting on the Ritz,’ we were very interested in getting people involved. The campaign seemed more real,” said Jana Soosova, social media campaign manager at London-based PHD Media.

instagram ritz

While Instagram influencer Christine Adelina’s post was not the highest traffic-driver for the #PuttingOnTheRitz campaign, Nabisco paid for and endorsed the submission as part of its marketing strategy.  – Instagram Screenshot 

Earlier this month, Instagram introduced its first ad product for businesses. The system allows companies to quickly create standard ads, target them to selected users and include direct-response buttons (like “Buy Now” as seen on Facebook, Twitter and Google). The move will spur more ads on the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app — and fuel Instagram’s predicted rise to $2.8 billion in revenue by 2017.

Marketing jobs have gone digital and they are asking for a lot from their employees! MarketingProfs: The Most In-Demand Digital Marketing SkillsPULL QUOTE: The most in-demand job titles identified by the analysis were digital marketing manager and marketing manager. Those roles may be especially hard to fill given the wide range of skills required: Companies seeking marketing managers tend to look for proficiency in several disciplines, including social media marketing, SEO, PPC, content marketing, Google Analytics, and digital marketing. Other digital marketing job titles with a high volume of listings are digital marketing specialist, marketing coordinator, SEO specialist, Web developer, account executive, and social media manager.

If you’ve paid attention today, you’ll see Kanye West trending on Facebook (kill me now). What does it take to becoming a trending topic on Facebook? IBT: In Search Of The Real Thing: Why Global Advertisers Like Coca-Cola Are Ditching Celebs For Little-Known Instagram Artists – PULL QUOTE: But how exactly does Facebook decide what to put in the Trending queue? And why is it that trends sometimes show up hours if not days after they may be trending somewhere else? Facebook shows you things in your Trending line-up the same way it shows you things in your News Feed: Algorithms. It takes into account a few personal things, like where you live and what Pages you follow. But primarily it looks for two broader signals: Topics that are being mentioned a lot and topics that receive a dramatic spike in mentions. You can’t have one without the other. For example, Kim Kardashian is mentioned often on Facebook, so the total volume of mentions is always high and isn’t a good indicator of whether or not she’s part of a trending topic. Instead, Facebook looks for a spike in mentions relative to the normal chatter around Kim and other celebrities, too. Things that trend aren’t just the most highly mentioned people or topics. They have to be tied to some kind of relevant event.

Right now I’m rocking a Misfit. I ‘m using it as a replacement to my UP24 because I can swim with the Misfit. Am I missing out on not having an Apple Watch? ReadWrite: The Wearables Market Is Exploding, And Apple Is Stealing The Show – PULL QUOTE: Second only to Fitbit, Apple Watch rules the smartwatch scene.  A new report published by IDC paints an intriguing picture of the wearables market as it looks in the middle of 2015. The market grew 223% over the course of the previous year, and Apple—new to the sector and with only one wearable to its name—was bested only by Fitbit, in terms of devices sold during the last three months. That puts reports of rather underwhelming Apple Watch sales into perspective. (Apple hasn’t released official figures of its own, of course.) While the smartwatch has yet to make an iPhone-like splash so far, with nearly 20% of the market, but it’s already threatening to dominate the nascent wearables movement.

I’ll admit it, I’m developing Snapchat campaigns and have totally forgotten about Vine. Apparently, that is not a good thingQuartz: Vine is a sleeping giant (while everyone is focused on Snapchat)PULL QUOTE: A funny thing happened to Vine, Twitter’s short-form video app, after its initial buzz wore off: It kept going. If you haven’t checked lately, Vine, launched in early 2013, is still a thing. It has evolved from a social “Instagram-for-video” built atop Twitter into a unique mobile entertainment platform with its own style, format, and celebrities. And as mobile video continues its long-awaited rise, Vine has built and maintained an impressive audience. Vine serves more than 100 million people across the web every month, according to the company, delivering more than 1.5 billion “loops”—its term for video views—per day. Meanwhile, comScore says Vine reached 34.5 million unique visitors in the US in June across desktop and mobile—roughly the same as Snapchat, which has grown rapidly over the past year and is valued by investors at $16 billion.

 

The first 24 Apple Watch apps

Here are the first 24 Apple Watch apps. FYI, Google and Facebook are nowhere to be found.

Fortune

449150819968Pre-orders for the Apple Watch don’t begin for another two weeks and sales don’t begin for four, but the App Store team has already approved two dozen third-party apps for the new device.

The list below, scraped from the App Store by 9to5Mac’s Zac Hall, was presumably curated by Apple with a purpose. Initial impressions are critical for a device whose utility is still an open question.

These apps — and any others approved before April 10 — are the ones staffers will be showing customers in Apple Store test-drives. They will shape the initial impressions in the first wave of Apple Watch reviews. They will also get a huge leg up — a first-mover advantage — on the competition.

It’s an interesting list. All 24 are updates of existing iOS apps. Some are there to show off functions — as hotel keys, credit cards, airline boarding passes. Others…

View original post 293 more words

Cutting The Strings: The Push To Go Wireless – My MacBook Review

Mac 

CNET reports that Apple is once again shaking things up and changing the computer game.  

“Ready or not, Apple’s new MacBook is cutting the computing industry’s cables.

The slim laptop has just a single USB port, the new tiny Type-C variety that’s slowly popping up in devices this year. It’s a multipurpose port that connects to external devices like hard drives, runs video to TVs and external monitors, and supplies the laptop with power when it’s charging time.

The new USB port is remarkably flexible, but it’s still just one port. For those who need to attach printers, Ethernet cables, external hard drives, cameras, monitors, keyboards, mice, TVs, game controllers and tablets, that might seem confining”

UPDATE: So, I got the sexy, gold MacBook. Here’s my review:

When I moved into my new workspace I bought the new iMac. Love, love, love it.  But to not be tied to my desk, I needed a light weight laptop. Now, my MacBook pro is a BEAST, but it’s heavy and not the best portable option. After a lot of research and comments from friends, I decided on a brand new MacBook. I landed on the gold one because I like to be different and it matches my iPhone.

So here’s the thing. The MacBook is small, portable, light laptop. That alone gets five stars from me. Sometimes I need a break from my office to chill on the rooftop of the office building or if I’m at home, I often like to work in my backyard. I also will work just about any place that has free WiFi. Having something lightweight is a must. Portability aside, the speed, memory and battery life on the MacBook is superb and the retina screen anti-glare is everything. But this is a portable laptop. It should not, in my opinion, be your one and only computer. If you are only going to buy one, get the MacBook Pro. I know it’s heavy, but it’s a BEAST and you cannot… simply can not… beat the speed and functionality for the price. Mine is three years old and it is still going strong. Now, it’s an old 17-inch (funny how three years is old in the lifetime of a computer) so it’s heavy as crap. That’s why I got the sexy, light, MacBook.

In regards to not having a dedicated USB port, I have to admit, I’m not in love with that concept yet. I find myself transferring files back and forth via the Mac AirDrop even though I know the intention is to get us to use the cloud services more. I’ll get there. Baby steps.

FullSizeRenderUPDATE TO MY UPDATE: I’ve had my sexy MacBook a month now. I. Love. It. The battery life is killer. It’s lightweight enough to take everywhere and while my iMac and MacBook Pro remain my work horse computers, I’m all in with this MacBook.

The Big Four Tech War

As the Holidays near and the four powerhouses of tech, Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are fighting for position in the tech wars and holiday season sales.  This is a tech war like none other.

“It’s the biggest, most intense battle in tech history,” said Ted Morgan, chief executive of Skyhook Wireless, a firm that provides location-based technology for mobile devices. “It’s so much bigger than even the Microsoft, Apple, IBM battles of the 1990s.”

Here’s how the four shake out:

Google

  • Makes money selling ads that appear alongside its search results.
  • Developed the Android software to run on phones built by others, including Motorola, Samsung and HTC.
  • Looking to acquire cell phone-maker Motorola Mobility Holdings.
  • Recently released Google Music

Apple

• Built success by selling computers, phones and tablets that work seamlessly with the company’s software programs.

• Announced that more than 25 million people have downloaded iOS 5.

• Recently shared iCloud, a brand-new service that lets you store your emails, music files, videos, and more on an Apple-controlled remote server, and access the data from any other device with iCloud support.

As a side note, the passing of Apple’s former CEO Steve Jobs has the entire tech community wondering how his absence will impact the company he co-founded.

“Since Jobs passed on the baton to Tim Cook in late August this year there has been concern among market watchers that an Apple without Steve Jobs at the helm will not be the same. However, some believe the skeptics might be underestimating Apple’s bench strength. “This is something they’ve been planning for and thinking about for a long time,” David Riedel, President and Founder of Riedel Research Group, said.  “One of the qualities of a good CEO is that he can pick the right people, and Jobs was such CEO, Jeff Ebersits, CIO at Shareholder Value Management.” Source

Facebook

• The baby of the bunch, Facebook is the world’s most popular social network. But founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions are grander – and they run directly into those of the three other Titans.

• Facebook hopes to be an alternative way to organize the Web, a platform for consumers to spend their time online. Instead of using Google’s algorithm to search for news and information, Zuckerberg envisions a future in which people consult their network of friends.

• Most critically, content on Facebook is out of the reach of Google’s search engine. And the more time people spend on Facebook, the less time they are looking at ads on Google, which recently launched Google+ as a rival social network.

• Facebook is beginning to bump into Apple’s business of selling apps on its devices. Zuckerberg’s company has quickly become a powerful player in the booming market for social games, such as the popular FarmVille.

Amazon

• The world’s biggest online retailer.

• Benefiting from growing sales of its Kindle e-book reader and digital media, including books, movies and music, putting it in competition with Apple’s iTunes.

• Like Google – is shifting toward Apple’s territory of making devices. Not only does Amazon have the Kindle, but they recently released the Kindle Fire to rival the iPad.


Steve Jobs – Gone Too Soon

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When you visit the Apple.com home page you see this image of Steve Jobs. Under his name is written, “1955-2011” marking the beginning and the end of an amazing man’s life. It’s simple, classy, and powerful.

As the world morns the passing of a great innovator let us remember what a force Steve Jobs was while on planet earth. He changed how we viewed the world around us, how we connected to each other, and how we integrated technology into our ever day lives. As I type this post on my Mac Book Pro, with my iPad and iPhone charging, I wonder what my life would have been like were it not for the creativity of Steve Jobs. I decided I didn’t want to know such a world. Thank you Steve Jobs for all you have done for us and may you RIP.

“The people who think they are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do” ~ Steve Jobs

Apple Sends Ripples Through Tech World

According to Wired.com, Apples earnings are “staggering”. They reported “Apple posted March-quarter revenue of $24.67 billion — meaning the company is well on its way toward exceeding $100 billion in sales for the full-year. In the last three months, Apple earned a whopping $5.99 billion. Both the revenue and earnings figures were new records for Apple.”

“With quarterly revenue growth of 83 percent and profit growth of 95 percent, we’re firing on all cylinders,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in a statement. “We will continue to innovate on all fronts throughout the remainder of the year.”

Apple is clearly the one to beat and just in case you are keeping score, below is a look at how some of the other companies are doing in comparison.

Amplify’d from m.apnews.com

NEW YORK (AP) – Consumer technology companies reporting financial results this week are looking like rowboats bobbing in the wake of Apple Inc.’s supertanker.

Close to oblivion in 1997, Apple is now the world’s second-most valuable company, after Exxon Mobil Corp. On April 20, it reported net income of $5.99 billion for the January-to-March period, nearly double that of a year ago. It shipped a record 18.65 million iPhones during the quarter. Its iPad tablet computers are so popular, the company couldn’t make enough.

Apple’s ascendancy has produced many losers and a few winners, as underscored over the past two weeks:

– Microsoft Corp.: loser.

Apple dethroned Microsoft as the world’s most valuable technology company a year ago. In its mid-fall report, it surpassed Microsoft in quarterly revenue. In the January-March period this year, it surpassed Microsoft in net income, too.

On Thursday, Microsoft reported that revenue from the Windows operating system declined for the second straight quarter because people are buying fewer Windows computers.

Some prospective buyers are going to Macs instead – Apple reported that it sold 28 percent more units. Others are going to iPads. Goldman Sachs now believes that more than 30 percent of iPads sold may be replacing PC sales. In the 90s, the trend was the opposite, as Windows PCs were crowding out Macs.

– Nokia Corp.: loser.

Nokia said this week that it will slash 7,000 jobs through layoffs and outsourcing. It still sells more phones than anyone else, but it’s losing share to Apple, especially when it comes to smartphones.

Research firm Strategy Analytics also said revenue from Apple’s iPhone sales surpassed that of Nokia’s phones in the January-to-March period, as iPhones are much more expensive than the average Nokia phone. That makes Apple the world’s largest phone maker by revenue.

To better compete with the iPhone, Nokia is ditching its old Symbian software and adopting Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. But the transition will take time; the first Windows-powered Nokia phones aren’t expected until late 2011 or early 2012.

– Research In Motion Ltd.: loser.

The maker of the BlackBerry is in a predicament that’s similar to Nokia’s. RIM warned Thursday that net income, revenue and unit sales for the quarter ending in May will come in below its previous forecast.

The company’s high-end phones are looking old compared with the iPhone and ones running Google Inc.’s Android software. They aren’t selling as well as the company expected.

RIM promised investors that new phones with revamped software will bring sales roaring back in the latter half of the year, but investors are skeptical, sending RIM’s stock down Friday.

– HTC Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.: winners, indirectly.

Although all three companies compete with Apple’s iPhone, they are doing well. Unlike Nokia and RIM, the three are betting on Google’s Android system, which comes the closest to mimicking the look, feel and functions of the iPhone.

Motorola Mobility is a shadow of the old Motorola, once the world’s second-largest maker of phones. But its focus on Android-powered smartphones is showing signs of success. It reported on Thursday a near-doubling of smartphone sales in the first quarter.

HTC of Taiwan has been making smartphones for a decade, and sales are really taking off with the help of Android. On Friday, it reported selling 9.7 million in the first quarter.

For South Korea’s Samsung, smartphone sales were a bright spot in the first quarter as overall phone sales declined and other electronics were weak. The company is embroiled in patent litigation with Apple.

– Verizon Wireless: winner.

The No. 1 U.S. cellphone carrier posted a jump in new contract-signing customers – the more profitable kind – after it introduced its version of the iPhone on Feb. 10, which ended AT&T Inc.’s exclusive grip on the device in the U.S.

(Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. of New York and Vodafone Group PLC of Britain.)

– AT&T and Sprint Nextel Corp: mixed.

Verizon’s new subscribers came at the expense of AT&T and Sprint Nextel Corp. But neither carrier saw signs of current customers moving to Verizon for the sake of the iPhone. Rather, it seems customers weighing between carriers were more likely to go to Verizon because of the iPhone.

AT&T appeared to be splitting new iPhone customers evenly with Verizon Wireless.

Read more at m.apnews.com

 

The iPhone vs. Android: What’s the Big Difference?

Look, I’m Team Apple all the way and my Droid geeky friends get sick of posting about Mac products all the time. I’m not paid by Apple and I don’t get paid to blog about gadgets (although, if you know of a gig like that opening up can you PLEASE let me know!). I’m just a power user and a Geek Diva Gadget Girl who likes her techie toys. I’m in love with my iPhone, my Mac Pro and I can hardly contain myself waiting for the new iPad 2. But, if you’re still on the fence and want a comparison between the two hottest smartphone options on the planet (sorry Blackberry, I abandoned you in 2009… RIM sucks the big one… OK, truth be told I still have a Blackberry but that’s beside the point) then this article may help you decide.

Amplify’d from manofthehouse.com
 Thesmartphone has become the Swiss Army knife of the 21st century: endlessly useful, cool, and a necessary tool that every man should carry. The difference is that smart phones carry a hefty cost, and they’re not all designed equally well.Two of the most popular smartphones are the ubiquitous Apple iPhone and its new challenger, Google’s Android platform. Here’s a look at how the two phone giants stack up.

Usability

First, we need to be clear about something. There’s no official “Android” phone, just as there’s no official “Windows” computer. Android is simply the name for Google’s mobile operating system, and as such, it’s somewhat difficult to compare the iPhone to Android without being biased. Many functions of the iPhone seem to work more intuitively than those on Android phones, but that’s mainly because the iPhone and its operating system were designed to work together, while Android was designed to be used on a variety of phones made by a variety of manufacturers.

Therefore, if you’re looking for that “wow, cool!” factor, you’re probably going to be more impressed with what the iPhone has to offer. Every function of the iPhone seems to work effortlessly, with intuitive touch-screen controls that have made it the weapon of choice for countless hipsters in coffee shops everywhere. However, most of what the iPhone offers is available on Android phones. You want the web? The Android phones can get you there. You want a touch screen? Android phones have that, too. In fact, the best Android phone currently available, the Nexus One, feels completely natural.

The big difference is that the iPhone is a single device, while Android is a software platform. That makes a straight comparison difficult but not impossible; it’s like comparing Macs to PCs, as many bloggers have noted. Apple carefully controls everything available on its iPhone. Google’s Android, on the other hand, offers its adherents something else: freedom to do whatever you’d like with your phone.

Read more at manofthehouse.com

iPad 2 Picture Getting Clearer as Rumors Ramp Up

Here is comes folks… the iPad… only better. That’s the rumor anyway. We’ll have to wait to see if any of these things actually pan out. One thing is for sure, Apple consistently delivers a product that’s much better than the one that preceded it. The other thing I know for sure, I’m very glad I waited for the iPad 2 and the iPhone 5. Yes Apple, you have taught me patience. Strange how that works… I’ve been trying to master patience and delayed gratification all my life. Niow, when are these new versions coming out already?!?! I’ve been waiting long enough. Maybe I have a little more work to do.

Amplify’d from gigaom.com

The iPad 2 is said by some to be arriving as early as February or April (at least in the U.S.), and as is always the case when Apple hardware nears the end of a product cycle, the rumor mill starts working overtime. As consensus grows and independent reports start coming in from multiple sources, we end up with a much better picture of what to expect from Apple’s next iPad.

SD Card Slot

The latest rumor making the rounds is that the iPad will indeed have an SD memory card slot. This isn’t the first time such expansion is a possibility for the iPad 2, but now it’s been reported by a “trusted source” talking to Engadget, and it’s showing up in case designs from multiple manufacturers, as identified separately by AppleInsider and MIC Gadget. Since Apple already offers a way to access SD cards via the iPad Camera Connection Kit, there’s no good reason the company would object to building in the same functionality. In fact, it’s possible the only reason an SD slot wasn’t included the first time around was that it wouldn’t fit in the case.

Mini DisplayPort

The same case designs that back up the SD card slot rumor also indicate that another port will be introduced at the top of the device. The cutout for this alleged port is quite small, leaving few options for what it might be. Mini DisplayPort is a likely candidate, since even though it would eliminate the need for the iPad dock connector-to-VGA adapter, Apple could still sell various Mini DisplayPort converter accessories. A far less likely possibility for the spot is a micro-USB port, but there’s no way Apple would include that and still keep the dock connector.

“Retina” Display

The iPhone 4 introduced the world to the Retina Display, a 960×640 pixel screen with 331 ppi, a pixel density apparently beyond the threshold of human detection that makes for super crisp text and graphics. According to recent rumors stemming from resources found in the latest version of Apple iBooks app (1.2), the iPad will get twice the resolution it currently enjoys, bringing the total from 1024×768 to 2048×1536. As Kevin notes, that only adds up to a pixel density of 265 ppi, which, while not at the same level as the iPhone, is still a massive improvement, and will probably still be granted the “Retina” from Apple’s marketing department. Simply doubling the display resolution makes sense, since it’ll allow existing iPad apps to be compatible with the iPad 2 through zooming, though image quality will be somewhat degraded.

Front and Back Cameras

If there is any “sure thing” for the iPad 2, it’s that it will have two cameras: one in front for FaceTime, and one in the back for… well, actually, on a 9.7-inch tablet, probably mostly for occasional FaceTime use, too. Using it for general photographic and film-making seems incredibly awkward, even if the iPad 2 does sport a lighter, smaller body design.

Lighter, Smaller Body Design

Case designs and an actual iPad 2 mock-up used by a developer at CES earlier this month seem to support the idea that the next iPad will be smaller and slimmer than its predecessor. This is a standard improvement for new iterations of Apple gadgets, and it could help appease customers asking for a 7-inch iPad, something the company seems unwilling to provide. AppleInsider recently reported on an Apple patent that would allow the company to reduce the thickness and power consumption of capacitive touchscreens, which could be partially responsible for a new, smaller physical footprint in iPad 2.

Improved Processing and Graphics Power

The iPad 2 (along with the iPhone 5) is expected to get a new version of Apple’s custom A4 system-on-a-chip. According to a source talking to AppleInsider, the new version will have dual graphics cores to support the new Retina Display, and to allow for 1080p video playback (the current version tops out at 720p). The new graphics cores support OpenCL to share the burden of general purpose computing tasks with the GPU. The new chip will also pair the dual graphics cores with a dual core ARM Cortex-A9 chip for general processing. With a huge crop of potential iPad competitors unveiled at CES, these kinds of performance improvements are almost a necessity, but as is always the case with Apple products, hardware specs take a backseat to actual user experience, so if we see more modest improvements I won’t be surprised.

Read more at gigaom.com

 

Publishing Companies Prepare Tablet App Store… notice I did NOT say iPad Store

If you can’t beat ’em… join ’em. Here’s how newspapers and magazines are competing in the eMarket while snubbing Apple’s iPad.

Amplify’d from www.mediabistro.com

Time Inc., Condé Nast, Hearst Corporation, and Meredith Corporation are adding the finishing touches to their tablet app store. Morgan Guenther, the Chief Executive of Next Issue Media (NIM), the new venture owned by the publishing companies, says that it should launch within the next few months.

He says that when the store launches, it will feature at least two titles from each of the companies, and by this summer, every magazine will be available. Guenther also says that News Corporation’s (another owner of NIM) newspapers will be available by then.

For now, the app store will only be available on Android tablets. This is because NIM is the result of publishing houses not wanting other companies (read: Apple) to dictate how their products are distributed.

For NIM, its success comes down to one thing: Will people snub iPads in order to get their favorite magazines on a tablet? Right now Apple has the advantage because the iPad has been out for so long; not to mention the cool factor that comes with the brand.

We’re guessing Apple will win this battle, because being cool is very fun, even if it does mean missing out on tablet versions of O: The Oprah Magazine. Besides, we can probably guess who’ll be on the cover.

Read more at www.mediabistro.com

 

Why the Verizon iPhone Doesn’t Spell Disaster for AT&T

Could it be true? Is Verizon REALLY fianally getting the iPhone this time… really? According to Mashable.com, even if they do, it won’t mean the end for AT&T. Some customers won’t be able to afford to jump ship and others may not want to do so. As for me, I’m not getting out of my contract until AT&T gets the iPhone 5 and launches their 4G network! If they make it worth my while and one has to assume that a Verizon competition will do just that, I could come out ahead. Oh, and if AT&T gets their 4G network right, it’s a wrap for me… I’m staying put. All eyes are on this new deal… let’s see what happens.

Amplify’d from mashable.com

Verizon is about to deliver a blow to AT&T when it ends the network’s exclusive hold on the iPhone, but it definitely won’t be the end of the world for the second largest carrier in the U.S.

Earlier this week, Verizon announced a press event next Tuesday in New York City. All signs indicate that Verizon will introduce the iPhone on its network and launch it in the next few weeks. At this point, nobody should be surprised: it’s Apple’s worst-kept secret.

Since the news broke about Verizon’s event, there has been no shortage of media reports about the potential negative impact of the Verizon iPhone on AT&T. Some of it has devolved into (justifiable) AT&T bashing, and some predict that it’ll be a major or even mortal blow to the nation’s second largest network.

Let’s take a step back and keep some objective perspective, though. While the Verizon iPhone will have a negative impact on AT&T, it’s not going to break AT&T’s back. The network has been preparing itself for the loss of its iPhone exclusivity contract for a long time. It’s ready to do battle with Verizon.


Huge Switching Fees


While a group of early adopters are likely to burn their contracts and switch to Verizon on day one, the vast majority of people will not. The reason is that the switching costs are simply too high.

AT&T made a smart business decision last year: they bumped up the iPhone’s early termination fee. If consumers want to switch, the first fee they will have to pay is the ETF, giving AT&T even more money to pad its profits.

The second fee is the cost of the Verizon iPhone. The AT&T iPhone 4 is based on UMTS 3G technology, while the Verizon iPhone will be based on Verizon’s CDMA 3G tech. The result is that consumers will have to buy a new iPhone and a new contract. While they can sell their AT&T iPhones, it won’t offset the cost of a new contract and it definitely won’t offset the cost of that early termination fee.

While some consumers can afford to switch, the vast majority don’t have that kind of money and are on family plans that they won’t abandon immediately.

There is at least one more switching fee for AT&T users who want to jump to Verizon: the switch from UMTS to CDMA. UMTS is a more prevalent 3G standard for a simple reason: it’s a better technology. AT&T actually does have the fastest 3G network in the U.S. and it does have the advantage of being able to send and receive data and voice at the same time, while the Verizon iPhone will not be able to do data while on a phone call.


We May Hate AT&T, but It Has a Response Plan


Of course, people will rightly point out that a faster 3G network means nothing if you can’t even connect to 3G in the first place.

Verizon has a lot of advantages over AT&T. It has the largest 3G network coverage in the U.S. More importantly, it doesn’t have the distinction of being the nation’s most despised wireless carrier. I basically gave up on my iPhone at CES in Las Vegas this week and relied on my Verizon Droid 2 instead. It’s utterly embarrassing that AT&T still has these kinds of problems over three years since the iPhone’s debut.

Oh, and the Verizon iPhone will reportedly offer unlimited data as a slap in AT&T’s fast.

That’s not enough to take down AT&T though, and the carrier is ready to fight back against the Verizon iPhone threat. When the iPhone 5 rolls out sometime this summer, both networks will pull out all the stops in order to get consumers. Price cuts, heavy advertising and incentive offerings will be plentiful later this year. Verizon is going to take some AT&T customers, but it won’t get them without a fight.

At the same time, AT&T is stocking up on some powerful phones to complement the iPhone. Motorola debuted the ATRIX 4G at CES last week, a 1GHz dual-core processing beast that sports a 960×540 qHD screen, a 1,930mAH battery and a full GB of RAM. It even has a dock that lets you use your Android phone and a full version of Firefox on the same screen.

It was the best phone to debut at CES, and it is exclusive to AT&T.

The carrier will try to pull away happy Android phone users from Verizon and other networks with competitive contracts and a new line of ridiculously powerful phones. With phones like the ATRIX, Verizon won’t be having all the Android fun.


The Bottom Line


The bottom line is that AT&T isn’t going to be hemorrhaging users on Verizon iPhone launch day due to switching costs, and AT&T has strong profits and a strong line of phones coming to market this year that will keep it competitive, including the iPhone.

The Verizon iPhone isn’t likely to change the fate of either company. Instead, the future of both carriers will depend on the speed and strength of their 4G network rollouts. Verizon has started its 4G rollout and AT&T will begin its 4G launch later this year. AT&T’s past sins could be forgiven if it succeeds in rolling out a reliable 4G network, but failure could cement its rather poor reputation.

Yes, the Verizon iPhone will negatively impact AT&T. However, to say that it will put AT&T on the ropes is just silly. The intense battle between these two carriers is going to play out for years to come, and both have tricks up their sleeves that will continually change the rules of engagement.

Read more at mashable.com

 

iPhone Fingerprint and Face Recognition Add-On for Law Enforcement

iPhone add-on that’s a bit out of the ordinary offering law enforcement fiingerprint, face and iris recognition. I like my iPhone more and more every day!

Amplify’d from www.mediabistro.com
 Here’s something that qualifies as an iPhone accessory that is a bit out of the ordinary. MORIS from BI(2) Technologies is a hardware add-on for the iPhone that provide law enforcement personnel the ability to perform:

– Iris recognition
– Facial recognition
– Fingerprint identification

See more at www.mediabistro.com

 

Video courtesy of BI2Technologies