Sunday, June 24, 2007

iPhone PR Machine at Work

The trip to Vancouver was fun, but it sucked not being able to talk to my girlfriend the whole time at exactly the wrong time! Oh well, I'll put up pictures tomorrow, but I should probably get to some news today. Unfortunately, almost all of it is Apple news. I'll start with the iPhone, since Apple is hard at work at hyping it up. They put up a 20 minute video tour of the iPhone, and that was definitely a great idea. If you don't have 20 minutes to spare, then you can get a recap of some of the cooler stuff over here including being able to view excel documents, the interaction with stock quotes, and some of the more prominent settings (like the variety of ringtones). It's funny how I listen to pundits trash the iPhone every day, but I still actually want this thing. Apple is freaking brilliant. They know just how to make you want this thing: simplicity. They cut out a glitzy image or celebrities and show you exactly what it is. Recognize the dude in that tour video? No? Exactly! The focus is all on the iPhone, and they show you exactly how much its features make sense. The most impressive stuff I saw that I didn't really see before was visual voicemail, handling images, and navigating Google Maps. People can say all they want about how it's lacking this or that and it's overpriced, but you can't say that it's not a pretty, intuitive-looking device. The biggest question is how good the multi-touch feels. If that feels right, then Apple is golden, and any naysayers aren't naysaying because they're inherently biased. It's not a matter of whether it's overpriced or whether you personally would get one, but rather a question of how good a piece of technology is it? It's obviously far from perfect, but you have to compare it to the cell phone market and realize how shitty most phones are already, and take it from there. No matter what the pundits say, Apple PR is still hard at work, and doing quite well.

Another reason why I don't think it'll be the failure that the experts want it to be is because it has been beta tested for a while now. Not to say that beta testing is perfect (it never is), or that the iPhone won't still have many issues, but at least they're not likely to be glaring bugs. It may be their first entry in the cell phone market, but they're trying to play it smart. Remember, everyone thought the iPod was going to be a huge flop when it came out (search newspaper and website archives in 2001 for this). Oh, and it will be sold online also, so people won't even have to wait in lines outside. I'm sure the site will collapse in on itself on June 29, but it can be purchased online, at least.

Bad news for my bread and butter: Amazon was overtaken in music retail by iTunes, which is now #3 in the world while Amazon is #4. It seems like at each freaking special event Steve Jobs announces leapfrogging another competitor on this chart, so I guess it was bound to happen. I wonder if Amazon's selling digital music downloads will help it get its place back?

Slate has a great opinion piece about how Facebook could surpass the other social networking sites by simpling incorporating features that everyone wants rather than the bloat of Facebook applications. An IM client and an RSS reader and e-mail checking all these things would help keep people on the site and probably attract more people than their platform thing. Not that it was a bad idea, just bad timing, in my opinion.

Since I blogged an article last week about why starting a start-up sucks. I thought I'd follow it up with how to do it right. There's definitely some sound advice there. It's not as easy as it sounds, but those are some of the basic principles I've heard from entrepreneurs over and over again.

Evan Almighty topped the box office with little over $30 million, and Rise of the Silver Surfer saw a steep, 65% drop to #3. Quite impressively though, Knocked Up has surpassed $100 million, which more than triples their production costs. That's what happens when you try to make a truly enjoyable film.

That is one of several new pictures that IGN snagged from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I like the blue hue it has to it and just that it almost looks like it could exist as a poster.

Speaking of posters, we have the final one sheet for Transformers, but I don't think I like it as much as some of the other posters that came out for it.

It looks like a Shrek spinoff movie is in the works revolving around Puss in Boots starting from his childhood as a kitten and how he group it. Supposedly, it's intended to be a good mix between emotion and humor that people are likely to enjoy. I'm skeptical until I see at least a trailer though.

Lastly, Yahoo Movies has the trailer for The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep, and it looks like an alright kiddie movie. It's about the lochness monster, but it doesn't seem to appeal to a very wide audience.

Now for some Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Compulsion :: Obsessive

  2. Spiritual :: Church

  3. Spray :: Bug

  4. Compatibility :: Test

  5. Pursuit :: "Happyness"

  6. Fake :: People

  7. Mobile :: Phone

  8. Ceremony :: Graduation

  9. Ribbons :: Bow

  10. Mozart :: Music

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