Perception Versus Reality: What Now For Apple?

August 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

The resignation of Steve Jobs as Apple CEO sees the company lose much more than a boss, but the future is still bright.

Perception Verses Reality: What Now For Apple?

  • By Gordon Kelly
  • 25 August 2011
“I’ll always stay connected with Apple. I hope that throughout my life I’ll sort of have the thread of my life and the thread of Apple weave in and out of each other, like a tapestry. There may be a few years when I’m not there, but I’ll always come back.” [Steve Jobs, Playboy Feb. 1 1985]
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On Wednesday Apple did what Apple does best: it made a significant announcement having kept the details in absolute secrecy.  Steve Jobs resigned as Apple CEO. As might be expected, Jobs did this in a passionate, individualistic tone: “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.”
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The response to the news has been just as emotional. “He’s probably going to be remembered for the next hundred years as the best business leader of our time,” proclaimed Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Tweeters called for Apple Store vigils and that most reactionary of institutions, the stock market, stripped $24bn off the company’s market capital in just 10 minutes. The Wall Street Journal opined Should You Dump Apple? and Google shares leapt 10 per cent.
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The problem lies in the sizeable gap between perception and reality. “I hereby resign as CEO of Apple,” everyone read from Jobs’ official letter. It was as if no-one spotted the follow-on sentence: “I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.” It is a role that was immediately accepted and his ‘strong recommendation’ that Tim Cook replace him as CEO has also been followed. Who is Tim Cook? We have a full guide here. More to the point is Jobs assertion that “I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.”
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The key word is “new”… CONTINUE READING

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Right Place, Wrong Time: How HP Blew Its Mobile Vision

August 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Hewlett Packard is ending its PC, tablet and smartphone businesses showing money is not always the answer. Read a sample below from my full feature on TrustedReviews.

Right Place, Wrong Time: How HP Blew Its Mobile Vision

  • By Gordon Kelly
  • 19 August 2011
On Monday Google bought Motorola announcing itself to the world as global superpower in mobile hardware and software. On Thursday Hewlett Packard ran away from both… Just 48 hours ago the the world’s largest PC maker announced it would spin off its Personal Systems Group and cease development of webOS with immediate effect. The former makes the company’s desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, the latter as recently as March was professed to be their saving grace.5bef87%7C42e0 leohp5 Right Place, Wrong Time: How HP Blew Its Mobile Vision

“There is a clear movement in the consumer PC space,” reasoned HP president Leo Apotheker (pictured). “The tablet effect is real. The TouchPad is not gaining enough traction in the marketplace. Our PC business needs the flexibility to make its own decisions.” His logic was sound, but it is symptomatic of the HP’s latest attempts to fix its terrible sense of timing.

The habit started 10 years ago. On 2 September 2001 HP bought rival Compaq. At a cost of $25bn it was the biggest takeover in history. ”This is a decisive move that accelerates our strategy and positions us to win by offering even greater value to our customers and partners,” said then CEO Carly Fiorina. “In addition to the clear strategic benefits of combining two highly complementary organizations and product families, we can create substantial shareowner value through significant cost-structure improvements and access to new growth opportunities.” Continue Reading

 

UPDATED – Men’s Health: Hack Your Productivity

August 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

(UPDATE: Now live and interactive on the Men’s Health website. See grab below)

Want to give your work productivity a boost? Read my debut feature out now in the August issue of Men’s Health… Click the scan below for a larger image.

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22 08 2011 18 17 36 UPDATED   Mens Health: Hack Your Productivity

The Art of War: Why Google Bought Motorola

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

How Google’s $12.5bn purchase will help it regain control of its fragmented platform and protect its partners.

The Art of War – Why Google Bought Motorola

  • By Gordon Kelly
  • 17 August 2011
“Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack.”

If you have read Sun Tzu‘s The Art of War you will know the famous Chinese military general and philosopher was obsessed with adaption. He claimed successful strategy was not about a rigid game plan, but being fluid to the environmental factors at any given moment. Well it looks as if Google has been reading Sun Tzu…

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“The idea a year and a half ago was to do the Nexus One to try to move the phone platform hardware business forward. It clearly did. It was so successful, we didn’t have to do a second one.” This quote came from Google’s then CEO Eric Schmidt in July 2009 after thecancellation of the Nexus One. Five months later Google was back with the Nexus S and confronted about the U-turn all Schmidt would say was he promised no ‘Nexus Two’, not an ‘S’. Google was rapidly evolving its business model to market conditions and with thepurchase of Motorola Mobility this week for $12.5bn (£7.67bn) the company has made its most seismic shift to date.

The reason for the purchase again comes like a lesson from Sun Tzu: it is one of simultaneous attack and defence – both on its partners and the opposition. Continue reading

 

Copywriting – SanDisk Channel Flash Magazines

August 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Media & Copywriting

Following TomTom’s kind decision to allow me to reveal my copywriting for the company, SanDisk has proved that – much like buses – good things come in pairs. I regularly produce copy for the company’s Channel Flash industry magazine and occasionally write all editorial content. Find a sample below (click to enlarge) and downloadable features from the links below.

As always, if you are interesting in hiring me to produce copy for you click this link to my Contact page.Channel Flash The Highly Defined Future of Mobile Devices Copywriting   SanDisk Channel Flash Magazines

Copywriting – TomTom 2011 B2B Brochures

August 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Media & Copywriting

As a freelance writer and journalist I do not often promote my copywriting skills due to non disclosure agreements. Kindly breaking this cycle is TomTom. I produce a great deal of the company’s b2b marketing material, from which you will see a sample brochure below (click to enlarge). Downloadable PDF links are posted here for additional samples.

Update: further new content added:

If you are interesting in hiring me to produce copy for you click this link to my Contact page.

12 08 2011 14 14 04 Copywriting   TomTom 2011 B2B Brochures

 

Sky Go

August 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

The most important evolution of Sky’s recent history puts its key channels onto mobile devices for free. Read an extract of my extensive review of Sky Go for TrustedReviews below, find a link to the full review at the end.

 

Sky Go

  • Reviewed by Gordon Kelly
  • 10 August 2011

Overall

8/10

Scores in detail

Design
8/10
Features
7/10
Performance
7/10
Usability
9/10
Value
9/10

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The image of News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch may be at an all time low, but his Sky television service continues to dominate the premium content space. The latest evolution of the broadcaster’s service is arguably one of the most important in its history; we take a look at ‘Sky Go’.
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As the name implies Sky Go is a service for watching television on the move. It is a three pronged strategy aimed at making Sky’s programming readily available on computers, mobile phones and tablets. The service launched last month and attempts to evolve the somewhat fragmented nature of previous offerings such as Sky Go!View and Sky Mobile TV. It also makes an important pricing consideration: free (with caveats). So let’s break down each service.

Sky Go website
Wisely Sky has made the Go website the hub for its mobile TV offerings. Settings applied here such as parental controls, passwords and registered devices are automatically applied to the Sky Go Desktop software for PCs and Macs and the Go app for iPhones and iPads. Coming back to the website simply to adjust these settings can be frustrating, but it does make the system simple and allows parents to maintain control remotely over what their children watch. Channel selection on the website is also the widest of the three services. Over 30 channels are currently available including Sky Sports 1-4, EuroSport, ESPN, Sky Premier, Showcase and Action, Sky 1, National Geographic, The History Channel, Disney, Boomerang and the Cartoon Network.

With such a good range (and more being added all the time) simple navigation is crucial and thankfully it is. A smartly redesigned TV guide can be scanned much like Google Maps, with a held left mouse click dragging the schedule in any direction to scroll through channels and times. A compact bar above it makes selecting by day or time of day (morning, afternoon, evening) equally simple. Clicking on a programme provides a brief description, list of other airing times and (if started) the ability to watch it in a small preview window above the guide. For easier viewing this window can be detached and dragged to any size or toggled for a full screen view. It is a similar experience using the AnyTime functionality… CONTINUE READING

 

Why The Vilification of Social Media Has to Stop

August 12, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Nationwide riots have exposed the gaping holes in our leaders’ understanding of social media. Read an extract from my latest opinion piece for TrustedReviews below. You’ll find a link to the full article at the end.

Why The Vilification of Social Media Has to Stop

  • By Gordon Kelly
  • 11 August 2011

Bans, aren’t they brilliant. Websites,Internet Access and now social media. There have been similar thoughts in the past, they involved book burning – so it is probably a good thing they’re going digital.

“Everyone watching these horrific actions will be struck by how they were organised via social media,” said Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking on Thursday to a specially reconvened parliament after a week of London riots. “Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill and when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality. I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers.”
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Presumably some of those powers would include stopping potential rioters sending SMS, writing on online forums, using telephones and the postal service. Perhaps he could ban access to word of mouth, or would that just be silly?

The sad truth is what Cameron says is no less silly. Much as MP3, eBooks and AVIs are digital music, books and films; Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) are digitised communication. It is no easier to ban access to them than to ban free speech itself. A new Twitter account can be created in under a minute while the free fall of RIM from the boardroom to the street means pre-pay BlackBerrys can be bought in little longer. Furthermore acquiring both can be done without divulging your real information. READ ON

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

Why WiFi Must Bridge the Gap to 4G

August 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

As 3G networks continue to falter the aged WiFi hotspot looks set for a bigger role than expected.

Why WiFi Must Bridge the Gap to 4G

  • By Gordon Kelly
  • 05 August 2011

Last month we asked What’s Really Wrong With UK 3G Broadband? This month its shortcomings are being highlighted once again as Virgin Media announces its vision to install city wide free WiFi

The backdrop is simple. On Wednesday Virgin confirmed it is in “quite advanced negotiations” with London councils to equip the UK capital with blanket WiFi in the “not too distant future”. Unlike rivals such as BT Openzone and The Cloud, Virgin would make the service free. Virgin customers get access speeds of up to 10Mbit, non-Virgin customers get 0.5Mbit.

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Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett described the plans as “a punt” which will cost the company “a few million pounds” and “keep them [BT] honest”. In truth the strategy is far more than turning up late to the party. Instead it is a potential masterstroke by Virgin to cash in on the deep routed flaws in the UK’s 3G network. The move comes down to two things: speed and timing.

Virgin Media has speed to burn. Its expensively assembled optical cable network consistently outperforms rivals and its customer base is spending ever more. The problem is the number of Virgin customers is falling and it needs a differentiator to not only woo them back, but win favour with the masses. This is where timing is crucial because it determines the target and right now there is no easier dead horse to beat than 3G… READ ON

 Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

Lenco iPod Tower 2 (IPT-2)

August 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews

Do you really need a small iPod dock? Lenco shows there are huge rewards and cost savings if size isn’t a problem… Find an extract from my review for TrustedReviews below and find a link to the full article at the end.

Lenco iPod Tower 2 (IPT-2)

  • Reviewed by Gordon Kelly
  • 03 August 2011

Rating

  • 9/10

Scores in detail

  • Design
    8/10
  • Features
    8/10
  • Sound Quality
    8/10
  • Usability
    8/10
  • Value
    10/10
Price as reviewed: £149.99
We pay a significant premium for size in the tech sector: the smaller it is the more it costs. This logic would be maddening to most markets – what would your reaction be to an estate agent or car salesman? – but, with the exception of displays, when it comes to our gadgets we except it without question. If some cases we really shouldn’t…
Making a case for the more traditional argument that size matters is Lenco. The Swiss audio specialist has unveiled the second generation of its ‘iPod Tower’, the apty named ‘iPod Tower 2′ (IPT-2) and it is good enough to cause a serious rethink for those looking to buy a new dock.

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Before we get to that, however, let’s address the key talking point: size. The IPT-2 is 208 x 189 x 870mm or 315 x 305 x 933mm with the bundled base stand. The shock for a world used to ever smaller and more powerful iPod docks is the height, but we’d argue the footprint is actually more interesting. At 208 x 189mm the IPT-2 is actually smaller than Arcam’s remarkably compact rCube and since it is designed to be freestanding the near one metre height is crucial. Given the IPT-2 also won’t use up any desk space it’s arguably far more compact than it appears.

So how has Lenco used this space? It all truth, quite simply. This is no bad thing. There IPT-2 has a 33 per cent increase in power for the Tower 1 outputting 80W RMS (composed of two 25W speakers and a 30W subwoofer), plus an SD/MS/MMC card reader, LED display, sleep timer and FM radio with 60 presents. An auxiliary input backs up the iPod dock (which, as expected, charges the iPod/iPhone connected)and front controls allow the treble and bass to be adjusted. Build quality is good even if we’d have preferred the matt finish of the top to replace the piano black used on both sides. READ ON


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