Monday, September 8, 2014

Amazon Fire Fizzle Leads To Price Drop

On the heals of new iPhone releases, Amazon has quickly reduced the price of its smartphone, the Amazon Fire, from $199 to 99 cents.  Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis could have a field day with this news.  According to Business Insider, "Even with the slashed price, the phone still comes with a year of Amazon Prime, which includes free shipping on millions of items as well as a growing selection of free movies, books, and music."  Current customers should demand their money back given that the phone has only been out less than 2 months.  I doubt that this news creates that much more demand.

The Reinvention Of The Smartwatch

Tomorrow marks a potential big announcement by Apple of its first wearable device, the iWatch.  Many have also wondered why Apple hasn't come out sooner with this new product.  But that doesn't seem to be Apple's modus operandi. 

To illustrate, recall that the iPod wasn't the first mobile music device.  Prior to its release, we had the Sony Walkman followed by a ton of digital devices that tried to capture and play music.  I owned an mp3 player and could never get it to download music from my computer and play it back.  I hated it.  The arrival of the iPod brought a simplicity and ease-of-use that took years to be duplicated. 

Since then, the rate of change has been rapid. And Apple has responded by doing to the world of smartphones what it did to music players, reinvented them with the touch screen.  Like mp3 players, the Blackberry and other non-touch phones became uncool.  Again, Apple was not the first to release a smartphone, it just did it differently.

So tomorrow, we may just hear about the next wave of new devices.  And typical for Apple, it could be a device that others, like the Samsung Galaxy, Sony, and the Pebble, have already released.  But if Apple is true to form, the Apple iWatch will also be different and if done right, will revolutionize the wearable marketplace.  Articles on it range from the ergonomics and fashion focus of the device to the Health apps, wireless charging, and NFC chip for mobile payments.  But most importantly, it needs to follow the Apple strategy of simplicity and ease of use.  Done right, the Apple iWatch, or whatever they officially call it, will again show that Apple motto  to 'Think Different'.  Stay tuned.