Tag Archives: iphone

Feb 28

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Gadgets, Products, Stage Two

Verizon iPhone Sells 1 Million Units

Despite a bevy of headlines calling initial sales “underwhelming,” The Street is reporting that the Verizon iPhone has sold over one million units. Some tech press observed “short to nonexistent” lines at Apple and Verizon stores when the device launched and cited sources concerned about low sales numbers. However:

Dan Mead, Verizon Wireless chief, told media outlets this weekend that 60% of the company’s iPhone sales were preorders. This would explain why the turnout on a cold February launch day was much lighter than some may have expected.

We won’t know official sales numbers until April, but it makes sense that large numbers of preorders cut the initial lines down to size.

Jan 26

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Blogging, Gadgets, Stage Two, UI/UX

Fortune: How Steve Jobs Gets Things Done

We ran across this interesting Fortune article today that examines how Apple CEO Steve Jobs gets things done.

He doesn’t just develop new products; he changes games. The iPod, iPhone, and iPad, along with iTunes, have created massive disruptions, forcing players in the music and telecom industries—among others—to change their business models.

The piece is well worth a read. It examines how Jobs is able to create successful consumer tech again and again during his “second act” at Apple. While there are a number of factors at play here, the article pays particular attention to how Jobs focuses on product design and User Experience.

He views a product as an experience, not just an object. He can visualize what it will look and feel like, and can then execute it to near perfection. He makes advanced technology friendly to consumers based on his uncommon talent for connecting it to user experience. He has an innate feel for design, convenience, simplicity, and elegance in the product.

Fortune also points to his ability to manage people, make critical decisions and identify new opportunities as contributing factors to Apple’s meteoric rise in the past 12 years.

Steve Jobs didn’t invent phones, MP3 Players or Tablet PCs; he made them simple to use and desirable by focusing on how hardware and software design relate to the user experience. Steve Jobs gets things done by demanding the best from his people and building technologies that people desire.

Jan 05

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Products, Smart TV, Stage Two

America’s Media Universe: Nielsen Factsheet

The Nielsen Company just released its factsheet for America’s media habits. The highlights?

31% of American mobile phone owners have smartphones.

The Apple iPhone 3GS is the most popular smart phone in America.

66% of mobile phone users send text messages.

43 Million American homes have a DVR.

45% of all recorded TV ads are viewed.

The average American home has 2.5 TVs and almost a third of all households have 4 or more televisions.

Click the image for a larger view and more media statistics from Nielsen.

Oct 05

Posted by Jeremy Toeman and Greg Franzese

Posted in Stage Two, UI/UX

What Steve Jobs Meant by Saying Microsoft Has No Taste

There is a great video of Steve Jobs giving an interview to 60 Minutes in which he states – rather boldly – that the problem with Microsoft is that they “simply have no taste.” He goes on to say that the Windows firm has “no originality” and “no culture infused into products.”

Taste is a huge factor in delivering winning consumer technology and is often overlooked or forgotten about on the long and perilous road to market. A sense of beauty and design must accompany flawless technical execution and a robust understanding of user expectations and needs. To look at a concrete example of products with good and bad taste, one need look no further than the latest phones from Apple and Microsoft.

First, there is the recently deceased Kin from Microsoft. Just look at this monstrosity:

  • These phones look like the unholy lovechildren of a calculator and a coaster.
  • From the bizarre shaped “egg phone” to the confusing two phone duality, there is clearly an element of taste that is missing here. The keyboard looks clunky, the screen looks small and that lime green button seems arbitrary, at best.

Even with a multi-million dollar marketing push, the kin failed to connect with users in a meaningful way. It may have had all the functions and technical capabilities that users crave, but because the element of taste was missing, the phone disappointed.  By the way, amazingly on this is that the Kin clearly had a constant aesthetic, but that’s not the same as having taste – hiring the top design firms to do your work is a good idea, but it’s not a get out of jail free card.

Now look at the iPhone. Any iPhone. Even the one with the broken antenna. It has a level of design and tastefulness embedded into its core.

We want to repeat that last bit one more time: a product whose core function is inherently flawed is still considered most satisfying by its users.  Why?  Taste.  Taste is letting those users overlook basic problems, because the problems themselves are not inherently related to the overall design of the product – we know this might sound contradictory or counterintuitive to some, but its actually quite consistent.  Why?  People aren’t buying the iPhone just as a phone, its style, its form, its usability, its social status, etc.  Plus the phone does actually seem to work from time to time…

Stage Two believes that a great product needs not only great technology but great taste, as well. In order to deliver an amazing experience with consumer electronics, a high level understanding of user habits and expectations should inform a functional, beautiful design.

Where does taste start?  When the user first interacts with the product, from on-box branding in stores to websites to company blog posts.  Taste continues through the out-of-box experience into set up and first-time-use.  Every single step needs to be elegant and clean and consistent (could you imagine an iPhone coming in anything but a tightly designed package?).

Taste inspires repeat customers and brand evangelists.  Taste brings love.  Taste trumps glitches (and yeah, we think dropping calls is more than a glitch, but apparently most consumers don’t!).  Taste brings your customers’ emotions into play, and those are powerful things.

The heart of a gadget has to be technical – that is a truism. But a great product will also have an artistic soul. To forget that is to create mediocrity again and again and again.

ps – we know we’ve been a little gushy to Apple recently, it’s not intentional, so coming soon we’ll focus on some other companies who we think have great taste!

May 19

Posted by andrew

Posted in Clients

TuneUp Now Available For Apple Retail Customers

We’ve called TuneUp the ‘must-have’ plug-in for iTunes for a while now… turns out others agree. As of this morning TuneUp’s iTunes plugin to quickly correct missing song info, find cover art, list upcoming concerts, and present web content relevant to any playing track (wow that’s a mouthful), is available at Apple Retail Stores and at Apple.com. As a DJ myself, the software has been a godsend for organizing my huge music collection. Additionally I’ve loved the fact that cover flow is now practical on my iPhone.

Today, over 250 Apple stores will start selling a retail-packaged version of TuneUp for $29.95. Additionally, both the retail and online versions of TuneUp now include numerous user interface enhancements and feature
improvements as we mentioned last week.

And if Apple selling TuneUp doesn’t convince you it works – listen to this… since launching the product in the summer of 2008, TuneUp has amassed over 200,000 registered users in over 150 countries, and cleaned more than 125 million songs. Stats like these enabled TuneUp to become the #1 most downloaded iTunes software from CNET’s popular site, Download.com.

So what are you waiting for – go to your nearest Apple store and get your copy (or start downloading now at TuneUp Media).

Dec 18

Posted by David

Posted in Blogging, Clients, Outreach, Press, Social Media

Client News: 12seconds Launches their Beta Site AND Release an iPhone App

12seconds has some fun news to announce, the kind of news that’s a joy to pitch.   Today they launched a re-design of their website, unveiled their site to the general public in an open Beta, and released an iPhone application.  Apple approved their application and it’s on sale for $0.99 in the iTunes App Store.

iphone app for 12seconds.tv from Sol Lipman on Vimeo.

12seconds first launched in an invite-only alpha this past July.  Since then they’ve had wonderful success with users and gotten solid attention from the press.   Today is shaping up to be no different; a number of publications have covered the announcement, mostly with positive things to say.  We’ll continue to update this post with the news coverage as it occurs throughout the day.