android

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The new OS.

Riddle me this. When does an operating system really become an operating system?   When it truly delivers a digital assistant that manages all devices by voice activation. As Amazon’s Alexa intends to do.

Operating systems today are made up of software that undergirds other software and applications, e.g., iOS, Windows, and Android. In 20 years voice commands that direct “ons,” “offs” and other device and system activations will be the operating systems.  These assistants will compete with each other for supremacy.  There will be systems by Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and one or two start-ups. None will integrate (at first) but mark my words, these are the operating systems of the future. Because they operate real life things…including cars.

These operating systems will be the battleground of the next 50 years. Will they be free?  Will they be as expensive as cars? Will consumers be paid to use them? Time will tell.

Peace.

 

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Tomorrow Apple is announcing a lower cost iPhone along with its latest version of the new iPhone – what will that be the 6?  (Were he around, Steve Jobs would have killed the number thing.)  Anyway, as mentioned last week and long before, I think the Nokia/Microsoft strategy will be to cover the planet with Windows-based smarties and the way to do that will be, though a nice phone at a low, low price. Sold at cost (or a hair below), these Windows phone 8 Nokia hardware devices will be cheaper than two rounds of drinks with your signif. at a NYC hotel bar. Before tip.  I’m thinking US$49.  That’s my price point and I’m sticking to it.

Messrs. Ballmer and friends will create a Costco-priced, beautiful smart phone and price it in a way that the ROW (rest of world) will be hard pressed to ignore. It will offer the cool tiles interface, a good camera and enough design panache to bump iPhone and Androids growth aside for a while.

Rather than pay taxes or sit on the billions in the bank, MSFT is going to be bold and give people without smarties an affordably priced piece of hardware (and software) — effectively buying market share.  It will lose then make them billions. It’s a nuh-uh brainer.  (Go Geno and the Jets.)

And, of course, peace!

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i vs. Smart.

There are two brands in the mobile phone business iPhones and smartphones. In the U.S. and U.K. the “i” is winning.  In the ROW (rest of world) the smarts have it. Smartphone is a generic term and more often than not includes phones with Google’s Android operating system. That said, most people just call them smartphones not Android phones. 

As Microsoft starts to improve its standing in the U.S. with its own Windows phone operating system (7 or 8?) it, too, will probably be referred to as a smartphone.  Remind you of Mac vs. PC? 

What I enjoy about branding – way more than using paid media to display my ideas in market – is to listen to the market, hear how it speaks and thinks, and use the market’s own language to  gain conversation.  iPhone is paid, smartphone is organic. Mac is paid. PC is organic.

Xerox is paid and organic.  

Apple is a lovely brand.  It has taught the world how to design and market. The world is catching up. It needs a new I, me thinks.  Peace!

 

 

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Humor.

I have a presentation on Fast Twitch Media and Twitch Point Planning that asks the question are our brains evolving bigger or smaller?  Larger, posited Timothy White back in the 80s when I asked a question about evolution during a John’s Hopkins symposium, but I’m not so sure.

As software takes over decision making for us, it seems we have to think less. That is, unless we’re deciding which GPS to use — the Garmin or the Android phone app. (They are not perfectly in synch! Oh my.)

One of the things coders and engineers cannot do very well is humor.  It’s not that they are genetically indisposed to humor, but humor can’t be programmed. There is no algorithm. And therein lies the value of the creative mind.  

Humor is a wonderful tool in society and well valued in content creation that surrounds marketing.  I still giggle each time the BBDO/ATT “flash mob gone wrong” ad appears, though it is wearing out. Humor gets noticed and it disarms.  It is an elixir that helps a sales message get consumed. Branded utility is the rage these days in mobile apps, but soon that utility will become commoditized and we will need to smile as we tweak our media and our apps.  Might as well begin now; add a spoonful of humor to your digital selling and see what happens. Peace!

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In February of last year I predicted Google would split into 3 companies.  With its intent to purchase Motorola Mobility, announced this morning, Google is one step closer.  The point of my original prediction post was lost in favor of a searchable sound bite reposted by Steve Rubel: “Google’s culture of technological obesity” but that trivestiture angle may now take on some weight.

This is a very big move for Google and will continue to blur the lines between hard and soft ware companies no doubt with an expected response from “Guess who?” Microsoft. (Look for a potential full purchase of Nokia within the year.) Mobile is so hinky and malleable right now I think the Android/Moto thing will work. And then open may be out the door — guess we’ll see.

For all the tech prognosticators this announcement will create some serious buzz and take eyes off of Google+, a half-baked though still tasty cake.

Como se wow!  September should be an interesting month. Peace! 

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I drove a Buick Skylark as a kid and loved it.  Though green wasn’t my favorite color, the car offered a little macho and some pep.  My friend’s dad owned the Buick dealership from whence it came and when he grew up he, too, owned a Buick Dealership.  I went to work at McCann-Erickson in the 90s and we had the Buick account. Market research began to slip out that Buick had become the brand of Q-Tips — little white heads that stuck up from behind the steering wheel. That was the 90s.  As much as the client and agency derided the target and tried to go younger, they never really changed the car models.

The decade of the 2000s rolled in and again management talked about aiming younger.  Tiger Woods was the spokesperson – young phenom that he was.  Some youthful accoutrements were put on the cars, some grilles were youthenized, a new younger nameplate introduced (Lucerne, hee hee), yet the old people car tag did not abate.

Fast forward to today – the 2000 teens.  “People still equate us with big, floaty, boxy cars that are driven by people in their 70s and 80s,” said Craig Bierley, director of advertising and sales of Buick/GMC in today’s paper.  He added “This is really about position Buick in a progressive marketing space, so that people can think of Buick as a progressive company overall.”  This quote, a reference to a new selling application for iPhones and Androids.

Hello?  You can market younger but the car designs must appeal so. They don’t yet. See you in 2020. Peace!

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Mobile. Search. Ads.

I grew up watching advertising on television. Part of life.  Direct mail pisses me off due to all the wasted paper and atmospheric warming.  Dinnertime telemarketing annoys me but it’s hard to be mean to humans. Spam in the email box irritates. Telemarketing to my mobile though, oh that one drives me insane.

Google is about to launch a mobile phone handset business, using a Taiwanese manufacturer (“Do no evil” apparently doesn’t extend to domestic job creation) and the exciting, free Android operating system. The phone will not be free and sold “unlocked” — meaning buyers can choose their own compatible (GSM) carriers.  With most cell phones subsidized by carriers in the U.S. it will be hard for Google to make money on the hardware so what’s their play?  The answer is search ads.

 If you think search is big from your chair at work or your couch at home, wait until you see the power of search for those on the go.  People en route are way more likely to want to search for something than people in a chair – and Google knows this, hence the mobile computing effort. Google’s OS is a critical component to mobile search and by owning the phone they keep control. But toes will be stepped on. What sets my hair on fire is the thought that all mobile searches in couple of years will be wrapped in a big fat advertising wrapper. I smell an opportunity.  Peace!

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