The Peter Burrows’s BusinessWeek article, How big will the iPhone be? discusses the potential impact that the iPhone may have on Apple. Burrows projects that the iPhone could translate into a $10 billion business for Apple – even in a crowded and competitive market. No one questions Apple’s brand strength and the fact that there is currently a large existing iPod customer base who will be lining up to purchase this phone, but the fact remains that the cell phone industry is crowded and highly competitive.
Two initial questions that popped into my mind were: (1) wouldn’t it have made more sense to offer this phone as an undocked phone – one that anyone can buy and add it to their carrier of choice. That way you don’t limit your potential customer base to those willing to go with the AT&T network. (2) Given the need for bandwidth for some of the phones services, wouldn’t it make more sense to focus the initial push for this phone in Asia and Western Europe? These two regions currently employ 3G networks, whereas in the U.S. 3G networks are not nearly as widespread.
While the early months of the launch will most likely contain some bumps and bruises, overall it will be very successful. But, whether the iPhone dominates the market will be determined by, in part, how successful this product is with corporate users. Currently, it is suggested that the iPhone will not support Outlook very cleanly out of the box. This will negatively impact the iPhone’s numbers – as potential buyers stick with their Blackberry’s and other smart phones due to the lack of Outlook support. In the end, Apple will go from having no presence in the cell phone market to being a major player in this space virtually over night.
Late last week, I decided to upgrade two of my PCs from Ubuntu’s v6.10 (Edgy Eft) to the beta release of v7.04 aka Fiesty Fawn. Now while I have mentioned before that I have “tech-tendencies” but not nearly as tech savvy as many of you, I found the upgrade process to be extremely easy. Better yet, as the OS was doing its thing, I was able to continue surfing the internet and do other work. The entire upgrade process took about 40 minutes and to my surprise – given my experiences with other operating systems – everything was working as expected. And now with almost a week under my belt, I have not experienced any issues with this beta release. So far, I have to say that I am very impressed. I like having the latest and greatest release, but normally in this situation you hope for the best, but expect the worse. And so far (knock, knock, knock) all is great!
According to the March 29th Red Herring article, Dell has plans to again offer a Linux PC to the consumer market. According to the article this is in part due to the “100,000 or so customers who requested it on a Dell web site.” It would seem that this is also due in part to Dell’s slipping market share and the fact that non-techie’s are beginning to install and use Linux OSs. Offering their PCs pre-loaded with open-source OS and applications will drive the cost of the PC down and potentially allow it to increase its number of units sold.
Long-term, if this move is successful it could also enable Linux to be seen as an alternative to Windows and OS X. Given Dell’s relatively large support organization they can, for a fee, provide the average user with Linux support.
As the article points out, Dell has offered a consumer Linux PC previously, but this time the conditions appear to be favorable – the various Linux OSs are more stable and feature rich, a larger portion of their consumers are asking for Linux, and Dell needs to replace the consumers that the lost to other pc vendors in its core market.
When I read the article on the suit filed by Oracle against SAP, I found myself wondering about Oracles license management system. Time and the courts will tell if SAP is guilty of the charges filed against them by Oracle, but I was surprised that Oracle customers (or SAP employees as the suit claims) would be able to download software that the Oracle customer had not licensed.
Is it legal to pretend to be your competitor’s customer and download software? If it is legal, is it ethical? In a competitive business environment, is “all fair in love and war?”
I personally believe that even if the practice is deemed legal, it is definitely unethical to pretend to be a competitor’s customer for the purpose of downloading confidential materials and software.
A month or so ago I decided that I was either going to replace the Windows operating system on one of my personal laptops. I debated about purchasing a new version of Windows or installing Linux. I quickly decided to give Linux a try and reviewed a number of different version – using the postings of the various communities. I finally decided to go with Unbuntu and I absolutely love it. The install was very easy and I really enjoy the clean look and feel of the design. Now I am wondering why I did not try it earlier.
If you are thinking about giving Linux a try, I would highly recommend Unbuntu. I am now in the process of switching my other to laptops over to Unbuntu as well.