Tag Archive | "consumer"

The Micro, A Compact, Consumer-Friendly 3D Printer, Launches On Kickstarter For $199+

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The Micro, launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 today, is a 3D printer aiming squaring at the consumer end of the market, with a low cost device that’s undoubtedly pretty basic but which is therefore aiming to be simple and straightforward to use. The 3D printer starts at just $199 to early Kickstarter backers. Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Sitedrop Turns A Dropbox Folder Into A Visual Workspace Where You Can Collaborate With Others

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Getting everyone to use the same project management software is a challenge, but everyone seems to have a Dropbox account. Hoping to build on top of the consumer-friendly service’s popularity, a new startup called Sitedrop allows you quickly turn any Dropbox folder into a website where you can visually showcase your work and collaborate with others. Sitedrop users are able to view, comment,… Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

LogMeIn Goes After Business Crowd With Cubby Enterprise, An I.T.-Friendly Dropbox Competitor

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Cubby, the Dropbox competitor from LogMeIn which opened up publicly near the end of last year, is rolling out a business-focused version of its service called LogMeIn Enterprise. The company is aiming to find a middle-of-the-road spot in between clunky, but I.T.-friendly solutions employees hate, and the consumer-grade cloud services that I.T. is still wary of. The Enterprise version includes a… Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Google Starts Running Consumer Surveys About Select Advertisers, Highlights Data In Search Ads

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Google is launching a new feature for advertisers today that highlights data Google gathered from its Consumer Surveys in their ads. These so-called “consumer ratings annotations” can appear under Google’s regular text ads and will roll out over the next few days. Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

AmEx Debuts Its Most Mobile-Integrated, Rewards-Focused Credit Card

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AmEx has offered a number of different cards to consumers: The Blue Card appeals to those who like cash back options and the Platinum card is specialized for consumers who travel. There’s even a Black Card for high net-worth individuals. Today, the company is debuting a brand new rewards-focused credit card, called Everyday, aimed at the consumer who uses AmEx for most of the everyday purchases. Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Qualcomm Cuts $100 Off Its Toq Smartwatch

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Watch out below! Falling prices!

As the dust settles over Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm just announced a modest price drop for its Toq smartwatch from $350 to $250.

With the new Samsung Gear, the Pebble Steel, and the updated Sony SmartWatch, the Toq has stiff competition. It’s a fine device, although Darrell would argue otherwise. It’s comfortable to wear, has a nice screen, and works relatively well. Compared to the Pebble, it’s light years ahead in terms of possible functionality.

But the Toq is also more limited than others. It only works with Android devices and doesn’t have nearly the amount of developer support behind it than competitors. When the Toq was released, it was widely speculated that it would quickly fail on the consumer market. Qualcomm simply doesn’t have marketing or distribution power needed to make such a device successful.

Maybe a price drop will help move a few units. But probably not.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

HP Posts Modest FQ1 Beat With Revenue Of $28.2B, Adjusted EPS Of $0.90

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Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 2.13.15 PM

Today after the close, HP reported a slight beat in its fiscal first quarter, including net revenue of $28.2 billion, and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.90. Investors had expected $27.19 billion in revenue, and $0.84 in per-share profit, excluding items.

HP’s revenue fell 1 percent year over year in the period. How might that be a beat? Well, if people expect your firm’s top line to contract by 4 percent, that’s a fine figure to have. HP’s non-GAAP earnings per share were up 10 percent, and its GAAP earnings per share were up 17 percent.

For its fiscal second quarter, HP forecasts that it will have earnings per share of $0.85 to $0.89 (non-GAAP). Analysts expected $0.89. HP is flat to down in after-hours trading, perhaps on that weakness.

After a difficult fiscal third quarter in 2013, HP has turned in two solid performances. I agree with Julie Bort that this is indicative of current CEO Meg Whitman’s plan for the company working.

Now, to PCs. Here’s HP’s line item on its personal computer business:

Personal Systems revenue was up 4% year over year with a 3.3% operating margin. Commercial revenue increased 8% and Consumer revenue declined 3%. Total units were up 6% with Desktops units down 3% and Notebooks units up 5%.

This jives with what we might have expected: Stronger commercial PC demand is more than making up for weakness among consumers. Microsoft’s OEM revenue breakdown, as you recall, told a similar story. Printing revenue slipped 2 percent. According to Whitman, HP “is in a stronger position today than we’ve been in quite some time.”

I agree.

IMAGE BY FLICKR USER DON DeBOLD UNDER CC BY 2.0 LICENSE (IMAGE HAS BEEN CROPPED)

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook PMD Gigya finishes 2013 with more than 800 million logins

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Gigya, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, announced today announced that it processed over 800 million logins via its Registration-as-a-Service and Social Login products across Gigya client websites and applications – a 72 percent increase over 2012.

Patrick Salyer, CEO of Gigya, announced the news in a press release:

Gigya had an amazing year in 2013. We added customers and offices around the globe and use of our technology exploded. We already have some exciting developments in store for 2014 and we have the team, products and momentum to own the consumer identity management market this year.

In 2013, Gigya’s product team developed the recently released Consumer Insights dashboard, a tool that provides marketers with a view into consumer identities by aggregating first-party social and behavioral data captured by Gigya products like Social Login, Sharing and Gamification, and visually displaying insights via an actionable dashboard.

Gigya also saw massive client growth in 2013, and now works with customers in 46 countries around the world. The company added major brands in 2013 including AARP, World Wrestling Entertainment, Art.com, Japan Airlines and Tommy Hilfiger. Gigya also expanded its relationships with hundreds of existing customers that chose to implement additional products from Gigya’s platform.

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Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

The Demise of the Soap Opera: Lessons for Content Marketing

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If content marketing is so great, how come brands don’t produce soap operas anymore?

Soap operas are still immensely popular, and brands have heritage in producing soap operas – indeed they can claim ownership of the genre; the first soap operas were so-called because they were produced by detergent manufacturers who needed fodder around which they could place advertising.  

But brands no longer produce soap operas – on Friday 17 September 2010 Procter & Gamble, a pioneer of early soap operas, pulled the plug on its last soap opera production “As The World Turns” (1956-2010), and announced this heralded the end of its soap opera era.  P&G still owns its own production company – P&G Entertainment; but the productions listed are now mostly defunct.  Likewise for Glass & a Half Full Productions, the production company for Mondelēz’ brand Cadbury’s. Of course, Red Bull Media House is alive and kicking, but along with Michelin Maps & Guides, it is the exception. So why when the marketing world is saying that the future of marketing lies in content production and publishing as well as advertising – have brands given up on soap operas?

The answer is two-fold.  First, they don’t need to – there is an entertainment industry specialising in content production. Of course, it wasn’t always this way.  Back in the 1930s, the first soap operas emerged because there was a dearth of content to advertise around. Without content, radio networks couldn’t attract audiences needed to sell advertising space.  So the advertisers stepped in to produce content themselves.  But today, there is no dearth of professionally produced content, so there is no reason why brand manufacturers should to moonlight as publishing houses or production studios.

Secondly, producing entertainment is not a core competence for  consumer goods manufacturers.  It’s far more efficient for most brands to advertise around great content, place products in great content, or even sponsor great content than it is to produce great content.  So advertise around great content, yes; place you products in great content, yes; sponsor great content, yes.  But produce your own content, maybe not.  That’s what publishing houses and production studios are for.

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This iQi Hack Shows Why Apple Hasn’t Bothered With Wireless Charging

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iQi is a hardware add-on that brings the tech Apple hasn’t — wireless charging (using the Qi standard) — to your iPhone without the need to put it in a bulky case. Think of it as akin to Bill Gates’ quest for sensation enhancing graphene condoms. Or, er, having some cake and eating it.

The slender iQi gizmo is designed to work with soft cases, including Apple’s leather iPhone 5 sleeve, so you don’t have to compromise the overall look of your iPhone just to be able to wirelessly charge it. Although, once this phone-hugging gizmo is installed, there will be a slight bump on your phone’s rear, i.e. where the case has to swell to accommodate its wireless-charge providing passenger.

Visually, this is an all-but imperceptible bump if you’re using Apple’s leather sleeve, but it’s a bit more sticky-outy when paired with some soft plastic cases. The slight swelling does mean the handset won’t now sit entirely flat on a table or other flat surface.

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Wireless charging has huge potential, albeit much of that promise remains to come. For now it plays a relatively small role in the consumer electronics space — possibly making a few mobile owners’ lives slightly more convenient by allowing them to charge their device by sticking it on a charger plate, rather than fumbling around to plug in a power cord once per day. (Although wireless chargers still have to plug the charger plate in at some point, and make some space for it  – and its unpleasing cable — on their desk.)

Nokia adding wireless charging to its flagship Windows Phone Lumia smartphones wasn’t enough to convert legions of iPhone users to the platform and save the once mighty mobile maker from having to sell that business unit to Microsoft. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t appetite for the tech, even among iPhone owners. More Android flagships are adding built-in wireless charging (including Google); yet Apple continues to stand aloof.

iQi’s Indiegogo campaign for its slender, soft-case compatible iPhone wireless charger, concluded a successful crowdfunding run last December, raising over $161,500 (from 2,350+ backers) — more than 5x its makers’ original target of $30,000. So even though Cupertino hasn’t seen the point of wireless charging yet a portion of iPhone owners are clearly keen. Or keen enough to shell out $25+.

But, is the iQi any good? Well, it certainly doesn’t look like much when my test unit arrives, being packaged in an envelope housed on a piece of card with a small paper user manual. But that’s a good thing: less, not more, is exactly the point of this iPhone wireless charger hardware hack.

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