Author Archives: Ben Bajarin

Ben has spent the last 10 years as the Director of Consumer Technology Analysis and Research with Industry and Market analysis firm Creative Strategies, Inc. He is a technology enthusiast, a husband, a father and a hobby farmer.

‘Tis The Season for Acquisitions

‘Tis The Season for Acquisitions

The holiday shopping season isn’t just for consumers. This is also the time of year where companies make acquisitions or start looking strategically for acquisition targets for their 2011 strategic plan. Google’s $5.3 billion bid for Groupon demonstrates what is happening.

I will be writing my 2011 predictions article soon where I will make some bold acquisition predictions. I am anticipating 2011 to be one of the most competitive years the consumer technology industry has ever seen.


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iPad shines as a touch computer with iOS 4.2

iPad shines as a touch computer with iOS 4.2

iOS 4.2 was released today for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.  iOS 4.2 boasts over 100 new features however I feel AirPrint and AirPlay are among the most significant new features and deserve a deeper analysis.

AirPrint and AirPlay will be nice new additions for the iPhone and iPod Touch however the iPad is where they shine.  Printing had been one of the main early requests after the iPad came out signaling that consumers wanted to do more with their iPads than just surf the web and play games. Apple has provided that feature and gone one better with AirPlay.

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Does a Facebook e-mail offering make any sense?

Does a Facebook e-mail offering make any sense?

With all the speculation about what Facebook will unveil on Monday at their event in San Francisco, I thought I would chime in on if the speculation thus far makes any sense. The rumor and speculation is that Facebook intends to offer a more robust e-mail solution within the Facebook platform and is being pitted against Google’s Gmail client. There are several interesting things about this if its true that needs to be explored.

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Will Facebook’s deals platform drive more location based service usage?

Will Facebook’s deals platform drive more location based service usage?

Yesterday Facebook launched, among other things, a new platform called "Deals."   The goal of this platform and the API's that come along are simply to offer businesses both local and national a way to offer consumers deals as they check into locations near retail outlets.   This has been one of the primary over arching goals and use-cases referenced when talking about the promise of location based services.

Today the Pew Internet Research Center in their Internet and American Life report stated that only 4% of online American's actually use location based services.   Their research also found that even though 4% of online American's use location based services it only makes up 1% of their usage on any given day.   The real question is what will drive more people to use location based services and can Facebook play a role in it.

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Smartphones by the Numbers Now 28% of U.S. Cellphone Market

Smartphones by the Numbers Now 28% of U.S. Cellphone Market

According to Nielsen's latest report, as of the third quarter of 2010, 28% of U.S. mobile subscribers now have Smartphones.   With feature phones growing at a pace of less then 10% annually its no surprise to us that 41% of cell phone purchases in the last six month's were Smartphones.

The report also points out that in the U.S. RIM has now dropped to 30% smartphone market share with Apple right on its heels with 28% and Android in third with 19%.

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Apple Now 4th Largest Global Mobile Phone Vendor

Apple Now 4th Largest Global Mobile Phone Vendor

During my work as a market analyst with Creative Strategies,Inc we are constantly analyzing market share of whatever companies or products we are tracking.   My colleagues over at IDC have recently released numbers showing that Apple has now entered fourth place passing R.I.M in worldwide shipments of mobile phones.   Some people may read this and think these numbers are just for SmartPhone shipments however that is not the case.  Apple is now the fourth largest mobile phone vendor globally of total units shipped.

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The HP Slate 500 and Enterprise Tablets

The HP Slate 500 and Enterprise Tablets

The debut of HP's Slate 500 begs the question as to whether or not enterprise customers and market verticals care about Tablet computers. For those of us who have followed the industry for 10 or more years this product announcement feels like a re-run of a TV show we saw 6 years ago.  Pen based Tablet PC's have come and gone and nearly all of them in the days of old focused on the enterprise.   Will Tablet / Slate PC's fair better this time around? What type of operating system should they run? Can they compete with the iPad?  Let's explore.

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Apple Keeps the Mac Roaring

Apple Keeps the Mac Roaring

With all the speculation and chatter about tablets eating into notebooks and desktops - Apple re-emphasized the importance of the Mac in their software and hardware ecosystem.    The announcement today focused on software but also highlighted two new MacBook Air models (The smallest notebooks on the market), one starting at $999

Apple's COO Tim Cook set the tone for the whole morning by stating the Mac business represents 33% of Apple's revenue ($22 billion dollars).   He put that in perspective and revealed that if the Mac business was a standalone company it would be listed #110 on the Fortune 500 list.  

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Apple’s Innovative Revenue Strategy

Apple’s Innovative Revenue Strategy

Apple may be one of the best case studies about the importance of innovation in the past ten years. Smart people know there is a difference between invention and innovation. When a company focuses on innovation and excels in bringing innovations to market they reap the financial benefits.

As Horace Deidu of Asymco points out 60% of Apple’s fourth quarter revenue came from products that didn’t exist three years ago. Looking at the chart below you will see that the iPhone and the iPad represented the bulk of Apple’s fourth quarter revenue and you can expect that number to be even larger after the holiday quarter which is traditionally Apple’s best quarter.

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Apple Reports Record Quarter – 20.34 Billion Record

Apple Reports Record Quarter – 20.34 Billion Record

Apple has just released their fourth quarter earnings. Apple posted record revenue of $20.34 billion and net quarterly profit of $4.31 billion, or $4.64 per diluted share. That works out to be Apple's best quarter ever and they are offering guidance higher still for the next quarter. Apple also reported they sold 14.1 million iPhones representing a 91% increase over last years Q4. For those saying Apple is losing momentum, the numbers will have to disagree.

Also notable was the 3.89 million macs sold in Q4 representing 27% unit growth and 4.19 million iPads sold as well. As for the iPod it was the only category that didn't far as well declining 11% to 9.05 million sold. Apple has grown quarter after quarter and continues to show strong momentum going into the the holiday season. Read on for more analysis of Apple's earnings.

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