Monday, October 18, 2010

Morning Brief: Sky is falling, or something; RIM wants to attract developers, duh; newspaper mobile woes continue

Later today Apple is scheduled to report its quarterly earnings, and the latest guess is that Apple will say it sold 12 iPhones, a 60 percent increase in sales.

So naturally, the NYT says 'the sky is falling' -- or something to that effect.

If there is a lesson here it is that one should never read a story where the headline ends in a question mark. In this case "Will Apple’s Culture Hurt the iPhone?". It's a sure sign that the writer hasn't anything new to report but needs to write something anyway. If there were really news or insights contained in the story the headline would have conveyed it. A 'question mark' headline is the equivalent of the writer and editor raising their hands up and saying "who know".

Interesting juxtaposition of two search results: BlackBerry App Store To Court Developers, followed by There are now 300,000 apps on Apple's App Store.

RIM may want to attract developers to build apps for their new products, but Apple advantage is not just in the total number of apps in iTunes, but the total number of paid apps: now over 200,000. The reason this is important is that developers want to developer advertising free apps that stand a chance of making them some money. The Android platform is growing quickly, and the number of apps available for the platform is exploding. But developers are making money by developing for iOS, something that will remain hard to combat.

How do you know when a newspaper has given up trying to compete:

1) ... it talks about adopting a editorial/subscriber strategy versus an advertising strategy -- this is a sure sign that the folks in the corporate offices have never sold an ad in their lives, and besides, who wants to hear "no" directly in their faces.

2) ... the newspaper launches a "me-too" mobile app -- most likely released the same day a dozen others are released by the same developer. Rather than actually thinking about their mobile strategy, most publishers would prefer to brag to their friends that they, too, have an iPhone app.

3) ... when they launch a new web, mobile or tablet publishing project and tell the ad department afterwards about the product.