The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious: How the worst apple took over the United States, and continues to spread.
Back in the day, Ken Segall helped create Apple's Think Different campaign and helped name the iMac. More recently he worked on JC Penney's Yours Truly, commercial, before JCP ousted Ron Johnson as its CEO. He writes a sharp, entertaining blog called Ken Segall's Observatory, where he offers opinions on advertising and design geekery. His take on Ron Johnson's failure is interesting, as is this post on what it takes for an advertisement to stand out in a crowd. He calls attention to surprisingly decent ads from Microsoft and Dell, critiques terrible ads (from Microsoft and JC Penney and even Apple, and comments on whether skeuomorphism has its advantages. He's also fond of discussing product names. Give this one a skip if advertising gives you hives, but for those of you who're interested in things like this Segall's blog is especially choice stuff.
The iEconomy: Apple and Technology Manufacturing. Since January, the New York Times has been running a series of articles "examining the challenges posed by increasingly globalized high-tech industries," with a focus on Apple's business practices. The seventh article in the series was published today: In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword. Related: For Software, Cracks in the Patent System and Fighters in the Patent War. [more inside]
It turns out the Osborne Effect has nothing to do with Osborne, after all. Conventional wisdom has it that Apple's announcement of long-term plans to move to Intel will dramatically hurt the company in what is termed the "Osborne Effect", after the 1980s British computer company that seemingly went bankrupt due to announcing new products so soon that no one would buy anything.
Microsoft counters Mac's 'Switch' campaign using the testimony of an unnamed 'freelance writer' who seems to be all sorts of things, including a stock photography model.
Apple setting the marketing bar higher than their engeneers can jump again? Today apple.com reads "Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond." Apparently yesterday it said something like "This is big, even for us." All of this is reference to the San Francisco MacWorld Expo on Jan, 7th where they presumably plan to launch a new product. The most credible rumour so far is a new iMac with an LCD flat-panel display that has been ready for months, but held back. It's interesting that after the iPod popped the expectations bubble (don't get me wrong, it's a cool toy, but lots of people were disappointed after the hype), Apple is stirring up so much hype themselves. I guess they've got me talking about it.
Discount "apparently in memory of those affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks"? I am an Apple technology fan (except Steve blew it cancelling the Newton), but offering a discount in memory of a tragedy? I'm sorry but I find that insulting. The article has quotes about what a bargain the deal is. Undoubtedly so, but a bargain in memory of 9/11? I want to not believe this but the deal is only available in NYC and DC.