HBO Exclusivity on Apple

People are complaining about Apple’s exclusivity (for 3 months) of HBO Now – the streaming, over-the-top service HBO is offering separate and apart from its cable channel.

I think the motivations for this might be more innocent than appear on first glance. Sure, there might be some money exchanging hands. But – remember – HBO GO was notoriously bad at staying up when huge demand hit servers.

HBO has since moved to MLB’s streaming technology to deliver content. However, they still were relying on the old business model of giving HBO GO to current TV subscribers. So, if your HBO stream went down, they could just say “go watch ondemand on your TV” without losing too much face. If all you have is the HBO Now service – it better darn well not go down.

So, limiting to a smaller audience – Apple TV and iOS devices – allows you to test scaling. Note the timing just before Game of Thrones premiere.

The Dawn of Affordable Quality Android Phones

I’ve always had a weird reaction to cheap Android phones. The high end phones were priced about the same as Apple’s iPhones (even if arguably with better specs on paper). But the cheap phones were awful. Low memory, bad screens, slow processors, Android that is two versions behind.

However, recently affordable Android phones have really been appealing. I attributed this to many developing countries adopting mobile platforms and not being able to afford the unsubsidized prices of $700 phones.

Check out this list of great phones! All of these run the newest version of Android and are compelling feature wise – not just simple also-made phones.

Moto E - $149

Lenovo A7000 - $169

Alcatel Idol 3 -$200

Xiaomi Mi Note – $370

iPad Future

iPad sales have been down lately. And not just lately, but its a downward trend for sometime. Simply making the iPad thinner isn’t going to bump sales.

The common story is that everyone’s iPad 2 serves them just fine and the new ones don’t offer any features they desire.

Remember those rumors about dual screen capability on the iPad? I cannot wait for this to happen. There are so many instances where I am streaming a video on Netflix, but also need to draft a quick email response.

This is a feature that people could get on board with. It would help make the iPad more useful. And for the processing power required to run two apps smoothly at once – Apple could require newer hardware. This would encourage new iPad adoption.

iPhone Announcement Predictions

My predictions for the big announcement tomorrow from Apple:

  • New iPhone
    • 4.7 inch
    • No 5.5 inch
    • bigger capacity (smallest is 32GB)
  • New “iWatch” device
    • Won’t be a watch, but a “wearable” that manufacturers can design straps”holsters” for like cases for the iPhone
  • New Apple TV
    • Everyone has forgotten about the rumors for this since the iWatch has taken over. But supplies of the Apple TV have dwindled, and its due for an upgrade.
  • New iPads
    • I know this is a bit out of place, but I think they are going to quietly update these. I saw the old iPad mini was on a $100 discount at my local Best Buy this weekend, like they were clearing inventory. That’s typically a sign.

Google is turning into Microsoft

“Or to simplify things (!!!): you’ll have Google Play, the online store with apps, movies, TV, music, books and NewsStand; Google Play Music for downloads you purchase; Google Play Music Key for on-demand streaming; and now YouTube Music Key for on-demand, streaming of stuff from YouTube.

Apparently, just calling the whole thing “Google Music” was not considered?”

-TechCrunch on Google’s new YouTube based music service.

Reminds me of this old gem:

 

What I'm Thinking

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