Posted by Shirley Brady on September 18, 2014 03:24 PM
After exclusively launching U2’s new Songs of Innocence album to 500 million iTunes accounts this past week, Apple is delivering something else in response to customer demand. And true to Apple form, it’s an intuitive, easy-to-use and simple piece of technology—a delete button.
A case study in how not to show customer appreciation, the unwanted gift of U2 music to all iTunes customers, whether they were fans of the Irish rockers or not, was hyped as the largest album release ever, and a "shrewd" marketing partnership (to the reported tune of $100 million) to celebrate the roots of the brand's longstanding tie-in with the band.
It turns out that the U2 album giveaway was a teaser for a bigger gift to come—and not only to music lovers but to musicians and the music industry as a whole. As TIME reveals in an exclusive cover story today, Apple is working with U2 on a bigger "secret project": a new digital music format designed to delight and excite customers to buy not only individual tracks but whole albums-as-experiences, and in so doing, "save the music industry."Continue reading...
Posted by Ilan Beesen on September 15, 2014 03:14 PM
After months of anticipation, and a few days of perspective, the big Apple keynote last week proved less thrill, and more drill. Not to sound like an ingrate—I’m a longtime Apple admirer and loyal customer—but as far as surprises go, Apple is about as full of them, lately, as a bale of hay.
For its latest worldwide product reveal, Apple’s "one more thing" was the highly anticipated, and long overdue, Apple Watch. The sales pitch by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake was unexpected, although U2's appearance wasn't. And the missing 'i' in Apple’s Pay and Watch caught everyone off guard, but that’s about it. While stirring interest by Apple fans, iPhone devotees (who snapped up the pre-order phones) and the global tech press, the big event by Tim Cook & Co. was a feature-rich, impeccably-designed bale of hay.
Compared to its history full of silicon-fueled subversion, today’s Apple plays it conservative. While typically the winner at whatever it does, Apple is not even close to being first out to the field with wearable tech, for example. It’s the obsessive batter who takes 10,000 practice swings before stepping to the plate and hitting a homerun. Impressive, but where’s the eccentricity, the wonder, the audacity? Whatever happened to going toe to toe with spectacular failure? Expected awesomeness is still expected.
In the euphoric afterglow of Apple’s keynote, it’s sobering to compare Apple's just-announced innovations with some of the recent work of another tech titan.Continue reading...
Posted by Darcy Newell on September 10, 2014 06:34 PM
Monday was a sad day for fans of chicken sandwiches and the Chick-fil-A brand—the company’s founder and chairman emeritus, S. Truett Cathy, died at age 93 in his home.
For many, Cathy was the embodiment of the Chick-Fil-A brand. Having grown the company from a small Atlanta diner in 1964 to one of the largest (1,800 locations in 40 states) and most beloved chicken restaurants in the United States, Cathy exemplified the American Dream. And despite strong business acuity, he was known for not choosing profitability over piety. From the company’s founding, restaurants have always closed on Sundays for a day of rest—missing out on opportunities for substantial revenue gains.
Of course, this religious focus has not always bided well for the man or the brand. Recent lawsuits claim the company’ discriminated against non-Christians, the LGBT community and others, and sparked debate on the role of religion—and religious commentary—in business today. Despite this, Cathy remained revered by the brand's intensely loyal fans for the experiences (and delightfully simple sandwiches) he created.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 9, 2014 05:15 PM
Today, at what seemed like its largest press event ever, Apple unveiled the future of communication—and it's beautiful.
CEO Tim Cook took the stage after countless brand fans and media kept their eye on a countdown clock on Apple's website, effortlessly building anticipation for a product launch that many have been counting on for the last year. And in true Apple fashion—minimalist introductory video and slideshow presentations, live demos and a parade of Apple executives not to mention U2—the brand introduced what everyone had been waiting for: two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus; a new payment platform, Apple Pay; and the highly-anticipated Apple Watch.
After years—decades, really, in tech time—of shunning the "bigger is better" trend in mobile, Apple unveiled not one, but two new iPhones, both of which offer a larger screen experience. But the two new phones turned out to be perhaps the least ground-breaking announcement of the day.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on September 8, 2014 05:38 PM
The countdown is on as Apple watchers are at the ready for the next big thing: its product reveal taking place Tuesday morning at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. As the "What to Expect" headlines keep rolling in, Apple, as usual, will do its best to keep leaks at bay, so as to unveil its latest products in the typical, dramatic, Apple fashion we all have come to know so well.
Perhaps the only certainty regarding the launch is that Apple will unveil a new iPhone, in line with its fall mobile announcements. But how many, and more importantly, how big? And will we finally see the so-called "iWatch" after months of rumors and sketches?
Major news outlets think so, and if Apple wants to stay on top of its game, it had better. This past week alone saw major wearable tech announcements from Samsung and Intel, and while none of them (arguably) hold the fascination that Apple does, there's no doubt that Apple acolytes are getting impatient waiting for CEO Tim Cook to unveil his first big product post-Jobs.Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 2, 2014 02:24 PM
Ahead of what will be a crucial week for the brand, Apple is under scrutiny after its iCloud reportedly played a big part in the massive leak of scandalous celebrity photos by hackers who gained access to personal iCloud accounts.
Originally suspected to have enabled the hack via a bug in its “Find My iPhone” app, Apple has denied it's at fault following an internal investigation. Earlier, a company spokesperson responded to the allegation by stating, “We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report,” while the FBI has also launched its own probe into the leak.
The #iCloudHack doubts cast on its ability to protect user data and privacy are poor timing, as Apple is preparing for its Sept. 9 iPhone event, where the brand is also expected to reveal its much anticipated "iWatch" (or iTime?) wearable.
But the iCloud leak also spells trouble for the brand's just-announced partnership with Visa, MasterCard and American Express on a mobile wallet, reportedly a cornerstone of its upcoming iPhone 6. If photos can be hacked from iCloud, what does that say for personal information and banking data?Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 16, 2014 02:07 PM
Apple and IBM's landmark partnership that's set to "redefine the way work will get done" is sending ripples through the industry, as the product/services duo are bound to disrupt the business plans of competitors like Microsoft and BlackBerry.
Combining IBM’s big data and analytics expertise with Apple's user experience “could transform Apple, which ordinarily focuses squarely on consumers, into a true business powerhouse," The Verge notes. “It could also touch off a new battle with Microsoft, which now more than ever is focused on the enterprise and cloud services.”
Burying the hatchet of a longtime rivalry, the new partnership will “create simple-to-use business apps and sell iPhones and iPads to Big Blue’s corporate customers.”
Aside from the projected product output, which includes 100 iPhone and iPad apps and on-site support to IBM’s business customers using Apple products, the deal signals “that under Tim Cook, Apple is trying to squeeze as much profit as it can out of the products that Apple created under Steve Jobs.," Forbes notes. "The question for investors is whether the deal with IBM is a signal that Tim Cook has no Jobs-like product innovation up Apple’s sleeve.”Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 8, 2014 04:43 PM
As noted here, TD Bank was a proud sponsor of the first WorldPride event held in North America. Also showing its colors in Toronto late last month: the smart auto brand, which sponsored the event's opening ceremonies in Toronto. And south of the border, on June 29, thousands of Apple employees and their families marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade, where employees were welcome by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was lauded in today's Wall Street Journal as a "more collaborative" and compassionate leader than Steve Jobs. Check out both brands' 2014 Pride videos below.Continue reading...