August 15, 2018

Link: Verizon and AT&T Have Vastly Different Ideas About Phone Cases ☍

Ashley Carman for The Verge:

Verizon has already overhauled 200 stores with a focus on cases and accessories. In these “Next Gen” stores, as they’re called, customers are able to touch and see cases outside their packaging in displays Verizon has designed to resemble “best-sellers at your local bookstore.”

Why the huge investment? Verizon needs people to buy phone cases because selling the actual phones results in little profit, according to analysts who spoke with The Verge. The company has to diversify its revenue lines, and cases are an easy cash opportunity. “Cases are a part of every phone launch, and [every phone] has to have phone cases, regardless of priority and size,” [Verizon phone case product manager Helena] Elicerio says.

The whole article is a fascinating look at how Verizon and AT&T are handling their case sales and marketing, especially in the face of literally everyone else selling cases. Somehow, the idea of testing accessories for Verizon actually sounds like it might be a really fun job.

Link: The Apple Pay Coffee Discount ☍

Mike Pomranz for Extra Crispy:

If you happened to be wandering around San Francisco’s Castro District last week, you may have seen some pretty damn good deals… like a $5 Réveille coffee for just $1. But this deal came with a twist: You could only get it if you paid with Apple Pay. Otherwise, full price for you.[…]

But for those interested in raging against the future, it’s important to know that an employee at Café Réveille confirmed by phone that the deal wasn’t the coffee shop’s idea. Instead, he said that he believed it was sponsored by Apple and the payment-processing company Square. Additionally, he said the concept wasn’t just tied to Réveille: “I think they were doing it at a lot of stores in the Castro,” he added.

The promotion has ended, but it’s an interesting move that these have been popping up. Apple has been doing promotions like this in a few isolated areas, and Square seems to be pushing NFC payments, too. My big gripe is that Apple seems to be targeting their backyard—areas in California that probably already have decent use of Apple Pay. I’d love to see some wider-reaching in-person promotions, especially in areas like the Midwest, where there are quite a few places that have the capabilities, but mindshare is still very low.

July 31, 2018

News: Apple Reports Q3 Results

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2018 third quarter ending June 30, 2018. In the conference call, Apple posted a quarterly revenue of $53.3 billion and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.34…

July 23, 2018

Article: Easy

Like many who run sites like this one, I have a separate day job and it happens to be working in technology. While I enjoy what I’m doing, there are always ups and downs no matter what you’re doing or who your employer happens to be. For the past few weeks, something has been bouncing around in the back of my head and it got to the point I wanted to share…

July 21, 2018

Link: Samsung’s New Ads Miss the Point ☍

Joe Rossignol for MacRumors:

Samsung has expanded upon its “Ingenius” ad campaign with three new videos titled Dongle, Fast Charger, and Camera.

In each of the videos, Samsung depicts an Apple Store employee having a conversation with a customer, attempting to justify the iPhone compared to the Galaxy S9, as it relates to the camera, dongles, and more.

In the first ad, a customer asks if he can use his wired headphones with the iPhone X, and the Genius informs him that he will need a dongle. The customer then inquires about charging at the same time, and the Genius says he’ll need another dongle. The customer then says, “so, a double dongle.”

The arguments in these ads aren’t wrong—the Galaxy S9 has some features that the iPhones don’t. I think they miss the mark because they don’t show you the Galaxy S9 or talk about why it’s better if you aren’t looking for one of those features. The Apple Genius parody is a bit played out and lazy. The Galaxy S9 may be an amazing piece of hardware, but the selling point isn’t if it has feature x, but rather getting someone who has a lot of investment (both monetarily, time, and familiarity) in Apple’s ecosystem.

Instead, and I want to reiterate that this comes from leaving any of my own pro-Apple bias out of the equation, Samsung should focus on advertising why their phone is better than every other Android manufacturer’s, and if you happen to be an iPhone user considering switching, why you should choose a Galaxy over a Pixel, ThinQ, or something else.