Few companies other than Apple can inspire such burning questions in the tech world. And until they’re answered, those questions orbit around the blogosphere at tremendous speed. When will Verizon get the iPhone? How much will the next MacBook weigh? Will the iPad ever get Flash?
In the last few weeks, however, one question has put the tech press on the the edge of its collective seat like never before. It wasn’t about the capacity of the next iPod, but rather whether the long-elusive white iPhone 4 was thicker than its black counterpart. Apple fans demanded to know the truth in forums and ugly rumors spread that your existing case or bumper wouldn’t quite fit. The reported difference was miniscule (“roughly 0.2mm” as TiPb put it) and other outlets said that there was no difference at all. Yet, the chatter was loud enough for Apple SVP of Product Marketing Phil Schiller to tweet, “It’s not thicker. Don’t believe all the junk that you read.”
In only its second incarnation, the AppNation conference, held in San Francisco, certainly demonstrated the breadth of the manic activity occurring in the world of mobile games and apps.
Ranging across topics such as content – games, video and music – to app stores, advertising strategies, monetisation options, search, and more, it, and its networking opportunities, provided plenty of fuel for thought.
So here are ten points we think say something about the current state of the ecosystem.
1. The platform always corrupts
A general observation but one brought into specific focus by the continuing uncertainties over download incentivisation on the Apple App Store, a platform holder’s power over its platform means change will always tend to be in its favour.
Of course, this sort of behaviour isn’t limited to digital distribution. The same thing occurs with physical retailers such as Walmart and Tesco as they squeeze their supply chain in ways that improve their balance sheet.
For that reason – and many others – developers and publishers shouldn’t take an all or nothing approach. As well as maximising your potential audience, a cross platform strategy will limit your vulnerability to the mercurial attitudes of Apple, Google, RIM, Nokia, Microsoft, Amazon etc.
Last week in Silicon Valley (and the tech world):
Sunnyvale Internet content giant Yahoo (YHOO) acquired IntoNow, a 3-month-old, seven-person Palo Alto online upstart that has developed an app designed to make television watching more social. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, although TechCrunch and other blogs put the deal’s value at $20 million to $30 million.
Palo Alto social networking powerhouse Facebook, meanwhile, gave its ubiquitous “Like” button a companion. According to a post on the company’s blog, Facebook’s new “Send” button is designed to share content only with specific friends or groups of friends. “Much of what we share in our daily lives is only meaningful to smaller groups of people, like our family, roommates or co-workers,” Facebook engineer Elliot Lynde explained in the post.
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