Steve Jobs, RIP

Courtesy of YouTube/StanfordUniversity 

Of course, most people will see this post as coming very late. More than a year late. Steve Jobs died on October 5, 2011. He was, of course, known for his leadership of Apple, towards becoming the most valuable company in the world, and the drive behind numerous innovative products (iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc.).

But Steve Jobs was also (eventually, if not always earlier) the inspiration for many. His passion, on stage delivering new product launches; his drive to deliver; his dedication to perfection; his creative instinct; his personal ‘turnaround’ (founding Apple, leaving Apple, returning to Apple, and his ultimate success at Apple).

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Codecademy / Code Year (2012)

I’ve recently been following Codecademy‘s ‘Code Year’ project:

Code Year is a series of weekly emails, starting at the beginning of 2012, which support (but are not necessarily exclusive to) people who have made new year’s resolutions to learn (at least the basics) how to ‘code’ (when I was at school, in the UK, we used to refer to this as programming, which I assume/understand to be broadly the same), starting with JavaScript.

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Considering differences between forecast predictions and scenarios

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/VallarieE

Apple has announced that it will shortly hold a special media event, regarding a development in their business model (such events seem to be partly for benefit of consumers, shareholders, suppliers, etc. as well as, seemingly, laying down a challenge to their competitors) – per AppleInsider:

Apple on Wednesday sent out invitations for a special event next week on Jan. 19 in New York City, where it has promised an “education announcement in the Big Apple.”

This announcement has resulted in increased speculation (there was already plenty of speculation before the announcement) of Apple’s potential future success.

Based on the rumors of the forthcoming event, many are predicting that Apple will now take over the text book industry, and some going as far even as saying that Apple will in future dominate the publishing industry.

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Thoughts on the apparent differences in iPad pricing in different markets

Steve Jobs announced the iPad in January as being “a magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price.  Starting at $499.”

Whatever your views are on the product, whether it is magical or revolutionary, it was quite easy for anyone, anywhere in the world to see that prices (to US customers) started at $499. Fact. Sort of.

Prices were announced just recently for the launch of the iPad in a further nine countries, including some in Europe, and there has subsequently been a fair amount of discussion in the blogosphere about whether non-US customers are being abused, or taken advantage of, that an ‘unfair’ premium might be being charged to non-US customers.

While this is not impossible, there are some differences between the prices, and other matters for consideration, which I set out in this post, that need to be taken account of.

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Is the iPad Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”?

I recently read (and retweeted) the tweet above.  It made me think what has been achieved in a relatively short space of time (30 years or so, since computers began to reach the public, initially in only a very rudimentary form), and inspired me to develop those thoughts.

As @dna4ever42‘s tweet quotes Stephen Fry (in the Time magazine article ‘The iPad Launch: Can Steve Jobs Do It Again?‘), Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) likens the iPad to the encyclopedia in Douglas Adams’ brilliant ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘ (the encyclopedia being that guide), written by Adams, a close friend of Fry, in 1979.

It is indeed a shame that Adams, who Fry describes as being the first person in the UK to own an Apple Macintosh computer, isn’t able to see the iPad (Adams died of a heart attack at the age of 49 on 11 May 2001) – one can be fairly sure that he would have been excited by it.

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Is parody the sincerest form of flattery? iPad humor

It is said that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Perhaps even more sincere, is “parody”.

Apple’s new “iPad” tablet computer will be launched tomorrow. There is intense debate, commentary and argument in some circles as to whether the product is a hit or miss. And all of that from (mostly) people who have never seen, let alone touched the ‘multi-touch’ device. Whatever your point of view, it is clear that Apple has developed incredible power to enter people’s lives via its marketing and its cultural values.

Aside from much of the comments, described by some as being from “Apple fanboys” and “Apple haters”, a few videos have appeared on sites like YouTube which aim to capitalize on the excitement and interest in the iPad, by making fun of the device. It would seem that much of this humor is however flattery, not least in its garnering of further attention for the iPad ‘story’ (some of the iPad parody videos have hundred’s of thousands of ‘views’ on YouTube).

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Where next for smartphones?

Most of the discussions around the future of smartphones consist of comparisons of existing functionality on other platforms, taking the best bits of competing smartphone models, or hopes for incremental improvements in power/memory/speed. Relatively few discussions take a more creative approach to considering where the next generation of smartphones might come from.

In this post, I comment on the potential challengers to Apple’s smartphone throne and attempt to brainstorm some more creative thoughts about where smartphones might head next in the charge for market share.

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