If you thought my previous piece citing different incidents that happened in 2014 where Apple dropped the ball was off the mark… Well, have a look here.
“iOS 8 uses an unexpectedly large percentage of the storage capacity on 8 GB and 16 GB iPhones, iPads and iPods,” the lawsuit alleges. Apple, it says, “fails to disclose to consumers that as much as 23.1% of the advertised storage capacity of the Devices will be consumed by iOS 8 and unavailable for consumers when consumers purchase Devices that have iOS 8 installed.”
Now, I don’t believe for a second that this lawsuit has any merit. But the sheer fact that it’s moving forward, and likely to garner class action status, validates the argument that it was a serious black eye for Apple in 2014.
ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) released their findings for smartphone companies and their customer satisfaction ratings for 2014, and the results were a little surprising to some. For the first time, Samsung is beating Apple in this metric – 81 (Samsung, a 6.6 improvement) to 79 (Apple, a -2.2 decline).
The odd thing about this metric is that Apple increased their sales of smartphones in 2014, while Samsung decreased. Still, one only has to look back at some of the blunders Apple endured in 2014 to realize where the decreased rating comes from.
iOS 8 Rollout: Many users (myself included) with 16GB devices were unable to install the update via the ‘over the air’ (OTA) process due to the sheer size of the iOS 8 upgrade. Many users got through the entire download portion of the upgrade process, only to be informed at the last stage that their device could not be upgraded. Worse yet, the remedy for this problem (to perform the upgrade via iTunes) was not conveyed in the error message, so many people thought that they had no way to upgrade their device to iOS 8.
iPhone 6/6 Plus Supply Issues: Having supply outstrip demand is usually a good problem to have, but in Apple’s case with the iPhone 6/6 Plus, the shortages may have cost them some customer satisfaction points. There are well documented cases of people who ordered a 6 Plus on the day that preorders were first possible, but didn’t receive their devices for months later. Months. The supply was so constrained for these devices that you could routinely see people lined up at Apple Stores before they opened, trying to get whatever stock they had on hand, well in to December. As the year comes to a close, Apple has brought the wait time for a 6 Plus down to a day, but it’s been a hard struggle.
iOS 8.01 Update: Then there’s the infamous iOS 8.01 update. This update caused cellular issues in a large enough number of user’s devices that Apple pulled the update shortly after it’s release. Want to generate bad customer satisfaction? Release an update for a device that someone may have just purchased that essentially breaks one of it’s main features.
Apple had other, non iPhone related debacles in 2014 as well: the WWDC iPhone Keynote fracas, 2014 Mac Pro video rendering problems, a Mac mini update/non upgrade, an increase in repair costs for non Applecare covered iPhones, and more.
Apple had a lot to be proud of in 2014, but if Customer Satisfaction is still a metric they care about, they need to do better in 2015.
T-Mobile is continuing it’s aggressive push against the competition. It’s latest weapon is called ‘Data Stash’. It’s essentially the ability to roll over your unused data from one month to the next. Many of you will remember that AT&T (and Cingular beforehand) did something similar with your allowed voice minutes.
Enough is enough. That’s why we created Data Stash. Other carriers take away your unused data – the data you paid extra for – at the end of the month. T-Mobile is the only national carrier that lets you roll your paid unused 4G LTE data into the next month – all at no extra charge. From now on, you keep the extra 4G LTE data you paid for.
Here’s how it works:
Starting with your January bill cycle, Data Stash will be available to all T-Mobile postpaid Simple Choice customers
Sign up for a postpaid Simple Choice Plan with 4G LTE data for your phone (minimum 3GB 4G LTE data) or tablet (minimum 1GB 4G LTE data).
Use your data all month to stream, surf, and download worry-free.
At the end of the month, all your unused 4G LTE data – rounded up to the nearest megabyte – rolls into your stash to be used any time in the next 12 months.
This is a brilliant tactic. T-Mobile is really shaking things up in the mobile space. Their network is improving in many key markets, and a planned replacement of all their 2G towers in 2015 with 4G LTE will only strengthen their position.
The fact that Apple is gaining share in the wake of the iPhone 6/6 Plus release isn’t news. What caught my attention in this article is who is in second place – Nokia.
For the most recent quarter, Apple was within one percentage point of matching Nokia in a market seeing strong overall growth.
Nokia is still in second place? As an American, this is shocking because over here Nokia has been eviscerated. Their Windows Phones are losing share, and nobody in the US is buying feature phones. I had no idea they were still pushing large numbers of feature phones in other parts of the world.
Microsoft has really screwed the pooch with their Nokia acquisition. It will interesting to see how long Nadella will play the Windows Phone hand. I can’t imagine being a low single digit share mobile player is something Microsoft will continue to take losses on indefinitely.
Apple has released a new long form Holiday ad. This one, clocking in at 90 seconds, is titled ‘The Song”. It does a great job of humanizing what you can do with Apple technology.
The ad, created by long time partner TBWA Worldwide, features a daughter taking an old song recorded by her grandmother and updating it with her own flourishes using her Mac and iPhone 6.
Apple has made the long form holiday ad a bit of a tradition, with last year’s “Misunderstood” ad kicking off the trend.
File this under ‘duh‘:
Apple still dominates e-commerce, but Android devices are stealing share. Throughout 2014 – in our E-Commerce Mobile Report in July, and for the first three weeks of the holiday season, Android devices were “nibbling at the Apple,” stealing e-commerce share from Apple devices (iPhones and iPads). The same trend took place on Cyber Monday and the entire holiday weekend: The vast majority of mobile shopping happened on Apple devices over the weekend – 78%, while only 21.6% happened on Android devices. However, Apple’s share is down from 84.1% on last year’s holiday weekend 2013, while Android’s share is up from 15.4%.
The report lumps all Apple devices (iPads and iPhones) together, but I’d love to see a breakout of how much shopping is done on each device.
Category: Apple,Apple Retail
From the Financial Times:
“Chromebooks are really gaining traction,” said IDC analyst Rajani Singh. “The growth of Chromebook is a major concern for Apple’s iPad.”
The reasons Chromebooks are gaining traction in education are easy to see. Low cost client, super simple client management, and a content library (the entire world wide web) second to none. It is the quintessential embodiment of Larry Ellison’s thin client prophecy from back in the early 90s.
Is the rise of the Chromebook in education linked with the dip iPads have seen over the last year? Time will tell.
Apple SVP Eddy Cue famously said earlier this year that 2014 was going to be a banner year for Apple products.
With the year coming to a close, now is a good time to reflect back on the hardware that Apple released over the last 12 months and examine where Apple went right and where they went wrong.
Category: Apple,Apple Retail,Hardware,iPad,iPhone,iPod,Opinion
Under Steve Jobs, Apple was a laser focused company. Upon his return to Apple, he simplified Apple’s product matrix to four lines – consumer desktop, consumer portable, pro desktop, pro portable. Apple focused on those 4 product lines (along with getting OS X ready and out the door) until the iPod debuted in 2001. Apple is methodical about how they approach products and features. When the iPhone debuted in 2007, many lamented that its closed nature would prevent it from being successful. Apple tried to placate users and developers with their ‘pretty sweet solution’ of developing web apps optimized for the small device. Of course, this was just Apple’s way of buying themselves time until their 3rd party app strategy was fully baked and ready to launch. There was nearly a year in between the push for web optimized apps and the App Store. And in that time, Apple took a lot of heat for not having a native app solution. (more…)
With the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, its as good a time as any to talk about the devious tactics the American wireless carriers use to get you to overpay for your new phone. (more…)