Saturday, December 25, 2010

Where Mobile Cannot Succeed

Mobile cannot solve everything. Witness Hyundai, trying to use mobile to help take their brand upscale. The new model is the Equis, and the concept is that the owners manual is an iPad app. The iPad comes included when you purchase the car.

Neat idea. But there's a problem.

Hyundai makes some pretty nice cars. But they haven't yet overcome a brand image that is left over from when they made some pretty crappy cars. So while a premium car is nice to have, it's going to be difficult for Hyundai to sell. And the iPad and app is nice to have too, but that alone is not going to give Hyundai brand recognition on par with Mercedes Benz.

In fact, even Honda, Toyota and Nissan haven't tried to compete directly with Mercedes Benz. At least not with their primary brand names. It took the launching of Acura and Infiniti and Lexus brand names, with separate dealer networks for them to be able to compete. This is what Hyundai should do.

It's expensive to launch a new brand and a new dealer network. But it's even more expensive to wait for your brand to outgrow something as negative as Hyundai experienced in the 80s. Even though it's already been 20 years, it could take another 20.

I do think that they make some good cars. And I applaud their efforts with the iPad and app. But I don't think that alone is going to make Hyundai the next Mercedes Benz.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How the Mighty Have Fallen

Or, are falling.

Email was, just a short time ago, the primary method for marketers to interact with their consumer on a one-on-one basis.

However, recent research has demonstrated that in most age categories, email usage is on the decline.

So what does that mean? It means that email is starting to take a back seat to texting and social networking. Most especially in the youngest age categories. Instead of kids being cool for having an email address (10 years ago), now they are cool for NOT having one. Email is the new tin-can-with-a-string. And one thing that we know about young people is that over time they get older and move into the primary purchasing age categories.

With the convergence of social networking and the mobile environment (watch for a post on this soon), it means that marketers need to be going mobile.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cinqo de iPhone

Recently we reviewed rumours of a new iPad. It seems that a new iPhone is not far behind.

Expected in April or May in the US, the iPhone 5 has reportedly begun production in China. Of course, many will wonder what new features the iPhone 5 will have. Personally, I just want to know how many Gizmodo employees are going to he hanging around bars at closing time in the Cupertino, CA area.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Apple is consistent with their release of updated items almost exactly 1 year after the last version. Given this, we should expect a new iPad in the spring of 2011.

DigiTimes, a Taiwanese newspaper, recently reported that Foxconn Electronics (a manufacturer for Apple) will begin shipping version two of the iPad in March. Given the recent activities regarding the Samsung (Android) and Blackberry tablets, Apple may be keen to stay competitive in this category.

So what new features will the iPad 2 have? To discuss this, we can review what the first iPad didn't have, primarily a USB port and a camera for video conferencing. What are your thoughts?

Apple has sold over 14 million versions of the original iPad. One wonders how many owners of the current iPad will purchase version 2.