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Tag - Apple

Everyone’s a winner?

The Apple vs Samsung patent ruling should ultimately benefit consumers
Although Samsung may have won the battle when a UK judge ruled its Galaxy tablet did not violate Apple’s intellectual property, it looks like Apple has won the war.
Last week a US court found that Samsung had wilfully infringed several of Apple’s design and software patents relating to Smartphones and tablets. As a result the South Korean firm has been ordered to pay Apple over $1 billion and now Apple has filed a court request to ban eight Samsung mobile devices.
Although Samsung has privately acknowledged that the jury’s finding is ‘absolutely the worst scenario for us’, the reality is probably not so serious. To begin with, we can expect Samsung to appeal the amount of the payment and, because the proposed ban only impacts older Samsung products rather than the mega-selling Galaxy SIII and Galaxy Note, sales in North America are unlikely to be affected too greatly.
And from a consumer perspective, the ruling is likely to be beneficial and Samsung is now forced to be far more creative, providing more choice at, ultimately, less cost.
 
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Spot the difference

Galaxy secures a legal victory over the iPad – thanks to being ‘uncool’
In another apparent slap in the face for Apple, a judge in the UK has ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy tablet does not violate Apple’s intellectual property – because it is simply isn’t ‘cool’ enough to be confused with the iPad.
Apple has been fighting a number of intellectual property and patent lawsuits around the world as the battle for supremacy in the multi-multi-million-dollar Smartphone and tablet markets heats up. Apple has accused rivals like Samsung and HTC of ripping off its designs (and vice-versa), but judge Colin Birss clearly doesn’t agree, ruling that Galaxy tablets ‘do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design They are not as cool.’
Samsung is delighted at the ruling (although probably less than happy about the ‘uncool’ reasons behind it), releasing a statement saying: ‘Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.’
Apple immediately hit back with: ‘It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.’
With so much at stake, it’s a fair bet this issue is far from settled.
 
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Is Apple losing its rosiness?

Apple has quietly changed one of its biggest claims – and biggest selling points…
It may still be worth around US$600 a share, but there are certain signs that Apple may be losing its rosiness in the eyes of the consumer.
First came the embarrassing backtrack regarding the 4G capabilities of the new iPad and now the tech giant has been forced to drop one of its biggest – and most sales-enhancing – claims: that Macs don’t get viruses.
Which means this memorable TV ad can be assigned to history (aka YouTube)…

Also history is the claim on Apple’s own website about the safety features of the Mac. As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, the page used to state: ‘It doesn’t get PC viruses. A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. That’s thanks to built-in defences in Mac OS X that keep you safe without any work on your part. With virtually no effort on your part, OS X defends against viruses and other malicious applications, or malware.’
As a result of the news earlier in the year that around 500,000 Macs had been infected with a Trojan virus called Flashback – with Apple taking three months to provide a fix for the virus – the company has quietly dropped the old claim, quietly replacing it a week ago with the rather broader ‘it’s built to be safe.
 
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The future of television?

Is a new TV series developed especially for the iPad a noble experiment doomed to fail or the latest example of mobile content power?
Apple clearly believes the future is mobile. In the last couple of days it has unveiled, to much excitement, its new mobile operating software (featuring a mapping system that directly challenges Google Maps), a revamped Siri for the iPad and a new MacBook Pro.
Which is all very interesting of you like that sort of thing, but what sort of content will be seeing on and through these new whizz-bang developments? Well, a mini-series developed especially for the iPad could be a start…
Called Watch with Mother, the Sydney-filmed, MA-rated, six-part show will only be available via app and iTunes. The show itself has been called ‘a bizarre blend of sketch comedy and horror’, but of greater interest is the chosen method of distribution.
The producers are gambling that direct-to-the-public sales will allow them to bypass the TV networks. They reportedly need around 200,000 episode sales (at $1.49 each, or $8.99 for the set) for it to have been worthwhile. It’s a figure that is no means guaranteed.
As executive producer Michael Ritchie told The Sydney Morning Herald: ‘I don’t know any shows that have gone out on the app as their principal means of distribution. Apps to date have been a subsidiary element of shows, where you can access more information or a game or other assets of a show, but in our case we’re making it front and centre. And frankly, I think there isn’t a better platform for it.’
‘If we’re lucky, the take-up rate could be three per cent of those who see the trailer. That means we need to get about eight million to 10 million views of the trailer.’
Fortune favours the bold
The trailer is due to be released this week and the hope is that social media will play its part in spreading the word.
It has to be said, though, the early signs are not encouraging. The Watch with Mother Facebook page has only 476 likes, while the 10-part teasers (like this one, below) on its YouTube channel have received less than 3000 views in total.

Still, at least Michael Ritchie and co are trying something new rather than simply rehashing what is already out there. History shows us that advances are made in every field as a result of people willing to take a risk.
Whether this particular risk pays off remains to be seen, but Ritchie is clearly under no illusions about the size of the task ahead: ‘This is a brave new world, and anyone who says they know what they’re doing is full of shit. I think people will be waiting to see if this is going to work.’
Which makes the attempt by the Watch with Mother team all the more admirable.
 
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Music as content

How the right song can work wonders for the content marketing message
Music has been used in advertising since radio first became a popular medium. From bespoke jingles to well-known tunes, music has been identified by academic David Huron as serving five distinct but interlocking purposes:

Entertainment – music makes advertisements (and therefore the product being sold) instantly more attractive;
Structure and continuity – music frames the narrative, creating dramatic contrasts when needed and engaging the audience;
Memorability – music generally lingers in the mind longer than words, which is why adverts often ‘sing’ phone numbers;
Lyrical language – music ‘can provide a message without the customer consciously noticing it’, thereby increasing and enhancing engagement;
Targeting and authority establishment – music can be the best way to get your target audience to immediately identify with your brand or product. Play a song you know they like (or commission a piece of music in the right genre) and they already, subliminally feel a connection.

In the last decade or so there has been a noticeable shift in the music component of adverts. Although the jingle still exists – Pizza Hut is a prime example – brands are increasingly using established popular songs with which to align their product. It’s called ‘synchronisation’.
In 2003, an article in The Economist identified the change, noting that ‘not long ago, rock stars would turn up their politically correct noses at the notion of using their precious songs to sell anything as crass as cars or cornflakes’. Now, though, it is seen as an important source of revenue for musicians in the age of iTunes and, more significantly, file-sharing – legal or otherwise.
Of course, getting the right song to promote your brand can be easier said than done. In this great piece from Ad Week, various music industry experts and insiders choose their five best and, far more entertainingly, five worst examples of synchronisation.
Such lists are obviously purely subjective, but for what it’s worth, here are The Message’s top three choices for the best uses of music as content marketing. Feel free to disagree – and to offer your own suggestions using the Comment facility below…
1234 by Feist for the Apple iPod Nano

Guaglione by Perez Pardo for Guinness

I Heard It Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye for Levi 501s

 
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TECH PREVIEW: The iPad 3

What can content creators expect from Apple’s latest offering?
If the rumour mill is correct, Apple’s iPad 3 will be unveiled at a media event in San Francisco next Wednesday. ‘We have something you really have to see. And touch’ read the invitation to various journalists.
No-one knows what features the iPad 3 will have, but that hasn’t stopped people predicting everything from 4G wireless capability to a higher-definition screen. Of course, even if the third iteration of Apple’s tablet is indistinguishable from its predecessor, that’s not going to stop customers queuing around the block at every Apple store in the world.
Online content creators are happily speculating on the iPad 3’s specs, but this tech-heavy video rumour round-up is the pick of the bunch – if only for the delicious irony of the fact that the ad at the start is the iPad’s arch rival, the Galaxy Tab!

 
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iPhone 4S review

The Message gets a first-hand user review of Apple’s iPhone 4S
The release of the iPhone 4S (amid rumours that the ‘4S’ stands for ‘For Steve’) spurred a predictably frantic rush among Apple fanboys and hyped-up consumers to get their hands on the updated design. All disappointed talk about the fact that the 4S wasn’t an iPhone 5 desisted, and the blissful sounds of fingers sliding along touch-screen glass and Siri’s patient voice filled the air.
The tech mags and newspaper sections have already been filled with ‘expert’ analysis of the 4S – it’s strengths, weaknesses and, of course, Siri – but what about the man in the street. How do everyday users feel about the latest Apple money-spinner? Do they think it’s worth the hype?
Misha Poinkin was one of the first in Australia to get his hands on the 4S, so we sat down to have a chat with him for a first-hand user review and find out how he’s finding life as an iPhone 4S owner.
The Message: So we’re speaking with Misha Poinkin, who has recently purchased his very own iPhone 4S. He’s the proud new owner of this new product, and we’re going to speak to him a little about how he’s finding it! So, Mish – is this your first iPhone?
Misha Poinkin: It sure isn’t. Actually, I have had a 3G for a long time, and the 3G is tragically obsolete compared to the iPhone 4S. So I had that one, but it wasn’t my first 3G either, it was probably the third one I broke or something like that… so this is technically my second iPhone.
TM: But you have a long history with the iPhone…
MP: Yeah. And Apple.
TM: Right. What other Apple products do you have?
MP: Well, I have a MacBook Pro, which I’ve had for about three years.
TM: What are the inches on that?
MP: Umm… 15 inches. So, it’s not the biggest one, but I think it’s just right! So that’s also really great to work with, and I downloaded the new iOS 5 for this, so that’s absolutely fantastic…
TM: For your iPhone?
MP: Yes, for my iPhone, and then I got the new Lion upgrade for…
TM: Oh, for your MacBook Pro?
MP: Yeah, for the MacBook Pro, and that’s really cool. So they’re trying to integrate, they’re trying to make the actual operating system for Macs much more like the actual touch phones, and smartphones, make it much more tactile. You can see I’m a bit nerdy about it all…
TM: No, no, it’s great! So, apart from phone calls, what content do you receive on your iPhone?
MP: Well, I’ve programmed it to get updates for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr… so, blogging, mainly, a lot of social media. I have a lot of updates for all my tasks there, I get updates about news, so I access… my favourite app, one of my favourite apps is the BBC News, because it just pulls together all the news of the world… whether it’s entertainment, or technology, or American news… it all comes together.
TM: So, do you find that you read your news on your iPhone exclusively?
MP: Yeah, actually. I don’t leave my iPhone alone for a long time… I tend to access a lot of my news and my content through my iPhone.
TM: And of course you read The Message every day, religiously…
MP: Absolutely!
TM: So, what’s you’re favourite app? Apart from BBC News.
MP: Well, because my old iPhone was basically about to die, so I barely used it for its functionality, but I have to say I love… Oh I can’t decide, to be honest, there are some good ones out there. Even the Facebook app, although it’s something that everyone has, and it’s so universal, but the latest update is just really easy to use. Um… I really like… let’s see… sorry, just going through it now…
TM: For everyone listening at home, I’d just like to say now, for the record, that Mish is actually now lovingly caressing his brand new white iPhone.
MP: Well, I actually really like Instagram, which is sort of the leading photo community through iPhone…
TM: Kind of like a Twitter for photos, right?
MP: Pretty much, yeah. And I just, I usually just go on and check all my accounts and everything, but what I love is the way it just pushes it to me. I don’t really need to go out there and check, it just let’s me know whenever there is something new…
TM: Right. So what’s your favourite thing about the new operating system?
MP: Well, I guess my favourite thing, along with just the speed, and the beautiful retina display… Siri is obviously a really fun new thing, and it’s exclusive to iPhone 4S, so I feel very special.
TM: So how friendly are you with Siri?
MP: Well, we’re only just getting to know each other, depending on which language I select… sometimes you get a UK voice, or an Australian voice, and I find the Australian one understands me a little bit more now. I think it’s actually somehow adjusting to my voice. I suspect it’s designed to do that.
TM: So tell me, obviously very sad news about Steve Jobs’ death – did it influence your decision to purchase so soon the iPhone 4S?
MP: Thinking about it now, I was really eager to just wait for the iPhone 5, being, you know, a complete redesign in terms of the model, but because I’m much more involved in Apple in general I know what it’s actually capable of, so I didn’t just think about the look of it… I think that’s superficial. Just before I got it I thought – to hell with it, it’s at least contributing to Apple and it’s a great tribute to Steve Jobs, so yeah, at the end I thought it would be a nice tribute. So, it wasn’t like my primary influence to get it, but sure, it did push me a little bit.
TM: So do you think that the 4S is worth the hype, in comparison to the iPhone 4?
MP: Well, I think it’s really good for people who are upgrading from 3 generation, the iPhone 3 and 3GS, because, you know, it’s just a completely different feel, it’s got the retina display it’s got all that extra capacity, I know it’s also heaps faster, it’s much easier to use, it’s fun to use…
TM: Well I guess over the course of the day a few seconds of extra speed here and there would really add up to quite a bit.
MP: Definitely, and it’s just got such a smoother process to it, and everything just flows a little but nicer, whereas the old one sort of lags a bit and it’s not as easy to multi task, things like that, so for someone going from the older generation it’s just light years ahead.
TM: Well, thank you very much for this chat. Have fun with Siri…
MP: Oh, I will.
 
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