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Apple’s Implications through Silence – News that was Missed

by on March 20th, 2012

One of the most interesting things to think about after an Apple announcement is not necessarily what was said or done, but rather what wasn’t said and wasn’t done. With Apple’s reality distortion field finally wearing off after last weekend’s iPad launch, the fog has finally cleared for us to see what’s been missed.

iTunes Remote: The Redheaded Stepchild App or a Sign of Things to Come?

What struck me most from the announcement two weeks ago was how many Apple apps were upgraded (iMovie, iWorks suite and Find My Friends), there was one that stood out that didn’t; namely, the Remote app. You’d think that with a updated Apple TV and new UI for the device, that the Remote would get a revision as well, to fall in line with the new iOS like interface. While it could mean that Apple has stopped developing the remote, this feels more like a stop-gap measure – that rumours of a real TV-like Apple device is true and coming soon. Apple could easily be using the new UI to test the waters for what an actual TV interface should be, and integrating the same type of UI for the remote app. Hard to say in this case though, as it could go either way.

Adoption of iCards is Weak

Apple loves self-flagellating promotion. They celebrate even the tiniest bit of success they can muster and diminish anything else. In fact, Tim Cook spent a lot of time on stage discussing a lot of non-iPad related news, including new Apple Stores opening around the world and 25 million app downloads. What caught my eye was the lack of an iCards update. No numbers on number of iCard downloads and no stats on the number of cards sent, and no iPad version of the app to exploit the high resolution camera of the new iPad. All signs point to poor iCards sales and response. I wouldn’t expect more from this product line in the near future.

FaceTime Still a Gimmick

Not surprisingly, Apple didn’t hype up the front-facing camera on the new iPad. In all honesty, I’ve had trouble justifying using the front facing camera of any device I own, including my MacBook. (Mind you, this could also be because I’m not a big fan of video chat…nor my camera unfriendly face.) Still, Apple would jump at any chance to give stats about FaceTime and talk about the video-chatting revolution that Apple is “spearheading”. Just an interesting thought.

News Reading Still Not Popular on the iPad

Do you remember Newsstand? You know, the app that’s supposed to hold onto all of your subscription based ePublications on your iPad? The one that caused all the print magazine publishers to take up arms because it forced everyone through Apple’s subscription system? No, I don’t really remember it much, and doesn’t seem like Apple does either. I’d love to find some stats about this somewhere, but my suspicion is that Newsstand simply isn’t doing all that well and that Amazon is still eating their lunch through the Kindle, even if it’s more cumbersome for them to do so.

Success and Failure in the Silicon Valley

While I’m not saying that Apple is a failure in what they do (who would?), their success and failure rates are probably about the same as that of Google. Yet, we arrive at another fundamental difference in philosophy between the two. Apple plays the media game to hype up their strengths and advantages, but Google lets the media decide how to craft its image. Both companies are more than willing to invest the time and to take the risks, but it’s clear that their approach afterwards are divergent. While neither company’s offerings are necessarily inadequate, their stock price trends for the past year is wildly different. Google’s has been all over the place in the last 12 months, bouncing up and down. However, Apple’s price has skyrocketed significantly. That’s what you get from playing the media game, and if that’s how you define success and failure in the silicon valley, then Apple is clearly winning.

Anything else I missed from the Apple announcement and iPad launch in the last few weeks? Let us know in the comments below.

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Posted under: iPad Rumours

  • Peacenik

    FaceTime will take off when the shackle of Wifi is removed. I do not think the cards thing was meant to be a major business line — just residual income to add to the bottom line. I think you will be hearing more about newstand as more people jump on the iPad wagon (like me). Sometimes you have to realize as well that big companies will sometimes throw stuff out there to see what sticks and over time build on it (Ex mObile me vs iCloud).

  • Reds-sarge

    No offense but did you do any research? Remote app has retina iPad support for weeks, read the version history.

  • Reds-sarge

    I owe an apology. I somewhat misread your article and had just finished an argument with someone as I came to post here. I’m sorry I came across as rude. If possible please delete my 2 posts


  • As a university student, I disagree with a few points.

    – A lot of us who are away from home use FaceTime to video chat with our families and friends, on a regular basis too.
    – I also notice many of us using it as an ebook reader for our textbooks, taking notes in class with UPAD or other note apps, and glancing at the mobile versions of newspapers/websites in between classes and on the bus.

    The iPad is very prevalent at university, and I believe this will only continue to grow.

  • Oli

    FaceTime is hugely popular. It works beautifully even in bandwidth-constrained environments (e.g. where Skype would stutter and be choppy, FaceTime would be smooth). It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and family overseas.

    As Peacenik mentioned, it will take off even more so when it’s no longer constrained to WiFi…especially with LTE.

  • Joe

    I see them everywhere now as well!