I admit it – as journalists go I’m pretty old-school. A telephone and a typewriter are good enough for me (OK, maybe you can throw in Google as well.) Reid Hoffman, boss of LinkedIn, is always telling me what a great tool his social networking site is for making contacts and digging out information but, well, somehow I could never quite bring myself to network that way. Let’s face it: you wouldn’t have found Deep Throat plastering comments over Woodward and Bernstein’s Facebook wall.
This is a cautionary tale about what happens when old-school journalism meets Web 2.0. (Confession: it hurts to be as transparent as this, but sometimes you just have to let the readers in on a few trade secrets.) Read more
Remember those rumours about Google getting into the handset business with its own mobile phone? The arrival of the iPhone should have finally put paid to that kind of talk – Google couldn’t dream of out-doing Apple, and is right to focus instead on trying to be the killer app (the maps and YouTube features on the iPhone are surprisingly effective.)
Google’s phone strategy goes deeper than this, though, and could eventually put it in conflict with its new ally. Today brings confirmation of the reports that it has acquired GrandCentral Communications, a private company whose software is designed to simplify communications across multiple devices. Among the features: a single voicemail box that links your home, work and mobile phones, and a single number that can reach you wherever you are. Some of its features, like sending you an email when you get a voicemail message, sound very close to the sort of things Apple is doing with the iPhone. Read more
When we headed down to the Apple store last week ahead of the iPhone launch, we found a substantial number of punters who were hoping to flip their newly-purchased iPhones for a substantial premium on Ebay. Sorry to take the wind out of your sails, guys, but data released today by Ebay indicate that the secondary iPhone market may not be as vibrant as some people predicted.
Just over 3,770 iPhones had changed hands on Ebay as of 3:45pm on Monday, at an average price of $701.98. A further 5,483 were listed for sale. Assuming that most of the iPhones sold were 8GB models (a Piper Jaffray note this weekend said 95 per cent of customers were walking out with 8GB models), that’s a premium of just $100 or so over the purchase price, and that’s not even including tax. That’s hardly a great return, especially when factoring in the opportuity cost of taking time off work to wait in line for hours, or, in some cases, overnight. Read more