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Posts Tagged ‘Jean Louis Gass’

Apple, ARM, and Intel

October 22nd, 2012 10:10 admin View Comments

Businesses

Hugh Pickens writes “Jean-Louis Gassée says Apple and Samsung are engaged in a knives-out smartphone war. But when it comes to chips, the two companies must pretend to be civil because Samsung is the sole supplier of ARM-based processors for the iPhone. So why hasn’t Intel jumped at the chance to become Apple’s ARM source? ‘The first explanation is architectural disdain,’ writes Gassée. ‘Intel sees “no future for ARM,” it’s a culture of x86 true believers. And they have a right to their conviction: With each iteration of its manufacturing technology, Intel has full control over how to improve its processors.’ Next is pride. Intel would have to accept Apple’s design and ‘pour’ it into silicon — it would become a lowlymerchant foundry.’ Intel knows how to design and manufacture standard parts, but it has little experience manufacturing other people’s custom designs or pricing them. But the most likely answer to the Why-Not-Intel question is money. Intel meticulously tunes the price points for its processors to generate the revenue that will fund development. Intel’s published prices range from a ‘low’ $117 for a Core i3 processor to $999 for a top-of-the-line Core i7 device. Compare this to iSuppli’s estimate for the cost of the A6 processor: $17.50. Even if more A6 chips could be produced per wafer — an unproven assumption — Intel’s revenue per A6 wafer start would be much lower than with their x86 microprocessors. In Intel’s perception of reality, this would destroy the business model. ‘For all of Intel’s semiconductor design and manufacturing feats, its processors suffer from a genetic handicap: They have to support the legacy x86 instruction set, and thus they’re inherently more complicated than legacy-free ARM devices, they require more transistors, more silicon. Intel will argue, rightly, that they’ll always be one technological step ahead of the competition, but is one step enough for x86 chips to beat ARM microprocessors?‘”

Source: Apple, ARM, and Intel

iTunes’ Windows Problem

April 17th, 2012 04:40 admin View Comments

Apple

Hugh Pickens writes “Jean-Louis Gassée writes that iTunes is the best thing that has happened to Apple because without iTunes’ innovative micropayment system and its new way of selling songs one at a time, the iPod would have been just another commodity MP3 player. The well-debugged iTunes infrastructure turned out to be a godsend for the emergence of the iPhone. But today, the toxic waste of success cripples iTunes: increasingly non-sensical complexity, inconsistencies, layers of patches over layers of patches ending up in a structure so labyrinthine no individual can internalize it any longer. ‘It’s a giant kitchen sink piled high with loosely related features, and it’s highly un-Apple-like’ says Allen Pike. ‘Users know it, critics know it, and you can bet the iTunes team knows it. But for the love of god, why?’ People naturally suggest splitting iTunes into multiple apps, but Apple can’t, because many, if not most iOS users are on Windows. It’s Apple’s one and only foothold on Windows, so it needs to support everything an iOS device owner could need to do with their device. ‘Can you imagine the support hurricane it would cause if Windows users suddenly needed to download, install, and use 3-4 different apps to sync and manage their media on their iPhone?’ But help may be on the way with iOS 5. As iCloud duplicates more and more of iTunes’ sync functionality, they can start removing it from iTunes. ‘Apple is very explicit about it in their marketing materials: they call it “PC Free”. They’re not quite there yet, but they’re driving towards a future where you don’t need to manage your iOS device with a PC at all – Mac or Windows.’”

Source: iTunes’ Windows Problem

Samsung Could Soon Start To Twist Google’s Arm

January 9th, 2012 01:35 admin View Comments

Android

Hugh Pickens writes “For the past three years, Android has experienced a kind of free space expansion, but as we enter 2012, it seems the game may be changing. Instead of the old ‘there’s more than enough room for every Android handset maker to be a winner,’ we have a three-horse’s-length leader: Samsung shipping close to 55% of all Android phones, while Motorola and HTC lag behind. ‘[Samsung] could be in a position to twist Google’s arm,’ writes Jean-Louis Gassée.’If last quarter’s trend continues — if Motorola and HTC lose even more ground — Samsung’s bargaining position will become even stronger.’ But what is Samsung’s ‘bargaining position’? What could they want? Perhaps more search referral money, earlier access to Android releases, or a share of advertising revenue. Will Google let Samsung gain the upper hand? It’s not likely, because Motorola is about to become a fully-owned but ‘independent’ Google subsidiary, and its 16% of the Android market could counterbalance Samsung’s influence to some extent. So what could Samsung do? ‘Consider the Kindle Fire example: Just like Amazon picked the Android lock, Samsung could grab the Android Open Source code and create its own unlicensed but fully legal smartphone OS and still benefit from a portion of Android apps, or it could build its own app store the way Amazon did,’ writes Gassée. ‘Samsung is a tough, determined fighter and won’t let Google dictate its future. The same can be said of Google. This is going to be interesting.’”

Source: Samsung Could Soon Start To Twist Google’s Arm

An App By Any Other Name …

March 27th, 2011 03:27 admin View Comments

“One of the deep mysteries to me is our logo, the symbol of lust and knowledge, bitten into, all crossed with the colors of the rainbow in the wrong order. You couldn’t dream of a more appropriate logo: lust, knowledge, hope, and anarchy.”

– Apple exec Jean Louis Gassée on the naming of Apple

Why is Color named “Color”?

“A tribute to Apple’s color logo from the Apple II. This computer changed my life when I was seven (also a reference to another company name I’ve used.)

My dad bought one from ComputerCraft run by Billy Ladin in Houston. He was one of the first computer resellers back in 1977. In an odd twist, I meet him in an elevator 15 years later and worked for him. He introduced me to the Web.

Working at Apple was a dream. Color’s name is a tribute to Apple.”

– Bill Nguyen, Color founder on why he chose the name Color

Reading Semil Shah’s post on group messaging this morning, I was struck by the sheer numbers and diversity of the startup names scattered throughout: Yobongo, Disco, SocialCam, SoundCloud, Beluga, GroupMe, Fast Society, Rabbly, Whatsapp, Kik, textPlus, Convore, SMSGupShup, MessageParty, TextSlide, Bump Technologies, Color Labs and so on, all contenders in the saturated mobile social space. Some like MessageParty or textPlus had names that were actually related to their product, but many like Yobongo, Beluga and Disco had only a tenuous connection.

It’s now pretty clear the app ecosystem has gone mainstream: People talk about apps the way they used to talk about music or drugs (“Omg have you guys tried COLOR. Omg you have to try it. Omg we’re on it right now”). And naming your startup has become like naming your band — An intricate dance between a multitude of contributing metaphoric and literal factors. So which approach, picking something random or actually related to what you do, makes more sense?

Chrys Bader@chrysb
Chrys Bader

You can tell it’s a bubble because startups are raising so much money they can actually afford vowels in their domain names.

about 2 hours ago via Twitter for iPhoneRetweetReply

Two notable app launches this week highlighted how exactly an app’s name plays into public perception. The most visible instance of this was the launch of Color, an ubiquitous noun/verb name picked by Bill Nguyen and Peter Pham for their photosharing app with a hefty $41 million in funding.

While initial complaints held that the app was unsearchable in both the Android and iPhone App Store and on Google because of its common name, that problem now seems to have been solved on Google. Perhaps all the inbound links from news and other sites are responsible for the fact that the service is now the eighth result for the word “color”? Color also somehow went from being invisible to being the first app to appear in the Apple App Store under the “color” search term (I’m hearing Android is still having issues).

Color’s name, while initially striking some people as slightly off if only for all its other connotations, is valid in that it accurately describes a core function of the Color Labs product, namely the fact that people are sharing images (a collection of colored pixels) through the app.

The Color guys tell me (and Quora above) that they first came up with the name Color in a tribute to Apple’s original reverse-color logo and then bought the domain name for $350K.  In order to appeal to English speakers in other regions, they also bought the domain name Colour.com and redirected it to Color.com. And yes, this did not stave off complaints.

Alison Tan@alisontan
Alison Tan

The ‘Color’ app isn’t spelt the way I like it… #COLOUR

about 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhoneRetweetReply

Contrast Color’s name with that of the other hot five-letter app of the moment, Disco. Currently it’s unclear whether Google made the $255K purchase of the domain Disco.com for a Slide-related purpose, or just to have on hand (Google has not given me a straight answer in any of my emails). If the latter is the case then it wouldn’t be the first time Google stockpiled domains (bayareaburritos.com anyone?) for future use.

Whether purposefully acquired or not, the name Disco seems to have a less of a direct relation to its core product than Color. While a disco (nightclub) does bring people together in a sense, the noun has absolutely nothing to do with group messaging, and I think users have already picked up on this distinction.

“This one fits to the product #color, This one doesn’t fit at all #disco,” tweeted Berrehili Réda. “I don’t know, when I first heard about google’s product #disco, I thought they had finally released their music streaming service…”

While it’s possible that the name Disco was already on the drawing board at Slide pre-Google acquisition, if Disco’s makers first chose a vague name and then built out a product for release, then they wouldn’t be alone. Private photo-sharing service Path still called itself Path (at Path.io) back when it was a list-making tool. Guess they thought the Path designation still held after the photo-sharing pivot.

In a seminal post on the subject, VC Rich Barton holds in that making up a new word (like Kleenex or Yobongo) is much more powerful than trying to appropriate a already existing literal word like Color or Disco. But if you’d have to go with an existing word, I’d go with the one that has a strong tie-in to the actual product.

Then again there’s always exceptions. No matter which apocryphal origin story you believe, the word Apple has nothing to do with computers. “If somebody had told me in 1970 that Apple would be the name of the top tech company, I would have laughed to death,” said VC Dani Nofal.

Yes, and if someone had told me in 1990 that someone would name their company Color in homage to that top computer company Apple, I too would have chuckled. Color probably hopes it’ll be laughing all the way to a featured slot in the App Store.

Alexia Tsotsis@alexia
Alexia Tsotsis

Are you there Steve? It’s me, Color.

48 minutes ago via Seesmic DesktopRetweetReply

Source: An App By Any Other Name …