All posts by Jan Dawson

Week 87 QotW – Apple Pricing Strategy

As we announced last week, we’re embarking on a change in the format of the podcast, and from here on out you’ll see two episodes from us weekly, with each encapsulating one of the segments of the old format – the Question of the Week, and the News Roundup. The News Roundup will generally go up on Fridays so that we can capture the week’s news, while the QotW episode will probably go up earlier in the week.

Here, then, is this week’s Question of the Week (QotW) episode, which answers the question “Is Apple undertaking a new low price strategy?” This assertion has been in the news lately, with analyst Neil Cybart penning a piece arguing that Apple Watches and AirPods are underpriced and several people arguing this week that the new iPad is another sign that Apple is going downmarket. In our episode, Aaron evaluates these assertions and brings in some of Apple’s pricing history in order to answer the question of whether we’re seeing a departure from Apple or whether something else is going on.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 86 – State of AI, News Roundup

This week’s format is a little shorter than usual – we dispense with our third segment and stick to just the News Roundup and Question of the Week, partly in preparation for some format changes we’re planning. More about this in the episode, but we’re considering a split of the News Roundup and Question of the Week portions into separate episodes. That change – or something like it – should be happening in the next week or two, so look out for that.

This week’s News Roundup covers our usual trio of topics. First up, Intel’s proposed acquisition of Israeli tech company Mobileye for its autonomous driving technology. Secondly, a few additional details that have emerged about Hulu’s over the top pay TV service which is launching soon. And lastly, a pair of home speaker-related announcements: Google plays its first ad on Google Home, while Amazon puts Alexa in the Amazon app on iPhones.

Our Question of the Week is “What is the state of AI?” There’s been a bit of a backlash recently agains the alleged overuse of “AI” to describe all kinds of technologies, and certainly evidence that the term has been used increasingly on earnings calls and elsewhere. So what is the definition of AI, and what counts and what doesn’t? Is it being overused (or underused)? And what is it actually being used for today?

Our Weekly Pick is a TV show recommended by Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 85 – Uber’s Ethical Vacuum, Mac vs PC

This week’s News Roundup covers the Wikileaks CIA leak on device hacking and the misreporting that’s been happening around it this week; two “fake news” stories – Facebook’s commencement of its flagging of fake news and Google’s failure to surface true news in its search snippets feature; and reports that Nest is working on some new smart home gear.

Our Question of the Week is “Can Uber be saved from itself?” Uber has been through the ringer the last few weeks as a result of a set of mishaps largely of its own making, but there’s also a long history of questionable, immoral, and illegal behavior as well as poor treatment of both employees and drivers at Uber. Aaron walks us through the ethical shortcomings that lead to behavior like this, and how Uber could change for the better, based on experience from other companies and his expertise as an ethics expert.

Our Third Segment is a conversation about the narrative that seems to be emerging about Windows PCs gaining on the Mac and to some extent becoming “cool” based on a few recent articles. We have a brief discussion about how much of this is real and how much of it is confined to a narrow set of users who happen to be influential.

Our Weekly Pick is a TV show recommended by Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 84 – AWS and Outages, MWC Announcements

This week’s News Roundup covers YouTube’s announcement of the appropriately named YouTube TV service, which will offer a bundle of broadcast and cable channels from four major companies for $35; rumors that Apple would replace the Lightning connector on iPhones with USB-C in the fall; and Snap Inc’s debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Our Question of the Week is “What is AWS and why are so many people so dependent on it?” Naturally the prompt here is this week’s AWS S3 outage, which caused many sites and services to go down for several hours on Tuesday. We talk through what AWS is, the major products and services that are part of it, how big this is, and the details of Tuesday’s outage, in terms of both the causes and the impact, and whether it’s healthy that so much of the Internet depends on one company.

Our Third Segment is a discussion of some of the phone announcements made at Mobile World Congress this week, from Nokia, BlackBerry, Oppo, LG, and Motorola, and what they tell us about the state of the smartphone market.

Our Weekly Pick is a life hack of sorts recommended by Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 83 – State of Online Advertising, US Wireless Market Update

Our News Roundup this week covers former Uber employee Susan Fowler’s revelations about how she was treated as a female engineer at the company, and the subsequent announcement of an investigation by a semi-independent panel; Waze’s expansion into becoming a carpooling service; and Microsoft’s launch of Skype Lite, an innovative low-bandwidth version of Skype for emerging markets which launched in India this week.

Our Question of the Week is “What is the true state of online advertising?” We’ve all heard lots about Google and Facebook’s massive revenues from online advertising, and their increasing dominance of the space, but we’ve also seen recent news about increasing calls for independent audits of their advertising metrics, and questions from big advertisers about the effectiveness of online advertising. So Aaron takes us through some of the complex dynamics, challenges, and prospects for the online advertising industry and the potential for companies like Snap, Twitter, and Yahoo/AOL under Verizon.

Our Third Segment is an update on the US wireless market following last week’s announcements by Verizon and AT&T that they will begin offering unlimited plans broadly after several years of trying to kill them off. We talk about the likely impact on these companies of offering these plans and potentially opening the floodgates to higher usage, as well as the competitive impact on the two smaller carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Our Weekly Pick is a puzzle app recommended by Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 82 – Original Video Content, Snap’s S-1 Filing

We’re back to our usual format this week. Our News Roundup kicks off with a couple of US wireless stories – Verizon Wireless reintroducing unlimited plans, and T-Mobile reporting its results. Next up, we discuss Apple joining the Wireless Power Consortium, and what it might mean. And lastly, we discuss Facebook’s announcement that it’s working on an app for TV boxes like the Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV.

Our Question of the Week is “Who is investing in original video content and why?” The topic has been in the news this week with Apple showing off trailers for two new original series that will be part of Apple Music, and YouTube star PewDiePie being dropped from its original content lineup after making some anti-semitic videos. We discuss who’s investing in this area, why, and what they’re spending, as well as whether it will all be worth it.

Our Weekly Pick is a musician recommended by Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 81 – Business and Politics, News Roundup

We have a slightly different format this week – Jan lost his voice and so we took out the third segment we usually have and spent a little more time on the Question of the Week, where Aaron was going to be doing most of the talking.

Our News Roundup covers three news items as usual. First up: Oculus’s decision to close 200 of its Best Buy demo areas for VR, which some have taken as a sign that VR is fizzling. Second, we talk about Apple’s recent hiring of a former Amazon Fire TV executive, and what it might mean about Apple’s ability to sign content deals. And thirdly, we discuss Android Wear 2.0 and the new LG smartwatches which launched this week, and what they suggest about the state of the smartwatch market and wearables more broadly.

Our Question of the Week is “What role should businesses play in political and social change?” This topic has been in the news recently with many tech companies weighing in on the Trump administration’s recent executive orders on immigration, but it also has a long history. Aaron talks us through some of the history, the pros and cons of corporate intervention in politics, and the evidence about whether such intervention is actually effective or not. This isn’t a political discussion per se, but we do touch on some current and past political issues.

Our Weekly Pick is a TV show recommended by Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 80 – Tech Narratives, Apple Earnings

A quick note: we had an glitch at Aaron’s end, which dramatically reduced the quality of his side of the audio, so he sounds like he’s on the other end of a phone line rather than using a high powered mic. We’re not sure what happened, but it wasn’t fixable, unfortunately. Our apologies, but things should be back to normal next week.

The three topics in our News Roundup this week are pretty diverse. We start with Fitbit’s preliminary earnings, which were below guidance and triggered layoffs at the company, undermining the company’s argument that its recent slowing growth is temporary. Secondly, we discuss the Comcast-Roku partnership which puts Xfinity TV on Roku as an app as a potential replacement for a set top box, with some significant caveats. Lastly, we talk about Slack’s launch of Enterprise Grid, a more sophisticated version of the app for larger, complex enterprises.

Our Question of the Week is “What are narratives in tech and where do they come from?” We talk about the prevalence of narratives in tech news – the stories that get woven around companies and trends in the industry, and which often take on a life of their own, limiting companies’ ability to shape people’s perceptions. We use this topic as a jumping-off point for talking about Jan’s new website, Tech Narratives (www.technarratives.com), which aims to evaluate these narratives and put the day’s tech news in context.

Our third segment is a review of Apple’s earnings for the December quarter. We discuss individual product lines like iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Watch, but also talk about broader issues like the extra week in the quarter, currency headwinds, the potential for finally repatriating some of Apple’s overseas cash in 2017, and what’s really going on in China.

Lastly, our Weekly Pick is a children’s book recommendation from Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

  • News Roundup:
  • Question of the Week:
  • Aaron’s Weekly Pick was The Wild Robot, by Peter Brown (Amazon affiliate link), a children’s book Aaron has been enjoying with one of his sons recently (and which, he revealed later on Wednesday, has an emotional ending).

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 79 – Apple Employee Departures, Q4 2016 Earnings Preview Part 2

This week, our News Roundup features three topics: the conclusion and announcement of the findings of Samsung’s Note7 investigation; Samsung and LG’s earnings for Q4 2016; and Snap’s various preparations and signs of increasing maturity ahead of an IPO.

Our Question of the Week is “Are the recent departures from Apple a sign of trouble?” Aaron talks us through some of the recent departures across several parts of Apple’s business, talks about possible explanations, provides some historical context with a discussion of earlier departures, and draws some conclusions about the significance of the current round. We also talk particularly about the Apple-Tesla poaching war.

Our third segment is part 2 of our preview of Q4 2016 earnings season, with a brief discussion of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter and what they’re likely to report in the next couple of weeks.

Lastly, our Weekly Pick is a book recommendation from Jan.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

  • News Roundup:
  • Question of the Week:
    • Article on the effects of Apple’s privacy stance
    • Article on Matt Casebolt’s departure to Tesla
    • Article on Tesla’s PR hire from Apple
    • Article on the Tesla-Apple poaching war
    • MacRumors interview with Chris Lattner
    • Article on Apple hiring Dropcam founder Greg Duffy
  • Jan’s Weekly Pick was Go Like Hell, by AJ Baime (Amazon affiliate link), which recounts the Ford-Ferrari rivalry in racing in the 1960s.

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.

Episode 78 – Autonomous Driving, Q4 2016 Earnings Preview Part 1

This week, we’re back to our usual format. Our News Roundup features three topics: in streaming video, Netflix reported earnings this week and Hulu indicated that its download feature is coming soon; in the Android world, The Information reported that Android One might be coming to the US, while Pixels are still in short supply; and in the ongoing saga of Apple and its pro users, Apple updated Logic Pro X and GarageBand for iOS.

Our Question of the Week is “what is the state of autonomous driving and where does it go from here?” We do a deep dive into the definitions and current state of play when it comes to self-driving cars, talk about when we might see various levels of autonomous driving, and discuss the many barriers and hurdles that have to be overcome for autonomous driving to become a reality. All of this builds off Jan’s recent in-depth research on the topic.

Our third segment is part 1 of our preview of Q4 2016 earnings season, with a discussion of Samsung, Alphabet and Microsoft and what they’re likely to report next week. We’ll likely follow up with more next week of both preview and review of Q4 earnings.

Lastly, our Weekly Pick is a double book recommendation from Aaron.

As usual, you’ll find some links to related content as well as other ways to listen to the podcast beneath the embedded Soundcloud player below.

We invite listeners to submit questions for subsequent weeks in the comments below, on Twitter (@jandawson@aaronmiller), or via email (jan at jackdawresearch dot com). We also have a dedicated Podcast Twitter handle at @BDPcast.

As ever, you can also find the podcast on iTunes, in the Overcast app, or your own favorite podcast app. Here is the RSS feed for the podcast if you want to add it manually to your app of choice.

Show notes:

Here are some useful links relating to this week’s episode:

Please leave us a comment or get in touch via Twitter to give us feedback. We’d love to hear from you. Also, we’d love it if you would leave a review of the podcast on iTunes.