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Daily Podcast Episode 40 – August 21, 2017 (Aug 21, 2017)
The daily podcast episode for August 21 is up now on SoundCloud and should be syncing shortly to iTunes, Overcast, and other podcast apps. As usual, the podcast spends about one minute on each of the items covered on the site today, and also points to a few other items in the news today which I didn’t cover but which are nonetheless interesting. You can find today’s episode on SoundCloud and all episodes on iTunes, Overcast, and so on. The additional items covered are below:
PayPal is Working on an NFC Payment App (Aug 21, 2017)
AT&T Launches Own-Brand Tablet with DirecTV Front and Center (Aug 21, 2017)
AT&T today announced Primetime, an own-brand LTE-enabled tablet which it will sell under an installment model and allow customers to add on to their shared data plans. The device puts the DirecTV services AT&T also sells front and center, meaning that this is not just an opportunity to sell more connected tablets but also another push to connect its wireless and entertainment offerings in bundles. History here throws up some worries: Sprint and Verizon have seen terrible tablet subscriber growth in the past year because they’re passing the two-year anniversary of when they gave away lots of free tablets on two-year contracts, and customers are now churning in big numbers. This tablet from AT&T carries its own brand, and it’s not clear from AT&T’s press release what sort of specs the device has, but there’s a risk that AT&T sees the same churn in 20-24 months when customers have paid these things off. Overall, I’d also argue that AT&T’s bundling of wireless and entertainment hasn’t worked all that well either for its TV business or its wireless business, both of which continue to bleed subscribers, while Verizon bounced back in a big way in Q2 thanks to its big push around unlimited. That, and not TV/wireless bundles, seems to be what’s selling in the US wireless industry at the moment, and AT&T is the odd one out among the major carriers in not promoting the unlimited offerings it re-introduced earlier this year. I’m not sure this tablet changes any of that, and it feels like another attempt to shoehorn DirecTV into a wireless proposition rather than simply leading with what customers are looking for.
Former GE CEO Jeff Immelt is Front-Runner for Uber CEO Job (Aug 21, 2017)
Daily Podcast Episode 39 – August 18, 2017 (Aug 18, 2017)
The daily podcast episode for August 18 is up now on SoundCloud and should be syncing shortly to iTunes, Overcast, and other podcast apps. As usual, the podcast spends about one minute on each of the items covered on the site today, and also points to a few other items in the news today which I didn’t cover but which are nonetheless interesting. You can find today’s episode on SoundCloud and all episodes on iTunes, Overcast, and so on. The additional items covered are below:
- RIAA Response to YouTube
- Chinese Cyber-Court
- Regulating Facebook and Google
- Small Vendors Benefiting from New iPhones
Facebook has Sprawling, Unfocused Plans for Marketplace (Aug 18, 2017)
Google is Working on Subscription Tools for News Publishers (Aug 18, 2017)
★ Lenovo Reports Q2 Loss, Flat Smartphone Sales (Aug 18, 2017)
Android Police has a review of the Asus ZenFone AR, the second phone to carry Google’s Tango augmented reality technology. It sounds like it’s a big improvement over the clunky first phone from Lenovo, but it certainly doesn’t sound like it’ll be a big seller, while Tango itself doesn’t sound like it’s moved on much either. The review is worth noting because Google has been in AR for far longer than Apple, and yet Tango seems to have stalled at the experimental phase, with lots of effort from Google and yet very little to show for it. Two phones, neither of which will end up selling in large numbers, very few apps and essentially no meaningful position in AR just at a time when the space is about to take off thanks to Apple’s entry through ARKit in iOS. That’s something of an indictment of Google’s failure in this area, with its Daydream VR effort faring a little better but also not yet finding a sizable market niche to call its own. One other thing to note from the review here: it sounds like Tango absolutely hammers battery life on this device, and that’s something that will be well worth watching when ARKit-based apps launch on the iPhone in September. Pokemon Go has already taught us that apps featuring AR (and location-based elements) can be hard on batteries and still be popular, but it will detract from AR’s popularity on the iPhone if ARKit apps show a comparable tradeoff in battery life.
via Android Police