Barnes & Noble Upgrades Nook Color Today, Sets A New Bar For eReaders

That's right, I said eReaders. True, it looks like a tablet, runs like a tablet, and delivers a lot of the value that tablets deliver, but the Nook Color's 1.2 upgrade (which is actually a step up to Android 2.2; don't let the numbers confuse you too much) is really a foreshadowing of the future of eReaders, not the future of tablets.

First, the facts. With the new upgrade that will be gradually pushed out to all existing Nook Color devices for free over the next few weeks (or you can download now at www.nookcolor.com/update), the folks at B&N have added some very useful features: an integrated email client, Flash 10.1 support, a curated Android app store (see sidebar), and an improved user experience through a myriad of tweaks. These upgrades make the Nook Color look more and more like a tablet, with a very attractive $249 price point to boot.

Must the iPad now cower in fear? No, not really. Because even at this price point, the Nook Color remains a smaller, less powerful tablet than the iPad. And as we've seen, the range of competitors coming in after the iPad's territory are coming in at higher prices with more powerful features (for example, last week I dropped $529 for an LG G-Slate from T-Mobile with 3D video camera and 4G data plan). The tablet market is gradually moving into higher-power features, not lower-power experiences.

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Apple’s Latest Privacy Woes – The Price To Pay For An “Always Connected” Life?

It was revealed yesterday that iPhones/iPads (with iOS 4.0 or later) have been logging the location information of the device and storing that in a hidden file on the phone or the iPad.

This discovery, presented by researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, at the O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference this week, has sent shock waves through the high tech community. “What? This file contains my whereabouts for the past year? WTF?” was most people’s first reaction when the news broke.

Many iPhone/iPad apps have access to the geolocation of the device, but most only access it at a given point of time and do not attempt to log or create a history file of this information. The discovery that such logs exist begs the question why Apple was logging this data and whether it has any intention of utilizing the information.

I can imagine a number of reasons why Apple would want to collect this data and how they might use it. Device tracking, for instance, is a popular parental control feature that users want. Think your teenager lied to you about his/her whereabouts yesterday? No problem, just log into MobileMe and verify the location tracking information. Similarly, a credit-protection app can be instructed to report the phone’s general location at the time of a suspicious credit card transaction— if the card is used in England and the credit card owner’s phone is in Alabama, hmm… something could be amiss here.

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Social Media Best Practices: Don’t Take A Bite Out Of The Apple

This is Peter O’Neill and I had a very busy Forrester Marketing Forum last week in San Francisco: two presentations (well, two halves, I suppose, because I was the co-presenter) plus dozens of one-on-ones with Forrester clients. While I would have preferred to talk about differentiation in the customer lifecycle, the theme of my first Forum presentation and my most recent report, the incorporation of social media into the marketing mix continues to be the hottest topic for most tech marketers. It was exciting to be able to share our brand new Tech Buyer Social Technographics data which has just come in. BTW, the level of social media activity in European buyers is still ahead of American buyers – I will be presenting the European data in my planned Forrester teleconferences on May 9th: once in German for local clients, prospects and press; and once in English for other Forrester clients.  

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