Category Archives: Money

iPhone The Missing Manual

Why Are iPhone Users Willing to Pay for Content?

“It may be no surprise that the best-selling computer book so far this year is “iPhone: The Missing Manual,” by my colleague David Pogue (O’Reilly, 2007).

But here is something that did surprise me: The most popular edition of this book isn’t on paper or the PDF file that O’Reilly Media also sells. It is the downloadable application for the iPhone, according to Tim O’Reilly, the chief executive of O’Reilly Media.”

Excellent article on NY Times on the sensitivity of price point marketing on the AppStore.

“The book, which sells for $24.99, was initially offered as an iPhone app for $4.99. When the publisher raised the price to $9.99, sales fell 75 percent. O’Reilly quickly dropped the price back down to the lower level.”

I have this book and I can vouch for it, excellent.

Full Article

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Filed under Apps, Design, iPhone News, Money

Happy Birthday Steve

54 Today.

And to celebrate Steve’s birthday, Apple have (not related) announced massive cash reserves for the company.

Two days before Apple’s (AAPL) annual meeting — the first in more than a decade that Steve Jobs won’t attend — Financial Alchemist’s Turley Muller offers beleaguered shareholders a statistic that should provide some comfort:

Apple’s cash holdings have grown at an annual rate of 50% (year-to-year) or more every quarter for the past two years.

Once again full article here from Apple2.0 Blog

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Filed under Apple News, Cool, Money

New Zealand banking iPhone Apps

One of the strangest things about the iPhone is how many web based apps people are building, when you think that it comes fully loaded with Safari and full web browsing capability (aside from flash), why an App version of what you can do in Safari?

The answer is of course, an App version is usually stripped down to the bare minimum and if you want the full version, then of course just go to the web to play there. This is possibly too true of the National Bank (New Zealand) iPhone App. It’s so stripped down, you more or less can’t do anything except view balances. But then again, that is the beauty of an App, it’s fast, it’s stripped down and it’s just so easy to use. Of course at this stage if you want to do anything more fun, a wi-fi network shouldn’t be the place to say send $1,000,000 to your secret Swiss account.
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Given functionality, this will be fun. For a pointer as to what it could be, we need only to look at the most innovative bank in NZ, Kiwibank. They’ve gone and developed a very nice webapp.

Link to App Store National Bank App here

As pointed out KiwiBank has a webapp version of it’s banking, and the subtle difference between a web app and installed iPhone app may be too small to have to worry about, but it is different. The KiwiBank webapp is much nicer interface and of course has full functionality – all I need now is a KiwiBank account – oh and some money.
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ASB also has a webapp version for their clients.
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This ties in nicely with this article about the potential for the iPhone and the format of iTunes payment for the iPhone as a micro payment platform.

Take that a step further, as we all know the iPhone is essentially a mobile computer (without cut and paste yet), it has the hardware platform and an evolving OS (all the ingredients for a mobile computer), the potential for payment and purchasing via mobile computing at this stage (security issues aside) is only just beginning and at this stage is limitless.

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Filed under Apps, iPhone News, Money

Hey you developers

Now there is a place to go to see how the big bucks are developing iPhone companies, apps and games.

http://ifundvc.com/

Is the blog for iFund, brand new today. It’s the (as blogs tend to be) informal meeting place for people to come and discuss many of the important technical and commercial developments that surround the iPhone.

For those who don’t know, iFund is a $100m USD capital fund by venture capital company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and managed by KPCB Partner Matt Murphy among others.

Already iFund has 4 companies up and running, and they are (as you would imagine) in talks with others as to future developments.

iFund companies include:
GOGII – A new social interaction and marketing platform.
iControl – Stay connected in real-time to what matters most—family, property, home, and business—from anywhere in the world, anytime, day or night.
ng:moco – The first iPhone-only games publisher.
Pelago – Discover the world through the eyes of your friends and other people you trust.

As Matt Murphy states in his first post

“While these changes have been dramatic, we have only seen the first few pitches of a 9 inning game. The iPhone has changed users’ expectations of what is possible in a mobile device and UI and the AppStore finally showed the promise of mobile data applications”

Never a truer word spoken. The iPhone will radically change the very way people interact with each other, their environment and of course do business, I have no doubt about this. The simple reason for such a grandiose statement is the SDK and the ability developers have to create their apps to meet their and their customers needs. Apple gave us a great tool (like the hammer and wheel) we need to figure out how we are going to use it.

Should be an interesting read.

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Vodafone NZ reacts to outrage

News this morning is that Vodadone NZ has reacted to the considerable outrage against their plans, which infamously gave them the dubious honour of the most expensive iPhone Telco provider in the world.

Today Vodafone NZ announced plans that are quite radically cheaper (up to half price) than what was previously available. The new plans still provide a subsidy on the handsets, with the biggest difference being in data and voice allocation. Vodafone claim they have listened to customer demand, which (like me) people use the device as a mobile web and data gadget with txt and talk time the least consideration.

“Vodafone spokesman Paul Brislen says the plans have been put in place after customers called for a lower monthly cost but were happy with less talktime and lower text message limits, but similar levels of data.”

Now there’s a surprise, just what we were asking for right from the very start, less talk and more data. I am amazed though at how little data I am using, and how often I use the phone in a wi-fi zone (thus not using up data allocation). When I first got my phone, none of the plans met what I thought would be my needs, so I went on two Vodafone plans costing my $90 a month (more data). As it turns out (well how was one to know when everyone warned me that data would be gobbled up in a flash) that despite my heavy web and email use, I wasn’t even anywhere near 10% of the data I put myself on for 24 months. So I’m going to be one of the first this afternoon to change that’s for sure.

The new plans start at $40 for 20minutes talk time, 100txt and 250mb data.

Current usres are able to switch plans but will need to pay Vodafone for the difference on the cost of the handsets.

So while this us a great move, and I imagine a lot of people will be switching plans asap, people like me will be out of pocket to Vodafone by several hundred dollars over the last 6 weeks and that stinks. At the moment, Vodafone stores are showing the sold out sign for all iPhones, showing that it’s still selling extrememly well, and has obviously been a money boost for Vodafone.

New Plans

Old Plans

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Filed under iPhone News, Money, telco news, Vodafone

Polar Bear Farm on a roll

Christchurch firm Polar Bear Farm will be on the worlds stage just after midnight tonight, with the launch of the iPhone and the AppStore.

They are one of the select few that were invited to develop apps for the iPhone. Only 4000 developers out of 25,000 applicants were chosen to develop apps for the iPhone.

With an expected sales figure of anywhere between 10-15 million, they only need a small percentage of users to download their apps for them to make money. This is great news for Polar Bear Farm and developers in NZ. By association, they prove that we can make an impact on the worlds stage.

Full Story here.

Their two apps are:

•Telegram which allows people to send voice messages to people all over the world similar to the way they would send a text message.
• Twinkle enables social networking on the phone and allows people to locate others within a certain vicinity.

Polar Bear Farm

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another digg at Vodafone

Just got a txt from Vodafone telling me that because I was on pre-pay that from 1 Aug, it will cost me $1 to call customer service, and not those on a plan.

Surely this has got to be against some company rules somewhere. I know Vodafone treats it’s customers with contempt a lot of the time, but this is straight discrimination. How come I have to pay to talk to Vodafone when there is a problem with their phones and system, and those on account seemingly don’t. It’s not as if I call customer service to see if they are having a nice day, it’s because I couldn’t resolve issues with my account online. It’s just not fair.

Buggers.

Do they really want us to bugger off to the competition, because they’re doing a bloody good job of it.

And this blog isn’t meant to be a critic of Vodafone, but why not if they treat us like this.

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Filed under Money, telco news, Vodafone