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How many iPads will Apple Sell in Q2 2010?

Posted May 16th, 2010 by admin and filed in Business

Estimating the number of iPods, iPhones, IPads sold is a fun and challenging endeavor. Apple has successfully delivered amazing “one-hit” wonders time and again and it will be interesting to see what will come next after iPad.

I wondered why I will ever need an iPad. I have a Mac desktop and a Windows laptop. I have an iPhone to take along if I don’t feel like lugging around my portable mobile laptop computer. Then I asked myself, when do I carry around my laptop? It is usually when I am going to meetings and want to be able to lookup stuff online – both Internet and Personal Docs, thanks to Google Docs and DropBox. I also carry my laptop if I am traveling and expect to get some work done on the trip.

How do things work out with a laptop? Not great. My laptop takes a while to wakeup, a little more time to connect to the Wi-Fi, sometimes have to play with the Wi-Fi settings.. a mess indeed. This is exactly where I feel an iPad, beautifully, fills a need. An iPhone like device only can get more done. Simple, Elegant and Powerful – just like how we want to create ListAppy!

This is my take on using an iPad. Getting online and productive quick and easy. What’s yours? While you are at it, do you want to take a guess as to how many iPads Apple will sell in this quarter? Did you say 1 Million, they passed that milestone long ago!!

Mirror – A Top Paid iPhone App, Why it is so Wrong

Posted May 15th, 2010 by admin and filed in Business

After spending a few hours on iTunes, I feel that that Apple’s review process is tactically OK, but strategically flawed. Let me explain.

Mirror is a the To-Paid Application in the Lifestyles category, but seriously it is probably the Top running Scam in AppStore.

I like to show and tell. If you can open iTunes, just search for Mirror. You should see an iPhone App with a nice and pretty model holding a mirror to her  face. This App is priced at an innocuous $ .99 and claims you can have a mirror in your pocket.

Now, don’t get fooled by her appearance, what you are seeing is plain EVIL!!!!

The Current version (1.8) of this App has 338 1 star ratings and 138 5-star ratings and barely anything in between!!

OK, check All Versions, to see which you have to first expand by clicking on an arrow, which I think is lame. Why is Apple not showing ratings for all versions by default? Is Apple encouraging developers to make a new release and hide all the bad ratings thus far?

Ok, back to the Mirror story, what do I see if I expand and look at the ratings for all versions? 192 5-star and 1414 1 star ratings and barely anything in between!! Need I say more, this App is a scam in the App Store. It doesn’t really work, worse it just shows you a black screen!! As clearly seen from the ratings and  honest reviews, the App throws a nasty surprise to purchasers and has fooled a number of customers. Did Apple really review and approve this App?

This is just one example of the intolerable injustice that goes on in the App Store “Controlled” World! Do you have something that you find inexcusable? Post a Comment and let us know!!

Here is another one,

* The Apps in top 100, get more and more attention!! a better App that is late to the party struggles!! Is this fair?

* Does Apple promote Apps by Q (# of downloads) over Revenue earned (P*Q)? Thereby encouraging developers to price low?

Mac or PC Task Manager with Alert

Posted April 20th, 2010 by admin and filed in ListAppy, Software

Day 7

There are several task managers for Windows and Mac, some of these are quite expensive. About 4x to 5x the price of DeskListAppy. We don’t get it, task management does not have to be this expensive. I agree that some of these applications have really pleasing user interface  but the same can not be said when it comes to user experience and functionality . Our goal is to provide you with the best task management application. We are working hard and fast to get there and really want to hear from you – The Early Adopters and Task Masters!

Let me get straight to the point. How many Task management applications out there support something as simple as alerting or reminding the user when a task is due based on pre-set reminders? We are tempted to think of this as minimal functionality that every paid todo or task list management applications must have. To our dismay, we did not find this in most popular task management applications. Alerts can be nagging but what if you have an easy option to turn them off!

We are enhancing our desktop application with just that – awesome alerts. Set your due date and time and ask to be reminded with a pop-up on your desktop, any time from 10 minutes to 3 days ahead!! Now, show me a Web based task management application can do that! It is for things like this that we created a desktop application for managing task lists.

The task reminder functionality will be available in the next release of the PC and Mac versions. Also in works, multi-language support. Yes, we plan to support Task Management in German, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese and English. This will allow our iPhone App users to Sync their task lists and manage them right from their PC or Mac.

Your language missing, don’t be left out, post a comment now!

Pricing an iPhone App

Posted April 5th, 2010 by admin and filed in Business, ListAppy, Software

This Blog explores my thoughts on how to price ListAppy for iPhone using the frameworks from my classroom. I enjoy learning by applying and really glad to have my own pricing project through Samura Solutions. Naturally, this discussion is not specific to pricing an iPhone App or even  to just pricing software products.

Let’s go.

The three common ways to price the app are

  • Markup over cost, cost led pricing.
  • Giving away an add-on for free. In our case we give away DeskListAppy, the PC or MAC version of ListAppy task management application for free. This is in a sense customer led pricing. customers always demand products to be free. Is it a good idea? Let’s explore as we discuss the topic further.
  • Look at the competition. Here the trick is to make sure to look at the competition today and in competition in customers mind. The company may have a long-term strategic competitor in mind but the real competition is in the purchasers head.

My Professor will call these approaches primitive and unsophisticated. So, how do we really do it?

Economic Value to Customer (EVC)

Are there reasons for the customer to value our product more than the competition? What are the carefully crafted differentiating features that add distinct value?

These questions really guide us to price in relation to our competitors price. Remember that value does not just come from features but also from usability. In some sense Apple created most of its value by focusing on the latter.

In creating this value, the most successful strategy is to position away from competition. In a place that is still sizable and profitable from a market standpoint.  Ways of creating value is a whole separate topic,  for another post, if you say please!

Value to customer and pricing based on value is all great but the problem with discounting and even giving product away for free is the effect it has on customers valuation of the product. Give it away and customer is thinking yeah, this must really be poor quality.

Let us assure you this is not why we are giving away the desktop version of ListAppy for free. We really are looking for some early adopters of the product to tell us what they like and what they don’t. We are committed to creating the best task management application for the desktop and mobile environments and are willing to pay the price for it in the beginning. Beware, the idea is not giveaway the product free, forever!

Task Management

Posted April 4th, 2010 by admin and filed in ListAppy, Software, Uncategorized

Why do we need another Todo Application?

Tasks do not come as individual or independent things that you just think up, act on and checkoff in your mind. Life is full of tasks and they come in lists. If you lay out your tasks, you will come up with a neat hierarchy of task lists.

Even successful people, from scientists to professionals keep track of their tasks, issues, todo items, checklists, even entire project lists in their head. This leads to stress, anxiety and overall decreased productivity. In today’s mobile lifestyle, it is sad that the situation has only become worse. Nobody has the time to create neatly organized lists in their traditional organizers, desktop computers or on their phones.

Several software tools promise to help these professionals by offering easy to use task list management applications.  Getting Things Done is an organizational method created by David Allen, described in a book of the same name. The author advices one to transfer things out of the head into another medium. Great advice.  The rest of the book describes a framework for managing your tasks. Allen is quoted by Wired as saying “the workings of an automatic transmission are more complicated than a manual transmission, [t]o simplify a complex event, you need a complex system”.

This is where I beg to differ. To simplify a complex event needs thinking based on a simple system.  A number of task list applications for desktop and iPhone claim to follow the GTD approach and thoroughly confuse the stressed and anxious professionals who are looking for simple solutions to manage their todo task lists. It is interesting to see the support for GTD by application developers, despite the widespread criticism of GTD’s complexity. Understanding GTD should not be a hierarchy of tasks clouding and distracting from the real tasks on hand!

ListAppy is an attempt to achieve the benefits of both worlds. A common sense, task list management application for your iphone and desktop that helps you organize your todo lists hierarchically.

  • The list itself can be a simple checklist or a project list with sublists.
  • There is no confusing contexts and perspectives to conform to a “complex” task management framework.
  • Create tasks in lists, assign priority and due date.
  • View the tasks in a calendar, or by searching.
  • Manage a single set of task lists at your home, office and on your iPhone or iPod touch device.

Not all todo applications are created equal. Some are more simple than others and some are more powerful than others. The combination of simplicity and power is what samurasolutions.com aims to deliver with ListAppy. Let us know what you think and after all the customer’s voice is what matters in the end.

Task list management is not an easy topic. To address every individual’s need to organize is ambitious, but what is it that works for you?  Assuming 80-20 holds, what do  the 80 want? Let us know through you comments.