The best phone for business?

Our mobile telephone contract at work is coming up for renewal later in the year. I know because I’m being offered all manner of enviable never to be seen again deals by countless companies. I know who they are when they call as the call always starts with ‘how is your day today’. As if they care really?


Since the initial iPhone was introduced that is what the business has had, across the board. We are on iphone5′s at the moment; rumours of an iPhone6 abound. The anticipated release date is September – so our contract timing might be good.

I like my iPhone as it is fairly bullet proof. It also syncs nicely with all of my mac gear. It is easy. But the battery life is nothing short of appalling – I think perhaps 6 or 7 hours at best.

And it has really lost its excitement factor. It is fairly boring.

At the weekend I had a look around the competition – and the Samsung Galaxy is clearly way out in the lead. Apple must be terrified of them. The screen is better, the camera so too. OK, it doesn’t run IOS but you are not tied to the Apple Store where Apple have a stranglehold on what you download and buy.

I have decided to try the Samsung as an experiment over the next few months. I’ll let you know how I get on…

As shop that sells nothing?

When Steve Jobs set out to build an Apple store he created something that didn’t have selling at its heart – it was about the user experience. Of course it has been phenomenally successful. In fact the 5th Avenue store in New York (a few blocks from where I pen this post) holds the record for the most profitable shop in the world on a sales per square foot basis.


But down in Soho there is something afoot which might even shock Apple. In an Apple store there is the experience and the sale alongside. But their fiercest rival, Samsung, has opened a store which sells nothing! In fact they give stuff away. T-shirts with your own print design, coffee and cookies.

The shop is perfectly laid out in what can only be described as lifestyle vignettes. There are sofas, chairs, TV’s, a photo booth, a coffee bar, high benches and lots of ‘white space’.

You are encouraged to wander and engage (for points!) with staff. They are expert, the experiences are all about their equipment – as you would expect. But there is no hard sell. In fact there is no sell at all. They want you to enjoy the place.


Samsung spend four times the amount Apple do on marketing – and whilst they have a wider range of products this seems to have been reflected in this ‘store’.

This a fascinating concept and perhaps Shop 3.0.

Of course I have touched on their product range before and I think they have edged the iPhone 5 with the Galaxy 3. Places like this can only help cement a rosy future.

Have Apple lost their way?

It pains me to say this – but I think they have.


I am a true Apple Mac fan – from the ipod, iphone, ipad (mini and maxi), macbook air and my work Imac these represent some amazing bits of kit. even Apple TV is rather cool – although it could be better.

But since Steve Jobs died in October 2011 I think the Company has flat-lined. Last weeks big announcement was a bit of a flop. Colourful iphones and ones with faster processors are hardly the ‘one more thing’ moment Jobs became famous for. It was the big reveal. The groundbreaking stuff.

Apple made the best portable music player of all time. The iPhone when it was launched was groundbreaking. The processing power of my MacBook Air is amazing – I can run my office on something the size of an A4 pad of paper.

But where is the Apple TV screen? Where is the watch? Where is the thing we are all going to have to buy because we have to? It’s simply not there.

Jobs was always going to be a hard act to follow. He was a game changer. He surrounded himself with talented people including the incredibly talented Jony Ives. But they needed his direction and single mindedness.

Apple are suggesting that they have an announcement soon – but it needs to be more than ‘better screen resolution’ or ‘faster processing’. It needs to be a game changer!

In the meantime Samsung continue to make a better phone (the Galaxy S4) and have recently announced a watch!

Is it too late for Apple to rescue themselves? Probably not – but they need to act now!

Microsoft – playing catch-up?

Incredibly Microsoft have a new product! You probably won’t have seen one before – it’s a tablet style computer…

This is their advert – you can queue for it from the 26th.

Oddly if you bought one of those Apple IPad things or a Samsung tablet – this might be a bit behind the curve?

There was a time when Windows were at the forefront of technology – pushing the boundaries. I have no doubt that this new tablet will be a capable machine – but it looks for all the world to have copied the APple and Samsung machines?

Apple – the grip loosens?

This week there were numerous column inches taken up with the story that Apple was now the most valuable company in the world – worth around $623bn. Steve Jobs has left an indelible mark on society – and on the financial markets.

But is this all correct. In fact the most valuable company in the world is likely to be a Saudi Aramco. Saudi Aramco has proven reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil – a fifth of all the oil in the world. And then there’s 283 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves (the fourth largest in the world). These companies are not easy to value, but it is estimated conservatively that it is worth around $1.25trillion – double that of Apple.

It doesn’t really matter as much of this is paper money – and fortunes can change – although if I were a betting man, I might put my cash into oil rather than technologies.

It pains me to say but I wonder if the Apple crown might be slipping. The iPhone 4 is now showing it’s age and the secretive Apple bods aren’t announcing a date yet for the 5. It will need to be good, because there is no doubt that the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a fantastic piece of kit. I have spoken to a number of people who think it currently out-shines the IPhone.

Then there’s the Galaxy Tab – head to head with the Ipad. Again, the Galaxy is quite comparable.

People still like Apple stuff because it works. But you are rather tied to what Steve Jobs is prepared to let you tweak. The Samsungs on the other hand are much more able to be personalised due to their operating system. I met an Architect in the week – he showed me some of his work on an iPad – I suggested that these devices had made this sort of presentation so much easier – he agreed, but pointed out that the photos had to be shown in the order Mr Jobs chose! His colleagues used a Galaxy Tab – they had no such issue.

Interesting times?

PS In case you were wondering – my iphone 5 is on order!

By Tim Garratt Posted in Business Tagged , , Iphone 5, market capitalisation, , Saudi Aramco, tablet, Value