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One of the most startling announcements during the WWDC 2013 was iOS in the car. The mockup that was shown seems to indicate the use of the car’s in-dash display as an “external monitor” for an iOS device while control would come from inputs using Siri.
The technical details were not released so it’s hard to know the protocol used to accommodate this interface. However it seems that it will be generic enough that a number of launch brands signed up for the launch. The list includes Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Ferrari, Chevy, Infiniti, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo, Acura, Opel and Jaguar.
Is this a significant opportunity?
Before we get excited, it’s important to note that this will likely take a very long time. It won’t even begin until 2014 and the number of new models may trickle into showrooms quite slowly. Consider that the time it took for automakers to universally support external audio input (mostly the trivial line-in) was about a decade.
To also curb our enthusiasm we need to realize that the car industry does not produce many units. In 2012 there were over 60 million cars produced (with the following regional mix:)
In contrast, 60 million is about the number of phones sold every two weeks. In 2013 there will be more iPads sold than cars.
In particular the companies mentioned had the following production figures in 2011:
The latest comScore US smartphone install base data is in and there are few surprises. iPhone has reached a new record high penetration (39.2%) and user base (54.3 million). Android has reached a new high in user base (72 million) but share at 52% is below the peak reached in November 2012.
This pattern of gradual iPhone share gain in the US has been consistent for over two years even while Android has catapulted into an overall lead. The surprising thing is how Android seems to have peaked in share. There are still 95 million non-smartphone users and there seems to be headroom for growth even though the other platforms have been tapped out. But it does not seem that Android phones have any particular advantage over iPhone. My hypothesis remains that as price is taken out as a differentiation, the adoption of iOS is slightly higher than Android.
Another measure of market performance is the implied net platform user gains which is shown below:
Last week Frank X. Shaw, VP of corporate communications at Microsoft stated:
… most of the people around me were using their iPads exactly as they would a laptop – physical keyboard attached, typing away, connected to a network of some kind, creating a document or tweet or blog or article. In that context, it’s hard to distinguish between a tablet and a notebook or laptop. The form factors are different, but let’s be clear, each is a PC.
Actually this “admission” that iPads are PCs is not something new. Steve Ballmer made the same assertion in 2010 pre-iPad (though calling them slates). Arguably, the notion that tablets are PCs has been dogma at Microsoft for over a decade and Windows running on all form factors has been a strategic guiding principle.
Which is why I’ve always added the tablet data to the PC data to create a picture of the “personal computing” market. And this is what that picture looks like today:
Note how the share of various platforms has evolved over this brief time span:
By the end of May there will be 100 billion mobile apps installed on iOS and Android devices.
Not bad for a five year old medium.
With respect to attach rate, the total downloads/install base are currently 83 apps per iOS device sold and 53 apps per Android device activation. The history of this is shown below: