This is the first of a new weekly series on tech-related news with commentary on business implications and possibly very biased viewpoints. #suntech
1. Apple’s App Store in first major security breach
Apple is known for its rigorous app review process but this time round, malware infected several popular apps and although nothing malicious has come of it yet, it is also not fully removed yet.
How it works
The malware, named XcodeGhost could exploit a vulnerability in a counterfeit version of Apple’s Xcode software that is used to build iOS apps. The counterfeit versions came about from unofficial development kits that were used by the Chinese, as it was faster to download.
Loss of competitive edge?
Apple’s App Store has always differentiated itself from Android’s Play Store by setting moderate barriers to putting any app up on it. Its screening process took time but ensured that apps were of high quality and well integrated into iOS. Will this raise questions about Apple’s quality standards? Yes it definitely will but lets keep in mind that Android users are not any better off.
A massive security flaw announced by cybersecurity firm Zimperium makes a majority of android phones out there susceptible to malware just from a text message.
The real issue at hand is digital security. Some might question if companies with sensitive data should even dabble with the China market in the wake of events such as these. Although there is no direct fault here, it is worthy to note that security is a touchy issue where only the bad gets noticed. In any case, it is ironic that the news came at a time when the US and China finally agreed on a cyber crime truce.
2. A study in marketing perception – iPhone 6S Rose Gold
The one thing that has so many people excited about the new iPhone 6S isn’t its new features, price or whether it is going to bend – its the colour. It sure isn’t the first gadget to be wrapped up in rose gold.
But judging from the weekend sales all over the globe, it looks set to be the most popular reiteration of it. Some statistics have put sales of the rose gold iPhone to be at a THIRD of all sales. Talk about branding.
The most amazing part about this whole #rosegold phenomenon is how Apple has managed to command such brand equity and cult status that it has actually bended the gender perception when it comes to colours. It made it clear that the pinkish hue was included to appeal to the ladies but even men (and a few that I know of) are flocking to grab it up. I guess this time round Apple has managed to bend the right stuff after all.
3. Disney investing USD65 Mil in Virtual Reality start-up
Investments and M&A seem to be one too many nowadays but this made me look, if not for the implications then for the timing. The majority of people are not really paying much attention to virtual reality because it just seems so out of touch at the moment. Oculus Rifts are mostly available as developmental kits, Google Glass is now considered a major flop and nobody has heard much from the big firms that are involved, like Facebook etc. Now that Disney has jumped on the bandwagon, it is quite clear what direction they will be taking. Virtual reality seems intuitively suited for the entertainment industry. Virtual gaming, movies, porn (not kidding), you name it, you might really get it. But there are many other uses. Facebook is exploring using virtual reality for online shopping and “more immersive social experiences”, while Daqri is picking up where Google Glass failed, but for industrial purposes.
The main thing about virtual reality is that it MIGHT be the next big technological advancement/shift/thing but nobody has yet to declare so because of the technological complexities and the over-hyped capabilities that people have of VR because it is just so ..virtual. To be fair, commercialization of VR is coming up pretty quickly. Samsung is releasing its own VR headsets, the Gear VR and Google has actually had its own Google Cardboard program which is targeted at schoolchildren to experience VR for education. We should probably wait and see.
Google Cardboard: https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/
Facebook and Oculus: http://time.com/37842/facebook-oculus-rift/