Shipped and Sold


Another thing which comes to mind with the breathless headlines about the disappointing iPhone launch weekend numbers was the focus on sold as the metric used to quantify the numbers Apple made in the period.

With the arrival via courier this morning of one to this house, I stopped to consider whether that was counted as sold or shipped in the opening weekend numbers. Checking my Apple Store order yesterday, it was clear that the device was charged to my credit card then (sold) and marked as shipped at the same time.

I suspect therefore, that this item – which I ordered on the 14th of September last – will, like the many others my courier told me he had to deliver today, add to that 5 million during this week.

The number of orders Apple have taken since launch less than two weeks ago is most likely substantially more than the 5 million quoted to date. I wonder what percentage of those orders are sitting as shipped in stock at retail stores and elsewhere.

Unlike so many better devices out there who count shipped as their sole metric, I suspect the amount of inventory sitting waiting for a buyer is a pretty low number.


“Opening Weekend”


The Opening Weekend was always the method of measuring consumer excitement for Hollywood Movies. Indeed if you search opening weekend even today you’ll note the focus on blockbusters.

We keep getting told that consumer preferences are changing, a tipping point approaches, but the search results remain the same.

This week the term opening weekend was used by a number of media organisations to describe Apple’s initial sales of the iPhone 5. Couple that usage with the long expected mass-market adoption of alternative methods of consuming entertainment, and I wonder how long before search results for that term change to look more like this?

The Light Bulb Reinvented


I’ve read people talk on twitter and elsewhere about Kickstarter for quite some time. But for some reason I never invested in anything. Last night that changed, when I put $70 into LIFX: The Light Bulb Reinvented.

Home Automation mostly seems to me to be mainly an overly complex series of half-arsed implementations designed to give large corporations another revenue line using technology suitable for factories and not the home.

The LIFX is, if successful, a simple, friendly implementation which makes use of existing technology with little disruption to the home.

That, with 58 days to go, they have more than 500% of their minimum investment, says a lot about what people think about the idea.

I for one am looking forward to being able to choose between a yellow light or a red light in my bedroom, depending on my mood.

Robbie Farah was in the cheap seats after all

Before I wrote about how Robbie Farah might consider a similar filter on twitter to the one he probably needs to apply every time he plays a game of football, I was aware of allegations about a tweet he sent to Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard a year ago.

Turns out he’s as much if not more of a hypocrite as you or I:

Others will give you the Social Media Advice posts, I’ll just make the point that unlike certain Newspaper editors in the UK, he seems to have been big enough to apologise. Though as a celebrity of sorts, he probably didn’t have much choice in the matter.

He could go further and ask the bottom scraping media organisation, which said editor once worked for, to call off the dogs in their idiotic and simplistic “stop the trolls” campaign.

Which wonderfully has, to date, included a series of posts from expert contributors. As the reference says, my head is exploding.

Robbie Farah in the cheap seats at the MCG

In the weekend that stabbings dominated the crime news across Sydney, we started Monday talking about a footballers pain because he mistakenly read a post some moron sent him on Twitter.

Which led to declarations of intent by the Premier of New South Wales and the Police Commissioner of the same state to strengthen laws so that these trolls could be taken down.

With help from the Federal Government of course.

The same Federal Government whose leader – Australia’s Prime Minister – was subjected to the same type of inane abuse, but much much worse, following the death of her father this weekend. She, however, seems to have had the good sense – like she’s done throughout her time as leader of this country – to ignore the intelligence deficient and manage her grief in private.

Celebrities can pretend they don’t use social media sites to enhance their celebrity or puff out their chests at the adulation of their fans. There’s enough misinformation for the misinformed in the ongoing promotion of celebrity by the media, it’s time to try some honesty. Real life doesn’t stop at the keyboard, nor does it get better or worse once you go online. You’re just more likely to encounter dipshits when you’re there.

In the same way clever people walk away from arsehats trying to antagonise them in the pub or on the pitch, I suggest he and his celebrity supporters ignore them online. Twitter has a Block and Report for Abuse function – what did the guys who were stabbed in Mount Druitt have for the muppet flicking cigarette butts at them?

I’d invite Robbie Farah and Barry O’Farrell to sit in the cheap seats at the MCG next weekend for the final between rivals West Coast and Collingwood. But I’m pretty sure they’d quickly be trying to get the Victorian government to write new laws to protect the poor footballers on the field from idiotic comments from drunken mouthbreathers.

It’s not as if Farah hasn’t probably heard worse from opposing fans – if he was listening – over the years. Maybe he should apply the same filter off the pitch?

Are we being taken for granted by our local council candidates?

The first time I voted, Ireland picked my choice to be its President. I only voted one more time there which means that for various reasons, including moving to other side of the world and taking more than 10 years to become a citizen, I’ve not voted for twenty years.

Although I realized that one of the things I opted into when I chose to become a citizen of Australia was that one was required to vote, I was looking forward to breaking my duck, as it were, here in Australia. Especially after going half my life without taking advantage of freedoms hard won.

How disappointed was I then when I realised the first time I would participate in democracy! in my adopted country would be in today’s local council elections? Aside from the fact my council ward seems to be embedded within what’s known as a safe seat both at State and Federal level – with the then likelihood of any contrary vote to the local tendency ending with no result for me – none of the candidates in my ward were known to me, and this is how it remained throughout the campaign, which made it almost impossible for me to decide who to vote for.

Some might say I should chase these candidates down and try to find out more about them. To that I respond, fair comment, but as they are the ones who desire my selection, I’d be expecting the shoe to be on the other foot. Adding insult to injury is the financial penalty that can be imposed upon me or others like me if we choose not to vote due to the lack of interest in the candidates. In my view the fines should be applied to people who put themselves up as candidates and solely rely on a poster in their front garden or a patronising flyer telling me how to vote on the day.

In Federal or perhaps even State elections the constituency sizes are large enough for me to understand if we see neither sight nor sound of a candidate through the campaign. In local council elections, with a population of just thirty thousand to canvass over a period of six to eight weeks – or realistically, if they really are local, over four years – there’s no excuse whatsoever for this population of one not encountering a single candidate among the 14 running.

Democracy involves some amount of free choice, including the choice of whether to participate in its execution. In Australia and NSW, maybe the removal of the choice on whether to participate is allowing these so called local representatives to take our votes for granted. If my experience of this election has thought me anything its that it’s about time the over-represented people of Australia started taking their representatives to task. Not on the polarised party lines so populised in the media, but on their suitability to hold any office.

Making voting optional and removing above the line choices might be good mechanical methods to make candidates use a bit more effort to gain a receptive audience. Most other democracies seem to survive reasonably well without the requirement to vote after all.

But people like me being a bit more curious about who these people are and forcing them to earn their place in society wouldn’t go astray either. It would certainly help me avoid choosing people based upon their names, their party or even how pretty they look.

Otherwise, as a journalist friend of mine tweeted today, they’ll disappear again for four years after Monday only to pop their invisible names up on a ballot paper again in four years time.