This week: Apple’s “deliberate” plan behind the predicted 2016 lull, Microsoft’s big bet on AI, and Facebook’s offline video pilot program.
The Predicted Lull in iPhone Sales: Part of Apple’s Plan?
Rumors about Apple’s upcoming release of the iPhone 7—that it is not expected to offer many advances so sales are expected to be flat—might actually be part of a calculated plan by Apple to build momentum for the release in 2017. Upgrades are predicted to be at 43% next year as opposed to 33% this year, so the iPhone 7 is just a “bridge to get to a ‘super-cycle’” for a launch next year, taking advantage of a “ripe” customer base.
Read more about the theory that Apple’s upcoming lull is a deliberate move at Business Insider.
Study: The Top 10 Most Mobile-Friendly U.S. Cities – Atlanta Takes the Cake
What are the most mobile-friendly cities in the 50 most populous locations in the country? This list was based on which city’s customers are most likely to get the best connection, in-person customer service, and accommodations for specially designed mobile websites, as well as carrier network performance, coverage, taxes and fees, and crime risk. One of the biggest surprises: the largest cities aren’t necessarily better.
Read more about which cities are the most mobile friendly and why at NerdWallet.
Snapchat’s “Memories” Marks a Move Away from Disappearing Messages
Snapchat’s announcement of Memories, a new product that lets users store photos and videos on Snapchat’s servers, points to an apparent move away from the app’s initial appeal: disappearing messages. While that option is still available, there are now many ways to share and save content. How will being more like other social media outlets like Facebook impact Snapchat’s popularity?
Read more about Snapchat’s decision to offer content saving options at recode.
Microsoft: AI is the Future
Microsoft’s unveiling of its “conversation as a platform” offering indicates chat-based interfaces, rather than apps, will become the primary way of using the internet. Also, with the availability of Microsoft’s “cognitive APIs” that enable them to understand faces, emotions, and other information in photos and videos, apps will become smarter. Based on its own advancements as well as those in the field, it seems Microsoft is betting on AI as the future. But will its AI strategy be successful?
Read more about Microsoft’s AI strategy at The Verge.
Facebook Turns to Offline Video Access to Battle Internet Access Issues
In an effort to deal with “patchy” internet access, Facebook is planning a pilot program that will bring video downloads to India. The company has been working to get more market share in video. India, with a population of 1.25 billion but only 130 million on Facebook, as well as a country dealing with connectivity issues, seems like a good place to start. With YouTube holding the top spot currently, the program’s goal is to see if there is a demand for offline access to Facebook for videos.
Read more about Facebook’s offline video pilot program in India at VentureBeat.