Some internal discussion here on people that grab brand name Twitter handles so they can later sell them to the highest bidder. Like the domain squatters of old. Remember Joshua Quittners stunt? Yahoo colleague Ryan Kuder came up with the term.

squitter n. an individual who grabs a brand name twitter handle for future profit.

Let’s see how long these stay open: is taken.

Apple Price Drop: It was all part of the plan

Steve Jobs ain’t no dummy. Robert Cringely writes,

Apple introduced the iPhone at $599 to milk the early adopters and somewhat limit demand then dropped the price to $399 (the REAL price) to stimulate demand now that the product is a critical success and relatively bug-free. At least 500,000 iPhones went out at the old price, which means Apple made $100 million in extra profit.

Had nobody complained, Apple would have left it at that. But Jobs expected complaints and had an answer waiting — the $100 Apple store credit. This was no knee-jerk reaction, either. It was already there just waiting if needed. Apple keeps an undeserved $50 million and customers get $50 million back. Or do they? Some customers will never use their store credit. Those who do use it will nearly all buy something that costs more than $100. And, most importantly, those who bought their iPhones at an AT&T store will have to make what might be their first of many visits to an Apple Store. That is alone worth the $50 per customer this escapade will eventually cost Apple, taking into account unused credits and Apple Store wholesale costs.

The Puppet Master 

Not only that, think of all the free publicity this stunt created. All eyes will be on what gets put into the next version of the Apple OS, due to ship next month. . .

Google Reader adds Search. Why Competition is Good.

Google Reader Search Box

Just a few days after posting about the new Bloglines beta and how it was nice to re-discover their search your feeds feature, Google announced that they’ve finally added a search box to their Reader.

I’m staying with Bloglines right now for the novelty of it but I’ve noticed;

  1. Things that get marked “read” don’t seem to always stay that way, still trying to figure out the pattern
  2. I’m missing not having a decent mobile access ( doesn’t really do it for me) to read feeds on the go

Competition is a wonderful motivator. There was a whole lot of hoopla around the Google Reader API that was going to allow developers to extend Google Reader in all sorts of intersesting ways. Niall Kennedy did a whole dissection of the API and reverse engineered the Google Reader so people could see how it was put together. That was in December 2005 – now I can only find one example of a product that uses this promised but yet to be released API. I guess things got re-prioritized – we’ve all been there.

At least there is OPML which makes it easy to jump around. It sure is nice to have the freedom to experiment and walk if something better comes along.