Apple iPhone 6 sales continue, Samsung Gear VR, Say Hello to Ello, + more—The Friday 5

Punchkick Interactive
  • Punchkick Interactive
  • September 26, 2014
Apple iPhone 6 sales continue, Samsung Gear VR, Say Hello to Ello, + more—The Friday 5

1. Apple kicks off the next wave of iPhone 6 sales

The iPhone 6 launch weekend broke records, and the second wave of sales began today. New Zealand kicked off the day with more than 20 countries to follow, including:

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates

Earlier this week, Punchkick explained the significance of this particular product launch for Apple. The incredibly successful (10 million device) weekend proved the absolutely massive audience for Apple’s products—and perhaps more importantly that the company’s supply was able to meet the demand. Read more about Apple learning to walk and chew gum at the same time in our article, 10 Million iPhones Prove That Apple Has Learned to Multitask.

2. The Polar M400 smartwatch for the pro athlete

Wearables will continue to saturate the market, but finding ways to differentiate the product will better posture it for success. The Polar M400 is a newly released smartwatch that doesn’t try to do it all—its aim is to be the go-to device for users serious about their fitness. The device is more than a simple activity tracker that can’t run apps, but isn’t a fancy smartwatch that a user’s afraid to be active while wearing. The Polar M400 sole focus is on tracking athletic data like distance, altitude, speed, heart-rate, sleep patterns, etc., and presents the information to the wearer on the Polar Flow app.

To distinguish the product further, the company has also created a higher-end, more expensive model called the V800. This smartwatch includes all the features of the M400, but can track heart-rate while swimming and is built of more durable materials. The two-product approach is a smart way to ensure that super specific (and expensive) features don’t deter consumers who want a more general fitness experience.

3. Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge is a ‘limited edition concept’

Samsung launched its Galaxy Note 4 today in Korea, with a plan to kick off sales in 140 other countries by the end of October. The other devices shown off at Samsung’s event earlier this month have been marked with launch dates as well, however the intriguing Galaxy Note Edge remains a mystery. Reports are starting to relay more details of the device—there is no public launch date because the device will only be available by limited sales since it’s now categorized as a “technology-intensive limited edition concept.” For such an experimental and expensive device, Samsung is making a smart move by testing the water before diving in headfirst.

“Concept devices are experimental, low-volume products that can help guide future product decisions and show off a vision of what the company thinks the future may look like.”

4. Samsung Gear VR will lead the way in immersive ad experiences

The recent announcement of Samsung’s new Galaxy Note smartphone and the updates surrounding Gear VR have tech pundits excited for the potential for augmented reality to move beyond just gaming and media consumption. The Oculus-powered Gear VR is poised to change the way brands can create immersive advertising experiences. Rather than traditional advertising formats that communicate unilaterally—from the brand to the consumer—VR could engage audiences on a contextual level. Rosenblum, founding partner of Questus, believes that brands need to think beyond paid advertising. While VR is opening the frontier for advertising, Rosenblum reassures this doesn’t mean the death of the 30-second spot. Rather, new ways of approaching traditional advertising will prompt a shift in budgets and resources for brands looking to lead the pack.

5. Say hello to Ello, a new ad-free social network

If you’ve been on Facebook lately, chances are you’ve seen some stories in the Newsfeed about your friends signing up on Ello. Bannered under the declaration of “Simple, beautiful, and ad-free,” Ello’s manifesto challenges conventional understanding of how digital spaces can operate—without data mining and experiences tailored for specific users. The tenets of Ello can be discovered here. Operating on an invite-only model, the social network prides itself on being private—users don’t have to use their official identity to create a profile. The platform’s creators recognize that like them, users are tired of ad-driven environments where self-expression can be stifled. Paul Budnitz, one of Ello’s creators, believes:

“Your feed is sacred, it’s yours. It allows everyone to have personal responsibility.”

At this point, featured profiles show a tumblr-esque stream that focuses on multimedia content like GIFs, photos, and status updates. With droves of people taking to Facebook asking for invites, Ello temporarily stopped accepting new members until the site’s server can open up bandwidth. If you’re one of the lucky few to get in, we’d love to hear your thoughts below.


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