apple http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/421/all en-US 7 Expensive Stocks That Are Totally Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/7-expensive-stocks-that-are-totally-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-expensive-stocks-that-are-totally-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_84113845_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="these expensive stocks are worth the cost" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you want to buy shares of stock from a familiar company, but are surprised to realize that shares are selling for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars. As it turns out, some of the priciest stocks may also turn out to have the best value in the long run.</p> <p>High prices may be intimidating, but there's no need to fear them. Let's take a look at some of the most expensive stocks, and outline why they may still be worth buying.</p> <h2>1. Alphabet [NASDAQ: <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/googl">GOOGL</a>]</h2> <p>Just one share of the company formerly known as Google will set you back more than $800. But don't look away from a company that has seen shares rise 16% in the last year, and now rivals Apple for the largest company on Earth. Alphabet's price-to-earnings ratio is 30, which is on the high side, but not outlandish for a company with strong revenue growth.</p> <h2>2. Priceline [NASDAQ: <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/pcln">PCLN</a>]</h2> <p>Years ago, Priceline shares underwent a reverse split in order to avoid being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Now, shares are nearly $1,500 a pop. The popular travel booking company also owns Booking.com and Kayak, among others. Shares are up 12% this year, with analysts indicating the price could top $1,700 a piece.</p> <h2>3. NVR [NYSE: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=NVR">NVR</a>]</h2> <p>At more than $1,500 a share, this homebuilder has one of the highest stock prices around. But shares are actually down about 10% just in the last three months, so a rebound may be in order. The consensus from analysts is that NVR could trade closer to $1,700 by year's end.</p> <h2>4. Amazon [NASDAQ: <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/amzn">AMZN</a>]</h2> <p>The world's leading online retailer consistently gets called out for its small profits, and is often deemed overpriced by analysts who look at its eye-popping price-to-earning ratios. But these proclamations have historically been followed by significant run-ups in share price. At more than $800, a share of Amazon isn't cheap. But would you bet against Amazon entering the holiday shopping season?</p> <h2>5. Berkshire-Hathaway [NYSE: <a href="http://www.google.com/finance?cid=4376">BRK</a>]</h2> <p>Do you have $210,000 laying around that you'd like to invest? That's what a <em>single </em>one of Berkshire's Class A shares will cost you. Class B shares are available for mere mortals like us for a mere $144. Is Berkshire too expensive? Buffett has missed some bets over the years, but shares are up about 9% this year, and have averaged a more than 11% annual gain in the last decade.</p> <h2>6. Apple [NASDAQ: <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/aapl">APPL</a>]</h2> <p>At more than $117 a share, Apple isn't cheap. And many observers do wonder about the company's path in the post-Steve Jobs era. But this is still the company that makes the most popular smartphone in the world, and no company has a larger market capitalization.</p> <h2>7. Chipotle [NYSE: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/CMG?p=CMG">CMG</a>]</h2> <p>There has been a lot of negative press around Chipotle after e-coli and norovirus outbreaks that sickened hundreds of people. The news sent share prices reeling, but but the company is working its way back. The company is trading at about $395 per share, a relative bargain compared to a year ago, when shares were well above $700. USA Today reported in September that there was &quot;still plenty of upside left in the stock.&quot; Assuming the company has a handle on its food safety issues, there may be a profit opportunity with Chipotle.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-expensive-stocks-that-are-totally-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-stocks-to-buy-before-black-friday">6 Stocks to Buy Before Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-berkshire-hathaway-and-other-blue-chip-stock-for-17-off">How to Buy Berkshire Hathaway and Other Blue Chip Stock for 17% Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-every-recent-grad-should-own">10 Stocks Every Recent Grad Should Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-truth-of-investing-mediocre-advice-is-best">The Surprising Truth of Investing: Mediocre Advice Is Best</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Amazon apple Berkshire Hathaway chipotle expensive stocks Google priceline profit returns shares value Mon, 24 Oct 2016 10:00:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 1818053 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_phone_city_64632093.jpg" alt="Man finding ways Siri can be his personal finance assistant" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're still a few years away from having personal robot assistants, but voice-activated applications on most modern smartphones are already making our lives easier. Apps like Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana can be helpful in a number of ways, and are particularly useful as personal finance helpers.</p> <p>I personally use Siri a lot to help me <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-personal-finance-letter-id-write-to-my-younger-self" target="_blank">stay on track with my finances</a>, and I am always surprised at how much the app can help me get information without the need to even type or search the web myself.</p> <p>Siri won't make you rich, but it can help you be smarter about your finances without a lot of work. Check out these personal finance tasks that Siri and similar apps can help you with.</p> <h2>1. Check Stocks</h2> <p>It's easy to use Siri to track the performance of your investments or the overall stock market. Just say, &quot;I need the stock price for Apple,&quot; and Siri will tell you the price and the daily movement. It's also an easy way to check on the ticker symbol.</p> <h2>2. Helping You Calculate the Best Bargain</h2> <p>Quick, what's a better deal? Three 20-ounce cans of juice for $6, or four 24-ounce cans for $9? To find out, you'll need to calculate prices on a per-ounce basis. Asking Siri to perform some simple math will help you learn that the second deal is a little bit better.</p> <h2>3. Driving Directions</h2> <p>Yes, accurate driving directions can help you with your finances. That's because you can plan trips to ensure the shortest route, thus saving you gas. You can also find routes to avoid tolls and bad traffic.</p> <h2>4. Finding the Nearest ATM</h2> <p>You need cash right away, but you'd rather not go to the first ATM you see, because it may not be tied to your bank. To avoid a fee, you can ask Siri to find you the nearest branch of your bank or a surcharge-free ATM.</p> <h2>5. Research Food Ingredients</h2> <p>When you're at the grocery store, you may come across products that like to tout certain ingredients, and you sometimes pay a premium for them. (&quot;Sweetened with agave nectar!&quot;) Before you buy, you may want to do a little bit of research on what these ingredients are and whether they are worth paying extra for. Siri and similar apps can help you with this.</p> <h2>6. Set Reminders</h2> <p>You never want to be late paying your bills, and you don't want to be charged for missing things like doctor's appointments. You can use Siri to remind you of important things. All you need to do is tell Siri what you want to be reminded about, and when. (&quot;Remind me to finish this article for Wise Bread at 10 p.m.&quot;) There's even location-based reminders, like &quot;Remember to mail the mortgage check when you are near the post office.&quot; You can also use Siri to adjust or create to-do lists on your phone.</p> <h2>7. Figure Out Tips</h2> <p>What's 18% of $43.95? And how can you split that four ways? Siri can help you. Siri will even know local taxes, to help you calculate checks before they even come.</p> <h2>8. Find Out How Much Things Cost</h2> <p>Using Siri, you can look up pricing information for a wide range of products. If you simply ask &quot;Find me prices for a Toyota Corolla,&quot; it will provide you MSRP and invoice prices, plus other related charges, and even shows a chart with historical price information. It's still not easy to do true comparison shopping, but you'll learn enough to know if a particular store is trying to rip you off.</p> <h2>9. Find Budgeting Apps</h2> <p>If you need some extra personal finance help from your smartphone, Siri can help you find it. A simple query like, &quot;Find me some budgeting apps,&quot; will give you a list of saving and money management apps from the app store.</p> <p><em>How do you use Siri or Cortana or Google Now to help you stay on top of your finances?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-the-chromebook-crush-windows">Could the Chromebook Crush Windows?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-financial-differences-between-millennials-and-the-next-generation">7 Financial Differences Between Millennials and the Next Generation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-biggest-lies-we-tell-ourselves-about-money">The 10 Biggest Lies We Tell Ourselves About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology apple Cortana Google investing Microsoft saving Siri smartphone tools Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:30:15 +0000 Tim Lemke 1778728 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Stocks Every Recent Grad Should Own http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-every-recent-grad-should-own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-stocks-every-recent-grad-should-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new_grad_happy_20845110.jpg" alt="Woman buying stocks every recent grad should own" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're just fresh out of college, you may be broke and not yet in a position to invest. But if you find a little extra cash, or are fortunate enough to be gifted some stock as a graduation gift, there are a number of great options that have a great track record of solid performance.</p> <p>These are stocks that have rarely let investors down over the course of decades, and they often pay great dividends, too.</p> <p>If there's a list of stocks that recent grads should consider owning, these 10 should be included.</p> <h2>Microsoft [<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/msft">Nasdaq: MSFT</a>]</h2> <p>Bill Gates' old company made headlines recently when it bought the professional networking site LinkedIn. It's now a massively diverse tech firm with PCs, tablets and phones, software, and a popular video game system.</p> <h2>Coca-Cola [<a href="http://www.google.com/finance?cid=6550">NYSE: KO</a>]</h2> <p>Yes, we know that America is supposed to be moving away from sugary drinks. But this company has managed to sell a ton of Coke while diversifying its product line to include everything from Dasani water, to Powerade and Honest Tea. Coca-Cola shares have been in positive territory for eight straight years, and with a market cap of nearly $200 billion, it's likely a long-term winner.</p> <h2>Apple [<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/aapl">Nasdaq: AAPL</a>]</h2> <p>Shares of this technology company have dipped about 20% in the last year, but that's all the more reason to consider buying now. This is still one of the largest, most influential and inventive companies out there. Chances are, if you are a recent college grad, you use Apple products. So go with what you know, and reap the financial rewards. (Disclosure: I own some shares of Apple.)</p> <h2>Facebook [<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/fb">Nasdaq: FB</a>]</h2> <p>Okay, full disclosure: I bought some shares of Facebook stock a while back, and I have no complaints. Shares are up more than 40% in the last year, as the company continues to bust through earnings predictions. Facebook has 1.65 billion active users, and the company could vault to new heights with recent investments into virtual reality. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money" target="_blank">Social media</a> may be a fad, but Facebook will be here to stay.</p> <h2>Procter and Gamble [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=PG">NYSE: PG</a>]</h2> <p>Do you wash your clothes and your dishes? Do you brush your teeth? Do you use paper towels? P&amp;G sells products that people all over the world use every day. This is one of those stocks you can practically &quot;set and forget&quot; and see a very solid return nearly every year. A dividend yield of more than 3% doesn't hurt, either.</p> <h2>AT&amp;T [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=T">NYSE: T</a>]</h2> <p>Admittedly, this is not the most exciting stock in the universe. But it's reliable, with a good dividend and not much volatility. AT&amp;T recently hit a 52-week high amid reports that it's bidding for some of Yahoo's assets. But any share growth is a bonus for this company that's now dishing out a 4.8% dividend yield. (Disclosure: I own shares of AT&amp;T, gifted to me in the 1990s!)</p> <h2>Johnson &amp; Johnson [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=JNJ">NYSE: JNJ</a>]</h2> <p>Like P&amp;G, Johnson &amp; Johnson is a dividend aristocrat, meaning that it has paid out and increased its dividend every year for 25 straight years. This is a big company that's neck deep in the growing health care sector, and it sells a lot of products, including shampoo, soap, and hand lotion, that people use all the time. JNJ shares are up 18% this year, and has had just 13 down years since 1975. A 2.7% dividend yield is also a selling point.</p> <h2>Wal-Mart [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=WMT">NYSE: WMT</a>]</h2> <p>When you have revenue approaching half a trillion dollars (yes, trillion with a &quot;t&quot;), you are a company worth investing in. Wal-Mart does well when the economy is doing well and folks are spending money. Wal-Mart does well in slow economic times, when shoppers are looking for low prices. There is some concern about the long-term future of brick-and-mortar retail, but Wal-Mart right now has more than four times the revenue of Amazon.</p> <h2>Sysco Foods [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SYY">NYSE: SYY</a>]</h2> <p>If you've ever eaten at a restaurant, you've probably gotten food from Sysco. This is another dividend aristocrat that has seen shares rise 19% in 2016, while boasting a healthy dividend yield of 2.5%. It's been one of the most reliable stocks for decades, and people aren't going to stop eating at restaurants anytime soon.</p> <h2>Amazon [<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/amzn">Nasdaq: AMZN</a>]</h2> <p>The world's top online retailer can be frustrating, because founder and owner Jeff Bezos has always focused more on growing his company than worrying about profitability. Some shareholders got frustrated with Amazon and left last year, but now shares are up over $700, nearing an all-time high. In addition to massive online sales revenue, Amazon has made a killing from its web services subsidiary, which pulled in $604 million in profits last year. One of these days, all of Amazon's reinvestment will likely pay off with massive profits that will send shares to even bigger heights.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been gifted (or given) shares? What stocks were they?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-stocks-every-recent-grad-should-own&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Stocks%2520Every%2520Recent%2520Grad%2520Should%2520Own.jpg&amp;description=10%20Stocks%20Every%20Recent%20Grad%20Should%20Own"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Stocks%20Every%20Recent%20Grad%20Should%20Own.jpg" alt="10 Stocks Every Recent Grad Should Own" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-every-recent-grad-should-own">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-ways-to-invest-50-500-or-5000">The Best Ways to Invest $50, $500, or $5000</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-your-retirement-by-avoiding-these-10-risky-investments">Save Your Retirement by Avoiding These 10 Risky Investments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-stocks-your-kids-would-love-to-own">5 Stocks Your Kids Would Love to Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-expensive-stocks-that-are-totally-worth-it">7 Expensive Stocks That Are Totally Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Amazon apple Coke Facebook gifts graduation market Microsoft profits stocks Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:30:19 +0000 Tim Lemke 1736531 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Are You Interested in the New Apple Gadgets? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-interested-in-the-new-apple-gadgets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-are-you-interested-in-the-new-apple-gadgets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wearing_apple_watch_000069506657.jpg" alt="Woman interested in buying all new Apple gadgets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-interested-in-the-new-apple-gadgets#comment-781688">Susan</a>, Louly, and Kim for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Apple recently announced several new products, including the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, an updated Apple TV, and the business-oriented iPad Pro. Many consumers are very excited to see what they offer in functions and features.</p> <p><strong>Are you interested in any of the new Apple gadgets?</strong> Which ones, and why? Do you plan on purchasing one (or more!) of them?</p> <p>Tell us whether whether you're interested in the new Apple gadgets and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rcwidget_2hcynyrh" data-template="" data-theme="classic" data-raflid="79857dfa208" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa208/" class="rcptr">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, September 21st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 21st on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether whether you&#039;re interested in the new Apple gadgets and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-are-you-interested-in-the-new-apple-gadgets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/billshrink-giving-250-to-one-lucky-wise-bread-reader">BillShrink Giving $250 to One Lucky Wise Bread Reader</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-give-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: How Do You Give? (Chance to win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-old-were-you-when-you-started-saving-answer-and-win">How Old Were You When You Started Saving? (Answer and Win!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-return-gifts-chance-to-win-10">Ask the Readers: Do you Return Gifts? (Chance to Win $10!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-trust-product-reviews-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Do You Trust Product Reviews? (Chance to win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways apple best money tips Tue, 15 Sep 2015 15:00:18 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1556115 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Own Apple Products? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-own-apple-products <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-own-apple-products" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apple_product_000027074489.jpg" alt="Woman using apple products she owns" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-own-apple-products#comment-779473">Maura</a>, Kim, and P for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Apple is one of the biggest names in consumer electronics; whenever a new iPhone is released, you can bet there'll be news stories of mile-long lines at the Apple store. But while Apple products certainly are popular, they tend to come with a higher price point (especially the new models) and many consumers prefer other brand that provide similar functions at a lower cost.</p> <p><strong>Do you own Apple products?</strong> Are you generally happy with them? If you don't use Apple products, what other brands do you prefer for your gadgets?</p> <p>Tell us whether you own Apple products and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will be randomly selected to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For Extra Entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> </ul> <p><a id="rcwidget_bwegblbl" data-template="" data-theme="classic" data-raflid="79857dfa197" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857dfa197/" class="rcptr">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a> </p> <script src="//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js"></script></p> <p>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, July 27th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 27th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us whether you own Apple products and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-own-apple-products">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-give-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: How Do You Give? (Chance to win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-return-gifts-chance-to-win-10">Ask the Readers: Do you Return Gifts? (Chance to Win $10!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-trust-product-reviews-chance-to-win-20">Ask the Readers: Do You Trust Product Reviews? (Chance to win $20!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-hope-in-a-new-year-chance-to-win-10">Ask the Readers: Hope in a New Year? (Chance to Win $10)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-whats-your-favorite-discovery-of-2010">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s Your Favorite Discovery of 2010</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways apple Ask the Readers Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:00:12 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1494482 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons Why Apple Is Still on a Tear http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-apple-is-still-on-a-tear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-why-apple-is-still-on-a-tear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apple store_0.jpg" alt="apple store" title="apple store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Remember when people were wondering if Apple had lost its mojo? Following the loss of Steve Jobs, the maker of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad went a bit adrift, and investors were left wondering if the company would ever return to form.</p> <p>Now Apple is hotter than ever, as evidenced by its most recent quarterly earnings report, which showed the best results of any corporation in history. Apple recorded a profit of $18 billion in its most recent quarter, with revenue of $74.6 billion. That's a gain of about $1 per share over the same quarter the year prior. Shares of Apple [<a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/aapl">NASDAQ: AAPL</a>] have risen about 8% in the last month.</p> <p>Apple is back, and there are plenty of reasons to believe it will remain one of the world's best-performing companies through 2015 and beyond. Here are 10 of the main drivers of Apple's success now and down the road.</p> <h2>1. The Brand</h2> <p>Last year, Apple was named the&nbsp;<a href="http://fortune.com/worlds-most-admired-companies/">world's most admired company</a> by Fortune magazine. There's little reason to think it won't be high on the list again this year. Interbrand's rankings of&nbsp;best global brands also slotted Apple at number one, valuing the brand at $118.9 billion, a 20% rise over 2013. When you have a brand as well-known and popular as Apple, your products practically sell themselves.</p> <h2>2. The iPhone</h2> <p>Apple sold a staggering 75.5 million iPhones in the last quarter of 2014, surpassing even the most optimistic estimates of many analysts. The iPhone now has a 15% global share and is the best-selling phone in China.</p> <h2>3. The iWatch</h2> <p>Smart watches aren't new, but consumers have been waiting patiently for Apple's entrance into the category. The iWatch was first revealed&nbsp;last September to considerable buzz and is expected to go on sale this spring. It has an estimated price tag of more than $300, making it another high-margin product that could revolutionize a category and immediately be a formidable competitor to FitBit, Jawbone, and Nike Fuelband.</p> <h2>4. The Mac</h2> <p>The company reported 5.5 million sales of its computers in the last quarter, representing a 14% year-over-year increase. The company is not as dependent on Mac sales as it once was, and the <a href="http://www.netmarketshare.com/">Mac operating system</a>&nbsp;makes up about 5% of the market compared to more than 90% for Windows. But Mac computers are high-margin products and very helpful to Apple's financials. Expect good results from a new line of MacBook Air laptops this year.</p> <h2>5. The iPad</h2> <p>Sales of the Apple tablet slid by about 15% in 2014, and analyst projections for this year aren't great. But the iPad was still the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150202005241/en/Worldwide-Tablet-Shipments-Experience-Year-Over-Year-Decline-Fourth#.VNkpnLDF-ey">top tablet on the market</a>&nbsp;in 2014, comprising a 27.6% market share. The decline in iPad sales was largely due to a decline in tablet sales overall, and competitors Samsung and ASUS saw their sales drop even more than Apple's. It's possible that the iPad will comprise a smaller chunk of Apple's revenue moving forward, or the company could blow consumers away with its next version. Don't count out the iPad's role in Apple's well-being just yet.</p> <h2>6. The Apple Television</h2> <p>There have been rumors of this product for a while, and it's anyone's guess as to when (or even if) it will be produced. But Apple's success with the retina display on computers and tablets has many consumers salivating over a potential high-definition, Internet-enabled television from Apple. Given Apple's success in creating great consumer products for computing and music, one can expect an Apple television set to be high-quality, easy to use, and with a healthy margin. Even the speculation about an Apple television is probably helping the company's stock price a few points.</p> <h2>7. The Beats Music</h2> <p>No one is entirely sure what Apple plans to do with its billion dollar acquisition of Beats Electronics, but the company has been praised for recognizing the potential of a streaming music service. Sales of media from Apple's iTunes have been sagging, but Beats offers the avenue for Apple to compete with the likes of Spotify and Pandora, which offer streaming music for a monthly fee. And Apple is so well capitalized that we should not be surprised if Beats streaming service is&nbsp;<a href="http://9to5mac.com/2015/02/04/apple-beats-cheaper-android-ios/">priced better than competitors</a>, at least initially. Beats also has a high-end headphone business that should bring in additional revenue.</p> <h2>8. The Mountain of Cash</h2> <p>Apple has nearly $180 billion in cash or bonds, which is larger than the market capitalization of some big companies, including Amazon and Disney. Analysts and investors love to guess what Apple plans to do with all its money, but anything the company does will probably be helpful to investors. It could spend it on research and development, which would benefit the company down the line. It could perform a share buyback or distribute a nice dividend. Or it could make some strategic acquisitions.</p> <h2>9. The International Growth</h2> <p>The United States makes up less than 5% of the world's population, so it makes sense to look outside our borders to find customers. Apple said that 65% of its revenue in the most recent quarter came from&nbsp;<a href="http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/27/apple-q1-sales-in-china-pass-16b-up-157-on-q4-70-on-a-year-ago/">international sales</a>. That's up from 60% in the fourth financial quarter last year and 59% the quarter before that. Revenues were up 70% over the year in China, 20% in Europe, and 8% in Japan, according to TechCrunch.</p> <h2>10. The Mess at Amazon</h2> <p>One of Apple's chief competitors is Amazon, the online retailer that has also made entries into the smartphone and tablet space. By most accounts, Amazon's launch of the Fire Phone was a disaster, and the company reported a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-takes-170m-charge-on-fire-phone/">$170 million charge</a>&nbsp;in the third quarter due to its lack of sales. Amazon also saw its tablet sales drop 66% in 2014. Amazon's products aren't bad, but they haven't been selling, and that's good news for Apple.</p> <p><em>Do you own Apple stock?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-apple-is-still-on-a-tear">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-every-recent-grad-should-own">10 Stocks Every Recent Grad Should Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-expensive-stocks-that-are-totally-worth-it">7 Expensive Stocks That Are Totally Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-media-software-for-your-windows-pc">Get Free Media Software for Your Windows PC</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-surprising-truth-of-investing-mediocre-advice-is-best">The Surprising Truth of Investing: Mediocre Advice Is Best</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/did-your-parents-give-you-a-whole-life-insurance-policy-heres-what-to-do-with-it">Did Your Parents Give You a Whole Life Insurance Policy? Here&#039;s What to Do With It.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment apple computers ipads iphones Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:00:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 1302502 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways to Build Magnificent Products http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-ways-to-build-magnificent-products <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/3-ways-to-build-magnificent-products" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/3-ways-to-build-magnificent-products</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/3-ways-to-build-magnificent-products" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000003758076Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here's a truth that won't surprise you: businesses that make sales stay in business longer than those that don't. So if sales are the goal, then how do you make more sales?</p> <p>It's pretty simple really. Not easy, but simple. The absolute best way to make sales is to create a magnificent product. Which prompts the question: &quot;How do you create a magnificent product?&quot;</p> <p>Let's start by thinking about businesses that create simply magnificent products. You might not like each of these companies, but I can assure you that they are the best in their fields because of their magnificent products. Then, for each, let&rsquo;s take a look at what we can borrow from their successes.</p> <p><strong>1. Apple</strong></p> <p>The obvious choice, of course.</p> <p>Apple has set the standard for innovation over the last ten years. They give consumers what they want before they even know they want it. But behind each shiny new gadget and voice-activated phone that they produce, there is something more. And it's something you can use to build your business.</p> <p>Apple's products aren't simply phones or tablets or music players. They are symbols of a community. Apple understands why it is in business (not just what it does or how it does it). This strong sense of <i>why</i> has allowed the company to build a community, a passionate following around their brand.</p> <p><i>Magnificent products give people a larger movement to become a part of. They give people something to believe in. They give buyers </i><a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/improving-your-online-community-1" target="_blank"><i>a community to join</i></a>.</p> <p><strong>2. McDonald's</strong></p> <p>On any given day, McDonald's feeds one percent of the world's population. That's 70 million people eating at one restaurant chain. Every single day.</p> <p>Some people dislike McDonald's for the lack of health in their foods, others protest the way they source some of their food&mdash;and I'm not going to debate any of that. But the simple fact of the matter is this: McDonald's executes on a daily basis as well as any business in the world.</p> <p>You cannot find a company that delivers such a consistent product (it's basically the same everywhere in the world) and under such variable circumstances (different employees, different regions, different shipment times, different languages ... I mean, sometimes it's hard to find two apples of the same quality at the local supermarket!).</p> <p>To put it simply, McDonald's defines consistency and they do it at more than 30,000 restaurants worldwide, every day.</p> <p>The product you create, whether it's a good or a service, has an experience attached to it. The way that it's prepared, the way that it's packaged, the way that it's delivered. That experience needs to be as consistent as possible.</p> <p><i>Magnificent products deliver consistent product experiences to all customers, visit after visit</i>.</p> <p><strong>3. Zappos</strong></p> <p>Zappos has set the standard for new age customer service, and it's much more than just a savvy customer support team. Yes, they take care of their customers with ultra-fast shipping and no-hassle returns, but they also improve the customer experience long before the sale is made.</p> <p>Zappos was one of the first online shoe retailers to offer high-resolution photos of shoes from all different angles. Today, they have video reviews of many shoes. They make it as easy as possible for the customer to get a sense of what a particular shoe is like without actually having it in their hands.</p> <p>When you invest in the customer experience, people begin to trust you. They realize that you have their best interests in mind ... and that alone makes you magnificent.</p> <p>At Zappos, customers experience the magnificence of each product <i>before </i>money changes hands. Zappos puts the customer's wants and needs before the desire to make a sale, and the result is that people love to buy from them.</p> <p><i>Magnificent products, and the experiences that surround them, always put the needs of the customer first</i>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/james-clear">James Clear</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-ways-to-build-magnificent-products">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-easy-ways-to-earn-more-on-ebay">11 Easy Ways to Earn More on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sign-up-for-half-price-flights-and-free-hotels">How to Sign Up for Half-Price Flights and Free Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-making-lessons-from-the-girl-scouts">Money-Making Lessons From the Girl Scouts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-freelance-clients-part-two">How to Find Freelance Clients: Part Two</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-one-skill-you-need-if-you-want-to-work-for-yourself">This Is the One Skill You Need If You Want to Work for Yourself</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center apple customer service marketing McDonald's product design product planning sales small business Zappos Tue, 13 Dec 2011 00:19:07 +0000 James Clear 816782 at http://www.wisebread.com What Apple Can Teach About Retailing http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/what-apple-can-teach-about-retailing <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/what-apple-can-teach-you-about-retailing" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/what-apple-can-teach-you-about-retailing</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/what-apple-can-teach-about-retailing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015737831Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No, this is not going to be another <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/americas-10-favorite-bosses-1" target="_blank">fanboy anthem to Apple</a>. And it&rsquo;s not going to be a snarky rant about Microsoft&rsquo;s retail efforts. But Apple <i>is</i> doing something right. That&rsquo;s nowhere more apparent than in their approach to retailing.</p> <p>Apple stores reached $1 billion sales faster than any retailer in history. Just two years later (2006) they made $1 billion in <i>a quarter</i>. On the topic of quarters, more people&mdash;over 60 million&mdash;visited Apple stores last quarter than visited Disney&rsquo;s four largest theme parks in all of last year. And those people weren&rsquo;t window shopping. Apple stores&rsquo; sales per square foot are twice jeweler Tiffany &amp; Co. and over six times Best Buy Co., according to a <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304563104576364071955678908.html" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal estimate</a>. In Q1 2011 Apple, amazingly, accounted for 20 percent of all US retail sales growth.</p> <p>When my wife&rsquo;s iPhone began acting up, a trip to an Apple store on Black Friday wasn&rsquo;t something she looked forward to. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m going over that way anyhow,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;I might as well brave it.&rdquo; A few minutes later she called laughing. &ldquo;Listen to this, it&rsquo;s like there&rsquo;s a party going on here!&rdquo;</p> <p><i>That&rsquo;s nice</i>, I thought, <i>but that&rsquo;s sure going to make it harder to get her phone fixed</i>.</p> <p>I was wrong.</p> <p>Her phone problem was solved without a wait in spite of the fact that this was the one day a year Apple offered a sale. We also learned later that Apple stores did four times more business than usual that Friday. Yet the appointment was on time, diagnostics showed the year old battery was acting up, and they cheerfully replaced the phone on the spot. All in a matter of minutes. Appointment? Replaced? <i>Cheerfully</i>?</p> <p>&ldquo;The amazing thing,&rdquo; she said, &ldquo;was that people were thanking the Apple employees for selling them stuff. I&rsquo;ve never seen such a thing. It was an experience!&rdquo; By all accounts, that was pretty much what went on in the other 245 locations around the U.S.</p> <p>So what is Apple doing right and how can you put their methods to work for you?</p> <p><strong>Philosophy</strong></p> <p>Apple products, it seems, can almost sell themselves, but the company is still spending millions to make sure a visit to an Apple store is a positive experience.</p> <p>The focus is on problem solving, not sales. Employees are not on commission and don&rsquo;t have a quota. Their job is to fix <i>you</i> if you have a broken iPhone or iPad.</p> <p>But that&rsquo;s not enough. You won&rsquo;t be ignored, or (worse, as far as I&rsquo;m concerned) get a slack-jawed mechanical welcome. Apple employees are drilled in the importance of a warm welcome and fond farewell, to listen and probe politely so as to understand what you need, and to think positively.</p> <p><strong>Hiring</strong></p> <p>If acceptance rate is the standard, it&rsquo;s twice as hard to get hired by Apple than it is to get into Stanford. A few years ago Apple hired less than 6 percent of the people who applied for a job. Stanford accepted 12.6 percent the same year.</p> <p>But that doesn&rsquo;t mean they&rsquo;re after a certain <i>look</i>. What they want is the right <i>attitude</i>. Tattoos and piercings are okay as long as you have, as Apple puts it, &ldquo;a passion for what we do and how we do it.&rdquo;</p> <p>Think about it. In many retail environments, they just hope for punctuality and proper hygiene.</p> <p><strong>Training</strong></p> <p>Owning and using Apple products is a good start, but that&rsquo;s not enough if you&rsquo;re an Apple Genius. You have to be certified annually on Apple operating systems and hardware&mdash;and that&rsquo;s in addition to training in retail philosophy, basic sales techniques, customer relations, an in-depth understanding of the <a href="http://www.apple.com/support/products/" target="_blank">AppleCare</a> program, and a thorough introduction to the behind-the-scenes systems such as the new <a href="http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2011/11/apple-store-app-updated-to-allow-self-checkout-personal-pickup/" target="_blank">EasyPay</a> self-checkout program.</p> <p>With low employee turnover the company can afford to invest heavily in training&mdash;something that doesn&rsquo;t make sense in most retail segments where 100 percent turnover earns bragging rights.</p> <p><strong>Design</strong></p> <p>Built initially as a defensive strategy, Apple built showrooms inside bigbox retail stores to make the brand more visible. But it quickly became obvious that Apple couldn&rsquo;t control the experience. Customers were exposed to TSA-like shakedown at exits along with the other bigbox customers. For Apple, that was unacceptable.</p> <p>They opened their own stores, only after prototypes had been built in a warehouse, expertise was brought in from admirable retailers such as Gap, and lots of other &ldquo;how can we make this fabulous&rdquo; vetting. Today, mall owners are debating whether they should consider giving Apple stores anchor status displacing the Nordstroms of the world.</p> <p>But the stores have almost become malls themselves. The new Grand Central Terminal store in New York City will take up more than 23,000 square feet and cost Apple a million dollars a year in rent&mdash;something they&rsquo;re happy to pay to gain access to the over a million people a day who pass through the station.</p> <p><strong>Live and Learn</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;Think about this: Any store has to provide products people want to buy. That's a given. But if Apple products were the key to the Stores' success, how do you explain the fact that people flock to the stores to buy Apple products at full price when Wal-Mart, Best-Buy, and Target carry most of them, often discounted in various ways, and Amazon carries them all&mdash;and doesn't charge sales tax!&rdquo; That&rsquo;s from Ron Johnson, former head of Apple&rsquo;s retail operation and now CEO of J.C. Penney.</p> <p>The moral of this story, to paraphrase Johnson, isn&rsquo;t figuring out how to make more money with your store; it&rsquo;s figuring out how to reinvent your store to enrich your customers' lives. It&rsquo;s about the experience.</p> <p>What kind of an experience are you offering your customers?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tom-harnish">Tom Harnish</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/what-apple-can-teach-about-retailing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/customer-service-nightmares-whats-a-good-consumerist-to-do">Customer Service Nightmares - What&#039;s a Good Consumerist to Do?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-oh-where-are-my-worms-be-on-your-toes-when-ordering-from-small-web-businesses">Where Oh Where Are My Worms? Be On Your Toes When Ordering From Small Web Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center apple customer experience customer service employee training retail small business Steve Jobs Sat, 03 Dec 2011 21:57:43 +0000 Tom Harnish 804602 at http://www.wisebread.com Could the Chromebook Crush Windows? http://www.wisebread.com/could-the-chromebook-crush-windows <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/could-the-chromebook-crush-windows" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_on_laptop_2.jpg" alt="Man on phone with laptop" title="Man on phone with laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="181" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It isn&rsquo;t until your laptop temporarily becomes a useless brick than you begin to take a step back and look at how technology works. If you&rsquo;ve ever found your PC or iMac not working because you needed to reinstall the operating system, perhaps the concept of planned obsolescence has crept into your head. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-faster">Make Your Computer Faster Instead of Buying a New One</a>)</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re not familiar with planned obsolescence, it&rsquo;s an idea that's built into the life-cycle of most of our technology &mdash; basically, designing products and applications with a limited shelf life.</p> <p>But will Google change that with its new <a href="http://www.google.com/chromebook/">Chromebook</a>? The Chromebook has an operating system and browser in one, which means it enables a user to surf the web and house applications (such as word processing, spreadsheets, media player functions, etc.) and files on a server somewhere you&rsquo;re not. This way, if your laptop becomes a brick because your Windows, Mac OS X, or other proprietary operating system is on the fritz, you can always access your files on another device &mdash; your phone, another laptop with Internet access, or even your desktop at work.</p> <p>Google's Chromebook laptops &mdash; from Samsung and Acer &mdash; will be available June 15 and are priced between $349 and $500. This price is comparable to buying an operating system alone out-of-the-box and having to upgrade, and considerably less expensive than outfitting a PC with no software package at all. For those willing to try out Microsoft Office-like web apps such as Google Docs, or who just need web surfing and e-mail capabilities, the price is a steal. The Chromebooks are cheaper than iPads, most fully-loaded smartphones iPhones, and most PCs.</p> <p>Even better, because Chrome is a web-based OS and browser in one, the system will update itself for free. Google makes most of its money off of search and web surfing, which is why the hardware with a dual core processor is the only hard cost here for individuals. (For businesses, a $28-per-month subscription fee dwarfs Windows' and Apple's license renewals and hardware upgrades.)</p> <p>It's a welcome prospect as none of the &quot;software&quot; features coming with the Chromebook (in theory) would require a trip to a big box retailer where guys wearing polo shirts would charge you more money than you need to pay to fix your computer.</p> <p>Of course, the opportunity cost here is that while the Chrome operating system is &ldquo;free,&rdquo; it takes up your free time in learning about it, to gain the technical savvy required to break the chain to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-presentation-secrets-of-steve-jobs">Steve Jobs</a> and Bill Gates.</p> <p>That said, it&rsquo;s important to look ahead to the possibility of increased adoption of technologies like the Chrome OS. After all, how many of us have felt like dopes when we've waited too long to upgrade our operating systems and realized how much it would now cost to do so? A lot of us (raising hand right now), I&rsquo;d wager.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-the-chromebook-crush-windows">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-google-wallet-can-save-you-money">5 Ways Google Wallet Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-3d-printers">The 5 Best 3D Printers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-power-banks">The 5 Best Solar Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-battery-phone-cases">The 5 Best Battery Phone Cases</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology apple Google Microsoft Windows XP Tue, 07 Jun 2011 09:36:15 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 544101 at http://www.wisebread.com Change Your Company -- And Your Industry -- Steve Jobs Style http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/change-your-company-and-your-industry-steve-jobs-style <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/change-your-company-and-industry-steve-jobs-style-glen-stansberry" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/change-your-company-...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/change-your-company-and-your-industry-steve-jobs-style" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015417429Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Apple <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/02/live-from-apples-ipad-2-event/">recently announced</a> the latest iteration of their popular tablet, the iPad 2. The event went like most other Apple events: an enthusiastic crowd, spontaneous bursts of applause, a great innovative new product, and a standing ovation for the man behind Apple's wheel, Steve Jobs.</p> <p>Steve Jobs has brought Apple into a dominating position in the past few years, and he's done so without Apple acting like other tech companies. He's created a culture around a company that has created millions of Apple zealots worldwide, all scrambling to get their hands on the latest Apple creation.</p> <p>So what can we learn from the wizard behind the curtain of one of the world's most successful companies on revolutionizing an industry? Here are some ways to follow Apple's lead and change your industry.</p> <h3>Move to Where the Market W<i>ill</i> <i>Be</i>, not Where It <i>Is</i></h3> <p>&quot;A good player goes where the puck is. A great player goes where the puck is going to be.&rdquo; ~ Wayne Gretzky</p> <p>Instead of trying to keep up with the tech Joneses, Steve Jobs instead focuses on game-changing products.</p> <p>Jobs has always had a knack for brushing aside conventional wisdom and shipping products that consumers can't help but purchase. Jobs does this by creating products that are so different from everything else that consumers can't help but gravitate towards them.</p> <p>When other tech companies focused on features and functionality, Apple made product design the main focus. The best products are often the ones that take a twist on old-fashioned, out-dated competition.</p> <p>If you're going to change <i>your</i> industry, you're going to have to start evaluating conventional wisdom. What can be removed? What needs to be added? What's been around forever because, well, nobody knows why?</p> <p>These are the questions that need to be asked frequently in order to get ahead of the game, to see where the puck is going to be.</p> <h3>Don't Show Up</h3> <p>The annual consumer electronics show CES is quite an event. Every year top technology brands hire top music artists, movie stars, and host massive parties to gain the attention of the conference attendees. The goal: draw attention by <i>any means necessary</i> to promote products.</p> <p>And every year, there's one company who never attends: Apple.</p> <p>Instead of blowing money on extravagant shows and famous people to promote their products, Apple hosts their own show. The keynote is almost always given by Steve Jobs, demoing the latest and greatest Apple products. They don't use celebrity endorsements because, well, the new product <b><i>is</i></b> <i>the celebrity</i>. Whenever an Apple event is held, major news networks report on it, fans tweet it, and Apple's new shiny product is the water cooler talk for the rest of the week.</p> <p>Oftentimes where we <b>aren't</b> is more important than where we are. Apple realized that by not going to CES, they could distance themselves from the hoopla. They prefer to let their product speak for itself, instead of a paid endorsement from a movie star.</p> <p>Don't let the &quot;but everyone who's anyone will be there&quot; talk keep you from losing focus on what's really important: creating the best product that you possibly can.</p> <h3>Laser-Sharp Focus</h3> <p>Apple's catalog is meager compared to those of other tech titans. While other tech juggernauts have more than 1,000 products on their lines, Apple only focuses on a few. You'd think this would lead to fewer sales from Apple. After all, the <a href="http://lifedev.net/2010/07/long-tail-keywords/">long tail</a> is where all the money is made, right?</p> <p>It turns out that Apple's &quot;paltry&quot; product offering accounts for <i>massive</i> sales. Apple passed up rival Microsoft early last year as the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/technology/27apple.html?_r=1&amp;adxnnl=1&amp;adxnnlx=1299168111-BwtRpiro6HXgFVaTxkuqhw">top technology company</a>, and as of Q4 of last year, was the third-biggest company in the world in market capitalization.</p> <p>Apple's tiny product line is what makes it so successful because they can focus intently on their core products, making sure they're the best in the world.</p> <p>In <a href="http://www.amazon.com/How-Mighty-Fall-Companies-Never/dp/0977326411">How the Mighty Fall</a>, Jim Collins explains that many great companies flounder because they lose focus on the things that made them great to begin with. These companies believe that because they have one great product, any product they release after that is <i>destined</i> to have just as much success. In reality, these extra products only steal focus from their core competency.</p> <p>Companies in every industry fall prey to this problem. <a href="http://lifedev.net/2010/11/more-ideas/">Too many ideas</a> &ndash; no matter how great they are &ndash; in the end can kill a company. Jobs has been fantastic at not pursuing mediocre or even great ideas, only jumping on the game-changing concepts.</p> <p>When you lose focus, you lose the one thing that made you successful in the first place. Changing your industry requires you to have laser-sharp focus on your <b>core competency</b>.</p> <h3>Look First to Remove</h3> <p>What makes Apple products so great? Oftentimes it's hard to pin-point exactly why we gravitate towards Apple products, but that's because it's what they <i>don't</i> have.</p> <p>Tech products are notorious for having lots of fiddly knobs, controls, and towering user manuals. Not so with Apple products. They only have the functionality that makes it possible for even the most non-techy users to use right away. (I can't tell you how many children under the age of five that can play games on their parents' iPhones or iPads, without any instruction.)</p> <p>Fewer features also means less potential points of failure. Apple is often praised for products that &quot;just work&quot;, and much of that can be attributed to the fact that they don't include the kitchen sink, but only the bare minimum needed to create a great user experience.</p> <p>There's a natural inclination to add more and more options and controls to our products. What can you take away that will improve your product?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/glen-stansberry">Glen Stansberry</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/change-your-company-and-your-industry-steve-jobs-style">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted">Can cheap AppleCare on eBay be trusted?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/apple-introduces-most-outrageous-rewards-program-in-history">Apple introduces most outrageous “rewards” program in history</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center apple business strategy small business Steve Jobs Wed, 06 Apr 2011 21:42:34 +0000 Glen Stansberry 511551 at http://www.wisebread.com Get Free Media Software for Your Windows PC http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-media-software-for-your-windows-pc <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-free-media-software-for-your-windows-pc" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5021980078_e558347f02_z.jpg" alt="man with laptop" title="man with laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the advantages of Apple computers is that they come with pre-installed software like Apple's iLife. iLife includes programs for managing digital photos, editing home movies, producing music, and making websites. The great news is that Windows users no longer have to be left out of the fun. There are free software programs available on the Internet in each of these categories. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/excel-the-most-underrated-software-you-already-own" title="Excel: The Most Underrated Software You Already Own">Excel: The Most Underrated Software You Already Own</a>)</p> <h3>Managing Digital Photos: Google's Picasa</h3> <p><a href="http://picasa.google.com/">Google's Picasa</a> includes many features similar to Apple's iPhoto. It locates photos on your computer and neatly organizes them by date. You can easily improve your photos with editing tools like red-eye elimination, cropping, straightening, or adjusting brightness. Once edits are complete, you're ready to share an album. Picasa makes it easy by syncing with Picasa Web Albums, Blogger accounts, or Facebook (with <a href="http://apps.facebook.com/picasauploader">a free plugin</a>). If you prefer video, you can turn your pictures into a movie slideshow, add background music, and automatically upload them to YouTube.</p> <h3>Editing Home Movies: Windows Live Movie Maker</h3> <p><a href="http://explore.live.com/windows-live-movie-maker?os=other">Windows Live Movie Maker</a> is easier than ever to record digital videos thanks to camcorders, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/digital-camera-buying-guide" title="How to Buy a Digital Camera">cameras</a>, and cell phones. It helps you take those clips and turn them into impressive movies with titles, credits, background music, and animated transitions. It works similarly to Apple's iMovie. Windows Live Movie Maker displays your videos in a timeline format so you can easily view the frames that you want to edit. A preview screen immediately shows what the edited video looks like. Add the finishing touches by experimenting with dozens of preloaded transitions and visual effects. Then, quickly and easily publish your movie to the web with direct links to Facebook and YouTube.</p> <h3>Producing Your Own Music: Audacity</h3> <p><a href="http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/">Audacity</a> is not &ldquo;pretty&rdquo; software, but when you get past its rough appearance, you'll find it to be a simple tool for making high-quality recordings. Aspiring musicians will love it for fine-tuning tracks and combining multiple recordings into home-produced songs. For the more casual user, you'll find it useful for cutting your favorite song down to a 30-second ringtone or putting together a voice-over for a home movie. You start by recording from a microphone or importing an existing track. Audacity will give you a visual representation so you can edit it by selecting the portion of the audio you want to work with. You can delete sections you don't want, add in sound effects, or decrease static from your microphone. Expect to spend a little more time learning how to use it than you would with Apple's Garage Band, but with the money you'll save it should be well worth it.</p> <h3>Making a Website: Weebly</h3> <p><a href="http://www.weebly.com/">Weebly</a> is unlike the other iLife alternatives in that it's an online service. This means that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/website-101-how-to-build-a-site-and-get-it-online" title="Website 101: How to Build a Site and Get It Online">build your website</a> by visiting and developing on weebly.com. There are many free alternatives for creating websites, but what separates Weebly is that each step is incredibly user-friendly, whether you are designing, building, or publishing. You start by selecting one of their website designs. Then, drag and drop the features you want from their toolbar onto your website. You can choose text areas, pictures, YouTube videos, maps, or many other items you're used to seeing on the Internet. When you're finished, just click &ldquo;publish&rdquo; and choose to either publish for free at &ldquo;yoursite.weebly.com&rdquo; or upgrade to something more traditional like &ldquo;www.yoursite.com.&rdquo; Weebly is even more cost-effective than Apple's iWeb, which requires you to have Apple's $99/year MobileMe service to take advantage of publishing.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by Mike Lammers. Mike is a &quot;tech guy&quot; striving to make technology easier to use. He's the founder of <a href="http://ohrizon.com/" target="_blank"><span>Ohrizon.com</span></a>, a website with the motto that &quot;every overpriced software has an affordable alternative.&quot; Read more by Mike:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ohrizon.com/fixing-photos-with-gimp/">Fixing Photos With GIMP</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ohrizon.com/openoffice-vs-microsoft-office/">OpenOffice vs. Microsoft Office</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ohrizon.com/too-many-passwords/">Too Many Passwords?</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mike-lammers">Mike Lammers</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-media-software-for-your-windows-pc">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-extra-income-with-your-smartphone-camera">Earn Extra Income With Your Smartphone Camera</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-last-almost-forever-with-some-simple-tricks">Make Your Computer Last (Almost) Forever With Some Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-free-debt-management-tools">6 Free Debt Management Tools</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-best-sites-to-help-your-kids-learn-about-money">8 Best Sites to Help Your Kids Learn About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-best-tools-for-finding-an-apartment-on-the-cheap">10 Best Tools for Finding an Apartment on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology apple computer software computers photos programs websites Mon, 08 Nov 2010 13:00:11 +0000 Mike Lammers 280494 at http://www.wisebread.com FREE 8GB iPod Touch From BBVA Compass Bank (Colorado) http://www.wisebread.com/free-8gb-ipod-touch-from-bbva-compass-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/free-8gb-ipod-touch-from-bbva-compass-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2794635231_96f8e52378.jpg" alt="iPod Touch FREE" title="iPod Touch FREE" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You only have 30 days left to take advantage of this one, but it's a great offer for a great product. The big picture is simple &mdash; open up a BBVA Compass Build-To-Order Free checking account in Colorado and you get a FREE iPod Touch valued at $199.99.</p> <p>Of course, the small print does ask a little more of you, but nothing you wouldn't be doing with your current checking account. You may see other offers like this have ended, but I picked up the promotion card today at my own branch (so I'm not eligible, obviously) and asked when it ended. April 30th was the answer. There may be similar promotions in your state, so do some checking.</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://www.mymoneyblog.com/images/0911/bbva.gif" /></p> <p>Here are the major details:</p> <ul> <li>To qualify for this offer you must open a new <a href="https://www.bbvacompass.com/personal/checking/build-to-order/">BBVA Compass Build-To-Order Free Checking</a> account by April 30th.</li> <li>The minimum deposit must be $25.</li> <li>Within 6 weeks of opening the account, have your first direct deposit of at least $300 from an unrelated third party (your paycheck most likely).</li> <li>For at least 6 months after opening the account, have your minimum $300 direct deposit continue once each billing cycle.</li> <li>You will have to pay $9.95 shipping and handling for your iPod Touch.</li> <li>If you don't comply, you'll pay $180 for the iPod Touch.</li> </ul> <p>There's some more legal jargon, but that's the big idea. Basically, if you change banks and do what you do now with the new BBVA Compass Bank account, you'll bag your iPod Touch. If it's just not worth the hassle, fair enough. Certainly something to consider though, especially if you're looking for a new bank anyway. And the iPod Touch also allows you to do mobile banking, which is another reason to take advantage of this deal.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-8gb-ipod-touch-from-bbva-compass-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-patriotic-grab-a-free-national-guard-t-shirt">Feeling patriotic? Grab a free National Guard t-shirt.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/treat-yourself-to-self-with-a-free-subscription">Treat yourself to SELF with a free subscription</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-the-weirdest-freebie-ever">Is this the weirdest freebie ever?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-was-your-worst-job-ever-tell-us-and-win-10">What Was Your Worst Job Ever? Tell us and Win $10!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted">Can cheap AppleCare on eBay be trusted?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Freebies apple freebie giveaway ipod special offer Thu, 01 Apr 2010 05:10:57 +0000 Paul Michael 6179 at http://www.wisebread.com New Mac minis: Beware small gains at a big price! http://www.wisebread.com/new-mac-minis-beware-small-gains-at-a-big-price <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-mac-minis-beware-small-gains-at-a-big-price" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mac-mini.jpg" alt="Mac mini" title="Mac mini" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="230" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Apple recently revamped their desktop line. It wasn't an asteroid impact, but has so far been generally acknowledged as a welcome update. Amidst the revisions are the <a href="http://www.apple.com/macmini/?sr=hotnews">Mac minis</a>, always a hot point of contention &mdash; some journos have a compulsive habit to exclaim &quot;They're dying!&quot; every few months. Such irrationality is useless.</p> <p>But what <em>is</em> useful is knowing where the sweet price points are. I'm a Mac enthusiast, and I also use Windows regularly. Like a daywalker vampire, I have the perspectives of both platforms. Every time talk of &quot;The Apple tax&quot; or &quot;Apple stuff being overpriced&quot; comes up, the same arguments are redundantly trotted out, often centered around <strong>cost vs. convenience</strong>. (It'd be nice if there was one master FAQ so people didn't repeat themselves since certain <em>facts</em> are well-established, but that's not going to happen.)</p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/3333604418/sizes/o/"><img height="248" width="500" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3304/3333604418_3a9209e93f_o.png" alt="" /></a></p> <p>My warning, not to frighten, but to enlighten: <strong>you probably should NOT order from the Apple Store unless you want a BTO (Build To Order) custom configuration sooner</strong>. The generic base configs are available at resellers for less; they'll be populated over the next stretch of weeks and you may not have to pay sales tax, which could save you $50-75 or more. (There are also edu and gov discounts, but I'm focusing on the broad consumer market.)</p> <p>Hopefully, if you've been dreaming of a new Mac mini, I can help you make sense of what to avoid. Namely&hellip;</p> <h2>The &quot;2.0GHz : 320GB&quot; model doesn't make sense</h2> <p>You get an additional 1GB of RAM (for 2GB total) and roughly 200GB more hard drive space (for 320GB total, actual formatted capacity is less), but at what price? An extra US$200 over the $599 base model! (Much more in some other countries.) Why is this a <em>bad idea?</em></p> <h2>There's no processor speed boost</h2> <p>Yes, you can BTO a 2.26GHz (for $150 more) and I'm awaiting benchmarks on that. But with this price premium, you'd expect something special.</p> <h2>RAM is a rip-off</h2> <p>Yes, it's harder to install RAM in a Mac mini. 1GB is unpleasantly cramped in this day and age so I'd recommend at <em>least</em> 2GB, which the Apple Store charges you $50 extra for. 4GB total is even better but that's $150, nearing 3 times the price of Other World Computing's 4GB kit @ $65 (which will require removing the 1GB base DIMM). RAM prices are volatile, but even with convenience weighed here, this is a bad bet. Not as bad as <a href="http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/03/03/apples-1000-ram-upgrade-for-imacs-better-come-with-free-diamonds/">this red flag</a>, but still absurd.</p> <p>I'd suggest <a href="http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=mac%20mini%20ram&amp;search=Search"><strong>watching YouTube for forthcoming videos</strong></a> on how to install RAM in the new Mac mini and decide whether you can stomach the cost.</p> <h2>That hard drive upgrade is horrifically overpriced</h2> <p><em>OUCHBLEGHH!</em> That's the sound of your pocketbook and/or PayPal account hemorrhaging. In Apple's BTO, it's listed as a 120GB -&gt; 320GB upgrade for an extra $175! OUCH. Considering 1TB &mdash; roughly 5x the upgrade size &mdash; external hard drives routinely sell for a touch under $100 and continue to drop, you're not getting your money's worth here. Compact (2.5&quot; form factor) hard drives are common at 500GB for the same price, like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001FWCDQG/?tag=torllive-20">this Seagate FreeAgent Go</a> (I own a smaller 320GB one and it's very nice). As <a href="http://i.gizmodo.com/5164718/mac-mini-2009-review">Gizmodo</a> and many others have pointed out, <strong>get an external drive instead</strong>.</p> <p>If speed's your concern, opt for a FireWire enclosure which typically runs $25-50 more. If that's still not fast enough, there are pricier options, but you likely wouldn't be looking at a Mac mini anyway. I would only go for the 320GB upgrade if I was using the Mac mini as an <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Htpc">HTPC</a> and it was <em>absolutely necessary</em> to store all those movies &amp; music internally because I found an external drive aesthetically unappealing, or if I needed to move my mini around a lot.</p> <h2>What to do if you want a good deal on a new Mac mini</h2> <ul> <li><strong>Check </strong><a href="http://macsurfer.com/"><strong>MacSurfer</strong></a><strong> regularly.</strong> They compile daily reviews, user stories, and of course, pricing comparisons to help you make an informed decision.</li> <li>To that specific effect, <strong>refer to </strong><a href="http://www.pcprices.net/macmini.shtml"><strong>Mac Prices</strong></a>. I've called around to several places and it seemed there was an &quot;up to 10-day wait&quot; on getting BTO configs from them. If you want it sooner, you could go with the Apple Store, but remember the sales tax.</li> <li><strong>Don't rush unless</strong> getting the Mac mini sooner will give you an irreplaceable amount of joy (not to be confused with buyer's remorse) OR it'll help you generate more money &amp; resources in that lead time.</li> <li>If you're absolutely sure of your needs, then by all means override my guidance.</li> </ul> <h2>What about Hackintoshes?</h2> <p>I'm aware of the multiplying, even-cheaper &quot;run Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware&quot; possibilities out there of legal dubiosity. I'm not looking at those because there simply isn't another machine as beautiful, quiet, tiny, etc. as the new Mac mini. It's not just about looks but the <strong>overall experience and proverbial peace of mind</strong>.</p> <p>I'm aware Hackintoshes are maturing to be more stable, but still: system updates aren't as easy, numerous quirks exist, and they certainly aren't supported by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted">AppleCare, which can be had for cheap</a>. Until those hurdles are substantially bypassed, Hackintoshes are fascinating experiments with many caveats I'd rather not deal with. In the ongoing balance between cost vs. convenience, I've slid towards the latter, but haven't slid so far as to be impaled on the spikes described above.</p> <h2>Am I getting a new Mac mini?</h2> <p>I plan to. And why not, say, an iMac? Because my HDTV is already a decent-sized screen. I want a handy little home media controller to occasionally bring from one room to another without the pain of lugging a tower (my Mac Pro). It'll also free up my <a href="http://torley.com/macbook-pro-with-ati-radeon-x1600-distorted-video-glitches">MacBook Pro</a>, currently serving as my media center, to do suitably portable things. As you can see, while our household thrives on some things like tech and kittens, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-of-pretty-things-4-reasons-i%E2%80%99m-keeping-my-ugly-old-stuff">other stuff falls happily into Linsey Knerl's camp</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/3332786509/" title="IMG_0738 by Torley, on Flickr"><img height="375" width="500" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3398/3332786509_7846c4439f.jpg" alt="IMG_0738" /></a></p> <p>Furthermore, a Mac mini will be a nice way to run some apps with the elegance Apple offers. While I'm not counting on it being a stellar performer for the virtual world of <a href="http://cli.gs/whatis">Second Life</a>, it's better than the previous generation, and I'm thinking of using to rez additional avatars for <a href="http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Machinima">machinima</a>. Maybe my Mac mini will help my wife understand why Apple is such as &quot;liquid experience&quot; compared to the Windows cruft I'm appalled by (but continue to endure).</p> <p>Now you know where I'm coming from, <strong>I'm looking at getting a 2.26GHz Mac mini with 2GB RAM and 120GB hard drive, then upgrading the RAM later</strong> if I need the expansion (I'm clumsy with tools, ask the stripped screw in my Mac Pro) and hooking up an external drive. The cheapest price I've found on this so far is <a href="http://www.macmall.com/macmall/families/macmini_intel/">$794 at MacMall</a> before shipping, but despite it saying &quot;In Stock&quot; on that front page, it's actually not. Boo for crummy advertising. My desires could change based on what I find out in the next week or two, so stay tuned.</p> <p><strong><em>Are</em> you <em>interested in a new Mac mini? Have tips on what to look out for? Caught something I missed? Chime in!</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-mac-minis-beware-small-gains-at-a-big-price">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted">Can cheap AppleCare on eBay be trusted?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-the-chromebook-crush-windows">Could the Chromebook Crush Windows?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/400gb-western-digital-external-hard-drive-under-90-delivered">400GB Western Digital external hard drive under $90 delivered.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-was-your-best-purchase-in-the-past-year">What was your best purchase in the past year?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/logitech-quickcam-vision-pro-webcam-why-doesnt-4-stars-tell-the-full-story">Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro webcam: why doesn&#039;t 4 stars tell the full story?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apple cpu deal hackintosh Hard Drive hardware Mac Mini price processor RAM store sweet spot Fri, 06 Mar 2009 17:56:43 +0000 Torley Wong 2898 at http://www.wisebread.com Can cheap AppleCare on eBay be trusted? http://www.wisebread.com/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/applecare.jpg" alt="AppleCare" title="AppleCare" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>After my previous article about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards" target="_blank">too-good-to-be-true iTunes gift cards</a>, I turned my attention to another discounted Apple item: <a href="http://www.apple.com/support/applecare/" target="_blank"><strong>AppleCare</strong></a><strong>, essentially an extended warranty for your Apple products</strong>, including Mac computers and those omnipresent iPods. Like so much insurance, it promises &quot;peace of mind&quot;. There's just one problem for many: <em>the price</em>.</p> <p>Especially in today's recessed times, having to pony up to $350 (for the MacBook Pro) for 3 total years of tech support and phone coverage can be hard. That's why a lot of sellers are selling cheap AppleCare.</p> <h2>My AppleCare adventure</h2> <p>In my ongoing tradition to <strong>not recommend something unless I've done it first</strong> &mdash; helping you mitigate risks by diving through that unexplored portal beforehand! &mdash; I landed on <a href="http://ebay.com/" target="_blank">eBay</a>, and easily found numerous listings for discount AppleCare. I have a Mac Pro, and AppleCare normally costs $250, but I spotted it for $92 &mdash; that's <strong>$158 saved!</strong></p> <p>After some scanning, I paid <a href="http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/480sherry_W0QQ_nkwZQQ_armrsZ1QQ_fromZQQ_mdoZ" target="_blank">480sherry</a>, who has a 99.9% feedback rating, and as of this writing is continuing to sell AppleCare. Surely those 2,200 buyers can't be wrong, right? In my own experience, I was pleased to receive a code less than a day afterwards.</p> <p>That's right, <strong>just a code you <a href="http://www.apple.com/support/applecare/overview/" target="_blank">enter at Apple's site along</a> with your product serial number</strong>. I did so, then received an email &quot;certificate&quot; confirming its validity from Apple. No actual box, as is often the case &mdash; but I encourage you to scrutinize each seller, for some offer this option at a higher cost.</p> <p>Does this mean you miss out on anything? Not really, since the TechTool Deluxe diagnostic suite, which would normally be bundled in the physical package, is a free download at Apple's site. You still need to burn it to DVD, which might be a problem if you're really not tech-savvy, but the software itself is included.</p> <h2>What's the real story here?</h2> <p>Unlike the distinctly more dubious world of iTunes gift cards, AppleCare is morally relaxed. I asked over a dozen discount AppleCare sellers how they managed to do it, the answers were consistent in most cases: they bought it in bulk and are passing the savings on. One fellow said:</p> <blockquote><p>We buy from dealers and other sources, some going out of business, some trying to reduce excessive inventories. Everything is 100% Apple, so no risk to you. We sell hundreds of these each month</p> </blockquote> <p>Another reinforced:</p> <blockquote><p>I buy in bulk so I recieve a better price that the average person. There are no limitations. Thanks for looking.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=8573481" target="_blank">Further research</a> also substantiates this, altho as is par for the course, there's the usual skepticism. There've also been <a href="http://forums.mactalk.com.au/21/34657-cheap-applecare.html" target="_blank">academic situations</a> where teacher/student discounts are used. Outside of eBay, there are some strange sights, such as <a href="http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showthread.php?t=1933301" target="_blank">this guy hawking bulk AppleCare from Singapore</a>, with the most thread self-bumps I've ever seen.</p> <h2>Conclusion</h2> <p>I've had <strong>no problems with my cheap AppleCare coverage so far</strong>: I haven't had a troublesome incident to put it to the test, but I haven't received a notification from Apple nullifying my cert either.</p> <p>Provided that the eBay seller is backed by an excellent reputation as in my example, <strong>you could easily get AppleCare at a much lower price than face value</strong>. I only wish the same could be applied to the cost of Macs themselves. ;)</p> <p><em>Have you had an adventure in cheap AppleCare? Do share!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-cheap-applecare-on-ebay-be-trusted">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-the-best-customer">How to be the best customer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-mac-minis-beware-small-gains-at-a-big-price">New Mac minis: Beware small gains at a big price!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards">Inside the Shady World of Cheap iTunes Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-money-on-ipads-iphones-and-macs">6 Ways to Save Money on iPads, iPhones, and Macs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craigslist-vs-ebay-where-to-sell-10-common-items">Craigslist vs. eBay: Where to Sell 10 Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Shopping apple applecare eBay ipod Mac service support Warranty Sun, 08 Feb 2009 13:39:43 +0000 Torley Wong 2818 at http://www.wisebread.com Apple introduces most outrageous “rewards” program in history http://www.wisebread.com/apple-introduces-most-outrageous-rewards-program-in-history <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/apple-introduces-most-outrageous-rewards-program-in-history" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/64059767_1629393692.jpg" alt="Apple Tatt" title="Apple Tatt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love Apple as a brand. It makes great products, it has tremendous loyalty, but could I go as far as to tattoo the famous Apple logo on my body to get a lifetime discount? Well, that&rsquo;s the latest, greatest scheme from Steve Jobs and Co. And people are lining up in droves to do it. <em>(This was an April Fool's gag readers. Now that the day has passed, it's only fair to warn you. Enjoy)</em></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Always a leader, Apple has redefined &ldquo;branding&rdquo; and introduced a scheme based on raging successes in student test markets. The brave students were given a minimum of $500 to sit in the tattooists chair for 1 hour while the artist inked the permanent Apple into their skin. More money was given for a more prominent tattoo (the complete list is printed later in the article).</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img width="500" height="375" title="tattline" alt="tattline" src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/64059048_015fdeaa60.jpg" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">After the tattoo healed, students could use this tattoo at any time to receive a 25% discount in any Apple store, which was obviously a much bigger draw than the initial cash payment. Denver University student Sheila Blige has been delighted with the savings, the tattoo and the attention: &ldquo;People tell me all the time, that&rsquo;s a cool tattoo!&rdquo; Sheila was paid $5000, the top amount, for having the infamous Apple logo branded on her forehead.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img width="500" height="375" title="tatt" alt="tatt" src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/64059445_517f783cb6.jpg" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;It really hurt, but I&rsquo;m saving 25% every time I shop at Apple and I don&rsquo;t exactly have to struggle to find my rewards card!&rdquo; she joked. A company called <a href="http://www.leaseyourbody.com/">leaseyourbody.com</a> had already experimented with 30-day tattoos, but Apple knew that their brand loyalty was unbeatable. Tim Burr, press secretary for Apple, had this to say: &ldquo;Who wouldn&rsquo;t want the coolest logo in the world on their body? We&rsquo;re paying for it, you look cool and you get a discount! We&rsquo;re just waiting for Microsoft to follow suit, although to be honest I can see people &lsquo;crashing&rsquo; in the tattooists chair when they get that one,&rdquo; joked Burr. &ldquo;We foresee a day when thousands of people are walking around proudly displaying the Apple logo.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Another condition of this program tests loyalty to the limit. Once you have an Apple tattoo, you can have no other brands stamped on your body. A small price to pay for the discount being given. The rising scale for an Apple tattoo is as follows:</p> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><strong>$500 &ndash; Arm, leg, feet, torso (below t-shirt/short line)</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>$1000 &ndash; Arm, leg &ndash; always visible</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>$1500 &ndash; Hands</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>$2000 &ndash; Neck</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>$2500 &ndash; Head, unshaved</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>$3000 &ndash; Head, shaved</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>$5000 &ndash; Forehead or face</strong></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal">The 25% discount applies to all tattoos. If you&rsquo;re interested in getting your very own Apple loyalty tattoo, your local store will soon be setting up a tattoo chair in the window. Not only is it a great branding exercise, Apple is also using the idea to bring more people into their retail stores. It&rsquo;s expected that other notable brands like Nike, Target, Coke and others wll soon follow suit.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">As for online purchases, the Apple tattoo cannot be used yet. However, a scanning pad is being developed by Apple that will attach to any computer and will cost just $99. Using the same technology as a fingerprint lock, it will recognize the tattoo and apply the discount. For more information on the Apple Tattoo Program, <a href="http://www.snopes.com/holidays/aprilfools/origins.asp">click here</a> .</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Microsoft has been unavailable for comment. <span>&nbsp;</span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/apple-introduces-most-outrageous-rewards-program-in-history">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-a-personal-website-can-improve-your-life">8 Surprising Ways a Personal Website Can Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-siri-can-be-your-personal-finance-assistant">9 Ways Siri Can Be Your Personal Finance Assistant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-the-chromebook-crush-windows">Could the Chromebook Crush Windows?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-media-software-for-your-windows-pc">Get Free Media Software for Your Windows PC</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-improve-your-online-reputation">6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology apple branding loyalty tattoo Tue, 01 Apr 2008 05:52:15 +0000 Paul Michael 1965 at http://www.wisebread.com