Are you ready for a $1,200 iPhone?

https-blueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.comuploadscardimage582986ff9b5935-fb79-4c94-9c30-f447605fcdf6Apple is finally slated to reveal the highly-anticipated deluxe anniversary iPhone on Sept. 12, and you will want to buy it immediately — but the sticker price could wind up dampening your excitement for the phone’s next-gen features.


Leaker Benjamin Geskin tweeted out a pricing tier for the new iPhones, citing information from a friend who has a friend at Apple.

New York Times report also backed the idea of a starting price “around $999,” for the iPhone, citing anonymous sources who had been briefed on the device. That’s a much more reliable report than just the whispers of friend of a friend — but others aren’t so convinced that Apple will ask such a high price for a phone.

UBS analysts Steven Milunovich and Benjamim Wilson wrote in an investors note that they “questioned the logic” of Apple putting such a premium on an iPhone. They claim instead that the company will roll out the deluxe device at a $900 starting point for a 64GB model, with a 256GB version eclipsing the $1,000 mark.

The analysts also noted that Apple typically takes some cues from its competitors, and with Samsung’s latest offerings starting well under $1,000 — the new Galaxy Note 8 starts at $930 unlocked — there’s little incentive for Apple to set the bar any higher.

None of these projections questioned the features expected in the deluxe iPhone, which include a new edge-to-edge OLED display, a nearly bezel-free screen with no home button, and a new sensor system for facial recognition.

Speculation over the price of the iPhone is nothing new for the rumor cycle, with reports flying about the extra costs for as long as there have been rumors about a new OLED screen. Now that we’re a week away from the big reveal, however, those projected costs are all the more pressing, since we’re finally closer to getting a shot to put down the cash for one of our own.

Facebook and Apple Are About to Take AR Mainstream. Here’s How Marketers Are Gearing Up

ar-kit-furniture-CONTENT-2017-840x445This past weekend in New York, the United Nations created a Facebook Live filter for World Humanitarian Day that let users overlay their real-time clips with augmented reality, particularly scrolling copy that told stories about civilians who have been affected by conflict. In Times Square, AR-enhanced videos aired on one of the iconic, commercial intersection’s large billboards. The endeavor was powered by Facebook’s 4-month-old AR system, dubbed Camera Effects Studio, which is getting the attention of brand marketers.

“For us, Facebook is an amazing platform to develop AR on because people are inherently using it already,” said Craig Elimeliah, managing director of creative technology at VML, the UN’s agency. “It includes Instagram as well. It includes Live and regular camera—so the sheer scale is unbelievable.”

While AR is still exploratory territory for marketers and media companies, its pixelated push to the mainstream has gotten a series of boosts this year from some of the biggest digital players. Snapchat—with its wacky filters and other virtual overlays—has continued to be popular among teens (even if Wall Street doesn’t like its pace). Apple, which has long been seen as a potential AR game changer due to the popularity of its iPhone and iPad, seems primed to give AR the turbocharge it needs to attract older demographics. When the Cupertino, Calif.-based company releases its iOS 11 mobile operating system in September, hundreds of millions of Apple-device owners will have augmented reality at their fingertips with a set of features called ARKit.

“Apple and Facebook will make augmented reality an everyday reality,” said David Deal, a digital marketing consultant. “We’ll see plenty of hit and miss with AR as we did when Apple opened up the iPhone to app developers, but ultimately both Apple and Facebook are in the best position to steamroll Snapchat with AR.”

Ikea, which will be one of the first major brands on Apple’s AR platform at launch, is developing an app that allows customers to see what furniture and other household items would look like in a three-dimensional view inside their homes. Ikea also plans to introduce new products in the AR app before they hit store shelves.

Read the full article here. 

Over a Third of Millennials in Relationships Spy on Partners’ Digital Correspondence

Well this is something to think about…

A sizable number of millennial couples suffer from a breach of digital privacy. But instead of an anonymous hacker, the source of such transgressions comes from closer to home—each other.

More than one-third of millennials in relationships read their partner’s texts and emails weekly without permission, according to a new study by pollster YouGov. This sneaky behavior raises the real question of whether millennials’ relationships are built on a solid foundation of trust.

US Internet Users Who Have Read a Significant Other's Text Messages, Social Media or Emails, by Age, July 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

Among millennials, the urge to take a surreptitious peek at a partner’s communications appears too great an urge to resist. While about one-quarter (23%) of all US adults surveyed admitted to reading a significant other’s texts, that figure was 37% among 18- to 34-year-olds.

Similarly, 37% of millennials looked at a partner’s social media accounts, while just 23% of total adults did the same. A higher number of millennials (31%) perused their romantic interest’s emails, compared with 22% of overall adults.

Unsurprisingly, those ages 55 and older looked at their partner’s digital correspondence at much lower levels than other age groups.

Millennials were also more predisposed to breaking up over text. YouGov found that 33% of millennials had ended a relationship via SMS, compared with 11% of those ages 35 to 54. Only 1% of those 55 or older admitted to a digital Dear John letter.

Digital privacy in millennial relationships—or the lack thereof—highlights how important online communications have become for people in the demographic.

A separate study conducted in June by home security firm Safe Home found fewer millennials (15%) said they would not use a device due to a privacy threat than any other age group.

US Internet Users Who Would Not Use a Device due to a Privacy Threat, by Age, March 2017 (% of respondents in each group)

By contrast, more than twice as many respondents ages 65 and older (38%) would decline to use a device that might threaten their privacy.

“Millennials have less expectation of digital privacy than their elders—and, perhaps because of that, seem to care less about it,” said eMarketer Senior Analyst Mark Dolliver.

He added, “It’s only a matter of time before there’s an app that leaves telltale lipstick on one’s collar, so it shouldn’t surprise us if millennials are rummaging through one another’s would-be private communications in the meantime.”

9% Of U.S. Broadband Households Plan To Buy A VR Headset; Samsung Leads

shutterstock_491411806_c3KIOtIIt’s still not really in the mass market category, but the number of virtual reality headsets to be bought this year will be nearly double those bought a year ago.

One of the main reasons is that consumers still are not very familiar with virtual reality, based on new tracking data.

Within the next year, 9% of U.S. broadband households plan to purchase a virtual reality headset, up from 5% a year ago, according to research from Parks Associates.

Gaming still leads the list of VR activities. Here, in order, are the activities consumers expect to use virtual reality for:

  1. Play video games
  2. Watch entertainment videos
  3. Virtual tours or travel
  4. Watch live events (sports, concerts, etc.)
  5. Social interaction
  6. Educational purposes
  7. Shopping

There are some obstacles holding back VR growth.

For example, fewer than a quarter (23%) of consumers are familiar with virtual reality and even fewer with specific VR headsets.

“Familiarity is low, with fewer than 13% of consumers having experienced VR first hand,” stated Hunter Sappington, Parks Associates researcher.

Samsung’s Gear VR currently leads the VR market, with Sony’s PlayStation in second place. Among U.S. consumers who bought a VR headset last year, 31% bought a Samsung VR device and 12% bought Sony’s.

Approximately 24 million households worldwide will own at least one virtual reality device by the end of this year and 77 million households by 2021, according to Parks Associates.

Some in the industry are working on this, such as via demos at stores including Best Buy and GameStop.

The biggest VR hurdle at the moment may come down to the value proposition.

While the majority of consumers said they would like to be able to experience VR in their own homes, more than half in the Parks Associates study said they do not think the experience is worth the extra expense of buying a headset. A third of consumers also found the VR experience disorienting or uncomfortable.

Virtual reality still has a few hills to get over.

Facebook Will Soon Let Brands Target Ads at Entire Families or Specific People Within Households

household-targeting-CONTENT-2017-840x460While brands have been buying ads for niche audiences on Facebook for years, they’ll soon be able to target ads down to the specific household.

Just in time for the holiday-planning season, the social network is introducing a new household audience feature that will let brands direct ads to entire families or to specific people within a household. The tool, which the company announced today, could help aim ads at people who influence purchasing decisions and other ads to the people making the actual purchases.

Here’s how it works: Brands can select a source audience—a custom audience uploaded to Facebook that represents their customers based on an email list, for instance—and then turn on the household audience feature to reach not just the person they’re targeting, but also other people in the same household.

“What we want to do basically is leverage the power of our network to enable that kind of influencing or to support that kind of influencing across the family,” Graham Mudd, Facebook’s product marketing director, said this morning at a press event in New York.

The feature is yet another way Facebook plans to siphon advertising dollars away from television networks, which have historically been how you show the same ads to the same household at the same time. Facebook executives said they’ll be able to identify members of the same household based on signals, such as their familial relationships on Facebook, but also based on the frequency of shared check-ins or where they access the internet.

According to Mudd, there are three use cases for how brands might want to target household audiences. In one instance, he said, a travel brand might want to target ads at the person paying for a trip—flights, hotels, etc.—but the marketer might also want to make sure the people voting on the destination also see the ads. For gifting, if one person might benefit from getting something from a certain retailer, then the ads might be directed at people in the household likely to be buying rather than receiving the gift.

The tool might also be used to reduce wasted ad spend. For example, if someone has already bought a household-specific product or service—a Netflix subscription, an Airbnb reservation—then based on the customer database, the marketer and Facebook know to stop showing ads to that household.

Along with the added targeting, Facebook is adding additional measurement capabilities. The updates will appear in the Ads Reporting dashboard and show how campaigns perform in terms of driving results across members of a household. Metrics will include how many households the advertising reaches, along with the frequency at which they were reached. (It’ll also potentially show how an ad shown to one person affected a purchase made by someone else.)

Mudd shared an example of how this might work around the holidays: Because he has purchased products from Sonos, he’s in the brand’s customer database. So, if his wife wants to get him a gift, Sonos might try influence Mudd’s wife and their kids with ads as they’re shopping for their dad.

“You can image that if you’re a parent with kids, while you might not be personally interested in the toys that your kids are looking for for the holiday, you might find it useful to know where that hot toy is and where it’s in stock,” Mudd said.

The updated audience targeting comes as Facebook also introduced video capabilities for its Dynamic Ads product, which will allow advertisers to move beyond the static images that have only been allowed in the past. (According to Facebook, 30 percent of mobile shoppers prefer to discover products through video.)