About a month ago I upgraded the original iPhone 3G which I had purchased a year ago to the new 3GS. I had decided to upgrade the 3G for two main reasons. First because I was tired of the GPS issue that occurred whenever I locked the phone with a pass-code and second because the battery life had become so bad I needed a new phone.
Little did I know I was just picking up another phone with a new set of problems. After picking up the phone at the AT&T store I could not make calls for several hours. Calls to the service center yielded apologies for problems with the activation servers which seemed strange as we were months from any product launches. I took that time to update to the latest software and setup the phone. That evening I headed to the gym with a phone that still would not make calls but at least a functional music player. Upon arriving to the gym all seemed great until I accidentally bumped the voice control interrupting my workout and music. Ten minutes later it happened again, five minutes after that it happened once again. A month later it has probably happened a thousand times with no clear resolution available from the manufacturer and widespread forum reports of the problem.
The only fix to the iPhone voice control issues seems to be a hard reset. At least in the case of my phone it buys me another twenty or thirty minutes of uninterrupted usage before it happens again. I have tried new headphones and different model headphones to no avail. I have tried to reset and restore the iPhone as the troubleshooting pages indicate without any success. The only thing that seems to help is a hard restore which would seem to indicate a potential software problem. Between the issues of reduced battery life and inaccurate battery gauges I am at the point of wondering whether or not Apple® is back where they were in the 1990's where success went to their head. With so many other smart phones touting higher resolution cameras, faster processors and greater battery life one of the key features that separates this device is the access to iTunes. If that feature is defective as it is now for some users you have to wonder if the loyalty of customers will change down the road.
I think what has been most interesting about the entire health care debate the past month is that almost nothing has been said of the actual benefits to the people. Sure there has been a lot of talk about the supposed benefits to the nation as costs for social programs is diminished but that means very little to the average person on the street struggling to survive. For certain those against the plan have been very vehement about what they believe are dire consequences of the potential legislation. Let's take a look at some of the details using existing examples as a guide.
Prior to that I would like to mention after having used a PolyPro Non-Woven Cooler Tote for the better part of three weeks I am pleasantly surprised by the durability. To be frank this is not the high end tote you would give a million dollar a year client but it is fine for conventions or corporate events. The rage in the last year has been polypro materials because they are inexpensive to manufacture and in almost all cases easy to recycle. Organizations are still finding recycled goods to be a bit too expensive as is the case with the Recycled PET Big Grocery Tote which although it features very slick lines and the green tag that everyone wants is still priced roughly double that of traditional polypro. That makes it a difficult sell still at this point in this particular economy. The only hope is that manufacturers do not bail on making recycled products and view the slack demand this past year as any indication of future demand. As soon as the economy bounces upward these products will come back in vogue.
Back to health care and the great debate of the 21st century. In one State where they have already mandated universal care there is one slight problem in relation to the supposed decrease in costs to consumers. Prices have continued to rise and are roughly three times what it cost just a few years ago. Using the connector site provided by the State a policy for a healthy twenty five year old man would run almost $600 a month with full coverage. That would equate to roughly 50% of the income level for the average person in some other parts of the country. It is very hard to believe this plan will make much of a difference to the average person paying for their own care. For those on the upper end of the spectrum it is possible costs will even increase and it has already been well discussed that associated taxes and costs will increase. These are all unfortunate consequences of insuring tens of millions without coverage at this point and in most cases without the means to pay for it themselves. Something clearly had to be done. Costs were spiraling out of control on all ends of the equation. The question that only historians will be able to answer was whether or not this was the correct approach.
Check out some of our earlier talks like Keeping the Message Cooler this summer for interesting information about new products.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of ways to get your marketing message out to the general public and your customer base. Very few executives consider the timeliness of providing your message on a medium that is delivered at the right point in time so as to maximize your return on investment. Quite often in the advertising specialties industry clients are directed not towards the hottest item but instead the most available.
With millions out of work that means even those employed may have someone at home heading to the park this summer. The Family Picnic Cooler Set works as both a functional day to day cooler because the wine portion can be substituted with the new 2 liter soda bottles and as a more upscale weekend cooler for contemporary adults. For those looking for a more practical solution to your summer cooling needs while recognizing the tighter budgets of today the PolyPro Insulated Tote is made from earth friendly materials, can be washed and is available in a multiple colors. The beauty of polypro is that it allows manufacturers to deliver a greater set of features and a larger unit footprint than other materials. If you are looking to provide a recognized brand the California Innovations 12-Can Cooler Sling is a multi faceted bag with PEVA lining. Whenever possible you want to request PEVA lining as it is far safer than earlier liner materials that were made with potentially dangerous substances.
Coolers provide a unique opportunity to not only touch the initial end user but in the case of family oriented coolers thousands of other potential clients. A cardinal mistake that we see many clients making is excluding their number or web address from the logo print area. Any other form of advertising would come with critical contact information. Unless you are major local, regional or national business there is an excellent chance your target audience will have no way of easily gathering your contact information. By placing a simple web address on your bag or directing your audience to the various social media sites you are maximizing your marketing efforts.
With the economy continuing to stutter slowly forward there is little doubt that we have endured one of the longest periods of stagnate economic growth in modern history. Despite historic involvement of the various governmental agencies many critical sectors are still unstable. Marketing budgets are still being trimmed and despite the rapid build in inventories and associated growth at the end of last year this year looks to be a struggle for many.