The tech takeaway: Q&A with Bloomberg’s consumer technology reporter Mark Gurman

June 27, 2017

Our team recently sat down with Mark Gurman to discuss his career journey and views on the products and trends shaping the future of the consumer technology industry.

Mark Gurman works in Bloomberg’s San Francisco office covering consumer technology products and trends.

What attracted you to consumer technology journalism?
From an early age, I have always been interested in the latest products — whether that was a new MP3 player or desktop computer. Watching the technology product industry evolve over the past decade has been fascinating. I remember how exciting the first iPhone launch was in 2007 — and how happy I was to line up to be one of the first to get my hands on one. With my interest in technology, I also began to program iPhone apps and learn as much as I could about technology. I always enjoyed, both at home and among friends, fixing a broken computer or phone. I’ve always also been interested in following the technology rumor scene, getting an early glimpse at what’s coming next from players like Apple. I felt like merging my knowledge and interest in technology with media would be a home run career for me, and I am grateful and excited every day to do it.

What was your first job in the industry?
In the technology industry itself, my first job was really my own small app development company, if you want to call it that. I called it “Super Apps”. I remember passing out flyers to promote my apps in school. I made small apps called widgets for Macs before the iPhone hit the market, and then when the iPhone became a hit, I started writing some fun iPhone apps. In terms of merging technology with media, my first job there was with 9to5Mac, an Apple-focused news site. It was fun. We broke a ton of news, including the first stories on many new iPhones, Siri, the iPad, Apple Watch and software revamps.

How has your coverage area expanded since you joined Bloomberg’s Global Technology Team in 2016?
Working at Bloomberg has been incredible. I’ve continued my work on reporting on Apple products and have expanded to do the same on Amazon, Google and products from other players. I have also had the opportunity to write deeper feature stories, such as my in-depth look at Apple’s augmented reality efforts, plans for new Mac computers, and the history behind the Apple TV’s past, present, and future. I’ve had the opportunity to write the first stories about key Amazon launches, such as the company’s new speaker with a screen and new Google initiatives. It’s been great to work on stories with colleagues globally, including on our in-depth look at the next iPhone.

Mark Gurman is the host of the new Bloomberg digital video series, Gadgets With Gurman, which premiered in April of this year.

 

What is the focus of the Gadgets With Gurman show?
Gadgets With Gurman’s focus is to discuss a new tech product each week, to show how it works, to give a smart takeaway on whether you should buy it or not, and to provide pro tips, insight that an everyday user might not know about the product. So far, we’ve had some great episodes. We were the first show to demonstrate Samsung’s new S8 phone, Microsoft’s new laptop, Amazon’s new Fire TV set and other products. We have some great episodes planned for the future and we’re super excited about the show both in the near-term and long-term. I think the ability for people to send in questions and have a discussion with me live is both unique and exciting. People really seem to love the show.

Can you characterize the target audience of Gadgets with Gurman?
The target audience for the show is anyone interested in new technology products. That’s a lot of people. It’s 2017, and smartphones have become mainstream. There’s a high chance you’re even reading this on a smartphone. If not, you’re reading it on a laptop or a tablet. With our show, we’ll tell you about the newest devices, upcoming products, how to get the most out of them, and even how to save the most money when buying one. We’ll also compare multiple products so you know you’re buying the best one. This show really appeals to many people, which makes it so exciting. With the live focus and the ability to answer questions from viewers, it’s not only my show, but it’s everyone’s.

What trends do you see emerging from the consumer tech industry in the next few years?
For the past decade or so, Apple has been the de facto, dominant player in the consumer technology industry. But over the past few years, we’re seeing an emergence of other players. Google now makes consumer products, like its well-received Pixel phone. Amazon has found the next popular category: voice enabled speakers. The Amazon Echo has been popular. Apple has even now announced its own home speaker with Siri, the HomePod. Google has their own, and you can bet that every technology maker with a household name is working on one as well. The past decade has been about the smartphone, and the next will be about underlying technologies like voice assistants, augmented reality, virtual reality and self-driving car software. It’s going to be really exciting, and I think Gadgets with Gurman has launched right on the cusp of a new technology revolution.

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