The Smartphone Wars: Android hits #1

The technology press is abuzz with news of a report from Canalys that Android is now the #1 smartphone platform in the world, with its 33% share of sales edging out Symbian’s 31% and far surpassing Apple’s 16%. In the U.S, Android smartphones are now 53% of all sold.

Once again, I was expecting this, but not so soon. As volume production of cheap Android handsets in Asia drove down prices the doom of the aging and stagnant Symbian platform was sealed, but I wasn’t expecting actual market share crossover until the end of 2Q2011. Once again, Android has exceeded expectations with eye-popping growth.

The pressure on Symbian just ratcheted up another notch. It’s reported that Nokia has scheduled a “strategy announcement” for Feb 11. Investors will be demanding a bold move to counter the catastrophic erosion in Nokia’s market share – this time last year they were #1 at 44%.

The odds that Nokia will junk its floundering Maemo/MeeGo plans and bail out to Android look quite a bit stronger to me than they did yesterday. If that happens, it’s game over for every other smartphone platform; even Apple’s iOS would have trouble retaining app developers against an Android with entree to 64% of the world’s handsets, and that’s before Android’s inevitable growth in the next quarter!

It’s difficult to see what alternative to Android Nokia has now. Some analysts have touted Windows Phone 7, but that’s been doing so badly since its October launch that Microsoft refuses to utter even a ballpark sales figure. Independent estimates have it at most 2%, and the last thing Nokia needs is to tie a millstone owned by another company around its neck.

Nor is there much comfort for Apple fans in the tablet market; Barron’s reports that the iPad’s share has dropped from 96% to %75 in the last quarter under pressure from the Samsung Galaxy Tab and other Android devices. And these are relatively expensive – when Android tablets hit true volume production based on system-on-chip engines, there will be probably be a three-figure priced delta drawing customers to Android.

Google’s strategy of using open source to create a huge multivendor Android mob that swarms every competitor with sheer weight of numbers seems to be working.

UPDATE: And the most entertaining news about WP7 may be the fact that it’s being outsold by Windows Mobile. Yes, brand-new WP7 is a weak enough customer draw that it’s being outsold by an ancient pile of festering crap.

UPDATE2: 22% for Android tablets is probably false. Looks like Samsung was doing some WP7-like channel stuffing. No figures on actual sell-through yet.

192 thoughts on “The Smartphone Wars: Android hits #1

  1. Speaking of Android tabs, I’ve had good luck with the one I reported a while back, so I’ve ordered another (lower end one) for my daughter’s birthday. She wanted a color Nook or Kindle, but for the same price I got her a full Android tab, and she download the Nook and Kindle apps for free, so no-brainer.

    What I wonder is, how long will the iTunes store continue to function once 90% of the devices out there are capable of running anybody’s MP3/4 music/video? Do you think perhaps there will be an iTunes for Android? I suspect not as long as Jobs is at the helm.

  2. I still think Nokia will try to keep Meego (presumably with a shim layer for Android apps?) viable as an OS for some class of high-end phones. It’ll be very interesting to see what they do…

  3. Don Says:
    “Speaking of Android tabs, I’ve had good luck with the one I reported a while back, ”

    So which one did you get?

  4. I noticed in the recycling dumpster in my back alley, that someone on my block recycled the cardboard retail box for a Samsung Galaxy Tab. AFAIK, nobody on my block has an iPad. Anecdotal, I know.

  5. Something else I just thought of – One-third of the whole is sorta considered a critical mass in both directions – Notice that Android is at one-third and trending upward, and Symbian is now below one-third while being above it for awhile.

  6. It certainly wouldn’t hurt Nokia to add Android to their line-up, depending on how the position their product lines.

    If I was the man on the spot, I’d cut Series 40, use S60/Symbian^3 as my enterprise targeted smart-phone, and position Android as my mass-market device. The Ovi team would get a swift kick in the nadgers and told to get their **** organised.

    I’d also keep Maemo/Meego around for the über-geek crowd, but try to arrange matters so that those phones can run Android, either by publishing full hardware specs, adding the drivers to the kernel, or having an official port.

    I love having my N900, especially now that I can use it with bluetooth mouse and keyboard as a phone-puter. The fact that some genius has made an Android port that is good enough for me doesn’t hurt either :D.

  7. @esr: Your paragraph (quoted below) brought up a point I hadn’t considered, and triggered thoughts of a scenario that has been rolling around in my mind for some time now…

    “The odds that Nokia will junk its floundering Maemo/MeeGo plans and bail out to Android look quite a bit stronger to me than they did yesterday. If that happens, it’s game over for every other smartphone platform; even Apple’s iOS would have trouble retaining app developers against an Android with entree to 64% of the world’s handsets, and that’s before Android’s inevitable growth in the next quarter!”

    The scenario I refer to is this…Apple buys Nokia.

    The capital is there. Nokia still has a brand name worth something, a (diminishing) presence in the mid-to-lower end market that Apple can’t build for themselves, and a global retail infrastructure. Apple has a desirable operating system that Nokia lacks.

    If Apple could manage the transition (no small feat) they could position the Nokia division as the mass market provider that Apple can’t (or won’t) be.

    The trick would be to manage the two brands. For conversation purposes, let’s refer to them as iPhones and nPhones. Port a slightly diminished version of iOS to the Nokia product line which becomes the nPhones. (I don’t even know if that’s technically possible without major hardware changes.) Kill off the Nokia high end phones since the iPhone covers that segment.

    Apple would have to draw a line very carefully in the sand. Everything on one side of the line is an nPhone with a slightly diminished feature set. Everything on the other side of the line is an iPhone with all the bells and whistles. Want a cheap phone? Buy an nPhone. Want the whole deal? Buy an iPhone. But all in the same store, running slightly different versions of iOS. All accessing the same app store.

    Risky, indeed. Draw the line to far to one side and you make your Nokia investment worthless since no one will buy a product that is cheapened to the point where it is no longer competitive. Draw the line too far to the other side and you cannibalize the mother ship. I doubt if Apple can pull it off, and the odds are against them even trying. The cultures would clash in a major way, and nobody at Nokia would be happy about the turn of events. Thinking about it reminds me of the Daimler-Benz takeover of Chrysler.

    But it’s one of only two survival strategies I can see for Nokia (the other being Android), and the only scenario that doesn’t result in Android achieving critical mass in the marketplace as you described. Surely someone in Cupertino is studying that problem.

    It’s unlikely as hell, but interesting to speculate about.

    :)
    Kevin

  8. Kevin,

    80% of all mergers fail in the sense that the merged firms end up worth less than before the merger. Some people say this means that mergers are an efficient alternative to bankruptcy. Adopting Android for your phones has a much, much better success rate.

    Yours,
    Tom

  9. Kevin,

    I really don’t see Apple buying another cell phone manufacturer. They can get what they want from that business just by hiring people away from motorola, ericsson and nokia at will.

    Now, one company Apple should buy is…. Intel. If they had Intel’s fab, they could save 15 to 20% of the power that their current processors use, and the icing on the cake is that they could announce end-of-life on x86. Even if they announced it ten years out, it would basically bury Microsoft, since nobody ever wanted Windows on anything but x86.

  10. >…and the high-water mark for Android arrives on February 11.

    I’m sure this will prove just as prescient a prediction as “iPhone 4 will kick Android’s butt, you’ll see!” did last Spring.

  11. @Tom: You are correct. I didn’t say it was a good idea. BTW, I’m an Android user by way of Windows Mobile. I just enjoy trying to fit pieces of the puzzle together. I look at a failing Nokia, and wonder who might find value in the wreckage and how they might use it.

    @Some Guy…Apple can hire people all day long. But they can’t build a separate brand targeted toward the lower end of the market. That can only come through acquisition. Nokia is the best/only candidate.

    Doing something like this would be totally out of character for Apple, and as stated, very risky. But if I worked for Apple and was mindful of my company’s history at the hands of the Windows train, all the while staring at the headlight of an approaching Android train, I’d be wondering what it would take to make something like this work. As esr hinted, a Nokia adoption of Android would double the size of that train and hasten the proof that history repeats itself.

  12. The industry is moving towards Android, and with good reason. Nobody in their right mind would voluntarily hand the market to an entrenched monopolist (Microsoft) or a potential monopolist (Apple). They saw what happened with desktop computers and they’re not going to let it happen again. Google’s open source strategy is a win. Google’s strategy of offering a revenue split to keep devices using the “official build” is an even bigger win.

    The idea that Apple will significantly erode Android’s market share after they go multi-carrier in February is, at best, wishful thinking.

  13. >The idea that Apple will significantly erode Android’s market share after they go multi-carrier in February is, at best, wishful thinking.

    Indeed it is. Especially since the 4V will have the same weakness as the 4 – inability to use Verizon’s 4G buildout. It’s a weak stopgap of a product being tossed out in hopes there are a sufficient number of Apple fans so diehard that they can’t wait until the iPhone 5 comes out in mid-year. Yes, there are probably a few hundred thousand of those, but there won’t be enough to swing 2% of the entire U.S. smartphone market. Especially since Android won’t be standing still.

    Really, this is deja vu all over again. We saw the same fanboy enthusiasm over the 4G, and that failed to slow the erosion of Apple’s market share enough to make a bump in the trend curve. And internationally? Even if the 4v converted every user Verizon has it would barely dent the 17% by which Apple is trailing Android worldwide.

  14. LyleD

    I’d also keep Maemo/Meego around for the über-geek crowd, but try to arrange matters so that those phones can run Android, either by publishing full hardware specs, adding the drivers to the kernel, or having an official port.

    The über-geek crowd is definitely not worth developing its own operating system for, especially not one that is so close to Android in functionality. I can’t see any reason for Nokia to support both Android and MeeGo. They do effectively the same things, apart from the über-geeks liking the fact that MeeGo resembles a desktop distro more closely. Either Nokia tries to build its own ecosystem around MeeGo or Android, but doing both would just be an extra pain for everyone involved. Some say that MeeGo will or would do better devices other than phones and I suppose that may be, but those are a small business for Nokia.

    @Kevin

    Apple needs Nokia’s low-end phone business like Steve Jobs needs a cancer relapse. As esr wrote or maybe quoted someone on this blog, all phones are becoming smart phones. The ‘feature’ phone (inept term imho) business is disappearing at an accelerating rate and the Android device looks to be set to replace it.

  15. > they can’t build a separate brand targeted toward the lower end of the market.

    Sure they could, but why in the world would they want to? When Apple’s ready to sell cheaper phones, they can do the same thing they did with the iPods.

  16. http://technmarketing.com/iphone/peter-vesterbacka-maker-of-angry-birds-talks-about-the-birds-apple-android-nokia-and-palmhp/

    Eric, you should read that article.

    His take on the android market is an interesting one. If you read between the lines, they basically had to give away Angry Birds for free on android, and try to make money by streaming advertisements during game play. Basically, too few people buy android apps that they had to find an alternate way to make money.

    If that’s what the thinking is from the makers of one of the most successful apps in the world, that’s not a good sign.

  17. Don’t forget that Maemo/Meego is mostly a UI built on top of a Linux stack. So Nokia already has plenty of in-house experience with Linux on ARM cellphones. It would not be hard for them to switch to Android; at least from the technology end. To abandon their Meego partner might be politically difficult.

  18. @hsu:

    His take on the android market is an interesting one. If you read between the lines, they basically had to give away Angry Birds for free on android, and try to make money by streaming advertisements during game play. Basically, too few people buy android apps that they had to find an alternate way to make money.

    That’s been discussed on this blog before.

    If that’s what the thinking is from the makers of one of the most successful apps in the world, that’s not a good sign.

    On the contrary, it’s a most excellent sign. It shows the Android customer base is already too big to ignore, which means that quality apps that you have to pay for on iPhone will be free on Android, which means that the Android customer base will get even bigger.

    You know, originally I thought that google was screwing up in making it more difficult to sell Android apps than Apple apps. Now I understand there is as much genius in how they handle the app vendors as there is in how they handle the carriers and handset vendors. How do you spell “network effects?”

    Apparently a really good way to monetize Android apps is to sell ads. I wonder if that ever occurred to anybody at google? ;-)

  19. @Some guy:

    Sure they could, but why in the world would they want to? When Apple’s ready to sell cheaper phones, they can do the same thing they did with the iPods.

    Agree Apple has no reason to sell cheaper phones at the minute. Disagree a bit on the iPod thing. iPods aren’t really cheap — not as cheap as if there were real competition in that market. The thing that makes the iPod magical is iTunes. Although this is not quite as important for a cellphone, as people reduce the number of devices they carry, iTunes will get more important, so this is one thing that google, or google and Amazon, or somebody, definitely needs to fix in a hurry, or Apple could very well end up with a lock on the cellphone market like it has on the iPod market, and without reducing its price by too much, either.

    It’s a matter of timing. I’m hoping that Apple is too late with the price reduction. What Android really needs is either a tacit admission by the content providers that DRM is not necessary, or good enough DRM to fool the content providers for long enough to be able to deliver Netflix and MP3s and whatever else onto Android phones. Either of these could easily happen, simply because of Android’s current market share (which is yet another reason why the Apple fanbois screaming “market share doesn’t matter” at the top of their lungs are dead wrong).

    One reason I believe that Apple probably is too late is that Apple is somewhat supply-constrained, and other vendors who currently care more about market share than obscenely high profits will continue pumping out Android phones to the thirsty masses as long as they can.

  20. Mike H> Either Nokia tries to build its own ecosystem around MeeGo or Android, but doing both would just be an extra pain for everyone involved.

    You’re probably right. If Android gets the “mini-desktop” ability of Maemo, I’ll switch and only look back with a sense of fond nostalgia.

  21. One conversation I overheard at Best Buy was to the effect of “I can get a free barcode scanner on Android!”

  22. @JB:
    “I can get a free barcode scanner on Android!”

    I had three on my Nexus One. I am throwing out apps for lack of memory space and I spend $0 on apps.

  23. I’m an N900/Maemo hacker, but as much as I truly love the platform, I have to confess to great disappointment with the fustercluck that is Nokia.

    If there’s a solid Android port available, I may have to reflash my device….with teary eyes, I daresay.

    (But I’m still holding out my last hopes for MeeGo ;)

  24. @Don
    I feel sorry for your daughter. Does she ever gets tired with her dad never getting the right gadget!?! “Look honey, this one got Android on it, it’s like a 100x better than this damn Amazon Kindle! -No way dad, great!” – haha.

  25. @MF – you think his daughter is going to prefer a Kindle, on which she can read books and not much else, over an Android tablet, on which she can gab with her friends?

    You’ve obviously never spent any time around young girls. Their online world puts us old nerds to shame.

  26. One reason I believe that Apple probably is too late is that Apple is somewhat supply-constrained, and other vendors who currently care more about market share than obscenely high profits will continue pumping out Android phones to the thirsty masses as long as they can.

    Yes, and then they’ll go out of business. (Not saying Android won’t reap the benefits.)

    One of the ways in which market share doesn’t matter for Apple is the bottom line. They have enough of a discriminating user base and a “wow” factor to sell gadgets to an audience that loves to be wowed, at a profit, sustainable over many years. They’ve survived and grown with a tiny portion of PC marketshare. They can weather the Android onslaught easy.

    Nor is there much comfort for Apple fans in the tablet market; Barron’s reports that the iPad’s share has dropped from 96% to %75 in the last quarter under pressure from the Samsung Galaxy Tab and other Android devices. And these are relatively expensive – when Android tablets hit true volume production based on system-on-chip engines, there will be probably be a three-figure priced delta drawing customers to Android.

    Of those tablets only the Nook Color is really worth arsing around with. It is half the price of the cheapest iPad, yet gives you more than half an iPad’s worth of functionality. The rest of the decent tablets are all more expensive than the iPad and offer less. (Which is why this “positional good” kerfuffle is so amusing: Apple has been price-competitive with major PC and gadget vendors for some years now.)

    Again, the game will change for Android tablets once we start seeing $25 models hit the shelves at CVS. (The first $100 laptop I ever saw was not from OLPC; it was an ARM-based Windows CE netbook available in some CVS locations late last year. Apparently, CVS couldn’t keep the thing stocked…)

  27. “She wanted a color Nook or Kindle, but for the same price I got her a full Android tab, and she download the Nook and Kindle apps for free, so no-brainer.”

    The number 1 reason I wanted an Kindle was the ability to read books in a normally lit area. What I needed was an electronic book. If I wanted to read on a backlit LCD screen, I’d load the Kindle software on my computer.

    So, what did you end up with? I see a lot of cheap android tablets from China, did it come with 2.3? How difficult would you say it is to upgrade it when a new version of Android comes out?

  28. MF: So her first “toy” computer was an old-fashioned Apple (OS9). After that she got a WinXP box, then when she started Kinder, I converted the whole school to Linux for 2 years (they moved back to Windows because they got a huge donation of modern hardware with licenses, and they could get games at Walmart :^/).

    She’s relatively comfortable in all three environments, and she is now waiting on me to move here personal machine (the one with XP on it) to Fedora so she can have a decent running computer again (XP’s been pretty sluggish ever since we bought the dang thing, and it didn’t improve with age :^).

    I’m now considering loading Linux on an old laptop to get my son started. Probably start with Fedora the w/ Sugar interface.

    Anyway, with that background, she’s quite comfortable using my Android phone. She already uses the Aldiko reader on my phone when she is without a book, and she spent several hours playing with my tab when I got it and took to it like a duck to water.

    Beside all that, the Nook (which is the one she wanted) is an Android machine as well, only it’s crippled. Why would buying a crippled tab be the right choice? Once you load the Nook software (or the Kindle software) and run it, there’s virtually no difference in the interface, and she wanted a color Nook, so the battery life will pretty well suck either way.

    Honestly, I think digital books, while perhaps convenient, are kind of a scam. They cost similar to regular books (for newer releases, anyway), but I’ve never had to replace/recharge the battery in a paperback, and I can easily take them to Half Price Books when I’m done with them. Try that with your Kindle or Nook editions.

  29. @Jeff Read:

    Yes, and then they’ll go out of business. (Not saying Android won’t reap the benefits.)

    Some of them will. Some of them will be making enough profit to last for a long time. And I think we are in agreement that it’s a good thing for Android’s market share.

    One of the ways in which market share doesn’t matter for Apple is the bottom line. They have enough of a discriminating user base and a “wow” factor to sell gadgets to an audience that loves to be wowed, at a profit, sustainable over many years. They’ve survived and grown with a tiny portion of PC marketshare. They can weather the Android onslaught easy.

    I can well believe that. There were always the contingent who had to have a Mac even when their must-have app wouldn’t run on it. I’m hoping that’s how it shakes out in the phone market. Actually, if you try to map the history of the PC market to the history of the phone market, you’ll know that Apple has resigned themselves to their boutique status once you see the Android emulator in the app store :-)

  30. @Patrick Maupin
    Apparently a really good way to monetize Android apps is to sell ads. I wonder if that ever occurred to anybody at google? ;-)

    If you read between the lines, it was obvious that selling ads makes significantly less money for them than selling apps via iTunes. But they had to go down that route, because the alternative, selling apps on android, would have made them no money.

    And that was the *most* successful app developer talking. If Angry Birds makes hardly any of their income via the android market, it means all other developers make a pittance.

  31. ErikZ: I got here the Herotab X5A. It hasn’t arrived yet (tracking shows it started the journey from Beijing 1/23), so I cannot say too much about it other than it had decent reviews and should meet her needs.

    I can tell you that the Witstech A8E is pretty darned easy to upgrade (I’ve got 2.2 running on it now and that works ok for me – gotta do a flash soon though as the latest Wits release is supposed to improve battery life). In general, these things are as easy (or easier) to upgrade as my Samsung Moment (because the manufacturers are supporting user upgrades, rooting, and kernel hacking out of the box – they’re counting on it, in fact).

    I would say that most of what I’ve seen on my tab, and others I’ve seen reviewed, makes them unacceptable for Joe-Public-Best-Buy-Customer, but if you’re a little bit nerdy (and if you aren’t, what the hell would you be reading esr’s ramblings??? ;^) then these things are pretty nice hardware for very little money. They appear to work acceptably well out of the box, and the e-reader software is free, so why not?

  32. @hsu:

    And that was the *most* successful app developer talking. If Angry Birds makes hardly any of their income via the android market, it means all other developers make a pittance.

    Obviously, google feels they need to do more for app development, because they’ve just started up a huge effort. And obviously, they want to do an iTunes-like substance. But they want to do iTunes one better, and apparently that is part of the sticking point.

    Negotiations like this are interesting. The recording labels must be frustrated seeing all those Android numbers out there and realizing that there might be a lot of money to be made if those people could buy more easily, but at the same time, they are worried about multiple downloads and cloud storage. Which is silly, because a lot of filesharing happens because of the lack of easy legal cloud storage. In any case, Google might be in a better negotiating position now than if they implement a music store and then try for concessions. But just like Apple has to time things correctly, so to must google.

    In any case, google is going about setting up an ecosystem in a much different way than Apple did. And there is a niche for developers in google’s ecosystem, but a lot of developers who are comfortable in Apple’s ecosystem might not be comfortable there. Doesn’t matter; there’s enough money and/or ego to be made that natural selection says google’s ecosystem’s developer niche will be filled.

  33. Color eBook readers are just tablets. I consider them not suited for book reading.

    eInk b/w eReaders are much better. They are daylight readers with long battery lifes (more than a week).

    And there is more on project gutenberg than you can read in a lifetime.

  34. I’ve never had to replace/recharge the battery in a paperback, and I can easily take them to Half Price Books when I’m done with them.

    Times like this I’m fond of quoting Blank Reg from Max Headroom:

    “It’s a book. It’s a nonvolatile storage medium. They’re very rare. You should ‘ave one.”

    As for Half-Price Books, the first-sale doctrine was never actually codified into law, and the courts recently have shown their dislike of it: currently it does not apply to software, or to items imported from overseas. Expect your right to sell your old books to go away once book publishers start putting EULAs on the copyright page.

  35. “I’ve never had to replace/recharge the battery in a paperback, and I can easily take them to Half Price Books when I’m done with them.”

    I would tend to agree. But lately my back has become less forgiving. My eBook reader stores more books than I ca carry around as paper. So I have a choice in what to read and still do not collapse during my comute.

  36. Jeff Read & Winter: Yeah I get that, but I’m kinda weird in that, despite my lifetime affiliation with geekhood, I still like pen & paper for taking notes, and I’m far more comfortable reading printed matter on dead trees than on a computer screen, even if the computer screen pretends to be printed on dead trees.

    Besides having grown up in a military town during the height of the cold war, I still expect a nuclear air burst any moment, so I’m always thinking about what I’ll do when all the machines shut down :^). That’s something people even 5 years younger than me (or from other parts of the country) just don’t think about, and that seems weird to me. Growing up, EXPECTING to be at the fringe of a nuclear blast did make a bit of an impression on me.

  37. Kevin Says: “Apple buys Nokia.”

    APPL has $43B in cash; NOK’s market cap is $40B. AAPL can’t spend that much of its cash reserve on anything that isn’t a sure thing.

    Some Guy Says: “Now, one company Apple should buy is…. Intel.”

    INTL’s market cap is $120B; even AAPL doesn’t have enough money.

    Plus it would never pass the anti-trust test.

  38. Rich Rostrom> APPL has $43B in cash; NOK’s market cap is $40B.

    Rich, Rich, Rich! Didn’t you learn anything from Bernie Ebbers? :^) You don’t need cash to buy profitable companies. You just gotta get your board to authorize issuing the stock certificates for exchange, then you do a “cash and stock” deal and hang onto all your cash (and rake in any cash they have at the same time).

    How do you think a high school coach took a little back-water calling card company and made it one of the biggest telecoms of the ’90s? Unlike Apple, he didn’t have any money, just an attractive business plan and a silly-inflated stock price that kept rising regardless of his debt load. I’m fairly certain that Jobs and his Lieutenants are all sharper business men than Ebbers and Co. and could easily pull this off (and probably not even have to cook the books in the process). Buying Nokia would probably cost closer to $4B cash than $40B, and the rest is 1 for 1 stock swaps, or something similar.

    But the question is, WHY would they buy Nokia? I can see the attraction to Nokia, but I can’t really see this being a good fit for Apple. By outsourcing their manufacturing and being primarily a sales and engineering firm, they’ve stayed lose and been able to move quickly into new niches like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. If they buy Nokia, they are getting a redundant engineering team that is not indoctrinated into the “Apple Way”, and a huge amount of manufacturing capacity that would simply be an albatross around their necks. If they can’t either sell or use that capacity, then the purchase is a waste, and I don’t see how they could do either of those effectively enough to make it worth the price of admission. YMMV

  39. Android runs on everything, and everyone’s porting to it. It’s becoming a defacto standard in anything less than a full-sized PC. And I’m suspecting that its popularity is what’s causing Chrome OS to never make its way into the news. Will we see versions of Android extended to netbooks and PC’s soon? (I mean, reasonably. I’ve tried it; it weren’t pretty.)

    Android is Windows.

    Rather, Android has become what Windows used to be: the ubiquitous choice that everyone is familiar with. I just don’t know if Android is going to have a “Windows 95 launch”-type event somehow, to firmly stamp its position into people’s minds. Maybe when these new $50, system-on-a-chip phones Eric’s been talking about finally hit the market?

  40. As for Half-Price Books, the first-sale doctrine was never actually codified into law,

    While i wouldn’t normally do this, Wikipedia says you’re wrong and that it was codified into law in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 109.

    from Cornell’s site about US Code :-
    “Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 (3), the owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord.”

    I’m not a lawyer, or an American so i’m sure it’s not that simple but “never actually codified into law” appears to be incorrect.

  41. @JonB:

    Yes, the first sale doctrine was certainly codified into law.

    But it is being attacked from several angles. The Costco/Omega angle is that there never was a valid first sale in this country in the first place, because the copyright holder didn’t authorize the sale into the US. The software angle is the whole “licensed, not sold” bullshit. If you actually own a copy of software, as you would absent shrinkwrap/clickwrap licensing, then you have every right to resell it.

    On the bright side, it has in fact been ruled that music promo CDs, which the labels claim you aren’t supposed to resell, are your property and you can, in fact, resell them.

  42. I know this thread has turned to books and eBook readers, but I started out with “Android hits #1″.

    Hmm.. maybe not so fast.

    Yesterday’s Canalys report read, in-part:

    In Q4 2010, volumes of Google OS-based smart phones (Android, OMS and Tapas) were again boosted by strong performances from a number of vendors, notably LG, Samsung, Acer and HTC, whose volumes across these platforms grew 4,127%, 1,474%, 709% and 371% respectively year-on-year. HTC and Samsung together accounted for nearly 45% of Google OS-based handset shipments.

    As Gruber points out, OMS (Ophone) and Tapas are both Chinese-only, essentially they’re like Cyanogen mods, though perhaps to a deeper extent. It’s unlikely that these run any of the Google apps for which source is unavailable (gmail, market, etc.) It’s also unlikely that even Google search is used.

    So the question: are OMS and Tapas variants of Android, or separate platforms forked from Android?

    Because I now find it likely that Google is leveraging the growth of non-Google variants in the Chinese market in order to ‘inflate’ its numbers. ‘Likely’ rather than ‘possible’ in the sentence before because the temptation would just be too great for Google.

    What if this is how Andy Rubin’s ’300k/day’ number is generated?

    I find pinning the hopes of Android on the Chinese market is a lot like pinning the hopes of linux desktop market share on Red Flag.

  43. >INTL’s market cap is $120B; even AAPL doesn’t have enough money.

    “Leveraged buyout”. Google it.

  44. > If Angry Birds makes hardly any of their income via the android market, it means all other developers make a pittance.

    That, the fragmentation issue, and the prospect of putting up with Java, are why I have no intention of shipping any code on Android for the foreseeable future.

  45. @WBTE:

    Not only that, but it’s likely that Google’s method of counting involves the devices making connections to Google’s services. There’s no easier way to count than to count the number of unique new devices connecting to their own servers.

  46. @Some Guy.

    “Leveraged buyout”. Google it.

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

    Even supposing AAPL could buy out Intel, they won’t. AAPL’s dirty little secret is that they aren’t actually a hardware company; they’re a software company that gives you free hardware with your overpriced software. I can hear the “but, but…” forming already. Be forewarned that I have a sensible, well-reasoned argument if you decide you want to debate this point.

    However, even if you don’t agree with that, you have to at least admit that Apple’s future doesn’t lie with Intel processors, but with ARM and other low-power RISC chips.

  47. Will Android’s market for ‘high-end’ displays be sucked dry by Apple’s creative use of its cash?

    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/02/01/can-apple-corner-the-display-market/

    HTC is already bailing for Sony/Samsung’s S-LCD displays. S-LCD may be in-trouble though, as Sony has announced a new project with Sharp, in order to compete with Samsung.

    Remember when Microsoft made IE ‘free’ (bundled and for download in order to “cut off Netscape’s air supply” for the nascent Netscape Navigator? (This move directly yielded Netscape’s change in course to open source their browser.)

  48. @Some Guy>>…and the high-water mark for Android arrives on February 11.
    @esr> I’m sure this will prove just as prescient a prediction as “iPhone 4 will kick Android’s butt, you’ll see!” did last Spring.

    Well, don’t forget that Elop speaks to his investors about the future strategy of Nokia on Feb 11, too.

    If Nokia goes Android, then there is going to be a resource fight among the Android handset makers for flash, processors and displays. (See previous post.)

    Apple seems to understand this, using its enormous pile of cash to pre-pay for its supply of these.

    If Nokia goes Windows Mobile, then you can be sure that Microsoft and Nokia, together, are going to be slamming into the carriers with ‘support’ for Windows phones, and engaging in saturation advertising. If successful, Nokia+MIcrosoft could come back with some fairly huge market share gains. I would also anticipate both Nokia and Microsoft asserting their patent portfolios against Google and the Android handset manufacturers, and we all know that Microsoft isn’t above doing deals that suggest immunity from these suits for handset makers who produce and ship a certain number or percentage of Windows Mobile handsets.

    Google and its Android OEMs may be about to enter a perfect storm of IP litigation. Oracle, Apple, Nokia and Microsoft may be about to engage in a metaphoric “shootout at the OK corral”. Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan Earp along with Doc Holliday on one side, with Google taking the position of the Clayton ranch, and the Android OEMs showing up as the cowboys.

    I think we’re about to see some fireworks.

    Suggesting that Android will shortly peak is a ‘third-rail’ on this blog (Eric will threaten to ban you if you’re too forceful about it), but Android has some short-term challenges in front of it.

  49. @Morgan> they’re a software company that gives you free hardware with your overpriced software.

    Yeah?

    Wait, how much do iOS upgrades cost? Oh yeah, they’re free.

    Are you taking the position that iOS apps are over-priced in relation to Android apps?

    Are you seriously about to take the position that Apple’s “for sale” software is over-priced? Pining for a copy of Final Cut Pro, are you?

    Or is this some kind of “Apple hardware ships with MacOS X pre-installed, and you can’t legally run MacOS X except on a Mac” argument?

  50. @WBTE:

    > Will Android’s market for ‘high-end’ displays be sucked dry by Apple’s creative use of its cash?

    No.

    It’s amazing that people forget how big China is, and how many huge domestic companies they have. Like ZTE, the phone company that nobody here knows about that ships more than Apple. Or how about CPT (Chunghwa Picture Tubes) which is still in business because they branched out and make more than picture tubes. They churn out 40 million displays a month.

    It’s also amazing that people forget that Apple doesn’t have a lock on creativity, and that some of the most creative people in the world are diametrically opposed to Apple’s sort of closed vision. Like Mary Lou Jepsen, who knows a thing or two about displays, believes in things like OLPC, and was smart enough to find and ink an agreement with the above-mentioned CPT.

    Markets are chaotic. With huge production rate ramps on cellphones, there are bound to be spot shortages. For example, last spring and summer, I couldn’t find my favorite SPI flash chip for months on end, because of Apple’s iPad ramp. Nonetheless, it is highly unlikely that Apple will be able to corner the market on any real-world cellphone ingredients. The imaginary ingredients, they might cause some grief with, but both Samsung and HTC have their share of patents as well.

  51. Apple seems to understand this, using its enormous pile of cash to pre-pay for its supply of these.

    But not so much that they can fully supply themselves after 7 months of being apparantly under supplied.

    Or are you saying that they’re not smart enough to do it to ensure they can sell things, only as an anti-social competititive measure?

  52. > both Samsung and HTC have their share of patents as well.

    Are you suggesting that Samsung or HTC would sue Apple? Have you forgotten how much Apple spends with Samsung?

    > Mary Lou Jepsen

    Yes, I’m aware of Mrs. Jepsen. I’ve had recent conversations with Mrs. Jepsen about her display futures. I need something smaller than what she has available now for a product I’m designing. But citing E-Ink displays when I was speaking to OLED and IPS technology is a complete red herring.

    > I couldn’t find my favorite SPI flash chip for months on end, because of Apple’s iPad ramp.

    E-x-a-c-t-l-y. LIkely you only wanted a few. What if you were trying to purchase 100K every month?

    > Nonetheless, it is highly unlikely that Apple will be able to corner the market on any real-world cellphone ingredients.

    Dude, they’re pre-purchasing the parts for use in their phones. They’re already sold!

    And Apple is not attempting to Corner the market. “Cornering the market” is an attempt to purchase enough of a commodity (or it’s futures) to be able to set the price. This is emphatically not what Apple is doing. They’re not buying parts and hoarding them, and they’re not buying futures in order to later sell them.

  53. @JonB:

    But not so much that they can fully supply themselves after 7 months of being apparantly under supplied.

    They’re definitely playing catch-up.

    Or are you saying that they’re not smart enough to do it to ensure they can sell things, only as an anti-social competititive measure?

    I would love to see them waste more money on trying to do this sort of physical anti-competitiveness. It leaves them less for patent lawyers.

    or are you saying someone beat them to the well?

    One of their problems is that Samsung has owned their own well for a very long time.

    The funniest things about this (and I know I’m conflating multiple viewpoints from multiple authors, but they’re all here on this same page) is that the Apple fanbois will tell you one minute that Apple is kicking ass because it’s so much more profitable than players like Samsung, and then will tell you the next minute that the brilliant thing about Apple is that it now has enough cash to invest in capital-intensive low-margin competitive businesses like LCD manufacturing… just like Samsung. Let’s see if they can connect the dots.

  54. And Apple is not attempting to Corner the market. “Cornering the market” is an attempt to purchase enough of a commodity (or it’s futures) to be able to set the price. This is emphatically not what Apple is doing. They’re not buying parts and hoarding them, and they’re not buying futures in order to later sell them.

    I would like to point out that your link was specifically titled “Can Apple corner the display market?”. Maybe you should point this out to them.

  55. both Samsung and HTC have their share of patents as well.

    Are you suggesting that Samsung or HTC would sue Apple? Have you forgotten how much Apple spends with Samsung?

    Coopetition at its finest. No, I think Samsung and HTC are the kind of old fashioned companies that view patents as primarily defensive. You suggested that Apple might starts shooting. I’m merely pointing out that they’re mistaken if they think everybody else just brought a knife. BTW, did you see this last October?

    But citing E-Ink displays when I was speaking to OLED and IPS technology is a complete red herring.

    Dude, both CPT and Pixel Qi think they’re aiming at cellphones. And you never specifically said OLED or IPS.

  56. I couldn’t find my favorite SPI flash chip for months on end, because of Apple’s iPad ramp.

    E-x-a-c-t-l-y. LIkely you only wanted a few. What if you were trying to purchase 100K every month?

    The thing is, I’m all for them prepaying because that sets supplier expectations appropriately. It’s the stupid sneaking around in the dark so that nobody knows what’s happening until Jobs gets up on stage that disrupts the markets in more than one way. Not publishing your BOM because you don’t want anybody to know what you’re up to is fine if you’re a little outfit, but when you know you’re going to ship 5 million of something in under 2 months, it’s disruptive. Which is fine in one way, after all — business is business, but all those whiners who say “Well, it’s not Apple’s fault they didn’t sell X million units — they’re supply constrained” don’t realize all the supply constraints are Apple’s own damned fault!

    As far as your other comment, yes, I only wanted a few flash units. I’m on the other end of the business — we sell millions of chips a month; the ones I buy are only for internal testing or shipping a few customer demo units.

  57. > all the supply constraints are Apple’s own damned fault!

    Only because they’ve chosen to up the ante by using cutting-edge components. Android phones are supply constricted, too. Perhaps more so.

    > It’s the stupid sneaking around in the dark so that nobody knows what’s happening until Jobs gets up on stage that disrupts the markets

    Every month that the rest of the market is delayed is another month of sales.

  58. > Dude, both CPT and Pixel Qi think they’re aiming at cellphones. And you never specifically said OLED or IPS.

    Hmm, is that why Pixel Qi has ZERO handset sized products even announced?

    As I said, I asked Jepsen about a Pixel Qi screen for a tiny application two weeks ago. I asked about availability of a 3″-4″ screen.

    What I got back was, “Maybe late this year or next year – depends on lead customer. We haven’t firmed things up yet. We will probably do 4.3″ 800×480 with color in reflection.”

    Even 4.3″ would be a largish phone. The Nexus One screen is 3.7″. The iPhone 4 is 3.5″. The Droid X is 4.3″ 854 × 480, but *everyone” thinks it’s TOO DAMNED BIG.

  59. Yeah, the problem is when you’re not the “lead customer.” But any of half-a-dozen Android vendors could go to any of half-a-dozen LCD manufacturers and specify exactly what screen size they wanted and where the connector goes and all that, and have them rolling off the fab line in quantity in under 3 months.

    No, those wouldn’t be Apple retina quality displays. Yes, a lot of Android phones are going to be sold with worse displays than Jobs would give his dog.

  60. > Yes, a lot of Android phones are going to be sold with worse displays than Jobs would give his dog.

    Indeed, and that is a strength.

    Android phone makers ship what is available for the prices their customers want to pay. So if there is a shortage of OLED screens, they use something else. But the phones keep coming. That is the way to supply billions of phones, instead of merely tens of millions.

    If you have only a single model, you are stuck when a key component is not available.

    And I do like eInk. But not on my phone ;-)

  61. It seems the people at Microsoft also see the water gushing into the schip.

    2009 was the year MS lost it’s monopoly, and in 2010 it lost all sense of purpose. 2011 will see MS grounding and 2012 will see it break up (fall apart).

    See I can do bold and insane predictions too :-)

    Btw, is the kernel of WP7 (Phone 7 Series 7 etc) really that bad? I was suspicious when fanbois were touting the innovative UI. When fanbois do not tell you how great the OS is, it must be rally bad. But I read somewhere remarks that suggested it was not much different from the “original” Windows CE.

    ==================
    Microsoft casualties rise as eBay snags big Bing exec
    http://infoworld.com/t/business/microsoft-casualties-rise-ebay-snags-big-bing-exec-116

    Steve Ballmer, captain of the S.S. Microsoft, is working hard to assure the world that all is well with his mighty vessel. But with so many top officers jumping ship, it’s tough not to suspect that the hull is badly breached and the old girl is taking on water.

  62. >Suggesting that Android will shortly peak is a ‘third-rail’ on this blog (Eric will threaten to ban you if you’re too forceful about it),

    That is bullshit. You were under threat of ban for content-free abuse. Then you cleaned up your act a little, which I was glad to see. Now you’re backsliding. Do not try my patience further.

  63. > AAPL’s dirty little secret is that they aren’t actually a hardware company

    Find a better crack dealer.

  64. >Are you seriously about to take the position that Apple’s “for sale” software is over-priced? Pining for a copy of Final Cut Pro, are you?

    BTW, Apple versus Avid is a business-school textbook case of how to take over a market. Avid tried to move all of their customers off the Mac and onto Windows, so Apple decided they had to take the video and movie editing business away from them.

  65. @Don:
    > Honestly, I think digital books, while perhaps convenient, are kind of a scam. They
    > cost similar to regular books (for newer releases, anyway), but I’ve never had to
    > replace/recharge the battery in a paperback, and I can easily take them to Half
    > Price Books when I’m done with them. Try that with your Kindle or Nook editions.

    I wandered around Iraq for a year with a kindle with a small library on it.

    I’m now doing the same in a much tamer part of the world.

    The kindle (and the sony e-book reader, but not presumably the nook) will let me read for something like 80 hours if I turn off the wireless bits. The new one apparently charges off a USB port.

    I’ve spent a lot of reading online–PDFs, Webpages and man pages on both green consoles and black on white xterms etc.

    I can read for *hours* on the kindle, just like a paperback. And when I get tired, or the light gets bad I can up the typeface size.

    I think in the near future pressure from new authors and new publishers will start to drive down the cost of fiction to the point where having the ability to resell it in the future is less important.

  66. > Now you’re backsliding. Do not try my patience further.

    See? :-)

    ESR says: Fine. You get your wish; you’re banned.

  67. >> Yes, a lot of Android phones are going to be sold with worse displays than Jobs would give his dog.
    > Indeed, and that is a strength.

    and… I think we’re done here. We’re right back to $299 PeeCees loaded with linux available at WalMart and Sam’s Club.

    If that’s what you want, if that’s what will do it for you, then by all means, go ahead.

    But you don’t get to castigate those who choose to spend a bit more because they’re trying to stave off going blind for a few more years.

  68. @WBTE
    “But you don’t get to castigate those who choose to spend a bit more because they’re trying to stave off going blind for a few more years.”

    If you wan to drive a Rolls, please feel free and enjoy it as much as you can. But do not tell me there is no room for cheap Kia cars. Nor try to argue cheap car makers will go bust because they cannot ever make money.

    The current argument is simple. One side predicts cheap (in price and quality) Android handsets will take over the market and Apple iPhone will end up in another niche.

    The other side accuses them from trying to take their expensive toys away. And anyhow, Android is crap and will be destroyed by any legal (or illegal) strategy anyway because it has no right to live.

  69. Wait, how much do iOS upgrades cost? Oh yeah, they’re free.

    So? Sell the software once and all upgrade are free. That’s a business model not without precedent. I haven’t paid for an upgrade yet in over 10 years of use.

    @Some Guy:

    > AAPL’s dirty little secret is that they aren’t actually a hardware company

    Find a better crack dealer.

    Okay, so you have nothing useful to add the discussion, apparently. Well, other than this gem:

    BTW, Apple versus Avid is a business-school textbook case of how to take over a market. Avid tried to move all of their customers off the Mac and onto Windows, so Apple decided they had to take the video and movie editing business away from them.

    A move, BTW, frequently taken by a certain software company. Mmmkay.

  70. @Morgan:
    > A move, BTW, frequently taken by a certain software company. Mmmkay.

    I give Apple a complete pass for FCP. All the pro NLE software before it (“all” meaning Avid, of course) was so damned mired in an outdated, painful workflow methodology of A-rolls and B-rolls, like working on a Steenbeck editing table, which I for one _hated_. Ditto Adobe Premier. Some of the consumer and pro-sumer software started leveraging the potential of modern hardware, but Final Cut Pro was the first to both break the mold AND actually knock Avid off its high horse. If for that alone, I will always have a small (very small…) nugget of love in my heart for Apple.

    Point being, Apple took over the market by simply making a mind-bogglingly better product than what was historically on offer, and at a ridiculously lower price point. Using FCP as an example for current Apple strategies, I think, is slightly flawed, namely due to the price undercutting.

  71. > That, the fragmentation issue, and the prospect of putting up with Java, are why I have no intention of shipping any code on Android for the foreseeable future.

    Last I heard Angry Birds was making around $1 million per month in ads on Android (http://www.androidcentral.com/angry-birds-android-expected-generate-1-million-month-video). That seems high considering I’ve never clicked on a mobile ad except by accident, but others have reported strong earnings from ads too.

    As far as my Android app development, I’ve found fragmentation to be way overhyped as a problem (don’t use absolute pixel layouts, duh), and Objective-C makes Java look elegant and concise.

  72. @jsk:

    Point being, Apple took over the market by simply making a mind-bogglingly better product than what was historically on offer, and at a ridiculously lower price point. Using FCP as an example for current Apple strategies, I think, is slightly flawed, namely due to the price undercutting.

    I’m not saying what Apple did isn’t good for its customers and FCP users. No doubt about that. But the reason Apple did so should be painfully obvious — to ensure that OS X remains the premier platform for professional video editing. There’s a reason Macs appear in a lot of movies, and it doesn’t have much to do with Apple’s marketing budget, if you know what I mean.

  73. > But the reason Apple did so should be painfully obvious — to ensure that OS X remains the premier platform for professional video editing.

    Sure; when FCP was really getting its momentum to ascendancy, we (movie folk… in a past life, before my Unix days…) all knew perfectly well that they were using it as a way to keep people buying the hardware. FCP is really the only reason I’ll ever have for buying a Mac, if I ever do, and even with the hardware costs it’s still a great deal.

    It’s been a long time since I was in that world, though; I haven’t looked into the open software scene for video in a while, to see if there’s anything pushing towards being an FCP competitor. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I do look…

  74. It’s been a long time since I was in that world, though; I haven’t looked into the open software scene for video in a while, to see if there’s anything pushing towards being an FCP competitor. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I do look…

    There are some nice packages. Kino has been lauded as competitor to or replacement for Final Cut Pro, and it certainly is very nice, but you’ll need KDEnlive and Cinelerra (I recommend both) if you’re going to replace FCP with free software. Maybe a couple others, too. Obviously, you must know that the more hardware you throw at video editing, the better … :)

  75. Do not try my patience further.

    You need to figure out some way to link that to a clip of James Earl Jones saying it as Vader.

  76. Well, Verizon has just announced their pricing plan for iPhone customers. If that’s what they’re going to charge, you can forget whatever fears I expressed previously about their network straining under the new loading.

  77. LS:

    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU…

    Guess I’ve been spoiled by Sprint’s $70 all-you-can-eat data plan. That’s one thing that lured me away from AT&T (and thus precluded the iPhone for me).

  78. Mini-Microsoft’s latest post has MS claiming a “93% customer satisfaction rate” for Windows Phone 7 … but there’s anecdotal reports of return rates on the few phones sold of 50% to 80%.

  79. @puggg

    The marvels of a free market. The same happened with GSM in Europe. GSM has 10 times the marketshare of other standards combined.

  80. “Web-based Android Market Looks Good”, a review on PC World.

    That pretty much seals the deal, don’t it?

  81. >But the reason Apple did so should be painfully obvious — to ensure that OS X remains the premier platform for professional video editing.

    Are you trying to imply that that’s a bad thing?

  82. William O. B’Livion:

    >I wandered around Iraq for a year with a kindle with a small library on it.

    That’s probably the best use I could think of for it.

    >I think in the near future pressure from new authors and new publishers will start to drive down the cost of
    >fiction to the point where having the ability to resell it in the future is less important.

    I hope you’re right. If the price was reasonably low (like maybe $1-3) I could see it then being worthwhile, but otherwise it’s a ridiculous as charging $25 for CDs.

  83. I think the iPad fits into a different market dynamic than the cell phone market.

    From the (admittedly sketchy) sales data I’ve seen, it looks like only about 15% of all iPads are 3G versions. Thus, iPads have a strong market presence that is independent of carrier influence.

    Remember that iPhones were artificially limited due to carrier exclusivity, which stunted its growth, and allowed an alternative OS (Android) a foothold. Can you imagine how much of a tougher sell Android would be if iPhones were multi-carrier from the get go?

    What is to keep the iPad from following iPod growth curve, which is currently at 50% to 80% market share, depending upon the country, even though iPods tend to be the most expensive MP3 option?

    That’s the fight that I think Android tablets are going to face. Android is going to have to fight iPad in a space where there is no carrier influence, no exclusivity agreements, where iPad already has a strong foothold, and first mover advantage.

    That’s a completely different market than the smart phone market.

  84. @hsu:

    I think the iPad fits into a different market dynamic than the cell phone market.

    Certainly.

    Remember that iPhones were artificially limited due to carrier exclusivity,

    Only in the US.

    What is to keep the iPad from following iPod growth curve, which is currently at 50% to 80% market share, depending upon the country, even though iPods tend to be the most expensive MP3 option?

    iTunes is what killed the other MP3 players. Google is supposedly working on an antidote for that, and the iPad is not a great form factor for a music player. Android already has web and kindle/nook apps; when it gets netflix and things like that, it will do good with the tablet format. When it gets music, it will do even better on the cellphone format.

    That’s the fight that I think Android tablets are going to face. Android is going to have to fight iPad in a space where there is no carrier influence, no exclusivity agreements, where iPad already has a strong foothold, and first mover advantage.

    The lack of carrier influence is a bonus. One less party to the negotiation. I would expect WiFi-only tablets to be quite popular. In fact, considering how late they are to the party, Android tablets are doing quite well.

    That’s a completely different market than the smart phone market.

    Yeah, it’s much more like the computer market, and much less like the iPod market (people want their smartphone to replace their MP3 player). BTW, Apple’s doing quite well in the computer market as well these days, but it’s hard to imagine them ever getting too far above 15% there, and if the Android tablet manufacturers get their stuff together, Apple’s share of the tablet market should be shrinking quite quickly. As with computers and phones, I expect them to maintain great profitability, at least for a few years, but not market share.

  85. @Patrick Maupin

    I think you are dead right. Tablets are a prime target for “throw away” computers. You would like to have them lying around wherever you go, even just as a remote control or book reader, in school, or when you are shopping and want to find a product. To watch your favorite programs on the couch or in the train.

    A $50 basic tablet with WiFi would be an instant hit. It would work already with a 7″ screen. Even at $75 people will buy several.

    All those Apple admirers completely miss the point when they think Apple will go for market share:
    http://hothardware.com/News/Android-Tablet-Market-Share-Surged-In-Q4-iPad-Under-Attack/

    Mawston’s prediction that the iPad will lose market share in the years to come is logical, but the story itself is built on the implicit assumption that Apple cares/should care about its market share. This might make sense if we were discussing Acer, Asus, or Dell, but Apple is a fundamentally different company. Ever since he returned to the company in 1998, Jobs’ top priority has been building the products he wanted with the features he felt were most important. The unique, specific, and occasionally whimsical desires of the company’s customers are of secondary importance.

    …….

    Apple favors mind share over market share and would much rather hold the coveted “Best in Class” award than the “Most Affordable” appellation. Even when the iPhone 4 was brand new it wasn’t the best-featured phone, but it’s still the point of comparison for virtually everyone, especially first-time smartphone buyers.

  86. About my prediction that MS will ground this year and break up next year (2012).

    It was a serious joke, one that I think will, sort of, could become true. But after reading the Mini-Microsoft blog, I have changed my mind:

    I am now certain I am right

    I followed the link from David Gerard’s comment above. Read this, and see the delusion and make-believe at MS. This is a company who has lost contact with the universe and lives in their own, private reality. Jobs has a reality distortion field, but at least he is able to get people to join his version of reality. MS have lost it completely.

    Microsoft FY11Q2 Results
    http://minimsft.blogspot.com/2011/01/microsoft-fy11q2-results.html?showComment=1296443524787#c1797909511325083684

    >>>>>>>>>>>
    What’s okay: Windows Phone 7: we sold some to non-employees and two-million licenses are in the channel. I have no idea what that means with-respect-to actually sold hardware. But it’s no KIN, so… success! Yeah.

    ………

    Next: our iPad-compete strategy is unspoken. For good reason. Just about any application developer at Microsoft can tell you that it’s a secret wrapped in red. Most Microsoft-observers have put the pieces together and figured out our strategy could be and realize who could be on point to deliver something exceptionally cool to compete with Apple. This will certainly could be our bet-the-company chance to validate the tortoise-vs-the-hare fable.

    How have our past tortoises fared? I can think of three recent late to market responses: Zune HD (iPod – remember those?), Kinect (Wii), and Windows Phone 7 (iPhone / Android). All great devices. In order for our possible iPad compete story to be a success, it has to pull a Kinect and be beyond the competition vs. a me-too or, well, me-kinda-sorta.
    <<<<<<<<<<<

    Do not miss the discussion in the comments on the 93% satisfaction on WP7 phones:

  87. This looks suspiciously like a set-up in preparation to Feb 11

    Marry Microsoft, analyst tells Nokia
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/02/elop_ballmer_marriage_brace_brace/

    Ahmad echoes the musings – calling for Nokia to drop Meego and become Microsoft’s exclusive WP7 hardware partner. The Berenberg analyst calls an Android “a no-go for now” because of Samsung’s scale, reach, and supply side advantages – and wants head count reduced by “7 or 8 per cent”.

    …..

    Microsoft was Elop’s previous employer, of course. Leaving aside the exclusive Microsoft partnership, which has its merits but risks looking like a “Coalition of the Losers”, the rest of it isn’t bad advice.

  88. Even the determined non-geeks will have to endure Android news nowadays. The Android:Apple app ratios is currently 1:3 with Google trying to make (financial) life easier for developers.

    Google eyes Apple in tablet war
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12353011

    Google also unveiled in-app purchasing, a new feature to let developers make money by selling virtual goods and upgrades in their apps to consumers.

    Convincing developers to back Android is seen as key to drawing in more customers.

    So far Android has more than 100,000 apps in its store, while more than 300,000 have been created for Apple’s iOS.

  89. >So far Android has more than 100,000 apps in its store, while more than 300,000 have been created for Apple’s iOS.

    Can any of the Apple fans here point at a single iOS app of any significance that hasn’t been ported to Android? Anything that would actually be a competitive discriminator?

    This is not intended as a confrontational question. That 1:3 ratio certainly makes it sound as though some such thing must exist, and the higher incidence of pay apps on iOS reinforces that; I’m a little surprised, therefore, that I’ve never heard even rumor of them. If you can, please repair my ignorance.

  90. @esr:
    > Can any of the Apple fans here point at a single iOS app of any significance that hasn’t been ported to Android? Anything that would actually be a competitive discriminator?

    Evidently there is no Netflix app for Android whereas such exists for iOS. Google for ‘netflix on android’ indicates a limited version may be coming in 2011.

  91. @Michael Hipp
    That is a more complex matter. Netflix is not so much an App as a service. There is no Netflix app because Netflix refuses to stream video to Linux computers.

    So this is an example of a service that is refused to any gear that does not run MS Windows or an Apple OS.

    But the difference between an App and a “cloud” service is vague, indeed.

  92. @Morgan Greywolf:

    AAPL’s dirty little secret is that they aren’t actually a hardware company; … Be forewarned that I have a sensible, well-reasoned argument if you decide you want to debate this point.

    This looks like a trick question to me (in the sense of bait & hook for trolls). I would agree with your starting statement, but disagree with your stated conclusion. Therefore, let me provide the following counter-argument:

    “Inconceivable! First, Apple directly sells hardware, which by definition makes them a hardware company. Second, you are forbidden to run any Apple software on alternate hardware, therefore they are a hardware company. Finally, even if they are not a hardware company, most of their devices require dedicated software for full functionality (such as iPhones/iPods using iTunes and the iTunes store for software loading) and thus they are a *service* company.”

  93. Apple is a systems company. The Apple way is, and always has been, that hardware, software, and services form integral parts of the whole product. Their product is the entire system of these.

  94. @Winter:
    > That is a more complex matter. Netflix is not so much an App as a service. There is no Netflix app because Netflix refuses to stream video to Linux computers.

    Good point Winter. Unfortunately, it might still fit Eric’s “competitive discriminator” criteria for a consumer trying to pick a device.

  95. I know it is paranoid, but at the same time I do think MSFT works as a cabal – or at least often tries to. (e.g. SCO, OOXML standardization). And this leads me to believe that Elop is a plant:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/04/technology/04nokia.html?src=busln

    It should interesting to see how it plays out (I do not think it will play out well.) Sad because I have liked some Nokia hardware in the past – rather like the period when HP stopped making calculators. (If only they had sent the calculator division to Agilent during the split.) I do think the title of this article is rather clever though – “Analyst suggests a Nokia-Microsoft suicide pact”

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2024012/analyst-suggests-nokia-microsoft-suicide-pact

  96. >Unfortunately, it might still fit Eric’s “competitive discriminator” criteria for a consumer trying to pick a device.

    I think it does, in fact. The next question is, are there other examples? And in particular are there other examples not tied to DRMed media delivery?

  97. @Red
    “I know it is paranoid, but at the same time I do think MSFT works as a cabal ”

    With MSFT, the question is not “Am I paranoid?“, but “Am I paranoid ENOUGH?“.

    The occasions have been rare indeed where MS was less involved in devious acts than was believed.

    Look at the current spat with Google. Bing as a wrapper around Google search. (I know, it was less straightforeward, but still)

  98. > Nokia spent $3.9B on R&D.

    Sounds like a company end of life play based on accumulating “intellectual property.” What else would they be doing with that much R&D?

  99. > MS will ground this year and break up next year (2012).

    I think that’s way too optimistic. There’s an incredible amount of inertia in that organization. What I’m expecting is another ten years or so of fairly steady decline before they fall below 50% of PC market share.

  100. Regarding what I said above about the high-water mark for Android:

    A majority of Verizon’s current Android and BlackBerry users already have iPhone fever, reporting that they intend to head to Apple as soon as the iPhone hits the shelves: 54 percent are very likely (25 percent) or somewhat likely (29 percent) to upgrade to iPhone on February 10. Research in Motion, take note: fully two-thirds of Verizon’s BlackBerry users (66 percent) report they are very or somewhat likely to trade up to the iPhone that day, as are nearly half of its Android users (44 percent).

    http://macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/28524/

  101. >fully two-thirds of Verizon’s BlackBerry users (66 percent) report they are very or somewhat likely to trade up to the iPhone that day, as are nearly half of its Android users (44 percent).

    Huh? There’s something smelly about that. Individuals with Blackberry accounts – and thus the ability to bail out to an upgrade an a moment’s notice – are not common. Those devices are usually managed like my wife’s, by an IT department with a lot of inertia. 66% is a wildly implausible figure even for Blackberry users with option, much less with option and desire.

    This makes me suspicious that what we’re seeing here is spin or bad methodology.

  102. >This makes me suspicious that what we’re seeing here is spin or bad methodology.

    We’ll know when Apple’s next quarterly earnings come out. I’m looking forward to it.

  103. >We’ll know when Apple’s next quarterly earnings come out.

    Actually, no. We’ll know when the Canalys reports for 1Q2011 come out. Market penetration is the interesting variable, not profits or even absolute units sold.

  104. >Huh? There’s something smelly about that. Individuals with Blackberry accounts – and thus the ability to bail out to an upgrade an a moment’s
    >notice – are not common. Those devices are usually managed like my wife’s, by an IT department with a lot of inertia. 66% is a wildly
    >implausible figure even for Blackberry users with option, much less with option and desire.

    Two points.

    1) Do you have a reference to back the claim that individual blackberry owners are not common? Yes BB is a corporate device, but just from my own (anecdotal) experience, there are plenty of folks that have independent blackberry accounts, some of whom have a corporate one too. In fact, it was my understanding that a portion of RIMs success was a page out of the Windows/PC playbook: get people buying for their personal use the same stuff they have at work. There’s this link from BB (http://us.blackberry.com/business/leading/IDC%20Corporate%20verus%20Individual%20Liable%20.pdf) where even in their corporate clients, 12% are individual liability setups. Unfortunately, I couldn’t quickly find anything about private accounts as a whole. My personal experience would suggest that individual blackberry users are more common than you might think, though I doubt anywhere close to reaching 66% of verizon’s blackberry clientele.

    2) This falls under your heading of “bad methodology” but even corporate liable customers may still be planning on “switching” by making their next personal phone an iPhone.

  105. >My personal experience would suggest that individual blackberry users are more common than you might think, though I doubt anywhere close to reaching 66% of verizon’s blackberry clientele.

    Since neither of us think it’s anywhere close to 66%, it’s not worth arguing or researching further right now. That projection just doesn’t work. And we’ll see soon enough.

  106. >Apparently, there was quite a bit of pent-up demand from the Verizon customers.

    Please tell me you aren’t that naive. One of the most basic marketing tactics for a positional/premium good like the iPhone is to project demand and then deliberately launch short of units in order to generate perception that you can’t meet demand because everybody’s clamoring for one. If the launch had failed to generate this headline, I would have considered it evidence of incompetence.

  107. Eric, I know you want to believe your little conspiracy fantasies, but the fact is that Apple doesn’t need to play any such tricks to make the demand look bigger. They get as many units built as they possibly can, given the limitations of displays and flash ram.

  108. @Some Guy
    “> MS will ground this year and break up next year (2012).

    I think that’s way too optimistic. There’s an incredible amount of inertia in that organization.”

    What I meant was that MS will be going into a hold-and-milk mode.

    All their money is earned with the MS Windows and MS Office lock in. MS cannot enter and dominate new markets anymore and they will never get the 80% margin they get on MS Office and Windows, not even a 10% margin.

    Financially, this means that any new product category they enter will only cost them money. This will be realized by their share holders when WP7, and with it MS entry in the ad market, fail completely.

    The share holder will force them to stop wasting money on losing product and so MS will give up entering new markets (the grounding part, 2011).

    Then MS will start shedding loss makers, like Bing, MSN etc. and go sit on milking Windows and MS Office for whatever they are worth, that is the CA option (breaking, 2012).

    I am not the only one who sees the writing on the wall (like all the people leaving the ship).

    Cheating Accusations Highlight Microsoft’s Decline
    http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/218480/cheating_accusations_highlight_microsofts_decline.html?tk=mod_rel

    Rather, I believe the incident underscores Microsoft’s waning ability to compete on raw merit. Increasingly, the company relies on imitation, fearmongering, litigation and lock-in for its profitability. That, in turn, is bad news for users.

  109. Again someone who agrees with eric

    Android: We’re Number One!
    No surprise here – we’ve all seen exactly this scenario play out before, and this result was absolutely predictable.
    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/71136

    Apple is still the innovator redefining the game, but still likes closed and proprietary, and Google is providing a very similar but more open experience at a far lower cost to a far greater number of customers. RIM looks a lot like an earlier version of Apple, although they’ve fallen behind in the innovation game, which is what happens to leaders when they get complacent. And ditto for Microsoft, who will make nary a dent in the handset market no matter what they do (short of buying market share, which Wall Street won’t really let them do). RIM is down but not out, and I expect them to continue to be a strong #3, after Apple. BTW, Apple only gets to be #2 because of handset subsidies, which allow them to build a strong user base that otherwise would be unobtainable – their costs are just too high, sounding familiar once again. But, regardless, the blowout-success scenario of Windows over the Mac won’t happen in the case of Android (or whatever Linux version eventually wins) vs. iOS.

  110. >What I meant was that MS will be going into a hold-and-milk mode.

    I don’t see Ballmer doing that, either. He’s pissed away tens of billions of dollars of his shareholders’ money chasing whatever enemy he’s fixated on at the moment, whether it’s Apple, Google, Sony, or Oracle.

    Anytime I stop by mini microsoft, they all seem fixated on their competitors, instead of thinking about their customers the way that Apple and Google do. They’ve got a really screwy mind set over there.

    I agree that for MS to keep trying to push into new markets is a fools’ errand, but I don’t see any reason why they’d quit beating their heads against that wall.

  111. @Some Guy
    “I agree that for MS to keep trying to push into new markets is a fools’ errand, but I don’t see any reason why they’d quit beating their heads against that wall.”

    I agree totally. However, my hunch is that the exclusion of MS in a short time from both the search engine market (ad service) and the expanding mobile markets (phone, tablet, and then netbook again) will force MS’ hand.

    I look at the symptoms, and they all point in this direction:
    - An exodus of talent and experience (now all but completed) showing a complete lack of faith in the future of the company,
    - the delusional character of employees like mini-microsoft (they think a mere app like the kinec will turn around MS’ fate),
    - the way MS has dropped out of view of the press (Who actually cares what MS did?).

    All this suggests to me that MS is about to switch to a hold-and-milk mode. What is called to “concentrate on core competence”.

  112. @Some Guy
    MS’ decline

    Just after posting my previous comment I stumbled on the article below. The money MS skims from industry with their “document” products is wasted when spend on anything else. It would be rational to spend a lot of money to defend the monopoly. But after the monopoly has been lost, there is no rationale anymore to keep wasting money on unprofitable ventures.

    I would be surprised if a real ARM port of Windows (NT variety) ever leaves Redmond.

    The high cost of Microsoft SharePoint
    http://www.realstorygroup.com/Blog/2081-The-high-cost-of-Microsoft-SharePoint

    Microsoft estimates that you the customer will spend a total of $6.2 Billion on services related to SharePoint in 2011 (see their partner pitch). According to my rough estimate, you can add $1.7 Billion in 2011 SharePoint license revenue on top. This for a product that many sales folk continue to tout as low cost, and sometimes even as free.
    ……
    What surprises both us and our customers is that SharePoint can sometimes present the most expensive shortlisted ECM option after a full cost analysis is undertaken.

  113. All this suggests to me that MS is about to switch to a hold-and-milk mode.

    That’s what they should do of course, but it’s been what they should do for at least fifteen years now. I don’t expect the shareholders to fire Ballmer and make it happen, because the investors who cared about making returns that beat the S&P have long since taken their money elsewhere. Today’s typical MS shareholder is an institutional dullard who can’t see the writing on the wall.

  114. The number of iPhones Verizon sold in two hours beats the release day total for any other device in Verizon history.

  115. @J. Jay:

    > Note that this is, by definition, *existing* customers.

    Estimates of the number of iPhones set aside for preorders by verizon seem to be around 100K. This may come from an RBC analyst.

    http://www.thestreet.com/story/10996945/1/verizon-flew-through-100k-iphones.html
    http://www.techieinsider.com/news/6133
    http://www.mobileinsidernews.com/news/388

    WSJ and Forbes report that a Barclays analyst thinks Verizon might sell 500K in first 3 days of general availability. Also, Verizon is to introduce data throttling, but “Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said the introduction of the policy wasn’t related to the coming debut of the iPhone.” Apparently, their network already sucked worse than they let on.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110203-710954.html
    http://blogs.forbes.com/elizabethwoyke/2011/02/02/how-many-verizon-iphones-add-up-to-a-successful-launch/

  116. About the uSamp survey.

    I don’t know how good/bad this survey actually is. However, I will note a couple of things:

    1) The company was apparently founded in 2008.

    2) They don’t phone people up. Instead, they have a “diverse” panel (which must be quasi-self-selected) of people who answer questions online.

    I’m sure they try all sorts of tricks to try to guarantee good results, but I’m not sure how well that works with the panel approach.

  117. uSamp apparently pays people for filling out surveys.

    I guess it beats donating plasma.

    BTW, this Verizon iPhone survey is only the second survey I found on uSamp’s news page. Their self-proclaimed “inaugural survey” was released less than 3 months ago. On the one hand, I’d think they deserve some credit for having the cojones to make such a bold survey; on the other hand, firms like this seem to thrive on any press whatsoever.

    In any case, new company, new methodology, not much of a track record.

  118. The uSamp survey seems meaningless to me. However, beating one-day sales numbers in 2 hours is sourced from Verizon, so…

    btw, the advantage of a robust, large software ecosystem is not that there’s one killer product; it’s that more people with niche needs will be able to find the product that works for them. As someone who’s used Macs since day one, I am very familiar with this. Sure, the big category products were just as good on the Mac. The word processors and the spreadsheets were great, and these days Keynote is generally superior to PowerPoint. But the Mac didn’t and still doesn’t have all the little niche products. If you have to buy a PC to run (say) your real estate software, you’re not going to buy Macs for other applications and worry about compatibility.

    So the advantage as it currently exists for the iPad is, for example, HCIS applications. Or my own example, which is perhaps more relevant to most readers here: my workplace uses Cisco AnyConnect VPN technology, and there is no Android client. I can ssh into my work servers with my iPad while I’m on the road, which is immensely important. Looking for a single iPad app that makes the difference is off the mark.

  119. @Bryant:

    The uSamp survey seems meaningless to me. However, beating one-day sales numbers in 2 hours is sourced from Verizon, so…

    But what is the one-day sales record? The only estimate I found on this issue was first week record of 250K for the Droid. If Verizon had some really impressive numbers, they’d certainly trot them out.

  120. @phil: Welcome to 2 weeks ago. Which is forever on the Internet. That’s been debunked. Try [url=http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2011/01/new-alleged-evidence-of-android-infringement-isnt-a-smoking-gun.ars]this[/url] for a very brief explanation.

    @PM: That was rather a weak review, as one of the commenters noted, “based on your article I still don’t see why Apple should fear honeycomb”. Oddly, the only Android advantage mentioned in the article that’s honeycomb-specific is support for higher screen resolutions- the rest are all the usual Android (or available on Android, see HTC Sense for desirable widgets) advantages that nobody seems to care about, that get conveniently ignored or explained away as being unimportant.

  121. @Greg:

    The thing I found interesting about the review was that an iPad user picked up an Android and thought it was, not only OK to use, but possibly even better than what he’s carrying around.

    Oddly, the only Android advantage mentioned in the article that’s honeycomb-specific is support for higher screen resolutions- the rest are all the usual Android (or available on Android, see HTC Sense for desirable widgets) advantages that nobody seems to care about,

    Well, if nobody cares about them, then they’re not really advantages :-)

    OTOH, I don’t know whether anybody cares or not. I believe that most of the Android true believers believe simply that openness is better than being closed, and that one of the benefits of openness is that any truly necessary feature or application will appear. In general, there’s no reason to climb to the mountaintop to scream about any particular feature. (To be sure, there are exceptions, like tethering, the lack of which showcases what happens when others control your devices too closely.) For someone who cares deeply about openness, there is absolutely no reason to get in a pissing contest about a laundry list of features that could change on a monthly basis in any case.

    From what I’ve read, most of the Apple true believers fall into 3 camps: (1) people who own Apple stock; (2) people who have to publicly justify their purchases, probably because they are positional goods they feel insecure about; and (3) people who feel that Apple stuff “just works” for them, but aren’t really proselytizing. People who fall into camp (3) (and the corresponding Android camp) don’t really have a dog in this hunt and don’t scream, but people who fall into camps (1) and (2) have to scream loudly about every single slight advantage iOS has over Android.

    (Note, developers are not covered in this analysis, but who cares? They are a separate issue for a lot of reasons, but as long as apps keep getting developed for Android, it doesn’t really matter what any particular developer thinks.)

  122. (2) people who have to publicly justify their purchases, probably because they are positional goods they feel insecure about;

    Enough with the positional good nonsense.

    Name me one Android tablet that offers as much as the iPad, is out now, and costs the same or less.

  123. @Jeff Read:

    When I was talking about “Apple true believers”, that was about iOS in general. I absolutely agree that Android is only now starting to look like a tablet contender, but I find your intensity…. interesting.

  124. Patrick Maupin,

    I want to put to rest the notion, oft repeated on this blog, that Apple products are overpriced for what you get because they are “positional goods” whose value overhead comes from branding and status. This was more true in the 90s, but these days Apple hardware is price-competitive and may offer better value for your money. The iPhone doesn’t cost any more than similar-spec smartphones, and arguably offers more for non-geeks than these. So far, wherever Android gets a price advantage over iOS it is always at the expense of quality. The open and cheap Android kit is either too underpowered and/or shoddily made.

  125. @Jeff Read:

    I don’t buy it. Actually I have bought it. I have bought a flaky Apple Macbook Pro for one of my daughters, and my daughters have both bought flaky iPhones (why the hell should you need to reboot a phone on a regular basis? It’s theoretically not made by Microsoft), and OK-but-not-great iPods. My wife’s Sansa MP3 player was much cheaper than any comparable iPod, and works fine.

    All the macs are overpriced. If it is, in fact true that “the iPhone doesn’t cost any more than similar-spec smartphones” then it is simply a matter of value pricing on the part of the other smartphone players because of Apple’s constrained supply position, or because of Apple’s carrier-constrained sales position, and I expect this to be remedied quite soon.

    Note that I have an opinion on the mac vs. its competitors, but have not yet formed an opinion on the iPhone vs. its competitors, other than that the iPhone is a buggy piece of crap, and the Android phones would have to be shoddily made indeed for all of them to be worse.

    But that’s just an opinion. It is, however, my opinion, based on my personal experience, just like your opinion is just that — your opinion, and not god-given fact. So, enough with the “Enough with the positional nonsense” nonsense.

  126. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/02/more-xoom-details-revealed-800-february-24-launch-data-plan-required.ars

    $800 for a Xoom with crippled WiFi (you must buy a cellular data plan in order to access WiFi). Really? Really? What the heck are the folks over at Motorola smoking?

    Do they not understand the market dynamics? Pretty much anyone who is already willing to spend $500+ on a tablet is going to buy (or already has bought) an iPad, and there’s a variety of reasons for that. For Android to succeed in the tablet market, they have to come in below $500, even if it requires carrier subsidies or fewer features to get the price that low.

  127. >For Android to succeed in the tablet market, they have to come in below $500, even if it requires carrier subsidies or fewer features to get the price that low.

    I concur. The Xoom pricing is ridiculous; I have no idea who they can possibly think their target market is.

    I’m not worried about the long term, though. The Pacific Rim producers will be cranking out Android tablets in the millions soon enough, and all looking for even a percentage point of share over competitors. We’ll see them below $500 by early 3Q I think, and probably down to $295 in the 2011 Christmas season.

  128. @hsu&eric
    Strange Xoom pricing

    If it is indeed rational, a big if, then it might be a question of supply and demand.

    If Motorola think they can only produce a limited number of tablets initially, small numbers==high costs, they might try to maximize profit this way.

    Theyy obviously expect to sell them for this price.

  129. IDC Smartphone shipment report is out:

    http://www.idc.com/about/viewpressrelease.jsp?containerId=prUS22689111

    Phone makers who did not use Android lost (Nokia, RIM) or maintained (Apple) market share.

    Although Apple just maintained market share from 2009Q4 to 2010Q4, and RIM lost 5.4% of marketshare and Nokia lost 10.6% of marketshare, the overall market grew so fast that RIM and Nokia each showed 36% growth in shipments, and Apple showed an 86% growth in shipments.

    Samsung and HTC, starting from lower numbers, had stellar growth. Together, they only shipped 48% of what Apple shipped in 09Q4, but increased that to 13% more than what Apple shipped in 10Q4.

    The “other” manufacturers (besides the big 5) together had the largest absolute unit growth, shipping 9% more smartphones than Apple in 09Q4, but 45% more phones than Apple in 10Q4.

    One obvious inference from the report is that, at some point or another, all of the smartphone vendors were probably supply constrained, and Apple was probably more supply constrained than they let on.

    It will be interesting to see what happens when the pendulum swings the other way, and there is a glut of smartphones.

  130. At one point, Motorola had the bling in the mobile phone space (RAZR). Especially if their Xoom supply is constrained, they might as well throw a high price out there and see what sticks. It’s a longshot, but if the Xoom lives up to its hype, it could actually be enough better than an iPad for enough customers to relegate Apple to the “better” category.

  131. Interesting article from 2 weeks ago, explaining how greed would screw up the Xoom:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20029411-1.html

    I have another wacky theory:

    Apple: Sorry, I know we promised you we’d be able to ship 6 million iPhones right away, but there are some supply constraints.

    Verizon: Wha, wait! You said everything was fine!

    Apple: Well, it was, but there are a lot of **cough** Xoom **cough** new market entrants soaking up flash and memory. You understand.

    Verizon: But we have to sell those! We have a contract!

    Apple: Well, if you make the price high enough, maybe you won’t sell as many, and then we’ll be able to deliver all the iPhones you need.

    Verizon: mutter, mutter, sales, mutter, margin, mutter, contract, mutter, mutter, lock-in, mutter, mutter… OK.

  132. @Patrick

    What did Apple do to you that makes you hate them so much? It’s like Apple bullied your kids at the school playground or something.

    As for your Verizon-Apple conjecture, I’m pretty sure it’s incorrect, because the Xoom looks like it will be available without a contract, with 3G sold as an add on feature, using WiFi as the carrot to get people to pay for a month of service. There does not seem to be any long term contracts involved, which makes it highly unlikely that Verizon would subsidize the Xoom, as there’s no way they could recoup their costs.

    The most interesting thing about the article you linked though is that Motorola inked an exclusivity agreement with Google for Honeycomb. Ouch. That’s going to hurt total Android tablet sales for 2011. I’m surprised that Google would do something so short sighted.

  133. The strategy of smothering Apple in a flood of Android devices seems to have one major drawback: The iPad alone seems to get about as much media coverage as all the Android tablets combined, which are having a real hard time to stand out of the crowd. Also, bad user experiences with some Android devices tend to reflect badly on all of them. Be sure that the Apple crowd will only ever talk about the lesser incarnations of Android tablets, and then generalize from there.
    Myself, I am very satisfied with the Archos 101 WiFi tablet I bought about a month ago. My main use cases are reading and surfing. Therefore I was prioritizing the features “big” and “lightweight”.
    What I got is a 10.1″ screen (although I’d have preferred 4:3 to 16:9 which is more of a video watching thing) at a weight of only 480g (the 9.7″ WiFi iPad weights 40% more, even the 9.7″ Kindle is over 10% heavier).
    I also got USB client & host ports, good battery life, an actively supported and updated system (since the most recent firmware update the last of the earlier software glitches finally seem to be gone), optional Android/Angstrom dual-boot feature for embedded Linux hacking (but the device will permanently loose the ability to handle DRM’d stuff – which I don’t give a **** for), and all that at price below $300.
    I was a bit afraid at first because of the criticism I read regarding the viewing angle of the screen, but in my experience it is more than good enough… for three of four possible directions of deviation at least. ;-)

  134. The really scary thing about the Mini-Microsoft comments Kool-Aid mainlining competition? That’s what the dissenters at Microsoft look like.

  135. @hsu:

    What did Apple do to you that makes you hate them so much? It’s like Apple bullied your kids at the school playground or something.

    More like bedazzled them, and convinced them they had to have their products. So when esr says they’re “positional goods” I agree — I’ve seen that firsthand. And when Jeff Read says “these days Apple hardware is price-competitive and may offer better value for your money” — well I haven’t seen that.

    Add in Apple’s misuse of copyright law (tying hardware to software), their deliberate killing of rooted iPhones, their determination that they are the world’s gatekeepers for what goes on their phones, and next their Macs, and yeah, I don’t like Apple too much right now.

    As for your Verizon-Apple conjecture, I’m pretty sure it’s incorrect, because the Xoom looks like it will be available without a contract, with 3G sold as an add on feature, using WiFi as the carrot to get people to pay for a month of service.

    How is 3G an “add on feature” when you can’t use it with WiFi until you first use it with 3G? How can you deduce all the contracts associated with the device from this contorted mess? In any case, there will certainly be a WiFi-only version at some point, just not at the outset.

    There does not seem to be any long term contracts involved, which makes it highly unlikely that Verizon would subsidize the Xoom, as there’s no way they could recoup their costs.

    My wacky, unsupported and possibly unsupportable hypothesis involved price-gouging, e.g. the reverse of subsidization.

  136. @hsu:

    The most interesting thing about the article you linked though is that Motorola inked an exclusivity agreement with Google for Honeycomb. Ouch. That’s going to hurt total Android tablet sales for 2011. I’m surprised that Google would do something so short sighted.

    It probably isn’t for very long:

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/23/googles-honeycomb-android-tablet-release-slated-for-march/

    In any case, look at it from google’s perspective. When bringing out a major release, it may be a lot easier to work with a single partner. Fred Brooks could tell you a thing or two about that. As esr said many years ago “It’s fairly clear that one cannot code from the ground up in bazaar style. One can test, debug and improve in bazaar style, but it would be very hard to originate a project in bazaar mode.”

    The thing about Android is that, in order to sell phones or tablets, you need a version that works well enough at the first shipment. The world is not really all that forgiving, and release early/often doesn’t necessarily work all that well for the first few releases for devices that might be easy to brick.

  137. Latest comscore report out:

    http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/2/comScore_Reports_December_2010_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share

    Remember, comscore concerns actual users and usage, based on polling, not sales during the quarter.

    Top smartphone platforms in US: RIM at 31.6%, Android at 28.7%, Apple at 25.0%

    Samsung is kicking ass overall in the US — in handsets (as opposed to smartphones), they have 24.8% and rising of the US market. Apple doesn’t even make that chart. It’s interesting that world leader Nokia’s share of the US handset market is so small (7.0% and shrinking), and RIM and Motorola have declining market share, while LG is almost holding steady in second place at 20.9%.

    Samsung may be second worldwide to Nokia’s number one, but they are growing much faster than Nokia or the market in general. Globally, Samsung shipped 280 million phones last year, 81 million of them in Q4. Only around 30 million of those 280 million were smartphones, but Samsung plans to ship 60 million smartphones this year. I think Samsung has a pretty good brand name among consumers and a pretty good supply chain — it will be interesting to see how well they do going forward.

  138. >What I got is a 10.1? screen (although I’d have preferred 4:3 to 16:9 which is more of a video watching thing) at a
    >weight of only 480g (the 9.7? WiFi iPad weights 40% more, even the 9.7? Kindle is over 10% heavier).

    Re: the screen aspect ratio

    I noticed this the other day when I was in the Verizon store, the Galaxy Tab just seems weird if you’re using it for anything other than video. Although, I’m similarly slightly off put by the iPad’s 4:3 ratio too. I wonder if it has anything to do with how closely a tablet tends to resemble the various sheets and forms we handle in our day to day lives. I wonder if a tablet sized like a letter sheet of paper or A4 would feel more “right”

  139. Although, I’m similarly slightly off put by the iPad’s 4:3 ratio too. I wonder if it has anything to do with how closely a tablet tends to resemble the various sheets and forms we handle in our day to day lives. I wonder if a tablet sized like a letter sheet of paper or A4 would feel more “right”

    A 4:3 (1.33…) ratio is only slightly less square than a letter sheet of paper (1.294), and somewhat more square than an A4 sheet of paper (1.4142), so I don’t think you’re longing for a letter sheet. Perhaps you’re really looking for something like a half-letter booklet/memo pad ratio (17:11 or 1.54), which is very close to the geometric mean between the 4:3 and 16:9 ratios.

  140. >I think Samsung has a pretty good brand name among consumers and a pretty good supply chain — it will be interesting to see how well they do going forward.

    I’ve been expecting Samsung to run their usual game – wait for the tech leaders to break trail, then walk in with huge financial mass to own the midrange – and it looks like they’re making it work again. (My last dumb-phone was a Samsung VT660.)

    >Top smartphone platforms in US: RIM at 31.6%, Android at 28.7%, Apple at 25.0%

    That means to retake first place, Apple would have to swing a minimum of 1.3 million users from Android (plus whatever customer base growth Android has in the meantime). I’ve seen press claims of 11 million sales, but this is probably bogus since Verizon only claimed 100K presales.

    Interesting that Microsoft has actually lost share since the WP7 launch. And boy is RIM tanking fast – from a big start to be sure but -5% in a quarter is bad news.

  141. > Verizon only claimed 100K presales.

    I think that might have been from an RBC analyst. I’ve never been able to find actual sales numbers by handset from Verizon, so if you have a source, a URL would be nice.

    In any case, I think it’s cleverly disingenuous of Verizon to claim that it’s BETTER THAN ANY FIRST DAY SALE EVER (of a phone on Verizon) and then stand back and let everybody assume they’re talking about previous iPhone first days. That’s where bogus numbers like 11 million come up.

  142. @esr:

    Interesting that Microsoft has actually lost share since the WP7 launch. And boy is RIM tanking fast – from a big start to be sure but -5% in a quarter is bad news.

    Android, and to a somewhat less extent Apple, are really driving the market. Some math on Comscore’s numbers shows that absolute numbers of MS phone and RIM phone users in the US increased by 1.4 and 5.2 million, and according to IDC and others, at least RIM sold a lot more phones in the fourth quarter than in the year ago quarter, but these numbers just don’t keep up with the market. IDC says RIM had year-on-year quarterly shipment growth of 36.4%, compared to Samsung’s 438.9%.

    But Samsung started at a much lower market share. Samsung’s projection of 60 million smartphone units for 2011 put it at a run rate equivalent to RIM’s last quarter, so it’s possible that it won’t catch RIM in smartphones this year. Obviously, all Android phones together won’t have this problem.

  143. Regarding the “Xoom”: it takes balls to price a knock-off higher than the genuine article.

    I have to wonder about the name. Were they trying to piggy-back on the mindshare of Microsoft’s latest “iPod killer” that failed to draw blood?

  144. What the heck are the folks over at Motorola smoking?

    Nothing illegal. Motorola drug-tests all their employees. Maybe that’s why they’re having to make do with such a mediocre bunch.

  145. I did a quick search for information about some form of exclusivity deal between Motorola and Google.
    I can find two possibilities :-

    1) Xoom will get Honeycomb early, i.e. before google releases officially in March. Probably a case of Motorola saying “look, we’ve slated for release here and we want to release with honeycomb… pleeeeeeeease”.

    2) Honeycomb on tablets is rumoured to require dual core. As such it won’t play nice with all the current (single core) tablets.

    A true exclusivity deal (ala iphone/at&t) makes precisely zero sense to me from a practical perspective. Does anyone have any better info than this?

  146. I’ve seen press claims of 11 million sales, but this is probably bogus since Verizon only claimed 100K presales.

    That is fairly hard to believe; do you have a cite? I have seen reports that a Verizon spokesman estimated 11 million iPhone sales on Verizon this year — you may be getting confused about that. Or possibly a reporter was confused, I dunno.

  147. HoneyComb is dead….
    Dead on arrival!!!

    They made a big mistake in their GUI?

    Mark these word…. HoneyComb is a GUI Mistake!

    They should have taken their Gingerbread UI and make it more IPAD!
    Instead they stupidly try to make it like Win7, Linux Distro or even OSX… with some touch!

    What is it with a revise task manager at the bottom a revise system menu at top…
    and even a wigdget/gadget slidebar like at the bottom side…. damn failure…

    Now these Honeycomb Tablet will have a very hard time competing with Ipads..
    But they will be definitely be kill by those Win7 NetBook!!

    FYI, the tablet market will not pan out to be like the smartphone market…
    The Tablet will most likely pan out to Media Market(Ipod/Walkman) or Game Market(SonyNintendoMicro) or Pc Market(Win/Mac).

    The Smartphone Market is an extension of the phone Market plus some element of the Pc Market. Everybody need needs stinky phone regardless of how many other features that are out there. So when a person wants to get a phone… His simple way is just goto a phone shop and their is where retail outlet and present makes a more important factor.

    Apple has zero or little presents in the pure phone Market, But their Pc part of the smartphone is the best . Those who bought an iphone usually want an iphone before purchasing, while in most cases buying phones are not generally agree before hand but rather purhase on the spot. Andriod also has big advantage at places where there is no contract and are in developed nation.

    It is because not all Androids are smart phones…a lot of them are just feature phone with no or limited Internet connectivity and therefore lack The prices are a full feature smartphone but that is okay cos only the phone parts that matters.

    Some Androids are Googlee android…some are not an are fork like chinese tapa OS And will be fork much more likely by HTC(not just Skin deep but bone deep) or Samsung but Samsung may favour BADA OS over Android in the future, Plus we may see more forks from company like Yahoo… Amazon…or even Facebook. Hell Nokia can even fork it if it wants to use Android. and if the India company is smart once the winner emerge from among them they to will fork android some more.

    What is OPEN is bound to CLOSE…. what is CLOSE is bound to OPEN.
    Standards and split…Standard and Splits emerge all the time just look at the English Language.

  148. Some people will not let go of MS as the all crushing competitor (I still think MS will be breaking up by 2013).

    Apple under threat from … Windows tablets. Eh?
    http://www.reghardware.com/2011/02/08/apple_tablets_vs_windows/

    The battle will commence in 2013, says market watcher IHS iSuppli, which reckons that is when Microsoft will introduce a new version of Windows for tablets.

    Assuming it’s rather better than preview Tablet PC editions of Windows, the release – whether it comes in late 2012 or early 2013 – will stir up the business in 2013, pushing the iPad’s share of the market to below 50 per cent.

  149. MS had already tried and failed to shoehorn Windows into tablets when the iPad was still on the drawing board. Apple learned from MS’s mistakes, and shipped the tablet that now defines the category. They didn’t try to cram the Mac UI into it, they came up with a new UI that made sense for multi-touch.

    I see no indication at all that MS has learned anything.

  150. NetBook not Tablet….

    Those $250 Win7 Netbook will kill any $500 Honeycomb tablet!

    Honeycomb UI is a too complex!!
    It is a revise version or Windows7 with touch….
    What was google thinking?? Listenning to the opinion of a bunch of nerd?
    They should made it more simple… like an Ipad.

    And what is it with Honey being so landscape centric? This is not a laptop?
    Honey should be Portrait centric or at least Neutral… The Smartphone version is portrait.

    And what is it with this widget centric in HoneyComb?
    Widget/Gadget has long been arrive in MacOsX and Win Vista in Dashboard n Sidebar.
    While widget are nice but they don’t really sell. It just another feature but it will not help sell or build the platform.

    What is important is the apps…or what windows call it the the program, Apps are what builds the platform not widget(they are the easiest to implement later). That is why the UI need to be more app centric like In MacosX, or in windows(although it is sometimes task centric) or in IOS.

    but in the end selling tablet will not be easy for any manufacturer except for Apple.
    Making the tablet is not the hard part… selling them is. In the windows world you can make 10 netbook and by the end of the quarter you’ll manage to sell 9.5 of them. It doesn’t matter if the margin is razor thin. Both the manufacturer and retailer are happy.
    But for a tablet it is not the same you’ll can built a million of them but only manage to really 350 thousand in the first quarter. The retailer would be mad n demand rebates and maybe more rebates until the rebates n rent cost more than actual cost of product.

    Either leaving many retailers angry or The manufacturer have absorb the full loss of their tablet. That is why Apple loves to stay razor thinly below Demands. Those unsold ones kills your profit.

    It is not like the Smartphone Market or even Phone Market. Anybody can built a fairly decent phone and in the end it is the carrier or phoneshop that do most of the selling. Futhermore the buyer really wants a phone and value the ‘phone’ part more than the smartone but any extra will not harm it.

  151. Greetings to Korea!
    “Those $250 Win7 Netbook will kill any $500 Honeycomb tablet!”
    Sure as a $250 Honeycomb tablet will kill any $500 Win7 Netbook!
    I think that point belongs in the price, not the OS department…

  152. > Regarding the “Xoom”: it takes balls to price a knock-off higher than the genuine article.

    Unless the knock off has noticeably better hardware specs, in which case it takes no gumption at all. Do you mean to say that Motorola could not have upgraded the hardware specs on every single hardware component over the not as recently realeased iPad to justify a better reputation / higher price? Analysis FAIL, Some Guy, FAIL! (I FAILed too, see below. :) )

    > Honeycomb on tablets is rumoured to require dual core.

    This was my hint, Some Guy. I wasn’t smart enough not to have an analysis FAIL myself, before that hint.

    So the Xoom hardware might actually be noticeably better and more expensive to make, since the iPad is a single core. The iPad2 is rumored to be dual-core.

    Yours,
    Tom

  153. @LS

    Considering that prior to this, you could only get a 5GB cap plan with overages from Verizon I’m not clear on all the anger over this new change to verizon plans. Sure, it’s abusing the word unlimited just like every other bandwidth provider has been for years, but it’s still better than overage charges. In fact, it seems akin to T-Mobile’s current “unlimited” plans, which hopefully will be the direction of more providers. While I would love truly unlimited, I’ll take throttled unlimited over overage charges any day.

  154. > While I would love truly unlimited, I’ll take throttled unlimited over overage charges any day.

    I’d prefer throttled unlimited with the option for me to purchase extra over just throttled unlimited.

    Yours,
    Tom

  155. I’d prefer some kind of leaky bucket algorithm. Watch a movie for 2 hours, then be able to do it again in a couple of days. They can adjust the size of the bucket and the fill rate based on the dinero you fork out. That way, you’re not left with bandwidth scraps for the last 28 days of the month.

  156. Patrick,

    Interesting. Can you find a way to describe that which would be immediately attractive to a significant fraction (say 20%) of the populace? It’s not immediately attractive to me, since I figure if I’m likely to run out of bucket often I’m likely to run out of a leaky bucket often too, so I might as well pay extra. If you can I see some $$$ in it.

    Yours,
    Tom

  157. Leaky bucket is a generic term for a family of algorithms that adapt bursty requirements to steady-state requirements. In this application, if you are not familiar with the algorithm, it might be more instructive to think of it more like a water tower.

    Imagine that the bandwidth available is the water in the tower. You can contract for a certain size container at the top of the tower and a certain flow for filling up the container. When you use bandwidth, you are draining the container. Once the container is empty, you only get as much bandwidth as the flow filling up the container that you contracted for. But if the container is full, you can pull a lot more bandwidth out, until you empty it again.

    OTOH, if the container is full, you don’t get the excess bandwith — there’s a shut-off valve to keep the tower from overflowing. So you can’t save all the bandwidth and use it in an orgy at the end of the month.

    So, for example, you could contract for a tower big enough to stream 6 hours of video, but average bandwidth that would give you 30 hours of video a month, or an hour a day. You could watch an hour every day, or could watch 5 hours one day, then nothing the next, two hours the day after, one hour the day after that, etc.

    It’s good from the network’s perspective, because it reduces the incentive to run a bittorrent client. It’s good from a user perspective (compared to the use all you want, then run into a brick wall for the last week and a half of the month) because you can more rationally manage your network usage.

  158. The water tower is a great example and a better phrase to sell someone than leaky bucket. No one wants a leaky bucket.

    > It’s good from a user perspective (compared to the use all you want, then run into a brick wall for the last week and a half of the month) because you can more rationally manage your network usage.

    Yes, that makes sense, but it I think you need a pretty sophisticated user to want this. I have no idea how big my tower or input pipe should be. Who would? So it’s still not immediately attractive to me and I think not a large group of users, and although the network people might like it, the customer support people have to be able to explain it. Which your explaination would really help. Is there a different metaphor which would allow a normal person to want it and be able to configure it?

    I can now see $$$ in it, but only to sell to the network people, not the users (other than you), unless the carriers set it up for the users and they empirically like it better (fewer complaints and less churn) than anything but all you can eat.

    Yours,
    Tom

  159. > Yes, that makes sense, but it I think you need a pretty sophisticated user to want this. I have no idea how big my tower or input pipe should be.

    You could have another display on the phone, with bars for available bandwidth, just like you have for signal strength and battery left.

    > Is there a different metaphor which would allow a normal person to want it and be able to configure it?

    The battery on the phone and its charger? You can pay more for a bigger battery, and/or a faster charger.

  160. The battery on the phone and its charger? You can pay more for a bigger battery, and/or a faster charger.

    Potentially also “Charger optional”. I.e. flat rate plan.

    Which of course leads to the idea that you could flip the concept around. You’re still selling soft caps, but as an optional extra you can purchase a “data charger”. $X for a 400meg data plan, $Y for a 20M/Day charger. Hey presto, 1 gig plan.

  161. Patrick and JonB,

    It’s growing on me. I think carriers might be able to sell that – even for regular minutes, not just data. If they want the charger could even be by the hour, in small enough increments.

    Yours,
    Tom

  162. The $250-$300 Win7 Net-book did not kill the $500-600 Ipad…

    But the $250-$300 Win7 Net-book will kill the $500-600 Honeycomb Tablet…
    Hell a $1000.00 Macbook Air will kill a $800.00 Motorola xoom Honeycomb tablet!!!
    Forget about competing directly against the Ipad.

    Honeycomb UI should never be so “Desktopy”.
    Google should have copy the Ipad not the Win7 or MacosX.
    Honeycomb would be just another Linux distro, An unpleasant experience.
    But Google can still come back next year.

    Maybe Hp WebOs can be No. 2 Tablet maker. They have the required retail presence and are big enough.

  163. > If they want the charger could even be by the hour, in small enough increments.

    Historically, leaky bucket algorithms work with very fine granularity. There’s no reason the display couldn’t be shifting constantly if you cared to watch it, kind of like gmail’s mailbox size.

  164. @kk man:

    I can only speak for myself. But a Honeycomb tablet looks like it might be interesting and useful, unlike a Win7 netbook.

  165. Tablets, phones, netbooks, laptops, PCs, what is the difference?

    [Exclusive] Android Ice Cream Details – Bits of Honey, But Not the Full Comb [Build GRI17]
    http://phandroid.com/2011/02/03/exclusive-android-ice-cream-details-bits-of-honey-but-not-the-full-comb/

    What features they’d be bringing over and to what extent isn’t known yet, but I can’t imagine optional hardware buttons and the new notification system would be left out. I’d also count on hardware acceleration and RenderScript making it in, but all of this is just speculation and guesstimation on my part.

  166. This whole discussion about Honeycomb is meaningless:

    “Honeycomb UI should never be so “Desktopy”. Google should have copy the Ipad not the Win7 or MacosX. Honeycomb would be just another Linux distro, An unpleasant experience.”

    This is Open Source, remember. Those who produce a tablet can make the UI as they want it. See here a GBP200 ($320) entertainment tablet (nice for your “favorite” movies, or You****, I think). No market, “limited” functionality. But that was the whole point.

    Creative Ziio 7in Android tablet Let me entertain you
    http://www.reghardware.com/2011/02/09/review_creative_ziio_android_tablet/

    Creative lays its cards on the table as soon as you turn the Ziio on. The first thing you notice is the ‘X-Fi’ pull-down menu located right at the top of the screen, which provides access to the device’s audio and Bluetooth settings. The lower part of the screen is devoted to an iPad-esque dock, which holds the Ziio’s four key apps – its web browser and the ZiiMusic, ZiiVideo and ZiiPhoto players.

  167. Re Netbooks
    If I bought a netbook I’d buy an ARM-based Linux netbook and instantly have a cartload of good (open source) software at my disposition. The netbook market is a big chance for ARM and Linux to beat the crap out of Intel respectively Windows. It might even turn out to be the crack through which Linux might finally seep onto the user-desktop market (I won’t hold my breath, though). ARM already has the mobile market all but cornered, and there are quite promising plans for the server market which might even facilitate a two-pronged attack on the desktop market. Why else would MS be scrambling for an ARM port of windows? Those people are not complete idiots, after all.

  168. >Nokia is burning!

    Nokia has been flailing for years now. They’ve had a massive brain-drain to Apple, Google, Palm, etc.

  169. Desktopy is a valid argument….for selling goods
    Open and Close is not a valid Argument for selling goods.
    To the Consummer, It really doesn’ty matter if a products
    is relatively open or not, what matter is it really matter is
    relatively Good or not.
    If a product doesn’t offer relatively enough choice than it is bad. doesn’t matter if the choice is open or not but if the choice is good and enough.

    A Library is a library…. a bookstore is a bookstore.
    OpenSources Android? That doesn’t sells!! Way too open, it needs to be closed again.
    What is OPEN is bound to CLOSE!

    The fact is only the Google AnDroid(with various skin) is a commercial success along with those Chinese Android forks aka Tapas Os & OSM .
    OpenSource Android is a Consumer failure…. But a failure it is NOT(Just like Libraries)
    Debate all you want but when you wanna sell it you have to make it into a bookstore not to a library. Not that a library is not any goods, A library is very essential to the people.

    HoneyComb UI is too desktopy…. and it doesn’t matter how the manufacturer reskin it.
    It only matter when and if a Real good n big company refork it not just skin it
    The manufacturer needs to debone the openSources Android add more value and reclaim it for yourself. Or the Manufacturer just use the Google Android and if you want invest some money on the skin UI level and add additional service and branding of yours.
    But let’s be honest no Reskinning is ever gonna be better than the vanilla flavor Google android… but for big manufacturer it is a must to do it or face a slow death.

    Anyway Google can still comeback from the painful lesson of being too desktopy and produce a more simple IPAD like UI in the next version of IceCrean or J…..

    By the way the WebOS looks like a great UI much better than HoneyComb….
    Now for the pricing n retail part to be right. Hp can farewell on that
    But Hp will have a problem in developing its marketing plus develpping the platform itself.

    It might sells more than Honeycomb or the playbook… Looks likely to beat Xoom offcourse but maybe not All of android(Froyo GingerMan n HoneyComb)
    .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>