The Smartphone Wars: How are the mighty fallen

HP replaces the hapless Leo Apotheker in a manner not very well calculated to reassure anyone that HP has a bright future. Granted, Apotheker’s performance – typified by the now-it’s-dead-oh-maybe-not fumbling around the TouchPad – was dismal. But the new CEO’s first move was to reassure everyone that Apotheker’s cunning plan to turn HP into a low-rent clone of SAP is still on track.

How are the mighty fallen. HP was a great company once. Then they spun out the instruments division to focus on printers and lost their culture of excellence along with it. Now they’re thrashing. Sad.

In other news of the stupid, there’s evidence that Nokia (remember Nokia?) is developing a Linux-based OS for its low-end phones. Yes, that’s right, they dropped Meego/Maemo — which actually worked — only to start an entirely new OS development project.

On a more cheerful note, Samsung is pushing kernel source code out the door. This after hiring the Cyanogen lead. Good stuff; they actually seem to get this open source thing.

From the excellent StackOverflow site, a report with statistics indicating that Android passed iOS in developer mindshare on that site at the beginning of 2011.

And Amazon finally moved; the Kindle Fire is out. G+ points us at the funniest tweet about this.

The business press had already begun to notice that Apple is chasing Android’s tallights. Then Apple announced the iPhone 4S, and it’s a big yawn. iCloud? Me-too voice recognition features? Really, Apple? Is this the best you can do? Gawker has a hilarious post on how overblown the media hype was, but even that fails to convey what a boring, derivative-seeming product the 4S is. How are the mighty fallen.

617 thoughts on “The Smartphone Wars: How are the mighty fallen

  1. Speaking of iPhone, I’ve seen plenty of people sure that Sprint with the iPhone will be the surefire seller and totally uptake Android as a result. It didn’t happen for Verizon, why should Sprint be any different?

  2. An iphone is SOOOO much easier and more pleasant to use than the Android. I’m regretting my switch to Android.

  3. > It didn’t happen for Verizon, why should Sprint be any different?

    Unlike VZW, Sprint has literally bet the company on iPhone, betting that they can move $20B of Apple’s product over 4 years.

    This represents 30.5 million iPhones, while Sprint only has 49 million subscribers, so Sprint thinks that they can either essentially
    double their subscriber base in those four years, or convert 3 out of ever 5 of its current customers to the iPhone, or some combination of both.

    On September 19, Sprint shrunk the return window for its Galaxy S2 phone from thirty days to fourteen. This points to expectations within Sprint’s braintrust that there will be a massive shift among its existing customers from Android based devices like the Galaxy 2 to the iPhone 4S. Carriers often quietly facilitate off-policy returns and exchanges as a way of ensuring customer loyalty (better to allow an unhappy subscriber to switch to a different phone than face a broken contract, an unpaid ETF, and a defection to a competitor as the customer bails in a huff). But in this instance Sprint must be fearing such a mass shift that it doesn’t want to have to eat an inordinate number of returned Galaxy S2 units in favor of the iPhone 4s.

    Eric completely missed the point of the Gawker piece. Gawker’s only prediction was that the iPhone 4S was a 100% certainty and the iPhone 5 was a VERY remote possibility (10%, if that). They’re gloating about calling it correctly.

    There is also the small problem for Android users on GSM carriers that the 3GS is now $0.

  4. iPhone 4S looks pretty good to me. I suppose it is worth considering that Macs have had voice recognition as standard for over 10 years so I wonder why it’s taken so long to reach their phones. On another level… at least I feel some kind of human emotional response from Apple’s products. I find Google products/services cold, emotionless and sterile and yet I’m still signed up to about 10 of them.

  5. @Mike Swanson

    While I suspect the iPhone on Sprint will probably wind up with a marginal, Verizon-like bump in the iPhone’s market share, there is a small possibility that it will be a disaster.

    Remember, Sprint is launching a 3G iPhone, even though they have a 4G (WiMax) network. From what I have heard, Sprint’s 3G network isn’t even as good as AT&T’s. On top of that, Sprint is planning to keep their unlimited data plans. If Sprint’s iPhone launch is successful, there’s some chance that the data demands of the new iPhone users will overwhelm Sprint’s 3G network (this presumes that most of them are new customers or existing customers upgrading to their first smartphone, since switching smartphones isn’t likely to change things much).

    That would make the iPhone experience on Sprint terrible, of course. To add insult to injury, though, there would be two major ways for Sprint iPhone customers to fix the issue (a) switch to AT&T or Verizon or (b) switch to a WiMax [most likely Android] phone. The first is horrible for Sprint and the second for Apple. That sounds like a disastrous Sprint iPhone launch to me.

  6. Do you really think that 4 years will pass without a WiMax (or LTE) phone?

    You Android fanbois are delusional.

  7. Eh, I feel OK about the iPhone 4S. I mean, Eric thought the iPad was a lousy product with no use case too.

  8. Me-too voice recognition features?

    If you think Siri’s only about the voice recognition, you completely missed the point.

    From the excellent StackOverflow site, a report with statistics indicating that Android passed iOS in developer mindshare on that site at the beginning of 2011.

    IOS developers use Apple’s developer forums and mailing lists.

    I’m surprised that you didn’t comment on the fact that Apple’s not leaving the low-cost segment of the market to Android anymore.

  9. > I’m surprised that you didn’t comment on the fact that Apple’s not leaving the low-cost segment of the market to Android anymore.

    He can’t. That would show Apple winning.

  10. No mention of Samsung now paying Microsoft for every android phone they sell? I really doubt OEMs are going to hang around Android dor much longer. The only one not paying Microsoft $15 a pop is Motorola.

  11. I’m a bit disappointed with the 4S, but Siri looks like a significant step forward. If Android has anything like it, I haven’t heard about it (very possible). Even if an Android equivalent does exist, it’s a safe bet that within a week of the release of the 4S, there will more Siri users.

    Another bet: well within a year, we’ll see the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 4 for $49 or even free, with contract. The Android Army has their work cut out for them.

  12. This sounds familiar. June 2010: “I wasn’t anticipating a really strong riposte from Apple this time out, but the iPhone 4 manages to low-ball even my minimal expectations.” http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2057

    And we all know how that turned out.

  13. >Another bet: well within a year, we’ll see the iPhone 5, and the iPhone 4 for $49 or even free, with contract.
    >The Android Army has their work cut out for them.

    If Apple holds true to tradition, we’ll likely see the 5 next september, though we may see some price shuffling sooner than that. It’s pretty obvious (at least to me) that the reason we didn’t see this phone in june is because Apple wanted to move the iPhone announcements to september along with iPod (and likely in the future, iPad) announcements. They want these devices to be new for the holiday season. So my guess is iPhone 5 next september (and in a surprise move, 5s the september after that, potentially followed by a 6 the next september).

  14. > And we all know how that turned out.

    For those of you in the cheap seats, the iPhone 4 is the best selling smartphone of all time (and any OS).

    > The only one not paying Microsoft $15 a pop is Motorola.

    You mean Google, of course.

    I think Microsoft is being plenty cagey here. They’ve surrounded the Android ecosystem with a $15/unit noose. If they make everyone *but* MMI/Google pay the $15/unit, then suddenly, the MMI/Google Android phones are that much more favored, and the Android OEMs will flee to their own solutions or a Microsoft-provided one that much sooner.

    They’re literally trying to “suck the oxygen out of the room” by charging every Android OEM $10-$15/unit as a ‘tax’ on Android, while simultaneously fanning the flames of jealousy over Motorola’s favored position.

    Samsung’s recent behavior is very telling.

  15. Well, the iPod Touch did get a new color and a $30 price cut, so it and the Kindle Fire are now the same price, instead of the Fire being 15% cheaper.

  16. >And we all know how that turned out.

    Yes, we do. Apple has just barely held on to its market share since.

  17. Yes, we do. Apple has just barely held on to its market share since.

    YoY Apple’s smartphone growth is faster than the industry as a whole.

    Once Android runs out of BlackBerry and Windows Phone users to co-opt, Apple will start catching up.

  18. More than a voice search, Siri Assistant is an AI that understands and carries out your voice commands.

    Yes, that’s right. Apple just out-Googled Google.

  19. Eric is right.

    Just when I pulled up this post, the “digital gadget reporter” was touting the iPhone 4s on the radio. He was disappointed. He was very upbeat on the Siri Assistance, indeed. Brilliant technology. Except that he had no use for it as it does not understand Dutch. And Dutch would not be forthcoming.

    Most earthlings do not speak English natively. And automatic speech recognition for second language speakers is not yet perfect (cough, cough, cough). So that leaves out quite a number of humans for whom Siri is worse than useless (it wastes time).

    In another note, I have heard a rumor this summer that Google is driving around the USA and recording people. They are most certainly not sitting still.

  20. Once Android runs out of BlackBerry and Windows Phone users to co-opt, Apple will start catching up.

    The limit on Apple’s unit volume is still the availability of the parts and manufacturing capacity. Keeping the 3GS in the lineup will go a long way to alleviate that, and I expect that most of the people who settled for Android phones before this will go for the real McCoy now that they can afford them.

  21. They’re literally trying to “suck the oxygen out of the room” by charging every Android OEM $10-$15/unit as a ‘tax’ on Android, while simultaneously fanning the flames of jealousy over Motorola’s favored position.

    I think it’s more a matter of wanting to get as many licensees acknowledging their claim as possible before they sue a company that can afford to spend as much as they can on litigation.

  22. Apple just out-Googled Google.

    If Google had bought Siri and offered it up as a web service where you could type natural-language queries, we’d be seeing all the pundits falling all over themselves about how Google had just wrapped up their market for the next decade.

  23. If by “free” you mean $375, then yes, the 3GS is “free”. There are comparably good android devices available for about half that with no contract. And if the contract ends up saving negative money on the phone subsidy, I think people will start reconsidering the wisdom of the mandatory 2 year contract.

  24. @esr (your 2nd paragraph):

    Definitely sorry to see the end of HP test equipment (yes, I know they are now under another name, but I don’t have any experience of their newer stuff).

    Brings back memories of my time in electronic engineering, where a significant indicator of any individual’s seniority and kudos was how up-to-date the hardback HP catalogue was on their bookshelf. Current year meant a direct contact with the HP salesperson, while older copies were handed down to the lesser grunts. It was a great read too, being able to admire all that wonderful equipment that the departmental budget would never stretch to :-(

    Fortunately those catalogues and the “HP Journal” are online, at http://www.hpmuseum.net

    (The only products that they made that were not the best were their scopes, though – sorry HP, but Tektronix were always ahead for those).

  25. >I expect that most of the people who settled for Android phones before this will go for the real McCoy now that they can afford them.

    I’m sure this prediction will prove exactly as accurate as it was when it was made about the iPhone 4. You fanboys never learn…

  26. > You fanboys never learn…

    Aren’t you the person who made the exact same prediction about the iPhone 4, the iPad, and now the iPhone 4S?

  27. I add my voice to the chorus of those who are deeply concerned about the “Microsoft tax” now being levied on Android based products. This is deeply concerning, and Google needs to make a move here. I would like to see Google divest the parts of Motorola Mobility that manufactures phones (including a perpetual license to the patents etc of course) while holding on to the patents, and then start slinging out lawsuits against Microsoft and Oracle until Android is once again free and clear. Without an action like this, Android’s competitive advantage of openness and libre-freeness against Apple and Microsoft is extremely limited, which will eventually hamper its growth.

    If the big manufacturers are faced with a $15 per unit patent tax on Android, vs. a $10 per unit license fee for Vista Phone 8, guess which one they’re going to select, regardless of the relative merits of the products themselves?

  28. Wrt the Microsoft tax.

    Microsoft “claims” to get $15 for each Android phone. However, the companies paying this tax are not allowed to comment on this. So we have no idea what these companies get in return of these $15. It is well known that MS uses to take money with one hand and return it with another, say, discounts on MS Windows licenses, these stupid FAT patents on other gadgets, or even joint marketing agreements. The Barnes’ publication of the patent claims of MS on Android Nook show that these claims are ridiculous and trivial. As Barnes does not sell any windows devices, they cannot be extorted with license hikes.

    Until we know what the whole deal actually means in money and goods exchanged, all this $15 per device is just propaganda.

  29. Do I have to add anything to this? Eric, how does this change your time lines? (I expect not)

    World’s Cheapest Android Tablet ‘Aakash’ Launched In India
    http://telecomtalk.info/worlds-cheapest-android-tablet-aakash-launched-in-india/78539/

    Powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) the 7-inch tablet has a resistive multi touch screen and Conexant CPU with HD Video and accelerated graphics.

    Manufactured by London (UK) based DataWind, branded as UBSLATE and renamed as the Aakash tablet weighs 350 grams and has 256 MB of RAM and 32 GB expandable memory slot and two USB ports. The tablet also has support for Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g connectivity and includes a microphone and stereo earphones. It comes with one year replacement warranty.

  30. More coverage of the Aakash. Yes it is not an iPad2/3 killer. And the Tata Nano is no Mercedes. But the target market for the Aakash will never buy an iPad2.

    Not Sakshat, India launches $35 7-inch Android tablet, Aakash
    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/india-unveils-35-7inch-android-tablet-aakash/190406-11.html

    India to launch “world’s cheapest” tablet computer for $35
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/05/us-india-tablet-idUSTRE7940YV20111005

    India launches world’s cheapest android tablet ‘Aakash’ at Rs 2999
    http://teleguru.in/2011/10/world-cheapest-android-tablet-aakash-tablet-price-specs-in-indi/

  31. Just when I pulled up this post, the “digital gadget reporter” was touting the iPhone 4s on the radio. He was disappointed. He was very upbeat on the Siri Assistance, indeed. Brilliant technology. Except that he had no use for it as it does not understand Dutch. And Dutch would not be forthcoming.

    I’m not sure what makes you assume Dutch won’t be coming. At launch, it supports English, French, and German. I suspect that Mandarin is further away than Dutch, and that’s a bigger problem, but the underlying technology is not bound to English.

  32. @Bryant
    “I’m not sure what makes you assume Dutch won’t be coming.”

    That was what the reporter said. Personally, I have no idea at all. But Google voice search did not work for Dutch a year ago (did not test it recently).

  33. Apple specifically said more languages will be coming aboard. Considering that Nuance is behind the VR and Nuance supports American English, Australian English, Asian English, Indian English, UK English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish, I would imagine it is coming. The actual AI aspect of Siri has little to do with VR (Siri actually used Vlingo early on before moving on to the superior Nuance tech)– it’s just a matter of mapping the semantic vocabulary to the particular Nuance engine.

  34. I haven’t tried or seen Siri, so perhaps I really rocks, and I am naive. However, my experience of these things is that the English language is not really all that good a tool for communicating with computers. Perhaps Siri can understand “do these shoes go with this outfit”, or “is this a good deal on a new microwave”, or “who should I vote for?” Nonetheless, it doesn’t have the capability to really answer these questions in a meaningful way. What I compare it against is Wolfram Alpha. It is really cool for answering particular types of questions, but if you take one step off the reservation, it has no idea what you are talking about.

    Which is to say, there is a special, constrained language for using Alpha that works really well. It seems to me that phones are going to be pretty similar, regardless of whether you type or speak. The demo had “do I have any appointments at noon tomorrow?” This doesn’t seem very challenging, in fact, if I remember correctly I could do basically the same with my really slow Microsoft Mobile Wing eight years ago. It was slow, and couldn’t deal with all the extraneous English fluff, but “appointments, tomorrow, 12pm” worked pretty well.

    But I haven’t seen Siri, so perhaps I underestimate. And there is always the argument that it is a foundation for future growth.

    The example I like to give is this: how can a computer distinguish between the meaning of these two sentences:

    1. “This laundry machine costs two ninety nine, is that a good price?”

    2. “This laundry detergent costs two ninety nine, is that a good price?”

    You need to know a heck of a lot about being a human to answer that question. Heck, if you live outside the USA you might have a hard time answering it too.

  35. @Winter
    at $35 a pop, I’d get a handful of them just to run VNC connections to other computers. Throw in an IR transmitter and it could be an awesome universal remote too.

  36. my take on the 4S and the new pricing of 4/3GS.

    From a high end user’s perspective, it’s somewhat disappointing. I personally would like a slightly larger screen in a small form factor. In theory a 3.7 inch screen could be crammed into the existing form factor if the screen goes closer to the edges. And I had hoped somehow they would pull LTE off.

    BUT: it’s appears to be quite a bit better than any android phone out there. We’ll have to wait for the reviews/benchmarks, but I would be surprised if any android phone is faster. The camera will be the best. It’s still the thinnest. The form factor/build quality is IMO nicer than any android phone I’ve seen by a LOT.

    Here’s why no LTE: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4925/why-no-lte-iphone-5-blame-28nm-maturity
    basically, Apple would have had to make the phone bigger with less battery life.

    iCloud/Siri are both very cool in concept… I’ve used iCloud as a developer user for a couple months now, they have the model right. Quite buggy though, so we’ll see. But it is a very important step. Android users don’t get the big deal about the whole iCloud thing as they have no notion of an integrated stack. Siri – I have found voice controls to be mostly useless in the past. I’m a skeptic, but an actual WORKING voice control might change my mind.

    As far as the pricing goes….. 3GS for free in US will be a big win. However, that’s only on AT&T, so not sure how much impact it will make in the US. Potentially big in the rest of the world as far as grabbing some low end market share. $99 iPhone 4 will probably do well.

    Having CDMA/GSM in one phone is big. It appears that you can switch carriers as will. No other phone lets you do this that I’m aware of. And they are selling the phones unlocked. To me, this combination is pretty significant for the US.

    Adding Sprint will get some market share. iPhone is at 27% in the US. So maybe all this will pop it to the low 30s.

  37. Quite conspicuous that the latest Smartphone Wars update contains 2 entries that have little to do with smartphones (HP & Amazon) while the biggest news in the Android smartphone world is ignored, don’t you think?

    Of course, the silence speaks volumes.

  38. > We’ll have to wait for the reviews/benchmarks, but I would be surprised if any android phone is faster

    Please explain this? Apple A5 has a 1GHz dual-core cortex A9, and the chip in SGS II has had a dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex A9 since May. In fact, given how long I expect the 4S to last as apple’s top phone, the A5 is downright anemic. By February at the latest, there should be quadcore Cortex A15 chips in several Android models. Cortex A15 can be expected to be up to 50% faster than A9 with the same amount of cores and the same clocks.

  39. @Tuna-Fish “Please explain this? Apple A5 has a 1GHz dual-core cortex A9, and the chip in SGS II has had a dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex A9 since May. In fact, given how long I expect the 4S to last as apple’s top phone, the A5 is downright anemic. By February at the latest, there should be quadcore Cortex A15 chips in several Android models. Cortex A15 can be expected to be up to 50% faster than A9 with the same amount of cores and the same clocks.”

    By “faster” I mean real world speeds. Not just pure CPU speed. it’s a complicated beast involving GPU, native vs VM (Dalvik), etc. We’ll have to wait and see.

  40. @Tuna-Fish
    > Please explain this?

    One of the inherent weaknesses of Android is the extra oomph it needs to get solid performance out of its Dalvik layer. iOS running pretty much everything on bare metal is going to go further with less; I would be shocked if the 4S doesn’t see equal or better overall performance than the Galaxy S2. But then, the S2 is already 5 months old…

  41. The A5 GPU is also twice as fast as the nearest Android competitor, at least according to Anandtech, and this makes a difference especially in UX since iOS has everything GPU-accelerated (unlike Android). On the other hand, Android users don’t care much about UX so it’s apples to oranges.

  42. The Monster,

    The Aakash tablet is only available to students at a subsidized price of $35.

    Also 256 MiB of RAM is way too small for an Android tablet. You need at least 512 MiB, otherwise it’ll run like a stuck pig and make for annoyed and frustrated students. A subsidized Kindle-like device would be a much better bet. What the world needs rather than more do-anything gadgets is an extensive public-domain digital library and a cheap device to read all that stuff with.

  43. @Tuna-Fish “Please explain this?”

    Pretty simple: I can do a side-by-side comparison of an iPhone 4 and a Samsung Galaxy SII today, and the iPhone 4 is faster at many, if not most, things. The iPhone 4S has an improved A5, GPU, and (likely, possibly) more RAM than the iPhone 4. Thus, the iPhone 4S is certainly faster than the SGSII. And everyone is pointing to the SGSII as the hallmark and benchmark of exceeding the iPhone.

  44. My phone plan re-up is coming up (has been for the past 4 months), and I’m eagerly waiting for the details on Nexus Prime. Apple fans would point to iOS5 as being the killer app for this round of iPhone refresh. Well, for me, the killer app for the next round of upgrade is Icecream Sandwich or Android 4.0.

  45. The non-subsidized price on the Aakash is around 70 bucks, which is about right for a Kindle-class tablet. A bit cheap, but not wildly so.

    Re: Google voice recognition and Dutch: it’s a mistake to assume that Google always has the best technology. They have really good tech — as a sysadmin I am very impressed by their work. But when someone assumes that Apple does inferior technical work because Apple has questionable business practices, that person is slipping into fanboy behavior. Easy cognitive trap; dangerous cognitive trap.

  46. @Bryant
    I was commenting on non-native automatic speech recognition. At the moment no one has “good” quality speech recognition. It is much better than it used to be, but still not very good. There is a reason IBM Watson played Jeopardy without speech recognition. IBM invented moder speech recognizers.

    And I am not overly impressed by Nuance (Dragon voice is good at dictation, but we never dictate).

  47. Watson had no VR because it was not a VR experiment/research project. Plain and simple. Whether or not any VR would have been “good enough”, adding VR on top of it would have altered IBM’s ability to appraise whether the AI was succeeding at its mission of natural language parsing and information response to the interpreted requests.

    That’s not to say that VR is necessarily “good enough,” but, please, let’s not conflate Watson not having VR as proof that VR is not “good enough.” It’s just poor logic and highly misleading.

    Moreover, after the success of the Jeopardy appearance, IBM began working with Nuance to apply their VR (not IBMs!) to Watson for medical applications. Just because IBM was early to VR and was once a stronghold for the research, it doesn’t mean that IBM themselves cannot recognize that they are no longer the leaders in the field.

  48. >Well, for me, the killer app for the next round of upgrade is Icecream Sandwich or Android 4.0.

    Just be leery of any features available in a “future update”, some of us are still waiting for Gingerbread…

  49. A friend employed in a call center in the Philippines that provides cell phone customer support, related some of her stories with elderly American customers. They prefer phones with a keypad. One man could make outgoing calls, but couldn’t receive incoming calls. It took 30 minutes to walk him through turning off silent mode. An elderly lady couldn’t find the keypad, and so she was instructed to cover the screen, then she found the keypad.

  50. @Shelby

    The market has provided an answer to this need. There is a clear distinction between the keyboard (with truly Monstrous keys) and the display. Being a flip phone means no butt-dialing when it’s closed, and the huge numbers on the screen means less need to put on goddamn reading glasses just to make a phone call.
    (No, I don’t have one of these, but I do hope other manufacturers are watching, and considering that marketing to the presbyopic set could be very lucrative indeed.)

    GET OFF MY LAWN!

  51. fake account informs us: This represents 30.5 million iPhones, while Sprint only has 49 million subscribers, so Sprint thinks that they can either essentially
    double their subscriber base in those four years, or convert 3 out of ever 5 of its current customers to the iPhone, or some combination of both.

    And acts like that is a reasonable plan …

    Jeff Read writes: YoY Apple’s smartphone growth is faster than the industry as a whole. Once Android runs out of BlackBerry and Windows Phone users to co-opt, Apple will start catching up.

    Not realizing that he’s admitting that Apple is not “co opting” those users. But does his best not to explore why.

    I see Winter did a good job on the “$15 MS tax” claim.

  52. >ESR: What’s your take on this guy’s well reasoned bet that Apple will be in Chapter 11 by 2017?

    Seems like a pretty good analysis, or at least similar in many ways to mine, but I don’t know how he gets 2017 from it.

  53. phil Says:
    And we all know how that turned out.

    fake account Says:
    For those of you in the cheap seats, the iPhone 4 is the best selling smartphone of all time (and any OS).

    esr Says:
    Yes, we do. Apple has just barely held on to its market share since.

    ESR, if I’m reading you right, you remain convinced that Apple is losing the “Smartphone Wars” after putting out the best selling smartphone of all time — OF ALL TIME!!1! I suspect there may be some fundamental confusion between you and your commenters about what’s actually being fought over. Either that, or this whole series of posts are simply the ravings of a crackpot. It’s getting harder and harder to tell…

  54. @SPQR “Not realizing that he’s admitting that Apple is not “co opting” those users. But does his best not to explore why.”

    how do we know that Apple isn’t the one co-opting BB/Windows mobile users? And Android is picking up feature phone people who need a cheapo phone? That seems more likely to me.

  55. @syskill

    esr thinks having > 50% market share is everything. get there and magically 50 becomes 100, killing everything else.

  56. esr, why are you shilling so much for Google & Android? Can you even download the source code to Android 3.0 yet?

  57. @Phil
    > esr, why are you shilling so much for Google & Android?

    The reasons are discussed at length in previous posts.

  58. how do we know that Apple isn’t the one co-opting BB/Windows mobile users? And Android is picking up feature phone people who need a cheapo phone? That seems more likely to me.

    The main reason to suspect this is that android market share is gaining at the exact same rate as BB/Windows is diminishing, while Apple’s share is hovering at 25%. But I don’t think we have good numbers on where the feature phone guys go when they upgrade to a smartphone.

    The real picture is likely a lot more complex. We do know, for example, that more people ditch android for Apple than do the reverse. So that would suggest, given the other numbers, that android gets more of the feature phone switchers.

  59. My god people, it’s 2011 and we all have access to google, so at least try to search a little before you bullshit. phile The iphone 4/4s is not the thinnest phone, its 9.3 mm thick and the galaxy s2 is 8.5mm. 30 seconds of googling found me the specs, are you literally unable to spend 1/2 a minute fact-checking your statements?

    fakeaccount esr didn’t mention the 3gs as being $0 because this isn’t special. Again 30 seconds of googling showed me I can get a 3gs for $0 on a 3 year contract from bell mobility up here in canada, and the same price gets me a galaxy s, a phone that is equivalent if we are going to be pedantic dorks about it. Holy crap, obviously this is titanic news, an older phone being sold for $0 if you agree to a contract with the carrier!!!!

    Siri is an awesome product, I am not sure what prevents esr from admitting the utility of it, but to hear some of you comment on it you would think that Apple has cracked natural language parsing and NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME. The problem is that Siri was an app available on the app store until yesterday when it was yanked after being announced as an exclusive for the 4s, and before that it was a small startup that came out of SRI and ultimately work done for DARPA. If having this widely available for the iPhone 4 didn’t end everything for android in the previous 16 months why would it do so now? It’s technology and uses are pretty well known and there are established competitors such as vlingo available for android. Again, its a great piece of software and due credit to Apple but let’s not go on inventing fabrications here about Apple single handedly pulling this off. It was a technology acquisition that they are now unveiling a year later.

    Winter already handled the $15 tax issue, again information that is at most 5 minutes of googling and reading away.

    Tim F, I actually can’t refute anything you posted because everything you posted was an anecdote about you doing an eyeball benchmark. On the one hand I can’t prove you wrong, but on the other you have said literally nothing concrete or persuasive to me about the relative performance of the Galaxy S2 vs the iphone, so I am not sure what you were hoping to achieve with your post.

    I’ll close with saying this: Come on people, I know that Eric posts some pretty hyperbolic things in favor of Android, but is this the best you can do to refute him? Anecdote and falsehoods that can be outed with 30 seconds of googling? I personally think that it is way too close to call either way at this point which is why I am always interested to see people refute Eric’s posts, but not with this garbage. If you haven’t done even a minute of fact checking on your post maybe you shouldn’t post at all and do you part to keep the signal to noise ration high.

  60. @jmg “My god people, it’s 2011 and we all have access to google, so at least try to search a little before you bullshit. phile The iphone 4/4s is not the thinnest phone, its 9.3 mm thick and the galaxy s2 is 8.5mm. 30 seconds of googling found me the specs, are you literally unable to spend 1/2 a minute fact-checking your statements?”

    jesus dude. there was a big story on this last week about how Samsung is not allowed to claim the GII is this thinnest: http://www.pcworld.com/article/240075/iphone_4_worlds_thinnest_phone_not_samsung_galaxy_s_ii.html
    so back at ya!

  61. andyjpb: That guy’s bet Apple will be bankrupt by 2017 is LOL funny. I wish I could get a piece of that bet. Among the things he misses: How Apple’s tight hardware/software integration is much more difficult for any Android vendor to achieve. How vast economies of scale plus clever design can beat commodification. How Apple’s profit margins make it quite “sustainable.” How Android’s ability to evolve inevitably means fragmentation. How Apple can always change the rules of the game if they need to: e.g. if turning iOS open source really was needed to save the company (I doubt it), they could always do that.

  62. Also, can someone explain to me why Google’s stock is trading at the same level it was in the year 2006? Seems like no one thinks Android is going to pay off for them. The only market value that investors have confidence in is Google search. One might even argue that Android has added negative value to Google the company, since their search business has been growing monstrously since 2006. I just can’t imagine Android being beneficial to Google in any way within the next 2 years.

  63. > >ESR: What’s your take on this guy’s well reasoned bet that Apple will be in Chapter 11 by 2017?

    Seems like a pretty good analysis, or at least similar in many ways to mine, but I don’t know how he gets 2017 from it.

    There is no way this will happen, not in 2017.

    Apple has enough cash sitting around to fund operations to well beyond 2017, and that position is steadily growing larger.

    I mean they could fund themselves even if they suddenly started suffering losses. Which they aren’t.

  64. Android is dead weight on Google. It forced them to spend $13 billion on a financially dying company, forced them to spend millions on useless patents, and is forcing them to take their focus off their real moneymaker. Android is holding Google down. It’s holding them back, and Google needs to find a way to focus on growth. With Samsung and HTC peering over at Windows Phone 7 longingly, Android’s future is pretty bleak.

  65. re: Luis4

    What drug are you sniffing? For a free mobile phone OS, Google is making $9 an unit (advertisement). It’s a drag on their bottom line?

  66. @Apple Optimist
    What is Eric’s prediction?

    That Apple will sell hundreds of millions of iPhones. But billions of Android phones will be sold.

    For Apple to turn the tables means Apple has to get control over 90% of the world production capacity of mobile phones.

    I have not seen any reasonable counter argument.

  67. Sprint’s 3G network isn’t even as good as AT&T’s.

    Sprint’s coverage is not as extensive as AT&T’s but if you stick to urban centers you’ll be fine. Where Sprint has coverage, I’ve had no dropped calls compared to AT&T which drops calls more than Rob Base drops rhymes.

    Oh, and unless you get a multiband international phone, it won’t work many places outside the USA (though oddly enough it does work in Japan, voice only).

  68. @Winter

    “For Apple to turn the tables means Apple has to get control over 90% of the world production capacity of mobile phones.”

    eh? apple isn’t aiming for world domination anyway. they just want a big chunk. it’s the android fanbois who are all about world domination.

  69. > Android is dead weight on Google

    Are you nuts? Google’s in the search business. That’s their castle. They absolutely cannot afford at this point to have the roads to their castle controlled by one or two warlords (in this case, Apple and Microsoft). With Android, they’ve just built themselves a twelve lane superhighway to Castle Google, and a huge moat around it. It’s the same reason why Amazon is selling Kindle Fire below cost. Providing customers with easy roads to your castle while also making sure those roads can’t be easily blocked by a rival.

    ESR, why is your blog suddenly attracting trolls and pithecans in large numbers?

  70. That Apple will sell hundreds of millions of iPhones. But billions of Android phones will be sold.

    No, that would be a reasonable prediction, which fewer people would object to. ESR’s specific prediction is that this will entail an inevitable ~100% monopoly for android and a complete failure of Microsoft and Apple in the space, exactly mirroring the monopoly of Windows in the 90s.

  71. @phil, mea culpa I went to the exact link you posted and indeed you are correct. I had based my post on eyeballing my two co-workers phones, one of whom just purchases a galaxy 2 and one who has had an iphone 4 for a few months now and then I went to wikipedia to confirm, and of course it only listed the thinnest dimension. The back part had seem to be essentially the same thickness as the eyephone, but that was clearly me relying on a mark-1 eyeball to do sensitive measurement. So of course you are correct that the galaxy s2 is not uniformly thinner than the iphone 4 and I retract my comment towards you.

    @tim f. If you are not trying to convince me, ie a reader of this blog and it’s comments who are you trying to convince? Why bother commenting? To receive reinforcement from an echo chamber of people who agree? Phil had remarked that the 4s, a phone that is currently unreleased, will be faster than any android phone, a statement which doesn’t really have any content. It does not qualify what we are comparing to and under what timeline.

    Will the 4s be faster when it is released than any android phone that is available and was released before it? Obviously, welcome to Moore’s Law.

    Will it be faster than any android phone released concurrently with it? Who knows, we can’t predict the future and why is it that apple suddenly has superhuman skills when it comes to building CPUs that no one else has access to? They make ARM cores for god’s sake and they are fabbed by someone else, this isn’t some sort of industrial secret here that they are leapfrogging the competition with.

    Will it be faster than any android phone released after it? Almost certainly not, again welcome to Moore’s Law.

    In the face of this prediction instead of offering benchmarks which might validate but which would almost certainly fare poorly for the iphone 4 (again Moore’s Law, which apple is not immune to) you offered an anecdote based on visual perception, and as I embarrassingly proved above, this is notoriously fraught.

    What I was trying to say with my comment is that I would like to hear your counter-arguments to ESR, but it would be nice if they had more solidity to them. I actually do find it likely the iphone outperforms an android phone it is contemporary with, with the overhead of dalvik, and the unaccelerated GUI layer. I would be interested if someone knew the relative overhead of Objective-C’s message passing against Java method dispatch and if it is forseeable for the Dalvik vm to eventually be optimized enough to surpass Objective-C. Android’s gui layer skia is actually receiving an accelerated backend so it will be interesting to see if the drawing advantage of CoreGraphics holds up in the future. Again I would be interested in informed comments for or against. I am not an unreasonable person, I would like to think I can admit when I am wrong and I hold that predictors of doom on either side are basically making WAGs, and I was just trying to agitate for a little more substance in the rebuttals I was seeing.

  72. I am happy to discourse with anyone who is receptive, jmg. If you are not, not my problem. When I converse, I do not expect every comment I make to be strictly factual and easily verifiable with a Google search. Nor do I anticipate a conversant to reject any and all statements if that condition is not met.

    You act as if we are speaking of some far off unknown: it’s available in 10 days. I can compare it to an iPhone 4 (which it exceeds) and an iPad 2 (which it matches or is slightly slower than) and I can compare it to all available Google phones on the market (or at least all of those worth considering: I have spent extensive time with all of the top Android phones). Are you suggesting there is some super secret, mystery Android phone being released any time soon that is using some super secret chip that isn’t already available?

    I find citing generic benchmarks of ARM cores far more fraught with problems than actual real world comparisons. Apple is doing something relatively unique: they are one of the few ARM licensees who are specifically tailioring their processors specifically for their use. Even Samsung who is of course using their own chips are not doing significant tailoring of the chips for their needs — they are using the same chips they want to sell to every OEM. And of course, Samsung can’t do significant low-level customizations of Android to tailor it to their hardware. Apple is doing both: discarding generic circuitry to boost 2d and 3d performance, video playback and other tasks. They are doing significant OS refinements to speed specific tasks where they see users perceiving slowness. Etc… Of course, you will claim I am speaking anecdotally and reject all that I say. I would merely say that I can go through 50 or more common procedures on both a stock iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S II right now and verify the iPhone 4 to be faster at 80% of tasks not determined by network speed. If you are unable to verify that for yourself or want to presume me a liar, that’s your decision.

  73. I can’t wait for the Amazon Fire as a second tablet.

    Finally, a reasonable Android tablet that ditches Google.

    I have to say, one of the biggest problems Android tablets have is tying themselves too tightly to a Google account. It’s like Google thinks that 1 tablet = 1 person, which is not true in a household. Tablets in family settings get passed around like remote controls, but the default Android build doesn’t let you switch over to another user. What the hell, do Google engineers not have families? Or maybe they are all rich enough that they can buy everyone in their household a separate tablet.

    On an iPad, this problem is easier to solve, as the iTunes account is just tied to a random account. Everything else, including email, is separate, so you don’t have such tight coupling between apps. It makes getting to stuff a little more cumbersome, as you tend to reselect (or re-log in to) a different account all the time, but in a family situation, that’s the same behavior that occurs with laptop / desktop computers.

    The Nook is set up similarly to the iPad, as are the e-ink Kindles, but neither the Nook nor the Kindles are viable tablets.

  74. @Inkstain “Are you nuts? Google’s in the search business. That’s their castle. They absolutely cannot afford at this point to have the roads to their castle controlled by one or two warlords (in this case, Apple and Microsoft). With Android, they’ve just built themselves a twelve lane superhighway to Castle Google, and a huge moat around it. It’s the same reason why Amazon is selling Kindle Fire below cost. Providing customers with easy roads to your castle while also making sure those roads can’t be easily blocked by a rival.

    ESR, why is your blog suddenly attracting trolls and pithecans in large numbers?”

    Believe me, I know what you mean about controlling their avenues to Google Search, but for Google, Android is just not economically feasible at this time. What they need to do is make a deal with Apple and Microsoft to guarantee that they will include Google search as an option on their respective platforms. How do they convince Apple and Microsoft to do this? By innovating the crap out of their search products and keeping their core business far ahead of the competition (Basically, Bing). As long as they do that, Apple and Microsoft will have no choice but to include Google on their platforms.

    Android is adding absolutely nothing to Google’s bottom line, and their market cap reflects that to a T.

  75. @jmg, as for arguing ESR’s arguments, well… in this post I don’t see an argument put forth by ESR. I just see weak sauce. As for ESR’s historical, “grand” arguments… I don’t care to take the time to argue all of them as I pretty much fundamentally disagree with him across the board. I do not see open source always winning, I do not think 50% marketshare in the U.S. alone is the point at which this becomes a zero sum game, I do not believe we will see a precipitous collapse from Apple when it does become a zero sum game, I do not think market share is the be all, end all for judging the landscape, and on and on…

  76. hsu,

    CyanogenMod. Works a treat on the Nook Color, turns it into a viable (and really quite superb, though still no iPad) tablet. It’ll probably also be the way to go on the Amazon Kindle Fire, since that device’s Silk browser comes with a proxying layer that runs everything through Amazon’s server’s first. A data-mining dream for Amazon, a privacy and security nightmare for you.

  77. @Tim The 4s is not a far-off unknown as you rightly point out it ships in a matter of weeks. I was trying to point out that without qualifying what we are comparing it to we are left with the three possibilities I enumerated, all of which have relatively obvious outcomes. I don’t believe that I suggested there was a super secret android phone with a super secret chip in development because that would of course be silly. My core point was as follows:

    1) Compared to phones released before it of course it will be faster
    2) Compared to phones released at the same time as it, we don’t know, it will probably be a close comparison as phones released around the same time as it will have relatively similar hardware available, although I will concede that it is likely there will be a performance benefit for the reasons people have mentioned above (Dalvik overhead, gui layer acceleration.
    3) Compared to phone released after it, it will definitely be slower as with all things computer hardware.

    Finally, I guess you and I won’t be able to come to some sort of agreement as we disagree on premises. I find anecdotal benchmarks much more fraught, especially in the case you mention above. Have used my two co-worker’s phones and played around with them in games and browsing, I actually find the Galaxy s2 much smoother and more responsive than the iphone 4, the first android phone where I have felt this way. And this is the crux of my problem with anecdotes. You have yours and I have mine and who can say which is more valid? Neither of us is lying, but what possible further discussion, conclusions, or action can be drawn from these perceptions? I guess I would turn it around to you. If I use this perception to then claim the superiority of android is there any value in my statement? Would you regard it as a valid argument?

  78. Louis4, you don’t seem to understand the argument, which results in your response being off target.

  79. Jeff Read, although there is no guarantee it will stay available in the future, I believe that it has been reported that the proxying layer is an option that can be turned off in the silk browser. So you can browse with it just as you could any other browser.

  80. Android is adding absolutely nothing to Google’s bottom line, and their market cap reflects that to a T.

    This is as insightful an analysis as noting that a country hasn’t fought a war in several years, and therefore all its military spending is a waste.

  81. @jmg: And I am 100% confident in saying that a 16 month old iPhone 4 IS faster than a 2 month old SGSII, based on several comparisons and frequent usage of both. So, yes, you dismiss my anecdotal evidence, but I entirely disagree with your 3rd “option.” However, even you are now saying it is the first time you have found this to be true (an Android exceeding the speed of an iPhone 4). So… You already provided yourself anecdotal evidence of your own that in fact a different OS on different hardware can in fact outperform newe hardware. The iPhone has been doing it for 14 months now with every newly released Android device (excepting the SGSII, presuming we decided to accept your anecdotal evidence as true).

    Yes, I concede that I cannot prove that this trend will hold true, but I am willing to wager that if Apple can preserve a 16 month lead using custom hardware and custom software, they are highly likely to preserve this trend at least for the foreseeable future.

    Certainly, it seems to me: that at least you agree that the iPhone 4S is not already behind current Android devices and has some lead as you say there is only one device that outpeforms it after 16 months? (Maybe you don’t agree to this; I know most of ESR’s supporters and Fandroids in general would express exactly that: that the iPhone 4S is already outperformed by current Android hardware.) As anecdotes go, I find that easily disproven. And yet I straight comparison of chip specs or raw benchmarks would not necessarily confirm it (mostly because Apple keeps most of their specs a secret and because benchmarks are improperly designed to measure how these devices are actually used, never mind are they designed universally for the various platforms in question).

    As for our disagreement, I would accept your anecdote in good faith and try to find points of comparison. As I have already done, your own anecdote seems to demonstrate my point rather than negate it despite the fundamental disagreement: the iPhone had a 14 month lead over the competition. I find it much more specious to claim this trend will suddenly be reversed and there will be much better Android phones within the next month or next several months rather than it taking a full Apple upgrade cycle for one or more Android options to equal or exceed what has been an observable trend for 3 years now.

  82. Edit: “Certainly, it seems to me: that at least you agree that the iPhone 4S is not already behind current Android devices and has some lead as you say there is only one device that outpeforms [THE IPHONE 4] after 16 months?”

  83. @Tim, I start off speaking to the points of yours which I agree with, because that’s probably less aggro that jumping into disagreement. Yes the IPhone 4GS is not already behind current Android devices. It would be foolish to presume this again based on the simple fact of hardware advancement.

    I don’t agree with some of your extrapolations with my points however. The reason this is the first phone I have felt to give a better experience than the iphone 4 is because I have not been trying every released android phone in that time. I generally have access to my phone and my friends phone and the reality of carrier contracts means that new phones are not something I regularly have access to. The last new android phone I tried was my friend’s nexus one. The vast majority of other people in my group had either iphone 3/3gs or blackberries. So I don’t think you can presume my anecdote supports your conjecture that no android phone beat the iphone 4 until the sgs2. The nexus one certainly didn’t but that is to be expected as it was released before with slower hardware.

    This is why I put so little weight in anecdotes. You can’t really extrapolate from them, and they differ from person to person. Benchmarks may be fallible but I can’t believe they are more fallible than individual perception.

    So no, my anecdote does not support a 14 month lead over other android phones, and I don’t agree with your prediction it will hold into the future either. I don’t believe it will hold based on two factors:

    1) Graphical performance will no longer be as large of a gap as android’s drawing backend becomes accelerated, something this will is currently being worked on and which will likely be introduced in ICS. Skia will continue to be developed until it is equivalent to Core Graphics, and I don’t see Apple suddenly trumping the rest of the computer graphics research field and pulling out a game-changing performance optimizations

    2) Dalvik will continue to develop and become faster. I am going to continue on the assumption that Dalvik continues here as I can’t see any way the Oracle could block this is a way that will materially affect Dalvik development, at least for the next 2-3 years, after which predictions are probably worthless. I mean look at the development over the last 1 1/2 years: a JIT (which is still improving, look at V8 and hotspot, there is lots of room for improvement), a concurrent garbage collector (again tons of room for improvement here), lower latency event handling etc. I can’t see why this won’t continue. I feel that there is a larger surface area here for improvement than apple has with Objective-C, just based on Objective-C’s 20-year+ development history. It’s seen a lot more work than Dalvik, and I would wager that the corresponding surface area for enhancement are smaller. If dalvik appears to be more responsive that iphone already it will only become closer in things like UI responsiveness etc.

    So yes I concede that the Iphone 4s will clearly not be outdated when it arrives, but no I don’t concede, and no my anecdotal evidence does not support, Apple maintaining a 14 month lead in performance over android with the 4s’ release.

  84. RIP Steve. I’ve disagreed with some of his decisions, but there’s no question that he made the world a better place.

  85. Yeah, you should value your own experience more, jmg. Even excepting our fundamental disagreement, let’s start from the anecdote of the SGSII being the first phone to outperform an iPhone (4 or otherwise). You say this anecdote has no value because of your limited experience with these devices, but somehow this valueless anecdote based on limited experience is substantial enough to discredit a competing anecdote? (I kid — I know you are starting from the premise that all anecdotes have limited (or no?) value.) Although I do disagree with it, it approaches an acceptable and reasonable experience — I wholly accept that the SGSII is as fast or faster at some things while slower than others; I have seen SGSIIs perform better and worse than other SGSIIs and likewise for the iPhone; etc… There is also the widely observable anecdote that the SGSII is the best, and specifically the best performing, Android device SO FAR. (You can easily verify this using Google — kidding.)

    You really aren’t missing much if you don’t have scientifically-demonstrated, accurate, unbiased, and equivalent benchmarks verifying any of these anecdotes. Your limited experience hasn’t prevented you from experiencing the best Android device from a performance perspective. It really is the SGSII — top of its class, recommendation worthy, competitive. Nor do we need this scientific evidence to say that it is the first phone to be in the same league as the iPhone (either slightly worse, slightly better, or equal — let’s keep this a really vague anecdote, that should drive you nuts — again, I kid). There really are few, if any, devices I (or anyone else) would consider the equal of the SGSII in the Android world.

    And it still took 14 months, more or less, to be slightly worse or slightly better than the iPhone 4!

    As I conceded, this lead can change because the pace of development of the hardware and the software is not fixed, but it really has been tangible for the entire duration of the “Smartphone Wars.”

    As for the suggestion that 1) or 2) erases or moots this widely observable anecdote, I reject it wholly. 1) will be a big help but there are always improvements — CoreGraphics has been actively developed for more than a decade, and its now being specifically tuned for iOS paired with highly customized Apple A5s and PowerVRX GPUs for 3 years. Android will just be getting an accelerated drawing engine of a type as CoreGraphics but not equivalent. And it will have to support a broad number of GPU/CPU options without drawing on highly specialized optimizations. May CoreGraphics optimizations be reaching a final plateau that Android can eventually catch up to (excepting the fact that the platform requires generalization across many hardwares)? Possibly, but I don’t see that actually occurring for years.

    As for 2), I agree there is more surface area, but I fundamentally disagree that 1) and/or 2) are the only goals necessary to achieve a performance equivalence. If 1) and 2) are achieved, it doesn’t erase 3) there are always areas for optimizing performance. You identify 2 specific areas that Android can improve, but there are innumerable areas for advancing the performance for all platforms (Apple is actively building specific hardware in its chips to optimize video playback and recording and 2D/3D graphics for one; an area that a generalized Android can never achieve fully). And both Google and Apple will continue to pursue both. Anecdotally (I kid), I have seen Google advance on Apple’s lead generally (but not beyond a full year’s lead), but at the same time, Apple actually accelerate it’s lead in small, but key, areas (even if they are perceptive: perception is reality). (The first A4-announced iPhone 4 over previous generation iPhones for example or the iPad 2 over the iPad 1.)

    But let’s assume that these two key areas advance the most and the fastest and Google draws the lead down from a year to 8 months or 6 months or even just 3 months over the next year…

    …even if it’s HIGHLY ANECDOTAL haven’t we clearly demonstrated that newer, faster hardware produced after the iPhone 4S but not before the iPhone 5 is not OBVIOUSLY nor NECESSARILY faster than the iPhone 4S?

    Which was the original point of contention.

  86. Indeed, with Jobs passing, it is the end of an era in so many different ways.

    I think that the creativity that he was able to muster during his second tenure at Apple is extraordinary. I can’t think of another who had such a brilliant second pass at a company after escaping Founder’s Disease.

  87. We all knew this was coming – he looked like a man nearing his end – but it is still a blow to read of his passing.

    RIP Steve.

  88. I was going to comment on the 4S but man, it seems not all that important at the moment.

    What is clear is that Steve Jobs has made the world a much better place and has a strong legacy. Apple will continue to prosper and Steve’s vision of computers for the rest of us will flourish in its products.

    RIP Steve, you’re going to be missed.

  89. >ESR’s specific prediction is that this will entail an inevitable ~100% monopoly for android and a complete failure of Microsoft and Apple in the space

    Wrong.

  90. >>ESR’s specific prediction is that this will entail an inevitable ~100% monopoly for android and a complete failure of Microsoft and Apple in the space

    >Wrong.

    Where is he wrong? In quoting ~100% instead of ~90%? that is, in saying “complete failure” instead of something like “becoming niche players”?

  91. @wlad: Yes, one would think that’s generally accurate if a little too broad. ESR has said, “The near-term threat of an Apple market-share collapse to the 10% range or even lower is, in my judgment, quite significant – and comScore’s latest figures whisper that we may have reached a tipping point this month.” If Apple can lose more than 50% of their share rapidly in the near term simply because Android achieves 40% market share, and he does not see any return from the inevitable ubiquity and network effects of open systems — one would easily project some of ESR’s statements to mean that Apple would have much lower than 10% to 0% market share well before we have reached a zero sum game (smartphone market saturation).

    But I suppose I’d want to reserve some wiggle room. My guess is ESR would say any and/or the most open system (not necessarily Android) will achieve market dominance (not 100% monopoly) over less open systems and that market dominance, commoditization, and openness further marginalize less-open systems. That’s a lot less confident than the above quote, but… But I wouldn’t want to put words into ESR’s mouth. Would you care to elaborate further than “no,” ESR?

  92. > Wrong

    Come on fella, it’s all right here in print. You have said repeatedly that you think this scenario precisely mirrors Windows’ rise to monopoly. Windows’ market share got up to 97.5% (or even higher, depending who you ask).

  93. >You have said repeatedly that you think this scenario precisely mirrors Windows’ rise to monopoly. Windows’ market share got up to 97.5% (or even higher, depending who you ask).

    Only on generic PC hardware. Apple has managed to hold share in the neighborhood of 10% overall, which is what I have repeatedly predicted as their fate in smartphones as well.

  94. > Only on generic PC hardware. Apple has managed to hold share in the neighborhood of 10% overall, which
    > is what I have repeatedly predicted as their fate in smartphones as well.

    There is a notable difference between then and now that occurs to me. Then, Apple stuck themselves to Motorola chips, giving them far, far less room to maneuver in the marketplace as things went to x86 (easily as a result of Microsoft’s dominance, of course). Now, everyone but everyone is on various iterations of ARM. Barring a sudden, massive shift to a new incompatible architecture, Apple isn’t likely to fall into a hardware trap this time around. If such a shift WERE to happen, of course…

  95. By generic, I presume you mean x86. I can assure you that all of the major market researchers had Apple sub 3% in total PC marketshare for a long time. In fact, they still aren’t in the top 5 or over 5% for “overall” PC market share.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_share_of_leading_PC_vendors

    In fact, if I presume your bizarre adherence to US market share rather than global in the case of smartphones as a definition for “overall” for PCs as well, Apple still is not at 10% (at least for a full year), despite outgrowing the overall PC market for 5 years straight.

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/01/12/idc_apple_hits_8_7_share_as_fastest_growing_pc_maker_in_us_4q_sales.html

    So have you predicted the same fate as the PC marketplace? Or 10% market share? The two are NOT equivalent.

  96. jsk I think that you raise a pretty big thing that needs to be thought about, which is what happens when intel finally achieves a really solid low power chip that is viable for mobile use. I know a lot of people are predicting an ARM future but it is hard for me to believe that the most advanced and successful chip maker in the world is going to stumble that hard for that many years. Not when then are doing so well on the desktop side. I think that things will get a lot more interesting at that point especially as intel works brings its superior fabbing capability and design experience to the competition. Will it stick with x86? I can’t imagine them wanting to become just another ARM manufacturer.

  97. @Monster: thanks for the info on Jitterbug. I will pass it along.

    @syskill: “ravings of a crackpot”

    Smartphones are not ubiquitous in the developing world yet, so is iPhone keeping up statistically in the developing world? I can’t find an iPhone in the Philippines. I read Apple is making a push in China. One problem they might have in the developing world is the networks are not sufficient to offer services, e.g. Siri, which require real-time interaction with a server. I read Google is increasing their infrastructure spending in Asia recently.

    In a prior blog, I offer that a possible downfall of Apple would be their need for a proprietary cloud, because they had to shift profit margins to the cloud services moving forward. So now we see the first salvo with Siri. How long will it take Google and/or the open source community to produce NLP that doesn’t have to phone home to a monopolist cloud server? Jmg mentions closed-source vlingo, which I view as an example of where perhaps modularity could be an economic win. Imagine that vlingo could earn more money open-source licensing their modules, so others could build derivative products and the full mindshare of the Inverse Commons could be applied.

    I have read a leaked Google memo, that says their plan is to release open source late and/or not open source some portions, which is sort of a closed-source mentality because it doesn’t fully leverage of the Inverse Commons (Esr’s Magic Cauldron).

    I have the thought that this results from that project-scales are very large and thus require a large corporation’s resources. I recently discussed the issues of bottom-up composition modularity in a blog that compares some new languages.

    Am I mistaken to say the internet is becoming increasing concentrated by a few large corporations? Seems to me to be analogous to the lie of choice between political parties that are figure-heads controlled by fiat money masters (the collectivist financial system). We see the same masters as major shareholders of Facebook, Google, Apple, etc.. We have a proliferation of blogs and smaller publishers, but many of these rely on services or advertising revenue from the major corporations. I can rarely stay logged out of Google in order to participate on the net.

    If this doesn’t concern you, if you want, please tell me why? I don’t want to fight anyone politically (in blogs). I am not competing on words, but on results from actions. I find that interacting keeps me aware of different points-of-view. More diverse mind input is the leverage of the Inverse Commons.

    @PapayaSF: “How Android’s ability to evolve inevitably means fragmentation.”

    Bottom-up modularity could mean fragmentation is desired and irrelevant. My theoretical speculation is that such modularity also doesn’t necessarily devolve into the platform becomes harder to program for. I could be wrong about this, but if I am correct, this will be a major paradigm shift.

    @Bennet: “an inevitable ~100% monopoly for android”

    I wonder if that would be a monopoly, or a diverse set of forces shaping its direction, given it is open-source.

    @jmg: “relative overhead of Objective-C’s message passing against Java method dispatch”

    I was recently researching method dispatch. See also. Non-interface dispatch in Java is an indexed lookup. Interface dispatch could be an indexed lookup (with duplication of vtables) if Java was not incrementally compiled, see section 4.4 of the linked paper. Afaics, type-safe extension is a very critical modularity concept for language design (and I think none have it correct), is related to interfaces, and is an area where I am trying to innovate.

  98. @jmg
    “jsk I think that you raise a pretty big thing that needs to be thought about, which is what happens when intel finally achieves a really solid low power chip that is viable for mobile use.”

    That seems to have been the bet of MS. And it also seems they lost that bet and are now gliding into a break-up for lack of a future (2012 is my guess of the “year of MS breaking up”).

  99. @winter given that intel used to make ARM chips and I think still has one of those top end licenses any time that Intel doesn’t believe that x86 will work on mobile they can resurrect that strategy.

    Given that MS has a running windows on ARM, what Intel does or doesn’t do is immaterial. They can always fully port the most important software to ARM (ie Office vs Office Mobile or whatever they are calling it) and facilitate the large majority of .NET software to work on ARM.

    I don’t see a 2012 dissolution of MS any more than a 1990 dissolution of IBM. Or even the destruction of HP in 2012…which is far more likely an unlikely scenario.

  100. @shelby “I wonder if that would be a monopoly, or a diverse set of forces shaping its direction, given it is open-source.”

    I’m not certain that it remains very open source much longer (any more than OSX is with Darwin). There’s no indicator that Amazon is going to release its fork. There are significant reasons why google might only intermittently release Android versions by not open sourcing major releases like Honeycomb to keep the forkers strategically behind.

    Even Android dominance does not insure the outcome that ESR hopes for.

  101. @nigel
    “Given that MS has a running windows on ARM,”

    Too little, too late. There trump card was binary compatibility and a big catalogue of binary applications. They throw that all out with Windows on ARM. And you should never believe what MS say, only what they prove.

    @nigel
    “I don’t see a 2012 dissolution of MS any more than a 1990 dissolution of IBM.”

    Around 1990, IBM switched to a completely different business model and shed a lot of old parts. MS are in a much worse state with all but two business divisions losing money. I see them shedding all loss making divisions. And that will come when they have to admit they lost the mobile phone/tablet space.

    That moment comes this fall, as it becomes clear MS will have to outsell Android on a 250+ million installed base.

    See my crappy model fit from February here:
    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2961#comment-297134

    Btw, where is this brilliant NoWin WP7 phone that would smash the competition? That was promised this fall.

  102. @nigel
    “I’m not certain that [Android] remains very open source much longer (any more than OSX is with Darwin).”

    So you have determined a new business model for Google Android?

    Because under the current business model, closed source Android makes absolutely no sense at all.

  103. Eric

    The fit of your “Projected market share” graph is frightening:
    http://www.catb.org/esr/comscore/

    If you would hand it in as homework assignment, I suspect the teacher would immediately start checking every single number and reference for fiddling.

  104. >Because under the current business model, closed source Android makes absolutely no sense at all.

    How does it not? Android proper sees very little benefit from being open source. Large numbers of devices are on older versions on Android, and while there are projects like cyanogen, they aren’t what’s being loaded on these devices, except by geek owners post purchase. Google already has a “preferred partner” system in place in the form of limited access to honeycomb, and they already close up important parts of the environment (like the app store, and pretty much all the google services.

    So far, all it looks like OSS has brought Android has been Samsung hiring the cyanogen guys (probably because they aren’t sure how long they’ll be a “preferred partner”), and the Amazon Fire (on which Google’s opinion we don’t know for sure, but they are awful quiet about it). Everything else (massive uptake, slapped into every possible device combo without regard to whether it will work well) could have easily been obtained with closed source and free (as in beer) access.

    Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see where open source is a major part of the Android business model. It’s more of a convenient side effect.

  105. @tmoney
    “Unless I’m missing something, ”

    I think that is the correct explanation. ;-)

    What you are missing is the independence of the implementers and OEMs. OSS is as much an insurrance as an attempt to distribute development costs.

  106. So you have determined a new business model for Google Android?

    Because under the current business model, closed source Android makes absolutely no sense at all.

    Under the current business model Android is being forked by folks willing to use their own infrastructure and cut Google out (Baidu, Amazon). If Google doesn’t get the traffic flow as intended how does it monetize Android?

    The strategies put forth by Google in those early powerpoints are all carrots that neither Amazon nor Baidu care much about. Nor will devs in their respective regions and app stores. Especially if Amazon is ponying up for exclusivity windows for their app store over Googles.

    Amazon’s Kindle plans and timing, were not exactly unforeseeable. Interesting that they didn’t have Honeycomb to fork and had to start with 2.3 isn’t it? Google has promised source for ICS and they’ll provide that. Beyond that? It could easily go the way as Darwin.

  107. Around 1990, IBM switched to a completely different business model and shed a lot of old parts. MS are in a much worse state with all but two business divisions losing money. I see them shedding all loss making divisions. And that will come when they have to admit they lost the mobile phone/tablet space.

    “We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win Microsoft has to lose”

    Steve Jobs 1997

    In any case, MS has $52B in cash and short term investments.

    What sane analysis has MS breaking up in 2012 with that much cash on hand? None.

    For 22 quarters the online services division has been hemorrhaging money. What was the total? $2.557B. Not all that much. They can hemorrhage money in that division for another 22 qtrs and never notice.

    FY 2011 was a record year (and 4th qtr) for MS and beat estimates. And Online services was the only division to show a loss. Given there are only 3 major divisions the “all but two divisions” thing is kinda a weird way to state that.

    That moment comes this fall, as it becomes clear MS will have to outsell Android on a 250+ million installed base.

    No, they have to sell enough to be profitable. If they’re also getting some Android income (in whatever fashion) that’s a bonus.

    For the phone business, there’s a lot of room to grow for MS, even against Apple and Android.

    Btw, where is this brilliant NoWin WP7 phone that would smash the competition? That was promised this fall.

    Like Android there will be new WP7 phones coming out all fall. The HTC Titan and Radar should hit this month. Nokia’s N9 based Mango phones should be out this fall and the Nokia Sun has appeared on some lists. There will be a couple Samsung phones out too running mango.

    No one expects the mango phones to “smash” the competition. But they should still do fairly well. Fairly well is all they need to absorb some of the freefalling Symbian and RIM share. If MS can get to even 15% share in FY 2012 I think they’ll be ecstatic.

    That seems doable given that a lot of folks like Nokia hardware and that’s only half of Symbian’s current share. They’ll have hardware parity with HTC and Samsung Android handsets as well since the WP7 versions are close.

    Overall I think they’ll do okay and I think it hurts Android more than iOS. Apple wasn’t going to get a lot of that business anyway without at least one model with a physical keyboard.

  108. Weird…I wonder what tripped the moderation flag in my previous post. Anyway, the gist is MS has $52B in the bank and the only division losing money (online services) has only lost $2.5B over 22 qtrs. They don’t need to dump Bing any time soon. There’s no 2012 MS breakup scenario that looks even remotely likely.

  109. @Shelby:

    I read Google is increasing their infrastructure spending in Asia recently.
    [...]
    How long will it take Google and/or the open source community to produce NLP that doesn’t have to phone home to a monopolist cloud server?

    The open source community might well do this eventually, but Google never will, for the reason you identified. Google’s strength is in their infrastructure: their hundreds (thousands?) of data centers with perhaps millions of servers, many of them connected to all the dark fiber they bought up a few years ago. Every product they have ever fielded has been built on top of that infrastructure.

    Unless by “monopolist” you mean “every major closed-source software company except Google,” but I can’t see how that’s a useful category. Speaking of which…

    Am I mistaken to say the internet is becoming increasing concentrated by a few large corporations? Seems to me to be analogous to the lie of choice between political parties that are figure-heads controlled by fiat money masters (the collectivist financial system). We see the same masters as major shareholders of Facebook, Google, Apple, etc.. We have a proliferation of blogs and smaller publishers, but many of these rely on services or advertising revenue from the major corporations. [...] If this doesn’t concern you, if you want, please tell me why?

    This does concern me, and this is why I can’t make myself care about whether Google or Apple wins the “Smartphone Wars.” I don’t see a whole lot of daylight between them in terms of their software development and release practices, legal maneuverings, attitudes toward their developer communities, and overall effect on individual liberties and free culture. Neither is a shining exemplar of good in these areas, but neither could really be said to be evil (in contrast to, say, Facebook). ESR seems to think we’re witnessing an epic struggle for the fate of the hacker culture, but to me it just looks like two companies trying to sell and/or license more mobile phones.

  110. >What you are missing is the independence of the implementers and OEMs. OSS is as much an insurrance
    >as an attempt to distribute development costs.

    Which does what for the Android business model for Google? And how independent are the implementers really? As I pointed out, you can’t get the latest and greatest unless you’re a “preferred partner” and you can’t get the big features unless you either follow the Google Way or want to roll it yourself (a la Amazon). And if you’re going to roll it yourself, the only thing “Android” (as opposed to any other stripped down linux) buys you is the app compatibility if you roll your own store.

    Seriously, what part of Google’s business model with Android here would be hurt by closing the source and providing free (as in beer) access, that isn’t already hurt by the “preferred partner” program and the close source google apps?

  111. @tmoney
    What would be hurt?

    All the cheapo noname tablets and phones that are swamping the other 4 billion people (or 6 billion).

    Google is in it for the long term. Open source means that forked developments cost extra.

  112. @Winter “What would be hurt?

    All the cheapo noname tablets and phones that are swamping the other 4 billion people (or 6 billion).”

    Most of which do not help Google whatsoever because they don’t include Google Apps/Services, may or may not default to Google search, and may or may not even preserve app compatibility (or only do so for older forks of the OS). Moreover, while being cheap and potentially high volume, they are the biggest drag on Android’s performance, perception, and ability to avoid fragmentation.

    It seems some of you are confusing a business model/plan with ideological principles.

    Google’s business model is to saturate the market with their own devices so that customers can’t even avoid Google Search and Services and to prevent its competitors from creating their own motes around Google’s monopoly on search.

    The fact is: they pissed off willing partners or left room for continued partners to cut off some access to their services (search by carriers in particular, starting a war with Apple most obviously) and new competitors are using the OSS nature of Android against Google to create devices that entirely exclude Google’s services (Asian forks, Amazon, possibly Facebook in the future, etc). They decided they need to own the market for mobile devices rather than having faith that they could make the most desirable services that would be present on those same mobile devices ANYWAY even if they weren’t built by Google simply because they would be the best services.

    You can claim this is a net positive for OSS, but I haven’t seen a good explanation for how this benefits Google or it’s business plan. (ESR is amused by a silly quip regarding the cheapness of the Kindle line as if it only hurts Apple — it hurts Google a lot more with their own technology. Haha.)

  113. >If you would hand it in as homework assignment, I suspect the teacher would immediately start checking every single number and reference for fiddling.

    Yes, it is a pretty impressive fit, isn’t it?

    That is why every reference is included in comscore.dat; anyone who cares to take about half an hour to do it can check all my numbers except the one month’s that comScore mailed me privately because they had gone missing from the public website.

    Of course all my visualization code is also available for inspection.

  114. A little more context for ESR’s predictions of market share doom:

    July 2nd, 2010: “Now Apple has taken a serious hit to their brand image and they’ll be lucky not to watch their share drop like a rock.”

    So. It’s over a year later. The iPhone 4 remained the #1 selling smartphone in the US. Comscore tells us that iPhone market share hasn’t dropped at all.

    What’s going on? Was Apple, in fact, just lucky? Was “Antennagate” not as much of an issue as you thought it was? How have you changed your mental models of the smartphone market based on the discrepancy between your expectations and the way the story actually played out?

    Since sauce for the goose — in 2010, I was a complete idiot about the inevitable effects of multiple Android phone vendors. Expecting iPhones to maintain overall market share dominance was dumb. I’ve adjusted my thinking accordingly.

  115. @Winter

    >All the cheapo noname tablets and phones that are swamping the other 4 billion people (or 6 billion).

    The same cheapo tablets and phones that are running Android 1.6 or 2.2 or any other version that isn’t even close to up to date? The ones that are supplanting Google’s services with their own versions because they don’t want to play Google’s game (a la Amazon or that Chinese fork?) The same ones that are already doing forked development because they don’t have access to (or can’t run) the latest from Google? How is open source fitting into Google’s business model in these instances? Seriously, explain to me the specifics of how Google benefits from these thing and a free (as in speech) Android as opposed to a free (as in beer) close source android.

  116. Any thoughts on the first walls to appear around Google’s garden?

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20116328-245/google-pulls-is-my-son-gay-android-app/

    Note that what makes this different from other times Google has pulled apps is that this app does what it says on the tin (at least to the degree that it says it does anything), is not malicious or harmful and doesn’t break anything.

    Is this morally different from Apple’s decisions to pull or reject such apps as the million dollar button app, or the porn apps?

  117. @Tim F.
    “It seems some of you are confusing a business model/plan with ideological principles.”

    Much less than you think. Maybe you should have a look into Googles business model.

  118. >Is this morally different from Apple’s decisions to pull or reject such apps as the million dollar button app, or the porn apps?

    Unclear.

    Personally, I’m not real happy that Google bowed to political pressure – I would have told AllOut to ram their pathetic special pleading up whatever orifice they chose, myself, and I’d say the same thing to any other putative “victim” group, as I consider non-censorship a much higher value than any of their concerns. Enough so that people demanding censorship deserve hostility and public abuse.

    But I’m not Google. I think we need more data points before we can judge Google’s policy.

  119. >How have you changed your mental models of the smartphone market based on the discrepancy between your expectations and the way the story actually played out?

    I’m not sure how I should change it, frankly. I’ve certainly called subsequent trends better than the Apple fanboys who thought the iPhone 4 would sweep all before it, crushing Android like a bug. Of course the same idiots are now singing the same song about the 4S, and when that fails to materialize they’ll sing hosannahs to the 5. They never learn. I, at least occasionally, do.

  120. Yes, Google doesn’t make as much money from “fragmented” Android as they would from a theoretical closed, Google-controlled smartphone monopoly. The point is that Google is smart enough to figure out it couldn’t count on gaining a closed, Google-controlled smartphone monopoly, and instead adopted tactics merely to deny such to anybody else. Their services then merely have to compete against rival services, instead of depending on the permission of a single gatekeeper. If Google services are only on a third of Android devices in a market that’s 85% Android, that’s still more money than being on 100% of (e.g.) RIM devices in a market that’s (e.g.) 85% Apple.

  121. @Steven Ehrbar: “If Google services are only on a third of Android devices in a market that’s 85% Android, that’s still more money than being on 100% of (e.g.) RIM devices in a market that’s (e.g.) 85% Apple.”

    Except Apple was the largest purveyor and promoter of Google services, and clearly had no incentive to not use Google as long as they remained the best unless they had to compete head to head with Google. Google’s strategy was intelligent if they got the playing field right: they feared either Microsoft would slow down and impede the move to mobile or monopolize it. They didn’t realize that by attacking a Microsoft that was irrelevant they were stepping on Apple’s toes and making a new enemy — and that new castles with new motes (Facebook and Amazon) would also be emerging as large threats. Google got the strategy right but the enemy wrong — which puts them in a fairly precarious place at this moment: creating a new enemy out of a friend (Apple), enabling an old enemy to take a breather before possibly stepping back into the pool in a significant way in the wake of a polarized landscape (Microsoft), and providing new enemies with the very tools they will be attacked with in the future (Amazon, Facebook, Asian builders).

  122. @esr “Of course the same idiots are now singing the same song about the 4S, and when that fails to materialize they’ll sing hosannahs to the 5. They never learn. I, at least occasionally, do.”

    what song? have an example? you talking about anyone claiming market share above 10%?

  123. @esr “They never learn. I, at least occasionally, do.”

    What have you learned regarding predictions of Apple’s imminent doom? Your repeated predictions of “catastrophic disruption from below” have failed to materialize every time.

    Regarding the iPhone 4. Yes, there were a few folks that predicted that the iPhone 4 would sweep all before it but it’s not a credible prediction given the number of vendors releasing Android phones and the limits on how many phones Apple can produce. Especially given that the iPhone 4 doesn’t address all segments of the market anyway (low end, keyboard, larger screen, etc).

    Nobody objects to the assertion that Android will take 50%+ of the market or whatever. But you want to make it a zero sum game where Apple must fail for Android to win. This is clearly false given they cater to two different markets. Given that Apple has NEVER had smartphone share dominance it’s also not like Apple has been hemorrhaging share like Nokia/Symbian anyway. Another point you like to gloss over. It’s hard to take market share dominance from someone who never had it in the first place.

    The most reasonable predictions for the iPhone 4S is that they’ll sell far more 4S than they did iPhone 4 per qtr and that the 4S, 4 and possibly even the 3GS will be the three top ranked smartphones sold in 2012. This wont be failure by any imagination.

    Even if share were to drop to 10% in the next qtr so long as Apple is selling more and more iPhones every qtr your earlier predictions that Apple’s finances would suffer from “disruptive collapse” is still silly. Apple doesn’t chase profit using high market share. It chases profits using high margins.

    What is also likely is that Samsung will overtake Apple as the top phone maker in the world and Apple will be #2. That Apple got to be the #1 phone maker AT ALL this year indicates that your earlier predictions for “catastrophic disruption” were incorrect.

    Frankly, the odds that Apple just bounces around 20-25% for a long time are far higher than Android continuing to gain share like it has been given MS’s recent moves. Mango finally makes WP7 credible, two major Android handset makers are on the hook to release Mango based phones to offset their Android royalty payments and Nokia makes pretty nice hardware. It should be an interesting year where Android finally has some real competition from MS.

  124. @phil: Yes, it’s humorous that his wrong predictions aren’t wrong because they are less wrong than some mysterious predictions made by some unknown people.

  125. And I’m really unsure how claiming Apple had already passed a tipping point where they would rapidly bleed more than 60% of their market share (from 27% to 10% or less) as recent as August 25th is significantly less wrong than the “fanboys who thought the iPhone 4 would sweep all before it, crushing Android like a bug.” Both are equally absurd.

  126. > @phil: Yes, it’s humorous that his wrong predictions aren’t wrong because they are less wrong than some mysterious predictions made by some unknown people.

    I’ve read them right here on these pages, Tim, if memory serves. Not mysterious. Not unknown. Possibly misremembered. That’s much different than mysterious and unknown. OTOH, esr seems to have the same memories, so probably not even misremembered.

    OTOH, you could go with exaggerated trash talking as an explaination. I like that explaination. Sports fans shouldn’t have all the fun.

    On the gripping hand exaggerated trash talking also explains lots of things you and phil say pretty well. ;) Especially since esr’s specific predictions of market share are pretty accurate, as compared to his not at all specific predictions like “catastrophic disruption from below”.

    Yours,
    Tom

  127. @TimF

    Except Apple was the largest purveyor and promoter of Google services, and clearly had no incentive to not use Google as long as they remained the best unless they had to compete head to head with Google.

    Or . . . unless Apple decided to demand a 30% cut of iDevice ad revenue or it would launch its own iAd platform. . . . unless Apple was offered a dumptruck of money to use Bing instead of Google by Microsoft. Et cetera. Threat assessments are properly made in terms of capabilities, not intentions.

    new castles with new motes (Facebook and Amazon) would also be emerging as large threats.

    Amazon is not a threat to become a gatekeeper in mobile phones. It might, maybe, manage to do so in tablets, but since Apple’s already actually in that position, you’re postulating a theoretical problem against a real one.

    @Nigel:
    His “predictions of Apple’s imminent doom” have always had a specific timing element; after Android got 50% share. Which he’s always been predicting for this fall. So, far from failing every time, the prediction has yet to be tested. If I repeat a prediction that the Detroit Lions are going to win the Superbowl in January 2012 every week in September and October 2011, my predictions aren’t yet failures because they didn’t actually win the Superbowl in the third week of September 2011.

  128. @Tom DeGisi: I’m sure there were such comments. Flyboy fanboys are a dime a dozen. I’ve seen quite a few doozies from the OSS crowd, Fandroids, ESR followers as well which were both absurd and demonstably false. I don’t care to measure up each and every person’s opinions or predictions unless actually discoursing with them. Nor do I lump one or more stupid opinions expressed on a blog as representative of an entire community. I’m only asking ESR to account for himself rather than deflecting with belittling ad hominem not addressed to any specific person. The main point being: someone else being wrong doesn’t make ESR not wrong when he IS wrong.

    His specific market share predictions is that for the last 5 weeks Apple has bleeding market share at a rate that would exceed Nokia and RIMs decline such that that they would have no more than 10%, and maybe less, of US marketshare in the very near term — how the hell is that an accurate marketshare prediction?

  129. @Steven Ehrbar

    “Or . . . unless Apple decided to demand a 30% cut of iDevice ad revenue or it would launch its own iAd platform. . . . unless Apple was offered a dumptruck of money to use Bing instead of Google by Microsoft. Et cetera. Threat assessments are properly made in terms of capabilities, not intentions.”

    All defensible threats by other means than determining that you need to own the marketplace for mobile operating systems. I’m not dumb enough to propose that Google had zero threats; I am saying that they responded to the wrong threat and opened up a bigger threat.

    “Amazon is not a threat to become a gatekeeper in mobile phones. It might, maybe, manage to do so in tablets, but since Apple’s already actually in that position, you’re postulating a theoretical problem against a real one.”

    I either don’t follow or completely disagree. Why isn’t Amazon a threat to enter the phone market? Amazon is 100% already a real threat to Google in the tablet market: they are cutting Google out of their own technology and are forcing all Google partners to offer crappier, less profitable (likely money losing) devices. And just because Apple is already a competitor in that space (the space they created and Google followed them into), that’s not a very good reason to empower or ignore other potential competitors. Apple’s biggest competitor is clearly Google right now; do you think they are going to do anything to weaken their current position with respect to Microsoft, Facebook, or Amazon just because Google is there? Hell no. They’ll team up as long as it doesn’t hurt them, but they aren’t going to drop their pants to get kicked by Microsoft just because Google is trying to punch them in the face.

  130. @Steven Ehrbar “His “predictions of Apple’s imminent doom” have always had a specific timing element; after Android got 50% share.”

    Nope. “The near-term threat of an Apple market-share collapse to the 10% range or even lower is, in my judgment, quite significant – and comScore’s latest figures whisper that we may have reached a tipping point this month.”

    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=3634

    August 25th: ESR postulates Apple has already passed the tipping point.

  131. @Tim F.

    Well, to be fair he also said this:

    “For Apple, the history of technology disruptions from below tells us that there is only one recovery path from this situation. Before the Android army cannibalizes Apple’s business, Apple must cannibalize its own business with a low-cost iPhone that can get down in the muck and compete with cheap Android phones on price. Likewise in tablets, though Apple might have six months’ more grace there.”

    So if the Apple market share collapse fails to materialize, we may very well see a blog post on how ESR saved Apple by suggesting they keep selling the 3GS and the 4 at reduced prices ;)

  132. TimF,

    Goodness gracious. You read the following as a prediction!?! “The near-term threat of an Apple market-share collapse to the 10% range or even lower is, in my judgment, quite significant – and comScore’s latest figures whisper that we may have reached a tipping point this month.”

    That’s not a prediction. That’s a warning of a possible outcome. When a sentence is qualified like that it is NOT a prediction. The word ‘whisper’ should act as a big clue bat for you.

    Stop wildly exaggerating, TimF.

    Yours,
    Tom

  133. No, I don’t think that’s a prediction. I think it demonstrates ESR predictions are not specific. They are vague, they vacillate, they’re slippery. On one hand, we have a “firm prediction” of “after Android gets 50% share.” On the other hand, we have a whisper — yes a “whisper,” Tom — that “we may have reached a tipping point this month.” The key point being there was ABSOLUTELY no WHISPER of a tipping point beyond ESR asserting that it may have already happened. ESR asserted this without any evidence AND despite his “firm prediction” that it wouldn’t occur until “Android achieves 50% share.”

    ESR has expressed Surprise that Apple’s share has remained stable or grown for several months now. Despite the “firm prediction” that the COLLAPSE doesn’t occur until “Android achieves 50% share.” (Remember, he has asserted that once the share begins to decline it will be self-reinforcing. It will be dramatic — “like blood splurting out of a sliced artery” is a more or less accurate paraphrase.)

    He’s also pegged the decline as a date, not only as a market share percentage: “I’ve written before that I wasn’t expecting that transition until mid-3Q2011…”

    We haven’t been able to pin down from ESR in this discussion how extensive this very real and looming threat of share dissolution by disruption from below will be. 10% or analogous to Windows-Mac War levels below 3%.

    wlad Picks out a fun quote demonstrating the slipperiness of ESR. There are several allusions over his last several posts to it already having happened or happening now. I’d like to know what ground I’m standing on. Has the tipping point already occurred? Happening mid-3Q2011? Soon? 50% share for Android? Does the collapse go down to 10%? 3%? How fast?

  134. All defensible threats by other means than determining that you need to own the marketplace for mobile operating systems.

    And I repeat, “Google is smart enough to figure out it couldn’t count on gaining a closed, Google-controlled smartphone monopoly, and instead adopted tactics merely to deny such to anybody else.”

    Google is not trying to own the marketplace for mobile operating systems. Android is merely an effort to prevent any single other player from owning the marketplace for mobile operating systems. If we wind up with three or five walled gardens, there’s room for Google to compete as a service provider for one or more of the walled gardens. If we wind up with one, whomever controls that one will be in a position to completely lock Google out of the market.

    Why isn’t Amazon a threat to enter the phone market?

    They are, potentially. What they aren’t is a threat to become a monopoly controller of the phone market, because other people (the carriers) already do the subsidize-device-make-money-on-service model, and Amazon can’t undercut the carriers or buy all the carriers.

    Amazon is 100% already a real threat to Google in the tablet market: they are cutting Google out of their own technology

    But they are not already a gatekeeper monopoly in tablets. They’re merely a services competitor. They actually have the possibility of becoming the gatekeeper monopoly in tablets, but that’s a potential threat, versus Apple’s actually-existing status as the only maker of tablets that actually matter in the slightest.

    Look, the key here is that there are two distinct levels in what Google is doing.

    Level 1: Winning the competition in services today.
    Level 2: Ensuring that it will be allowed to compete in services in the future.

    The Kindle Fire is a loss on #1. But it is a victory on #2, because nobody else was successfully competing with the iPad. Google would like to win on both levels, but winning on #1 looks good on the next quarterly report; winning on #2 is the one that lets them still be in business ten years from now instead of emulating the Lotus or WordPerfect 1981-to-2001 cycle.

  135. “Android is merely an effort to prevent any single other player from owning the marketplace for mobile operating systems.”

    Baloney. Or only is so far as no other can because they do.

    “If we wind up with three or five walled gardens, there’s room for Google to compete as a service provider for one or more of the walled gardens.”

    Google’s ambitions clearly exceed your vision.

    “If we wind up with one, whomever controls that one will be in a position to completely lock Google out of the market.”

    ESR and his supporters are predicting monopoly control for Google. Why shouldn’t we be opposed to their ability to lock out any other competitor?

    “What they aren’t is a threat to become a monopoly controller of the phone market…”

    My argument isn’t predicated on them being a market monopolizer. My argument is that several competitive threats (whether they have less than 10% or more than 30%, never mind a monopoly) can still be a significant threat to Google. And they recognize this which is why they want to own the market.

    “But they are not already a gatekeeper monopoly in tablets.”

    Again, who’s saying they have to be? I’m not, you are.

    “They’re merely a services competitor.”

    Which is a HUGE threat to Google’s core business.

    “But it is a victory on #2, because nobody else was successfully competing with the iPad.”

    No. It is already a bigger threat to Google than it is to Apple. Amazon will take more users/business from Android than it will Apple USING Google’s own product and strategy.

  136. >ESR and his supporters are predicting monopoly control for Google.

    Do try to keep up. The whole point of Android, as I’ve been writing for three years now, is to prevent monopoly control.

  137. You know, it’s interesting that of all the folks conveying condolences for Steve Jobs none of the major FOSS folks (rms, esr, shuttleworth, linus, etc) have been reported to have said anything. Even in this thread discussing “smartphone wars” with the now exceptionally tacky title there’s no comment by esr while even Apple’s and Jobs deepest corporate foes have provided personal anecdotes and condolences.

    I hope remarks from these FOSS leading lights have been overlooked by the tech media and my own search but if not the FOSS world strikes me as petty and small. Certainly Linux (desktop) and Android would be very different and IMHO far less than what they are today without the influence of Steve Jobs on the industry.

    I suppose apathy is better than the gleeful dancing in the streets I expect when Bill Gates passes away.

  138. @esr “The whole point of Android, as I’ve been writing for three years now, is to prevent monopoly control.”

    And I disagree with you. Just because you’ve said it for three years doesn’t make it so.

  139. Google monopoly control over the mobile phone market?

    Then Linus has monopoly control over the HPC supercomputing market. He controls 95% of the top 500. Therefore, MS and Apple have reason to level a anti-trust complaint?

    As long as everybody and their children can develop, build, and ship Android phones, Google has no monopoly control.

    And threats to Google? Microsoft has openly declared they want to obliterate Google and are fighting an open war against Google. Apple fleeces publishers and merchants who want to do business on the iPhone/iPad. Both threats have been squashed by the success of Android.

    So, explain again how Android is a failure for Google?

    @NaySayers
    “But, but…. There are new threats! And there are Free Riders!”

    Yes, and how could there not be? As others have written, Google is still in front of the pack, so they won the previous battle to fight another one.

  140. @esr
    “That is why every reference is included in comscore.dat; anyone who cares to take about half an hour to do it can check all my numbers except the one month’s that comScore mailed me privately because they had gone missing from the public website.”

    I know, that is why I believe you. I would like that all journals would refuse to publish plots without the raw data being made available. Luckily, there are more and more journals who require that.

  141. even Apple’s and Jobs deepest corporate foes have provided personal anecdotes and condolences.

    I’ve got to hand it to Ballmer for showing a bit of class on this occasion. MS dipped their flags to half-mast at all of their offices around the world today.

  142. >Even in this thread discussing “smartphone wars” with the now exceptionally tacky title there’s no comment by esr while even Apple’s and Jobs deepest corporate foes have provided personal anecdotes and condolences.

    I may comment on Jobs’s death, but I don’t intend to do it until the present flood of sentimentalism has ebbed.

  143. @tmoney:

    What walls are you talking about? Google may have removed the app from their store because they didn’t want to be perceived as endorsing or promoting it, but the non-market applications checkbox hasn’t gone anywhere. The vast majority of Android users are free to get the app from whatever sources are willing to distribute it (with thanks to Amazon and their Appstore for breaking open AT&T), including, in the limit, a self-hosted website or the like.

  144. @TimF:

    Starting on the day Kindle for iPhone was released, Apple became Amazon’s best promoter in terms of selling Kindle books and the Kindle platform. Applying your Google argument, Amazon should have refrained from doing things that might turn Apple into an enemy. It even looks like they might have done exactly that. For example, it is very likely that Amazon could have released something like the Kindle Fire notably earlier (and arguably they should have in response to the Nook Color). Amazon may even have held back from promoting their MP3 store as aggressively as they could (that has certainly changed in the last six months or so). How did things turn out for them again?

    As for the Kindle Fire as a threat, consider this: Does Google prefer a world with the iPad as the only dominant tablet or world where the iPad and Kindle Fire share dominance? To me, it is trivially obvious that Google prefers the latter. And as long as Apple and Amazon are competing (and they are competing aggressively, especially when you realize that the competition is primarily about ecosystems, not devices), Google is a major player that neither of them can risk dealing out. Given the control Amazon wants, why is the Kindle Fire going to allow side-loading and why has Amazon said they’re going to turn a blind eye towards rooting? I think the biggest reason is Google. Allowing side-loading is the easiest way to make sure the Kindle Fire isn’t cut off from Google services, without having to engage with Google directly (which might come with strings Amazon doesn’t want).

  145. @nigel:

    I’d say that there are obvious reasons why major FOSS folks might be much more conflicted about Jobs’ legacy in a way that other competitors / corporate foes aren’t. I suspect more than a few of them are holding back, rather than trying to sneak past certain elephants to avoid saying something inappropriate.

  146. @nigel: “Android is being forked by folks willing to use their own infrastructure and cut Google out (Baidu, Amazon)”

    First please note that Google’s main platform is not Android, but rather the web, e.g. are even investing in a language to replace JavaScript. Google wants to win by preventing anyone else from co-opting an open web. My main ethical complaint against Google, is I wish they could profit without needing to track my identity.

    I hope you don’t mind if I express doubt that they have co-opted or cut out Google. Don’t they still need app compatibility with the Android platform in order to maintain economies-of-scale, Google prevents a monopoly from blocking access to its web services (mainly search for now), and Amazon and Baidu are doing the marketing for Google’s platform (due to app compatibility for the Android platform, and the fact that every device runs a web browser for Google’s web services platform). If they come up with any mainstream features, Google (or the open source community) can implement these in the main trunk, even if those companies refuse to open source their implementations. Amazon’s margins do not justify its P/E ratio, so my reductionist summary is that Google is milking Amazon’s shareholders.

    “odds that Apple just bounces around 20-25% for a long time are far higher”

    I don’t have the data, but my wild guess is their marketshare is in the single digits for the overall developing world. And yet hardware is becoming more commoditized, so it probably will become more difficult for them to gain share there, especially if they require proprietary services. People in the developing world are cheapskates. I sense that Cook knows this, since he said he watched the China store opening “100 times”.

    @Tim F.: “Most of which do not help Google whatsoever because they don’t include…”

    They give inertia to the platform. Google’s main priority is to prevent a monopoly that could limit access to its web services. A bunch of smaller players fighting to provide differentiated but fragmented services is no threat. The users will find their way back to Google, because those fragmented services don’t have the economy-of-scale that Google is getting from a “billions served” platform. I am not vested in the Android vs. iPhone war, so I am commenting without any desire to defeat someone. I want to understand well.

    “Except Apple was the largest purveyor and promoter of Google services”

    Are you sure Apple has enough installed base and marketshare to send Google 50+% of its revenue? My understanding is that is more important to keep all these players marginalized. Apple is marginalized and stuck at roughly 25% marketshare (probably in the single digits in the developing world which is the future), and because it has to move to proprietary cloud to keep its margins up in face of declining hardware prices. Looks to me that Apple is working for Google, by marketing the smartphone concept, trailblazing the new innovations, while fighting a losing battle on future margin growth, unless you believe the world is going to tolerate the lack of flexibility (and optimum fitness to diverse needs) in hard-wired services choices.

    “tipping point where they would rapidly bleed more than 60% of their market share (from 27% to 10% or less)”

    Are you sure this hasn’t already happened in the developing world?

    @syskill, I lean to your logic on two-heads of the same centralizing road, although I see some differences. We who desire maximum choice (degrees-of-freedom) can leverage their vested interests and then they work for our goals of maximizing choice, decentralization, and degrees-of-freedom. I have tried to think what technologically might be fundamentally retarding our efforts, if at all.

    @esr: “Google bowed to political pressure”

    As I am sure you agree, the problem with centralized control, eventually politics wins. Perhaps we need an app search engine, where app vendors publish certain semantic web fields. Like the issue you raise about DVCS interopt and data jails, there is much design and programming work that needs to be done. I hope for a decentralized social network (that the politics can’t force to track my identity and change my privacy permissions at will). The web could be the distributed database, heck wasn’t that the initial model of the URI.

  147. someguy:

    I’ve got to hand it to Ballmer for showing a bit of class on this occasion. MS dipped their flags to half-mast at all of their offices around the world today.

    esr:

    I may comment on Jobs’s death, but I don’t intend to do it until the present flood of sentimentalism has ebbed.

    ravi:

    I’d say that there are obvious reasons why major FOSS folks might be much more conflicted about Jobs’ legacy in a way that other competitors / corporate foes aren’t. I suspect more than a few of them are holding back, rather than trying to sneak past certain elephants to avoid saying something inappropriate.

    @ravi, as someguy says, it’s showing a “bit of class” as opposed to “sentimentalism”. That they can’t even release a simple condolence sentence without wanting to sneak past an “elephant” or being “conflicted” says much about the so-called leadership of FOSS. RMS is an asshat and a zealot, that’s a given but I expected more from linus and shuttleworth. or someone claiming to be a “successful propagandist”.

    Whatever. It doesn’t detract from Jobs’ legacy and stature but it sure diminishes theirs in my eyes. Especially Shuttleworth. The guy has been trying to make ubuntu look like OSX for a while now. That he can’t tip his hat to the guy that inspired and guided OSX is just, well, small and petty.

    At least the ubuntu design team said something nice. Like him or not, we lost a technology great with decades of influence on computing on wednesday. Without whom the idea of “smartphone wars” would be ludicrous (no one would care). We’d still be stuck with the insanely bad smartphones designs from only a few years ago. 2007 wasn’t that long ago and the changes in the computing and phone industry have been massive in these last 5 years. Jobs launched not one but two major paradigm shifts in computing and nurtured the studio that made some wonderful movies that ended up revitalizing Disney animation.

    Acknowledging that isn’t “sentimentalism” but showing a little class.

  148. @nigel

    Now notice that our host is in the same bucket of crabs with rms and shuttleworth.

    And that, in his mind, he’s had more influence than Jobs.

    There is a reason that the SI unit for ego is an esr.

  149. The whole point of Android, as I’ve been writing for three years now, is to prevent monopoly control.

    Except, of course, control of search. In fact, the whole point of Android — as you have also been writing — is to drive the maximal number of people to Google’s search. Because that way Google sells more ads. Possibly monopoly control of search is an acceptable tradeoff for preventing monopoly control of smartphone OSes, but let’s at least be honest about the tradeoffs.

    In other news: this is a lousy thread for Eric to talk about Jobs. This thread is about how Android Android uber alles. I have no beef there.

    In other other news, I can only imagine how the haters would have reacted if Apple had postponed the iPhone 4S launch at the last moment. I’m sure it’s different for the Android ecosystem, though.

  150. nigel,

    Two?

    Try at least four revolutions that have been kickstarted by Jobs: personal computers themselves, easy-to-use GUI-based personal computing, music players, and smartphones. Hell, his secondary influences are amazing. Jobs warrants a bit of indirect credit for the Web itself: Tim Berners-Lee developed the first Web browser and server on a NeXT workstation. A lot of stuff was developed on those sleek black boxes, which speaks well to the amazing developer ecosystem Jobs wanted to foster. The NeXT machines probably had a large role in kickstarting the object-oriented fad of the 1990s — before then, just about everybody in the commercial world used assembly, C, or Pascal. Along comes the NeXT with its mindblowing capability, and developers still on the PC or Mac want to be able to do that sort of thing. So they study object-oriented programming and — hey, there’s this new language, C++, that’s starting to mature — and the rest is history.

    So much of how we developers think has been shaped by Jobs at Apple and NeXT. Steve Jobs probably did more than any other single human being to revolutionize the industry and bring computing to the masses. He deserves every measure of our respect.

  151. Except, of course, control of search. In fact, the whole point of Android — as you have also been writing — is to drive the maximal number of people to Google’s search.

    Which is a great(and often repeated) theory until it runs aground the rocky reality that, without any modding or shenanigans, I can change to Yahoo, Bing, or Ask Jeeves. It’s (of course) also possible to add completely new search engines to the phone by installing properly configured applications.

    If we could manage to limit every company to no more than this form of “monopoly control” we’d be laughing.

  152. Jon, I’d encourage you to go back and read this post. Despite the fact that it’s an April Fool’s post, there’s an interesting discussion of the moat effect of Android in the comments. The problem is that search is really expensive to do right, so the barrier to entry is very high to start with. The effect of making Google the default search engine on 90% of the smartphones in the world makes that barrier even harder.

    Monopoly control isn’t just about the consumer. It’s also about making it harder for competitors to enter the space. If Apple won every patent suit they file, that’d be monopolistic too — not because it affects the consumer’s ability to choose, but because it reduces the number of options.

  153. “As long as everybody and their children can develop, build, and ship Android phones, Google has no monopoly control.”

    Baloney. OSS is not a get-out-of-monopoly-free card. Do you think if Microsoft offered an OSS version of Windows but prevented you from running any Microsoft software on it, that would have prevented them from achieving a monopoly or denied them control over Window OEMs and ISVs? Google has innumerable ways to control the Android ecosystem outside of source control (which they still control and can not release). And of course, the Android ecosystem is not just the OS, it is also the Google services. They can prefer partners, give greater access, force partners out of other business deals, restrict or prefer other business dealings of their other products, add additional ties to their own services, prevent greater integration of competing services, etc, etc, etc… Just as Linux was an actual alternative to Windows on x86 during the Microsoft antitrust trial — but it wasn’t an economically viable option that actually amounted to a real competitive option — downloaded Android with no Google services or support can be an actual alternative but may not be an economically viable, true competitor — that’s easy to see.

    “As for the Kindle Fire as a threat, consider this: Does Google prefer a world with the iPad as the only dominant tablet or world where the iPad and Kindle Fire share dominance?”

    It’s a false hypothetical. On one hand, some of you would hold that Apple’s closed ecosystem could never be a dominant monopoly, it must inherently fall back to niche status. Certainly, most everyone agrees Apple’s strategy forcloses them from the billions of poor people in Asia who want the same thing for $30. But somehow, you think it’s reasonable to judge strategy from the paranoid perspective of Apple owning the world? Don’t buy it.

    But to play along, I would prefer the former: it would put Apple in a monopoly position and they’d be scrutinized for denying access to Google, whereas the second option forecloses monopoly scrutiny on Apple, Google has less reach with its services than the former (the Apple products have far more Google services than the Kindle Fires do), and Google would be responsible for doing 90% of Amazon’s development for them — despite being denied access to Amazon’s audience.

    “Given the control Amazon wants, why is the Kindle Fire going to allow side-loading and why has Amazon said they’re going to turn a blind eye towards rooting?”

    Because they know the average consumer won’t, and its the average consumer that spends money.

    “Don’t they still need app compatibility with the Android platform in order to maintain economies-of-scale…”

    Maybe initially but apparently they aren’t that concerned that they can start by only maintaining compatibility with older versions of applications. From their, both Amazon and Baidu are large enough onramps to the highway that they can create their own scale.

    “Amazon and Baidu are doing the marketing for Google’s platform (due to app compatibility for the Android platform, and the fact that every device runs a web browser for Google’s web services platform)”

    That’s like saying I’m advertising for Google with my comments. Neither is presenting a hint of Google’s contribution to their devices. As for the web, you are saying that Apple, Microsoft, and RIMM are equally effective at promoting Google as any other device — agreed.

    “Amazon’s margins do not justify its P/E ratio, so my reductionist summary is that Google is milking Amazon’s shareholders.”

    And is a patently absurd statement.

    “I don’t have the data, but my wild guess is their marketshare is in the single digits for the overall developing world.”

    And? If so, that means Apple’s market share is disproportionately higher in the developed world than its competition. And that’s where the profit, health, strength, and maturity of a platform lies.

    “They give inertia to the platform.”

    Inertia as in slows it down? Agreed.

    “Google’s main priority is to prevent a monopoly that could limit access to its web services.”

    And this is the most paranoid basis for a business strategy that I’ve seen. Far more paranoid than Microsoft. That doesn’t instill respect or admiration in me; it makes me deeply concerned that Google can’t effectively compete.

    “The users will find their way back to Google, because those fragmented services don’t have the economy-of-scale that Google is getting from a “billions served” platform.”

    And here comes the arrogance part. No one will come crawling back to Google. The Fire is already better than any Honeycomb tablet. This is how I see it: Google is so paranoid about their current business in the future they decided they needed to own the mobile market. They asked themselves if they could do it, and they said: YES. To achieve that OSS was used (both as a commoditizer and rationalizer of scummy behavior). But this raised the question: doesn’t that mean we will see forks, competitive services bundled with ours, maybe even empower whole other platforms to emerge? The obvious answer would be YES, but they arrogantly decided that they can either control the market through other means or competitors will just bow to Google superiority. And it’s not happening: partners are loading crap on their phones, competitors are getting on their deck, and new platforms cutting Google out are emerging and consumers don’t care that it lacks the purity of Google’s stamp.

    “Apple is marginalized and stuck at roughly 25% marketshare (probably in the single digits in the developing world which is the future), and because it has to move to proprietary cloud to keep its margins up in face of declining hardware prices.”

    I’m confused: does Apple marginalize itself based on its strategy or did we need Google to step in and save India from $700 phones?

    “Are you sure this hasn’t already happened in the developing world?”

    Again, why would I care. Secondly, this is what I’ve been asking. Jesus, what is with this boogeyman: are you sure it hasn’t already happened? Are you sure it hasn’t already happened? YES, I’M SURE!!! Are you?

  154. @ JonB:

    “Which is a great(and often repeated) theory until it runs aground the rocky reality that, without any modding or shenanigans, I can change to Yahoo, Bing, or Ask Jeeves. It’s (of course) also possible to add completely new search engines to the phone by installing properly configured applications. ”

    Which is all well and good, but how many users will actually *do* this? My guess is not many- and that’s what Google’s betting on, as well. It’s the magician’s card force- you have a free choice, but I’m manipulating the circumstances such that you’ll pick the one I want you to…

  155. @jeff, heck folks that are part of ONE paradigm shift are impressive.

    Taking your list and mine I’d count at least 5. Personal computers, GUI, ipods, smartphones and multitouch. I had been playing with multi-touch/pen based computing for a while from Mitsubishi’s diamond touch surface and something somewhat similar to Han’s FTIR based interface. While Han’s TED presentation was fantastic it was Apple that made multi-touch technology available to the masses as a USABLE interface paradigm.

    And yes, those sleek black NeXT boxes have far larger impact than their sales numbers would have indicated. The polish of the UI on top of unix was phenomenal. A huge missed opportunity for Sun not to adopt OpenStep whole heartedly when it had the chance. CDE bleh.

    And don’t forget WebObjects as one of those huge fundamental pieces of the early internet. There were few early major e-commerce deployments that didn’t either use webobjects or some product influenced by webobjects.

    Like Dell. Where I first bought a computer off the internet.

    It seems the more you dig the more influences direct and indirect there are.

  156. @nigel
    >”it’s interesting that of all the folks conveying condolences for Steve Jobs none of the major FOSS folks (rms, esr, shuttleworth, linus, etc) have been reported to have said anything.”
    >”It doesn’t detract from Jobs’ legacy and stature but it sure diminishes theirs in my eyes.”

    why the need for you to make such a big deal out of this ?

    If people want to express their feelings about Job’s dead or reflect on his contributions, fine. If they don’t’, fine. If they did so in private rather than publicly, fine.

    By making it some sort of obligation, you’re diminishing the value of those condolences – it then becomes just something you say because it’s expected, not because you mean it. Or something you do to make yourself look good, not a sign of respect to the deceased.

    It also sounds as if you’re using the occasion to sling some mud at OSS leaders or so.
    Talk about “showing a bit of class”

  157. I hope you don’t mind if I express doubt that they have co-opted or cut out Google. Don’t they still need app compatibility with the Android platform in order to maintain economies-of-scale, Google prevents a monopoly from blocking access to its web services (mainly search for now), and Amazon and Baidu are doing the marketing for Google’s platform (due to app compatibility for the Android platform, and the fact that every device runs a web browser for Google’s web services platform).

    Doubt is good. Close mindedness not so much. Kindle Fire is a device intended to sell Amazon services and products. Where these overlap with Google’s they are co-opted. In most cases Google doesn’t care except in terms of loss of eyeballs.

    The one area that Google DOES care is loss of ad revenue. An area that Amazon has already been doing by selling their own ad services on their own website. Kindle Fire will drive as many Kindle eyeballs to Amazon and its ad customers and away from Google and their ad customers as possible as that generates more ad revenue for Amazon.

    Also, while Silk is a web browser it’s one where the gatekeeper is Amazon. Half of the browsing load is carried on EC2 shoulders. Where Silk is tightly integrated into Amazon services will be more performant than where it isn’t and that will naturally drive eyeball traffic to where Amazon can monetize them.

    For Baidu, their method is even more straightforward. The Great Chinese Firewall makes as much of Google’s services degraded as much as the Chinese prefer. A web browser doesn’t mean access.

    App compatibility simply means that porting an app is easier. However Amazon appears to be paying a premium for exclusivity windows. Should Kindle Fire have real traction, they can probably get devs to do Kindle exclusives and shut out the rest of the Android market for large time windows (say 6 months to a year).

  158. why the need for you to make such a big deal out of this ?

    I made a comment on a relatively obscure blog. That’s not “making a big deal” out of it as much as expressing my disappointment. It’s not like I blasted it out on some major FOSS mailing list or something.

    It also sounds as if you’re using the occasion to sling some mud at OSS leaders or so.

    They certainly aren’t obligated to say anything but that they don’t want to says a lot about them. I’m pointing that out in a public forum that’s relatively private but a few of those leaders might read. Any mud that adheres from a buried comment on a blog only a few FOSS adherents read anyway is minimal.

  159. Any mud that adheres from a buried comment on a blog only a few FOSS adherents read anyway is minimal.

    A lot of people commenting in this post aren’t FOSS adherents…

  160. @Jeff Read, nigel:
    I don’t think you can claim that Jobs is responsible for the personal computer. Perhaps he’s responsible for its success in the USA, but certainly no further afield than that. In the UK the first computer most people had was either a Sinclair machine (which was eminently hackable and is responsible for the UK’s preponderance of skilled programmers in the following generation) or an Acorn BBC (it is interesting to note also that it is Acorn Computer who are responsible for the ARM, without which smartphones would hardly be a viable proposition). A few had Commodore C64s (and, later, Amigas). Apple did not introduce the personal computer to the world; to claim they did is to exaggerate.

    That said, it’s said that Jobs is dead: it’s sad when anyone dies, but it’s not cause for the level of hysterics that seem to have resulted from Jobs’ death. Then again, our modern society seems to always overreact to the death of a public figure. If you didn’t know him personally, then I don’t believe you’re really mourning; I think you’re just posturing. People seem to be vying with each other to see who can show the most grief and sensitivity, as though to establish their credentials; that’s somewhat sickening really.

  161. @bryant Not surprising. Of the FOSS folks that I would put in the same general category as Jobs or Gates (within the FOSS world anyway) I respected esr and linus. Shuttleworth too if you count him quite that high.

    Even so, I’d find something nice to say about RMS when the time comes presuming he doesn’t outlive me. I used emacs for a long time and I feel that GPL is an excellent license for some purposes (not the ones he insists but eh). The world would have been different without him. Not nearly as different as without Steve Jobs or Bill Gates but different enough that he left a recognizable dent on the universe. That deserves acknowledgement and gratitude. Even if I think he’s an asshat.

    @wcc I’d say 90% of the folks reading the blog (and mostly lurking as in most places) are here because they are genuinely interested in what esr has to say. Of the active participants, outside these smartphone threads, I’d say very high as well. FOSS is the common factor and most would, I think, self identify as OSS proponents to some degree or other. Adherents was probably the wrong word.

  162. >t’s not like I blasted it out on some major FOSS mailing list or something.
    >[...]
    > Any mud that adheres from a buried comment on a blog only a few FOSS adherents read anyway is minimal.

    so you were just trolling, then ?

  163. I spent the day thinking about Steve Jobs. He is certainly a man whose life deserves reflection. There is a lot to not like about the man. By all accounts he was not a very nice person. He seems to have been one of those people who had “just told it like it was” or at least as he perceived it to be. And those sorts of people are rarely enjoyable to be around. He was the worst kind of control freak. He attempted to capture the whole business of apps and lock it down through his approval process. Google made him unsuccessful in that respect, but he certainly tried. Nonetheless, one cannot think of the man and not recognize the he had a transformational effect on the world of consumer electronics and computer software. Few people have had more effect on my life personally, than he has, and I don’t even really use Apple products. He raised the bar for a lot of people, and as a consequence made the world, on net, a better place.

    In the many eulogies he has been compared to Einstein, but he was no Einstein, he has been compared to Edison, but he certainly wasn’t that either. Woz compared him to Disney, which I think is much closer to the mark. However, I think the person who captured it best was Rupert Murdoch, who described him as “the greatest CEO of his generation.” That is it, that is what he was. Not one of those MBA type CEOs, not a Wall St. CEO. No rather a real executive, a guy who got things done, and got them done the way he wanted, and the way that he believed would drive most value for his investors. I used to be one of those investors, and he made me a bunch of money. I bet Michael Dell has been eating his words today.

    I find it interesting that there has been some comment on his lack of philanthropy, because, after all, that is what our culture thinks rich guys should do. However, it seems to me that his technical philanthropy is much more significant than anything Bill and Melinda can leave. One thing is for sure, Steve was never about the money.

    However, the real question that a lot of people are asking is, what about Apple. I don’t think it is a pretty picture. Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs. Tim Cook is an MBA. Apple was not a normal company; far more than any normal company it was built on one man. Certainly, the fumes he leaves behind will sustain them for a while, and certainly there are many talented people at Apple. But, in truth, Apple was Steve Jobs’ ectoplasm. Without the wizard, I’m not sure how the magic can continue. Apple’s destiny is not the scrap heap, Apple’s destiny is worse — it will become IBM, or Microsoft.

    If you strike the shepherd, the sheep will scatter. If I were you, I’d be thinking about liquidating my AAPL, real soon now.

    And of course, my sympathies to his family and all his legion fanboyz.

  164. Jeff Read Says:

    > Try at least four revolutions that have been kickstarted by Jobs:
    > 1. personal computers themselves,
    > 2. easy-to-use GUI-based personal computing,
    > 3. music players, and
    > 4. smartphones.

    5. As Nigel hints, Pixar re-energized animated films
    6. The iTunes store wrested control from the RIAA labels, giving him the bargaining power to offer digital downloads, eventually without DRM.

  165. @nigel “Acknowledging that isn’t “sentimentalism” but showing a little class.”

    Well said.

  166. Egg on my face; I erred in my statement about the delay. Classy of Samsung and Google.

  167. @Tim F.: “for the web, you are saying that Apple, Microsoft, and RIMM are equally effective at promoting Google as any other device — agreed”

    As long as none of them can gain enough of a monopoly to turn the web into a proprietary platform, which is perhaps one strategic reason why Android exists. Google is competing in a very clever way by commoditizing the hardware, depriving those who want to compete by controlling the devices, of margins to subsidize uneconomic activities, that is assuming users prefer the open choice that they have on the web. Google is using network effects to lower costs and increase choice, and anything that goes against that is uneconomic in the long-run. Apple, Amazon, Baidu, etc are successfully carving out niches in markets that have arbitrage opportunities (a necessary activity), but the overall economics is towards more open choice and lower costs, so in the long-run they will get squeezed and/or relinquish marketshare, e.g. perhaps they’ve already conceded the developing world market to Android (and forks).

    “put Apple in a monopoly position and they’d be scrutinized for denying access”

    Government run economies have unenviable track record.

    “decided they needed to own the mobile market”

    They don’t want to own it, rather they probably want to keep the device companies sufficiently fragmented so they can’t corrupt the web platform.

    “consumers don’t care that it lacks the purity”

    Remove the open web from the computer (e.g. smartphone), and billions will not buy. Perhaps I am wrong about this though, as I said, I am concerned about the majority of web being served by a few big corporations. But I tend to think this is an illusion, because if anyone really tried to take away the diversity of the web, the push back would be immediate and severe. AOL’s demise is an example.

    @nigel: “The one area that Google DOES care is loss of ad revenue.”

    Google is growing the pie, not deprioritizing onto slivers here and there. Google is not stupid enough to formulate a failed strategy where they have to stop all competition in order to win.

    “Silk is a web browser it’s one where the gatekeeper is Amazon. Half of the browsing load is carried on EC2 shoulders”

    If Amazon distorts the web, users will push back. If it turns out that a majority of the world willing opts for a proprietary web, then they will get to suffer with a Windows-esque jail until they push back. I expect a proliferation of niche products with the common denominator of an open web.

    Google might have even contemplated a much more clever strategy. They may have sought to fragment the mobile OS space, in order that only the web platform would have universal interoperability scale. Google appears to be playing 3D chess with those (at least some observers) who think they are playing checkers. It is quite clever when observers think you are dumb or weak, because it may embolden the competitors (ego) to continue their strategy.

    “Amazon appears to be paying a premium for exclusivity”

    Fleeting arbitrage. In the age of the web (network effects), platforms coalesce due to bottom-up exponential network economics, not due to incrementally borrowing from future demand to pull demand forward top-down.

    Google has leveraged exponential network economics against those who might wish to use linear arbitrage. Bartlett claims the greatest human failing is the inability to comprehend the exponential function, i.e. compounding. Nothing important seems to be happening until the end which comes abruptly, i.e. the lily pads cover the final 50% of the pond in 1 day, after nearly a month to cover the first 50%.

    (2am Oct 8 my time, so next canonical day from my prior comment)

  168. Remove the open web from the computer (e.g. smartphone), and billions will not buy. Perhaps I am wrong about this though, as I said, I am concerned about the majority of web being served by a few big corporations. But I tend to think this is an illusion, because if anyone really tried to take away the diversity of the web, the push back would be immediate and severe. AOL’s demise is an example.

    Who needs “the open web” when there’s Facebook? The thing about openness is that no one gives a shit about openness. Everything and everyone that people do care about is on Facebook now. For eons the Japanese got by with i-mode, an online service for cellphones where you had to be a part of their content delivery network and use their data formats, etc. It was a walled garden for web sites and people loved it. From what I hear about Japanese attitudes towards the online world, most people there think the internet is a button on their cellphone, and don’t really know or care about the difference between “the open web” and a closed, curated one.

  169. @Shelby: “As long as none of them can gain enough of a monopoly to turn the web into a proprietary platform”

    I find it an absurd bogeyman that Apple would have been capable of this or even interested in it. And their success has also stemmed any of the other rival platforms from being able to either.

    “so in the long-run they will get squeezed and/or relinquish marketshare, e.g. perhaps they’ve already conceded the developing world market to Android (and forks).”

    I fundamentally disagree with this, or rather: I hold that competitors can effectively compete with Google even with minority market share. And again with the bogeyman of “a tipping point has already happened (but only in the undeveloped world) or maybe not” — has it happened or hasn’t it? I, again, I disagree with ESR’s premise of a tipping point — whether it occurred already, will occur at 50% Android share in the US, in mid 3Q2011, or whatever. Moreoever, even if such a tipping point exists, I disagree that it is impossible to recover from by any other means besides lowered margins, free hardware/software, or OSS.

    “Government run economies have unenviable track record.”

    Agreed, which is why an Apple monopoly (although impossible) with gov’t oversight would be a boon to its competitors.

    “They don’t want to own it”

    I disagree. You and everyone else who keeps repeating it aren’t proving a point. I see tons of evidence to the contrary via Google’s actions.

    “Remove the open web from the computer (e.g. smartphone), and billions will not buy.”

    And? Google is not the open web. They are a company trying to make a profit on their services. Amazon isn’t denying access to the web, but they are denying most of the strategy avenues Google is trying to prop up through their own Android. However, your point was that even when companies who repurpose Android for their own means and disintermediate Google — they will still somehow come running back to Google. I see no reason at all to even hope for this.

    “If Amazon distorts the web, users will push back.”

    Silk does not distort the web. However, Silk provides the same data that Google can acquire through Chrome and Google Toolbars to Amazon. Again, I do not see a pushback happening even if it were true. Consumers care far less about “open” as a principle than you do.

    “Google appears to be playing 3D chess with those (at least some observers) who think they are playing checkers. It is quite clever when observers think you are dumb or weak, because it may embolden the competitors (ego) to continue their strategy.”

    And I think Google’s Spockesque logic has been outwitted by James T. Kirk’s more visceral playing style in this game of 3D chess.

    “Fleeting arbitrage. In the age of the web (network effects), platforms coalesce due to bottom-up exponential network economics, not due to incrementally borrowing from future demand to pull demand forward top-down.”

    What a bunch of spewage. Consumers buy products that deliver what they want now. If Amazon achieves exclusivity on even a small number of highly desirable apps, never mind needed apps, consumers will buy their product rather than an official Android device that has the long tail of the Google Marketplace.

  170. Taking shots at Eric for not putting out a superficial sentiment about Jobs is hardly an example of class on your part, nigel.

  171. @SPQR Why would you assume it should be superficial? Given all the mean things that Jobs has said of Gates (funny as I found them at the time) over the years I think there’s real regret on Gates’ part and he has far more reasons for personal animosity.

    I think the problem for me is that the F/OSS culture has been tainted with this belief that these “other” folks are contemptuous or evil. I’ve felt this intellectually for a while but not really emotionally. It was always something I could ignore as one of those things the FSF zealots (and the young) do as it has always been my opinion that F part of the community has nurtured these unhealthy points of view (for rather crass reasons of control to boot). But now I believe that the O part is too willingly tightly coupled to the deranged half.

    So I’ll damn well take shots at Eric on his blog where he can more than adequately defend himself. I expected better of our community. I don’t want crocodile tears but actual respect for pioneers and visionaries in our domain even if they disagree. Except for here and there on an individual level it doesn’t seem to exist. Not at a community level.

    It has been complete idiocy from day one to characterize proprietary software as evil and it has breed this unwarranted contempt for other opinions and people who disagree. Because, hey, they are EBIL. Even folks that don’t directly buy into this idiocy are molded by it because it permeates our community at a fundamental level and is not vehemently rejected by our OSS community leaders. It is a hateful, poisonous aspect of the OSS culture that is mostly hidden by the fact that many if not most geeks are pretty mellow, nice folks. It is infuriating that while some members of our community would deride the “iSheep” for liking Apple products the real sheep has been us.

  172. > “Why would you assume it should be superficial?”

    Maybe not everyone is as convinced as you are about Jobs being such a visionary ?
    Or people prefer not to talk while all that is acceptable are eulogies, and prefer to wait till a more objective review of Job’s role and impact is possible again ?

    to somewhat return on topic:
    I notice that that list of Jobs initiatied IT revolutions has “smartphones”. If smartphones are indeed a revolution in IT (and not, say, yet another fashion gadget), would that be more because Apple is selling them expensively to a small target group, or more because of something like Android making them ubiquitous ?

  173. Comparing smartphones before and after the iPhone indicates that Jobs initiated the current smartphone revolution. I use my iphone for computing tasks such as web surfing, internet video, social media, etc. On my old tungsten W? Not so much.

  174. I notice that that list of Jobs initiatied IT revolutions has “smartphones”. If smartphones are indeed a revolution in IT (and not, say, yet another fashion gadget), would that be more because Apple is selling them expensively to a small target group, or more because of something like Android making them ubiquitous ?

    Steve Jobs was not, despite the huge number of widely-disparate patents he got his name on, an inventor, and I think that many of the unimpressed are because he’s credited with ideas he didn’t originate. However, he was one of the most successful product development and marketing machines of recent history, and it’s entirely likely that tablets, smartphones, and even personal computers wouldn’t see nearly the ubiquity they do today without his popularizing them.

    In order for a technology to become widespread, it needs both someone to invent it and someone to make it accessible to the target audience. Jobs was a master of turning raw technologies into products and then making those products popular, incidentally opening up markets for product classes (PCs, smartphones, tablets) that might otherwise have had much slower adoption.

  175. Nigel makes some good points.

    I think the blog regulars expect Eric to say something in remembrance of Jobs. To not do so seems less than classy.

    And you are never going to change people’s minds telling them they are stupid and evil. You have to sell people on the benefits of OSS, not insult them.

    Saying that proprietary software is evil comes across as weird.

  176. 27% of the US smartphone market, 17% of global smartphone market, and the #1 worldwide seller of smartphone is not selling to a “small target group” — it may have smaller share numbers than the total platform of all Android devices, but get off yourself — it was the iPhone that started the present Smartphone revolution.

  177. >Jobs was a master of turning raw technologies into products and then making those products popular, incidentally opening up markets for product classes (PCs, smartphones, tablets) that might otherwise have had much slower adoption.

    Ok, Jobs had extraordinary marketing skill.
    Still not something a lot of OSS geeks and techinology-oriented people are going to be easily impressed with.

    @Tim F.
    I’ve been reading this blog for a while now. Every time ESR mentions Apple’s small / stagnant market share compared to Android’s ever growing share, people come to Apple’s defense with “Apple is nor interested in market share ad long as they’re making a profit, and they are and will remain highly profitable even if their market share shrinks”.
    So, I believe them and derive from it that Apple is not the company that is going to put a smartphone in everybody”s pocket and make it the future of personal computing.

  178. @kn: and I keep reading how the threat of an iPhone monopoly is the primary motivation of Google from the ESR followers. However, dissonant messages notwithstanding neither 1) not chasing market share nor 2) being highly competitive and profitable even with a decreasing market share are equivalent to “only sold into a small target group.”

  179. > I think the blog regulars expect Eric to say something in remembrance of Jobs. To not do so seems less than classy.

    Darren, consider who you’re dealing with. “less than classy” is an apt description. The man thinks nothing of putting down his fellow humans for being black, or female, or…

    Of course, he probably won’t put his foot in his mouth quite as far as rms.

    http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2011/10/why-fsf-founder-richard-stallm.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+readwriteweb+%28ReadWriteWeb%29

  180. > I don’t want crocodile tears but actual respect for pioneers and visionaries in our domain even if they disagree. Except for here and there on an individual level it doesn’t seem to exist. Not at a community level.

    What Eric and others refuse to acknowledge is that, before Android, Apple had shipped far more open source software than anything they’d ever conceived.

    Every copy of MacOS X: FreeBSD, gcc, (now llvm), and others.
    http://opensource.apple.com/release/mac-os-x-1071/
    http://www.apple.com/opensource/

    Every iPhone and iPod Touch: more FreeBSD-based goodness.
    http://opensource.apple.com/release/ios-433/

    Every Airport for the past 5-6 years: based on netbsd

    etc:
    http://www.macosforge.org/

    Apple drives the WebKit project and the LLVM project.

  181. Stallman’s comment is abhorrently ghoulish. It recalls the ending song from Portal 2: “I used to want you dead, but now I only want you gone.”

    I realized what Stallman’s freakin’ problem is and why he’s so opposed to the likes of Jobs. Stallman wants computing to return to what he perceives as the glory days of the past: freewheeling college kids playing with expensive toys. Jobs was relentlessly focused on the future, or at least an imagined future in which machine-aided computing becomes as ubiquitous, versatile, and human an activity as writing is today. Time marches on, and so does progress, and as hard as Stallman may wish to turn back the clock to the heyday of the AI lab, the need for most users to have something that’s simple and elegant that fits in their lives vastly outweighs their desire for total software freedom. Jobs has made it his mission to provide the former and vastly improved everyone’s lives as a result, which makes Stallman’s bitterness seem particularly toxic.

    I lost a lot of respect for Richard Stallman this day.

  182. > Apple announced the iPhone 4S, and it’s a big yawn. iCloud? Me-too voice recognition features? Really, Apple? Is this the best you can do? Gawker has a hilarious post on how overblown the media hype was, but even that fails to convey what a boring, derivative-seeming product the 4S is.

    Yawn. Do you understand >anything<, Eric?

    When it builds the iPhone 5 with LTE support, Apple will combine that function with the ability to fall back and to roam on 2G and 3G networks. All the big carriers need this capability, even Verizon, because none of them will have 100% LTE coverage anytime soon, and LTE still needs 2G and 3G networks for voice support (phone calls.) The current generation of LTE phones provide this by using two different cellular (“baseband”) chips, one for LTE and the other for 2G/3G. The trend is toward chips that combine the CDMA version of 2G/3G used by Verizon and Sprint with the GSM version supported by AT&T, T-Mobile, and the Europeans. The two chip configuration allows the phone vendor to offer a single world-wide unit that fully roamable. But it causes problems for phones like Apple’s that offer long battery life and slick design. The only phone that offers LTE with good battery life and nice design is the Motorola Droid Bionic, a CDMA-only (and Verizon-only) phone that’s considerably larger than the iPhone. This phone wouldn’t work for Sprint because they don’t have the native network coverage to support it, and they rely on WiMax rather than LTE for 4G support. Two baseband chips take a toll on battery life and to the size of the phone as well.The Bionic is an amazing phone, but it’s larger and heavier than the iPhone.

    The iPhone 4 PCB is already incredibly small, not leaving any room for an extra chip to enable LTE without shrinking the size of the battery (or increasing the thickness of the phone to accommodate both a larger PCB and a big battery). Today, Qualcomm is a leading provider of LTE baseband silicon and unfortunately they don’t ship any baseband hardware that supports both LTE and voice (over 1x/WCDMA) without extra silicon. In order to support both you need to be using something Qualcomm calls SoC Fusion. By leveraging a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC in combination with Qualcomm’s MDM9600 LTE modem you can deliver both voice and LTE data. Otherwise the MDM9600 is only good for data, which is admittedly useful in things like USB modems or MiFis. Apple obviously doesn’t use Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs so enabling LTE on the iPhone isn’t possible using Qualcomm baseband unless you make the phone’s PCB larger (which Apple obviously wasn’t going to do). Note that no one else seems to deliver a single chip LTE + 1x/WCDMA voice solution either, so this isn’t just a Qualcomm limitation.

    Going LTE also means upgrading the phone’s processor, graphics, and infrastructure to do something meaningful with the data the LTE network provides, and this is the problem that the 4S addresses. Apple upgraded the CPU and the graphics processor and added support for the cloud-enabled “Siri personal assistant” feature

    Siri is the software side of full LTE application enablement, so we can think of it as a necessary step toward the full use of LTE. It’s not really possible to build a phone right now that supports LTE and GSM in the way that you’d like. For that to happen, the chip companies (Intel and Qualcomm) need to produce a single “baseband” radio chip that combines LTE with 2G and 3G for both GSM and CDMA, and saves power to boot. The phone manufacturers need to write support software for this chip as well.

    iPhone 4S is a product designed to compete for two markets: (1) half the current iPhone users who bought a phone prior to the iPhone 4 and (2) non-iPhone users, typically non-smartphone users.

    Tim Cook said that half of all iPhones sold to date have been iPhone 4?s. That means that about 70 million iPhone 4?s have been sold. Those are not a target market because of three reasons:

    1. The vast majority of those users are still paying for their iPhone 4 through the subsidy model used to sell them and to change phones today would incur a cash penalty.
    2. Customer satisfaction surveys show that they have 90%+ satisfaction rating for their iPhone 4 and we can therefore assume that they are not looking for something better
    3. Their iPhones are practically new and they still work and are upgradeable.

    The other 70 million or so iPhone users have either a 3GS or a 3G iPhone. These are a very different market for three reasons:

    1. They have already paid off their iPhones. They would not face any extra costs in switching to a new iPhone
    2. Earlier customer satisfaction surveys showed that they once had 90%+ satisfaction with their product so they are likely to stay with the brand.
    3. Their iPhones are getting old and beaten up after two years of use.

    This market represented by non-iPhone/non-smartphone users is so vast that it’s practically infinite. Over 1.5 billion phones are sold each year and Apple only has about 5% share. Therefore there is a vast pool of users who probably have been interested in getting an iPhone. These potential buyers will find the iPhone 4S an attractive alternative to buying a non-smart phone. They will also notice that there is now a range of price points for various iPhone models starting as low as zero.

    To complete the picture, we need to look at non-iPhone smartphone uses. This market is similar to the current iPhone 4 market because, except for Blackberry, most smartphones have been purchased in the last 12 months. This is especially true for Android phones. These owners of smartphones are unlikely to be interested in switching a phone that is “brand new” unless they have a very poor satisfaction with it. If they are not satisfied, there are many options, and iPhone is one of them. There are too many conditionals in this market and I therefore don’t think it’s a good target for the iPhone 4S.

    The market for the new iPhones could then be summarized as follows: 70 million early generation iPhone users who are eager to upgrade (with 90% probability) plus a subset of a billion buyers of new phones next year who are looking for their first smartphone. These two markets iPhone 4S is targeting are “easy” because the competition is weak. It’s either “don’t upgrade my old iPhone” or “buy a dumb phone or another smartphone for almost the same price as an iPhone”.

    I don’t see the result for units sold being different if there was a hypothetical iPhone 5 vs. the current iPhone 4S (and 4 and 3GS as a portfolio). In fact, a “better” iPhone would not be better at winning this competitive battle because the bar is so low.

    An iPhone 5 is not needed. It would over-serve the market and price itself out of contention.

    The question will be very different a year from now when most early Android buyers will be looking for a new phone and when most iPhone 4 users (all 70 million of them) will be looking for a new iPhone. That would seem like a good time to introduce a new iPhone “5?.

  183. Farting in Church says:
    > Darren, consider who you’re dealing with. “less than classy” is an apt description. The man thinks nothing of putting down his fellow humans for being black, or female, or…

    From being a regular here, I think I have some idea of who Eric is. And I don’t think he goes around putting people down for being black or female.

  184. >neither 1) not chasing market share nor 2) being highly competitive and profitable even with a decreasing market share are equivalent to “only sold into a small target group.”

    but a decreasing market share and the company not chasing market share can hardly be seen as proof that Apple/Jobs has a vision of “this is the future of personal computing and we’re gonna maker it happen”.
    It does sound a lot like “we have a fancy new gadget that is going to make us lots of money cause we can sell it expensively to a fashion sensitive target group with a weak spot for techno status symbols”
    nothing wrong with a company trying to make money and being profitable – just don’t tell me it’s visionary or revolutionary. It’s business as usual.

  185. @kn “but a decreasing market share and the company not chasing market share can hardly be seen as proof that Apple/Jobs has a vision of “this is the future of personal computing and we’re gonna maker it happen”.”

    That’s incomprehensible to me and makes no sense. Business strategy is not product vision. Is Apple’s strategy to secure the high end, moving down market while preserving margins, to best equip itself against disruption and competitive forces by providing the resources to continue to improve designs, technological innovations, and software? Yes. How does that say Jobs had no vision? It tells me he has a powerful, uncompromising vision that he isn’t going to bastardized by chasing market share because he doesn’t have a differentiated product, only a commodity. It tells me he wants to introduce new values, new products, things which are hard to achieve… rather than just peddle lowest common denominator commodities.

    “It does sound a lot like “we have a fancy new gadget that is going to make us lots of money cause we can sell it expensively to a fashion sensitive target group with a weak spot for techno status symbols””

    That sounds like you projecting a WHOLE LOT into a business strategy statement rather than a vision statement. Do you actually think a man who has transformed the industry 4 or more times over has no vision? That he’s so uncompromising because it’s all about the bucks? Do you really think revolutions and change only happens through ubiquity and converting the masses? I feel bad for some of who have to distort and convolute everything outside of your worldview in order to marginalize it.

  186. @Jeff Read “I realized what Stallman’s freakin’ problem is [ ..]. Stallman wants computing to return to what he perceives as the glory days of the past: freewheeling college kids playing with expensive toys”

    I think you got that wrong.
    My reading is that Stallman choose to translate his goal of free/open source software into a social movement in the style of the 70’s -early 80’s social movements – maybe because he genuinely saw a connection between software freedom and those movements goals of political freedom, self-determination, free and open societies, … and to provide a philosophical background and justification for his software freedom goals; or maybe just because that was the way people worked for change in those days and starting that sort of movement was the usual way to rally support.

    In any case, he’s got stuck in this 70s retoric, and times have changed but rms can’t change. He’s totally committed – with “totally” meaning “in all aspects of his being”. That makes any compromise a from of treason, of personal failure, of not being true to oneself .

    That total commitment, with a strong desire to be true to oneself and combined with rms’ poor grasp of social conventions and decorum , is more than enough to explain why he’d say something ike that “glad he’s gone” — it didn’t surprise me at all.

    A kit of what rms says and does makes sense if you see it in this perspective : his insistence on the use of the name GNU/Linux, the socio-political activism posts on his personal home page, his political/philosophical essays, his rejection of the term ‘open source’ and his refusal to acknowledge when they people it when talking to him, several interventions by him on mailing lists, …. — so I think I’m not far off.

  187. I’m wondering what sort of psychosis is at work here with people demanding that esr say something teary-eyed about Jobs.

    The only explanation that makes any sense is that it (in their fanboy minds) represents some sort of sweet revenge that esr (et al) would be essentially forced to say something nice about the guy.

  188. @Tim F.
    I didn’t know you felt so strongly about phones. Sorry if I jurt your feelings.

    Most of what you say says “talented, successful business man” to me, rather than visionary . But maybe successful business man implies at least some vision.
    It’s late and I’m tired, so Ill probably leave it at that.

  189. No Michael Hipp it not about revenge.

    It is more about paying a little well earned respect to a genuine pioneer and visionary who shaped this industry.

    Like him or not Steve Jobs did more to shape the world we live in then anyone in the open source movement.

  190. @Darrencardinal
    I don’t see any significant sense in which “he shaped the world we live in”.

    It is indisputable what Jobs did for Apple, Inc.

    It is indisputable that Jobs had some positive influence on the I/T industry. It is also indisputable that he had some negative influence on that industry. The debate would be which is greater. We won’t know that for some years yet, if ever.

    That he “made the world a better place” as some asserted above or that he “shaped the world we live in” is just doing a high dive into the deep end of the fanboy pool.

    Please at least *attempt* to maintain a bit of perspective.

    His passing is a great loss … to the people near him who loved and cared about him. The I/T industry will certainly be different without him, but it will, for better or worse, carry on.

  191. > The only explanation that makes any sense is that it (in their fanboy minds) represents some sort of sweet revenge that esr (et al) would be essentially forced to say something nice about the guy.

    More likely they’re hoping that ESR will subsequently die of cancer.

  192. @SPQR

    I’m sorry you’re having trouble reading more than 30 words when the text isn’t written at a 6th grade level.

    Perhaps you should check-out the adult literacy program at your local library or community college.

  193. The guy has been trying to make ubuntu look like OSX for a while now.

    Heh.. I remember when the Gnome guys were trying to make Linux look like NeXTSTEP…

  194. @Farting in Church – actually I can read at at least an 8th grade level. However, the wall-o-text you posted didn’t justify the rather thin conclusion.

    And I think that the literary allusion to Pilgrims Progress was weak.

  195. Darrencardinal wrote: Like him or not Steve Jobs did more to shape the world we live in then anyone in the open source movement.

    Jobs had some talents I admire, but that comment seems excessive to me.

  196. @Michael Hipp

    You can’t see how he shaped the world we live in?

    How about bringing to market one of the first kit based computers?

    How about one of the first non-kit based computers?

    How about the first computer you could buy with an intuitive point and click interface?

    How about bringing the first laser printer to market, and bringing about desktop publishing?

    How about the first really good digital music player?

    How about the first really good smartphone, done right, with an ecosystem around it to support it?

    How about the first tablet computer done right?

    How about redefining the entire music industry? Not to mention tv shows and movies?

    How about starting one of the most successful retail stores ever, with extremely high sales per square foot, where others like Gateway failed? The Apple stores have higher sales per square foot than Macys. Or anyone else.

    And doing a lot of the later stuff when he was dying of cancer, and no doubt in tremendous pain.

    The rest of the computer industry is racing to copy what Apple has been doing.

    If you can’t see the positive impact he had you are blind. You are the one lacking in perspective my friend.

  197. One thing I forgot to mention:

    Pixar.

    These movies are some of the best ever.

    Can you think of any person who straddled both worlds? Who had such huge success in both computers and movies?

  198. @bryant

    The problem is that search is really expensive to do right, so the barrier to entry is very high to start with. The effect of making Google the default search engine on 90% of the smartphones in the world makes that barrier even harder.

    If you made Bing or Yahoo the default search engine on every browser and smartphone in the world the only thing you would achieve is one of a) making http://www.google.com the most typed url or b) setting google(as either home page or default search engine depending on browser and technical skill) as the first(or second) action involving their browser anyone did.

    Search isn’t easy… don’t get me wrong. But Google don’t just get kudos for spending the money, Altavista and Yahoo both spent the money. Google gets kudos because Google Search gives back relevant results more or less every time whereas both Altavista and Yahoo sucked because they sold search results that weren’t relevant to the search.

    Note that i’m not arguing that Google isn’t a monopoly (or close enough as to count). I’m saying they have no control because any prospective competitor can get themselves installed on any Android phone without any form of gatekeeper. The closest they have to control is by being better than everyone else at providing a good product to their consumers.

    @jbohn

    Which is all well and good, but how many users will actually *do* this? My guess is not many- and that’s what Google’s betting on, as well.

    Actually i’d go even further than that. Google is betting that they do search so well that even if every product defaulted to their rivals people would reply with “fuck that… where’s Google”. And thats what we’re trying to say. Android is intended as an ecosystem without monopolistic control… so that google’s strategy of domination through brilliance doesn’t get cut off at the knees.

    But again i reiterate. As consumers we’d be in a much better world if every company relied on the ability of their product to gain dominance rather than forcing everyone to use their linked in shit.

  199. AT&T Alone Sees 200,000 iPhone 4S Preorders in First 12 Hours, Their Most Successful iPhone Launch Ever.

    have some of that in your pipe esr

  200. Now sprint has sold out of all 16gb models of the 4S. The mighty have indeed fallen.

  201. @kn I wanted to touch again on what I interpret as your belief that Apple cannot be responsible for a revolution because they are owned by too few (or possibly too profitable?) whereas ubiquity is somehow IGNITING the mobile revolution.

    That’s a very odd belief. Most change starts small. I don’t mean change, I mean CHANGE: revolutions, paradigm shifts, EPOCHAL changes. This is a very simple idea, one I think every reader of ESR can understand: change begins small. That’s not to say an early, small change is the beginning of revolution either. Obviously, beginning has more significance as well: it is an ignition, it sets off a chain reaction. All others think differently after it. The old thinking is thrown out or quickly/slowly dies. This is readily observable in most “revolutions” — whether technological, historical, biological, whatever.

    Clearly, Apple ignited this new revolution. It is not the smartphone wars. It is the Touch-based Mobile OS/Device Revolution. Apple started it. Everyone wins it even if somehow Apple manages to erase $300 billion dollars of wealth over the next… decade? Quarter?

    To deny that of Apple, to claim Steven P. Jobs lacks vision, was “only” a great marketer is… simply, odd. It very much relates to the general sentiment closely attached to the OSS movement or the perception of a figure like Stallman.

    I personally believe it stems from an ideology that essentially marginalizes itself… I don’t mean that to be antagonistic, I find it inherent to the philosophy: the individual is more important than the majority; code is a commodity, a utility; free, as in beer, and sharing have more value/strength than commerce… It purposefully pits itself against the most powerful forces in existence! (A quality I love, btw.) And because of that, proponents of the philosophy are defensive, militant, unwilling to compromise. Qualities of a revolutionary. A perfectly reasonable stance for the position (‘pack your gun, we’re going to a revolution, shoot when you see the whites of their eyes!’). But also very rarely mainstream, widely accepted, or well understood. Which makes it defensive, critical, extremist, absolutist, competing thoughts can’t win… They can’t be right! … They have no strengths, our philosophy always wins!… They’re morally wrong!

    Because of that stance… Jobs was not the person who had a vision (also shared by others but also distinct in his own right) that computers would be owned by everyone and that these computers would be personal, educational, creative, productive, easy and delightful to use. AND he then went on to make that vision real by associating himself with the people who could build it, leading them (when they didn’t know how the pieces fit together), inspiring them, challenging them, motivating them to make products great products, even when they didn’t know how, didn’t get it, hit a technological wall, or struggled to make it succeed in the market. AND he educated those who HADN’T had this vision and who didn’t know how to use these things. He educated them, sold to them, and inspired them, and he made them happy and loyal and productive and creative and entertained. And he did this from a garage with a handful of people in the first incarnation of Apple (the Apple II — Revolution #1: Personal Computers) which took computing from hobbyist to education and personal use. An economic path for it to grow with the help of Microsoft and others: affordable (yes, Apple), small and self-contained, and USABLE! As his company grew and defined the second post-WWII Silicon Valley generation, he then lead another revolution within his own company with the Lisa/Mac (Revolution #2 — GUI/mouse), pursuing that vision so vehemently, it was rejected and he was dismissed (despite the revolution already being ignited and putting together a self-sustaining team that could go on building it). [There's plenty to comment about Jobs away from Apple, but moving on…] And he came back to his baby, his company when it was on the brink, driven single-mindedly by his vision and a plan to executive it, making it the largest, most profitable company (temporarily back in XOM’s hands) in the world by leading a third revolution (Revolution #3 — Touch-Based Mobile devices) continuing to survive and grow through defeat after defeat to START REVOLUTIONS and find mainstream successful through loyal, happy customers.

    Nope, Jobs didn’t do that; he’s just a marketer. He doesn’t have vision; he only seeks profit. It’s not a revolution; it’s a fading fad of a fashion accessory. Revolutions don’t start small, ubiquity is the sign that a revolution has begun (?). One can’t appreciate his contribution but can appreciate that his absence means one less competing viewpoint. Users aren’t at the forefront of technological innovation, investing in its future; they are sheeple separating themselves from their money because they don’t know any better. Apple is a closed, marginal niche that’s somehow a threat to monopolize everything while Google has no control, is utterly powerless so must be handed the entire mobile device market to commoditize and marginalize the creators of said devices and competitors for our benefit, which we receive through fast search results funded by ads chosen for us by an efficient auctions and intelligent algorithms parsing indexes of our personal data and behavior.

    The ideology can’t accept that it has to exist within a system of other ideologies, marginalizes itself because it’s placed in such an embattled position. Fighting against reality, commerce, the mainstream, the uneducated… Of course, this is not to say that everyone is like this, limited to this stance and ideas. Many can see outside the ideology and compromise values in a system of competing ideologies with strengths and weaknesses. Just as someone like myself who isn’t an “adherent” to capitalistic, proprietary, democratic (rather than socialist) ideologies but primarily see those principles as generally “stronger, “more successful,” “better equipped” AND appreciate the value and place of OSS. But those who are the evangelists for the ideology of OSS… frequently they are self-limiting, militant, strident, defensive.

    (And no, I’m not all weepy. ESR doesn’t have to say anything about Steve. I didn’t know him; some of us can only express so much human empathy when we actually have our own lives and loved ones. Plenty of remembrances have felt like unnecessary attention-seeking rather than genuine celebration and remembrance. If he can’t share that or an interesting thought or anecdote, there’s no need.)

  202. @Darrencardinal
    Steve Jobs didn’t create Pixar. It was spin-off of Lucasfilm that Apple bought in 1986. But you already knew that.

  203. @Tom Forest
    Then he oversaw the creation of Toy Story, and the rest is history. Any old sap could have bought Pixar, but they wouldn’t have made Toy Story.

  204. Darrencardinal, in Pixar Steve Jobs put together a very talented animation team and put creativity back into the animated film market. But Jobs himself was not the actual creative voice in that venture.

  205. @Darrencardinal

    You have a very sophomoric idea of what it means to change/shape the world. Try getting out a bit more, the real world doesn’t come packaged in a digital download.

    Creating a bunch of consumer electronics gadgets or bit-encoded time wasters for kiddies hardly qualifies. My threshold for saying someone shaped/changed the world is a bit higher.

  206. One more kudo for Jobs: he mortally wounded Flash and was a major force for pushing HTML5. All open source types should cheer that.

    But let me take a step back and ask a more general question. Linux never took over the desktop and pretty much disappeared from netbooks. Doesn’t that record bode ill for Android? Why is an open source phone OS going to be more popular in the long run? Of course, Android is already far more popular than Linux in terms of marketshare, but much of that seems to be due to feature phone owners stepping up to their first smartphone, and either not wanting to pay more for an iPhone, or not being able to get one on their preferred network.

    And yet iPhones are on more and more networks around the world, and older models drop to prices equal to that of the cheapest Android phones. Combine that with reports of more Android to iPhone switchers than the other way around, and most Android users buying few if any apps, thus having a weak allegiance to their phone OS. All told, I think it’s a stretch to say that Apple’s marketshare (much less Apple itself) is going to collapse any time soon.

  207. If you made Bing or Yahoo the default search engine on every browser and smartphone in the world the only thing you would achieve is one of a) making http://www.google.com the most typed url or b) setting google(as either home page or default search engine depending on browser and technical skill) as the first(or second) action involving their browser anyone did.

    Ahhh. That must be why Google is happy to pay the Mozilla Foundation a substantial amount of money in exchange for the traffic generated by the Firefox search box. Heck, they’re paying Opera too. I’m pretty sure that if defaults didn’t matter, Google wouldn’t shell out the money — it’s not a huge amount but cash is cash.

    Oh, FWIW, when Jobs bought Pixar they were a hardware company. Then they did animations as demos. Then they did commercials. Then they went for it and signed the contract with Disney for Toy Story. So you probably need to give Jobs credit for Pixar as an animation company. On the other hand, no matter how much I like their movies, I can’t honestly say I think they’re world-changing.

  208. Android can be more successful than Linux because there’s a well-funded company working on the UI. The secret terrible truth is that bazaar-style development doesn’t work so well for UI.

  209. @ Michael Hipp

    Really Mike? You read that list and think it is nothing but bit-encoded time wasters?

    You really deny that Steve Jobs changed the world?

    Your threshold is a bit higher huh? Maybe your personal hero is Jesus?

    You are a flaming bag of douche.

  210. @Darrencardinal
    You really deny that Steve Jobs changed the world?

    Yes.

    But let’s just take a couple of items off your lovingly complied list:

    “How about the first tablet computer done right?”
    “How about redefining the entire music industry? Not to mention tv shows and movies?”
    “How about starting one of the most successful retail stores ever,”

    My first comment is this: Yawn.

    Does that stuff actually impress you? What does that say about the size of your mind.

    Tell me this, how much of it will be of any real consequence any farther in the future than, say, the the lifespan of a good horse?

    Most successful real stores ever! TV shows and movies! The human race aspires to such heights! How will this finite universe ever contain us! Like Gods we will be! And already are!

    Yes, I am mocking you.

  211. One more kudo for Jobs: he mortally wounded Flash

    No, he just declined to pretend it was good enough to put any effort into getting it on the iPhone. It’s Adobe’s fault that Flash turned into the turd it is.

  212. RMS is the Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church) of Free Software.

  213. >I’m saying they have no control because any prospective competitor can get themselves installed on any Android phone without any form of gatekeeper.
    >The closest they have to control is by being better than everyone else at providing a good product to their consumers.

    Arguably, the same applied way back in the days of the browser wars. But it was still alleged that IE being the default was a huge obstacle to overcome.

    >Creating a bunch of consumer electronics gadgets or bit-encoded time wasters for kiddies hardly qualifies.
    >My threshold for saying someone shaped/changed the world is a bit higher.

    Aside from your complete dismissal of the achievements of Apple, would you seriously argue that what Atari and later Nintendo did in bringing home video game systems to the consumers doesn’t qualify as world changing? Or are home video game systems not “consumer electronics gadgets” and “bit-encoded time wasters for kiddies”?

  214. Some Guy: Flash has been a turd for a long time, but without the iPhone and iPad dropping support, there would be far less incentive to avoid it. Anyone in web development knows that the desire to avoid Flash took a gigantic leap after those two devices.

    (So why does Android pretend Flash is worth supporting? And note the irony of promoting Android devices as being superior in part because they can run some proprietary software that, just a few years ago, was hated throughout the open source world.)

  215. tmoney Says:
    >Aside from your complete dismissal of the achievements of Apple, would you seriously argue that what Atari and later Nintendo did in bringing home video game systems to the consumers doesn’t qualify as world changing? Or are home video game systems not “consumer electronics gadgets” and “bit-encoded time wasters for kiddies”?”

    I didn’t dismiss Apple’s/Job’s achievements, I said they do not represent making the world a better place or shaping the world in any significant/meaningful way.

    You speak as if you think you’ve laid some trap where I’ll be unable to say that consumer video game systems aren’t gadgets or time wasters for kiddies. Hint: that’s *exactly* what they are.

    No, I don’t think Atari or Nintendo made the world a better place.

    Entertainment – which is mostly what Apple/Nintendo/Atari sells – certainly can be fun and enjoyable. You might even say it’s useful (given a very broad definition of “useful”) but only a hopeless pasty-faced Slashdot aspie would think it somehow makes the world a better place.

    This is becoming surreal. Not far from here there are trailer parks full of meth-heads who, I’m pretty sure, would have more interesting ideas about what it means “to make the world a better place” than what we’re reading here.

    The iPad is a nifty device – quite a marvel of careful engineering and clever marketing. I hear people put them to various uses. But in what way the world is a better place since its introduction I’m still waiting to hear.

  216. in what way the world is a better place since its introduction I’m still waiting to hear.

    It gave countless curmudgeons like yourself something to sneer at to make you feel better about yourselves.

  217. Louis4 Says:
    > Android is adding absolutely nothing to Google’s bottom line,

    Every android comes preloaded with google this, google that, and google the other. They don’t even pretend to give other services a fair go. If I want to do email on my android phone, life is a lot simpler if I use my gmail account. thereby giving a nearly sentient supercomputer access to all my emails.

    The android looks to me like an alarmingly successful plot to rule the world.

  218. After the death of Steve Jobs, the Mega CEO, we might contemplate when Steve Jobs the revolutionary died who wanted to create a better world.

    RMS lacks a lot in social feeling and most likely in empathy. But he is honest if he is anything. Which cannot be said of many of the other writers of eulogies.

    Against Nostalgia
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/opinion/jobs-looked-to-the-future.html?_r=2

    The Steve Jobs who founded Apple as an anarchic company promoting the message of freedom, whose first projects with Stephen Wozniak were pirate boxes and computers with open schematics, would be taken aback by the future that Apple is forging. Today there is no tech company that looks more like the Big Brother from Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial than Apple itself, a testament to how quickly power can corrupt.

    …..

    Mr. Jobs’s magic has its costs. We can admire the design perfection and business acumen while acknowledging the truth: with Apple’s immense resources at his command he could have revolutionized the industry to make devices more humanely and more openly, and chose not to. If we view him unsparingly, without nostalgia, we would see a great man whose genius in design, showmanship and stewardship of the tech world will not be seen again in our lifetime. We would also see a man who in the end failed to “think different,” in the deepest way, about the human needs of both his users and his workers.

  219. @Winter “The Steve Jobs who founded Apple as an anarchic company promoting the message of freedom, whose first projects with Stephen Wozniak were pirate boxes and computers with open schematics, would be taken aback by the future that Apple is forging.”

    That’ the silliest thing I’ve read. Is the author aware that Steve hasn’t been in coma for the last 14 years — he’s actually been executing his vision to a tee? Does he think Jobs was utterly lacking in self-awareness to such an extent that he, the author, has a better understanding of Jobs at 23 than Jobs himself at 55?

    The Jobs of 23 would be amazed with 55 year old Steve, he’d sit him down for hours trying to figure out how he did it, and 23 year old Jobs would then try to execute the same plan while avoiding the mistakes of his early career.

    Hagiography is one thing; sure, we don’t need it. We also don’t need people who didn’t know the man and clearly didn’t understand him or the company telling us they know the true man better than those who really did in order so they can proselytize their own pet causes.

  220. >The iPad is a nifty device – quite a marvel of careful engineering and clever marketing. I hear people put them to various uses.
    >But in what way the world is a better place since its introduction I’m still waiting to hear.

    http://abcnews.go.com/WN/proloquo2go-ipad-software-voice-autistic/story?id=10497862
    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-684217
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703440004575547971877769154.html

    I’ve seen plenty of the electronic communication devices for autistic and other disabled kids that existed before the iPad. Aside from being fairly massive and clunky machines, they were also ridiculously expensive machines. It might not have made the world better for you, but for some parents and some children, the iPad is a world changer.

  221. @Tim F.
    I was specifically touched by this sentence:
    “Today there is no tech company that looks more like the Big Brother from Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial than Apple itself, a testament to how quickly power can corrupt. ”

    Which I completely and utterly agree with. And like all “Big Brothers” Steve Jobs has his faithful worshipers.

    But you rather look for some word or sentence that you can twist around to have an excuse to dismiss the whole piece. Don’t you?

  222. @Winter:
    “Today there is no tech company that looks more like the Big Brother from Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial than Apple itself, a testament to how quickly power can corrupt. ”

    It drives home the point even more that this observation actually appeared in the New York Totalitarian Times. They, of all people, are certainly an authority on Big Brother.

  223. The 55 year old Steve Jobs and the 23 year old Steve Jobs were the same person. The young man that took advantage of Steve Wozniak while at the game company (he paid Wozniak $500 for doing all the work while collecting $5000) is the same person that forced the Pixar founders to give up their equity when he took them over 25 years later. Utterly self-centered and ruthless.

  224. @Winter: I find that sentence laughable. I find the whole post laughable. Questioning me on it hasn’t teased out any intelligence from that article. Your statements perfectly mirror what I said above about an ideology that has to distort all that it doesn’t understand into something it isn’t to make itself feel better.

  225. @fake account

    I moved from the opinion that something should have been said because that would be classy. I agree with the criticisms that it would merely be superficial.

    I`m now of the opinion that something should have been felt because that would have been right. Our software movement is so twisted now that hatred and not wonder or sharing drives it. Hatred couched in the terms of “freedom”, “openness”, “morals”, “evil” and “ethics”. When you are taught that something or someone is evil then all sorts of nastiness are easy to justify later.

    Thank goodness SOMEONE of some stature had the balls to call out RMS. But Larry thinks the FSF is salvageable. I don’t think it is so long as the culture of hatred is at the root.

  226. @Michael Hipp

    “This is becoming surreal. Not far from here there are trailer parks full of meth-heads who, I’m pretty sure, would have more interesting ideas about what it means “to make the world a better place” than what we’re reading here.”

    Ok, I’ll bite on this silliness. Apple has gone from a market cap of $5 billion to ~$350 billion in the past 10 years or so. That’s $345 billion of wealth creation.

    Apple employs more than 50,000 people. They’ve opened more than 350 stores throughout the world.

    $3 billion in payouts to developers via the app store.

    + all the great products

    inspiring people to create great things

    showing that technology doesn’t have to suck

  227. @Winter “Which I completely and utterly agree with. And like all “Big Brothers” Steve Jobs has his faithful worshipers.”

    WTF? Apple’s main motivation is taking the suck out of technology. Why should consumers have to deal with viruses, malware, crapware? Most people are fearful, don’t trust technology – that’s the legacy of having no curation at all.

    Now if Apple had 100% marketshare, I might agree it was scary to have complete power over what can/can’t be installed on any apple device, getting 30%, etc. But they don’t and they never will.

    I would also point out that iOS is becoming more open as time goes on. Apple is gradually adding all the features everyone has been bitching about lacking. And they have been gradually relaxing the rules. It’s throttling instead of chaos.

    You android fanbois all think Android is headed to 90 – 100% market share anyway, so why do you care about apple and their rules? I don’t get it.

  228. @LS yeah – i think we should just take all the money in the world and just distribute it evenly. or better yet, we should all move to communes and sing.

    “forced the Pixar founders to give up their equity when he took them over 25 years later.”

    what does this mean? jobs bought pixar in 1986, they went public in 1995 and sold the company to Disney in 2006.

  229. more big brother than google? Really?”
    “I find the whole post laughable.”
    “It drives home the point even more that this observation actually appeared in the New York Totalitarian Times. ”

    A nice collection to use in an Introductory Rhetorics class: How to defend a point if you have no arguments.

    Yes, you should indeed always ignore arguments and reasoning. Name calling and emotions are much easier to use in a discussion. And you do not have to think.

    I still have not seen a reason why the observation is incorrect that Apple 2011 looks exactly like the Big Brother in their very own 1984 add.

    But I do see merit in the comment that the 1984 Steve Jobs was as immoral and asocial as the 2011 Steve Jobs. It was simply better hidden.

    @phil
    “That’s $345 billion of wealth creation.”

    That is wealth transfer. Whether it is actually created is another matter. Apple sold stuff people wanted, that seems good. Wall Mart does the same. Google and MS do too. And several Mexican Drug lords do too. So exactly why does that make Steve Jobs a better person than any of the leaders of these “companies”. Does the fact that Wall Mart has a lower margin give less merit to their business?

  230. “How to defend a point if you have no arguments.”

    Construct an argument first and then I will deconstruct it. You said you agree with a quote without an argument yourself. And I don’t see an argument in the source to support the statement either.

  231. @phil
    > WTF? Apple’s main motivation is taking the suck out of technology.

    Wrong again. Apple’s main motivation is making lots of money.

    They’re quite good at it. And nothing inherently wrong with it. Some of us just don’t like their methods. But let’s hold off building cathedrals for them, shall we.

  232. @Jeff Read: Is it people’s choice causing centralized social networking? Apparently it is necessary economies-of-scale and/or lockin strategies of the monetization economics. Google returns numerous references on the economic theory and practice. I just had an idea of making a business where the monetization is orthogonal (and done by third parties) to the hosting of the data and plugin interfaces (features) on the data, perhaps GUI configurable by the user. Many details to think about, and how to make an open format for decentralized competition. Perhaps more equitable openness for developers, would lead to more features, more choice, and more popularity. The chaos has to have a form which is informational and not noisy, i.e. directed leadership, e.g. the utility of chaotic web of hyperlinks was trailblazed by Yahoo, then algorithmically advanced by Google.

    @Tim F.: Perhaps it was not solely Apple that might be a threat to fragment the web into walled gardens. Also probably the desire to accelerate the commodization of devices, to accelerate the reach of the web platform. I want to respectfully suggest you become aware (if not already) of Reed’s Law on the exponential reality of network effects, and the inability of other non-network economics to compete (at least on marketshare). Would I be wrong to ask if maybe you are not fully weighing the relevance of the exponential function, and the deception of the long period of small nominal change that precedes the avalanche of nominal change, while the exponential rate of change was constant throughout. I am not disagreeing with you that any centralized entity has a vested interest which can eventually run counter to openness. I surmise that Google does not wants the hassle and loss of focus to own the device businesses which is lower margin (e.g. hardware, retailing, etc). Also I agree that people can be hooked by short-term benefits, but they do push back when those short-term gains are wiped out by gridlock (see the debt riots now? remember the Windows angst?).

    “27% of the US smartphone market, 17% of global smartphone market”

    Noting again, the 17% includes all developed and developing world markets, so the iPhone marketshare in the bulk of the world’s population (developing) is probably significantly lower than 17%.

    @Nigel: “Comparing smartphones before and after the iPhone indicates that Jobs initiated the current smartphone revolution.”

    I and assume many others wanted to do this long before the iPhone came out. Last time I was in the USA (2006), I was looking at the Nseries Nokia forerunner to the iPhone, which had a large screen, internet access, and could accept a plugin keyboard. So it was not Jobs’ idea, but rather he implemented an idea that had been floating around for a while. Ditto the Mac, which Jobs got from a visit to Xerox PARC. That is not to detract from his ability to implement and market successfully to the mass market before others. I think what Jobs did well was hire smart engineers and steer them towards simplicity, with his compulsive and controlling management. The ability to perfect a segment of the market is not sufficient to make a product ubiquitous, as Jobs has demonstrated he couldn’t do (Microsoft Windows and now Google Android). It was his strength, that was also his weakness. He played an important role and I agree that OSS would be more intelligent to recognize that the role of proprietary trailblazers is a natural component of the free market. Stallman apparently believes in AGW, thus I assume he is a collectivist and would probably advocate a world where education was “free” (as in rationed and noncompetitive) for everyone.

    @PapayaSF: “not wanting to pay more for an iPhone, or not being able to get one”

    Interesting thesis. Isn’t first mover status is more important, because in time, popular features can be copied by Android (or forks, e.g. Amazon). And people resist change because of learning curve, and if there are no differences to learn, then no need to switch. Change is motivated by necessity, not sufficiency. This is a reason existing users will type “http://google.com” in the browser instead of accepting some default services on a device.

    Google is very good at shooting themselves in the foot though. Chrome forces me to view their services in filipino, because I am in the Philippines and I can’t find any way to configure it to know that I want English. Little things like that can be very annoying, to the point of not using their services when I can avoid them. (Google search reveals I am not the only person who is annoyed)

    @Byrant: “if defaults didn’t matter, Google wouldn’t shell out the money — it’s not a huge amount but cash is cash”

    Defaults matter for the new users. Apparently iPhone has negligible marketshare where most of the new users are (the developing world).

    “bazaar-style development doesn’t work so well for UI”

    I don’t think most end-user products (where end-user is not a programmer) are optimally tuned in a chaotic design style. The Inverse Commons will work even more efficiently when we have code modularity (see my first comment on this page), so that small design teams can build end-user products from modular open sources. We need more finely-tuned software, i.e. small teams that can make insanely great s/w that aims for perfection of the little annoyances and time wasters, which could be mashups and glue on top of modular open source code bases. The problem has been that our fundamental computer languages don’t support modularity correctly.

    @phil: “$345 billion of wealth creation…$3 billion in payouts to developers via the app store”

    Is that equitable? My current work is betting that developers will push back, once there is an opportunity to do so.

    “It’s throttling instead of chaos”

    Good point.

  233. @Winter “That is wealth transfer. Whether it is actually created is another matter.”

    Wealth transfer eh? So when Google announces new product X and their market cap goes up $10 billion, where does that wealth get “transfered” from?

    Are you one of these people who think that when someone makes $10, that means someone else loses $10?

  234. @Michael Hipp “Wrong again. Apple’s main motivation is making lots of money.”

    I’d say it’s #2. But yes, it’s a huge motivation of course. No different than any other business there.

  235. @phil
    No, I think if Wall Mart earns $10, everyone we are alltogether $10 or more better off. However, if Apple’s market cap is worth $10 more, it is unclear who is better off by how much.

  236. @Shelby “Perhaps it was not solely Apple that might be a threat to fragment the web into walled gardens.” And I’m just looking for consistency: was their a substantial threat of Apple monopolizing and closing the open web, or are they are marginal, closed system that inherently declines to niche status? Does Google need to defend against multiple, niche walled gardens that somehow subsume the open web, or does the open web inherently win because of the network effects? Can I get some ground to stand on, or do you intend to shift from one vast generalized hypothetical to the next?

    And, again, it is my thesis that Google has empowered their competitors to create fragmented walled gardens. In other word, this alleged “defense” backfired.

    Yes, I know Reed’s “law.” I find it an absurd overstep from Metcalf’s Law. The notion that the benefits of a group network continue to grow expontential seems patently absurd: a single node of the group network approaches a plateau of utility that can actually be derived from large, group networks. I believe ESR agrees with me, but I won’t presume. But, nonetheless… you blurt out several sentences about exponential growth and network effects, but I can’t discern what way you intend to apply this jargon to this scenario. So I don’t follow.

    “I surmise that Google does not wants the hassle and loss of focus to own the device businesses which is lower margin (e.g. hardware, retailing, etc).”

    It is my thesis that by not only commoditizing the hardware but also the OS and software, Google essentially OWNS the device/software business through control, dependence, commoditization without any of the hassle and all the benefits. Just as Microsoft essentially controlled the entire PC business. But unlike the case of Microsoft who were making sure they were getting their nearly fixed revenue out of each PC at astronomical profit margins while wringing the PC industry dry of profits and advancements, Google is HOPING to some day reap the tiniest, incremental revenue at a vast network it hopes can be profitable.

    “Also I agree that people can be hooked by short-term benefits, but they do push back when those short-term gains are wiped out by gridlock (see the debt riots now? remember the Windows angst?).”

    I don’t equate not-using-Google with “short-term effects.” Nor do I see Windows angst or the poor state of the PC industry as “blowback to gridlock” — it is actually the “inevitable” goal desired by Windows and its partners that had no other choice to go along. I see it as the inevitable end result as well if Google is successful with their plan: by commoditizing not only the hardware but also the operating system and software, you remove the incentives to improve, progress, innovate the hardware, operating system, and software because the profit margin approaches zero. The source of profit in Google’s strategy is low margin advertisements reaching a massive network. Just as we’ve seen Digital, DEC, Packard-Bell, Compaq, IBM, Gateway, eMachines, and now HP flee the PC industry because they are literally making a handful of dollars on multi-hundred dollar products AT BEST… we will inevitably see Google’s own partners grow increasingly dependent, weak, and ineffective.

    “Noting again, the 17% includes all developed and developing world markets, so the iPhone marketshare in the bulk of the world’s population (developing) is probably significantly lower than 17%.” Yes, yes, I get basic logic. And, again, conversely, they have higher share in developed markets. But was is your thesis? That technological paradigms begin with low-end, undeveloped markets? It doesn’t hold. Economic power is a greater tool for technological change than the masses.

    “Is that equitable? My current work is betting that developers will push back, once there is an opportunity to do so.”

    Yes, it is. Apple enable its partners (developers) to reap $3 billion in revenue by building a platform, keeping roughly $1 billion to design, build, maintain, and grow that platform resulting in ZERO profit for them. The $345 billion is almost entirely derived from their own devices and software which they have decided to be the focal point fo a successful business and a path to continuing innovation.

  237. @Winter “No, I think if Wall Mart earns $10, everyone we are alltogether $10 or more better off. However, if Apple’s market cap is worth $10 more, it is unclear who is better off by how much.”

    Isn’t that obvious? Shareholders are better off. And by how much? That’s obvious too – in your scenario – $10. If you own a mutual fund, you probably own some apple btw.

  238. @Winter Would love to hear your logic behind the notion that when WalMart (or presumably any other company not named Apple) creates wealth, it is to everyone’s benefit — BUT — when it is Apple, it is impossible to see the benefit to everyone. What is your theory behind the uniquely un-beneficial nature of wealth created by Apple?

  239. I should add: Metcalfe’s Law has the same limits as Reed’s. I only mention it as an overstep of Metcalfe because the absurd optimism (infinite exponential growth of utility) is so absurd that it actually helps to put Metcalfe’s “law” (which is fundamentally a sales pitch for ethernet-connected devices) into place and circumscribes its limits as well — when it has all to often been misapplied to any networked or social system as a get out of jail free card.

  240. Let tell you another positive impact Jobs and Apple have had:

    they have created a ton of wealth.

    Many people, myself included, and many investment and pension funds, have made a lot off of Apple. Not to mention the employees who benefited. And don’t forget Pixar.

    I and many others have profited handsomely, and will continue to do so.

  241. Does that stuff actually impress you? What does that say about the size of your mind.

    Tell me this, how much of it will be of any real consequence any farther in the future than, say, the the lifespan of a good horse?

    The iPad is quickly becoming standard equipment in hospitals across the United States.

    Instead of scribbling notes onto a notepad and then punching them into a computer somewhere, the doctor can take his iPad in and enter patient information: symptom descriptions, observations, etc. directly into the patient information system from the patient’s bedside.

    Less tedium for doctors means less stress on doctors and patients, more effective service, faster service, perhaps even more face-to-face time between doctor and patient. All of these mean healthier humans. Healthier humans mean the world is a slightly better place.

    And Apple made it happen. Apple was the first and so far only company to make this form factor really work from an ergonomic and usability standpoint.

  242. @ Jeff Read

    Well said Jeff Read. Well said.

    I can give another example.

    The iPad is beginning to be used in cockpits to replace paper charts and maps. This will make the pilots job a little easier and more enjoyable, and maybe improve flying safety a bit.

    There will no doubt be many more applications of these tablets. And Apple made it happen.

  243. @phil
    “Shareholders are better off. And by how much? That’s obvious too – in your scenario – $10.”

    An inventory of $1B of Wall mart is worth $1B because they will actually sell the stuff for ~$1B. A market cap of $350B does not translate into $350B in dollar notes because there is no way to sell these shares for a total of $350B. This worth is based on the marginal price for which some shares are sold now.

    Market cap is definitely not the same as money in the bank. It can be half tomorrow, or double.

    So it is not clear what $10 extra market cap is actually worth. And it if it does not corresponds to $10 more of services or goods (production) then it is not $10 more wealth in the world. Read Adam Smith or any other book on monetary economy.

  244. @Winter
    ” A market cap of $350B does not translate into $350B in dollar notes because there is no way to sell these shares for a total of $350B.”

    irrelevant as not every seller is going to sell at the exact same moment. fact is you can liquidate your shares instantly for the market price. So your $350 share price is worth $350.

  245. @Winter WalMart is not valued based on the retail sales value of its inventory. No company is.

  246. @phil and Tim F.
    You might learn to read and also some economics. I very carefully differentiate between money earned by WallMart, which represents economic production, inventory, which represents sellable goods, and market cap. Market cap is an imaginary number based on the extrapolation of the current marginal share price.

    It is purely theoretically and does not represent any economic production.

  247. So you intentionally conflated two different economic concepts, making an apples to oranges comparison, in order to confuse the conversation and take cheap shots at your opponents? Or is it somehow your contention that Wal-Mart “earns” money but Apple does not?

  248. @Winter “It is purely theoretically and does not represent any economic production.”

    WTF?! it represents wealth. whatever, let’s just end this.

  249. @tmoney
    Don’t they teach reading skills in your place.

    There was an assertion that Apple has created $350B in money because that is their market cap. My reply was that market cap does not necessarily creates but transferes wealth. That is compared to money made by actually producing goods and services.

    But I suspect this is too advanced economics for you.

  250. Sure they do, how about where you are? The assertion was that Apple created $350B of wealth, not money.

  251. @esr

    I’m only just coming to this article, so I apologise for only having skimmed the foregoing discussion, but I would like to challenge Eric on his assessment of the iPhone 4S:

    Then Apple announced the iPhone 4S, and it’s a big yawn. iCloud? Me-too voice recognition features? Really, Apple? Is this the best you can do? Gawker has a hilarious post on how overblown the media hype was, but even that fails to convey what a boring, derivative-seeming product the 4S is. How are the mighty fallen.

    You dismiss iCloud out of hand, but this is a huge deal, and has the potential to completely change the way we interact with multiple computing devices. It solves one of the big usability questions of personal computing today, which is how we manage workflow between separate devices, and it solves it in what looks like a very elegant fashion.

    Likewise you dismiss Siri as ‘me-too voice recognition’ without argument. But you have failed to spot that the iPhone already had ‘voice recognition’. Siri is much more than that. It’s a voice controlled personal assistant that allows you to access information in a completely novel and much more natural way. This could be game changing if it works as well as it did in the demo. That’s a big if, and I withhold judgment until I test it out in person, but I think it is crazy to dismiss this so easily when it has such huge potential.

    In addition to these two big new features, the phone has also been improved in almost every other way conceivable. From the antennas to the processor to the camera, it has all been significantly updated. And this was an update to the phone that was already the number one in the world.

    So, my challenge to you, Eric, is to back up your out-of-hand dismissal and tell us what would have been required for the iPhone 4S *not* to have been a ‘big yawn’.

  252. >So, my challenge to you, Eric, is to back up your out-of-hand dismissal and tell us what would have been required for the iPhone 4S *not* to have been a ‘big yawn’.

    A feature that actually sounded interesting.

  253. @tmoney
    Apple created $350B wealth? What was produced to back up these $350B?

    The market cap can double tomorrow. Where are the products and services to back up this new money?

    So the only conclusion can be that market caps print or destroy money, and redistribute wealth.

  254. @Winter It’s very unclear what you are saying because clearly Apple earns money by selling products — economic production — and maintain inventory of sellable goods… but somehow you think their is no wealth production to be discerned. Despite it being readily apparent.

    Secondly, market cap is clearly the most reasonable valuation of a public company. It is the consensus value of public investors in relation to all other publicly traded companies. The notion that it is meaningless because it can change tomorrow is nonsensical. Yes, it can change — it may even change quite a bit. But there are also statistics and metrics we can look at to determine whether a market cap is so volatile as to be meaningless. The equity markets aren’t perfect, but you are going to be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks that come Monday Apple is going to be worth ZERO dollars or $700 billion dollars. So… in order for you to dismiss market cap, you should try to actual demonstrate this meaningless caused as a result of it being completely different to tomorrow: like show a weather report that tornadoes are going to touch down and wipe every and all Apple employees and assets off the face of the earth and no others… or something.

  255. A thought for you all: Steve Jobs died really, really rich. Tim Berners-Lee is currently pretty poor (relatively speaking.) Who made more improvement in your life, Steve or Tim?

    Apparently (ht BoingBoing) the director general of the WIPO contradicted the commonly held belief that is was the openness of the web that made it a success. On the contrary, he thinks Tim should be as rich as Steve, because he should have patented HTML.

    Anyone think that that patent would have “…promote[d] the Progress of Science and useful Arts…”

    What a waste that the undoubtedly brilliant Steve Jobs spent the last year of his life doing something as terrible as using patents to stifle innovation.

  256. @Tim F
    Some basics economics.

    Apple earns money by selling stuff. That creates wealth now. The world becomes richer.

    Investors value Apple by the discounted value of the expected future revenue. That is the market cap. Expected future revenu is most definitely not wealth created now. The world is not richer now because Apple’s market cap increases.

    An increased market cap is like printing money. If there is no real production increase it just redistributes wealth, not create it.

    But please look up some textbook about share pricing. I do not think this is the proper place to teach an introductory class in economics.

  257. @Winter You can stop being so condescending. You aren’t teaching me anything new about wealth transfer versus creation. (Review the comments.) My only goal was to see if you disagreed with the idea that Apple has created wealth no matter what number exemplifies the qty of wealth created or not. The repeated vehemence of your comments but the focus on the semantics of phil’s comments suggested you either were trying to hold the belief that Apple is not responsible for a huge amount of net wealth creation and/or… at worst, you were just trolling him or, at best, educating him.

    You have now explicitly said that Apple creates wealth. Do we agree it’s a WHOLE lot — maybe much more than its $350 billion market valuation over the past 30 plus years, inflation adjusted… but even if it’s much less than that, it’s a bunch of wealth creation?

  258. @Winter You can stop being so condescending. You aren’t teaching me anything new about wealth transfer versus creation. (Review the comments.) My only goal was to see if you disagreed with the idea that Apple has created wealth no matter what number exemplifies the qty of wealth created or not. The repeated vehemence of your comments but the focus on the semantics of phil’s comments suggested you either were trying to hold the belief that Apple is not responsible for a huge amount of net wealth creation and/or… at worst, you were just trolling him or, at best, educating him.

    You have now explicitly said that Apple creates wealth. Do we agree it’s a WHOLE lot — maybe much more than its $350 billion market valuation over the past 30 plus years, inflation adjusted… but even if it’s much less than that, it’s a bunch of wealth creation?

  259. Winter Says:
    > Investors value Apple by the discounted value of the expected future revenue.

    No they don’t, there are many more things that go into the valuation of a company than their future sales expectation. For example, Apple has $70 billion in cash, that is certainly valued in. In fact, since they have about 1bn shares outstanding, that is $70 per share, which is to say about 20% of their share price represents cash in the bank.

    However, cash is only one asset class, there are many others too. You might consider that they just spent 4 billion dollars on patents, they didn’t burn them in the back yard.

  260. @Jessica Boxer:

    1. ‘Who made more improvement in your life, Steve or Tim [Berners-Lee]?’

    I have difficulty making a choice myself. I think I may lean Apple rather than web based on two lines of thinking: 1) actually weighing the two contributions (of course, I’ve been using Apple products twice as long as the web, almost my entire life, while the web has only influenced my life the last 15 years) and 2) I have to consider the inevitability of what they delivered, what would have been the alternative in their absence, would someone else have done the SAME or comparable thing? But this is a genuinely difficult question to answer.

    2. ‘Anyone think that that patent would have “…promote[d] the Progress of Science and useful Arts…”’

    I’m not certain that it would have necessarily NOT promoted the progress of science and the arts. Francis Gurry’s thoughts seem wrong-minded and not helpful, like the thoughts of an ideologue for strong copyright/trademark/patents… But I don’t think patenting the web would have been necessarily bad. After all, this is what we have with much of what Google is doing: WebM/VP8, Android, Chrome OS, their services. One can preserve open principles while preserving individual/corporate ownership. Only the most extreme FOSS advocates believe otherwise.

  261. @esr

    A feature that actually sounded interesting.

    So, in other words, you can’t think of anything that the 4S needs in order to make it a competitive product.

    Apple has taken the leading smartphone in the world, improved everything about it, added innovative features (even though you might not personally find them interesting) and your unthinking reaction is ‘how the mighty have fallen’.

    Your disconnection from reality when it comes to Apple and the iPhone is getting worse.

  262. @Jessica Boxer

    I forgot, following from 2:

    3. I would have no problem with seeing Tim Berners-Lee and the other developers of the World Wide Web or any other open system being monetarily rewarded for their contributions nor am I bothered by Steve Jobs’s monetary gains nor do I think it unjustified.

  263. @Tim F
    Read back. Phil claimed Apple created $350B wealth from their market cap. To which I replied that market cap is not necessarily newly created wealth but often redistribution.

    The fact that you all conclude that I am wrong (which I wasn’t), that Apple does create stuff (on which a had been silent) and that cash reserves enter the equation (which is too obvious to bother with) convinces me that you are either trolling or completely ignorant.

    So I considered it appropriate to be condescending.

    Your view on a closed and patented web confirms my suspicion of your ignorance.

  264. @Winter It seems you’ve gone back to avoiding the point: of course, Apple has generated massive wealth. I’m wholly aware of your disagreement with phil, my intention was solely to see if you denied any and all wealth creation to Apple or only that market cap does not equal the quantity of wealth created. The latter is obvious (unfortunately not to phil). However, you arguing it over and over appears as if you are attempting to deny Apple has created wealth. But, as I said above, you finally got around to admitting it did/does.

  265. >Your disconnection from reality when it comes to Apple and the iPhone is getting worse.

    And yet, I keep predicting the share trends correctly. While you…don’t.

  266. Tim F. Says:
    > But I don’t think patenting the web would have been necessarily bad.

    That would be because your religious zealotry is overwhelming your capacity for rational thought. Were the web patented it would now be AOL or Facebook.

  267. Tom, you keep misrepresenting others’ points. Example: “…added innovative features (even though you might not personally find them interesting) …” Others did not find the features “innovative” at all.

  268. @Jessica Boxer “That would be because your religious zealotry is overwhelming your capacity for rational thought. Were the web patented it would now be AOL or Facebook.”

    My religious zealotry? Are you saying that WebM, Android, and Chrome OS are not open because Google holds patents on them? Seems like quite a few FOSS advocates need to be told this knowledge you bring them?

  269. @Tim F
    I never denied that Apple created wealth because that would be uncorrect. Simplisticly speaking, Apple’s revenues correspond to the value they added (I know the real value is complex). Instead of arguing you could have simply asked if you do not trust what you read. Some people try to stick to a topic and do not divert into acknowledging the obvious for religious reasons.

    And I agree with Jessica about your view on patents.

  270. “Instead of arguing you could have simply asked if you do not trust what you read. Some people try to stick to a topic and do not divert into acknowledging the obvious for religious reasons.”

    Seems like this applies just as much to you when it was clear phil was primarily trying to argue that Apple has clearly produced wealth and you kept arguing with him. You also note that, although I presumed a bit, I did ask you what you meant (I had hoped my incredulity implied that I thought you knew better but I still wasn’t sure and had to ask, admittedly I asked in a manner presuming you were arguing for a reason):

    “Would love to hear your logic behind the notion that when WalMart (or presumably any other company not named Apple) creates wealth, it is to everyone’s benefit — BUT — when it is Apple, it is impossible to see the benefit to everyone. What is your theory behind the uniquely un-beneficial nature of wealth created by Apple?”

  271. @Winter “And I agree with Jessica about your view on patents.”

    I’ve started a list of you. The people who believe that Google holding patents on Android, Chrome OS, and WebM/VP8 makes them closed.

  272. Tim F. Says:
    > I’ve started a list of you. The people who believe that Google holding patents on Android, Chrome OS, and WebM/VP8 makes them closed.

    If you read the context of the original remarks you will understand that the concern was holding patents in the way that Apple holds patents, or holding patents as a way to extract rent out of creators of vaguely similar ideas. So your rhetorical devices notwithstanding, the original point still holds. Had Tim been Steve, we’d be typing this on something like MSN or AOL. And then only if we got permission.

    If your enemy builds a nuclear bomb, you might think about building one too, not because you intend to strike them, but to discourage them from striking you. That is what the good guys in the patent world do. And it is also why patents are so amazingly destructive to small and start up companies: they can’t afford the thousands of centrifuges.

    From what I hear most serious FOSS people are indeed worried about patents on some of these technologies and are making significant attempts to ameliorate the risk. I’m not an FOSS person, merely and observer, so you will have to reference others for the details.

  273. @Tim F
    Sorry, but I really did not understood what you were asking. When I write about “market caps” I see no point in elusidating basic economics.

    And why I should have a quantitative estimate about the benefits Apple distributed over the world is unclear to me.

    And again I agree with Jessica.

  274. @esr

    And yet, I keep predicting the share trends correctly. While you…don’t.

    I’m not talking about market share trends. I don’t dispute your predictions.

    What I dispute is your ridiculous assertion that ‘the mighty have fallen’ and that the 4S represents somehow a lacklustre product.

    You have failed to make any argument at all for this, and you apparently cannot say specifically where the product falls short.

    You continue to be obsessed with platform market share to the exclusion of all other metrics.

  275. You continue to be obsessed with platform market share to the exclusion of all other metrics.

    Well, since platform market share is foundational to ESR’s belief in ecosystem viability, that would make sense.

  276. Tom,

    > the 4S represents somehow a lacklustre product.

    Excitement, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. You find the 4S exciting. I don’t. Sprint sells a 3D phone. I’ve seen it. 3D is an exciting feature to me, although not exciting enough to buy. As far as the 4S is concerned, the chance to buy it doesn’t excite me in any way. My reaction is “meh”. I also don’t find playing slot machines exciting. Others do.

    The answer to this, market-wise, is to figure out whether a broad sample of people find the 4S exciting. If only Apple fans are excited by the 4S, it is a lackluster product.

    Yours,
    Tom

  277. @Tim F., neither Metcalf nor Reed’s Law correctly models the human networking effects, because there isn’t only one category that is to be grouped pairwise (Metcalf) or N-tuples (Reed’s Law). However, categories (topics that cause people to interact) are numerous and often the participants’ set is temporal yet the interaction record is archived and persistently spawning new interaction. People can be in more than one grouping simultaneously, and even temporarily but persistently because they can put it down and forget about it, yet pick it up later at will. Many people remark that Google is their external memory. The Dunbar cognitive limit (~150) on human social groupings applies where we interact with those in the group personally. Technological groupings are not necessarily so limited, because for example with DCVS, it is possible for the effort of some group, to be taken up and extended by other people, without participants even being aware of each other. Although a particular case of interaction may reach diminishing marginal utility, new cases of groupings are spawned. This is life in action, it requires new births and deaths.

    Bottom line is that paradigms which are decentralized are able to grow at exponential rates, because plurality of actors are not as retarded by top-down management bandwidth. The linear market-share growth of Google requires an exponential growth of nominal units, and this is possible because Google is not trying to doing everything top-down, but instead allowing network effects.

    The analysis of any particular company’s or person’s strategy is not so interesting to me, because by definition of the Theory of the Firm, every company exists because there is some friction in the free market which enables the firm to arbitrage and take a rent on the active capital doing the work (e.g. $345 billion to Apple shareholders, only $3 billion developers market). In other words, I view management as necessary because of friction. One set of people sees the friction and attacks it with management and makes money doing so successfully. Another smaller set of people, sets off to create technology that eliminates the friction (i.e. democratization via technology, e.g. the personal computer). Those who battled the friction with brute-force eventually reach the natural limit of growth that coexists with the friction, and then those who created the technology to eliminate the friction take over to eliminate this limit. This is the cycle of life. The former is order directed, the latter is disorder directed. The thermodynamic (entropic) universe is on an overall perpetual trend towards eliminating friction, i.e. order. Along the way there, we build some temporal orders as stop-gap measures. Often we need these orders to get the work down to eliminate the friction that caused the order.

    Google’s strategy is to increase as fast as possible, the number of people using the web, because their revenues are correlated. They are employing network effects to commoditize the web access devices, and marginalize the telcoms and others who might try to retard the exponential growth rate of the WAN participation. For me it is not a question of who is good or evil, because every person and every corporation is both. Every actor in the markets is playing their role.

    My philosophy is becoming more clear to me. I don’t think OSS should be a political movement, rather a technological one that speaks with results.

  278. @Tom Degisi

    The answer to this, market-wise, is to figure out whether a broad sample of people find the 4S exciting. If only Apple fans are excited by the 4S, it is a lackluster product.

    Actually the best way is to figure it out is to look at how many units they sell. So far all we know is that they did one million pre-orders on the first day, up from 600k last time. That’s the highest first-day preorder number for any Apple product ever. Doesn’t look like the mighty have fallen.

  279. @Shelby Despite a lot of theory and jargon I already know, I still do not know what you are getting at. Let me explain:

    It seems to be your thesis that the Android platform is growing exponentially, and despite already observable record growth, we are still too early in the growth curve to be able to see this exponential growth manifest. But ultimately, in the near or longer term, Android growth will suddenly, observably skyrocket to levels that stall or kill off growth for other platforms.

    Am I correct that this is your thesis?

    I don’t see this happening. I don’t see 800,000 daily activations (or whatever rough approximate it may now be) exploding to 64,000,000,000,000 (what is that? 9,000 Android devices for every human on earth?) or even to 1 billion activations a day (far from exponential, but would still imply putting an Android into the hands of every human on earth every 7 days — quite the upgrade cycle!) any time soon… I mean EVER.

    So… can we please stop the talk of this theoretical, unseen exponential growth because there is no basis for it, not even in theory. Yes, Android growth will continue to be strong. But your thesis does not hold.

  280. 300 comments later, I reread the first one: “Speaking of iPhone, I’ve seen plenty of people sure that Sprint with the iPhone will be the surefire seller and totally uptake Android as a result.”

    Who are those people exactly? Any cites for this?

  281. @Tim F: ” intention was solely to see if you denied any and all wealth creation to Apple or only that market cap does not equal the quantity of wealth created. The latter is obvious (unfortunately not to phil).”

    I never said that market cap == total quantity of wealth created. although I guess I didn’t make that clear. It’s way more complicated than that…. but it’s a good *indicator* of wealth created.

    There are many indirect wealth consequences of apple’s success that aren’t captured by Apple’s market cap. Mostly positive, but a few negative. I’m sure MSFT would trade higher than it is right now if Apple had gone bankrupt in 1997. On the positive: 350 Apple stores collecting sales tax, employing people, paying rent, etc.

  282. @Bryant: “Who are those people exactly? Any cites for this?”

    I don’t even know what his comment means exactly. “totally uptake Android?”

    The iPhone 4 is the best seller on Verizon, but I doubt it outsells all android phones added together (verizon doesn’t release this data, but just looking at market share – it seems doubtful). http://www.bgr.com/2011/09/06/apples-iphone-4-still-top-selling-smartphone-at-att-verizon-as-iphone-5-looms/

    So I would expect iPhone 4S to become the best seller on Sprint. But – not sure it will outsell sum of all androids. The only reason to say this is the monster commitment that Sprint made to Apple (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20114938-94/sprint-commits-to-$20b-order-for-30m-iphones-wsj-says/)

    Another wildcard: Sprint has a $99 iPhone 4, which Verizon didn’t until now.

  283. @Tim F., data shows Android’s userbase is growing faster (higher degree) than linearly, and note that iPhone is approximately linear. I was using the term “exponential” too broadly, the Android userbase growth rate may be polynomial or subexponential. Afair, esr had postulated in an earlier blog, the exact mathematical model of the non-linear Android growth and I have forgotten.

    Indeed, it is irrelevant that eventually Android growth must slow down (perhaps to approximately the rate of global population growth).

    The thesis (which I have parroted from others here who said it first) is that networking effects enable non-linearly faster rates of growth, and I explained the mechanism in my prior comment. And the data for Android vs. iPhone seems to support the claim.

    Please note my prior comment made the case that the free market also utilizes iPhone-like top-down control business models. I mean that I think both the Apple and Google business models were absolutely necessary. In 2006, I knew exactly that I needed a smartphone device, and I kept saying to myself “why can’t someone devote the capital and engineering”. Apple lead the way. Kudos to Steve Jobs.

  284. @phil “I never said that market cap == total quantity of wealth created. although I guess I didn’t make that clear. It’s way more complicated than that…. but it’s a good *indicator* of wealth created.”

    Agreed. To me it was clear that you were merely asserting that clearly Apple has created a large qty of wealth. But the use of market cap as an indicator (one that I too accept in a very general sense) that was creating the argument with Winter. To me, it was unclear if Winter was saying that Apple hasn’t create wealth, a whole lot of wealth, or less than $350B… or if there was simply know way to know from the terms being used. This is now all clear.

    @Shelby “data shows Android’s userbase is growing faster (higher degree) than linearly” Userbase growth isn’t the same as market share growth. Market share growth looks quite linear.

    “I was using the term “exponential” too broadly” So stop using it. Exponential does not mean “a lot,” it means exponential.

  285. @Shelby “The thesis (which I have parroted from others here who said it first) is that networking effects enable non-linearly faster rates of growth, and I explained the mechanism in my prior comment.”

    No, I cannot discern an explanation from your previous post. You seem to be misapplying an incorrect theory to a system which it is not applicable, and then saying; “THERE, PROOF!”

    “And the data for Android vs. iPhone seems to support the claim.”

    Most of your previous comments allude to an exponential curve that is not yet discernable by the data that will cause Android growth to shoot virtually straight up… No data supports this claim.

    If your thesis is now, Android and iPhone will continue to grow on their current observable trajectories… that’s fine. But it is much different than what you’ve been suggesting by continually throwing around Reed.

    “Afair, esr had postulated in an earlier blog, the exact mathematical model of the non-linear Android growth and I have forgotten.”

    Maybe you should find that post and commit it to memory and start parroting that… Because what you are saying is wrong, non supported by evidence, and misleading.

  286. @Tim F., definitions for “exponential”:

    1. Relating to a mathematical expression containing one or more exponents.
    2. a function in which an independent variable appears as an exponent.

    I was using the first one, which is broader (I often speak to laymen audiences and you should know both definitions). Polynomials also have exponents.

    Perhaps if you explain what you think I said incorrectly regarding networking efforts and non-linearly faster growth paradigms, then I can explain any misunderstanding.

    I never implied nor claimed Android growth would shoot straight up. I did claim that nominal growth accelerates when there are exponents in the growth rate curve (a/k/a “exponential”, i.e. non-linear), which is why people often don’t recognize non-linear growth until the nominal acceleration catches them by surprise. This acceleration was occurring in the Android data.

    Agreed Android market-share is growing linearly while iPhone is not growing. But market-share doesn’t tell you how much useful work is getting done. Units consumed does.

    So far, afaics you have not pointed out any errors in my statements.

  287. Phil: I am assuming he means overtake Android in smartphone marketshare. Having made the stupid mistake of assuming a single-provider phone could beat a multiple-provider phone in marketshare once, I’m not eager to do it again. But maybe there are some idiots out there, I dunno. Just curious as to where they are. Maybe fake account’s post is saying that? I took it as discussing Sprint’s usage, not global usage, but I could be wrong.

  288. “I was using the first one, which is broader (I often speak to laymen audiences and you should know both definitions). Polynomials also have exponents.”

    Any and all uses thus far are incorrect. You don’t say: well, this isn’t really exponential but it may be slightly better than non-linear so I will call it polynomial so I can incorrectly call it exponential (but get away with it) because I will then add a coefficient to the nonexponential factor so large that we are aren’t talking about an observably exponential growth curve.

    “Perhaps if you explain what you think I said incorrectly regarding networking efforts and non-linearly faster growth paradigms, then I can explain any misunderstanding.”

    No, I can’t because you haven’t yet correlated them at all. What are the networking effects, you speak of? Where is the data to suggest these factors are accelerating growth?

    “…which is why people often don’t recognize non-linear growth until the nominal acceleration catches them by surprise. This acceleration was occurring in the Android data.”

    I do not see this unforeseeable growth you describe, and its this growth that you keep alleging that I will describe as the straight up… If it’s current rate of growth is multiple by any exponential factor, yes, growth will exceed current population and pop. growth. It’s not happening, it’s not observable that there is such a trend.

    “But market-share doesn’t tell you how much useful work is getting done. Units consumed does.”

    I don’t even know what the hell you are talking about now. You’ve made numerous assertions about future market share growth based on your thesis; now you’ve jumped to just units sold. And, of course, this does not measure “useful work getting done” because you clearly aren’t doing anythign to measure dead, retired, or less utilized devices.

  289. Oh, random question. I was contemplating the Kindle Fire over the weekend. It’s running on Android 2.3. My vague impression is that it’s not going to Android 3, but is that based on anything other than pre-release rumors? And if it is a true fork, does that present problems for app developers going forward? I am interested in quotes from Amazon for the former and opinions from actual Android developers on the latter; I can do all the random guesswork on my own time. (My random guesswork says that it’s in Amazon’s best interests to semi-fork and update to Ice Cream Sandwich, then fork again, etc. But I could be wrong.)

  290. Tim F: any equation that is non-linear contains exponents. The dictionary says this is “exponential”.

    How did you claim I am incorrect given you don’t even know which networking effects I am referring to?

    Exponential (either definition) growth doesn’t require “unforeseeable” (i.e. forever) growth.

    I referred to the growth of work of unit production (market-share doesn’t capture production). Not to the work that users do with their units.

  291. “any equation that is non-linear contains exponents. The dictionary says this is “exponential”.”

    And I haven’t agree with you that the growth trend is non-linear.

    “How did you claim I am incorrect given you don’t even know which networking effects I am referring to?”

    Because at root, Reed’s theory is wrong and not applicable.

    “Exponential (either definition) growth doesn’t require “unforeseeable” (i.e. forever) growth.”

    Unforeseeable does not equal forever; it equals not able to see in advance.

    “I referred to the growth of work of unit production (market-share doesn’t capture production). Not to the work that users do with their units.”

    Still don’t know what you are trying to say.

  292. I found esr’s post, where he postulated that Android’s userbase growth could be power-law or it could roll over to a logistic curve.

    I tied my argument unnecessarily to non-linear growth. Increased network effects can provide higher rates of growth, it is not required they be non-linearly advanced.

    Network effects are increased with Android, because the divison-of-labor is increased with an open platform ecosystem, i.e. manufacturers can add their value autonomously, Amazon can autonomously fork and add value, etc..

    @Tim F: you claimed the requirement that the exponential growth would have to continue past the limits of the population. I didn’t know why you were misusing the word “unforeseeable”.

    Regarding Reed’s law, it is correct that human networks can form groups (collaboration, add value, share interests, etc) which can be greater than pairwise. I explained why in a prior comment. Reed’s law is too simplistic of a model (thus incorrect), but the potential for greater than pairwise groupings is not incorrect, and is afaik happening on the internet. The point is that network effects can be increased and thus have higher growth rates than with top-down models, because there are more degrees-of-freedom for such groupings. The Android data and the growth of the internet are evidence of such a phenomenon.

    I am simply saying the growth rate of unit production is greater with the open platform that has more network effects. Afaik, this is esr’s point, that I am regurgitating.

    I come back a different day, maybe not even tomorrow. Thanks.

  293. “I found esr’s post, where he postulated that Android’s userbase growth could be power-law or it could roll over to a logistic curve.”

    ESR postulates; he does not provide proof or demonstrate that the data even fits such a theory. ESR wholly acknowledges that the data seems to fit a theory of linear growth. He needed to write this post to puzzle things out because he HOPES that Android is not observing standard linear growth. However, there is zero evidence to indicate this.

    “Network effects are increased with Android, because the divison-of-labor is increased with an open platform ecosystem, i.e. manufacturers can add their value autonomously, Amazon can autonomously fork and add value, etc..” You are misapplying “Network Effect.” Some of what you say is a network effect: an Android device may have more value if it is used by a larger ecosystem and has more apps, etc… But Amazon forking Android doesn’t demonstrate a network effect.

    “Regarding Reed’s law, it is correct that human networks can form groups (collaboration, add value, share interests, etc) which can be greater than pairwise. I explained why in a prior comment.”

    So what? I agree that a subgroup within a grouped network may have an increased value over the overall network and this is additive. This does not change that the “law” is patently, observedly FALSE — that the value of a grouped network is INHERENTYLY exponential and infinite — which is Reed’s hypothesis. It is WRONG!! However, I do not even see how the behavior of grouped networks even correlates to Android. What are the subgroups? How are they magnifying the utility? Where is the corresponding growth?

    “The Android data and the growth of the internet are evidence of such a phenomenon.”

    The Android data does not show exponential growth of utility or even share growth. There is no correlation between Reed’s law and the market share data provided by ESR.

    “I am simply saying the growth rate of unit production is greater with the open platform that has more network effects.”

    Again, name these network effects? What are they? Amazon forking Android is not a network effect. Secondly, you are simply saying this but you haven’t formed the basis for an argument to lead to such a conclusion.

  294. @phil
    “I never said that market cap == total quantity of wealth created. although I guess I didn’t make that clear. It’s way more complicated than that…. but it’s a good *indicator* of wealth created.”

    You (and Tim F) still do not get it. A last effort to explain. If wealth is created, it ends up in the GDP numbers of a country. iPads, iPhones, WallMart sales all end up in the GDP of the USA. Changes in the market cap of any firm do not end up in the GDP numbers. Now we can argue about what exactly should be counted by what amount in the GDP statistics. But no one ever argues that market cap (share price) changes should be counted in the GDP of the USA.

    If it does not increase the GDP, it does not increase wealth, but merely redistributes it. Market cap is no *indicator* of wealth creation at all. Revenues might be.

    @Time F.
    About Exponential Growth:
    “I don’t see this happening. I don’t see 800,000 daily activations (or whatever rough approximate it may now be) exploding to 64,000,000,000,000 (what is that? 9,000 Android devices for every human on earth?) or even to 1 billion activations a day (far from exponential, but would still imply putting an Android into the hands of every human on earth every 7 days — quite the upgrade cycle!) any time soon… I mean EVER.”

    I had to read this several times before I was sure that you really meant this. Are you faking this or do you really have no clue?

    Whether or not smartphone sales grow exponentially has absolutely nothing to so with your ignorant extrapolations. Many things grow exponentially, rabbits on an empty island, bacteria in food etc. That the growth must taper off is irrelevant (sigmoid curves, logistic expressions etc). There generally is an exponential growth phase. It is very plausible that smartphone sales grow exponential, because the numbers produced and sold grow with the numbers already sold for a time. Your reasoning is completely irrelevant.

    So, in the end Eric’s predictions about Android market penetration are disputed by people who are ignorant about basic economics and basic growth modeling.

    With such opposition, Eric does have little to actually prove.

  295. Winter Says:
    > If it does not increase the GDP, it does not increase wealth, but merely redistributes it.

    I don’t agree at all. Lots of wealth is created that is not sold, and lots more is created that is not sold immediately. GDP is basically a measure of how much is sold. Why? Because that is relatively easy to measure. In a sense, market cap is a much better measure of value, because it captures a lot of other things beyond immediate trading activity. Measures of GDP are kind of like looking for your keys under the lamppost, not very useful, but certainly very easy.

    Consider this: if Apple has just created a project to produce nanobots, and hadn’t sold a single one, does that mean they have not created value? For sure, assuming such a thing were publicly known, that would be reflected in their market cap, but would not, right now anyway, be reflected in the GDP.

    Consider a couple of other examples. When Linus Torvalds created Linux, did he create value? Was it reflected in GDP? To be clear, the secondary effects might have been, but I am talking about the actual creation of Linux itself.

    When a group of guys get together, and turn a pile of wood into a barn for the community, do they create wealth? Is it reflected in GDP?

    I select these latter two examples since they reflect two hidden economies outside the trade economy (the gift economy and the labor economy), but even in the trade economy, it is very common for value to be created a long time before it is reflected in the GDP, sometimes decades before. Market cap often captures and reflects that value well ahead of time. And sometimes it just plain creates value that is not monetized at all.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a speculative component to market cap, and that certainly skews the value measure, but nothing is perfect.

  296. “It is very plausible that smartphone sales grow exponential, because the numbers produced and sold grow with the numbers already sold for a time.”

    There is litttle logic to that. Yes, production increases — this does not imply exponential growth.

    “That the growth must taper off is irrelevant (sigmoid curves, logistic expressions etc).”

    Agreed, but read Shelby’s comments from the start of this post: he implies we are at the early stages of an exponential growth so we haven’t even anticipated or begun to see the hockey stick. I dispute this. I don’t see why any other curve fit or an end to that is even relevent to disputing Shelby’s claim.

    “So, in the end Eric’s predictions about Android market penetration are disputed by people who are ignorant about basic economics and basic growth modeling. ”

    I don’t dispute the current share growth rate of Android: it is linear.

  297. @Jessica
    “When a group of guys get together, and turn a pile of wood into a barn for the community, do they create wealth? Is it reflected in GDP?”

    Yes and no.

    Economists struggle with the contribution of the “black” or non-monetary economy to GDP. They try to include it, but it is generally hidden. But if we exclude black market economy (which uses money), wealth creation is generally restricted to GDP increase. The “social capital” and barter parts of the economy are more subsistence than “wealth”. In this discussion about company market caps, it can be argued that the non-monetary, hidden, parts of the GDP of the USA are not relevant.

    @Tim F.
    “I don’t dispute the current share growth rate of Android: it is linear.”

    Eh? No one claims otherwise. But as the underlying market of Smartphones is most likely growing exponentially, the growth of Android and iPhones would be exponential.

  298. “Eh? No one claims otherwise. But as the underlying market of Smartphones is most likely growing exponentially, the growth of Android and iPhones would be exponential.”

    Yes, someone does claim otherwise: Shelby. We have not been talking about the smartphone market as a whole, we were not talking about user base until Shelby just tried recently to insert it late in the conversation. We have been talking about the growth of Android market share.

    It is linear. It is not exponential, nor is it logistic, nor is it a power-law curve. It is linear.

  299. @Tim F.
    “Yes, someone does claim otherwise: Shelby.”

    I came to the conclusion that Shelby’s writings fail the Turing test. So I stopped reading them.

  300. Oh, also, I would argue there is little evidence to believe that the market for smartphones is growing exponentially either. The linearity may have been thrown off with the introduction of Android which accelerated the slop of the curve, but I would argue that that too remains linear growth.

  301. Tim F, stop lying. I never claimed marketshare was growing non-linearly, and in fact I agreed and stated explicitly it is growing linearly.

    And your statement about Reed’s law is incorrect. If you read the law, perhaps you would know that it predicts linear growth when the output is constrained by resources. The benefit of the grouping network effects is that the fall off to logistic is delayed as compared to the non-grouping networks. I will address your numerous other errors and lies about what I wrote, on another day.

  302. Shelby, as Winter says, it’s very unclear what you are saying. The first time I note you saying linear growth is AFTER you found ESR’s post discussing the type of curve and I asserted that in fact ESR’s post doesn’t have an answer but does show linear growth. The rest of your posts are full of unclear references to exponential growth.

    This is a huge correction for what Reed presented at the turn of the century, but note there is no mathematical formula that can be provided for Reed’s shift to saturation. That’s because it’s a crap “law.” Reed is still arguing linear increase to utility beyond saturation. Dunbar’s constant tells us this is wrong: utility can actually decrease, requiring more work to preserve the subgroups than is useful. However, yes, I stand corrected: Reed now accounts for saturation. That being said: I still find it FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED and not useful. Moreover, you haven’t explained to me how Android is an example of a group-forming network.

  303. I stated it Oct 9, before I linked Esr’s post on Oct 10:

    The linear market-share growth of Google

    I’ve far exceeded my comment limit and probably will get banned because of it, so I will come back in the future if I wish to go round-and-round with you on some more points. I hope you will understand and please stop making generalizations that are lies about what and when I wrote.

  304. Yes, I noticed that: almost that entire post is incomprehensible. What does: “The linear market-share growth of Google requires an exponential growth of nominal units” — what are the nominal units? What about the linear growth requires some other exponential growth? Why did you go on and on about Reed and his exponential growth again if it is not growing exponentially? Why did you say that the Dunbar constant doesn’t apply to technology (when it certainly does, maybe not the actual figure, but there is a plateau) if we aren’t talking about a constraint on exponential growth? When you say later, “They are employing network effects to commoditize the web access devices, and marginalize the telcoms and others who might try to retard the exponential growth rate of the WAN participation” are you still saying they are growing linearly or are they now growing exponentially?

    However, if… all along you have intended to say that Google’s growth is linear (and much of what you said in between was just complete nonsense), I apologize for misunderstanding you. I would hope you would cease to conflate what you say is clearly linear growth now with some abstract exponentiality. It would make you far easier to understand.

  305. The longer reply will come another day. But go back to what I pointed out about Reed’s law, and that will given you a hint as to how exponential potential growth, keeps the resource constraints saturated. Apple’s userbase growth is much more volatile and can’t stay pegged full throttle. This is what less degrees-of-freedom and orthogonal actors buys you.

  306. “But go back to what I pointed out about Reed’s law, and that will given you a hint as to how exponential potential growth, keeps the resource constraints saturated. Apple’s userbase growth is much more volatile and can’t stay pegged full throttle. This is what less degrees-of-freedom and orthogonal actors buys you.”

    This is unintelligible to me. What does “keep the resource constraints saturated” mean? In what way is Apple’s userbase growth “volatile” when they have the highest retention and satisfaction rates in the market? What are the degrees-of-freedom? What are the orthogonal actors? You are back to stating “exponential” but now in relation to “potential growth”: what does that mean? What is growing exponentially? If it’s only potential, are we talking about non-real exponential growth?

  307. And I just went back and read your link by Reed. Fig 4 is NOT showing what you think (linear growth once it is constrained). It is actually plotting utility gained versus size of the network in a highly simplified fashion to illustrate that group-forming networks continue to grow value where other types of network stop seeing increases in utility and actually start decreasing in utility. In other words, this is a reassertion that GFNs utility is unbounded, or at the very least exceeds traditional network types — a notion I find foolish at worse and not very helpful at best.

  308. > Really, Apple? Is this the best you can do?

    In the news today, Apple sold a million units on the first day the iPhone 4S went on sale. I agree, the 4S is a yawner product from a techie point of view. But Apple doesn’t seem to be suffering financially as a result.

    It’s no fun for us to admit to ourselves, but maybe 3G is fast enough for most people, for now. Remember when your CPU was never, ever fast enough? How long has it been since your PC felt too slow?

  309. > It’s no fun for us to admit to ourselves, but maybe 3G is fast enough for most people, for now.

    That’s part of it, but I think another part of it, as I’ve argued before, is that LTE / 4G isn’t in places where people really want it. I look at a map of 4G coverage in my area, and you know where it is? It’s at my house, it’s at my work, it’s at my friends houses, and it’s at my favorite restaurants. You know what else is at all of those places? Wi-Fi, with better speeds than 4G will give me realistically, and with bandwidth that won’t count against my monthly cap.

    You know where 4G isn’t? It’s not at the beach, it’s not in the mountains, it’s not off the beaten path. It is in fact in none of the places where I don’t already have a faster more reliable connection. So what does 4G really buy me? Or anyone in a similar situation? Sure, 4G is nice to have, but it’s not a deal breaker, and it’s certainly not something I want at the expense of something else, like battery life.

  310. Apple sold a million units on the first day the iPhone 4S went on sale.

    I wish all my products were doomed like that. DOOOMED!

  311. Tim F, my guess is the market-share “hockey stick” is a reality in the developing world, i.e. I assume global share is inexorably slipping away from iPhone, which would be reflected as an abrupt (i.e. perhaps non-linear) change in the global share data as the nominal unit market size of the developing world (where I think iPhone has lower share) is growing faster than the developed. I would expect to see global share for iPhone slip to single digits roughly within a couple of years. Is there developing word data (or a proxy) we can analyze?

    You dismissed this as economically irrelevant. I think it is economically relevant, because the youth (and less indebtness, cancer, and affordable health care) are in the developing world. Given my assumption, then from my perspective, we are only debating about the mathematical model that could explain Apple’s inability to serve as many markets as Android.

    Regardless if one asserts that Apple doesn’t want to lower its “quality” to serve some markets, the mathematical model of lower degrees-of-freedom applies. The degrees-of-freedom on who can ship a legal iPhone clone or fork, is zero. Amazon will be serving Android to new markets that it wasn’t already reaching. This is a new grouping of users, developers, and it will to some extent be an orthogonal ecosystem, yet still adding value back to Google’s main goal. This is an example of the grouping power stated in Reed’s law, even there will be groups within the Amazon fork group. The potential groupings are limitless, Amazon could even add social networking features for developers to interact with users, etc, etc, etc, let your creative imagination run wild and if Amazon doesn’t provide a feature users want, other groupings can potentially spawn in the Android ecosystem. Meanwhile back at the walled garden, iCloud will have a more control of the “right way(s)” to interopt and group, and no alternatives are even potentially possible.

    Degrees-of-freedom is the number of points in the network that are free to interconnect (i.e. provide fitness), e.g. think of the links in a bicycle chain for bending fitness, and in general these can be communication pathways, open source code, etc. These utility of these potential groupings due to increased degrees-of-freedom, are not always possible due to various frictions that I mentioned in one of my earlier comments, e.g. resources, legal (patents), political, vested interests, etc.. The potential exponential permutations from degrees-of-freedom exist and although the utility can be constrained by a lack of degrees-of-freedom else where, this model still needs to be respected, because a paradigm shift is where a blocking order is removed and the blocked degrees-of-freedom are unleashed in a period of rapid change. Note that blocking order is some friction, and friction is the transactional cost in the Theory of the Firm. Corporations only exist because of friction. With an ideal world of no friction, every human being would be his own company. The world is headed that direction, even though we have peaking fascism and debt at the moment. To an increasing extent passive capital (shareholders, stored money, usury finance) is peaking and will decline, with active capital (knowledge) taking a greater proportion of the value created. This is why I think Apple’s $345 billion valuation with only a $3 billion app market is an unsustainable balloon.

  312. New ComScore numbers

    http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/10/Smartphones_and_Tablets_Drive_Nearly_7_Percent_of_Total_U.S._Digital_Traffic

    Some highlights:

    In August 2011, iPads delivered 97.2 percent of all tablet traffic in the U.S. iPads have also begun to account for a higher share of Internet traffic than iPhones (46.8 percent vs. 42.6 percent of all iOS device traffic).

    Although the Android platform accounts for the highest share of the smartphone market (43.7 percent in August), its total audience among mobile and connected devices in current use is eclipsed by the Apple iOS audience. The iOS platform had the highest share of connected devices and smartphones in use at 43.1 percent, fueled by the iPad’s dominance in the tablet market, while Android accounted for 34.1 percent of the total mobile and connected device universe.

    The iOS platform also accounts for the largest share of Internet traffic, measured in terms of browser-based page views, in the U.S. at present. When measuring market share of Internet traffic by platform, iOS accounted for more than half (58.5 percent) of the share of total non-computer traffic in the U.S. Android OS ranked second, delivering 31.9 percent of overall non-computer traffic in August. With iOS having a significantly higher share of traffic (58.5 percent) compared to its share of devices (43.1 percent), it suggests that iOS users are heavier-than-average consumers of Internet content.

    Looks like Apple is in real trouble, just like Eric keeps saying.

  313. “When a group of guys get together, and turn a pile of wood into a barn for the community, do they create wealth? Is it reflected in GDP?”

    Yes and no.

    Economists struggle with the contribution of the “black” or non-monetary economy to GDP. They try to include it, but it is generally hidden. But if we exclude black market economy (which uses money), wealth creation is generally restricted to GDP increase. The “social capital” and barter parts of the economy are more subsistence than “wealth”. In this discussion about company market caps, it can be argued that the non-monetary, hidden, parts of the GDP of the USA are not relevant.

    @Winter

    Who was it who said that the money is not the point, it’s just how we keep score?

    The wealth of our civilization is the sum total of infrastructure, knowlege, skills, available labor and a bunch of other things I don’t have time to think of and list for a quick post. Market cap might capture some aspects and GDP others, but none give the the whole picture.

    GDP is defined as the total value of goods and services. Some of that output is consumed, so it does not add to our wealth. If you buy materials and with your skilled labor improve your house, you increase your wealth. If you buy firewood you do not.

  314. @Shelby I suspected you’d run back to the “exponential growth” argument despite being roundly trounced, Winter saying no one but you would believe or argue it, there being zero evidence of it, and you, yourself, claiming that you don’t think its occurring and that you wouldn’t make the argument.

    But here we have:

    1) the market-share “hockey stick” is a reality in the developing world
    2) global share is inexorably slipping away from iPhone, which would be reflected as an abrupt (i.e. perhaps non-linear) change in the global share data
    3) I would expect to see global share for iPhone slip to single digits roughly within a couple of years

    Couching it in “hockey stick,” “perhaps non-linear” (what else would an “abrupt … change in global share data” be?), and the claim that you are speaking only to the developing world but still concluding a massive global collapse of iPhone share in the 80-95% range in less than two years doesn’t change the argument. The argument is wrong and unsupported. Something you have recently said. Changes your terms to say the same thing while avoiding certain words doesn’t change anything. It just belies the fact that you can’t support it and need to hide from the falsehood of such an argument.

    “Given my assumption, then from my perspective, we are only debating about the mathematical model that could explain Apple’s inability to serve as many markets as Android.”

    I will not give you your assumption, and no, we aren’t just debating a mathematical model: we disagree on the mathematical model, the validity of the ideas underpinning your thesis, your application of false ideas in an (in)appropriate manner, and probably 2^N (where N is an extremely large number) other things.

  315. The iPhone 4S isn’t just faster than its nearest-competitor Android phone — it’s almost twice as fast. Upon release it will be the most powerful smartphone in the world. Big yawn, huh?

  316. @Tim F
    Oh, but I believe Android marketshare will explode in the developing world. It will replace cheap cell phones. For 90+% of humans anything above $100 is completely out of reach. $50 is already really tough. And they will use WiFi only plus dumbphone.

    Only if someone can market a real smartphone cheaper than Android could Android not capture 4B people. Nokia might pull it off if death is breathing in their face if they ditch WP7 and use some other Linux (they just came up with such a plan). Jaws of defeat etc.

    But action movie rescues aside, it will be Android that captures the world.

  317. >It will replace cheap cell phones. For 90+% of humans anything above $100 is completely out of reach.
    >$50 is already really tough. And they will use WiFi only plus dumbphone.

    But then you get into the question of at what point does it not matter that it’s running android for the purposes of the discussion. I mean at a certain point, it may be technically true that the phone runs android, but for practical purposes it won’t mean anything. That’s why all the cheap tablets running android 1.x are meaningless, because they may run android but they don’t participate in any meaningful way in the android ecosystem. A dumb phone that uses android on the back end, but without access to the android market or the ability to install any applications without rooting the phone is as much an Android phone as the iPhone is.

  318. “The iPhone 4S isn’t just faster than its nearest-competitor Android phone — it’s almost twice as fast. Upon release it will be the most powerful smartphone in the world. Big yawn, huh?”

    My wife is trying to get us to switch away from Android and get iphones again, despite the extra cost. She /really/ hates her phone, of course it doesn’t help that the battery wears out in 30 minutes (new) when using GPS navigation.

  319. A dumb phone that uses android on the back end, but without access to the android market or the ability to install any applications without rooting the phone is as much an Android phone as the iPhone is.

    Although I suspect cell data is likely to be a much bigger hit in the developing world than is generally assumed (by shifting traffic from Internet cafes onto phones), even a phone-only cell radio doesn’t doom an Android phone. I have a Toshiba Thrive running Honeycomb; the lack of a cell data connection hasn’t so far kept me from using either the Google or Amazon markets.

  320. @tmoney
    “A dumb phone that uses android on the back end, but without access to the android market or the ability to install any applications without rooting the phone is as much an Android phone as the iPhone is.”

    The markets are accessible on WiFi only. Apps can be installed on Android outside of markets as was discussed above. You do not need to root the phone for that. Btw, changing the Android image seems to be straightforward on most phones.

    My doubts on Internet over cell radio for 4B people are based on the current dearth of bandwidth over the air. But that could change.

  321. @ Christopher Smith / Winter

    I think we have a miscommunication here. When I was talking about a lack of access to the android market, I was assuming that Winter was saying android would increase uptake as dumb phones running android. If you were talking about a two device model (i.e. iPod Touch + a dumb phone) then I misunderstood, and I apologize. In that case, the only part of my argument still applicable is the part about current cheap tablets where you have to run an ancient version of android because that is all your hardware can run, and therefore can’t meaningfully participate in the android economy. I admit that cutoff point may not be here yet, but it will come as it must for any platform. Eventually iPhone 1st gens won’t be able to participate in the iOS economy, and certainly no one would really count people still running win 95 / 98 as examples of Microsoft’s dominance. So would it be for android.

  322. @tmoney
    “(i.e. iPod Touch + a dumb phone)”

    That is more or less what I was speaking of. You get an “Android phone” that can make voice phone calls and can connect to WiFi. But it will not be able to do 1/2/3/4G over the air IP, just WiFi. Thus indeed, a dumbphone+iTouch in one case. But with Android being able to control the dumbphone.

    About backward compatibility and low powered devices. I am not sure how this will pan out.

    Linux has a good track record with very low powered devices. It would be very easy to define a low-end spec that would list an API to all functions available to low end Android devices, and then build a newest Android release for low end device. The same can be done with Linux now, see eg, Tiny Core Linux which includes a full kernel 3.03 in a running 10MB package and where you can add what you need to get a fully functional installation.

    Given that there is a really huge market for such devices (even without a dumbphone and GPS, you can literally sell several billions of them if you get below $25), someone will come up with such a product. For $25, I would buy several even if they only would have a pen based touch screen.

  323. @winter $25 doesn’t buy you much yet. A decent shenzhen android smartphone is still running around $70 last I heard. That’s actually decent decent (ARM9 450Mhz, capacitance, camera, Android 2.2, etc). Even cutting it half (slower cpu, resistive, etc) doesn’t hit your price point.

    There’s not a lot of money to be made at $25 per phone. Even the Aakash doesn’t hit that price point without subsidies. Raspberry Pi is $25 but sans screen and input device.

    Possible in a few years I think. The limiting factor is probably the panel costs. But it doesn’t buy you much in terms making money from Android unless some government is subsidizing the effort.

  324. @Nigel
    “But it doesn’t buy you much in terms making money from Android unless some government is subsidizing the effort.”

    A billion dimes is $100M. A billion pennies is $10M. So with $0.1 net profit each on a billion $25 Smartphones, you will still pocket $100M. There are people who would do it for $10M, with a net profit of $0.01. So it all depends on the capital layout needed to produce this stuff.

    But I am indeed not holding my breath for one.

  325. @Tim F, will you show up at his blog in 2 – 4 years (I wrote “roughly” because I lack the hard data to extrapolate), when global share is single digits for iPhone?

    Based on my anecdotal observations in the Philippines, I would say the inflection point comes at about $50 – $75 (no contract) for an Android phone. But with incomes rising (inflation and real increases), perhaps that can shift to $75 – $100 within 2 – 3 years. Afaics, an iPhone at these prices won’t qualify, because appears to me that the Apple distribution channel doesn’t integrate well with the low-margin, decentralized one in developing world.

    Fundamentally, “most physical systems are inherently nonlinear in nature”, which should not be conflated with unconstrained, perpetual growth.

  326. @tmoney: I think Google realizes they’re at a make-or-break point with Android; if ICS isn’t open-sourced *very* quickly after launch, they’re at serious risk of losing credibility for the entire Android ecosystem. On hardware costs, I suspect that resistive multitouch will help whittle down the unit cost further.

  327. $700+ for “unlocked” (use any carrier prepaid) iPhone in Philippines, else postpaid via complex signup locked into a single carrier procedure that only a few businessmen do.

    Samsung Android “unlocked” phones as low as $160.

    Before Twitter, the Philippines had (may still have?) the highest volume of SMS messages in the world.

  328. Not as successful as expected eh?

    ALL of the iPhone 4S’s preorders have been filled, at least in the United States.

    I guess it will only be “an overwhelming success” this time around, as opposed to “a reality-warping success”.

  329. @Jeff Read: I particularly love the headline “Apple iPhone 4S Won`t Be as Successful as Expected: 10 Reasons Why” paired with the opener “The iPhone 4S is scheduled to hit store shelves on Oct. 14. And when it does, the device will no doubt sell extremely well as consumers around the globe flock to stores to be first in line to get Apple’s newest smartphone.”

    So what’s the expectation? That it will do extremely well with consumers flocking around the globe? If it is, and it’s going to less successful than that, why did the author say “no doubt sell extremely well.” It’s silly circularity.

  330. Jeff Read,

    > I guess it will only be “an overwhelming success” this time around, as opposed to “a reality-warping success”.

    Much of this sturm und drang is various people having different expectations and desires. For me the iPhone is a success if Sprint doesn’t lose millions selling them. If Sprint makes millions that’s a wonderful success. If Sprint makes hundreds of millions more than they would have selling Android phones that’s an absolutely wonderful success. I don’t want an iPhone, because I like a physical keyboard, a micro USB, a removable battery and a removeable SD card, but my sister and her husband both love theirs. My wife would probably like an iPhone if it were cheaper. She liked her Palm Pixie. The Samsung Epic (Android with a skin) was too heavy, so she switched to the keyboardless Samsung Conquer (stock Android with a few extra apps), which she likes so far. (We aren’t switching from Sprint, so don’t bother pointing out cheap 3GS models.)

    Yours,
    Tom

  331. @iPhone4s to teh moon
    I am reminded of that Japanese guy who deduced his country was losing during WWII from the fact that every new and bigger victory was closer to home than the previous one.

    Every iPhone release is a bigger succes. Still Android market share is growing and iPhone is not.

  332. @Tim F, will you show up at his blog in 2 – 4 years (I wrote “roughly” because I lack the hard data to extrapolate), when global share is single digits for iPhone?

    Will esr ever admit he’s wrong if it doesn’t drop to single digits in 2-4 years? Or if Android never takes 90%+ share?

    HTC Singapore states that 30% of their sales (presumably for Singapore) is now WP7.

    http://www.zdnetasia.com/htc-windows-phone-to-outpace-competitors-62302266.htm

    Mango looks very solid, they just need some (exclusive) sexy hardware. If the Fujitsu Toshiba IS12T was available in the US that’d be a nice start.

  333. @Winter

    I am reminded of that Japanese guy who deduced his country was losing during WWII from the fact that every new and bigger victory was closer to home than the previous one.

    Every iPhone release is a bigger succes. Still Android market share is growing and iPhone is not.

    You think that the smartphone industry is in a war that only one manufacturer can win. It’s not.

    Apple can still be massively successful and have the number one phone in the market even though Android might have larger smartphone market share than them.

  334. Incidentally, as far as the “Me-too voice recognition features”, I don’t know how things are on your nexus or whatever you have now eric, but I know for a fact my Optimus can’t do half the things in this video with the built in voice commands: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mNcnj2l6RE

  335. Nigel, is MS using patent extortion to get Asian manufacturers to ship WP7? Singapore is a developed country, with per capita GDP higher than USA.

  336. @shelby

    Singapore being a developed country has what to do with MS having a solid platform that looks like it might gain traction?

    If it does, it’s not going to dig into Apple’s market as much as Android’s.

  337. @Shelby “@Tim F, will you show up at his blog in 2 – 4 years (I wrote “roughly” because I lack the hard data to extrapolate), when global share is single digits for iPhone?”

    I already view Apple’s share as in the single digits — 5% of all global mobile phones. I’m unsure of the latest global mobile OS platform numbers. It is my thesis that Apple is already in the strongest position in the market with single digit share, but they have plenty of room for continued growth.

    But, sure, I have no problem sticking around for several years to defend my views. It would be nice if you would pick a single inflection point (so far everything can be: now its a price point in the Phillipines…); it makes it difficult to prove your theories but then you also get to be wrong several more times too.

  338. @Tom
    “You think that the smartphone industry is in a war that only one manufacturer can win. It’s not.”

    You mean like cell phone standards, where GSM has only 90+% of the global market? Or hardware, where Intel has only 90+% of the desktop market and ARM only 90+% of the Smartphone market? Or the Internet, where HTTP has only 90+% of the browser market and TCP/IP only 90+% of the transport layer?

    But Japan and Germany still exist, so you can lose a war and survive. Still, it is nice to see that ever iPhone release succeeds even more spectacularly than the previous one. And then to see that Apple’s market share is still where it was 2 years ago, at ~25%. In contrast, every Android release is a failure, and Android’s market share grows by 2% a month and is very close to reach 50% in the USA.

    It has been said so often on this blog, the only people who care about the insane amounts of profit Apple makes are Apple fans. Other people could not care less.

    But when every cell phone user in the world has switched to a Smartphone, there will be hundreds of millions of iPhone users and billions of users of another platform. And all signs point to Android as that other platform.

    And how is that not “single digit market share” for Apple?

  339. @Winter

    The console market is fairly evenly split. Even at it’s height Symbian had only 65% share. You’re comparing industry standards with products.

    That Apple stays at a steady 25% smartphone share is an indicator that the highest likelihood is that it’ll stay at 25% for a while. Not drop to <9% share in the next couple years as suggested by you, esr and others. World phone growth was 11.3% in 2Q11. Apple's shipments have increased 141% in the same qtr and INCREASED from 2.6% in 2Q10 to 5.6% in 2Q11.

    esr portrayal of Apple share stagnating is simply wrong. His charts and statistics paints a biased picture. You know the old saying, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. By looking only at smartphones he can portray a stagnant Apple share.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20085342-37/iphone-doubles-world-market-share-outpaces-rivals/

    Android's smartphone share grows by 2% a month and will reach 50% share or higher before cresting. Will it reach 90% share in the US? Not likely if Apple continues to sell more iPhones year over year and has a $0 model for sale. The primary constraint on Apple growth hasn't been sales but how many they plan to and can make. They've chosen a fairly healthy balance.

    Will it reach 70% total share? This is possible but strikes me as unlikely if WP7 gains traction and alternative feature phone OS's proliferate. It all depends on what replaces the feature phone market. Given the strength of Nokia and Samsung it may well be that they will use their internal linux based developments (Meltemi and Bada).

    Will it reach 70% smartphone share? This is more likely but depends on whether or not you think Nokia/WP7 will hold onto less than half of the current Symbian smartphone share.

    Frankly, I don't expect Apple to ever have more than 10%-15% of the entire phone market. That'll probably translate into 25%-30% of the smartphone market.

  340. Nigel, what is the sigma of that tiny uncorroborated sample when projected to a worldwide omega? Fundamentally, MS has burned everyone in the past, and they’ve shown no traction and it is late in the game.

    Note a fundamental cultural distinction, where many (not all) in the developed world prioritize ego and idolism (e.g. no SMS use until Twitter broadcast, American Idol, iPhone white color, AGW fear, financial insurance, social standards, rampant abortion + birth control, homeless is a crime, high crime, etc), whereas many (not all) in the undeveloped world prioritize decentralization and interpersonal (e.g. interpersonal SMS champs before Twitter, spontaneous interaction in neighborhood, buy any carrier simm at neighbor’s store for $1, laugh at AGW and Fuskishima threats because crisis is permanent fixture of life here, insurance of large families, naked children, rampant pregnancy, lovingly accept vagrancy, low crime, etc.). It is a dichotomy of death vs. life, and the death model is attacking with top-down control of large corporations, debt, TV, and public education. I view the smartphone and the decentralization of information as a counter-balance, i.e. knowledge will increase.

    Tim F, imo the cultural weakness is reflected in the imbalance between Apple’s $345b marketcap and only $3b annually for the dynamic software ecosystem (appstore). Developing world does not pay for recorded music and video. Whereas, Google is taking roughly 25% share of all business growth on the internet that uses its advertising model, thus its marketcap is more in balance with the size of the dynamic ecosystem which is correlated with global web growth. Apple is facing an implosion of margins on hardware (or relinquish share) and insufficient dynamic ecosystem to shift to. I see the idolism culture overpaying for hardware and 2-year contracts, that will in the end leave them with a dying ecosystem.

  341. @shelby when discussing the developing world most tech folks simply don’t get it. Sure a phone would be really nice but some tech folks understand that clean water (Kaman) and sanitation (Gates) will have more impact and understand that SMS, cell phones, computers, etc is a luxury. Even the $15 vodaphone is a luxury.

    Regarding MS, it seems like it is gaining, not losing partners. They have no traction yet but until recently they didn’t have a very competitive product and it was very late to the console game.

    The reason we don’t use SMS for social networking is because we have better tools. Twitter > SMS except for personal 1-1 conversations. In which case we ALSO have chat, messenger, etc. In any case there’s a huge amount of texting in first world nations.

    The idea that Apple’s revenue and market cap is imbalanced because of only $3B in revenue for the app store is amusing. That’s not a primary revenue source for them and was never intended to be.

  342. @Shelby “Tim F, imo the cultural weakness is reflected in the imbalance between Apple’s $345b marketcap and only $3b annually for the dynamic software ecosystem (appstore).”

    Patently absurd: it reflects that Apple makes money off of hardware, not it’s app ecosystem.

    “Developing world does not pay for recorded music and video.”

    Which is a partial explanation for why Apple is NOT in those markets in the underdeveloped world.

    “Whereas, Google is taking roughly 25% share of all business growth on the internet that uses its advertising model…”

    And yet it’s market cap is not corresponding to this growth.

    “…thus its marketcap is more in balance with the size of the dynamic ecosystem which is correlated with global web growth.”

    According to you. But I see actual revenue, profit, and market cap growth in a company like Apple and correspondingly little growth in most competitors so I don’t correlate the ecosystem with global web growth.

    “Apple is facing an implosion of margins on hardware (or relinquish share) and insufficient dynamic ecosystem to shift to.”

    Been hearing this for a decade. Their margins for iPhones have been consistently GROWING, not declining, do not see any implosion occurring.

    “I see the idolism culture overpaying for hardware and 2-year contracts, that will in the end leave them with a dying ecosystem.”

    I see market realities contradicting you and no correlation to “idolism culture,” whatever that is.

  343. @nigel
    “Sure a phone would be really nice but some tech folks understand that clean water (Kaman) and sanitation (Gates) will have more impact and understand that SMS, cell phones, computers, etc is a luxury. Even the $15 vodaphone is a luxury.”

    Cell phone penetration is beyond 5 billion subscriptions. That is 5 out of 7 humans have a cell phone. You do not understand how important cell phones are in the developing world.

  344. @Winter

    You mean like cell phone standards, where GSM has only 90+% of the global market? Or hardware, where Intel has only 90+% of the desktop market and ARM only 90+% of the Smartphone market? Or the Internet, where HTTP has only 90+% of the browser market and TCP/IP only 90+% of the transport layer?

    Oh dear. TCP/IP? Are you serious? I can scarcely imagine a more ridiculous comparison.

    The simple fact is that you do not have to completely dominate an installed base to do very well indeed. Apple has the number one smartphone in the world and does not have the greatest market share. It has the highest profits of any smartphone manufacturer and it does not have the greatest market share. It is the second largest corporation in the world, and it does not have the greatest market share.

    Do we understand that success and market share are not the same thing?

    It has been said so often on this blog, the only people who care about the insane amounts of profit Apple makes are Apple fans. Other people could not care less.

    The reason Apple’s profits are repeatedly brought up is that Eric repeatedly asserts that Apple is doomed. Or, more recently, that ‘the mighty are fallen’. It’s not that I necessarily care about how much money Apple makes. Apple’s financial success is meant as a factual rebuttal to Eric’s absurd idea that the company is either struggling or about to fail.

  345. @winter yes I do. Cell phones are wonderful for the developing world because putting the infrastructure in place is a lot cheaper that laying wire (copper or fiber) everywhere.

    However:

    National % population with cell phones above 100%:

    US – 103%
    Brazil – 114%
    Russia – 154%
    Germany – 130%
    Italy – 147%
    UK – 122%
    Ukraine – 117%
    Spain – 111%
    Argentina – 125%
    Poland – 123%
    Taiwan – 110%
    Romainia – 108%
    Australia – 100.4%
    Saudi Arabia – 169%

    (Yes, I used wikipedia, it was easiest and good enough to show a trend).

    It’s more like 50% penetration if you assume the same trend of 10-20% of users will have multiple phones per person are likely also true in China, India and the rest. Not EVERYONE in the US has a cell phone despite 103% market penetration.

    Still a huge number but under-represented in the third world where a $15 phone is most relevant. Even lower for smartphone penetration.

    Even assuming we ever get to the 350M+ iPhones vs 7B Android point I think Apple, iOS developers and Apple shareholders will be delighted.

  346. @nigel
    That would be single digit market share for Apple. Which was the point.

    (Seriously, you are arguing 5 billion subscriptions on 7B humans is caused by multiple subscription in the developed world?)

  347. @Winter

    (Seriously, you are arguing 5 billion subscriptions on 7B humans is caused by multiple subscription in the developed world?)

    You said: “Cell phone penetration is beyond 5 billion subscriptions. That is 5 out of 7 humans have a cell phone.”

    This is an invalid inference. You assume a maximum of one phone per person. That assumption is unwarranted, as Nigel has demonstrated.

  348. @winter

    Sure, Apple is most likely “doomed” to single digit market share for all cell phones. Even now it’s no more than 5% and unlike esr I don’t assume anyone’s growth rate is linear forever. They aren’t likely to double from 5% to 10% but maybe they can. They’re keeping production of the 3GS which I didn’t really expect.

    This isn’t the same as Apple is “doomed” to single digit market share for smart phones. Nor is it the same as Android getting 90% of the market.

    Regarding market penetration It’s likely not 4B people either. If you simply cap it to a country’s population you DO end up with 4.4B. But more likely it’s somewhere between 3-4B folks…about half. Folks most likely to have a cell phone in a developing country are as likely as anyone in US or Russia (really?) to have more than one. Business folks I would presume with both a work and private phone and can afford it.

    What would be more interesting is what percentage of households has at least 1 cell phone. India is big on multi-sim phones and I would presume that some families share a single phone and service plan. That doesn’t quite give everyone a computer in their pocket but it’s a start. Also they aren’t the greatest demographic to be targeting ads at either.

  349. @Winter

    Even with every North American, Western European and Japanese having two phones we get at 4 billion users. Which is all beside the point. You are simply looking for excuses not to admit that iPhones are doomed to single digit marketshare.

    But what’s the point? So what if they eventually have single digit market share of the whole world? That would be incredible for Apple!

  350. @Tom
    We are moving to a world were most people will cary a phone.. In a few years this will be what we call a smartphone. I find the consequences for the future of humankind infinitely more interesting than Apple’s latest shenanigans or limited luxury offerings. Even Apple’s technology has become less interesting

    In this respect I find Android very interesting indeed

  351. @Winter

    We are moving to a world were most people will cary a phone.. In a few years this will be what we call a smartphone. I find the consequences for the future of humankind infinitely more interesting than Apple’s latest shenanigans or limited luxury offerings. Even Apple’s technology has become less interesting

    In this respect I find Android very interesting indeed

    That’s absolutely fine. You’re not interested in Apple products. I have no argument with you. My only point has been to counter Eric’s idea that Apple has ‘fallen’, or is doomed.

    You seem to have no problem with admitting that Apple is fantastically successful, and will continue to be, regardless of Android’s marketshare.

    Others do, apparently.

  352. Apple has grown from 0% to 1% within 1 year to 5.5% of all phones in less than 4 years. There is no reason to think this growth is changing: Apple’s share of smartphones may hold steadly or even decline while total mobile phone penetration continues to climb. And 5% of 5 billion is 250 million users: more than enough to sustain a healthy ecosystem and nearly as large as the entire PC market not too long ago.

  353. OT: WSJ says to dump RIM stock.

    I was wondering why they haven’t gotten rid of their lousy CEO team. According to this article, they control enough stock between them to make them difficult to dislodge.

    “The fact that BlackBerry users can’t get their messages should send a loud and clear one to Research In Motion shareholders: It is time to hang up on the stock.

    “The company behind BlackBerry has seen its market share collapse as its keyboard-based handsets are displaced by touch-based devices. RIM’s share of the global smartphone market was 11% in the second quarter, down from 20% in the first quarter of 2009, estimates Strategy Analytics. At $23.88, the shares are off 66% from their 52-week high.

    “The first QNX device, the Playbook tablet, has proved a big disappointment. RIM shipped just 200,000 units last quarter, the first it was available. Fewer were actually purchased by customers. The first handsets based on the QNX operating system aren’t due until next year.

    “Meanwhile, one radical option, firing [co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis], seems impractical at this point, argues Mr. Misek. Not only do they own about 10% of the stock between them, there aren’t obvious replacements.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204002304576627213857988954.html?mod=markets_newsreel

  354. @Cathy

    OT: WSJ says to dump RIM stock.

    I think the one thing everybody who comments here can agree on is that RIM really is doomed.

  355. “I think the one thing everybody who comments here can agree on is that RIM really is doomed.”

    They are the only phone with a built easy to use for computer illiterate people, email system that features encrypted messaging. Thats why the partners at my wife’s accounting firm use blackberries. Due to the nature of their data, they don’t trust any of the other systems

  356. >Given how generally well put together the android platform seems to be (at least from the little I’ve toyed with it), any thoughts on this rant from a google employee about how google fails at building platforms? https://plus.google.com/112678702228711889851/posts/eVeouesvaVX

    That’s a good rant, with a lot of valid points in it. But the criticism is narrower than all the third-party hype about the criticism, and speaks mainly to a lack of decent APIs for the web services. Given the huge number of Android apps out there I think we can stipulate that the Android public APIs do not in fact suck – possibly the Danger subculture is more clued about this than the rest of Google.

  357. At $400 for greater than 320×240 and $700 for 400×800, smartphones are still too expensive to become ubiquitous in the developing world. With 3 major carriers and expensive interopt, I need at least a dual-simm phone, afaik none of the smartphones are.

    Nigel, ALL the problems of the both the developing world and developed world could be solved very quickly, by removing the welfare statism and allowing visa-free migration. The most significant hurdle facing mankind is top-down control of information. This is why the internet and the smartphone is so critically important. Much of the developing world has changed significantly in past 10 years, and the image of it lacking any of the basic necessities is outdated, e.g. search “Mall of Asia”.

    Tim F, I read yesterday that Google had a very strong quarter and the stock was up. My own theory is that Apple is prioritizing the short-term profits that can be extracted from westerners before the debt collapse. Google will outperform more, after the revaluation of the western economies which brings the developing world nearer to par. My point about idolism is that via debt, westerners have been able to live beyond their means, and thus have developed a luxurious and unrealistic view of self importance, and thus they are easily hookwinked into priorities that serve their ego instead of rational weighing reality and future costs (e.g. of low birth rates, etc). I think Apple profits from this peaking socioeconomic phenomenon.

  358. “My own theory is that Apple is prioritizing the short-term profits that can be extracted from westerners before the debt collapse. Google will outperform more, after the revaluation of the western economies which brings the developing world nearer to par. My point about idolism is that via debt, westerners have been able to live beyond their means, and thus have developed a luxurious and unrealistic view of self importance, and thus they are easily hookwinked into priorities that serve their ego instead of rational weighing reality and future costs (e.g. of low birth rates, etc). I think Apple profits from this peaking socioeconomic phenomenon.”

    Your theory is wrong.

  359. Shelby,

    … allowing visa-free migration …

    Otherwise known as conquest without armies. Historically, mass migrations have ususally been problematic for the native population. Native populations, knowing this, have traditionally opposed visa-free migration.

    I understand why libertarians like visa-free migration. Philosophically from a freedom perspecitve it makes sense. There are many side-effects though.

    Yours,
    Tom

  360. Hi Tom, afaics the end of the nation-state is inevitable. The natives can resist and thus ultimately cause top-down conquest (i.e. a world government), or they can embrace the love and freedom inherent in tolerance of diversity and continual adaptation. I am hoping bottom-up knowledge spread will motive the latter. In my far out, idealistic perspective, the latter is ultimately a world where we carry our private property in our head (and perhaps our digital external memory). Afaik, the greatness of the USA was built on visa-free immigration and lack of a welfare state. The welfare state causes uneconomic migration. Americans can’t migrate to (become citizens of and fully vested business owners in) most other countries, especially Asian.

  361. Shelby , I don’t think you really get it…..

    The Status Quo will stay the same…. with huge debt or more debt.
    More debt would just mean more slavery for you guys…..
    Lost of real wealth, increase of ‘Idolism’ and
    lost of freedom,privacy and dignity would continue!

    hmm……Is it the wind?

    Anyway,
    Therefore Apple and their Iphone will remain relevant.
    And Google’s android biggest problem is that the upperppl in china
    hates Google…
    So that’s a 2 billion market loss for Google’s Android..

    And folks don’t confuse yourself

    OpenSource Android = DARWIN + JAVA + primitive UI
    Google’s Android = Xcode,Qtime,Safari, Appstore, Itunes, Ichat, Finder, Iad……
    Google’s Android(honeyComb and later)= MAC OS/Iphone OS

    ——————————————————————————-

    So What is this status Quo?

    Well……
    There is a reason why you westerner attack Afghan,Iraq and now Libya.
    And that is so the status Quo shall remain enforce through Military means,
    Since real financial and real economy cannot be sustain.

    And No there was no cave-man terrorist involved(how ESR is so WRONG here)…

    Only American can make THREE buildings in NEW YORK about 10 years ago,
    blown up to complet dust with no/little impact.
    and Impact don’t blow up buildings…. only bomb can do it!!!
    Or rather only AMERICAN did it…or maybe small nation controlling American.

    wink…wink…wink… just ask the upperguy in china…

  362. Reported daily activations of Android. If you plot the data you see that there was a jump in the number of activations in June 2011 (just as there was around June 2010):

    60,000 01-04-2010
    160,000 01-07-2010
    200,000 01-09-2010
    350,000 01-02-2011
    400,000 01-05-2011
    500,000 01-06-2011
    550,000 01-07-2011
    600,000 01-10-2011

    More growth projected badly:
    http://www.phonearena.com/news/Android-could-have-1-million-daily-activations-in-2-weeks_id22825

    The predicted 800,000 activations a day in October from the link has not been realized. So this projection is suspect. Fitting an exponential curve on two points is not very reliable.

    The curve looks rather linear with a few jumps. If I project this linear line, I predict 650,000 activations a day at the end of December. However, as it is unclear how these numbers are rounded and at what exact dates they are measured, this could err by 50,000/day in both directions.

  363. Given the huge number of Android apps out there I think we can stipulate that the Android public APIs do not in fact suck

    By that criterion, you would also have to say that Win32 doesn’t suck.

  364. @Shelby

    Hi Tom, afaics the end of the nation-state is inevitable. The natives can resist and thus ultimately cause top-down conquest (i.e. a world government), or they can embrace the love and freedom inherent in tolerance of diversity and continual adaptation.

    Too much Star Trek and too little fact.

    Nationalism remains the most potent political force on our planet. People still believe strongly that the human spices is divided sharply into groups with different languages, values, narratives about their pasts, founding myths, and cultures. Overwhelmingly the choice for demarcating these differences is the nation state. The Kurds, Scots, Palestinians and Chechens all aspire to nation-statehood. When the UN was founded more than 60 years ago it had 51 members. Today it has more than 200, the most recent addition being South Sudan.

    We are seeing more nationalism, not less.

    The most ambitious super-national project, the European Union, is today foundering as it realises its absurd overreach in creating an monetary union out of states with too-different economic needs and realities. In the UK there is a push for a referendum on EU membership, and other nations are trying to reassert their independence after coming to terms with the reality of a centralised and unaccountable law making body.

    The Danes and British are worried about Islam diluting their national identities. The German people are angry about having to bail out the Greeks. Nobody wants to admit the Turks to the Union. These are all symptoms of a general resurgence of national identity.

    In a competitive and dangerous world nationalism is essential because any polity needs to have citizens who are willing to work and die for their countries. To do this you need to have a loyal and united population. And to achieve that you need more than a treaty or an artificial constitution. You need people to genuinely and deeply feel that that are part of, and bound to, a collective whole. The nation state has proved itself, over the last two centuries at least, to be the best tool for achieving this.

    Once they exist nation states become self-perpetuating entities. They are hard to conquer because people will fight and die to preserve their national identities. There is no such loyalty or passion fostered by artificial entities like the EU or the UN. Nobody is willing to die to protect the EU, or to advance its interests. Nations are enduring where artificial super-entities are fleeting.

    The nation-state is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

  365. @Tom
    Trace back China and Iran as “nation”. They have existed more or less in their current boundaries for a millenium. The same holds for the core of France and England. However, neither Germany nor Italy have been nations for more than 150 years.

    So I to think Shelby has lost contact with reality.

  366. >By that criterion, you would also have to say that Win32 doesn’t suck.

    Incorrect inference. Android doesn’t have a 90% monopoly, which would effectively force developers to support it even if it sucked.

  367. “Incorrect inference. Android doesn’t have a 90% monopoly, which would effectively force developers to support it even if it sucked.”

    It does suck, pretty horribly in fact. I wish it didn’t. I gave it a try and got a high end android phone, but its just so horrible.

  368. @Tom & Winter, you two are so naive. Nation-states have proliferated out of what since Rome were imperialistically colonized tribes. Imperialism is not sustainable and is instead employed as a leverage (by imperialistic powers) which is then converted to statism form of top-down conquest. Centralization of political power has been the unabated trend, because mankind prefers statism over liberty. Europe is in the process of converting German economic imperialism into an EU fiscal governance. The EU nation-state already lost monetary independence, next to lose tax & spend independence.

    Again I reiterate that people have only two choices, liberty (i.e. anarchy) or top-down slavery. I made my choice already.

  369. @Shelby

    you two are so naive. Nation-states have proliferated out of what since Rome were imperialistically colonized tribes.

    This is just complete nonsense. Nation states exist in every part of the world. The Roman Empire extended only to Europe, North Africa and parts of the middle east.

    What point are you trying to make? Your argument lacks all cogency. It’s completely disjointed.

    As should be obvious, your idea that the only options are slavery or anarchy is a false dichotomy.

    Try to express yourself a little more clearly.

  370. Nation states exist in every part of the world

    Yes I wrote that nation-states have formed out of what were imperialistically colonized tribes, with the process starting as far back as the time of Rome. Later it was the Spanish, English, Dutch, etc imperialism.

    I think my point was very clear, so no need to reiterate it. I disagree with your unproven false dichotomy assertion.

  371. @shelby

    Yes I wrote that nation-states have formed out of what were imperialistically colonized tribes, with the process starting as far back as the time of Rome. Later it was the Spanish, English, Dutch, etc imperialism.

    What do you mean ‘formed out of’, and why does this mean that nation states are going away?

    I disagree with your unproven false dichotomy assertion.

    Unproven? Just look around you. Look at yourself! Are you a slave? Are you subject to legal restraints?

    Hint: the answers are no and yes.

  372. @Shelby
    “Imperialism is not sustainable and is instead employed as a leverage (by imperialistic powers) which is then converted to statism form of top-down conquest.”

    This sentence actually makes sense, so, as an exception, I will answer to it.

    The Roman empire lasted more than half a millenium. The Eastern Roman empire as well as the Iranian empire lasted for a millenium. The Egytpian and Chinese empires lasted several milleniums.

    If a millenium is not sustainable, what then is sustainable? The old stone age?

  373. >The Roman empire lasted more than half a millenium. The Eastern Roman empire as well as the
    >Iranian empire lasted for a millenium. The Egytpian and Chinese empires lasted several milleniums.

    It’s interesting that you say this. I’ve been thinking recently about how long governments and nations last, and what brings their downfall. Now I realize that some of the length of old empires may be distorted due to loss of time, for example, in five hundred or a thousand years, will people know that Germany today is not the same Germany that existed post WW II. Even still, I wonder what the relationship between the length of an empire and the ease with which it’s agents can interfere with its citizen’s lives is. That is, did the Roman and other ancient empires survive as long as they did due to imperialism, or because even despite its imperialism, were they not able to be intrusive enough to hasten their demise.

  374. The Roman empire lasted more than half a millenium. The Eastern Roman empire as well as the Iranian empire lasted for a millenium. The Egytpian and Chinese empires lasted several milleniums.

    If a millenium is not sustainable, what then is sustainable? The old stone age?

    “Prior to the arrival of the dominant culture, the Tolowa have lived here for 12,500 years, if you believe the myths of science. If you believe the myths of the Tolowa, they lived here since the beginning of time.”

  375. @nigel

    @winter Apple sells 4M iPhone 4S in a weekend (three days) in only 7 countries (63 to go).

    According to the Apple press release that is double what the iPhone 4 achieved and the highest opening weekend sales for any phone.

    But, yes, obviously the mighty are fallen and the end of Apple is nigh.

  376. @Tom
    Another spectacular win for Apple. And another win that, like the previous ones won’t change iPhones market share.

    I think that my extrapolation of Android activations to 650,000 /dayat the end of the year is rather conservative as daily activations have grown by ~50,000 per quarter for the last two years. And Apple’s market share has stalled during that time.

  377. @tmoney and Jeff Read
    Do you also have a point?

    I was writing about the existence of empires. The question is not who rules them, but why they persist. Germany and Japan were populated by the same people before and after WWII. So they were the same countries.

    Who cares whether the last Roman emperor was a decendent of the first?

  378. And Apple’s market share has stalled during that time.

    Except it hasn’t. It has doubled from 2.6 percent to 5.6 percent. The smartphone market has been growing and Apple is keeping pace with that but overall Apple’s growth in the total market is very good. Sufficient to become the #4 phone producer from starting at zero in 2007

  379. @nigel
    “Except it hasn’t. It has doubled from 2.6 percent to 5.6 percent.”

    To teh Moon!

    The market share of the iPhone in the USA has stalled at ~25% since December 2009
    http://www.catb.org/esr/comscore/

    Obviously, you can redefine “Smarphone market” to your hearths content to wring an increase out of it. It still does not make more people using iPhones than Android phones.
    .

  380. Android 4.0 seems to be coming. And this time, Google promises to release the sources. They also want to address the alleged fragmentation with better updates and better hardware management.

    We’ll see how that turns out (but why would they promise it when they do not plan to?).

    Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich: everything you need to know
    http://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/android-4-0-ice-cream-sandwich-everything-you-need-to-know-954464

    Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is open source

    We also know that Google is intending to make Ice Cream Sandwich fully open source. It didn’t do this with Android 3.0 Honeycomb in an attempt to make things more consistent.

    “It’s more manageable to start small and get bigger,” says Andy Rubin, senior vice president of Mobile at Google.

    “It’s an open invitation; there’s no reason not to have everybody in [The Open Handset Alliance] – but I want to hit the ground running, I don’t want to take a lot of time on building a list of names.”

  381. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20085342-37/iphone-doubles-world-market-share-outpaces-rivals/

    In the US in Aug 2010 Apple didn’t show up on Comscore’s top 5 (bottom was Nokia at 7.6%). In Aug 2011 Apple took the #4 slot with 9.8%.

    http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2010/10/comScore_Reports_August_2010_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share

    http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/10/comScore_Reports_August_2011_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share

    To teh moon is more like what esr projects as if Android will do a straight line to 90% share. Frankly esr’s uses his statistics to lie regarding iOS. Android IS gaining share far more rapidly than iOS but iOS isn’t “stagnant” by any means. There’s no way to reconcile large YoY iPhone sales growth with “stagnant” numbers unless you’re looking at it from one narrow perspective and base your “analysis” strictly from that perspective. Apple’s share is growing (pretty well to boot) and not about to drop off a cliff.

    Sure, more people use Android phones than iPhones. Just like more people used Symbian phones than iPhones. That’s great for Android but that doesn’t mean much to Apple who’s not competing for marketshare.

    My opinion is that esr is projecting massive success for Android because proprietary systems have been beating open systems for the last two decades. Windows is still #1. OSX has gained desktop share where linux hasn’t. Android is comeuppance. When it “wins” he can claim victory and continue with the belief that open source will dominate everything eventually. But for that to happen iOS must be categorized as “failing” and wp7 trivialized.

    But it isn’t comeuppance and never will be. Android isn’t community developed and shared. It’s not bazaar development. It’s yet another corporate product developed behind closed doors and released strategically as open source. It doesn’t change the open vs closed landscape any more than the open sourcing of large closed software systems in the past (Solaris, Java, etc). That there are community developers at the fringes means little. There are community developers at the fringes for iOS as well that continually jailbreaks and provides out of market apps.

    WP7 Mango is now a competitive OS and has some nice unique features. MS also can leverage tighter MS Office and MS Exchange integration than iOS or Android which should help them take more RIM share than others. Not that they’ve done that yet but the business segment is a natural strength for them. But we’ll see what the impact will be in 2012 on Android growth. If WP7 gains no traction in 2012 then Android could hit 70-80% market share.

    My assumption is that Android has already hit 50% share or will soon. And nothing magical will happen any more than when Symbian hit 50% share.

  382. >The question is not who rules them, but why they persist. Germany and Japan were populated
    >by the same people before and after WWII. So they were the same countries.

    This is a definition that is more or less useless. By this definition, America has been the same country for some time since before the revolutionary war. This is clearly not so. I think empires are best marked by their governments. A major shift in the ruling power or structure would end or beginning of an empire. However my question was merely wondering aloud as to whether empires (however you define them) persist due to imperialism, or in spite of it simply because they are unable to sufficiently interfere with their citizens day to day lives to hasten their demise.

  383. @Winter

    Another spectacular win for Apple. And another win that, like the previous ones won’t change iPhones market share.

    And, again, that doesn’t mean anything for Apple’s continued success. What prize is there for having the highest market share? The prize for selling the most phones and making the most money is clear. That is the battle that is being fought here, and it is the battle that Apple is winning.

  384. @tmoney
    The USA has been a nation from around the time of independence. And this discussion started with the assertion that nation states and empires are unsustainable. Thus I am not asserting anything about which type or system of government is stable.

    I still assert that there is nothing that in principle would prevent a nation state to sustain itself for a millenium. There are several examples in history of this.

  385. @nigel and tom
    Eric tells us that the market share of the iPhone is stable at around 25% ( give or take a percent point). In a growing market this means increased sales (you could have figured that out yourself).

    Android marketshare in the USA is rising by 2% a month for the last 20 months or so. It is not very adventurous to extrapolate this trend for another 6-10 months. After which you end up at ~70% market share. MS will drop both Bing and WP7 within a year. There is no way MS will be able to sell the 100million phones they need to stay relevant.

    To increase market share by 10% (to 35%) worldwide this year, Apple will have to sell ~50 million iPhones extra in three months. You can figure out how likely that is yourself.

  386. @winter

    eric tells us that Apple share is about to plummet because of disruption. There is no evidence of this.
    eric tells us that Apple share is stagnant. Except it isn’t. It doubled in the last year.

    The US smartphone share has held steady BUT now they are on both Verizon and Sprint. As more folks can upgrade their phones the iPhone will capture more of these sales that would have gone to Android (for lack of alternative) and folks have been waiting for the iPhone 5. The massive iPhone 4S sales indicates a large amount of folks waiting for the next iPhone before upgrading. There was significant pent up demand.

    And MS doesn’t have to sell 100M phones in the next year to stay relevant. They need to capture a significant part of the Symbian and RIM share to remain relevant. Even if Mango flops, MS has the cash reserves to continue as long as they continue to increase share.

  387. nigel, if MS had as much as half of the Symbian and RIM share, a scenario which there is no rational path to reach, how would that make them “relevant”? Today, their only “relevance” is trolling other smartphone manufacturers.

  388. @Winter,

    It appeared to me you were addressing whether imperialism was sustainable, the quote you responded to was

    “Imperialism is not sustainable and is instead employed as a leverage (by imperialistic powers) which is then converted to statism form of top-down conquest.”

    Now, if further up your discussion tree, you and Shelby had been discussing whether nations and empires are unsustainable, then I apologize for missing that, but I tend to ignore Shelby’s posts as they often make little sense to me.

    As for the USA, I agree it has been the same nation since independence, which is not the same as your assertion that a nation is the same provided it is populated by the same people.

  389. I was writing about the existence of empires. The question is not who rules them, but why they persist. Germany and Japan were populated by the same people before and after WWII. So they were the same countries.

    And I was pointing out — through the words of Derrick Jensen — that there have existed cultures against whose longevity that of the mightiest empire seems brief and ephemeral. Compared to your lifetime, empires are immortal. Compared to the scope of human history — past and future — empires are temporary, ruinous shortcut solutions to resource shortage problems.

  390. @tmoney
    Rome East and West, China, Egypt were all empires, ruling different people. I do not see that much difference between empires and modern nation like Germany and Italy. But opinions differ.

    What matters is that the same people are part of the same government structure.

    That a people can have a longer history is irrelevant.

  391. @SPQR

    Nokia has fans too. Some have been waiting for a phone that doesn’t suck for a while. Perhaps they’ll get one announced at Nokia World next week.

    AT&T is pushing mango with 3 new handsets this fall. Both LG and Samsung are getting some MS money for advertising with Nokia getting the lion’s share.

    MS would certainly be relevant by doubling share to 5% and showing an upward velocity. Given that their current sales numbers are fairly small, that’s not hard to imagine if they get good sales on their new offerings.

    Nokia has possibilities but I can’t understand what’s taking them so long to market. RIM is the one in big trouble. They shouldn’t have screwed up the Palm buy. Buying it now from HP would be pointless.

  392. Nigel, so basically you don’t have a scenario where MS becomes “relevant” other than through massive buying of shelf space.

    Not a convincing scenario.

    And the reason that Nokia is taking so long to market seems obvious from the outside, massive internal disruption from layoffs and product confusion. I don’t see a path to relevance in that background.

  393. @nigel
    “eric tells us that Apple share is about to plummet because of disruption. There is no evidence of this.
    eric tells us that Apple share is stagnant. Except it isn’t. It doubled in the last year.”

    We have established before that Apple will not sell billions of iPhones, but hundreds of millions at most, but Android most likely will sell billions. There is no way that Apple can sell only 10% of all Smartphones (max) and get more than 10% market share. Except if you limit the calculation of Apple’s market share to people who buy Apple products.

    In Jan 2010, iPhone’s USA userbase increased by 750,000, in August 2011 it increased by 870,000. For Android the numbers are 980,000 and 2,570,000. And while iPhone monthly userbase change numbers in 2011 vary between 450,000 and 1,310,000, those of Android vary between 2,000,000 and 2,570,000. And that is USA only.
    http://www.catb.org/esr/comscore/

    So how do you get “doubling marketshare”? The overall market share of the iPhone in the Comscore numbers is 25.3% in December 2009 and 27.3% in August 2011. For Android these numbers are 5.2% and 43.7%.

    So, where did Eric go wrong exactly? From all predictions I have seen, his have proved to be most accurate.

  394. Winter, what I find interesting is that Eric makes the prediction that Apple’s model requires a large market share to sustain the appearance of a large enough ecosystem to be a self-sustaining high end luxury good. And that if they don’t sustain that appearance, they won’t be able to maintain their high margins.

    I can see his reasoning but its the prediction that could be most profitably argued IMO. But the Apple advocates don’t seem to want to attack those assumptions but rather want to play games with the interpretation least susceptable to dispute – the actual market share trends.

  395. @winter I posted the link where apple market share doubled. They increased from 2.6% share to 5.6% share of the total phone market. To call this stagnating is simply false and esr uses this to promote his opinion that Apple is doomed.

    Yes, we agreed that Apple is not going to sell billions of smartphones. But what you fail to acknowledge is that Apple doesn’t have to sell billions of smartphones to have more than 10% share in any given region. First, there are only 300M folks in the US. They can make enough phones for the US to have 25% share (75M phones) or even 50% share.

    Likewise Europe’s total population is 860M. Apple doesn’t have to sell billions to have 25% share (215M phones).

    Of asia they can have 25% share in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, etc without selling billions of phones. China, India not so much. That android might end up on billions of inexpensive phones doesn’t matter much if Apple has 25% of the demographics that actually can afford to buy phones and apps. This is the same demographic that’s worth more advertising revenue.

    So IF you agree that Apple will sell hundreds of millions of smartphones to Android’s billions then you are also agreeing that Apple will have higher than 10% share in the US. Because only in the developed world can folks afford to buy an iPhone and Apple is specifically targeting the upper end of the market.

    You know. The profitable part.

    Eric’s prediction on Android share hitting 50% no one argues with. It is his predictions that Apple is about to fail via disruption from below that is wrong and has no supporting data.

  396. @SPQR And 25% share isn’t sufficient share? The trend line is for Apple to hold steady around 20-30% of the share. The dispute is that this about to suddenly drop to single digits in the US.

    Show me anywhere in his data that shows that Apple is about to lose massive share?

    The rest doesn’t matter because his premise is incorrect.

  397. Been looking at ICS and am liking what I see of Matias Duarte’s work. I hope he succeeds where other designers have been pushed out of Google’s culture. Looks like he’s been able to seriously improve Android’s look and feel to something less teenage and something a lot more refined. Apple-like even. :)

    Actually, I like the WebOS aesthetic and he does great stuff that isn’t derivative.

  398. @nigel
    Indeed, iPhones can have a high marketshare in people who buy Apple products. No arguing about that.

  399. Nigel, I don’t know if 25% is sufficient or not. I don’t know a particular number. And I’m not so foolish as to extend trends ad infinitum. Eric has made a prediction. I don’t think that waving your hand and saying “25% is a magic number to avoid disruption from below” really refutes him.

  400. @winter that’s a tautology. iPhones will have a high marketshare in the US, Europe and other countries with a high standard of living. Far less everywhere less.

    @SPQR The point isn’t 25% is sufficient or not for some fantasy explanation about Apple’s business. The point is that Apple is unlikely to drop from 25% any time soon. The data shows that Apple’s growth is very high with no indications of any “disruption from below” even if you believe that the iPhone is currently vulnerable to “disruption from below”.

    The waving of hands is that any drop will occur. Show me any data that indicates this.

  401. @nigel
    “@winter that’s a tautology. iPhones will have a high marketshare in the US, Europe and other countries with a high standard of living. Far less everywhere less.”

    It was intended to be. Because that is your definition of “iPhone market share”:
    “Because only in the developed world can folks afford to buy an iPhone and Apple is specifically targeting the upper end of the market.
    You know. The profitable part.”

    So it is clear, the more you home in on the “people that matter” for Apple, the higher the iPhone market share will be.

  402. >“On Honeycomb we cheated, we cut the corner of all that smaller device support. That’s the sole reason we haven’t open sourced it.”

    Of course, we won’t see any retraction or apology from the Android-haters who breathlessly hyped this “cheat” as evidence that Google was turning into the Dark Lord Sauron or something. Idiots…

  403. @winter You mean like the US smartphone market share? Again, the argument that Apple will never make a billion iPhones so therefore will have single digit market share doesn’t hold water in the US market. Or the EU market.

  404. @esr They’ve been saying that all along. So what? What is clear is that Amazon and others would have been helped with open sourcing Honeycomb. They didn’t and the rest is spin.

    And it’s not like folks haven’t released half-baked open source before. With GPL you have no choice if you ship. But Google can choose not to open source any time they want…and if more folks adopt the Amazon model elsewhere in the world they will.

  405. @Nigel
    “Again, the argument that Apple will never make a billion iPhones so therefore will have single digit market share doesn’t hold water in the US market. Or the EU market.”

    Mercedes, BMW, and Rolls Royce make great cars. Much, much better than the stuff VW and Renault churn out. And they also have a solid two digit market share with Royals and Presidents, as well as CEO’s and Bankers.

    Who cares? I really do not care one second. Years go by that I do not think about the technical advancements of Rolls Royce or Mercedes. What I care about are the cars I meet in the streets, that I ride in.

    What will happen is that Android will sell billions of phones. Then Apple will ensure iPhones gets all Android apps, or even can run Android apps directly. And then Apple will become as inconsequential as Rolls Royce is in car building. Profitable, envied, but mostly, a luxury gadget.

    In the end, that is Eric predicts: Apple will become irrelevant in the Smartphone market, and eventually in the tablet market. He thinks that this also means they will also get driven out of the market completely. I consider that likely, but not certain. But I do not care whether Apple’s iPhone survives or not, as I do not care whether Apple as a company survives. If Apple can make great stuff that continues drawing an audience, great for everybody. If not, sad for them.

    Btw, WP7 is dead. There are no three horse races in marketing. There is Coke and Pepsi, but no third ranked player.
    http://www.ericsink.com/laws/Law_08.html

  406. @winter

    So you’re saying that with 25% of the US and EU marketshare Apple would be inconsequential? LOL. That’s even granting the wild assertion that Android will take 90% share and sell billions which isn’t a given by any stretch of the imagination.

    The “law of duality” isn’t a law, it’s a poor observation of select markets. GM and Ford are not the duality.

    GM has 19.7 share, Ford has 16.6 share, Chrysler has 12.1 share, Toyota has 11.5 share Honda has 8.5 share.

    http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html

    Canon and Nikon are not a duality

    Canon has 19% share, Sony has 17.9% share, Nikon has 12.6% share, Samsung has 11.1% share (2010 numbers)

    http://www.sonyrumors.net/2011/04/20/sony-holds-second-highest-dslr-market-share-closing-in-on-canon-for-the-number-one-sport/

    Nike and Reebok were not a duality. Nike, Adidas and Reebok split the share reasonably until Adidas bought Reebok. Now the split is Nike 36%, Adidas 21.8%, Puma 7%. That still leaves almost 40% share for everyone else.

    Coke and Pepsi – Coke has 42% share and Pepsi 29.3% share with Dr. Pepper Snapple with 16.7% share.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703818204576206653259805970.html

    McDonalds and Burger King are not a duopoly without a strong 3rd contender.

    McDonalds, as dominant as it is, only has 49.5% share. Burger King has 13.3% followed closely by Wendys with 12.8%.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq-phillydeals/McDonalds-crushing-Wendys-Burger-King-all-others.html

    The “Law of Duality” is incorrect based on his own examples with the exception of Nike and Adidas (mostly because Adidas bought Reebok). These are all mature markets with competition split among multiple players. Just like the phone industry prior to the iPhone and will be in the future.

    Even his software examples isn’t entirely correct. While there is no strong #2 desktop OS but there is a strong #2 IDE. The split between Eclipse and VS is probably pretty close. XCode is probably catching up based on the strong surge in iOS development.

    And even if you believe in the “law of duality” then you have to accept the part where he asserts:

    “Furthermore, the market will not allow #1 to get too far ahead. Just as markets hate having a ten-horse race, they also hate having a one-horse race. When #1 gets too far ahead of #2, the market will usually correct the problem.”

    Which has proven incorrect as he’s noticed in the software industry. Given that gaping hole and the BS examples he provides I’d say the “Law of Duality” is safely debunked.

    WP7 has an uphill climb to be sure but there’s no “law” that prohibits a strong 3rd contender in any market.

    This also isn’t the desktop model where Android will magically take 90% total market share. Android, iOS and WP7 are too heavyweight to live inside a feature phone comfortably. Hence Bada and Meltemi. Meltemi is linux based but Bada might be open sourced or it might not.

  407. @esr “Of course, we won’t see any retraction or apology from the Android-haters who breathlessly hyped this “cheat” as evidence that Google was turning into the Dark Lord Sauron or something. Idiots…”

    I’ve seen far more attribute the lack of open sourcing to rushed, shoddy programming and cutting corners to catch up (and still failing — Honeycomb can be described as nothing but a failure). Who are these “haters” claiming it was because they were evil? I don’t see Android critics injecting morality nearly as much as its supporters.

  408. Also, since some of the more vocal critics here have taken their cards off the table with respect to Apple playing a billion + user game, I will mix metaphors and throw my hat in as someone who believes Apple can sell upward of a billion devices per year. Not that I think this is either a certainty or a requirement for “success” — but simply that I easily see a possible future where Apple is selling a billion plus devices to a billion plus users annually.

    Most of us presume that smartphones will subsume standard mobile phones. I do not presume to know how quickly this market fully transforms (I vacillate between thinking it will be faster and slower than expected). I think the market will likely contract some (the mobile market in general supports multiple cell phones per user today, but this is likely to contract some if dumbphones are wholly (in a general sense) replaced by smartphones). I also believe the tablet market will be far larger than the PC market but not as large as the smartphone market (likely see similar or greater numbers as mobiles in the developed world, and far less adoption in the under-developed world). So we are easily talking about a future market in the 10-15 billion range. I see no rason to believe that Apple will not own 10% of it.

    Moreover, I actually see the entire community of Android builders having far greater difficulty being able to allegedly support the other 90%. Who among Android developers are going to serve the 9 to 13 billion? Only Samsung seems to have the reach. Nokia also does (maybe, a lot of their production is dedicated to dumbphones) but is obviously going in a different direction and not doing well. HTC could do well, but they would have to be hugely outgrowing Apple to approach the sort of capacity to serve such a huge fraction of such a huge market. Maybe Motorola if Google decides to dump massive capital into a business they want at arms length, that they don’t really want to be in, but that’s a very risky proposition for GOOG. But SE, LG, the current Moto? Not happening. Yes, Huawei and others are rising up with nearly the sort of scale to serve this huge market. But the more I consider the competition, the more comfortable I feel saying Apple will be serving a billion customers with iOS devices.

  409. @Tim F.

    Who are these “haters” claiming it was because they were evil? I don’t see Android critics injecting morality nearly as much as its supporters.

    That’s right, and Eric is a prime example of the latter. He gives himself away with the Lord of the Rings reference. A deep insecurity, combined with too much time spent reading Fantasy novels, means that he needs to see himself as part of some sort of Shire vs. Mordor struggle for the future of the human race.

    Nobody else cares. Certainly not Apple or its customers. All the rest of us care about is having the best technology.

  410. Tom F., have you looked at the figures for the total population of the world lately?

  411. And Tom F., lets do some simple math. Let’s start with “…but simply that I easily see a possible future where Apple is selling a billion plus devices to a billion plus users annually.” and add in “So we are easily talking about a future market in the 10-15 billion range. I see no rason to believe that Apple will not own 10% of it.”

    So Apple will be doing what in your “future market” ? Selling a new device to the same billion users each year?

  412. Winter,

    Btw, WP7 is dead. There are no three horse races in marketing. There is Coke and Pepsi, but no third ranked player.

    No, WP7 is poised to displace Android. Google is stalling on open-source releases, and since Google now counts as a handset manufacturer, the coalition by which Android’s market dominance was achieved shows signs of splitting. If Android is not open source, all Android platform builders are not on equal ground. Those at a disadvantage (everybody but Motorola) are taking a hard long look at Microsoft as an exit strategy.

    Anyway, as nigel said, the Law of Duality is bogus. The example that came to my mind was game consoles. Android could make a respectable third-place showing.

    Eric,

    Of course, we won’t see any retraction or apology from the Android-haters who breathlessly hyped this “cheat” as evidence that Google was turning into the Dark Lord Sauron or something. Idiots…

    No, you won’t, because ICS is out and Google still isn’t releasing the source. Their engineer is giving a big fat “no comment” to all open-source ICS release inquiries.

    Nobody said that Google was turning into Sauron. What people are saying is that Android’s openness is in jeopardy, and without it Android becomes no different from iOS.from a licensure perspective. Since Android’s open-source nature is what allows rival handset manufacturers to combine into an Apple-slaying Voltron, if Google stalls too long they will lose to Apple (and maybe Microsoft who are ready to fill the power gap).

    (Actually the FSF is saying Google are Sauron, and offer an openness-scrubbed Android derivative called “Replicant”, but that works on few handsets and is basically irrelevant.)

  413. @SPQR

    1. I assume you are talking to me.

    2. yes, I have.

    3. Do not understand the question “what will they be doing”?

    4. With a market share of 10% (or MORE or less) of a market of 10-15 billion (or MORE or less), when including tablets (I do not see these two markets as wholly distinct), I do believe that Apple will sell a billion devices per year to a user base roughly the same size considering most of these devices have an upgrade cycle of 1-3 years rather 3-5 years. Yes. Even if you don’t think this fundamentally gets to a billion devices per year, I would say the very high hundreds of millions is closer to billions rather than claiming they will be on a scale an order of magnitude smaller than billions.

  414. @SPQR

    I should add an important point to #4 that I forgot to include: not only will this be a market of devices with a 1-3 year upgrade cycle but most users will have multiple devices (an iPhone and an iPad, households with multiple iPads and iPhones… we are likely to see the differences between traditional PC computing and iOS-based-like devices further blurred by the time this market has transitioned, been saturated). So, again, yes, I do not see any difficulties imagining annual sales nearly approaching the quantity of the entire userbase.

  415. Apple’s model simply won’t scale enough to prevent the dominant app platform from being Android. And dominant platforms ultimately get more developer mindshare, and the other platforms have to adopt compatibility modes or wither. I am expecting the inflection point will be the debt deleveraging (via inflation probably) economic collapse of the developed countries over the coming years, which will suck the tiny $3 billion economics out of the Apple app market (on an inflation adjusted basis). The future developer economics will require global scale (even for vertical market apps). Subsidized models (Apple being subsidized by the western debt bubble) are peaking and will implode.

    I was at the mall in Philippines, and Android phones every where, and not an iPhone in sight. I saw one lady carrying an iPhone and she said she bought it in the UK for $700. The sales ladies said most everybody wants Android, and the reason is they can get so many games and applications from “Android market”. There are so many choices of phones, different colors, styles, prices, sizes, with and without keyboard, etc.. For some reason Americans love to copy each other and all have the same color and style of phone, but here people like to have many choices. I see a massive acceleration for Android in the cell phone stores compared to last year, when they barely knew what I was asking about.

    Afaics, filipinos hate lockin, and this may apply in other developing world countries. I had paid $25 for 3 months of unlimited call & sms on the Sun network, and they failed to give me the service I paid for, even after 3 trips to their office over a period of 3 weeks. I vowed never again to use prepaid service (time wasted was the highest cost). Same kind of crap service and lockin BS I used to experience in the USA. Instead, I will pay $11 for 1 month, which is loaded from the local neighborhood “sari-sari” store. Ditto a $1000 airplane ticket that I never got the promised refund (and there is nothing you can do about it!). People here refuse to buy things that contain any kind of long-dated promise from a corporation. Ditto the recent Blackberry outage. Centralization, futures contracts, insurance, etc.. they all suck, and I happy I left that debt jail world.

    @Tom & Winter: regarding imperialism & nation-states, you will find that most terrorities that were once ruled by foreigners, have been turned over the locals and have become “independent” nation-states. How many examples do you need? India, Hong Kong, Philippines, the countries of Europe, etc.. But this independence is to some degree an illusion, because all nation-states are controlled from the top-down by private fiat central banks, where the original imperial banking powers control the monetary levers, and debt slavery is increasing, not decreasing. The more “developed” the nation, the higher the debt load (and statism), and this pulls demand forward, thus misallocation of human capital, and increases statism (“too big to fail”, etc). Here is an anecdotal example of slavery in the developed world (and it is causality correlated to the debt system, but I don’t want to defend that assertion here). There is far too many details for me to write and defend in this blog, so please excuse me if I don’t respond further to your certain misunderstandings and imo lack of knowledge of how the world works.

  416. Tim F., the current population is about 7 billion people. So only if every person in the world has two smartphone/tablet devices, and Apple has 10% marketshare and Apple sells their customers a new pair of devices every year which is faster than your projected lifecycle, will your sales volume be achieved.

    I’m wondering if you are selling this plan to Tim Cook?

  417. Jeff Read writes: “No, WP7 is poised to displace Android. “

    Can I have some of what you are drinking?

  418. @SPQR

    The current mobile phone market is 4 billion with 1.5 billion actual users. We already live in a world where there are 2.6 mobile devices per mobile user! So if the number of mobile phone users doubles (and again this is a presumption based on the initial presumption that dumphones get subsumed by smartphones), reaching less than 50% of the world’s population, there will be 8 billion mobile phones (if the pattern holds). And, yes, I am projecting that in the future most users will have a phone and a tablet, maybe multiple tablets. I already know of numerous households with a higher than 2.6 mobile devices per household member. This is not unusual. In the future, touch-based mobile OS devices will likely be a larger market than televisions — yes, I fundamentally believe this. Yearly upgrades are no longer unusual either. (Again, we are talking about the market both getting saturated and transitioned over to smart devices — when this occurs, prices will be much lower.)

    But, again, for all those who think Apple is incapable of this: who else (besides Samsung and maybe HTC) can achieve billions of units, or even high hundreds of millions of units? Outside of the top 3 Android developers, most are delivering far smaller quantities than Apple and they are already losing money or barely breaking even trying to produce 10 million a quarter. This is the strength underlying my argument: manufacturers pursuing a commoditization/market share strategy fundamentally weaken their own ability to grow, innovate, and lead. What is good for Google will ultimately be horrible for its partners.

    And, again, I’m not predicting this is certain, nor I don’t think it’s necessary, nor do I consider it an indicator of success or failure. I just think it’s still very much possible to occur; yes, we are talking about the largest electronic market ever, we are just in the beginning, and at this stage, Apple is the most powerful and successful player.

  419. @Tim F, Asia has excess manufacturing capacity. Do you think they prefer to let Apple take all the branding profits? Commodization of the OS doesn’t mean they don’t find ways to monetize their brands. Apple’s tight vertical integration is a plus for focused refinement, but a minus for diverse scaling of opportunities to monetize.

  420. @Shelby Sure, Asia has excess manufacturing capacity. Don’t see how that factors in very much to “letting” Apple do anything. Explain? Also, AGAIN, my belief that Apple has a strong, successful strategy is not dependent on them “taking” ALL branding profits. I don’t think they could if they wanted to, and even though I’m sure any large, public company wants all the profits they can get, I think Apple is smarter than to want ALL the profits. (Will they take the majority of them from a minority share? Hell yes! Who wouldn’t?)

    “Commodization of the OS doesn’t mean they don’t find ways to monetize their brands.”

    Let’s take the example of PCs. Let’s look at the leading company’s brands and profitablity: Dell? HP? Acer? Sony? Sure, there is some brand there and some monetization. There’s not much differentiation, not much quality… and the per unit profits on a product that has become one of the most important possessions to man are less than a pack of cigarettes, maybe a decent bottle of wine.

    “Apple’s tight vertical integration is a plus for focused refinement, but a minus for diverse scaling of opportunities to monetize.”

    I can’t imagine a company better suited to “scaling their opportunities to monetize.” I feel bad for much of the competitive landscape because of their inability to keep up with Apple’s newly (last decade) acquired and well-managed resources to “scale opportunities to monetize” when I already thought they had the healthier strategy and better products anyway — without their vast resources and strategic opportunities.

  421. @Shelby “@Tim F, Asia has excess manufacturing capacity. Do you think they prefer to let Apple take all the branding profits?”

    Although I think this statement is a foolish red herring, I will still add: even though there is excess manufacturing capacity, finding those enterprises that can utilize it is difficult, and those that can, or rather at least Apple, still have difficulty meeting their own production goals. They are still production constrained more than demand because their own needs and goals cannot, in fact, be met by that excess capacity. This is the story of manufacturing the world over.

    In short, Apple will always have manufacturing partners because Apple is a good manufacturing client.

  422. Can I have some of what you are drinking?

    Mango is actually an attractive platform for developers, now that they filled in some of the API holes like sockets, camera and sensor support, etc. From a developer standpoint it may be the best smartphone platform now.

    And I know for a fact that Samsung, LG, and HTC are stepping up their WP7 game with a broader range of handsets and more aggressive promotion. If Google fumbles with Android, they may lose their goodwill with these critical hardware partners.

    There are things which have to go wrong for Google before Microsoft stands a chance of competing effectively in this space. But it’s actually plausible now that Microsoft could displace Google, whereas it didn’t seem so a few months ago.

  423. @Shelby

    regarding imperialism & nation-states, you will find that most terrorities that were once ruled by foreigners, have been turned over the locals and have become “independent” nation-states. How many examples do you need? India, Hong Kong, Philippines, the countries of Europe, etc..

    That’s my point! You were arguing that ‘nation states are going away’. My argument was that we are actually seeing more nationalism, and that nation states are going to be around for at least the foreseeable future. Have you changed your mind?

  424. Sorry, I misquoted you. You actually said ‘Hi Tom, afaics the end of the nation-state is inevitable’.

    The effect is the same.

  425. @SPQR (Further on your comment:)

    “So only if every person in the world has two smartphone/tablet devices…”

    Yes, this is what I think the future is.

    “…and Apple has 10% marketshare”

    Yes. They currently have 27% platform share in the US in smartphones, 43% install base in the US of smartphone and tablet platforms, 18% of world smartphone market share (this one is the least accurate, couldn’t find an up to date citation), and 5.5% share of the world’s total mobile phone market. I’ve only used one market share/install base % that cites the iPad. Apple NEVER had market share or install base comparable to this in the 37 years (!) of the Mac. And yet they have now surpassed 10% in the US after 37 years of being in a worse position than they are now. And, yes, I am allowing for Apple losing 44% of their current worldwide smartphone market share to a position of 10% and their tablet share, at the most conservative, to fall 86% to 10%. Is this so absurd?

    “…and Apple sells their customers a new pair of devices every year which is faster than your projected lifecycle…”

    No, not fast. Again, I think the majority of users will have 3 or 4 devices of the same platform and they will upgrade each of them on a 1-3 year cycle. Yes, this is the future.

    And, yes, Apple has to achieve that goal. And, of course, Apple has enjoyed 90+% consumer satisfaction in all its markets and nearly this same sort of upgrade cycle already with that old, last wave, generation of technology.

    “…will your sales volume be achieved.”

    Yup. Again, I think it’s very reasonably possible. Not necessary. Not inevitable. Not good or right or wrong. Not a sign of success. Not the finish line. Just a reasonable possibility.

  426. @Tim F, they are creating their own brands. Samsung has leaped forward, some similar to how Sony did with TVs in the 1970s. Without Android, they couldn’t do that in the smartphone space. Apple is competing against the world of companies that wish to profit in the consumer electronics space. And it ranges from companies who can do good vertical integration, e.g. Samsung, HTC, Motorola to companies which are just starting to learn.

    I will make a wild prediction. There will be new design companies popup in the developed countries that design cell phones and leverage Asian manufacturing, i.e. the maximum division-of-labor. The onslaught against Apple will come from every direction and accelerating proliferation of choices.

    You focus on Apple’s ability to drive high profit margins, and I say it is not much different than any luxury good. You seem to imply that no one else in the world has a viable computer manufacturing and design business, yet I see even with the world’s largest marketcap, Apple is still a very tiny percentage of the world’s market cap. Do you fail to appreciate the concept of the maximum division-of-labor?

    Production constraints are because the technology is changing so fast and new fabs have to be built. As the commodization increases and hardware specs stabilize, then the capital of Asia is far in excess of what demand could ever be.

  427. @Shelby “@Tim F, they are creating their own brands. Samsung has leaped forward, some similar to how Sony did with TVs in the 1970s.”

    I’m not sure why you want to even try arguing quality of brand. Yes, Samsung has leaped forward: the same way IBM, Digital, Packard-Bell, NEC, Compaq, IBM again, Dell, HP (with minor blips from eMachines, Gateway, Asus, et al) leaped forward and then fell back to the next even cheaper, poorly differentiated, weak branded company overtook them or acquired them. Will that happen to Samsung? Probably not because of their broad reach into all electronic manufacturing, but just take a look at how well Sony is doing in smartphones.

    “Without Android, they couldn’t do that in the smartphone space.”

    Right. They are powerless. Dependent on Google. Which is why they are also making Windows Phones, Bada phones, and any other alternative opportunity that comes their way.

    “Apple is competing against the world of companies that wish to profit in the consumer electronics space.”

    Yup, and they are winning by every profit metric MASSIVELY.

    “And it ranges from companies who can do good vertical integration, e.g. Samsung, HTC, Motorola to companies which are just starting to learn.”

    None of these companies do good vertical integration. They barely do vertical integration, never mind GOOD vertical integration. Motorola lost its chances to be a vertical integrator when they spun mobile out on its own, now it is a baby again being vertically integrated by Google, no less. HTC is just starting to make weak partner deals for music services, they aren’t even close to “just starting to learn”, Samsung is trying but they need Bada to succeed and a lot more software expertise to be close to considered for vertical integration. (Again, not sure why you are trying to argue on brand value, profitability, and vertical integration now — are these even areas of argument?)

    “I will make a wild prediction.” Yes, it is. The rest of your post turns into incomprehensible gobbledygook not worth a response.

  428. @tim the companies that can do good vertical integration are: apple, Sony, google, amazon, Microsoft, Baidu and maybe Nokia. Ovi is the weakest of the bunch. Baidu is regional but with a huge market the rest will struggle with. There is probably an Indian regional I’m not aware of in the same class with Bollywood content locked up. Nokia is pretty iffy to include…

    These are the companies that do or have licenses to software, hardware and content.

    The ones executing well today are apple, amazon and google. Baidu too I guess.

    Samsung, HTC don’t have the US and EU content deals lined up or infrastructure yet. Samsung can probably hold its own with Korean content but I don’t see thier position as strong as Baidu even on thier home turf.

  429. @shelby if I remember right, while Asia has some major fans I believe the semi fab equipment makers are largely EU and US companies. Likewise the fans themselves are in developed countries like Japan, Korea and Taiwan…not developing countries like SE Asia, RP, etc.

    You know, if the developed world economies collapse the hardest hit will be the developing ones. First they will have even less money to import food like the RP does for rice. 2nd, the developed countries will go to war vs letting their people all starve…meaning any developing country will sell at agreeable prices or else. Even if you assume the democracies won’t China would.

    Finally China won’t let the world go to pot any more than the US or EU. If Chinese standard of living drops they are looking at unrest of epic proportions that perhaps not even the PAP or PLA can hold back. They’ll generate an external crisis before that happens. Most likely in the spratleys and roll over the ASEAN militaries.

  430. In case it wasn’t clear…that means you would be even more screwed than most other folks in this forum

  431. @Shelby I always feel it’s best, when encountering a crackpot idea, to call it so — maybe it will form a wake up call. But I also don’t like being rude. So I will address your points:

    “I will make a wild prediction. There will be new design companies popup in the developed countries that design cell phones and leverage Asian manufacturing, i.e. the maximum division-of-labor.”

    You state “maximum division-of-labor” as if it’s an argument in itself. You then question my ability to comprehend the phrase as if you are waving a copy of the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica at a one year old. What are you trying to get at? The “maximum division-of-labor” is a resource for Apple too. They are already exploiting it. They lead the world at it. In fact, maximizing division-of-labor places importance in aligning that talent with resources and then integrating the division — oh yeah, another area Apple leads.

    However, by stating it, you aren’t making an argument. Why will this competition rise up? How will it rise up? Where does it acquire the massive amount of talent, time, resources, money (ba-ba-billion dollar boatloads of money) to rise up and compete with Apple. Stating “division-of-labor” doesn’t make it so. This is just as much a crackpot theory as your notion that 1) the developed world is collapsing to be replaced by the developing world, which will somehow supersede the developed world in every way but not become the developed world but some utopia based on open source programming principles for some odd reason and 2) nation-states will collapse into some global utopia. And now 3) somehow consistent with 1) and 2) that profitable, high quality brands using design expertise and verticle integration will rise up and compete on Apple’s terms as if this is something consistent with Google’s strategy and pure poison to Apple — even though its Apple’s game.

    However, so what if it does?

    “The onslaught against Apple will come from every direction and accelerating proliferation of choices.”

    I say, “Bring it!” Again, maximizing profit margin is an excellent defense against broad competition. It’s pursuing an extremely low margin business that requires massive share to survive. Choice is good for Apple. It is only the Fandroid’s who are paranoid enough to believe that Apple would monopolize EVERYTHING somehow (even though they are a niche fashion fad, blah blah blah). Apple supporters know they will never be affordable for EVERYONE, that they will never appeal to EVERYONE. It is complete and utter bullshit that Google “only wants to prevent someone else from monopolizing the web”; they will only be extremely successful if they have massive, dominant share of all web services because their business and strategy is to make everything free but the extremely low margin web advertisements they place on as many things as they can — it needs massive scale ever to pay off the way they want it to.

    “You focus on Apple’s ability to drive high profit margins, and I say it is not much different than any luxury good.”

    My focus is not on driving high profit margins. I think differentiation, integration, overall design and experience expertise are comparably important as profit. But yes it is important.

    Again, you say “luxury good” as if it is an argument. I say, so what? I don’t agree, but even if it was ONLY a “luxury good,” from what part of that phrase springs the argument that Apple will necessarily collapse?

    “You seem to imply that no one else in the world has a viable computer manufacturing and design business…”

    No, I say that Apple is the most viable; it has the most and best resources to compete. By no means do I mean to imply that all others are incapable. Most are not doing nearly as well; they aren’t as viable as Apple. But I do not mean to imply that all others are, per say, non-viable. Again, my argument is predicated on it being perfectly healthy to have a minority share of the market. I welcome diverse competition.

    “…yet I see even with the world’s largest marketcap, Apple is still a very tiny percentage of the world’s market cap.”

    Not that little. After all, it’s not reasonable to think that the 40% of the world divided into production of agriculture are going to spontaneously compete with Apple. It’s only reasonable to presume that, in a maximally divided labor force — remember?, that technology competes with technology. Even if Apple has .00000000000000000000001% of the world’s market cap, it would be good to have something reasonably close to that to compete with them. In other words, this is a nonsensical diversion.

    “Do you fail to appreciate the concept of the maximum division-of-labor?”

    Here we get the reminder when you are now making an argument that seems to go against the very argument you are making. I do not comprehend what you are getting at. Saying a phrase, invoking a “concept” is not an argument.

    “Production constraints are because the technology is changing so fast and new fabs have to be built.”

    Yup. And?

    “As the commodization increases and hardware specs stabilize, then the capital of Asia is far in excess of what demand could ever be.”

    As commodization increases, the capital of Asia decreases. It’s not observable yet because there is no sign of it approaching a plateau in the near-term, but this is the definition of commoditization. Hardware specs do not stabilize. Even when they approach the “good enough” plateau, you continue to see cost benefits, energy efficiency improvement, space efficiency improvement, and there is always the next wave of computational power, features, and sensors. Assuming that technology stabilizes before economies and civilization is poorly supported and not a very optimistic view.

    Potential manufacturing capacity is always in excess because it’s always potential (again, this is not an argument on its own); in reality the utilization of manufacturing will continue to fall short of demand well past the zero-sum game, vicious competition, and the next, new technology wave.

    But, again, your argument doesn’t preclude Apple from utilizing the same global benefit. So what? It’s only your crackpot theories about the collapse of the developed world, the rise of a utopian developing world that never becomes exactly what the developed world is (even though we see this over and over again in the upper classes of developing nations), the collapse of nation-states into one world authority, your spontaneous eruption of teams of mini-Apples using brand, vertical integration, and design expertise to drive choice and comparable profits, and your personal feelings of hatred for Apple that has you believing that Asia will stop wanting Apple’s business. What does any of this have to do with ESR’s argument that Google’s open source strategy will cause Apple to precipitously collapse into nothingness?

    Really, your ideas are crackpot. You throw around phrases, concepts, jargon as if they are whole-formed arguments, but truly they are just nonsense. None of what you say coheres. It is not persuasive. It is not well supported. It is difficult to try to address because it is so silly.

  432. Tim F., your predictions require that billions of people with a per capita GDP of a few thousands of dollars will spend one-eighth to one-quarter of their annual income to buy an Apple smart phone and tablet.

  433. @Nigel Agree that the real players are Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon. (Baidu I think is a quality player but their Asian culture circumscribes and limits their ability to compete with the other players who may not get Asian but have already achieved general international reception. In this regard, Amazon is still the weakest internationally.) That Sony and Nokia represent the next best contenders is a little sad but true.

    It then becomes a question of which has selected the correct source of profit: the device integrated with software, the ad, the software, or the content. I personally want the source of profit to be the area that can achieve the most progress, innovation, design excellence because the company will care most about this area. I will save why I think its also the most successful strategy for future and past posts.

  434. @SPQR

    “Tim F., your predictions require that billions of people with a per capita GDP of a few thousands of dollars will spend one-eighth to one-quarter of their annual income to buy an Apple smart phone and tablet.”

    1. It’s not a prediction. I have said over and over again I think it’s a possibility. I wouldn’t care to predict it.

    2. No, not billions, only one.

    3. No, it would certainly involve largely the wealthiest 1 billion people.

    4. No, I am predicting declining costs for Apple products as well as all others through a transition that can last a decade or more.

    5. Yup, I wouldn’t be surprised if a very small number of people who only make a very negligible income will spend a very large fraction of their income on some of Apple’s highest end products in the future. I’ve already seen it happening for one reason or choice or the other.

  435. @spqr perhaps his future isn’t the economic collapse of the free world but the rising of all boats and eventually standard of living will increase to the point where there are 3-4 billion folks that can afford apple products and of those 1 billion actually buys them with each owning an iPhone, iPad and sharing a couple aTVs.

    It’s not an implausible scenario, I just don’t view it as a likely one. If apple can clear a half billion iOS devices in a year they’ll easily maintain 25-30% US and EU share. That seems more likely.

  436. @SPQR

    6. Again, my position is not predicated on massive, dominant, majority, or monopoly share of the market or profits (although one or the other certainly helps). Even if I presume a far more conservative 500 million devices per year at $100 retail, we are talking about $50 billion in revenue annually. Apple will generate in excess of $30 billion in revenue next quarter alone so I don’t see this type of transformation occurring to Apple’s business anytime soon. However, even if it were so and somehow the remainder of all Android partners were selling 6.5 billion devices per year, I would wager that $50 billion in annual revenue would compare quite favorably to all the Android partners. I certainly wouldn’t see it as an indefensible position that inevitably collapses.

  437. @Nigel All of my thinking is certainly predicated on arriving at the point in the future where smartphones replace dumbphones. (A corollary to this future is that mobile communication further explodes — some think it already has but truly only 1.5 of the 7 billion people are mobile phone users yet, the explosion is just getting started.) My thinking is also that it may take longer then some believe — possibly a decade or longer. This presumes that the population will continue to grow. Yes, of course, I also presume far cheaper products in the future. However, no, I do not predict rising boats — if anything, wealth will consolidate further. New wealth will emerge but it will not be evenly distributed or benefit all. I do think that 1/3 of the world’s population could be a potential Apple customer whether or not they can “afford” it (I don’t think most middle-class Americans with stable work and lives can necessarily “afford” it); with about 1/10 of that potential market actually becoming consumers of Apple. I think that’s fully within reason.

  438. @Nigel I think much of the doubt surrounding such a possibility arises from the difficulty in fathoming the extent of what this market will be in the future. Even though many on the OSS side of the fence also point to a time where billions are being served, they can’t imagine someone serving a conservative fraction of this market profitably for some reason. I have trouble imagining it myself: we are literally talking about the resources to marshall 24 hour, 365 day a year factory cities churning out millions upon millions of devices and turning on a dime to put out the next one (we already have this but it will multiple by an order of magnitude over the next decade); it is tough to imagine… but it is happening.

    Secondly, there is an old school resistance from many of us thinking about these devices when it comes to upgrade cycles, disposability (everything runs on consumable batteries that aren’t improving technologically fast enough), having numerous devices capable of the same thing but used in niches based on form factor, location, or use.

    When you overcome the awe imposed by the scale and last generation’s fixations on upgradability, extending the life of a product, and maximizing the utility of one more powerful device over numerous devices of lesser power, I don’t think anything I am saying is that unreasonable.

  439. Correction for clarity:

    “with about 1/10 of that potential market actually becoming consumers of Apple. I think that’s fully within reason.”

    Not 1/10 of the 1/3 potential market. 1/10 of the total market… or roughly 1/3 become actual consumers of that potential 1/3 market.

  440. @Tim F
    “The current mobile phone market is 4 billion with 1.5 billion actual users.”

    Worldwide global subscriptions reached 5 billion last year:
    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13970_7-10454065-78.html
    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phones_in_use

    It looks more like everyone in the developing world who can afford a mobile phone has one. I think 1.5 billion users is a serious underestimate.

    But all this “Apple can produce 1.5 phones” is useless. Apple commanding 30+% of the global mobile phone capacity is rather far fetched. Especially as the countries where these factories are in, will not want the USA command their industry. The moment the market outside the USA/Europe is larger than that of the USA, they will “make Apple go away”. Talk to any Chinese if you doubt that. In reality, billions of phones will be build by thousands of companies.

    But even that is not the really unlikely part. Apple simple does not want to cater to everyone, just to the “elite” who think they “think different”. Apple will not fight to sell low priced phones. That is not why they build phones in the first place. On the other hand, their competition is made up of companies for whom building phones is a core business. They will fight.

    This is not even a prediction. This is what is happening now. Korea is actively working to make their industry more independent. China is locking out foreign companies wherever they can. And Apple is not fighting to sell cheaper phones, even though they are below 20% globally (as Tim F stated). On the other hand, Android phone makers are competing vigorously against each other. New ones are entering the market continuously.

    And WP7 still does not sell. Ballmer still bets on Nokia
    http://www.dailytech.com/Ballmer+Admits+Windows+Phone+7+Sales+Are+Disappointing/article22747.htm

    Ballmer claims that one of the most important things that WP7 has going for it right now is the partnership with Nokia. Nokia is expected to roll out a strong lineup of WP7 Mango handsets by the end of the year.

    But Nokia is in complete disarray. And if MS treat Nokia special, that will not endear the other players anymore than Google building phones with Motorola.

    At the end of the year, there will be up to 500 million Smartphones sold, around half of which are Android phones. WP7 is nothing if not bland. There is really nothing that make it stand out in the crowd. So why should a bland product from a company notorious for its treacherous behavior, lies, and low quality storm the market? Why would anyone help MS realize their 80% margin by creaming off their profits?

    How will MS sell 100 million WP7 phones in a few months, which is what MS need to stay relevant?

  441. More on WP7 fail

    Nokia Releasing Windows Phone Devices in ‘Select Countries’
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2395032,00.asp

    When asked why Nokia was opting for a country-by-country rollout rather than a major, global release, Elop said Nokia needs to be “very deliberate in the sequence in which we roll things out because it is a significant shift for the organization in how we sell, how we manufacture, all of those different elements.”

    Considerations include different language variants, operator billing, network capabilities, and more. “So we’re being very deliberate, starting in certain markets, expanding again, continuing to expand and really having it blossom through the course of 2012,” Elop said.

    They are not only late, they are also doing it slowly.

  442. @winter Why are you so hot on WP7 failing? First was the duopoly thing. Now the fact that Nokia is going to do a staged roll out means its in disarray. Everyone does that. Apple, Samsung, etc. Apple didn’t launch in all countries…just 7.

    I can link to positive reviews of Mango all over the net including sites like Ars but I bet you’d ignore that like the links to debunk duopoly.

  443. @Nigel
    Oh, WP7 failing means MS is starting to ground. And without a third horse in the race, it will be almost inevitable that Android will be the global OS. A few years ago, Windows Phone looked like it could be a contender, but now, not so.

    All those that are lining up to produce WP7 phones have also been ambushed by MS into a “patent agreement”. You do not need a lot of imagination to suspect that producing a WP7 phone(s) was part of that “agreement”. It is unlikely that these companies are very hot for the idea to support yet another platform, especially an also-ran with zero appeal. Why so little, why so late?

    Nokia is in disarray according to the newspapers. The very people that have to design and produce this WP7 phone are convinced their CEO Elop is working for MS and against Nokia.
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/111014/nokia-workers-ceo-microsoft-iphone-linux

    The fact that Nokia is slowing down the release of their WP7 phone is just another sign of this.

    @Nigel
    “I can link to positive reviews of Mango all over the net including sites like Ars but I bet you’d ignore that like the links to debunk duopoly.”

    I have seen positive reviews of WP7 since it has been launched. What I read is “Look how great the UI is now“. It is much better than it was before. But it is not much better than iOS or Android. I saw no feature that you could not get on an iPhone or Android. But WP7 has orders of magnitude less apps to install. So why would people actually buy one? History is littered with marvelous computers that had no software and went bust.

    But just do the math. More than 50 million Android handsets are activated per quarter. When Mango phones get released, there will have been 250 million Android activations. Halfway 2012, there will have been over 350 million Android activations. If MS wants 10% of the market share of Android, they need to sell 35 million Mango phones in six months. Who is willing to bet on that? At what odds? And that will be much less than 10% of the world market of Smartphones.

    However you look at the numbers, Mango has neither the appeal to displace iPhone and Android nor can they move enough models and handsets into the markets to displace them.

    iOS and Android were much better than Symbian and Blackberry, so there was a good reason for people to switch. Nothing like that exists for Mango. And we still have to see whether Mango works as good as the competition when actually used as a Smartphone OS. I found the reviews suspiciously silent about the qualities of Mango as a Smartphone OS. WP7 too was hailed by everyone for its nice UI, but it proved to suck as a phone OS. And I found no information on the hardware requirements of Mango (which I find suspicious too). So I have no idea what such a handset must cost.

    I am biased, but even if I try to be completely honest and only look at the numbers, I can only conclude that Mango is a mee-to product that has no killer features and lacks both handset models and software when compared to the competition. And Mango starts 2 years late against a 500 million handset head start of the competition.

    Honestly, I cannot see any way to find a favorable loop hole for MS to get a fighting chance.

  444. Update for all those “warning” that Google wants to switch from it’s highly profitable search business to a loss making phone building business.

    Google: Motorola buy won’t put us into hardware business
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-20122461-17/google-motorola-buy-wont-put-us-into-hardware-business/

    “I don’t think you should consider Google’s acquisition of Motorola as Google entering the hardware business,” Rubin said during the interview. “This is going to be an arm’s length thing…Motorola isn’t going to get any special treatment.”

    Obviously, the author could find someone who was willing to disagree, if not now, then at least during the last few months:

    Speaking to CNET in August, Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg said that looking ahead, Motorola Mobility will be the search giant’s favorite, no matter what its executives say.

    “Any way (Google) tries to couch this, there’s no doubt Motorola is the most favored player,” Gartenberg said. “If I’m a third-party vendor, I have some real concerns here.”

  445. Tim F., my point was that you were estimating the smartphone market to be at least an order of magnitude larger than it probably will be, you were estimating Apple’s share of it to be probably another order of magnitude larger than it probably will be as well by assuming that the entire smartphone market you overestimated would also support high margin phones. You did this by not seeing what the total population of the world together with the per capita GDP boundaries were.

    Winter/Nigel: WP7 / Mango could be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but we already have sliced bread. No one has identified a reason for WP7 to shoulder its way past the smartphone lines that are already ahead of it and have widespread recognition, fan bases, application bases and sales channels. Microsoft can and is buying shelf space and industry coverage. Its harder to buy customers, although I’m sure Ballmer is trying to figure out how. If you see a bald guy in the slave markets pinching flesh, that’s probably him trying to buy a userbase in bulk.

  446. @SPQR

    “Tim F., my point was that you were estimating the smartphone market to be at least an order of magnitude larger than it probably will be”

    No, I am not. I am treating mobile touch OS devices as one market. I am estimating a market of both smartphones and tablets.

    “you were estimating Apple’s share of it to be probably another order of magnitude larger than it probably will be as well ”

    I am not following. You are claiming that 10% is an order of magnitude greater than it will be? So you say it will be 1%? Fine, that’s your theory. Saying I’m wrong doesn’t make you more right. Apple currently is in the 18% range. Claiming my 10% is less accurate than your 1% is not supported by any data to date.

    “by assuming that the entire smartphone market you overestimated would also support high margin phones”

    I’m not following. But again, I’m only estimating 10% and I’m not presuming margins necessarily remain high in the least. Do I think Apple will always be able to maintain higher margins than its competition? Probably. But in no way am I saying a disproportionate percentage of the world’s population will necessarily be buying expensive, high margin phones.

    “You did this by not seeing what the total population of the world together with the per capita GDP boundaries were.”

    Nope, totally taking this data into account.

  447. @SPQR
    “Microsoft can and is buying shelf space and industry coverage. Its harder to buy customers, although I’m sure Ballmer is trying to figure out how. If you see a bald guy in the slave markets pinching flesh, that’s probably him trying to buy a userbase in bulk.”

    My point indeed. They tried to do that with Bing. It cost them $6B and Bing still is not profitable (and will never, ever repay this investment).

    Buying customers was tried in the 90s dot.com boom. As far as I remember, it did not work.

  448. @SPQR (Further on this point:)

    “Tim F., my point was that you were estimating the smartphone market to be at least an order of magnitude larger than it probably will be”

    How can that be? I estimate a rough size of 10 billion. If that’s an order of magnitude too large, we have a problem because the mobile phone market is already 5 billion.

  449. @Winter Rubin also said he doesn’t want your phone to be your assistant.

    http://allthingsd.com/20111019/android-chief-says-your-phone-should-not-be-your-assistant/?refzone=topics_android

    “I don’t believe that your phone should be an assistant,” the Android chief said in an interview on Wednesday just after appearing on stage at AsiaD. “Your phone is a tool for communicating. You shouldn’t be communicating with the phone; you should be communicating with somebody on the other side of the phone.”

    But then Mathias Duarte said they did.

    http://thisismynext.com/2011/10/18/exclusive-matias-duarte-ice-cream-sandwich-galaxy-nexus/

    “We want to create wonder. We wanted to simplify people’s lives. Right now, there’s a common trap that can happen when you load up too much power into a piece of software that’s not that intelligent. Like the junior assistant that you hire, who instead of helping you by taking work of your plate, makes more work for you. We wanted that really senior assistant that really knows how to help.”

    I don’t trust anything coming out of these guys mouths; I will judge based on action.

  450. Tim F., “Nope, totally taking this data into account.” I don’t think that 10 to 15 billion smartphone/tablet devices in a 7 billion world population is taking data into account the boundary of population and per capita income. I think that that is your order of magnitude error.

  451. @SPQR

    “I don’t think that 10 to 15 billion smartphone/tablet devices in a 7 billion world population is taking data into account the boundary of population and per capita income. I think that that is your order of magnitude error.”

    Well, that’s not what you said, but whatever…

    I don’t have the links at my disposal at the moment, but I’ve already said there are 2.6 mobile phones per user. As these stats are out of date (thanks to Winter), I will try to track down and update with citations. (Winter’s update also demonstrates nearly a half billion increase in less than a year — an 8% increase. We are probably already at 5.5 billion… Not sure why he claims the market is saturated if his links clearly say it is continuing to grow.)

    But I would pose a few questions: Are you suggesting that smartphones never fully replace dumbphones? What do you think is the potential size of the smartphone market? (I will say easily 1.5x the world’s population.) What do you think is the potential market for tablets is? I think easily .75x the world population. Are you suggesting that the combined markets for tablets and cellphones will never reach the 10 billion figure?

    Again, I hope to follow up with more accurate data, including links, later this evening.

  452. @SPQR

    Also, to reiterate, it’s much easier to address your disagreement if you use terminology correctly. Saying that 10-15 billion is off by an order of magnitude is saying that you think it is only 1-1.5 billion. Which is clearly erroneous — it is already 500% greater than that (presuming dumphones transition to smartphones). An order of magnitude is not 1 billion or 3 billion or 5 billion off when you are already talking about billions.

  453. @SPQR

    I should add that if you really do feel that smartphones don’t replace dumbphones and that the smartphone market is constrained to 1.5 billion (or a little more than 20% of the world’s population), then I apologize for implying that you are using a term incorrectly. Of course, I thought most took it for granted that the smartphone market will be much larger than 1/5 the world’s population.

  454. @Winter Thanks for the additional data. I wanted to wait to respond to your comments until I had a chance to verify and confirm some of my data, but I will not wait. I do hope to provide more sources later this evening:

    “But all this “Apple can produce 1.5 phones” is useless. Apple commanding 30+% of the global mobile phone capacity is rather far fetched.”

    Unsure what that first sentence means nor does it correspond to anything I said. Also don’t know where you are getting 30%+. I am only projecting for 1 billion which is only 20% of the current market TODAY… And 20% is fairly reasonable since they already hold 18% of the global smartphone market.

    “Especially as the countries where these factories are in, will not want the USA command their industry.”

    Since when is it “command”? Now, with the vast majority of Asian production originating outside Asia, none of these industries feel “commanded” by the US. And you actually claim the US influence will become less. So where does “command” come from?

    “The moment the market outside the USA/Europe is larger than that of the USA, they will “make Apple go away”. Talk to any Chinese if you doubt that.”

    This is absurd. Once Asian or China production achieves a 50/50 mix, China isn’t going to just kill off 50% of their productivity. I know several Chinese folks, and even those who are quite vocal and active in the protest/reform movement do not want to cut the Chinese economy in HALF.

    “In reality, billions of phones will be build by thousands of companies.”

    No, billions of phones will be made by tens of companies with less than a handful making the majority. (You now sound like Shelby, claiming that corporate entities will now splinter into thousands of tiny mini-enterprises.

    “But even that is not the really unlikely part. Apple simple does not want to cater to everyone, just to the “elite” who think they “think different”. Apple will not fight to sell low priced phones. That is not why they build phones in the first place.”

    Agreed. You should tell all the people saying that Android is saving us from an Apple monopoly.

    “On the other hand, their competition is made up of companies for whom building phones is a core business. They will fight.”

    This is just silliness. The iPhone isn’t Apple’s core business? They aren’t fighting? Making silly pronouncements doesn’t make Sony-Ericcson or whoever better equipped to supply a larger number of phones than Apple. Not persuasive in the least.

    “This is not even a prediction. This is what is happening now.”

    Disagree.

    “Korea is actively working to make their industry more independent.”

    Korea is a mess because of the chaebols. Daewoo collapsed last decade and their technology might is concentrated in Samsung. Apple does a reasonable business in the zenophobic pennisula.

    “China is locking out foreign companies wherever they can.”

    China is Apple’s fastest growing market, will soon eclipse the US, and is welcoming Apple with open arms, rapidly expanding stores and actively consulting with Apple to get Apple to support their telecom standards.

    “And Apple is not fighting to sell cheaper phones, even though they are below 20% globally (as Tim F stated).”

    Yup, and they don’t have to. Nor have I ever suggested they would, could, or should. What’s the point? The upper class and rising middle class in China still represents their 2nd largest market and fuels a global gray market that creates 24/7 lines in Apple stores.

    “On the other hand, Android phone makers are competing vigorously against each other. New ones are entering the market continuously.”

    Yup, they are competing against each other and Apple. This weakens them. They make less money, have less of a share of the pie to grab. They cannabilize each other without a discernable impact to Apple.

  455. http://wmpoweruser.com/44-of-current-and-prospective-us-smartphone-owners-considering-windows-phone-7/

    There’s a good shot that WP7 hits 5% by Q1 2011. That’s a marked improvement from where they are now and a decent base to grow from.

    Me, I just like the platform, just like I liked WebOS before they nuked it. I like what I’ve seen of ICS too. 2.x less enamored with. I use iOS because I think it edges the other platforms out in terms of polish and design. That adds a lot to its real world usability.

  456. @Tom F
    10 billion smartphones is at the high end. I would think 5 billion more likely this decade. Given economics, I would be amazed if Apple would capture 10% of that market.

    Talk to a Chinese, and they will tell you that in the end they want a Chinese brand. They are incredibly nationalistic. Apple are in “fashion”, but will easily lose their appeal. And be sure that the Chinese government is planning to get Chinese companies taking over the market.

    @Nigel
    MS have never produced quality, only eye candy. They wasted $6B on Bing and it still is dissmal, just like their web server and OS. I find it hard to believe they can produce a top phone OS. Up to now they were even worse than Windows. Yes, they can noe do multitasking. Already, in 2011. If the app is well behaved.

  457. @Winter Who the hell is this Tom F. fellow? Anyway…

    “10 billion smartphones is at the high end. I would think 5 billion more likely this decade. Given economics, I would be amazed if Apple would capture 10% of that market.” Fine. We disagree.

    “Talk to a Chinese, and they will tell you that in the end they want a Chinese brand. They are incredibly nationalistic.”

    Not what I’m hearing at all from my Chinese friends.

    “Apple are in “fashion”, but will easily lose their appeal.”

    Back to the lame fashion bogeyman.

    “And be sure that the Chinese government is planning to get Chinese companies taking over the market.”

    Doubt they will ever be successful.

  458. @Tim F, when you extrapolate Apple’s 18% global share, you are implicitly making the false assumption that the smartphone prices will not fall drastically, or that Apple will be able to compete in the lower price markets and produce the same diversity of phones. Yet afaics iPhone does not exist in the lowest priced developing markets. People are diverse, some people want a slideout keyboard, some want the face of the keyboard to be pink, and that can be more important than any other aspect of the phone. People are fickle, especially when you talk about 80+% coverage of humanity. Even in China, iPhone’s coverage of the markets that are selling low priced dumb phones (now being supplanted by low priced Android phones), is insignificant and will always be.

    It doesn’t matter if ultimately Samsung and others end up in the dustbin of history. You don’t seem to appreciate that the maximum divsion-of-labor applies to the dynamic “here and now”. Asian manufacturers excel at low margin production and leveraging the strengths of others. Samsung is building a reputation as a high-quality alternative to Nokia in the dumb phone market, and now have leveraged that into being the #1 selling of smartphones in the developing markets. They are kicking Apple’s arse in these markets, iPhone isn’t even on sale.

    As for the demise of iPhone, the userbase for Android is going to be 10 times larger than iOS. Thus developer inertia will shift to the dominant platform.

    I am not predicting that global collectivism (end of nation-states) will be utopia, rather it is going to be a fascist hell. I would prefer the nation-states end with no world government, but that is not what people want, given their great idolization of concentration of resources, e.g. Apple’s profits and passive capital gains of shareholders, at the expense of a freer market place. I want a maximization of wealth, which means the most individual degrees-of-fitness. That means that every individual can contribute to the world economy and get paid for it, without it being funnelled through a corporation with parasitic passive capitalists whose vested interests (e.g. walled garden) inhibit the spread of technology and maximization of wealth. I don’t think you will understand, because you really have a totally different philosophy than me, so you probably can’t even wrap your mind around what I am trying to achieve. You only see the concentration of resources as progress. I see it is as rigid entity that is unability to adapt and fit to as many people as possible. This is what I mean by maximum division-of-labor, it means the maximum degrees-of-freedom. This is what the Unix and OSS philosophy is about at its core. It is about maximizing orthogonality and degrees-of-freedom.

  459. “is unability” should be “is an inability”. Several other typos but you can get my point.

  460. I missed the point about fabs. My point was that on the lower end (the billions of users), the hardware specs will stabilize and economy-of-scales will rise, i.e. the low end will not use the cutting edge screen resolution, etc.. This is the area where Apple can’t compete and fulfill the diversity of colors and shapes that the people want. And there will be no production capacity limit.

    The resolution of the western debt crisis, will see the relative incomes to the developing world rise. This alternative is world war, because it would mean the developed world has been allowed to implode. I am thinking the world government will offer collective “solutions” (new dollar, new Euro, with some gold backing, etc) once the bankers have milked as much inflation and bailout theft as they can out of current situation. However, it might need to go into war and chaos first.

  461. “There’s a good shot that WP7 hits 5% by Q1 2011.

    5% of what? Current shipments, current activations or 5% of installed smartphones? 5% total market share installed, inconceivable.

  462. “when you extrapolate Apple’s 18% global share”

    No, I actually allowed for Apple losing 80% of their current market share down to 10% — I did not extrapolate their current, consistent growth (although a very small growth it is observable).

    “you are implicitly making the false assumption that the smartphone prices will not fall drastically”

    No, I explicitly state that component and smartphone prices will decline, with Apple preserving a premium. I will also say that this decline is predictable and not “drastic.” Maybe dramatic for its benefit, but Moore’s law and other understandings of manufacturing electronic goods and the economics involved are pretty reliable these days.

    “or that Apple will be able to compete in the lower price markets and produce the same diversity of phones.”

    No, I assume Apple will continue to compete with a premium product. That they will do so with a diversified line but a family of products at the polar opposite of diverse as to seem like a “single” product. (Maybe some slight diversification from the 3 iphones and 1 iPad form. Maybe much more of a family much later in this transition.)

    “Yet afaics iPhone does not exist in the lowest priced developing markets”

    No, iPhone exists in many of the developing markets and will likely be in all that are feasible soon. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1937?viewlocale=tr_TR&locale=tr_TR

    No, even in unsubsidized, prepaid markets the 3GS, when available, is still competitive enough with the cheapest of phones.

    “People are diverse, some people want a slideout keyboard, some want the face of the keyboard to be pink, and that can be more important than any other aspect of the phone.”

    Yes, these are the people who are not served by Apple, they have options. I’m allowing for upwards of 90% of the world to be the unserved by Apple.

    “People are fickle, especially when you talk about 80+% coverage of humanity.”

    No, people are not fickle when it comes to Apple. Sure, a small few. But 90% of Apple owners are not fickle about their possessions.
    No, I have never talked about 80% coverage of humanity, I have talked 10%.

    “Even in China, iPhone’s coverage of the markets that are selling low priced dumb phones (now being supplanted by low priced Android phones), is insignificant and will always be.”

    Low-priced dumb phones are a dead business. I don’t want Apple to serve that market. That market is killing Nokia. Samsung’s mobile success is directly tied to their successful transition away from dumbphones. Why do I care about dumbphones? Don’t you get what the “Smartphone Wars” are about?

    “It doesn’t matter if ultimately Samsung and others end up in the dustbin of history. You don’t seem to appreciate that the maximum divsion-of-labor applies to the dynamic “here and now”. Asian manufacturers excel at low margin production and leveraging the strengths of others. Samsung is building a reputation as a high-quality alternative to Nokia in the dumb phone market, and now have leveraged that into being the #1 selling of smartphones in the developing markets. They are kicking Apple’s arse in these markets, iPhone isn’t even on sale.”

    I’m not sure what nonsense you are going on about again. I specifically, explicitly state that Samsung is Apple’s best competitor. They are running neck and neck. I explicitly say they will not fade away. It’s COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT. Instead YOU assume that you can relegate Apple to the dustbin of history when they beat Samsung last year and will probably beat them this year (all depends on strength of holiday quarter).

    “As for the demise of iPhone, the userbase for Android is going to be 10 times larger than iOS.”

    This was a fundamental assumption in my hypothetical explanation of how Apple grows to a billion devices per year served to a billion users.

    “Thus developer inertia will shift to the dominant platform.”

    I do not believe one dominant platform “wins”. I believe in sustainable platforms. A smaller ecosystem is sometimes more sustainable and, surprising, sometimes more profitable.

    “I am not predicting that global collectivism…”

    Blah blah blah…

    “And there will be no production capacity limit.”

    To the moon!

    “This alternative is world war, because it would mean the developed world has been allowed to implode. I am thinking the world government will offer collective “solutions” (new dollar, new Euro, with some gold backing, etc) once the bankers have milked as much inflation and bailout theft as they can out of current situation. However, it might need to go into war and chaos first.”

    Crackpot!

  463. @Shelby “Several other typos but you can get my point.”

    Not really.

  464. Oops, bad math typo:

    “No, I actually allowed for Apple losing 80% of their current market share down to 10%…”

    Should be: No, I actually allowed for Apple losing 44% of their current market share…

  465. @Shelby

    I would prefer the nation-states end with no world government, but that is not what people want, given their great idolization of concentration of resources

    What in the name of God are you talking about? I honestly cannot fathom what this, or half of the other gibberish you write, means.

    Your posts read like a bizarre hybrid marxist-anarchist manifesto that has been run through Google Translate from Korean.

  466. @spqr 5% us smartphone market share. They’re around 2% or so at the moment. That strikes me as a reasonable expectation.

    @shelby the point about the fabs is that to build more you have to buy the gear from developed countries. The ones you claim are going implode. Not that it matters. Developing countries don’t have fabs. They all sit in developed countries. US, EU, Korea, Taiwan, Japan. China isn’t a developing country in the way you mean it either.

  467. Shelby!!!

    World Government???? Don’t talk about those silly dream!!!!

    To achieve World Government, we would need a proper “holocaust”?
    A special burn offering to the great ‘eye’ that see’s all….

    So that prophesier king will finally come a destroy and rule mankind.
    “The Return of the KING”
    where peace and happiness will prevail through all mankind

    And we all be children of Noah again under….
    One Ruler and one World Government!!

    what a load of bullshit!!!

    One world government?

    Shelby, it won’t happen yet… To achieve it needs 2 things.
    1. A Great World War among the the Christian and ISLAM.
    2. A Great effort to sacrifice the rest of the ‘human resource’
    or a massive depopulation engineering through the belief of science.

    So why so will it not happen?

    I’m too lazy…. it’s too long. Maybe I’ll explain it later.

    But basicly the evil power at the top are a bunch of cowards.
    None of them want to sacrifice themselve by taking massive risk!
    They too can be assasinant or even Nuke.

    Rather they’ll live richly, more powerfully, be more controlling and maintain the status quo.

  468. @SPQR
    ‘“There’s a good shot that WP7 hits 5% by Q1 2011.”

    5% of what? Current shipments, current activations or 5% of installed smartphones? 5% total market share installed, inconceivable.’

    There is a funny thing in this “WP7 takes over Android!”. They first claim Android sucks because it is not perfect like iOS. Then they claim it will be overthrown by an OS that finally, this year, became able to support multitasking. Yes, an OS running on the same hardware as Android and iOS, that now will do multitasking. At least for software that has been written to support it.

    Given that previous versions of WP7 required quite expensive and beefy hardware, I suspect that it will not actually be cheaper than Android phones (unless MS spend another $6B in subsidies).

    So WP7, which will launch Q1 2012 with the price, feature set, and App market of Android Q1 2010, is the competitor that will break in the market and sell 5+ million handsets Q1 2012 and another 10+ million in Q2?

    Let me say I will not hold my breath.

    In the end, these “iPhone rulz” commentors tell us that the UI is everything. And as Mango is from MS, it must have a better UI/UX than that damned Linuxy thing, Android. So it must sell better. Else, their world collapses.

  469. @Winter

    In the end, these “iPhone rulz” commentors tell us that the UI is everything. And as Mango is from MS, it must have a better UI/UX than that damned Linuxy thing, Android. So it must sell better. Else, their world collapses.

    For what it is worth, let me say (as an iPhone apologist) that I have little to no interest in, or expectation of success for, Mango.

    I also challenge you to find any pro-Apple commentator who claims that ‘UI is everything’. This is not so. UI is not everything. It is one important factor in making a phone great. What I, and others, do claim is that it is the overall experience of using a device that is important, rather than technical specifications and other minutiae that do not matter to the average user. This is something quite distinct.

  470. Tim F, okay so if you admitting that iPhone could drop to single digit global share, then why are you arguing against Esr’s assertion that the mighty have fallen and will be disrupted from below?

    I suppose the only thing left to debate is whether a single digit marketshare platform can hold developer mind share? The history of computing says no.

    The 3GS is not SIGNIFICANTLY competitive in because it is only one phone, and people are diverse. Mentioning insignificant outliers is obfuscation.

    Low-priced dumb phones are a dead business

    More obfuscation. The point was those users are upgrading to low priced Android smartphones.

    Again you obfuscate about Apple beating Samsung, when the point is that Apple is up against Sony-Erricson, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Cherry Mobile, Huawei, etc..

    I believe in sustainable platforms

    Typical high school math ignorance, because most humans fail to understand that nature is logistic.

    “And there will be no production capacity limit.”

    To the moon!

    I didn’t write to the moon. I wrote that there is sufficient capacity to produce billions of low-end smartphones. Would like to bet me?

    Nigel, I have not predicted implosion of every aspect of the economy. I have said that it is most likely that indebted west will inflate away the debt, which means an impoverished middle class. I don’t think this will affect high tech production, except to shift some of the end user demand towards the developing world. It is amazing the statements that I never wrote that people here think they read in my comments.

    kk & Tim F, my macro economic predictions have been very accurate since 2006, and I bought gold and silver at $500 and $9. I also have published very accurate micro-economic predictions, e.g. several thousand readers of my marketoracle (uk) article from Oct 2010, that predicted silver to peak above $45 by summer and then fall to $26 (I was the only widely read analyst to write that). That is exactly what happened.

    Some crackpot is getting quite wealthy from his crackpot economics.

  471. @Shelby “Tim F, okay so if you admitting that iPhone could drop to single digit global share, then why are you arguing against Esr’s assertion that the mighty have fallen and will be disrupted from below?”

    Because I was pursuing a hypothetical using extremely conservative numbers as a starting point. However, even if I fundamentally believe that Apple’s market share may decrease over the entire transition, this does not necessarily accord with ESR’s rapid disruption set to begin any time now… or maybe it already has… despite there being no evidence of it.

    “I suppose the only thing left to debate is whether a single digit marketshare platform can hold developer mind share? The history of computing says no.”

    No, not the only question. No, history does not say so. No, holding developer mind share could easily have to do with having a sufficiently large and profitable platform, not a certain percentage point.

    “The 3GS is not SIGNIFICANTLY competitive in because it is only one phone, and people are diverse. Mentioning insignificant outliers is obfuscation.”

    You were arguing price, not choice. I’ve said Apple can compete without presenting choice and I have no problem with them limiting choice.

    “More obfuscation. The point was those users are upgrading to low priced Android smartphones.”

    So what? The low end of the market does not affect my hypothetical situation, my thoughts, etc.

    “Again you obfuscate about Apple beating Samsung, when the point is that Apple is up against Sony-Erricson, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Cherry Mobile, Huawei, etc..”

    Yup, and sustaining 18%.

    “Typical high school math ignorance, because most humans fail to understand that nature is logistic.”

    What does this mean? What does the cell division of a single-organism have to do with whether or not developers are happy producing for iOS? Again, don’t just mash terminology together and expect that to constitute an argument.

    “I didn’t write to the moon. I wrote that there is sufficient capacity to produce billions of low-end smartphones. Would like to bet me?”

    I’m aware what you did or did not write; I’m joking at your enthusiasm for cheap phones being the battlefront for this battle. It’s irrelevant to my thinking.

    “Some crackpot is getting quite wealthy from his crackpot economics.”

    Then you should be very worried when the collapse comes.

  472. @Shelby

    I also have published very accurate micro-economic predictions, e.g. several thousand readers of my marketoracle (uk) article from Oct 2010, that predicted silver to peak above $45 by summer and then fall to $26 (I was the only widely read analyst to write that). That is exactly what happened.

    Oh, you’re an analyst. That explains it.

  473. Tim F, do we have data that shows that iPhone is holding 18% global share, accounting for all the developing markets? I don’t know the statistical data to confirm, but my conjecture and anecdotal observation is that smartphones just in the past year or so, have started to gain significant volume in the developing markets (where iPhone is not for sale at vast majority of retail outlets), so the developed market unit volume may be soon be overwhelmed. So what I am saying is that I doubt your assertion of 18% and holding, and you have also admitted the possibility of single digit global share for iPhone in the future, and I believe it is imminent within 2 – 4 years probably. So I agree the mighty have fallen, because there is no viable way forward for iPhone to compete in providing cheap smartphones to those billions in the developing world who are upgrading from dumb phones. And because Nokia also has no Android smartphone offering, and when I went the retail outlets, they said mot customers are requesting Android. I saw a white color Sony-Ericsson Android phone with slide-out keyboard and low-res screen for about $150, and it was an advertised special with a huge banner in front of the retail outlet in the high traffic mall.

    “Profitable platform”, as in $345 billion for shareholders, and $3 billion a year for the entire universe of app programmers. Those numbers show that a walled garden doesn’t scale.

    Your response about the 3GS is more obfuscation. We are discussing here about global share. Android is taking the low-end, and 3GS is insignificant. It is about both price and choice.

    Your remaining points are:

    1. A million user market can retain developer mind share, even if the percentage share is single digits.
    2. Low-end markets don’t matter, because that is not where the concentrated profits for shareholders are.

    Those two points are more difficult to argue against, because it requires an agreement about the way free markets work. I understand economies-of-scale, maximum division-of-labor, and degrees-of-freedom. You will say I am throwing around terms wildly. Rather than try to teach you what I know, I prefer we make a little wager about the future?

    Then you should be very worried when the collapse comes.

    Debt collapse makes my investments go up. My other investments are in the rise of ubiquitous, networked computing.

  474. Tom, yes because it is possible to analyze what the big the money is doing and why they are doing what they do. And then it possible know why certain things have to be taken to certain price point at certain times. I could easily look at the metrics and see that the QE reflation would be losing steam by summer 2011, and that the govts and central banks would need a deflation scare in order to get political cover for pushing through more money printing. I see the big picture, because I understand that westerners are collectivists. This is how I knew the EU would not breakup, instead they would print more money. Which is exactly what they are doing.

  475. @Shelby

    “Tim F, do we have data that shows that iPhone is holding 18% global share, accounting for all the developing markets?” Yes, the 18% global share takes into account developing markets. Comscore doesn’t decide to calculate Apple’s global share differently by not counting the developing markets.

    “I don’t know the statistical data to confirm, but my conjecture and anecdotal observation is that smartphones just in the past year or so, have started to gain significant volume in the developing markets (where iPhone is not for sale at vast majority of retail outlets), so the developed market unit volume may be soon be overwhelmed.”

    You’ve said this about 15 times and I’ve said it’s irrelevant because Apple has larger shares in other countries that averages out to 18% global.

    “So what I am saying is that I doubt your assertion of 18% and holding…”

    Not my assertion, Comscore’s. You know, the data that ESR is using.

    ” So what I am saying is that I doubt your assertion of 18% and holding, and you have also admitted the possibility of single digit global share for iPhone in the future, and I believe it is imminent within 2 – 4 years probably.”

    No, I’ve allowed for a hypothetical decline to 10% over a long transition, maybe a decade a more. 10% is not a single digit number. I’m not much impressed with your arguments so I’m not concerned with Apple losing 50% market share. It has happened that fast for RIM or NOK, don’t foresee why it would be that fast for Apple.

    “So I agree the mighty have fallen…”

    And yet there is no data to show any fall.

    “because there is no viable way forward for iPhone to compete in providing cheap smartphones to those billions in the developing world who are upgrading from dumb phones.”

    Again, not Apple’s strategy and largely irrelevant to their current market share.

    “And because Nokia also has no Android smartphone offering, and when I went the retail outlets, they said mot customers are requesting Android. I saw a white color Sony-Ericsson Android phone with slide-out keyboard and low-res screen for about $150, and it was an advertised special with a huge banner in front of the retail outlet in the high traffic mall.”

    I don’t care about your little anecdote from the Phillipines. Doesn’t tell me about the global share.

    ““Profitable platform”, as in $345 billion for shareholders, and $3 billion a year for the entire universe of app programmers. Those numbers show that a walled garden doesn’t scale.”

    No, it does not — it shows that Apple makes more on hardware than they do on software. You seem to keep ignoring that LESS money has been made on Android. That everyone copied Apple’s 70/30 split.

    “Your response about the 3GS is more obfuscation. We are discussing here about global share. Android is taking the low-end, and 3GS is insignificant. It is about both price and choice.”

    Of course, it’s relevant. Much more relevant than you ignoring the data but then using your crackpot theories as “proof.”

    “1. A million user market can retain developer mind share, even if the percentage share is single digits.”

    It’s already a multi-hundred million user market. And I think it will continue to grow. Not sure where you come up with 1 million users.

    “Low-end markets don’t matter, because that is not where the concentrated profits for shareholders are.”

    To some extent. It’s more that it’s irrelevant if they have very small share in nations with very little wealth if they can maintain global share with higher shares in developed nations.

    “Those two points are more difficult to argue against, because it requires an agreement about the way free markets work.

    I haven’t seen much successful argument from you, the first point is not mine (you made it up) so I’m unsure why you think these are the only 2 points you need to address.

    “Rather than try to teach you what I know, I prefer we make a little wager about the future?”

    Sure, you claim Apple will have single digit share of smartphones in 2 years. I bet $1000 dollars this is not the case.

  476. @Tim F.:

    Sure, you claim Apple will have single digit share of smartphones in 2 years. I bet $1000 dollars this is not the case.

    It depends on how you define smartphones. If history is a guide, the definition of smartphone will keep retreating to the high ground, and will be hotly debated, which makes this a sucker’s bet.

    The smartphone market is a subcategory of the cellphone market, but the distinction between dumbphones and smartphones is growing blurrier as chip vendors bring their highest powered offerings to the biggest markets.

    As of Q2 of this year (and Apple did worse in Q3, though they will probably rebound a bit in Q4), Apple only had about 4.6% of the global cellphone market, which is (for example) less than 1/3 of Samsung’s 16.3% and less than 1/4 of Nokia’s 22.8%.

    Nokia is not making enough profit and is in serious trouble. For example, Nokia’s year-on-year drop in cellphone market share was 7.5%. That’s right — Nokia lost 1.6 times Apple’s total current cellphone marketshare over the course of a year. In fact, in smartphones alone, Nokia lost 19% marketshare in a year — in a single year, Nokia lost more than Apple’s total Q2 smartphone marketshare.

    Samsung doesn’t have these problems, and sells enough units to maintain great manufacturing and distribution channels, and enough high-end smartphones to maintain reasonable profit. Other smaller vendors don’t require the margin of an Apple or even a Samsung. It’s a rough and tumble world at the bottom, which is exactly why Android is poised to play there — free software on top of really cheap hardware with reasonable performance.

    If Apple continues to execute well, they can certainly keep making money hand over fist, but I think it is unlikely their global cellphone market share will grow much, and extremely unlikely that it will exceed 10%.

    References:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/09/the-no-name-companies-selling-more-phones-than-samsung-lg-and-apple-combined/245232/

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20111018-707747.html

    I have seen elsewhere (can’t find it now) that the IDC report referenced below doesn’t include grey market and no-name phones:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20085342-37/iphone-doubles-world-market-share-outpaces-rivals/

  477. Apple might do somewhat better this quarter, but it appears that last quarter a single Android vendor whipped them pretty handily in terms of unit smartphone shipments:

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/20/samsung_ships_20m_smartphones_besting_apples_17_1m_iphones.html

    Of course, Apple makes a lot more profit, has a lot fewer SKUs, yadda yadda yadda. That’s all well and good for Apple, but unless they get some serious traction with their lawsuits, they’re still going to be relegated to niche status sooner rather than later. Which might or might not not mean much to Apple’s bottom line, but is great for those of us who want to see more open ecosystems thrive.

  478. @Patrick last quarter everyone was waiting for the new phone. Hence the pent up demand and huge launch for the 4S. Demand that Apple does not expect to wane, hence the very high estimates for next qtr.

    The fact is that Apple sold 17M 1-2 year old phones (4 and 3GS) against the latest and greatest Android phones. Analyst forecasts estimate anywhere from 28M to a rather excessively optimistic 42M (by UBS).

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/21/ubs_estimates_42_5m_iphones_to_be_sold_worldwide_in_holiday_quarter.html

    Personally, I doubt Apple can MAKE 42M phones next qtr so UBS is smoking something good.

    As far as open goes, none of those apps you buy are open. The important Google software isn’t open either. Neither ecosystem promotes a FOSS mindset over a proprietary one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_free_software_Android_applications

  479. Hence the pent up demand and huge launch for the 4S. Demand that Apple does not expect to wane, hence the very high estimates for next qtr.

    As I already said, “Apple might do somewhat better this quarter” and “yadda yadda yadda.” Which part of that did you not understand, or led you to believe that I didn’t understand that there was a certain amount of pent-up demand? BTW, pent-up demand forecasts have been notoriously bad. See, e.g., how 102% of Verizon customers were going to switch to iPhone on opening day back in February. I understand that a lot of phones were sold in the first week of 4s availability, but that may or may not cover everybody who was waiting. Time will tell. Also, btw, AT&T was selling old iphones for $0 pretty much the whole last quarter, and still managed to sell almost as many non-Apple phones as Apple phones.

    As far as open goes, none of those apps you buy are open.

    That’s a “well, duh.” Most Android apps aren’t sold. Most open source apps aren’t sold. The intersection of sold Android apps and sold open source apps should be big?

    The important Google software isn’t open either.

    For an interesting definition of “important,” sure.

    Neither ecosystem promotes a FOSS mindset over a proprietary one.

    Apple’s ecosystem is inherently FOSS-unfriendly. Google’s is not.

    But there is also more to open than just the FOSS sense. As in the sense that anybody can produce an app that anybody else can put onto their phone without a gatekeeper.

    As in the sense that anybody can produce an app for their own phone for free.

    But since you mention FOSS, the fact that any hardware manufacturer can install Android for free (modulo some harassment by Microsoft) seems to be working out OK.

  480. @Patrick Maupin If you’d like, you can have the same wager. Or if you’d like to argue total cellphone market share, you can have the bet that Apple still has more than 5% in one full year.

  481. @Tim F.
    “Or if you’d like to argue total cellphone market share, you can have the bet that Apple still has more than 5% in one full year.”

    5% is still single digit market share. And Android will most likely reach 5% this year. And we are not interested in October 2012, but October 2016.

    Let’s do the math. On 5+ billion phone subscriptions, 5% would be 250+ million iPhones in use. That is quite a statement. In March this year only 108 million iPhones had been sold, with some 20 million over 2 years old:
    http://ipod.about.com/od/glossary/f/how-many-iphones-sold.htm

    That was a doubling in one year from 2010. But even with a doubling again, Apple would have difficulty getting at 250 million phones, given that quite a number of phones would have been decommissioned. And in 2012, the mobile phone market itself will have grown markedly.

    But it all boils down how you define “market share” and who’s numbers you would use.

  482. @Patrick Maupin: “But since you mention FOSS, the fact that any hardware manufacturer can install Android for free (modulo some harassment by Microsoft) seems to be working out OK.”

    Samsung now pays 15$ per Android phone to Microsoft. It appears that the potential for harassment by Microsoft is not negligeable. HTC also pays a microsoft tax. The end result is that for the handset manufacturers Android is no longer a free (as in beer) option.

  483. @Winter “5% is still single digit market share.”

    And it’s a different market than the one I have mostly been talking about: smartphones.

    “And we are not interested in October 2012, but October 2016.”

    ESR’s theory is that the collapse has already begun or about to begin. Not that it will happen in 5 years.

    “That is quite a statement.”

    Actually you are now confusing install base and market share and ignoring that it’s Comscore, the official data source of ESR, that says Apple already has 5.6% of current cellphone market share. It’s not quite a statement; it’s an agreed upon fact.

    “But it all boils down how you define “market share” and who’s numbers you would use.”

    No, it boils down to you wanting to move the goalposts when we’ve gone industry-agreed upon and relatively reliable market stat firms presenting data that accords with my numbers.

  484. @Tim F.
    “Actually you are now confusing install base and market share and ignoring that it’s Comscore, the official data source of ESR, that says Apple already has 5.6% of current cellphone market share. It’s not quite a statement; it’s an agreed upon fact.”

    So, if I understand it correctly. iPhone market share is what is sold today?

    So, hypothetically, if Apple sells all their iPhones in October 2012, then their market share is their sales in October divided by the total number of mobile phones sold in October? That could be 5% in October. Whereas, in this hypothetical scenario, their market share in November 2011-September 2012 would be 0%. That is right, isn’t it?

    I missed that one (frankly, I forgot, never been good at marketing).

    Indeed, that sounds like a sucker’s bet: Calculating market share of units sold on a monthly basis in the month Apple will release their next model.

    Actually, I am completely uninterested in the market share of iPhones sold in October 2012. I have a suspicion, that this holds for Eric and most other Android users. I am much more interested in installed base. Here we have Android approaching 5% of the global market, and iPhone half of that. That sounds like a useful statistic.

  485. @Winter Market Share is market share. How have you been using it? It is the % of total current sales. This is the same definition that ESR has been using for all his posts. Is he using sucker stats?

    “Indeed, that sounds like a sucker’s bet: Calculating market share of units sold on a monthly basis in the month Apple will release their next model.”

    Which is why I will take the market share figure for an entire year — to even out product releases and other short term effects. Didn’t I say the bet was for next year — what’s this nonsense about next quarter only?

    “Actually, I am completely uninterested in the market share of iPhones sold in October 2012. I have a suspicion, that this holds for Eric and most other Android users.”

    No, I’m firmly confident that ESR’s theory requires observable declines to begin NOW and going forward.

    “I am much more interested in installed base. ”

    Very little commentary here at ESR’s site demonstrates this.

    “Here we have Android approaching 5% of the global market, and iPhone half of that.” I don’t think that’s what user base stats say, but I’d be happy to look at them.

    “That sounds like a useful statistic.”

    Hilarious that you are now dumping the fundamental basis for ESR’s theory (although I’ve never been able to comprehend why ESR thinks its appropriate to only look at the US and not the whole world) over many, many months and innumerable posts to cherrypick a stat you think says something you like.

  486. @Tim F:

    @Patrick Maupin If you’d like, you can have the same wager.

    I already told you, that’s a sucker’s bet. The definition of smartphone keeps changing.

    Or if you’d like to argue total cellphone market share, you can have the bet that Apple still has more than 5% in one full year.

    AFAIK, when you include no-name and grey market cellphones, Apple’s share is actually already below 5% (4.6% according to one source). But real people actually buy and use those greymarket/no-name cellphones, so that really is part of the total market. Are you betting that Apple’s share will increase? (Actually, I could believe a slight increase for awhile — see below.)

    And it’s a different market than the one I have mostly been talking about: smartphones.

    No. It’s not. It’s really not. It’s a huge continuum, with both the low end and the high end getting more powerful monthly.

    it’s Comscore, the official data source of ESR, that says Apple already has 5.6% of current cellphone market share. It’s not quite a statement; it’s an agreed upon fact.

    Do you have a pointer to that report? I don’t see it right off the bat. Most of the comscore numbers are installed base.

    @Nigel:

    I notice also that no one has taken you up on that bet either.

    I think there is still some room for growth for Apple in cellphone marketshare. For example, according to Comscore, Apple has slightly under 9% of the installed US base of smartphones. This could go up a couple of percentage points, especially as US carriers continue to make the cellphone “free.” Likewise, Apple’s percentage of global cellphones could go up a bit as more consumers switch over to smartphones. I think that Apple’s global share of the actualy smartphone market will be dropping, but I’m not taking any bet that depends on the ever-changing definition of smartphone. Even the definition of cellphone handsets is changing, these days…

  487. @Tim F:

    @Winter Market Share is market share. How have you been using it? It is the % of total current sales. This is the same definition that ESR has been using for all his posts. Is he using sucker stats?

    The Comscore US subscriber numbers are installed base of subscribers 13 years and older, not current sales.

  488. “I am much more interested in installed base. ”

    Very little commentary here at ESR’s site demonstrates this.

    There has been some confusion on this point, but overall it’s quite true that installed base is what we’re interested in. Google for my name and “installed base” on site:esr.ibiblio.org, and you will find this to be the case.

    Basically we’re looking at ecosystems, not flash-in-the-pans. The US subscriber comscore numbers actually make Apple look better than it really is (vs. Android), for the simple reason that Apple had a huge head start.

    Nielsen puts out current sales numbers most quarters.

  489. So now it’s a sucker bet because the meaning of the term smartphone might evolve in the next year. LOL.

    Because, Android’s massive soon to be 90% share dominance can be reworded away so easily…which, if so, doesn’t imply good things about your arguments for that 90% market share translating into developer mindshare dominance and Apple becoming a niche player.

    Pushing your new expectations of world dominance out to October 2016 is pretty…ah…timid. 5 years ago the iPhone didn’t even exist on the market.

  490. @Nigel
    “Pushing your new expectations of world dominance out to October 2016 is pretty…ah…timid.”

    Not really. Replacing 5 billion mobile phones with a new platform will take some time. Switching the production capacity of all mobile phone producers to a new platform takes time. Moreover, mobile phones in the developing world tend to be used somewhat longer than in the USA.

    That is the problem with all you Apple fans. You think small, very very small.

    We are talking about changing the way humanity (all 7 billion of them) will communicate and compute. All you can talk about is how spectacular the newest iPhone model sold in it’s first weekend. All bling-bling, no substance.

  491. @Nigel:

    You do this crap a lot. Point to exactly where I said Android would have 90% marketshare.

  492. @Patrick Maupin

    “I already told you, that’s a sucker’s bet. The definition of smartphone keeps changing.”

    I disagree with this notion that the smartphone definition is so fluid, but nonetheless: this is why I changed the bet to total cellphones for you.

    “AFAIK, when you include no-name and grey market cellphones, Apple’s share is actually already below 5% (4.6% according to one source).”

    I thought we were excepting ESR’s definitions and data. I am talking about a change in their current data (5.5-5.6%) to less than 5%.

    “No. It’s not. It’s really not. It’s a huge continuum, with both the low end and the high end getting more powerful monthly.”

    Which is why I am willing to use total cellphone market share — because you decided to move the goalposts and say we have no idea what a smartphone is or will be.

    “Most of the comscore numbers are installed base.”

    No, they are not. Comscore presents smartphone market share, install base, cell market share, cell install base, platform market share, install base and then regional/national breakdowns. ESR links to the US market share; you can find global market share on your own.

    “I think there is still some room for growth for Apple in cellphone marketshare.”

    As long as we’re in agreement in disagreeing with ESR’s thesis.

    “Basically we’re looking at ecosystems, not flash-in-the-pans.”

    No, ESR is quite specifically using market share (and US share only at that) and he believes their is an imminent, precipitous drop coming.

    “The Comscore US subscriber numbers are installed base of subscribers 13 years and older, not current sales.”

    I’m not sure why everyone is confused all of a sudden: the word “subscriber” doesn’t turn Comscore’s market share data into install base data.

    @Winter

    “Not really. Replacing 5 billion mobile phones with a new platform will take some time. Switching the production capacity of all mobile phone producers to a new platform takes time. Moreover, mobile phones in the developing world tend to be used somewhat longer than in the USA.”

    Okay, you too disagree with ESR’s thesis that their is an imminent, precipitous collapse for iPhone market share in the near term as well. Fine.

    “That is the problem with all you Apple fans. You think small, very very small. ”

    Odd, I had thought I had been arguing the long play here all along. And now people are coming out of the woodwork to shift the goalposts, disregard the data, confuse basic market definitions because they no longer have have in ESR’s fundamental thesis.

    “We are talking about changing the way humanity (all 7 billion of them) will communicate and compute. All you can talk about is how spectacular the newest iPhone model sold in it’s first weekend. All bling-bling, no substance.”

    Um, no. Has anything remotely approaching that come up?

    It’s hilarious: people taunt me to wager on my beliefs and I agree. I pick terms that I think my argument can reasonably meet, but anyone who actually believes in ESR’s thesis (!) should jump at, they should see it as a sucker bet… and now all of a sudden it’s a much longer game, not an imminent collapse… now it’s a slow decline over 5 or more years.

  493. @Tim F.
    “and now all of a sudden it’s a much longer game, not an imminent collapse… now it’s a slow decline over 5 or more years.”

    I see no reason to defend Eric’s predictions, and that holds probably for all other commentors here. My own prediction is that Android will take 90+% of mobile phones at some time. I have no predictions on Apple’s fate, so you will have to find someone else to address your wages to.

    As I are clueless about mobile phone production, I will not even venture to predict when that will happen. I think as soon as technically possible (cost decreases, production capacity, etc.). Five years looks like a good time window.

    If I would make any prediction, then it would be that a year from now, Ballmer will not be CEO of MS anymore and MS will have started to sell of business units to “concentrate on core competences”, ie, milking Office and patent trolling. WP7 and Bing will be dead by then.

    And, no, I never bet, and I will not start now.

  494. @Winter “I see no reason to defend Eric’s predictions, and that holds probably for all other commentors here.”

    Okay. I think it’s clearly erroneous that most people here wouldn’t defend or don’t believe ESR’s thesis, but as long as you are clear that you do not. I was confused because I see you inject small data points into this discussion asking whether or not it speeds up Eric’s prediction and other comments on the accuracy of his linear fit… But going forward, I will not misconstrue you as a defender of ESR’s thesis.

  495. @Tim F.

    To be precise. I do think Eric is right when he predicts the growth of Android, say, in the coming 12 months. I think he is right that Android will overtake the mobile phone market, that is 90+% of the global market (installed base). I too believe that the iPhone will end up with single digit market share compared to all Android units, world wide.

    But how that will affect Apple and the iPhone, I have no thoughts on. I am not interested enough in Apple future for such predictions.

  496. ‘To be precise. I do think Eric is right when he predicts the growth of Android, say, in the coming 12 months. I think he is right that Android will overtake the mobile phone market, that is 90+% of the global market (installed base). I too believe that the iPhone will end up with single digit market share compared to all Android units, world wide.”

    Core to ESR’s thesis is that we have approached the time where we will be able to see an observable collapse in Apple’s market share via Comscore’s US data. Do you agree with that or not? Jesus, you people are tough to pin down.

  497. @Winter “I too believe that the iPhone will end up with single digit market share compared to all Android units, world wide.

    But how that will affect Apple and the iPhone, I have no thoughts on.”

    Please reconcile these two statements. The first sounds like a definite prediction affecting the Apple and the iPhone; the second sounds like weaseling out so you don’t have to back up your belief. Maybe I’m missing something so I don’t want to misinterpret you. Can you please clarify?

  498. @Tim F.

    ESR links to the US market share

    Eric links to the installed base (which is one definition of market share, but not the current sales one you are using). I don’t have time to read the rest of your post right now, but this is pretty fundamental.

  499. @Patrick Maupin

    No, Patrick, Comscore’s, ESR’s, and my definitions of market share are the same and in perfect accord. ESR’s linked market share data (and hence Comscore’s) is not installed base whatsoever.

  500. @Tim F.
    I have no idea how Apple and the iPhone will develop. I do not care. Whether Apple will be the most profitable company in the world or go bust. I really neither caer nor know.

    Is that clear enough?

  501. @Winter

    “I have no idea how Apple and the iPhone will develop. I do not care. Whether Apple will be the most profitable company in the world or go bust. I really neither caer nor know.”

    But “the iPhone will end up with single digit market share compared to all Android units, world wide.” The two don’t reconcile. Either you think it will slide to single digit market share compared to Android or you don’t.

  502. @Tim F.

    No, Patrick, Comscore’s, ESR’s, and my definitions of market share are the same and in perfect accord. ESR’s linked market share data (and hence Comscore’s) is not installed base whatsoever.

    You’re wrong.

  503. @Tim F.
    Yes,the iPhone will end up with 90%.

    I have never asserted otherwise.

  504. Something went awdully wrong:

    Should be iPhone 10-% and Android 90+%. Global mobile phones.

  505. @Patrick Maupin “You’re wrong.”

    No, you are wrong. I’m sorry that you do not understand the accepted definition of market share, but ESR’s data is most certainly market share and not install base.

  506. @Winter

    “I have never asserted otherwise.”

    Well, you just asserted “I have no idea how Apple and the iPhone will develop. I do not care. Whether Apple will be the most profitable company in the world or go bust. I really neither caer nor know.” Which is definitively OTHERWISE to claiming that you know they will have less than 10% market share.

  507. @Patrick Maupin I should clarify that ESR is tracking both. But the numbers in question the numbers ESR has primarily based his theories on, the numbers he has projected are Comscore market share data (ie approx 50% and 27% in the US for Android and iPhone respectively, 18% worldwide for iPhone, and 5% iPhone cell phone market share worldwide). And this is the same data I am speaking of. And it is also the generally accepted definition of market share.

  508. @Tim F.

    I’m sorry that you do not understand

    You’re still wrong, and you’re being a dickhead about it, to boot.

    The comscore market share numbers Eric uses are for installed base. “Market share” can mean either installed base or current sales, which is why I usually say “installed base” or “current sales” when the context isn’t clear.

    But don’t take my word for it. Go read one of the comscore press releases. Then come back here, and we’ll test your reading comprehension on paragraphs like:

    For the three-month average period ending in August, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 0.5 percentage points from the prior three-month period), followed by LG with 21.0 percent share and Motorola with 14.0 percent share. Apple strengthened its position at #4 with 9.8 percent share of mobile subscribers (up 1.1 percentage points), while RIM rounded out the top five with 7.1 percent share.

    BTW, I was planning on reading and thinking about the rest of your post, but you’ve so far made it abundantly clear that you don’t know wtf you’re talking about, and you’re an asshole anyway, so that would probably be a huge waste of my time.

  509. @Patrick Maupin Nothing in that quote says install base. There is no context under which “market share” may mean “install base” or “share of sales.” This is why Comscore has both market share and install base data.

  510. @Everyone Can someone other than me explain to Patrick Maupin what market share means, because I’m an asshole apparently for trying.

  511. @Tim F:

    Nothing in that quote says install base.

    Well, actually, it’s “installed,” not “install.” And it doesn’t say it directly, which is why it’s a reading comprehension test. Let’s see, the first sentence says: “For the three-month average period ending in August, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices.” Then, the second sentence starts off “Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.3 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 0.5 percentage points from the prior three-month period)”.

    This leads to a question: Is this 25.3% of new sales? No, unlike one of the Gartner reports, it doesn’t say that. It says “of U.S. mobile subscribers.” And it directly follows a sentence that says how many U.S. mobile subscribers we’re discussing. So, unless you think that 234 million U.S. subscribers acquired new phones over the course of a quarter, it’s pretty obviously about installed base.

    Can someone other than me explain to Patrick Maupin what market share means, because I’m an asshole apparently for trying.

    No, you’re an asshole for saying things like “I’m sorry that you do not understand.”

  512. @Tim F.
    Others claimed vocally that Apple can be a successful company indefinitely with less than 10% marketshare. I do not plan to contest that. Even 5% of 5 billion is a lot indeed.

    As I said. I do not care what they do with their 5%.

  513. @Patrick Maupin Okay, maybe I am misinterpreting Comscore’s usage of “market share.” If that’s so, it’s largely because you were mis-using other stats:

    “For example, according to Comscore, Apple has slightly under 9% of the installed US base of smartphones.”

    No, it says they have 9.8% (not under 9%) of the US installED base of smartphones and non-smartphones — all cellphones (not just smartphones). And your moving of the goalposts to total cellphones rather than just smartphones.

    So, yes, I apologize for an error that may have gotten us off on a tangent… (Would you care to explain ESR’s user base data to me since I am now confused)
    However, put the diversion that you and Winter have now traveled down aside… My point remains funadmentally unchanged. Is anyone willing to take the bet that based on Comscore’s “Market share/installed base” for the entire year 2012 Apple’s total cellphone share will remain north of 5%? Or take the bet that based on Comscore’s “Market share/installed base” data for the entire year 2013 for Apple’s smartphone share will be less than 10%? (i.e. using the same data sources we are now using will Apple move from 5%+ to less than 5% and/or will Apple move from 27% to less than 10%)

    Both remain fundamentally “sucker bets” based on confidence in ESR’s theory.

  514. @Winter

    “Others claimed vocally that Apple can be a successful company indefinitely with less than 10% marketshare. I do not plan to contest that.”

    I’m not asking you to measure the success of Apple from a small share of the market. I am asking you if you are willing to back up the belief that it will fall to those levels in the near term (as supported by ESR) or if you merely think it will happen at some point in the future (possibly far off).

  515. @Tim F.:

    No, it says they have 9.8% (not under 9%)

    Yes, I was looking at the previous 3 month’s column when I typed that in a hurry (8.7%).

    Would you care to explain ESR’s user base data to me since I am now confused)

    The userbase data simply takes the comscore data and correlates it month-to-month.

    My point remains funadmentally unchanged. Is anyone willing to take the bet that based on Comscore’s “Market share/installed base” for the entire year 2012 Apple’s total cellphone share will remain north of 5%

    In the U.S., it almost certainly will remain north of 5%. You never gave me the pointer to comscore’s global data that I asked for, so I’m not sure exactly what data you are expecting to bet on now. I’m also not particularly interested in defending your interpretation of someone else’s theory — it’s too much work for me to go back and read exactly what you think the theory is and why you think those absolute numbers are that important. Personally, I doubt that Apple will get anywhere near 10% global cellphone marketshare, and I think (assuming a static definition of smartphone) that their global smartphone marketshare will drop over the next year — basically, as the world switches from dumb/feature phones to smartphones, Apple’s cellphone share will go up and their smartphone share will go down. But I think the former is transitory and the latter is for keeps.

    But I’m not inclined to place a one-year bet in any case. Apple has enough cachet, and enough cash in the bank and enough manufacturing clout that over the next year, their marketshare will be exactly where they feel they need it to be. It remains to be seen what Tim Cook has in mind, but they could easily give away a year’s worth of phones if they thought it would help them out…

  516. @Patrick Maupin

    “In the U.S., it almost certainly will remain north of 5%.” But I’m pointing to GLOBAL market share of ALL cellphones. This is IDC data. The most recent release, I believe, can’t find it at the moment.

    “Personally, I doubt that Apple will get anywhere near 10% global cellphone marketshare, and I think (assuming a static definition of smartphone) that their global smartphone marketshare will drop over the next year.”

    And you’re now misinterpreting this wager or my earlier hypothetical. Shelby wants to wager: I posed the wager that Apple would not have single digit smartphone marketshare globally, within the next two years. They currently have 18%.

    “I’m also not particularly interested in defending your interpretation of someone else’s theory — it’s too much work for me to go back and read exactly what you think the theory is and why you think those absolute numbers are that important.”

    The absolute numbers are important because the “predictions” here are so vague. I’ve been reading for months now that we may have already reached a tipping point and I’m told that at this tipping point Apple will bleed share like a cut artery. I want to be able to measure the accuracy of this “prediction.” You, of course, don’t need to defend it — particularly if you don’t agree with it. However, you seemed to jump in just as we were discussing a wager so I thought you wanted a part of it. It is certainly offered to Shelby, and some clarification from ESR would be helpful.

    The wagers are merely a way of demonstrating that there is no near-term collapse imminent for Apple’s share by any reasonable metric.

    “Apple has enough cachet, and enough cash in the bank and enough manufacturing clout that over the next year, their marketshare will be exactly where they feel they need it to be.”

    Again, as far as I can intrepret ESR’s theory, you disagree with him. He feels Apple will rapidly, discernably lose share starting now, or yesterday, or tomorrow. I would appreciate specificity because I can’t determine when this tipping point actually happens (as I’ve said, ESR has used it as a bogeyman several times “may have already happened”, he’s stated mid 3q2011 (already passed), and at 50% market share in the US according to Comscore (which is probably right now, or possibly next month). The next question is how do we measure this blood letting. You and other more reasonable folks are unwilling to count Apple out for a year or more or even longer, but ESR conveys the impression that it will be comparable, if not worse than, Nokia’s decline. And I certainly argue that this theory (if correctly interpreted) is false.

  517. @Tim F.

    You keep talking about others moving the goalposts, but then you talk about comscore global smartphone numbers, then change to IDC and a report you can’t find, while at the same time you say “the absolute numbers are important because the “predictions” here are so vague.” Which is really funny because you were absolutely certain the comscore numbers were about sales. Whatever.

    The Gartner numbers (which, apparently unlike the IDC numbers, include no-name and knockoffs) show that in Q2, Apple’s sales (not installed base) were around 4.6% of the total global cellphone market:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/09/the-no-name-companies-selling-more-phones-than-samsung-lg-and-apple-combined/245232/

    I imagine they were a lot smaller last quarter, since Apple’s sales dropped from 19M to 17M, and Android sales are still ramping. But I also imagine that Apple sales will go up a lot this quarter, maybe even above 30M if that’s what Apple wants — they have come out swinging with the iPhone 4s, they are still selling lots of low-priced or zero-priced older models, and Tim Cook probably has the urge to prove himself to the analysts.

    I’ve been reading for months now that we may have already reached a tipping point and I’m told that at this tipping point Apple will bleed share like a cut artery…. [esr] feels Apple will rapidly, discernably lose share starting now, or yesterday, or tomorrow.

    Oh, I agree they are and will be losing smartphone share. But I think that at this point in time they have sufficient resources to give them a lot of control over the contour of the loss. I don’t know whether they will gracefully retreat to the high end and have a softish landing, or whether they will attempt to buy marketshare in an insane attempt to stanch the growth of Android. I do know that they are acting like a typical mortally wounded corporation by suing everybody in sight with bogus patents. But that’s probably mostly because Steve Jobs (rest his soul) was a jerk.

  518. @Patrick Maupin “You keep talking about others moving the goalposts, but then you talk about comscore global smartphone numbers, then change to IDC and a report you can’t find, while at the same time you say “the absolute numbers are important because the “predictions” here are so vague.” ”

    I absolutely will use any data necessary to prove a point. My thoughts haven’t changed in anyway.

    “The Gartner numbers (which, apparently unlike the IDC numbers, include no-name and knockoffs) show that in Q2, Apple’s sales (not installed base) were around 4.6% of the total global cellphone market:”

    Okay. I’m not going to treat that as a decline from what IDC calls 5.6%, but okay. This is partly why I consider all the numbers. If you want to use Gartner’s data, and make a wager, I would probably wager that next year it wouldn’t be below 4%. Not a major concern to me that these firms disagree… The important thing to note is the changes from reporting period to the next by each firm and see how closely the different sets of numbers correlate.

    “Oh, I agree they are and will be losing smartphone share.”

    See, I’ve read comments like this numerous times. Oh, we won’t see it for a year or more, but oh, yeah, it’s really happening… even though it is actually still growing. I talk to one of you for a while, you completely back off from the “imminent collapse” claim, then I say you disagree with ESR, then you go back to say, “Oh, but I do agree that they are losing share” (paraphrase), they’re “mortally wounded”, etc… This is what I want to pin down: are we talking about a slow multi-year decline? Multi-decade? Is their no hope? Is their hope? Are we going to be able to see it soon? Not see it for a while? Is it happening but hidden somehow? What? Most of you keep sliding back and forth. I understand that your view is a little more nuanced, but I still don’t get it. Does Apple have a chance of being a dangerous competitor for years to come, are they in for a decline but one over many, many years, or are they “mortally wounded”?

    Basically, it sounds to me (again, not necessarily putting you in this bucket) that a lot of commenters claim Apple is already done for and declining, but they will also always manage to push back when it’s going to happen.

    In one

  519. @Tim F.:

    Oh, we won’t see it for a year or more, but oh, yeah, it’s really happening

    They lost share last quarter. Sure they will probably make it up and then some this quarter, but then what happens?

    If you want to use Gartner’s data, and make a wager, I would probably wager that next year it wouldn’t be below 4%.

    “Oh, I agree they are and will be losing smartphone share.”

    See, I’ve read comments like this numerous times.

    I already said that I think Apple’s cellphone marketshare could easily increase this quarter. And that could go on for a few quarters. So why on earth would I take that particular bet? But as more people buy smartphones, their smartphone marketshare (the ca. 18% number) will probably decline, for the simple reason that Apple probably doesn’t want to play down in the low-price arena, but many Android vendors will be more than willing to do so. In other words, my prediction of Apple’s market share loss is predicated on my assumption that smartphone ASPs will be dropping faster than Apple is willing to drop their own ASPs.

    Basically, it sounds to me (again, not necessarily putting you in this bucket)

    That’s good. Because if you try to put me in that bucket, I’ll challenge you to find evidence.

    that a lot of commenters claim Apple is already done for and declining, but they will also always manage to push back when it’s going to happen.

    Apple has a lot of resources and a lot of control over their own destiny. Not as much as they would like, but a lot more options than just about any company on the planet. But I don’t really care how they do as long as they play below 20% in the (currently defined) smartphone market — this means that it will be easy for Joe Public to acquire a non-walled-garden handset that still has great functionality and a wide selection of applications. As far as I care, the Android snowball is doing its job. Whether Apple manages to stay out of its way and not get squashed or not is not my concern.

  520. @Patrick Maupin “They lost share last quarter. Sure they will probably make it up and then some this quarter, but then what happens?”

    Yup, they’ll make it up. And then the same trend will continue (most likely) that we’ve been seeing for 2 years now, with a decline during the product transition and a growth during the launch. You yourself point this out. That loss last quarter cannot be attributed to “an inevitable decline in the face of Android,” it is attributable to a product transition under Apple’s control. If/when Apple has higher share than Samsung next quarter, but Samsung edges them out as the largest smartphone provider for the full year — I will give them credit for that, I won’t point to the quarterly decline as proof that Samsung is declining. I think you and I are clear on this. So I don’t think there is any rationale for claiming that Apple’s share is currently declining because of Android.

    “I already said that I think Apple’s cellphone marketshare could easily increase this quarter. And that could go on for a few quarters. So why on earth would I take that particular bet?”

    Who said you have to? However, I would like it if you would try to reconcile this statement with “Oh, I agree they are and will be losing smartphone share.” Are they or aren’t they? Is it because of Android or not? Is it happening yet or still several quarters away?

    “As far as I care, the Android snowball is doing its job. Whether Apple manages to stay out of its way and not get squashed or not is not my concern.”

    As I said, it is clear that you do not believe in ESR’s tipping point and rapid loss of Apple share theory. This is all that I need to make clear.

  521. That loss last quarter cannot be attributed to “an inevitable decline in the face of Android,” it is attributable to a product transition under Apple’s control.

    Possibly. How much control did they exert? Did they want to bring out a phone over the summer? Did they want to bring out an iPhone 5 (with 4G capabilities)? We see Apple’s response to external stimulus without knowing exactly the stimulus they are responding to. One of the responses is to sue any company that does 4G, perhaps to try to slow them down to Apple’s own timeline.

    However, I would like it if you would try to reconcile this statement with “Oh, I agree they are and will be losing smartphone share.” Are they or aren’t they? Is it because of
    Android or not? Is it happening yet or still several quarters away?

    I thought I made this clear. I think that (absent significant Apple lawsuit successes) we’ll see so much Android activity at the low end of the market that Apple can grow total cellphone share, grow units, and lose smartphone share, for the current definition of smartphone. I think this is probably happening even now, if you smooth out the 4s spike. But I also believe Apple has a lot of control over this. It really depends on their thirst for margins vs. their thirst for market share.

    As I said, it is clear that you do not believe in ESR’s tipping point and rapid loss of Apple share theory. This is all that I need to make clear.

    Unless Apple drops their ASPs, they are unquestionably going to lose smartphone marketshare. But they can see this coming before anybody else, and react to that how they see fit. So, I think that either margins will be going down, or smartphone market share will be going down (while at the same time units will rise and, at least for awhile, cellphone market share will rise). But I can’t predict what they will do.

  522. @Patrick Maupin “I think this is probably happening even now, if you smooth out the 4s spike…”

    And this is what I keep going back to: “I think this is probably happening even now…” You don’t seem very confident of it and point to some of the reasons why it probably isn’t happening, you know the data doesn’t indicate it up to this point, and will say that they can grow, and then you’ll slip back to “it may already be happening now” (paraphrase). I keep seeing this over and over… This behavior is fascinating.

    However, kudos to your intelligence, more reasoned views, and willingness to say you can’t predict what will happen. I appreciate discussing it with you.

  523. @kk man: our discussion about world govt was sort of off topic. I guess we got there because I asserted that ubiquitous smartphones could help disrupt top-down media flow, and I asserted that if people are collectivist, they will get world govt instead of a free movement of people. Any way, I know some here are against religious idolatry. The Vatican is now pushing for a world central bank, trying to co-opt the OWS movement, and is abusing the term “idolatry” in order to create idolatry for a collectivist authority.

    @Tim F, I’ve been side-tracked, thank you.

  524. @Tim F.:

    You don’t seem very confident of it

    I am very confident that Apple will have to choose carefully between market share and margin. The days of being so far out in front that they can name their price and sell more than anybody else are over.

    you know the data doesn’t indicate it up to this point,

    The data certainly indicates that Apple’s shipments were reduced last quarter. Reading between the lines, the data also indicate that, even at the end of Q2, they were hoping to have phones to release, if not some time in Q3, then at least before they had to release Q3 earnings — hey! funny how that happened.

    During the last month of Q2 they were selling phones at fire-sale prices to pump the numbers up for the quarter. The abysmal sales in Q3 were not just because of anticipation for the 4s, they were also because of satiating the demand in Q2 — when they sold 1.7 million more phones than they did in Q1. If you average out Apple’s 17 million Q3 number and their 20.35 million Q2 number, you get almost exactly their Q1 number. Granted, it’s fairly impressive to have flat sales for a year-old product like that, but when you look at US subscriber share and correlate it with iPhone releases, you realize that most of the people waiting for the shiny new thing are already Apple users, who want to upgrade. The new subscribers are coming off blackberry or featurephone subscriptions, and just want a new phone now. Some of them probably even prefer using the same phone their friends have been happy with, rather than buying an as-yet unknown model.

    iPhone sales will be up this quarter, with both a new phone and Christmas, but how much depends on how Tim Cook plays the market share/margin tradeoff. If history is a guide, the spike from the new phone will be relatively short-lived, and won’t really increase the Apple installed user base by that much. It’s things like moving to new carriers, offering subsidies, dropping the price, and adding new capabilities like 4G, that increase the userbase. But, for example, domestically, they already have the 3 major carriers, and will have an increasingly harder time selling old iPhones against new Androids at the same price point — they already milked that pretty hard last spring when AT&T sold more iPhone 3s than Verizon sold iPhone 4s. The mass market is simultaneously quite price-sensitive and enamored of shiny new things, and the global mass market is even more price sensitive, if not quite as enamored of having the latest and greatest.

    But my takeaway from looking at the data is that Apple was very carefully managing their quarterly shipments over the last few quarters in a way designed to keep the street happy. The street noticed a little, but maybe not as much as is warranted. BTW, I didn’t see ASPs for iPhones for Q2, although you can find that data for previous quarters…

    Breaking news:

    Some sources are now reporting that Samsung sold more than 1.5 times as many smartphones as Apple last quarter:

    http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20111021000605

  525. @Patrick Maupin, I appreciated your rational comments, however I disgree that Apple has control over the following:

    But I also believe Apple has a lot of control over this. It really depends on their thirst for margins vs. their thirst for market share.

    One thing about the inertia of business models, is you usually can’t easily turn the big ship. To get the diversity into their product line would require a much different form of vertical integration than the internal and external partner structure of Apple. The asians long ago decided they would let Apple feed them capital (Apple taking huge margins from indebted westerners) in return for giving Apple only a small global share. It is sort of analogous to the mercantile model China has been using to bleed the westerners by feeding them more debt.

  526. @Shelby:

    I wasn’t talking about diversity in their product line. I was talking about dropping prices on their flagship products. They can do this selectively in certain countries, for certain carriers, or across the board. They can actually move fairly quickly on this since they control much of the distribution chain, either directly (Apple store) or through carrier/reseller partnerships. One easy example of this would be a sale of $50 off the highest end 4s. Their margin and cash positions are both so fat they could buy whatever market share they want.

    Personally, I think it would be a huge mistake for them to do this, but I’m not privy to their market knowledge and thoughts. All I can see is circumstantial evidence of what happened a few months ago, and it certainly appears they did something like this at the end of Q2 to bring the numbers up.

  527. @Patrick Maupin

    “The data certainly indicates that Apple’s shipments were reduced last quarter. Reading between the lines, the data also indicate that, even at the end of Q2, they were hoping to have phones to release, if not some time in Q3, then at least before they had to release Q3 earnings — hey! funny how that happened.”

    Oh well, back to fundamentally disagreeing with how you read last quarter. I guess we will have to wait 2 quarters to see how they perform in 2012.

    “It’s things like moving to new carriers, offering subsidies, dropping the price, and adding new capabilities like 4G, that increase the userbase.”

    Cook will do none of these besides continue to expand into new carriers/markets which at this point doesn’t add much to the userbase. We shall see.

  528. @Patrick Maupin, yes I understood your point, and agreed they could do that on the margin, but they can’t do anything radical on share, because as you say, they are locked into their narrow distribution channels and single model product line.

  529. @Shelby:

    I think they certainly could do something radical for share, but to do that, they’d have to do something radical on margin. They could easily give away as many iPhones as they can possibly make. Unfortunately, the “magic” of Apple is tied up in the share price as well as the product, so the normal methods of picking a pricing strategy might not be sufficient — punishment by the street for dropping margins would lead to the sort of negative publicity that might reduce the number of customers and developers as well, even as the installed base grows.

    But you’re right that they need additional products, which is probably why they’re apparently considering a 7″ tablet (which is something that Jobs derided as useless only a year ago).

  530. Welcome to 2009: Windows Phone 7.5 can now be updated tethered to a MAC computer! Or you can use Boot Camp on a Mac if the update fails like for this journalist.

    Updating to Windows Phone 7.5
    http://www.reghardware.com/2011/10/25/review_updating_to_windows_phone_7_5/

    Just like Apple iPhone users needn’t own a Mac to sync data and apply updates, Windows Phone 7 users needn’t be reliant on a PC either. To broaden the appeal of Microsoft’s latest handset OS, the company offers a Mac software alternative.

    …..

    With the HTC Trophy still tethered, Zune reported another update – so it seemed like this was going to be a cumulative process. However, version 7.0.7403.0, that was now on its way to being installed, didn’t suggest it was a major leap in dot releases. It occurred to me to unplug and give it a go on Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac, but the fear of the phone becoming a brick was still fresh in my mind, so I persevered with Zune. Also, this update suggested that there was more than one to be installed, and indeed this was so.

    Really, WP updating is soooo much better than the fragmented over the air updates of Android.