The Smartphone Wars: Nokia gives it up for Microsoft

It’s been quite a while since I wrote a Smartphone Wars post; I let the series lapse when I concluded that the source I was using for U.S. market share figures had likely disconnected from reality (and more recent surveys from other sources suggest I was right). But the developments of the last couple of days demand comment. Nokia has sold its phone business to Microsoft; Stephen Elop has returned to Microsoft to head its devices group; and there is talk he might succeed Ballmer.

You couldn’t make this stuff up for a satirical novel and have it believed. The conspiracy theorists who maintained that Elop was a Microsoft mole sent in to set up a takeover look prescient now – but a takeover to what purpose? Nokia’s phone business, the world’s most successful and respected a few short years ago, is now a shattered wreck.

And as for Elop: he masterminded what was probably the biggest destruction in shareholder value ever – and this is the guy who’s being talked of as Ballmer’s successor? Astonishing. On his record, the man isn’t competent to run a Taco Bell store; that that he’s even in consideration suggests Microsoft’s board has developed some perverse desire to replace a strategic idiot with an even more wrongheaded strategic idiot.

While all this is going on, IDC now has Android up to 79.3% worldwide market share and still rising; iOS is down to 13.2% and falling; and the rest of the ecosystems are scrambling for 8% of scraps. Microsoft, at 3.7%, is just barely leading the bush leagues in the presence of Blackberry and Symbian’s continuing collapse.

There have been a rash of stories lately about how good Microsoft’s sales-growth figures look year over year, but I rather suspect the company is up to its old channel-stuffing tricks. Actual consumers don’t report any interest in Windows phones (I’m not seeing them on the street) and the company’s Surface tablet line has been a dismal flop.

The new deal means Nokia is done, finished, gone. It will retain only its digital-mapping and network-equipment businesses and a handful of lottery tickets in the form of patent lawsuits; the smartphones and dumbphones go to Microsoft, where as head of the devices group Elop will (incredibly) continue to manage them even if he doesn’t succeed Ballmer.

One thing the change means is that we can expect the dumbphone side of the business (the part that, you know, made all the actual money back when Nokia made money) to be resource-starved and wound down even more rapidly than this was happening at Nokia. Because there is no place in Microsoft’s strategy for a business that doesn’t feed consumers to its Windows/Office cash cow, and there’s no effective way dumbphones can do that.

But I don’t really see how acquiring Nokia’s smartphone business gives Microsoft any advantage it didn’t already have under its previous sweetheart deal with the company. Well, unless Ballmer somehow thinks 0.5% market share is worth paying $2.2 billion for, which would be exceptionally stupid even by his chair-throwing, monkey-grunting standards.

If Elop was a mole, what were his instructions? “Elop. Go forth. Destroy Nokia so we can buy things we already effectively control for huge amounts of money.” Sense this makes not.

I’m put in mind of the wave of mergers in the 1980s among mainframe computer manufacturers, what we called at the time “dinosaurs mating”. Those didn’t make any sense either; when you merge two huge, doomed, inefficient thunder-lizards together you don’t tend to get a mammal.

Meanwhile – and of course – Android continues to stomp its competition flat. Even the post-Jobs Apple can’t stem the tide; it’s pretty close to the 10% niche market share I predicted back in 2009 already, with no sign that trend will or can be reversed.

970 thoughts on “The Smartphone Wars: Nokia gives it up for Microsoft

  1. What is pigging annoying here is that the N900 was a much better version of Linux on a phone than the replacement S4 think I’m having to put up with now. I’m still having to compromise on many things that have worked fine on the old phone for years :(

  2. > dumbphone side of the business (the part that, you know, made all the actual money back when Nokia made money)

    Nokia’s smartphone business was profitable up until the announcement of the Windows Phone strategy in February 2011. It’s made a loss ever since.

    I’d be personally quite happy to see Elop become CEO and work his magic on Microsoft as a whole (= reduce the company to a smoking crater). Yesterday I’d have guessed that the MS board would never go for that, but apparently I don’t know anything.

  3. Has tech-wars become an evolutionary milieu? If so, then Android may be the surrogate indicator for the eventual dominance of open source.

    The buggy whips are fighting fiercely, but the King is dead.

  4. Microsoft dead = Ubuntu and Mac OS compete for the lion’s share of the desktop and laptop computer market, other Linux distros get some portion of the server and embedded markets, and Android continues to dominate the smartphone/tablet market, with Apple a successful boutique player, and Ubuntu a growing threat. Cool.

    Corporate dinosaurs take a while to die, however, so we’ll have Windoze to contend with for a number of years still. Unless Elop’s as bad as ESR thinks, in which case he may beat the averages.

  5. @ESR

    I let the series lapse when I concluded that the source I was using for U.S. market share figures had likely disconnected from reality (and more recent surveys from other sources suggest I was right).

    What?!? Your objection to the comscore numbers was when the showed Android flattening and US marketshare for Apple increasing slightly. Since then we’ve seen strong growth in Apple as reported by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Kanter, Comscore continuing and Ender’s analysis. When price is not a factor, i.e. Americans on postpaid plans for example, go about 70/30 Apple/Android.

    Moreover, your theory presupposed that carriers would decrease subsidy levels as less expensive Androids appears. As Verizon, AT&T and Sprint have all reported including in statements made under penalty of perjury their subsidy levels on phones have been increasing as they continue to see high priced phones as a way to sell telco services. This isn’t lost on carriers abroad and the idea of trying to import something like the USA model is being tried in several European and Indian markets, though they face structural hurdles that weren’t present in the USA.

    I’m not sure how you could have been more wrong about Comscore. We have quarter after quarter of confirmation.

    ____

    In terms of the rest of the post, as marketshare is being dominated by poorer and poorer people, no one cares about marketshare. As we move to the 2nd billion for smartphones the value of even advertising is not going to be worth the cost of providing Google services. Beyond that the numbers get incredibly stark. Google is not happy that Android is battling JavaVM for the bottom of the market. If marketshare were all that mattered, Nokia sells far more phones than Apple, they just sell cheap low margin phones at ever falling prices.

  6. >And as for Elop: he masterminded what was probably the biggest destruction in shareholder value ever – and this is the guy who’s being talked of as Ballmer’s successor? Astonishing.

    If the conspiracy theorists are right, said destruction of shareholder value was masterfully executed as part of his job at Microsoft, and has nothing at all to do with incompetence.

  7. Meanwhile – and of course – Android continues to stomp its competition flat. Even the post-Jobs Apple can’t stem the tide; it’s pretty close to the 10% niche market share I predicted back in 2009 already, with no sign that trend will or can be reversed.

    Not so fast. According to Kantar: “In every region examined, except for Germany and China, Apple grew its smartphone market share from July 2012 to July 2013, with the largest growth in the U.S. and Great Britain.”

    Or Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP): “20 per cent of Apple’s iPhone customers over the past year were switching from an Android phone, but only 7 per cent of Samsung buyers had previously owned an iPhone.”

    It looks like Android is growing largely because of people switching from dumbphones, but that transition happens only once. If Android users are less loyal than iOS users, and the numbers hold up, then (in the U.S. at least) iPhone ownership will exceed Android ownership by 2015..

  8. From Tomi Ahonen’s blog:

    Microsoft has just bought Nokia’s total handset unit – not just smartphones but also dumbphones – and the Nokia services business (of what is left of it) and gets it all for a paltry 5.3 Billion Euros. Truly catastrophic. Just before Elop announced his mad Microsoft strategy, in the last quarter of 2010, Nokia’s handset unit – this which was now sold – produced revenues of .. 8.35 Billion Euros – and did this very profitably! For the full year 2010, Nokia’s handset unit generated 27 Billion Euros of revenues and 3.5 Billion Euros of profits!!! Elop wrecked all that in two and a half years and now the loss-making unit is sold for less than its scrap value.

  9. Microsoft and Nokia … the first thought that came to mind this morning was “dinosaurs mating.” I’m glad someone else remembers that term and had the same thought re. these two companies.

    And for all the M$ apologists who keep shouting “Revenue! Revenue! Revenue!” like a sweaty Ballmer, claiming that Microsoft is still the king because they make lots of money … remember that revenue trails relevance, often by years. Microsoft knows very well that the end of its monopoly is an existential threat to its entire business model. Microsoft does not know how to operate in a space it does not utterly dominate.

  10. claiming that Microsoft is still the king because they make lots of money

    For the last year or two, Apple has made more money (both gross and net) from the iPhone alone than Microsoft has made from everything they do.

  11. I’ll say that I rather liked Maemo and never tried MeeGo, but I heard quite good things about the latter from the people who played with it. If you’re looking for a motive to slot into your conspiracy theory, it could be to prevent Nokia’s coming out with a successful non-virtualized Linux smartphone platform.

  12. There has unfortunatly been little activity on the meego site since 2011. The maemo site is still active supporting those phones that are still working – which mine isn’t :(

  13. @Ignatius

    Microsoft does not know how to operate in a space it does not utterly dominate.

    Baloney. During Ballmer’s rein Microsoft’s big areas of growth have been enterprise server. For example shifting SQL Server upmarket. When he took over SQLServer had a moderate share of the enterprise market and none of the higher end data warehousing. Now they are a major player at almost all tiers in that space. Another area has been unified communications (Lync). This is an area where Microsoft wasn’t even a player a decade ago and certainly wasn’t dominant. For that matter they aren’t even dominant in server operating systems Linux and other Unixes have nice share. They don’t dominate developer tools but Visual Studio continues to be a major player. They don’t dominate entertainment but XBox is a major revenue source, though not a profit source. Etc…

  14. MeeGo is dead. Its successors are Tizen, backed by Samsung; and Sailfish, developed by Jolla, a company consisting of former Nokia engineers who were savvy enough to jump ship just after Elop set a course for an iceberg. (Hint: “jolla” means “dinghy” in Finnish.) Mer is a community-developed open source fork of the MeeGo core.

  15. I read talk about MS targetting tablets more than phones. Their phone sales are only kept up by selling them below cost. Lumias were famously sold from bargain bins at Aldi stores in Europe (lowest price retailer in most of Europe).

    Nokia had just announced to start making Windows RT tablets. So, maybe this is about tablets? Or it is all a smokescree.

  16. In other news, changing a practice that’s been in place for more than 30 years, Microsoft did not seed developers with pre-release versions of the RTM bits for Windows 8.1.

    Combine these two news stories, and start asking yourself which Open Source group managed to get control of the Orbital Mind Control Lasers from the NSA for a long weekend.

    If this weren’t showing up on ZDNet and PCMag and the tech news sites, I’d think this was from The Onion.

  17. @CD-host
    “Since then we’ve seen strong growth in Apple as reported by Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Kanter, Comscore continuing and Ender’s analysis. When price is not a factor, i.e. Americans on postpaid plans for example, go about 70/30 Apple/Android.”

    World wide market share for Android 80%. When pushed hard with price manipulation and cross subsidies, consumers in the USA are prefering BMW, sorry, iPhone. But that is just another way of saying that Android outsells Apple 7:1.

    If money is all that counts, go for LVHM. For all others, the situation in the USA is simply an illustration of the effects of oligopoly and market manipulation.

  18. And for all the M$ apologists who keep shouting “Revenue! Revenue! Revenue!” like a sweaty Ballmer, claiming that Microsoft is still the king because they make lots of money … remember that revenue trails relevance, often by years.

    Eric has been crying “Imminent Death of Microsoft Predicted!” for decades now. It still hasn’t happened. Until you can come up with a viable alternative to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that’s usable by the decision makers of the world, Microsoft will not die.

    There’s also one more thing: I call these Shenpen’s Iron Laws of OS Development because Shenpen has cited them as basic assumptions that users expect of any OS. Here they are:

    * The OS will support any piece of hardware attached to the system on which it runs, out of the box.

    * Any software written against a given version of the OS will run bit-identical on any later version.

    The desktop OS that comes closest to meeting these two criteria is Windows. Apple has stopped caring, and Linux was always broken in this regard. The backwards-compatibility criterion is particularly important in a business setting: it makes far, far more sense to deploy Windows on business desktops because there is an implicit guarantee that any apps you buy will still run, after the original hardware and software have been replaced many times over. It’s one of the fundamental principles upon which Windows development is based.

    Microsoft knows very well that the end of its monopoly is an existential threat to its entire business model. Microsoft does not know how to operate in a space it does not utterly dominate.

    Oh, horseshit. The rule of thumb always has been that Microsoft doesn’t get it right until version 3. Windows Phone 8 is, by all reports, a phenomenal OS, and is probably their “finally got it right” release (after the shitfests that were Windows CE and Windows Phone 7). The problem is app support; if Microsoft could really focus on the whole “developers! developers! developers!” bit and not make developing for Windows Phone such a pain in the ass, they could easily take back enough share to even surpass Android in wealthy markets like North America and Europe.

    Android is a lot nicer than it was, but it still looks and feels like a cheap Chinese knockoff of iOS, which is what it’s so frequently used for and why it has such a high market share.

  19. they could easily take back enough share to even surpass Android in wealthy markets like North America and Europe

    That seems… optimistic.

  20. @esr

    So IDC is the Comscore replacement? You now consider their numbers reliable? If so, what changed to convince you of this?

    • >So IDC is the Comscore replacement? You now consider their numbers reliable? If so, what changed to convince you of this?

      I suppose the implied assumption can be reasonably drawn from what I wrote, but in fact I don’t know of any market-survey outfit that I consider reliable enough to base a forecast on; IDC is no exception. I quoted IDC’s numbers because they’re what came up first in a Google search, and auxiliary to my main point – which is that Microsoft and ex-Nokia have screwed up really badly and no actual value is being created by this move.

  21. “The problem is app support; if Microsoft could really focus on the whole “developers! developers! developers!” bit and not make developing for Windows Phone such a pain in the ass, they could easily take back enough share to even surpass Android in wealthy markets like North America and Europe.”

    Polite version: Jeff, that’s an extraordinary claim, and requires extraordinary evidence to back it up. Please produce it.

    No-so-polite version: Jeff, what are you smoking and where can I get some?

    Impolite version: Jeff, you’re so full of shit it’s leaking out your ears.

    What makes you think Windows can possibly overcome the rather large advantage Android and iOS have in that space? Why should a user who’s already committed to Android or iOS switch, including buying apps all over again and reworking their support infrastructure?

    • >Impolite version: Jeff, you’re so full of shit it’s leaking out your ears.

      As usual. Remember, this guy took “peak oil” seriously. Mocking laughter is more than appropriate.

  22. Word, Excel and PowerPoint usable by the decision makers of the world? They are not usable by anybody. Office 2010 is one of the worst quality sw I’ve ever seen in my life. Now they not only refuse to go to the bottom of the window-stack upon minimize, there is no way to tell if they are in focus. Decades of Office menu hotkeys skills? Good bye. Welcome ribbon.

    The OS supports any piece of hardware out of the box? My Win7 laptop at the office has no sound at all after a standby. As opposed to my home laptops with Linux Mint, where everything just works.

    Take it from somebody who uses both on a daily basis: the fragmented, unstable Linux desktop is far far superior to Windows. But I think I should stop feeding the trolls. Now.

  23. Of the Microsoft Office suite components, I use Word because the majority of my publishers expect Word files. I use its version compare and change tracking features.

    Excel is amazing. Nothing in the Open Source world even comes close to a third of what Excel does.

    PowerPoint is why the Microsoft executive team is going to spend all of their afterlives staring at 4-plex slideshows, and only wishing they were getting a red-hot poker up their ass.

  24. Until you can come up with a viable alternative to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that’s usable by the decision makers of the world, Microsoft will not die.

    I’m sure by “viable” you mean “perfect compatibility with Microsoft Office”? It’s a point that even Office fails at — if you have documents created 3 versions ago or older, all bets are off if an attempt will even be made by the program to open the thing.

    If that’s not what you mean, I await how OpenOffice/LibreOffice are such failures :)

    For what it’s worth, I personally view Word (and other word processors of the like) as being totally worthless; Excel and spreadsheets in general are nearly universally used as an idiot’s database. PowerPoint is probably the only salvagable part of it, and it’s not like presentations aren’t done anywhere else…

    • >I’ve seen exactly one Windows Phone in the wild since MSFT rolled out WP7

      I’ve seen several in stores, but yes: only one in live use by an actual consumer, and that was two years ago.

  25. What has this bought Microsoft?

    Quite simply, I think: the continued manufacture of Windows Phone devices.

    If the required for breakeven sales are 50mil devices/year, as Microsoft have themselves stated, then its’ quite obvious that Nokia’s smartphone division was quite a long way from being profitable once again. Also note that the Nokia-Microsoft licensing agreement was approaching renegotiation.

    I think that what we can glean from this is that Nokia were planning to either wind down their smartphones division, or transition it to another OS (presumably Android). The root to profitability was too long and uncertain, and, importantly, it was hampering the ability of Nokia’s other profitable divisions (note that Nokia-Siemens Networks brought in something in the region of half of the company’s profits) to operate efficiently; for example, the damage to Nokia’s creditworthiness increasing the cost of debt for those divisions.

    Nokia is now a slimmed down enterprise company, made up of NSN and their Here mapping division (nee NAVTEQ); and while the latter has a less certain future, it has a 10 year guaranteed revenue stream as a result of this agreement. Microsoft have taken on their phone divisions because they had no other way to keep WP8 in the marketplace.

  26. Don’t knock NAVTEQ. Lotsa car makers use their data.

    Anyone want to guess how much this was influenced by Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility? Now all 4 major mobile platforms have captive hardware makers.

  27. Shenpen has cited them as basic assumptions that users expect of any OS. Here they are:

    * The OS will support any piece of hardware attached to the system on which it runs, out of the box.

    * Any software written against a given version of the OS will run bit-identical on any later version.

    The backwards-compatibility criterion is particularly important in a business setting: … there is an implicit guarantee that any apps you buy will still run, after the original hardware and software have been replaced many times over.

    I can see the appeal to an end user, but I have no idea why you think these criteria are qualities of Windows.

    The term “DLL Hell” didn’t originate from any of the Unix communities. People routinely recycle working Windows machines and peripheral hardware due to lack of driver support, often forfeiting their favorite software (or even their data!) in the process. People routinely make terrible business decisions based on garbage data generated from incompatible Excel versions. Microsoft’s current best practice for running old Windows applications is to run them on old versions of Windows in a VM–something any OS can do. A corporate Office or Exchange upgrade deployment is an enterprise-wide disaster with IT department PR spin that makes it sound like something the enterprise elected to do to itself. Every major release of Windows seems to include a new and just a little bit incompatible filesystem API, so new applications can create files in places that older applications can’t reach with their bit-identical backward compatibility layers.

    Apple solves these problems for iOS by holding veto power over anything that might fail to meet the criteria, and making explicit the expectation that users will never own any software and therefore never have to worry about backward compatibility (they try to do it for OSX too, but their control over user and developer choices is less direct there). Developers (of software or hardware) pay for the privilege of targeting new Apple devices, and Apple forces them to sort out any compatibility issues before users are permitted to encounter them. By these two criteria (and maybe only these two), Apple is the clear winner here.

    Apple got one thing right: Users expect service continuity, not backward compatibility. Backward compatibility can help achieve service continuity, but it’s not useful otherwise, and the extra code or hardware cost can be prohibitive. If backward compatibility was important, modern smartphones would have 25-pin D-shell RS-232 connectors on them so you could tether your laptop.

    In business settings people just pay to upgrade, or learn to live under dead technology, or lose craptons of money by making poor technical decisions (a surprisingly popular option in the business world).

  28. Jeff wrote: “The rule of thumb always has been that Microsoft doesn’t get it right until version 3. Windows Phone 8 is, by all reports, a phenomenal OS, and is probably their “finally got it right” release (after the shitfests that were Windows CE and Windows Phone 7).”

    If you’re going to count Windows CE, you should also count Windows Mobile and Pocket PC. Heck, you might even want to add Windows for Pen Computing. Between all the major updates to all the products, Windows Phone 7 is NOT Microsoft’s “version 3” attempt at a mobile OS – it’s more like “version 20”.

    • >There’s a really good chance that he’s right.

      I agree. If Nokia was getting ready to jump to Android internally, that would have been pretty good motivation for Microsoft to buy the phone business before it happened.

      In fact, now I wonder if somebody on Nokia’s board didn’t push such a move internally as a way to push Microsoft into doing just that. If any group of people rationally benefits from this deal it’s Nokia shareholders; they get a big chunk of cash and a much smaller but relatively healthy business.

  29. Until you can come up with a viable alternative to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

    I’m sorry, Mr. Gore, but a well-funded and often-repeated lie is still a lie. Open source productivity apps reached parity with Microsoft several years ago, and the quality of Microsoft Office is now in decline as they cram “touch-friendly” UI down the throats of desktop users.

  30. Eric has been crying “Imminent Death of Microsoft Predicted!” for decades now. It still hasn’t happened. Until you can come up with a viable alternative to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint that’s usable by the decision makers of the world, Microsoft will not die.

    First a repetition of the succinct response: Jeff, you’re so full of shit it’s leaking out your ears.

    And now to elaborate; Eric may have been predicting the death of MS somewhat early but “Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence” (Eliezer Yudkowsky).

    No one is afraid of MS any more and hasn’t been for a long time, their two main competitors (Mac, Linux) are getting much bigger, and MS can’t copy a good idea that is half decent any more. The latter was the Big Microsoft Strength, they aren’t doing it

    — Foo Quuxman

  31. I don’t really see how acquiring Nokia’s smartphone business gives Microsoft any advantage it didn’t already have under its previous sweetheart deal with the company.

    I suspect that the status quo was unsustainable. It still was within Nokia’s technical abilities to put Android on its phones instead of Windows Phone. I suspect there was a solid segment of the board that wanted to do just that, and Elop went to Microsoft and said, “I’ve got a board revolt on my hands. You can buy us, or Nokia’s going Android.”

    And if Nokia went Android, Windows Phone would be completely dead.

  32. Google has a mighty castle on a hill, search, but Microsoft and Apple used to control the approaches to the castle. Now they don’t any more. Google is perfectly happy to lose buckets of money on Android every year forever.

    Microsoft and and apple were Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Now they are gone, their companies will fade into obscurity and irrelevance.

    Ios is better, obviously better than Android, Windows obviously better than Linux – for the moment. But this will not last long.

  33. Open source productivity apps reached parity with Microsoft several years ago,


    Not yet they have not, but writing is on the wall.

    I use LibreOffice, not because it is better, it is not, nor for ideological reasons, but because, seeing the writing on the wall, I choose to switch now to avoid getting content marooned in a dead format.

  34. Re: seeing Lumias in the wild, the sales have been up in some specific markets outside of the US, such as Italy, the UK, and Finland, of course. I think the market share of WP has actually declined in the US even during the slight worldwide increase in recent months.

    One small curiosity: the first person to get the boot in this deal seems to be Nokia’s head of design, Marko Ahtisaari. He’s frequently been suspected of having landed the job purely for his connections, as he is the son of Martti Ahtisaari, a former president of Finland and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Marko Ahtisaari has no training in design and had no background in the field before joining Nokia a couple of years ago. He sold his small startup to Nokia. Ahtisaari is now said to “become an entrepreneur”. The new head of design is Stefan Pannenbecker, who comes from within Nokia.

    It’s some kind of a gesture that they actually bothered to take Elop and Ballmer all the way to Salo to host the conference call about the deal. Salo is the site of the original Mobira/Nokia phone factory, more than an hour’s drive away from the Nokia HQ in Espoo (next to Helsinki). Elop shut down the last of manufacturing at Salo last year, after he’d said he wouldn’t. There are some engineers and developers still working there, but I suspect they’ll be fired sooner rather than later. It’s a small town, quite a few of whose residents might want to lynch Elop at this point. Both he and Ballmer were careful to say the required platitudes about the greatness of Nokia and Finland. I don’t think it helped much.

  35. “Open source productivity apps reached parity with Microsoft several years ago,”

    Here’s a test. Can you create a resume in any of the OpenOffice-family variants in use these days (I can’t tell them apart without a scorecard), save it as .docx, and send it off to a recruiter without telling them and have them not notice?

  36. Here’s a test. Can you create a resume in any of the OpenOffice-family variants in use these days (I can’t tell them apart without a scorecard), save it as .docx, and send it off to a recruiter without telling them and have them not notice?

    This is doable with a bit of care. An old trick that Linux hackers used to use was to compose an HTML resume, save it with a .doc extension, and send it to recruiters; Word would open it without blinking and the recruiter was usually none the wiser. (Most of them possess barely enough competence to drive Word adequately, let alone do things like determine that a candidate with C# experiences is well-qualified to work on .NET.)

    Here’s a much more relevant test. You are given an arbitrary .docx from a boss, client, or other important business contact. You only have Open/LibreOffice. What do you see when you open it?

    If the answer is anything except “exactly what you would have seen in Word” then OpenOffice fails the test. I’ve received documents for which the answer was “a blank page”.

  37. I thought my emotional scars were fading…..but you had to bring this shit up again. My N900 tears were all-but-dried.

    F U ESR

    F U and your Android fanboidom to hell.

    (Oh…that new Galaxy looks so good…………..F U ESR FU FU FU FU FU )

    ;)

  38. Ios is better, obviously better than Android, Windows obviously better than Linux – for the moment. But this will not last long.

    With iOS 6 and 7 basically being blatent rip-offs of functionality Android already had, and iOS 7 in particular going as far to basically mimick the theme of Android 4.x, that claim is dubious at best. And Windows? Seriously? The only possible advantage it has is the capability to run applications never ported off the platform, assuming that your application doesn’t happen to work correctly in Wine.

    Here’s a test. Can you create a resume in any of the OpenOffice-family variants in use these days (I can’t tell them apart without a scorecard), save it as .docx, and send it off to a recruiter without telling them and have them not notice?

    Just goes back to my previous comment — that basing the viability of the office suite by its compatibility with Microsoft Office is extreme. No, “docx” isn’t a standard; Office Open was a farce of the standards committees and MS Office doesn’t even implement the “standard” to its letter. The state of it is hardly better than totally undocumented binary formats.

    Plus, if the display is so important, why not just send a PDF? Pretty much everyone has a PDF reader of some sort. OpenOffice and MS Office both have PDF exporting capabilities, as well as several other programs, a CUPS PDF driver, and a few Windows PDF printer drivers; making them is not hard. Even better; if the formatting isn’t important, plain text will suffice perfectly well. Even MS Word can open plain text without issue. :)

  39. Foo: I’ve been sending off PDFs, but have encountered at least two help wanted ads in the past week that specified Word format only.

    Mike: “Just goes back to my previous comment — that basing the viability of the office suite by its compatibility with Microsoft Office is extreme.” No, it’s living in the real world.

  40. I have never had any problems with my OO resume being transmitted as an Office doc.

    I keep it simple, elegant and professional.

    If I encounter recruiters that have problems, they are immediately discarded.

  41. Back in 2010 when I was applying to my current company, I put together my resume in LaTeX before handing it off to the recruiter as a PDF. The recruiter proceeded to OCR the PDF and convert it to a .docx without bothering to fix any of the OCR errors or correct any of the formatting that the OCR destroyed. I have no freaking clue why I still got that interview.

  42. I’ll add to this office suite debate: the fact that people are still mentioning the ribbon UI 6 years after it debuted as an area in which (the lack of it in) open source office suites means they’re better, means they really haven’t spent any time talking to the average Office user.

    See, my experience when asking people generally goes like this “Yeah, it sucked for a couple of weeks, but once you get used to it it really is better”

    And you know what? They’re right. The “Home palette” is pretty much the main toolbar; while things that used to be consigned to menus are now surfaced in the available tabs. Useful features like styles, previously only visible through an opaque drop-down, are now highly visible. Commonly used features are bigger; less commonly used features smaller. Additionally, it’s context sensitive in a way which is not at all confusing.

    It’s highly discoverable, rarely takes more clicks than the previous UI, and doesn’t make you do the precise tightrope walk that is menu navigation.

    The traditional UI was a “perverse advantage” of a sorts back in 2007, in that it didn’t require any user retraining. These days, most users have been upgraded to one of the ribbon featuring versions of Office, and Office 2010/2013 make aOO/LibreOffice look particularly clunky.

    Its’ time for a UI rethink. aOO integrating the work IBM did for Symphony will be a good start.

  43. I use LibreOffice, not because it is better, it is not, nor for ideological reasons, but because, seeing the writing on the wall, I choose to switch now to avoid getting content marooned in a dead format.

    The version of MS Office I use at work has the ability to save in Open Document formats. I find this a major win, because an open format will always have free software implementations that use it. If MS can sell a better user experience and still be 100% interoperable with Star/Libre/OpenOffice/etc., then good for them.

    I’ll have to try renaming an OO file with a .doc extension and see if the version of MS Word that groks Open Document just opens it up.

  44. It’s highly discoverable, rarely takes more clicks than the previous UI, and doesn’t make you do the precise tightrope walk that is menu navigation.

    I don’t want to click a mouse (or even a touch pad, trackball, or that funky eraser-between-the-G&H-keys thing on my work ThinkPad) to navigate menus. I want to hit Alt, F for File, etc., and use my keyboard. But I’m one of those people who were dragged kicking and screaming to Excel because my fingers could do the Lotus 1-2-3 slash menus (which were also used to create macros) without looking most of the time, and I didn’t need any steenking mouse to do that at all.

    AND GET OFF MY LAWN!

  45. ” Ios is better, obviously better than Android, Windows obviously better than Linux – for the moment. But this will not last long. ”
    Am I missing something here?
    Ios and Android are simply other desktops on top of Linux … just like KDE and Gnome … scratch under the hood and all are the same. When my lads have problems with their mac’s is linux tools which fix them. It would be nice if they all followed the spirit of open source – and to my mind the license on Linux – and made things cooperate better and a lot more open?
    That said .. I’m now on Libreoffice via OO and Lotus having never had to use MSOffice and everything works fine between mac, linux and even windows … only android is not playing ball here. A lot of my customers are still tied to MSOffice, but they send me their documents and I TRANSPARENTLY convert them to PDF in LO for the websites. We even use LO to ‘convert’ the old MSOffice documents into tidier ones new versions of MSOffice can use. I run Eclipse for development and even that is transparent across the board …
    How many corporate sites are now running ‘virtual’ systems where the applications are not run on the ‘terminal’ at all … why pay for windows licences and now pigging W7 upgrades for those machines when they are just thin clients? All of my own on site systems only need a browser on the client and that could just as easily be an Android tablet or Linux box as an expensive windows box? I’m currently being told I have to upgrade machines to W7 on sites to comply with new ‘security’ rules, but the contract requires that the customer supplies the new licenses. I don’t think that is unfair since there is no change in any functionality. OH we need new machines since the old one’s will not even install W7 but there is nothing wrong with the hardware – it runs XP fine!
    M$ has simply priced themselves out of the market and now IT departments need to accept that?

  46. > Ios and Android are simply other desktops on top of Linux …
    > just like KDE and Gnome … scratch under the hood and all are the same.

    Ahh, no.

    iOS is a deeply locked-down proprietary userspace on top of a modified Mach kernel (which questionably implements Unix, and includes some other bits from BSD). It is not Linux. Ditto OSX, the utilities for which are BSD-derived, not Linux/GNU.

    While it’s nice to see Linux having the mindshare to be generic branded to any Unix-y system, it’s incorrect to explicitly conflate them.

  47. “iOS is a deeply locked-down proprietary userspace on top of a modified Mach kernel”
    Getting mixed up there with OSX of cause :( … mac’s not ixxx devices … but OSX does play ball with my linux stuff so is not that disconnected.

  48. Here’s a test. Can you create a resume in any of the OpenOffice-family variants in use these days (I can’t tell them apart without a scorecard), save it as .docx, and send it off to a recruiter without telling them and have them not notice?

    Hell, I’d be happy if i was confident that MS Office could do that. But i’m not.
    I’ve had to work too long on crowbarring a letter templating system into word mail merge to have anything but contempt for its abilities, and more importantly the abilities that it conditions people to use.

    Excel is pretty good, but in the same way that Visual Studio is “pretty good”. In the spaces it gets used it doesn’t have a lot of competition but objectively it’s actually pretty retarded but it’s not a space i want to waste time on.

  49. See, my experience when asking people generally goes like this “Yeah, it sucked for a couple of weeks, but once you get used to it it really is better”

    Just like all really shitty interfaces that people are forced to spend a lot of effort to learn to maintain their job, the replacement is resisted by those that spent the effort and welcomed by those who haven’t.

    From my experience there is an obvious correlation between any given user’s answers to the questions “On a scale of 0 to 5, what do you think of Ribbon?” and “On average, how many menus did you look in to find any given feature?”.

  50. About Nokia: how “nice” of them to separate the “IP” department from sale to Microsoft, so that it can be ligitious patent-troll-like (without phone business which could be counter-threatened), and so Microsoft has second front in patent wars.

    About ribbon interface: deeply nested menus have their disadvantages, but ribbon interface is not without faults; perhaps I am not using MS Office often enough, but it is damn annoying to use, especially to search and find where the hell needed function is…

    About iOS vs Android: I wonder if there are any data about profit-share or revenue-share instead of market-share…

  51. @Jeff @Jay @ESR what can you today on a Windows PC that you cannot or requires geeky tricks to don an Ubuntu PC? Play a million excellent games, open and edit office documents other people send you from MS Office reliably including macros, and run specialized applications meant for a given job, MS Dynamics-NAV if you are an accountant, AutoCAD if you are an engineer etc. but this later is getting thinner due to web based clients and more open save file formats.

    This will determine whether Windows tablets live or die. If I can’t save my CV without having it look funny for the idiot recruiter who demands it in .docx, if I can’t in-depth quality games, and for example NAV has a web client, there are no reasons to use it at all.

    Perfectly non-technical, all-Microsoft offices are more and more using Android and iPad tablets, people just buy one for fun, realize they might as well read and write their mail on it, if whatever business app they are using has a web based UI they log in from it, and end up spending a sizeable chunk of their work time in these devices. Things got open enough that they don’t feel the need of Windows-only apps so much.

    I have the impression that there is a change even in the mentality of nontechnical users. Formerly it was “I want to use this app, can I install it on your OS?” Now it is more like “I have a Gmail account, do you have a nice app for it in your device?” if yes nobody cares if it is Windows-based or Unix-based or whatever-based. Or like “can I phone my Skype contacts from your device?” again they don’t care if the actual app is Skype or not.

    Windows phones will live or die based on the tablets, because people don’t want switch between many different user interfaces and logic all the time, and the majority of app use moves to tablets. If and when people will buy Windows tablets then they will buy Windows phone just for the sake of simplicity.

  52. Why would a person put that in anything other than plaintext / PDF / HTML?

    Many recruiters and hiring companies require Word format. Virtually every recruiter I contacted, if I sent them a PDF they’d say “If you could just shoot me that resume back in word, that would be terrific.”

    (recruiters almost never “send” emails — they “shoot” them)

  53. “If you could just shoot me that resume back in word, that would be terrific.”

    My response is always something along the lines of “If a PDF will not suffice, then I’m not sure we can work together.” They almost always relent. I make sure whatever PDF I send them doesn’t have the text preserved. Recruiters will copy bits from your resume for other candidates, and they will edit your resume before sending it. This is a complete no-no for me. If they have advice on how I could change my resume for the better, I’m willing to listen. To give them the opportunity to misrepresent me is foolish.

    With a couple of exceptions that prove the rule, recruiters are a bunch of bottom-feeding parasites that do nothing but suck value out of professional salaries. They deserve exactly zero respect.

  54. This will determine whether Windows tablets live or die. If I can’t save my CV without having it look funny for the idiot recruiter who demands it in .docx, if I can’t in-depth quality games, and for example NAV has a web client, there are no reasons to use it at all.

    As wretched and unpopular as Windows 8 is on desktops, it’s actually quite usable on the Surface Pro. The Surface Pro is an x86-based Windows tablet and can run all Windows applications. But even the Windows RT ones come with Office, whose constituents are currently the only Win32 applications officially supported on Windows RT. So opening and reading Word docs is not a problem for Windows tablets.

  55. @esr

    >I suppose the implied assumption can be reasonably drawn from what I wrote, but in fact I don’t know of any market-survey outfit that I consider reliable enough to base a forecast on; IDC is no exception. I quoted IDC’s numbers because they’re what came up first in a Google search, and auxiliary to my main point – which is that Microsoft and ex-Nokia have screwed up really badly and no actual value is being created by this move.

    I agree with the general thrust of your argument, but these seem like the wrong numbers to quote in support (especially if you don’t think they’re reliable ;) ).

    You’re making a business argument, and to characterise the smartphone market in terms of platform market share is to miss its fundamental nature (again, if you’re interested in the business perspective).

    From this perspective the true dichotomy of the smartphone market is not iOS vs Android but Apple vs Samsung. Nobody else is making any serious money at this game.

    Your argument would have been better supported by quoting handset-maker market share. Or – better still – *profit* share.

    Don’t worry: neither Microsoft nor Nokia fares well when judged by that metric either. ;)

  56. @Winter

    World wide market share for Android 80%. When pushed hard with price manipulation and cross subsidies, consumers in the USA are prefering BMW, sorry, iPhone. But that is just another way of saying that Android outsells Apple 7:1. If money is all that counts, go for LVHM. For all others, the situation in the USA is simply an illustration of the effects of oligopoly and market manipulation.

    Comscore data is only about the USA it isn’t a global marketshare report. The debate about Comscore is a debate about the USA market. Arguing that the US market reflects manipulations is agreeing that Comscore is fundamentally right. You aren’t disagreeing me with on that, you are disagreeing with Eric.

    As for 80% Android I think you are using the IDC numbers which include very low end Android phones and exclude phones like the Asha . So I think the numbers are off.

    That being said, the number is regardless of how you count really high and rapidly growing for what percentage of phones with data plans are using Android. Smartphone growth is happening further and further down market. Apple it appears is likely to announce a phone at the $300-400 price point as a major concession for the mid range. But they have no play at $90 where the bottom of data phones exist. iOS 7 is very resource consumptive. If the question is marketshare Apple has no intention of playing in that market, a market that could easily grow to a 1/2 billion phones per year within the next few years. So FWIW yeah, Android owns that market globally.

  57. Owen Shepherd on 2013-09-03 at 22:30:57 said:

    > See, my experience when asking people generally goes like this “Yeah, it [the ribbon UI] sucked for a couple of weeks, but once you get used to it it really is better”

    This is the defense I hear of vi, the command line, Linux’s sixteen billion configuration text files, and editing command lines with vi into sixteen billion configuration text files.

    OK if you live in Word, as some people do. If you don’t, it is months, not weeks, and you never quite pick it all up.

  58. Jakub Narebski on 2013-09-04 at 10:55:06 said:
    >

    > About iOS vs Android: I wonder if there are any data about profit-share or revenue-share instead of market-share…

    Google does not give a tinker’s dam about revenue share. It wants to deny Microsoft and Apple control of the road to its search service. It wants mindshare. It is happy to lose buckets of money forever on Android

  59. @Aaron

    “Recruiters will copy bits from your resume for other candidates, and they will edit your resume before sending it.”

    Indeed they will. More than once I’ve been phone screening a candidate and experienced that awkward silence when we simultaneously realize what has happened. I’m asking questions about some “skill” listed on their resume and they’re doing their best to dodge the questions while not looking completely foolish. Sadly, this has happened even after we explicitly told the recruiter that we weren’t interested in pattern matching against a specific set of “skills” other than “programming”.

  60. “I let the series lapse when I concluded that the source I was using for U.S. market share figures had likely disconnected from reality (and more recent surveys from other sources suggest I was right).”

    Bwahaha, still utterly delusional. Is it really that hard to admit that the US market is different from other markets?

  61. @Jay Maynard: “Now all 4 major mobile platforms have captive hardware makers.”

    This is the first time this has been pointed out. It seems to me that this has real implications. Are we moving to a world where having control of at least one implementation of the hardware platform on which your software platform is necessary (or perceived to be necessary) for strategic reasons?

  62. It’s a world in which Apple is making boatloads of money and their competitors are trying to imitate them.

  63. Turns out Samsung gets higher device subsidies by percentage than Apple. It’s just awful how Apple is warping the US marketplace. Of course, we’re reading market analysis by a guy who just accepts the first numbers that pop up in a Google search, so…

    Anyway, making any bets before September 11th is dumb. If you don’t think Apple can do low cost devices, you don’t remember the iPod. Whether or not they will is another question entirely. But it’d be a good time for it, to say the least.

    Subsidy numbers: http://www.talkandroid.com/166864-samsung-found-to-have-higher-device-subsidies-than-apple-htc/

  64. The Nokia acquisition cost Balmer a forced early exit.

    > … the smartphones and dumbphones go to Microsoft.

    Incorrect. The feature phones stay with Nokia, as does the Nokia brand (though they can’t use it until 2015).

    “Under the terms of Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services division, the “Asha” and “Lumia” trademarks will transfer to Redmond, but the “Nokia” mark will remain property of the Finnish company, and may only be used on featurephones running the basic Series 30 and Series 40 operating systems under a 10-year license agreement. (Nokia itself is barred from using the Nokia brand on any mobile devices at all until December 31st, 2015.) ”

    Watch out if the soon to be independent Dell merges with Microsoft. Then Microsoft really will be a ‘devices and services’ company. You can bet that PCs from Microdell would have the SecureBoot functionality tied down such that alternative operating systems will not boot.

  65. FapayaSF

    > It’s a world in which Apple is making boatloads of money and their competitors are trying to imitate them.

    Google, the number one player, is not trying to imitate them, and does not need to do so.

    You gain mindshare before you make lots of money, and you make the most money while losing mindshare.

  66. Android was a Blackberry clone before the iPhone, then became more like iOS. Google was software and services, and now moves into hardware. Both strike me as moving in Apple’s direction. I’m sure there are other examples.

    I see no evidence that Apple is “losing mindshare.”

  67. Google just forked android by moving about a third of the APIs into the closed source Google Play Services apk. When App devs code against GPS APIs those apps will cease to work on non-branded android (i.e. kindle, baidu phones, any future amazon phones, etc).

    Interesting move and a much needed one but it pretty much admits that open source Android did not meet the strategic goal of securing Google’s “control of the road”. In China that Android road lead to Baidu and not Google. Likewise on Kindle that road lead to Amazon and not Google. It also turned a close strategic partner into a bitter rival.

  68. “Anyway, making any bets before September 11th is dumb. If you don’t think Apple can do low cost devices, you don’t remember the iPod. Whether or not they will is another question entirely. But it’d be a good time for it, to say the least.”

    Even without the low cost iPhone, Apple is doing quite well in the US and other major markets as pointed out above. The only disconnection from reality is ESR’s denial that Apple really does have 40% market share in the US since pretty much every single source reports that and the carrier sales numbers are in line with that number.

    If Apple does release a lower cost iPhone it will probably gain a few points in those developing markets but even the “lower cost” iPhone wont be low cost and probably $400-$500 vs $600-700.

    Which means the majority of the impact will likely be seen in the US and Europe since it’s a mid tier smartphone. Grabbing market share of near zero ARPU users doesn’t do much for either Apple or iOS developers. Grabbing market share of mid tier users healthy if somewhat lower ARPUs than existing iPhone users will continue to drive revenue growth for Apple and iOS devs alike.

  69. Google just forked android by moving about a third of the APIs into the closed source Google Play Services apk.

    Not saying i don’t believe you but do you have a technical(i.e.something closer to release notes rather than a press release) link for this?

    Closest thing i could find was talking about GPS moving into play which is somewhat unsurprising really.

    another way in which they are becoming more like Apple.

    Thats funny, i did a search for android apps that got banned for not using the Android UI layer, Java or for competing directly with official Google apps, and couldn’t find any stories about that. Perhaps you could provide some links?

  70. Koushik Dutta, an Android developer, complained that Google had intentionally blocked an application he had created that would allow people to stream to Chromecast directly from their phones. This would allow people to watch whatever content they had on their mobile devices – a logical service, it seems, but a step too far for Google, apparently.

    “The policy seems to be a heavy-handed approach, where only approved content will be played through the device,” wrote Dutta. “The Chromecast will probably not be indie developer friendly. The Google TV team will likely only whitelist media companies.”

  71. @CD-Host
    ” The debate about Comscore is a debate about the USA market. Arguing that the US market reflects manipulations is agreeing that Comscore is fundamentally right.”

    Indeed, and the point is that the USA market is unimportant. It does not tell you what the other 7B humans are using, nor how the future will look. So there is little reason to follow the development of the USA market.

    @CD-Host
    “As for 80% Android I think you are using the IDC numbers which include very low end Android phones and exclude phones like the Asha . So I think the numbers are off.”

    And if you include the Asha, why leave out all the other phones? You have to draw the line somewhere. And that line was drawn between feature phones and smartphones before the Asha existed. And the Asha is considered a feature phone. If you start messing with that distinction, you should simply use all mobile phones. See below. As almost all users people are going to migrate to smartphones anyway, it is a good idea to use total handset sales.

    The result is, Android is now 40% of total handset sales. Asha is below 1%.

    Sales for 2012
    Total handsets: 1.7B
    Android: 497M = 29%
    iOS: 136M = 8%
    Windows phone: 18M = 1%

    http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats/a#phone-shipments

    Sales for Q2 2013
    Total handsets: 435M
    Android: 178M = 41%
    iOS: 32M = 7.4%
    Windows phone: 7M = 1.6%
    Asha: 4.3M = <1%

    Gartner
    https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2573415

  72. “I’m asking questions about some “skill” listed on their resume and they’re doing their best to dodge the questions while not looking completely foolish.”

    I learned a long time ago to answer questions about skills I have honestly. If someone asks me if I have any Java experience, for example, I tell them I don’t, but I do have experience in these other languages and a demonstrated track record of picking up new technologies quickly. Yeah, it probably costs me jobs, but not as many as you’d think, and it’s better to not oversell yourself lest you find you’ve made promises you can’t keep – which is not good for anyone.

  73. @nigel

    If Apple does release a lower cost iPhone it will probably gain a few points in those developing markets but even the “lower cost” iPhone wont be low cost and probably $400-$500 vs $600-700.

    $400-500 is still the high end of the market. Midrange is more like $250. Apple already has a $400-500 offering the 2 generation behind phone (iphone 4 on the day I’m writing this, soon the 4S) retails at $450. It is far cheaper both new and used from other sellers. The rumors have Apple coming in around $350 or below to genuinely compete in the mid range.

  74. @Winter —

    I’m not sure where you are getting those numbers from the links. Asha does about 30m annually. As for why include Asha, it is a question of using the same metric. A huge percentage of those 470m (again I’m not sure about 490m) Androids sold have limited data and limited functionality. They aren’t being used or sold as “smartphones” with features like mobile internet. You’ve made the claim before a basic web browser is the cut off, well many of those Asha have better web functionality than those Androids do.

    Again, I think “smartphone” is a totally artificial category, and there is no firm line between feature phone and smartphone. I would just break at price points which today look like:

    $300+
    $150-299
    $90-150
    $90-

    We have 4 markets with some overlap and different players in each. There isn’t much reason to combine them.

  75. @CD-Host
    I gave the links for the sales numbers. The link for the Asha sales are below. And you seem to want to argue that low-cost Android phones are, somehow, not really Smartphones. Then just use the total handset sales like I did.

    And Asha sales are around 5M/quarter
    http://www.engadget.com/2013/07/18/nokia-q2-2013/
    > However, the Asha division saw sales slip down from 5 million last quarter to 4.3 million now.

    In short, sales are on track to give almost all humans an Android handset over the next five years. The remainders will have an iPhone. There will be some isolated people using anything else.

  76. I wouldn’t call Elop an idiot – he executed his plan with brilliance: killed meego in its cradle while at the same time killing symbian which could help Nokia to stay afloat while meego matures. I would’t be surprised to learn that he also developed that plan. This kind of work requires not only complete lack of ethics but a very well working brain as well.

  77. > Microsoft and ex-Nokia have screwed up really badly and no actual value is being created by this move

    Hold on a moment – that’s only valid for countries with more or less normal patent system. In US, where legislation actively endorse and protects patent trolls it’s opposite: MS got themselves huge pile of patents cheaply. Patents which definitely will be put to work in attempt to conquer markets in non-competitive ways. Apple is not the only company who can play this kind of game ;-)

  78. Koushik Dutta, an Android developer, complained that Google had intentionally blocked an application

    Ok you do raise an interesting case but if you read a little deeper a couple of interesting points emerge.

    Firstly, this has nothing to do with an application being banned from Google Play. Koushik’s exact words were “Heads up. Google’s latest Chromecast update intentionally breaks AllCast.” That is to say that Google has modified the Chromecast end, not the Android end nor the Play store.

    Secondly, it’s worth pointing out that this is also not “competing with Google Apps” as this is apparently a frequently commented on hole in the Chromecast feature set. Perhaps they’re planning to eventually but that just leads us to the third point.

    Finally, Koushik is reverse engineering a beta protocol. Anyone who expects updates to not screw with unacknowledged third party hacks is being just a bit retarded. Now i don’t really believe that this was business as usual change, but by the same token we also don’t know how much Koushik was abusing the protocol. Maybe it was a security violation? We also don’t know if it will stay that way. Maybe in one months time this wouldn’t have been an issue.

    Now i’m not going to argue that this is the best use of Google’s largesse nor am I saying that we should be praising them from on high for they can do no wrong, as a corporation Google is effectively sociopathic and MPD almost by definition. But lets at least allow a bit of reality to seep into the Google hate.

  79. I am surprised ESR can’t see the reason behind the Nokia acquisition. During the last months, there was intense dissapointment among Nokia shareholders about the Windows Phone strategy, and there were talks about a new CEO. MS was afraid the shareholders would bring a new CEO and have him make an Android Nokia (just imagine a Nokia phone with Stock Android and PureView) or even bring back Jolla or MeeGo.

    So MS just bought the productive parts of Nokia’s consumer branch, save for the Here maps department, which is doing free R&D for MS anyway. And I really hope Nokia doesn’t give investors much from this sale, because they brought in Elop in the first place.

  80. @Winter: …the point is that the USA market is unimportant. It does not tell you what the other 7B humans are using, nor how the future will look. So there is little reason to follow the development of the USA market.

    I think you’re wrong. The American market often tells you how the (technological) future will work in the rest of the world. All those Android phones aren’t being sold in the rest of the world because people are committed to open source OSs, it’s because they are cheap. Many if not most of those people would buy iPhones if they could afford it, and incomes do tend to rise over time, and iPhone users are proving to be much more platform-loyal than Android users.

    As I’ve said in other threads, I expect Android to dominate the low end of the market, but still don’t see Apple being pushed into a “luxury niche” or irrelevance any time soon. Look at the figures I posted near the very top of this thread.

  81. @PapayaSF
    In mobile, cell, phones, the USA has consistently trailed the rest of the world. IIRC, even the iPhone succeeded first outside the USA. If you want to see the future in mobile, go to Korea.

  82. American telecommunications in general lag behind the rest of the world because America doesn’t know how to infrastructure. Back when AT&T was a sanctioned monopoly, America’s telecommunications infrastructure was world class. Now we have competition, sure — but we have neither government ownership nor sufficient regulatory oversight to ensure common ground and a level playing field for the competitors. Which is why we pay over $100 a month for shitty, spotty internet service and Europeans pay 40 euro a month for excellent service.

  83. @Jeff Read: Impressively close to be so thoroughly wrong. AT&T as a national monopoly held communications back for decades to preserve its high-margin business (“hot phones”, anyone?), and the precise problem now is that the local telcos and cable companies have government monopolies on their respective last-mile layer-1 technologies; in a few areas where citizens have managed to get the franchises canned, FTTP ISPs have quickly jumped in (not just Google; there have been coops and at least two startup for-profits that were on Slashdot).

  84. Rumor had DoCoMo and China Mobile adding the iPhone to their lineup.

    iOS share should go up in both countries. Actually it’s surprising that iOS has 17-24 (gartner and kantar numbers) percent share in China without China Mobile. A mid tier iPhone will also help.

    Winter, a US app dev doesn’t care what the market share of iOS is in Zimbabwe. No more than a Chinese app dev cares. They both care about market share in their primary marketa.

    The US market is also highly important because of the much higher ARPU of each customer.

    In any case, the US market was what ESR and you were crowing about until iOS started to take share from Andriod. Then all of a sudden the US market doesn’t matter and ESR dropped the whole Apple is doomed from disruption angle since it was clearly wrong.

    Apple continues to gain share and doesn’t look like it will be imploding any time soon.

    • >Then all of a sudden the US market doesn’t matter and ESR dropped the whole Apple is doomed from disruption angle since it was clearly wrong.

      Nice fantasy planet you live on. Maybe you’ve moved in next door to JAD?

  85. So in the Iphone vs Android wars I have one comment. I have recently heard more than one person explain to someone else that the ditched their iPhone for a Samsung. This is random listening to people on the plane/in the airport etc. This is not something I have ever heard before about Apple products.

    It has never ever made sense to me that Nokia would not develop an Android phone. Things like their monster camera are reasons why I would like to buy a Nokia phone, but I’m not going to do it if the phone is not Android because there simply aren’t the apps I want. Or at least there weren’t last time I looked.

    Regarding Office alternatives – google drive/docs are an excellent replacement that work just fine on Android or any PC running any OS with a browser. I have not yet had any problems exchanging data with office people. But I admit I haven’t done this with large complex spreadsheets or similar. The Office 2007/10 ribbon still annoys the crap out of me. Despite using it for years, I still spend ages trying to figure out what ribbon has the thing I want now and again. Moreover it takes up way too much space and you can’t (well I can’t) reduce it to something smaller.

  86. Google’s Android reaches 1 billion device activation milestone
    http://androidcommunity.com/googles-android-reaches-1-billion-device-activation-milestone-20130903/

    Sundar confirmed that Android has now exceeded the 1 billion device activations milestone, something we all figured would arrive at some point in late 2013 or early next year. Instead, the growing Android ecosystem in the US, and elsewhere, especially emerging markets has kept Android on top. Google’s own Eric Schmidt said we’d probably get to 1 billion by the end of the year, so congrats to the entire Android team.

  87. @Nigel
    “Winter, a US app dev doesn’t care what the market share of iOS is in Zimbabwe. ”

    The lack of interest is mutual: People in Zimbabwe do not care about app developers working for the iPhone, neither do I. If you are interested is money, you might consider following LVHM.

    I understand that some people follow Apple because that is where they make their money. Others follow fashion shows for the same reason.

    I think getting the people of Africa, or Asia, onto the Internet is interesting for reasons that go beyond the question of how much money you can extract out of them in the short term.

  88. Nokia was well fucked long before Elop. They relied for too long on Symbian-Turd, failing to see it could never be good enough in a touch world. The reaction to the iPhone was “We tried touch screens before, customers didn’t like it”.

    2005 they had the 770 Tablet, basically a proto-iPad. If they had gone all in with Maemo, clearly declaring it the future of Nokia, and fully deprecating Symbian-Turd, they might have had a chance. Instead they pissed it away with a partnership with mobile-loser Intel, delaying progress for years. There was also the channel stuffing, destroying credibility with carriers and retail chains.

    I know some Nokia fans see the burning platform memo as destroying Nokia handset business (I think it only accelerated its destruction), but its basic premise was correct. There is nothing to indicate any other course than Windows Phone would have fared better.

  89. Actually, largely because of the iPhone’s success in the US, the US has caught up and surpassed most nations in smartphone adoption, data rate, and most major metrics of mobile penetration.

    There are a few metrics where Korea or a few countries may slightly outpace the US, but not many and not by much any longer. (For example, China surpassed the US in total smartphone subscribers but still significantly lags on a per capita basis and even more significantly lags in 3G and 4G adoption.)

    A couple of quick links:
    http://www.broadbandforamerica.com/blog/us-leads-europe-high-speed-deployment-%E2%80%93-new-gsma-report

    http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats/a#topmobilemarkets

    And everyone I know in Europe has greater complaints about cost of data than in the US because… you may pay only 20 Euros a month but you may be restricted to only 100mb of data, for example.

  90. @PapayaSF

    Oh, yes, that.

    Google didn’t want people using their pre-production SDK for Chromecast to publish apps to end-users yet, since the API is still under development. You don’t want an API misfeature to get set in stone because somebody distributes a popular app that uses it while you’re still in testing, after all. So they set up a whitelist that prevented end-users from using apps made with the pre-production SDK.

    Dutta wanted to push to end users an app that used that in-development, not-yet-for-end-user-release API, and so spoofed the whitelist.

    So, Google fixed the whitelist to not be spoofable.

    So Dutta invented a conspiracy theory about Google locking down the Chromecast.

    Which you’ve now repeated third-hand sans context.

  91. @Bryant:

    > Turns out Samsung gets higher device subsidies by percentage than Apple.

    That. is. the. silliest. metric. ever. At least the way you’re trying to use it (to show that Apple doesn’t garner higher subsidies.)

    From the same article:

    “While Samsung and HTC are worse for carriers from a percentage standpoint, Apple still leads the way with a higher $110 average subsidy cost in actual value.”

  92. This is the defense I hear of vi, the command line, Linux’s sixteen billion configuration text files, and editing command lines with vi into sixteen billion configuration text files.

    That you phrase it thus indicates you don’t have the slightest understanding of why it’s a better way to operate.

    There isn’t “the command line”; *nix offers many choices of command lines, from the venerable sh and its descendents ksh and bash, to some … exotic variants. The true power of the command line is that each of the command interpreters not only allows immediate command execution, but it allows commands to be built into scripts so that a system administrator can do things that would otherwise require compilation of a custom binary or painful repetitive point-n-grunt.

    It isn’t about vi other than the fact that vi exists on every *nix system. It’s about the freedom to use any editor, including things like sed and perl, or a GUI front end, to manipulate the settings that in other OSes are only available by painful repetitive point-n-grunt.

    And the value of the many configuration files is that they allow finer granularity than a few large files would provide. Just today I had occasion to respond to a vulnerability scan on two servers I’m responsible for by tweaking an Apache setting. I could have written the setting to the main httpd.conf file, but because that file has an include directive for conf.d, I instead wrote a small security.conf file to that directory, including just that setting and some comment lines explaining why it needs to be set. That way the next time an upgrade overwrites httpd.conf, my changes will remain in force.

    And I just got done running a script that handles the tricky business of stopping dozens of application servers so that a DBA could update Oracle. If I had to manually do all of that crap, it would have taken me hours rather than minutes (most of which was me watching the script do its job).

    And if you think “millions” of config files are bad, have you looked at the Registry lately? That putrid pile of excrement is impenetrable.

  93. @Tim F
    “you may pay only 20 Euros a month but you may be restricted to only 100mb of data, for example.”

    Depending on how many minutes you want to speak, I can get 1GB for 21 euros. With 50 minutes/SMS a month, I can get 200MB for only 7 euros. The only real problem is that prices sky rocket when I cross the border, i.e., 0.54 euro/MB. However, in practice I am only abroad a few weeks a year. Also, free WiFi is becoming rather ubiquitous.

    http://www.simonlyabonnement.nl/

  94. I don’t see how the subsidy stats are SILLY when the point that you and others are trying to make is that Apple is uniquely exploiting the American subsidy market and for that reason alone they are succeeding in America.

    It’s no one’s fault but Samsung that they make several low cost models. Not Apple’s. So Samsung makes several phones that cost $300-400 and they get subsidized 100% to $ZERO… they make a couple of phones that cost $600-700 that get subsidized to $200-300. Apple makes far fewer phones with an average cost of $650 that get subsidized to $0-500… warranting a higher subsidy by virtue of having the most desirable phone and likely lower support and marketing costs… and they have the most expensive phones (maybe not the absolutely most expensive phone, but certainly when including the entire phone portfolio). Apple isn’t to blame if Samsung isn’t getting a $500 subsidy on a $300 phone, that’s just absurd. But the point still holds that Samsung receives higher carrier benefit as a total percentage of their costs (a large mix of products receiving 100% or near 100% subsidy and a smaller mix of high-cost products that receive 50-70% subsidy that may or may not be lower than Apple subsidies as an actual $ value) than Apple. That is, Apple is asking its customers to pay more of their costs than Samsung is. Samsung gets more of their costs reimbursed by the carriers contractually rather than via customers willing to pay.

  95. To state it more generally, the general thrust of the oft-used subsidy argument seems to me to be flawed in two fundamental ways.

    1. People claim it is “artificial.” I only see natural market forces at play, not artificial constraints.

    2. People claim Apple has a unique crutch. However, if the only thing that is unique is that a $700 device gets a $500 subsidy and there are other competitors getting $400 subsidies on less desirable $600 devices and many, many, many more devices getting much higher percentage subsidies that are less than $500 (80-100%), than you’re largely commenting on the above natural market forces and each companies individual product marketing strategy. Yes, Apple benefits from a $500 subsidy on a $700 device… Likewise, Samsung benefits from $300 subsidies on $300 devices. Apple’s unique advantage is also their unique disadvantage.

    #2 reduces the subsidy arguers needing to argue that Apple doesn’t deserve a subsidy that is higher on absolute terms but lower on relative terms; however, the market reality disagrees with them.

  96. “Depending on how many minutes you want to speak, I can get 1GB for 21 euros. With 50 minutes/SMS a month, I can get 200MB for only 7 euros.”

    That first obfuscatory clause and the fact that there’s a 40% discount on the data in comparison to the second sentence/contract suggests that that first plan option must be horribly unattractive.

    None of what you say is out of line with what I’m aware of. There are many options and those options vary from EU state to EU state. As I said, most of my EU friends, who are admittedly more like US data consumers, prefer their choices but prefer our prices (because they are big data consumers). Certainly, they aren’t immune to loathing their carrier’s service.

    I too attribute a great deal of value to fixed broadband networks and 802.11 wireless networks supplementing mobile broadband. But, of course, the US is generally ahead in those areas as well.

  97. @Tim F.
    “That first obfuscatory clause and the fact that there’s a 40% discount on the data in comparison to the second sentence/contract suggests that that first plan option must be horribly unattractive.”

    No, speech time is expensive. The first option is 150 minutes of speech and unlimited SMS. The second is 50 minutes of speech/SMS (combined).

    But I see I was comparing the wrong things. Here is a better list for SIM only prices:
    50 minutes 50 SMS no data € 2.00
    50 minutes 50 SMS 200MB data € 7.00
    50 minutes 50 SMS 500MB data € 10.00
    50 minutes 50 SMS 1GB data € 12.00
    50 minutes 50 SMS unlimited data € 17.00
    http://www.simonlyabonnement.nl/Youfone/
    (note: there is some variation based on contract duration)

    If you do not speak/SMS much, you pick one with mostly data. The link gives you all the options. Most people I know can get by with a couple of 100MB. But then, I do not know any people who watch streaming movies over 3G.

  98. Again, Winter, not telling me much that I don’t know. Those rates look horrible. They look like single day usage stats, not contract plans. I have app update downloads bigger than half of your data allotments. You think I’m overspending; I think you don’t know what true, pervasive, unlimited 3G/4G data access really is.

  99. I have app update downloads bigger than half of your data allotments.

    Are you talking a single app or a large chunk of your apps at one time? Because if you are unsurprised by apps downloading more than 1/4 of their maximum size (2gb/4=500mb) as an update, then the iphone app market is more degenerate than i could possibly imagine.

  100. @Tim F.
    “I think you don’t know what true, pervasive, unlimited 3G/4G data access really is.”

    17 euros/month.

    Almost everyone I know does updates over WiFi. For one thing, Large 3G/4G downloads drain your battery fast. And where you have power outlets, you tend to have fast WiFi.

  101. “Nice fantasy planet you live on. Maybe you’ve moved in next door to JAD?”

    Is it fantasy that Apple hasn’t imploded or that Apple has 40% share in the US? Both of which is opposite of what you predicted.

    2010-04-22

    And that means that over the medium term, two to three years out, Apple is in even more trouble than I thought.”

    it doesn’t look offhand like anything about the iPhone is saving it from bleeding unit share right in parallel with Blackberry.

    2010-05-11

    “In the smartphone market I have been expecting a disruptive break that would body-slam Apple’s market share, but I expected it to be several quarters in the future and with a really fast drop-off when it happened. “

    Three years later not so much.

    2011-04-18

    “The latest fashionable form of denial is “It doesn’t matter that Android is now the #1-selling smartphone in the U.S. and worldwide, Apple is making money hand over fist.” Heh. What this actually says to any long-time tech-industry watcher is: disruption from below succeeded, Apple marketshare and revenue collapse coming in 3, 2, 1…”

    That’s a long assed count down from 2 and a half years ago. At rate of 1 per second we’re at T-plus 75,293,460…

    2011-08-07

    “The future is another country, of course, but right now it looks like those of us who thought that multicarrier iPhone was going to be largely unable to fix Apple’s long-term positioning problem were correct. The iPhone’s market isn’t exactly saturated in the normal sense, but sales volumes are only growing as fast as the smartphone userbase as a whole; the multicarrier ‘breakout’ only netted Apple about a 1% competitive gain, and that gain now appears to be over.

    Apple is now relying on smartphones for 68% of revenue, so they’d be very vulnerable to an actual drop in marketshare. I’ve taken a lot of flak for saying the company looks like a late-stage sustainer with a principal product line about to experience disruptive collapse, but this is yet another straw in the wind. If next month’s figures show an actual share drop, expect it to be self-reinforcing and get the hell out of Apple stock.”

    Apple share price closed on Aug 11 at 363.37. Even given the massive rise and equally massive fall it closed at $495.27 yesterday.

    2011-08-25

    “But I have been predicting since early 2011 that this would change in mid-3Q2011 – and the first signs of that change may be upon us now. WebOS is no more, Microsoft has arrested its slide, and after a tiny post-February bump Apple’s market share is flat again. There are several possible explanations for this, but one very likely one is that Android is now putting actual downward pressure on Apple’s market share.

    I’ve said before that I think Apple looks just like sustaining incumbents often do just before they undergo catastrophic disruption from below and their market share falls off a cliff. “

    2012-04-03

    “The main thing I see in these numbers is that despite all the sound and fury about Apple’s record quarter, the 4S has failed to improve the iPhone’s competitive posture against Android. The fourth or fifth iteration of “this time for sure!” fizzled yet again. I’m sure we’ll hear the same breathless hype when the iPhone 5 issues, though, it seems to be evergreen.

    In fact, the pressure on Apple has increased. What we know about winner-take-all effects in markets with positive network externalities suggests that when you’re facing supermajority competition, even slight erosions in market share tend to turn into self-reinforcing cascades as users defect to the safe majority choice.”

    And now Apple is at 40% share and you went dark because the only one living in a fantasy world was yourself. When the data conflicted with your world view you didn’t change your world view, you simply claimed the data was wrong and stuck your fingers in your ears, scrunched closed your eyes and chanted LALALALALALA…I CAN’T HEAR YOU…COMSCORE BAD…

    There never was any market share implosion for Apple. Apple never had majority share to begin with and has only gained share since it was one of the disruptors against the incumbents. You’ve been wrong for the last three years about Apple and it’s imminent demise.

    Most of the folks you deride as “Apple fanboys” have always said that Android would do well but so would iOS. If all you ever said was “Android will end up with 50+% share of the smartphone market in the US and WorldWide.” few would have contested that prediction in 2010.

    • >it doesn’t look offhand like anything about the iPhone is saving it from bleeding unit share right in parallel with Blackberry.

      And, in fact, nothing has saved it. Worldwide, no matter whose figures you look at, Apple is falling towards the 10% market share I predicted. In IDC’s figures it’s within statistical noise of that now. (And no, we shouldn’t overinterpret that; don’t bother pretending that I’m doing so.)

      So, LALALALA…projecting, much? The disruption I predicted happened. Wrapped in a lot of fog, and maybe locally stalled by carrier subsidies in some places, but it happened. I’m not writing projections because I’m honest about the limits of my knowledge, but Apple can’t even dream about its billionth activation and I see more Nexus 7s than I do iPads.

      >Three years later not so much.

      So, um, when I acknowledge that the slope of decline was different than I was expecting because Apple got hurt sooner than I expected, this somehow makes me more wrong? You Apple fanboys crack me up. You do tendentious misquotation almost as well as creationists.

  102. Nigel, what’s hilarious is I don’t even think the most fervent detractors of ESR on his blog here would have predicted or been optimistic that Apple would likely have greater than 50% market share in the US and Japan, certainly not the largest but undeniable two of the most important markets in the world, by 2015.

    Now, I would say it’s a certainty.

  103. @Nigel

    Pretty devastating takedown, but I do worry about the amount of time you must have spent dredging up all those quotes. ;)

  104. “So, um, when I acknowledge that the slope of decline was different than I was expecting because Apple got hurt sooner than I expected, this somehow makes me more wrong? You Apple fanboys crack me up. You do tendentious misquotation almost as well as creationists.”

    Can you stop with the idiocy and stop conflating US and Worldwide data… for a start?

    The slope of the decline that you claim came sooner than later is actually an upward slope going from 25% to 44%…. if you would actually be consistent about whether you are talking about US or Worldwide data.

  105. I think to say that Apple has been “disrupted” there have to be more indicators than simply a smaller percentage of worldwide market share. They sell ever-increasing numbers of units, their profits are the envy of the industry, and they have the best user satisfaction ratings, which means (as I referenced above) that they get far more switchers from Android than the other way around. Oh, and in Apple rumor news, it looks like the biggest carriers in Japan (DoCoMo) and China (China Mobile) will be offering the iPhone soon. That doesn’t look like Blackberry/impending doom behavior, at all.

    Also, while Nigel did not mention this, one of Eric’s core points was that the vast “Android army” of phone makers would swamp Apple. At this point, though, the army consists of Samsung, Google, maybe HTC, and not many other companies worth mentioning, because nobody else is making money or having much impact. More of an Android squad….

  106. To: Josh on 2013-009-05 at 9.35 and to
    Jon Brase on 2013-09-03 at 12:12:49
    **************
    >And as for Elop: he masterminded what was probably the biggest destruction in shareholder value ever – and this is the guy who’s being talked of as Ballmer’s successor? Astonishing.

    If the conspiracy theorists are right, said destruction of shareholder value was masterfully executed as part of his job at Microsoft, and has nothing at all to do with incompetence.”
    **************
    And then you have to consider Grey’s Law:
    “Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.”

    I vote for this being advanced incompetence by Elop. The Board was about to decide to order a change of course for the Titanic ( he said, mixing metaphors madly).

  107. @Tim F.:
    @Bryant:

    No, it’s a completely silly argument.

    I haven’t looked in awhile, so I don’t know if this is what’s happening now, but for the longest time, a customer could spend $200 at a carrier and get a Samsung that he could have spent $550 on on the open market, or spend the same $200 and get an Apple phone that he could have spent $700 on on the open market.

    Or spend $300 to get the $700 Samsung phone at the carrier.

    All apparently due to the contractual obligation of the carriers to shift a certain number of Apple handsets in order to be able to sell them at all. (And possibly, as has been pointed out in the past, because the carriers thought that Apple customers spend more and so are more valuable, but as they go more downmarket, that dynamic is probably shifting.)

    Not quite as bad a market distortion as offering MS-DOS on all your computers for $50/copy, or on some of them for more than double that, but close.

    Again, I haven’t looked in awhile, but when I did, the numbers didn’t at all mesh with your presupposition that if Samsung had a pricey handset they could get the same subsidy. (At the time, they did and they didn’t.)

    BTW, you also have to bear in mind that the true subsidy cost is not what a consumer can buy a phone for vs. what he pays on contract, but rather what the carrier pays for the phone minus what the customer kicks in. Apple is notorious for giving thin margins to resellers.

  108. And as I said above, your entire argument boils down to: I think it’s unfair that users and carriers value iPhones more highly than other devices. But your feelings don’t match up with reality and certainly doesn’t make it so. Yes, the latest iPhone has a subsidy that is larger than what you think is equivalent — but the majority of people don’t agree with you. This doesn’t indicate that there is some artificial propping up of Apple; this indicates a market at work.

  109. > You do tendentious misquotation almost as well as creationists.

    Or the global warming deniers?
    Or the race-baiters?

    Et tu, esr. Et tu.

  110. “Again, I haven’t looked in awhile, but when I did, the numbers didn’t at all mesh with your presupposition that if Samsung had a pricey handset they could get the same subsidy. (At the time, they did and they didn’t.)”

    I do not presuppose this at all. I conjecture that the most valuable handset to the carriers will get the largest subsidy, less valuable handsets will get less of a subsidy. I do not presume that a Samsung phone that is equivalently as expensive or equivalent from a hardware standpoint is as valuable as an iPhone.

    I do presuppose that every OEM benefits from subsidies and that larger percentage subsidies rather than highest value subsidies can be as beneficial, if not more so, to an OEM depending on their product strategy.

  111. One thing I’m curious about.

    Nokia has a market cap of 20G$. (This despite a 30% drop in sales in the last two years, and losses of 5G$ in 2012 and 1.4G$ in 2011.)

    Microsoft bought Nokia’s phone business for 7G$.

    Is the remaing part of Nokia really worth 13G$?

  112. They popped 25% on the acquisition, so the proper starting point is actually 16 billion. They have 12-13 billion in cash. It’s not difficult to imagine that the cellular equipment business, mapping service, and patents are worth 3 billion.

  113. I forgot they have debt of 7 billion. So… 10 billion. Still seems reasonable to me. Although not going to be easy to run those businesses without handset hardware and a software platform…

  114. : I think it’s unfair that users and carriers value iPhones more highly than other devices

    Actually the subsidy evidence would say that users value the high end samsung phones over iPhones since the cost to them is less for an iPhone. And carriers are corporations so crazy comes with the territory.

  115. @Tim F:

    > ” I think it’s unfair that users and carriers value iPhones more highly than other devices.”

    Umm, no. As JonCB points out, if the users really valued them that much more, the market would easily sort it out without _extra_ carrier subsidies.

    Which gets us back to it being in the carrier’s interests. Which aren’t usually directly aligned with the user’s interests.

    So one interest the carrier has is to actually be able to carry the iPhone, because _enough_ users (not all of them, mind you) want the iPhone that not carrying it is a problem. Which is why Apple can beat them over the head with contractual minimums that couldn’t possibly happen in a truly free market, e.g. if the phone were decoupled from the carrier, or the health insurance were decoupled from the employer, or…

  116. “And, in fact, nothing has saved it. Worldwide, no matter whose figures you look at, Apple is falling towards the 10% market share I predicted. In IDC’s figures it’s within statistical noise of that now. (And no, we shouldn’t overinterpret that; don’t bother pretending that I’m doing so.)”

    That is such bullshit. During the three year period the iPhone has been gaining world market share from 14.5% in CY2009 to 15.7% in CY2010 to 18.8% in CY2011 to 19.1% in CY2012 using IDC numbers.

    https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS23916413

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

    Even if there’s a dip in CY2013 market share numbers your assertion that Apple world market share has been in free fall like Blackberry’s over the past three years is completely wrong and not supported by ANY data.

    As far as the 2Q13 IDC numbers you are laughably using to try to show Apple=Blackberry IDC had this to say:

    “The iOS decline in the second quarter aligns with the cyclicality of iPhone,” says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team. “Without a new product launch since the debut of the iPhone 5 nearly a year ago, Apple’s market share was vulnerable to product launches from the competition. But with a new iPhone and revamped iOS coming out later this year, Apple is well-positioned to re-capture market share.”

  117. “As JonCB points out, if the users really valued them that much more, the market would easily sort it out without _extra_ carrier subsidies.”

    Which is why percentage of subsidy is totally relevant. Samsung is more heavily subsidized than Apple. i.e. Apple customers are more likely to pay for Apple products than Samsung employees. You being hung up on Apple having the highest value subsidy on one device is nonsensical. The percentage subsidy tells us that the greater percentage of the majority of Samsung phones is being paid by the carrier. Apple passes more of the cost on to the customer, and the customer is willing to pay for it.

  118. “Apple can’t even dream about its billionth activation”

    I was curious as the total iOS devices sold:

    500M by Jan 2013 (Tim Cook Q1 conference call)
    600M by Jun 2013 (Tim Cook WWDC)

    What you deem undreamable will likely happen by late 2014 or early 2015 if not sooner because of the lower priced iPhones helping in the Chinese market.

  119. “As JonCB points out, if the users really valued them that much more, the market would easily sort it out without _extra_ carrier subsidies.”

    Additionally, are you actually suggesting that amongst OEMs, Apple is getting less revenue directly from customers rather than carriers? Because, if so, you’re completely delusional. Apple is easily collecting more revenue directly from customers whether subsidized or non-subsidized, whether in the US or Mogadishu.

    This is not a rigged game where the carriers are the dealers and they are all in Apple’s pocket because of blackmail or some nonsense that only you can fathom… it’s pure business. Apple is making more money than anyone and the carriers know they will make more money with Apple rather than without.

  120. “As JonCB points out, if the users really valued them that much more, the market would easily sort it out without _extra_ carrier subsidies.”

    I can’t help but keep going over this because it is complete and utter nonsense. Apple doesn’t NEED the extra subsidy, it deserves it. The Carriers are happy to pay it. The myriad $300 phones need to be subsidized because if they weren’t free, no one would buy them. If the carriers didn’t find it worthwhile to pay extra, they wouldn’t.

    You are trapped in your own delusion that there is some scam involved. This is your delusion. The carriers value it. The customers value it — with or without subsidy. Apple gets more revenue directly from both the carriers AND the customers. It’s the complete, utter cheap crap that you think is equivalent that is utterly dependent on its higher percentage, but lower absolute value, subsidy to get the customer to decide to acquire it because it is “free”.

  121. @Nigel:

    > 14.5% in CY2009 to 15.7% in CY2010 to 18.8% in CY2011 to 19.1% in CY2012

    Yeah, the second derivative doesn’t look so hot in that series. If that were to hold constant, it should put Apple at 14.4% next year.

    While current events such as the new lower-priced handsets and subsequent successful negotiations in China could see Apple maintain or even increase market share, that may come with reduced margins that some of their shareholders won’t like.

  122. “Actually the subsidy evidence would say that users value the high end samsung phones over iPhones since the cost to them is less for an iPhone.”

    This is complete and utter nonsense. What do you think you are saying? Dogshit is less expensive than a Bentley — does this mean that people would rather have dogshit than a Bentley?

  123. @Tim F:

    “Apple doesn’t NEED the extra subsidy, it deserves it. The Carriers are happy to pay it. … You are trapped in your own delusion that there is some scam involved.”

    If it’s a delusion, it’s not purely my own. And obviously not _all_ the carriers are happy to pay it, or there wouldn’t be any complaints from them.

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/05/27/apples-iphone-sales-tactics-in-europe-under-antitrust-investigation

    But you’re right — we’ve hashed this over multiple times, and we’ll just have to agree to disagree about the meaning of it. I just wouldn’t want anybody to take what you wrote about that article at face value without thinking about it themselves.

  124. Don’t worry, Patrick, I’m not under the impression that you’re the only one that is delusional. That you have company doesn’t make you right.

    If it wasn’t of value to carriers, they wouldn’t pay it. Plain and simple. Whinging about it is just whinging about it. Apple has lost few (and when they have they are low volume, low value carriers) — conversely, they continue to sign the most intransigent and powerful of carriers with little to no impact to their ASP (with most impact to the ASP being readily attributable to product strategy).

  125. I love the notion that a potential, theoretical antitrust complaint is somehow evidence that Apple has no value and is moving towards marginal market share.

  126. This is complete and utter nonsense. What do you think you are saying? Dogshit is less expensive than a Bentley — does this mean that people would rather have dogshit than a Bentley?

    Patrick pointed out upthread “for the longest time, a customer could spend $200 at a carrier and get a Samsung that he could have spent $550 on on the open market, or spend the same $200 and get an Apple phone that he could have spent $700 on on the open market.

    Or spend $300 to get the $700 Samsung phone at the carrier.”

    So apparently the market says that the $700(sans-subsidy) Apple phone needs an end-user price point of $200 to be competitive and the $700 Samsung phone can be competitive with a $300 end-user price point. Seems pretty simple economics to me.

  127. If it wasn’t of value to carriers, they wouldn’t pay it. Plain and simple.

    You’d think that, but remember that corporations and crazy go together.

    It’s certainly likely they’ll have long term contracts going when they renew is something we’re unlikely to answer.
    Maybe they’re paying it as (effectively) an option on Apple releasing something new genre-breaking.

    You’d also think that If a deal will predictably lead to the obsoleting of your product line and the loss of what user-base you have, the company wouldn’t do it right? That seems pretty plain and simple too.

  128. “Yeah, the second derivative doesn’t look so hot in that series. If that were to hold constant, it should put Apple at 14.4% next year.”

    So what? Apple STILL looked nothing like Blackberry these last three years. Nor is Apple management stupid.

    The two markets that really matter today and the near future are the US where Apple does well and China where Apple is going into full court press. India will be more important in a few years and the efforts Apple is making in China will help even if the focus isn’t there.

    Folks that believe the US market doesn’t matter are simply ignoring reality. We’re the third most populous nation and we’re have the largest GDP. China is #2 and India #10 in GDP (which is why it matters a lot less than China). India’s middle class growth is slower and smaller than China’s.

  129. “Seems pretty simple economics to me.”

    Seems like nonsense to me. Carriers don’t determine subsidies based on what is needed by the client, they set subsidies based on the value to them.

  130. @nigel
    In terms of meaningless measures, the EU is bigger than the USA on both counts.

    What sets the USA apart in mobile is the highest level of handset (cross-)subsidies and market distortion. As long as that level of market distortion is not reached in other regions, the USA market is indeed irrelevant for the future of mobile.

  131. @Tim F
    Whatever your arguments, USA consumers have to pay more for an equivalent (price) Samsung handset than for an Apple handset due to network cross-subsidies. Economic theory predicts that this would increase the sales of iPhones.

  132. “Whatever your arguments, USA consumers have to pay more for an equivalent (price) Samsung handset than for an Apple handset due to network cross-subsidies. Economic theory predicts that this would increase the sales of iPhones.”

    And? iPhone 5 sales are greater than Samsung Galaxy whatever in the US. Not sure I understand what you are getting at.

    Yes, the iPhone has a higher subsidy. Yes, it sells better than the latest high end Samsung Galaxy phone offered at a higher price in the US (and it also sells better than other Samsung Galaxy phones at the same price or lower). These are observable facts that aren’t particularly in contention. What about these facts am I supposed to find alarming or problematic?

  133. “What sets the USA apart in mobile is the highest level of handset (cross-)subsidies and market distortion. As long as that level of market distortion is not reached in other regions, the USA market is indeed irrelevant for the future of mobile.”

    This statement is completely devoid of logic.

  134. @TimF
    Your views on economy and logic seem to diverge strongly from those I am used to.

    But if I understand you correctly, you seem to say that in the USA, iPhones sell better than equivalent high end Samsung handsets because they are much cheaper.

    And then you indicate that this preference is important to understand the development of the global handset market, because outside the USA,, iPhones are more expensive than equivalent Samsung handsets.

    Sorry, but I cannot follow you logic.

  135. “But if I understand you correctly, you seem to say that in the USA, iPhones sell better than equivalent high end Samsung handsets because they are much cheaper.”

    No.

    “And then you indicate that this preference is important to understand the development of the global handset market, because outside the USA,, iPhones are more expensive than equivalent Samsung handsets.”

    No.

  136. @Jay and @Aaron

    Apologies in advance for the rant – this started as a quick paragraph and all this just came out stream-of consciousness :)

    About IT recruiters – I don’t know how it is in the States but down here in Sydney the recruiter/business ratio seems to be approaching parity and yes they are (almost without exception) bottom feeding parasites.

    Here at least, the resume “word only” issue is also because they run resumes at submission through bespoke (usually VB6-based) pattern matching “software” – and the M$ brain-raped junior that wrote it probably couldn’t deal with PDFs. This way the recruiter doesn’t have to do hard things like open documents, read, answer calls, comprehend or think in any manner other than “when’s my next commission coming in?” But yes they’ll also smear their unique brand of stool over your professional life’s representation if you let them.

    Recruiters are seriously screwing the Australian IT industry – over here we have the inverse of the States – it’s almost as if the less you know and the more you can earn : and the inverse is even more true. And they have been pushing rates lower and lower of the last few years while lining their own pockets.

    We commonly see ads for senior engineers/architects with 8-10+ years required, must simultaneously know HTML5 & EJB3.1, iOS & Android, PHP, python and []* – must have worked for on mission control systems for NASA, be willing to travel to Antarctica weekly, have hand-built mother boards, worked at the foreign exchange, the foreign office, the foreign legion…..

    Oh and the rate? $440/day (the extra $40 is our services tax).

    Example : I worked a contract a couple of years back where there were 20+ of us on a median rate of about $650/day through a particular recruiter. We kept getting snide comments about how expensive we all were – which was weird cos the rate was ok – not great – we’d all worked for alot more but it was ok.

    But the really shit thing is that the dynamic between the client and us was rooted from the start. We were really expensive/greedy “resources” to be cost minimised asap. Now we’d all been contractors for years but this was a bit odd.

    Well we found out later that the recruiter was charging the client another $200+/day for each of us – so this mother fucker was making 20K a week for 6 months through a downpour of utter bullshit and mis-direction.

    Needless to say the project failed (cost overruns) and the company, after then outsourcing it’s IT to country, collapsed and shut down due to being mismanaged into a pile of smoking rubble (that’s ESR’s phrase – love it).

    Why recruiters haven’t been automated out of existence yet is beyond me. I had some early hopes that Linked In would bridge the gap between IT ronin and companies but that hasn’t really happened yet.

    Man – I feel so much better now!

  137. @winter: “What sets the USA apart in mobile is the highest level of handset (cross-)subsidies and market distortion. As long as that level of market distortion is not reached in other regions, the USA market is indeed irrelevant for the future of mobile.”

    Since the USA is not going anywhere, it’s just as relevant to the future of mobile as it is to the present of mobile, regardless of how it may be impossible to generalize from what happens in the US to what happens in other countries.

  138. @winter “But if I understand you correctly, you seem to say that in the USA, iPhones sell better than equivalent high end Samsung handsets because they are much cheaper.”

    Your mistake seems to be in assuming the $700 iPhone is equivalent to the $700 Samsung, rather than being equivalent to the $500 Samsung except for the fact that Carriers are willing to pay more for it.

  139. esr on 2013-09-08 at 09:46:09 said:
    According to IDC, iOS’s tablet market share has collapsed in the past year. This is exactly the kind of accelerating disruptive collapse I predicted.

    First, Apple iPhone=Blackberry is still clearly wrong and your previous predictions still in error.

    Second, this is for the quarter and Apple remains highly seasonal as IDC points if you bother to read the article you quote:

    “Lacking a new product launch in March to help spur shipments, Apple’s iPad saw a lower-than-predicted shipment total of 14.6 million units for the quarter, down from 19.5 million in 1Q13. In years past, Apple has launched a new tablet heading into the second quarter, which resulted in strong quarter-over-quarter growth. Now, Apple is expected to launch new tablet products in the second half of the year, a move that better positions it to compete during the holiday season. Meanwhile, the other two vendors in the top 3 also saw a decline in their unit shipments during the quarter. Second-place Samsung shipped 8.1 million units, down from 8.6 million in the first quarter of 2013, although up significantly from the 2.1 million units shipped in 2Q12. And third-place ASUS shipped a total of 2.0 million units in 2Q13, down from 2.6 million in 1Q13.”

    The primary difference was moving from a spring iPad launch to a fall iPad launch. To know whether iPad market share is really collapsing you need to look at CY results. Apple believes that a fall launch for more momentum through Christmas is better. It strikes me that the spread out launch dates is better to keep Apple in the news cycle plus help folks manage their device budget better so we’ll see what the results are for CY13.

    I suppose sometime next year when I point out you were wrong again about iPad market share collapsing in 2013 I will again be accused of “tenditious misquotation”.

    My response remains that if you don’t want to get called on dumb assed predictions don’t make them. You can add the usual kitchen heat saying as well.

  140. I think it is worth dealing with the “distortion and subsidy” issue. (This is all USA only)

    About 2-3 yrs ago it was fairly common for the average postpaid subsidy to be $250-300 i.e. about $15 / mo for a 20 mo plan. There could be additional bonus on top of that and what was far and away the largest was the Apple market bonus (about $120 on the $199 iPhone). The reason this bonus was high was that Apple encouraged people to be less cost sensitive and less comparison oriented and thus Apple customers where substantially higher margin customers than Android. In addition there were no data fees like RIM.

    Many of the Android manufacturers complained that it was impossible to compete with a $420 iOS subsidy while getting a $300 Android subsidy. The carriers agreed but contractually couldn’t lower their Apple subsidy, and didn’t want to raise all their subsidies to Apple levels. As Apple’s marketshare for postpaid smartphones crossed the 2/3rds mark, about 9 months ago the concern came to be more one of prevent Apple from establishing a US monopoly. So carriers have now built in a $20 / mo subsidy and additional incentives. The result is that Apple subsidies tend to be lower than the best subsidy levels. For example Windows phone was hitting $450 rather standardly and sometimes hitting $500 subsidy on AT&T especially. Verizon has been known to hit an Android phone that high for a month as a special promotion.

    So while it was the case that carriers were effectively pushing Apple 2011-2012, it has not been the case during 2013. The growth in Apple’s share during 2013 has been in an environment where Apple phones experience similar or slightly lower subsidies than the best (i.e. highest price) non-Apple offerings.

    Now it is absolutely the case that the $199 phones (after subsidy) get much larger subsidies than the $0 phones (after subsidy) but that’s true for Apple as much as any of the others. For example Apple generally gets $125 for every extra $100 they charge so the subsidy on the iPhone 5S 64g is around $470. For the simple reason that people who spend $399 for the phone are generally pretty generous on things like data and connecting other devices that are rarely used. But that would be equally true for any other $900 retail phone.

  141. @Random 832

    Your mistake seems to be in assuming the $700 iPhone is equivalent to the $700 Samsung, rather than being equivalent to the $500 Samsung except for the fact that Carriers are willing to pay more for it.

    Let’s just pull today’s Verizon numbers (I’ll assume the subsidy is approximately the difference between retail and discount)

    HTC Droid DNA $500 subsidy
    Nokia 928 $450 subsidy
    Apple iPhone 5 (16g) $450 subsidy
    Samsung Galaxy Note 3 $400 subsidy
    Samsung Galaxy S4 $400 subsidy
    Motorola Droid Ultra $400 subsidy
    Motorola Moto X $400 subsidy
    HTC One $400 subsidy
    LG Intuition $350 subsidy
    Nokia 822 $350 subsidy
    Motorola Droid Maxx $350 subsidy

  142. @CD-Host:

    > (I’ll assume the subsidy is approximately the difference between retail and discount)

    I’m not sure about this, because I have been led to believe that dealer margins on Apple products are much thinner.

  143. @Sam:


    Why recruiters haven’t been automated out of existence yet is beyond me. I had some early hopes that Linked In would bridge the gap between IT ronin and companies but that hasn’t really happened yet.

    I don’t think LinkedIn is the answer; for me it looks a bit too much Facebook-y / snake oil. In the IT area I hope that Stackoverflow Careers 2.0 would be it.

  144. “I’m not sure about this, because I have been led to believe that dealer margins on Apple products are much thinner.”

    While subsidized versus unsubsidized price may not be a precise calculation for subsidy (it’s still the most reasonable, consistent, and accurate measure we have available), it’s complete nonsense to measure a carrier’s subsidy from a vendor’s cost. I struggle to think, and presume it safe to say, there is never an instance where it would be legitimate to measure a businesses pricing strategy (profit, discounts, subsidies, etc…) based on the costs of a vendor rather the price actually being paid to that vendor.

    Yes, Apple likely has higher margins; therefore, the carriers likely make a smaller PERCENTAGE profit on an Apple handset than its OEM competitors’s products. (Of course, conversely, they could equally make a greater ABSOLUTE profit on Apple handsets — if the pricing of the handset could be unwound from the subscription/data service pricing.) But carriers aren’t in the business of selling handsets either. They’re in the business of selling voice/SMS/data contracts/services. Whether they break even, lose money, or make a small profit on a handset is demonstrably largely irrelevant to a carrier’s business success or failure; their business is delivering voice/data service, not selling devices.

  145. >I don’t think LinkedIn is the answer; for me it looks a bit too much Facebook-y / snake oil.

    I kinda get the same feeling, but OTOH, one of my friends recently landed a very nice job with Google through LinkedIn.

  146. @Patrick —

    I’m not sure about this, because I have been led to believe that dealer margins on Apple products are much thinner.

    Remember we are talking USA postpay market only. Dealer margins on phones are close to 0, and often with phones on special promotion negative. Where they make their money is the 7+% agency fees. On 2-3 person family plan that can easily be $175 / year per year every year for year after year after year after year… who cares about making margin on phones?

  147. @Tim F.:

    I struggle to think, and presume it safe to say, there is never an instance where it would be legitimate to measure a businesses pricing strategy (profit, discounts, subsidies, etc…) based on the costs of a vendor rather the price actually being paid to that vendor.

    No, it’s not safe to say that at all.

  148. @CD-Host:

    > who cares about making margin on phones?

    I’m sure you’re right, and that is exactly what is wrong with the current market set up. It’s just like getting your health insurance through your employer.

  149. I just have to chime in that it amuses me the topic devolved into an iOS vs. Andriod flamewar. Microsoft is so far removed from the mindset that people can’t even pay attention to them in a blog post about them.

  150. So, LALALALA…projecting, much? The disruption I predicted happened. Wrapped in a lot of fog, and maybe locally stalled by carrier subsidies in some places, but it happened. I’m not writing projections because I’m honest about the limits of my knowledge, but Apple can’t even dream about its billionth activation and I see more Nexus 7s than I do iPads.

    I don’t. Then again I live in the Boston area. It’s rather telling that, with the exception of hardcore fosstards, technically-oriented users tend to favor Apple mobile products.

  151. As usual. Remember, this guy took “peak oil” seriously. Mocking laughter is more than appropriate.

    The peakists were right. The output of conventional oil reserves is dropping off, and the extraction costs have ratcheted up so far that the previously economically unviable alternatives — tar sands and oil shales — become attractive. But the EROEI of these alternative oil sources is much lower, and the environmental externalities of tar-sand and oil-shale extraction are even bigger than for conventional oil extraction which pretty much entails drilling holes in the ground and sucking up the effluvient oil without making too big a mess. So each barrel of oil we extract now costs us much more in real value than its nominal market price, let alone what a barrel cost to extract 30 or 40 years ago. And our entire economy is so structured around ready availability of cheap energy that there is no way we could continue the way we have been without major disruptions with these much lower-yield alternative sources substituting in for conventional oil reserves.

    The peak is happening now. The facts are there, if you would but look.

    • >The peakists were right

      Bullshit.

      The core “peak oil” claim was that hydrocarbon production would crash so quickly that the industrial economy was doomed to collapse, because it would have neither the time nor the capital to shift to alternatives before long-distance transport and agriculture based on petrochemical fertilizers collapsed.

      Bullshit, I say again.

      The “peak oil” people were idiots who understood nothing about either demand elasticity or subsitution. Now, of course, they want their catastrophism forgotten because its predictions were so embarassingly, totally, wrong. Just as in a few years former AGW catastrophists will insist that they never said all that stuff.

  152. That article is from November 2011, and even so he hedges about total hydrocarbons (as opposed to just oil) near the end. I think the natural gas boom is contradicting his thesis.

    Also, I suspect federal drilling restrictions have been artificially cutting US oil production, accounting for part of what he notes.

  153. > Here at least, the resume “word only” issue is also because they run resumes at submission
    > through bespoke (usually VB6-based) pattern matching “software”

    I’ve stopped giving recruiters resumes altogether; I just point them at my GitHub and LinkedIn profiles which between them contain everything they need to know. I’ve never had a problem in several years of doing that. I guess I might if I were a junior dev just getting started out.

  154. “> who cares about making margin on phones?

    I’m sure you’re right, and that is exactly what is wrong with the current market set up. It’s just like getting your health insurance through your employer.”

    Apple cares about making margins on phones. Every OEM competitor should, but they are fighting for user share. Carriers shouldn’t care about margins on phones insofar as it’s not their primary source of income… the concern should only be limited to how their product mix affects their services businesses.

    But, wait a second… Lack of concern for margin is the big problem? I thought that was the mechanism for disruption, the primary catalyst for Apple’s downfall, and the inevitable advantage of a widely-licensed open source platform? The elimination of innovative advantage through commoditization and margin erosion. No? Now that’s bad? Okay.

  155. @Tim F.:

    > But, wait a second… Lack of concern for margin is the big problem?

    Way to misconstrue everything written.

    > I thought that was the mechanism for disruption,

    Hard to do when all the big carriers are locked into Apple contracts.

    > No? Now that’s bad? Okay.

    You reaaaally shoud stop with the strawmen. It’s even more unbecoming than you might imagine.

  156. PapayaSF: “Also, I suspect federal drilling restrictions have been artificially cutting US oil production, accounting for part of what he notes.”

    No “suspect” about it. It’s telling that the rise in US hydrocarbon production has occurred in spite of a decline in production on federal lands. Just imagine what would happen if we actually exploited our own natural resources.

    Just one more way Jeff Reid should be called “shitleak”.

  157. @Tim F. on 2013-09-09 at 22:34:09

    We were discussing US retailers selling phones postpay customers not manufacturers making phones. I think you lost the thread of the conversation.

  158. No, I understand. I think it’s ludicrous to suggest that OEMs are well-suited by low margins and Apple is at risk because of high margins, but then claim that the major problem with the carrier business is that they aren’t concerned enough about margins on individual handsets even though margins on handsets is a rounding error on their actual core business. I understand I’m shifting from one market to the other, but the margin argument should hold from a general perspective. Patrick has been constantly shifting through completely inconsistent, contradictory arguments completely unsupported by logic and evidence for years now.

  159. @Tim F.
    “I think it’s ludicrous to suggest that OEMs are well-suited by low margins and Apple is at risk because of high margins, …”

    What is stated is that differential carrier subsidies distort market share values.

    When one model gets higher subsidies than another, this will increase its market share. Therefor, markets shares in a market with differential subsidies (USA) are not useful to understand market shares in other markets where there are no such subsidies (most of the rest of the world).

    What I do not get is why this should be difficult to understand to begin with?

  160. “What I do not get is why this should be difficult to understand to begin with?”

    Because it’s crudely simplistic, largely irrelevant to the carriers, partially wrong (claiming differential subsidies are unique to the US, that subsidies don’t exist outside of the US, that Apple has a unique and unfair advantage, etc), and the conclusions you have drawn from such suppositions have not borne out one iota?

  161. @Tim F.
    My conclusion is that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, but you keep talking anyway. I have illustrated my conclusion with two articles I have added below. If there is a demand for such articles, I can add more.

    @Tim F
    “Because it’s crudely simplistic, largely irrelevant to the carriers, partially wrong (claiming differential subsidies are unique to the US, that subsidies don’t exist outside of the US,”

    Why can’t Americans stomach unsubsidized phones?
    http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/why-cant-americans-stomach-unsubsidized-phones/

    As you may know, Americans and Canadians are the only consumers that expect our cell phone companies to subsidize the cost of our handsets. Most consumers in the rest of the world, particularly Europe and Japan, buy their phones outright — what we call “unlocked” phones — and then connect them to whatever mobile carrier they choose under a pre-paid calling and data plan. More than half of European consumers operate this way. In the U.S., only 22 percent of us do. So how much does that $200 iPhone 5 actually cost?

    @Tim F.
    ” that Apple has a unique and unfair advantage, etc), and the conclusions you have drawn from such suppositions have not borne out one iota?”

    iPhone U.S. dominance due to carriers’ pricing strategies
    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9237710/iPhone_U.S._dominance_due_to_carriers_pricing_strategies?pageNumber=1

    In countries where contract plans prices are dependent on the smartphone’s cost, Apple’s share of the market is weaker, Singh maintained.

    “The scale of the difference between the iPhone’s presence in the U.S. versus Europe suggests that [data plan] pricing plays a significant role,” said Singh in an email Tuesday.

  162. Winter, one reason I don’t buy your argument (which I believe is that iPhones are a success in the US mainly or only because of carrier subsidies) is personal experience. I’ve had a 3GS from AT&T for about four years. (Battery rather weak, now topped out at iOS 6, but still working fine otherwise.) In recent years I have noticed AT&T pushing Android phones hard, in both stores and via direct mail. They have done little or no pushing of iPhones in that time.

    So all indications are that they’d rather sell Androids. How does that square with your thesis?

  163. @PapayaSF:

    > So all indications are that they’d rather sell Androids. How does that square with your thesis?

    If Apple has some sort of MFN clause regarding subsidies, that may explain why some Android handsets cost customers more.

    I think it’s fairly safe to assume that AT&T has zero problem buying its contractual minimum quantity of Apple handsets, so if placing an Apple handset in the hands of the customer costs AT&T more than placing an Android handset in the hands of the customer, then it would only make sense for AT&T to push Apple if the iPhone customers were more valuable, e.g. used more data or had lower support costs. Thanks for the anecdotes showing that this may not be true.

  164. “This is the kind of BS you see at a used-car dealership.”

    No, it’s the kind of crap an angry Applehater latches onto.

  165. “Thanks for the anecdotes showing that this may not be true.”

    Or maybe it’s complete nonsense to reduce this down to one factor when there are several moving variables at play.

  166. @Patrick

    Just saw coverage of the 5S/5C rollout. Apple talks about the price of the phone on a 2 year contract. Nothing about the retail price of an unlocked phone. This is the kind of BS you see at a used-car dealership.

    The retail price is on the website. Same $450 spread as last year’s models:
    5S 16/32/64g $6/7/849
    5C 16/32g $5/649
    4S 8g $450

  167. @PapayaSF
    “So all indications are that they’d rather sell Androids. How does that square with your thesis?”

    If there are no differential subsidies lowering the price of iPhones relative, then there is nothing to talk about. My “thesis” is simply that differential subsidies distort markets. Nothing more.

  168. I thought your point about “distorting markets” was that the subsidies induced US carriers to push iPhones over Androids, thus the distinct and enduring and growing popularity of the iPhone in the US. If that is not what are you saying these distorted markets are doing, then what is the distortion doing? And then what accounts for iPhone popularity here?

  169. @PapayaSF
    “I thought your point about “distorting markets” was that the subsidies induced US carriers to push iPhones over Androids, thus the distinct and enduring and growing popularity of the iPhone in the US.”

    I am not sure what you mean by “pushing”. The carriers seem to have reasons to subsidize iPhones more than other models. Personally, I have no idea why (contractual obligations towards Apple, traps for users?). But all I see is that the price differences in the USA between iPhones and other handsets are the inverse from those seen outside the USA.

    If that is not your definition of “pushing”, then it is not “pushing”. It still is market distortion and it makes the market shares in the USA completely meaningless for understanding the future of mobile handsets. Inside the USA, this means that Apple’s fate depends on carrier handset subsidies.

    Nite that in 2Q 2013, around 40% of all iPhones were sold in the USA. Meanwhile, the USA buys only 25% of all Smartphones in the world. That makes Apples position very precarious.

  170. “It still is market distortion and it makes the market shares in the USA completely meaningless for understanding the future of mobile handsets”

    So how do you explain Japan?

  171. “Meanwhile, the USA buys only 25% of all Smartphones in the world.”

    So 75% of the world buys 60% of iPhones. How is that precarious?

  172. Sorry, I’m still not getting it. You seem to be saying that the iPhone’s commanding position in the US is due to carrier subsidies, a market distortion that works in the iPhone’s favor here, but not elsewhere in the world. OK, if it works in the iPhone’s favor, that must mean that it increases sales of iPhones over non-iPhones. Thus, you are saying that iPhone subsidies mean that it is in the US carriers’ interest to sell iPhones over Androids.

    I agree that during their exclusive arrangement AT&T pushed iPhones hard, but since then there has been a noticeable shift in AT&T marketing, and they are clearly pushing Android phones over iPhones. This makes no sense to me if your theory is true.

    I don’t think the iPhone’s position is “precarious” at all. As I posted above here, in the last year iPhone share increased everywhere except Germany and China.

  173. Winter, the article you point to as proof that the US is unqiue and is the only ones doing postpaid says that (and admittedly, this is a bi dated, coming from Deloitte in 2009):

    US is 78% postpaid, France is 66% postpaid, Spain is 58% postpaid, Germany is 45% postpaid, the UK is 34% postpaid, and Italy is 13% postpaid.

    Yes, postpaid is a lower percentage in EU than US, but not utterly nonexistent. (Again, this is based on 2009 data and I know there has been more flow to prepaid in EU, but my point holds that this is more nuanced than you and others would like to portray it.)

  174. @Tim F.
    “Yes, postpaid is a lower percentage in EU than US, but not utterly nonexistent.”

    Outside the USA, carrier subsidies are both lower and less differentiating. People buy subsidized phones over here. However, if an iPhone is more expensive than model X, then a contract with an iPhone is more expensive than the same contract with model X.

    @PapayaSF
    “You seem to be saying that the iPhone’s commanding position in the US is due to carrier subsidies, a market distortion that works in the iPhone’s favor here, but not elsewhere in the world.”

    There is more at play, but this price-anomaly alone would make it difficult to extrapolate USA market shares to other countries.

    @PapayaSF
    “As I posted above here, in the last year iPhone share increased everywhere except Germany and China.”

    China is around 1/3 of global smartphone market. And Android increased their market share too.

    @TimF
    “So 75% of the world buys 60% of iPhones. How is that precarious?”

    A change in USA carrier subsidies could wash away 40% of total iPhone sales.

  175. @Tim F.
    “So how do you explain Japan?”

    By looking at Japanese customers and carriers? Maybe Japanese customers prefer USA handsets more than Japanese or Korean handsets?

  176. “A change in USA carrier subsidies could wash away 40% of total iPhone sales.”

    If you foolishly believe that price is the only differentiating factor.

    “By looking at Japanese customers and carriers? Maybe Japanese customers prefer USA handsets more than Japanese or Korean handsets?”

    Wait, in Japan, there’s a completely different factor? You just said there is only one factor at play: price, and when Apple doesn’t have the price benefit, they necessarily lose — but now it turns out there is a second factor… and I’m supposed to believe that the second factor is that you are a Japanese citizen who prefers US phones? How is Motorola doing in Japan?

  177. So how do you explain Japan?

    The Japanese handset market resembles the USA’s, with cellphones subsidized by carriers, available through carrier retail channels.

    By looking at Japanese customers and carriers? Maybe Japanese customers prefer USA handsets more than Japanese or Korean handsets?

    When it comes to Japan and electronics, the general trend is that Japanese brands will be most favored, followed by other Asian brands such as Samsung, followed by Western brands. Dell only just barely got a toehold in a PC market awash with Sonys, Fujitsus, and even Lenovos, and of course the Xbox’s legendary failure in the Japanese market is well known.

    The one fluke seems to be Apple, especially the iPhone. The Japanese handset market and cellphone networks were far advanced of the American ones for over a decade, before getting a rude awakening in the form of the iPhone. Put simply, the iPhone kicked the ass of anything that was in the Japanese market at the time, including the much-celebrated i-mode service. It helps that iPhones are stylish and look smashing when taken out of a kawaii Japanese girl’s Louis Vuitton handbag.

    Android fans need not worry, however. Strangers in Osaka recognized my Galaxy S by its body shape, something I’ve known no American to do; so Samsung, and with it Android, has a brand presence to rival Apple’s in Japan.

  178. @Tim F
    “You just said there is only one factor at play: price”

    Please point out where I wrote that? But I agree, price alone is generally enough to mess up the statistics. In the USA the price differences are/were big enough to dominate the statistics. Hey, at 100 euros in the bargain bin of the Aldi, even the Lumia WP7 WinPhones sold out.

    But I will happily admit that the iPhone is a handset designed by Americans for Americans (USA king). That will certainly help too.

    I have no idea how the Japanese market works, so I won’t even speculate (and stop making jokes people do not understand).

  179. “Please point out where I wrote that?” It was implied where you said that if subsidies in the US changed, it “could wash away 40% of total iPhone sales.” Seriously? Not a single current US iPhone owner would remain an iPhone owner if a comparable Android device was priced the same? Nonsense.

    “But I agree, price alone is generally enough to mess up the statistics.” See. Why did you ask me where you said that if you generally agree with it? This is complete nonsense as demonstrated by your Japan response.

    “I have no idea how the Japanese market works, so I won’t even speculate (and stop making jokes people do not understand).”

    Your thesis requires you to speculate. You claim the US is uniquely different (however, iPhone % in Japan is almost identical to the US). You need to account for that or risk people dismissing your theory as nonsense.

  180. OK I usually disagree with Winter but his point is somewhat valid, he’s just expressing it in confusing ways.

    The USA is very unusual in that it is a 1st world country with low population concentration, including especially an automobile not mass transit culture for the middle class. The result is that cellular carriers have a much higher cost of delivering reliable service in the United States than in most other countries while at the same time the population is wealthy enough to afford such service. Which is to say for Americans the cost of minutes + data is large relative to the cost of handsets. American service in the last decade has added data as a normative part of the plan which is even more expensive to provide.

    The enjoyment/utility people get from their cellular experience can be modeled by something like a product of the infrastructure times the cost of the handset they are using. Because utility correlates strongly with how much people are willing to pay USA carriers have found consistently that having their customers have high quality handsets drives up their usage of cellular services, and driving up usage is vital for paying for a high quality infrastructure. However left to their own devices customers would naturally buy inferior handsets and less cellular services. So cellular companies target plans with large handset subsidies towards the top 60% of the USA market. That is they create pricing plans which incentivize people to buy handsets more expensive than they would purchase if given a neutral pricing.

    Apple as a new phone only exists on the high end (i.e. $300+ devices). So shifting the market towards more expensive phones substantially shifts people towards Apple products and invariable accounts for some but not all of Apple’s high popularity in the USA. Certainly Windows phone, Android and BlackBerry exist at these high price points, so USA customers are choosing Apple over other high priced handsets. But Android in particular has done much better at mid-range ($150-300) and low-end ($90-150), it just isn’t nearly as competitive at higher price points.
    This is often phrased as “subsidies distort the USA market”. Of course it is a gross exaggeration to say that without subsidies Americans wouldn’t choose Apple. But they likely would choose it much less and also would purchase much less expensive data and voice services to go along with their less expensive phones.

    Though one could counter by mentioning that European governments often subsidized base connection and thus arguably create an inverse subsidy for their poor towards low end handsets, but that’s not often as discussed. Low population density plus high standard of living is unusual globally and likely to remain so. Which makes the USA a somewhat unique market, an interesting datapoint but an outlier relative to most other countries. You can see the differences clearly when you look at the USA prepay market where low subsidies result in less expensive phones being much more popular.

    There is nothing particularly controversial in the base point. Though I think Winter tends to make this incredibly confusing by lumping all smartphones into one giant pool. In the same way that lumping: shoes, bicycles, cars and airplanes into one “transportation mechanisms” pool would be confusing.

  181. @CD-Host:
    > Same spread as last year.

    The pricing on the 5C seems to have taken the stock market by surprise. I guess Apple wants to get the low-hanging T-Mobile fruit before they drop the price another hundred or two.

    Because utility correlates strongly with how much people are willing to pay USA carriers have found consistently that having their customers have high quality handsets drives up their usage of cellular services, and driving up usage is vital for paying for a high quality infrastructure. However left to their own devices customers would naturally buy inferior handsets and less cellular services. So cellular companies target plans with large handset subsidies towards the top 60% of the USA market. That is they create pricing plans which incentivize people to buy handsets more expensive than they would purchase if given a neutral pricing.

    That’s all well and good and believable, but it doesn’t necessarily square with PapayaSF’s anecdotal evidence (which is similar to what I have seen published elsewhere, btw) that AT&T salespeople are pushing non-Apple hardware. In other words, at least in AT&T’s case, the actions of the sales people doesn’t match the thesis that Apple gets higher subsidies than high-end Android phones simply because it is better by some metric important to the carrier.

    There are several possibilities for this; my current personal favorite, based on Apple’s love of agency pricing, is that they dictate the on-contract handset acquisition price to the carriers. This would square with them announcing that pricing — obviously they would know exactly what it is if they can dictate it.

    A lot of carriers are working to reduce their phone subsidies. AT&T has made several announcements over the last year and a half that they are heading that direction. If Apple subsidies are set in stone (because Apple sets the retail price), then the only way to reduce subsidies is to try to change the handset mix. Since AT&T will have no problem meeting its minimal Apple shipment requirements (unlike, perhaps, Sprint), having the salespeople push non-Apple phones on customers may be a viable strategy. The people who know they want an Apple will get it; the others may or may not. Again, this doesn’t show that Apple is inherently a better handset, rather that Apple sells enough of them to strongarm the carriers on pricing.

  182. @Tim F.:

    Me: This is the kind of BS you see at a used-car dealership.
    You: No, it’s the kind of crap an angry Applehater latches onto.

    Whenever I buy a car, they try to give me a low-down payment, and a low monthly payment, and I’m supposed to be too stupid to count the months and add up the total. That pisses me off. The last couple of times I bought cars from human beings, I first memorized the payments per thousand for the likely interest rates for 3, 4, and 5 year amortizations, and then when the salesdroid tried to tell me that it would be x dollars a month, I could immediately say “that sounds like 2 1/4 per cent. Why would I get financing from you when everybody else is below two?” The look on their faces was priceless.

    I know you don’t believe me, but I’d call out anybody else on this tactic as well. It was the worldwide rollout of the next flagship product of the world’s largest, most profitable corporation, and they didn’t even give the fucking price — just the “low, Low, LOW” down payment. Even Jobs always had a bit of ronco in him — “But wait, there’s More!!! How much would you expect to pay for this shiny new iOS version?” — but at least he always sold perceived merits other than the fact that anybody could qualify for the down payment.

  183. ” Though one could counter by mentioning that European governments often subsidized base connection and thus arguably create an inverse subsidy for their poor towards low end handsets, but that’s not often as discussed. ”
    What makes you say that?
    Governments are driving down the cost of mobile calls, and cross Europe calls will be the same without the high premium between countries, so CARRIERS are looking a lot closer at the subsidies they apply. http://gigaom.com/2013/03/18/european-carriers-are-moving-away-from-handset-subsidies-analysts-find/ Getting decent cable based broadband is being funded by public bodies, but that does not affect mobile access. I could not get 3G 5 years ago, and I can’t today. Just like rural areas of the US. And it will be 2015 before I might get fibre broadband.
    Personally I can’t see why people take an iPhone over an Android one. At least with my Android I can replace the battery with a spare charged on, and drop in a memory card with different films. And IF it gets damaged it’s not as expensive to repair … so I don’t bother with anything other than household insurance. Of cause I’ve ‘unlocked’ it so I can loose all the advertising crap that comes free as well, something you can’t do with iPhones easily.

  184. “I don’t think iPhones, anywhere, come with “advertising crap.””
    They don’t automatically connect you to iTunes and AppStore ? And give no other competitive options ? But I am just repeating what my kids said was one of the reasons for switching away when their contracts were up …

  185. Well, yeah, they link to the iTunes Store and the App Store. I don’t consider those “advertising crap.” I thought you meant the unremovable carrier bloatware that comes on many other phones.

  186. “Me: This is the kind of BS you see at a used-car dealership.
    You: No, it’s the kind of crap an angry Applehater latches onto.”

    He’s right and you analogy flawed. Your monthly payment is unchanged regardless of which car you buy or eve if you buy a new car at all. The price you pay for a subsidized phone is the price you paid for it period. Even the unsubsidized phone plans in the US end up costing you more (T-Mobile) than their own subsidized ans after you factor in handset costs. Pretty much they aren’t giving you back the subsidy.

    That T-Mobile is cheaper than Verizon is a function of much a much crappier national network with far less LTE coverage. Whether that improved network is worth $500 over 2 years depends on your needs.

  187. @Nigel:

    He’s right and you analogy flawed.

    Not in my book.

    Your monthly payment is unchanged regardless of which car you buy or eve if you buy a new car at all.

    OK, now we’re somehow conflating analogies. Unless you’re saying my monthly cell bill is unchanged when I buy a new car. Which may or may not be true depending on whether OnStar is considered a carrier.

    The price you pay for a subsidized phone is the price you paid for it period.

    That’s complete, utter BS. Try not paying the contract after that. Maybe Guido won’t come after you, but the bill collection people will certainly keep bothering you, your friends, and your employer.

    Even the unsubsidized phone plans in the US end up costing you more (T-Mobile) than their own subsidized ans after you factor in handset costs.

    If you insist on going postpaid, sure. That’s part of the shell game. You can do a lot better doing prepaid, and a lot, lot, better doing prepaid with T-Mobile (which works fine in Austin) or one of their subsidiaries. $35/month gets me all-I-can-eat everything. The data’s a bit slow, but it’s all I need.

    I was late to the cellphone party, but I have owned one for about 4 years now, and have never had a contract. And it is my visceral reaction (and would be whether it is Apple or anybody else) that anybody who sells me something and tries to only tell me how much the down payment is going to be is trying to fuck with my finances. Hence the used car salesman analogy.

  188. Nigel, it’s even simpler than that. Patrick is acting as if a press even is some deceptive salesmanship. But as pointed out, the site went life with updated content the moment the event ended. They display subsidized and unsubsidized prices. If you buy it from the AppleStore online, it displays both prices depending on how you want to buy it. You walk into an Apple Store and you ask what the price is off-contract, they’ll tell you and sell it to you.

    There is no deception, no obfuscation whatsoever.

  189. One reason for my visceral reaction is, if you don’t know how much it costs, you don’t know how much you’re fucked if it’s lost or stolen.

    Here’s something for your amusement — squaretrade has a big blog post about how the price of cellphone insurance is scary at $5-$7/month, and how they will protect you for $2-$4/month, and a link that says “go see for yourself” that links to a page where they insure your phone for $8/month. Guess it wasn’t such a good business model at $2.

    I actually managed to break the screen of my Nexus 4. Haven’t replaced it yet (went back to my flipphone for now), but I’ll be damned if I’m going to be suckered into paying for a phone over two years that I might kill in 6 months.

  190. A lot of carriers are working to reduce their phone subsidies. AT&T has made several announcements over the last year and a half that they are heading that direction.

    While at the same time boosting subsidies higher than the year before and that year was higher than the year before that and…. Additionally this year they pushed through a price increase so that internally they can better offset higher subsidies. I’d say we know their position. AT&T has the highest level of smartphone usage and over 80% on Apple. They have moved from being the most financially stressed in 2006 to a close 2nd to Verizon. Why would they want to push through a massive damaging strategy change?

  191. in AT&T’s case, the actions of the sales people doesn’t match the thesis that Apple gets higher subsidies than high-end Android phones simply because it is better by some metric important to the carrier.

    First off salespeople’s actions and carrier subsidies are only loosely related. It also matters a great deal if you are talking corporate stores or independent as the salesperson compensation can be quite variable in independent stores because they often have incentives. But regardless for about a year now Apple’s subsidies have been in line with higher priced Androids (see my 2013-09-10 at 19:42:48 post).

    Anyway as far as the unsubsidized price. Apple is reporting the price their customers pay. I understand you don’t like the postpay market, but their customer base overwhelming does.

  192. > The core “peak oil” claim was that hydrocarbon production would crash so quickly that the industrial economy was doomed to collapse.

    Bullshit, indeed. But the bullshitter here is you. I’m sure you know better, and are simply engaging in extreme positioning.

    The core “peak oil” claim is that hydrocarbon production will peak, after which the rate of production will enter terminal decline. It might (and likely will be) be a long, slow decline, but market forces will still wreck havoc as rising demand body slams into an inelastic supply. The only possible result is that prices will continue to rise.

    Meanwhile production is, even in the most optimistic estimates, flattening out, while the demand for petrochemicals continues to rise. As prices rise, previously uneconomic sources will be exploited.

    Over the past decade, China has become the world’s largest energy consumer, as well as the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide. Chinese coal consumption is up 157 percent since 2002, and they now consume over 50 percent of the world’s coal. Their oil consumption rose by 5 million barrels per day (bpd) in the past 10 years, to nearly double the level of 2002.

    According to the EIA, we haven’t seen anything yet.

    http://imgur.com/R8JhSQK

    In order to attempt to meet this demand, China has an “All of the Above” energy strategy.

    (Renewable energy advocates like to point to China’s huge investments in that sector as if to say that China is leading the way toward a clean energy future. But China is making major investments across their energy sector, including investments in many new coal and nuclear power power plants. China is expected to account for 40 percent of the world’s new nuclear power capacity over the next three decades.)

    I know a lot of people who would say that the forecast is silly, because there simply won’t be enough energy to enable that sort of growth. A friend recently said to me “It’s a zero-sum game.”

    I wouldn’t go that far, but to the extent that the global acquisition of energy does become a zero-sum game, that means there will be fierce competition — much more so than we have seen to date — for the world’s energy supplies. The last decade brought $100/barrel oil as the new norm.

    How high might oil prices go if China grows their consumption by another 5 million bpd?

    Note that the EIA only estimates that petrochemical production (all sources, including natural gas) will grow by 8.7 mb/day by 2020.

    To bring this all a bit closer to home for you, sixty percent of Pennsylvania lies over a huge shale formation called the Marcellus, and that has been in the petrochemical industry’s sights since 2008.

    The corporations that are developing the shale come to the state with interesting Federal entitlements: exemptions from the Clean Air, Clean Water and Clean Drinking Water Acts, as well as the Superfund Act, which requires cleanup of hazardous substances.

    You don’t get to dump arsenic, barium, DEHP, glycol compounds, manganese, phenol, and sodium into the water supply without some effect on those who would later drink from it.

    Of course, there is currently a moratorium on gas drilling in Bucks, Montgomery and parts of Lehigh, Berks and Chester counties. You’re somewhat safe… for now.

    Enjoy it while it lasts, Eric. You’re 56 in December. Current life expectancy for a white male living in PA is just under 73 years. If you make it to 2033, you’ll have beaten the odds and have the briefest glimpse of the future that the “peakers” predict.

    It’s probably a fine thing you and Cathy don’t have children though.

    That might be cause for worry.

    Blather on… we find it amusing.

  193. In the past few months, I’ve felt a ever growing sense of deja vu. Certainly I’m not the first person to think that the smartphone market transition is starting to greatly resemble the mid-80’s home computer market?

    It seems like Blackberry/RIM and Nokia/Microsoft are playing the role(s) of the first wave home systems (the Commodore/Tandy/TRS-80 each with a vaguely similar BASIC-based system). They both had an enormous “first movers” advantage, and just like in the home PC market, this entire lead evaporates later on. (The market shifted focus and they were just too large a juggernaut to nimbly follow.)

    So far, it seems that Android has taking the role of DOS, acting as a shared OS among several hardware manufacturers. It even gets the same comparisons to being “low-cost” and causing “hardware fragmentation” compatibility issues as the early IBM-PC clones. While these can certainly cause a less than perfect user experience, they are overall a significant advantage in the market: with many different companies all moving in (slightly) different directions, there is near certainty that one of them (even if by “random walk”) will happen to move in the same general direction as the general market. Furthermore, once that success is observed by their competitors, the other Android makers can follow suit more quickly than external competitors due to their communal heritage.

    So to anyone who wants to argue that Android will not be the eventual market winner, let me ask you the analogous question: what force (or combination thereof) has kept the PC market, which went through a very similar shift, from “correcting” the way you think the smartphone market will?

  194. @R. Duke

    I know a lot of people who would say that the forecast is silly, because there simply won’t be enough energy to enable that sort of growth. A friend recently said to me “It’s a zero-sum game.”

    It is not a zero sum game. Below I repost a comment from 2010 based on the situation in Europe. The sums work out for China and the Gobi desert too. China is the biggest producer of solar panels in the world.

    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2779&cpage=1#comment-287562
    The sums are not that difficult. If you do them you find you can deliver total energy (replacing ALL sources of energy) for 1B people at a level higher than current consumption in the EU by planting an area in the Sahara less than twice the size Germany with solar panels. Electricity can be transported by high voltage DC power lines with little loss over the whole of Europe.

    For instance, solar flux in tropical regions is around 300 Wm-2 averaged over a day. Take a net efficiency of 5%, losses in surface use and transportation included. The German per capita energy use is ~5.5kW. If we take a generous 7.5 kW as the norm, it would take 500 m^2 per capita to power a country like Germany. For 1B people we would need 500,000 km^2. The area of Germany is 357,114 km^2.

    Easy to translate to North America.

    That is all with current technologies.

    Mind you, the investments would be astronomical and there would still be maintenance and political problems. But it can be done with the means available.

  195. @Alex

    So to anyone who wants to argue that Android will not be the eventual market winner, let me ask you the analogous question: what force (or combination thereof) has kept the PC market, which went through a very similar shift, from “correcting” the way you think the smartphone market will?

    Several things.

    Microsoft didn’t just win an OS battle. They also won the office suite battle. During the time of DOS there was a great deal of computing diversity both more expensive systems like the work stations, less expensive systems like Apple 2 and Commodore and alternative systems like servers and dumb terminals. It was the switch to Windows which killed the diversity and created uniformity around the Microsoft/Intel/Western Digital standard. And that uniformity came in large measure from businesses standardizing on Windows as a platform. That standardization was driven by Microsoft’s position in office suites.

    In the case of mobility the verticals are breaking about 80/20 in favor of Apple at least in the United States. So far Google has not been able to create a must have application for Android that’s not available on other platforms. Moreover given that they are in the advertising business they are going to have less and less interest in broadly targeting their data services to most/all customers as Android moves downmarket. And rich data services are a bad fit as phones move downmarket.

    So what I’d expect is

    1st billion = diverse range of phones with wide range of services and software. Android probably market leader but not a monopoly position.

    2nd billion = Android dominant. Though Window’s phone better performance on worse hardware shouldn’t be discounted.

    3rd-5th billion = Some Android but operating better designed for low end hardware, inconsistent network availability and expensive (relative to the users) data. Bada might fit here better. Windows phone could be a clear winner if Microsoft is interested in going this far down market. Nokia certainly knows how to play to these customers and wants to serve them, which is why I think the acquisition makes sense.

  196. @CD-Host
    “Some Android but operating better designed for low end hardware, inconsistent network availability and expensive (relative to the users) data.”

    Network? WiFi hotspots you mean.

    The world is being stuffed with “Free” WiFi hotspots. In the developing world the wireless phone network cannot carry all that traffic. However, getting customers to hang around your shop/cafe/restaurant/street vendor is a lucrative business. And you can even get them to pay a few pennies for the access.

    A prepaid SIM card for phone and some data (Whatsapp), and WiFi for the bulk data needs. That seem to me the winning combination. And free apps. most of the 3rd-5th billion have only pennies to spend.

  197. > Network? WiFi hotspots you mean.

    No.

    Omg. Chortle.

    Goggle will build out LTE. Watch and learn, squiddley.

  198. The developing world has horrible wifi infrastructure and greatly lags the developing world in all statistical measures for wifi penetration.

    http://www.strategyanalytics.com/default.aspx?mod=pressreleaseviewer&a0=5193

    Developing nations may be dependent on Ye Olde Internet Cafe, but that’s not necessarily a good thing or an indicator of high adoption of wifi in developing nations.

    Also, a 2012 study showed that 70% of Android devices aren’t connecting to wifi:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402566,00.asp

  199. I’ve always been annoyed by ‘greens’ that tell you things like, “All we have to do is cover the Gobi Desert with solar panels…” An area twice the size of Germany? Here in the US, they tell you that we only have to cover a mere 2% of our land, never thinking that, with there being 50 states, that’s an entire, average-size state…hmmmph….

    Face it, greens…you’re going to have to go nuclear. With all its problems, it’s the cleanest, most environmentally sound solution to future energy needs. All the others are WORSE.

    Yeah, yeah…I know…so do you…there are plenty of sites for nuclear plants that don’t run the risk of 9.0 earthquakes followed by tsunamis.

  200. Jay Maynard
    ” What happens when the sun goes down?”

    No power?

    Could very well be the reason why this is not yet implemented. Obviously, you need some kind of storage. There are several options, one even more spectacular than the other.

    A very nice option, straight from SF, is when most of us drive electrical cars that will be plugged into the grid between trips. The smart meters they want to install everywhere will keep track of load and unload power. So the electric car fleet will act as a giant distributed battery for solar energy. Now you also know why they want to install smart meters.

    China is filled to the brim with electrical bikes. In some big cities you are not allowed to ride a gasoline bike (e.g., Beijing).

    For a extensive discussion about all this, see:

    Sustainable Energy – without the hot air
    http://www.withouthotair.com/

  201. @LS
    “All the others are WORSE.”

    Solar panels are made from sand. Deserts are empty stretches of sand. The solar power is of the order of 300 Wm-2 averaged over a day. That is quite a lot for a full desert. And you can use solar power to make solar cells.

    How this is worse is rather a mystery to me.

  202. @Tim F
    “The developing world has horrible wifi infrastructure and greatly lags the developing world in all statistical measures for wifi penetration.”

    That is not the question. The real question is what will be there first (and cheapest), enough 3G bandwidth or WiFi hotspots on cables? I guess the WiFi.

    @Tim F
    That study was based on USA and UK users. I am not sure how this extrapolates to China or other places in the developing world.

    http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press_Releases/2012/4/iPhones_Have_Significantly_Higher_Rates_of_Wi-Fi_Utilization

  203. “That study was based on USA and UK users. I am not sure how this extrapolates to China or other places in the developing world.”

    Maybe it doesn’t, but with wifi being much more broadly available in the US and UK, I don’t think it points to strong usage of wifi in less developed nations, certainly. But you are correct.

    “That is not the question. The real question is what will be there first (and cheapest), enough 3G bandwidth or WiFi hotspots on cables? I guess the WiFi.”

    I don’t find that a particularly interesting question. Firstly, everyone’s been saying for the last 5 years that the answer is the former. That these nations were able to rapidly develop cellular networks but all other data access remains limited (so I disagree and feel the answer is already well established). Secondly, if it is the latter and it’s on a paid wifi hotspot in a cafe shared by 100 other people for whatever metered amount of time, it’s not particularly compelling.

    To me the more relevant question is: when will these users use the internet in similar ways as already being done in the developed world.

    A half-hour to a few hours on a slow shared connection that you have to travel to and pay for on a metered basis is not very comparable to household wired for Verizon FiOS with 802.11ac (or at least g or n) networking, a local area network, and multiple smart mobile devices with 3G/4G services that are always on and taken for granted by the household.

    Bully for the underdeveloped for getting access, any access, to the Internet. Noble goal, nice. But if we are talking highly restricted and limited wifi access, I’m still saying those customers do not have as much value.

  204. “Solar panels are made from sand. Deserts are empty stretches of sand. The solar power is of the order of 300 Wm-2 averaged over a day. That is quite a lot for a full desert. And you can use solar power to make solar cells….How this is worse is rather a mystery to me.”

    Solar panels are made of silicon. This is extracted from sand with difficulty, complication and a lot of energy. Worse than that are the chemicals used in the process. They include hydrofluoric acid, for one. (If you went to a mechanic to have your car’s VIN etched into its windows, that’s what he used to etch the glass.) There has been environmental destruction in Silicon Valley due to this issue, but there has not been much of a stink raised because the problem has (so far) been limited by the fact that integrated circuit production is aimed at reducing chip area as much as possible. The exact opposite is true for solar cells; you will be making them in massive quantities, as large as possible. Environmental nightmare ensues.

    …not to mention the ecofreaks’ reaction to the thought of shading the Arizona desert – “What will the Gila Monsters do to survive?”

  205. @Winter

    A phone that’s comfortable for heavy browsing has to have a larger screen and thus a larger battery and thus… The nice thing is the bigger the phone the cheaper it is to move from crappy to adequate in terms of performance. Assuming you are right that for billions 3-5 the real need is internet cafes…. then I think Android is likely to do very very well.

  206. @CD-Host:

    It was the switch to Windows which killed the diversity and created uniformity around the Microsoft/Intel/Western Digital standard. And that uniformity came in large measure from businesses standardizing on Windows as a platform. That standardization was driven by Microsoft’s position in office suites.

    The switch to windows, along with Microsoft’s willingness to play hardball with office suite competitors, greatly aided them in taking over the word processing market. But Microsoft already owned the OS. They had the foresight at that time to invest in the future, and the willingness to cut of competitors’ oxygen simply by making it extremely cheap for OEMs who sold MS exclusively.

    Yes there were other window/task managers that worked on top of DOS, and even a DOS replacement, and of course OS/2, but those never got that much traction. I think DR-DOS got 10% tops. It would have gone higher, but the transition to Windows was already in full swing.

    So Microsoft was smart/ruthless enough to leverage a preexisting OS monopoly into a paradigm shift (from DOS to Windows) and pick up a market segment (office suite) in the process.

    Yes, there were some great synergies there, and yes, the office suite was a killer app (though not at all pioneered by microsoft), but MS didn’t need a killer app to be on top with MS-DOS. They just needed network effects, which Android has in spades.

    Google’s trying damned hard to make it easy for anybody to replace Android (for example, with persistent apps in the chrome store) while simultaneously trying to make it a silly decision to do so for most OEMs (it’s hard to compete with a free OS which has a great ecosystem around it).

    Any competition for top spot is likely to come from the low end, like Boot2Gecko, rather than from the high end. It’s just too difficult and time-consuming to build the whole thing yourself.

  207. network effects, which Android has in spades

    Well, that’s one of the things I’ve been questioning around here. Not that there aren’t some, but what exactly is the network effect between (say) a low-end Chinese Android phone that can’t use the Google Play store and a Nexus tablet? They are both called “Android” but otherwise seem to have little to do with one another. Winter is always going on about super-cheap Android devices in the Third World, but don’t fewer features, less power, and fragmentation all mean a diversity that works against network effects?

    The iOS universe is smaller overall in device count, but the network effects between iPhones and iPads and iPod Touches seem to be stronger.

  208. @PapayaSF:

    Not that there aren’t some, but what exactly is the network effect between (say) a low-end Chinese Android phone that can’t use the Google Play store and a Nexus tablet? They are both called “Android” but otherwise seem to have little to do with one another. Winter is always going on about super-cheap Android devices in the Third World, but don’t fewer features, less power, and fragmentation all mean a diversity that works against network effects?

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that end users, or possibly end users+developers, are all that counts in an ecosystem. Yes, Apple has a nice synergy that works well for some developers and some relatively affluent (in worldwide terms) end users, and no the diversity doesn’t work against network effects — it enhances it by increasing the rate of evolution.

    As far as the features and power goes, Moore’s Law is still in effect. The long-term losing bet is almost always catering too much to the lowest end hardware, like B2G might be doing, but there are almost always short-term arbitration plays that push the limits of low-end hardware with high-end software. The diversity you bemoan means there are a lot of players actively pushing Android into every conceivable niche, which means that any hardware manufacturer can probably find at least a small market for its chip/board/system.

  209. @Tim F
    For those who have no internet, a little bandwidth is a huge game changer. We are spoilt for instant movie downloads. They are happy with messaging and social sites. Its a huge improvement to SMS, and much cheaper.

  210. @LS
    Yes, making solar panels is a dirty business, so what?

    And the fact that making solar cells costs energy is irrelevant as long as they produce more energy than their construction consumes. That point has been reached decades ago.

  211. Winter wrote: “So the electric car fleet will act as a giant distributed battery for solar energy.”

    Suppose I drive my car to work (where there is no convenient charger), work all day, drive the car to dinner, eventually arriving home as the sun sets. When I get home I plug in the car expecting it to charge overnight while I sleep. You’re saying that the car then GIVES UP power all night long, at least until sunrise, (probably a bit longer since the solar power production is really weak when the sun is that low in the sky), then I get up and drive to work.

    When exactly is my car getting charged UP in this scenario?

  212. The expense and short lifespan of batteries make electric cars impractical, and solar power impractical.

    Sodium sulfur batteries might well become cheap enough in the near future – or not, hard to predict.

    Another solution would be a world spanning grid, where solar power from one half of the world powers the other half. This, however, would require unrealistic levels of stability, cooperation, and peacefulness, at a time when America’s world empire is in decline, and China is unable, unwilling, and unsuitable to act as world hegemon.

  213. Certainly I’m not the first person to think that the smartphone market transition is starting to greatly resemble the mid-80?s home computer market?

    Yeah, but the number of people who think that doesn’t make it any more or less true.

    The big issue: the most important function for any smartphone is communication. Can an Android phone call an iPhone? Yes. Can it text an iPhone? Yes. Can you send email from one to another? Yes. This means that any lock-in network effects are minimized.

    Eric’s predictions about a 50% tipping point assumed that there was a substantial benefit to being on the same OS as your workplace/friends/etc. This was the case for the 80s computer market. It is not the case for smartphones.

  214. @Winter. I agree. To SMS or video chat a cousin in a village a days journey away in Africa must be amazing. Transformative. Great. Good for them.

    They’re still very low value customers.

  215. People forget that those who manage and plan the power grids have a long time horizon. They are doing things now that will come online in only a decade.

    @Glen Raphael
    “(where there is no convenient charger)”

    They are mending this fast. At least in Europe. I already saw power outlets in Portland, OR, too.

    @Glen Raphael
    “You’re saying that the car then GIVES UP power all night long, at least until sunrise,”

    If power is cheap at day, but expensive at night, and you are paid out the difference, there will be people who see how to benefit from that. It might even be an incentive to buy an over dimensioned battery.

    @Glen Raphael
    “When exactly is my car getting charged UP in this scenario?”

    When you think that power is cheapest. That is, when the sun shines and you are at work. If people can sell you a charge, would they not bother to set up outlets where you park your car?

    @JAD
    “Sodium sulfur batteries might well become cheap enough in the near future – or not, hard to predict.”

    Not hard. Technology gets cheaper all the time. There is a huge demand for good batteries. Someone will come up with a cheap, lightweight, and reliable battery.

  216. @Tim F.
    “They’re still very low value customers.”

    2 billion low value customers are called a business opportunity.

  217. “Someone will come up with a cheap, lightweight, and reliable battery.”

    Eventually, someone will. Eventually, fusion power will be cheap and universally available. The Dow Jones Industrial Average will hit 30000. These all WILL happen, but when?

    @Winter: At least in the US, the people in charge of the electric grid are NOT thinking decades ahead. Our grid is old, and creaky, and is only patched after a major outage. It’s a lot like some software.

  218. |@LS
    “At least in the US, the people in charge of the electric grid are NOT thinking decades ahead.”

    Indeed, if you say so.

    However, those in, say, East Asia and Europe are thinking ahead. That is where all this “Smart meter” stuff is coming from. They are planning to electrify the whole economy with decentralized production and time-differential pricing for more efficient power use.

  219. Winter on 2013-09-12 at 02:14:02 said:
    > Technology gets cheaper all the time. There is a huge demand for good batteries. Someone will come up with a cheap, lightweight, and reliable battery.

    Social decay and disgenesics. Importing a low IQ underclass, and graduating women for attending university whilst in possession of a pussy. Science courses teach the sinfulness of being white and male, that science is a crime against Gaia, that truth is official truth and scientific consensus. The scientific method has not been taught in school or university since the 1970s. Women in tech.

    Some technologies are still getting better and cheaper. Most have stalled. A lot stalled in the early seventies, more stalled around 2007 or so.

    The last man on the moon will soon die of old age. The tallest buildings in the west and fastest planes were built in the seventies. We really cannot do that stuff any more.

    US electricity production was growing exponentially until 1972. After 1972 it grew more slowly. Per capita electricity consumption probably maxed in 2007, now probably is declining.

    We are seeing accelerating improvement on gene reading but decelerating improvement or stagnation on gene writing, possibly regress on gene writing, deceleration on chip densities. Most other stuff is at a dead stop, or, like our ability to build tall buildings, actually declining. London looks increasingly like it did in the twenties. While Shanghai looks like the city of tomorrow, London is heading back to Victorian times.

    We need some genuinely new technologies to get us there, and the rate at which we have been introducing genuinely new technologies has been slowing down markedly since the nineteen forties, arguably since the eighteen seventies.

    n 1967, the writers of Startreck assumed that by the 1990s, we would have large nuclear powered orbit to orbit interplanetary craft with large crews. Given the progress that had been happening, that seemed at the time a reasonable expectation. Progress has slowed, slowed strikingly and obviously.

  220. Winter on 2013-09-12 at 02:58:55 said:
    > See the graph in: http://www.economist.com/node/10789409

    See that the dotted lines are admitted to be fiction, and the lithium line is unadmitted fiction – rechargeable lithium still does not work.

    So the only meaningful line is Nickel Metal Hydride, which is indeed progressing – slowly.

    For battery technology to make electric cars or solar power useful requires revolutionary and fundamental change in battery technology – which has not been happening.

  221. @JAD
    “For battery technology to make electric cars or solar power useful requires revolutionary and fundamental change in battery technology – which has not been happening.”

    New all-solid sulfur-based battery outperforms lithium-ion technology
    http://phys.org/news/2013-06-all-solid-sulfur-based-battery-outperforms-lithium-ion.html

    The new ionically-conductive cathode enabled the ORNL battery to maintain a capacity of 1200 milliamp-hours (mAh) per gram after 300 charge-discharge cycles at 60 degrees Celsius. For comparison, a traditional lithium-ion battery cathode has an average capacity between 140-170 mAh/g. Because lithium-sulfur batteries deliver about half the voltage of lithium-ion versions, this eight-fold increase in capacity demonstrated in the ORNL battery cathode translates into four times the gravimetric energy density of lithium-ion technologies, explained Liang.

    The scientific behind this is found in:
    Electrochemical Performance of All-Solid-State Li/S Batteries with Sulfur-Based Composite Electrodes Prepared by Mechanical Milling at High Temperature
    Motohiro Nagao, Dr. Akitoshi Hayashi, Prof.?Dr. Masahiro Tatsumisago*
    Energy Technology, Volume 1, Issue 2-3, pages 186–192, March 2013

    Sulfur–nanocarbon composites were prepared by mechanical milling at high temperature (155?°C), and the electrochemical performance of all-solid-state Li/S batteries was investigated with Li2S–P2S5 solid electrolytes . We aimed to increase the sulfur content in the sulfur-based composite electrodes to enhance the energy density in the Li/S batteries. The composites included 50?wt?% sulfur, which is twice as high as that in the all-solid-state Li/S batteries that use sulfide-based solid electrolytes reported to date, and high-temperature mechanical milling resulted in a small sulfur particle size with a large contact area between the particles. The improved composites are mainly responsible for the excellent cyclability (1050?mAh?g?1 for 50?cycles), high gravimetric energy density (1007?Wh?kg?1), and good rate capability of the assembled batteries. These composites are promising positive-electrode materials for rechargeable Li/S batteries with high energy density. This approach of mechanical milling at high temperature is widely applicable and can be extended to a variety of materials in versatile energy devices as well as rechargeable lithium batteries.

  222. Sorry, I should have added this link from the phys org paper:

    Lithium Polysulfidophosphates: A Family of Lithium-Conducting Sulfur-Rich Compounds for Lithium–Sulfur Batteries
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201300680/abstract

    In summary, elemental sulfur reacts with Li3PS4.The reaction adds sulfur atoms to the charged terminal S atoms of P4S3 anion by forming S-S bonds. The addition of sulfur to P4S3
    yields a new family of sulfur-rich compounds. These compounds have a lithium-ion conductivity in the range of 10^-5 to 10^-6 Scm-1 that is comparable to that of conventional
    Li-ion cathode materials, such as lithium metal oxides and phosphates. Reversible electrochemical reactions occur through the breaking and forming S-S bonds in LPSP compounds when they are applied as the cathode materials for all-solid-state Li-S batteries. These materials are excellent cathode materials for such Li-S batteries with an impressive
    cyclability. The ionic conductivity of the sulfur cathode is of
    paramount importance in the cycling of these Li-S batteries.
    However, this topic has been rarely studied for conventional
    Li-S batteries. This research bridges the knowledge gap
    between convention Li-S batteries and the new trend of all-solid-state Li-S batteries.

  223. $35/month gets me all-I-can-eat everything. The data’s a bit slow, but it’s all I need.

    At 2g speeds after the meager 4g allotment is used up (measured in mb) on the t-mob plans I saw.

    Ubiquitous high speed access is one of the primary feature for smartphones. That you prefer to hobble your phone because your usage patterns are meager doesn’t make t-mob plans a great value. Just cheap.

  224. “However, those in, say, East Asia and Europe are thinking ahead. That is where all this “Smart meter” stuff is coming from. They are planning to electrify the whole economy with decentralized production and time-differential pricing for more efficient power use.”

    That’s NOT thinking ahead. “Smart meters” do not generate a watt of electricity.

    James Lovelock (the Gaia Guy) commented that, “We can’t conserve our way out of our energy problems – diets don’t work!” He’s right. We will need to generate more electricity.

  225. @Patrick

    Yes there were other window/task managers that worked on top of DOS, and even a DOS replacement, and of course OS/2, but those never got that much traction.

    Absolutely true. But Microsoft stumbled into competing with OS/2. Windows was supposed to be a short term intermediate solution for systems not powerful enough for OS/2. IBM never considered the possibility they could lose control of the “IBM PC” platform entirely and so felt free to use OS/2 to kill off the clones and start making licensing fees on hardware early on, and later on IBM was simply too dysfunctional to compete on OS/2 vs. Windows. We can call it a lucky accident for Microsoft that OS/2 failed miserably. But there is no reason to believe that this was inevitable.

    Yes, there were some great synergies there, and yes, the office suite was a killer app (though not at all pioneered by microsoft), but MS didn’t need a killer app to be on top with MS-DOS. They just needed network effects, which Android has in spades.

    The office suite compatibility was the network effect. What network effects do you think exist outside of things like office suite compatibility? In 1991 if we exclude office suites what would have been wrong with company choosing Amiga 2000s for their employees?

  226. Eric’s predictions about a 50% tipping point assumed that there was a substantial benefit to being on the same OS as your workplace/friends/etc. This was the case for the 80s computer market. It is not the case for smartphones.

    Just as an aside… it was the case for the early 1990s computer market. In the 1980s there were diverse ecosystems which were evolving semi-independently of one another. There really wasn’t that much additional complexity introduced by being different than your friends. You only needed to be on similar platforms when file interchange was going to be a common occurrence and given that PCs were still an adjunct to bigger systems for large companies that wasn’t all that common.

  227. Eric’s predictions about a 50% tipping point assumed that there was a substantial benefit to being on the same OS as your workplace/friends/etc. This was the case for the 80s computer market. It is not the case for smartphones.

    It’s already happening.

    I have 3 work friends who are making a mobile game on the side. 2 are die-hard apple fans, 1 has no real skin in the game but really likes retina displays. They’re using Unity to make the game so the difference between Apple and Android is playtest time. Guess what OS they’re building for? Thats right, the one with >50% market share.

    That is the only network effect I care about.
    I don’t care if it makes Apple collapse or not. I just don’t want Apple’s walled garden to be the one controlling it.

  228. @LS
    ““Smart meters” do not generate a watt of electricity.”

    But Smart meters allow you to feed back power to the grid easily.

    That allows for a lot of domestic solar/wind production. It also supports using electrical car batteries as power back-up at night. And they allow you to level out peaks which would require expensive and wasteful power plants.

    We cannot conserve ourselves out of an energy/climate crisis (see the book link I gave above). But smart meters allow to install backup power and storage for solar energy. And solar energy is able to supply all the power we consume.

  229. @CD-Host:

    We can call it a lucky accident for Microsoft that OS/2 failed miserably.

    The historical evidence is that it was murder, not an accident.

    The office suite compatibility was the network effect.

    You keep ignoring that MS had an OS monopoly first, and that it wasn’t for a lack of competitors. Do you really think that network effects had nothing to do with that monopoly?

  230. Winter wrote: “If power is cheap at day, but expensive at night, and you are paid out the difference, there will be people who see how to benefit from that. It might even be an incentive to buy an over dimensioned battery.”

    If plugging in my car at night means my car has LESS power in the morning, I’m not going to plug in my car at night. As for buying an over-dimensioned battery, what exactly is the benefit to buying this extra battery capacity (that’s not available in the morning) in a transportable form? If it’s profitable for ME to buy some extra battery capacity that charges at noon and returns power to the grid at night, instead of doing that in a super-expensive form (because it has to be lightweight and fit in a car and makes every car trip less efficient), wouldn’t it make more sense to buy that extra capacity in the form of a battery that just sits in a closet or garage all day?

    And if it does, why do *I* have a comparative advantage in that – can’t the power company get better economies of scale by buying huge batteries in a central location than I can by putting smaller ones in my garage?

  231. @Patrick

    The office suite compatibility was the network effect.

    You keep ignoring that MS had an OS monopoly first, and that it wasn’t for a lack of competitors. Do you really think that network effects had nothing to do with [the OS] monopoly?

    Very little if anything. I think IBM and Lotus drew in quality players that the other platform didn’t. I think Microsoft’s push for the Microsoft/Intel/Western Digital standard drove down the price of DOS/Windows PCs. There may have been some network effect prior to the office suites unifying under Microsoft but not much.

  232. @Glen Raphael
    “If plugging in my car at night means my car has LESS power in the morning, I’m not going to plug in my car at night. ”

    If you can get paid for putting your batteries on the grid overnight, you just might do that. If power is cheap when the sun shines and expensive when it does not, you can buy power cheap and sell it when it is expensive. Especially nice when the price difference is predictable.

    @Glen Raphael
    “can’t the power company get better economies of scale by buying huge batteries in a central location than I can by putting smaller ones in my garage?”

    Capital? You need to have the battery anyway to run your car.

    That means the power company does not need to buy the batteries. Moreover, you can use your your own battery charge to power your house at night when external power is expensive.

    If you want it with numbers and all, read:
    http://www.withouthotair.com/c26/page_194.shtml

  233. @Glen Raphael:

    And if it does, why do *I* have a comparative advantage in that – can’t the power company get better economies of scale by buying huge batteries in a central location than I can by putting smaller ones in my garage?

    The electronics for managing batteries are cheap and getting cheaper, as are the batteries themselves. The heat generated by rapid charge/discharge means that, past a certain point, economy of scale may be illusive.

    This becomes a free market problem — if the incentives are properly aligned, then the right things will happen. If the power company charges five cents a KWH when the sun is shining, but charges 10 cents when it isn’t, and pays you 7 cents if you put a KWH back on the grid at night time, there will be plenty of people putting batteries in their garages, or compressed air storage tanks, or building their own elevated water towers.

    If the incentives are improperly aligned by government fiat, then you get people shining lights on their solar panels at night.

  234. @Winter
    > If power is cheap at day, but expensive at night, and you are paid out the difference, there will be people who see how to benefit from that

    You know this comment got me thinking. If that is true (which I suppose it kind of is) and there really were a free exchange of electricity for money bidirectionally, you would think that there would be a lot of businesses living off the arbitrage.

    But I don’t think there are. I wonder why. I’m going to guess government interference in the market place, but I don’t know for sure.

    • >But I don’t think there are. I wonder why. I’m going to guess government interference in the market place, but I don’t know for sure.

      That’s generally a safe bet, but in this case I think the horrible inefficiencies associated with electricity transmission and storage are more to blame. It’s tough to have a commodity market when your commodity can’t be warehoused and dissipates when you try to move it around.

  235. @Fluffy girl
    “But I don’t think there are. I wonder why. I’m going to guess government interference in the market place, but I don’t know for sure.”

    The whole scheme is only possible if there is ample solar power generation and a largely electrified economy (as in, almost all energy is solar energy).

    That is still not true. What would be needed is:
    – massive solar power generation
    – electrification of almost all energy use (mainly transport and heating/cooling)
    – massive storage in electrical cars
    – good bi-directional power delivery

    On all part people are working. Europeans try to set up large solar power plants in the Sahara. These are in trouble because of the political troubles there. The USA is starting in California. China is the largest producer of solar panels.

    They are setting up charging point for electrical cars all over Europe. There are also developments in getting smart meters in the homes and more solar panels on the roofs.

    As always, the technical problems are the easy part. The social or organizational “problems” are the really hard ones.

  236. @winter
    I wasn’t thinking about solar or alternatives, i was simply thinking that if electricity is cheaper during the night, why aren’t there companies storing that electricity at night and selling it back when the price is higher during the day.

    Perhaps it is government interference, perhaps the transaction costs overwhelm the arbitrage. I suspect the former and doubt the latter.

  237. @Fluffy Girl
    “Perhaps it is government interference, perhaps the transaction costs overwhelm the arbitrage. I suspect the former and doubt the latter.”

    There seems to be some arbitrage for industrial partners. I have no idea about the other parties. There are huge problems with network and power plant ownership and the fact that electricity is difficult to store.

  238. I do know of one case where the cost differential got exploited on an industrial scale. During the worst of the California power crisis, my provincial power utility, BC Hydro, exported hydro-power during the day, and bought power at night when it was cheap. Since most of our generation is from hydroelectric dams, we have a lot of peak power (and thus could generate excess), but a finite amount of energy (total water behind the dams) – hence the need to buy it back at night, by idling the dams and importing.

    The price differentials were absurdly large, and even so we only made modest amounts of money on it. I recall that most of us got a $100 rebate or so on our utility bills that year. So BC Hydro profited on the order of (hundreds of?) millions but not billions of dollars, during a time when the price differential was as large as it is ever likely to get. (And they caught a lot of flak for it later, too. That annoyed me – BC Hydro hadn’t done that, the crisis would have been worse.)

  239. “But Smart meters allow you to feed back power to the grid easily.”

    People can grow their own food, but generally don’t have the time for it. They would rather rely on others who are much better than they are at it. Those others are known as “farmers”.

    People could generate their own electricity, but would rather do other things, instead relying on other people who are much better at it than they are. Those others are known as “electric utilities”.

  240. @CD-Host:

    Very little if anything. I think IBM and Lotus drew in quality players that the other platform didn’t.

    Lotus was certainly part of the network effect. IBM sure, they helped to get the ball rolling, but MS had a lock on the OS well after IBM’s marketshare went to nothing.

    In any case, let’s turn it around. What are the events that would cause a different OS to become ascendant on the smartphone?

  241. FWIW, West Texas has the same yet opposite problem than that being discussed here.

    The wind turbines generate most of their power at night; people use the most power in the late afternoon/early evening, because that’s when the AC needs are greatest (thermal lag).

  242. @LS
    “People could generate their own electricity, but would rather do other things, instead relying on other people who are much better at it than they are. Those others are known as “electric utilities”.”

    People can also use public transport instead of driving their own car. Or they can let the supermarket deliver their food at home.

    Some people will be happy to do some work to cut costs or get an extra income. People can instruct their appliances to use power when it is cheapest. That too is something smart meters will be able to do.

    Other examples, around here some farmers have put up wind turbines on their land. They farm wind. And quite a number of people have put solar panels on their roofs. They think they will make a profit.

  243. Also “smart meters” (how far we went from topic of this blog post…) allow to sell excess of energy generated for own needs (be it wind, small hydro or solar), instead of buying some expensive and energy-loosing balance system like batteries.

  244. You know this comment got me thinking. If that is true (which I suppose it kind of is) and there really were a free exchange of electricity for money bidirectionally, you would think that there would be a lot of businesses living off the arbitrage.

    My guess would be because you’re selling back to the same mono/oligo-poly that you’re buying from. Theres no businesses living off the arbitrage of cash converters either.

    (But i don’t think your government interference theory is implausible either)

  245. @Patrick: The lag with turbines is a concern, but it’s way down below the fact that the transmission corridor connecting the nice windy areas is saturated. We could put hundreds of megawatts on the grid in months if the transmission capacity were there, and I suspect that most of my own electrons are coming from turbine power.

  246. @Christopher Smith:

    > The lag with turbines is a concern, but it’s way down below the fact that the transmission corridor connecting the nice windy areas is saturatedAgreed. Here’s more info:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/12/column-wynn-wind-transmission-idUSL5N0H722C20130912

    If you assume that the transmission problem will be fixed, the wind turbines become complementary to some amount of solar.

    > I suspect that most of my own electrons are coming from turbine power.

    Could be, depending on where you are, but power in the form of 60Hz is fairly fungible.

  247. @Fluffy Girl: (How do you define fluffy?)

    > Perhaps it is government interference, perhaps the transaction costs overwhelm the arbitrage.

    It’s hard to distinguish between these when the government owns the utility.

  248. @JonCB:

    *shrug*

    http://gigaom.com/2013/07/23/android-ios-pull-even-in-smartphone-ad-traffic-but-ios-still-drives-most-ad-revenue/
    http://www.mopub.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/MoPub-Mobile-Advertising-Marketplace-Report-2012-Q4.pdf

    Not a lot of hard numbers, alas. Then again, one story about your co-workers is also not hard numbers.

    I don’t think Apple’s position is impervious, mind you. I just think the whole network effect argument is based on the human desire to pattern match even when the patterns don’t exist. Not all technology battles are the same.

  249. If you assume that the transmission problem will be fixed, the wind turbines become complementary to some amount of solar.

    That’s what I’d like to see. Unfortunately, “fixing” the transmission problem is projected to cost in the ten figures (enough that T. Boone Pickens got skittish), and all of our tens of billions are tied up in the Middle East and the shiny new datacenter in Utah.

    Could be, depending on where you are, but power in the form of 60Hz is fairly fungible.

    Exactly: I’m on “this” side of the transmission corridor. ;-)

  250. Could be, depending on where you are, but power in the form of 60Hz is fairly fungible.

    High-Voltage DC Breakthrough Could Boost Renewable Energy
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2012/12/121206-high-voltage-dc-breakthrough/

    High-voltage direct current
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current

    The most common reason for choosing HVDC over AC transmission is that HVDC is more economic than AC for transmitting large amounts of power point-to-point over long distances. A long distance, high power HVDC transmission scheme generally has lower capital costs and lower losses than an AC transmission link.

    Even though HVDC conversion equipment at the terminal stations is costly, overall savings in capital cost may arise because of significantly reduced transmission line costs over long distance routes. HVDC needs fewer conductors than an AC line, as there is no need to support three phases. Also, thinner conductors can be used since HVDC does not suffer from the skin effect. These factors can lead to large reductions in transmission line cost for a long distance HVDC scheme.

  251. About High-voltage direct current– the problem might be regulating the current (fast cutoff and redirection), but I have read in Scientific American some time ago about high-energy diamond transistors / electronics… but I think it was in research phase, not in industrial applications phase.

    off-topicy

  252. @Patrick

    Lotus was certainly part of the network effect. IBM sure, they helped to get the ball rolling, but MS had a lock on the OS well after IBM’s marketshare went to nothing.

    Lotus wasn’t a valuable product because of communication but because of capabilities. Communication played a limited role, other spreadsheets on other systems had similar communication capabilities. What they lacked was the sheer performance which allowed analysis of larger datasets in spreadsheet format to be practical. The people for whom Lotus was better, would have found it better regardless of whether IBM PCs had 5% marketshare, 50% or 90%.

    That’s the key point. Microsoft’s dominant position in OSes was mostly a result of other factors, not network effects. The network effects came later and came from Office.

    In any case, let’s turn it around. What are the events that would cause a different OS to become ascendant on the smartphone?

    I’m assuming by “dominant” you mean unit sales which is really IMHO a not particularly good metric. But using that metric:

    a) I talked about this above. Google’s inability to provide their services to billions 3-5 leading to other operating systems better suited to their infrastructure. Both Windows Phone / Nokia and Tizen could be much better choices. Android ends up the dominant phone only for billion 2 with iOS being dominant for billion 1.

    b) Several mobile applications which take advantage of another OS and can’t be ported effectively to Android i.e. a “killer app”. Exactly what happened with Microsoft, and arguably with iOS’s popularity in the United States.

    c) Samsung decides to aggressively shift to protected margins from cheaper Chinese phones. Samsung controls a huge percentage of the mid-range smartphone ($150-300) Android marketshare. Android customers aren’t brand loyal at all, but in so far as they are loyal they are much more aware of Samsung than Android. I think Samsung could potentially move well over 1/2 the Android market at those price points off Android. From there the application the rest of the ecosystem could dry up.

    d) NSA snooping on hundreds of millions of phones leads European and Asian leaders to either restrict or heavily intervene in Android. Restrictions obvious shift the OS but that strong government intervention if it happens could kill Android’s financial model.

    e) Google’s earning start to deteriorate and they decide to boost earnings per handset heavily rather than focusing on growth, i.e. profitable shrinkage.

    f) The dominance of iOS on higher end verticals makes iOS a mandatory “work phones”. Enterprises and business start buying the handsets for their employees, both domestically and globally. iOS becomes associated with business productivity while other OSes become niches. Which is very similar to what happened to Microsoft in the 1990s and 2000s relative to other OSes.

    etc…

  253. >a) 3-5B
    Moore’s law. Also I don’t see how WP is better than Android

    >b) ?

    >c) The Chinese will displace Samsung anyway. China gets (has?) the most production capacity and will undercut Samsung. And like with the iPhone in the early days, the competition will not simply fold when Samsung goes it alone.

  254. @CD-Host
    d) NSA snooping
    Forking Android will be much more sensible than starting from scratch. Forks already exists.

    > e) Google going to the dark side. See d) or Firefox OS

    > f) Buziness selects iOS
    Business is irrelevant for 99% of users. Most certainly in the developing world.

  255. @Winter —

    a) I don’t see what Moore’s law has to do with Android financial model not fitting. Make the phone free, it still doesn’t make economic sense for Google to provide the services.

    c) I’m not going to so confidently predict that Samsung loses. Cheaper doesn’t always win. The US example proves that.

    d) If Google isn’t involved then it is getting harder to call it Android. That’s one of the reasons I have trouble considering the Chinese phones to be Android. But if you want “Android “to be so broad as to cover a family related operating systems with a variety of online service providers offering all sorts of different services. OK sure that mostly fixes the problem. But under those scenarios fragmentation issues are incredible and there are no “network effects”. That’s very much like what JavaVM has until recently and still possibly as the dominant OS.

    e) Firefox OS is a change of OS.

    f) Here you are just wrong. People in the developing world have jobs too and those jobs are facilities by IT. What they don’t have is a culture of work based software on their personal devices and/or work providing their devices. That can change.

  256. Not a lot of hard numbers, alas. Then again, one story about your co-workers is also not hard numbers.

    Sure and hard numbers aren’t what i’m interested in.

    To me this concept that people call “Network Effects”, when applied to software, is a constant force like gravity. Sure you can push against it, Android wouldn’t have gotten where it is if not for that fact. But always there’s that voice in the back of your marketing department saying “we’re not catering to 75% of our potential customers”. And that’s going to lead to a scenario that says (at worst) “sure we’ll develop for iPhone, but we’ll also do an android port”. And, as i said, that’s all i really care about.

  257. CD-Host > d) NSA snooping on hundreds of millions of phones leads European and Asian leaders to either restrict or heavily intervene in Android. Restrictions obvious shift the OS but that strong government intervention if it happens could kill Android’s financial model.

    I don’t think there’s any chance of that happening in Europe, at least. Asia might be different, but as you write, Google’s services are not on very many Android phones is China as it is, anyway. The German and French politicians have made a fair amount of noise about the NSA scandal, but on the level of the politicians, it’s either smoke and mirrors or possibly genuine ignorance about how signals intelligence agencies work. The politicians must at least play upset since their meetings at the EU and the UN were spied on by an ally, but the agencies of those European countries have been in bed with the CIA and NSA to various extents all along, and they want the data just as much as the NSA wants it. The British haven’t really bothered to even pretend otherwise, and there would be no point anyway, since their agency’s part is exposed by the leaks.

    Some years ago, the Swedish government said perfectly publicly that they’ll listen to all foreign traffic that passes through Sweden, which happens to include e.g. nearly all internet traffic from and to Finland. Obama was just in Sweden, appearing on short notice because he canceled his trip to Russia over the disagreement about Edward S. Before the meeting, the Swedish prime minister said he’d raise the question of snooping. After the meeting, he said he “understands” the point of view of the US government (read: we’re happy to work with the NSA so long as we have some access).

    Btw. both Sweden and Finland have been attracting new data centers in recent years. Google has one in Finland, the Russian search engine Yandex is building one, and one part of Ballmer’s Nokia-acquisition tour here was to talk about a new Microsoft data center in Northern Finland, likely to be built in Oulu. I guess all of these are there to serve the Russian and East European markets, so possibly a lot of that traffic will not go through Swedish fibre optic cables. I don’t actually know what the Finnish government’s position is on listening to that stuff, but the funding for signals intelligence here is such that whatever they do, it won’t be much.

  258. I don’t think there’s any chance of that happening in Europe, at least.

    Indeed. When even Sweden is known to be a close NSA partner — and actively working at the behest of the USA to press trumped-up rape charges against a prominent whistleblower (Julian Assange) — you can’t count on European governments’ hands to be the least bit clean in this whole mess.

  259. “actively working at the behest of the USA to press trumped-up rape charges against a prominent whistleblower (Julian Assange)”

    Just remember, Jeff: shiny side out.

    Far be it from me to defend Sweden’s rape laws, which are the direct result of listening to leftist feminists, but really now…if you don’t want to get prosecuted, you should start by not doing anything that can be construed as breaking the law.

  260. So no discussion of the new iPhones? Yes, the 5C is pretty underwhelming, but the 5S with a 64-bit CPU, a motion co-processor, and Touch ID looks pretty cool.

    • >the 5S with a 64-bit CPU, a motion co-processor, and Touch ID looks pretty cool.

      Ah, yes. The 5S, otherwise known as “all your fingerprints are belong to the Feds”.

  261. @PapayaSF
    Please explain the benefits of a 64 bit processor on an iPhone and how they outweigh the drawbacks?
    Because I have not been able to find them outside the fact that there is a higher number printed in the marketing materials.

  262. winter,

    Spoken like a detractor who’s butthurt that the iPhone 5S is the ONLY mass-market 64-bit smartphone.

    Smartphones are already coming with gigs of RAM. It’s difficult to access more than 4 GiB without a 64-bit CPU.

    64-bit CPUs can also compute much faster, can more easily support 64-bit filesystems, etc. Really, if you are using a phone as a personal computing device, 64 bits is a must.

    The A7 should put the iPhone back at the top of smartphone speed benchmarks for the next six months at least.

  263. Seriously? Compute “much faster” for anything not involving 64-bit values (which is most things)? Certainly we’re going to be seeing phones with more than 4GiB of RAM, and perhaps it makes sense to do a 64-bit rollout to have a trial run for debugging apps and such, but there’s not going to be much of an improvement on this iteration from the 64-bitness.

  264. @PapayaSF

    The 5C is basically the 5 redesigned to slash manufacturing costs. The 5S didn’t go 32/64 but rather flash 16/32/64 so Apple may be looking to boost margins and the 5C is about not wanting to cut the cost of the 5 by $100. Note they also cut the flash in the 4S down to 8. The other possibility is they didn’t want the 5C to cannibalize. So they price it close the 5S during the time when the 5S sales surge happens then when it is over they slash the price of the 5C another $150 and get another sales surge.

    The 5S is very cool and iOS 7 is amazing. The 5S should have been 32/64 though it feels gouging rather than just expensive.

  265. ARM v8 is much better than ARM v7. Normally 64 bit wouldn’t do anything on ARM it is quite helpful. Also don’t forget tablets. Over the next 6 years is there any doubt that Apple is going to push their tablets to 8g of RAM? They want the new iOS 7 apps to be 64 bit ready.

  266. Yes, the 5S will be my next phone. My 3GS has been fine for four years, but the battery is getting weak and it’s topped out at iOS 6.

    The Register article I linked to above has a good discussion of the advantages of 64 bits beyond the 4GB memory issue.

    I hope Apple does drop the 5C price, but they often don’t do that, preferring to add power and features and keep the price the same. But I suspect that the iPhone line will continue to expand, like iPods did.

  267. > The 5C is basically the 5 redesigned to slash manufacturing costs.

    It wasn’t designed to “slash manufacturing costs”, because it didn’t. It was designed to update the surface of the 5, so people buying the entry product (no, not the 4S) could have something cool, too.

    Take a look at the dimensions:

    iPhone 5 Height: 123.83 mm, Width: 58.57 mm, Depth: 7.6mm https://developer.apple.com/resources/cases/dimensions/iPhone-5-dimensions.pdf
    iPhone 5S Height: 123.8 mm, Width 58.6 mm, Depth: 7.6 mm http://www.apple.com/iphone-5s/specs/
    iPhone 5C Height: 124.4 mm, Width: 59.2 mm, Depth: 8.97mm http://www.apple.com/iphone-5c/specs/

    See also: http://www.apple.com/iphone/compare/

    If you compute the difference here between the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5/5S (so: iPhone 5C – iPhone 5/5S):

    Height: 124.4 – 123.8 = 0.6mm (0.0236”)
    Width: 59.2 – 58.6 = 0.6mm (0.0236”)
    Depth: 8.97 – 7.6 = 1.37mm (0.0539”)

    I’d say that the extra height and width is due entirely to the plastic shell.

    It seriously looks to me like the 5C is a 5 underneath. (With a slightly larger (5S?) battery, given the 10% longer standby & talk time.)

    I’m willing to believe that the same “band antenna” structure from the 5/5S is underneath the plastic shell in the 5C. The tear downs will verify, of course.

    > Note they also cut the flash in the 4S down to 8

    To make it as unattractive as possible. Anyone in the market for a new phone will *easily* pay the $99 to get into the 5C with 16GB and LTE, rather than the 4S with 8GB and 3G.

  268. And now we find out that Nokia was getting ready to bail for Android.

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/behind-microsoft-deal-the-specter-of-a-nokia-android-phone/?smid=tw-nytimesbits&seid=auto&_r=1&&pagewanted=all

    A team within Nokia had Android up and running on the company’s Lumia handsets well before Microsoft and Nokia began negotiating Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone and services business, according to two people briefed on the effort who declined to be identified because the project was confidential. Microsoft executives were aware of the existence of the project, these people said.

    Once again, linux/Android are used as leverage, not as an actual product or technology.

  269. Also:

    One particular project in testing was codenamed “AOL” according to insiders — “Asha on Linux,” a reference to Nokia’s low-end line of devices that don’t run Windows Phone. Nokia uses a variety of codenames for projects, but this particular one — also codenamed “MView” for Google’s hometown of Mountain View — was designed to use a variant of Android on a low-end handset to maximize margins. We’re told the end result was planned to launch in 2014, but with the recent acquisition employees working on the projects do not know their fate. One of Nokia’s ideas was to fork its own version of Android in a similar way to Amazon for low-end devices.

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/13/4728184/microsoft-surface-phone-testing-while-nokia-experimented-with-android

    I’m sure Samsung would have loved that.

  270. Christopher Smith > Compute “much faster” for anything not involving 64-bit values (which is most things)?

    Seriously. Consider a 64-bit optimized string compare which compares 8 chars at a time, rather than 4. You’ll generate 1/2 the loads and 1/2 the compares., Even when pipelined, the loads consume the time. (Both newlib and GNU libc already do this.)

    Or, if you want to look at real world code, consider this: https://gist.github.com/anonymous/6558676

    FindMinPath32, compiled in 32-bit mode: 1 (normalized)
    FindMinPath64, compiled in 32-bit mode: 1.002x
    FindMinPath32, compiled in 64-bit mode: 0.93x
    FindMinPath64, compiled in 64-bit mode: 0.85x

    In the third result, we witness a performance gain of 7%. This is merely by recompiling the 32-bit code for a 64-bit system.

    The fourth line is where the reality hits home, as the performance gain is 15%.

    Merely using the type size_t instead of unsigned we let the compiler build a more effective code that works even 8% faster than just compiling for 64-bit.

    This is yet another place where Apple’s approach (native code) is superior to that of Android (with its layer of Java). Because Apple makes the development environment and has updated those tools for 64-bit architectures, a developer only really needs to recompile their application to make it 64-bit compatible

    This will not be true with Android. Dalvik virtual registers are 32 bits and are stored in reverse order on the stack. They are referenced relative to the frame pointer R5. Hence, the virtual register V0 is located at the top of the stack (pointed to by the ARM register R5,) and the virtual register V1 sits on top of V0 in memory, and so forth.

    Google will also need to add 64-bit ARM support to the Android kernel.
    Work is occurring, but we’re still a long way from a stable kernel for linux on ARM.
    http://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/?id=c9ef713993ba168b38d1a97ea0ab00874f1da022

    tl;dr: Android has a lot more moving pieces to coordinate, and will take longer to go to 64-bit.
    Apple just hit Android in the head with the performance hammer.

  271. @CD-Host:

    Lotus wasn’t a valuable product because of communication but because of capabilities. Communication played a limited role, other spreadsheets on other systems had similar communication capabilities.

    That’s the key point. Microsoft’s dominant position in OSes was mostly a result of other factors, not network effects. The network effects came later and came from Office.

    You have a very narrow definition of network effects.

  272. > You have a very narrow definition of network effects.

    network effects is narrowly defined!

    In economics and business, a network effect (also called network externality) is the effect that one user of a good or service has on the value of that product to other people. When network effect is present, the value of a product or service increases as more people use it.

  273. @LeRoi
    When the Dalvik VM is ported to 64 bit, all bytecode apps will run on 64 bit. Most (all?) apps in Google Play are byecode apps. Linux runs on 64 bit processors since 1995.

    http://www.androidauthority.com/64-bit-processors-4gb-memory-coming-2014-267402/

    It isn’t yet known which version of Android will be fully 64-bit compatible, it is unlikely to be Android 4.4 KitKat but hopefully Android 5.0 will be able to fully utilize the new ARMv8 architecture. However the transition to 64-bits shouldn’t be too hard as Linux has supported 64-bit modes on Intel for a long time and earlier this year support for ARM64 started to appear in the mainline kernel.

  274. > Ah, yes. The 5S, otherwise known as “all your fingerprints are belong to the Feds”.

    AFAIK fingerprints data is purely local and doesn’t leave the phone.

    • >AFAIK fingerprints data is purely local and doesn’t leave the phone.

      And you know this how? Nobody can audit Apple’s closed-source code.

      As usual, a prudent person should evaluate security risks on the assumption that any portion of the software that isn’t open-source is malicious, out to get you, and co-opted by an NSA surveillance program.

  275. @LeRoy
    “Consider a 64-bit optimized string compare which compares 8 chars at a time, rather than 4. You’ll generate 1/2 the loads and 1/2 the compares., Even when pipelined, the loads consume the time.”

    I agree that it is a good move of Apple to switch to 64 bit. However, users who buy an iPhone 5 will not get much out of that. Maybe in iPhone 6 this will make a real difference, or in the next generation of iPads.

    What you leave out in your analysis is the potential of increased power consumption.

    @LeRoy
    “Because Apple makes the development environment and has updated those tools for 64-bit architectures, a developer only really needs to recompile their application to make it 64-bit compatible ”

    Experience has taught me to distrust such statements. The fact that most Android apps are Dalvik byte codes makes the switch for Android even easier: The moment Dalvik has been ported, all apps run in 64 bit.

  276. @Leroy

    You are forgetting the big change:

    iPhone 5C — 132g
    iPhone 5 — 112g

    I’m having trouble believing that extra 20g is from plastic and not from cheaper components (especially the battery and screen). Even a few percentage points more space would reduce the complexity of assembly for the 5 driving Foxconn’s costs way down. So I don’t think it is a 5 underneath, but we’ll both know more in a month.

  277. “I’m having trouble believing that extra 20g is from plastic and not from cheaper components (especially the battery and screen).”

    The frame is plastic on the outside, it’s steel-reinforced on the inside. Steel is heavier (and also cheaper). The battery is larger. Weight difference explained. Cheaper electronic components wouldn’t be measurably heavier.

  278. “As usual, a prudent person should evaluate security risks on the assumption that any portion of the software that isn’t open-source is malicious, out to get you, and co-opted by an NSA surveillance program.”

    And a prudent person should also evaluate the likelihood of their data being captured by evaluating just how interesting it is to the NSA. For the average American, read: very, very little. The NSA, quite frankly, doesn’t care.

    The Feds already have my fingerprints, both from the various CCW permit applications I’ve filed and from the Secret clearance I had a couple of decades ago.

    The iPhone 5S won’t be my next phone, but not because of that; rather, it’ll be because a (hopefully updated by then with LTE capability) Nexus 4 will serve as well.

    As for the 64-bitness of the 5S, as was pointed out on Slashdot, that lets Apple bring iOS and OS X even closer together. I can see them working hard to get to one common codebase, with only a small amount of code different for the architecture-specific parts.

    • >And a prudent person should also evaluate the likelihood of their data being captured by evaluating just how interesting it is to the NSA. For the average American, read: very, very little. The NSA, quite frankly, doesn’t care.

      This belief is falsified by what the NSA has admitted on the record to having done. The NSA has developed an institutional belief that it should collect everything possible so it can look for patterns in the pile later, using methods and filters that may not even have been imagined at the time of collection.

    • >…not that Android doesn’t have issues, too:

      On Android, I can opt out. And I can get a build that’s been audited by third parties so I can have very high confidence that the opt-out actually works. Under a closed-source OS, not so much.

  279. @LeRoy:

    network effects is narrowly defined!

    The definition you quoted is actually quite broad, much broader than the one CD-Host apparently uses.

    If you have a problem with your phone, and it is likely that you can walk up to a stranger and ask him how to do something with it, that is a positive network externality, but seemingly not one covered by CD-Host’s internal definition.

    If there are a lot of customers of phones with an OS, thus attracting a lot of developers who learn to code apps for the phone, thus attracting more users, thus attracting more developers, that is also a positive network externality. It doesn’t require a killer app, other than the OS. It doesn’t even require the OS to be “good” by most metrics, just to be the commonly agreed upon standard.

  280. ‘If there are a lot of customers of phones with an OS, thus attracting a lot of developers who learn to code apps for the phone, thus attracting more users, thus attracting more developers, that is also a positive network externality. It doesn’t require a killer app, other than the OS. It doesn’t even require the OS to be “good” by most metrics, just to be the commonly agreed upon standard.’

    And I’ve just been hearing about the thousands of pounds they charge children for playing ‘free’ games. Apple seem quite happy to support con artists and protect them from the authorities?

  281. > The moment Dalvik has been ported, all apps run in 64 bit.

    You need to hit yourself with the cluebat, repeatedly.

    ‘apps’ that have been through the (java) toolchain with the dalvik back-end will continue as they are, static and 32-bit.
    since Dalvik registers are stored on the stack (and in reverse order at that), it’s going to be (literally) forever before you find a VM that will run both existing compiled apps and those that have been recompiled for 64-bit-ness.

    But then, you probably still believe that ‘deheader’ was the work of a master craftsman.

  282. And a prudent person should also evaluate the likelihood of their data being captured by evaluating just how interesting it is to the NSA. For the average American, read: very, very little. The NSA, quite frankly, doesn’t care.

    Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. The Snowden leaks pretty much confirm that the baseline assumption is that the NSA is collecting every packet you send, decrypting a fair chunk of them, has backdoor access into any online service you use, and is sharing what they find with law enforcement. Any indications to the contrary, at this point, are gravy. And should probably be taken with a grain of salt.

  283. >>…not that Android doesn’t have issues, too:

    > On Android, I can opt out.

    But have not.

    > And I can get a build that’s been audited by third parties so I can have very high
    > confidence that the opt-out actually works. Under a closed-source OS, not so much

    Yes, you can get an audited by third parties OS, as long as you trust those third parties. Perhaps you’ll get Anonymous to do it, since they’re in the back pocket of the FBI. If memory serves, you admitted once to not being able to craft your own release, and even then… who will perform the audit?

    The simple answer: nobody. it’s too difficult for a small group to handle (even a smaller OS such as openbsd struggles) and any group with sufficient available resource is large enough for the NSA and friends to infiltrate and corrupt.

    Patrick, I’m not here to argue with you about Android’s network effects. Both Android and iOS have a sufficiently large installed base that plenty of “people on the street” can be found using one or the other.

    Nor do I give any credence to ear’s continued bleating about Android eventually taking all. Nature abhors a vacuum, and all that.

    Moreover, Android isn’t built to be secure.

    Google acquired Android so they wouldn’t lose their grip on the Internet. Once their (then) CEO found out about Apple’s plans, they quickly moved from attempting to compete with Blackberry to an all out effort to catch Apple’s coming iPhone. Everyone discovered “big data” and… bob’s your uncle, let’s party with *your* data this time, bub.

    In this regard, they have been successful. Google and Apple are lifting data off the phones as fast as they can. What data does come off the phones is then plumbed into the siphon of the surveillance state.

    Where they have not been so successful is dealing with the efforts of Samsung (etc) to remix Android to a more proprietary (read: locked-in) platform.

    As the prophet said, “We are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to Fear—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist sympathizer.” —”Extreme Behavior in Aspen,” February 3, 2003

  284. > I think we are not talking about the same things. Android already runs on MIPS, which is a 64 bit platform.

    Android already runs on amd64, too. Your point only serves to show that you have faint understanding of the topic.

    > That 32 bit apps might not use a 64 bit address space or special instructions is clear to me.

    Same is not obvious given the dreckitude commonly found in your posts.

    • >Same is not obvious given the dreckitude commonly found in your posts.

      LeRoy: this is a ban warning. You are permitted to insult me without penalty on this blog; however, content-free insults and trolling of commenters are not permitted. Mind your manners, beginning now, or you will be ejected.

  285. > As usual, a prudent person should evaluate security risks on the assumption that any portion of the software that isn’t open-source is malicious, out to get you, and co-opted by an NSA surveillance program.

    A prudent person should at least identify the risks and their source.

    You’ve not even gone as far as Phillip Hallam-Baker of the Comodo Group, the second largest CA on the planet:

    http://www.ietf.org/id/draft-hallambaker-prismproof-req-00.txt

    Amusingly, the two sentences in the whole draft about CAs downplay the notion of CA complicity in surveillance. CA’s are, of course, one of the biggest Internet privacy weak points.

    In summary his agenda (failing to acknowledge CAs as part of the problem) is a lot like yours (failing to acknowledge that ‘can’ and ‘done’ are different).

    Google isn’t going to fix it for you, either. Eric Schmidt just had this to say, “There’s been spying for years, there’s been surveillance for years, and so forth, I’m not going to pass judgement on that, it’s the nature of our society.”

  286. @LeRoy
    “Your point only serves to show that you have faint understanding of the topic.”

    Too much honor. “Faint understanding” is really well beyond my current knowledge about the details of Android.

  287. “This belief is falsified by what the NSA has admitted on the record to having done. The NSA has developed an institutional belief that it should collect everything possible so it can look for patterns in the pile later, using methods and filters that may not even have been imagined at the time of collection.”

    Yes, and? I don’t care if the NSA has my fingerprints and my email conversations. That’s not the interesting question. The interesting question is whether they care enough to look at them. The answer is simply “no”. They’ve got much bigger fish to fry.

    • >The interesting question is whether they care enough to look at them.

      It is sad and disturbing to see you making excuses for totalitarian-level survellance.

  288. @Jay Maynard:

    How do you feel about gun registration?

    How do you feel about the government not needing gun registration to accomplish the same goals?

  289. Experience has taught me to distrust such statements. The fact that most Android apps are Dalvik byte codes makes the switch for Android even easier: The moment Dalvik has been ported, all apps run in 64 bit.

    No.

    Android supports native apps now, most of which are shared libraries loaded into the Dalvik VM’s namespace. On Linux, you can’t map 32-bit libraries into a 64-bit process’s memory (AFAIK). Which means that… yes, 64-bit Android will need two Dalvik VMs running, concurrently. Which means twice the garbage-collected heap and even more memory wastage. Which means you’re going to need more than 4 GiB of RAM in one of these hypothetical, future 64-bit Androids in order to get as much performance and functionality as the iPhone 5S offers you, today.

    Yet another thing that Apple got right and Android got spectacularly wrong. Android is running up technical debt like a guy stumbling into a “CHECKS CASHED HERE” location late at night. Or a 20-year-old hipster English major.

  290. I didn’t see LeRoy’s “dreckitude” comment about winter’s posts to be an attack on him (her? Who can tell?)

    Even winter has admitted that s/he doesn’t know enough about android to be of use for other than opine.

    You seem increasingly eager in your oft-threatened use of the “ban hammer”.

    Perhaps you should have a cocoa, and pet your cat.

    • >You seem increasingly eager in your oft-threatened use of the “ban hammer”.

      I’ve banned a total of, I think, eight people in the history of this blog. That’s approximately one per year, out of a commenter population well into the thousands. You may need to brush up on the meaning of the word ‘eager’.

  291. Petting Sugar is always in order.

    “It is sad and disturbing to see you making excuses for totalitarian-level survellance.”

    To me, a strong national defense is absolutely imperative. All of the freedom in the world will come to naught if some totalitarian state comes in and takes over. A strong national defense requires the best intelligence we can get about the intentions of our enemies, national and otherwise. Since our enemies operate within the US as well as outside it, we can’t just stop collecting at the borders.

    Indeed, there’s an argument to be made in that the more data the NSA hoovers up, the harder it is for them to target the innocent, just in sheer volume.

    Fundamentally, all communications security is a matter of risk vs. cost: what is the risk of your communication being disclosed, what is the risk to you if the information reaches others who should not have it, what is the cost to you of protecting it, and what is the cost to an interceptor to capture and decrypt it? If the risk of your information being disclosed is small, or the cost of disclosure to you is small, then it doesn’t really matter very much whether it is disclosed or not.

    People are complaining, and rightly, that we are paying far too high a cost to mitigate far too low a risk when it comes to terrorist attack. Those same people refuse to apply the same analysis to the NSA’s data monitoring.

    • >Since our enemies operate within the US as well as outside it, we can’t just stop collecting at the borders.

      The East Germans needed you writing propaganda for the STASI, they did. You’re sinking pretty low.

      And conservatives wonder why I don’t trust them – this is exactly why. They talk about valuing liberty, but the second they get a national-security hardon they become apologists for the panopticon with a shamelesseness that would make a Red Guard blush.

  292. IIRC the Touch ID fingerprint data is stored as a cryptographic hash, so the actual fingerprint image cannot be reconstructed from it, and it’s stored on the phone and doesn’t leave it. Not to deny all the real spying going on, but I doubt that Apple is lying about all that, because they’d be discovered soon enough. If the NSA really wants your fingerprints, they’ll get them some other way. They can find out much more important things about you via all the other things they do.

    Meanwhile, the new Consumer Financial “Protection” Bureau wants to monitor 80% of credit card transactions, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to require health care providers to include “social and behavioral” data in Electronic Health Records (EHR) and to link patient’s records to public health departments.

  293. To me, a strong national defense is absolutely imperative. All of the freedom in the world will come to naught if some totalitarian state comes in and takes over.

    “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    We’re talking about the Constitution here, Mr. Maynard. To quote:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    A strong national defense requires the best intelligence we can get about the intentions of our enemies, national and otherwise. Since our enemies operate within the US as well as outside it, we can’t just stop collecting at the borders.

    Henceforth, all software to which you contribute is hereby, and decidedly suspect.

    Indeed, there’s an argument to be made in that the more data the NSA hoovers up, the harder it is for them to target the innocent, just in sheer volume.

    It isn’t interesting that you appear unwilling or unable fathom the fundamentals which are in-play. Beyond the constitutional questions, your myopic foresight fails in technical analysis.

    William Binney’s HOPE Keynote has more detail:
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xs8zd7_william-binney-hope-9-keynote-part1_tech

    It goes much deeper than this, of course, but until you are able to understand this, it’s useless plumbing any deeper.

  294. “Yet another thing that Apple got right and Android got spectacularly wrong. Android is running up technical debt”

    That’s rather amusing. How many CPU types and form factors does Android run on, compared to iOS? Meanwhile Apple can’t even change the resolution of a new iOS device without developers having to update their apps.

  295. This is an area in which libertarians and conservatives will never agree. Libertarians see conservatives as forgetting about freedom when it comes to national security. From their perspective, they have a point.

    The flip side of the argument is that conservatives see the libertarian ideal of withdrawal from engagement with the rest of the world as dangerously naive. No amount of crawling into our own hole and pulling the cover over it will keep our enemies from working to destroy us. We keep a strong national defense for the same reason that individually, we keep guns: to protect ourselves from those who would do us harm. To a conservative, that includes knowing to the best of our ability what out enemies are planning and carrying the fight to them rather than letting the enemy dictate the fight on our own territory.

    Ron and Rand Paul will never take over the Republican Party precisely because of this issue. The libertarians aren’t but about a third of the party, and the rest of it distrusts them mightily when it comes to national defense, even more than they trust the pacifist wing of the Democrats.

  296. And, LeRoy, let me ask you a question. If your email has been scooped up, but nobody ever looks at it, has a search been performed? I would say the answer is “no”.

  297. Since you’re so patriotic, we’re going to clear your spare bedroom, and quarter a couple soldiers there.

    I’m sure you don’t mind.

  298. The militia is supposed to be our national defense strategy, plus the navy, and air force, to protect the borders. That is still sufficient, if we weren’t verboten to have our own military weapons.

    On topic, I plan to get a 64 gig gold iPhone 5S next Friday. I expect the speed bump from my 4S to be remarkable. My one big complaint about Apple is that they don’t let user code set the execute bit on user pages. That one change would enable Lisp on iPhone, which, with a 64-bit processor, and 4-8 gigs of RAM, would be glorious! Of course, you could do Lisp on iPhone today, and there are already Scheme interpreters, but non-Apple-signed code would at best be byte-compiled.

  299. Your airplane? We’re confiscating it, and sending it overseas. With any luck, a terrorist will crash it.

  300. The point, before esr bans me for being mean, is that you either stand for the Constitution, or you don’t.

    In my book, if you fail to stand for the Constitution, you are the enemy.

  301. Obviously I favor spying on our enemies. Problem is, is NSA our enemy also? Notice that they were sharing the raw data, which is pretty much everything that any of us do on the internet, in real time, with Israeli intelligence. To what extent are thought crimes committed on the internet likely to be used against us?

    The first hint of the scope of surveillance came out before the Snowden leaks, when people noticed that passing a url in skype chat resulted in a hit on that link, presumably from NSA.

  302. LeRoy: I own a gun for the same reason I own a fire extinguisher: I hope I never need it, but if I ever do, I’ll need it badly, and nothing else will do. (That’s the Constitutional reason. The other reason is that it’s just plain fun, but that’s not a Constitutional requirement.) The same goes for our national defense. My airplane has long since departed, courtesy of the Great Dempression. I hope the guy who has it in Massachusetts is enjoying it as much as I did. The only soldiers in Fairmont are the ones who live here anyway; there are no military bases nearby.

    I stand behind the Constitution. I’m not an absolutist about it.

    And, Bill, the militia and Navy (Air Force? That’s not in the Constitution either; does it get treated like the Navy or Army?) together are not enough to protect our national interests. National defense does not happen solely on our own territory; America can be harmed badly by actions across the globe, and to deny that is to stick one’s head in the sand.

  303. > On Android, I can opt out.

    You can opt out on iOS too in this case – the use of the fingerprint reader is for now entirely optional. Kind of has to be, since there are people (eg, guitarists) who won’t get a clean reading, and there are other people (eg, everybody, until Friday) whose hardware doesn’t yet support it.

    > Indeed, there’s an argument to be made in that the more data the NSA hoovers up, the harder it is for them to target the innocent, just in sheer volume.

    Argh. That seems to me the opposite of the truth, given that databases are so easily searchable. Okay, you know what the REAL issue with the fingerprint reader is? It’s not that the NSA gets your fingerprint – they already have that. That battle is lost; prints now get collected for a driver’s license, a passport, and to cross borders. No, the problem is that once this technology is in regular use it REMOVES an important source of plausible deniability.

    If you are routinely using a print-reader that in any way calls home – and it doesn’t have to send back the print, a mere “he woke up the phone” ping would suffice – then the NSA KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE to a degree that it didn’t before. Yeah, they knew where your PHONE was before, but they couldn’t prove it was YOU carrying it. Now they can. Now their database will include that you, personally, authenticated your presence regularly as your phone’s location moved around.

    Why is this a problem? Database records can be shared and can be anonymously tampered with and can be misrepresented to others. If we move to a world in which everybody knows that the government knows where you are, that is a world in which it is MUCH easier for the authorities to (a) blackmail people, (b) frame people using faked-up evidence, than it is today. Today, for the government to prove you did something wrong, they have to establish beyond reasonable doubt that you were at the scene of the crime. That becomes a LOT easier to establish now that we’re all snooping on ourselves for the NSA and that capability has significant abuse potential given the police state we all find ourselves in.

    Before, if a federal cop says “we know you were at the strip club/murder scene/wherever because your cellphone was there” that is *evidence* but not proof, because somebody still could have stolen/borrowed/cloned your phone; they don’t know YOU were the one who had the phone. But now if you used your fingerprint to turn the phone on for a couple rounds of Candy Crush, they can now use that information to establish you were physically present; the burden of proof shifts significantly. And does so in a way that might be impossible for you to rebut if they are simply LYING about it. Which they well might be.

  304. @ Jay

    The Founding Fathers spent a great deal of time considering, and put a great deal of effort to make it as difficult as possible, for the greatest potential enemy of the United States to install a totalitarian state and “take over”. Unfortunately, the process is well underway. I am, of course, referring to the Federal Government of the United States.

    I stand behind the Constitution. I’m not an absolutist about it.

    Yeah… secret laws, secret rulings, secret prisons…

    This is a little tangential, but…
    Wasn’t Hitler was elected Chancellor in a free democratic election?

  305. And, LeRoy, let me ask you a question. If your email has been scooped up, but nobody ever looks at it, has a search been performed? I would say the answer is “no”.

    What about a seizure?

  306. @ ESR

    >Wasn’t Hitler was elected Chancellor in a free democratic election?

    Yes, he was. Welcome to Why I am an anarchist.

    My question was actually rhetorical.

    I read Why I am an anarchist and liked it years ago. I can’t remember if that was the first place I read about Hitler being elected, but your description of that fact and how you felt about it was, to me, the most memorable part of the essay.

  307. Re: corporations giving and selling access to the US government, I found Julian Assange’s encounter with Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen (head of Google Ideas) pretty startling. See

    http://cryptome.org/2013/08/assange-google-nsa.htm

    http://wikileaks.org/Transcript-Meeting-Assange-Schmidt.html

    Jay Maynard > To me, a strong national defense is absolutely imperative.

    There’s evidence that US law enforcement agencies are using data collected by the NSA in illegal ways in their investigations, and lying to hide the source of their information when it comes time to go to court. See

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/05/us-dea-sod-idUSBRE97409R20130805

  308. The scary part is that practically no one (here, Canada and US, anyway) know about it because it is not taught because… no one seems to actually care.

    Almost everyone is satisfied with “Hitler was a psychotic maniac”.

    People, with the best of intentions, are generally willing to allow creeping totalitarianism and, as the essay points out, galloping totalitarianism.

    9/11 was, in some respects, the most successful attack of all time (I am just speaking off the top of my head, here, but…) – 19 men at a cost of less than 200 large, provided the opportunity for certain kinds of people to take a huge jump in the exercise of power of the state over its own citizens and to spend… know one knows how much (it’s a secret and only part of it is in the budget) US money to… well, that is a secret, too.

    This leads to a situation in which the NSA could have backdoors into smart phones and if the people who know tell anyone,,,,

    There are not only secret laws, there are laws to keep secrets. Always have been, of course, but now, after 9/11, the CIA, NSA et al can do things that would clearly be unconstitutional, if known, but they inform the people that know that if they talk about it, they will (I am speculating wildly, here) get to do push ups at Leavenworth for 30 years. Or 600 years – the US Federal justice system is very badly broken.

  309. …would clearly be unconstitutional, if known…

    ‘course, such would be unconstitutional, known or not, but that is small consolation if you’ve been convicted by a secret court.

    Jay’s attitude of

    I stand behind the Constitution. I’m not an absolutist about it.

    is very scary – it isn’t supposed to be an “if convenient” sort of thing.

  310. > it’s not a suicide pact.

    You, like so many other before you, probably don’t understand that this first appeared in the dissenting opinion of Terminiello v. Chicago. You use the phrase as a convenient crutch to support your opinion that the “War on Terror” trumps individual liberties. It does not. In Terminiello, the case swung for upholding civil liberties.

    The next time it appeared, it was in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez, where justice Goldberg wrote, “while the Constitution protects against invasions of individual rights, it is not a suicide pact.” Here, civil liberties were upheld again.

    Simply stated, “You’re using it wrong.”

    “[T]he rational and measured exercise of jurisprudence must be zealously sustained even in time of war, including the war on terrorism.” — Federal district judge Harold Baer

    http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20030107_fletcher.html

  311. I’m not saying it’s to be ignored if it becomes inconvenient. On the other hand, as has been famously said, it’s not a suicide pact.

    I agree. Of course the NSA was founded in 1952 and focused on the Soviet Union etc., but since 9/11 (at least) their focus has been (supposedly) on Islamic terrorism. I am largely OK with that, as I think Jay Maynard is. However, exactly how they look for Islamic terrorists is the issue. Snooping on some jihadi website in Pakistan? Fine with me and most of you, I’d assume. Snooping on emails from Somalia to Abdul Mohammed of Brooklyn? OK with me, but if Abdul is a US citizen, get a warrant.

    How about a warrant for “all Verizon phone records for three months”? No, that’s a general warrant, specifically prohibited by the 4th Amendment.

    Now, what if they got a warrant to intercept the international emails of every known Muslim in the US? Maybe that’s also a general warrant, maybe not. Certainly it’s a hell of a lot less general than the apparently dismayingly common “everyone on Verizon” sort. So why not do that? Ah, but that would be the modern sin of (religious/racial) “profiling.” Can’t do that! Better to be “fair” and snoop on every US citizen equally. That way, no “discrimination,” and hey, we might stumble across something important we’d have otherwise missed.

    I honestly think that sort of politically correct thinking was part of what got us to this point.

  312. > I found Julian Assange’s encounter with Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen (head of Google Ideas) pretty startling.

    “Don’t be Evil.”

  313. Jay Maynard on 2013-09-14 at 22:48:51 said:
    > it [the constitution] is not a suicide pact.

    If any part of the constitution should prove inconvenient or dangerous, there is a procedure for amending it, which procedure was massively violated following the civil war, and has been completely ignored since prohibition.

  314. Man, it is getting weird when JAD has to explain the facts of life to Jay.

    Not being familiar with this concept, I checked out the Wikipedia article The Constitution is not a suicide pact, the last example reads…

    Posner’s application to terrorism

    In 2006, Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and professor at the University of Chicago Law School, wrote a book called Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency.[

    The thing about 9/11 is that from that date in 2001 until sometime in the indefinite future, the government can consider the country to be in a “Time of National Emergency” and, therefore, have all its secret/secret/secret business and pretty much anything else it wants to do. There are no shortage of people for the US to fight with, but there is no enemy to defeat. In fact, I think it is getting worse. I am pretty sure that the number of people in the Middle East willing to try (and some to die) to kill Americans is higher now than it was on 9/10/2011. So, this bizarre “war” goes on.

    I am not claiming to be an expert on any of this. But it seems to me that the only real progress that is the “progress” towards totalitarianism.

    I realize that the US is one of the best and safest and freest places to live in the world, but the first derivative does not look good.

  315. LeRoy on 2013-09-14 at 16:23:51 said:
    > To me, a strong national defense is absolutely imperative. All of the freedom in the world will come to naught if some totalitarian state comes in and takes over.

    This might have been plausible when communism still existed, except that the state department was in Stalin’s pocket, Stalin was in the State Department’s pocket, the State Department arranged for Mao’s victory and the nationalist defeat in China, and our security agencies were busy looking for fascist Americans, not communist Americans. Even during the McCarthy scare, a thousand “racists” were purged for every communist purged.

    And today they are looking for fascist americans and anti islamic Americans, not Jihadis.

  316. And the second derivative is probably worse. I gather that the NSA and other alphabet-organizations have grown a LOT in the last 10 years, as government agencies with vast budgets generally do. And there are always reasons for them to grow some more. It builds on itself.

  317. Lemme try that again…
    A “Thatcher Condition” is a situation in which the matter under discussion expands and accelerates until it runs out of other people’s money.

    The first and second derivatives are positive, there are surges and there are always a lot of jerks.

  318. James A. Donald, I was quoting Jay Maynard there. Let’s not put words where they don’t belong… m’kay?

  319. > Even if the fingerprint data doesn’t leave the iPhone, there are other dangers: […]

    Though fingerprint unlocking is, I think, meant mainly for those people who don’t use PINs or other locking systems because they are inconvenient to them.

  320. >>Wasn’t Hitler was elected Chancellor in a free democratic election?

    >Yes, he was. […]

    No, he wasn’t. He was appointed by Hindenburg.

  321. > On topic, I plan to get a 64 gig gold iPhone 5S next Friday. I expect the speed bump from my 4S to be remarkable.

    You will be disappointed, unless you consider 8-15% speed-up remarkable. There are disadvantages of going 64bit, too (32bit + 64bit libraries loaded concurrently, larger memory consumption because of larger word size), see link somebody posted at beginning of discussion.

  322. @BRM —

    It wasn’t just 9/11 that led to that. Had Al Qaeda and Iran not been able to challenge the US effectively in Iraq or conduct many follow up operations all over the world there wouldn’t have been the growth of the security state. It wasn’t one attack but rather the reality that there is hundreds of millions of people that genuinely hate the western financial trade system / as well as the cultural system, don’t want to be part of it and a small but not insignificant fraction are willing to fight for a different system.

    The USA has a real security problem. That’s not imaginary. The people that we are fighting want policy changes, we don’t want to make some of those changes and that’s a real problem. The good news is fracking may very well end the core problem that we need middle eastern oil and don’t want the people of the region to get the benefit from their natural resources.

  323. @LeRoy

    To me, a strong national defense is absolutely imperative. All of the freedom in the world will come to naught if some totalitarian state comes in and takes over.

    And what state would that be? What state is in any plausible position to invade and hold territory in the United States. Even if a fraction: what state could conquer say Pennsylvania or Washington and hold it for a month? Why not worry about Martian invasion if we are going to worry about a totalitarian take over.

  324. They need not occupy a square inch of territory to dictate terms to the US. A credible threat of a nuke, for example, set off in some populated area, would do. What do you think we’d do to bargain with someone who’s planted a nuke somewhere along Wall Street?

    Make no mistake. The US is widely hated and feared in large parts of the world. Iran, to take one example, would love nothing more than to have us bow before them and acknowledge them as rightful leader of the Islamic world. Unless they’re stopped – and that will take military force, real or credibly threatened; diplomacy only works on those who are willing to give up their ambitions voluntarily – they will demand exactly that and back it up with a nuke.

    Yes, we need to develop and exploit out own natural resources, and eliminate our dependence on foreign oil, not just from the Middle East, but places like Venezuela. We should not expect that that will lessen our need to defend ourselves from our enemies.

  325. > Make no mistake. The US is widely hated and feared in large parts of the world.

    That’s the bogey raised by your politicians to slowly erode your rights in your own country. Keeping your citizens in fear is a good way to enable you to take away their rights without the threat of riots or civil war.

    Sure there are haters everywhere and even terrorists. But from there to the threat of a concentrated and coordinated nuclear attack that will bring your country to a state of submission is quite a stretch.

  326. “You will be disappointed, unless you consider 8-15% speed-up remarkable. There are disadvantages of going 64bit, too (32bit + 64bit libraries loaded concurrently, larger memory consumption because of larger word size), see link somebody posted at beginning of discussion.”

    This presumes the only advantage added to the A7 over the A6 is 64-bitness. That’s likely a very poor assumption.

  327. “That’s the bogey raised by your politicians to slowly erode your rights in your own country. ”

    You must not have watched the Arabs dancing in the streets on 11 September 2001.

    I did. There is no doubt in my mind that they hate the decadent American infidel and long to grind us under the heel of the caliph.

    • >As Jakob points out, your facts are wrong.

      I quote from Shirer’s “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich:

      On August 19, 1934, 95% of the Germans who were registered to vote went to the polls and 90% (38 million) of adult German citizens voted to give Adolf Hitler complete and total authority to rule Germany as he saw fit. Only 4.25 million Germans voted against this transfer of power to a totalitarian regime.

      What the questioner was really asking is whether Hitler was elected dictator, which he was. The fact that Ludendorff had had appointed him chancellor is really rather irrelevant.

  328. Air Force? That’s not in the Constitution either; does it get treated like the Navy or Army?

    Article I, Section 8 distinguishes between “Armies” (plural) and “a Navy” (singular):

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    If one could build a time machine and visit the Constitutional Convention with a laptop or portable DVD player, and show the delegates video of military aircraft in action, I strongly suspect that they’d see them as just another sort of army, with the possible exception of carrier-based and amphibious aircraft, which might be seen as a special part of the Navy. (Then they’d burn you at the stake for witchcraft.)

    The original US Army Air Corps was clearly constituted under this language as “an Army”. Arguably, the establishment of a separate “Department of the Air Force” is pushing the limits. Although many of my family have served in the USAF, I have long thought it was a mistake to pull the USA(A){C|F} out of the Department of the Army. Having the sort of separation as the Navy/Marines both being part of the Department of the Navy makes more sense to me. Under such a structure, the USAF should share as much infrastructure as possible with the Army. There is just no reason to duplicate those bureaucracies.

  329. You must not have watched the Arabs dancing in the streets on 11 September 2001.

    I did. There is no doubt in my mind that they hate the decadent American infidel and long to grind us under the heel of the caliph.

    I don’t question that there are people who hate the US. And I saw those sickening images on our TV as well. But there is a long way from there to the nuclear attack you envision. That was my point. Terrorist threats exist. But I don’t think your government is quite above taking advantage of that kind of situation to provoke more fear and enact laws to curb on freedoms you so value.

  330. > The US is widely hated and feared in large parts of the world. Iran, to take one example, would love nothing more than to have us bow before them and acknowledge them as rightful leader of the Islamic world. Unless they’re stopped – and that will take military force, real or credibly threatened; diplomacy only works on those who are willing to give up their ambitions voluntarily – they will demand exactly that and back it up with a nuke.

    Given that Hassan Rouhani, the new President of Iran as of 3 Aug 2013, headed Iran’s former nuclear negotiating team, and had led the suspension(*) of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, I have reason to believe that you are (at least for now), quite incorrect.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/11/us-iran-election-idUSBRE93A0CM20130411

    (*) When Ahmadinejad was elected, Rouhani resigned, and all that he had accomplished was undone.

  331. “No, he wasn’t. He was appointed by Hindenburg.”

    That’s a technical formality. In a parliamentary system, the head of state (in this case, Reichspräsident von Hindenburg; in the UK Queen Elizabeth; etc.) is generally obliged to appoint the leader of the coalition representing a majority of the appropriate house (in this case, Reichstag; in the UK House of Commons; etc.).

    When a party wins an outright majority, this is simple; otherwise it’s a bit tricky, as the head of state “invites” the leader of the party with a plurality of the house to form a government if he can assemble that coalition, and if he’s unable to do so in a certain amount of time, he’ll move on to the next-largest party to see if two or more minority parties together can produce a majority.

    Saying “Hiter was elected Chancellor” is simply shorthand for “Hitler(‘s party) was elected (to enough seats so that they could be the dominant partner in a coalition making him) Chancellor.”

  332. “I have reason to believe that you are (at least for now), quite incorrect.”

    Even if you do indulge in this bit of wishful thinking, the decision rests not with Rouhani, but the mullahs – who have shown no inclination at all of changing their minds.

    And if you truly believe they don’t want a nuke to rain down Allah’s fire on the infidel, then I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

  333. > On August 19, 1934, 95% of the Germans who were registered to vote went to the polls and 90% (38 million) of adult German citizens voted to give Adolf Hitler complete and total authority to rule Germany as he saw fit.

    As you nearly allow, this was a plebiscite, not an election.

    > What the questioner was really asking is whether Hitler was elected dictator, which he was.

    A referendum on merging the posts of Chancellor and President was held in Germany on 19 August 1934, after the death of President Paul von Hindenburg seventeen days earlier. The German leadership sought to gain approval for Adolf Hitler’s assumption of supreme leadership. The overwhelmingly positive result of this referendum allowed Hitler to claim public support for his activities as the Führer and de facto Head of State of Germany.

    In fact, he had assumed these offices and powers immediately upon von Hindenburg’s death and used the referendum to legitimate this move, taking the title Führer und Reichskanzler (Führer and Chancellor).

    In taking over the president’s powers for himself without calling for a new election, Hitler technically violated the Enabling Act. While the Enabling Act allowed Hitler to pass laws that contravened the Weimar Constitution, it specifically forbade him from interfering with the powers of the president. Moreover, the Weimar Constitution had been amended in 1932 to make the president of the High Court of Justice, not the chancellor, acting president pending a new election. However, Hitler had become law unto himself by this time, and no one dared object.

    Because you know, “if you’re not with us, you’re against us”, and if you’re against us, you must be a terrorist.

  334. > And if you truly believe they don’t want a nuke to rain down Allah’s fire on the infidel,

    I believe they have a strong drive for self-preservation, and that our response to an actual nuclear attack on US soil would not be “measured”.

    (Not that we’ve done that well in responding to previous attacks. It was mostly Saudi nationals who took over the planes on 9/11. In response, we attacked Afghanistan, then expanded the war to Iraq.)

  335. I agree that our response to a nuclear attack on US soil would not be measured.

    I disagree that they have a drive for self-preservation. Dying in jihad against the infidel is the mujahid’s highest and noblest goal. They don’t care if they live or die, as long as they die fighting for the glory and rule of Allah.

  336. Al-Qaeda has a new strategy: to “bleed America economically” by attempting to force it to spend ever-increasing amounts on internal security.

    Copping an attitude like yours, Jay, is not only Constitutionally untenable — it’s playing right into AQ’s hands.

  337. > Copping an attitude like yours, Jay, is not only Constitutionally untenable — it’s playing right into AQ’s hands.

    Worse than that, it supports AQ’s goal.

    In a very real way, buying into the paranoia supports terrorism.

    Being willing to sacrifice the Constitution in order to ‘win the war’, also supports terrorism.

  338. > The fact that Ludendorff had had appointed him chancellor is really rather irrelevant.

    esr hates being fact-checked.

  339. Pingback: Yes. This. | Daily Pundit

  340. @Jay Maynard
    “Dying in jihad against the infidel is the mujahid’s highest and noblest goal. They don’t care if they live or die, as long as they die fighting for the glory and rule of Allah.”

    So, why are there so few suicide murderers? Maybe Muslims are just like other people who rather care for their family than die for their god?

    Where Are All the Terrorist Attacks?
    https://www.schneier.com/essay-314.html

    Why Is It So Hard to Find a Suicide Bomber These Days?
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/08/15/why_is_it_so_hard_to_find_a_suicide_bomber_these_days?page=full

    Recruitment difficulties have created a bottleneck for Islamist terrorists’ signature tactic, suicide bombing. These organizations often claim to have waiting lists of volunteers eager to serve as martyrs, but if so they’re not very long. Al Qaeda organizer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed made this point unintentionally during a 2002 interview, several months before his capture. Mohammed bragged about al Qaeda’s ability to recruit volunteers for “martyrdom missions,” as Islamist terrorists call suicide attacks. “We were never short of potential martyrs. Indeed, we have a department called the Department of Martyrs.”

    “Is it still active?” asked Yosri Fouda, an Al Jazeera reporter who had been led, blindfolded, to Mohammed’s apartment in Karachi, Pakistan. “Yes, it is, and it always will be as long as we are in jihad against the infidels and the Zionists. We have scores of volunteers. Our problem at the time was to select suitable people who were familiar with the West.” Notice the scale here: “scores,” not hundreds — and most deemed not suitable for terrorist missions in the West. After Mohammed’s capture and “enhanced interrogation” by the CIA, using methods that the U.S. government had denounced for decades as torture, federal officials testified that Mohammed had trained as many as 39 operatives for suicide missions and that the 9/11 attacks involved 19 hijackers “because that was the maximum number of operatives that Sheikh Mohammed was able to find and send to the U.S. before 9/11.”

    (emphasis mine: At least the USA makes an effort to recruit more terrorists fro AQ)

  341. Emphasis is obviously stupid when you use blockquote (we need a preview). This is the emphasized part:
    “Mohammed’s capture and “enhanced interrogation” by the CIA, using methods that the U.S. government had denounced for decades as torture,”

    (At least the USA makes an effort to recruit more terrorists fro AQ)

  342. So, why are there so few suicide murderers? Maybe Muslims are just like other people

    If Muslims were “just like other people,” the proportion of Muslims who are suicide bombers would be the same as the proportion of suicide bombers in other religions, but of course it’s not. It’s not even close. You would also be hard-pressed to find any Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. clerics advocating suicide bombing, but plenty of Muslim clerics do. Plus, support for suicide bombing among average people of other religions is statistically zero. Not so with Muslims.

  343. PapayaSF
    “You would also be hard-pressed to find any Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. clerics advocating suicide bombing, but plenty of Muslim clerics do.”

    Modern suicide terrorism was “re-invented” by the Tamil Tigers who were (are?) not Muslims. Both the USA and Europe are littered with monuments heralding young men who sacrificed their lives for their country.

    The demographics and ideology of suicide terrorists overlap those of street gangs and fascist/communist/tyrannic youth organizations. So, instead of joining a local street gang, these young men join some terrorist group. The life expectancy is roughly equivalent.

  344. @PapayaSF
    “You would also be hard-pressed to find any Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, etc. clerics advocating suicide bombing, but plenty of Muslim clerics do.”

    Terrorist guerrilla warfare is also quite old:
    ????????: A Form of Ancient Guerrilla Warfare
    http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1025&context=gvjh

    The demographic here was somewhat different, as the Spartans recruited the sons of the elite who obviously should not commit suicide. Although, running around at night in enemy country trying to murder people comes very close to a suicide mission.

  345. Winter, your examples are beside the point. Neither the Tamil Tigers nor the Spartans are attacking anyone these days, and like most terror/suicide movements in history, were very limited in their goals. Muslim terror has been going on for half a century, and their goals are quite expansive. There’s really no equivalent now or at any time in history.

  346. @PapayaSF —

    If Muslims were “just like other people,” the proportion of Muslims who are suicide bombers would be the same as the proportion of suicide bombers in other religions, but of course it’s not.

    We had a lot of suicide bombers from the Tamil people recently almost all of whom were Hindu. The Japanese, Shinto, used this technique in WWII. Many Muslims consider the Kurdish form of Islam so syncretic that it isn’t Islam (the way American Christians view Mormonism). So I don’t think that’s a fair charge. People in desperate situations use what weapons they have.

  347. But as I was trying to say, the Tamil and Japanese and other suiciders were very limited, in timeframe, geography, and their goals. Defending Japan or trying to create an independent state on part of Sri Lanka* aren’t nearly equivalent to elements of a major world religion trying to establish a caliphate throughout the Middle East and, eventually (they hope), the world.

    *By the way, a civil war that one could argue was a result of racial affirmative action policies.

  348. The Japanese wanted an Asian empire, but they didn’t think it was their destiny to conquer the entire world and bring it under one religion.

  349. @PapayaSF

    But as I was trying to say, the Tamil and Japanese and other suiciders were very limited, in timeframe, geography, and their goals. Defending Japan or trying to create an independent state on part of Sri Lanka* aren’t nearly equivalent to elements of a major world religion trying to establish a caliphate throughout the Middle East and, eventually (they hope), the world.

    The vast majority of Muslim suicide bombings have had limited political objectives like overthrowing particularly truly lousy governments or driving invaders out. 9/11 was an strike against a US occupation government in Saudi Arabia (from their perspective) and a US/UN policy that was resulting in starvation.

    Muslims are under attack in lots of places and are certainly developing a religious identity about a pan Islamic solution. There is a lot of violence on the borders of Islam. But that’s not unusual.

  350. Those are only the near-term objectives. The longer term objective is a worldwide caliphate, not just encompassing Muslim countries, but establishing “Allah’s rule on Earth.” It’s in the Koran.

  351. > We have gotten off-topic, LOL.

    412 comments and maybe 12 on topic. On the plus side, it took quite a while to get to Hitler.

  352. @PapayaSF
    The Muslims copied their world domination from the Communists, who got it from the Catholics. The Catholics inherited it from the Romans.

  353. Uh, the Koran is far older than Communism.

    Stop making excuses for the violent religious totalitarians of today by (inaccurately) bringing up the past.

  354. @Jay Maynard
    “I didn’t know there were Communists in 700 AD.”

    None of the Salafists or AQ ideologists were around in 700AD. However, the founders of Salafism in the 1950s were very well versed in communist anti-colonialist propaganda.

    Instead of fixating on 8th century writings, you might take a look at mid 20th century developments in Islamic fundamentalism. You will be surprised how little connections they have with any historical thinking in medieval Arabia.

  355. Jay Maynard on 2013-09-17 at 01:11:48 said:
    > I didn’t know there were Communists in 700 AD.

    There have been communists for a very long time. The doctrine that communism is scientific and communist victory inevitable is more recent.

  356. Instead of fixating on 8th century writings, you might take a look at mid 20th century developments in Islamic fundamentalism.

    In which they re-emphasize that the Koran is the perfect word of Allah, who speaks medieval Arabic and has a golden copy of the Koran with him in heaven. Yes, this is somewhat different in emphasis from what Muslims used to believe, and from what many believe now. No, it’s not relevant, because the Koran is filled with exhortations of discrimination and violence toward non-Muslims, and there are millions of Muslims who take all that very seriously.

    Winter, why are you so insistent on making excuses for the violent religious totalitarians?

  357. James A. Donald: Winter, Jay Maynard, and I all referred to capital-C Communists, which refers to the recent, very-post-Mohammad ones.

  358. Islamic terrorism long predates 1950.

    From 1830 to 1960 there was a pause in Islamic terrorism due to colonialism, but the situation before 1830 was pretty similar to the situation after 1960, same ideology, same actions, all the way back to the prophet raiding caravans.

  359. @PapayaSF
    “In which they re-emphasize that the Koran is the perfect word of Allah, who speaks medieval Arabic and has a golden copy of the Koran with him in heaven. Yes, this is somewhat different in emphasis from what Muslims used to believe, and from what many believe now.”

    The Koran is just ink on paper. The words written only get meaning in the reader.

    No modern day Arab uses classical Arabic as his native tongue. There is no way that a modern day Muslim can infer what the 9th century Iraqi interpreters read in those words nor how the people writing the Haddith understood those words. Especially as Islamic clergy are openly hostile to philologists.

    The political ideology of the Salafists and AQ are modern, with strong roots in 1950s Communist anti-colonialism.

    @JAD
    “Islamic terrorism long predates 1950.”

    Just like all other kinds of terrorism. Guerrilla warfare was even found in old Sparta, see my earlier link.

  360. Winter:
    > No modern day Arab uses classical Arabic as his native tongue. There is no way that a modern day Muslim can infer what the 9th century Iraqi interpreters read in those words nor how the people writing the Haddith understood those words. Especially as Islamic clergy are openly hostile to philologists
    Actions speak louder than words. The behavior of Muslims from the time of Mohammed to 1830 shows that they understood the Koran to say what it means and mean what it says. Islamic terrorism has been a problem from the first mention of Mohammed in Christian sources.

  361. @JAD
    Inter tribal warfare has been around since the paleo-lithic. Why you blame the Islam for it must have a political reason.

  362. @JAD
    “See the Bloody Borders of Islam”

    And what is the relevance of this? Records of war in this region go back to the establishment of the very first cities in 7000BC. And before that, there simply are no records. When Mohammed died, the Romans and Persians had just about destroyed each other in the Middle East.

    We could point out the campaigns of the various non-Islamic Scythian, Mongolian (e.g., Huns), and Turkish tribes back to ancient Greek times. But why single out them, as we also have various non-Islamic Indo-European (e.g., Iranian) and Uralic tribes (e.g., Magyar) that devastated this broad region and neighboring European parts at various times in history. We also could point to the excursions of the crusades in this region.

    In your myopic and distorted view, all evil must come from the left or from Islam. Therefor, you will ignore the whole of human history that does not fit into your parochial scheme.

  363. Who said this in 2009?

    ” Apple is paying the price for its luxury-good positioning now as it reports that revenue from its desktop line fell 31 percent this last year, and its laptop share is being hurt by cheap netbooks.”

    and this, in 2008:

    “This means that Microsoft’s per-sale revenue on netbook XP licenses has probably dropped by at least a factor of 10 relative to what it makes on PCs. That’s a hell of a margin hit, and as netbooks displace a larger slice of traditional PC sales it’s going to get worse. And we can count on that happening; what we’re seeing here is a classic disruption-from-below of the PC market, just as PCs disrupted workstations and minis in the early 1990s.”

    2010:

    “These ergonomic constraints can’t be satisfied by anything in a smartphone, netbook, or laptop package. Instead, I expect that human-sized peripherals will begin to decouple from ever-tinier computers. As I’ve previously projected, there will be a growing market for human-scale peripherals meant to be slaved to a computing core that you walk up to them, using a USB docking cradle or some analogous technology.”

    2008:

    “I predicted years ago that what would eventually do Microsoft in was white-box PC makers defecting because they needed to claw back profit margin as the Windows license became the largest single item in their bills of material.”

  364. @Bryant:

    I just looked at the China Unicom chart. That doesn’t look like a subsidy — it looks like a straight finance agreement.

  365. The Koran is actually a very simple n good book, you should try to read it,papayaman.
    The most problematic part in Muslim(sunni) is the various tradition/Hadith/sunna which is said to volume of hundred thousand with most are consider false/lie ,Only a few thousand are accepted as valid.

    but the most funny thing is the most filthy,genocide and corrupted moral book is the Old Testament! Tell me why must the Philistine(Palestine) and Canaanite be kill,murder and wipe out(holocaust) till every women, old man, child and even their Donkeys??? what kind of teaching/logic is that?

    Christian just read the new Testement /Gospel and ditch the Pharisee teaching of the old as Jesus said.

  366. Completely OT — a commit I just made to one of my SVN repositories at work:

    Transmitting file data …
    Committed revision 1337.

  367. LeRoy,

    Eric’s predictions about the Windows business model falling out from underneath Microsoft are largely correct. They tried to stem the bleeding by dropping prices for the “Starter Edition” on netbooks, but a big part of Microsoft’s metamorphosis into a “products and services” company is because they can’t keep printing money with Windows licenses anymore. Have you read that memo from Ballmer? He sounded like a drug-addled Corey Haim, spouting words without saying anything, desperately trying to reassure people that things were fine even as they were falling apart. He literally doesn’t know where Microsoft should go from here.

    The overall trend in PCs is to move peripherals out of expansion cards and into dongles on high-speed external serial buses like USB3 and Thunderbolt. It’s possible to kit out an Android phone to output to an HDMI display and accept input from a keyboard and mouse, today — turning it into a PC-like device. The Transformer model — of jacking a tablet into a dock to turn it into a laptop with extra functionality — has proven so successful Microsoft is rumored to be releasing a similar dock for the Surface 2.

    Intel has de-emphasized the “Wintel” alliance and become a major open source contributor. PC OEMs are showing increasing interest in Chromebooks — although this is probably more because of Microsoft upgrading itself to OEM status than anything else.

    Apple will do fine. As always, Eric doesn’t seem to realize that most of the rest of the industry colors inside lines drawn by Apple. Except for Chromebooks, netbooks were destroyed by the iPad at the low end and the MacBook Air at the high end.

  368. @JAD
    > > “See the Bloody Borders of Islam”

    Winter on 2013-09-17 at 08:25:59 said:
    > And what is the relevance of this?

    The relevance is that Muslims are never at peace, except, as during the colonial period, when under the thumb of a superior power. When they are not in a state of high level war with their neighbors, they are in a state of low level war, which today we call terrorism. They take a break from attacking the rest of the world when they are attacking each other for being insufficiently Muslim. There has regularly and routinely been peace in Europe. There has never been peace in the middle east.

  369. @JAD
    “Muslims are never at peace”

    Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Morocco, Jordania, Turkey. That would add up to some 500M people I think?

  370. > Eric doesn’t seem to realize that most of the rest of the industry colors inside lines drawn by Apple. Except for Chromebooks, netbooks were destroyed by the iPad at the low end and the MacBook Air at the high end.

    Eric doesn’t realize that it was the rise of the smartphone that finally delivered a fatal blow to the Windows licensing model, not linux-on-netbooks. (Much less the “64-bit transition”.)

    > The Transformer model — of jacking a tablet into a dock to turn it into a laptop with extra functionality — has proven so successful Microsoft is rumored to be releasing a similar dock for the Surface 2.

    This is so “last decade”/2000-late. There are new modes of computing, writ large by the transition to smartphones. The smartphone is eating every other device, and will, in the end, eat the desktop. You’ll still be able to buy a desktop PeeCee and put linux on it, but you’re going to look like an anachronistic Aunt Tillie when you do, and the kids will laugh even harder when you’re out of earshot.

    In March, IDC predicted that the global PC market would shrink by 1.3 percent in 2013. By May, IDC had revised its 2013 forecast, predicting a decline of 7.8 percent. And that 7.8 percent fall comes on the heels of the 3.7 percent decline in the global PC market that IDC tracked in 2012.

    Gartner said in June that the PC industry has now experiencing the longest decline in its history, as shipments dropped for the fifth consecutive quarter. The June drop was 11%.

    You can read the tea leaves in the panic at Ubuntu, who are desperate to get onto a phone platform. Ubuntu is more of a desktop than server distro, and thus, can see their market shrinking in front of them. (Yes, Ubuntu can be used on a server. Don’t start.)

  371. @qqq
    > but the most funny thing is the most filthy,genocide and corrupted moral book is the Old Testament!

    This is a fair point. The main difference between radical Muslims and Christians is that the radical Muslims actually DO what their holy book tells them. However, the majority of Muslims are like nearly all Christians, which is to say they pick the bits they like and ignore the embarrassing bits about genocide, murder, the abuse and degradation of women, and appallingly barbaric legal systems. (As qqq says, these criticisms apply to the Old Testament just as much as they do to the Q’ran.)

    > Christian just read the new Testement /Gospel

    You seem to be confusing the readers of this group with Christians. There are a few Christians for sure, but I suspect the majority are either atheists, like me, or adherents to non Abrahamic religions, like Eric.

    • >I suspect the majority are either atheists, like me, or adherents to non Abrahamic religions, like Eric.

      Or people who can reasonably be described either of those two ways, depending on your level of analysis. Not all “non Abrahamic religions” are theistic; Wicca isn’t, necessarily, nor is Buddhism.

      I don’t object to being tagged as an atheist, though if asked I will explain than my beliefs are more complex than that label normally suggests.

  372. >> Christian just read the new Testement /Gospel

    >> You seem to be confusing the readers of this group with Christians.

    Yeah, I only read the old testament, and then only the parts that don’t have too many “begats.” The rest of the bible is boring.

  373. Neopaganism is… a bit hard to grasp, but I think I grok the basics enough to guess that many neopagans are probably grinning from ear to ear over the recent Penny Arcade comic series, “The Tithe”.

  374. @JAD
    > > “Muslims are never at peace”

    winter on 2013-09-18 at 00:48:19 said:
    > Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Morocco, Jordania, Turkey. That would add up to some 500M people I think?

    There is a fairly high level of internal terrorism against non Muslim minorities in Indonesia, and if external terrorism is relatively low, it is because their “ally” Australia regularly threatens them and from time to time has actually invaded them (“yet another unfortunate map reading error”) to destroy terrorist bases.

    Malaysia, yes, at peace, with non Muslims as second class citizens.

    Bangladesh, massive genocides, high level of terrorism against minorities, state of near war with neighbors.

    Morroco and Jordan are at “peace”, for the moment, in what passes for peace in the middle east, but it is not what Israelis regard as peace, or want as peace, not what constitutes peace in Europe. And if Jordan is at “peace” it is because of Black September, when they massacred twenty thousand people who felt that the government of Jordan was insufficiently Muslim, and regularly threaten to do it all over again on an even larger scale.

    And without such threats, there would be no “peace” in Jordan.

    Turkey: Currently in high level conventional war in Syria with Alawites, Christians, and to some extent Shiites. Atrocities on Youtube.

  375. qqq on 2013-09-17 at 12:37:42 said:
    > but the most funny thing is the most filthy,genocide and corrupted moral book is the Old Testament! Tell me why must the Philistine(Palestine) and Canaanite be kill,murder and wipe out(holocaust) till ever.

    Old Testament was reasonable under the circumstances (recall America’s Indian wars). When circumstances changed, it became a problem. Some Jews solved this problem by getting in a prophet with extraordinary authority from God to ditch those parts of the Old Testament that had become inconvenient. These became the Christians. Others created a great fat book, the Talmud, legalistically white anting the Old Testament. These became the modern Jews.

  376. “Muslims are never at peace, except, as during the colonial period, when under the thumb of a superior power. When they are not in a state of high level war with their neighbors, they are in a state of low level war, which today we call terrorism. They take a break from attacking the rest of the world when they are attacking each other for being insufficiently Muslim.”

    Uh…well…sort of…This is not so much Islamic politics, but feudalism, plain and simple. Middle eastern rulers stay in power by divide and rule; they *balance* the various factions in their countries against each other, often sacrificing one if they need another’s support more. Islam only comes into play when a need for war comes up. If you can declare your political enemies “infidels’, then your political supporters can kill them with impunity.

    This presents a great danger to US interests in Syria. Even if Assad is overthrown, any of the revolting factions that lean towards democratic ideals will not be inclined towards further killing, but instead, *they* will be branded infidels by AQ and eliminated in turn. You don’t need Islam for this. Communist ideology works, too. When the Germans were finally driven out of Yugoslavia at the end of WWII, Tito ruthlessly eliminated all the other partisan groups he had been allied with.

  377. Pingback: The Smartphone Wars: Nokia gives it up for Microsoft | The Freedom Watch

  378. @JAD
    And how differs your extension of the definitions of war and terrorism for Islamic countries from South and Central America, South East Asia, and non-Islamic Africa?

  379. @LeRoy
    “This is either very good, or very, very bad:”

    Good and bad are mostly a function of perspective. It is good for consumers. It might be bad for “some others” who live from toll booths. I would not be surprised if it is good for Google.

    I sort of expected such developments. This is why people develop Open Source to begin with.

  380. Interesting. I’d say it’s not good for Google. Certainly I doubt if Google thinks it’s good for them.

    This is clearly good for Android geeks. For the average Android user… maybe.

    I think this is probably good for Apple, on the basis of Android fragmentation and “Let’s you and him fight” (because in crucial ways this will conflict with Google’s plans).

  381. @PapayaSF
    “I’d say it’s not good for Google. Certainly I doubt if Google thinks it’s good for them. ”

    These two statements can both be true at the same time. However, I think the people at Google are smart enough to have expected this from the very start of their involvement in Android.

    Android has always been perceived by the outside world as Google’s strategy to keep the highway towards their services open. Open Source is generally more likely to keep them open than any other option.

    I would say, Mission Accomplished.

  382. Maybe I’m missing something, but the “highway towards [Google] services” has never been threatened. iOS, Windows, Phone, Blackberry, you name it: any smartphone with a browser can use Google services. But Google lives largely on ad revenue, and how is Cyanogen going to monetize? My guess is ad revenue.

    Also, Google has been trying to reign in Android fragmentation/diversity, and this doesn’t help.

    So I don’t think Google is thinking “Mission Accomplished” right now.

  383. @PapayaSF
    “iOS, Windows, Phone, Blackberry, you name it: any smartphone with a browser can use Google services.”

    This show a remarkable level of naivety.

  384. @PapayaSF
    “Really? Which ones can’t?”

    1) A fraction of (1-epsilon) of the users (with epsilon small) will never change the default settings of their browsers

    2) The platform owner can set the defaults of any app such that users will have to jump to any number of hoops to get direct access to Google services

    3) The platform owner can even directly sabotage Google services and hold them at ransom

    They cannot do that now because of the fact that users have an alternative OS to switch to.

    An example is content: music and podcasts. I know quite a number of users who switched away from the iPhone because of the way iTunes puts a toll booth to content. They could switch away because there was an alternative. As long as the iPhone had market dominance, people had to jump through hoops to get to music and contents that was not available or allowed on iTunes. That reduced the range of such content dramatically.

  385. > > “Muslims are never at peace, except, as during the colonial period, when under the thumb of a superior power. When they are not in a state of high level war with their neighbors, they are in a state of low level war, which today we call terrorism. They take a break from attacking the rest of the world when they are attacking each other for being insufficiently Muslim.”

    LS on 2013-09-18 at 16:51:21 said:’
    > Uh…well…sort of…This is not so much Islamic politics, but feudalism, plain and simple.

    Every single person in Syria knows what the Alawites did during the crusades, and the Sunni are still pissed about it, which is why the Sunni are attacking Syrian Christians and intend to ethnically cleanse them from Syria if they win. It is as if the crusades happened last week.

  386. @JAD
    “Every single person in Syria knows what the Alawites did during the crusades, …”

    Which is the same as in former Yugoslavia during the break-up (WWII, and Serbs and the battle of Kosovo). In other words, you admit this is just tribal warfare.

  387. @JAD
    > > “Every single person in Syria knows what the Alawites did during the crusades, …”

    Winter on 2013-09-19 at 05:50:09 said:
    > Which is the same as in former Yugoslavia during the break-up (WWII, and Serbs and the battle of Kosovo). . In other words, you admit this is just tribal warfare.

    Battle of Kosovo was the Ottoman Sultan attempting to conquer Europe as commanded by the Koran. Not a tribal war.

  388. This story says that Nokia got as far as ordering 10 000 prototype units of their Android phone, before the decision to sell to Microsoft.

    http://www.unwiredview.com/2013/09/19/nokia-still-working-on-android-phone-wont-cancel-until-november-foxconn-already-made-10k-prototypes/

    Microsoft is already trying to cancel the Nokia tablet and a bunch of Asha phones, even before the deal has been approved.

    http://www.unwiredview.com/2013/09/18/murtazin-microsoft-is-already-pushing-nokia-to-cancel-sirius-tablet-half-of-asha-touchscreen-phones/

  389. On a second thought, that story about the 10k prototypes is pretty astonishing. I have a very hard time imagining Stephen Elop making Android phones as a plan B, and even less leveraging Android in a negotiation to sell the business to Steve Ballmer / MS board. The whole thing looks to me like Elop wasn’t exactly in control of Nokia’s Android project.

  390. @JAD
    “Battle of Kosovo was the Ottoman Sultan attempting to conquer Europe as commanded by the Koran. Not a tribal war.”

    You seem to either bee blind or just pretend to be. The civil war during the break-up of Yugoslavia was a tribal war. What the supposed historical wrongs were is irrelevant.

  391. I would love to see Office disappear, but it is embedded into the corporate world. Excel is everywhere, mostly in places it shouldn’t be, and is not going away any time soon.

  392. “As long as the iPhone had market dominance, people had to jump through hoops to get to music and contents that was not available or allowed on iTunes.”

    I’ve never had any problem getting music and other content from other sources in iTunes. No hoops at all. So, again, as Papaya asked, what are you talking about?

  393. Winter:
    > The civil war during the break-up of Yugoslavia was a tribal war. What the supposed historical wrongs were is irrelevant.

    Funny coincidence that most of these tribal wars happen on the borders of Dar al Islam.

    And always have.

  394. @JAD
    During my life-time I have seen civil wars raging in Central Africa, South East Asia, Central America, Columbia, Peru, Georgia, large parts of the rest of South America and still in Amazonia. And neither Serbs nor Kroats nor Slovenians are muslims.

    So your are again blinding yourself to anything you do not like.

  395. @Tim F.
    “I’ve never had any problem getting music and other content from other sources in iTunes.”

    I work with people who are unaware of the conept of a browser bookmark. I am fairly sure 99% of consumers do not reach your level of computer literacy.

    I am also am fairly sure you know that and understand that Google nor Apple can bank on their potential users will use any non-default option.

  396. The top headline in Finnish news media at the moment says that Elop is to get 18.8 million euros in various forms of extra compensation if the sale to Microsoft goes through. This doesn’t exactly make him look better. Everyone from the minister of labor down is publicly talking about the mole story, again.

  397. Winter:
    > During my life-time I have seen civil wars raging in Central Africa, South East Asia, Central America, Columbia, Peru, Georgia, large parts of the rest of South America and still in Amazonia. And neither Serbs nor Kroats nor Slovenians are muslims.

    But they were not caused by random forces like thunderstorms. When people had faith in communism, Communism caused most wars, and most “civil” wars had external intervention from communist powers, and Islam the remainder of the wars. Now that communism is gone, we are back what has been normal for the past thousand years – that most wars are caused by Islam.

  398. @JAD
    As you continue to ignore post-colonial history of (Catholic) Latin America and assorted other non-islamic regions like Central Africa and South-East Asia, I do not see a point in haggling over your parochial views of why their is so much instabillity in the most contested region in human history.

  399. Australia regularly threatens them and from time to time has actually invaded them (“yet another unfortunate map reading error”) to destroy terrorist bases.

    Either there’s some seriously black ops going on that haven’t hit any form of news outlet or you’re completely full of shit on this one.

  400. Winter:
    > As you continue to ignore post-colonial history of (Catholic) Latin America

    Whose wars vanished with the Soviet Union.

    Yes, when communism was around, it was a bigger cause of wars than Islam. This is hardly a glowing recommendation for Islam.

    Further, communism was never all that terrorist. Islam has been terrorist starting with Mohammed.

  401. > > Australia regularly threatens them and from time to time has actually invaded them (“yet another unfortunate map reading error”) to destroy terrorist bases.

    > Either there’s some seriously black ops going on that haven’t hit any form of news outlet or you’re completely full of shit on this one.

    During the East Timor conflict there were a whole lot of “unfortunate map reading errors” – resulting from Indonesian sponsorship of terror against East Timor from bases in West Timor.

    After the Bali bombing, the Indonesian government was profoundly disinclined to act against the bombers. It received some rather menacing encouragement. Australia and Indonesia are “allies” in the war on terror in pretty much the fashion that the US and Pakistan are allies.

  402. “I work with people who are unaware of the conept of a browser bookmark. I am fairly sure 99% of consumers do not reach your level of computer literacy.”

    So do I. I’ve never met anyone who claims they can’t get non-iTunes music into iTunes… well, except hackers and Linux nerds and OSS advocates who are supposed to understand this stuff.

  403. “I am also am fairly sure you know that and understand that Google nor Apple can bank on their potential users will use any non-default option.”

    I’m having trouble following your grammar but… I’m sure Apple is aware that the music they sell represents a small percentage of the music in their users’s libraries (or an even smaller percentage of their users’s music listened to), but I’m also sure they know that they are the biggest music dealer in the world. Your point?

  404. well, except hackers and Linux nerds and OSS advocates who are supposed to understand this stuff.

    LOL!

    Winter seems to think that Google is under threat by “default browser settings,” which is a bit of a stretch. Yes, (e.g.) Microsoft can make Bing the default search engine on their phones, but nothing prevents the user from using their browser to go to any Google service, just like they do with the browser on their laptop or desktop. I’m sure most smartphone owners understand that.

    The platform owner can even directly sabotage Google services and hold them at ransom

    They could also have their phones deliver electric shocks to users, but I am unaware of any such “sabotage” or “ransom.”

    And, of course, Google can sabotage competitors by invisible adjustments of their search results.

  405. Summary:
    You all claim that when a user really wants, he can get to Google. And Google knows, that if they only reach users that really want to use Google, they will go bankrupt.

    @Tim F.
    ” I’ve never met anyone who claims they can’t get non-iTunes music into iTunes…”

    CDs is easy. iTunes does that (almost) by default.

    But maybe you can tell me how to add an URL to iTunes to enter a podcast feed, or and alternative source of music, say Jamendo (http://www.jamendo.com/en/)? I have had that request and have never been able to find that one out.

    Obviously searching for files, downloading them, importing them in iTunes, and adding the meta data is only 3 to 4 steps. And we all know, at each step you only lose around 90% of your audience (compounded).

    @Tim F.
    “but I’m also sure they know that they are the biggest music dealer in the world. Your point?”

    That they also know how to prevent the competition from reaching iTunes users?

    @PapayaSF
    “They could also have their phones deliver electric shocks to users, but I am unaware of any such “sabotage” or “ransom.” ”

    Resetting defaults after an update. Never seen that?

    Never heard of third party software mysteriously breaking after an upgrade? MS has payed on average $1B a year for tricks like that.

    @PapayaSF
    “Yes, (e.g.) Microsoft can make Bing the default search engine on their phones, but nothing prevents the user from using their browser to go to any Google service, just like they do with the browser on their laptop or desktop.”

    What percentage of Smartphone users will only use the default search engine in the URL field?

    @PapayaSF
    “I’m sure most smartphone owners understand that.”

    I would not be so sure:

    How to Connect Your Android Phone to Wi-Fi
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402566,00.asp

    The problem seems to be that many Android phone owners don’t know how to connect their devices to Wi-Fi. Apple’s iPhone gets all up in your face, popping up a list of Wi-Fi networks every time you wander into range, so it’s hard to ignore. But Android doesn’t prompt you with a list of networks even if your Wi-Fi is on, so many people never actually connect to a network. If you’re lucky, you get a little exclamation point in your notification bar if there’s an unlocked network in range, but even then you have to make several clicks to connect to it.

  406. @JAD
    “Whose wars vanished with the Soviet Union.”

    Excuses, excuses. Always excuses.

    Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Turkey, Morocco, Jordan all behave the same as assorted South American, South-East Asian or African countries since independence. But you have endless excuses why what happens in Islamic countries is somehow worse than what happens, e.g., Catholic countries.

    Just one example from many:
    Paraguayan War
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraguayan_War
    I cannot see any involvement from the USSR here.

    And the plight of the natives in the Amazon is just another example:
    http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/wha/119150.htm

  407. @Winter: You bring up Android difficulties with WiFi, which is amusing but doesn’t make your point at all. Neither does long-past MS mischief. You are trying to claim that smartphone platform owners threaten Google by cutting people off from their services, but beyond the minor exception of default search engine settings for smartphone browsers, you have no examples. (And even that is a weak one: MS has set Windows Phone browsers to Bing, but iOS has always used Google.)

    To make this ultra-clear: 1) Smartphone users know how to use smartphone browsers, because they are like laptop and desktop browsers. 2) Platform owners know web usage is important for most smartphone users, and generally strive to make their browsers work like “regular” browsers. 3) Google services are browser-based. 4) Thus, it’s silly to claim that platform owners are conspiring to sabotage Google services.

    (However, I can think of one other small example in your favor: setting up a Gmail account on my Mom’s iPad a few years ago was remarkably difficult. However, that was only to get it seamlessly linked with Apple Mail: the standard web interface to Gmail worked fine.)

    I can’t speak to podcasts: it’s a section in iTunes I’ve never used. But what’s your problem with Jamendo? I just went there, downloaded an MP3, dropped it onto iTunes, and it loaded and played fine.

  408. @PapayaSF
    “You are trying to claim that smartphone platform owners threaten Google by cutting people off from their services,”

    No, such behavior is a threat to Google’s future. It is a truism in economics that the most consolidated stage in an economic chain will extract all the profits. The existence of a threat does not mean that there is someone threatening them NOW.

    @PapayaSF
    “but beyond the minor exception of default search engine settings for smartphone browsers, you have no examples. (And even that is a weak one: MS has set Windows Phone browsers to Bing, but iOS has always used Google.) ”

    But iOS could easily switch to Bing or Yahoo, or DuckDuckGo if they want. Setting default browser search engines is a huge business in malware. Insisting that setting the default search engine is “no big deal” shows that you have not kept up with online business models.

    @PapayaSF
    “1) Smartphone users know how to use smartphone browsers, because they are like laptop and desktop browsers.”

    The second part does not imply the first part. All empirical evidence points to a large part of the Smartphone users to be clueless. But the same was found for laptop and desktop users.

    @PapayaSF
    “2) Platform owners know web usage is important for most smartphone users, and generally strive to make their browsers work like “regular””

    MS have shown they care more about their own monopoly than either their users or the law. Apple showed with the introduction of their own Maps that they have the same priorities.

    @PapayaSF
    “3) Google services are browser-based.”

    Which does not help when most users stick with the default settings.

    @PapayaSF
    “4) Thus, it’s silly to claim that platform owners are conspiring to sabotage Google services.”

    That is why I never wrote that. I wrote that Google had to prepare for a time when the owners of the leading platform would decide that they needed to increase shareholder value by tapping into Google’s profits.

    In short, Google developed Android to protect against a (likely) future threat. Your point is that they should not protect against future threats.

    Sound like an Elop strategy, to get back On Topic.

  409. Comment awaiting moderation. To sommarize

    @PapayaSF:
    In short, Google developed Android to protect against a (likely) future threat. Your point is that they should not protect against future threats.

    Sound like an Elop strategy, to get back On Topic.

  410. @PapayaSF
    “But what’s your problem with Jamendo? I just went there, downloaded an MP3, dropped it onto iTunes, and it loaded and played fine.”

    Three steps on a computer. That reduces your audience by well over 90% (99%?). On my Android, or in VLC on my desktop, I can simply use Jamendo directly,

    In retail, these few steps are the difference between success and failure.

  411. Over 90% of computer users don’t know how to download a file and double-click it? Give me a break.

    But if I wanted to use it “directly,” Jamendo has a free iPhone app, so again, I don’t know what the problem is supposed to be.

    I don’t know what Google perceives as “future threats,” but I don’t think platform makers making it impossible to access web-standard Google services is one of them.

  412. @PapayaSF
    “Over 90% of computer users don’t know how to download a file and double-click it? Give me a break.”

    No, they are just too lazy, or distracted, or some other excuse to do it. That is how you get rich in online commerce, e.g., Amazon’s one-click patent.

    @PapayaSF
    “But if I wanted to use it “directly,” Jamendo has a free iPhone app, so again, I don’t know what the problem is supposed to be.”

    Whenever I read or hear about retail, it is about getting to potential customers first and fast. Every impediment, however small, decreases your business significantly.

    If you know that is not true, why don’t you make a fortune helping online traders with this knowledge? They spend a lot of money to become the default option. You can help them see the error of their ways.

    @PapayaSF
    “I don’t know what Google perceives as “future threats,” but I don’t think platform makers making it impossible to access web-standard Google services is one of them.”

    There is a world of insolvency between “not impossible to use” and “the default option”. At least Google sees it that way. Again, you can make a large fortune if you know that is not true and act on it.

  413. Moderation hit again:

    @PapayaSF
    Why don’t you tell that to Google et al. They spend a fortune to be the default.

  414. During the East Timor conflict there were a whole lot of “unfortunate map reading errors” – resulting from Indonesian sponsorship of terror against East Timor from bases in West Timor.

    Thats what i thought you meant. So completely full of shit it is.

    Yeah there were “unfortunate map reading errors”… By the indonesians. They’d wander into East Timor, get shot up by INTERFET and when the bullets stopped flying, they pointed out they were still 100 meters on the east timor side. The Indonesians were using a 1933 dutch map whereas INTERFET was using a 1970s indonesian map… and a GPS.

  415. JonCB on 2013-09-20 at 05:05:47 said:
    > Yeah there were “unfortunate map reading errors”… By the indonesians. They’d wander into East Timor, get shot up by INTERFET and when the bullets stopped flying, …

    That bullets were apt to fly rather easily tells us much about the the “alliance” between Australia and Indonesia.

    Recall that the legal pretense under which the Australians entered East Timor was that they were going to “assist” Indonesian troops to maintain order. Since Muslim Indonesian troops were the main cause of disorder in Christian East Timor, it is perhaps unsurprising that this “assistance” took the form that it did.

    As I said earlier, Indonesia is an Australian ally, the way Pakistan is a US ally.

  416. Winter:
    > Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Turkey, Morocco, Jordan all behave the same as assorted South American, South-East Asian or African countries since independence.

    No they do not. Example: Bali bombing and internal terrorism.

    Muslim countries are obviously more violent against people who do not share their religion. Indonesians committed the Bali bombing, and the Australian government had to twist the Indonesian government’s arms to get it to arrest the perpetrators. The Bali bombing was holy war by Muslims who give Islam as the reason. Where is the non Muslim equivalent?

    Turkey is featured on atrocity videos on you tube. Again, holy war by Muslims who give Islam as the reason. Where is the non Muslim equivalent?

  417. @JAD
    ” Since Muslim Indonesian troops were the main cause of disorder in Christian East Timor, it is perhaps unsurprising that this “assistance” took the form that it did.”

    Are you seriously suggesting that conquering a foreign country is an exclusive Islamic vice?

    Deluded seems the correct word here.

  418. That bullets were apt to fly rather easily tells us much about the the “alliance” between Australia and Indonesia.

    During the East Timor period, diplomatic relations between Australia and Indonesia were basically fucked.

    We’re neighbours and trading partners. We have a security agreement (signed in 2006, the Lombok Agreement) but i don’t think you’re going to see any Indonesian military bases in Australia or vice versa anytime soon (UNLIKE US/Pakistan or even US/Australian relations). Basically it’s a non-aggression treaty.

    Recall that the legal pretense under which the Australians entered East Timor was that they were going to “assist” Indonesian troops to maintain order.

    Also to support the UN in running a referendum on East Timorese independence. However this is all kind of besides the point. There is no documentation to support that INTERFET was ever actually on the West Timor side of the border (whether they meant to be there or not). Hence, black ops or bullshit.

  419. AnandTech posted their (comprehensive as usual) hardware review of the 5S. Great benchmarks.

    Looks like a great phone. I was considering a Nokia 1020 for the camera but the 5S strikes me as a better balance between phone and camera. Plus the slow load and shot to shot times on the 1020 are concerning as a camera. If it were faster I’d go with the Nokia for my wife. Awesome sensor in that thing.

    The 5S sensor goes in the direction I prefer without going down too far like the HTC 1.

    The A7 looks like a fairly future proof processor for the life of the phone. As you say the benchmarks are great.

  420. “That they also know how to prevent the competition from reaching iTunes users?”

    Nonsense. No one put a worthy competitor forward in the iPod era. Pandora, spotify, and other music services were some of the best treated apps on iPhone — getting the first, meaningful access to background services.

    Apple leading a market category does not mean they are preventing competition.

    So far the entire basis of your argument seems to be the stupid argument that you can’t use non-iTunes music on Apple products. This is idiocy.

  421. “On my Android, or in VLC on my desktop, I can simply use Jamendo directly,”

    Which is EXACTLY the same on a Mac or iOS device.

    What I’m hearing from you is: I’m attempting to speak for everyone, but I’m actually speaking of a specific edge case that I am particularly interested in (but 99% of everymen aren’t) and I’m too ideologically-bigotted to figure it out; therefore, I, Winter, am an idiot.

  422. iOS, Windows, Phone, Blackberry, you name it: any smartphone with a browser can use Google services.

    Well not the ones in china which makes Googles android play a dead end for them there.

    Hence the end run around open source with the new APIs locked into google proprietary code

    But winter has claimed in the past that Google’s profits are unimportant to him and all that matters is that starving kids in Africa can enjoy an android phone.

    /shrug.

    Strikes me that clean water from Kamen’s slingshot is more important to that kid in Africa. CocoCola, of all companies, will possibly become the most important US company to the developing world rather than either Apple or Google. I guess Steve was wrong about the ability of a sugar water CEO to change the world (Muhtar Kent)

  423. @nigel
    “But winter has claimed in the past that Google’s profits are unimportant to him and all that matters is that starving kids in Africa can enjoy an android phone. ”

    Each one his hobby. Personally, I think most children in Africa are beyond starvation by now. Education and economic development are becoming of more pressing importance.

    But indeed, I own no stock in neither Apple nor Google (nor MS). I have no financial stake in the game at all.

    @nigel
    “Strikes me that clean water from Kamen’s slingshot is more important to that kid in Africa. ”

    I would think so too. It is a mystery to me why you would think otherwise?

  424. If you are a game developer, Android is a miserable platform to develop for.

    In general, there are two types of mobile games: games which exist on two or more smartphone platforms, and iOS-only games. Despite Android getting ports of the likes of Angry Birds (late) and Temple Run (late), many, many good mobile games still fall into the latter category. The fact that iOS has far more paying users might be part of it.

    If you are a developer, iOS still leads. Period. And now that iOS is the only platform with a desktop-class smartphone, Android will be entirely locked out of the next generation of sophisticated apps for the next few months at least.

  425. @ Nigel – “all that matters is that starving kids in Africa can enjoy an android phone. ”

    Did I miss something? When did android phones become edible?

  426. Winter on 2013-09-20 at 05:45:52 said:
    > Are you seriously suggesting that conquering a foreign country is an exclusive Islamic vice?

    Terrorizing them after conquering them is a vice characteristic of communism and Islam, and not of other belief systems.

  427. And now that iOS is the only platform with a desktop-class smartphone

    1 gig of memory is not desktop-class. Sticking with 1Gig makes it mostly a waste of time except as a way to mitigate the massive portability problems you’re going to have because you’re 100% native.

    In fact i’d go so far as to say that the memory strain of the new phones is worse than the preceeding ones, 64-bit pointers means more overhead and no extra memory. I’m somewhat surprised they haven’t gone to 2Gig really.

  428. @Jeff Read:

    If you are a game developer, Android is a miserable platform to develop for.

    I read that article. The tl;dr version is “(1) Any idiot can build an android phone; (2) any idiot can afford to buy an android phone; (3) google doesn’t recognize that we’re the greatest and give us front page ad coverage; and (4) google tries to control us for no good reason.”

    My response is:

    (1) yes, this is one of the things that makes the platform great. It’s the same “problem” that windows has, and there are plenty of games on windows.

    (2) yes, and I can see that this complaint, while completely unegalitarian, is somewhat valid from the point of someone trying to extract money from a platform. But guess what! Apple is moving downmarket, too, so you’ll have to learn to deal.

    (3) Yeah, whatever.

    (4) I couldn’t actually believe that the article said this:

    Great marketplaces aren’t created by trying to control your developers through draconian feature requirements, they’re born from supporting your developers, in whatever ways you can.

    There’s a marketplace where every single app is vetted and some are declined or ignored for weeks for no good reason, where you aren’t allowed to have adult images, or embed too much programmability in your offerings, where you need to buy a certain kind of machine to use for development and pay them annually.

    And then there’s a laissez-faire market where anybody can participate for a one-time fee of $25, where you can put pretty much any kind of app you want. Guess which one is being referred to by the above statement:

    I got two good takeaways from the article:

    (1)

    Especially dangerous is that at first, Android is arguably way more accessible to develop for than iOS; it’s only after you’ve invested the time and pushed out your game that the real issues surface.

    That’s dangerous for Apple, not developers. It’s awesome to be able to get started and then see what sticks. The whole article was written in a “customers are stupid and should be avoided whenever possible” tone, but today, attention from customers is where it’s at, and if Android gives a shorter time-to-first-customer-interaction than iOS, Android wins, as do the developers who correctly recognize this as a net positive.

    (2) http://games.greggman.com/game/android-vs-ios-game-myths/

    That last link gives some hard data, unlike the whiny drivel from the first article, which was apparently written by somebody who writes games that only appeal to the black turtleneck crowd.

  429. It probably wasn’t clear, but that last link I gave was a takeaway from the article for the simple reason that one of the commenters posted it.

    It links to a great article, but one of the commenters there trotted out the old saw about Apple getting 75% of app store revenue.

    Yes, that’s true, but it was, until very recently, a completely meaningless metric, because Android apps were not required to use the Play store for in-game purchases. Even now, it’s not all that meaningful because Google still allows third-party purchases for some things, whereas Apple mandates, not only in-app purchases, but even most-favored-nation pricing.

  430. @Patrick Maupin
    Stop it Patrick. You are going to get us all confused with data and actual facts.

  431. > But guess what! Apple is moving downmarket, too, so you’ll have to learn to deal.

    Roflmao, if the 5c was downmarket, I’ll buy the beer.

  432. > But guess what! Apple is moving downmarket, too, […]

    Not really. The new iPhone 5C is not very much cheaper than 5S, and Tim Cook said in so many words that Apple isn’t and won’t be in the business of cheap hardware.

  433. Ah, but Cook said that Apple wasn’t “in the junk business.” There’s a difference between “cheap” and “junk.” The 2 gig iPod Shuffle is $49, which is pretty cheap, but it’s not junk.

    Yes, I wish the 5c were cheaper, but in a year or two it (or something like it) probably will be.

  434. @Mikko:

    My point was, that in the US market, where roughly half of the revenue for both app stores comes from, pretty much anybody, even with bad credit, can now own a brand new, latest generation iPhone for next to nothing.

    Note in that link how, over the last 6 months, Android app store revenue is up 67%, while iOS revenue is up 15%. If that trend is real and ongoing (and not just a spike due to Google getting around to enforcing rules on in-app purchases), Android app store revenues should exceed Apple’s in under a year.

    @PapayaSF:

    Or, to put it another way, Papaya, you can’t simultaneously gloat that Apple is taking over the domestic market and then somehow try to claim that the nature of their customer base isn’t changing.

  435. @Patrick

    My response is:

    Thank you.
    My response was something along the lines of “God… could ‘Anonymous’ whine any harder please?”.

    My takeaway was this. On android it’s really important you write clean code that follows best practice for Android. Indies are known for writing code that is not as good as it possibly could be. Thus this post.

  436. > pretty much anybody, even with bad credit, can now own a brand new, latest generation iPhone for next to nothing.

    I think this has been true for a while. You said “moving” downmarket.

  437. @Mikko:

    In the US, you used to have to have a postpaid cell plan to get a subsidized phone, and really good credit to get the plan. Neither of these is quite as true any more, especially starting when Sprint had to shift a lot of iPhones.

  438. @Jon

    In fact i’d go so far as to say that the memory strain of the new phones is worse than the preceeding ones, 64-bit pointers means more overhead and no extra memory. I’m somewhat surprised they haven’t gone to 2Gig really.

    iOS because of objective-C rather than Java, because it doesn’t multitask as well and because it doesn’t allow OS extensions is less memory intensive than Android. Most Android phones are not 2g yet, it is rare. They went to 512m with the 4 series and 1g with the 5 series. I’d think it is likely the 6 will be 2g, but iPads are not at 2g yet.

  439. @Patrick

    Note in that link how, over the last 6 months, Android app store revenue is up 67%, while iOS revenue is up 15%. If that trend is real and ongoing (and not just a spike due to Google getting around to enforcing rules on in-app purchases), Android app store revenues should exceed Apple’s in under a year.

    The iOS app market is mature and seems to be tracking growth of the userbase. The Android app market is comparatively immature and seems to be tracking people figuring out how to market to Android customers. They really aren’t the same trend lines and I wouldn’t try and extrapolate too much about long term trends. Incidentally AFAIK Android is now tied on gross revenue with iOS so I’m not disagreeing with your main point, just pointing out that you are comparing apples to oranges in looking at their relative growth.

    What you aren’t comparing that’s been the big trend for the last 2 years is the movement on vertical applications distributed via. corporate networks. That’s breaking about 80/20 in iOS’ favor and represents substantial spending, though from the end user’s employers not the end users.

  440. @Patrick > “Note in that link how, over the last 6 months, Android app store revenue is up 67%, while iOS revenue is up 15%. If that trend is real and ongoing (and not just a spike due to Google getting around to enforcing rules on in-app purchases), Android app store revenues should exceed Apple’s in under a year.”

    Nice try, Patrick, but you’re either mathematically challenged, or attempting to deceive.

    I’ll just quote from the report:

    “The growth in Google Play was bigger (67%) than it was in the Apple App store (15%), although the Apple App store generated two times more revenue.”

    “The Apple App store was still the larger market compared to Google Play in July 2013 in terms of total revenue. However, Google Play’s cut has increased significantly over the past few months. While only 25% of the combined revenue came from Google Play in February 2013, this share went up by eight percentage points to 33% in July 2013. in revenue terms the Apple App store was still twice as large as Google Play.”

    If Google Play gained another 8% in the next 12 months, they would be at 41% to Apple’s 49%.

    At the current rate of growth (nobody knows if it’s sustainable), it would take at least 18 months for Google Play revenues to exceed Apple’s “app store”.

  441. @LeRoy:

    Thanks for admitting you misread the timeframe.

    Note that the first part of the article (that I quoted from) talked about a 6 month time frame, but the second section you quoted (with the 25% to 33% change) apparently had a time frame from February to July — which is actually only 5 months… (Could be a mistake though, who knows?)

    Just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that it was January, not February, that the 25% figure for google’s cut was accurate back then, and that the growth figures of 67% for Android and 15% for iOS over 6 months were accurate and will continue. In that case, the figure for July would actually be 32.6% for Android (guess they rounded up to 33%).

    Staying at 3 digits, the figure for next January would be 41.28% for Android, and the figure for next July would be 55.2% for Android. Gotta love those compound growth hockey sticks.

  442. iOS because of objective-C rather than Java, because it doesn’t multitask as well and because it doesn’t allow OS extensions is less memory intensive than Android

    Sorry, i’m not comparing iOS to Android here, but iOS to iOS.

    Those with an iPhone 5 will get slightly better bang for their memory buck than 5C or 5S users because iphone 5 pointers will be half the width. Traditionally the counter to this is to increase the memory size, but here this hasn’t been done despite their direct competitors already having done so.

    Not saying that iphone is fucked or bad or whatever because of this. Just legitimately surprised that such a seemingly minor spec upgrade wasn’t considered de-rigueur.

    Most Android phones are not 2g yet, it is rare. They went to 512m with the 4 series and 1g with the 5 series. I’d think it is likely the 6 will be 2g, but iPads are not at 2g yet.

    We’re coming on to 6 months since the first 2gb android. While i don’t have a list on me, i’d be surprised if a new phone with upper tier billing and less than 2gb ram was taken seriously.

  443. See the AnandTech review of the 5s posted above. The A7 chip is better than the A6 by nearly every measure, sometimes by a lot.

  444. @Jon

    Just legitimately surprised that such a seemingly minor spec upgrade wasn’t considered de-rigueur.

    If Apple isn’t have memory problems on their tablets why would the extra pointers be enough to create a must have increase.

    We’re coming on to 6 months since the first 2gb android. While i don’t have a list on me, i’d be surprised if a new phone with upper tier billing and less than 2gb ram was taken seriously.

    Apple while often very good on specs frequently has different specs they focus on than the competition. They tend to have a more balanced product. This has been a tendency for a long time. My 1 1/4 year old Apple laptop has 16g of ram since there Apple thinks the spec matters. It also has extremely fast SSD, since that’s a place Apple thinks the spec matters. Toss in retina screen and you are looking at only a few laptops that are comparable.

    Obvious what happens in Android has some influence, but mainly in so far as it is indicative of the cost of parts for Apple.

  445. Not saying that iphone is fucked or bad or whatever because of this. Just legitimately surprised that such a seemingly minor spec upgrade wasn’t considered de-rigueur.

    The hard fact is that iOS needs way less memory than Android to do the same sorts of things. The 512-MiB iPhone 4S was handily outpacing 1GiB-equipped Androids doing the same sorts of things. This is due to the overhead required by the garbage-collected Dalvik runtime, along with Android’s more liberal policy on multitasking.

  446. @Jeff Read
    Indeed, using a general purpose Open OS that runs in diverse hardware to stimulate competition has performance drawbacks. Just as competition itself has drawbacks, such as fast development cycles and low margins.

  447. Indeed, using a general purpose Open OS that runs in diverse hardware to stimulate competition has performance drawbacks. Just as competition itself has drawbacks, such as fast development cycles and low margins.

    Android’s performance issues are design issues, not openness issues. Had Nokia decided to stick it through with Maemo on a line of top-quality cellphones, we might be looking at an actually worthy iOS competitor, with greater Linux compatibility to boot. But things didn’t turn out that way…

    Sometimes it’s not about genius, it’s about being less stupid than the competition. During the 90s Microsoft was less stupid than everyone else; that’s why they came out on top, for example, in the browser wars. Netscape management had convinced themselves that the Netscape name would ensure their dominance, allowing Microsoft to eat their lunch with a superior product in Internet Explorer. In the smartphone era, iOS is still the least stupidly-designed smartphone OS, which means iOS-based devices enjoy a comfortable performance lead against Android devices released at around the same time.

  448. Part of Apple’s has a tremendous advantage is because they design the OS and the phone, including the CPU. (Or SoC, if you prefer. And yes, it’s an ARM license, but you know what I mean.) I think the advantage of vertical integration will continue to grow, and competitors know this: hence Microsoft buying Nokia, Google with Nexus products, and the rumors of Samsung forking Android.

  449. @PapayaSF
    > Part of Apple’s has a tremendous advantage is because they design the OS and the phone,

    As with most things in life it is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Jobs allegedly had the concept of a machine that you put sand and energy in and out pops a computer, which is to say total vertical integration. Yet today Macs use Intel processors, Samsung make iPad screens, and Corning makes the glass.

    Buying stuff from other people means you can leverage their R&D cost, and focus on the bits that connect the parts together. That is a big deal. In fact I believe it is called “the industrial revolution.”

    Perhaps this is a time to remember I, Pencil

  450. Of course vertical integration is not always the best thing. I wouldn’t want Apple to go full Henry Ford and smelt their own aluminum or whatever. (Trivia note: the charcoal company Kingsford started using wood scrap and sawdust from Ford’s Model T factory.)

    Still, one company with full control over both the OS and the CPU can produce a phone or computer with a degree of integration and optimization that’s difficult to duplicate. Android can optimize to an existing processor, but the iOS team not only has advance information about upcoming processors, they get input about their capabilities.

  451. If Apple isn’t have memory problems on their tablets why would the extra pointers be enough to create a must have increase.

    I’m assuming Apple sees memory problems in the future or else why bother with 64-bit? Unless you think the primary motivation for this move is to try to unify OS-X and iOS.

    @CD-Host

    Obvious what happens in Android has some influence, but mainly in so far as it is indicative of the cost of parts for Apple.

    @Jeff

    The hard fact is that iOS needs way less memory than Android to do the same sorts of things.

    Let me re-iterate that i’m not trying to justify my surprise at Apple not going 2Gb by looking at Android. I’m solely pointing out that an iPhone 5 ultimately has more memory to play with than the 5S because 64-bit architecture means that memory references are twice the width. What does that really mean? Probably not much, i don’t know enough ObjC to know how common references are idiomatically (my guess is more than C/C++, less than C#/Java).

  452. There are other advantages to 64-bit beyond addressing more than 4 gigs of RAM and commonality with OSX.

  453. @PapayaSF
    “Part of Apple’s has a tremendous advantage is because they design the OS and the phone, including the CPU.”

    So that is why Apple hovers below 20% of global market share in everything they produce?

    Meanwhile, Google must worry about others taking up part of the Android development workload for free: CyanogenMod is starting to produce Android images.

    The first Cyanogen phone seems to be on their way from OPPO N1:
    https://plus.google.com/100275307499530023476/posts

  454. @Winter

    PapayaSF: Part of Apple’s has a tremendous advantage is because they design the OS and the phone, including the CPU.”

    Winter: So that is why Apple hovers below 20% of global market share in everything they produce?

    a) Because they don’t care much about marketshare nearly as much as profit share.
    b) Because you count marketshare in such a way so that the numbers come out that way by grouping customers together from non-competing markets. You effectively like to group sneakers in with airplanes as “transportation devices” and talk about how terrible Boeing’s marketshare is.

    Use real categories and that doesn’t happen. For example: Apple has for about 7 years running between 85-91% marketshare in all laptops over $1000.

  455. @CD-Host
    “a) Because they don’t care much about marketshare nearly as much as profit share.”

    And I don’t care about profit share and only about marketshare.

    @CD-Host
    “b) Because you count marketshare in such a way so that the numbers come out that way by grouping customers together from non-competing markets. ”

    What is difficult about “Global”?

    @CD-Host
    “You effectively like to group sneakers in with airplanes as “transportation devices” and talk about how terrible Boeing’s marketshare is. ”

    I compare Smartphones to Smartphones. I am perfectly willing to talk about cell phone handsets, but that does not make Apple look better. And an iPhone is to a cheap Android handset like a BMW to a cheap Kia. I have no idea how you get an airplane into this metaphor.

  456. @Winter

    What is difficult about “Global”?

    Not too much though US companies tend to be much more parochial and focus on the domestic market since it is large. The main issue isn’t with global it is with ignoring price points.

    And I don’t care about profit share and only about marketshare.

    It doesn’t matter what you care about. You keep phrasing things as if Apple were failing to execute because they don’t execute on your plans. It is only a failure if they fail to execute on their plans. Apple hasn’t sold many socks lately, I’m sure there is someone out there who wants an Apple brand sock.

    I compare Smartphones to Smartphones.

    First off, that’s not what Apple sells. Apple sells “premium smartphones” they don’t sell smartphones in general, anymore than Boeing sells generalized transportation devices. Moreover, you count phones that lack data plans and exclude phones that do.

    I am perfectly willing to talk about cell phone handsets, but that does not make Apple look better.

    Sure it does, because it gives an accurate picture. Apple broke into the high end of the market in 2007 with a high end premium product. They have been able to move something 200m people globally towards buying their high end premium product and greatly increased their spend. There is a massive market at much lower price points that Apple has never attempted to sell a product to. Nothing much has changed.

    Conversely it also gives an accurate picture about Android. That huge numbers of people are moving from JavaVM and Symbian devices to Android devices. Android has successfully displaced the middle of the market and is becoming the handset of choice. They have also managed to take considerable share at the high end though evidence indicates their hold is loose here. Finally handsets are still growing downmarket though the rate of growth has slowed considerably over the last few decades.

    The purpose of talking about smartphone as some sort of new device is to exclude simple replacement. People move up quality as price points drop just like with everything else.

  457. @CD-Host
    > Use real categories and that doesn’t happen. For example: Apple has for about 7 years running between 85-91% marketshare in all laptops over $1000.

    The fact that you don’t see the irony of that makes me laugh a little. After all, IBM has a very, very high market share of networking equipment supporting token ring. Their profit margin on that stuff is WAY high.

    It is particularly ironic to say this when you are accusing Winter of fiddling the categories to make his data look good.

  458. After all, IBM has a very, very high market share of networking equipment supporting token ring. Their profit margin on that stuff is WAY high.

    And I’d say token right based networking is a reasonable category. A person buying token ring equipment doesn’t care about switched networking equipment. Switched networking could be 10, 1000 or 100000 times as large of a market and it wouldn’t really matter.

    It is particularly ironic to say this when you are accusing Winter of fiddling the categories to make his data look good.

    In items with huge price ranges you never compare across price points nakedly. No one asks why Four Season’s marketshare is such a small percentage of “restaurant marketshare” throwing McDonald’s in a big bin. It is a stupid question.

    As for “smartphones” yes I think counting the lowest end Androids while not counting the better feature phones they compete with like the Ashas like the 311 or even midrange ones like the 301 (since why not mention Nokia in a thread about them) is completely biased totally distorted statistics designed to artificially boost Android’s marketshare. Obviously does nothing for Apple they don’t sell a $85 phone to compete with the 301 nor a $110 phone like the 311 but Androids are in that range. There is no reason because Android runs on top notch phones like the Galaxy S4 to put low end Androids in the same class.

  459. @CD-Host
    A Louis Vuiton handbag of $100k is still a handbag. It might be of better quality than a $5 handbag, but it is still just a handbag. Both owners can do the same thing with their handbag.

    Same with Smartphones. The most expensive and cheapest Smartphones have almost the same functionality. There is only a difference in “quality”, if there is a difference.

    That different people buy different brands at different prices is only important for matketing and sales people. If you want to argue that iPhones are also overpriced fashion luxury items then I would agree. But fashion discussion are orthogonal to technical discusions. Mixing these two viewpoints is only confusing.

  460. @CD-Host
    If you want to include feature phones in the discusion, see above. I have given all the numbers for global handsets. With 25M units a year, Asha is not threathening Android at all.

  461. It’s silly to call something “an overpriced fashion luxury item” when nine million of them are sold in the first three days they are available. That’s a perfect example of a mass market product.

  462. @PapayaSF:

    “overpriced fashion luxury item” and “mass market product” are orthogonal descriptions, both of which could accurately apply in this case (although with the power of the new processor, I have to admit that the 5s is somewhat less overpriced than some of its predecessors).

    Your 9 million in 3 days is telling. Throw in the fact that most of the buyers already have a perfectly good cellphone, and that the 9 million is almost a third of the handset shipments that Apple made in the entire previous quarter, and it becomes obvious that this isn’t just “honey, I need a new cellphone — I think I’ll wander down to the Apple store and see what they got.”

  463. I was countering Winter’s silly comparison of iPhones to $100K handbags, which I am sure Louis Vuitton sells by the single or double digits. And while I understand your point, I can’t think of any “overpriced fashion luxury items” that sell nine million in three days, and will sell scores of millions over the lifetime of the product.

  464. @Winter —

    You haven’t shown much interest in technical distinctions either. Are you really going to argue that the $90 Androids are remotely similar in terms of technology to the 5S.

    OK

    Let’s take the fingerprint security, the new feature. Where do I get that for my $80 Android?

    110g weight and only 7.6mm thick. Where do I get that for my $80 Android?

    continuous burst camera with f/2.2 aperture, auto stabilization at 120 frame / sec speed with strong software support. Where do I get that for my $80 Android.

    The CPU is going to be something like 10x as fast. The GPU is going to be incomparable.

    Apple with this release is standardizing around Pages, Number and Keynote for free. That means a suite of productivity applications for the desktop (like Office) built from the ground up for web editing on arbitrary desktops (like Google Docs) with sharing (i.e. like Sharepoint) but also with an editing system built to work well on mobile and tablet. Where do I get that for an $80 Android?

    Sneakers are not airplanes.

  465. > “overpriced fashion luxury item” and “mass market product” are orthogonal descriptions, both of which could accurately apply in this case

    I guess every customer has their own definition of what qualifies as “luxury”, but Apple has certainly always gone after a mass market, even if only the higher-end part of it. I don’t think any of their advertising tries to place their products as “luxuries” or particularly exclusive. If anything, they advertise ease-of-use, by anyone.

    Karl Lagerfeld’s once defined “luxury” as haute couture, i.e. hand-made clothes that cost $50 000 a dress, plus a trip to Paris for a fitting or two. Apple is clearly not in that sort of business (as it happens, neither are most of the couture houses, they make their money on off-the-rack clothes).

  466. Apple with this release is standardizing around Pages, Number and Keynote for free. That means a suite of productivity applications for the desktop (like Office) built from the ground up for web editing on arbitrary desktops (like Google Docs) with sharing (i.e. like Sharepoint) but also with an editing system built to work well on mobile and tablet. Where do I get that for an $80 Android?

    1) Go to Play

    2) Search for “QuickOffice”

  467. @Mikko:

    I don’t think any of their advertising tries to place their products as “luxuries” or particularly exclusive. If anything, they advertise ease-of-use, by anyone.

    Surely true ease-of-use is luxurious?

    (Not saying that Apple always achieves this — I’ve spent too much time helping my daughters to believe it.)

  468. > Surely true ease-of-use is luxurious?

    Well, this goes back to the definition of the word. I wouldn’t call it luxury, just good design. There’s good and bad design in inexpensive mass-produced things, and good and bad design in things that are sold as great luxuries. I suspect many of the couture dresses that cost a fortune are uncomfortable to wear.

    The phone brand that truly positioned itself as “luxury” would be Vertu, which used to make phones that were a generation or two behind the cutting edge technically, but had flashy shells made of gold and gemstones, and ridiculous price tags. Frequently the designs were screamingly obviously bad, i.e. clunky, odd-shaped numeric keypads made of gold etc. I guess the clients were people who put the need to display their money ahead of usability (and possibly couldn’t recognize usability if it hit them in the face). Vertu was owned by Nokia, who sold it a couple of years ago. Vertu switch