Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
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Why iPad will continue to dominate the tablet market

Daniel Eran Dilger

Ecstatic about figures showing Android overtaking the iPhone, more than a few have jumped to the conclusion that tablets are next, and Apple’s entire iOS platform will soon be relegated into an also ran position. They’re wrong, here’s why.
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Is Android the next Windows?

The assumption that Android will overtake iOS in tablets is based on two mistaken ideas. The first is that Android has already taken over the smartphone market, and the second is that the tablet market is similar to the smartphone market.

Android is widely thought to have taken over smartphones (in a manner similar to how Windows took over the PC market) because there are now more phones being sold with Android in the US than there are iPhones being sold in the US. To someone living in the US, this might seem very much like what occurred in the early 90s, when Apple’s market share in PCs was rapidly outpaced by the growth of rival Windows PCs from a variety of manufacturers.

However, there are tremendous differences between the two that make this simplistic comparison entirely useless in understanding what will happen over the next year or two in the mobile world. First of all, the PC market of the 90s is nothing like the smartphone market of today. As I’ll point out afterward, the tablet market is unlike smartphones as well.

Smartphones are not the PC again

The PC market originated in the US, and it started out very small. In its second year on the market, Apple sold 16,000 Apple II systems; it was considered a huge success. In 1984, Apple sold 60,000 Macs, and it was considered a modest success. By 1994, Apple’s Newton Message Pad launched with sales above 100,000 and it was considered a flop. Today, if Apple releases a new PC model that doesn’t sell a few million in its first quarter or two it is seen as a failure. This is just one example of how the consumer electronics market has changed.

When Apple was thrust into contention with the IBM PC in the early 80s, it was a relatively small company fighting against an entrenched rival to sell an entirely new kind of product. A decade later, when Windows began to become popular, Apple had already shifted into the role of a premium-priced niche supplier, and Microsoft assumed control of the the PC market.

Further, PCs originated in the US and flowed to the rest of the world, generating massive revenues for Microsoft as it skimmed a large portion of the profits off the top of PC sales. Microsoft’s market power made it very difficult to compete with, because everyone seemed to require compatibility with Windows.

None of those conditions are similar to today’s smartphone market. For starters, the smartphone didn’t bust out onto the world as a new product. It emerged in the early 2000s as an enhanced version of the mobile phone, which a lot of people already owned. Like the simpler phones before it, smartphones were designed and manufactured by a wide variety of big companies, rather than by a few small startups in an entirely new industry. There were no scrappy Ataris and Commodores and Apples; just big Motorolas and Nokias and Sony Ericssons.

Rather than being an American invention, the smartphone largely erupted in Europe and Japan, with only limited niche products available in the US from Palm and Microsoft. If there were ever a Windows of smartphones, it was Symbian, but unlike Microsoft, Symbian didn’t skim off the industry’s profits. Instead, hardware makers profited while Symbian lived off the scraps of their contributions. And despite its dominance across most of the smartphones sold prior to the iPhone, there has never been any need to be compatible with Symbian; there was no real barrier to entry stopping Palm, Windows Mobile, or for that matter Apple’s iPhone, because Symbian wasn’t preventing competition the way Bill Gates’ Microsoft had worked so hard to do in the PC world throughout the 90s.

Apple 2007 wasn’t Apple 1987

Just as today’s smartphone business bears no resemblance to the PC market of the 80s and 90s, Apple is nothing like it was back then either. Most importantly, at the launch of iPhone Apple had already enjoyed massive growth in its relatively new iPod consumer electronics business and had turned itself into a major international retailer, two things it had never achieved before, and which were fundamental in successfully entering the smartphone market.

Just prior to introducing the iPhone, analysts were beginning to fear that Apple’s iPod business would be eaten away by competitors’ new MP3-playing smartphones. Instead, Apple launched the iPhone into a market full of competitors and rapidly ate up nearly all the profits in the smartphone arena. While Apple doesn’t call the iPhone an iPod, if you add up all the iPod-capable devices Apple now sells, the total is a massive snowball that hasn’t suffered a lick from alternative smartphones and their ability to play MP3s. Conversely however, Apple has completely destroyed what were the big American smartphone platforms (Palm and Windows Mobile), has slashed global leader Symbian down to size and bested RIM as the corporate leader with its BlackBerry.

Apple is now the world’s largest consumer of Flash memory and exerts market power over other mobile components as well. It can source new display and construction technologies just as well as (if not better than) Sony and Samsung and Nokia, and enjoys broad and deep economies of scale in the mobile arena that most of its competitors simply do not. The fact that Apple was able to launch a new smartphone and rapidly make it the number one phone in most leading nations within just a couple years is nothing short of astonishing. Major companies that tried to do something similar have failed spectacularly, notably Microsoft and Nokia. Motorola and Sony Ericsson are treading water accomplishing nearly nothing.

Android is not Windows (it’s more like Symbian)

The fact that Google has stepped in to offer hardware makers a free operating system they can use is not exactly the same level of accomplishment. Like Symbian (and unlike Windows), Google’s Android software does nothing to sop up the profits in the smartphone market. Google is actually paying some manufacturers to use it (via advertising incentives), and has little market power to force anyone to deliver Android models that look or work the way Google would like.

Also like Symbian (and unlike Windows), Android does little to tie users to its platform. Users may buy Android apps, but they apparently feel little loyalty to the operating system. The kinds of smartphone apps people use are largely tied to utility (Facebook, Twitter, games) rather than to an API or a platform. Most of the gaming code in mobile platforms, for example, is cross platform and not tied to proprietary frameworks, as Microsoft worked so hard to do in every area of the Windows world. The only “stickiness” in mobile platforms is attached to Apple’s iOS, and that’s largely due to developers and users having a better business model for apps in iTunes, rather than there being some proprietary barrier that prevents portable mobile development or the movement of users’ documents and data (as historically was the case in the Windows PC world).

Also like Symbian (and unlike Windows), Google’s Android currently does nothing to hold back competition in the industry. If anything, Android lowers the barrier to new competition among hardware makers, enabling smaller companies or firms new to smartphones to introduce Android-based products with less effort. Further, Google’s own technologies are not exclusively tied to Android, but are commonly made available across platforms. Google’s Maps, Voice, search and YouTube services are available on alternative platforms.

What has Android done?

So what does all this mean? Most importantly, it means Google is not imposing a Windows-like lock on the smartphone business that will serve as a tourniquet around the necks of superior platforms. Microsoft was successful in holding back the pace of technology throughout the 90s to ensure it could tax nearly all of the profits in the PC world. It wasn’t just weaker products from Atari and Commodore that suffered from Microsoft’s imposition of barriers to competition; far superior computing platforms from NeXTStep to OS/2 to Unix were all held hostage to the point of a slow strangulation at the hands of Microsoft.

Google isn’t doing that, does not appear to be interested in doing that (as it makes its money from ads, and can do this on any platform) and does not appear to be capable of doing this (because it does not exert the market power over its licensees that Microsoft did and does in the PC world).

Stepping back a bit further, it appears Google has largely displaced independent Linux distributions, Symbian, and proprietary embedded operating systems (outside of Nokia, where all three are still embraced in a corporate museum of sorts). While certainly a major accomplishment, Android is really only serving as a method to allow Apple’s competitors to copy the iPhone with relative ease. Google will increasingly face fractionalization and backwards compatibility issues like those that Symbian (and Microsoft) have faced, without being able to rapidly chart a new course for Android as nimbly as Apple can with its full control over the iOS.

The primary example of this is in tablets. This is profoundly important in discussing why Android poses so little threat to the iPad.

The table market is nothing like smartphones

The tablet market is if anything more like the PC market, with Apple playing the role of IBM this time around. It is other companies, and in particular Microsoft, that play the old role of Apple: the historical “first mover” unable to keep up with the industry it hoped to ignite. If you ignore the Newton Message Pad and PDAs, you can credit Microsoft with being the first company (since 2000, say) to attempt to popularize the “Tablet PC” in a slate form factor. Despite a decade of trying, Microsoft made little progress, achieving only a status of a premium-priced niche supplier. Apple assumed control of the tablet market with the iPad.

Further, tablets (well, the iPad) originated in the US and flowed to the rest of the world, generating massive profits for Apple as it inhaled both the software and hardware profits as an integrated designer. Apple’s market power made it very difficult to compete with, because everyone seems to desire compatibility with iPad apps.

None of those conditions are similar to today’s smartphone market. For starters, the iPad did bust out onto the world as a new product. It was not an enhanced version of the mobile phone, which a lot of people already owned, but rather a new class of product that people had to decide if they actually needed. Unlike smartphones, the iPad (and most other tablet offerings) are not subsided by carriers, and those that are do not take the place of a smartphone. It’s a new purchase. While many people don’t seem to think twice about the value of their subsidy connected to a $1000 annual smartphone contract, they will notice assuming the responsibility of another expensive contract. Subsidies will therefore play less of a role in making iPad alternatives affordable, because there is a finite limit to how many contracts a person will sign up for.

The iPad is also very much an American invention, and is quickly being adopted by Europe and Japan. This worldwide appeal is not based on its form factor, but rather the iPad itself as an integrated product and platform. Unlike Microsoft, Apple doesn’t have to work to thwart competition by preventing its hardware partners from using alternative operating systems, because Apple is the sole builder of the iPad. Other tablet makers will face a new type of competition that is unlike the smartphone business.

Apple’s leadership position with iPad

Despite the iPad’s similarities with the PC market, it’s also very different. This is because the PC was created as an amalgam of hardware makers and a software vendor. The iPad is an integrated device, like the Macintosh. Or, if you will, the iPod. And if you examine the history of the iPod, you’ll find that despite efforts by Microsoft to create a rival “open” PlaysForSure platform in the Windows PC model, Apple experienced not even the slightest dent in its iPod growth.

Apple also stood up against notable hardware makers ranging from Archos to Creative to Sony to Panasonic to JVC to Thompson to Philips to Samsung to SanDisk to Cowon to Microsoft itself. Apple also weathered the imitative efforts of Chinese cloners. There is no product anywhere that even threatened to take some portion of Apple’s market share away in the realm of music and media players.

If Microsoft’s efforts with PlaysForSure had no impact on the rather simple iPod, what evidence is there that Google’s own broadly licensed platform could empower the same set of hardware makers to rival the much more sophisticated iPad? If people were desperately wanting to buy tablets, why didn’t any of the models Microsoft introduced with all of its hardware partners ever sell any? The answer is that nobody wanted tablet devices. People want the iPad, not because its a tablet, but because it offers a strong development platform with an easy to use interface, one that cuts out the complexity and bother of a full sized PC. Android doesn’t offer any of those things; it only makes it easy for hardware makers to ship smartphones.

For this reason, it seems easy to point out that all of the vendors who have promised tablet devices of some sort are in for a surprise when they find out that the tablet market doesn’t actually exist. It’s the iPad market, and it involves being able to run iPad apps. Everything else is a big, rather expensive media player. And we’ve had lots of high-end media players all along that haven’t sold in any real volume. There’s no market for that sort of thing.

There’s also no proven market for Internet devices in general, as exemplified by Nokia’s “Internet Tablets” or the Sony Mylo or a variety of Palm devices that were glorified PDAs. If you recall, the PDA died because the smartphone took over its functions. Even rather fun devices like the Sony PSP have not proven to be hot sellers because they can be replaced by a mobile phone capable of nearly as good of games. And of course, that users have a finite number of pockets. Introduce a device that’s too close to what already exists, and it doesn’t stand out enough to thrive on its own.

The iPad is not a market, it’s a product

There was once a fear (as I noted above) that iPods would lose out to smartphone sales. And when the iPad was introduced, a shockingly large spectrum of pundits insisted that it was not noteworthy because it was “just a big iPod touch.” The reality was that Apple created a strong enough differentiation for the iPad that it was able to stand on its own, a very impressive feat to pull off, and particularly so during the midst of a recession. But now you have a broad number of new devices that all expect to grab users’ attentions, and most of them are nothing more than an oversized Android phone without the phone. Why are these same pundits now applauding?

While Android will certainly remain a fixture of the smartphone market, I’m skeptical that it will power any significant growth in expensive devices outside of smartphones, where, like a clownfish among sea anemone tentacles, it enjoys a protection from price sensitivity due to contract subsidies. Add in the economies of scale Apple enjoys as the iPod/iPhone/iPad powerhouse, its powerful brand, and the sophistication of its development tools and software marketplace, and competitors to the iPad simply face extreme barriers to adoption. It would be much easier to deliver an iPod competitor, but nobody seemed able to do that either.

What seems increasingly more likely to happen is the entrenchment of Apple and its iPad as a product that third parties add value to. As long as Apple keeps its prices reasonable and keeps innovating, the iPad will be difficult to compete against, particularly as iPad software grows increasingly sophisticated. It’s pretty easy to move Facebook, Twitter and Google Voice clients among smartphone platforms, but it’s more difficult to migrate or duplicate the far more sophisticated titles appearing for the iPad. Much like what happened with Windows, software vendors will see increasing benefits to standardizing on iPad apps.

What’s the alternatives to iPad?

Well glad you asked. The first is to try to target the variety of tablet hardware running various versions of Android, something Goggle won’t even recommend trying until well into next year when Android 3.0 ships. And even once Android settles down as a potential tablet platform, it will be the same fractionalized, minority platform attached to the same development and testing problems Android smartphones face today, where apps don’t necessarily work on all phones. Like Symbian, Android isn’t a coherent platform, but rather more of a technology portfolio that various hardware makers use in ways that intentionally don’t foster compatibility or commonality in their user experience.

You also have RIM’s upcoming PlayBook, which runs the first 1.0 version of Adobe’s Flash-based AIR platform as a tablet user interface. RIM wants to distract people with its ability to browse the web fast or play back movies smoothly, but AIR is not going to result in nice apps anywhere near the sophistication of iPad apps. AIR is no Cocoa Touch, and the PlayBook is no iPad, in the same sense that the BlackBerry Storm was no iPhone, despite all the optimistic press that greeted it.

You also have Google’s Chrome OS, which was once the company’s official tablet strategy. It was also supposed to be here by now, but it’s still not ready yet. Once it arrives, we’ll see if people actually want a tablet experience that is only a web browser with some geeky app-like functionality. That’s a far cry from the “it just works” experience of native, self-contained iPad apps.

And of course there’ll be HP selling a tablet that runs Palm’s webOS, a sort of hybrid between the raw web experience of Chrome OS and a native app experience of Android. HP has no experience in building either compelling mobile hardware or in running its own mass market software platform. On top of that, the expertise it acquired from Palm is has largely already jumped ship. Good luck with that.

And of course, there’s Microsoft, which has already proven across a decade of attempts that it can not develop nor sell a compelling mobile device of any kind.

With the iPad, Apple has created another iPod: something an audience wants for what it is, not for what it does in general terms. The iPod wasn’t really a “Personal Media Player,” it was just The iPod. Similarly, the iPad isn’t a tablet device, it’s The iPad.

60 comments

1 robnoah { 12.02.10 at 3:27 am }

I was a skinny kid growing up but now I am struggling with being overweight…I think the battle for Apple is not over just yet as my battle with fat is still requiring the Gym to keep me slim & hunk like! Apple rules the market but needs to watch their muscles don’t get flabby especially with 3D and holographic advancement. Daniel writes a very good researched article. The best I have read or found online even though he is carrying a little bias toasted the hunk Apple. Don’t blame him though!

2 John E { 12.02.10 at 3:29 am }

basically in agreement with this theory of Dan’s. it’s a huge topic and there are a lot of nuances that can be explained different ways.

i know exactly why Windows came to dominate in the ’90′s – the absolute necessity of sharing files! nothing more complicated than that. our business had used DOS in the 80′s, but as all the new word processing and spreadsheet programs were coming out in the early ’90′s – Lotus, Word Perfect, whatever Macs ran, and the rest – they were all incompatible with each other’s programs! you couldn’t even transform their files into each other – things were so primitive then. a computing Tower of Babel. so there had to be just one that all businesses used so we could all share stuff, and that became Windows/Office by default, thanks to the MS coup on IBM giving them the critical mass first. so i had to decide to standardize our computers on Windows 95 and Office. there was no avoiding it. hated to do it – already knew that MS were pigs.

but nowadays there is no such compatibility issue at all. anything can be readily converted into anything pretty much, on any platform in any program. and of course unlike the 90′s the web is now ubiquitous and platform/software agnostic. all efforts to “corner the market” on some part of the web, like Adobe’s Flash, are left behind eventually as web technology evolves into more advanced generations.

in the smartphone market, Android is filling the huge vacuum left by the collapse of Windows Mobile and Symbian product lines due to MS’ and Nokia’s incompetence. the OEM’s need something to put on their commodity products, and there ain’t much else right now. so Android might keep 50% of that market indefinitely unless MS and Nokia can recover soon. i kind of doubt they will (instead i bet they will ultimate “merge”!).

agree that tablets are different. but not sure the iPod PMP model will be the one that prevails, with Apple holding a strong majority of the market for the long term. maybe it will be more like the portable game player market, which until the iPod touch came along, was divided up between the PSP and DSI. the key i think is the ecosystem support. Google does have its cloud ecosystem which can’t be dismissed and has real potential to get better with full support for Android products. once again, MS and Nokia just can’t pull theirs together coherently (really, they are so perfect for each other!).

the iPod touch deserves much more notice. it is of course essentially replacing the old iPod line, and is really a mini-tablet. Apple was smart to call it an iPod and not a tablet 3 years ago – the world was not ready for tablets then as Dan describes. but now it is. the touch is now leading the portable game player market too, as Sony and Nintendo flail, trying ineptly to update out of date legacy products. and Android is nowhere to be seen in this market.

so … you can slice and dice this topic many ways. but i just think it all boils down to the fully integrated iOS platform across the full range of Apple products. don’t forget the Apple TV, which will steadily grow in abilities next year and beyond – it’s really a $100 iOS mini-computer! Wow! but Apple smartly didn’t call it that either, and has it dumbed down to just a media extender for now. the wildcard is how much of iOS that Lion will bring into the Mac desktop/laptop next year – will it just be “skin” like stuff, or more the “guts” of iOS with its much simpler version of computing?

3 mikeg { 12.02.10 at 4:24 am }

We RDM readers always anticipate solid articles being produced, and this one falls into excellent and insightful category. Nice comparison between the different time periods. Your perspective is always appreciated especially from someone who remembers “the way it was back then,” and is wondering how it all fits now. Again, a solid, on-the-mark article. Thanks Daniel.

4 LuisDias { 12.02.10 at 6:32 am }

So… after you backed up SJ’s stance that any Samsung Tab lookalike is a DOA, here and in Apple Insider, how do you really explain Samsung Tab’s 600k shipped units in three weeks, even despite its bad pricing and allegedly “bad” form factor?

Android phones will have a better share than the iPhone, and this is almost a self-evident fact, despite the Verizon barrier. How can Apple compete in price with starting products that have Android on them costing 100, 200 dollars with no data fees attached?. Those are very bad smartphones, but they do very, very well as “smart” dumbphones, and they actually will substitute those. The iPhone is still too expensive to do that.

So the Android’s share will not be a good indicator of “smartphone’s” share, but of something more complex. It will still “win”, but it will be a trivial victory. As you stated many times, the better apps market will still be in the iOS ecossystem, with people actually buying their apps, no piracy, etc.

About tablets, no I don’t think that the “tablet” market doesn’t exist and there only exists the “iPad” tablet. I don’t agree with this at all. I think that Windows tablets have been failing for the same obvious reason why the HP slate is a total failure: Windows is not a good OS for tablets, and also, only in 2010 is the tech industry being able to produce a GHz processor with very tiny battery drain to be used by a Tablet. The atom is cute, but it drains a lot of battery. Only in 2010 a tablet with a 10 hour battery life is even “possible”. Only in 2010 a bunch of factors, such as costs, performance and flash drive capacity has reached the point of making it possible to put such a product into the market costing the mere 500 bucks.

So, inferentially, we can see that these factors will all improve the following years, and the “experience” of having a tablet with internet access, e-book reader, music and movies, and some “cute” apps, and perhaps skype-like chatting is, I think, what will drive tablet sales for the next couple of years. iOS apps is a great differentiator, and it will make the iPad the best-selling tablet for years to come, but there *is* a market apart from the iPad.

Specially when you consider that the iPad will never be a 7 inch, and there are a lot of 7 inch competitors. In a way, they were smart. They knew they were not in a position to compete directly with the iPad, so they chose to not compete it, and outflank it with a *new* category, the 7 inch product.

This differentiator will be enough, IMHO, to create a market for its own, and people who want something “akin” to the iPad but more flexible and portable than it, and even with a camera and all (the iPad will be a slight little late with that) will obviously prefer the Samsung Tab.

5 sscutchen { 12.02.10 at 8:15 am }

I think the biggest advantage Apple has is that underlying all iOS products is the common strength of the MacOS substructure. Adding the sophistication of Cocoa Touch to the underpinnings of MacOS in a mobile device is a powerful competitive advantage that no one else can approach. Maybe over time Android could be coaxed to be competitive if Apple stagnated iOS development. But the fact is that the iOS target for mobile device manufacturers is moving. And it is moving faster than they can emualate.

Remember the first iPhone? It didn’t even have the capability for third-party apps. Remember, we are looking at a first generation iPad. What is already in the iPad development pipeline? If I were trying to develop my “iPad killer”, that would scare the hell out of me. Or it should.

6 Steve W { 12.02.10 at 9:30 am }

I remember when Windows for Pen Computing 2.0 was introduced about 15 years ago. I wanted a Pen Computer. I didn’t get one because they cost about 50% more than a laptop. This was still true on 1/1/2010. I believe most consumers felt the same about the tablet cost/benefit viz a viz laptops. Tablets only sold well as part of vertically integrated commercial products where the actual tablet cost was a small percentage of the total system cost.

Apple reinvented the consumer tablet market by introducing a touch screen computer that cost HALF the price of a MacBook. I think iPad competitors are going to be shocked to learn that consumers will expect consumer tablets running Windows to cost half the price of Windows laptops.

Android may get a pass, because there are no retail Android laptops, and few retail Linux laptops. It will be up to individual consumers whether they compare Android tablet prices to Macs or PCs.

7 chuckb { 12.02.10 at 9:47 am }

The analogy that Android is to iPhone as Windows was to Macintosh is one of the sillier bits of tech “analysis” making the rounds. Partisan hacks like Paul Thurrott have been pushing this (while also claiming that somehow Android will kill iPhone but that Windows Phone will thrive…).

The file compatibility issue is one thing that drove the adoption of Windows and Office. Another issue was price. Windows PCs were often crapware filled junk with very high ownership costs, but Apple hardware did command a price premium.

Apple still sells at premium prices for many products, but it doesn’t matter for phones and tablets. Here’s why:

1. Apple chooses not to compete in the bottom-feeder part of the market and they leverage their enormous sales to get VERY good deals from parts suppliers. Displays and flash memory prices are almost controlled by Apple and no vendor can match the deals they get. Therefore, in the price points where Apple plays, they delivery better value for the money than any other vendor.

2. For anything that requires a cell network connection, the total costs are driven by the network charges, not the device cost! This is why the issue of “Android is cheaper” is such a canard. Android is NOT cheaper when you look at the total costs; this is the key point where the Windows/Mac analogy fails.

3. The final point is that “It’s the data, stupid”. No mobile device has any monopoly on accessing data. These things are cloud gateways and they all access the same data in the same way. Therefore good hardware and interface design drives sales, because these things all do the same thing.

4. The one exception to equal access to the same data is: The iTunes store. There is simply nothing else like it and this gives Apple an edge. This situation is very much in flux, but the -data-, ie, movies, videos, text, etc works the same on all devices, except that the iPad/iPhone/iTouch all have the common data sources shared by all mobile devices PLUS the iTunes access. Big advantage.

5. The data commonality is not going to change because new data sources MUST include the iPhone because it is too big to ignore. This gives the iPhone the best of all worlds, all the data that other devices access, plus a curated apps delivery system and a media source that interoperates will all Apple devices.

So, the notion that Android/iPhone will play out like Windows/Mac is silly nonsense from lazy or partisan “analysts”.

8 BMWTwisty { 12.02.10 at 10:01 am }

Very good article. You clearly “get” Apple ansd the extent to which the company is a (I hate this term but it applies) paradigm changer at this point in history. Now, if only the analists would “get it.”!

9 ChampagneBob { 12.02.10 at 10:24 am }

Very definitive analysis and the best analysis in a concise report. However, most just won’t get it (closed minds), despite the clarity of the information given… can you imagine Ballmer reading this and accepting the facts and conclusions….” may he be CO for as long as it takes”.

10 gus2000 { 12.02.10 at 10:55 am }

This article helped me to remember the proprietary nature of file formats back in the 80′s and into the 90′s. The format of a file was considered a differentiating feature. It was unthinkable that a software vendor might open the specs to help others read and write their files. In fact, it was often considered a copyright issue, right down to the use of the three-letter filename extension (remember pkarc?). Nowadays, if you don’t open your file format, DVD Jon will do it for you. :P

Android will not take over iOS any more than Coke will take over Pepsi. (See what I did there? Sculley? Har har har)

11 commun5 { 12.02.10 at 11:44 am }

@LuisDias Those 600,000 Samsung Tab units were Samsung “stuffing the pipeline.” That is, Samsung got the wholesalers to accept the units, but they have not actually been sold to consumers yet. Counting these consignments as sales is a game that a number of electronic equipment manufacturers have played to make their goods seem more popular than they actually are as measured by retail sales. Let’s wait and see what the return rate will be before we make judgments about Samsung Tab popularity.

12 salvo.dan { 12.02.10 at 1:18 pm }

@LuisDias
The Tablet Market did exist as a tiny little niche; cheaper quality tablets were used in Medicine, higher quality tablets, with better digitiser screens were used in the Design industry.
Right now, The tablet market has been almost completely absorbed by The iPad Market. Medical Apps for iOS currently outnumber Medical Apps for Windows 7, and anecdotal evidence shows the utter annihilation of Windows Tablets in hospitals.
Graphic designers using Tablets have been hit by both the recession and decreased demand for their work. Other graphic artists are using iOS Apps to create new styles of artwork and the remaining designers out there can’t afford a new device with a Digitiser screen.

13 jdb { 12.02.10 at 1:53 pm }

@LuisDias
“Android phones will have a better share than the iPhone, and this is almost a self-evident fact, despite the Verizon barrier. How can Apple compete in price with starting products that have Android on them costing 100, 200 dollars with no data fees attached?. Those are very bad smartphones, but they do very, very well as “smart” dumbphones, and they actually will substitute those. The iPhone is still too expensive to do that.”

Apple likely has no intention of competing against the low-end of the market. I believe that Google’s intentions were always focused on the billions of “free” phones and not on the expensive “smartphone”.

Google doesn’t make money on sales. They don’t care that the profit margin on a low-end phone is pennies. Apple does care about profit margin. Google gives away their software in the hope that future phone users will use their services. They get a massive win if the low-end phone uses their software. Apple on the other hand, wants profits from the hardware they sell. They won’t be involved in the profit-free part of the market you are talking about.

Ultimately, the current Android incumbents will also either move down-market or fail. They already struggle to differentiate their phones from one another by adding shovelware and custom skins. But eventually Android phones will be commodities. Whoever can make a reasonably reliable phone for the lowest price will win the market (at least for a while, think Dell.)

Google just doesn’t care about the current generation of smartphones because very soon, every phone made will be about the same as this generation of smartphone. Once that happens, only companies like Apple that differentiate themselves based on vertical integration will be in the high end of the market. I wouldn’t want to be Motorola in two years trying to make money against no-name Chinese companies cloning Android phones by the 100s of millions.

14 worker201 { 12.02.10 at 2:15 pm }

I saw a Samsung Galaxy Tab at Costco the other day, and toyed with it for a few minutes. I agree with one reviewer’s view that it is more like a large Android phone than a small iPad. It just seems overstuffed. Add that to the fact that it is actually more expensive than the iPad, and you’ve got a pretty sad product. I don’t think it will do well.

Daniel, considering your statement above, “Android isn’t a coherent platform, but rather more of a technology portfolio that various hardware makers use in ways that intentionally don’t foster compatibility or commonality in their user experience.” I think that’s probably true, and it sounds reasonable, but how discrete are the different implementations of Android OS? Surely they’re not as different as, for example, Ubuntu and Fedora.

15 Steve W { 12.02.10 at 4:03 pm }

@gus2000 on “the proprietary nature of file formats”
That is Steve Jobs arguement on “open vs proprietary”. I guess he remembers, too.

@worker201 and jdb regarding “a technology portfolio that various hardware makers use in ways that intentionally don’t foster compatibility or commonality in their user experience.”

I imagine that the various Android implementations will become LESS compatible and LESS Android as time goes on. IF the goal is to emulate Apple, then the goal is to take control of the OS.

While this is a admirable goal for the hardware makers, it is at odds with the desires of third party software developers. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. The Nexus I has already demonstrated that vanilla Android is not the way to go FTW.

16 fishyleo { 12.02.10 at 4:46 pm }

I liked the post a lot, but something to also keep in mind is distribution. The iPad is available in more places than just about any Apple product ever. They always lost that battle to Windows…

17 visionaut { 12.02.10 at 6:02 pm }

Another insightful analysis, Dan. My only dilemma is your own contradiction spaced a few sentences apart. “It’s the iPad market…” and then shortly later “The iPad is not a market.” Is it or isn’t it? (I think I know the answer is both, but from two different perspectives…)

18 Mike { 12.02.10 at 6:33 pm }

@visionaut

Apparently the iPad is a market within itself. If that makes sense ;) But the iPad is a product, so I suppose what Dan is trying to say here is that the iPad is creating a market for tablets, rather than having a market of tablets, where the iPad is one of them.

Anyway, this falls into the excellent category of articles. Completely agree, blown away actually, by your logic and analysis.

While other manufacturers will wonder why their tablets aren’t selling as well as the iPad, consumers will realize that the only tablet worth getting is the iPad due to its constant form factor and the rich app store. There’s always going to be a niche for lesser tablets, ones that simply browse the web and maybe type out a paragraph or two (like an iPhone, but cheaper), but the profit won’t be there and so the UI will most likely suffer as well due to competitors trying to out-price the iPad for a race to the bottom.

19 KenC { 12.02.10 at 7:32 pm }

<>

As someone already noted, those 600k Samsung Tabs were just channel stuffing. Those weren’t actual sales. How do we know?

If you read the recent articles about the SamTab, you’ll see that a Samsung spokesman expects about 1M shipped/sold by year-end. What does that tell you? Sales rate is slowing into Xmas? How is that possible? It’s not. Sales are building thru Xmas, but the initial reports were for shipments to fill the channel, not actual sales. So, there’s no need for anyone to explain away those 600k figures. Not to mention the fact that 150k of those were in S Korea where no iPad was yet available.

20 robnoah { 12.02.10 at 8:56 pm }

@salvo.Dan is it true that Medical apps iOS is currently outing Windows 7 Medical Apps? This is good news how many errors may have happen because people struggled with Windows 7 unfriendly user Medical Apps and Windows Tablets getting less in hospitals is the proof …I would think!
@sscrutchen Entering the iPad market or is it a non market since it is not to be entered by any foolhardy fashion it seems “scare the he’ll out of” you. I agree it would!

21 harrywolf { 12.02.10 at 11:55 pm }

Another great article, Dan!

Seems to me that Apple are finally revealed as what they always have been – the ONLY actual integrated (soft and hardware) innovators.
Msoft was never innovative, just copied others. IBM coulda shoulda, but didnt.
Sun flew too high, Next became OSX. UNIX still does fine, but isnt hardware, same for Linux.
The Consumer has finally embraced computing in various ways, all beginning with the iPod. Soon the iPad will become another essential way of dealing with various tasks. Already in car dealerships and hospitals and soon to be everywhere as an appliance.
Its what M$oft wanted, but didnt have the hardware chops to get there.

Samsung Galaxy? Maybe some success if a few large companies write custom apps for it and deploy, but its easier and better to do it on the iPad. Anyway, 7″ is simply too small.

RIM playbook, (or whatever its called)? NO. Simply zero expertise in computing, which is what the tablet (iPad market) is about.
RIM should make a ‘Blackberry app’ for the iphone and ipad before their decline becomes unstoppable.

The only competition for the iPad will be the Kindle, in a very small way.
But it needs development to become more than it is, and Amazon just dont have that ability.

Ipad, 80%, Kindle et al, 15%, others 5%.

22 kdaeseok { 12.03.10 at 12:21 am }

Having used both Tab and Pad. I think I prefer Tab, for its portablity. Overall good performances, including the ability to make phone calls (not in the US, I heard), video chatting etc.
It may never sell as much as iPad, but if good devices like this keep coming this will make the market share pretty interesting. (Just like the smartphone os market now…)

23 John E { 12.03.10 at 11:47 am }

@ Kdaeseok – you realize that Skype works just fine on iPad? and now with the 4.2 update, incoming calls “ring” it even when the iPad is sleeping. wish the top speaker volume was louder tho. hard to hear the call in noisy places and i don’t want to bother with earbuds, tho that would work.

the one real user advantage of the 55% smaller Tab is its 45% lighter weight. the iPad is too heavy too hold up in your hands for more than 5 minutes or so. you have to lay it on your lap or a table or something. Jobs ignored this in dismissal of the 7″ form factor.

which is why i expect the iPad 2 will shave some ounces off its weight somehow, though i doubt a lightweight carbon fiber shell is ready yet. maybe iPad 3 … however a FaceTime camera is certain.

24 IT_observer { 12.03.10 at 2:59 pm }

@DanEran
>>far superior computing platforms from NeXTStep to OS/2 to Unix

As you should know, it aint about tech specs.. Its about market strategy.
WinNT dominated becasue it had an API (Win32), that was compatible with both their MUMPOS (NT), and DOS kernel (think win3.1 thru win9X.
BTW OS/2 was a pig. Slower even then NT.

[The problem with NT wasn't that it was "slow," but rather that it was unstable to the point of absurdity. That's why PBX, ATM and transit control systems (which actually needed to be reliable, couldn't rely upon a bunch a nerds running around rebooting stuff, as low-importance academia could) usually ran OS/2, and continued to do so up into the early 2000s.

The win32 API certainly helped hide the cost in-effective nature of NT's "scalability" (massively overbuilt server farms intended to accommodate it's instability) while also conflating this faux-reliability with the cheap, but shamelessly fragile majority of DOS PCs. Certainly nothing anyone could be proud to have helped perpetuate. ]

As for unix.. whatever. It was a mess back then (and still kinda is).
I know you’re an analyst of history. Let me ask you this: Who was the biggest Unix distributor during the ’80s??.. we’ll just start from there if you know the answer.

[Unix was and is the foundation of the Internet, an was the source of Microsofts IP networking support, among many other things. All Windows gave us was a massive delay in technical progress in the 90s, with a ten year interruption in the progression of user interfaces, object oriented development and kernel sophistication. - Dan ]

@salvo.dan
>>anecdotal evidence shows the utter annihilation of Windows Tablets in hospitals.

I also have some “anecdotal evidence”. Whenever I show up to a doctors apointment they have me anwswer an ASP.NET web app questionaire on a Fujitsu WinXP slate (that they’ve been using for years). I’m a man of statistics. Anecdotal evidence means very little to me.

BTW, I’m working on my computer engineering degree at a local college. Last year all the students were in love with linux (cause of the crappyness of Vista). Now that Win7 is out the dynamics are changing. About half the students are Windows guys, and half are unix/linux guys. But all have them on dual boot on their computers. And Win7 is gaining ground. None of these kids own Macs.. just sayin’.

[Sounds like you're pretty comfortable making broad generalizations based on "anecdotal evidence" - Dan]

Don’t get me wrong. I like OSX cause I like unix. But that’s all it has to offer me.

25 IT_observer { 12.03.10 at 5:52 pm }

>The problem with NT wasn’t that it was “slow,” but rather that it was unstable to the point of absurdity

The NT kernel is solid as a rock (see http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10444561-245.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20). The instability was due to Win32. VMS was solid as a rock too. But if you want market share you need to make compromises. Thats what billy G did. And the rest is history. NT has at least 90% marketshare on desktops, and continues to grow on servers. Where is OS/2?.. the dustbins of history.
But anyway.. as you know Win32 is obsolete. Thats why MS is pushing C#.NET (vastly superior to Java.. care to debate?)

>>Unix was and is the foundation of the Internet, an was the source of Microsofts IP networking support, among many other things… blah blah blah..

In the 1980′s Microsoft was the world’s largest distributor of unix. They called it Xenix for licencing matters. MS actually paid ATT for the work they did to create the genious that is unix. StevieJ just stole it.. go figure.

>>Sounds like you’re pretty comfortable making broad generalizations based on “anecdotal evidence”

Oh please. What “anecdotal evidence” do you find so untastefull?

26 berult { 12.04.10 at 8:13 am }

 What “anecdotal evidence” do you find so untastefull? 
                                                                                IT_observer                                            
Your post. Arrogant, ideological, geeky, nouveau riche. Fit for a Microsoft tenure. Completing your engineering degree in no way would make a clever engineer out of you; you’re already all Microsoft, no need for entry point strategy.
berult
berult

27 daGUY { 12.04.10 at 1:10 pm }

Great article Dan. Spot on.

I think the most significant thing that Apple has going for it is that the iPhone, iPod, and iPad ALL run iOS. These are three different products aimed at three different markets, yet they all run the same software. So any successes Apple has with one can be replicated very, very easily with the others. As an example, the iPad had an “automatic” set of third-party developers right out of the gate, because those developers already knew how to write iOS software.

On the Android side, there is no equivalent to the iPod Touch, and you could argue no equivalent to the iPad either (given that the Galaxy Tab is significantly smaller and isn’t running a tablet-optimized version of Android, since that doesn’t yet exist). Add to that the fact that Android phones are very fractured – different dimensions, input methods, display resolutions, etc. – and it’s not nearly as easy for these devices to “feed off each other” like Apple’s iOS devices do.

28 gslusher { 12.04.10 at 5:13 pm }

@IT_observer:

“Oh please. What “anecdotal evidence” do you find so untastefull?”

First, you wrote, “I’m a man of statistics. Anecdotal evidence means very little to me.” Then, later in the same message, you recounted anecdotal evidence of your own, making broad generalizations from a small number of “computer engineering” students at a “local university.” IOW, you did the very thing for which you sneered at others.

One other thing: “untastefull” isn’t a word. Perhaps you meant, “distasteful,” though Daniel never said anything like that.

29 IT_observer { 12.04.10 at 5:49 pm }

@DanEran and glusher
OOh.. I’m so glad you challenged me.. (I love a challenge)

If you’re referring to my observations of the kids in my CpE program, I suppose I should elaborate. I’m looking at a sample size of about 150 people (students + faculty in my program). Out of all these people, I only know two with MacBooks. And here’s the kicker, they’ve both purchased windows licenses so they can bootcamp it if needed (that means that MS also got paid for the sale of those MacBooks, lol). But anyway, I find it hard to believe that the CS/CpE programs in other schools have a very different spread of platform of choice. And these people are the future tech support. They have high influence over what they recommend to family and friends. This might not pass the test of raw statistical analysis, but I believe its far from anecdotal. All I’m saying is that if you truly believe that the Windows PC is a dying platform (which I’ve seen you mention in other posts).. well I think your mistaken.

30 Dorotea { 12.04.10 at 7:49 pm }

150 students in IT at one local college is a very small group. My nephew is at a college where 1/2 of the freshmen have MacBooks of some type. Hmmm pretty different experience.

I also hate to tell you but tech support doesn’t pick the tech they support. It is management who demands to use the computers they are comfortable using.

31 gslusher { 12.04.10 at 7:59 pm }

@IT_observer:

“All I’m saying is that if you truly believe that the Windows PC is a dying platform (which I’ve seen you mention in other posts).. well I think your mistaken.”

Please point those out for me. I don’t post that often and I don’t recall saying anything like that, but I could be mistaken. Just post the link(s).

Your observations are anecdotal. The subject group is highly selective, for one thing; it’s probably not representative of a larger market. (I would guess that the CS/CpE students are a lot more than 50% male. Overall, there are more women in colleges than men.)

There also could be confounding factors: e.g., if students are required to buy and/or use particular software. (That drove one of my nieces to switch from a Mac to a Windows laptop–she had to use some locally-developed Windows-only software.)

That’s why your statement got the sarcastic remark from Daniel: you pooh-poohed anecdotal evidence, then proceed to give your own anecdotal evidence.

Here is a link to a professional survey of computer use at a small, obscure New England tech school:

web.mit.edu/ist/survey/2008/report.pdf

(I happened to go to that school. Somehow, I ended up with three degrees and a 4.9+/5 GPA after the equivalent of 6 years.)

That report has the kind of data that is meaningful, though it still has problems. Their samples were larger (n=566 or higher) and broader (covered faculty, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students and administrative staff in all departments, not just computer science, which is part of the EE department there). It was conducted by a consulting firm (avoids internal bias). Read bits of the report for an idea of how it should be done and you may understand why your observations are not that useful, by themselves. (They would be useful as one part of a broader survey.)

Here’s what they found about the relative use of operating systems in 2008:

Windows XP: 44%
Mac OS X: 26%
Windows Vista: 14%
Linux: 11% (perhaps mostly netbooks?)
Mobile device OS & Unix made up the remaining 5%. (see page 110 of 310)

That’s very different from your observations.

There’s more data in charts and tables. For example, 40% of the faculty said that they used XP 81-100% of the time, while 56% said that they used OS X 81-100% of the time. About the same number of faculty said that they never used OS X (21%) and never used XP (22%). Undergrads were more heavily tilted toward XP (79% used it at least some of the time; 25% used it 81-100% of the time) and Vista (44% and 13%) and Linux (64% and 7%) versus OS X (42% and 11%).

The really surprising bit of data was that 26% of the administrative staff said that they used OS X 81-100% of the time; only 39% said that they never used OS X.

That was two years ago. Mac sales have been increasing considerably faster than PC sales, in general; Windows 7 is now in use; plus there are more mobile devices in use, so the relative weights will probably have changed.

32 gslusher { 12.04.10 at 8:41 pm }

@Dorotea:

“I also hate to tell you but tech support doesn’t pick the tech they support. It is management who demands to use the computers they are comfortable using.”

Alas, all too often, IT departments have been the tails wagging the corporate dogs. Steve Jobs expressed his frustration in the interview for the D8 conference this year:

“What I love about the consumer market that I always hated about the enterprise market is that we come up with a product, we try to tell everybody about it and every person votes for themselves. They go, ‘Yes,’ or ‘No.’ And, if enough of them say, ‘Yes,’ we get to come to work tomorrow, you know. That’s how it works. It’s really simple. As for the enterprise market, it’s not so simple. The people that use the products don’t decide for themselves and the people that make those decisions are sometimes confused.”

This may be changing because of the iPhone and iPad. IT departments are being pressed to support both from both ends–upper management and the workforce.

33 IT_observer { 12.04.10 at 9:21 pm }

@gslusher
sorry, that post about the” dying windows PC” was aimed at DanielEran, not you.

34 draziguy { 12.05.10 at 9:58 am }

Incidentally, my anecdotal evidence of Mac usage in university has been quite the opposite. I took the opportunity to count Macs vs. PCs in 3 large halls (about 350 students) and found the split around 60/40 in favour of Windows.

35 hrissan { 12.05.10 at 10:33 am }

I have recently bought Orange San Francisco (Android) device for replacement of my iPhone 3G. I understand this is cheap device, but My God what the crap software it has ! I could not believe this is mighty Android which is going to steal the mobile crown from the Appke. I have borrowed Google nexus 1 since and used it for several days – mostly the same, honestly its software had several minor problems fixed, but overall impression is the same – something very cheap (on the contrary to the real price of Nexus).
So assuming Samsung runs the same crap, the only “market” they may get is market of people who have never used iPhone or iPad. :)
Android tablets will inevitally take the low end of market, so difference with smart phones is not drastically different. Sorry for the ‘anecdotal’ evidence of android platform inferiority. :)

36 robnoah { 12.05.10 at 6:06 pm }

I just like using the iPad it is fun & it works well with iPhone, iPod and my Macs laptops and iMacs. The main point of contention I have found is the lite on iWork apps that don’t come with it (you have to pay & download them) or the lack of any iWeb Apps being available.
There are number of features that are missing in iWorks but this has improved with a few new releases and iOS 4.2 update. If I listen to all the Android vs iPad discussions and articles I would have to find a technical reason why I use a iPad but boil it all down I just enjoy it and the thousands of apps available and cannot wait to browse the next thousands of apps still coming! Not to forget magazines and newspapers that I love reading as I sit at my breakfast table drinking my coffee. Yeah the iPad as my son explains it to me “just rocks”! …I cannot see why I need a Android phone or tablet when even the new Samsung Tab has not that great Apple ease of use and thousands of Apps.

37 counterproductive { 12.06.10 at 4:03 am }

@visionaut
“Another insightful analysis, Dan. My only dilemma is your own contradiction spaced a few sentences apart. “It’s the iPad market…” and then shortly later “The iPad is not a market.” Is it or isn’t it? (I think I know the answer is both, but from two different perspectives…)”

@Mike
“@visionaut
Apparently the iPad is a market within itself. If that makes sense ;) But the iPad is a product, so I suppose what Dan is trying to say here is that the iPad is creating a market for tablets, rather than having a market of tablets, where the iPad is one of them.”

I don’t think it’s a contradiction, because Dan is making a point. Sure, visionaut: if it isn’t in fact a contradiction, then the apparent contradiction would be because he is talking about a couple of different perspectives.

No, Mike, I think Dan is clearly saying that the iPad is NOT creating a market for other tablets, and that is precisely his point…

The iPad is a popular product, given. Thus, “the iPad is a product”

The iPad is becoming a phenomenon in it’s own right, like the iPad, and to a lesser degree, the iPhone before it. Nobody says, “I need an ‘MP3 player’, or, ‘I need a phone’, I wonder what Apple has to offer in those categories, hmmm, that’s interesting, Apple makes an Mp3 Player, and Apple makes a Phone, what do you know, they look interesting, I think I’ll check it out.”

In the same way, and perhaps more so, Dan is saying, “the iPad just is; there is a market for the iPad.” Obviously, as it has the record introduction of any consumer electronics product and more and more examples of them used in various industries and markets is coming to light, and as Apple just can’t make enough of them.

BUT, does that mean this sudden interest in Tablets (really, interest in the iPad it can be argued), is going to translate to a great, new market for Tablets in general than any and all hardware manufacturers can cash in on, were they to suddenly throw their hat into the ring. NO.

Why, because there never really was an interest in “Tablets” per se, for the whole decade Billy was pushing for it. OK, technology has come on a bit and maybe any Tablet will be a better product now.

But the point is: Apple has defined a niche, a practical purpose, a hungry audience (non-techy users, the grandmas and the kids, etc.), and a gap in Apple’s own lineup where they could carefully place another device.

Dan rightly points out: everyone said there was no gap between laptops and smartphones, until the iPad proved popular. Now, all the sudden, they think they can fill the spaces between the iPad and the smartphone, or the iPad and the laptop with any old thing they can squeeze in there. No, won’t work; there is no sustainable market for all kinds of products under the “Tablet” category. There MAY be a sustainable market for those who try to precisely copy the iPad and its whole iOS/app store ecosystem. But that HAS NOT HAPPENED in ten years of the iPod. What makes them more likely to succeed now? No, there is a market for the iPad product but not other Tablets, which means the iPad is a market all unto itself, as is the iPod.

38 nelsonart { 12.06.10 at 4:28 am }

Phew… that was one comprehensive analysis. My dad bought an Android phone and loves his verbal turn-by-turn directions and supposedly open platform that no one is interfering with. But I’ve yet to see the swarms of refined apps that perform some function unavailable on the iPad.

In fact, it’s the refinement that appeals to me (and apparently others). I like the fact that the App market is large enough that there have been quite a few standouts. Then others start to copy elements of those standouts. App functionality seems to be coalescing into a defined set of GUI standards.

As HTML5 broadens its reach and further refinement is brought to iOs, it’s going to be even tougher to compete with Apple. It’s simply amazing to me how well the iPad has sold when you consider it’s difficult to get output out of it, it’s fairly expensive when you incorrectly compare it to cheap netbooks, and it really did lack the killer app when it was introduced. Version two will see facetime and other innovations and I think sales will explode from already impressive levels.

It’s the app store, the apple refinement and the R&D that only apple can afford to keep piling into manufacturing and iOS innovation that’s going to drive a huge wedge between Apple and everyone else.

Just as a humorous aside, my dad had to return his Android phone and get a replacement because it ceased functioning as a phone. He was actually told to lick his fingers before working the touchscreen.

39 stevO { 12.06.10 at 9:38 am }
40 IT_observer { 12.06.10 at 10:22 am }

Yeah.. good for you.. post a screen shot of a bunch of Mac sheep that believe the myth of Mac supiority. SteveO… if your in that camp FEEL FREE TO DEBATE ME. OSX is nothing but a weak unix distro. Got some data to refute me??

41 IT_observer { 12.06.10 at 10:34 am }

Don’t get me wrong.. I like unix.. I also like NT. A true IT guy needs to know both. Just like a carpenter who only uses nails and refuses to use screws. He’ll be hopelss. In the IT world you use the best tool for the job. I respect DanielEran. He’s an apple evangelist, and all corporations need evangelists. But he’s far from objective.

42 counterproductive { 12.06.10 at 11:11 am }

@IT_Observer
Oh, no, not the “sheep” meme again. That thing keeps rearing it’s ugly head.

Really, I suppose there are those, who just have to have the products that their cool friends have and that they see featured in movies, so they go out and get a Mac just for that reason. I dont know who these sheep might be, because i don’t know any. But i can imagine the possibility.

Still, the point is, once someone has a Mac, for whatever reason, they stick with it. 100 percent of mac users are familiar with windows and have made a conscious decision. A decision that includes their own ease of use, frustration, time and money, TCO, etc. I doubt that being a sheep EVER comes into it after they have had their first Mac for a couple of weeks.

Secondly, those guys in the college photo all sporting their MacBoooks? You really gonna generalise on all of them? Students going to more expensive colleges than you, studying science or law or medicine and making choices about their futures and what to invest in, and you don’t think they considered what choice of computer investment would be in their own best interest?

Sounds like you are a little delusional. Sounds like you dont have sich a good perpective for observing since you must be pressed up against the butt of the next windows sheep as good ole shepherd Balmer tries to keep you in fold, rolling your eyes in terror with the wolves circling the Walls outside.

43 kdaeseok { 12.06.10 at 12:24 pm }

Anyway, Galaxy Tab sold more than one million units so far. I wonder if Steve Jobs was right about 7″ tablets being ‘Dead on Arrival’? It seems quite the opposite…

44 counterproductive { 12.06.10 at 12:33 pm }

Kdaeseok, Stuffing the channel, and mostly in a country that doesn’t have the iPad yet.

45 IT_observer { 12.06.10 at 12:56 pm }

@counterproductive

>> A decision that includes their own ease of use, frustration, time and money, TCO, etc. I doubt that being a sheep EVER comes into it after they have had their first Mac for a couple of weeks.

After more and more of them get their Macs… Apple’s security thru obscurity will come back to bite them.

Lets face it window’s killer app that keeps it the dominant workstation (and will continue for years to come) is Active Directory / Group Policy. This is a technolgy thats built into the NT kernel. Bill Gates knew the limitations of unix. Thats why he developed NT.

46 counterproductive { 12.06.10 at 2:25 pm }

@IT_observer
“security by obscurity”‘ are you serious? Where have you been for the last ten years? Much as you might feel their is a certain, shall we say, Apple bias, on this site, you might do well to search for “security by obscurity” and do a little reading on why this is a complete myth. Virus count: 0 in ten years.

Since you are big on marketshare numbers, come on, give us a number. When is the FIRST virus for Mac gonna hit? 25%, 30%, 50%?

Mac users aren’t naive. They’re just free. We know there may be potential threats in years to come as hackers get smarter. But the reason there is none now sure as heck is not because of the Marketshare of the Mac.

47 IT_observer { 12.06.10 at 3:27 pm }

@counterproductive

Oh yeah.. and what are your security credentials? Well I keep tabs on system security (it comes with being a nerdy computer engineer). I listen to the experts. Read for your self: http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-10444561-245.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20). The general consensus is that Windows is more secure, but since OSX has an “obscure” marketshare.. well its not even worth it as a target (yet).

BTW.. I’m no windows fanboi. I love operating systems. I I like windows, unix/linux, VMS, minix.. etc. In fact my favorite language is VHDL (hey.. what can I do, I’m a harware guy). I use WinNT6.1 as my primary OS. But I boot into my linux partition quite regulary.

But anyway.. what was the last “virus” to hit windowsNT?

48 Dorotea { 12.06.10 at 6:27 pm }

Number one reason for disliking Windowa: the registry . Number two reason for disliking Windows: boot up time at work is 10 minutes with all of the login scripts and garbage. Number three reason to dislike windows: Outlook. Love coming home to an app,e setup.

49 IT_observer { 12.07.10 at 6:52 pm }

@Dorotea
Ahh yes.. the registry. Do you really know the power this has. I know Unix guys hate it (for phylisophical resasons). But windows wouldn’t have the marketshare it has without it. Care to know why?

50 kdaeseok { 12.07.10 at 7:08 pm }

counterproductive//
so, where is the country that doesn’t have the iPad yet and Galaxy Tab sold most of its one million units? Do you have any evidence?
Oh by the way, Mac does have viruses-

51 counterproductive { 12.08.10 at 12:28 am }

Kdaeseok,
I’ll try and find the article I read recently that said this. Basically it pointed out that the of the initial sales tally of the Tab (600,000), a significant portion of that (some 150-200,000) were sold in S. Korea — which was interesting, because, a) Samsung is South Korean, and b) the iPad was not available there at the time.

Stuffing the channel is pretty common in figures like these. I’ll look for the article about this too. Basically, Apple sales figures are very accurate and they represent sales to actual end-users, consumers. Apple knows exactly how many have been bought and paid for and reports these. In many cases, the product itself is being shipped to the end-user directly from China. Or, a given store is getting a weekly shipment of a very small number (5-25 or something) and they are cosmogony for more the next week because they can’t keep them in stock.

This is wholly different from other hardware makers and their products, where you get them shipping products by the truckload to distribution warehouses where they sit, or sit on the shelves until demand from consumers picks up. In some cases you might even get extra product pressed on the distributor as part of a deal — eg. “take a thousand of these, and we’ll give you a deal on our big TV’s that are popular.” These thousand that have been SHIPPED, are then counted as sales. That is “stuffing the channel.” Apple never does this: again, a sale is always a sale with Apple.

Do i think this accounts for all 600,000 or 1 million Tab sales? Of course not, but I would be very surprised to find if didn’t account for a significant proportion, because this is how the industry (apart from Apple) works. I’ll try and find what I was reading when i made the comment, but asymco.com is a good place for you to start.

52 counterproductive { 12.08.10 at 12:34 am }

Cosmogony was meant to be “clamouring” in post above. Didn’t notice the replacement text for my misspelling ;)

Virus for Mac? Show me your evidence. There were a few (literally just a few) on the Classic Mac OS. I have vague memories of getting one once. But the last ten years of OS X? Maybe a couple of worms or Trojans, but i have not heard about one self-replicating virus. Dan posts on this from time to time, so I am sure everyone here would like to hear about it.

53 kdaeseok { 12.08.10 at 8:54 am }

In Korea iPad and Galaxy Tab debuted at the same time. Galaxy Tab went on sale on 14th November, and iPad on 30th November. Potential iPad buyers couldn’t wait two weeks so bought Tab instead? I don’t think so.

54 counterproductive { 12.08.10 at 3:51 pm }

Sorry, my figure for S Korea was way off. After more research, I read the figure is more like 30,000 Tabs sold there (not the 150-200,000 I mentioned). In contrast, Korea Telecom took 60,000 pre-orders for the iPad, and these should be in the hands of the happy customers now.

I read somewhere that Tab is available in 90 countries. iPad may now be available in close to 90 countries, since 11 were added on 30 Nov (including S Korea). In China, where there is a lot of room to expand, despite pundits “concerns” it sounds like there are, lo and behold, long delivery times on iPads — meaning demand is higher than availability.

Overall, it does remain to be seen if there are sustainable, long-term markets for tablets other than the iPad. Sure there was initial interest; but as Dan said, the manufacturers may get a wake up call soon. Tab figures show a slackening off already:
1 month: 600,000
2 months: 1 million
And if these numbers are padded by channel stuffing, well; the numbers are already going down.

And yes, I can imagine that initial excitement for a home-grown product led 30.000 S Koreans to go out and get a Tab before they saw an iPad. Now 60,000 of their neighbours will have an iPad. Let’s see how the Christmas shopping ends up.

55 kdaeseok { 12.08.10 at 10:41 pm }

I don’t know what exactly you’re trying to say.
You said Tab is mostly being sold in one country, and now saying it’s not?
Galaxy Tab’s available in more than 30 countries… you’re probably confused with Galaxy S.
http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/mobile-devices/2010/11/23/samsung-galaxy-tab-heads-towards-one-million-sales-40090950/
I don’t remember saying Tab is selling better than iPad. What are you trying to say?

56 counterproductive { 12.09.10 at 3:40 am }

I shouldn’t have said “mostly sold in one country”. The one country that I saw an individual figure backed out for was S Korea, and that doesn’t account for as much of the total as I had thought. Apologies.

However, out of 90 countries in which I understand the Tab to be available, 30,000 out of the first month’s 600,000 for Korea is a pretty significant figure.

It’s great that the Tab has so much interest and early sales. I am truly happy for Samsung. What I am trying to say is that, while it may seem that the outlook for the Tab is as you say “quite the opposite” of Jobs’ assessment (and this article), it may yet remain to be seen. I know you aren’t saying it is selling more than the iPod, but it doesn’t even seem to be building the kind of momentum that the iPad is building.

Though 1 million sounds great, I am trying to say:
1) the number of Tab sales seems to be slowing after initial interest (600k first month, 400k second);
2) some of these countries are just coming online for the iPad, and Apple can’t make enough for the countries it does supply; preorders and scalping are crazy;
3) some channel stuffing is undoubtedly involved to reach that 1 million figure.

57 kdaeseok { 12.09.10 at 2:28 pm }

OK, OK. Points taken. Just one thing again. Galaxy Tab is not available in 90 countries- Galaxy S is. Check my link again… it says Tab was available in more than 30 countries when it reached 600k.

58 16thnotes { 12.13.10 at 1:16 am }

Unfortunately, this ignores the impact that carriers will have in this equation. Currently Softbank’s exclusive contract for sales of iOS devices in Japan continues to seriously hinder Apple’s progress due to Softbank’s inability to deal with increased network traffic as well as a number of other deal-breakers for the Japanese market. (world’s #3 economy)

Sounds like something has to give in regards to the US carrier exclusivity as well for Apple to sustain this leading position and remain a viable choice.

As always, nice topic, very good points, just feel one major factor has been ignored. Cheers…

59 enzos { 12.13.10 at 2:25 pm }

> Apple to sustain this leading position and remain a viable choice <

They don't have to have a leading position to remain a viable choice. It's business, not a wrestling match. … As Jobs has long maintained their aim is not to make the most of any thing it's to make the best things.

60 Brian Willoughby { 12.21.10 at 7:05 pm }

subsided (wrong word) should be subsidied (well, that’s not really a word) or, actually, subsidized. There are some other typographical errors. Has no one stepped up to volunteer as your editor? Don’t all great writers need an editor?

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