Daniel Eran Dilger
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Why Apple can’t be too worried about Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets taking away iPad sales: Part 1

The Android platform supremacy myth

Daniel Eran Dilger

Listen to giddy Android enthusiasts and you might get the impression that the next tablet-centric version of Google’s Android platform, named 3.0 Honeycomb, is about to destroy iPad sales. They’re wrong, here’s why.

Porque Apple no debe preocuparse si las tabletas con Android 3.0 Honeycomb le puedan robar ventas del iPad: 1ª parte (en español)

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Part 1: The Android platform supremacy myth

Core to the idea that an avalanche of new Android tablets will destroy the iPad this year is the perception that a wave of Android phones buried the iPhone last year. But this isn’t even slightly true.

Apple failed to produce enough iPhones to even meet demand, with its executives anxiously admitting to analysts that, were it possible to squeeze more production out of Foxconn, they could have sold more. That doesn’t sound like a manufacturer pinched by the rival products of competitors.

Android enthusiasts like to suggest that the licensees of the platform somehow stalled growth of the iPhone, but that’s delusional, not factual. Apple could not have made more or it would have. Apple is growing as fast as it can. There are countries that don’t have iPhone 4 yet, and even regions that still officially stock iPhone 3G.

If Apple were really reeling from Android’s gains, it wouldn’t have an excess demand problem, it would have a excess supply problem like the Microsoft Zune, or HP Slate PC, or Samsung Galaxy Tab, or Google Nexus One.

Why Microsoft’s Zune is Still Failing
Apple iPad rival HP Slate sees demand fizzle
Samsung admits its iPad-rival Galaxy Tab sales were… “smooth?”
First week Google Nexus One sales disappointing
Google cancels Verizon Nexus One

Apple fills out its iPhone off season

In early 2008, back before Android was even available on a smartphone, Apple’s iPhone sales slumped in the second and third fiscal quarters (the first calendar half of the year), as customers began to anticipate the expected second generation refresh.

Sales that had peaked to 2.3 million that winter fell down to a quarterly low of less than a million, in part because Apple simply took iPhones off the shelf (graphical representation below from Wikipedia).

After Android began to become more widely available in 2009 (and was joined by other competitors then judged to be threats to the iPhone, such the BlackBerry Storm and Palm Pre), Apple barely dipped in its Q2 and rebounded in Q3, increasing quarterly sales above its previous winter quarter high of 4.3 million.

During 2010, the Year of Android, iPhone sales in the typical demand trough of the iPhone cycle were filled in, remaining within 5% of the winter high throughout the formerly snowed in first half of the year.

Apple hasn’t just driven iPhone sales to hit holiday quarter peaks of 2.3 million to 4.4 million to 8.7 million to 16.2 million with each successive generation; it’s also filled in the intermediate quarters. Apple has gone nowhere but up, and up big; that’s simply a fact.

Wikipedia iPhone sales

Android steps up to bat

Android handset sales did grow dramatically in 2010, but in part that’s because relatively few sold in 2009. It’s easy to grow from nearly zero. Even the first Apple TV originally boasted hundreds of percentage points of growth over its first years’ sales.

Two years ago, Verizon was focused on selling RIM’s BlackBerry, which reportedly made up 95% of its smartphone sales. When the von Trapp family applause greeting the BlackBerry Storm turned into a listlessly polite golf clap and then a hushed murmur of incredulous disappointment that Apple’s iPhone couldn’t be sufficiently cloned by Canada’s star phone maker, Verizon turned to Android.

That served to rapidly convert about half of Verizon’s smartphone users from BlackBerry’s legitimate Java platform to Android’s almost-Java-but-not-enough-to-pay-licensing-fees-in-the-opinon-of-Google-but-not-Oracle platform within about six months. Given that Verizon is America’s largest carrier and, behind AT&T, the second largest smartphone vendor, this was a major coup for Google’s Android.

However, Android quite obviously didn’t eat market share from iPhone. AT&T didn’t even bother to offer an attractive Android model on its network, while Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile sold Android phones on networks that couldn’t sell the iPhone. It’s hard to imagine a more clear, real world experiment in segregated markets.

Further, while Apple simply couldn’t make enough iPhones to satiate demand, it was also hamstrung in the US by being tethered to a network rated the worst overall in service coverage. This created a perfect storm backing Android, similar to Microsoft’s 2006 Vistapocolypse that flattened barriers for PC users and helped Macs begin to gain solid traction.

AppleInsider | Android’s weak sales drive Verizon toward Apple’s iPhone
Google found distributing Oracle’s Java code within Android project
How Oracle might kill Google’s Android and software patents all at once

Android lost despite ideal conditions

Android should have been clobbering the iPhone. Instead, it couldn’t even manage to push Verizon ahead of AT&T in the ratio of subscribers who opted to pay extra for smartphone data service.

In a well separated race where the primary handicap involved AT&T, iPhone won in terms of delivering results to its carrier and also in terms of delivering profits to its maker. And iPhone subscribers have consistently reported greater ownership satisfaction that Android users have.

None of these facts are controversial; they are simply impossible to argue against. Android failed in 2010 to do anything but exist in an environment devoid of any credible competition outside of the increasingly irrelevant BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile, and Palm OS phones that Android originally set out to compete against.

Google copied Apple’s search results, oops I mean smartphone strategy and design, to make Android a more capable competitor to the old guard of smartphone platforms that the appearance of the iPhone in 2007 had already made look long in the tooth. However, Android has done little to cohesively band together the former users (and makers) of BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm and Symbian smartphones into a force to take on iPhone.

Instead, iPhone continues to eat up as much of those same platforms as Apple can consume without gagging on production hurdles. Google may be stealing some of Apple’s ideas, but it’s not stealing any of Apple’s speed or growth by any metric, unless one finds it useful to use “Android” as a brand-name proxy for “every other smartphone maker apart from RIM and Nokia,” just to argue that Apple isn’t selling more phones than everyone else in the world, combined.

Will Google’s Android Play DOS to Apple’s iPhone?

Android from button phone to iPhone clone

Why Gartner changed its tune

That effort in “market share voodoo,” being propagated by Garner and other corporate data flack firms, desperately attempts to hide the failure of actual Android licensees, from Samsung’s disappointing profits to the shaky position of Motorola and Sony Ericsson.

Add up all the losers and you can create a composite monster that looks big, bad and powerful in charts, a seemingly effective strategy if all you have are losers and and you want to make the winner look less successful.

Incidentally, Gartner never compared Windows Mobile against “all phones from all makers licensing JavaME,” back in the days when it was trying to make the case that Microsoft was going to rule the smartphone world (back when it had less share than iPhone does now), indicating that its numbers are framed to generate profits from partners, not for general edification.

Gartner’s presumptuous coronation of Android as the Windows of smartphones

No market for cheap Androids

In reality, the offerings of all the Android licensees are still not matching Apple in performance, quality and price, while the platform itself, despite its reported size, is not resulting in a viable software market, nor even any blockbuster app development stories.

Unlike Windows in the PC world, Android isn’t even offering users a significantly cheaper point of entry via shoddy hardware, because the apparent prices of smartphones are glossed over by carrier subsidies.

While consumers see $1000 MacBooks competing against $300 PC netbooks in the computer world, among smartphones they see the $199 iPhone 4 and a $49 iPhone 3GS, leaving no real opportunity for lowballing by hardware makers. Even BOGO free phones don’t seem like a great savings when the customer knows that they will be paying just as much a month for phone service.

Two sides of the same coined phrase

Google simply blew the Year of Android in smartphones, leaving Apple to not only accelerate its pace with iPhone 4, but allowing it, in the same year, to also launch the world’s first wildly successful tablet. And while Android enthusiasts hope that Honeycomb tablets will take off and add to Android’s footprint, they’re loathe to count iPod touch and iPad sales as part of iOS today, because there are no successful examples of either in among Android licensees.

Android enthusiasts like to say that Google is an underdog fighting to catch up with Apple’s head start on the iPhone with one side of their mouth, while the other side proclaims Google the dominant player in the market with the most market share in web use, unit sales, and so on. But neither claim is really true.

Google didn’t come from behind with Android. It began its smartphone project with the acquired (and already gestating) Android startup around the same time Apple began work on iPhone in 2005. Google just took longer to release its first reference designs, in part because Apple’s product was so much better than Google was originally hoping to achieve that it had to start over with an iPhone-like second draft.

Google also had just as much time to cultivate an iPod touch or iPad, it just hasn’t had the vision to plant the seeds of either because it’s been focusing on collecting Apple’s pollen and watching how Cupertino farms its iOS garden with an eye to duplicating its algorithms of success in Mountain View.

Why is Google so hysterically hypocritical about Bing using its public data?

Dysfunctional Android attacks Google

At the same time, Google is not dominating anything. It isn’t turning a profit from Android. It isn’t even selling Android. Google makes as much from Android as it makes from iPhone. To suggest that Google is “dominating” Apple by releasing free smartphone software is absolutely backwards! Google hoped to kill the goose laying it golden eggs by creating a robot goose that could print golden ads. The problem is that Android can be subverted to produce its gold for Google’s competitors.

And it is. Verizon is already selling Android models that exclusively link to Microsoft’s rival Bing service, while the majority of Android phones (which happen to be in China) are wired to Chinese search, maps, and other services instead of benefitting Google. So no, while Android isn’t (yet) doing anything to hurt Apple, it very clearly is creating a mechanized army that is already biting Google in the ass.

There is a somewhat scary prospect (for the West) that Google’s shortsighted efforts to backstab its once bosom buddy Apple will at some point empower China and other emerging nations to take away the smartphone business invented in America (and arguably, Europe), just as Japan and other Asian car makers pulled the auto industry out from under the feet of US manufacturers. However, this might be giving China too much credit. The industrial power has had a decade to copy the much simpler iPod, for example, and hasn’t been able to really deliver a compelling alternative of its own, despite having the Linux and PlaysForSure to do so.

Additionally, even Android’s growth in China hasn’t really come at the expense of Apple, which had very little presence there so far thanks to the incompatibility of the country’s (and the world’s) largest carrier’s network technology. China’s three carriers are like a giant Verizon (China Mobile, with 500 million subscribers on TD-SCDMA), a much smaller AT&T (China Unicom, 156 million, mostly GSM), and a third, smaller Verizon (China Telecom, nearly as big as the US Verizon with 75 million subscribers on regular CDMA).

Apple had no hope of selling millions of phones in China because, like Verizon in the US, they simply couldn’t work there outside of the one carrier it can partner with, but which, like AT&T, doesn’t offer great 3G coverage across the country. So even there, Android wasn’t competing against the iPhone, but rather against the Linux phones Motorola had been selling before Android became an option.

Chinese market mirrors potential of Verizon iPhone

Repeating the test with competition in place

Among smartphones, 2011 will finally mix up the test tube to see how well Android fares when directly competing against iPhone, at least among the two largest US carriers. Apple may also bring its CDMA iPhone 4 to other markets in China and India, but the US market will provide the most clear before and after picture of what consumers want, because AT&T is scrambling to shore up its smartphone lineup with more attractive Android options, while Verizon will now be carrying both Droid and the iPhone.

Verizon has already released a preliminary peek at what we can expect: in just two hours, iPhone 4 preorders exceeded the similarly hyped launches of the Storm and Droid on its network. That tidbit was release by the carrier itself, somewhat surprisingly.

There’s also evidence that as much as half of Verizon’s existing smartphone users on both major platforms are planning to jump to iPhone. If that happens, 25% of the US installed base of Android will simply vanish. That’s not going do anything to help sustain impressive growth numbers for Android this year.

The problem for Android isn’t just that iPhones are magically more attractive to consumers. Google also isn’t struggling to sell its phones against a monopolist monoculture dominated by iOS in the way Apple railed against Windows ubiquity for two decades. If anything, Google is in the position of Microsoft, except that it doesn’t have to sell hardware makers on buying its OS; Android is free.

How is a free OS, paired with the communal wisdom of the crowds of manufacturers in a free market failing to decisively take over the smartphone market from Apple’s iOS? Why is Android Market so unappealing to developers and users that Google itself is leading the discussion about how “unhappy” it is with the performance of Android apps? And how is it that Android, with so many apparent advantages over iOS (from broader US carrier support to major hardware maker backing to unrestricted app availability), is not only failing to stomp out growth of the iPhone but is also completely AWOL in the tablet and media player segments represented by iPad and the iPod touch?

Apple prepared 2 million Verizon iPhone 4 for preorders, retail

Hard questions for Android enthusiasts

These are puzzles Android backers would prefer not to think about, just as Tea Party advocates don’t like to give much thought to why they don’t protest when the deficit-creating president is a white Republican. It’s a core meme of reality that, simply by uttering out loud, causes ones’ erection for a cherished ideology to retract back into a tiny little sad wrinkly bit of embarrassment.

In rather stark contrast, iPhone owners don’t seem to have any problem in complaining about its most troubling aspects, from its frustrating connection to AT&T’s abysmal coverage or glacial addition of support for tethering and MMS, to needling little annoyances ranging from its simplistic notification queuing to its sometimes maddeningly arbitrary rules for developers’ apps.

Anything and everything that can be imagined to be a slight in Apple’s iOS world is disseminated and critically examined with a bias toward finding fault and assuming the worst: problems that will never get fixed, issues that are the fault of the petty dictates of executives, and the general evil of the corporation. Despite all this gloom and doom and crisis of the week baited to incite outrage, Apple continues to plough new ground and sell iPhones as fast as it can make them.

We’ll know Android has legs when it begins walking on its own

Google has been getting a free pass in these regards, with its acolytes dismissing and ignoring everything from its usability problems and general ugliness to the swiss cheese of its software platform to the inconsistency of its hardware quality between makers. But as biology and commerce provide infinite examples of, such protected babying does not result in competitive strength.

Google’s Android is almost always tacked on to the rear of flattering comments about Apple’s business, with references to the iPad now apparently obligated to include “and tablets running Android!” to every statement made about its success. When Android really begins to matter, this polite, tailgating inclusion won’t be necessary.

When Android begins to be challenged by one “crisis-gate” blog assault after the next, and the general media begins to ask tough questions about its greatest weaknesses rather than just glossing over everything apart from its ideological advantages, that’s when we’ll know that this new platform has legs and might begin kicking its competition. We’re certainly not there yet.

Android is still playing the role of the dropout idealist goth kid, hunkered down in his parent’s basement dropping acid and talking about how unimportant his twin sibling’s accomplishments in academics and business and sports are, and how it makes so little sense (and offers so little relevance, really) given that the two share so many genes.

Android needs to walk, not just talk about how it’s giving it away for free.

I’ve been talking a lot about smartphones here because the Year of Android didn’t deliver any real tablets. That, Android’s proponents insist, will change dramatically once a new crop of 3.0 Honeycomb tablets arrive later this year. Part 2 will explain why they’re wrong about that, too.

Why Apple can’t be too worried about Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets taking away iPad sales: Part 2
Why Apple can’t be too worried about Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets taking away iPad sales: Part 3

  • Charles L

    @nextguy In any case, I have an ipod touch, sitting right here, running iOS 4.2.1, and it will not open mp3s in *mobile* safari. I just tried it like 30 min ago.

    They’ve been able to play MP3s for as long as I’ve had one. I often listen to podcasts this way until I get around to subscribing a month or two later. (yes, they are MP3s) 5by5.tv even looks like it uses the audio tag and you can play them streaming inside the page itself. Doesn’t even load the media player.

  • http://themacadvocate.com TheMacAdvocate

    1st and 2nd quarter smartphone sales are going to shut a lot of Fandroids up. The stampede of subscribers to Verizon in New York and San Francisco alone will be deafening.

    http://themacadvocate.com/2011/01/04/tim-bray-if-google-only-had-apples-unicorns/

  • nextguy

    Charles L, it was a different link. Apparently the file I wanted to open is a audiobook, and it cannot open that without a sync. But the mp3 part I tested and it does work. So we can at least clarify that.

    Btw Lendroid, I won’t assume that just because you dislike tea party people because they simply are “retarded”, that you like dems either. They too practice the fine art of hypocrisy.

  • Lendroid

    Hi, nextguy. I dislike tea party people mostly because of their political views. I don’t dislike “retarded” people at all for simply being retarded. I don’t think they can help that. Also, I don’t think you can say that either democrats or republicans are hypocritical generally. It’s more of an individual thing.

  • nextguy

    Well there are retarded as in it isn’t their fault and there are those who chose to be that way.

    I think the whole Daily Show “Team Retarded” vs. “Team Evil” put it best.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-23-2010/the-parent-company-trap

    5:40 mark

  • Lendroid

    Agreed, nextguy. I already knew what you meant, though. I just get a laugh from the way Dan writes. I truly admire his style, because at times he goes too far. And he doesn’t care. I’m sure he is completely aware of how bringing political points into his technology blog might piss off a huge portion of readers, but that’s the way he feels. It might make things more difficult for him except that his analysis is usually right.

  • mihomeagent

    I’ll say this: You never bother with anything better than baseless ad hominem when it comes to irrelevant political comparisons. What a dick you are. Not big. Just a shriveled tiny one.

    [Well actually, saying that "Tea Party advocates don’t like to give much thought to why they don’t protest when the deficit-creating president is a white Republican" is not an "ad hominem attack," while calling somebody a "dick" is.

    But thanks for providing another example of how grossly ignorant and ridiculous the supporters of ideas I'm critical of are. When I start getting well reasoned, respectfully devistating criticism of the subjects I write about, I'll know it's time to revisit what I think. So far, I haven't seem much more than Neanderthals throwing poop at me from their dinner plates - Dan ]

  • gslusher

    @4phun:

    “Will Nokia choose the free Android OS or the Windows Mobile 7 and its derivatives for their future smart phones and tablets?”

    How prescient of you! Nokia just did exactly that. They’re also going to lay off thousands of employees. That’s usually a sign of desperation–and it doesn’t even work as a cost-saving measure, in the long run. The employees remaining are worried about their own jobs and become hyper-cautious, afraid to take any risk. It destroys teamwork and creates resentment in the community (in this case, the entire country, as the Finns think of Nokia as a source of national pride).

  • gslusher

    @nextguy:

    “From where I stand just about everyone left Att, Verizon and T-Mobile and bought HTC Evos. That’s anecdotal to be sure. It’s bigger than the whole Verizon vs. Att picture you present.”

    That would mean a massive shift of subscribers from ATT (all caps, BTW) and Verizon to Sprint. Any evidence that is happening, other than your “anecdotal” observation?

  • kazoolist

    “just as Tea Party advocates don’t like to give much thought to why they don’t protest when the deficit-creating president is a white Republican”

    Go get a clue and take your ignorant racism-projections elsewhere.

    The first Tea Party protests concerned TARP – signed into law by white-Republican president George W. Bush.

    Politically active fiscal conservatives complained – loudly – throughout President Bush’s two terms in office.

    [I'm sorry, but that's simply a lie. The Tea Party groups were first organized in 2007 to influence the election, so any efforts to criticize Bush were simply hypocrisy intended to substitute outrage with inflamed ignorance seeking to turn the democratic process into a religion-based revival of the exact same right wing, pro-corporate agenda Bush supported for 8 years. There was no groundswell of protest against Bush because Bush was dutifully serving the ultra rich and their corporations already.

    Demonstrations only got started after Obama became president. Sure they now sometimes talk about Bush being just as bad, but they never complained when the deficit-creating president is a white Republican. Old white people didn't decry Reagan turning the US into a debtor nation, and they didn't have any outrage when Bush transferred trillions of US wealth to friends in the defense industry and to the ultra-rich top echelons. They were whipped into a frenzy of outrage over ridiculous "tyranny" nonsense because Obama (very mildly) challenged the profits of Big Pharma and insurance companies.

    The only thing the Tea Party has really accomplished is to make sure to pass the Bush Tax Cuts for the ultra rich super-minoroity, a cause that also extended and compounded the deficit they say they don't want and that they think is a problem that desperately needs to get fixed by erasing education, national parks, domestic infrastructure projects, and public health and safety regulation.

    The Tea Party is largely simple people who don't realize they're being brainwashed through emotionalism to support the agenda of the ultra rich, who are using them as toilet paper for short term profit. But most of those people are also captive to religion and generally uneducated (their role models are pretty/charismatic but stupid people: Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck), which explains why their chants and posters and billboards are full of insanity, racism, and hate. - Dan ]

  • gatorguy

    In case anyone wonders how Google is getting revenue from “free” Android, Piper Jaffray today noted that it nearly doubled iOS ad impressions thru January. Impressive considering they were essentially tied in November. They went on to estimate that by next year Android will have upwards of 122 million users, each contributing add revenue of nearly $10 each, sending around $1.2 billion to Google. Apple’s doing nearly as good of course, so no intent to downplay their advertising revenue plans. Just more evidence that neither platform is going away any time soon no matter the personal opinions of some bloggers.

    [That's some interesting math. Going forward, as long as Android grows exponentially, and licensees don't simply opt Google out of the revenue stream (as Verizon is, and as China is), then Google should be making a billion a year, if ad values don't plummet and click rates don't disappear along with the novelty of banner ads. Because, you know, Google isn't facing any competition. It's just going to waltz in and become the FOSS monoculture, just like the fantasy of Linux on the Desktop. - Dan ]

  • 4phun

    @gatorguy

    More and more I have little hope for Android’s future other than a low end niche.

    Normal people are complaining vociferously that ‘it is too complicated, sluggish compared to a friends iPhone etc.’ The return rate is almost staggering as far as the cellular companies are concerned. Now you know why Verizon was interested in getting a hold of the iPhone and probably would be just as interested in Nokia Win Phone 7.

    Any way I ate lunch at a genuine Mexican outdoor “taco’ stand today. The parking lot was filled with Mexican Indians.

    While waiting for my order I demonstrated the iPad to folks who had never seen it before. One middle aged woman who looked like she just got here said her phone did that too in halting Spanglish. I thought, yeah right, you probably got a crappy Android too.

    She pulled out an iPhone and proudly showed me how she used it.
    The iPhone is truly a phone for all sorts of people and a prized procession if they make it to the USA.

  • 4phun

    I would like to add that if you look carefully Best Buy extended their buy back program for cellular phones which was to end Feb 14. They want to tap the market for those disgusted with Android who now would love to get out of them and into an iPhone.

    Pretty much the only ones who really love Android and are unabashedly vocal about it are male Geeks.

    The satisfaction rate for iPhone is well over 90% and for the few who bought a new Win Phone 7 it is close to 100%.

    I think Android is down around 60% if I remember the last figures.

    It might be lower than that.

    Anyway no one says it matches iPhone or Windows Phone 7 and that is important to the carriers who want stability without hassle in dealing with their varied customers.

  • gatorguy

    Yep, prized just like another American icon, Levi jeans. That’s not a proclamation that they’re the best jeans you can buy, simply acknowledgment that they scream USA.

    You’re claiming a “staggering number” of Android phone returns? News to me. Do you have a source for that? As far as references to “crappy” Android’s, I guess that can join ugly and shitty as other ways Apple fans describe it. Then why not ignore them completely? Sounds as tho they’re not now nor ever will be a challenge to iOS. Perhaps you should ignore them completely since repeated vague denigrating comments and comparisons leave the impression that you (the iOS community) really do have concerns that Android may challenge Apple for mobile platform supremacy.

    Actually the entire premise for the set of articles is flawed. Unless there’s some source indicating a substantial number of a
    Android users truly feel they have Apple on the ropes, the entire blog is a red herring, used simply to reassure iPhone and iTablet users that they have nothing to worry about. And honestly they probably don’t. Apple will survive just fine, as will Android.

  • gatorguy

    4phun says: “I would like to add that if you look carefully Best Buy extended their buy back program for cellular phones which was to end Feb 14. They want to tap the market for those disgusted with Android who now would love to get out of them and into an iPhone. ”

    Um, doesn’t Best Buy sell iPhones too? Perhaps the sales of those are going slower than expected (and there are indications that it’s a fact) with purchasers concerned about getting locked into a 2-year contract on an old phone. That’s a more likely reason than “bad Androids”.

    [What indicates iPhone "sales are going slower than expected"? Would it be the fact that Verizon said its iPhone 4 launch, in its first two hours, trounced last year's Droid launch? Or are you going solely on the reports of pundits wondering why there are not longer lines for iPhone 4, despite the fact that there are more than 2,000 Vz retail stores and that there was no preorder meltdown like last summer?

    I was surprised that there was any line when I went to buy a reserved iPhone 4, given that there wasn't nearly as bad of a line the previous year as there had been in 08 and 07. I ended up waiting for 8 hours. This is not normal. Most people won't wait a hour for a new product. It doesn't suggest that the demand is slower than expected however, unless you're desperately looking for evidence to support what you want to believe. That, by the way, is the definition of religion as opposed to science, where you look at the facts and try to determine what is actually happening with an open mind. - Dan ]

  • gatorguy

    [That, by the way, is the definition of religion as opposed to science, where you look at the facts and try to determine what is actually happening with an open mind. - Dan ]

    And therein lies one of the problems in this comparison between two top platforms. Your opinion tends to slant more towards religious than scientific, but using friendly factoids to make it appear authoritative and studied. It certainly bears little resemblance to objective. And there’ no problem with that as long as it’s understood by all. Entertainment has it’s own value.

    [Perhaps you don't see the difference, but opinion is not the same as fact. You and I can express whatever opinions we want and that's fine. It's the reasoning behind an opinion that matters. Unless you can present examples of what you are accusing me of, you're no better than that Tea Party morons like Sarah Palin who talk a lot of smack but have nothing to back it up. And when they try, it comes out as a bunch of meaningless gibberish. - Dan ]

    Dan, it hasn’t taken a genius to predict Apple successes over the past 10 years. They’ve had a string of ‘em. The fact that you’ve been right in clinging to their pantlegs may have lead you into the trap of believing you have a unique and accurate vision of the mobile market, with no need to consider opposing points IMHO. The 90′s are littered with the same types of personalities convinced they had a special understanding of the stock market when someone with a dart and the financial page could have achieved much the same results.

    [Sorry but if you're going to pretend to speak about facts and actual events, you'll need to start over and begin actually using facts. The market bet against Apple until recently. That's why Apple's stock was priced far below what I believed to be rational levels. It's easy to say in hindsight that it was easy to point out what I have over the past decade, but that's because you're not very smart. Show me your track record and we can compare results. I'll have to assume you were among those criticizing everything I said over the past decade. So don't mouth off the comments of my blog today telling me how unimpressed you are that I was right. That just makes you big mouthed asshat.]

    And many of those same folks probably got blind-sided by the housing crash, unable to see the truth behind the curtain of their personal temporary successes. Just in the past two years liberals aka progressives aka Democrats all convinced each other that the Tea Party was full of buffoons and racists.

    [No, the Tea Party has done that itself by rushing to fall inline behind some of the stupidest and/or simpleton-manipulative people to ever state a political opinion in public, ranging from Sarah Palin to Glenn Beck to Michelle Bachman. ]

    Any thought of their possible influence in the “real” political arena was ludicrous, making them a safe target of nightly ridicule on MSN. Similarly your blind allegiance to all things Apple, while no doubt financially successful for you so far, might be keeping you from seeing the possibility of any other platform offering anything of real value, much less challenging or even suplanting them.

    Examples: Less than 24 months ago you wrote that a 400% market increase for Android smartphones within two years was clearly a stretch and Gartner must obviously have an agenda to opine something so “presumptuous”. In another venue shortly before that you wrote about “hilarious projections in which Gartner claims Android will outsell iPhone at some point in the future”. Shortly thereafter, in another blog, you predicted Android would crash and burn in 2010 once the iPhone 4 and iTablet began shipping, unable to engage Apple on all fronts.

    [I was right about Gartner. They had to resort to fudging numbers, and while they lined up a good story behind Android for fans to eat up, it doesn't explain why they also predicted extreme growth of WiMo, and a series of other far off the target mistakes. As for your other comments, I never said anything of the sort. I said Android's hype would peak and fade in 2010 as reality set in. And it clearly has.]

    Other opinions of yours gave Android a foothold only at the low end of the market and that Android would fail because Google “doesn’t even care that Android Market is losing the battle against the Cocoa Touch App Store…”. There’s also “Google taking on the iPhone App Store is a bit like Sony deciding to build cars to take on BMW”. While you certainly do your homework, have a talent for words and come armed with facts, figures and glossy hand-outs, your batting percentage on Android predictions isn’t that great so far. That’s plainly indisputable, and leaves your opinions on Android no more or less accurate than mine or anyone else’s here. But you’re absolutely more entertaining and do have an air of authority.

    [Maybe if you could cite things you take issue with, rather than pulling stuff out of your butt it might help. Google's app store is a mess, it's only finding a nice on low end devices (and measured success by Samsung on a much smaller scale than Apple), but I have yet to see what grievous errors I've made so far. I'm sure there are some, but your accusations so far are just hot air. ]

    It’s understood of course that you have ideological reasons to pooh-pooh anything Android. But I can’t dismiss the possibility that you don’t truly believe everything you write. Timid articles lacking bold pronouncements wouldn’t get you the same attention you’ve earned over several years.The Apple faithful don’t give you financial support to do anything less than champion Apple and get reassurance that there’s no hedge-clippers in the garden.

    Apple’s got a great set of products, no doubt. They’ve been highly successful at controlling their image. True fans have also shown a high degree of willingness to overlook many product shortcomings, likely a honest result of most functions and features working as designed. (Key judicious hand-clapping in unison). None of this happened by accident, tho some good fortune/timing was definitely involved. Kudos to Apple and their vision. You’ll get no argument from me that they’ve led much, perhaps most of the tech development in mobile over the past 5 years. Perhaps you should leave it at that rather than straying into Android predictions too?

    [Perhaps you should dial down your contempt and arrogance and state some facts rather than just smearing your feces around. - Dan ]

  • gatorguy

    Perhaps you could point out the contempt Dan. I thought I was quite civil. Name-calling and profanity are often the tools of someone unable/unwilling to support his position with intelligence and courtesy. It’s sad if that’s what you feel you need to stoop to in an effort to avoid debate. Most adults left that behind in Junior High. But it does make good theater for the followers.

    Every comment I attributed to you is fact, as I’m sure you know. You wrote the words in quotations exactly as shown. Nor were they taken out of context. I’ll be happy to source every one of your stated opinions (all but one right here in your own archives), tho you do get more respect from many people when you man-up and admit you might have underestimated or misunderstood. It doesn’t minimize your excellent understanding of Apple plans, features, outlook, etc.. You’re plainly well-versed, and deserve your good reputation in the Apple community. On Android? Not so much. Your need to denigrate all challengers has obliterated your objectiveness, tho perhaps that’s the intent. This may all be for show. Who knows?Maybe you could point me to some of your Android market projections that were eventually validated. The ones I found were well off the mark. Please correct me if I’m wrong. And see, all this was written with no vitriol whatseoever.

  • gatorguy

    The quote: “In another venue shortly before that you wrote about “hilarious projections in which Gartner claims Android will outsell iPhone at some point in the future”.

    and your reply: As for your other comments, I never said anything of the sort.

    This is the one source that doesn’t come from your archives in case some aren’t aware of the article.

    http://www.fakesteve.net/2009/11/rabid-fanboy-guest-blogger-daniel-eran-dilger-on-why-android-will-fail.html

  • gatorguy

    [What indicates iPhone "sales are going slower than expected"? Would it be the fact that Verizon said its iPhone 4 launch, in its first two hours, trounced last year's Droid launch? Or are you going solely on the reports of pundits wondering why there are not longer lines for iPhone 4, despite the fact that there are more than 2,000 Vz retail stores and that there was no preorder meltdown like last summer?"

    No Dan, I'm going by this: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/verizon-iphone-4-fails-to-generate-expected-wave-of-atandt-defecto/19840944/

    And this: http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2011/02/underwhelming_launch_day_iphon.html

    And this: http://www.thestreet.com/story/11003457/verizon-iphone-off-to-a-slow-start.html

    And this: http://www.thestreet.com/story/11002198/1/verizon-iphone-lags-behind-atts-pace.html

    Do they all have an agenda?

    [Well two articles are by Scott Moritz, calling into question why there are two articles by Scott Moritz, the same person who tried to invent the idea that Apple was planning to sell a million iPhones on launch day back in 2007, despite not even having an inventory that large.

    But if you read what he wrote, he quotes Mike Abramsky (aka RBC's RIM cheerleader) as saying "We estimate Verizon iPhone could sell 3 to 4 million units in first quarter. This is strong, but it may lag the 5 million activations at AT&T in its first full quarter of iPhone 4."

    Hmm, the only estimates I recall were a 1 million first quarter by Gene Munster, usually a bull on Apple. So a RIM-proponent saying the launch looks like 3-4X larger is not exactly evidence of failure. And comparing Vz to AT&T's performance with a NEW phone last summer is a little silly, even when you only say it "may lag." It is pretty desperate, frantic pessimism to find a problem in those numbers.

    The other report is on Vz retailers who thought they might sell out on day one but didn't, blaming "primarily the broad number of distribution sources and frigid temperatures," not weak demand.

    The last one says of 38 analysts covering Verizon, five lowered expectations and three raised around the launch date, with 30 remaining unchanged. That doesn't sound like broad pessimism on the strength of the launch. - Dan ]

  • gatorguy

    Then we agree there is some evidence that sales might be slower than [i]expected[/i], validating my earlier comment. Not to be confused with slow sales, a relative figure.

    [Who's expectations are we talking about? Professional analysts? They lowballed projections for Verizon, pretty consistently saying that few AT&T users would switch and that sales would be healthily but not crazy. After the fact, it's easy to pull target numbers out of your hat and declare failure, but unless you are Scott Mortiz of the Street, that's not going to help you at all. So yeah, if you want to be personally disappointed, knock yourself out. But don't say there is disappointment among the expectations of people who matter, because you don't have facts to assert such a silly idea. - Dan]

  • gatorguy

    Dan, that 5million iPhone activations you expect from Verizon in the first quarter (we’ll see what the real figure is before long) pales in comparison to 10 million Android activations per month, the current rate. Even assume that every iPhone sale takes away an Android purchase (over the top assumption, but whatever) That still leaves 25 million Android units being sold in the same timeframe, the bulk of them smartphones since we all agree the current crop of Android tablets needs improvement and sell poorly. What you thought to be a stretch became fact even sooner than than any of the industry experts expected. The reason IMHO is that Apple made a major mistake. It happens. By not bringing the iPhone to other carriers last year they gave Android an in. And they’ve run with it harder than Apple ever anticipated. Not just in the US either. Androids’ overtaken the iPhone in Europe, now the largest and fastest growing platform in Germany. That dashes the argument that Android is just a US thing while the rest of the world wants Apple, Apple, Apple. All in all just additional evidence that neither platform is going to crash and burn anytime soon, no matter how hard you wish. Apple is here to stay. So is Android. All the fanbots on both sides just need to acknowledge it and move on.

  • gatorguy

    But don’t say there is disappointment among the expectations of people who matter, because you don’t have facts to assert such a silly idea. – Dan]

    Hmm… I like how you switched subjects from indications of slower sales to me being disappointed. What was I supposed to be disappointed about?

  • gatorguy

    Oh, I see. You wanted to imagine I said people that matter were disappointed. Must be an exercise in reading between the lines I guess.

  • gatorguy

    But don’t say there is disappointment among the expectations of people who matter, because you don’t have facts to assert such a silly idea. – Dan]

    Like Verizon and Apple themselves? Unless you have some facts to the contrary.
    http://www.bgr.com/2011/02/16/exclusive-verizon-iphone-sales-fail-to-meet-expectations/

    I know before you even write it. . . must be someone else that hates Apple. :)

  • gctwnl

    Nice one. What is “swiss chess”? Or did you mean “swiss cheese”?