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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

75 comments

1 themacpundit { 02.05.11 at 7:50 pm }

Oh yikes. You’re going to stir up the Fandroids like no one’s business. It’s going to be a rough year for Android fans as their “platform” dashes up against the sharp rocks of the reality that when given a choice people buy iPhones and iPads.

I been recently blogging about this very subject in the past few weeks.

http://themacpundit.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/verizon-iphone-and-android-fanboys/

http://themacpundit.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/motorolas-xoom-ad/

http://themacpundit.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/galaxy-tab-sales/

2 rizzior { 02.05.11 at 8:21 pm }

Brilliant Danny Boy, Brilliant !!!!!
Couldn’t have said it any Better.

3 Ludor { 02.05.11 at 8:26 pm }

Love it, Dilger. Just one question about phrases before I devour the post: Isn’t “you can’t be too worried about it” the same as saying “you can’t overestimate it” – i.e. no matter how much you worry will not be enough? Which would be the exact opposite of what I’m sure is the intention here?

Have I learnt English the wrong way? (Yes.)

[Some negative expressions can suggest the wrong opposite or a double negative as in "I could care less," which suggests you "care more than you could" even though everyone knows that saying that means the same thing as "couldn't care less," just like flammable and inflammable mean the same thing. Only pendants get upset about it.

But "I'm not too worried about it" means you're not worried, as is obvious from context. Just like saying "I not very happy about it" is clear, and doesn't mean you're a little happy, just not very happy. It means you're very unhappy. -Dan ]

4 lmasanti { 02.05.11 at 8:33 pm }

What? The “Year of Android is coming”?
I’m stil waitingo for the “Year of Desktop Linux” to come!
(With all due respect to Linux’s fans. I do consider Linux a very good OS.)

5 nextguy { 02.05.11 at 8:35 pm }

“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.”

While your article seems sound, I’m not sure Android people use the whole argument you posted, since as your own articles said, Android grew at the expense of RIM, not apple.

For that matter, if it were really a matter of Verizon’s network being the key reason why people would buy their phones instead of the iphone, why did the Pre and Storm fail where Android succeeded?

[The Pre debuted on Sprint. The Storm was so bad Verizon began pushing Android. That shifted Verizon's BB-heavy mix to favor Android. So we can talk about Verizon internally, or iPhone compared to Verizon as separate markets in 2010, or as joined markets with direct competition in 2011. No sure what the issue is here though. - Dan]

“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.”

Well now that Att has competition, that might change. They offer Android more as a “me too” option. Those who know better avoid them since they firmware lock their devices from side loading.

[Also, we've been being told by Android backers that AT&T is awful, and that it's a reason not to get an iPhone itself. If that's the case, there should't be some swell of demand for Android on AT&T. ]

“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.

However, in reality, the offerings of Android rivals 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.”

What’s a disappointing profit? Why are they on shaky ground? Please back up your claims with $$$, not figures of speech.

And what is so wrong about the LG Optimus phone sold at free? Perhaps when just about every high end Android phone can be found around $550 vs. $985 for an equivalent iphone4 unlocked, the carriers can afford it, not to mention they make more money having to subsidize less.

[I don't think I have to detail public data. Google "Samsung earnings" and the latest results are all "weak, fall from record." It's also no secret that SE and Mot have been dogging it over the last decade, with a Mot getting a brief uptick last year on the Droid boost at Verizon.

There's nothing "wrong" with a free LG Optimus, apart from it being a crap low-end phone (low res, runs Donut, slow). My point is that users can compare that against a much better phone for a trivial amount more. It's just not anything like the cheap PCs that are a third the price of the cheapest Mac. And yet people are still choosing Macs, so why do you think they'll stoop for "even cheaper" phones when iPhones aren't much more? The current data says they don't.]

“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.”

You don’t have any evidence that it hasn’t made Google money, even if it is all indirect.

[Do you have any idea how much Android costs Google? How much does Google profit from the use of Android? And how much more does Google make from Android than from iPhone? That's the point. ]

“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.”

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.

[But no evidence backs up your ass talking. We have multiple surveys, some reputable, some who-knows, which indicate that there is tremendous demand from Verizon's existing smartphnoe users, consistently more than from AT&T's existing iPhone users. That's interesting because it is not expected. Also, Verizon is SPENDING money targeted at its own audience. Money offers a hint of what Verizon knows from its own internal research. ]

“while the majority of Android phones (which happen to be in China)”

No concrete evidence to support this, and even the article that most want to base it off put 32.9 mill vs 33.1 with the 33.1 including the China variants, but whatever.

[No, the data is pretty clear. Gartner says the majority of Android phones are being produced by "white box" makers without a recognizable brand name. What Android phones are being sold in the West that aren't HTC, Mot, Samsung, etc?

You are confusing a separate story about completely different platforms being labeled as "Google Android," which are also in China, but do not represent the majority of phones being sold. I personally think Gartner is fudging its numbers and that a vast portion of the phones it "assumes" to be running Android are not, but the reported sales of "Android" rely heavily upon China. That's not controversial. ]

“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 falling 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?”

I know this is hard to say, but this really can be summed up quite easily: Some people prefer iOS for its simplicity, ease of use, and the “shiny” factor, and some prefer a more functional, open vs closed vs. more featured, more varied phone that either has a larger or better screen or more memory or this or that.

Sure, those Android people who think they will simply dominate because it is “open” are dumb, but to think that everyone wants iOS is just as dumb.

[Whoa, where have I ever said "everyone wants an iOS phone?" Don't stuff garbage in my mouth just because you can't refute what I'm saying. You can't say the world really wants openness and then, when presented with facts that point out that no, they never did, don't now, and aren't looking likely to in the future, say "well a few people do and not everyone wants an iPhone." You have to admit that you are wrong, and stop repeating that idea, because it's not true.

Repeating ideological nonsense, and then twisting the conversation when proved wrong to pretend that it's really your adversaries that are wrong, and then twisting back to repeating the same ideological nonsense afterward is very Android, and very Tea Party. It's also very annoying.]

“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.”

Sure, no phone is perfect, and with their design philosophy, it never will. But come one, did it really take the 4th iteration of the iphone to allow users to change their background? Really?

[Apple focuses on features that add value. So it focused on usability, then apps and Enterprise strength, then copy/paste and multitasking. Android focused on useless bullshit like animated backgrounds. Its usability sucks, its apps suck, its Enterprise support sucks, its copy paste still sucks, and its multitasking sucks. But it has animated backgrounds so nerds can feel connected to their powerful device. Is that what you're saying? ]

“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 chess 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.”

Why is it ugly? Who said it was? Since when is a subjective matter become fact? Who offered them a free pass on their phones? It certainly wasn’t the 33 million who bought them last quarter.

[Google "Ugly Android" and then "ugly iphone." the first set of results is everyone from Gizmodo to Android users themselves talking about what a shitty looking OS is it, and the second set is people talking about an app that distorts your face. I find your feigned ignorance insulting. ]

“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.”

That’s the beauty of not claiming “It just works.” Apple brings it all upon themselves. No reason for their ipad to be released without the usual polish or the iphone with the proximity sensor issue.

Samsung isn’t nice with firmware updates? No problem, there is HTC. Motorola isn’t working well? There are other choices. Att sucks? Hey, you can pick your carrier. Don’t like carrier branded phones? No problem.

[As you point out, Android is a series of problems. Sure, you can juggle your sets of facts furiously to make it look like you have a choice of problems, but you're just providing an example of what I described: babying Android because it can't stand on its own. ]

6 stormj { 02.05.11 at 9:58 pm }

Android indeed has been getting a free pass on it’s problems.

But Howard Stern recently got a Droid, and he can’t believe how quickly the battery drains.

Say what you want about Howard, but he has a lot of listeners. Apparently none of them find this worth blogging about, but if i had a mouthpiece to make noise about that, i would.

Droits are like Linux. I t rely is an apt comparison. So cool in theory, so useless in reality.

7 enzos { 02.05.11 at 10:27 pm }

Couple of typos falling (failing) and decimated (disseminated) and another I’ve lost.. but great article nonetheless.
“It’s a core meme of reality that, simply by uttering [uttered?] out loud, causes ones’ erection for a cherished ideology to retract back into a tiny little sad wrinkly bit of embarrassment.”

Thanks for image Dan.. or maybe not !

Enz

8 Brau { 02.05.11 at 10:28 pm }

Ten years ago Apple *used* to be a N. American enigma, but not anymore! Watching the news out of Egypt, it was telling to see how many people/protesters there were carrying iPhones. Israeli security recently caught an elderly lady trying to smuggle 44 iPhones past security by wrapping them to her body and pretending she was very ill. Japan? Oh yeah, the news says they’re snapping up iPhones as fast as possible too. So, where’s the worldwide stories of ultra desirable Android phones, waiting lists, smuggling, and long line-ups? Well, they don’t exist. Just like Honeycomb they are simply vapor, smoke and mirrors, replete with Zune-like promises that are yet to be broken or were stillborn upon arrival.

Here in Canada, all smartphones are now available on any carrier. Both carrier homepages have a one link for “iPhone” and another link for all other “smartphones” combined. How telling is that? Both are just now getting on board with Android 2.1 (Froyo), released over a year ago. At that rate, Honeycomb likely won’t be available for officially supported use for nearly two years, and by then Apple will be hatching iPhone 6. (I’d love to see the Canadian sales/marketshare stats where the iPhone has been competing on par for some time now.)

Truth be told, I really like some of Android’s promises, but cheering for Android today is like hoping a fat kid grows up to be a star quarterback; they may be all full of dreams at the start, but suffer for their lack of previous effort and activity, are listless and slow, and therefore fail in the face of any real competition.

9 4phun { 02.05.11 at 10:34 pm }

@lmasanti What Happened to the Year of the Desktop Linux?

I have installed Ubuntu Linux on several laptops and a few desktops where the user did not have access to a windows license. No one was thrilled with it in the long run. You all most have to be a computer student to put up with Linux.

The real story of Linux’s desktop failure was to see how Wal-Mart tried to lower the price buy selling Linux on hardware nationwide with the free OS featured as ‘Great Value’ instead of OEM Windows.
That was a stunning failure for the world’s biggest retailer as that helped bolster the new image developing that Wal-Mart only sells low priced junk. Those Linux products were dropped as well as several other failed initiatives in Wal Mart’s first major blunder. Will relying on Android Linux prove to be a major blunder for other retailers?

You can buy a thirty dollar copy of Apple’s Mac OSX and install that on Intel hardware with a little effort. Do it right and that beats Open Source Linux hands down all across the board and gives the user a superior experience with a solid time tested Unix offshoot.

Android Rejected by World’s Biggest Phone Manufacturer?

Will there be a stunning announcement from Nokia that they are dropping their Mameo Linux development? Will Nokia choose the free Android OS or the Windows Mobile 7 and its derivatives for their future smart phones and tablets? Will every single Nokia executive that favored Open Source and Android be fired by the new Nokia CEO in a high tech blood bath?

If any of that transpires this month I would love to be the fly on the wall when the reasons are given for such a stunning change of course for the world’s biggest phone maker.

I sorta would like the hear the howls of pain from the Open Source camp
as they try to explain away why free Android can not hold its own.

Is it because Android is the most insecure mobile OS where criminals of any nationality can now install malware apps on any Android device without the poor user even knowing it?

10 nextguy { 02.05.11 at 11:03 pm }

[I don't think I have to detail public data. Google "Samsung earnings" and the latest results are all "weak, fall from record." It's also no secret that SE and Mot have been dogging it over the last decade, with a Mot getting a brief uptick last year on the Droid boost at Verizon.

There's nothing "wrong" with a free LG Optimus, apart from it being a crap low-end phone (low res, runs Donut, slow). My point is that users can compare that against a much better phone for a trivial amount more. It's just not anything like the cheap PCs that are a third the price of the cheapest Mac. And yet people are still choosing Macs, so why do you think they'll stoop for "even cheaper" phones when iPhones aren't much more? The current data says they don't.]

Well that 3GS is also a low res phone and soon can’t even run the next version of iOS. So? The old Optimus runs 2.1 now as well. Not Froyo, true.

[Exactly: you're taking about $50 difference for a low res phone vs the old iPhone 3GS, and often no differential at all for higher end Android models, like the Captivate or EVO or Droid 2, vs iPhone 4. ]

[Do you have any idea how much Android costs Google? How much does Google profit from the use of Android? And how much more does Google make from Android than from iPhone? That's the point. ]

Yeah, I don’t. Neither do you. That’s the point.

[Um, no we both know much more Google profits from the use of Android over iPhone: $0. Google was getting both heavy promotion and exclusive access to iPhone users. With Android, it is often not even on the phone. Big blunder. Nobody has even noted that before, as far as I know.]

[But no evidence backs up your ass talking. We have multiple surveys, some reputable, some who-knows, which indicate that there is tremendous demand from Verizon's existing smartphnoe users, consistently more than from AT&T's existing iPhone users. That's interesting because it is not expected. Also, Verizon is SPENDING money targeted at its own audience. Money offers a hint of what Verizon knows from its own internal research. ]

You mentioned one survey, not multiple. You can’t claim I’m talking out of my ass when I mentioned my first hand survey was anecdotal.

[I alluded to multiple surveys, ranging from ChangeWave to a few now in the news to Verizon's own internal stuff. I don't know if that's public, but why don't you just Google it? My point is that nothing I'm saying is factually controversial. And I thought your comment was theoretical. Regardless, you were clearly either joking or being ridiculous. ]

[Whoa, where have I ever said "everyone wants an iOS phone?" Don't stuff garbage in my mouth just because you can't refute what I'm saying. You can't say the world really wants openness and then, when presented with facts that point out that no, they never did, don't now, and aren't looking likely to in the future, say "well a few people do and not everyone wants an iPhone." You have to admit that you are wrong, and stop repeating that idea, because it's not true. ]

No I won’t. You keep going on and on that everyone wants an iphone and ipad because of every reason you post on your website, and you then proceed to back that claim up with sales numbers, market share numbers, and the like.

To come up with article after article deriding Android and never talking about its advantages implies clearly you are in favor of apple taking over the world instead.

[Cite instances where I've said everybody wants an iPhone. The closest I've come to that is to point out that nobody wants much of the alternatives. Certainly nobody wanted a Zune, but that doesn't mean everyone wants an iPod, or should be forced to buy one. Your argument is getting close to desperation. But don't stuff silly words in my mouth just because you'd like something you can debunk with ease. I haven't accused you of saying the sky was brown. ]

[No, the data is pretty clear. Gartner says the majority of Android phones are being produced by "white box" makers without a recognizable brand name. What Android phones are being sold in the West that aren't HTC, Mot, Samsung, etc?

You are confusing a separate story about completely different platforms being labeled as "Google Android," which are also in China, but do not represent the majority of phones being sold. I personally think Gartner is fudging its numbers and that a vast portion of the phones it "assumes" to be running Android are not, but the reported sales of "Android" rely heavily upon China. That's not controversial. ]

Wrong again. You keep posting that chart from quarter 3 and circle that big fat 145 million number as other, when that chart includes every phone manufactured, not just smart phones.

[The circled number relates to all phones sold, but it includes the 70-soemthing million smartphones Gartner counted that IDC didn't. And it doesn't show up in the numbers of phones sold by recognizable brands. Gartner even says in the text of their reports that that's where and how it's assuming Android is. Don't make me argue against stupid things.]

Or are you going to say that Nokia sold 117 million symbian phones? Samsung sold 71 million as well thus blowing apple out of the water? Android sold 87 million more phones? If that’s the case apple at a measly 13 vs 145 might as well give up. Please.

So if that last report you went on about 33.1 million android phones sold in q4 are only because of the non google variety of android, what was it? That same report quotes 32.9m then 33.1m in the chart with the asterisk.

[Check your facts and get back to me, I'm not sure where you are at or what point you are trying to make. ]

[Apple focuses on features that add value. So it focused on usability, then apps and Enterprise strength, then copy/paste and multitasking. Android focused on useless bullshit like animated backgrounds. Its usability sucks, its apps suck, its Enterprise support sucks, its copy paste still sucks, and its multitasking sucks. But it has animated backgrounds so nerds can feel connected to their powerful device. Is that what you're saying? ]

Opinion, opinion, opinion. What sucks to you is what someone else wants. You again, pretend to not wish everyone want an iphone but again, deride any other feature on any other phone, based on what you think.
Here’s one person’s opinion: I want to open a link to a legitimate mp3 file in mobile safari. Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t open that. What about the aac version. Oh good, its opening the video player. Oh sorry, I can’t open the video file you clicked on, even though it isn’t video.
So that means if I want to open that audio, I have to lug around a computer and sync it first via itunes. Lame or what? All that useability means jack squat to me without one important feature.
I don’t deride people who want their calendar on their home screen or prefer a different backdrop, or prefer the simplicity of iOS. Neither should you.

[It's not my opinion that Google has a app problem or poor support for enterprise features or stupid copy/paste that doesn't work consistently. And no, you have always been able to play MP3s in Safari. You can't download files, and yes there are annoyances I've noted, both in the article here and previously (I think Safari should have an option to upload files in your graphics library, for example), but its a bit silly for you to get pedantic about minor features when I'm talking about major features that sell/don't sell devices to a huge audience. You brought up the stupid wallpaper thing. That's not something that impacts whether phones sell on the order of VPN and proxy server support, for example. ]

[Google "Ugly Android" and then "ugly iphone." the first set of results is everyone from Gizmodo to Android users themselves talking about what a shitty looking OS is it, and the second set is people talking about an app that distorts your face. I find your feigned ignorance insulting. ]

Strawman. You are comparing the hardware aspect of it, not the actual software itself. I never complained about the look of the iphone. But, let’s just follow that point.

[A "strawman" is when you invent something I've said and attack it (above), not when you fail to understand that I'm talking about the ugliness of Android's UI, and not just the crappiness of most Android handsets. ]

Here is an second gen ipod touch sitting right in front of me. The shiny back to it has gone from perfect to utter crap in 1 month. Its needed a system restore more than my old Windows XP computer. It loses songs after a few weeks and itunes can’t find them even though they never went anywhere.

At the expense of a user replaceable battery, the device has very few seems. At the expense of a dedicated camera button on an iphone, it has a minimalistic look. And of course, who can forget the wonderful external antenna?

Do I need a phone with a glass back? Why? So I can stare at it? Do any other phone makers take their phones in for service and replace them with 5 holed screws to prevent people from opening their devices?

All those things for you that “suck” on Android are mostly user configurable and on most devices isn’t even standard. At least we have a choice to have it, instead of having to manually pull up the weather/news/mail app every time.

[Kind of ridiculous that you're talking about iPod touch when there is no Android equivalent, and then jumping to gripe about iPhone 4, the most desired phone on the planet right now, and questioning whether it should have a glass back. And then bringing up some invented complaint about screws, as if most people want to take their smartphone apart. You are clearly so blinded by hatred of Apple than you can't think straight. I feel like I'm trying to have a discussion with somebody who hates Obama because he's not really from Hawaii. I don't know even how to respond. So I won't anymore. I enjoy arguing with somebody who has a different perspective, but your's isn't consistent or sensible enough to even follow. So enjoy your free LG phone and let's leave it at that. ]

[As you point out, Android is a series of problems. Sure, you can juggle your sets of facts furiously to make it look like you have a choice of problems, but you're just providing an example of what I described: babying Android because it can't stand on its own. ]

Riiiiight. Don’t pretend apple doesn’t have any either, and not just small issues, show stopping bugs. You can deride the firmware update issues, but don’t pretend all those 3G iphone users got screwed. And buying their $1000+ laptops doesn’t mean they “just work” either.

11 nextguy { 02.05.11 at 11:33 pm }

Wait, that last part about the hardware aspect of it, that’s the gist of the results I got back when googling for ugly android. Some complain that it has some lag, but if that’s all that is, I’ll give up “eye candy” for actual functionality any day, and I’m not saying that means I’m getting Android either.

Also, instead of 145 mill it should be 138.

Btw, when searching about the iphone sucking, this came up. Enjoy.

http://designbygravity.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/cant-the-iphone-suck-even-a-little-bit/

12 John { 02.05.11 at 11:54 pm }

DED

Looking forward to Part 2 immensely.

Who will be the next guy to be decimated?

13 fmlogue { 02.05.11 at 11:55 pm }

@nextguy
What you and the other Android apoligists are doing is called projection. What Republicans do. Accusing others of doing what you yourself are doing. Or, to quote Jesus: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 7:3

14 nextguy { 02.06.11 at 12:24 am }

[Exactly: you're taking about $50 difference for a low res phone vs the old iPhone 3GS, and often no differential at all for higher end Android models, like the Captivate or EVO or Droid 2, vs iPhone 4. ]

If I want a high end phone, unlocked, its around $400-$500. For an iphone4 equiv, its around $1000.

Sorry, big difference there.

[Um, no we both know much more Google profits from the use of Android over iPhone: $0. Google was getting both heavy promotion and exclusive access to iPhone users. With Android, it is often not even on the phone. Big blunder. Nobody has even noted that before, as far as I know.]

So you proceed to go back to your first point, and thus again ignore the simple fact that you or me do not know how google’s apps and their usage in android benefits them, monetarily.

So Google and Verizon advertised the droid. Apple has to advertise the ipad/iphone every hour on every channel. So what?

[I alluded to multiple surveys, ranging from ChangeWave to a few now in the news to Verizon's own internal stuff. I don't know if that's public, but why don't you just Google it? My point is that nothing I'm saying is factually controversial. And I thought your comment was theoretical. Regardless, you were clearly either joking or being ridiculous. ]

OK, that survey was also torn apart at ars, but let’s move on.

[Cite instances where I've said everybody wants an iPhone. The closest I've come to that is to point out that nobody wants much of the alternatives. Certainly nobody wanted a Zune, but that doesn't mean everyone wants an iPod, or should be forced to buy one. Your argument is getting close to desperation. But don't stuff silly words in my mouth just because you'd like something you can debunk with ease. I haven't accused you of saying the sky was brown. ]

Right. I’ve watched your comments as of late. Every time someone disagrees with you you brand them a retarded android lover on a platform that stole everything from apple.

In case you can’t understand how this works, people can read what you are saying without actually saying it.

[Check your facts and get back to me, I'm not sure where you are at or what point you are trying to make. ]

Ok, I see your point being made. But even then, one chart mentions 20 vs 13, and in q4 that’s around 32 vs 16, for android vs. iOS.

Personally I don’t care if one wins or the other does. Even if iOS outsells android 2 to 1, if that represents the needs of each system, so be it.

[It's not my opinion that Google has a app problem or poor support for enterprise features or stupid copy/paste that doesn't work consistently. And no, you have always been able to play MP3s in Safari. You can't download files, and yes there are annoyances I've noted, both in the article here and previously (I think Safari should have an option to upload files in your graphics library, for example), but its a bit silly for you to get pedantic about minor features when I'm talking about major features that sell/don't sell devices to a huge audience. You brought up the stupid wallpaper thing. That's not something that impacts whether phones sell on the order of VPN and proxy server support, for example. ]

Why is android’s copy and paste stupid? Is that something I’ve read about in 2.3 that finally fixed it?

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.

Calling me “pedantic about minor features”? Daniel, that’s *opinion*. Do I need a VPN? A proxy? No. Does Google fall short on business support? Yes.

[Kind of ridiculous that you're talking about iPod touch when there is no Android equivalent, and then jumping to gripe about iPhone 4, the most desired phone on the planet right now, and questioning whether it should have a glass back. And then bringing up some invented complaint about screws, as if most people want to take their smartphone apart. You are clearly so blinded by hatred of Apple than you can't think straight. I feel like I'm trying to have a discussion with somebody who hates Obama because he's not really from Hawaii. I don't know even how to respond. So I won't anymore. I enjoy arguing with somebody who has a different perspective, but your's isn't consistent or sensible enough to even follow. So enjoy your free LG phone and let's leave it at that. ]

Why would I need an android equiv of the ipod touch? I have a much better audio player, made from Cowon. Turn on the eq on any ipod and the sound starts to distort. Do it on the Cowon and it sounds great.

The screw complaint is not because people need/want to take their phone apart, its because it is quite anal for someone to take an iphone to an apple store, then have them *replace* the screws with them if they were not there before so you can’t open it.

[A "strawman" is when you invent something I've said and attack it (above), not when you fail to understand that I'm talking about the ugliness of Android's UI, and not just the crappiness of most Android handsets. ]

And you claiming I want an LG optimus is again, a strawman. Kinda rich saying I’m a republican nut, when I never said I wanted an LG, nor would I deride anyone for buying one, and unlike you, neither do I deride anyone who has an iphone.

15 nextguy { 02.06.11 at 12:27 am }

“What you and the other Android apoligists are doing is called projection. ”

Where did I deride people who want an iphone? The ipad works well for people who get it and will continue to dominate because more people benefit from its user design than the older design google is going for.

Like I said, different products for different people. To claim that *either* one works for 100% of the market is just being a fanboi for either side.

16 nextguy { 02.06.11 at 12:34 am }

And to be fair and honest Daniel, you points about why the ipad will dominate are sound. And I expect that to still happen even with honeycomb, though at least it won’t look like a pathetic showing with just a samsung galaxy tab.

17 Jon T { 02.06.11 at 6:12 am }

Magnificent piece of work DED!

This encompasses so many of my own thoughts over the last weeks and months, thank you.

Seems to me that the bottom line of the Android saga was written by a fellow commenter above, shortened, it was this sentiment:

“Android is like Linux. Cool in theory, useless in practise.”

18 nextguy { 02.06.11 at 7:00 am }

“Android is like Linux. Cool in theory, useless in practise.”

Yeah, care to take a guess as to what OS and web server this web site uses?

19 Mr. Reeee { 02.06.11 at 8:18 am }

@nextguy

“Yeah, care to take a guess as to what OS and web server this web site uses?”

Ask the guy Dan pays to host his blog.

Dan, excellent article and another devastating blow to the free-is-better consistency and quality be damned crowd.

20 Alan { 02.06.11 at 8:32 am }

Like or Hate Android, I think it’s very existence has really accelerated and improved both the iPhone hardware as well as iOS. There is nothing like good competition to motivate Apple perform at their best. So for that reason alone I am thankful we have Android and new phones like the Atrix and Bionic around to keep Apple on their toes and continue to raise the bar even higher. Now that the Verizon iPhone is finally here, for the next few months the discussion will turn to speculation over the iPhone 5 as well as improvements in iOS 5. Not to mention when the last two major carriers, Sprint and T-Mobile will finally get their own iPhone. Together they are nearly as big as AT&T or Verizon and also have cheaper monthly plans. I am confident Apple will eventually release an iPhone for these other two carriers, I just don’t know if it will be this year or next.

I have not played with Honeycomb hands on, but from the videos I have seen it is pretty impressive. Some of the new features are tailored specifically for the tablet, but many of the improvement will also be available on the cell phone version as well. I still think iOS is still winning the race, but it is getting a lot closer than it was a year ago. Google have finally created a real online store which was a big complaint. https://market.android.com/ You would also have to blind not to admit that Android 2.3 is leaps and bounds better than 1.5. I am not saying that it is better than iOS yet, but it has made some big strides. Certainly their notifications are better than iOS. Clumsy modal boxes or messages that vanish when you unlock your phone could be replaced with something along the lines of the way android works for notifications.

Some other iOS 5 wishes:
1) Full and complete wireless syncing.
2) As I already mentioned above, better notifications. Something much less intrusive. Androids pull down menu would be great.
3) Easier and faster way to access the camera even when it is locked. I know they don’t want to add an extra hardware button for this, but maybe some sort of gesture?
4) customizable default applications. If we prefer a different calendar or Notes app than the standard ones Apple includes, we should be able to replace them as defaults. The same goes with the keyboard. Once you get used to Swype, you will never want to go back to the apple keyboard. It is so much faster and easier to use.
5) Let us choose a custom alert sound for SMS instead of the ones apple chooses for us.
6) improved auto-correct dictionary. Let us edit and add our own words. Too many false corrections. ill correcting to i’ll for example when I meant ill.
7) The user interface is beginning to look a little dated. Not sure exactly how to update or improve it, but what looked amazing 4 years ago is starting to look a little stale. Maybe add themes with sounds? Some added folder improvements? or at least update the current iOS theme.
8) A way to download, organize, open,and manage email attachments or safari downloads better.
9) An improved Safari with better tabbed navigation and offline reading of websites without it refreshing.
10) Improved lock screen with more useful information displayed.

These are just a few ideas, maybe you disagree or have other suggestions. But I think if they can add some of these features to iOS 5, it would go a long way to quieting the few advantages the fandroid base keep talking about. Honeycomb, at least from what I have seen so far, already allows most of those ideas. I am confident Apple will add many if not all of these because they are the main complaints from most people. They listened to us about copy/paste, multitasking, folders, and several other improvements so I think they will add these as well.

It will also be interesting to see what hardware improvements are in store for the next iPad and iPhone. Will they make the leap to a dual core A9? Also, I wonder if they bump the internal memory to 1 GB. They don’t have to match all the specs of Android phones or Honeycomb tablets to still keep their lead, as long as they stay relatively close. I think the 1990′s was the best thing to have ever happened to Apple because they learned quite a lot from their mistakes and without that near bankruptcy Apple would be a very different company now. For Honeycomb or any Android phone to really dethrone the iPhone or iPad, they have to be not just a little better, they have to be leaps and bounds better and I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Apple have to much marketing muscle and mindshare for any one Android company to compete with them head on and win.

21 berult { 02.06.11 at 8:33 am }

nextguy
As any good theoretical physicist would, you build a construct of axioms set to define a “universe” of your fancy. You start off with the desired end result of wiping Apple and its proponents off the brightly lit face of your whimsical reality. All axioms must generate a self-defined, auto-immuned entity all the while the latter, as a prerequisite to model coherence, must predate the postulates that are laid down to put an easily debatable claim on its very existence. 

You’re running around in circle, with your logical acumen along for the ride. There’s just no room in theoretical physics, in a mathematical construct of a “closed upon itself” system, or in your contaminated imagination, for empirism and actual environmental metrics. 

You wish upon a star Apple were but a blip on a radar. What is there to debate when your model is home built to give all the answers to the insider’s queries, but none to the real world’s diaries.

22 Ludor { 02.06.11 at 10:08 am }

berult: I don’t think ’nextguy’ is a real Apple hater, or he wouldn’t put so much effort into his posts. But the reason I mention him is, I think he suffers from the same pretention as the rest of us do to some degree (although a bit more overtly): we all want to be the voice of reason, logic and clear sight. Hell, I want to be able to describe the world as clear-cut and inspired as Daniel. I think that to some extent we come here to learn how to put words to our notions, it just happens to take place in the world of tech where everone and their mom is an anecdotal expert. And nextguy’s attempt to come to Daniel’s blog and tell him off is kind of ridiculous.

Alan: I agree, the iOS notification system could behave a lot better. Same goes for the auto-correct dictionary – it just doesn’t seem to learn my language that well. But themes with sound? Tabbed browsing? Are you one of them fairy witches?

23 Ludor { 02.06.11 at 10:09 am }

Dammit. Noob shouldn’t play with formatting tags. Pardon.

24 gradha { 02.06.11 at 10:35 am }

@nextguy
Can you please explain what do you mean with “If I want a high end phone, unlocked, its around $400-$500. For an iphone4 equiv, its around $1000.”

What is an iphone4 equiv?

I’ve checked the US Apple store and they don’t sell an unlocked iPhone 4. Well, tough luck, cry to your carriers. The same thing happened in Spain up to the iPhone 3GS, but now you can buy the iPhone 4 unlocked for 600€ or 700€ depending on capacity.

Yeah, I know. If you take euros to dollars you suddenly have an iPhone 4 which costs above 800$. However, this happens due to the phase of the moon, the cost of the dollar, the fact that Apple likes to have same number prices, taxes, transportation, my dog ate my homework, etc, etc.

For a more reasonable comparison, if you check the iPod on the US Apple store, you get the price range of 229$-399$. On the Spanish Apple store you get the price range of 229€-399€.

So… and this is a big so… if Apple were allowed to sell an unlocked iPhone 4, it would possibly have the range of 600$-700$, or you would have to explain too many things to those poor europeans buying overpriced Apple hardware.

That seems more inline with the 400$-500$ price range you claim out of nowhere.

25 nextguy { 02.06.11 at 10:36 am }

“As any good theoretical physicist would, you build a construct of axioms set to define a “universe” of your fancy. You start off with the desired end result of wiping Apple and its proponents off the brightly lit face of your whimsical reality. ”

Where did I post that I wanted iOS/Apple to be wiped out? Strawman again.

Kinda funny for you to say that when I have an ipod touch right in front of me. While it has its issues, I got it because I didn’t want Att, nor any phone that requires a data plan, and serves its purpose. I wish it didn’t have such a scratch prone back and wish it could do more.

“You’re running around in circle, with your logical acumen along for the ride. There’s just no room in theoretical physics, in a mathematical construct of a “closed upon itself” system, or in your contaminated imagination, for empirism and actual environmental metrics. ”

Uh huh. I’m not the person who claimed that Android is being baby coddled then changing arguments midstream using examples of gizmodo and the like calling android “ugly” or “crap”.

[That would appear to be a contradiction, if Android's ugliness were not such a hush-hush problem that you refused to even acknowledge that it existed it until I referred you to Google search results on the subject. At the same time, show me some mainstream media reports assailing Android for being ugly (the same kind of sources who talked about Antennagate, ICrackedMyScreenGate, AppGotRejectedGate, MassiveRecallIn321Gate) and I'll concede that CNET and the Wall Street Journal aren't babying the platform because it can't stand up without goochie-goo encouragement to take a first step or two.

I don't understand why you have to attack everything I say when none of it is really controversial. You just erect a wall of noise with fingers in your ear before conceding that yes is all true, but you just wanted me to take a more babying tone with Android because you like the idea of Apple having competition. That's not where competition comes from. It's what propels fan-drivel like the Zune, which was given such unwarranted polite attention that it prevented Microsoft from really going back to the drawing board and delivering something competitive. Dan]

26 nextguy { 02.06.11 at 10:40 am }

“Ask the guy Dan pays to host his blog.”

I don’t need to. His blog shares the same server as appleinsider. Both run Linux on Apache.

[My site isn't hosted by a desktop OS, which was the obvious context of the comments of everyone above. The server uses of Linux have little in common with the very different needs of a desktop or mobile device. I can't think of any examples of Linux providing a user interface. Of the devices that use Linux, most offer a web interface that has nothing to do with KDE/GNOME/X11 (such as my host's server, or appliance routers) a custom, usually closed UI (like Motorola's Linux phones or Tivo), or a higher level platform that just uses Linux as a free kernel (like Android's Java-like platform on top of Linux). So talking about Linux servers when the discussion is about Linux on the Desktop is one of those irrelevant "strawman" things you keep accusing other people of bringing up. - Dan]

27 nextguy { 02.06.11 at 11:22 am }

“And nextguy’s attempt to come to Daniel’s blog and tell him off is kind of ridiculous.”

Well, all I ask is for some substance, not acerbic rants. And I hope to see this in part 2, because there are plenty of non emotionally driven reasons to prefer iOS over Android.

The fact that I have an ipod touch and use linux and perhaps may get an android or nokia phone show that these items aren’t mutually exclusive.

[I'm not telling people why they should prefer iOS to Android. I'm pointing out why Apple has little need to be concerned about Android 3.0 eating into its iPad sales (note the title of the article). If I wrote emotional-based opinions about why people should buy this or that, I'd sound like you and all the Android-fandroid websites, and I'd similarly be wrong most of the time. - Dan]

28 nextguy { 02.06.11 at 11:25 am }

gradha, check on hi-mobile.net.

Even with the iphone4 costing around 2x as much, it still is a top 20 seller.

Equivalent means the same or near the same high end ARM processor, hi res screen, memory capacity, network support, stuff like that.

29 Ludor { 02.06.11 at 1:10 pm }

Okay buddy, now you’re starting to measure up.

“’Android is like Linux. Cool in theory, useless in practise.’ Yeah, care to take a guess as to what OS and web server this web site uses?”

Jon T obviously refers to the nonsuccess of desktop Linux. Your comparison is invalid. You crave a Linux phone? Oh, good luck.

See, I think that Dilger does deliver substance, but also that it is difficult to detect from your viewpoint. What exactly do you think you will accomplish with this? It’s not like Daniel will turn around and say, “You know what, you’re right.”

30 gctwnl { 02.06.11 at 1:24 pm }

Good one! Fun to read.

31 nextguy { 02.06.11 at 2:34 pm }

“[That would appear to be a contradiction, if Android's ugliness were not such a hush-hush problem that you refused to even acknowledge that it existed it until I referred you to Google search results on the subject. At the same time, show me some mainstream media reports assailing Android for being ugly (the same kind of sources who talked about Antennagate, ICrackedMyScreenGate, AppGotRejectedGate, MassiveRecallIn321Gate) and I'll concede that CNET and the Wall Street Journal aren't babying the platform because it can't stand up without goochie-goo encouragement to take a first step or two. "

So wait, you are saying that because *I* didn't acknowledge that personal opinions exists the Google's android is ugly means *you* aren't being contradictory? WTF?

Dude, we went over this many times: It's called subjective opinion. You hate x,y,z, of android while someone hates x,y,z of iOS. So what?

Unlike the iphone, there aren't android phones that have antenna issues, confirmed by anand at anandtech.com by listing the db of the signals of other smartphones when holding normally vs. cupping. Perhaps glassgate and anntena gate wouldn't have happened if Steve designed it to be a phone first, object of beauty second.

And the app store issue is a real one. Why should I believe in their model of a closed walled garden when apple allowed a camera app that uses the volume button for a camera shutter? That's an obvious, clear violation of apples iOS TOS, but that didn't stop it from being approved. It only got pulled when news of it hit the web. If they can't reject apps with such a blatant violation, what makes me think they are really checking all apps for malware or bugs or anything else?

Personally, I could care less if the google app store wasn't as good as apple's when the iphone can't do what I need it to do out of the box when android can.

"I don't understand why you have to attack everything I say when none of it is really controversial. You just erect a wall of noise with fingers in your ear before conceding that yes is all true, but you just wanted me to take a more babying tone with Android because you like the idea of Apple having competition. That's not where competition comes from. It's what propels fan-drivel like the Zune, which was given such unwarranted polite attention that it prevented Microsoft from really going back to the drawing board and delivering something competitive."

Where did I concede that android was ugly? What's wrong with wanting competition? What does Microsoft's failure of the zune have to do with android of today?

[I'm not telling people why they should prefer iOS to Android. I'm pointing out why Apple has little need to be concerned about Android 3.0 eating into its iPad sales (note the title of the article). If I wrote emotional-based opinions about why people should buy this or that, I'd sound like you and all the Android-fandroid websites, and I'd similarly be wrong most of the time. - Dan]

Sure, and there isn’t any hint of emotion in “Google copied Apple’s search results, oops I mean smartphone strategy and design…”

[My site isn't hosted by a desktop OS, which was the obvious context of the comments of everyone above. The server uses of Linux have little in common with the very different needs of a desktop or mobile device. I can't think of any examples of Linux providing a user interface. Of the devices that use Linux, most offer a web interface that has nothing to do with KDE/GNOME/X11 (such as my host's server, or appliance routers) a custom, usually closed UI (like Motorola's Linux phones or Tivo), or a higher level platform that just uses Linux as a free kernel (like Android's Java-like platform on top of Linux). So talking about Linux servers when the discussion is about Linux on the Desktop is one of those irrelevant "strawman" things you keep accusing other people of bringing up. - Dan]

I never said Linux on the desktop wasn’t a failure, strawman from you again. To claim wholesale that Linux is a failure was my point, and wasn’t pointing that out in a harsh condescending tone as you are.

But how is apple doing in the server market? So they are irrelevant there. No one person can dominate everything, and I rather apple focus on what they do best, the end user.

32 nextguy { 02.06.11 at 2:38 pm }

“Jon T obviously refers to the nonsuccess of desktop Linux. Your comparison is invalid. You crave a Linux phone? Oh, good luck.

See, I think that Dilger does deliver substance, but also that it is difficult to detect from your viewpoint. What exactly do you think you will accomplish with this? It’s not like Daniel will turn around and say, “You know what, you’re right.”

Like I said to Dan, it was just an observation. Just because it doesn’t succeed on the desktop mean it hasn’t in the server, embedded markets. The open source model works for many, even apple when it can.

Bringing up a point != fanboi

33 jmfree { 02.06.11 at 3:51 pm }

Daniel: Thank you for consistently deflating the buffoonery around Android and the tech media circus in general.

My guess is you, too, might know of one of my favorite books: How To Lie With Statistics, by Darrell Huff. One of the examples of common media manipulations: pick an irrelevant (and/or specious) piece of data, promote as “the truth,” repeat, and repeat, and repeat. In today’s Web echo chamber, it’s not hard to get anyone to repeat any statement, no matter how ridiculous, as long as there is a number attached to it.

The techno-utopianism around the Goog is annoying and foolish, but it’s also profoundly more stupid than any exhibited by Apple fanbois (I mean the kind who camp out for five days to be the first to get an iPhone). You see, the Goog isn’t just going to make your life better. No. Why, it’s the very expression of every virtue of a capitalistic technocratic democracy that will finally bring 2,000 years of progress into a culmination called The Singularity. Our problems are over.

Let us contrast this with the experience of owning my Verizon DroidX. Makes good, clear phone calls. Does e-mail. Takes pictures and video. I can get lots of apps to customize it. OK, I’ll buy it. Too bad most of the pleasure ends right there.

About 1/3 of incoming calls get hung up on as I take it out of my pocket; this is because I grazed the dedicated camera button. I have to hold it just so between thumb and index finger, even though it’s supposed to be “locked.”

It took about five hours and the installation of a third party application to get the thing to have a true silent mode. (The alternative is to go through nearly a dozen clicks changing individual settings every time you don’t want to make an ass of yourself in a meeting.)

Here’s the almost incredible part: the out-of-the-box GMail app is broken. It remained broken for three months as I waited, thinking surely the Goog wouldn’t let this pass — they must be too busy innovating! Wrong. Month four, another five hour marathon, and one free third-party application later (called K9 Mail), and now I can use my three GMail accounts. The fact that GMail is broken on Droid is even widely commented upon in help forums. Way to go with the core competencies, Goog.

Let us not leave out the second-biggest statistical lie about Android: its app store. Not once in my 30+ year career in information technology have I seen such a graveyard of diseased and odious rot. Regular customers now EXPECT free or paid Droid apps to be defective in some major way. It’s almost a miracle to find one that performs the tasks described, doesn’t shoot itself in the head and require “force close” regularly, or euthanize your battery even faster than the default apps.

(Oh, yes, battery life. On mildly busy days, I get the orange low-battery warning by around 5 PM. The workaround? Another third-party app called Advanced Task Killer, which you’d better use 10 times per day to avoid getting stranded with no phone. Fun and entertaining.)

And my favorite thing about the Droid app store? The refund process! I tried four different paid apps back in December. If they did not seem to be outright practical jokes, they were all broken in some important way. No problem, says the Goog. Uninstall, and you get a notification — on the phone and via e-mail — from Google Checkout that your refund will be issued shortly. That was nine weeks ago. Still no refund has appeared on my card, and believe me I’ve been looking for them. I’m sure I’ll be paying for LOTS of Goog apps in the future, you bet!

How about aesthetics? Beauty is beside the point, and really just asking too much. No, just add to all of the above an interface that in even the most common tasks requires five clicks when it should require two at most. When you do a search for a contact from the home screen, what does it do? Why it fires up the browser to Google it, of course! Why shouldn’t Googling something be the default behavior at all times, right? Go ahead — go to Settings and change Searchable Items from “Web” to “Contacts” (contacts also stored in the Goog, by the way) and — presto! — it still does the exact same thing, producing Web pages of people who sound like but are not my contacts. This particular list of interface crimes just goes on and on.

So far, the ONLY reason to have this buggy brick in my pocket is for the one thing the Goog acquired — oh, I mean “does” — well: Google Maps. It’s great to get spoken turn-by-turn directions… that is, when I’m not crashing my car trying to understand why it’s actually not speaking to me (whoops! it inexplicably went on Mute again). If Apple ever gets this one right, the Goog will have permanently lost any competitive edge in the mobile market.

I say all this not to disparage the engineers who got their part right, or to demean competition, or even to say the app store is 100% useless (there are about 1% of Android developers who seem to take a professional attitude). I say it to contrast the chest-thumping hype with my utter disappointment with the reality.

I’ve said for a long time that the only thing worse than a monopoly run by Bill Gates would be one run by Steve Jobs. But now I’m rethinking that position, which is probably really unhealthy.

34 chrismarriott { 02.06.11 at 5:02 pm }

Dan, great article as per usual. I do think, however that Apple’s also very focused on locking out the competition from the supply chain. Besides actually building the best tablet on the market, I believe Apple has every intention of starving the competition of supply and denying them low pricing in the process.

Like Apple did with iPod flash RAM in 2005, I think Apple’s actively doing the same thing for iPad components – part of the $4b purchase outlined in their latest financials. I wrote about this on my company’s blog recently: http://www.torusoft.com/users/torusoft/

Anyone who thinks Apple’s only avenue for competition is building a better product, forgets or is unaware of what they’re doing on the supply side. They’re playing to win and manipulating supply is something Tim Cook knows inside and out.

35 kdaeseok { 02.06.11 at 7:21 pm }

T3 2010 mobile of the year: HTC Desire
EISA 2010 European smartphone Award: Samsung Galaxy S

so there are decent phones from Android side.
Apple blew big with their death grip this time around. Hope they can do better with the next ihpone.

36 FreeRange { 02.06.11 at 9:33 pm }

ah, the beauty of the internet. Any clueless halfwit can spew their drivel endlessly such is the case with “nextguy”. @nextguy – STFU and get a life, please… and try to stay off the mind altering drugs…

37 Rappstar { 02.06.11 at 10:42 pm }

Dan, one thing that seems not to get touched on, largely because I’m not sure how truly quantifiable it is, is how many folks select android because of the GMail app. Like many folks, I use Gmail. I find the Gmail app on android to be invaluable. I would say that’s 99% of why I have an android phone. Overall, I think it’s much less polished than an iPhone. But email is my primary purpose for having a smartphone and as a gmail user, Android seems to me to offer the best email experience. Given the apparent ubiquity and popularity of Gmail, isn’t that a potentially strong driver for Android adoption over the long term? Perhaps not. But count me as at least one person who, at least for now, won’t jump ship from my Droid X to a Verizon iPhone simply because I prefer the Gmail app to Mail since it’s very user friendly for those of us who are used to the Gmail web interface.

38 Will.M. { 02.06.11 at 11:04 pm }

Well Dan. You did it again. Another great article! You have a real talent. Please don’t stop writing. Thank you!

39 Mike { 02.07.11 at 12:52 am }

Daniel, you know when the Android trolls step in to dismiss you, that you’ve done a good job. And yes, this article doesn’t dismiss the fact that Apple has its faults as well :) But despite all the flaws that we see in Apple products, there are far worse products out there that people seem to want, either because they’re ideologically driven to those products (just because they want to be a contrarian) or because they feel that Apple’s implementation wasn’t suited to their needs. And in some cases, yes, Google’s implementation is better. But Apple definitely makes a better experience as a whole.

40 jpmrb { 02.07.11 at 1:28 am }

Great fun to read you every time, Dan — and right on target, it seems. Anyway, should not it be “Vistapocalypse” instead of “Vistapocolypse”. Vistapocolypse sounds like some kind of abnormal growth in the intestines(perhaps that’s what you mean!). Or am i too much of a “pendant” by getting upset about it? Well, wink wink, i’d rather be a pédant than a pendant!

41 enzos { 02.07.11 at 4:23 am }

Bravo, well said FreeRange!

And jpmrb: politely pointing out typos is not pedantry. It’s just an urge to edit.

42 nextguy { 02.07.11 at 1:06 pm }

Well with a $800 Xoom with their stupid inane polices apple has nothing to worry about there.

While I do have LTE already in my city, I’m not shelling out $800 anything.

43 nextguy { 02.07.11 at 1:09 pm }

“Any clueless halfwit can spew their drivel…”

Like you? Any moron can ad hominem. Usually a sign when they have no argument and are just trolling.

Have a nice day.

44 Chris99 { 02.07.11 at 2:52 pm }

“… 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.”

…and libs can’t admit that a state governor has more executive experience than a community organizer.

45 berult { 02.07.11 at 4:26 pm }

Chris99
Never has the addition of an Alaskan deed to a sentence been more of a subtraction on the creed of a pretense:

“…and libs can’t admit that a state governor has more executive experience ‘at quitting half-term’ than a community organizer.”

I think we all do, including you…

46 Lendroid { 02.07.11 at 4:50 pm }

I love the many points you make, Dan, especially the Tea Party references. I also love your comments made to nextguy. I think that Android is a useful operating system for those who simply can’t bring themselves to appreciate anything made by Apple. There seem to be many of them out there, and I know a few of them. What really surprised me was that last week, when I upgraded my iPhone from the 3G to the $49 3GS, I was able to sell my 3G on Craigslist that very same day for $170. The iPhone is a piece of technology that is highly valued and in demand. It’s good to read more of your opinions lately. Keep up the good work!

47 relativity { 02.07.11 at 7:47 pm }

I read there are somewhere around 100M+ smartphones and a total of over 1B phones to be shipped every year. Of those 90% are feature phones and are figured to be usurped by smartphones in the next few years.

I am not siding with iOS nor Android here (I use a 3GS for it fills my needs not wants) but do you really think Apple, with their uber-controlled iOS manufacturing capacity (aka “walled garden” approach) will have the capacity to produce 100M+ iPhones? Apple does have the $50B of cash reserve to expand but for an investor, is this strategy the best use of that $50B? If I were a shareholder I would cry foul.

The Android strategy is take over where WinMo and Symbian failed or is failing to do. Android may be seen as a threat to iOS but I think it’s quite the opposite.

Android’s future is to take over that 90% chunk of the market and leave iOS with around 10%. This is the future and both Microsoft and Nokia saw the writing on the wall. Both will have to decide to adopt Android themselves and complete the assimilation, or wither and die a painful death.

As for the tablet front, I do think that Honeycomb holds a lot of promise. The Xoom looks very responsive and the UI looks very useable.

But Honeycomb is designed to compete with iPad1 not iPad2. We haven’t seen what Apple has up its sleeves when iOS 5 for iPad2 is shown to the public. The Open Handset Alliance might have to rush back to the lab to out-brilliance Apple with Android 4.

So, as we can observe, this competition between iOS and Android is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Quite the contrary. This competition-through-innovation is good for all consumers. Gone are the days of staid and stale PalmOS, Blackberries, and Windows Mobile varieties.

[I do not predict the Apple will nor recommend that should make everyone's smartphone.

However, iPad is a lot more like iPod. What percentage of the media player market has Android bitten off? What about PlaysForSure, Android, and other embedded OSs combined? -Dan]

48 relativity { 02.07.11 at 8:28 pm }

The tablet market, although its been predicted for almost two decades since that infamous revelation by non-other-than Apple’s then CEO John Sculley in 1992, when he unveiled the Newton, had been dismal – to say so kindly – until Apple reinvented the form factor with the iPad last year.

The iPad now OWNS this market of portable media content consumption devices for the foreseeable future. Android will be here this year and should compete for attention, if the current trend continues.

Yet iOS devices will hold their own – thank you very much – because they fill most people’s needs (like mine) and not worry too much what is under the hood (as Android users would).

Android media consumption devices will (starting this year) start to out-feature iOS devices in hardware but it will take years to match the usability of iOS. Dual-core Tegra2 or OMAP4 hardware are nice but the hardware can only go as far as the OS that’s driving it.

Another, Android will have to compete price-wise. An $800 for a Honeycomb device in the Moto Xoom is not what I call competing with the iPad nor my wallet. Who are Moto trying to fool? Android fandroids, that’s who.

49 harrywolf { 02.07.11 at 9:31 pm }

Great writing Dan – looking forward to part 2.

One thing: who is this ‘Nextguy’ person and why are his somewhat confused comments taking up more space than the actual article?

I guess I am tired after work, but I couldnt really understand what the hell ‘nextguy’ was talking about….

50 Rappstar { 02.07.11 at 9:33 pm }

@harrywolf the reason nextguy’s comments are SO long is because Dan did his best to answer specific points within the comment. He usually offset his reply in italics & [], but not everytime (I can only imagine the additional editing required to insert 10+ comments with proper differentiation to that many comments).

51 Charles L { 02.07.11 at 10:32 pm }

@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.

52 TheMacAdvocate { 02.08.11 at 8:55 am }

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/

53 nextguy { 02.08.11 at 11:09 am }

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.

54 Lendroid { 02.08.11 at 11:22 am }

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.

55 nextguy { 02.08.11 at 5:47 pm }

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

56 Lendroid { 02.09.11 at 9:38 am }

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.

57 mihomeagent { 02.09.11 at 8:54 pm }

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 ]

58 gslusher { 02.12.11 at 12:36 am }

@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).

59 gslusher { 02.14.11 at 3:50 am }

@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?

60 kazoolist { 02.15.11 at 11:13 am }

“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 ]

61 gatorguy { 02.15.11 at 12:46 pm }

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 ]

62 4phun { 02.15.11 at 1:40 pm }

@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.

63 4phun { 02.15.11 at 1:51 pm }

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.

64 gatorguy { 02.15.11 at 2:03 pm }

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.

65 gatorguy { 02.15.11 at 2:10 pm }

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 ]

66 gatorguy { 02.15.11 at 3:20 pm }

[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 ]

67 gatorguy { 02.15.11 at 5:41 pm }

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.

68 gatorguy { 02.15.11 at 6:26 pm }

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

69 gatorguy { 02.15.11 at 6:39 pm }

[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 ]

70 gatorguy { 02.16.11 at 4:15 am }

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]

71 gatorguy { 02.16.11 at 9:45 am }

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.

72 gatorguy { 02.16.11 at 7:36 pm }

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?

73 gatorguy { 02.16.11 at 7:38 pm }

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.

74 gatorguy { 02.16.11 at 9:15 pm }

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. :)

75 gctwnl { 08.16.11 at 2:33 am }

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

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