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

The world’s biggest software platform

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, part two.

Part 2: The world’s biggest software platform

As noted in part 1, Android’s inability in 2010 to in any way damper sales of Apple’s iPhone (and even mount a credible alternative to the iPod touch or iPad) resulted in the platform simply supplanting what used to be the world’s largest smartphone platform. No, not Symbian. The world’s largest smartphone platform has long been Sun’s JavaME (“micro edition”, formerly known as J2ME), now owned by Oracle.

Prior to the Year of Android, JavaME served the common software platform for most smartphones, from RIM’s BlackBerry (which hosts the Java Virtual Machine on RIM’s proprietary kernel) to LG and Samsung models (that similarly hosted a JVM atop proprietary kernels in embedded products such as the LG enV) to Danger (which spawned the Android project later acquired by Google, but before that produced a line of Java-based Hiptop/Sidekick devices acquired by Microsoft) to Nokia’s Symbian (once also used by Sony Ericsson and Japan’s DoCoMo), Palm OS, and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile (all three of which host a JVM as an alternative to their own parallel native development platforms, similar to the Java support on Windows or Mac OS X).

Nobody ever talked about how JavaME “rivaled” Windows Mobile or Palm OS or Symbian; instead, firms like Gartner told us that Windows Mobile was poised to make headway in pushing its own native APIs at the expense of Java, while RIM boasted in its own peripheral services which enhanced its version of the Java platform among enterprise users, and Danger promoted its Java-based phones as being popular among text-crazed youths, and so on.

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

Apple takes on the monoculture status quo

It wasn’t until the debut of iPhone that a significant new smartphone vendor was willing to point out that JavaME’s empire was embarrassingly naked. Despite purporting to be a “write once, run anywhere” platform, JavaME in practice was a “develop software, then adjust it to work on every specific phone you want to be able to deploy it on,” a plague reminiscent of Java on the desktop but far worse because of the additional complications inherent in mobile devices.

While there were plenty of JavaME apps, getting them to work well on any specific phone was simply orders of magnitude harder than building complex web apps that could run flawlessly across all the different web browsers without resorting to Adobe Flash in the days before HTML5.

Apple’s solution was to simply not include Java, software which in reality just replicated the features of its own Cocoa APIs without potentially enabling the iPhone to run any significant, useful library of quality mobile software. Apple’s purposeful omission of Java was such a non-even that nobody made much mention of it, because nobody thought that running Java mobile apps was really much of a feature. The lack of Java support on iPhone was completely overshadowed by its similar lack of support for Flash, because users actually saw some reason why one might want to access Flash content.

Additionally, the lack of Java support on the iPhone made Cocoa the only game in town for building apps, creating a funnel of development that resulted in a library of superior, new apps that were consistent and attractive, in stark contrast to the often ugly Java mobile applet junkware that existed in buckets on the web already. This worked along the lines of the 1998 iMac dumping old legacy ports for USB, resulting in an instant market for USB peripherals.

Further, just as PC makers prior to the iMac failed to see the mess of legacy ports as a real problem and were even slow to decisively embrace USB afterward, mobile makers failed to recognize that JavaME wasn’t really very valuable. Dial back the web to 2006, and you can read all sorts of reports about how everyone was declaring their support for Java and promoting it as a bullet point feature, as if smartphone users were really benefitting from the potential to run ugly junkware, poorly.

The iPhone Threat to Adobe, Microsoft, Sun, Real, BREW, Symbian (2007)
Sun Tries to Jump on iPhone Bandwagon with jPhone (2007)
iPhone 2.0 SDK: Java on the iPhone? (2008)

So that’s why Oracle is pissed at Google

Google took a different approach than Apple, because it didn’t have its own mature development APIs to use in building a mobile operating system as Apple did. It had started with Android, a licensed Java platform originating with the developers of Danger. Rather than building its own new platform as Apple did, or as Microsoft had with Windows Mobile, or as Palm would later do with webOS, Google simply modified the Java platform (starting with Apache Harmony as its class library and pruning off compatibility with JavaME) until it got to the point where it decided it wouldn’t have to license any underlying technology from Sun in order to distribute it for free.

Sun appeared to look the other way as this happened, but after Oracle acquired Sun, it accused Google of stomping on Sun’s intellectual property to deliver Android, and has since filed suit with the intent of collecting royalties from Google’s modified version of the Java platform. While that legal argument is being heard by the court, there is a clear and obvious result of Google’s actions that is uncontroversial: Android has virtually replaced at least half the market for JavaME in a very short amount of time, and threatens to squash a large portion of what’s left.

This is bad news for Oracle/Sun and BlackBerry (and Danger, but after Microsoft’s acquisition and the KIN fiasco, the group doesn’t really have prospects for good news) because it means the world’s supply of developers interested in JavaME is bound to dry up and blow away. It’s sort of good news for LG and Samsung and Motorola and HTC and Sony Ericsson, because it means that firstly, they don’t have to pay for JavaME licensing anymore (at least until Oracle wins a claim against Android), and secondly, they they don’t have to manage their own JVM implementations, because Google supplies them with free code that is more likely to work without nearly as many issues as the scores of slightly different JVMs that once existed.

Android’s replacement of JavaME is therefore a lot like Internet Explorer’s replacement of Netscape as the world’s web browser around 1997: a bigger, more powerful vendor offering free software that replaces something that had a lot more flaws and inconsistencies under the hood, with promises that it could deliver faster, better progress that would better facilitate interoperability. When the entire world shifted to IE, it did make it easier to deliver web sites that worked more reliably. With Android, it is similarly quite a bit easier to roll out apps than it was in the JavaME universe.

Google has therefore all but destroyed the JavaME platform and replaced it with its superior alternative. However, this has had nearly no impact upon Apple, because unlike RIM, it does not benefit from Java development, and unlike Oracle, it did not make money from Java. Apple’s iOS was already facing weak competition from Java in apps; now, that competition has been replaced by Android licensees. Despite this change, Apple’s development platform is not at risk because like JavaME, Android offers very little in terms of commercial incentives to actually build apps for its platform.

Major developer turns attention to Google’s Android
How Oracle might kill Google’s Android and software patents all at once
Microsoft’s Pink/Danger backup problem blamed on Roz Ho

We have always been at war with Open-sia

Once again, just to emphasize that point: Apple’s iPhone took on the monoculture of JavaME and won (in terms of popularity, profits, app platform success, and every other metric). Nobody cared. Google has now resurrected the corpse of JavaME in a new incarnation that is threatening to reclaim a similarly large share among all non-Apple handsets (albeit without actually profiting from this, and without actually delivering a successful app platform that benefits users or developers), and it is hailed as the second coming of Christ and the needed comeuppance to Apple’s evil success story.

Cheering for Android is a bit like cheering for a desktop version of Linux struggling to replicate the brain dead look of the Windows desktop to take on Mac OS X in a battle for market share, when a) Apple has never gunned solely for market share, but rather for a profitable market segment that will enable it to continue to deliver the kind of products it wants and b) the “openness” angle at the core of this cheering appears to forget that Apple itself is leveraging open software within its core platform, while Google’s value layers are not.

The highest level open software in Android is Apple’s WebKit browser (also shared with Nokia, BlackBerry and Palm), while Android’s “with Google” apps are closed source commercial software. Android’s highly regarded Gmail app is not only closed source, but doesn’t even support interoperability with open mail standards, forcing users to resort to the second rate, separate but not equal “other mail” app to access email from competitors. That’s the kind of behavior one would expect from a Microsoft, not a Google, and the sort of thing that would be reviled as “EmailGate” were it occurring on the iPhone.

Google similarly seeks to disrupt open interoperability in promoting WebM as a “royalty free” alternative to H.264, an effort that really just pushes Adobe Flash at the expense of HTML5 video. In parallel, it also supports SMS-based messaging within Android for push notifications and silent software installation (SMS is a fee based telecom standard), while Apple built its iOS push notifications upon open standards (XMPP/Jabber PubSub) and similarly built AirPrint as a feature of CUPS, the free printing architecture owned by Apple and freely shared with Linux and other Unix distributions).

Who again is the hero and the villain of open interoperability? There seems to be some mismatch between words and deeds. According to Android advocates, the difference between Apple and Google is a simple matter of black vs white, but this sort of ignorant, fact-free campaigning on buzzwords that do not reflect one’s actual actions is only serving to give Google carte blanche to pull the wool from very black sheep over the eyes of those who choose not to look at reality.

Why is Google so hysterically hypocritical about Bing using its public data?
Google reaffirms intent to derail HTML5 H.264 video

Apple begins stress testing iPhone 3.0 push notifications

A staged battle of dramatic conquest

Curiously however, Android isn’t being portrayed in the media as rivaling JavaME (which it certainly has), but as threatening Apple (which it really hasn’t). This isn’t so much of a mean spirited conspiracy against Apple as it is just an attempt to spin a dramatic story of conflict.

Apple and Android have only ever served as rivals in a symbolic sense. Google had always been gunning at taking out Windows Mobile and herding the JavaME (and Linux) cats into line in a way that Google could benefit from as an ad vendor. Apple, other the other hand, had been aiming at producing a desirable smartphone people would want to buy. These two objectives only ran into each other in minor, peripheral aspects.

Of course, Google has appropriated Apple’s game plan, shifting Android from being a BlackBerry/Windows Mobile killer to being an iPhone alternative, but as overall strategies, the two have very different objectives, as is obvious from Google’s business model revolving around creating a new display surface for ads, and Apple’s business model that revolves around hardware sales, accessory licensing, app sales, media sales, iAd app monetization, retail sales, cloud subscriptions, and related desktop, notebook, tablet, and media player sales.

The fact is that both Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platform can grow tremendously while only ideologically battling in the dramatically staged war zone of blogs and fan-sites. Apple is certainly competing against HTC and Motorola and Samsung, but those skirmishes aren’t very interesting because Apple usually always wins in terms of units sold, user satisfaction, developer interest, and profitability. The only way to make the race watchable is to pit Apple against every other phone maker on earth, collectively, under the banner of Android.

This story is intellectually dishonest for a number of reasons, but primarily, why is “Google’s Android” credited with the unpaid use of its platform by third parties in addition to (occasionally) the non-compatible use of forked versions by rivals (such as China Mobile’s OPhone and the Tapas OS)? Nobody credits Apple with “owning” the “market” for WebKit browsers.

Instead, Google’s Chrome is pitted against Apple’s Safari when market share stories are printed. That’s as silly as calling Google’s Nexus S a rival to Samsung’s Galaxy S, when both are really the same thing with some minor tweaks. Should Google really be credited for reselling other people’s work and hailed as superior to the products its own branded versions are based on?

Did anyone start reporting what share of the PDF reader market Apple had “stolen” from Adobe Acrobat when it began bundling a free Preview app with Mac OS X?

Along those lines, we could be launching into a discussion of Chrome OS, if Google had been able to deliver that last fall as planned. Instead, lets’s discuss the near future of the Android-based tablets about to materialize in Part 3: The Honeycomb Tablet.

Google Android counts include rival Chinese variants
Google delays netbook plans for Chrome OS to mid 2011

  • gus2000

    Maybe we should start calling it “Android: Powered by Oracle”.

  • nextguy

    A few questions:

    “Google similarly seeks to disrupt open interoperability in promoting WebM as a “royalty free” alternative to H.264, an effort that really just pushes Adobe Flash at the expense of HTML5 video. ”

    It sucks that we have this patent mess, but if youtube chooses to support both formats who loses?

    “Android’s highly regarded Gmail app is not only closed source, but doesn’t even support interoperability with open mail standards, forcing users to resort to the second rate, separate but not equal “other mail” app to access email from competitors.”

    Does this mean that it can’t support pop3 or imap in their app? I don’t know because I don’t have an android phone.

    Also, I can’t see how JavaME has any relation to Android; that’s calling it a stretch. The apache harmony project is an open source implementation of desktop java, not mobile.

    Oracle might be stupid to have paid billions for irrelevant outdated technology like JavaME, with today’s smartphones having enough power to blur the line between what is a “desktop” vs. “mobile” level device. Their hypocritical stance on patents and java certification won’t win any friends either.

    Kudos Dan. This is more like it, the style of your writing I prefer. And yes, those old java apps sucked.

  • Mike

    I don’t really see the point in Chrome OS. Yes, it is supposed to be everything the iPad was, except more limited. In a sense, it was Google trying to control the whole widget and hopefully have the user give more of their private information into the cloud and into their servers for advertising purposes. The only problem is that internet access isn’t ubiquitous and isn’t cheap. Never mind that the iPad blew away expectations that Chrome OS actually had to compete on features, not just marketing hyperbole. People aren’t going to buy Chrome OS anymore simply because it’s a netbook, because that’s been done before and this type of computing is largely falling out of favor due to not just the constant requirement of internet access, but also the fact that people don’t feel that the machines would be cheap enough to incur the loss of privacy. Which is probably why Google is pursuing Android instead. Because Chrome OS would almost certainly be a bust, an iPhone in 2007 without the phone and without any of the built-in apps.

    The other thing is that Android 3.0 does look really cluttered. I mean, it looks nothing like the iPad that it is supposed to copy. Which is great for Google pursuing their own ideas of how tablet computing should work, but the point remains that the main allure of tablets is simple computing. Simple consumption, simple editing, it’s just simpler. When you start adding in more features like widgets, the interface gets cluttered and most people won’t know what to do. While many will argue that the iPad/iPhone should have a more full-featured lock screen and it should not look like a bunch of app icons, it was designed with those constraints in mind. For many, it is too simplistic, too limited for their needs. But that is the real beauty of the iPad, that it is the first computer that doesn’t feel like a computer. Will Android 3.0 not feel like a computer? I don’t know.

  • http://www.culica.com culica

    I don’t like google either, and possibly prefer Apple to them. I have an iPhone, and it’s about 1.5 years old. My next phone will be android. Why? I love Linux, and Android is Linux. Also the android phone has greater freedom. I bought a Galaxy tab which has a non-tab version of android on it. I’m not using it for much, but I love it, it has this lovable quality about it. I can honestly say I never loved the iphone, and have never been tempted by an iPad – mainly as it’s too big.

    [Android uses Linux, but to say it “is Linux” is kind of silly. Nobody ports Linux software to Android. Android is a Java-based platform. HP/Palm’s webOS also uses Linux, but it clearly has no relation to Android. iOS uses BSD, but calling it “a BSD platform” would be equally pointless and non-informative. And regarding your galaxy tab: the fact that you’re “not using it for much” says a lot. Maybe you should check out Hummel Figurines, a lot of people “love” those things sitting on their shelf too. – Dan ]

    Just because iPhone is more profitable doesn’t mean it’s better. That’s a price is everything value of nothing attitude.

    [Profitability in itself doesn’t equate to quality, no. But in a competitive market full of options, the fact that Apple is able to skim all the cream off the top is telling. Apple doesn’t really charge more either. A high end Android phone is the same price as iPhone 4, and the older/slower budget models aren’t any better then the iPhone 3GS. ]

    Also, I sense a steep hostility to android, which might be from the fact that you predicted Android would amount to nothing, and in reality everybody is talking about Android, it is a monumental success by any reasonable standards. Ballmer underestimated iPhone and completely underestimated Android. Everybody underestimated Android.

    [I never “predicted Android would amount to nothing.” I pretty consistently said it was gunning to take out WiMo and RIM and serve as a lowest common denominator for third tier hardware makers that can’t write their own software. By “monumental success,” do you mean “replicating the JavaME platform, but without earning any revenues from licensing”? Because even by reasonable standards, it’s not hard to give away software based on somebody else’s platform and designed after another’s. That’s what Microsoft did. It was, however, able to charge for it.

    I don’t think anyone “underestimated” Android. They underestimated Apple, first running to WiMo (Samsung & Sony Ericsson) then fleeing to Symbian then rushing to Android. They have no alternative. Android is the fire embraced by second rate hardware makers who couldn’t take the heat of Apple’s frying pan. – Dan ]

    It’s quite staggeringly successful, and saying it isn’t comes over as being in denial.
    I admire Apple a lot, and am cheering them on. But in my heart, I prefer Android.

    [No kidding. And who can rationally argue with love? It makes one do and say dumb things. – Dan]

  • LuisDias

    As I’ve said before, Android will “win” this war, much unlike Linux never won against Microsoft, due to the simplest of facts that there is no “Windows” on Smartphones. By that I mean, there is no monopoly on operating systems on phones that you must use in order to be compatible with anyone else.

    Because of this, all phone manufacturers are really competing with each other in a fair fight, and the smartphone industry is advancing amazingly fast, just as the PC industry *should* have advanced in the nineties, but didn’t because of the closed monopoly of Wintel.

    In such a surge, it is expected for many outstanding corporations to make surprises. Palm once did it, did it again with the Pre (but failed in the selling business), RIM was very outstanding until the iPhone came about, and Apple really outflanked the whole industry. What Nokia et al didn’t expect was that this was an explosion in the making.

    Now all those companies that lag somewhat behind, like Motorola, HTC, Samsung, etc., had to get back on track with something as best as possible.

    Android is such “possible”. It is no surprise that “android” is sweeping up all the market share previously owned by bullshit OSes, and when sub 100 dollar smartphones enter the market, they will garner an incredible amount of market share, for android is the quickest, cheapest solution for said phones.

    Apple will maintain the high end profits, just as it is right now. Apple is killing the competitors’ margins ruthlessly, while being extremely competitive in the quality/price factor. iOS is a success, and the Xoom et als of 2011 will simply fail to compete due to 1) lack of app ecossystem as great as the iPad; 2) bad pricing; 3) lack of branding recognition.

    Let’s face it. While the previous decade was the decade of the iPod, we are entering the decade of the iPad. I just wonder what will the iPad of 2015 be like…

  • http://ObamaPacman.com ObamaPacman


    It’s more: “Android: Powered by STOLEN Oracle Code.”

    I can’t wait for the Verizon iPhone to kill the knockoff platform.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    @Luis: “As I’ve said before, Android will “win” this war, much unlike Linux never won against Microsoft, due to the simplest of facts that there is no “Windows” on Smartphones. By that I mean, there is no monopoly on operating systems on phones that you must use in order to be compatible with anyone else.”

    It’s not clear that there needs to be or should be a monoculture of software for smartphones.

    There isn’t in video games. PS3,Wii,Xbox – and never has been back to the Odyssey/Atari 2600. Attempts to deliver this failed (recall 3DO?).

    There isn’t in handheld gaming devices. DS/PSP/iPod touch. Attempts to deliver this failed (recall WiMo Gizmondo?).

    There isn’t in media players. iPod, Zune, Sansa. Attempts to deliver this failed (recall PlaysForSure?).

    Apple is proving that we don’t really have to have a monoculture in PCs (Macs on the rise), and that it’s okay to have a smartphone that works well rather than one that runs a lowest common denominator of Java apps, or Flash animations.

    When I first wrote about the iPhone (before it was announced) I got the most scathing hate mail for not saying that Apple would just license Symbian and make a UI layer on top. But Apple chose not to do that. Good thing too. The usual pundits all predicted Apple would license Windows too.

    And if platform monoculture is so attractive, why is Linux on the desktop such a mess? Oh right, the same people who argue for monoculture also can’t decide on exactly which monoculture they want everyone to use.

    So to sound like an economic liberal, (aka american conservative) I’ll point out that this sort of thing is exactly what the Market is good at doing without excessive regulation.

    Once Apple or Google or whoever else begins abusing their market position, we can worry about that, but it sounds like monoculture not only isn’t fated, but also not really desirable, just as it is not desirable in nature. After all, once we got locked into Windows we realized what a digital potato famine looks like. How quickly are we going to forget that lesson?

  • John E

    this Part 2 focusing on the Java thread is definitely informative and a very valuable perspective – one that everyone else misses. thanks!

    yes, G0ogle deserves every bad thing said (although it has done some good and innovative “cloud” work along the way too). the FanDroids really have drunk the Google-Aide.

    but … big picture, it has nonetheless pushed Apple to do its very best at an accelerated pace. which is good for everyone – except those companies that can’t keep up. Elop’s memo today about Nokia’s “burning platform” is very insightful in its own way about that.

  • cadillac88

    The biggest boost Android’s open handset alliance got in 2010 came from Apple themselves by way of their inability to manufacture nearly enough iPhone 4’s. I seriously doubt Apple will be as accommodating to Android this year. We’ll see in a few days whether or not 2011 is going to be different starting with their CDMA launch. Whatever size the smartphone market reaches, the carriers will exactly fill that number with 2 year contracts. The number one problem Apple has to solve going forward is volume so the carriers aren’t foisting whatever else just happens to be on the shelf or worse, shifting marketing dollars because Apple is MIA. I think the lack of iPhone 4 volume had a tremendous effect on how successful Android appeared to be in 2010. DED might not have mentioned it only because it is not quantifiable.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    @cadillac88: not having enough product to satiate demand is one of the nicer problems to have in business, but yes, it’s certianly better to have enough, particularly when you’re making a good profit on each.

    At the same time however, without two iPhones, Apple simply couldn’t reach more than 3/4 of the US carriers. CDMA was a natural barrier that prevented Apple from selling more. Apple is now selling iPhone 4 in the off season – the quarter that has historically served as the “lull before the storm” when the next gen comes out. It’s rather ideal that Apple is launching iPhone 4 to a “new” audience that is ready to snatch it up.

    It’s rather like Chevy selling out its old inventory of last year’s models to a wave of people willing to pay full price for them because they’ve never seen the new models.

    As great as a run as iPhone 4 has had, it’s now getting a second wave of buyers. And as soon as that demand eats up all the production Apple can knock out, the 4G iP5 appears on AT&T and GSM carriers, selling a new wave of phones. By the time that starts peaking out, Apple will have an LTE version for Verizon in 2012, supporting faster data that will just be rolling into widespread deployment.

    That’s a pretty fortunate series of demand surges waiting on Apple’s horizon. It’s only problem will be arranging to build enough, fast enough.

  • kdaeseok

    Been using the Galaxy Tab as iPad can’t be used as a mobile phone, and I have to say it’s great.
    A lot of people (including Jobs) said 7 inch devices are doomed because of its size- which is not true. It fits within my jacket and really comfortable to use.
    It’s running on the OS which is not meant to be a tablet OS, and it shows that in some places but for everyday usage it does its job perfectly. (Not just me… customer reviews on Amazon UK)
    If Honeycomb can improve the performance on the tablet, then I’d say it’s got a bright future.

  • John E

    ?? kdaeseok – Skype works fine on iPad, including via 3G. voice quality not as good as cell, but price is much better.

  • enzos

    Not saying anything original here but I’m wondering if all the rumours of a 7″ iPad (presuming they come from somewhere) are really a retina display 7″ iPod touch, which would find its market as an e-reader (being paperback format) AND as an internet phone, nicely bridging the gap etc..

  • gctwnl

    As Horace Dediu of Asymco argued a while ago: this is a supply constrained market. Therefore, there is still no true competition between iOS smart phones and Android smart phones that can be measured in market terms. But a device like a ‘smart phone’ and a ‘tablet’ are form factors that do experience competition. A user is bound to use either iOS or Android on his/her smart phone, but not both. So, there is competition, it is just not measurable yet in market numbers, because both grow as fast as supply allows.

    Apple is gunning to create a market place that is healthy in itself. Enough users that can support an ecosystem where enough developers can make money. For that, the users must ‘desire’ the experience of iOS devices and so far Apple is doing very well. Because, while there are no market numbers that are worth while discussing in a supply constrained market, stuff like user satisfaction surveys are telling how Apple is positioned when the market starts to reach saturation. And so far: Apple is positioned pretty well because their core driver is not market share or money, but user experience. Apple needs to grow as fast as they can while maintaining high levels of user satisfaction and developer success.

    And there are also technological rooms for growth. I hope for the following innovations from Apple:
    – Apps for Apple TV
    – FaceTime for Apple TV
    AppleTV is a largely untapped resource so far and could become your living room video conferencing setup easily enough.

    And I hope they won’t try to build and market a TV set. It is not their core competence and they don’t have the technology (e.q. display algorithms to fight the sample & hold effect, something where Sony is king).

  • kdaeseok

    John E// I do use skype as well but it cannot replace the mobiles yet. For example, even after you’ve purchased skype Online Number, you cannot send/receive sms from it.

  • John E

    but there are several iPad apps that do SMS too. yeah tho, for constant use one would not try to replace a cellphone with an iPad (or laptop). so if you are single and can only afford one gizmo, it’s gonna be some kind of smartphone. if the larger 7″ size works for you for constant use, then it makes sense. but do you really hold it up to your ear? or you have a blutooth mic on your ear all the time?

  • John E

    interesting. went over to Amazon just to see what tablets are selling well. their mysterious ranking algorithm is always suspect, and many of the reviews are obviously paid for (except by Apple i expect), but it gives you a rough idea. so in the “tablet” category, the 6 iPad models are all in the top 12 sellers, including #1 (16G WiFi @ $514 – no tax?). there are over 100 various makes and models listed, lots of Androids, and all the others on the first couple of pages are priced under $500 (Dell Streak tops at $449), most much less. i was looking for the Samsung Galaxy – but it’s not listed there at all! even tho Amazon is definitely selling several models of it, it’s not included in the tablet category or rankings. now how could that be? something is going on …

  • kdaeseok

    I use a bluetooth stereo headset or just as it is. Either way it just works fine.
    Amazon classifies Tab as a mobile phone I guess.

  • http://motorizedmount.com Alan

    A little off topic in relation to Android, but I am curious about one thing. Both AT&T and Verizon own 700 MHz spectrum for LTE but many other countries will not be using 700MHz for LTE. Add to that that both AT&T and Verizon will continue to support their old GSM and CDMA frequencies for many more years. Verizon said it will not be ready for full LTE coverage that includes voice as well until at least 2014 and would continue to support CDMA for several years beyond that. Many foreign carriers will take even longer to fully deploy their LTE networks that allow voice as well.

    Given all these different spectrums and technologies around the world and even in the U.S., will Apple eventually have to make more than just two models to cover the same customer base they have now or are their some new chips in development that can carry all these different bands.

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  • relativity


    With integration and lithography advancing like it has been the past decade, it will be possible to support every known PHY air interface through what’s called SDR or software-defined radio. SDR is already being deployed to improve cell towers to support a multitude of legacy, 3G, 4G, and beyond. SDR processes the baseband and modulation-demodulation all through software so a theoretical chip with SDR could support every known air interface. Meanwhile, current tech should be able to integrate current PHYs into a single SoC as Qualcomm’s multi-mode MSMs has proven. SDR will only “simplify” the hardware a bit but the bulk of the work will be on the processors. We’ll just see how power-efficient this method will be.

    As for voice-over-LTE, Verizon folks just announced that big V is getting ready to launch support of HD voice over LTE this summer.

  • relativity


    Can’t wait for your highly-craved-for opinions of the latest Palm, err HP, webOS devices most especially the delicious looking TouchPad announced today.

    I am very much interested to know how much that piece of jewel would cost compared to the upcoming iPad2 configurations.

    The Touchpad appears to blow Moto’s Xoom (or any Android tablet) away. Too bad Moto (and Samsung) will have to go back to the lab even before release.

    I think HP has a winner finally…now when is the release again?

  • relativity

    I think Nokia might just surprise everyone on Friday if they license webOS as their new platform. Was it a coincidence HP’s webOS extravaganza announcement two days when Nokia announces their new OS strategy? Hmmm…

    Think of it, HP has all to gain by sharing and licensing its crown jewel to the world’s biggest phonemaker – who is in dire straits – to regain its footing against iOS and Android in this “disrupted” mobile market. HP + Nokia’s reach would counter the Android wave better than iOS since Apple’s objectives aren’t the mid-low end of the market (as Dan already pointed out).

    Nokia buying into Windows Phone is not the game-changing strategy that Nokia needs. Far from it! We need Nokia to counter-balance the field against Google’s Android and also to keep Apple from getting soft with iOS in the future. Nokia with webOS would be a great fit!

  • http://backaccessward.blogspot.com beetle

    Great article!

    Out my window I see a line down the block at the Verizon store…

    Typo (3rd paragraph after second heading):
    > Java was such a non-even
    (Should be non-event).

  • http://www.copperhead-design.com Mr. Reeee

    Too late. Nokia announced they’ll be using WinPhone 7.

    The only positive I see in that is Steve Ballmer will finally be able to announce a “success” to the MS board of directors. That should be enough of an excuse to keep him in charge and finish his fine, decade long job of driving Microsoft deep into the ground.

    That’s a strategy we can all cheer for!

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