Daniel Eran Dilger
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Apple’s iPhone and the Curious World of Android Enthusiasts

Daniel Eran Dilger

It’s Saturday so I made some Keynote slides instead of writing a whole lot.

El iPhone de Apple y el Curioso Mundo de los Entusiastas de Android (en español)

Oh Android Enthusiasts, you never cease to entertain. Click to enlarge.

With Microsoft and Nokia working on their own product, Android Enthusiasts will be like the Tea Party minus corporate-backed Republicans: little more than a really pushy religion. The rest of 2011 should be lots of fun to watch.

  • gatorguy

    Postscript: I wanted to be clear about one thing Dan: I have the utmost respect for you as an analyst of all things Apple. You appear to have great sources, reliable information on upcoming features and the trust of thousands of Apple users. Many of your predictions on the Apple market and upcoming changes have been spot on. Absolutely don’t dispute that. My quibbles are with the way Android is approached as a subject on the site as a whole. If I needed “Apples point of view” on a subject, you’d be one of my first choices. I just don’t find your viewpoints on Android to be either objective or accurate.

  • gatorguy

    Apologies, inadvertant double post. What can I say? It was sent from a PC. :)

  • Howard

    Quite simply … Brilliant.

  • Andre Richards

    You know what the most bizarre things about Android users/Google fans is? Most of them seem to think “open source” means free services. Try talking to some of them and you’ll soon discover that a lot of the geek cred these guys are assumed to have is bogus. Most of them are just know-nothing fans of all-things-Google and have no idea what the concept of open source actually means. I debated this once with a guy who kept insisting that Apple was closed and Google was open and his proof? The fact that he wasn’t charged a dime to use any of Google’s services. I tried to explain to him that Apple was actually a very active contributor to the open source community and that, in fact, Google’s browser was powered by Apple’s open source Webkit and he simply could not grasp what I meant.

    Anyway, try it sometime and see what I’m talking about. For a lot of these Google fans, open source = free services, and that’s the real extent of their knowledge when it comes to that entire topic.

  • androidlover

    lol all your points are wrong, come out of the apple bubble and learn to get opposite perspectives, impossible for an apple fan I presume(tongue firmly in cheek)
    1) Android market is proprietary, android OS is not, android OS is fully open source and I hope you realize the significance of open source, iOS is based on an open source operating system unix. Apple struggled with their own in-house OS and they only thrived when they changed over to unix. Google has never said, android market is open source

    [Trying to grasp the point you think you are making. I made it very clear that Android only has some Open Source components. Most of the value is not open. Not Google's apps, not most third party apps, and not most phones themselves. So there's really no "open" advantage for users, only system integrators who want to customize (and fractionalize) Android code as a platform. As I pointed out (and as you seem to be strawman arguing with me, Apple has also leveraged open source BSD to bring the iPhone to market quickly, but as is the case with Google's use of Linux, this is largely irrelevant to users, and certainly does not make either product an "open" phone.

    You chastise me for being unable to learn the "opposite perspective," then argue the same thing I just said. That's an indication you don't really understand the fairly obvious picture I drew for you. I find this bizarre. ]

    2) App market mediocrity, that discussion is so 2010, this is 2011, I would advise you to browse market.android.com and see how it blows aways the crummy Itunes with its stupid legacy ties to PC. And as for market sales, I would expect it to improve this year, around 40 percent of android handsets were sold in q4 2010, it needs time dude, it is not magic.

    [Are you joking? It's 2011 and Android Market is a laughingstock full of ringtone and wallpaper apps. Nobody is buying software from Android. Despite having those leading sales" in 2010, Google was behind RIM and Nokia in app store revenue, and about a tenth of what Apple was doing. That is to say, completely irrelevant. Apple built its app business since mid 2008, so it's not like Apple has some vast lead. It's just doing a vastly better job.]

    3) android OS is littered with adware? I have nexus S, I don’t see any ads when I am making a call, I only see ads with free apps. I presume you like the emotional appeal of iAds because it is magical and different(and has the i alphabet) ? and no OS has not crashed even once. Maybe you tested out with a low end android smartphone. You get what you pay for.

    [Adware pertains to the software platform, not the core OS. Not yet at least. I wouldn't put it past Google to start popping up ads while you make calls. You paid an iPhone 4 price for a plastic phone running old software that is not likely to be updated within 3-6 months of Google's releases. ]

    4) needless criticism of google logo, shows where your heart is(hate for any company that competes with Apple). A company is more than its logo, heck google changes its logo a lot.

    [I don't hate Google, I'm just disappointed that they do such a poor job at things they obviously aren't any good at, instead of working to figure out how to do those things correctly first, as Apple has done in entering completely new markets (like iAd, or smartphones, or music players, or web browsers, or tablets. Look at the amateur job Google is doing everywhere. Sloppy and embarrassing. ]

    5) yes users need to make decisions, over time, this is more scalable than on relying on a few hundred overworked censor employees in Apple who have their own biases and who are presumably human, so they are going to make mistakes and apple users have no way of knowing that the app they have downloaded from apple appstore is riddled with bad intentions.

    [I guess "I love spyware and adware and worms and viruses" is also an acceptable defense for Google's failure in Android Market.]

    6) Yes Google gave away free OS to compete with APple. Instead Google should not have competed with Apple and let Apple dominate Platforms and slowly exclude google(remember Google voice blocking in 2009)

    [I don't really write about what I think "should" have happened, because my opinion is worth about as much as yours. I write about what is happening. Because people like you refuse to see that personal, ideologically driven goals are not reality. That makes what I write worth more than what you write, because it's not just my opinion. ]

    7) Nokia is a dead company, it does not matter what they do, most of their sales are in India and China and they are moving away from Symbian, I am not sure if WP7 will sell all that well in price conscious India and China.

    [Most of their sales are not going toward WP7, they're acting as the world's cheap feature phone. Which "price conscious" buyers are likely to want more than a fragile smartphone that looks like an iPhone but has a dancing green robot associated with it.]

    8) Android is going to enable 100 dollars or less smartphones in India and China and yes it is a bad thing that so many people are now going to get an equal footing with the wealthy western residents, somehow it is evil and megalomaniacal.
    Finally as an android lover, I like the competition between android and iOS and this keeps both the companies honest and developer friendly. See how a google loving nerd is more broadminded than Apple loving apple fan. The next time you write, please do some proper analysis of Apple’s competitors and come out of the comfort zone.

    [I fail to see how you are "broadminded" at all. You seem content with forming an opinion and calling everyone else names based on your idea of what you think "should happen." Sounds pretty ignorant to me. At least I back up what I say with figures and trends, rather than just decreeing what "everyone wants" based on my own personal fantasy - Dan ]

  • androidlover

    Andre Richards,
    I find Apple fans are clueless when it comes to the definition of open source, open source means source is available for all. Open source does not mean open development, appstore for that OS should be open or that gatekeepers for the source code of that OS should come from more than one company. Those are all peripheral to the definition of open source. And Apple fans hardly know that iOS is based on Unix which is open source.
    And webkit was not originally developed by Apple, it was derived from the KHTML foundation which Apple then forked.

    [Wrong, WebKit was originally develop by Apple because Apple originated the WebKit project. WebCore is a fork of KHTML. WebCore is just the rendering engine, and wasn't that valuable. Nobody adopted Apple's work until it opened up the entire browser with WebKit. Clearly you are just bigoted and prejudiced against Apple because it's easier than understanding how things actually work.

    It doesn't really matter to users that Apple uses, funds and participates in open source development, ranging from BSD to LLVM to CUPS to WebKit. The important part is that Apple doesn't make some grandiose statement about being "open and not evil" and then turn around and release proprietary software on a locked device. Android hype about openness is largely just hypocritical nonsense. The value of Android is not open. -Dan ]

  • androidlover

    you are taking objection to the hyperbole and marketing statements of Google I guess, I believe Apple also does it from time to time :), I am sorry you were offended by name calling. But I did give points against your observations.

    Google might make poor software, but look at chrome and safari, both are freely available for windows, but it is chrome which is growing much faster than safari.

    [Well I can't claim that Safari is great software, but Chrome is built from Apple's WebKit. So it's not like it competes with Safari. You might as well compare a VW to an Audi and say the VW sells better when, its based on an Audi frame and engine. Rather ludicrous comparison. ]

    Not sure if android is doing an amateur job, if ANdroid is an amateur job, it is one heck of an amateur job with over 350K activations per day, I mean Apple should be positively happy that android is an amateur job, else its activations per day would have touched the stratosphere(1million per day perhaps)

    [Those phones were already being sold before Android. They had Symbian or Windows Mobile on them or were proprietary LG with Flash Lite. The fact that they have Android on them now is meaningless. Google didn't invent a new market, it just pushed out free software based on stuff it took from its former partners. What Google has uniquely built is the amateur part: a platform that works about as well as Windows, a dysfunctional software store, ugly, poor quality buggy OS software, and shoddy support for standards, from CalDAV to HTML5 SVG. ]

    you did not get my point regarding android market. Yes Android market sucked till now, but market.android.com the webbased android market is much better and this debuted in feb 2011 and the process of installing apps without wires is pretty nice.
    you also did not get my point regarding installed base, apple iOS install base is much bigger than android, until the beginning of Q4, there were only 34 million android devices(5 million in Q1, 9 million in Q2, 20 million in Q3 as per IDC), but already more than a 100 million iOS devices were in circulation. It is only recently that android device activations is matching and vaulting over the total number of iOS device activations daily.

    [But the store is still just mountains of ringtones and wallpapers pretending to be useful apps, augmented by stolen apps wrapped in malware. It's a junk market and you can't deny that. Having more Android handsets won't turn that around, just as having more Windows PCs didn't make the market for Windows software legitimate. Both are 60% piracy and 30% malware.]

    Also android may not be fully open, but it is much more open than iOS, for eg, you say android market sucks, so others can take a shot at an improved android market say amazon or verizon or even start ups like appbrain. That is indeed open. And android OS is fully open source. That is significant. For the first time, an open source software is going to power hundreds of millions of consumer devices, the possibilities are endless, new business models could emerge washing the boring and old business model. And darwinian evolution will see to it that only strong business models survive/thrive. I did give an example that iOS is based on freeBSD. And hasn’t apple disrupted telcos ?

    [There is nothing open in Google's VALUE layer in Android. Linux has already been widely used by Motorola in China. It wasn't really open, just openly exploited. The mobile world is being changed by Apple's innovation, not by phony-open software maintained by Google. Google is promoting proprietary standards it publishes (much like Microsoft publishing VC-1 and Office formats as "open") and the promotion of Adobe's proprietary Flash. That's the reverse of open.]

    And when I said Apple appstore is also prone to bad apps, you just made some vague general statements, the fact is Apple app approvers are humans, so time and again they fail(humans fail more than machines at repetitive tasks, it is well documented), some rotten apps get through, and the apple users fully trusting Apple install apps thinking it is a good app properly tested. My point is apple appstore security policies is not scalable

    [Sorry, that just isn't true. There haven't been report after report about malware/spyware in the App Store. The problem is off the hook in Android Market because its easy to steal an app, wrap it with malware, and put it back up with Google's blessing. That's only possible (and WIDESPREAD) on the jailbroken Cydia store, which is why Apple does not support sideloading. So no, you are wrong in assuming there is no difference. ]

    And you have nothing to say about cheap smartphones mostly powered by android changing lives literally in India and China and other emerging countries.

    [What hogwash. Nobody with a life that needs changing is doing so via a "cheap" smartphone in poor nations. The reality is that, while the press chats up Apple/Foxconn suicides, Google licensees employ illegal child labor, work in dangerous and abusive conditions, and are exploited by migrant worker traffickers. It's just that Google takes no action to change any of this, while Apple does. The companies that Apple rejects as unfit suppliers make Android phones. ]

    Ultimately both companies are answerable to their shareholders and do their best to increase shareholder wealth, it is just that more users will benefit from android than from Apple in the long term.(my subjective opinion) and that is why I am an android lover.
    iAds is a non-entity basically. Admob blows iAds out of the park.

    [By what metric, the level of your fanitude? Check to see how great of a share of the mobile market Apple and Google have. Apple went from zero in ads to being tied with Google. You can't invent facts just like you invent your own opinion. ]

    PS: when google says “do no evil”, they mean to the end-users, google exists to help end-users. If end-users stop trusting them, they will stop visiting google.com and they will lose business. That is all that it means, it is simple really.

    [Except that Google fuels spammers via email, web site monetization and phony search results. I don't think spam is in users' interests. With Android, it clearly does not have users' interests in mind. It has created the world's most powerful malware/spyware platform, rivaling Windows by adding mobility into the mix, so rather than just having viruses on your PC, you now have all your personal data, calling records and SMS charges exposed to active malicious hacking, right in the Android Market. ]

    And you say android is a monoculture and you despise that future, yet you are willing to live in a world where all the profits from software, hardware, ads , services go to one company ala Apple. That would be wonderful for consumers eh, with Apple at 2 trillion dollar market cap and the rest around zero and the developers living in fear of the apple overlords. I find that as bad as android monoculture you were alluding to.

    [Worrying that world will fall to Apple is rather slippery slope nonsense, considering that it has 10% of PCs and 20% of smartphones. Google, on the other hand, controls +90% of all English web search and monopolizes the market for web advertising. They can make anyone disappear on the web. Your fears are clearly misplaced - Dan ]

  • gslusher


    “there’s several reason Betmax may have lost. But pricing is a primary reason”

    Funny, when I bought my first VCR (a Betamax by Toshiba), it was CHEAPER than any VHS VCR I could find at the time. That’s one reason that I got it. I later also bought a VHS VCR, primarily for 1) 6 hours vs 4 hours recording time and 2) movie rentals. It certainly wasn’t the price. I didn’t pay anything near $1300–more like $400-500.