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back to article How Google and Apple exposed their Achilles heels this week

In the massive tussle between Apple and Google, it is easy to forget that neither giant (for all their successes) is infallible. They are almost unbeatable in their core markets – Apple in device design and user experience, Google in search, advertising and online software. But once they venture out of their comfort zones, …

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Anonymous Coward

Facebook advertising...

It wiil be interesting to see if Facebook advertising would tie the products to being bought through the Facebook store. That would put the frighteners up Amazon and Google.

Probably likely because at the moment the Facebook store doesn't appear that popular, and you can bet they want it to be.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-17/f-commerce-trips-as-gap-to-penney-shut-facebook-stores-retail.html

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WTF?

Re: Facebook advertising...

There's a Facebook store!?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Facebook advertising...

Facebook Store? Really! You must be joking shurley!

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Widespread NFC take up

Isnt a year away, it's an iPhone5 away, it will of course be chorused with the usual cries of "Apple didn't invent it”, nevertheless they will be the ones to make it ubiquitous as usual.

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Pirate

Neither Google or Apple have exceptional security when their core servers are not involved. Any thing that depends on information stored on remote devices is bound to be insecure. Phones can be rooted easily, malicious apps loaded and info on remote devices accessed readily.

This payment and balance info should be stored on their core servers (Like iTunes and Gmail) and accessed by public key encryption when needed with a security double check like a strong PIN or pattern match or other security measure like a voice sample (All stored only the core servers). Android and iPhone both have this capability. None of this info should be stored on the phone in an insecure manner. Plus, whether I use a phone or tablet or PC, the balance is consistent and I don't have to manage three separate wallet accounts. Paypal comes to mind here.

Further, the user should be able to set their own "number of transactions per day" and "withdrawal amount" limits on those accounts to stop bot abuse with email confirmations able to be sent with each purchase as a sanity check.

Will be a PIA when the phone is out of range of a cell tower, but certainly more secure. Keep an emergency £100 in your pocket for those occasions.

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But...

The NFC thingy has a secuure smartcard module where stuff is actually secure; rooting the phone won't get you into it. The problem with Wallet is that its PIN is stored outside this, in the "rootable" part of the phone.

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Apple iAd versus competition

The loss of market share for iAd is probably not as dire as people are making it out to be. Apple set up an easy way for iPhone developers to put ads in their apps without any work at all on their part, which is great for small developers. Big developers can afford doing some work on their own in exchange for keeping all the revenue.

iAd is therefore limited in three ways:

1) by Apple's market share (since iAd is iPhone only)

2) by the percentage of apps that have any advertising at all

3) by the percentage of apps made by "smaller" developers for whom it isn't worth the hassle of doing anything beyond enabling iAd

Apple's market share (in the smartphone market, not the overall phone market) will decline over time since smartphones will be 100% of all phones sold in a few years, and the bulk will be super cheap Android phones replacing the feature phone category. This is already happening, but losing smartphone market share to Android doesn't mean Apple can't still double iPhone sales YoY for a while yet.

This drop in smartphone market share for iPhone is the cause of the drop in iAd share. It isn't that iAd isn't serving more ads and making more money YoY, just like iPhone sales, its just that the various ad networks that serve Android are growing faster due to Android sales increasing at an even faster rate than iPhone sales.

The reduction in campaign sizes is probably not also something to be too concerned about. This brings more potential advertisers, since there are many more potential clients with a $100K budget for online ads than clients with $1 million budgets. Using a very large campaign size at first made it easier to get this off the ground, since they've never done this before and probably didn't want to be flooded by 50,000 potential clients. They'll have to continue to decrease it as they (and everyone else) moves towards the holy grail of location based advertising.

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FAIL

Archilles heels?

These aren't archilles heels, these were plain out mistakes. And some dumb ones too IMO.

An archilles heel is something you have to cope with because in the end there's nothing you can do about it, apart from applying extra protection of some sort. But nonetheless the weak spot remains, and it can totally break you.

A mistake otoh should be both avoidable and fixable. With regards to the Google wallet; IMO it is a major design flaw to tie a virtual wallet to a phone instead of the account being used. How hard is it to imagine that phones might get lost someday?

As to Apple... Same applies; if any its a rather poorly chosen revenue expectation. But hardly something which can make or break the entire company and it seems to me as if Apple immediately fixed their mistake, at least tried to.

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Re: Archilles heels?

Archilles: bastard offspring of Archimedes and a hill?

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"Has Apple's iAd had it?"

Every iAd sold, and every Siri query answered first time (it eventually falls back to google) is one less ad served by Google. iOS is still the largest source of mobile advertising income for Google. These small steps are eating away at that.

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Maybe I'm being naive, but...

...since we already have a "chip'n'pin" infrastructure, how hard would it be to put the "chip" part into the phone, connect it up with the NFC gubbins and use your phone as a debit card?

There are already situations, eg toll bridges/tunnels where a debit/credit card can be used without a PIN. Obviously, most like me would not want an NFC/chip'n'pin combo tied to the main account. Use it like PayPal etc and just top it up as required. Maestro comes to mind.

Now that I think about it, it could even be a plug in module similar to a microSD card supplied to you by your bank. Once plugged in, the phone can access the card and connect back to the bank as required. I can't see a good reason for competing "apps" on different phones and/or OSs. And the charging/payment infrastructure is already in place, shops just need a new reader interface plugged into their existing system.

I also want the system, whatever it is, however it's implemented, to have an "off" switch. Don't want to see any "ghost" transactions just because I walked too close to a scanner or put my phone down on a shop counter while getting my real, physical wallet out.

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Re: Maybe I'm being naive, but...

Your suggestion would be valid if the point of chip & pin was to increase convenience or security to the customer. It isn't and never was. It's there to provide the banks with the 'default deniability of responsibility' they tried to foist on everyone when ATMs came in. The point is not to make life easy for you, it's so the banks can use the 'you must have given your PIN away so we're not responsible when all the money disappears from your account' excuse every time. They couldn't do that with cheques and signatures, because the world accepted that signatures can be forged.

Jon

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Re: Maybe I'm being naive, but...

I could be completely wrong here, but I think chip and pin is a european initiative - I don't think it is used in the US or Asia, which is where the phones are developed and manufactured.

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Re: Re: Maybe I'm being naive, but...

No, EMV is a multi-national, not just European, initiative. The USA are the major holdouts, mainly because the US banks make merchants buy the terminal equipment, were in other countries the banks lease the terminals to the merchants. At this stage, it looks like the US will leapfrog the "chip" part of the specs and go straight to NFC cards instead.

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Re: Maybe I'm being naive, but...

I heard last year that mobile operators were trying to develop a SIM card with an NFC chip built in to allow mobile payments, and there are already micro sd's that can do it.

Not sure about their security though, perhaps that's why we haven't seen them hit the market (yet?).

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Joke

Bah humbug

I have a NFC capable phone today, and in Australia no less.

I've gaffa tapped my credit card to the back of my phone.

And it doesn't cost me any extra.

And there is no advertising associated with it either.

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Headmaster

It is of course beyond dispute that Cupertino have a................

........very valuable brand and it is scarcely surprising that they are keen on finding as many ways of monetizing this as possible - any company would. However, there is a very fine line between leveraging this to the max and hubris. Looking at their original terms and conditions I have to say that they crossed that line by a fair margin. It is hardly surprising that they are having to "adjust" their requirements.

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Flame

El Reg Fails!

Maybe I missed it, but the WSJ had an excellent article that was not only picked up by CNN but 3 congressmen wonder if Google's latest privacy gaff violates their earlier agreement with the US Government over privacy issues.

In case you have missed it, Google got caught circumventing Apple's Safari privacy settings. Snooping on Safari users regardless of their privacy settings. Big story, but somehow missing from El Reg.

How is that possible?

Sorry but this story is a waste of time when you have a better story that was never reported on. :-(

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Go

Facebook and Google

Enjoy them!

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Nokia Wallet?

Anyone remember that?

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