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back to article Too slow with that iPhone refresh, Apple: Android is GOBBLING up US mobile market

Android made further inroads into the US market at the expense of Apple, according to latest market share snapshot from tech analyst Kantar. Meanwhile, Windows Phone has stalled in 2014. Neither finding is at all surprising. Android devices are available at prices Apple won’t compete with, and months of pre-publicity for the all …

Speak for youself!

I've just bought an iPhone 5S, because from all the reports the 6 is going to be stupidly large.

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Re: Speak for youself!

Interesting; I bought a 5S at launch for two reasons:

1. Full UK 4G spectrum support

2. Rumours (even a year ago) were that the post-5S phone will be much bigger

Despite many Android fanbois poo-pooing the size of my 5S, for me it's the perfect balance between usability and portability for a device which goes almost everywhere with me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Speak for youself!

Unlike the previous iPhone that was advertised as having 4G but worked in none of the UK spectrum...

Fools and their money are soon parted as they say. All Android phones to my knowledge work with 4G properly, unlike Apple's early attempts.

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Re: Speak for youself!

Erm, I've got a iPhone 5, and its working quite happily on EE with 4G. It doesn't do the 2600MHz and 800MHz bands that were auctioned, but both 3 and EE provide an 1800MHz service.

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Italy?

OK folks, any theories as to WinPho's popularity there?

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Re: Italy?

Italy is shaped like a boot, so it's patriotic for Italians to reboot.

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Re: Italy?

Yes. Windows Phone 8.1 actually a pretty decent OS and, crucially, available for cheap: Italians tend to buy SIM-free then get a PAYG SIM option, rather than signing up for long contracts. You can still get the latter, but Italians are nowhere near as interested in endless credit as other countries I could name.

Price is a big factor too. If you think the UK was a "rip-off", you should see the prices charged over here. I've seen differences of over €70 for the same product in France and Italy, despite both countries allegedly having the same currency. (Yes, Apple, I'm looking at you. As for you, Samsung, you're just as guilty.)

Dual-SIM phones are also popular due to the shite cellphone coverage once you step outside the cities. Apple don't make any of those, so you're left with either a Nokia, or some little-known brand of Android device. (Ever heard of a WIKO BARRY? No, me neither.)

Samsung seem to be trying to chase the same high-end market as Apple here, so they're not interested in the cheap and cheerful sector.

I suspect Italians aren't that big on buying apps either. Relatively few apps tend to be localised into Italian to begin with, so it's not as if there's a vast selection on any platform to choose from.

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Re: Italy?

First of all you have to take Kantar's figures with a large bucket of salt: the numbers comparison allows you to compare over time and between countries. Worth giving the numbers a spin as market share often moves 1 % a month in either direction. IIRC this is because Kantar isn't actually assessing market share but customer preferences at any one time. This is probably why the numbers differ so strongly from those of IDC.

That said: Nokia did some hard work to get their phones onto some networks such as Orange in France and the UK and presumably TIM in Italy.

The numbers are still not credible for Germany where I reckon IOS has > 20 % share (based on anecdotal observation in public transport) and Windows is a rounding error: I can still count on the fingers of one hand the Lumias I've seen here in the wild.

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Re: Italy?

Salesdroids don't care enough to criticize it? Italians like cheap phones? It's (possibly) regarded as stylish? MS's Italian marketing agency break the usual mould by not being massively useless fucktards?

Could be any number of reasons.

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Re: Italy?

MS made them an offer they couldn't refuse?

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LDS
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Re: Italy?

Italy has a long history with PAYG SIM because each SIM tied to a contract also pay a €5.16 state tax monthly. Moreover PAYG SIM were highly favored by telcos because they get money before they are spend (with contracts, you paid later....), and thereby in the past many contracts also suffered a monthly fee that moved many users to PAYG. It was also seen by users as a way to better control costs when calls where expensive. Today, about 80% of users use a PAYG SIM.

Coverage is not an issue outside cities but in some very remote areas. Some company which entered the market later (i.e. Wind and 3) suffered initially some coverage issues, but not today. Dual SIM phones were never common but for some specific advanced users.

It is true that iPhone price is probably among the higher ones in the Euro countries, and Samsung tries as well to establish itself as an high-end brand (but cheaper model are available), but "landfill" Android are anyway available from several other brands.

But Nokia is still a good brand in Italy, and Microsoft has a less bad reputation than in other countries (i.e. Germany), nor Google has a very good one.

Shops don't hide WP phones, and they are shown along others in leaflet from electronic shop chains. Some Nokia models were also offered at very interesting prices from telcos.

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Re: Italy? And Germany

Germany also has a similar attitude. Most people seem to be switching to SIM free phones and the cheap Nokias were a lot better than Androids at the same price - although the likes of the Moto G are starting to change that.

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I have an Android phone, but I don't want to see an exclusive Android world. Competition is always a good thing and it keeps prices reasonable.

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@ NoneSuch

What competition ?

iPhone, no choice if you want iOS, either pay a fortune for the latest or a very high price for years old kit.

Windows, MS are so slow with each update on the OS it means there is no competition there and it poushed away even someone like me who really like the OS, but lack of updates and apps were just a killer.

The only real competition for Android is Android, ie different versions from handset makers plus phones from China breaking into the market from the likes of lenovo.

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Holmes

There is plenty of competition, some of it pretty cut-throat, between vendors of Android phones. That's what keeps driving the prices down and the specs up.

Android is open source so we're also reasonably well-insulated from anything happening to Google. Yes, most manufacturers pay to have access to the Google apps but there are drop-in replacements for nearly all of them. I think Maps and Hangouts and, of course, the Play Store, are the only ones I use.

The biggest risk to consumers is the age-old problem of a monoculture. If it goes too far this can stifle innovation. It can also magnify any security risks. Having the OS open source does go some way to mitigating this as the source code is available for research. But as the OpenSSL debacle demonstrated there's no guarantee of that.

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Anonymous Coward

You have competition AND compatability.

The perfect world is almost upon us.

An Opensource OS, that nobody controls, (Google merely manages it), and you have all the handset vendors that matter (bar one) using it.

You competition is in your handset vendor. The upside is they all run Android and all your apps are interoperable. You stop liking what Samsung makes? No problem, buy a Sony, or a HTC, or a LG, or whatever.

In this case dominant position is GOOD for the consumer. It gives you freedom to move vendors. For that reason, I downvoted your comment, and I urge anyone else with brain that understand what I just wrote, to do the same...

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Re: You have competition AND compatability.

... until Google decides to really start exerting the control which they certainly can and they so dearly love (as a corporation). Your model of "perfection" relies upon a single company "doing no evil", something which historically, is the ludicrous assumption of those in denial.

It astounds me that the Googloids keep building their arguments based on Google being somehow naturally and intrinsically "good".

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Facepalm

Re: You have competition AND compatability.

"It astounds me that the Googloids keep building their arguments based on Google being somehow naturally and intrinsically "good"."

They're kind-of like the technical equivalent of the politically correct brigade - except that anyone who doesn't fit in with their way of thinking is either a "shill" or a "Microsoft employee", rather than a "racist".

I think it's rather funny watching them become the very thing they hate... All this rubbish about "an open source OS that google merely manages" - in other words, Google have embraced AOSP. And over the years they have slowly been extending it by means of their APIs. And now, with Google's pretty much defacto control of web search among the sheep and the advent of "Android Silver Standards", it looks suspiciously like the start of the extinguish part of the cycle.

And, as you rightly point out, there's plenty of "Googloids" all to ready to spread FUD, usually along the lines of "If you're not with us, you'll be stuck with Microsoft!" - I think even the most hardened fan would have to admit that there have been a number of monumental cock-ups and acts of nastiness over Microsoft's history - but who's to say anyone else is going to be any better? Google certainly isn't looking like it will - not any more. Absolute power corrupts absolutely - and what better indication is there of "absolute power" in a particular field that your company's name becoming synonymous with the field itself?

Think before you downvote - are you doing it because you genuinely disagree (in which case, post a reply and counter-argue), or are you doing it because someone dared criticise your supreme Google overlords?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You have competition AND compatability.

@Philip Lewis

Android is OpenSource, nothing can change that, I know Google are really good at pretty much everything they touch, but even they can't rewrite time....

You want to make your own Android handset, no problem, sourcecode is here: http://source.android.com/

Nothing Google can do can un-open-source it. Apple and Microsoft's closed source nature means it can die the moment either company loses interest or refocuses. That's can't happen to Android.

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Mushroom

Re: You have competition AND compatability.

"Nothing Google can do can un-open-source it."

I'm sorry, but - Bollocks. In fact, they're already working on it.

The Android Silver project stinks of the same kind of trickery that Microsoft have been known for: Embrace an open source project, extend it with custom APIs, then extinguish all competition - in this case:

1) create a "standard" with an enticing offer to bring the device manufacturers calling

2) cherry pick the device manufacturers Google want from those that apply

3) subsidise said manufactures so they can undercut the competition

4) manipulate Google search results to maximise discoverability of said subsidised devices

5) wait for the competition to fall due to being undercut by the Google-chosen devices

6) continue updating the APIs required to be part of the "standard", along with the T&Cs

More and more these days, it seems like Google are determined to copy Microsoft, and not just in the way they are acting towards their customers - from the nature of a lot of anonymous posts here these days, it looks like they're now getting into the astroturfing game as well...

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Re: You have competition AND compatability.

Bollox indeed.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely; history is littered with examples.

Most recent and worthy comparison is Microsoft. You become dominant in a sector then you start to squeeze out the competition by either manipulating the customer base, selecting channels and partners that will play the game your way or otherwise targeting competition for elimination e.g. buy them.

Anti-trust

http://online.wsj.com/articles/google-faces-fresh-antitrust-complaint-in-europe-1402941192

http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/google-to-face-european-antitrust-probe-over-android-wsj/

Cases have been brought about how Google's algorithms skew results in favour of advertisers or for "other" perhaps self serving reasons.

I guess the upside is that Google's dominant position has not yet got to the stage where they prevent you from using Google to search for Google Antitrust!!

However that day is not far away......

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Comparing apples and....

Comparing the operating systems is one measure, but there are only really 3 of them, and 2 of them are available on hundreds of phones across a wide range of customer profile / targets, one of them is only available two phones (plus the older models) so it is inevitable in an industry were the price you pay is determined by the device you have and not the OS it runs, that the bulk of custom will go to the OS that is available to the widest audience, so it's not really a comparison worth comparing.

That said, the additional revenue streams which are a result of the OS you have are worth measuring, I'd be interested to know the annual value of OS purchases vs Android and Windows, then if you overlay that with the overall number OS customers and then by device you'll probably find that Apple has a far higher spend per device and spend per OS instance.

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Re: Comparing apples and....

Spend per device is a useful measure, but only to a degree. Popularity can change quickly - just ask anyone over at RIM/Blackberry.

If iPhone popularity were to fall significantly, and it would have to be a huge drop, then they'll start to lose app makers who will inevitably go where the money is.

Another problem Apple face is that, as phones become more feature filled as standard, the need for apps that are only available in the iOS ecosystem begins to fall. As that happens, so too does the extent of Apple's vendor lock-in that comes from customers not wanting to lose all their purchases.

I'm not predicting the demise of Apple, only pointing out that they will need to keep finding ways that allow customers to justify the price premium

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Features obsoleting apps

New built in features rarely obsolete apps. Built in features are often ignored by people who get apps that do better. All smartphones have built in apps for weather, stocks, mail, search and so on, but many people download apps for those anyway because they want to go beyond the functionality provided by the built in app. By your logic these should not exist because they're already functionality supplied by the OS.

Most apps are pretty narrowly targeted and wouldn't ever be built in. Just to pick some at random, I've got apps that do various things like control my Tivo when I'm away from home, recognize songs, SSH, act as a level, find studs, display a ruler, overlay satellite positions in a view of the sky, and calculate golf handicaps. Of those, maybe song recognition, SSH, level, studfinder and ruler might possibly be included in a (bloated) OS. I'd probably use the built in level, studfinder and ruler since they're pretty basic and hard to improve upon, but such simple-minded free apps aren't "locking in" anyone. Whether I replaced Shazam and the SSH client would depend on the built in functionality. The SSH client is pretty basic and could easily be improved upon (and if I cared I could probably find a better one on the App Store now, since I downloaded that years ago) but I doubt anything as good and featured as Shazam would be built in unless Apple or Google bought them out.

I think vendor lock-in is overrated, as most people don't invest more than a few tens of dollars in apps, and those who invest hundreds can probably easily afford to re-invest that amount if they switch platforms. Especially if they're switching from iOS to Android since they can save those hundreds buying a less expensive phone (i.e. if they don't buy a Galaxy S) I think few people are sticking with iPhone or Android due to "lock in", but because they have a preference that one or the other meets. Not "freedom" or any of that usual tripe you hear from fanboys that regular people don't know or care about, but more practical stuff like price, size, responsiveness, appearance, stability, durability, etc. Whatever they have, if they're happy with it, they're going to buy that again unless they don't have the choice they want (i.e. decide they want a bigger screen than what Apple has sold up until now)

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@R 11

"Popularity can change quickly - just ask anyone over at RIM/Blackberry."

http://www.engadget.com/2013/11/05/broken-blackberry/

It can happen to anyone...even Apple. Will it? Who knows, but BB was riding very high in 2007...they were THE hottest item in the cell phone market...and in just a few short years, they were running a distant 3rd and dropping.

History does repeat itself all too often, especially when companies get smug, and think they have all the answers.

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Re: Comparing apples and....

And the revenue stream of Apple affects me as a consumer because?

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Anonymous Coward

Windows Phone

While windows phone doesn't get the market share and quite rightly so its behind when it comes to apps developers generally ignore the platform.

However if you actually try the platform its actually quite good. I'm an App developer so I get to play with a few different devices, While I prefer Android to IPhone, Windows Phone has a number of features neither of them tout. Cortana yes its new and way later than Ok Google or Siri. Its a good step ahead hooks for developers to integrate to being able to handle context of requests with previous requests makes it far superior than either of the others. Contact based news\data why go to the facebook\twitter\instagram\whatever app individually Windows Phone offers all of that on the contacts card, it sounds trivial but makes a lot of sense when you see it.

While I'm saying Window should or will win market share its unfair to discount its contribution to the next generation of phones and their OS's.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows Phone

Windows Phone is dead anywhwere that matters. The marketshare is high in italy, as they have eathquakes there, providing big holes to bury unwanted handsets in, to give the illusion of sales.

As for iPhone, didn't we hear a similar excuse for the 5s (iPhone isn't selling because everyone is waiting), then it turned out this wasn't the case at all, and that Android was just destroying all the others.

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Re: Windows Phone

@App-developer AC: Features aside, from my experience, everything I've written for WinPhone to date just... works: I know what runs on my Nokia test device will run just fine on an HTC and so forth.

Apple - same thing, but by god, the hoops you have to jump through to get anything onto the damn store! Create this certificate, download, install, get your device UUID, upload, create provisioning profile, download, install... feels more like a military compound that a walled garden! Mind you, that said, once up and running, the actual development is pretty simple, and again, it "just works", although with only one device manufacturer, I'd blood well expect it to...

Android... quite frankly, I'm almost scared to put anything out on it. Finding that a Samsung handset works fine while another manufacturer's (think it was Sony, belonged to a mate) running the same OS version crashes when trying to resume... certainly lowers confidence in the platform from a developer perspective, especially when it seems you need at least half-a-dozen handsets for testing purposes.

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Apple have never done this but I wonder if any extra people would buy Apple tin if only they could ditch the Apple software? I would happily own an iPAD. IOS though - good grief no.

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And run what?

OS/2?

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Flipping that around - would there be people who'd love to run IOS on their HTC One or GS5?

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If we look at the computer side of things, there are people that make Hackintoshes and people that buy Macs just to run Windows or Linux on them. So I assume it would cut both ways in handset-land, too.

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GS5, yes! Anything is better than TouchWhiz. As soon as it became available, I put a custom ROM on my GS3. I got an iPhone 5s now, though the old GS3 is still doing good service for my trips abroad.

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Dual boot option? I would love to see a touch enabled version of grub.

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Oh woe

Market share, market share. What shall we do?

Apple will just have to make do with taking all the profits

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There is no room for a third OS

Android and iOS have 96% share and growing. There is just no room for a third ecosystem to grow.

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Gimp

Tough to sell at a premium in an economy where the middle class is getting squeezed

That, and Apple has alienated people like myself with just stupid levels of proprietary product, like the Lightning charger. I detest paying for a normal charger when I can get one "for free" with an Android phone.

And the Android developer community quickly took off, so you had a pretty good ecosytem of apps for Android within a year or two of launch.

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FAIL

2 of the platforms have Strava....

....and the other is Windows Phone.

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Anonymous Coward

" ... any rational prospective buyer will wait for the launch"

Ha ha ha.. nice troll!

Anyone rational has already filtered all spam related to iShit. The crappy, closed ecosystem is not for the rational buyer. I'd rather pay 700$ for a 350$ android phone, than buy the me-too crowd's ego-boosting device.

Apple products are for those who want looks over functionality and feel good about buying expensive crap simply because it's expensive. There is no reason why any "rational" person would wait for an iPhone when every true rational person already owns a superior phone.

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Re: " ... any rational prospective buyer will wait for the launch"

ROFLMAO! What was that about trolls?

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Apple only does one re-fresh a year. After the release of whatever the new iPhone is, those who are want it will get one. The legions of others who don't, will likely wait for whatever Android Phone strikes their fancy. We'll see what that thar September 9th event has in store...

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Facepalm

Seeing as Android is a (1) malware magnet (2) blatant iOS ripoff (3) fragmented mess…

I feel only pity for those who go the route of Android. We each are given choice as our great gift in life. If we squander our choices, we have only ourselves to blame.

This is one bad choice that anyone can change.

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Re: Seeing as Android is a (1) malware magnet (2) blatant iOS ripoff (3) fragmented mess…

It's a phone, dude.

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Re: Seeing as Android is a (1) malware magnet (2) blatant iOS ripoff (3) fragmented mess…

I think DerekCurrie was being deliberately funny/sarcastic. Apparently he hates iOS...

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/2/2014/08/25/steps_apple_needs_to_take_to_stay_in_the_game/#c_2280417

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slave

Yet another adherent of the Church of MarketShare.

Those who have paid even the slightest attention over the past few years know that Apple has about 70-80% of the profits (depends upon exactly when you measure), Samsung has 20-30% and all the others are inconsequential (a point here and there - no traction in the market at all).

I guess there a reason why this ...

"Apple products are for those who want looks over functionality and feel good about buying expensive crap simply because it's expensive"

... is posted by "AC" rather than an actual poster. But since he/she is the self-styled Anonymous Coward then ... reason is not present.

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Market share or profit share?

You're perpetuating the old myth that Apple care about market share. They have absolutely no interest in a race to the bottom where everyone goes for market share above all else at the expense of user experience and quality on the one hand, and the manufacturer's profitabilty on the other.

Apple are more than happy making a premium quality product that users actually want and are willing to pay for. As a result Apple are the only ones making any profit in the business. RIM, Sony, Motorola, HTC, Nokia, Samsung... which of the other manufacturers, even the ones who aren't in the process of going bust or been bought out and are supposedly "winning" because they have the market share, are making any money at all on smartphones?

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Anonymous Coward

Android works

I have been blown away by the quality of some of the cheap Chinese Android phones I have used recently.

I bought a new MySaga C2 dual sim phone with a 5" screen and Android 4.2.2 for £65 on Ebay a few months ago. I was expecting to have binned it by now due to the usual Chinese build quality and reliability.

The thing is though, this phone has a better build quality than my previous Google Nexus, and with a 5" screen I can finally read web pages without squinting. It's the perfect next size down from a 7" tablet.

OK, the name is a bit unfortunate, it sounds like a electric car for pensioners, but I can't fault it otherwise.

I bought my partner an Iphone 5 for her birthday last month, but, for me, my C2 won't ever be replaced by anything from Apple.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Android works

I use A/C whenever I say something too inflammatory or I don't want people to look into my history to cross check my claims or pattern of commenting.

Your post is not inflammatory for sure. Why are you A/C ?

And did you put down nexus to appear earnest ?

Thanks,

A/C for a reason.

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