1811 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
Re: Pyrrhic victory for Apple
Agree, though even the "dead" Nokia outsell Apple.
I think it's way too early to talk about Google TV failing. I suspect that smart TV services will become mainstream by being standard in TVs (as is already happening - any non-low-end TV you buy today will be "smart" in some way), so the question for Google TV is whether it can be adopted by manufacturers. E.g., LG started introducing Google-based TVs in the US, and I believe plans to expand that this year.
But the low cost means it is far more feasible to give one to every child. For every one laptop (or worse, an ipad) you could buy 15 of these things.
Re: Google Doing Good Things
Why not do both?
I think it's good to teach about the basics of computing, and the Raspberry Pi seems a great tool for that. OTOH, it's still reasonable to teach about office applications, and MS Office is not an unreasonable choice, as the most popular office application.
Yes, there's an argument for doing it all with Open Source, but I don't think being able to fiddle with internals is relevant for this purpose - if you're doing a class where you're teaching how to use a spreadsheet, you're not about to ask the kids to start editing the code to recompile it. That would be left to a lesson on programming (and editing Open Office would probably be rather advanced for most school lessons).
(I learnt with Grasshopper on Acorn Archimedes, I don't think that was open source either, so your argument about how things were in the 80s doesn't work.)
Re: Google Doing Good Things
I remember how my secondary school had a strict policy that coats we wore should not have any logos on them - but the corridors were lined with paintings that had been "donated" by Sainsbury, with clearly visible logos on them...
(Not that I think this is relevant here, and to be honest if we were worried about companies getting unfair advantages, I'd be far more concerned about the money being spent on vast numbers of ipads. Google here are instead giving the money away to a 3rd party low cost product; as opposed to student or tax money going to Apple *and* giving them a free advert.)
Re: You all keep forgetting.
Ah, anecdotes. Most people I know with ipads bought them because they didn't know of any alternatives, and then hardly use them as they realise they don't have much use for them.
I get plenty of support on my Android and other devices, as well as long support. And anyhow, if you're willing to pay more, it's better to simply upgrade more often anyway, then you get newer hardware. Better apps? Hardly - and not that any OS designed for a phone has software comparable to real computers. I already have an ipad beating tablet, it's the Nexus phone that fits in my pocket.
Re: You all keep forgetting.
But people are responding to the bit: "Apple marketing veep Phil Schiller suggested iPad owners could use the extra space on their tablets to store all their work and media without needing "their old PCs”"
The points people have made are talking about work and media, not cobbling together your own OS, or multi-booting.
"Again, for seven out of ten of the home users I have to support, an iPad is all the "computer" they need, and pretty much all they can understand."
It's a myth that ipads, or tablets in general, are easier. Yes, you don't have to learn the touchpad, but the UIs are no easier, plus you have the complexity of multitouch and gestures. Most the people buying tablets seem to be computer-savvy people who already have computers, not computer inexperienced elderly who if anything are put off buy touchscreens, and prefer physical buttons to press, in my experience. And an ipad is just an overpriced Nexus anyway.
It amuses me that all these Apple ipod/iphone/ipad users have to connect to a PC to run itunes to manage their data.
Re: Otherwise the specs for the 9.7-inch tablet and its Retina screen remain the same
Quite a few now we have the x86 tablets, and some have even more than that too. (Although admittedly, they also cost more than the low end tablets.)
Re: Re-ThornH - @G R Goslin
Great, so you can run software from 5-10 years ago.
Believe it or not, CAD software doesn't just use that extra CPU power and RAM for "bloat" - it hasn't stood still for 10 years. Yes sure, you could use an overpriced underpowered ipad to run CAD software that was cutting edge in 2002, or you could use a real computer and have the latest technology and functionality.
(And if you really want a tablet that's high end and can do what a real PC can do, they're the ones with x86 inside.)
Though I'd make the same criticism of the media here - why is it being spun as "Apple users", when Apple is irrelevant to this story (if it affected IE, it wouldn't be "Microsoft users"; if it was something else affecting Chrome, it wouldn't be "Google users").
But if that's the case, it means that Apple is irrelevant to the story. It's rather sloppy reporting for the media to go on about Apple users, when it affects a far larger number of IE users (and possibly others - wonder if it affects Chrome!), and the issue was noticed on IE almost a year ago.
Re: THEY RELEASE THE UPDATE
Not this again. Most phones don't run vanilla Android. If you have a Nexus, you get it straight away. If you run TouchWiz or whatever, you get it when that's released.
Whilst it is true that some of the non-Nexus phones are still slow, so what - if you're bothered by that, then get a Nexus phone. Unlike a certain other platform, you have the choice to get what you want. And the Apple maps fiasco showed the flaw in rushing out untested updates just to grab the headlines - I prefer a company that puts the consumer above marketing.
The only people who whine about Android updates are iphone fanatics. It would only be a valid point if Android phones as a result got features behind Apple phones, but in practice, they're still months or years ahead. Who cares if an Apple user gets sat-nav or copy/paste "straight away", when that feature came years behind the competition anyway.
Re: You left out...
"being the first to mass-market mobile devices and flood into IT, Apple"
First to mass market? 2007 was late. And if you mean first to sell more than a certain amount, check out the history of smartphone sales - iphone was never number one (before Android, it was Symbian), and indeed didn't sell much until 2010-2011 anyway.
I don't know why companies are so keen to cater only for the minority of Apple users, when it's never been the number one platform; for consumers this ignorance of the state of the market is damaging (Android reaches 75%, and still we have every other advert advertising about get-it-on-your-iphone, or ads for fisherman with ipads who watch Sky).
(And I suspect that first for BOYD is yet another mythical first.)
Re: Silly of MSFT to try and turn a profit on the WinPho OS.
I wouldn't refer to Ovi, as that came afterwards (though I don't know why you snigger, I've found that site fine as a user and developer).
Yes they were the first OS vendor to have a central software repository on mobile (it wasn't the first central repository; nor was it the first software or media download site for mobiles). I just wasn't sure how that relates to the idea of being able to charge a profit or not. If the aim is to expand market share as large as possible for the aim of controlling the software/media, then at 15%, that argument applies to Apple too. So whilst I do see some argument that MS should go for market share, perhaps they're just happy making higher profit margins instead, which actually is rather similar to Apple, in contrast with Google.
Re: Silly of MSFT to try and turn a profit on the WinPho OS.
Apple first to market? What?
Most "desktops" are mobile
All these kinds of predictions are meaningless anyway, when the terms are so ill-defined anyway. I mean, "mobile" includes a 10" or more huge tablet, whilst using a 7" netbook is "desktop". For several years, laptops have outsold actual desktops, so people saying desktops will decline is obvious, but including laptops as "desktops" makes no sense. Especially as the trend now seems to be that "mobile" tablets are more likely to be used on a flat surface (since the stand/top-heavy form doesn't work so well on a lap).
"Android didn't initially make headway against Apple because it was better. It wasn't. Far from it. No, Android won over the handset vendors and other partners because it was cheap. Cheaper than free."
Well hang on, we're confusing two things. If it's about what manufacturers chose, then they obviously didn't choose IOS, because they couldn't - it's not available for licensing. It helped that Android was free, as it meant it was a better choice than say continuing to write their own OSs, but it still helped that it was good.
For users, actually yes, we bought it because it was better. ("Far from it"? Sure early Android versions lacked some features, but early IOS couldn't even do apps or copy/paste, let alone something like multitasking - it struggled to qualify as a feature phone OS. Satnav only came recently. Still waiting for a homescreen that even my 2005 feature phone had.)
But if that's true, you want to charge them _more_ (standard price discrimination - get more money from the people more willing to part with it).
Good article. Yes, for an indoor choice, glossy is fine and you're better off not placing a computer by the window anyway.
But outdoors, definitely matte. I'm glad I'm not the only one to have noticed the oddity that whilst I can get a choice of matte vs glossy when buying a (non-Apple) PC, when it comes to mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, that are often used outdoors, they all use impossible-to-read-in-sunlight glossy!
(My Samsung ultra-portable has a matte display; my PC Specialist Clevo offered a choice, and I got glossy.)
Yes - I think the main dislike really comes from the vertical resolution, rather than the aspect ratio itself. With resolutions like 1366x768 being common (or even 1024x600 which "netbooks" got stuck with), it's a struggle when many UIs were designed with taller resolutions in mind. But with full HD, this isn't a problem, and all the extra "wide" space is great. It also seems a more natural aspect ratio for laptops (where you can't resort to using two monitors on your lap), it takes up the full width of your lap, without being too tall.
Re: One major difference
True, the ipod touches are ridiculously overpriced - I've seen small Android tablets (i.e., the same thing) for £50-100. But the former sell because they get all the media hype.
But there are also cheaper ipods, ones that just do music, no applications or video. It's odd that people suggest that sales of cheaper products from Samsung, Nokia etc should be discounted when it comes to phones, but it's okay to count all of Apple's ipod sales when talking about Apple...
Why? Selling a second similar phone doesn't magically double your sales. It's not at all linear - and indeed, since there may be advantages to having a single model, having too many models may be detrimental. After all, that's what Apple believe and why they've done it - and if it turns out to be wrong, that's their tough luck.
It makes no sense to claim it's unfair because Samsung chose the better strategy - Apple had every choice to do that too. You might as well say it's "unfair" because Samsung sell better products.
Plus labelling products can be arbitrary anyway - why does a different CPU merit a different product name, but not different storage space? How about we count the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models separately too? Any stat that can be changed merely by conducting a relabelling exercise is completely useless.
(Let's not forget than in Q3 2012, the S3 was the best selling single device, despite it being only one of a much larger number of phones that Samsung sell.)
Apple only sold 2 phones? I knew things were getting bad, but ...
Oh wait, you mean Samsung divide their products into a larger range than Apple. I would have thought the number of CPUs bought had more to do with the number of products sold, not how many models a company advertised.
Re: I don't think the results are that bad
"Who would have predicted Nokia's position today 6 or 7 years ago."
Just about everyone, so it seems - the Apple-hyping media have been predicting the doom of Nokia for years. (Yet still they sell more phones than Apple - Nokia are far from "zero", and Apple have never been "hero", that title now going to Samsung in phones.)
You're right, the news doesn't mean much - but remember it was the media praising how wonderful Apple were because they were number one of this arbitrary statistic that most people shouldn't care about. So fair's fair - if things are no longer good on that measure, it's worth pointing out.
Re: "Post-PC Era"
If someone primarily only uses a computer for Internet, but not always, what do they use for the other thing? I mean, despite the media claims, my observation is that tablets are being bought more by the computer-savvy people who also have laptops, than by computer inexperienced people never using a non-tablet PC. It's the "enthusiasts" more likely to pick up an extra tablet.
The fact that tablets are mostly still things that you attach to a PC, rather than things you attach devices to, adds to this idea (and USB to go seems a pain to set up, or know if it will work). E.g., whilst I'm sure there might be some way to print from my Android device, if I had the right kind of printer, it's certainly not something that Just Works OOTB yet, or is as easy as clicking print.
Of course I'm sure that eventually this will change, so you can do everything from a tablet, and do so easily, but then as I say in my other comment, at that point they are basically PCs anyway, and the distinction becomes meaningless.
Re: "Post-PC Era"
The whole "Post-PC" thing is meaningless anyway, since it's so ill-defined. If I'm using a touchscreen personal device for computing, then why isn't it a personal computer. It's a different form, but we still call laptops PCs, even though they're significantly a different form to desktop PCs.
Sometimes it's useful to distinguish between a computer that people use for general purposes, and things that are technically computers but used for a far more restrictive set of things - e.g., consoles, smart TVs, and phones. But if people start using things like phones/tablets for general purposes, then that distinction no longer holds.
Many shops refer to them already as "Tablet PCs". To some degree, most tablets today are still basically oversized smartphones, but this line will become increasingly blurred, and Windows 8 tablets are surely PCs too. Hybrid devices further blur the line in terms of the form factor.
(Yes, I know that "PC" traditionally also meant a particular hardware platform derived from the IBM PC, but x86 tablets blur that line again anyway, and few people these days care or know about that definition.)
Plus I hate the whole "Post-PC" thing as it's almost always spread by Apple fans, most likely posted from their Apple-badged PCs, who also believe "Macs aren't PCs" and hence magically immune to any claims of the end of the PC (Mac is a trademark; the computers are still personal computers - Apple themselves even marketed them as PCs back in the PowerPC era, but now have switched to claiming they're not PCs purely for marketing reasons).
Yet when the same thing happens to Google, people moan about how awful they are for not being able to meet demand.
"Expect many of these to shift into the following quarter."
Typically iphone sales have always been up in the quarter of a new release, then slide the rest of the year (compared to Samsung or Android which outsell them all year round, for example).
Re: The Downside Of Being Fashionable ....
I agree with your post, but:
"Remember that Apple was the market leader in terms of smartphone for a long time"
Actually no, it was Nokia number one until 2011, then Samsung 2012. Apple might have held the title for one quarter.
Plus "smartphone" is ill-defined, and just a marketing term, which unfairly compares 100% of Apple phones to a minority of everyone else (with Apple using the term even for phones which couldn't run apps). The mobile market is Samsung number one, Nokia number two; until a year or two ago, it was those positions reversed.
I think another way of looking at it is that people had bought into the absurd media hype from 2007, fuelling some idea that Apple would take over and become number one, but with the amazing success of Samsung (and Android in general), it's become clear that's not true, and the existing companies will carry on leading the market just fine.
Re: The Downside Of Being Fashionable ....
Funny, when every other company sells products or makes profit, that doesn't stop the Apple fanatics moaning about them, or saying we should all praise Apple for inventing everything.
Re: The Downside Of Being Fashionable ....
Nokia sales continued going up for years, though the problem was others growing faster. Same case here, with Android's massive continued domination.
Re: UX - nothing very new here
And if we were looking at the iphone UI in 2007, it would look 100% of my 2005 feature phone (or perhaps a 1985 Amiga*) with the grid of coloured icons.
Does original mean better? And how much % comes from earlier BB versions (such as the also-QNX-based Playbook) - does it really have nothing in common with that?
Were the earlier QNX uses with mobile phones? The desktop UIs aren't necessarily appropriate.
* - I remember that QNX was also chosen by Gateway in the late 1990s, to base their next generation AmigaOS on, except they then went bust - hopefully this will have better luck!
Re: print to go?
Yes, I read it as the latter - that it's a virtual printer you "print" to.
I agree it does sound useful - as it says, people often do this by emailing as a workaround, but that's fiddly (you've got to create the email rather than clicking print; it's also nice to have it on the phone rather than relying on network access). Another way I do this on Android is by printing to a PDF, then transferring over USB or bluetooth, again more fiddly.
Re: Well, why not.
"anyone working on a 5th? Ubuntu?"
Yes, Ubuntu for mobile is planned later this year. There's also Tizen (another Linux-based OS using HTML5 for applications, backed by Samsung) and Sailfish (developed from Meego), not to mention BB10. Already, Nokia's new low end smartphone OS Asha seems to be growing rapidly.
It's also worth remembering that historically, there have been plenty of operating systems, not just 2 or 3: Symbian was number one until 2011, BlackBerry was far larger in the past, there were also other platforms like Maemo/Meego. Then there is the fact that "smartphone" is really a marketing term that doesn't actually cover all mobile OSs, there are still loads of other platforms like S40 that have sold hundreds of millions. It's a big market, and I agree there's certainly room.
Re: OI! Random Fanboi!
But that's the problem with a walled garden - by locking yourself in, you've restricted your choice to one platform, only available from one manufacturer, which only releases one choice of phone a year.
Btw for music, Android supports MTP, an open standard, so you can "sync" your music using any choice of software you like, not just itunes. Or you can just drag and drop too.
"all my home devices are Apple."
Well indeed, Apple only really works when everything you have is Apple (and you're stuffed if they don't produce a type of device that you want), and then you're locked in even more so. With my new TV, it's effortless to share video and music with it, playing across the network from Windows PC and Android devices. An Apple-only solution would mean having to buy a separate box - more cost, more leads, and even if I was Apple-only, that wouldn't be any good if someone came around with a different kind of device.
Open standards have their advantages. Oh, and you'll have to replace all your connectors/speakers/etc with a new iphone 5 anyway...
The figures I've seen over the years showed a very small window, years ago, when iphone was number one in the US. So I don't know if these stats are just misleading, or it means this has been a reclaim after years of Android being number one.
If so, it's a bit sad, and odd that things are becoming so polarised, with the rest of the world dominated by Android. I guess that's going back to how it used to be, with the rest of the world using smartphones, and the US stuck with dumb phones (the only reason the original iphone was incorrectly seen as revolutionary by the media, because the US market hadn't see the phones that were way more advanced years earlier).
And I think it is a problem, because the media and companies in the UK seem to follow on from the behaviour in the US - so even though here we're all buying Android, with Samsung leading, we still have the media going on about iphone all the time, with companies often catering only for iphone users. It's even getting worse - it seems every other advert these days has a "get this for your iphone" on it :(
Although don't forget that the quarter after a new iphone release is always Apple's best quarter by far, and sales then slide over the rest of the year.
Re: Apple reducing their price - burberry error
More like Adidas - people think it gives them prestige, but no one else does. (And last time I looked, more people bought Windows x86, more people bought Android even at the high end - does sales imply thinking it has prestige?) People from all walks of life buy iphones - it's not the rich that I see with them, rather the people who see them as a fashion accessary. Although I do agree that lowering prices wouldn't gain them market share - there's also the point that lower prices mean lower tech.
I think it's a bit too early to talk about failures for MS, especially if you're talking profits rather than sales. Did they actually make a loss? It took years for iphone sales to get anywhere (yet oddly the media spun those figures as a runaway success).
Are Samsung tablets a "failure" too because they don't see as much, and are also priced in the high end?
Re: Must surely be game over for Windows Phone
The Reg only gives the data for Italy, UK and US, plus percentage share is a poor way of measuring in a growing market. It will be curious to see the actual figures for worldwide, and if there is growth on last year's - remember that for years, iphone lingered with much lower sales than many other platforms, only becoming mainstream (yet still way outsold by Android) with the 4 or 4S. I don't recall people saying that Apple should give up, because instead people were focusing on whether it was growing.
(I like Android personally, but I don't get the WP hate, when iphone got a free pass on the same things.)
Re: Is there an optimum level of apps?
Indeed - to some degree, an application download site needs a sufficient number of applications for people to regularly check it, but beyond that, for a developer less competition is better, and the issue is "installed user base" versus "number of applications".
I get 100 times the number of downloads on Nokia Store (with Symbian) than with Android (for various different apps). And as a user, the greater number of apps on Android just means more apps that basically do the same thing that I have to wade through (and far more that are ad-ware).
Though I think the article is misleading - the blog says that the deadline for the $10,000 revenue thing, but I see nothing about an extension for the $100-per-app port-a-thon(?), the last of which just took place. Still, great that it looks easy to port (apparently easy to repackage Android, as well as supporting the cross-platform Qt).
"Even Windows 8 (on the desktop) launched with only about 9,000."
Er, surely Windows 8 must have hundreds of thousands if not millions of applications. Please don't tell me the Reg have also fallen for the myth that an "app" is different to an application! Not to dismiss BB's numbers though, this is indeed impressive for a new platform.
Unless the Reg means Windows 8 only, but then that doesn't really tell you much - indeed ideally, the number of applications that only run on a new OS should be minimised - how many Windows 7 only apps are there? Windows RT would be a better comparison, as that is a new platform. Also let's not forget that the iphone launched with 0 apps, because it couldn't even do 3rd party apps.
Re: Just consider one simple use case
Also, I'm surprised no one has mentioned e-readers. Actual e-readers (which the ipad is not).
An ipad to replace a book? Sure, there's nothing like helping studying than staring at an LCD for hours on end! Resolution has nothing to do with it, e-readers have a much better display. They're easer on the eyes, and can be used anywhere, including outdoors, easily. They also have vastly better battery life, on the order of 10s of hours (the idea that you consider a device that needs charging every day to have good battery life is interesting).
Of course, they don't do videos or Angry Birds, but the claim was about textbooks. The only deficiency is color, but for most subjects and use cases, this isn't an issue - most books aren't even printed in colour, after all. For most purposes, an e-reader would do the job much better, despite no colour (and why not offer a choice?) Yes, a tablet can do some things that an e-reader can't, but then a laptop can do plenty that a tablet can. A laptop and e-reader covers far more uses.
If the University *bought* the devices, then they would be able to choose which devices to buy (and hence support).
And ipads can be hacked too, and indeed have to be, for basic functionality, that Just Works OOTB on other platforms, hence there is a greater risk of that, if anything.
Not that I would agree with all this for an Android tablet either, it's just that it would make a pleasant surprise for it to not being Apple getting free money and marketing for a change.
Re: Apple is a locked down NIGHTMARE
I don't speak Apple, but I presume by "applecare" you mean the insurance that people pay extra for, which is available for many devices. (What is it with Apple fans thinking that something is special just because it has a trademark? You're like the people who complain other devices don't have "Retina". Most people don't even talk in trademarks all the time.) And no actually, they don't always replace it, as I know from my own experience.
Meanwhile, repairing something that isn't working is your standard rights under standard warranty, guaranteed by law! No wonder Apple make so much profit, when you hand money over for things like this.
(And being locked down doesn't imply more secure. It just means Apple get to ban competing products or things like emulators, as well as make it so you can't program using it directly, and even have to buy a special Apple computer to do so.)
Re: Best alternative is a Chromebook
And an ipad is different because? Laptops and their OSs are typically far better at coping in offline circumstances, than oversized phones that are called tablets, due to their history.
Re: Let me guess - the solution is open source right?
If it can be used on Android, then the argument for using ipads in the first place is void.
(And I've love to check it out, but oh wait, like most people I have a laptop. Even if it's not DRM-locked, that doesn't make it easy for most people - why cater for the minority first?)
Re: What's the alternative?
So the Universities support Apple by spending god-knows-how-much on ipads, because they support Apple by only creating content for the minority of Apple users? That's a circular argument.
It's all part of the same problem - why isn't that available for everyone, whether using a more popular platform like Android or Windows, or just something different like Linux (or indeed OS X!)
Re: Just consider one simple use case
If resolution is what's important, then the Nexus 10 is higher and cheaper. Just saying. Although, I suppose giving it's immense popularity, there is the problem of getting hold of one - Apple tablets on the other hand are given away free all the time.
Re: stop abusing and exploiting their student body
Ah yes, the good old BBC - 10 PRINT "HELLO" etc. Oh wait, good luck doing that with an ipad.
Well they could at least install a BBC emulator. Oh wait.
I don't think that argument works - the BBC had support in UK schools, but that was it. Compared to the vast amount of free advertising that Apple gets in everything from the media, companies offering services, to schools and universities in many countries. Plus it was at most one class with BBCs, or maybe one BBC per room - not one for every one of 10,000 students, which all have to be paid for either by tax or the students themselves, ultimately.
They're not free
No they - the University - didn't ask. That's exactly one of the points made, if you RTFA: "the author criticises the ... lack of consultation with students".
Also see “If only they'd have surveyed how many students own luxury cars,” the author wrote, “they may have decided to gift students a free Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG instead." (The fact that people take ipads for free is not exactly a ringing endorsement anyway - even if people hate it, they can sell it.)
And they're not free. If Apple paid, then fair enough - about time that Apple paid for its marketing rather than getting it for free. Otherwise, if the University is state-funded, it's coming out of tax. If it's paid for by tuition fees, the students are being lumbered with this cost, whether they want it or not.
IMO the problem isn't a one-off decision by one university, but that this seems to be a repeating pattern where Apple gets a load of free money and advertising, because Universities decide all their students need one (I've heard about this from people in the US too). If this was MS, people would (rightly) be frothing at the mouth here.
People make the argument that MS only got their dominance on computer OSs because it was handed to them, yet we're now seeing the same thing for Apple on tablets, despite there being overwhelming evidence that consumers prefer Android devices. Everything from the vast amounts of free media coverage before it was even announced - whilst other devices go ignored - to the absurd number of "Win a free ipad" adverts I see. Now we have god knows how many orders being given to Apple for free. Just sitting here with the TV on, whilst writing this there have been countless free Apple adverts, not actually from Apple (did Sky get bought out by Apple when I wasn't looking? Sorry, like most people I don't have an ipad, preferring to use more popular platforms, and I'm not interested that my money would be used to provide services for the minority of Apple users).
It's not too much to ask for a bit of competition in the market, is it.
Given that people had to reset their brains to switch to Android/IOS (Android may use Java, but the set of libraries is completely different, and not compatible with non-mobile Java, or indeed non-Android mobile Java), I'm not sure support one specifc language is any more a problem than every other mobile platform which does the same. And HTML5 is at least a good contender for something that truely is cross-platform, running on all mobile and non-mobile devices.
Even with mobile platforms supporting native code with other languages like C++, it seems that most people prefer to rewrite applications in the "officially approved" language and API.
Having said that, I think it would be a shame if Tizen and FirefoxOS don't support other languages at all, as this does make porting things an awful lot easier.
Compatibility with Android is more if a company wants to sell this as a successor to Android (e.g., it would be important for Samsung, if they ever want to switch from Android to Tizen as their flagship OS).
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