* Posts by Mark .

1859 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Microsoft burgled, only the APPLE iPADS stolen - cops confirm

Mark .
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Re: "Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment".

Nokia were the number one smartphone company until 2011, when they were overtaken by Samsung (not Apple). Their flagship Symbian was number one platform until 2011, when overtaken by Android.

In fact, it even outsold iphone for several months after that, despite the WP announcement, zero marketing, poor or little distribution in many countries, and few new models, and reduced OS development.

Even now, almost 2 years after the WP announcement, it sells more than iphone did in the first quarters (and so does WP, come to that), despite the latter getting vast amounts of media hype, and Symbian getting none.

Nokia still outsell Apple in the mobile market (though are overtaken by Samsung) - even their S40 platform isn't a dumbphone, and although it hasn't been marketed as "smart" (except for the new recent Asha Touch smartphone platform), it still basically is. Meanwhile, the first iphone was a dumb phone:

"were in no shape to compete with iPhone"

My Nokia 5800 did fine against the iphones of the time - the first of which couldn't even do apps or 3G, which my earlier 2005 feature phone could.

Note, I'm not taking any position on the WP decision, but your comments about Nokia are just plain wrong.

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Big screened quad-core Chinese beasts splash down at CES

Mark .
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FWIW, my cheap clamshell from 8 years ago could still do tethering, and I'd hoped things have improved since then. (And it had crap battery life - the distinction between "smartphone" and others really is pretty vague.)

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The difference between phone and tablet these days is semantics - they're both the same kind of thing. (And traditionally, a tablet was simply a smartphone but without a phone - the idea of tablet being "large" seems to be a recent myth the media have picked up on.) Given the availability of 7" and even 10" devices, 6" is not large.

Now sure, you might say it's large for something you're expected to carry around all the time in a pocket, but then, not everyone uses pockets (in particular, a large segment of the population often carry bags much of time...[*] and some people just have large pockets, or use shirt pockets, etc).

[*] I had wondered in 2007 with the mainstream appearance of low cost ultra-portable laptops like the Eee PC whether we'd see it suddenly becoming acceptable to carry a bag without being stuck in Victorian fashion ideas. That hasn't happened, perhaps because most people don't want to carry even an ultra-portable all the time, or if they do, just stick it in a larger bag; similarly with larger tablets. Perhaps the increased availability of phones that don't fit in a pocket may do this. I'm glad mobile phones weren't something around since 100 years ago - otherwise today it'd be "Looking for a phone? Oh these are the women's phones, you need to look separately in this section for the small pocket-sized men's phones"...

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Mark .
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Re: Resolution

Indeed - whilst high resolution laptops do exist as people point out, I think it's a fair point given that you have to pay a premium for it, but the cost of phones/tablets tends to be on the low end of laptops! The only possible explanation I can think of is that the cost of a high resolution display might be higher for physically larger displays - is there any truth to this?

1280x720 or similar on a phone is nice to view a full web page that's designed for a laptop/desktop (though in practice, you're still having to zoom in to read it most the time). I don't know what else I'm meant to do with such high resolutions though. Certainly not watching videos, as where is the similarly large storage space to store all these HD video files? (And if you end up recompressing at a lower quality to fit a high resolution movie into 1GB, then that seems to be missing the point - it might be high resolution, but you've just reduced the quality anyway...)

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Mark .
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Re: Resolution

Ah, another Apple did it myth.

Resolutions have been increased on a range of phones by many companies over the years. The years, the iphone was a very low resolution (e.g., less than Nokia's standard of 640x360 which was higher than most during that time), and only increased in 2010 with iphone 4. In more recent years, many companies have been increasing resolutions further (e.g., Galaxy Nexus at 1280x720 higher than iphone 4/4S; we've also had phones as 1280x768 and 1280x800; and this looks to be the first full HD phone).

Also note that Apple's marketing is focused not on resolution, but on the flawed statistic of "resolution / screen size" (I want my phone screen to be big, so what good is a statistic that rewards and Apple device for being small? If you took my Galaxy Nexus and reduced the screen size, and even reduced the resolution but not by as much, the density would be higher - but hang on, I now have a phone with lower resolution and lower screen size, neither of which are good!)

Perhaps on tablets you have more of an argument, though it's more only Apple doing it, because it's pointless. For games, it just means more load of the GPU. For media, how many Blu-Ray quality films can you fit on a 16GB Apple slate? And before you say stream it - on a typical mobile allowance, you'd need over four years' worth of allowance(!) Google have now outdone them anyway with the Nexus 10, but most manufacturers rightly don't care.

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Victory on mobile belongs to Google in 2013

Mark .
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Re: Using Android reminds me why I stick with the iPhone...

"There is no Home button, so whenever the screen powers down you have to reach up and click the power button on the top of the phone to start it up again"

You mean, you unlock by a button on the side rather than the front - why is one better than the other? My phones have always done this on the side, and that works better for me - in particular, it's where my thumb or finger is naturally located when I hold it, and pressing the home button is more effort. Sure, I realise you're saying your personal preference, but you're phrasing this as if it was a failing or design flaw, or something missing.

"done at the top of the screen (hard to reach one handed)"

I find icons at the bottom just as hard to reach, if not harder, one handed.

(Also, how do you use multitouch on your iphone with one hand? I find it odd that lately, using a phone one handed seems to be this argument that Apple fans have latched onto, yet years ago, they were praising Apple because multitouch was apparently the single biggest innovation ever. Personally I've always thought that multitouch is the biggest pain when trying to use a phone one handed, and the problem is that multitouch phones tend to be lazy and forget to offer singletouch alternatives.)

The options menu is always bottom right (portrait mode) for me, and I have Jelly Bean - which phone do you have?

If you don't like the browser, have you tried another one? Because, you know, you do get a choice, unlike iphone. It's like saying Windows is poor because of IE. I'd recommend looking at Chrome, Firefox and Opera Mobile, and picking what you like best.

"but the overall experience for someone who's used an iPhone is TO ME"

Well people often tend to get used to what they've been using. I found Android confusing after using Symbian, and could find some faults in it, but I don't see the media praising Symbian that was there years before iphone.

Thing is, if the biggest arguments you can find are small things that are a matter of personal preference, it just confirms that there's no best OS, and it's all just personal opinion, with nothing significant between them all.

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Mark .
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Re: Google went down the relatively Open road

Er, the market was not created by Apple. Even MS who you seem to dislike were there before (and selling more than iphone in the early years). I like Android too, and liked Symbian, but I'm not sure why one should want iphone to succeed and wp to fail.

"Desktops? Minor market and they'll grab much of that in time too!"

Desktop is a misnomer these days - most "desktops" are laptops, which still run "desktop" OSs. Though it will be interesting to see the rise of ChromeOS.

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Mark .
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Re: Doesn't the winner in business makes the most money?

Only if you're a shareholder. This isn't some competition. The argument that most people are interested in having, if at all, is which is best (which, in some cases, could be argued based on which is most popular). For some reason Apple fans[*] have become expert at deflecting the argument into "Which company makes most money", even though that's not an argument anyone else is interesting in having.

Never in the most heated Windows vs whatever debate did someone go, "But look how much money Bill Gates has".

[*] Which sadly includes much of the media - you'll never see a pointless comparison article like that for any other two companies; only when the "winner" is Apple. If a company is making less profit, who cares - that tells me they're doing more to pass savings onto the customer. A company with higher profit _by definition_ has more overpriced products. And Google are a special case their products are given away, so their revenue is going to be lower too. For us, that's good.

Is Linux crap, because the revenue (let alone profit) that the Linux developers make is zero? You'd argue that Windows is better, because it's more expensive and makes MS more money? That's a ludicrous argument.

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Mark .
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Re: Indeed

slick: Superficially attractive or plausible but lacking depth or soundness

Actually, I'd happily describe iphones and so on as "slick". But unfortunately the people who describe it this way don't seem to be using it as a criticism... (Well, I guess it's standard Apple fan logic - even a negative point is actually a positive point.)

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Apple loses round to Amazon in 'App Store' name dispute

Mark .
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Re: Let me get this straight...

Indeed, and there's also the point that two wrongs don't make a right anyway.

Interestingly, it's not really clear they would win a case on "Windows", even in the context of computing - the problem is that "window" is a generic term even within computing (e.g., X Windows). When they tried to sue Lindows, they lost the original case, and settled out of court. The last thing they wanted was to risk losing the trademark on their flagship product.

It'll be interesting to see how this goes, since Apple seem determined to go through the courts - if they lose, it'll be fair game for anyone to use "app store", without any fear of action!

(Also, copyrights are a different thing altogether, the issue is trademarks.)

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Mark .
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But, but - Apps didn't exist until Apple invented them!

(Seriously - I have seen people, including media journalists, who really seem to think "apps" are some new kind of thing, and don't realise it's short for application, as has been used as shorthand for years before the media picked it. Now with Windows 8 adopting the term, I've even seen people saying things like "Now Windows does apps too". Ironically this may come back to bite Apple, if people start thinking that Windows does apps, but Macs don't...)

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Samsung confirms Tizen-based mobes to debut this year

Mark .
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Re: @ Stuart Castle

With Android at 75%, it's not a race anymore - it's one leader by far, with a few other much smaller platforms.

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Mark .
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone#Historical_sales_figures - whilst MS's sales fell from 2008-2011, they were up in 2012. Still nothing amazing, but no one had a problem with iphone having similar sales in 2007-2008.

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Mark .
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"Samsung does have its own, proprietary smartphone platform in the form of Bada, but handsets running that OS have not proven popular, save for in a few select markets."

I don't think I've ever seen a Bada smartphone for sale in UK markets? So it's as much I think that Samsung haven't chosen to market it everywhere, nor make it its flagship platform.

Will Tizen get the same treatment, or will it get some more mainstream marketing support? (I'm obviously not expecting it to replace Android yet on their main S* or Note platforms, but at least something available in most countries?)

"Still, none of those platforms was particularly successful"

The N9 sold 1 million in approximately 76 days - I guess the iphone wasn't particularly successful either...

"For example, its app development model is based on HTML5 and related web technologies – but whose isn't these days?"

Er, most of them?

I think it's interesting that whilst Tizen is seen as a competitor to Google's Android, the development model is very much in line with ChromeOS - i.e., using HTML5 for applications, even for offline ones.

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Ubuntu for smartphones aims to replace today's mobes, laptops

Mark .
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"Android and iOS dominate the smartphone market, with a number of smaller players squabbling for third place."

I wonder why this two-OS myth has to continue - at 75% share, the more accurate description would be "Android dominates, with a number of smaller players squabbling for second place".

Consider that the gap between WP (or whatever else) and iphone is far smaller than the gap between iphone and Android, whether looked at in relative terms, or absolute numbers.

(The only time there's been a two-OS market was when it was Symbian and Android; iphone only became second place when Symbian was ditched by Nokia.)

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Mark .
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Re: Hasn't it been done ?

You mean Maemo and Moblin - Tizen is a newer OS that in turn is meant to be a successor to Meego.

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Mark .
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Re: Lack of apps

The bigger failure is that the technology hasn't existed to put a full x86 PC into a light tablet, so the "tablets" were large and heavy. The "tablets" we see today are really just renamed media players or oversized smartphones that have been around for years.

With the Windows 8 tablets, the technology to make a small full x86 PC may now be here, though even so, it's with compromises (poorer battery life, still heavier than ARM devices - Clover Trail devices fix that, but then you don't get the processing power of Intel Core, so it's more like ARM in that respect too).

That, and the fact that only one company got vast amounts of free advertising for their large phone, sorry, tablet, even before it was officially announced - which is why Android 10" tablets have struggled, too, nobody knows about them.

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Mark .
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Re: What are they thinking/smoking?

I'm still waiting for someone to make this: http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android .

That webpage doesn't appear to be for the actual product, but a plea for anyone wanting to make it - and as far as I can tell, no one has. Which is rather sad - whilst perhaps a bit of a niche usage, this would give a great edge to a smartphone, and could see Ubuntu see a far greater audience. It would be the only phone/operating system capable of doing it. Some have suggested that in ten years' time, our computers will be our phones that we just connect to a larger screen and keyboard when required - it's sad to think that the technology could exist now, but nobody wants to market it.

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Mark .
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Re: Great idea!

Windows 8 also adopts the different paradigm UI, the difference being the OS offers both UIs (not-Metro, and desktop/windowed) in the same OS, rather than being completely separate operating systems. This is distinct from Unity, where it really does seem to be the same UI for everyone. (Though personally, the things I hate about it are nothing to do with it being for touchscreen, but things that don't make sense in any context, like the new scrollbars that are a pain to click.)

And it wouldn't surprise me if we see some kind of ChromeOS/Android integration in future (see http://www.zdnet.com/with-google-readying-its-own-nexus-chromebook-will-it-marry-chrome-os-to-android-7000007987/ ). Same with Apple to be honest.

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Hey, Apple and Google: Stop trying to wolf the whole mobile pie

Mark .
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Out of interest, which large-tablet apps are these that aren't available on Android? (Not disagreeing, genuinely curious what apps still need to be written.)

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Mark .
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Re: And what's the alternative ?

I think the point is more that the market is healthier with choice, even if you don't like every option. I'm glad that the open platform of Android has won (and let's face it, it's not Google and Apple, it's Google full stop for mobile now), but as far as the niche alternatives are concerned, I'm a bit worried if iphone ends up as the only alternative. The loss of Symbian (number one platform as recent as 2011) was such a shame for this reason.

I do agree though, it's a shame that there aren't more options (same for the desktop - it amuses me when people criticise MS or Windows 8, and then you find they're using Apple as if that were some open alternative). Perhaps in future we will - e.g., Samsung-backed Tizen is an open source Linux-based smartphone OS, that also promises an open ecosystem with HTML5 apps (similar to ChromeOS, as it happens). First Samsung smartphones planned this year, according to recent news.

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Mark .
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Re: I lost interest here:

Sometimes it's not even that - it's painful to hear stories of people who'd rather use say their Android smartphone to play music, but they have to keep an Apple mp3 player around, because the entire audio industry - from speakers to in-car stereos - caters only to Apple users, with ipod-only connectors. Although it will be fun to see how that plays out now that Apple have broken compatibility with their own standard...

(I'm amused that my LG smart _TV_ is a far better audio playing/streaming solution than most dedicated audio devices, since it can happily stream from any device/OS using industry standard protocols rather than AppleSpeak, and you can plug in any USB player or other device and let it read/play the music, rather than having Apple-only connectors.)

Then there are people who don't particular like itunes as software, but simply use it as a place to buy music from (because even if there are alternatives, most people aren't aware of them; Apple's marketing campaign has put itunes gift cards in every UK shop, and so on); and because they then have all their music in itunes, they end up being locked into Apple's hardware (whilst there's no DRM, it can be a pain to transfer to other systems when things aren't tagged in a standard format, and ipods scramble the filenames).

Not to mention other myths - I recently had someone say to me that they'd rather have a standard mp3 player, but reluctantly stuck with Apple because all their music was on mp4 format. I pointed out that most "mp3" players cope with multiple formats too, but I realised how the very common name "mp3 player" has misled people, whilst Apple's devices get mentioned by brandname, making people think they're different. Noticed how many shops say "Ipods and mp3 players", as if from the Department of Redundancy Department? People end up thinking they need an "ipod", and other players don't get a look in.

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What's THAT, you say? Apple MIGHT be making a NEW iPHONE, iOS?

Mark .
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Re: @Mark - multiple iDevice resolutions

Well I'm not saying it's an difficult problem, just that the advantages of "single model" aren't there, and it's no worse than other platforms like Android.

"So it's unlikely app developers will ever need to worry about more screen dimensions they do currently, as any newer screen dimensions (from say a phablet type iPhone) would come around the time you'd eliminate one of the older ones."

Even currently, there are still 4 sizes (the 4/4S is still in widespread use), and I think at least 3 resolutions?

Plus look at it from the other way - suppose I wrote an application a few years ago, isn't it better that all the existing applications Just Work, rather than breaking (or needing some horrendous hack, or leaving blank space)? If a new model is released, I want it to work out of the box, not have to rewrite all my apps. This is bad for both developers and users.

"Apple could do a more major update to iOS at some point and have it use Quartz for full resolution independence like OS X does. That they didn't do this when iOS first came out could have been due to battery life concerns from the computational load, but now CPUs in phones are far more powerful and efficient so it may be a reasonable thing to do."

Wait - are you telling me that the IOS API *doesn't* have a UI toolkit with resolution independence? What, are apps specifying coordinates like it's 1990 again?

The low CPU power argument doesn't really hold - the iphones have always been high end devices, and Symbian has had Qt (with still excellent battery life) that runs on even mid-range phones from 2008 (e.g., Nokia 5800 with 433MHz ARM11, no GPU).

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Mark .
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Re: Only one?

Why just two? If you want to cover as many platforms, and acknowledge that it isn't simply just about market share, then there are more than just two platforms (and the current situation of IOS being in second place is very much a recentism - historically it was way behind, and those other platforms still have large installed userbases, and may still do very well on stats like profit, or downloads per developer - I get 100x the downloads on Symbian compared to Android, for example).

But the OP was talking about if you just had to pick one - and sadly, there are still people who pick one, but go for iphone. Even when we're talking about free apps from professional developers, so the alleged argument about profit, or being from an individual, doesn't work. (E.g., all of the website-wrapper apps to offer people a company's services on a phone. Though then again, anyone with a competent smartphone doesn't need an "app" to access a website.)

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Mark .
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Re: Only one?

Indeed - and there was also a switch in resolution from the first models to "4", and between 4S and "5". And there have I believe been at least two resolutions for the non-mini ipads. So if we look at different resolutions and sizes, I count at least 6 combinations. At that point, any hope of "write for one device" goes out the window, and you're better off with a UI that scales to a range of sizes/resolutions, as encouraged on Android. This also works better when new devices are released (compare with the release of the ipad, and now ipad mini, where existing software wasn't been written for it).

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Merde! Paris Apple Store in €1m armed raid on New Year's Eve

Mark .
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Re: Further details emerge:

They should've just nicked one single Samsung Galaxy, then Apple would be claiming they'd had $1 billion stolen...

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Mark .
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Well there are fewer Samsung shops, since Samsung sell loads without needing to push them themselves.

But also, remember, it's only news if it's got "Apple" in the headline. There are plenty of raids on other shops, but as always, the media only go advertising when it's about Apple.

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Mark .
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Re: Strange but amazing

All of the criticisms of the Surface (e.g., not wanting touchscreen devices, closed platform) apply even more so to a dumbed down touch-only far-more-closed platform. It's a sad day on the Register when real computers are mocked, and dumbed down appliances are worshipped. Still, with Android way more popular than IOS, we could make the same joke of the Apple shop too.

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Mark .
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If it was due to popularity, for phones I would expect to see Samsung and then Nokia being more common targets.

I suspect it's more a case of being expensive. That, and having a big shop front that's an easier target, which many manufacturers don't have.

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The year GNOMES, Ubuntu sufferers forked off to Mint Linux

Mark .
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Re: Irony

On the contrary, Windows 8 has gone the route of offering *two* UIs - for better or worse - one optimised for tablets or non-experienced users, and one for power users or those doing say office work, or applications that aren't available in the new UI yet. It's true that MS's vision appears to make everything use the new UI ultimately - though possibly by then, it'll be more powerful anyway. The annoying thing about Unity was that the changes affected the only UI you had to work with.

"then pray you haven't broken your shell and locked yourself out of your own account."

I'm not sure Linux is immune to these problems either, when things mess up.

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Mark .
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Re: Wants A and B

I agree it's annoying when things are dumbed down, but the advanced desktop features aren't removed in Windows 8. It's more that it's set up to be easier for everyday users, which makes sense - the advanced users are the ones who (ought to) know how to get to the advanced features.

The problem in Unity however is that there are things modified in an annoying manner even in the windowed UI. I can't stand the new scrollbars, for example.

Actually I'd say that XP was a more user-friendly dumbed-down version of 2000, and I prefer 7 to XP. (E.g., the fastest way to launch programs or find something in Windows 7 and 8 is just to it the Windows key, and type the name - much faster than in 2000 or XP.)

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Mark .
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Re: Wants A and B

"as actual end-user-facing options to disable it do not exist"

Not quite true - the windowed mode is still there, and existing Windows programs will continue to use it, without needing any software to modify it. So it's more a case of "continue to use the windowed apps you used before, rather than the 'metro' ones".

(The 3rd party software to modify the UI is more about the new start menu, but that's a separate issue. I'd rather work in a multitasking windowed environment, but the new start menu still works fine for that - but some people don't like it for other reasons. MS have changed the start menu in almost every version of Windows, as usual, some people like it, some people don't.)

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NYC mayor pins crime rate spike on iPhone, iPad theft

Mark .
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Re: Just ban Apple products

Which make of car stereo was stolen? I mean, it's apparently so important to mention Apple specifically, but if it's another product, it's just a generic term that's used...

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Mark .
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Re: Just ban Apple products

If you say so. The only reason an iphone would be worth having for free, is so you could sell on to some mug at a ridiculous price. Personally I'll stick with my Samsung Android.

(And I've lost track of the absurd number of "Win a free ipad" - seems it is a case of having to give them away, after all.)

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Mark .
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Re: Perhaps realising that there are times of day and places where.............

Indeed - given how Apple users seem to walk around holding their iphones in front of them all the time, it doesn't seem surprising. Another thing I note is how Apple laptops users seem far more likely to carry their laptop everywhere they go, where as most people usually leave them at home, or keep them carried in a bag if they're travelling.

Not to mention that Apple products are plastered in obvious logos (in some cases light up!), which helps advertise that you have a product. And that Apple products are only ever in the expensive range of the market. Personally I prefer my phones, laptops etc to have as subtle or unobvious a logo as possible (plus it just looks better that way - same reason I don't wear Addidas clothes).

Though it's great for Apple because it's yet more free advertising from the media. Just check out stories on thefts - it's always "laptops and Ipads" or "Macbooks and phones" or "Iphones and tablets" - if there's an Apple product stolen, it'll always be mentioned by name, like some kind of product placement ad, whilst other products are just mentioned generically.

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Apple supremo Tim Cook's pay packet SLASHED 99% in 2012

Mark .
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Re: WTF?

"dominating the markets it was in"

Not even that - they don't dominate in computer operating systems, and they're third place in phones behind even Nokia (or by mobile OS, outsold by Android 6 times over). Which makes it even worse.

He's the CEO of a multinational. The media can harp on about Apple's "success", but the fact is it's nothing more than the success of many other multinationals (you have to be successful in order to get to being a multinational, basically).

It's sad to see the Apple bias in the media continues after Jobs - it's sad to see their pathetic attempts to try to personify Apple with the new CEO (what's-his-name), just like they did with Jobs - it's far easier to make a company look friendlier or different when you see them as a person, and just look at the overblown hoo-hah when Jobs died. Do we think most of those overemotional Apple fans even know the name of the CEO of larger and more successful Samsung is, let alone know if he died?

(I suppose the counter example is that being Time Person of the Year isn't necessarily a compliment, but also covers negative aspects, e.g., obvious example being Hitler - so this could cover the negative actions of Apple such as trying to lock the most successful smartphone platform out of the market. But even there, it's ludicrous to say he's the most influential person, or anywhere near it)

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Mark .
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Re: 99% pay cut

I suspect Google and Samsung have made plenty (hint, Android is based on Linux).

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Mark .
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Re: Shark. Jumped.

Who cares. Never in the most heated Windows vs Linux/etc debate did an MS fan go "But look at how much money Bill Gates has". No one cares (unless you're a shareholder).

But if we're looking at what people are buying, it's market share.

"They can't ramp up licence fees without either damaging their market or getting investigated."

Which is a good thing! Why on earth, as an Android user, should I be wishing that Google suddenly be able to make things more expensive?

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2012: The year that netbooks DIED

Mark .
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Re: Ultrabooks with "premium specs"

And "MacProBookAir" (or whatever they call it) isn't a marketing trademark?

Apple are just yet another PC OEM, and all PC manufacturers, Apple included, use trademarks to sell their products.

As for "bad copy", I disagree. The Apple Air's have crap specs too (e.g., Intel integrated graphics). Personally I prefer to have a powerful laptop like a Clevo for main use, and a lower cost portable with better battery life (what used to be called a netbook) for travelling, rather than a device that does a bad job of either. I'll also take the laptop without a tacky light up logo.

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Mark .
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Re: Netbooks were popular when they had Linux on them

The thing that killed it was the spec staying still for 5 years. 1024x600, 1GB RAM! I agree it's a shame that Linux netbooks disappeared, though I find my Windows netbook fine. The experience is only poor compared to more powerful laptops, but tablet are less powerful too.

The experience would have also been far better if they hadn't stuck the specs at 2007 level - e.g., 2GB RAM makes Windows run much better (even phones have this now), or higher resolution (again, phones are fine for this).

As for Apple - *snort* - all those markets existed for years before Apple joined the market late. The ipad is a larger smartphone, not a new market (or is the first 7" or 11" tablet also a new market then?) This is The Register, not for people who think Apple invented phones (the first iphone wasn't even a smartphone - couldn't run apps). Not to mention that Apple are competely irrelevant, as their only ultra-portable laptop is way more expensive.

The "desktop" is a mature market - I don't see Apple taking it in any new directions either. Yeah, MS are really killing it with their 90% market share. Do you have a source for your last paragraph? The evidence doesn't support it - sorry, I live Linux and run it on my Clevo dual boot, but I actively chose Windows for my netbook.

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Mark .
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But Atom lives on! Death of netbook in name only

There are certainly plenty of ultra-portable laptop/tablet hybrids being planned that are based on Clover Trail, the next generation SoC Atom, that will be a lower cost lower powered (and also better battery life) alternative to the i3/i5/i7 devices. It will be interesting see if we also get Clover Trail devices that are pure laptops - anyone know?

Part of the problem is, what is the definition of a "netbook"? If we define it as a machine with Atom CPU, 1GB RAM, 1024x600, then I'm glad that spec is finally dead - but that makes no more sense than saying a tablet is a device with 512MB RAM, and saying tablets are dead. If we define it as a low cost ultra-portable, then is it still true that netbooks will disappear?

If in 2013, I can still buy a lower end portable laptop, I don't care whether it's called a netbook, ultrabook, ultra-portable or whatever else - it's still the same thing. But if lower end portable laptops no longer exist, and the only choice is tablets, much more expensive (and poorer battery life) high end ultra-portables, or the remaining stock of old netbooks, that's a bit sad.

I love my Samsung N220, and have no desire to replace it with a less functional tablet. What will the upgrade path for it be?

"Meanwhile, the original netbook concept of a compact, ultraportable PC has reemerged in the form of Ultrabooks, Intel's attempt to encourage PC makers to develop devices to compete with Apple's extra-slim MacBook Air."

Well high end ultra-portables existed long before Apple joined the market late (as always). The key new thing about netbooks was the lower cost (and better battery life). Ultrabooks were nothing to do with Apple, they were a continued trend of ultra-portables, with Intel making up a trademark for better marketing. Ultrabooks are falling in price so could well eventually fill the place of netbooks anyway.

"by 2016 virtually every notebook will resemble an Ultrabook, leaving the netbook era as little more than a quaint and whimsical memory."

Or rather, the netbook was the immensely successful revolutionary device that later evolved into the devices we'll be using in 2016. By 2016, I suspect ultrabooks will be at the same price as netbooks - the reason for calling them ultrabooks will simply be a matter of marketing ("ultrabook" is an Intel trademark; netbook is simply a generic name, and one that's now become old fashioned).

Not to mention Chromebooks, effectively netbooks too (low cost, portable, good battery life). Ironically Chromebooks used to be viewed as pointless as you could just get a netbook, but soon Chromebooks might be the only thing in that market you can buy!

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The LINUX TABLET IS THE FUTURE - and it always will be

Mark .
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Re: Linux does it ...

My Amiga 1200 booted in 5 seconds on a much slower PIO 0 IDE drive - is that therefore better than Linux?

Comparing boot times is pointless, and the idea of Windows being slow to boot is pretty much a myth, or a leftover from the NX/2000 days. I don't remember if Linux boots faster on my system - maybe it does - but then, I also note that my Clevo boots quicker than my Android Galaxy Nexus, so is Android crapper than Windows? (Same with the myth that Windows always needs rebooting for updates - Ubuntu seems to have far more updates, and also needs rebooting. Same with the myth that Windows is unstable - all modern OSs are pretty stable, but Windows 7 even survives graphics driver crashes that take down Linux and OS X, and I've had black-screen-on-boot when upgrading Ubuntu due to driver problems.)

I like Windows, Linux and Android (and Amiga back in the day), so I'm not taking sides. The idea that GNU/Linux isn't ready for ordinary users is also nonsense.

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Rampaging gnu crashes Microsoft Store, hands out literature

Mark .
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Re: How is the W8 Fisher Price Interface ?

Fisher Price interface, isn't that the one you get with an Apple FisherPricePad?

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Mark .
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Re: Have you ever noticed OS X and iOS run on Apple devices only?

Yes it's not like Apple are using patent attacks against Android. And all their i-devices are open and don't require jailbreaking to root at all. Oh wait.

Apple do their utmost to prevent fair competiton. Just look at how we've ended up with vast amounts of audio devices only connecting to ipods and iphones - I know people who'd rather use their Android phone for music, but have to keep an ipod due to the locking. And that's before we consider the lock in of itunes.

Do you have a reference to recent Halloween Documents and Android?

How do tax payers fund MS, and not Apple? (I mean, I'm sure the Government use MS, but that's probably true of Apple too to some extent, and loads of other companies.)

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Mark .
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You're right, Apple's OSs are minor players compare to Windows on desktop, or Android on mobile, so in that sense MS are the better target.

*However* I think there is a problem that it becomes hard to criticise MS, for what Apple have got away with doing - or even praised for doing. On top of that, they unfairly get vast amounts of hype and positive biased media coverage. MS can just say they're only doing similar things, and to a _lesser_ extent, than Apple do with IOS. (Sure yes, there's OS X, but most people don't care about that, that's not what gives Apple their hype.)

So I do think criticism should be targetted at Apple, in response to all the hype they get for IOS.

And even if one is using OS X, that's still giving money to Apple, to support their IOS development. And it's not just about locked-down IOS - there's the point of them attempting to destroy the most successful open source operating system, using software and design patents in the courts.

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iPhone tops US market, but trounced by Android in world+dog

Mark .
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But Samsung Android alone outsell Apple (at least they have all through 2012, by a factor of 2 to 1 in Q3 - of course a contrived survey 12 weeks right after the iphone 5 launch, when Apple's sales are known to be highly seasonal, is going to show Apple in a better light).

And only selling a few models (which isn't just one, as you concede) isn't a reason to make it more impressive - that's Apple's choice. There are potentially advantages to having fewer models (e.g., it means developers can focus on it more easily. I might as well say "Well the only reason Apple sold more is that they have fewer models, so it's easier to support - it's quite impressive that Android sells well, despite having lots of different models to support". If it turns out that offering more choice to consumers is what is more popular, then that's tough luck to Apple.

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Mark .
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Re: How Convenient ....

Given that the S3 alone outsold Apple's flagship, it's clear that Samsung etc do fine at the high end too.

And whilst Apple may get all the IOS sales, Samsung Android phones alone outsell Apple (throughout 2012 - by Q3, this was as much as 2 to 1).

The phone networks give vast amounts of marketing for Apple's phones, and it's available and offered to people on loads of contracts.

"BMW do not care if they sell as many cars as Ford."

*shrugs* So if sales don't matter, why do Apple fans bleat on about it all the time in the first place, trying to spin Apple sales as being high? You're right, it doesn't matter. Lots of people buy Addidas on Burberry, but it doesn't mean that I have to. I'd rather buy what I like. Which is Android.

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Mark .
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Re: US vs other countries

So wait - Android is bad because people only get it "free" on contract, and it's bad because its users are on PAYG? Which is it?? And why don't either of these criticisms apply to iphones, is there some magic third way? (Well, I guess there's buy outright, and have a SIM only contract, but I don't see why that's better, nor is there any evidence that people do this more with Apple, and on any platform, a minority of people do it this way.)

My observation is that many people buying Apple phones just do so because they have no idea that other phones are available. Even more so for ipads, where 10" Android tablets are unheard of, whilst the entire media hyped the ipad even before it was announced.

And virtually everyone buying iphones are just getting them "free" on contract. My experience is that Android, aside from being far more popular anyway, is also full of users who know about the different kinds of smartphones - considered Apple, and turned it down.

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Mark .
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Re: US vs other countries

Most people I know in Cambridge have Android.

Note that iphones often seem more widespread, but for some reason Apple users seem far more likely to walk around holding their iphone or ipod in front of them, where as everyone else sticks in in their pocket. Also it's far more easier to recognise, due to the fewer models, and the ridiculous obvious Apple logo all over it. So you notice the one or two iphone users when walking somewhere, but you don't notice the 100 Android users.

With the S3 alone outselling the Apple flagship, it's clear that it's a myth that Android sales are mainly coming from cheaper sales. Also consider that these days, many Apple sales come from cheaper models, because many of their sales come from older models still available (even the ancient 3GS I've still seen on sale).

Plus, being cheap doesn't mean junk. It's well publicised how Apple has massive profit margins. Other manufacturers deliver what people want *and* do it at a lower price. Apple just pocket the profits for themselves.

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Mark .
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Re: There's Android smartphones, and Android "phones"

J2me phones are called feature, not dumb. But it's not as simple as running native apps. WP can't do native, nor could android in the earlier days, and still most apps aren't native. Why is native code better?

Then there's a certain phone that couldn't do apps at all, but got counted as a smartphone...

Basically it's just a marketing term.

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