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* Posts by Mark .

1840 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Android and Apple OS shares show mountain MS must climb

Mark .
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Re: From my weblogs...

Clarification: when I say "market share" I mean market share - number of devices sold, or in use. I don't mean share of Internet usage, which is rather different.

But even telling Internet usage share is notoriously hard, with different trackers showing different things - I've seen others showing Android on top, or even Nokia until recently (e.g., http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/flow/item/15620_Series_40_overtakes_Symbian_wo.php ).

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Re: From my weblogs...

Well indeed, but that is even more reason why it's a poor indicator of actual installed userbase.

(And if we're including large 10" devices as "mobile", the line becomes even more blurred - what about Windows ultra-portable laptops/netbooks?)

I'd also be curious to see a citation for the claim about most "mobile" (non-Windows) browsing being on ipads. I'd say people are accessing websites all the time on mobile devices, whilst the minority of ipad owners keep them at home. Plus I thought the split was pretty close on non-phone tablets, 60/40 at best.

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It's a descendant of S40, not Symbian - some info at http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/flow/item/15790_Nokias_Asha_Touch_now_official.php . (True, it's arguably not "brand new", but previously had yet to be classified as a "smartphone", and indeed most S40 phones still aren't, only the new full-touch Asha ones.)

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Re: From my weblogs...

If those are the figures you get for IOS and Android, all that tells us is that the hits for your website aren't anywhere near any kind of reliable indicator for market share.

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Re: Ironically

From what I hear, you'll be getting all of the features that the older hardware supports, just like is done on Apple. It's just that MS are being honest and clear by calling it "7.8" instead of "8", whilst Apple pretend it's the latest version of the OS but disable features.

(Same point when people moan that old Android phones don't get upgraded after a certain point.)

Lack of applications is indeed a problem. It's unfair that Apple has always been catered for first, when it's never been the number one platform. It's ridiculous that even Android is still lacking support from some places, despite the overwhelming lead it has over everything else. (Though personally I'd rather that companies simply provided decent websites that worked on mobile devices, rather than using closed proprietary exes that only work on some kind of devices, a solution even worse than the Flash it was meant to replace.)

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It's misleading to put "Android and Apple" on the same level as done in the headline, and so often done by the media - it's Android that dominates above all else, as the article notes with the stats later in the article. Apple being second place doesn't mean that much, when it's also so far behind like everyone else anyway.

It is a shame Nokia ditched number one Symbian, if the WP strategy doesn't work out - whatever platform you prefer, I think it's healthier to have more competition, and as much as I love Android, it is a bit worrying if the choice becomes only that, or Apple as the alternative.

The article doesn't mention Nokia's new low end smartphone platform, Asha: this sold 6 million in Q3 IIRC, a figure higher than Symbian and WP. (I do hope the media or these "analysts" in general aren't going to filter out the Asha sales, just to make Nokia look worse than they are. It may be low end, but we don't discount low end Android or WP phones; and the original iphone got counted as a smartphone even though it could run apps - Asha meanwhile does apps, Internet, large fullsize touchscreens, and loads of other features just like any other smartphone.)

Though if we're playing games of "WP's share is even lower than", we should note the sales figures are *higher* than iphone in its first few quarters, and the media were already praising that as an amazing success ("one million after 76 days" etc). I don't recall the media saying it was doing badly, and talking about the mountain it had to climb. Which is it?

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Google starts rolling out Android 4.2 to select devices

Mark .
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Re: "If you had bought a Google device that's network agnostic..."

"How is that any different to this situation numbnuts?!"

Yes exactly, it's not any different - Apple isn't any better than Android (or MS for that matter) in providing to older phones, they just mislead people with the version numbers, where other platforms are clear and honest.

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Re: Fragmentation fragmentation fragmentation

"Only Google devices get the latest, leaving the other users in the lurch. Were they just used to generate license fees and data to feed the Google phone dev?"

No, the other manufacturers choose to build their own OS on top of Android. So they still get the latest version of the OS the moment it's released, it's just that "OS" isn't the same as basic Android, so there's no reason for the releases to be in sync with the Google releases.

If you want to run basic Android and get those releases straight away, get a Nexus device. If not, stop whining. If you're not even an Android user, stop whining.

I suspect most users don't even care - perhaps because the phones do so much already anyway, and they don't have to wait years for even basic "feature phone"-level features like copy/paste, video calling, or even apps.

"The platform is controlled. If I see reports of devices being "rooted", that implies the same problem and the same solution as iOS to break it."

That's a property of the device, not the OS, and no - Nexus devices are designed to be easily rooted, and doesn't require taking advantage of security flaws, as is required for IOS.

"There is far less quality control on Apps as far as I can see, so how is your average end user going to know what is safe? Ah, anti-virus? What, doing a Microsoft to plaster over the problems?"

I don't see this. Applications should be safe by design (i.e., the security model not allowing them to do things without permission). I don't want so-called "quality control" - I want to run what I want. Apple's "quality control" is routinely used to block anything they don't like, such as alternative browsers. As a developer, I can't stand "quality control" that in practice ends up being petty hurdles to jump, often administered by idiots.

"I would not be surprised if someone eventually creates a really Open version of an Android alike platform."

There already are open source forks of Android, e.g., Cyanogenmod. Easier to just get a Nexus device though, if you're worred about that.

If you mean open source platforms in general, there have been various Linux based OSs over the years (Maemo, Meego, Tizen).

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Re: Worth pointing out...

Won't wp7 software also run on wp8? Or not sure what you're referring to?

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Mark .
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Re: Fragmentation fragmentation fragmentation

If you're a developer and you need Android 4 specific features, the Android 4 userbase is still massive, likely still bigger than all of iphone, and still growing quickly.

It would be a shame if the Nexus S doesn't get 4.2, though the reasons are unclear yet - whether it's just not at the moment, or if they'll skip 4.2 and wait until the next version, or if they don't have sufficient hardware requirements.

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Nokia woos disgruntled iOS users with rebranded maps service

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Google maps on Android is great, but I really miss Nokia maps from my old 5800. It's ridiculous that I can only do offline maps by selecting a few tiny squares, rather than downloading by countries or continents at a time. Nokia had this right six years ago! Another oddity is that search doesn't work offline. Okay, I realise Android does this via Google search, and I realise I'm not going to get a Google Internet search offline, but why can't I even search the roads/placenames etc that are downloaded? I'm currently in the US, and whilst I can use maps offline, it's rather mad that I have to manually search myself for roads or places, when I know the info is on my phone. I'd love to use Nokia maps again.

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Brits swallow Google Nexus 4 supply 'in 30 minutes'

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Re: It's called competition

"an may well have been genuinely caught out by the demand which does imply what many have been saying for a while: good Android devices are considered to be as good as I-Phones."

Android has massively outsold iphone for years (as did Symbian throughout its lifetime), so indeed, it's long been true that most people consider them better.

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Re: It's embarrassing!

"We've had 3 other Nexus phones already, they know how many are going to be needed."

The previous Nexus phones didn't sell that hugely - they were important, as flagships, but the massive Android sales tended to come from other phones (with the biggest sales most recently being the S2 and S3).

On top of that, most phone sales AFAICT come through contracts, not from people buying the phone outright.

So it's quite possibly they did genuinely fail to anticipate demand, because it is so much stronger than anything they've had before.

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You're right that the difference is one of scale. Android is now well over 1 million a day, all year round, now 5 times that of iphone. Samsung android phones alone outsell them two to one. And in total sales, both Samsung and Nokia outsell Apple. That's what the scale is. I entirely and that "sold out" sales mean little, as far as the real total sales are concerned.

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Re: What proof of Artificial limiting of supply?

Indeed, hardly any advertising or coverage, compared to months of hype and advertising campaign for apple. Also consider that most phones seem to be sold on contact, and this is the full price unlocked version.

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Re: What proof of Artificial limiting of supply?

Why compare to Apple? The best selling single model is the S3 - which would also be a better comparison due to also being android. Comparing sales of 1 android phone out of thousands, to all of Apple's sales, is hardly fair. Btw, Apple phone sales are a piss in the ocean compared to Samsung (or even Nokia), and especially compared to android.

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EU mobe warning system for imminent disasters won't work on iPhone

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Quite right - and yes, Symbian also still has a massive installed userbase, particularly in Europe.

I mean, let's get this straight. It's okay for loads of companies and even Governments to produce "apps" only catering for the minority 10% of iphone users, but the moment they're left out, suddenly that's newsworthy? Sorry, who cares - now they know what it feels like.

At least Android is now getting support, but the other platforms hardly ever get support. And the situation was even more bizarre up until recently, when these other platforms were selling as much or more than iphone, but almost always ignored.

I say we should be thankful that a system caters for the majority first. Of course, it's nice to be inclusive of everyone - but first we should be criticising all the companies only producing apps for iphone (or at best, iphone and Android). Sadly it's not even a US vs Europe thing - even in the US, where despite being Apple's best market, Android outsells iphone at least 2 to 1 IIRC, there still seems to be far more hype and app-support for the minority of Apple users.

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Analyst: There are LOADS of iPhone 5s, Apple is keeping them back

Mark .
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Re: Impressive number

Well even the S3 outsells iphone 4S. Yes you can add iphone 5 to that, but then we should also add the S2, Note, Note 2, S3 Mini, as well as all the top models from HTC, LG, Sony and all the other Android manufacturers. Yeah, I think Android still wins, even if we ignore the crap.

Plus who says where we draw the line - the original iphone couldn't even run apps, why should that have ever been counted?

And there are loads of deals for iphones too, it gets far more marketing push than anything else.

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Re: Impressive number

Indeed, though note it's now 5 to 1 - I believe latest stats are 75% Android, 15% iphone.

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Tell that to the Apple fans saying we should all use ipods or ipads. Or worse, the ones who pretend iphone is the most popular platform, and then say we should use that.

I just find it odd that with Apple, the message from the media and its fans is "think different" if they're less popular, at the same time of "let's praise Apple for being popular".

I agree that we shouldn't all wear the same thing. But comparing the S3 to burberry is just dumb, and the same kind of fanaticism that you're criticising the OP for.

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To be fair it makes a change - it's usually Apple users telling us about how they have an iphone (or ipod, or ipromacbook) at every opportunity, or the media going on and on about it. I once had people in a pub butt into our private conversation about Android to go "Oh, we don't care about your open source operating system, we have iphones". It really is indeed weird that some people have to make such a deal about what phone they have, or what other people choose to use.

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Re: Could it be...

But if someone is happy with not having the best phone - why spend money on the most expensive one on the market? You're sensible by buying an Android phone that's not cutting edge, but also means you save money. It makes sense to pay more to get more. It makes sense to pay less to get more. It makes no sense to pay more to get less.

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Researcher names world's favourite smartphone

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Re: Samsung? No surprise!

Yes, I agree for some purposes it can also be interesting to look at sales of high end smartphones. So it wouldn't be all of Samsung's phones (or all Android phones), but you'd still add not just the S2, but also the Note, Note 2, Galaxy Nexus and perhaps others for Samsung. Plus there's the question of where to draw the line - "mid-range" phones like the S3 Mini have 1GB RAM, twice as much as an iphone 4S, and same as an S2, so I'd say should be included. So getting back to the original point, I'd suspect Samsung still win :)

The LG Nexus 4 will further blur the confusion - priced as a mid-range phone, but actually it has the best specs around... Or back in 2007, a "high end" iphone couldn't even run apps, so it's not clear the "Ferrari" analogy holds. For the most part, I'd say all Android (and other) phones do compete in the same market, and it's only dumb phones that we would separate out. Even as far as cars are concerned, I'd say most of the time, we want to look at total sales to say who's more *popular*. I guess we might say that Apple do best at selling phones that are expensive, but that's different to being popular, or "favourite" as the headline says (it's well known that Apple do well at selling expensive products, that's them being expensive...)

It's all a question of what we want to measure. If we're looking at popularity, we should look at even low end phones (if that's what's popular, then it doesn't make sense to say it doesn't count). If you're a developer looking at installed userbase for a particular spec, then you have something more objective to use to decide which phones get counted.

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Mark .
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Re: Samsung? No surprise!

Better comparison for what? I mean, what is it you're trying to compare here (other than, "attempting to pick a statistic that makes Apple look best")?

As I say in my other comment, looking at single models is flawed anyway. But it's even more contrived to suddenly change the rules just because suddenly the statistic no longer suits Apple. By the same reasoning, in Q2 2012, we should have compared the S2 and S3 sales, to the iphone 4 and iphone 4S - I bet that would favour Samsung, but I don't recall anyone using that statistic.

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Re: A flawed statistic - but amazing Apple can't even claim the one stat that's biased towards them

I'm not sure that being a clear number is useful, if we're agreed that it doesn't show anything useful. I mean, "Company that sells most phones starting with a lowercase letter" is pretty well defined, but it doesn't show anything useful.

And the problem is that the media aren't just noting this as passing trivia, they are parading this as being important - as justification for why Apple should be treated as the best. Indeed just look at this headline - it's not "Best Selling Single Device", it's "world's favourite smartphone". The media aren't leaving the interpretation open to the readers at all, they're concluding it makes Apple the winner, and the iphone (which is a platform, not an individual phone) the best.

(Not that I mind praising the S3 - the fact that Samsung win best selling company, and Android wins most popular platform, means that for once the stat is in agreement. But most the time this stat is biased towards Apple.)

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Mark .
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Re: Samsung? No surprise!

Well, if we're including Apple's other phones, then sure - Samsung also sold around an extra *38 million* Android phones, as well as several 10s of millions of phones running other operating systems on top of that.

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It's pretty normal for phones to have initial short periods of exclusivity - I've not seen any evidence that it's a permanent exclusivity (which would indeed seem pretty stupid - ideally manufacturers should want phones on as many networks as possible, and only grant short term exclusivity deals to get that network to publicise it hard in that period).

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A flawed statistic - but amazing Apple can't even claim the one stat that's biased towards them

A shop sells 100 chocolate cakes a day, and 100 chocolate cakes with cherry on top. It also sells 101 fruit cakes. Media claim, fruit cakes most popular!

In a parallel universe, the shop has decided to relabel the fruit cakes by those with 16 raisins, 32 raisins and 64 raisins. The sales remain the same, but it reports now the three varieties of fruit cakes as 50, 30 and 20. Media astounded that now, chocolate cakes are more popular!

"Best selling single device" is a very poor statistic. I would dispute we can tell the most popular just by looking sales due to the problem shown above, or even if the concept is well defined at all. Furthermore, it all changes depending how individual models are labelled. The only relevant stats are by platform (where Android massively leads), or company if you care about their success (where Samsung massively lead over Apple, and Nokia in fact are 2nd). For most people (consumers and developers), I'd argue platform size is all that matters.

This is the same kind of problem as FPTP in voting systems - but worse, as the arguments in defence of FPTP don't apply here. People can argue that there is no perfect way to vote (due to the voting paradox) so we might as well stick with FPTP, but here, we don't have to pick "most popular individual device" at all, as there are better things to look at (platform sales). Also they can argue that the circumstances where FPTP fails badly are often hypothetical, but this is a very real world example of the problem: there are thousands of Android devices, and most companies have loads of models, whilst Apple only have one model to choose per generation. So Apple phone buyers will all be buying that one phone.

"And don't forget - especially if you're a fan of neither Apple nor Samsung - these handsets only 24 per cent of world smartphone shipments."

Indeed, which is further evidence why it's a poor statistic. Let's take things to extreme - imagine 99% of people buy Samsung Android phones, but these are all spread evenly across a large choice (more than 99) of similar phones that Samsung offer. It really takes one hell of an RDF to claim Apple as most popular, because their 1% share is from a single model. It also means that Samsung are penalised for offering more choice to consumers!

But this story is still interesting. The media only cling to this way of measuring, as it makes Apple look best. It's telling that Apple lose this stat now, even though it's massively biased towards them, with them only having one phone per generation. They are now so unpopular, that even one single device out of thousands outsells all the latest generation of iphones. What will the media do now? Will they finally give up on the Apple obsession? Or switch to "Oh, but the next iphone will sell more, honest"?

It's possible that the Nexus 4 will cause Android sales to rise further (good for Android), and also cause sales to spread more evenly between Samsung and LG. This is also good - it's more healthy competition in the Android market. But the effect could be to make Apple look "better" when the media quote the stats of best selling individual device, because the S3/S4 sales are now shared with the Nexus 4. So despite even further domination of Android, the media will be spinning this as a win for Apple!

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Apple tries to add Galaxy Note, Jelly Bean to patent slapfest

Mark .
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Even on phones, a grid of coloured icons was bog standard even on low end feature phones around 2004-2005.

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Mark .
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Clicking on a grid of icons, and only running one application at once - how 80's. What next, releasing something with the functionality of a mobile phone the size of a huge brick, and calling it progress?

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Re: Pathetic..

"the thing is near identical to look at"

Pro-tip: You can always tell the Apple products, by the big tacky Apple logos they plaster all over their products. (The only thing that would make them more tacky is if they lit up.)

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Apple screen maker preps 'retina' iPad Mini panel, pants reporter

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Re: Of course

No one cares about pixel density. It rewards devices being smaller, which isn't what you always want. Compare resolutions and screen sizes, but "density" as a stat is not something to compare different sized devices on.

If you care about resolution, get a Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, or a Nexus 10. If you don't care about high resolutions, then the Surface is still fine - or still get a Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire or Nexus 10 anyway, as they're way cheaper than Apple's media player as well as better.

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Re: Any one else going to use these?

They don't use "retina" as that's an Apple trademark. It would be like asking why Apple don't have PureView. But many of them do use high resolution displays, with many manufacturers offering devices with higher resolution than Apple's "retina" display. My Galaxy Nexus beats an iphone 5 resolution, and the Nexus 10 beats an ipad 4 - both at much cheaper prices.

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Mark .
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*yawn*

How about we report on actual products, rather than vaporware? It's the same everytime - Apple's products get completely smashed by the competition, so the media resorts to "But there'll be something better along in future, honest!" I might as well say the new AmigaPad 2 will beat it hands down, honest.

By the time it comes out, if ever, Google with have an updated Nexus 7, at £80 less, just like they've done with the Nexus 10. And the rest of us don't care about super-high resolutions on devices that only have the functionality of oversized phones. I'm more concerned that netbooks are still stuck at 1024x600...

PS - why is the Reg now plasted with adverts for iphone and ipad "apps"? Sorry, like most people I don't have one, but use more popular platforms like Android and Windows desktop. I don't see why you need a custom exe to read a website, I use this thing known as a "web browser". And if the exe offers more features, why aren't there applications for desktop platforms like Windows or Linux?

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Microsoft mulls 'Xbox Surface' slate for games

Mark .
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Re: fingers on a slab are not good for gaming

I see it's the standard Apple fan definitions of success vs fail:

* Apple sell a few million a quarter (all they managed in the early years of the iphone), or get 5-10% of the phone market and it's hailed as an amazing runaway success.

* MS sell a few million a quarter (as with WP) or get 5-10% of the mp3 market (Zune), and it's a "FAIL".

If there is future growth (as projected), then the market is far from crowded - most people still don't have tablets. And if there isn't future growth, well MS have nothing to worry about that competition anyway.

Did you moan when Apple attempted to barge onto the crowded phone market late, because everyone was buying Samsung and Nokia (which most people still are, incidentally)? Or maybe you were one of the people predicting the immensely successful X Box would fail.

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Re: Purpose?

Depends what the difference is between "general purpose" and this device. Whilst this may be more locked down and limited than a Surface RT or especially full blown Windows 8 tablet, remember that most tablets today aren't general purpose computers anyway. Now yes, if this is dumbed down so that it can only do games, that would seem rather odd. But the article says "messaging and other basic tablet functions would probably be supported too" - if this still has things like Internet and media playing, as well as a speciality in games, then that's all the common tablet functionality covered anyway.

It's a bit like saying there's no point in a Kindle Fire, because people can already read books on their "general purpose" tablets. But that doesn't stop it being a good idea for Amazon to bring out a tablet, which actually as the same features as most "general purpose" tablets anyway, bringing the advantages of better support for Amazon e-books and other content, as well as the "Kindle" brand name. MS doing the same for X Box and games seems an obvious move.

Or, saying there's no point in an ipad, as people can already do apps and play videos on their "general purpose" tablets etc. Just because there are pre-existing devices, doesn't make it not worthwhile to join the game.

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I, for one, would like to welcome our Android overlord

Mark .
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Who cares about profit? As a user and developer, I don't care at all - if anything, large profits is a sign that a company is overvaluing their products. I'd much rather see as low profits as possible on the products we buy - this is a far more ideal situation, and what you get in a market with competition, rather that's stifled and lacking in innovation.

Only shareholders care about the profit.

Never in the most heated Windows vs Mac/Linux/whatever debate did someone say "But look how much money Bill Gates makes!" If anything, that was used as a criticism! The idea that Apple fans now pick it as an important point, because it happens to be the the one area that Apple score higher on, is laughable. No one cares - it's not a competition (for us) between companies, it's about which products are better, or which people are using.

Also note that Nokia's losses were due to them writing off assets that they bought a few years ago, IIRC. Profit/losses are often not simply directly related to that quarter's sales, but subject to all sorts of accountancy oddities.

"At best, Google is in third place with regard to content."

They have 75% of mobile devices, they're easily in a good position to do this. The shame is really that they're not doing more to push it - they could do much more to market this (e.g., why don't we see gift cards in every shop for Google Play, like Apple are doing to advertise). But even with their little marketing efforts, Android and hence Google Play have become amazing successes, and the dominant mobile platforms.

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Even in a professional context, it's a big problem. Are you going to replace all your machines with Apple PCs? Or have them have to go and use a separate Apple PC, rather than the one on the desk? Or have everyone with two computers, taking up more desk space? As for "hackintosh", I don't believe that would be legal, and not advisable for professional use.

What if I'm a professional but independent/contract worker? Same problems as for the indie/casual developers. And it's not just about cost. It's convenient to develop on what's your main machine, rather than having to switch to a separate one. And what if I'm travelling? There are two problems here. Firstly, I prefer to have both a non-mobile machine (e.g., desktop, or large laptop) and a mobile machine (ultra-portable, laptop etc), to get the best of both worlds. So firstly to replicate that, I need to buy not one but two Apple computers. Secondly, if I'm going away, rather than taking just one machine, I've got to take two - or either not be able to do development, or switch to using the Apple laptop entirely.

Extra machines are also extra ongoing hassle in terms of admininstration, upgrading, etc.

No, the idea that IOS has easy development is yet another myth. I do fine with Android, as well as Symbian come to that.

And the idea of having to share an account to get by is laughable - no thanks, I'd rather have complete control over my own account.

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Re: Proper graphs please!

Indeed - the media have been following this fallacy for years, praising iphone since 2007 for large relative growth, and doomongering Symbian for lower growth, or worse, looking at change of market share (which is also meaningless in a growing market). The reality was that from 2007-2011, Symbian was (a) number one, (b) growing, and (c) often growing at a faster rate (in absolute numbers) than iphone. Symbian remained number one until Android overtook it in 2011, and sales didn't really decline until the WP switchover.

Strangely, they don't follow these rules most of the time when it comes to ipads - we should hear doom and gloom about its falling market share, but now the media seem to focus on absolute sales, because now that favours Apple, rather than companies like Nokia...

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Surface more profitable than iPad

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Re: Why?

Whilst in some ways it's competition for Android (e.g., it's competing for what what will become the standard OS for most tablets, rather than closed platforms where one manufacturer makes the hardware and OS), it's clearly still competing against Apple too.

And the competition for Android would be 10" Android tablets, like the Galaxy Tab and Note 10.1. These devices cost much more than the Nexus 7 and Kindle HD.

199 was stupid - no one with any sense believed that, and it was an utterly unreasonable price.

As for why the price is high, the answer is answered by this article - to make profit. They can always lower the price later on to go for a larger market. Plus they can also (unlike Apple) leave it to other manufacturers to produce cheaper Windows RT products.

"With the BoM at 271, they could easily have sold a few million for an 'introductory' price, and then later jack that up to 300."

That makes no business sense. To make money, you have the initial price high to cream money off the early adopters, then reduce the price.

"but in the consumer space there is only one name that sells, and it's fruity, so ffs don't try to emulate that."

Nonsense. Plenty of company names sell - plenty outsell them in PCs, plenty do in mobiles. Android far outsells them in mobile OS, MS far outsell them in non-mobile OS. Outside of Apple's one hit wonder (a music player that has little relevance to computing), they're not the leaders. Whilst it seems trendy to claim that MS aren't trendy, don't forget X Box. And enterprise is still important - and clearly one of the major markets that MS are going for (and yet more reason why comparing to the consumer oriented Nexus and Kindle doesn't make sense).

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Mark .
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Re: Microsoft have been clever

Correction, Android vastly outsells IOS on mobile devices, Apple only lead on the niche of 10" tablet devices. And they only did that because of the vast amounts of free hype and advertising they got from the media even before it was announced, as well as vast support from shops, whilst Android devices have been largely ignored until recently. Hardly surprising really...

WP is still doing better than iphone in its early years. Surface however is far closer to Windows desktop, not WP - unlike ifads, it's not an oversized phone, but an actual computer.

As for your equation, well that's Apple all over - they make money by selling high profit overpriced devices to a niche. "Millions" may seem a high number, but it's ordinary for a multinational, and nothing compared to high selling products (e.g., the hundreds of millions of mobile devices that Nokia and Samsung sell a year).

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Mark .
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Same as Apple

Of course to anyone with any sense, profitability is not a good point for everyone except the shareholders. It's proof that the product is overpriced, selling cheap components at high prices, as opposed to products with low or zero profit, where you get all of what you pay for, and any savings are passed onto the consumer.

But, this story is still important, as it's what Apple fans (including the media) have been praising Apple for. If they love Apple products for having high profit margins, they must love the Surface even more. There is no logical rational position that praises ipads and iphones, and criticises the Surface (though you can be sure the up-Apple's-arse media will try).

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Ten... Apple iPad Mini alternatives

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Re: What did 3G do to tablet designers that they hate it so much?

1: No evidence to support this. It's like the homeopathy of technology - "These two things may be the same thing, but this one is 'better quality' because it just is, even though I can't tell you how".

2: It's your legal entitlement to get something broken replaced, and I've never had any trouble with any company. Unless it's your fault, in which case Apple won't replace that either. You can get insurance to cover it, but you have to pay extra for that, and lots of companies offer that kind of thing - and I've seen plenty of horror stories where even when you're paying the extra, they don't cover you. Not that my non-Apple ever seems to break. I guess that's because I buy decent build quality. Seems like Apple products are always breaking, from how people are always telling me about how they get to replace them... (I just love that Apple fans simultaneously praise Apple for things like "build quality" and just "working", as well as that Apple are great because, after paying extra money for insurance, Apple are always replacing their products when they keep breaking.)

3: Not sure what you mean here. On one, you can develop using free software, on any kind of device. You can publish on Google's site for a one off fee of $25, or anywhere else you like for no cost. On the other, you can only develop using a special Apple computer, and have to pay Apple $99 a year to develop for your own device, with no way to get round it.

The Android "ecosystem" is way bigger than IOS, as was Symbian before it. So that's not an argument to justify the cost.

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Re: Operating system

Erm, an ipad mini doesn't have GPS. I'm not sure which doesn't have access to an app store (or what "proper" means)?

And all of them make the OS update available when it's ready - the reason that this isn't the same day as when the vanilla Android becomes available is because they don't run vanilla Android. E.g., I've seen JB on the S3, and lots of the new things are new things in TouchWiz, nothing to do with what's on my Galaxy Nexus.

This has zero relevance to IOS (or, I could just as well say that ipads are rubbish, because you don't get the OS release on the same day as the Nexus - it makes just as much sense). Plus with Android you get choice - if you want to run vanilla Android, get a Nexus and stop whining. You won't get vanilla Android with an ipad - and if you don't want vanilla Android, it doesn't matter.

OS updates would only be an issue if manufacturer OSs were delayed such that you got new features after they were available on Apple. But (a) as I say, this time is taken to add the additional features on top of Android, and (b) it seems it's Apple users who have to wait months/years to get basic features like maps, multitasking, copy/paste, apps, after everyone else anyway.

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Re: Jesus..

To be fair to the Register, I think they are trying to give awareness to tablets that most the media prefer to ignore.

But yes, I do hate the way that most of the media either cover nothing but Apple, or when they do, it's always presented as an "i-whatever competitor". It's got nothing to do with who's top dog or who sells the most. The ipad got vast amounts of media coverage even before it was announced (remember istale?) so had nothing to do with sales or specs. And the iphone platform has never led in hardware specs, OS features, or sales, yet has had nothing but vast amounts of media coverage, whilst leaders Symbian then Android (or by company, Nokia then Samsung) remain largely ignored.

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Mark .
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Indeed, pixel *density* is completely meaningless. Since density is (pixels / area), it favours devices for having a smaller display. But on my Galaxy Nexus, I like my large display. If someone took my phone, made it smaller, then the PPI would go up. But hang on, you've just made it smaller! That's not what I want.

In fact, you could take the device, reduce the resolution and make it smaller, but such that the PPI was higher, and claim that therefore it's better. But hang on, you've now reduced both the resolution *and* display size!

If anything, we should be looking at (pixels * area). Or better yet, just record them as separate specs.

Density is useful when comparing entirely different classes of devices - e.g., I wouldn't necessarily expect as high a resolution on a small device compared to a large device. It also might be a reason not to criticise a smaller device - e.g., if a smaller device has lower resolution, but the same density, you could argue that that's only that it's a smaller device, rather than having two things wrong with it. But it is absurd for anyone to claim that the smaller device is *better* simply because the density is higher.

This is the only statistic that Apple claim to lead on, and it's a meaningless one. And as you say, they've been well and truely outdone at their own game - with many phones and 7" devices having higher resolutions and densities than Apple. And now the Nexus 10 completely outdoes Apple's 10" tablet.

I think the reason people complain is not so much that PPI is an issue, but that it is judging it by Apple's own standard. And if you don't care about PPI, then there are zero reasons to get it - especially when it's also priced £100 more than the competition!

(I just wish we'd see higher than 1024x600 on netbooks - resolution is much more important on these devices, than it is on oversized phones.)

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Android: Google's baby ate 75% of smartphones in just 4 years

Mark .
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And Asha too

And let's not forget - still more than what the iphone platform sold in 6 months, back in 2007. Remember when "one million in 76 days" was hailed as an amazing success? And that was with vast amounts of media hype and free advertising. Yet the ignored Symbian sold 10s of millions back then, and still sells more than that figure now with zero advertising, poor distribution in most countries, hardly any new models, and one year after it was officially ditched by Nokia. As does Windows Phone, despite WP being regarded as a "flop", whilst the iphone platform was hailed as an amazing success even in 2007, despite the poorer pathetic sales figures.

Also a shame that the article doesn't mention Nokia's new low end smartphone platform, Asha - IIRC, sold over 6 million in its first quarter!

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Re: 15%

"Couple of years ago android phones were portrayed as cheap and underpowered ... hasn't taken long for them to catch up and perhaps in some areas overtake iPhone."

They were portrayed that way, but it was always a myth - the iphone had to play catch up for years to other platforms (3G, copy/paste, maps, even apps!) If Android was ever behind, this could only have been in the very early days - when other platforms (like Symbian) were way ahead of iphone anyway.

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Re: 15%

Indeed, Apple do make money by selling overpriced products to a small niche. Not something that the rest of us should be praising.

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Fans' loyalty questioned as iPhone popularity plummets

Mark .
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Re: Media loyalty is still extra strong

I could "make do" if I'm buying something much cheaper (e.g., one of the excellent Ainol tablets, which are great aside from lacking GPS). But what's the argument for being £100 more expensive than the competition?

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