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* Posts by Mark .

1841 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

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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It's the textbook Apple response to a lacking feature: "It's better not to have it!"

Yet when they do finally add the feature, you'll be first in line saying how revolutionary Apple are to have such a feature, that they'll be pushing as their flagship feature...

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Re: Silly question

That fall that still leaves them as number two, second only to Samsung, and way outselling Apple...

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Re: Silly question

You'd want to compare by platform, not manufacturer. Consider, I have the Galaxy Nexus, and with the amazing Nexus 4 announcement, I may stick with a Nexus phone when I upgrade. But hang on, the Nexus phones are now made by LG - so you're saying I'm disloyal, even though I've stuck with the Google Nexus phones?

More generally, the problem with comparing loyalty is that it simply punishes companies that are similar. Consider if 90% of people like companies A and B, but switch evenly between A and B. Meanwhile, company C has 10% share, who are loyal to them.

So companies A and B have loyalty 50%, whilst C has 100%. But it is ludicrous to imply that C is more popular! It isn't, by far. Nor does it mean that C will become more popular - in my example, all three companies are stable.

Consider a modification: C now has 90% loyalty, with 10% moving evenly to A or B. So now, A and B will rise in popularity, whilst C is falling, despite it having higher loyalty!

So that's why even a seemingly high figure of 75% is devastating for the iphone platform. Looking at the loyalty of other companies doesn't tell us the full picture, as changes there may just be people shifting between different Android manufacturers.

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Mark .
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Re: I think Apple's glory days may be over unless...

"iOS is still light years ahead in UI experience"

Did you finally get copy/paste?

"Maybe the future is no smartphone and we allow a small device to connect to the mobile network and then refeed the audio through 7" tablets/bluetooth?"

I fit that 7" device in my pocket how?

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Mark .
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Re: I think Apple's glory days may be over unless...

The original iphone was not a must have product - sales were poor, the entire platform sold less than one single symbian model from Nokia. It was only since iphone 4 that sales have risen to be reasonable (though still way behind Android, and 3rd place behind Samsung and Nokia).

The ipad was never a must have product. Most people don't have one. It's just that it got vast amounts of free advertising from the media, even before it was announced.

The glory days have more been in the way that the vocal minority and the media have given them so much hype - and I agree, it is looking increasingly laughable as other platforms move so far in front of them, in both performance and sales.

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Re: Empires Rise...

"their customer service is second to non"

Yeah right, you only have to sue them to get service: http://forums.reghardware.com/post/1566157

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Mark .
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Re: And how does it compare to other brands?

Given the overwhelming and increasing success of Android, I'd say Android would win on any loyalty survey.

And scoff at Blackberry all you like, but they outsold Apple for years, and it's still unclear if Apple have caught up to their numbers. Blackberry were selling smartphones years before Apple's iphone was still a dumb phone that couldn't even do apps.

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Asus: we ship a million Google's Nexus 7s monthly

Mark .
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Re: @AC 12:42

Well, if we're going to ignore price then sure: at the same price, I'd rather buy a £1500 Clevo laptop, or maybe a high-end Surface Pro.

Oh what's that, you're now saying it's not fair to compare more expensive products to a much cheaper ipad?

Thing is, it isn't easy to sell things cheap - because you then have to work out how to make and market that product with less revenue coming in. Apple can't do this.

(Also, even if I did want an oversized phone, a Nexus 10 is both way better and cheaper.)

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Re: Bought one yesterday after the price-drop

Nokia once had over 50% of smartphones, but were you or the media mentioning that when Apple's iphone sales were abysmally low, as they were for years? No, all we heard was Apple hype. So let's now hear it for the massive growth of the Google Nexus tablets.

Having over 50% of "10" non-phone tablets" isn't really a useful stat, you might as well say Apple have 100% share of ipads. When we look at mobile devices as a whole, Android still dominates.

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Mark .
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Re: Bought one yesterday after the price-drop

Newsflash - most people don't have an ipad. Most people's tablets are their smartphones, most of which run Android.

If non-phone or larger tablets become more than a niche market, it won't be because of Apple. After all, if most people wanted an ipad, why don't they already have one? No, either they don't want a tablet, or they are waiting for something different.

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Re: That Death Star thing..

Also remember that Apple have had 3 years of growth, compared to the Nexus 7 only just appearing. It was years before Apple's ipad sales grew to anything non-trivial. Whilst Apple will stagnate, Android will soon shoot way ahead - as it already has dominated on phone tablets.

Not to mention that Apple gets vast amounts of free media advertising (which it got even from before it was announced), whilst Android tablets are virtually ignored. Once coverage of Android increases, Apple will become even more an irrelevance.

These sales don't include the new Nexus 10 - specs way better than an ipad, at £80 less.

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Forgetting Microsoft: How Steve Ballmer's Surface could win

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Re: Tsk

"if this were true, Linux would not attract any developers at all, therefore there must be something else that draws them"

But it does get less. Of course not all developers go for the most popular platform. One key point ought to be the demand together with competition - so smaller platforms should still have some developers, but less.

"That is why iOS still comes first,"

Nope, why does it also get more support even for free stuff?

It's nothing to do with share or money, it's just the same unfair support that Apple always gets, whilst more popular platforms that most people actually use are ignored.

"which other company has been trying to flog their new tablet-y devices this week? Google are indeed going after Microsoft"

I think timing is a poor argument, but what about ipad 4 and this "mini" that's finally stopped being vaporware?

The Surface RT still has some relevance for those who want a keyboard, Office, or easier interoperability with Windows. Apple have just been smoked into irrelevance though, with their new device being poorer in specs and far more expensive than the Nexus 10.

There's also the point that Google are targetting their device at media consumption like Apple, and not productivity like MS. Hell, they're even competing and way outdoing directly on the one spec that Apple focused on (resolution). Meanwhile, the ipad is Apple's flagship and one hit wonder, whilst the Surface RT is just a small part of MS. The Nexus 10 looks great, and makes an ipad irrelevant, but it's little competition for Windows PCs.

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Mark .
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Re: Confused

Yeah, wake me up when your ipad finally has copy/paste and maps that actually work.

Now I like Android myself, but the arguments against Windows as a whole being doomed make no sense. If it's true that the Windows tablets are doomed because people like their PCs to stay as PCs, then so what - sure, the Windows tablets are doomed, but MS will carry on selling Windows on those PCs that people still buy, and ipads will stay a niche fad.

OTOH, if tablets are the future, then it's not true that Windows tablets are doomed - even if they don't retain their 90% share, MS will still continue to grow in sales. Apple manage to get lots of love even when their share is often a pathetic 10%.

Personally I'm not giving up my keyboard anytime soon, but that also means I'm going to continue buying PCs, not oversized feature phones.

Unless you're suggestion that both Windows is doomed because people don't like touchscreens, but also everyone will throw away their devices for touchscreen-*only* devices. That are far more locked down than MS. Then, I just know you're an Apple shill.

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"So much of the media's focus is on the battle between Android and Apple's iOS for the heart and soul of the mobile industry"

Which has always been a myth. The number one smartphone platform was Symbian until 2011. And today, there is no battle - Android is dominant, way ahead of anything else.

"we forget the meta-battle between both iOS and Android against yesterday's desktop market, still owned by Windows."

And rightly so. Sure, we love our Android smartphones, but we're not replacing our PCs for phones (including oversized phones that some people call tablets), nor are most other people.

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Asus gets paid handsomely for swallowing Google's Jellybean

Mark .
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Re: Greetings from 2012

Agree apart from the last bit - in 2009, smartphones were dominated by Symbian, and Apple were way behind, more like 4th place behind Blackberry too. Symbian dominated until 2011, now it's Android way ahead of everyone else.

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Hmm, I think I'll order an iPad Mini on Amazon ... Oh no I won't

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Re: Sorry, the Apple products aren't yet "the same as everyone else's".

Er... I have no problem comparing on specs. Comparing on specs is fine, that's my point.

It was the other person claiming that we shouldn't compare on specs, instead preferring vague terms like "build quality" - and I'm just pointing out that actually, comparing on specs is what Apple fans themselves do all the time anyway.

Talk about completely missing my point.

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Re: Both products are a big fail.

Well you might use one for that, but it's still nothing that hasn't been done before by devices (most obviously by actual mixers). Also sad to hear software only being produced for the minority of Apple users - we hear Apple uses whining when companies "only" support the 90% of Windows users, but now it's okay to only support the minority with an ipad? I find this sad.

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Re: Build Quality??

Noted. If I want a tablet to act as a door stop, or prop up a broken table, the ipad is the one for the job.

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Mark .
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Re: Build Quality??

But the issue was "build quality", not performance - are you suggesting that some CPUs just fall apart or something? But Apple's don't because of the "design"? If you're talking performance, then that's a spec that can be measured. And that's precisely the thing that the Apple fans here are claiming shouldn't be used to compare - it's not about performance, they say, it's all about "build quality".

Really, I'm with the OP - what is "build quality"? We're talking phones, not furniture. It reeks of "let's make up a random hard to measure stat, and just assert Apple are the best" tactic that Apple fans love to play.

Most of the design is by ARM, btw.

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Re: Sorry, the Apple products aren't yet "the same as everyone else's".

I don't know what Amazon have done to Android, but if they've really botched it, just get a Nexus 7 or Nexus 10. Better specs and lower prices than equivalents from Apple, and the user experience is just as good if not better (finally get copy/paste, did you? How are those maps looking?)

"Remember when the iPod first came out, and all the reviewers said it would fail because on technical, point-by-point features"

No, all I remember is wall-to-wall media hype and free advertising, just like every Apple product gets before its released, whilst other better alternatives are ignored. The media don't claim Apple will ever fail - that's reserved for products like Symbian, Android, Windows (all of which have gone on to sell far more than Apple's platforms).

Plus comparing on specs is all Apple and its fans do these days - remember PPI and "Retina"? Oh wait - it's okay to compare on a meaningless spec and parade it as the single most important thing ever when it's Apple that it benefits (same with multitouch), but when they're outdone on the very thing they said was important, you suddenly retreat to this wishy-washy argument of "well specs don't matter, it's better because of this magical reason that I can't explain why".

No, competing products do just fine on user experience.

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Google Nexus 4 flips finger at Sandy, appears on YouTube

Mark .
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Re: One day old, a generation ahead...

"Where android was only just keeping up with iPhone a few years ago, it feels almost an entire release ahead now."

But we also shouldn't forget what ios was like a few years ago. On UI, it lacked even fundamental basic features like copy/paste. It still doesn't have any concept of a homescreen, something Android, Symbian and feature phones have had for almost 10 years.

In other areas - multitasking, maps, video calling all came years late, even basic functionality such as picture messaging, or even apps, were years after feature phones. It's iphone that has been playing catch up. Since the 4S, they finally have all the things that are necessary in a basic phone, but now as you say, Android is leaping ahead in both software and hardware.

Not to mention the Nexus 4 now doing it at a fraction of the price.

I agree that WP is the only real attempt at a new UI. Rows of icons has been the standard on phones since the begining. Even the first smartphone in 1992 used icons, and colourful rows of icons was the standard even on bog standard feature phones since around 2004. This was in turn taken from computers, where icons were the standard until more newer methods like start menus appeared. The Amiga had a grid of colourful icons for its programs in 1985.

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APPLE: SCREW YOU, BRITS, everyone else says Samsung copied us

Mark .
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Re: I see your point.

My Nokia 5800 had rounded corners.

Yes, Nokia may have gone for a different design with the Lumia models, but so what - the point is, why should they be forced to do so? Indeed, perhaps they did so out of fear of litigation from Apple.

Plus when you consider the falling success of RIM, HTC and Nokia, compared to the amazing success of Samsung lately, I'm not convinced by the argument of "It's okay to not be allowed to use this basic design feature that existed years before Apple came to the party late, those other companies are doing just fine, honest!"

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Re: How big is the model in the photo?

Good point - particularly ridiculous when we consider that Apple's marketing for the iphone 4SS, and the claim by Apple fans, is that it's just right to hold one handed. So 4" is just right for everyone to hold one handed - and so is 8"?!

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Re: I see your point.

"Congratulation to them for their excellent marketing, but marketing a product well doesn't preclude others being able to produce and market similar products."

Indeed - or to be precise, the near entirely of the media gave them vast amounts of free advertising, even before it was announced (remember iStale?), let alone released. Followed up by loads of companies providing "apps" for their websites or services, only for the minority of ipad users, and not more popular platforms like Android, Symbian, or indeed Windows desktop.

The only Android tablets to have an coverage at all have been the more recent Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, and that's pretty much only followed on after they turned out to sell millions.

"I don't understand why these court cases don't involve samsung wheeling in a trolley full of junk they bought off ebay that has the same features as the iPad but was made 5 years earlier."

Possibly refused as evidence, for whatever barmy reason?

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Samsung ships two smartphones for every one Apple sells

Mark .
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Sure compare like with like, but price isn't what we should be looking at - that just rewards Apple for being overpriced. Apple's first iphone couldn't even run apps, putting it on the same level as dumb (not even feature) phones - so high price doesn't mean it should only be compared to the same priced phones from Samsung.

Neither fact is more real. If we want to know who is most popular, then sales are what's important, not profit. The only people who care about profit are shareholders.

"As the article says, the more interesting fact here is the Samsung's success is cannibalising the Android market, not eating into Apple's sales."

Or rather, Samsung are more successful, and Apple are completely failing to take any of the growing market. You phrase this as if suggesting that nothing's changed, but the fact is that Android as a whole is still growing, massively more popular over IOS (which is struggling to catch up to the installed userbase of old Symbian, a year after it was ditched for WP by Nokia). (And come on now - if instead Android's share was split evenly among dozens of companies, you'd be here praising Apple for having more sales as an individual company, rather than by platform.)

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Samsung posts record profits as Galaxy sales crush Apple

Mark .
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Re: is the smartphone market really getting more competitive?

I agree. Also the loss of Symbian, number one OS in 2011, but then ditched by Nokia. So we've gone from Symbian and Android as dominant platforms, with Blackberry and Iphone as less popular alternatives, to Android as the dominant platform and only Iphone as a less popular alternative.

I'm glad that something like Android and not Iphone turned out to be the successful platform, but it's a bit disappointing the lack of choice if the only alternative is Apple. I'm not WP fan, but I hope its share increases to provide some choice and competition!

And yes, it's bizarre that whilst it seemed Android would provide an OS to any company wanting to make phones, in practice we've seen less hardware choice - first Motorola losing share, now HTC.

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So Apple make their own OS, whilst Samsung make their own hardware like CPUs and displays.

Samsung use someone else for the OS, but then, Apple use someone else (Samsung) for their hardware like CPUs and display.

Sorry, it's ridiculous to say that Samsung don't innovate or make technology. And even for the OS, Apple bought OS X from NEXT, and IOS is built on Darwin. Meanwhile, Samsung do build their own highly successful TouchWiz OS on Android.

So both Apple and Samsung build an OS on top of other people's work, whilst Samsung make the hardware for both themselves and Apple.

Apple copied form factor and UX from others just as much as Samsung. Google and Nokia were doing voice recognition on phones years before Apple (and wasn't S Voice itself a 3rd party thing they bought out?)

You're right that larger screens aren't an innovation, which is why an ipad is nothing new. Bada still sold more than the iphone in the same timeframe since release, so I guess the iphone failed miserable too. Also don't forget Samsung's "feature" smartphones, which they sell tens of millions of, on *top* of the Android smartphones which outself Apple two to one.

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No GPS in the iPad Mini Wi-Fi: People are right to criticise

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Re: Offline mappage

I agree Nokia Maps is great, though:

"Trying to navigate as a passenger is far nicer with a tablet than a smarthphone though."

Navigate as a passenger? How quaint :) There's no difference between tablets and phones if both have data connections and you're not using as a phone - but if you mean a larger screen, most phones these days seem big enough for car use these days, and wouldn't 10" be rather a bit too big to mount up on the dashboard? And for walking, far easier to put the device in a pocket, and listen to the satnav instructions on headphones. Actually having to look at a map and figure out where you're going is so 20th Century :) (As a passenger, might as well use a netbook/laptop too for a bigger screen.)

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Re: Offline mappage

Yes, and also you're limited to only a few offline regions. For heaven's sake Google, I have 16GB of storage, but you arbitrarily impose a limit on what I can store offline?!

Nokia had this working right *six years ago*. You can download countries or continents at a time, and even the entire world easily fits into storage of the average phone these days. Even when a 4GB SD card was expensive, they realised that people might find it useful to install large chunks at a time. This is the kind of thing that would be great on non-3G tablets, and it's also use for if you're roaming in another country, or somewhere with bad data connection.

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Re: " There are two good reason for not buying an iPad Mini - Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7."

But I think the causative link is wrong there. I mean, you're telling me that the Apple products are all prominently on display, open for people to use, and well supported by the shop staff, whilst Android tablets aren't even in working order - and *shock horror* people therefore are more likely to buy the Apple ones?

The truth is that most people aren't fussed about OS-arguments (or don't know or care enough to know the differences). But things like the level of support in shops are the primary reason why Apple are selling more - that, and things like the vast amount of free media advertising they got, even before it was announced (so this was nothing to do with them selling better, as it came first).

It should be the job of shop staff to sell the products, and make things in working order. I bet they're not even consistent - in the shop you visited, are the iphones not in working order, because most people by far buy Android? Are the Macs all collecting dust in a corner, whilst the Windows PCs are all on prominent display? I bet not.

So yes, this is a sad problem - but it's not the view of the average punter that's a problem, it's the unfair support that one platform seems to be getting in shops, and other places - e.g., app support from random websites or companies for their services, or coverage in the media as I say. It's nothing to do with what people are buying, because we see the same unfair support for iphone, even though it's never been anywhere near the most popular platform.

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Mark .
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Exactly. We use one of those other better devices that has GPS as standard (like a Samsung Galaxy phone, or Nexus 7), and don't buy an ipad mini. Exactly the point I imagine the OP was making.

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Mark .
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Re: Apple dumping on their fans. Again.

Indeed. I would be happy to accept a tablet without GPS - after all, I use my phone for that, and since most of the time I'll use satnav directions, there really isn't an advantage to having a bigger screen. A phone in my pocket that I listen to on headphones (or in the car for drivers) is far easier than faffing around holding a big tablet.

But, I accept the lack of a GPS on the ultra-cheap tablets, like the Ainol tablets (which have very decent specs, at way less than a Nexus 7, and the GPS is really the only ommission). On a ultra-expensive tablet - like this islate mini or whatever they finally called it, at £100 more than the Nexus 7 and Kindle HD - it's inexcusable.

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China's Goophone unveils US$99 Android iPad Mini clone

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Re: Intrigued

In general, it's depressing that there's so little distribution (or coverage in the media) for the China Android tablets. Whilst the media are asking whether the likes of the Nexus 7 must be sold at a loss, companies like Ainol are delivering Android 4 tablets with decent specs at even lower costs.

It might be nice if Apple did try to sue this company with the clone - the publicity would backfire, due to all the coverage it would give to decent tablets that are a fraction of price.

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Apple slips bomb into ITC filing: Samsung being PROBED by US gov

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Re: Double standards

Whilst rubber-banding is indeed optional (and I hate - I want my list to stop scrolling, not carry on, so I'd be glad to keep it off my devices), this doesn't really apply to the other patent claims being thrown about. For example:

* Rectangular device with rounded corners - whilst one can do away with rounded corners and have sharp corners that you cut yourself on, or perhaps make a phone shaped like a banana or a dodecahedron, this is still a major constraint on a very obvious and basic design shape, which they weren't first to do anyway.

* Doubleclick to zoom - double click was not invented by Apple, and a touchscreen makes no different. Nor was zooming. I don't know if they were first with this particular method of zooming (either at all, or on a touchscreen), but it shouldn't be possible to get a patent on any action that's done by a doubleclick. I mean, if all programmers thought by Apple, we'd be filing for a patent everytime we implemented a UI action. One patent for every combination of [UI event] and [Application action] is a lot of patents, and would prevent large amounts of software being written! Whilst there are other ways to do zooming, removing the ability to do this fundamental thing via a fundamental action is crippling for the UI.

And it's not like Apple are worried about making a phone that can't do something fundamental. They made a "smartphone" that couldn't run apps or do 3G. Wouldn't surprise me at all if they made an oversized phone that couldn't do phone calls - the Apple fans would still buy it, and the media would still hype it as the best thing ever and give it loads of one-sided free advertising, even before it was announced. Oh wait, that already happened.

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US patent office prepares to kill off Apple's bounce-back patent

Mark .
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Agree with the article, though a small point as an off-topic aside

"as we arguably are with the move from featurephones to smartphones."

There is no meaninful difference between "feature" and "smart" phones. The difference is just one of marketing. Once upon a time, a smartphone (as opposed to a "dumb" one) was one that did apps, Internet and ran an OS - basically a computer that was a phone. Around 2004, even bog standard phones did this, but instead the term "feature" phone was introduced for the lower end phones, I guess to differentiate the more expensive phones. Apple further confuse things by introducing a dumb phone that couldn't even run apps, and marketing it as a smartphone.

It's not that we're really now moving to smartphones, rather companies are just using "smartphone" more often as a marketing label, as that's where the hype is.

A small point - but it amazes me how commonly people seem to think a feature phone is objectively different to a smartphone, when it's entirely a matter of marketing terms.

(Now that there smart TVs, in a few years, are we going to have nonsense like "feature TVs"?)

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Skype for Windows 8 is coming: Always on, always in your contacts

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Re: Linux....

So am I, but don't worry - I'm sure that the likes of Ubuntu will be adding this feature too, Unity-style.

(Yes, I appreciate the advantage of Linux that you can install a distribution that fits your needs or preferences. But then, it's a lot easier to untick the "Always on" option in Windows Skype, than to install a whole new OS...)

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Re: Have they spoken to the phone companies?

"are less popular than symbian"

That would mean, one of the most popular smartphone platforms ever, then. (Symbian was number one platform until 2011 when Android became number one, and outsold Apple until it was replaced by WP. Even now, one year later, with hardly any new models, poor or no distribution in many countries, and zero marketing, Symbian is selling per quarter what Apple sold in the first full six months of their iphone, despite vast amounts of media hype. And embarrassingly for MS, it's also still selling more than WP.)

Yes, WP8 will no doubt be less popular than Symbian was, but so has pretty much everything except Android.

Fewer apps than the Baggage engine sounds like the original iphone (which couldn't even run apps). Indeed: expensive, less popular than Symbian, no apps, pretty much describes the first iphone :)

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Samsung Display: Apple hasn't kicked our LCDs out of its garden

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Just a small point:

"The higher res screens were suddenly the thing to have once Apple launched the "retina" devices and so whoever could make them could charge a premium."

Note that screen resolutions on phones and other devices have been increasing for years. "Retina" is just Apple marketing term. Phones already had been increasing resolutions for years before the iphone 4. And they continue to do so afterwards (plenty of phones beating both the 4S and 5 in resolution).

The only class of devices annoyingly stuck for some unknown reason has been netbooks and their eternal 1024x600.

Meanwhile, whilst other devices like tablets and laptops have increased their resolutions, many of them *aren't* following Apple's stupidly-high resolution, so they aren't necessarily "the thing to have" either (and with good reason - anything higher than HD seems useless unless you have a massive screen, and has problems like rescaling with HD content, as well as the problem of not having the GPU power to drive that number of pixels).

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Samsung's Japanese iPhone block bid fails

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Re: Perhaps.....

You mean, why did johnny-come-lately copy-cat Apple copy the battery symbol that had been used in phones years before they joined the market late?

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Android apps get SSL wrong, expose personal data

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Re: Woah...

Ah, I wondered how long it would be before someone tried to make this as something to rant about Android with.

The survey just happened to pick Android, not unreasonably as it is what most people use. Yes there are other niche platforms like WP and iphone and other feature phones, but most people use Android, so it's reasonable to focus the survey on that.

But don't let that stop you taking it as Yet Another Handpicked Stat to claim your walled garden is better (whilst conveniently ignoring all the stats where other platforms are better). The walled garden you get with feature phones may well be more secure, but then you don't have the power and functionality of a smartphone.

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Re: Any word of similar research on iOS apps?

Any old feature phone doesn't provide apps with an API with these options either - I suspect that they really are more secure too, by that logic. It's not really an argument to be comparing platforms though, when one offers something in the first place the other doesn't.

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Mozilla debuts Firefox Marketplace for Android apps

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"why bother?"

This is a nonsense argument. I might as well say, if I already have an HTML5 twitter client, why would I go to the hassle of installing one that's native, but otherwise behaves exactly like my old one?

The answer is that you probably wouldn't – unless, that is, you were really keen on building native apps - right?

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Google rolls out new, cheaper Chromebooks 'for everyone'

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Re: Nah

What's the weight and battery life of that machine?

If you don't care about that, then yes a standard laptop is much better. But for those that do, comparing to netbooks does make sense. (Though I do find it annoying that the Chromebooks are 11" - one thing I love about netbooks is they're that much smaller. Same problem with the high end ultra-portables, I wouldn't mind paying more for something more powerful than a netbook, yet they're all larger, at a minimum of 11".)

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Mark .
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I do wonder that - or alternatively, bring them closer so that Chrome is at least compatible with Android applications.

Perhaps part of it is they're not sure if many Android applications will work well with keyboard and touchpad. There is one company that is bringing us an OS that will work with touchscreen as well as keyboard/touchpad, but I find it curious that on these forums, the whole idea is often criticised, with the claim being that people want one or the other, not both in the same device. Yet then Google get criticised for doing them separately?

Or if you mean you just want Android with touchscreen, then it's called an ASUS Transformer (if you want keyboard too), or a Google Nexus 7 (or many other devices) if you don't :)

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Because it has a keyboard?

I must admit I'm confused. The whole idea of tablets and Windows 8 gets criticised here, because people don't want touch-only devices, and many of us (myself included) want to keep our keyboards and touchpads. But a major company supports not just touch-devices, but a new line of low end devices, using something other than Windows for people who want something else, and it gets nothing but moaning?

I mean sure, personally I'm happy with a Windows Samsung netbook. But it does annoy me the way that the media treat the ipad like the second coming, giving it vast amounts of free advertising even before its announced, whilst Chromebooks (as well as netbooks) get ignored, or criticised, or reported as failing.

The main problem with Chromebooks so far I think has been that they've been more expensive than netbooks, but the new ARM based ones seem targeted at the lower end of netbook pricing.

Another thing to consider is whether netbooks as we know them today will still exist, without a "Starter" version of Windows 8 (there are lots of interesting netbook/tablet hybrids announced, but these will unsurprisingly be more expensive than current netbook prices). So they'll either be more expensive if they need the full Pro version of Windows 8, or they'll switch to Windows RT and become tablet hybrids - perhaps leaving an opening in the market for Linux netbooks and Chromebooks (or just netbooks still running Windows 7, maybe...)

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iPhone 5 is the 'most difficult, scratchy device Foxconn has ever made'

Mark .
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Re: huh?

"get something different"

Indeed - whatever happened to "Think Different"?

The pattern so far seems to be:

Mac - "Think Different", it's better and cool to use something different to most other people.

ipod - Apparently it's suddenly only cool to use what everyone else uses.

iphone - Lie about the state of the market, and *pretend* it's the most popular platform, then say it's only cool to be what everyone else uses...

Aside from the inconsistency, it's that last one that perplexes me in particular. At least be honest, and say they're not using the most popular platform (Android, or Symbian before that) because they like to think different. On the plus side, I suppose someone using Android can claim to both be using what most other people use, and thinking different to Apple users...

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Mark .
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My, only just earlier was I commenting on the "cheap plastic" fallacy (see my comment above in the thread), and here we see it yet again.

You're like the snob who says he likes his furniture made out of oak, looking down on the masses who buy good quality and functional furniture from IKEA. But you're worse than that - you're not only showing that snobbish attitude, but you're doing so in an area where the argument is ludicrous.

If phones are like things like furniture and crockery and shoes, then when is the wooden or china or leather variant of the iphone coming out?

There are plenty of good reasons for not having rubber boots or plastic cups, that aren't simply about what things look like. But also, plastic on technology looks great - it makes it a modern product, rather than outdated wood or metal. For some reason, looking old and traditional is to be preferred on things like furniture, but not on technology where people want a modern look for other things. If you want an old look, then you should buy the cheapest oldest biggest dumb phone you can find.

If you think plastic looks ugly, then we're just arguing opinions on purely aesthetic things - and good luck with your china iphone.

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Mark .
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Re: Far cry

It never ceases to amaze me the way that people dig around for contrived ways to argue for Apple. I wish I had these tactics back in the last days of the Amiga.

"That £2000 Amiga 4000 isn't expensive! You have to look at the TCO, and it'll also cost much more second hand when you come to sell it, compared with that £500 486, which'll be worthless in a couple of years!"

Sorry, it's ludicrous. We're talking smartphones, not some kind of financial investment. I don't buy a phone based on what I could sell for most money second hand. If one make of product depreciates less, it's typically because there's less offered by the newer versions. PCs deprecated quickly because they were always getting so much faster - this stopped happening for the Amiga in its last days after Commodore went bust, so for those people buying them second hand, there was no market pressure for the price to drop. Given what little there is new in the iphone 4S and 4SS, sorry, 5, it's not surprising that they keep their value better.

And if TCO really is the most important thing, go get a dirt cheap Nokia dumb phone (which I suspect the OP was more referring to?) Ultra cheap to buy, and you could sell it with not too much money off the price, as a dumb phone is a dumb phone.

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Mark .
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Re: Poor choice of materials?

Does this mean that people can respond to Apple fans' "cheap plastic" criticisms of other phones, by calling it "cheap metal"? :)

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