1852 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
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.
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).
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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!
"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.
Indeed, Apple do make money by selling overpriced products to a small niche. Not something that the rest of us should be praising.
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?
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...
Re: Silly question
That fall that still leaves them as number two, second only to Samsung, and way outselling Apple...
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!"
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"?!
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?
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.)
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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"?)
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...)
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 :)
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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