1699 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 13:17 GMT
Re: "nearly tripled it's market share"
The XKCD reference is only valid when comparing different platforms/companies. For some reason, it was fine for the media to use relative growth for years, to make Apple look better than Nokia/Symbian, even though Symbian was actually not only number one, but growing faster in absolute numbers. We could have done with that XKCD reference back then.
It would be wrong to claim that WP was doing better than Android or IPhone based on relative growth, but the OP didn't do that. He simply talked about its growth, and for a new platform, the growth is reasonable. It also shows it is growing significantly due to Nokia's entrance into the WP market, and not remaining static as many here seem to assume.
Of course the big question is whether it will continue, and tail off - the OP did make some predictions that may not be true. But up until now, the growth is doing as well as what the IPhone platform did in its first couple of years, and that didn't get this constant barrage of criticism about sales, it got nothing but wall to wall hype. Selling one million in 76 days was spun as an amazing success, even though it is low as far as phone platforms go (both now, and back then), and it's also what the first Nokia Lumia managed too.
And I say this as a Samsung Android fan. Try to be objective, rather than spinning it as a fail because you don't like Windows.
Re: Nokia need to put out Android phones
"If so what are they right now?"
Second place in the market, having fallen from number one which is now Samsung.
"it'd be nice if there were three big phone OS' out there. But there aren't, there are two."
With nearly 70% share and rising, there's one - Android. There's Android dominant, with a few other OSs (IPhone, BlackBerry, WP, Bada). Putting IPhone on the same level as Android, and then saying there's nothing else, isn't really accurate.
"Windows Phone has failed."
Had IPhone failed for the first 3 years, when its market share was also small? And heaven forbid that MS spend "billions" on it, how much money do you think Apple spend? They've got almost a hundred billions saved up supposedly for the sole purpose of destroying Android, and look how that's failed. I don't get why MS spending money on this thing called "marketing" is something to ridicule when it's MS or Nokia, but not other companies.
For your last paragraph, exactly the same could have been said for Apple for years.
Personally I like Android, and I've not used WP. I'd prefer Android getting even more market share, so yes for me it's a shame Nokia don't make Android phones. But what's best for me personally isn't what's best for Nokia. Plus, I think it would be a dreadful shame if the only alternative to Android was IPhone - I'd rather WP develop as an alternative too. Choice is good.
"The Finnish firm's move onto the Windows mobile OS is something of a last ditch attempt to save itself, after sales of its once-dominant cellphones failed to keep up with those of the competition."
Nope, Symbian was number one platform until early 2011, when it was overtaken by Android; it still outsold Iphone until the WP switchover. Early 2011 was when the WP announcement was made, and they surely had it planned before then - so it's a myth that this was a reaction - let alone a "last ditch"! Also by company, Nokia were the number one company until early 2012, when they were overtaken by Samsung. They're still number two - hardly a failure.
Did the Reg take this story from the Daily Fail, which also ran with this scaremongering? I'm not sure why consumers should care about share prices. Even if it was a reliable indicator of market share, I'm not sure why that matters - people buying Iphones didn't care about its tiny market share for the first few years, nor did the media care. And there's no reason to think that people investing are experts (especially as their primary criterion would be profit, which doesn't always match up with share). Plus this isn't the whole story - what has the share price trend been generally? What happens with other companies when they do product announcements?
This reeks of "let's hand pick whatever contrived statistic that makes Nokia look bad" that the media so love (compare with hand picking whichever statistics that make Apple look good) - I thought the Register was above this.
"and Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and others are keen to get their newest gear out at the same time"
Er, I suspect the announcements are more due to the WP8 release coming soon. But don't let that fact detract from your Apple love. As for the Android announcements, Samsung make announcements of new devices all year round.
Re: pensioning off your ipod?
Have no problems with battery life when playing on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. (Though I still keep my separate Sansa because more battery life on a separate device is useful, not that it's particularly bad on the Galaxy; because it's tiny and quicker to pull out to change music; because on the Nexus I don't have a microSD slot, unlike my Sansa.)
Re: Are you serious?
The main issue seems to be that it uses Apple-style multitasking, when applications are put into a suspended state. So yes, it's a reasonable criticism, but no one seems to have this problem with Apple doing it.
Also note that on Android, applications are suspended after a while, and I've seen it take several seconds to resume some apps on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. To be honest, the only mobile OS I've seen do multitasking properly was Symbian, which was always instant even on my now ancient Nokia 5800.
Re: BBC NEWS
But you could say that of all phones - why should Nokia align their releases with Apple's?
The Iphone 4S is almost a year old - every week that goes by is lost sales to Samsung, HTC and Nokia (and the disasterously sliding sales over the last few months prove it - a drop of 10 million in the last quarter alone!).
Meanwhile, there won't be an update to the Galaxy S3 until mid next year.
All companies tend to do yearly upgrade cycles (though some like Samsung stagger releases of their less mainstream models throughout the year). The original Lumia release was at the end of last year, with other models following early this year, so this release looks set to follow that, one year on. What's your source for the release date anyway? The announcement said Q4 in some markets, which could still meet the WP8 launch.
As for share price, who cares. The Daily Fail scaremongered with that in its headlines too - bit sad for the BBC to stoop to that kind of reporting, though given their Apple obsession, it doesn't surprise me.
Re: the other apps are just gimmicks
Firstly, I'm not sure how Android and Nokia WP having the same features is a down point for Nokia - let alone the idea that IOS might get something at some point in the future, 6 years after Nokia were doing it.
But Android's offline support is atrocious - you can only store a handful of city-sized regions at a time that you manually have to select, despite me having more than enough space to store the entire world. With Nokia maps, you can store countries or continents at a time. Don't get me wrong, I love my Samsung Galaxy Nexus - but the offline maps is something that Nokia got right years ago, and after waiting for ages for this on Android, I was disappointed to see how it worked. (E.g., if I'm travelling to another country on roaming fees, I want to just select the entire country, not have to worry about which blocks of the map I might visit. Or maybe I'll just store the entire world and not have to worry about it again.)
Re: Too little, too late.
Er yes there was, Symbian: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone#Historical_sales_figures
I look forward to your definition of smartphone that includes the original Iphone, but not BlackBerry. And sure, a phone from years ago wouldn't count as a smartphone if released today, but that's true of the early Iphones and Android phones too - "smartphone" in that sense is a moving target.
More generally, smartphone is ill-defined, just a marketing term. Phones have done Internet and apps for years, but people happily bought the next ones that came out, mostly not caring about OS. Meanwhilst the original Iphone wasn't even a feature phone by any objective definition, since it didn't even do apps.
The dominator now is Android by far - so I guess we should be demanding Iphone 5 "blow the socks of", to get decent market share. I don't know, I just find it funny that market share is important when it's WP that's new, and Iphone struggles above 10% - but in all the years that Apple sales were a joke, no one seemed to mind (and indeed, the media spun it as if it was amazingly successful anyway - remember "one million sales in 76 days"? The first Lumia did that too).
Re: selected markets
It took Apple years to get the Iphones available in all markets, or even on simply multiple networks. Plus I suspect that this was more a case of staggering that transition from Symbian to WP, rather than Nokia being inept at distribution.
Re: Another Flop
IIRC the reason was that it takes more time to get low level driver code ported to WP - PureView was in development for years. Yes it's a let down they haven't done it yet, but it's absurd to call it therefore a flop - no other phones have 41MP either, but that doesn't mean they sell less than the 808. I like Symbian, but stop grinding that axe against WP.
There's far more to PureView than MP. Here's a good explanation on the 808 vs this new phone: http://allaboutwindowsphone.com/features/item/15636_Whats_in_PureView_on_the_Lumia.php - in summary, there's not much in common, but there are nonetheless new important things in this device. So it may well be better than an N8 (though even being comparable to the N8's camera isn't bad, since no phone other than the 808 has yet to beat its quality, apparently). Which phones have 12MP? Not that that necessarily makes them better - the key thing about the 808 wasn't the 41MP, but the way that was used to improve the quality of the final picture.
Plus it's good they have more tricks up their camera sleeve than just what was in the 808. Now imagine a phone that combines the 808 sensor with the new camera features in the Lumia 920...
Re: the other apps are just gimmicks
So what great apps do other platforms come installed with? My Nexus didn't even have a notepad application...
Yes, you can get things for free - but I don't see why you're criticising Nokia for providing this.
Re: So WP7 is the new Kin?
PPI is a pointless stat - it favours phones that are *smaller* - Apple only do well because of their teeny 3.5" screen. If you took my Nexus screen and made it smaller, the PPI would go up, but I'd consider it worse. If you also reduced the resolution, but such that the PPI was still higher, that would be even worse. P/I is a useless stat, if anything, I care more about P*I. Still, given how many Apple fanatics seem to have lapped up Apple's marketing "Retina" speak, it's nice for Nokia to beat them :) And not only that, to do so at a screen size that isn't tiny.
This Nokia phone wins out on resolution - 1280x768 is a tad higher than the S3 (and only beaten by the Galaxy Note, which is perhaps too large for many people). So don't get me wrong, I agree that the Nokia resolution specs are great, and better than anything in both IOS and Android land, but it's not down to "PPI".
Re: Wait a minute...
Carrying a separate camera around is a pain, though I still keep on for special occasions. So being able to completely replace a separate camera would certainly be an important criteria for me.
I don't think everyone who cares has already bought an 808 - the 808 isn't available in many countries, and in some is only available if you pay full price, nor has it been marketed much. Plus some people may want to run WP8 instead of Symbian. And as much as I liked the look of the 808, the specs are nowhere near what this phone has, let alone future phones - many people might want high end specs, and care about the camera.
Re: Too little, too late.
Why? Other platforms haven't had to "blow the socks of" to get decent market share. Rather each has their pros and cons, with many people not caring about OS and going by other features. WP is a low market share atm, but it's a relatively new platform - Apple's share was low for years (until the Iphone 4, really), and the growth of the new Nokia WP phones seems to have been doing as well as Apple's when they started with their new platform, despite Nokia/MS getting none of the absurd free advertising and hype that Apple got. There's probably a fair comment to wish we should have had Symbian phones with specs like these the last couple of years, instead of the rocky transition to WP, but I don't see anything problematic about WP's performance as a new platform. (I run Android, and couldn't care less about WP btw, but let's be objective.)
Yes I'm sure they will spend billions. As do companies like Apple. I'm not sure why this thing known as "marketing" is seen as okay for everyone else to do, but a failing if Nokia or MS do it. We get nothing but constant Apple hype and reporting from the media all day long, but heaven forbid if MS try to market their products.
Re: Browser hogging
Rules are different for monopolies - at 90+% market share, the argument was that there was limited choice for consumers. With Iphone share at 16% and fallen, we can simply not use the locked down platform, and use more popular platforms, so it doesn't really matter if they limit the choice of browser.
Re: There is no iPad Mini being mass produced right now.
"He decided that the sub 10" form factor was too small to properly navigate and display normal web pages while still maintaining an acceptable user experience."
Whilst expecting people to do the same on a teeny 3.5" screen...
And given the number of website-wrapper "apps" companies now have to produce for Ipads, it suggests that the same issue applies to Ipads. Given that 10" laptops don't have special "apps" for them, it suggests the problem that Jobs found with IOS and web browsing isn't anything to do with how big the screen is.
Save you the wait:
* 4" screen (as with Samsung phones around 2010).
* Their own mapping software, so users no longer have to pay for satnav (Android and Nokia years ago).
* Contrived useless statistic handpicked to make Apple's phone look best, with a fancy trademark (as with "PPI", "Retina").
* Updated specs to rival the cutting edge of phone technology 18 months ago.
* Apple logo will now light up, to make it an even more obvious Addidas-logos-everywhere-style advertisement for Apple.
So where was this guy's advice when Apple decided to force Samsung's products out the market? His comments make sense for a fair market, but sorry, the patent war has already started.
Where have things been made worse for Apple? Where is the antitrust response?
Well that's it - Apple claims to revolutionise something, and even though it's just as you say in reality, the media and Apple fans also claim it to be revolutionary.
It's true that fans didn't decide to pick on video calling, but they do so with many other examples (3G, apps, Internet, the whole idea of smartphones). And in general, given the huge media hype over Iphone 4, if "Facetime" was the flagship feature advertised by Apple, then that's rather telling.
You're right, each new release is no different to any other phone released. We just wish the media would treat it that way too.
Re: ipod mini phone 5
Indeed - it's a bit depressing when a company has to try to stoke up attention with "announcement of an announcement". We've heard the media harping on about Iphone 5 for over a year, and the Ipad Mini is just speculation. (Even if they are released, they already fit the classic definition of vaporware.) Perhaps the media should focus on actual product releases, with more attention to the leading platforms, rather than Apple Apple Apple all the time (at least the Register does cover the other mobile news, unlike most the mainstream media).
Billions of users
With Android now approaching 70% and rising, with Apple around 16% and falling, with Apple never having been number one, with installed user base of other platforms still large, with the large number of desktop/laptop users, and with desktops, laptops and mobiles selling far more than the one 10" form factor that Apple currently do better in - who cares. Firefox will do just fine without trying to compete on a locked down feature phone. The Register quotes Apple's US figures as if they're supposed to be a lot, but how about given us the comparable total Android sales? (And should probably do it worldwide too, rather than handpicking the one market that is best - or least worst - for Apple.)
Re: "Smart" vs "feature" is just marketing
I don't recall I said that Apple's sales would get lower? I said they had fallen, which is true this year - in fact, both in terms of share and absolute numbers. Though given that the next Iphone isn't out until Q4, and given how seasonal their sales are, it doesn't seem unlikely that their sales will fall yet further in Q3.
Yes, people want Android and Samsung phones - I'm relying on that thing known as "actual facts about sales in the market". I don't see why being cheaper is a problem - if Samsung can deliver what people want, *and* do so at a better price, then more credit to them. However, the success of phones like the S2 and S3 shows that people are buying at the high end too (indeed, I suspect that even with just the high end phones, Android would still outsell Iphone - but it's a poor comparison anyway, as it just rewards Apple for being expensive).
I care about usability. That's why I stayed away from Apple's feature-phone like OS.
Re: All this proves is Samsung have more products, its hardly rocket science
One cake shop sells 100,001 iCakes. Another cake shop sells 100,000 of its cakes, and another 100,000 with a cherry on top.
Only an idiot would claim the former is the more popular - which is sadly what fans and the media are doing for Apple.
Combining product types is only flawed when they're different kinds of products - so yes, your example is flawed because people might buy patisserie and bread. However, as the person you replied to points out, it's ludicrous to suggest that Samsung's sales are only higher because people are out there buying multiple phones from them. (If anything, it's probably more likely to be the Apple users fanatical enough to buy every iPhone "iteration"...)
As for the OP - maybe people are buying Samsung/Android more *because* they like the choice. And we're not interested in something that's merely an "iteration" of a 5 year old phone.
Re: Nonsense fake numbers...
That used to be a sensible definition, but the problem is it's way out of date - around 2004, most phones had the ability to have software added, but instead they were marketed as "feature" phones. Meanwhile, the original Iphone doesn't fit this definition, yet was marketed as a smartphone. And all the smartphone sales stats, such as the ones in this article, ignore the feature phones (even though these days they also have touchscreens, Wifi, GPS, etc) but include Apple.
Personally I'd be happy to include all feature phones as smartphones, and not include the original Iphone. But if instead we wanted to have a definition that distinguished feature phones from smartphones, I think it should be to do with how open and customisable (like a general computer, as with the older traditional definition) versus locked down they are - feature phones don't have the same ability to replace things like the default keyboard, as smartphones do. As the OP suggests, Apple is again the one that needs to be categorised as a feature phone for this to work.
I believe the worldwide Q2 sales for Nokia were roughly 6m Symbian, 4m WP (sites like All About Symbian have stories with links to the stats). I don't know how that relates to the European market, but yes, a surprising amount of their smartphone figures are still coming from Symbian.
Not that there isn't hope for WP - the sales have been increasing significantly since Nokia's support. The question is whether that will tail off, or grow with WP8...
Re: Nonsense fake numbers...
Market share and profit are not the same thing. Just because one company might have a higher share of the profit, doesn't mean it must also have high market share - and it's ridiculous to try to twist the numbers to match, when they are different things.
This is an article about sales, not profits. And as a consumer, who cares about profits? The only people who benefit from the profits are the shareholders - and if you are one of those for Apple, you're a shill with a conflict of interest here. Never in the most heated Windows vs Mac/Linux/Amiga/whatever debate did a Windows fan go "But look how much money Bill Gates makes" - no one cares. We do care about sales, as it shows what people like, and how common various platforms are.
I challenge you to give me a definition of "smartphone" that includes the original Iphone (couldn't even run apps), but not the lower end Android phones? (Or indeed, feature phones, come to that - as I say below, the smartphone definition is contrived anyway.) Discounting phones because they are able to be sold at a lower price is not just spin, but nonsensical - it means you punish companies in your reporting, for delivering things at a better price!
On Android, you don't have to pay money as much, because there's so much available for free. As a user, this is better. As a developer, if you aren't able to offer better value than what people are giving away for free, then you need to rethink your business model.
The only thing I agree with you on is that I too like Symbian and Qt.
"Smart" vs "feature" is just marketing
The whole smart vs feature is just how the companies choose to market the phones - Apple label 100% of their phones as "smart" (even though the original one couldn't even run apps), whilst Nokia and Samsung don't. Whilst "feature" vaguely correlates to lower end, with the low end WP and Android devices the line is blurred. There is no objective distinction between them (feature phones do all the same things smartphones do, just with a different name - they are certainly not the same kind of thing as dumb phones).
So yes, Nokia have lost out to Samsung, though they are still 2nd place. Saying that they are behind Apple, when you compare 100% of Apple sales to only a fraction of Nokia's sales is just spin...
"devices IDC classes as smartphones"
Which is itself a useless definition, although in practice I think the various statmakers just go by what terms the manufacturers themselves use.
"Android now accounts for 65 per of smartphone shipments in the region, its 71 per cent annual growth rate exceeded only by Windows Phone's 874 per cent. But colossal growth is easy when you come from next to nothing"
Indeed (as parodied in a recent XKCD) - but it's worth noting that the media gave the same kind of positive coverage for Android and Iphone. E.g., I remember a BBC article in 2010 falsely spinning it as Iphone having faster grown that Symbian, because they looked at relative growth - even though Symbian had far larger sales, and in fact was growing *faster* in absolute numbers. Nokia also got negative coverage for years due to falling market share (another misleading stat, in a growing market). So I wonder, with WP now having the explosive relative growth, and Apple's share falling, is the media spin going to favour WP over Apple? Or will they just switch the statistics they cover, so that it still benefits Apple?
As for Iphone:
"But this annual update frenzy - and the current-model sales dip that precedes it - is now a traditional feature of the smartphone business."
Except Apple's sales are now dipping all year round, with only an upspike the quarter after the release, whilst Samsung sales are holding up all year round. People are buying Android and Samsung because that's what they want.
Re: Sony the brand
"It was a nightmare to open and I cut my hand in the process."
It's because of the patent on rounded rectangles. To avoid a billion dollar payout, Sony are just making sure everything is as sharp as possible...
Re the last one - so the Government should pay money so that private companies get people to work for free? Instead of having people work for "benefits", why not give them a *job* doing that same work.
Also consider the circular effect where private companies can use this unpaid labour for their work instead of having to employ people, causing more people to be out of work, causing unemployment to go up, welfare costs to go up, with no one but the private companies gaining.
Only Apple could invent a system that doesn't have DRM, but still manages to be a right pain to use, locking you into atrocious software.
Re: Apple Schmapple
It's also a pain to play files on another computer - even if you're willing to install Itunes, it's unclear whether doing so will "sync" with the new computer, which you don't want to happen. I've asked Apple users this, and they don't know the answer. So you're left with looking at the files directly, but they're all scrambled by Apple. Hopeless! It was quicker to simply download the files illegal!
On my Sansa, it just mounts as an external drive, the files are unscrambled, and it Just Works.
Re: Apple Schmapple
If the UI on something as simple as a music player is a life challenge, something's wrong.
Especially if Apple fanatics want to claim Apple are good at UIs!
Indeed, and more generally, there are absolutely loads of places to buy DRM-free mp3s, and has been for years now. All the mainstream stores that sell music also seem to offer mp3s online. If people want to give their money to late-to-the-party patent trolls who have crappy terms and conditions, more fool them.
Re: "Since the Iphone platform has never been the number one platform..."
So what did you mean? The Iphone is a platform, not a single product (and comparing single products is a poor measure, as it just depends on how companies choose to categorise their devices - if one company sells 101 of a product, and another company sells 200, but split between two similar devices they label differently, only an idiot would suggest the former is leading; although it's interesting to note that even by individual models, the S3 alone is now outselling the Iphone 4S in many markets, despite it being only one of many Samsung phones, and many Android phones, compared to Apple's single phone).
Perhaps you mean that Apple lead, but sorry, that was Nokia, and now Samsung. Please try again.
I agree, but just to nitpick, which crown is it that Apple currently has? I believe latest market share figures are Android approaching 70% and increasing, Iphone around 16% and falling. Similarly:
"arguably already slipping away to Samsung in some markets"
Samsung alone now at around 2x Iphone sales, just on their smartphones. In fact, it's now at the stage where even one single model (the S3) is outselling the one single model of Iphone (where Apple only have one single model per generation, unlike Samsung, or the hundreds of Android devices) in some markets.
So yes, you're not only right with your prediction of Android dominance, but we're already long here. :) (And before that, it was Nokia/Symbian, not Apple...)
I agree entirely. It's also interesting to note how the vast amount of media Ipad hype started *before* it was even *announced* (remember the iStale, sorry iSlate?), let along after it was shipped. So this wasn't about the media reacting to a product, it was giving Apple massive free advertising and support from the outset. It's sad that even 2.5 years on, other tablets have been virtually ignored, with the exception of the recent Nexus 7 (and even then, every media coverage of that had to have the obligatory Ipad mention).
Another factor is shops - I note that loads of shops round here have Ipads, it's rare to see any other kind of tablets. People don't go into the shop and choose Apple over a range of tablets. They hear about "Ipads", go into the shop to get "an Ipad", and don't see or hear about anything else.
The media tried to do the same thing with the original Iphone, which for 5 and a half years since its announcement has got constant media hype - thankfully I think the fact that phones/smartphones were already well established, as well as with established distribution through the networks, meant Apple had less of an unfair advantage, and they failed in their attempt to outdo the leading companies like Nokia and Samsung (who are still the top two), or the leading platforms (which was Symbian until 2011, then Android). Though sadly, the media seem to have convinced many people that Apple lead, anyway.
Re: "Is it just me..."
Indeed. OTOH these days I find myself confusing small Apple phones for those old 2005-era feature phones - as well as the similar size, they both had the same grid of icons...
Sorry for modding you down - I think Poe's Law applies here, it's impossible to tell parody from actual arguments that Apple fanatics make :)
Re: Galaxy Note?
And if rumourware of 4" Iphones and Ipad Minis turn out to be true, shouldn't the existing producers of those kinds of devices be able to ban Apple devices?
Since the Iphone platform has never been the number one platform (it was Symbian, then Android), I guess you must be accusing Apple of copying the leading platforms here.
Where as I had a Nokia 5800 and didn't experience any of that...
Didn't hack it compared to other mobile OSs? Well, I didn't have to wait years for basic features like copy/paste or multitasking... Android meanwhile is fine, but I've yet to do anything on that that I couldn't do on Symbian. They're both good OSes, each with their own pluses and minuses.
I've no doubt that versions of Symbian on the earlier Nokia 5800 were flaky, but Android was immature in its earlier versions too, and it was years before IOS had all the basic features implemented, that even feature phones already had had for years. One can pick holes in everything.
(And I'm not speaking as someone who used Symbian years ago - I'm someone who was new to Symbian with the Nokia 5800, in its later popular years.)
Also from what I hear, Symbian^3 (e.g., Nokia N8 onwards) was substantially improved over the OS in the Nokia 5800.
Re: another Poorly researched poorly written Nokia / MS bashing article
Most people don't use an MS OS? News to me. Don't get me wrong, I dual boot Ubuntu, and on phones have run Symbian and now Android. But I'm aware of what OS most people run, and I think Windows these days is as good as any other - personally I prefer Windows 7 to Ubuntu, though each have their pluses and minuses. And I do hope you're not suggesting it's better to run the other mainstream desktop OS, that involves paying money to a patent troll - sorry, with the recent Samsung news, it's no longer cool in geek circles to be running OS X over Windows. Only on Linux or something can you claim to be running something different :)
Re: market support for multiple platforms
Another problem with this argument is that there are still more than two - the difference between "smart" and "feature" phone is arbitrary (vaguely, "feature" is for low end, but with low end Symbian, Android phones etc, that distinction is blurred; feature phones have also always run apps since their introduction in the early 2000s, so the issue of "ecosystem" still applies).
So the stats only cover those counted by the ill-defined category of smartphones. There are still lots of people using other OSs like S40, enough to make these larger than Iphone, and probably comparable to Android, if not larger.
If there are any mechanisms in the market that means two platforms is an ideal stable solution, I don't see how any of those can "know" what we choose to label a smartphone or not. So the reality is that we're still in a state where there are several platforms on the market, all with significant share. I guess in practice the low end will eventually be sucked up by Android as technology advances, especially as Nokia have ditched their plans for a next generation low end smartphone OS to replace S40 ("Meltemi"), but we're not there yet, and it certainly won't be Apple hoovering up the low end.
Re: Swings and roundabouts
"The MarketPlace is very immature and MS don't seem to control it, allowing junk/nonsense apps"
Like Android - but as a developer and user, I think this is a good thing. Better than them banning things they don't like, as Apple do. And I also get infuriated by Nokia's QA, which does more to hinder then help it getting apps distributed for Symbian - on Android, I upload and it's their immediately. (I do love Nokia's automated testing for all their phones, which I wish Google did do - but the manual QA we are better off without.)
"The keyboard isn't as intelligent as my iPhone, not even remotely."
Can you replace it? I use Swype on my Nokia 5800 and now on Android, and it's great. The only way to replace a keyboard on Iphones is to run it as a separate application, and then copy/paste the text(!) If WP is like that, that's bad. If you can install different keyboards, I'd say check some out, and don't worry what the default one is like.
(WP must be bad then, given how atrocious the auto-correct bloopers are that people post for Iphone.)
"The fact we won't be upgraded to WP8 is insane, it's a year old."
Well, it's a negative for you, but I don't think it's an insane decision. You're getting all the benefits in 7.8 that will actually work on WP7 class hardware. And I believe that you don't get all the things in a new IOS release, if you have an older Apple phone anyway - it's just that MS are being more honest about it, rather than giving you a "WP8" update with some things disabled.
Re: market support for multiple platforms
"So why is there any compelling reason to think that the phone market will be comfortable with three?"
Well we've had far more than three. It was Symbian and Android until Nokia dropped Symbian for WP (Symbian number one to 2011, then Android since then). Were you there saying the same thing of Iphone, when it was Symbian and Android? (or "comfortable with four", since BlackBerry also outsold Iphone until recently.)
Evidently the market is fine with three, or even more - although yes, I do wonder if there is some underlying mechanism in the market by which having one main dominant OS, and one niche one around 10-15%, with everyone else far smaller, is some kind of stable long term solution. Nokia have made the switch from Symbian to WP putting themselves significantly out of the picture for now. Apple have the advantage that they'll carry on pushing their own closed systems no matter what, where as other companies are happy to switch to whatever other random OS. But it will be interesting to see what happens in the 5"-10" tablet range, between Windows x86/RT and Android.
Re: Win 8
Interesting that you ignore Android in your list of how things are. Personally I'm happy with my Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Decent OS, powerful hardware, and open rather than locked down and closed. And no, it isn't copying the Iphones, as you claim.
Re: Win 8
Don't most laptops look alike? Or most tablets? Or most phones? I'm not sure why having a single model makes it more exciting - for the media maybe, but in terms of sales, we've seen Symbian and now Android be the number one, not Iphone.
"advanced gear was predicated on a solid bottom line based on dumb-phones, despite their bragging about having had an iPad and iPhone in their labs for years."
Er, in their labs? You do realise Nokia have had smartphones for years before Apple came to the market late. Nokia make things from the lowest end dumbphone to high end smartphones. (Also note that few phones are actually dumbphones - even so-called feature phones are smartphones with a different marketing name - even low end phones have done Internet and apps since 2004, these days they have touchscreens, Wifi, and everything else smartphones have.)
"The game is being played now in an area where Nokia has very little expertise: computing."
Dumb phones died out years ago, and phones have been computers for around ten years. Until 2011, Nokia's Symbian was the number one "smartphone" platform.
The question is whether WP can live up to that. But it's wrong to say Nokia have little expertise in mobile computing.
"please don't speak if you're going to mention the new WinPho8 Samsung models"
Please don't speak if I'm going to mention a fact that counters your claim? If you knew it to be false, why claim it?
I have no idea how WP will turn out with Nokia - it is indeed a risky move - and personally I'm happy with Android now. But the way you talk of Nokia doesn't match up with their actual immensely successful history. Indeed, the big problems they face now is that WP may not give them the immense success they've had in mobile computing previously.
It's not all about market share though - there was a developer bandwagon to support Iphones, even in all the years that it was 3rd, 4th, or 5th place, with tiny market share. Even now, with Android nearing 70%, and Iphone around 16%, we see more developer support for Apple (which is sad). Symbian rarely got support, despite being number one until 2011, then still outselling Iphone for another 6 months until the WP switch, and still probably having a larger installed userbase. Not that this means therefore MS will get support - but it isn't simply about market share.
Whilst I'd love to see OpenGL on WP simply because choice and openess is good, it's not clear to me it's the right decision for them. Whilst WP is harmed by it, they are probably looking at the longer term of the Windows platform as a whole. The idea that Direct X would become the dominant API on computers once seemed mad - the API was a mess, OpenGL was open, industry people like Carmack supported OpenGL, and why would you limit yourself to only Windows for no apparent benefit? Yet look what happened.
Also consider that any competent developer can support DirectX and OpenGL. Remember that the far bigger challenge right now is that mobile platforms use entirely different languages (modified-Java for Android, C# for WP, C++/Qt for Symbian, Objective C for Iphone). So if you're rewriting your entire game anyway, the use of a different API seems secondary to that. Ironically, using C# is one of the few ways to get something that runs on Android and IOS (thanks to Mono), which of course is WP's native language. And many games will use 3rd party libraries/engines, so MS will instead focus on getting them to support DirectX, then it's a non-issue.
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