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* Posts by Mark .

1841 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009

Dear Apple: Want to stay in business? Make an iPhone people can afford

Mark .
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Re: 2nd hand sales

Actually it's more than that - the older models are still on sale as new, so it's long been the case that Apple have had cheaper models (including much cheaper than the not cheap "C" - I wonder what else that letter might stand for). A few months ago, I saw the ancient 4 going for £15/month on contract.

I suspect that much of their growth has come from people being able to buy at lower prices. When you see quarterly sales figures for Apple, there's certainly not all from the latest model.

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Mark .
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Interestingly this is exactly the same thing that was said of Nokia a few years ago - there the effect was even more dramatic, not only were their sales were growing, Symbian was also the number one platform until 2011 (which iphone has never been), but the media just reported how they were doomed because their share was dropping (the difference is that, unlike Apple, Nokia were the early starters of smartphones, at one point with as high as 60% or more share, where I don't think Apple have ever been much above 20% - they had some growth in the early years, but have now stagnated and may fall as Android races ahead). Instead back then Apple got all the praise, because they were growing, where as Nokia were falling, by market share. At one point in 2009, Symbian sales were increasing faster in absolute sales than iphones, but the market share still dropped, and so guess who got the positive publicity - statistics can be very misleading. I did wonder if this might turn round and bite Apple at some point - and indeed, it has.

Reinvented the smartphone? The 2007 model wasn't even a smart phone or feature phone (couldn't do apps). They've introduced some new features over the years, but by that, you could say every company has (re)invented the smartphone.

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Apple's new iPhones dope-slap Samsung in US

Mark .
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Re: 5S and 5C impressive for different reasons

I'm sure it's fine, but the problem is that this small feature is trumpeted as being the best thing ever - and then you launch into your marketing speech praising everything about them - whilst other features for companies are ignored. Why not praise the face-unlock in Android too? (And I don't use the fingerprint scanner in my laptop, not because it doesn't work, but because it's quick enough typing a password; I don't use face-unlock either, finding in pin Just Works fine.)

Same as with "retina" - why aren't you praising every other increase in resolution, before and after, since apart from 2010, it's been other phones that have had the highest resolution?

Most other companies only include technology if it improves things. Everything you say applies to most other technology companies - Microsoft and LG included (I love my LG TV, and I'd gladly upgrade to an LG Nexus). They're not special. Other companies aren't perfect, which as you say isn't any different either.

So to conclude, they're just like any other company - no need to evangelise.

"not merely shovelling raw, unprocessed technology into a box for its own sake"

I'll remember that when I hear someone credit for having the first 64-bit phone. Or going on about "retina".

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Mark .
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Re: Shall we all bookmark this thread

Assuming we get an article - that's the problem, we only see this vast range of media hype when it's the iphone.

It would be nice to have actual sales data of comparing company or platform sales, over yearly basis, and covering a range of countries, rather than biased reporting (for any side), but evidently such facts and rational reporting has no place in most the media!

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Mark .
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Re: Stop press! Newer phones outsell older phones!

I agree (endless hype and advertising here in the UK too) - but also Apple have long held the "single best selling device" for years even worldwide I think (which as I say in my other comment, isn't due to higher overall sales than other companies or platforms, but far fewer models). So it's interesting that we've gone from "Always having the best selling device" to "It sometimes does, and sometimes doesn't", even in the iphone's best market, the US...

I think a rough history from the media is:

2007: Apple sell a million in 76 days (let's forget sales of Symbian, Blackberry and even Windows Mobile)!

~2009: iphone sells more than Android! (what's Symbian?)

~2010?: Okay, Android sells more, but Apple sell more than Samsung (who are Nokia?)

2011: Okay, Samsung sell more, but the iphone is the best selling phone!

2013: For this month, in one country, the newly released iphone is the best selling phone!

And when a Samsung device reclaims the lead, mark my words, the trick will be to combine the 5S and 5C sales together as if they were one.

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Mark .
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Only news when it's Apple...

It's also worth noting that this is just one country, one month (and one survey). So, given the large numbers of countries that phones are sold in, and the 12 months a year, why isn't every time a phone is best selling in a country news? (Especially as the US market has always been very different to the rest of the world - e.g., Nokia never having had much presence, it always being iphone's strongest market, and Android has far less of a lead.)

There's also the point that Apple always do better on individual devices sales, because they have far fewer devices - if we're really comparing Apple to Samsung, then we should compare Apple to Samsung. How do total sales compare I wonder?

From the article:

"The sales stats are striking, seeing as how Apple's new iPhones didn't go on sale until September 20"

Well no, not really, because you have all the rush of early buyers and pre-orders. If anything, I would expect this to favour the phone just released, and it's a known fact especially for Apple that their sales are very seasonal. Will we get a news item if in 6 months' time, the S4 is leading again in the US? And 9 million? IIRC the S4 was 9 million on pre-orders alone, and that was for *one* phone, not two.

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Samsung DENIES benchmark CHEATING, despite evidence

Mark .
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Re: Shamsung give you MOAR!

But Samsung develop their OS on top of Android, and design their CPUs. True, they don't design Android, but Apple don't design the CPU cores, or manufacture important things like the CPU or the displays. Apple do some more things (like the OS), Samsung do some more things (like making the CPUs and displays). I'd argue that Samsung are a lot more vertical in that they take an Open Source OS, and then build, design and manufacturer everything on that, but it's really just a matter of opinion on how you compare. It seems odd to try to compare that one is somehow "better" here. Why is being vertical better anyway - were you praising the MS buyout of Nokia phones division? I don't really care how a company delivers me the product.

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Mark .
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Re: Shamsung give you MOAR!

Ah I see - when Apple has an advantage, like 64-bits, or vertical integration, it's an advantage. When Samsung has an advantage like frequence, battery, cores, it's "inefficent that they need it". I could just as easily spin it round and say how it's inefficient that they need 64-bits and vertical integration to compete (read, sell half as many phones as Samsung sell Android phones, let alone the other phones they sell).

Maybe we should compare phones on the end results - I know what I prefer. Oh, and if I'm annoyed enough to be turned off from Samsung by this, I'll go with LG, HTC, Sony, or any number of other companies without having to change platform. What's Apple got to do with anything?

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Mark .
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Re: as a geek

Where as I can type better on a Galaxy Nexus screen than a smaller 3.5" Nokia screen. I don't think there's an overall winner here. But that doesn't mean size has no effect, it means different people will have different experiences. Plus he did say he had bigger hands (and I find bigger screens are nice for all sorts of other reasons).

Different experiences is also why it's good to be able to install different keyboards - and I agree with the other poster, swiping (now standard in Android) can making things much faster (though not everyone gets on with that method).

This point is also worth considering for all the people saying we should throw away our laptops for ipads - imagine, those people having to type the same speed as a small phone screen. I did notice myself that whilst a 7" tablet on my Nexus was better for typing than the Galaxy Nexus, it was only very slightly better (and still nowhere near as good as a real keyboard).

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Amazon's EYE-OF-SAURON KindlePhone will watch you with FOUR cameras - report

Mark .
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Never mind Amazon, I want a Tesco phone, if the Hudl is anything to go by - reasonable specs, low price, close to vanilla Android, and (unlike the Nexus) a microSD slot. With their brand recognition and media coverage they'll get in the UK, a lot of stores to sell it in, and they have their own mobile network (albeit using another carrier), it could do quite well in the UK...

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Third of Brits now regularly fondling their slabs, say beancounters

Mark .
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Re: look at the web logs

An interesting point is that Symbian devices are also counted as running Safari mobile browser for some reason, at least on Google Analytics (I know this as my web pages for my mobile apps get a lot of Symbian hits, and these definitely aren't IOS users). Whilst to be fair Google Analytics does recognise it as Symbian when you look at the OS page (which is how I can be certain of the issue), I do wonder if there are any surveys that simply look at the mobile browser, and miscount Symbian as IOS... (Given Symbian was the number one platform until 2011, and outselling iphone for some time after that, this effect could be quite significant, for much of the period when the media were claiming IOS dominated mobile web access.)

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Mark .
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Re: look at the web logs

So an ipad mini is cheaper than a Nexus 7 if you look at resale cost?

Well fine - I don't care, I can afford to buy the better quality product. I guess ipad sales must be higher because they're cheaper, most people would rather have a Nexus 7 if they could afford it...

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Mark .
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Re: We'll see the usual pattern ...

If a company is supporting the minority of IOS users and not Android, the fault is with the company. The TV companies don't get it - people who download TV can watch it on any device they like.

I'm not convinced there are more "tablet" apps - but again even if it was, the fault is with the companies, not the product. This is ill-defined anyway - smartphones and tablets are the same thing - and if you mean for large screens, then why does an app designed for a 10" ipad work well on an 8" ipad mini, but apps designed for a 5" Android phone don't work on a 7" Android tablet? Funny how having less software was never a valid criticism against Apple for Macs...

And if I want to do something productive, I'm going to be using Windows or Linux, on a device with a keyboard and touchpad, not a fisherpricepad.

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Mark .
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Re: We'll see the usual pattern ...

As a Nexus 7 buyer, I realise I've made a terrible mistake - it's shocking, for only a mere extra £100, I could have got myself something with a much lower resolution, quarter the RAM, slightly heavier, and an ecosystem with less apps. I'm kicking myself, I tell you. I bet all those Hudl buyers are kicking themselves too - I mean, their devices with higher resolution, double the RAM, all just to save a further £120.

(And seriously - when I want something more functional, I use my laptop running a real OS.)

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Tesco's new fondleslab winks at Apple's stealthy NFC assassin iBeacon

Mark .
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Re: Maybe I'm missing something here...

So, instead of queuing up to have my basket or trolley full of items scanned (which can if I prefer be done without any human interaction, using the now commonplace self-service checkouts), I now have to queue up for someone to check that the items in my basket or trolley now match up with my receipt?

This might work for shops where you buy a single item (though even there, I don't see how it's quicker than the self-service checkouts), but doesn't scale for shops where you might want to buy more than one item.

"Staff can also spend time helping customers rather than just processing payments"

A single person can already keep watch over several self-service checkouts, freeing staff up for helping customers. A single person can't check receipts of more than one customer at once.

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Travel much? DON'T buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Mark .
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Re: This is a hoax, right? @ Mark .

It's bad in that there's some kind of locking that would say cause problems if you wanted to import a device from elsewhere. On the other hand, it doesn't seem it would cause a problem for people who wanted to travel and pop a local SIM card in abroad, which is what would cause far bigger problems for most people.

I agree the statements are badly worded, it really needs some concrete evidence to see what is actually going on here.

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Mark .
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Re: This is a hoax, right?

http://sammyhub.com/2013/09/26/european-galaxy-note-3-and-other-samsung-devices-are-now-region-locked/ has an update from Samsung:

"Apparently, it is not region locked as the sticker wants us to believe. According to a new statement given to All About Samsung, an activation in Europe will permanently unlock the device for the user to use in any part of the world."

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'200 million' fanbois using iOS 7 just a week after release - study

Mark .
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Remember "iPhone 4S fans ruin 3G, calls, texts for EVERYONE"?

Not this Apple-spin masquerading as news again.

1. Quite frankly, who cares - if you want to run the latest Android version, get a Nexus. Otherwise, stop complaining.

2. Remember what happens when the latest IOS is pushed out without the service providers being able to test it?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02/11/vodafone_ios6_1_software_problem/ - "iPhone 4S fans ruin 3G, calls, texts for EVERYONE"

3. When Apple release an update, features are still disabled on older phones. So it's misleading to say that all these phones are running "IOS 7", when that may be different operating systems on different phones. On WP, they labelled them differently (WP 7.8 vs 8). On Android, yes it might be a bit more annoying that older phones may not get a newer OS at all, but if they're not capable of running the new features, it's not much difference. Also remember that most Android phones don't run vanilla Android, so comparing Android versions is misleading, instead they run OSs that go on a different release schedule (e.g., a Samsung S4 is already running the latest version of TouchWiz - whatever Android version it's based on. Similarly I don't know if Android 4.3 uses the latest Linux version, but even if it didn't, that doesn't mean my Nexus isn't running the latest OS version, because it doesn't run plain Linux).

4. Let's compare on when different platforms get features, rather than an arbitrary thing like "OS version". Since Android phones already had the IOS 7 features months or years ago, who cares?

Point 2 is a particular issue. If it was just the case that it caused problems for iphones, well you've got the tradeoff between quick updates and full testing, where it's a matter of opinion which balance is best. But when it comes to messing things for *other people* that's inexcusable.

I'm worried that Apple are still allowed to push the updates out despite the risk to other users, and if nothing else, it's a double standard if they are allowed to do this, but other platforms still have to be held up by the networks.

And it's also sad that people are still spinning this as a plus point for Apple, when it has this known risk to *other users*.

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Full Steam Ahead: Valve unwraps plans for gaming hardware

Mark .
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Re: This is really stupid

But the first iphone couldn't even run apps (nor was it a smartphone), and by the time it did, other platforms like Symbian were full touchscreen (not to mention the other phones like from LG that were full touchscreen and with apps before 2007). Maybe it helped putting an applications downloader on the phones, but then even with every other platform doing that, Apple still is often catered for first for no apparent reason. Perhaps it was that they made it so that you could only release through their store - an insidious business move that thankfully most other platforms haven't followed.

Indeed, the iphone platform is a perfect example of how it could still work for Valve, even without beating the incumbents - the early iphones sold poorly, and Apple have never beaten Nokia and Samsung, but they've still had sales grow over the years, and made plenty of profit from them. Similarly Valve don't need to have an overnight success (which the iphone wasn't, despite what the history revisionists claim), or beat Sony/MS - as long as they have sales which grow over time, they can make money. They can also make money from their store - Google now leads in number of applications, but Apple will still make money.

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Mark .
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Re: Watching with interest

I was also pleasantly surprised to find that even Intel HD graphics, albeit slow, seems to have much better driver support (the older GMA wasn't just ridiculously slow, but also had problems that certain things were buggy, especially with OpenGL).

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Mark .
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Re: Watching with interest

The problem isn't that the spec might be upgraded occasionally, the problem is that there might be many kinds of different spec from different OEMs.

Also, things like HDMI and hard drives aren't anywhere remotely near the same kind of hassle (for users and developers) that things like CPU and GPU are.

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Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 3: HOT CURVES – the 'gold grill' of smartphone bling

Mark .
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Seems like a good idea to wrap round the side to finally give us a real full screen device, though nothing revolutionary yet - I think the killer will be phones that fold out into larger displays.

Reuters: "In January Samsung, which has taken over from Apple Inc as the global smartphone leader"

I'm glad they've recognised Samsung as number one, but they mispelled Nokia again... (not to mention this happened 2 years ago, and is old news - Samsung is well established as the leader now). The attempts to shoehorn an Apple reference into an article nothing about Apple know no bounds.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX: Bezos dives into tech-support MONEY PIT

Mark .
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Re: It is a locked-down, readercentric tablet!

Can you install Google Play onto it? That was the big disappointment about earlier models - good hardware, but a shame to fragment Android like that.

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British Gas robo home remote gets itself into hot water

Mark .
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Re: What a waste of time and money

"what happens if the internet dies?"

I believe you can still control it through the thermostat controls the old fashioned way.

If they get hacked, aren't the account details they already have more of a worry than the heating/temperature? (Conceivably it could be a way to infer if someone is away on holiday I suppose, though seems rather overkill compared to more obvious methods.)

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Mark .
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Re: What a waste of time and money

When on holiday, it's handy to turn the heating off (which can include after you've already left if you're short of time), as well as being able to turn it on shortly before you come home, so you can come home to a warm house.

At home, it's nice to be able to set a weekly schedule with a big screen rather than using the small thermostat screen with its fiddly controls (and by that, I mean using my 17" laptop, not some titchy phone/tablet - it's a shame they don't have apps for say Windows x86, as it seems odd that I have to reach for my much smaller phone, I never understood this obsession for only providing apps for phones, but at least it can be accessed through a website for unsupported platforms).

So yes, remote control does have it's uses, and it's also more than remote control - it's about providing better user interfaces through standard devices that people already have. Though I'm more sceptical on whether this actually saves heating bills - it now seems all the more easy to turn up the heating whenever I want...

And yes, you're right that some people don't seem to get thermostats - sometimes I have to explain that putting the temperature up higher doesn't make it get hotter faster, rather we should just set the temperature that we want.

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iOS 7 SPANKS Samsung's Android in user-experience rating

Mark .
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Re: This is clearly bollocks

Oh, I have a personal pet troll, someone criticising other people's history when they themselves post anonymous.

If I'm fanatical about something, it's facts and evidence. Which this study seems to lack. I'd criticise a survey that put Android on top too, if it used this kind of logic. I'd never use such a study in favour of a platform (except in response to another study perhaps, to show how meaningless they are). If the things I criticise often tend to be when people are arguing for Apple, it's not my fault the arguments are more likely to be flawed, or we simply hear more astroturfing for Apple. I'm not the one resorting to insults.

And yes, how absurd that people had choice in their phones, we were clearly all forced into using Android against our will.

I don't think many get Android free (maybe "free" on contract, but that will be even more common on iphones). Not sure what you mean by default - many see iphones as the "default" due to the far greater free advertising it gets. How many people know they have "IOS"? And yes, it is a nuanced market, which is why any attempt to claim that one must be the best is flawed - I'm not claiming any platform is objectively better, just fed up of the astroturfers telling me what I'm supposed to like better.

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Mark .
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Re: Horseshit indeed.

But he still has a point that it's easy to make mistaken assumptions about what the "average" person wants (who in practice may have very different preferences, as well as very different skill levels). The average person isn't the author of this study. The average person isn't an iphone user either, with more buying Android - and most less-techie people preferring to stick with a phone that has a physical numeric keypad, because they find touchscreens and icons confusing.

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Mark .
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Re: Only one Android?

But it still doesn't explain why 2 IOS versions are picked.

It also makes it somewhat pointless - if the point of the survey is to say "Hey actually, we think this other platform is more usable", then actually pointing out the other Android UIs/manufacturers would be more useful. A comparison of different Android UIs would have a better chance of being impartial and objective. They'd also be informing people on things they might not be aware of.

And on comparing platforms, it misses one of the greatest strengths of Android, for people to pick what they prefer. It doesn't matter if the authors think Samsung's UI sucks, if another Android UI does better. It makes no sense to ignore simply because they aren't as popular - IOS and WP aren't as popular either.

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Mark .
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Re: so does that mean

Note though there were high end ultra-portables long before the Air and Ultrabooks. The main problem is one of marketing, with people not being aware of the options. And my 10" Samsung is still more portable than any Air :)

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Mark .
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Re: This is clearly bollocks

And before that, we had a platform that couldn't even do basic UI tasks like copy/paste - yet I remember the fans telling us how not only was this not a problem, but it was better for it!

The whole thing is nonsense anyway - like, if I want to know what my user experience is, rather than going by my experience as a user, I should instead consult some "analyst"? I know what I like, and so do a billion other Android users.

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Glowing Nook knocked to under 50 quid for Xmas

Mark .
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"I do wish e-readers would ditch e-ink for something else though."

Get a tablet, then?

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New iPhone sells out, millions in hands of lucky fans, Cook cock a hoop ...

Mark .
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Re: @Mark

And "the iphone" is not a single telephone, but a whole telephone platform, which is why comparing to Android phones or Symbian phones is accurate. Alternatively, it's all the telephones sold by one company, which is why comparing to Samsung or Nokia telephones is fair. The idea that "the iphone"s "spent years kicking seven shades of shit out of the competition's TELEPHONES before they managed to catch up" is pure fantasy with no factual basis. The iphone 5S that you refer to was not released in 2007.

Comparing individual devices has problems (if one company sells 101 ice creams, whilst another sells 100 ice creams and 100 more ice creams with flakes, you're telling me that the former is more successful?) But if you want to compare by single devices - well firstly, that 9 million is halved, as it's for two devices. Secondly, know what the best selling smartphone is? It's the Nokia 5230, released in 2009.

If you're going to get so enthusiastic about selling telephones (who cares? Do you go on that company X sells more washing machines than everyone else?), at least get your facts right first, so you enthuse over the correct company or platform.

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Mark .
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Re: Johnny Cash moment

Citation needed - where's the major media coverage that it would have zero sales? All I've heard is 6 years of wall to wall hype about how it's going to dominate, yet it failed to do so, when actually Nokia and Samsung silently outsell them, with Symbian and then Android being the number one dominant OS.

It's the same story we'll hear again - "but then next one will sell more than them, honest!"

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Mark .
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Re: It's hard on the Fandroids at the moment, they have very little hope to cling on to

Quite - the OP talks of 200 million users, but Android has surpassed 1 billion activations, increasing by 1.5 million daily. I don't recall any media fanfare about that, it was just a footnote in a recent Google conference (the Nexus 7 release, I think).

Samsung alone are selling far more. And we should note that these sales figures are no longer for one device, but they're lumping the 5S and 5C together - why did the media never do this for Samsung's flagships? Apple always did better on "per device" sales due to only having one phone per generation, but the moment Apple have several phones, the media are now lumping all of Apple's sales together?

I think Symbian's total sales was much more than 200 million. And Nokia's S40 already over one billion.

If they want to argue on sales, it's a losing battle. (Why does it matter wanyway? Should we also compare 91% Windows share to 6% OS X?) If we're arguing on quality - we like Android just fine.

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Nokia Lumia 1020: It's an imaging BEAST... and it makes calls too

Mark .
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Re: Engineering

Agree. And it's also worth noting the thing you never hear on an iphone review: "I wish I could get one with Android".

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Fanbois shun 'crappy plastic' iPhone 5C

Mark .
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Re: I for one welcome this new religion

Least harmful indeed, but sadly becoming one with the most evangelism - from individuals, to product placement in almost every TV show, film and advert, and other mentions about every 10 minutes, and the prominent logos everywhere.

Thankfully a situation when a bank or other company only caters for say Christians is now illegal - but if it's a religion, can we put a stop to only providing an app for iphone users? It's like "Designed for IE" all over again, except at least IE once was the number one browser...

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Dog bites man: Apple's Macs trounce all Windows PCs in customer love

Mark .
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Re: How about...?

It's fascinating the mental contortions people go to to prove their buying justifications, including doing and promoting surveys, and then posting comments about their anecdotes.

I have an alternative explanation. Perhaps my good experience with my machines is that they are, you know, good. That other users claim more loudly their machines are better doesn't make mine not as good.

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Mark .
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You're criticising Microsoft for AVG?

It's comments that these that demonstrate the real reason for these surveys - one set of users blindly argue that their personal experience must be fact, whilst most other users just don't care.

I could just as well say my Clevo is better than anything else. Period.

I don't leave my laptop on all the time, but I have never had a crash with Windows 7 or 8. XP only died from graphics card crashes - and I've seen those take out modern OS X. I've seen modern Macs crash from failing to recover from sleep - last time Windows did that was with 98. Not that I'm blindly saying therefore one is better - I'm pointing out that experiences vary.

I don't worry about it mysteriously slowing down. I don't have to do sysadmin or work on it (as it happens, the only time I have had to struggle is if I've had to use itunes). My parents only call me for Internet related issues, which would apply on any OS.

And AVG? Windows 8 has anti-virus built in, and I don't even notice. For Windows 7 or earlier, my advice is to install Microsoft Security Essentials. AVG was horrible the way it constantly pestered me, MS SE just works in the background. It's absurd to use AVG in an argument for Windows vs OS X - that might have applied 10 years ago, but not when MS have their own anti-virus that works much better. You might as well install some horrible unnecessary 3rd party anti-virus on a Mac too, and complain...

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Mark .
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Re: Hmmm...

Believe it or not, there's a difference between personal preference, and objective fact. That people have different opinions is well known. But that doesn't make it fact, or media news, as this article tries to do.

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Re: Hmmm...

I'm honestly curious - what did you hate about Windows 8 so much, that you switched OS? The differences between 7 and 8 are far smaller than the differences between either and OS X. Moreover, OS X involves launching apps via clicking on big icons, and not AFAIK via a hierarchical menu.

The start menu can be put back to Windows 7 with a simple free utility (something that's you can't do for OS X). The full screen tablet-style apps can be ignored if you don't want them. Applications from Windows 7 and before continue to work in the same way - I found the transition far smaller than between XP and 7.

I'm sure that OS X is okay, but it's also okay with Windows too - comparing is just opinion.

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Mark .
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I have a Clevo laptop and Samsung laptop with Windows 8 and 7, and they both work fine, and never have any problems. I'd only use an Apple PC if I had to. Moreover, I see other people having problems with Apple PCs. That's my anecdotal evidence.

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Mark .
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Re: Margin of error?

I also wonder what it would look like if we took cost into account - perhaps it's more that people are more satisfied with more expensive PCs, and people buying Apple products are more likely to be spending more. And what's it comparing anyway - Windows vs OS X, or different makes of PCs? People can run other OSs on PCs, and run Windows on Apple PCs, last time I looked.

(That and the RDF that means its users see no wrong. I love my Android phone, and would much prefer it over IOS. But does the fact that I might still give some honest criticisms of Android, whilst an IOS user claims even a dumb phone with no apps or 3G is a revolution, mean my opinion doesn't count, and IOS is better? These surveys penalise platforms where users are more honest.)

Interesting to see the comment about Apple PC sales doing no better - I've argued that if the doom and gloom about PCs dying really does happen (which I'm sceptical of - a new market growing doesn't mean another dies), Apple are just as much as risk, especially since they do best in the sector of ultra-portable laptops, and they seem to have nothing in the way of touchscreens or hybrids.

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Everyone's waving their 5-inchers: BlackBerry outs new supersized Z30

Mark .
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True, Nokia does seem to be having significant growth recently at the low end.

Though I find it curious that 2.7m phones in 90 days for a new platform is seen as a failure by the media for BB, yet 1m phones in 76 days was hailed as a runaway success for a certain fruit company in 2007. Apple's sales only grew over the years, partly because as new devices came out, their older phones were then sold at lower prices. Similarly, BB's strategy could work long term - even if for now their new platform is high end, that will seep down to the lower end with time.

On the other hand, Apple and BB may lose out long term, if the low end becomes the main area of growth, and it's already dominated by Android and WP.

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Mark .
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Re: There is a better indicator that 5 inchers have come of age

Though what phones do your wife's jeans accommodate? It will be curious to see if the clothing industry finally realises women might want to use technology too, without having to carry them in their hands all the time...

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PPI, a rubbish stat

"It retains the same screen resolution as the 4.2-inch Z10's 1280 x 768 resolution, meaning the Z30's display density of 295 pixels per inch will be lower than the Z10's 356."

And when I upgraded from my 20" HD TV to my 42" HD TV, the density went much lower. But wait, like everyone else, I don't care - I prefer watching on a bigger screen, and as long as the resolution is the same or higher, I haven't lost out.

Perhaps one might argue that 1280x768 is low compared to the now standard Full HD on Android phones, or one might argue it's good enough, but pixel density is often not a good metric - just because the density has reduced doesn't make it worse. Just because you can make up a metric like (pixels/size) doesn't make it a useful one. If anything, for those wanting bigger displays (be it phones or TVs), the metric (pixels*size) is better than (pixels/size). We only hear about this statistic from manufacturers because it's a way to claim a device is "better".

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Jolla Sailfish OS to support Android hardware, apps

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Re: What would be the point of Sailfish?

I've never seen an advert on my Android phone (well, of course there are adverts on web pages and in 3rd party applications, but that applies to all platforms). I think more choices is a good thing, so look forward to Sailfish (if we end up in a world where the only alternative is IOS, that is not a good thing), but I don't understand this common criticism of Google using Android for ads.

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Nokia quiz: Do you know what a phablet is?

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"Samsung's Galaxy Note is credited with taking the device beyond the gadget nerd niche – they’re surprisingly popular with women"

Astonishing, it's almost as if there's a segment of the population that carries a bag with them most the time, so therefore isn't restricted to "what fits in my pocket".

Though the flipside is that women's trousers seem to be crippled with ridiculously small pockets, and I know women who don't like relying on handbags complaining about the size of smartphones these days - though maybe it's the pocket sizes that need to increase.

As for "phablet", we only got into this mess with the recent media redefinition of "tablet" to only mean something big - historically, a tablet is any handheld device that isn't a phone (including say, Nokia's earlier N-series tablets, before they became smartphones with the N900). Tablets and phones are really the same thing, available in a range of sizes, with the minor difference of the phone functionality. A 4" non-phone computing device is a tablet. A 7" Asus Fonepad is a smartphone.

But instead we have this nonsense of labelling small things as "smartphone", big things as "tablets", and then throwing a wobbly because there isn't a word for things that are in between, leading some to make the fallacy of claiming "it's too small for a tablet" or "it's too big for a phone", when it's the terminology that's at fault (it's like complaining that a medium-height person is too small for a tall person, and too big for a short person, and maybe we should start calling them "shall" or "tort").

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Nokia's 41Mp Lumia 1020 'launches' in UK - but hoi polloi must wait

Mark .
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Re: Remember when Nokia announced it was dropping series 60 operating system...

Yeah, they only went on to sell about another 120 million Symbian phones, a mere 15 times what the iphone ever sold.

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TWO can play this 64-bit mobile game, says Samsung, crossly

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But it's not like the ipads are pushing the RAM limits of 32-bit now, so if RAM is so important and you're expecting them to whip out a 4GB device, why don't they have 3GB devices out now? An ipad mini is on 0.5GB, compared to the Nexus 7's 2GB. If this news is important because it could allow more RAM, why isn't there the praise and media hype for the devices already shipping with 2-3GBs today, I wonder?

They might put it in their tablets or laptops in future, but it's just as true that we'll see 64-bit on Android devices when they ship with more RAM.

It would be interesting if they try a switch to ARM, but they have the same problems of breaking compatibility that MS has had - and with the increased battery of Haswell, and the upcoming increased performance of low cost Bay Trail, one can already get 64-bit with Intel just fine. Indeed, I was wondering whether the existing Intel Atom CPUs are 64-bit - surely there have already been Android phones and tablets that have 64-bit CPUs, namely the x86 ones? Again it's a bit irrelevant with 32-bit software and lower amounts of RAM, but that's true of the iphone too.

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Doesn't Samsung make the iphone CPUs, anyway? Someone that isn't Apple. And it's ARM who design them. I'm sure the Android manufacturers will add 64-bit CPUs when it's required - they're going to be the devices hitting 4GB RAM long before the iphone devices.

Obviously 64-bit is a useful next step, but it hardly matters if one company is first a few months early, when none of the devices are taking advantage of it. If in a few years' time, Apple devices are all on 4-8GB, with Android crippled at less than that, it will be a problem - but there's no evidence this will happen. Why aren't Apple being criticised now, when their devices have far less RAM than the competition? (My Nexus 7 has 2GB RAM compared to the Ipad Mini's 512MB.)

I don't see what there is to brag about - what about first phone with 1GB RAM, or 2GB RAM, or Full HD screen? Android devices get a hardware "first" with every release, but it's simply not news. Meanwhile, we have an iphone "first" that happens once every 6 years, and it's treated as revolutionary.

"but Samsung is dependent on Google to push Android along and the world's biggest advertising agency has shown no inclination to go that way."

So with 3GB devices already here, Google have no plans to move to 64-bit? I doubt it. They just don't make a big fuss about it, that's all.

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