1377 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 14:54 GMT
It's possible that all Apple want is to cream the 30% off whoever stays around for as long as they stay around, with more liberal terms to come when the market dictates them.
It's not really the same as the Apple/Microsoft shakedown. The Mac came to the market two years after Compaq had introduced the first complete IBM PC compatible and Microsoft had been trying to sell DOS as the platform before that, trying to create an 8086 market that didn't otherwise rest on IBM compatibility — like the CPM world before it. So Apple were already aware that proprietary systems were starting to lose.
They were very close to Microsoft in those days and licensed a lot of their GUI technology to Microsoft in return for software support. An error in the contract gave Microsoft the right to use the licensed bits in perpetuity rather than simply for Windows 1.0. So they lost the desktop not because they wanted to own the entire platform but because they were too trusting of third parties and were out manoeuvred, legally and on price (and technology, during the 90s, once the collapse phase began).
That's not the way most people see it
Their machines are already bloated monstrosities because their manufacturer helpfully included McAffee, etc. So the main experience of iTunes is that when they plug the device in, it just sorts itself out. No need to do anything manual whatsoever. Easy.
Nevertheless, a version that didn't seem primarily built of treacle is something Apple really should invest in.
Two significant areas without Edge or 3G...
Aeroplanes and subterranean railways. No tube trip is complete without seeing somebody listening to music or playing a game on an iPhone. It's difficult to believe Apple is happy to cut off those customers.
A 4gb budget device I could possibly believe, 0gb I don't.
I don't see how you reach that conclusion
Find me someone who had even noticed that iBooks is available. They've probably been barring jailbreakers since day one, it's just that nobody noticed yet.
iBooks and iAds are to Apple as phones and tablets are to Microsoft: evidence of fallibility.
I took A-Levels a bit more than a decade ago and even then the advice was to take General Studies just because in the final year the exam was before half term whereas pretty much every other exam was after half term. So it was used as a sharp shock to the student body. There were no formal lessons and the advocated preparation was "to read the newspaper". My university at least explicitly wouldn't accept it to count towards an offer.
That all being said, isn't the c.2000 division into AS and A2 meant to address the problem of people picking the wrong three? The average student takes five AS levels in their first year and whittles them down to three to study to A2 level in the second. So, especially for people like me that went to a separate college, you get a chance to experiment with interesting topics and then hopefully some decent advice and a rethink shortly before UCAS kicks off. That has a January deadline, so tends to become prominent at the start of the second year.
Not quite right on Safari
Just the pedant in me needing to shout up; it doesn't affect the tone of the article or the conclusions generally. Web pages in secondary tabs remain active in Mobile Safari unless and until the system starts to run out of RAM. Then they're purged, with only the little screen shot left to help you navigate from one tab to another. So it's just a way of attempting to do more with less, and is why you very often see tabs having to reload on the iPad (a small amount of RAM compared to the speed and storage required for native resolution graphics) but much less often on the iPhone (with more RAM and fewer pixels).
I guess the correct comparison would be: what does the BlackBerry do when memory starts to run low? But you shouldn't really be able to find out in normal usage, assuming they've put a decent amount in.
You're thinking of nerds. Normal people pick phones based on a combination of their features, handset cost and available price plans. The vast majority of the phone market don't read technical publications like this and don't care in the slightest who the manufacturer isn't.
They're not really championing Flash
El Reg is doing one of the things it always does; irreverently poking fun at the gap between reality and the way various companies might wish things were. In this case, Jobs has stood up and said that Flash isn't suitable for mobile. It nevertheless seems to have obtained a foothold. So there's a story there, which for comment leavers seems primarily to be about Apple and control but in the story seems to be more about Adobe putting in some real work and a market full of players that take some positions just to differentiate themselves from Apple.
IE was about lock in
When Microsoft controlled the de facto browser, Microsoft controlled the de facto web standards. By doing so, they ensured that Windows was the only place you could see the web as the designers worked on it. Which didn't really do anything to prop up Windows on the desktop because Windows doesn't need propping up on the desktop — it won the battle for volume long ago — but did quite a lot to prop up the desktop as the only place to see full web content.
The transition back to an open market with multiple vendors has pushed the centre of gravity for real, practical, day-to-day work back to published, cross-platform standards. The big winner has been WebKit; once the web has to work properly outside of IE, suddenly Apple, Google, etc can put it onto a mobile phone. Or a tablet. Or whatever.
In the days when Microsoft had the only code capable of rendering what the web was filled with, you could expect them to have had a huge advantage in any emerging market involving the display of web content. They don't have that due to Firefox (plus others), and partly as a result their bottom line remains tied to the future of the full-size PC.
Much more so
And Nokia's flagship handsets don't currently meet them, so they can't just do an OS swap. They ship not only with the immediate bar of an incorrect screen size (more pixels than the minimum, but Microsoft give specific acceptable values), but all the Symbian^3 handsets remain on ARMv6 based processors whereas Microsoft have stipulated ARMv7, which is a modified and more recent instruction set. So it's not just a change, it's a need to move to more expensive components.
Not really a fair comparison
Bada is a clean up and opening of the OS they'd developed internally and deployed in various anonymous versions over the previous several years. Android (the company) was founded in 2003, bought by Google in 2005 and finally shipped its OS in 2007. So it took them about four years.
Hence, if Nokia had chosen to start again from scratch in an entirely reactive way to the original iPhone, they'd just about be finishing now. Instead — as you say — management seems to have scrambled around for quick fixes for far too long, squandering the talent and quite probably killing the company, at least as anything other than a forgettable me-too hardware shop.
Why do they bother developing anything at all?
Developing good software is difficult. So if 'difficult' is the threshold test for doing something then they shouldn't be developing at all.
If you just mean that Apple make it more difficult than the providers of competing tablets then I'd imagine it's because Apple have more users than the providers of competing tablets.
I suggest you check your facts. The Netflix app, provided by Netflix, Inc and available from the US iTunes App Store, is quite popular on the existing iOS devices and there's no reason whatsoever to think Apple would make the AppleTV the exception.
It cuts both ways
Have you seen all the headlines about Android being the number one OS on phones by quarterly sales recently? In that case, distinguishing devices with a 3G radio (like the iPhone) from those without (like the iPod Touch) has put Apple in a substantially worse position than it would have been had its aggrandisement been the only objective when dividing device sales into categories.
What about NDK apps?
That is, the native development kit, that I believe allows you to use C/C++ to write some code that executes directly on the CPU, outside of the Dalvik virtual machine? It's commonly used to port games, since they often have large C/C++ engines at their heart. It has limited API access though, I think to ensure you route most tasks back through the VM, so it's not necessarily a problem.
If this is a problem then I'll bet it remains middleware only; I'm not sure someone trying to explain the distinction between Dalvik and Android to consumers who are just asking why they can't download any of the popular games is a winning market strategy.
But why not the z80?
Launched in 1976, built specifically for DRAM (with a built-in refresh counter and external signals) but smart enough not to require a memory access every single cycle, unlike the 6502. Though the 6502 sort of predicts the RISC era by having a fast storage area (the zero page) for load/store and only very simple processing abilities (barely any registers, none general purpose, all 8bit arithmetic) such that it uses most of those memory accesses you have to compare the performance effects on low end designs, once the RAM is being shared between multiple components.
The Electron used a 2Mhz 6502 with 2Mhz RAM. The video circuits have access to all of RAM. As a result, the 6502 spends most of its life underclocked at 1Mhz or ~600Khz, depending on the graphics mode. The BBC Micro used 4Mhz RAM and interleaved CPU and video accesses, but to achieve similar overall performance to the floating bus in the ZX Spectrum, that retailed at Electron prices.
All academic, of course.
But Sinclair and Acorn took their cues from across the Atlantic
It's not like the original home computers — things that plug into a TV with a built-in keyboard, usually built around a z80 or 6502, that boot into BASIC from ROM and are usually used with a TV for a monitor — sprung up near-simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic. The Sinclair MK14 came two years after the Altair 8800, the ZX80 two years after the Apple 2, both because the Cambridge lot knew roughly what was going on in America and sought to make the same sorts of product here.
I stand corrected. I find what you're saying to be surprising, but that's hardly the point. Other devices with ARMv6s ship with some version of Flash that seems to do video content, such as the Nokia N8. That's why it hadn't occurred to me that it might be an issue.
I assume the other apps dipped into the H.264 stream that the BBC supply for iOS devices. Everyone else is now locked out of that since certain client certificates shipped only with those devices are required. That said, they were going around finding ways to locking people out on a case by case basis before they came up with that.
I'm with you in that case. If you're going to invest time in an app, ship it for a platform that can't already view the content anyway. The charter doesn't require them to find some way to get rid of the status bar or whatever else the negligible improvement of a custom app would be.
It already works on Android
Though they seem to have transitioned it to Flash since Flash became supported. Going to the iPlayer site without Flash installed gives you the message "To play this programme you need to download the Adobe Flash Player from the Android Market" and supplies a link (albeit labelled "Click here" suggesting that somebody on the web team can't think beyond their mouse) that goes directly to the relevant Google marketplace page directly in the browser, exposing a download button. The rest of the iPlayer site is the mobile version for small screens. So it's clear that they have somebody there who has thought about Android and ensured that the site works.
Compare that to the iPad where, also, the site works, and you get to pondering why anybody needs an app.
That would make sense
It's what the iPlayer app that already ships on Nokia phones (well, at least the N8) does.
I have absolutely no idea how the existence of a Nokia app plays into the wider picture — for all I know, Nokia developed it or otherwise paid for it.
Rating books more likely to be for Amazon's benefit?
You know, for the 'we've got some recommendations for you' part of their business? Which I guess is also to your benefit if you like to stick within your genres.
The BBC are bound by their charter not to support the XBox...
... because Microsoft won't allow them to release for free and the charter won't allow them to charge. That's the officially given reason why they're on the Playstation and the Wii, but not the XBox.
Android devices aren't outselling iOS devices
Android phones are outselling iPhones — you're thinking of statistics directly from the mobile phone industry. If you add the iPod Touch and iPad to the iPhone, versus all Android phones + tablets then iOS remains ahead. This year's Android tablet push by multiple manufacturers should go a long way to redressing this disparity.
No Ovi Store?
Having recently checked it out, with support from at least EA, Gameloft and Rovio many of the same big name games that tend to dominate the other app stores seemed to be present on the Nokia. That said, I'm still acting under the impression that increased developer support is a good thing.
Thinking harder since last I posted, I think the risk to the Android path would be that they'd be back up to two Linux platforms even once the Maemo to MeeGo transition is complete. Probably a better path would be to put Dalvik on MeeGo, which probably wouldn't be too hard a port with the similar stuff underneath. That buys them entry to the Android ecosystem with a significant differentiating factor.
On an iPhone I copy and paste by (i) selecting the text; (ii) selecting 'copy' on the little sign board that pops up; (iii) putting the cursor somewhere else; and (iv) selecting 'paste'.
I multitask by (i) launching an application; (ii) going back to the home screen; (iii) launching another application.
For the record, I do pretty much identical things on my Nexus One. If you have no trouble doing basic things on a Nokia 5800 but can't figure those out, I guess you're used to looking for complexity that isn't there?
Did the three-day week lead to rationing of birthdays? That guy looks about 30.
I'm not sure that's where they need to be going
To my mind, Nokia engineers great operating systems with barely usable interfaces. If you look at the abstract numbers, Nokia seem to be able to get a lot more battery life out of ostensibly comparable devices at a cheaper price point. Their problems on the software side are that the user interface is awful.
Testing an N8 versus an iPhone versus a Nexus One: I'm in the browser, I want to go to a different web page.
On the iPhone I scroll to the top of the page (by tapping the status bar), tap the address bar, the keyboard comes up, I type the new address and press 'Go', which is right there on the keyboard. The Nexus One is very similar. Scroll to the top (albeit without a single tap shortcut, but that's because Android has other functionality permanently attached to the status bar, so no overall conclusion to be drawn here), tap in the address bar, enter something via QWERTY, press 'Go'. Total: two taps, some typing, one tap.
On the N8: tap the little arrow in the bottom right. I'm presented with a five button menu, of which three are not particularly obvious graphics without text. Having used it before I know to tap the world icon in the middle, which brings up a combined URL or search term menu. I then tap the URL line. That brings up an entirely different screen because all text box entry is done on a separate screen. I have to enter in T9. Tick that to go back. Tap 'Go to' to load the URL. Total: three taps, some T9 entry on a completely separate screen, two more taps. With lots of menus on which to get lost in between, and the extra delay of having to type in T9.
And the entire software stack is like this. It's a labyrinthine nightmare of menus upon menus upon menus with everything you want to do always requiring quite a lot more effort than on other phones and even then being achievable only if you've bothered to experiment with and memorise the system in advance.
Any strategy in which Nokia holds itself forward as being even slightly competent with UI design is a very bad idea. They're better off sticking with the Series 40 for emerging markets, adopting Android with the normal user interface and ensuring there's an official port of QT to the platform. They can revive themselves with hardware (there's a market for 12mp phones with Carl Zeiss lenses) and unique applications (Ovi Maps in particular). I think there's a route by pushing QT on Android to become the default glue for people that want to port C/C++ stuff, but it's probably more risky.
I think you severely overestimate the importance of Flash
"Look, we've got Flash" is what manufacturers say to score points with tech bloggers.
"Look, we've got a good browser on a big screen, available for free on a contract and for not all that much on pay as you go" is what manufacturers say to win consumers.
Apple have done a broadly similar thing
The main difference is that we're almost a year down the line. So we temporarily had iOS 3.2 for the iPad only, with a bunch of new features that are useful on both types of device, then we had iOS 4.0 for handsets only which jumped 3.2 to a bunch of other useful features, then only at 4.2 did everything come back together. I'm sure they'll do the same thing with Android; fork the code base during the development and launch of new types of product, then a merge further down the line.
There's a risk of fragmentation, of course, but we're still in a much better position than we were trying to support J2ME across the breadth of available handsets, and the available handsets are a lot better.
I think they're hoping that...
... just like people buy into Sky, HBO, etc despite free television being available, they can build up sufficient brand prestige that some people will sign up for a subscription, allowing them to pay proper reporters and/or famous name pundits to maintain the brand. They would argue that one of the problems with other iPad content is that Apple didn't have a subscription model before, meaning that users have to invest effort every time they want to buy an issue (analogous to going to the newsagent) rather than having to invest effort if they want to stop receiving issues (as with the sort of magazine subscription they want to sell).
Given that it's a US publication, although not a Fox spin off so I'm using these names just as examples, I can imagine they'd recoup if they carried exclusive content by Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Glenn Beck, etc. Vanity disclaimer: I don't actually like any of those people.
But how do those mobile operators count?
I've seen this story in a few places, and all of them seem to be a bit vague (as a result of the executive's inexact comment, no doubt) as to whether a tablet delivered to and subsidised (possibly up to 100%) by a mobile operator but put into the hands of a consumer counts as a sale to a consumer for the purposes of this story.
I would expect devices that can be supplied cheaply through operators to gain significant traction, even if they weren't available at all for direct consumer sales, just like the overwhelming majority of mobile phones.
It's not just according to Google — they acquired Android (the company, working on the OS) in 2005. That would seem to establish that work was in progress before the iPhone came out.
@Greg J Preece
Apple have paid for all the technology they've acquired but do we really have to drag them into it? They don't even run a search engine.
It's nothing like the "two wrongs make a right" argument. That would be to argue that Apple's behaviour is excusable because of an earlier unethical act perpetrated against it. This is the argument that requiring perfect ethics would preclude you from buying absolutely any of the available devices, so an unethical act is not in itself sufficient.
You seem to have managed to post something to the Internet, so you're almost certainly using a component from an unethical company, whether it's Intel (anti-competitive practices to crush AMD), Google (Wifi sniffing), Microsoft (anti-competitive practices to crush just about everybody), Apple (anti-competitive practices to ensure revenue capture) or somebody else.
Maybe not calling them iFans would help?
You know, per the general rule that insulting people tends not to work very well when you're attempting to talk them around to a differing point of view.
I also think you'll want to argue that what Apple are doing is so disproportionately unethical as to be a sufficient reason to avoid the company's products. All of the competing vendors are also doing at least one unethical thing, so there's an on balance argument to be made.
Per the last earnings report...
... Mac shipments during the fourth quarter of 2010 were up 23% over the year before, setting a new record (though they've been doing that every year for a while — since 1984 the market has grown a lot more than the Mac's relative share has dropped, though the Mac continues to grow a lot faster than the market).
I was unable to find a detailed profit breakdown, but of iPads, iPhones, Macs and iPods, the breakdown by units sold during that quarter was:
8.8% Macs (up 23% year on year)
15.5% iPads (available for less than a year)
34.4% iPhones (up 85% year on year)
41.3% iPods (down 7% year on year)
Macs are still a non-negligible contributor, probably to a greater extend than those percentages suggest given that they're likely to be higher profit items than iPods or iPhones.
I'll wager that Xserves constituted maybe 0.001% of units shipped.
You have a funny definition of stealing.
Apple gave Xerox stock in return for IP. That's called a business transaction.
Touch screen technology? Nobody has ever claimed this to be an Apple invention, it's a straw man. You appear to be arguing that any company that uses any single component that isn't entirely new deserves no credit for anything.
Multitouch technology? Apple paid for FingerWorks in 2005 to acquire the technology. That's called a business transaction.
You seem to believe that if someone receives something and pays for it, then that's theft?
So... a symptom, not a cause
Banning Comic Sans somehow to solve all the world's signage and document composition problems is surely akin to banning PowerPoint and expecting everybody suddenly to be really good at public speaking?
Overreaching, I think
Take iOS as the example. It introduced the direct manipulation metaphor to the mass market. To 99.99% of people that met one, it was a new idea. They acquired most of the relevant IP by acquiring FingerWorks, but in order to commercialise it to the extent that they felt it could be. What they didn't do was look at what was already number one in the market and copy that. They've actually never done that.
There's a distinction between being able to spot and develop good ideas before they hit the prime time and running after the market leaders.
It's market share
In four years, there have been only three shapes of iPhone, all of them very similar and with exactly the same size of screen. That makes the form factor extremely compared to the market for all other phones. Nobody else keeps their handsets in as similar a form and nobody else sells so many of a single handset (albeit if only because the main competitor is characterised by choice).
Lost me at
"Obviously, in the Linux crowd, we still have plenty of geeks out there, but we do have to recognize that certainly in the Mac marketplace there are a lot of people that need that ease of use."
Ease of use isn't about being patronising towards one group or another, it's about designing something properly. If you think it's acceptable to make interfaces more complicated than they need to be just because you have a technical audience then you've failed to grasp even the most basic concepts of human computer interaction.
Nah, the hardware's completely different
It's ARM + PowerVR, whereas the PS3 is Cell + RSX. I think they're just arguing that the graphics are similar to those of a PS3 (at a much lower resolution, one assumes, and therefore a lower processing cost — and getting a 1080p screen onto a PSP-sized mass consumer device just isn't going to happen very soon). So, no doubt, porting incurs costs and gives an opportunity for Sony to charge consumers that want both copies for (i) the additional costs of porting; and (ii) the content, a second time.
@No No No......
There's an exception to this; per the relevant Occupiers' Liability Act, signs on private property that direct you as to the required behaviour in order to be safe absolve the owner of liability if a person ignores the signs and is injured as a result. Though they have to give you actual, workable instructions (like "keep all limbs within the vehicle") rather than just warning you about a danger (like "bridge unsafe" without a safe bridge or other crossing being available).