1377 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 14:54 GMT
That's 600,000 confirmed preorders
Or, at least, claimed by Apple (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/statement-by-apple-on-iphone-4-pre-orders-2010-06-16). I'm not sure how many these things usually sell or what it's like amping up production from Apple's usual attempts at extreme privacy (given that they failed miserably this time around) — is that the sort of small amount, given the five-country launch, that implies a deliberately limited supply?
It's the form factor
The advantage of a handheld device is that you can be very confident that the user is looking at it more-or-less straight on, from a very limited range of distances. The manufacturer of a TV (or indeed cinema screen) has a much more massive range of possibilities. I think that's why e.g. Microsoft are researching active head tracking to figure out where people are and ensure the images that get through to their eyes match accordingly. Though you're then needing to multiply pixels by the number of people you expect to look at the screen. On the plus side, if you know where the viewer is, you can render the 3d scene they see from an appropriate angle.
Sounds like it
Nintendo reputedly had the people marshalling journalists at their event requiring that the screen be photographed only from front-on angles, with the anecdotal comments being that it looks extremely messy from the side.
They said 2010 though, didn't they?
I mean, not necessarily here, but somewhere. So it'd be surprising if we got far into 2011 without a sighting?
The 3d screen is a brilliant comeback against the iPod and the various mobile phones (which could easily become a disruptive technology), assuming it's even slightly decent.
Vaguely related observation
Agree, with caveat
I'm typing this on a Nexus One and it remains obvious to me that the iPhone is the better end-to-end experience. However, this article is essentially about hearts and minds of developers, and they do care about SDK restrictions and approval processes. Apple are walking a real tightrope in termsod long-term platform viability with their arbitrary and variably applied policies.
With all due respect though
Most of the Safari plug-ins that people are having trouble with explicitly check the Safari version and actively refuse to work with newer versions. Which is not to let Apple off the hook because those plug-ins are mostly the sort that use various slightly dodgy workarounds to Apple's previous failure to provide a complete plug-in interface.
So it's not the users' fault that the software stops working but only because it's doing exactly what it was explicitly designed to do.
Oh, leave them to it. Whatever you say, even barely coherent swear-filled invective is going to get substantially more upvotes than downvotes around here as long as whatever argument it makes appears to be anti-Apple. Someone has to be the kicking boy and it seems Apple have finally managed to claim a crown from Microsoft somewhere...
There's a reason you rarely see iTunes apologists
I often wonder what the problem is on that one. Whether you like Safari's feature set and interface or not, it basically seems to work about as well on Windows as it does on OS X on a technical level. Conversely, iTunes for Windows sometimes feels like wading through treacle. It could be something to do with Safari being designed originally for Cocoa and OS X and all the modern stuff compared to iTunes being an OS 9 carryover reputedly full of legacy hacks, but somehow that doesn't feel like an entirely convincing argument.
On the contrary, the things Apple wanted to shout about and have everyone believe were super Apple coolness were part of Jobs' keynote. Safari 5 was announced with a brief press release that mentioned that the feature is there. The software itself credits the feature to its open source origin.
It's the fan websites themselves, not the company, that seem to have spent a couple of days being uninformed. And that's just the standard result of trusting people that are bloggers, not journalists, to relay facts.
UK market share?
What's the UK market share for the iPhone versus all comers? It could shed some light on the US-centric claim that Android, etc, are gaining in part because of the carrier exclusivity situation in that country.
At a guess...
... it's because Apple calculated they'd be more likely to end up at the Nexus One end of the spectrum (per the original, direct sales model); people complaining about the price and then feeling inadequately supported. Check out the price brackets that Apple compete in on the Mac side — they're more than willing to ignore market segments that other people are extremely successful and profitable in if they don't see how they can make it work.
Not just graphics
Apple's big pushes (well, in Appleland anyway) of Grand Central Dispatch and OpenCL are primarily about getting developers to produce code that can be dynamically and automatically scheduled by the OS across such CPUs and GPUs as are available. I'd guess that stuff is either on the iPhone or is iPhone bound.
Best hope for netbooks in a long time?
I'm working on the hope that a Google OS will legitimise ARM netbooks and the existing ARM Linuxes will allow those that want more than the web to go with another option while the incompatible architecture will prevent Microsoft from buying the market again. I guess the counterargument is that Android already fits the ARM netbook hardware profile, but this hasn't happened yet.
Does anybody have any idea what sort of push, if any, Google has planned? Or is this an idea as thoroughly thought through as the direct sales model for the Nexus One?
Nope, definitely not
As there's still no Access for Mac.
Talent imitates, genius steals
Usually Apple pays for its acquisitions, as per the GUI from Xerox, multitouch via Fingerworks, even the usability nightmare that is Cover Flow, but stuff like this and Sherlock 3 all that time ago show that it's not above just taking ideas.
Greater development rate = more fragmentation
And even putting that aside (and there's a nice article on Ars right now about why Android fragmentation isn't as bad as you think), when Android overtakes the iPhone it'll almost certainly do so by eating Symbian, BlackBerry and WinMo market share and by getting into the pockets of those same consumers. For many apps, the iPhone profit may remain higher than the Android profit even when the numbers are skewed in Androids favour, just as the stats from indie game makers are that they do 72% of sales to Windows users, 22% to Mac and 6% to Linux versus a 93% 6% 1% worldwide market split according to browser usage statistics. Apple's audience are more affluent and skewed towards entertainment products.
Besides, Apple have — since 2001 — produced substantial profit in two areas: being the foremost seller of MP3 players and being a niche seller of high value computers. The iPhone is somewhere in between and I don't see it going away even if it ends up more Mac than iPod.
I appreciate we're on a tech site
So we're in the realm of people who decide that the better thing is whichever has bigger numbers or more ticks in a table. Even playing that game, compared to the Evo the new iPhone has a higher pixel density, a faster processor (per the experience of the iPad), faster Wifi and, quite probably, a better GPU.
Of the two devices, it's also the one that can play Grand Theft Auto, Street Fighter 4, Call of Duty, etc. Sorry if I've strayed a bit too far into things consumers actually care about with this paragraph.
And some undocumented fixes
The 20-second hard disk churning pause that started about 10 seconds after a launch of Safari (and usually after I'd loaded my first web page) is completely gone. Given that both Firefox and Chrome start a lot more quickly, with Chrome all but instantaneous, and Safari had no problems before they introduced that 'Top Sites' splash page, I'm calling this a bug fix. They've also brought back the URL-bar-is-the-loading-bar feature and finally put the spinner on the front-most tab button, so you're no longer having to mentally distinguish between the current tab and every other tab to spot the 'loading' message.
So that's all the sins of 4.x resolved. Though I'm not sure how much I care about the new features yet. The extensions will be the things to watch, no doubt, just as in Firefox.
You're not thinking transiently enough
The timing of the WWDC versus the big reveal of actual Windows Phone 7 specifics will kill the biggest opportunity it has for significant press before launch. That's the Microsoft versus Apple angle. After launch it'll be the iPhone and Android tag team that suffocate it. Want a branded walled garden with major announcement product launches? Go Apple. Just want a really good browser, an app store and don't care beyond that? Whatever manufacturer you pick, they'll probably have gone with Android because it's free and has the momentum.
Constant new models due to the sales curve?
I guess the problem is that when you're in a market with nothing to differentiate yourselves other than the actual hardware and you're always aiming at pretty much the same profit margin and price point, you need constant releases to keep ahead of the competition?
From the article, I do wonder whether AT&T's iPhone exclusivity may be a really serious backfire — they've secured themselves five years of really bad publicity amongst tech opinion formers and can't possibly hope to make up for it with the iPhone as an exclusive forever.
Even as an iPhone user, I accept...
... that Google's strategy is to offer extreme customisation not just to end users but to manufacturers and networks. A manufacturer could lock Android down to build an appliance if they wanted. In fact, if Google have their way then everything will migrate into the browser and 80% of the complexity will fall away. No need to differentiate between the means for opening/closing a web page and an app, no formal install/remove process for apps (it's dealt with automatically as a caching issue), etc.
Luckily, that's not the choice
It's shaping up to be Apple v Android in the immediate future, Apple v Chrome in the longer term. Ballmer has no vision and no artistry, and is single-handedly ensuring that Microsoft's fortunes are closely tied to that of the PC. Which is probably why there have been so many Apple v Google stories of late; both sense that there's a lot to play for while Microsoft sit idly by.
I agree completely
I'm ideologically opposed to much of what Google does, but I find that at their search, mail and maps are better than any other service and as a result I use them of my own free will. Conversely, I'm also all for an anti-competition probe and my gut feeling is that Google are probably legally at fault.
iPads, PSPs, etc
I'd imagine it's useful for all those Wifi enabled gadgets that don't have USB sockets, such as the ones in my title and several others. Specifically on iPads, it's a cheaper upgrade than actually buying the 3G model.
I really don't think it was Apple that added the terms. Without checking, I'll wager that the submitter is explicitly responsible and liable for ensuring compliance with all necessary intellectual property laws and agreements, just as they would be if they decided to rip off somebody else's trade mark. And the developer programme licence no doubt indemnifies Apple against any loss they may suffer due to misrepresentation by the submitter.
If the FSF were to take the issue to court, I'd be surprised if they seek anything beyond nominal damages, as the whole thing is probably just down to some enthusiastic developer who didn't read all the legal print.
I don't see it happening
What that is missing from Mk1 do you really imagine Apple being wiling to add to Mk2? There'll still be no Flash, no direct access to external storage*, a fee to pay if you want to write your own code and an approval process to determine whether you may run anybody else's. What I'm hoping for is a killer app that makes the device suddenly so useful and obvious that none of us who have difficulty seeing the point at the price can understand why we didn't think of it before.
* though I guess with HTML5 you could set up a networked movie store if it had an HTML front-end?
Plugins are how OSs handle video codecs
They may not be browser plugins, but I'll wager that somewhere the thing that knows how to handle the container format looks somewhere else to find the appropriate plugin for the compression algorithm.
I think part of the "opposition to choice" is that the web goes into lots of embedded devices now (the iPhone being one example, others being almost every other large-screened phone) and they need to be able to palm the decompression off on hardware. Which means they really would be much better served if they had an idea of the codec before shipping.
No, but it does excite the zealots
Mozilla and Opera are playing politics. I expect the ideologically pure open source disciples will further embrace the brands as desired, and diaclaim Apple/Microsoft while ignoring thar lack of hardware support and likely patent litigation are serious adoption hurdles.
Is it even a faint irony that I'm typing this on a Nexus One?
The comment was "What is it with the BBC and Apple?" with no reference to the iPad. I therefore assumed that it was at least partly referencing the specific steps the BBC took to ensure iPhone compatibility, as outlined in the story.
There's actually no iPlayer app, the Beeb just created a mobile version of the site that delivers standard H.264 video in a bit rate and container that the iPhone/iPod are happy with. Irritatingly, the site doesn't work on Android (well, my Nexus One anyway) even though I bet it would if they'd just be a bit more open with user agent recognition. It also doesn't seem to work on the current iPhone OS 4.0 beta, but it at least shows the mobile site and attempts to stream a movie.
Argument doesn't stand up to muster
Hang on, your argument that the iPhone is fragmented rests on (i) counting the iPad as an iPhone; and (ii) hardware changes as yet unannounced that you expect to see in the next handset? And then you're leaping from being able to show any difference across the hardware line to the conclusion that the platform is "just as fragmented as any other platform"? Both Android and the iPhone have some level of differentiation between devices. Does that make them as fragmented as computers running Windows? What about WebOS devices — are they just as fragmented as computers running MS DOS were circa 1993?
Fragmentation is a question of degree and is an issue to the extent that the tools make it difficult to deal with.
Apple support a fully dynamic runtime (ie, in every situation, since day one, you can check which APIs are available, what calls those APIs include, and make those calls if they exist — even if you're testing and using APIs that weren't defined when your version of the SDK shipped) and seem to be promising to always provide the latest version of the OS to all users that purchased within the last three years. All APIs that relate to functionality that differs across hardware exist on all platforms and can be called in a static-type fashion to query capabilities.
You obviously have a very weird idea of what planning for fragmentation means.
What is it with the BBC and the boat race?
The BBC needs to support Apple devices because millions of people in the audience they're meant to be catering for have bought them. The BBC don't get to pick, just as how they broadcast endless hours of minority interest programming because their charter and funding structure requires them to, not because it attracts any substantial number of viewers.
Probably not their choice
Much of the BBC's output is produced by independent production studios, and I suspect the nature of the deal is that the BBC can afford to buy the programming if they promise DRM on iPlayer downloads and can't if they don't.
It's also not a 'repackaged' KHTML
It's a fork, and it forked a long time ago. The KHTML gang then stopped accepting submissions from Apple for a bit due to the manner in which they were being submitted (ie, in huge bundles with no change by file breakdown or anything like that) but have been talking about entirely dumping KHTML for WebKit for the last few years. Apple's entire WebKit wasn't originally open source, just the bits that grew from KHTML.
That said, it's open source so of course Google have as much right to use it as everyone else, just as Apple have as much right to use VP8 as anyone else. They just probably won't.
Fake Steve _is_ right
But try as I might, I just can't find enough to like in Android. I guess it's because I'm part of the casual target set who buys apps like Angry Birds and Grand Theft Auto. That said, if Apple are forced to be more open then it'll be good for everyone and if the iPhone is toppled entirely I won't be too upset.
Having had a look
The iPhone is the top selling smartphone in Japan, where it accounted for 72% of smartphones sold in the fiscal year ending March 31, according to the Wall Street Journal. It was launched in South Korea and China only about half a year ago and I can't find any penetration figures. Ditto for Blackbery and Android in those markets.
So, ummm, sounds like you're just asserting things that you wish were true?
Could be the absence of high street competition?
And the fact that, if a person is looking for a laptop, they generally already know and are happy (or, frequently, happier) with the ubiquitous Windows devices whereas if they decide to buy a tablet then it's pretty much all a gamble.
I was concerned about that...
... but aggressively killing apps when I would logically close them were there such a button seems to lead to no substantial battery savings on my Nexus One. That said, I'm not much of a user of the Market, I imagine things could be worse if you downloaded some poorly behaved software.
VP8 wouldn't solve performance problems
At least, not on smaller devices — they've been shipping with H.264 decoding hardware since about 2007 and that's the sort of hardware that's now exceedingly cheap to build into things. The ship sailed on this a long time ago, we're now going to need a codec that's substantially better than H.264 to unseat it rather than one that's just roughly equivalent.
To the billions of devices that can natively do H.264 and could be improved with a web browser or with the ability to stream from the net, like BluRay players, mobile phones, etc, a new codec doesn't cost less — the licence for H.264 is bought anyway and supporting a second codec means adding additional hardware. Even if it was either/or, I'll wager that the H.264 pool will drop the licence cost to prevent anyone ever getting as far as mass production of commodity VP8 decoding hardware by ensuring that the latter always remains the more expensive option.
And by the time that hardware is general enough for it to be merely a software issue, I expect we'll be on next generation codecs.
Could have been a contender
Probably shouldn't have spent all those man hours and PR capital on trying to reverse engineer a connection to iTunes and shouting ballyhoo only to be told they were in the wrong by the USB Implementers Forum and to frequently leave their customers for weeks at a time without one of the advertised and most used ways to sync music. If you're going to run up against an industry giant, make sure your case is watertight.
Fingers crossed the HP tablet turns out to be fantastic.
Suggest you reread the article and comments
Apple are charging very close to the same price, though it ends up seeming to be more because VAT is quite a bit more than most US sales taxes. Apple are not treating UK consumers appreciably worse than US consumers.