back to article Jobs takes swing at Google over Android activations

Google and Apple's bush war flared up again as Steve Jobs apparently cast aspersions over Android's activation numbers as he unveiled Apple's latest iPod and TV scrub-up yesterday. During his discourse, Jobs said that the iPhone OS was seeing around 230,000 activations a day. Crucially he said these were all new activations, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Google has stated that it's not counting upgrades. Fair enough.

    But could Apple tell us how many iPhone 3 DEactivations they are getting?

    Almost every single iPhone 4 user I've met is trying to sell/dump an iPhone 3. Which implies that the actual number of iPhone users is almost a flat line and not increasing much at all.

    Whereas, people I see picking up Android phones tend to be people dumping older "dumb" phones, which implies Android taking market share from Nokia, Motorola etc etc...

    I don't want to cast aspersions, I'm just curious because the story is about numbers and Jobs isn't giving us all of them.

  2. Rogerborg

    Bloody soap opera

    That slaaaaag Steve better leave it ahht or 'e'll get a slap in the mush.

    1. Thomas Davie


      The iPhone 4 users dumping an iPhone 3 would be counted in the upgrades... that's what upgrades means.... They're getting 230,000 *new* activations a day.

    2. jubtastic1

      I don't want to cast Asperger's

      But who did you think all those iP4 users are selling their old iPhones to then? museums?

    3. ThomH Silver badge

      I think you've missed the point

      Apple said they weren't counting upgrade purchases. So the number of deactivations is probably the published number of new activations subtracted from the unpublished number of all activations.

      Moving from an iPhone 3 to an iPhone 4 counts as an upgrade.

    4. DZ-Jay

      Re: Question

      >> Almost every single iPhone 4 user I've met is trying to sell/dump an iPhone 3. Which implies that the actual number of iPhone users is almost a flat line and not increasing much at all.

      That is only implied if the people dumping their iPhone 3 and activating an iPhone 4 are doing so under different names, telephone numbers, and AppleCare login ID (i.e. e-mail address). Otherwise, they would count as a "re-activation", which is not included in the final tally, as Jobs said.


      1. Anonymous Coward

        Everyone I know

        Is tossing them in the dumpster. They aren't worth the hassle of "selling".

        1. D@v3

          not worth the hassle of selling....

          I sold my 3G to Mazooma (or some such) and got alost as much as i paid for it 2 years ago.

          5 mins on line to order envelope

          couple of days wait

          money in bank

          i'd hardly call that hassle...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And how do you know that?

        And how would Apple know that? Because if I wipe my iPhone and I reconnect, I have to re-activate the phone. Aer they keeping track of the serial numbers and not bumping up the count? If so, I'd like to see Apple say that. Else, I don't buy it.

      3. Doug Glass

        Did you notice ...

        ... the words "trying" and "dump"?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Perhaps so

        But I'd be willing to bet that 'new activations' also includes churned customers where they've moved providers to upgrade at a better price or for better service (perceived or otherwise)

      5. Andrew Kaluzniacki
        Jobs Halo


        The museum of my top shelf - I'm keeping my original iPhone for backup. For the $25 I might get, I'd rather keep it as a backup for me or the kids.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And for balance...

      ...we should see the android deactivations as well.

      Afterall, some providers are forcing new droid handsets on users wanting 2.2, and from as late as 2.1. This same 'in-brand-upgrade' scenario applies to all handset manufacturers, and is not limited to Apple. Afterall - a great many people are brand loyal.

      I think the only side-by-side comparisonthat means anything to me are failure return rates for every 1000 sold. If Apple wants to charge a premium for a "premium" (their words, not mine) product, you'd hope to see much lower return rates and warranty claims.

      1. os2baba

        You don't have to reactivate upgrades

        You don't have to reactivate OTA upgrades on Android. But you have to reactivate every iPhone that's sold and wiped. That would be the same for Android devices as well. But first of all the existing install base of Android phones is significantly smaller and the people will only just coming out of their G1 contracts.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    >>The Apple supremo, announcing an upgrade of Apple TV, said consumers wanted high-end content, "not amateur hour" and that other technology companies did not seem to understand that consumers didn't want a computer in their living room. <<

    Yeah, and I guess you'll be the judge of what they can and can't watch, right? Uh huh.

    1. tomjol
      Thumb Up

      Stole the words right out of my mouth

      Or should that be fingers? Either way, totally agree.

      It'll never be a success as long as they insist you use iTunes content.

  4. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Apple TV

    It's a bit pap really isn't it? No blu-ray, no 1080p, no thanks.

    At least it is cheap though. And black.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      I can understand no blu ray

      The new Apple TV is trying to compete against the likes of Roku, Netflix et al - dumb, thin clients that offer minimal storage and are attached to a streaming service. It's not surprising there is no blu ray or DVD, or pretty much any useful functionality aside from streaming.

      However the lack of 1080p is ridiculous. The most likely reason for this is corner cutting, packing in an underpowered chipset which can't cope with the higher resolution. The first Apple TV was similarly hobbled although it was more undestandable a few years back than it is now.

      I sure hope anyone who buys these streaming devices is not stupid enough to BUY any movies through the service. Rent, don't buy. Otherwise enjoy your dead collection when Apple (or Roku or Amazon etc.) decide to change the terms of service, slap a levy on "excessive" downloads or discontinue the thing altogether.

      1. Joey


        The reason that there is no 1080p, at present, is nothing to do with chipsets, it's bandwidth. Streaming video over the typical 2mbs net download speeds is hard enough for 720p. Even cheap HDMI cables can't handle 1080p from a Blu-ray player to a tv. There will have to be a much faster and reliable net infrastructure before 1080p is going to happen.

        1. The Original Steve


          I can stream 1080p from Microsoft's Zune service on the XBox360 on demand without problems. Nothing fancy, it's a ADSL2+ service over a bog standard ISP (and it's not LLU either)

          Can be done on the 360, I'm pretty sure the PS3 can do it (if not i'm sure it's on the cards) so I don't buy into your excuse. Even if it was a reason for MOST people then why not do a speed test every time and scale it depending on connection quality - again, like the Xbox does...

        2. DrXym Silver badge


          Other streaming platforms are capable of 1080p, some are already in the process of rolling it out. The proper solution would be for the device to infer the best bitrate / resolution based on the available bandwidth and user settings and just stream the data.

          Regardless, a device which can only deliver 720p is crippled. I would not be surprised if it was done to cut corners, and provide a reason for believers to upgrade in a year when Apple TV 2 is launched with much fanfare with the amazing ability to output 1080p.

          As for HDMI cables, some older HDMI 1.2 cables might not be up to snuff, but they are not the norm these days. A properly certified HDMI 1.3 cable can be had for $5 and works exactly as it should.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        @ Dr Xym

        Actually, you can rip the DRM out of purchases using requiem no problem, thus your collection is never lost/killed. Of course, PEBCAK issues can still happen.

        It's even drag and drop stuff.

        2 draw backs:

        - it breaks with every itunes release, and isn't updated quickly

        - it doesn't work on rentals, but then again - you wouldn't do that, would you?

        Main reason not to buy is that itunes is a bloody rip off. Oh and your 1080p thing.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      £100 for AppleTV?

      No thanks, when a PS3 can do so much more for £100 more...

    3. Gulfie

      You'll never see blu-ray in an Apple device ...

      ... because it competes with iTunes sales/rentals. End of story.

      1. DrXym Silver badge


        Exactly. Apple doesn't want their users "confused" by having a choice in the matter of where they buy their media.

      2. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Not quite

        The big problem with blu-ray is all the security and restrictions. You have to implement many things like resolution drop when not using HDCP. All manner of things to prevent copying.

        In the end all these security options create instability, result in extra complexity and just annoy users.

        Not to mention all the licence fees.

        I have a HD TV but rarely watch any HD footage. I have a blu-ray player but find that there's bugger all I want to watch in HD.

  5. Scott 19


    HaHa, watched a new episode of The Simpson's last night, MyPod, i'm still laughing now and Bart's little soap box speech about Mapple was spot on.

  6. mmm mmm

    I know who I believe

    And it isn't Apple.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Me too

      And it's...

      None of them.

      They're all trying to sell us something and they all have something to hide. I bet there isn't a single one of them that is giving out the full picture.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      It isn't...

      "Do no evil" Google either.

      Where is the horned version of Schmidt, Brin and Page icon?

  7. James Hughes 1

    Customers dont want computers in their living rooms..

    But disguise them as games consoles, media streamers, TV's, and they will.

    Oh, they already did...

    I can YouTube on the Wii, stream movies from my PC. It's already happening Steve.

    1. Thomas 4

      Customers don't want computers in their living rooms...

      ...says the guy that spent an awfully large amount of time pushing the Mac Mini in this very direction.

    2. D@v3

      I'm actually quite happy with a PC in my living room

      that is all

  8. Phil.A
    Jobs Horns


    "other technology companies did not seem to understand that consumers didn't want a computer in their living room."

    That's funny, because realistically my Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii are all effectively computers.

    Not to mention that I use my laptop in my living room (as does my girlfriend).

    If people don't want a computer in their living room, why are Apple selling the Mac Mini? It has HDMI output. Isn't that for use on a TV? And aren't they encouraging people to put them in their living room?

    The Fruity Fuhrer dictating how people should be using their technology again!

  9. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    230,000 a day!

    Either Apple has been stockpiling iPhone4s for a while, or half of China must be making them.

    I cannot believe that they can sustain nearly A QUARTER OF A MILLION activations a day for any length of time. At that rate, the equivalent of the whole of the UK population could have an iPhone 4 within a year, even if they were only making them on week days!

    1. peter 45

      Do you know nothing about mass market consumer products?

      I heard a Motorola production manager dismiss a 150000 unit run with the dismissive remark that it was hardly worth getting out of bed for. They counted a normal batch run on a single line for a single product between 400000-500000 units.

      1/4 mil units per day? easy peasy.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      ...or half of China must be making them

      Well the main Foxconn factory is the size of a small city, so there is a start.

      Oh and the are several billion people on the planet.

  10. Lottie


    Established technology has more people signing up to use it than newcomer.


    If have ANYTHING that's new to market it'll sell less than the established brand until it becomes equally established.

    BTW, I would love to have MORE computers in my front room. If I could Id have a media PC for DVDs, music etc and a nettop for surfing while chilling on the sofa and a powerful one for work/ gaming in the corner.

    While I'm busy dreaming, I'd also like a unicorn that pisses marshmallow rainbows.

    1. Ammaross Danan


      "BTW, I would love to have MORE computers in my front room. If I could Id have a media PC for DVDs, music etc and a nettop for surfing while chilling on the sofa and a powerful one for work/ gaming in the corner."

      Fortunately, my "office" is right behind the wall the TV is up against, so a "small" hole and an HDMI cable later and I now have mirrored desktop display to the TV. Oh, with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Now I have a media PC AND the powerful work/gaming one, all on the nice bigscreen.

  11. TeeCee Gold badge
    Gates Horns

    "it's hard to think of anyone Apple really thinks of as a friend"

    They really are becoming more like MS every day, aren't they?

    <--------Billy no-mates.

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward

      As the Director of Marketecture once said

      A misleading benchmark test can accomplish in minutes what years of good engineering can never do...

      (c)Scott Adams...

    2. Jim_aka_Jim

      Activations a day...

      Did they specify it was an EARTH day?

    3. L1feless
      Jobs Horns

      @ RegisterFail

      I completely agree. It is difficult to believe those stats from either. Steve Jobs reminds me a lot of Michael Moore with the use of his creative editing techniques. It is almost like the line should have ended with the the words " our first day of release' but it was conveniently left out. Steve might even go as far as blaming the missed words on the fact he was using his PC at the time and the words never printed right due to him using Vista.

      about as accurate a press conference as MS where they announced Vista being a good OS.

      1. Toastan Buttar
        Paris Hilton

        Using his PC at the time...

        And I tried to print it out and it was all like bleepbleepbleep. It was a really good paper and I had to do it again and it wasn't as good.

  13. Bruce Hoult

    "only" 95,000 a day?

    Naturally when you're looking at an exponentially growing product the average over the last three years is going to be far lower than the current rate.

    Even the average in the last two quarters is going to be lower than the current (and ongoing) rate.

    All the same, you came up with a figure of nearly half the claimed 230,000 a day, just from the iPhone alone.

    Jobs said "iOS devices". That includes the iPod Touch, which they sell very roughly as many of as iPhones, and one or two iPads recently as well (about a million a month or 30,000 a day).

    Double your 95,000 and add another 30,000 and you're near as dammit to Jobs' 230,000.

    1. Daniel B.
      Thumb Down

      Which is still doctoring numbers.

      Android is only sold as a phone, and while there are some tablets out there, I think that Google isn't counting those. You can't really say that you have the upper hand on cellphones if a good chunk of your devices aren't really cellphones, can you? It isn't quite the case with the BluRay/HD-DVD wars where the HDDVD camp didn't count PS3s, even though they were perfectly capable of playing movies. The iTouch and the iPad *can't* make real, cellphone calls. Those are competing in another, different market where the Nokia "Internet Tablets" and the Tablet PCs roam.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  14. Lars Silver badge

    Sheep we are, I suppose

    That is, if Apple has more activations a month than Google, then I am a sheep, and assumed to

    bye an Apple.

    A nice smoke screen really, what about concentrating on features, price and things like that.

    But then again, I admit, I switch between Coca-Cola and Pepsi depending on the latest statistics.

  15. Rattus Rattus

    Y'know, I don't mind a computer in my living room...

    What I really don't want is iTunes in my living room.


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