back to article Fans' loyalty questioned as iPhone popularity plummets

iPopularity is in a state of decline, with "Apple loyalty" said to have fallen for the first time since the iPhone's 2007 release. Only 75 per cent of iPhone owners in Western Europe say they'd choose an Apple device for their next smartphone, new data from market watcher Strategy Analytics show. That still seems a relatively …

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Happy

Re: But...

Yep.. Pretty much SOP.

Funny how the county court paperwork showing up makes people very reasonable all of a sudden.

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FAIL

Its simply no longer cool

My 15 year old goddaughter (who loves her iPod touch) is due for a new phone in a couple of months and I asked her if whe was going for an iPhone or an Android next time, "Neither" was her reply,"I want a Blackberry, there so mush better for messaging an stuff". She has also decided to wait till BB10 arrives so she can play with that and the older BB OS to decide which she will get.

I have also asked around at work etc and most people want Android with those that hav an iPhone either sticking to it as they are true fanbois or sticking "cause i have too much stuff in itunes to move". No-one thinks they are cool any more and even the fanbois would like to see an update to the iOS UI to allow for widgets etc "As that would be awesum"......

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Headmaster

More likely that "the rest" now have offerings which are worth "considering". Definitely not the case for any version of Android prior to 4.1. It is very difficult to stay so far ahead of the bunch that the customer base doesn't have anywhere comparable to shop.

No news here.

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Anonymous Coward

Plus, Apple are very busy alienating developers...

I see a situation where developers are going to stop developing for iOS products. Right now, Apple seem to be denying Apps based on really flimsy reasons (and in one case for me, incorrect- when I called them on it, they backed down). Add to that, some serious bugs in XCode 4.5 which also creates code that runs on iOS6 but crashes on iOS5; and an increasing number of screen resolutions to support; one of the things iOS developers have always bragged about over Android developers is that they only have to program for one screen size; not any more.

I find myself in a position now where I am having to request payment upfront from any client looking for an iOS App and also pointing out to them that I cannot guarantee that Apple will allow their App to be made available on the App Store.

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Silver badge

Re: Plus, Apple are very busy alienating developers...

Two resolutions (standard and high DPI for both), plus the new iPhone 5 which will happily run with the older phone resolutions (and the change has been mitigated by the new auto reflow APIs) and you're complaining? You've not tried developing for Android I'd guess.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Plus, Apple are very busy alienating developers...

> You've not tried developing for Android I'd guess.

I think that his point is that the small number of display sizes is no longer an advantage to developing for iOS, which Apple previously could claim.

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Stop

Re: Plus, Apple are very busy alienating developers...

You have iPhone sized (low and high dpi), iPad (low and high dpi), plus now the iPhone 5 with some extra height. The only thing you need do to support it in addition to the 4S and prior is use the new Auto Reflow API, which will sort your forms out for you. You can test both iPhone resolutions on a 5 if you need to. This is a problem compared to the huge range of Android screen sized and DPIs?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Plus, Apple are very busy alienating developers...

Wrong, I develop for both iOS and Android.

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Re: Plus, Apple are very busy alienating developers...

screenWidth = whateverHandler.screenWidth

screenHeight = whateverHandler.screenHeight

unitWidth = arbitrary_number

unitHeight = arbitrary_number

scaleWidth = screenWidth / unitWidth

scaleHeight = screenHeight / unitHeight

function coordScale(xPos, yPos){

return [xPos * scaleWidth, yPos * scaleHeight]

}

No I'm not a phone developer, but is the above pseudocode really that hard?

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Re: Plus, Apple are very busy alienating developers...

"is the above pseudocode really that hard?"

No, but how does all the changes in screen size affect your UI? Layouts/proportions all change, especially with the longer iphone 5 screen - its not just a case of specifying different pixel dimensions...

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Re: Plus, Apple are very busy alienating developers...

>No I'm not a phone developer, but is the above pseudocode really that hard?

No not hard at all, but it barely scratches the surface of the requirements for different screen sizes. You also have to consider image scaling and font sizing. Also your pseudo code is going to add a lot of 'interesting' aspect issues...

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Plus, Apple are very busy alienating developers...

It was just a quick 30 second back-of-a-<textarea> sketch. I know it's a little more complex than that, but for particularly games that run full-screen and don't use the built-in UI widgets, it's not much more complex. The idea is that you never use px values. Use an arbitrary unit of your own definition (let's say millimetres, em-spaces, linguines or dragonlengths) and then define how many pixels that means later, when you can get the current device's screen height and width.

As for stuff that uses the UI widgets, well I think someone already mentioned Apple having a smart re-flow tool. As for Android, the page at http://developer.android.com/guide/practices/screens_support.html shows this is a done deal and something that's quite comprehensively explained. Basically the answer to how you support many screen sizes is "you don't have to, it scales itself, but here's some methods to make it look even nicer."

Also hm, this thing has stopped understanding hypertext. <i>Well foo.</i>

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fanbois get burned

So you're an Apple fanboi. You want the latest and the best. So back in June 2007 you bought an iPhone on a 30 month contract (otherwise you couldn't have afforded it.) A year later you had an obsolete device. That wasn't cool, but you were an early adopter. "yes", you said, "this is an old phone; it was one of the first batch in the country."

Then along comes December 2009, Finally you could ditch the old tech and buy the new 3GS that everyone had been waving in your face for the last six months. Another 30 month contract, and six months later the new iPhone 4 comes out, and you have to start explaining that it isn't an ancient iPhone 3, it's a 3GS, which is nearly as cool as a 4. At least the 4S was late and a disappointment, but you're still two generations behind.

Finally it's June 2012, and you rush out an get a 4S on another long contract. But a mere three months later Apple release the 5, and it is obviously a new phone. No mere slimming down and bezel detailing on this one, the thing is much longer and instantly recognisable. Your old 4S immediately looks like a fossil, even to you.

And then some survey git stops you in the street and asks you if your next phone will be an iPhone.

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Obviously not much of a "fanboi"…

If you don't know (based on past cycles and rumours) when the new ones are out…

There is nothing FORCING people to upgrade the moment their contract ends; if you were coming out of multi-year contract in June 2012, more-fool-you if you didn't have the patience to wait for the updated phone that (on past cycles) would be released in 3 months.

In the EU there is a maximum of a 24 month contract on phones.

Why is the device obsolete when a new one is released, does it suddenly stop working? Does is stop getting updates?

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Stop

Re: fanbois get burned

30 month contract?!?

I have a hard limit at 18 months and prefer 12. If I can't afford the phone I want on an 18 month contract at a monthly price I want to pay, I don't get the phone. 30 months is an insane amount of time to sign up to a phone contract for. Surely you must be in the US?

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Re: Obviously not much of a "fanboi"…

"Why is the device obsolete when a new one is released, does it suddenly stop working?"

No, but if you had read his post properly you'd understand he was saying its less cool (and therefore of less value) when it isn't the latest and greatest, especially when you're talking Apple.

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I think Apple's glory days may be over unless...

they can come up with something new and different. A "must have" new product. As with the original iPhone or the iPad.

I'm no Apple fanboi and I only got my 3GS a few years ago purely because the Ordinance Survey map app I wanted was only available on iOS at the time. I must say that it has been a really good piece of kit (apart from the battery life).

I only decided to replace it because my daughter's phone was on its last legs and her MP3 player had died.

When I looked at the iPhone 5, I just wasn't that impressed. I mean it looks nice and I'm sure it performs well, but would have cost me a fair bit extra on my contract for doing more or less exactly what my old phone did, just a bit quicker.

In the end I got a 4GS. Hardly any difference in spec from the 5, and less money a month on my contract.

Apple need to be careful and not rest on their laurels. I'm thinking of another fruit based company who had a "must have" mobile product a little while back.

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Megaphone

Re: I think Apple's glory days may be over unless...

Nail on the head opinion for me. The 3GS > 4 jump was serious business and got me buying as I didn't understand Apple's hesistancy in hardware tech with previous generations. However, the 4/4S > 5 doesn't really mean much. Yes, the screen is taller, the software is par now as Maps has been destroyed and didn't really add anything new technology wise (NFC etc).

Maybe we're all too demanding on the smartphone stakes. There's only so much technology out there ready for consumer consumption.

iOS is still light years ahead in UI experience, so much decision to go to the iP5 will be based on that purely. I may give the Nokia 920 a go. Android is dead for me (won't touch it with a barge pole) and RIM is the only other option if they can pull out a miracle magic trick with BB10.

Maybe the future is no smartphone and we allow a small device to connect to the mobile network and then refeed the audio through 7" tablets/bluetooth?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I think Apple's glory days may be over unless...

I don't really think they are resting on their laurels - they managed a larger phone that was lighter and thinner and to upgrade the OS at the same time. You have to look at any phone and the next one will always be a fairly minor upgrade - twice the CPU (so), higher res screen (so) etc. But the whole user experience (unless you are in the re-flasher club) is far superior on iOS.

The only Android devices I would use would be standard distributions without all the manufacturer cr@p - you just end up with a disjointed experience and the security issues with Android are enough to scare normal users if they really understood it.

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" for doing more or less exactly what my old phone did, just a bit quicker."

Isn't that the case with any new phone?

An extra bell or whistle but basically doing more or less exactly what my old phone did, just a bit quicker.

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Re: I think Apple's glory days may be over unless...

The original iphone was not a must have product - sales were poor, the entire platform sold less than one single symbian model from Nokia. It was only since iphone 4 that sales have risen to be reasonable (though still way behind Android, and 3rd place behind Samsung and Nokia).

The ipad was never a must have product. Most people don't have one. It's just that it got vast amounts of free advertising from the media, even before it was announced.

The glory days have more been in the way that the vocal minority and the media have given them so much hype - and I agree, it is looking increasingly laughable as other platforms move so far in front of them, in both performance and sales.

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Re: I think Apple's glory days may be over unless...

"iOS is still light years ahead in UI experience"

Did you finally get copy/paste?

"Maybe the future is no smartphone and we allow a small device to connect to the mobile network and then refeed the audio through 7" tablets/bluetooth?"

I fit that 7" device in my pocket how?

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Re: I think Apple's glory days may be over unless...

"I don't really think they are resting on their laurels - they managed a larger phone that was lighter and thinner and to upgrade the OS at the same time. "

You mean like Samsung, LG, HTC et al are doing every *6 months* or so?

Sure the iPhone 5 has a taller screen and is thinner, but compared to the competition they are barely treading water development-wise.

To be fair though, that is fairly standard for Apple - look at OSX - there's been nothing beyond incremental development for probably a decade now...

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Re: I think Apple's glory days may be over unless...

"The ipad was never a must have product. Most people don't have one. It's just that it got vast amounts of free advertising from the media, even before it was announced."

And when it was announced all those said media companies released paid apps for the ipad - funny that!

Media companies saw it as a way to charge for internet content, that's why they were promoting it for all they are worth (and still are...)

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Silly question

But what are the retention numbers for the rest of the marketplace? What percentage of Samsung or HTC owners for example intend sticking with the brand next time? Without that context you can't say a lot about these numbers (and be honest, your average member of the public couldn't give two hoots over who is suing whom when it comes to choosing their kit).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Silly question

Nokia used to have a legendary loyalty rating. More or less zero now. I haven't researched it lately, but it is one of the numbers that predated Nokia's fall from the heights. Just saying ...

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Stop

Re: Silly question

But Nokia's reduced retention rate could be compared to the rest of the market (their's went down, others went up), this lacks any context still.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Silly question

The current situation with the Nokia 920 exclusive will send it into negative figures.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Silly question

Retention / loyalty for the rest of the market will be far lower. Who would buy a Samsung if Asus / HTC / anyone came out with a better Android - oh or for that matter Motorola.

If I were an Android handset maker I would be very worried about Motorola - Google will want to get their moneys worth out of it and when people like Amazon strip Android bare it's not helping Google!

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Re: Silly question

There's also the question of what proportion of Android users are considering moving to a different OS (shocking though the thought may be to many of the comentards around here, but not everyone likes it).

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Re: Silly question

You'd want to compare by platform, not manufacturer. Consider, I have the Galaxy Nexus, and with the amazing Nexus 4 announcement, I may stick with a Nexus phone when I upgrade. But hang on, the Nexus phones are now made by LG - so you're saying I'm disloyal, even though I've stuck with the Google Nexus phones?

More generally, the problem with comparing loyalty is that it simply punishes companies that are similar. Consider if 90% of people like companies A and B, but switch evenly between A and B. Meanwhile, company C has 10% share, who are loyal to them.

So companies A and B have loyalty 50%, whilst C has 100%. But it is ludicrous to imply that C is more popular! It isn't, by far. Nor does it mean that C will become more popular - in my example, all three companies are stable.

Consider a modification: C now has 90% loyalty, with 10% moving evenly to A or B. So now, A and B will rise in popularity, whilst C is falling, despite it having higher loyalty!

So that's why even a seemingly high figure of 75% is devastating for the iphone platform. Looking at the loyalty of other companies doesn't tell us the full picture, as changes there may just be people shifting between different Android manufacturers.

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Re: Silly question

That fall that still leaves them as number two, second only to Samsung, and way outselling Apple...

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Re: Silly question

"There's also the question of what proportion of Android users are considering moving to a different OS"

I think that would be fairly low *right now* because the real alternative is iOS, and that doesn't have any new features that would tempt people to change.

Different story if Apple come up with something new and ground breaking, but right now if you chose Android over iOS in the past, there's not really any new iOS features to make you reconsider.

Of course if you hate Android you wouldn't have one in the first place...

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Stop

Re: Silly question

I hate to break this to you, but most people are more interested in available software and ease of use than new features. Having spent a couple of years on contract with a slow, laggy, hard to set up Android phones, with an app store full of dubious software then there are many people who are prepared to look at Apple devices as a possible replacement.

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xyz
FAIL

It's the current adverts (and the phone)

I'm a flat out Apple hater, and as the people above have noted the new phone is just the same old pants given an ironing from a presentation perspective. However the one thing that is stand out a sales killer is the new adverts from Apple. Their target customer appears to be some loser middle aged daddy in brown slacks with a "cool" lobotomy. Maybe they're going for a new market segment the way webuyanycar did or tracking an aging customer base like porsche did, but the upshot in any event is that those ads are so uncool, if I had an iPhone, I'd bury it at midnight.....say "cheeeeeeeeeeese"...ghastly. If they took a panorama shot of a beach party and then showed the photo applied to a surfboard they'd make a packet. A pack of rugrats in costume in a picture frame on a wall just reeks of Mr. Average and his boring missus.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's the current adverts (and the phone)

Having read a "BMW Magazine" at lunchtime while I waited for my car MOT to be done I saw plenty of premium products listed in there. This is the market they target, higher income bracket as they know all too well that people who have a lot of money and care about their image want premium brands.

Personally I've tended to buy what does the job and what is a cut above. That used to be the iPhone for me but no longer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's the current adverts (and the phone)

"This is the market they target, higher income bracket as they know all too well that people who have a lot of money and care about their image want premium brands."

The very same people who do not realise that their image is tarnished by being seen with an underwhelming limited feature phone such as iPhone.

Its dead, get over it! Move on, nothing worth seeing.

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Thumb Up

Loyalty

The idea of loyalty to a nobile phone (of any brand) is laughable to me.

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Mushroom

Re: Loyalty

*mobile - damnable sausage fingers!

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Joke

Re: Loyalty

.. or a nubile one for that matter

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A generous interpretation of Forstall's departure

is that Cook realises iOS badly needs some new shiny, and new shiny wasn't going to happen while Forstall was in charge.

A less generous interpretation is that there was too much board-level ego wank from everyone and Forstall got pushed through the window because of personality clashes.

iOS 7 will make or break the iPhone. If it doesn't give the fanbois some good reasons to start feeling special again, there's going to a stampede towards Samsung.

Right now I'm not seeing evidence of likely change, because Cook isn't an innovator - or at least, he thinks smaller+thinner+retina equals innovation, when obviously it doesn't.

Ive might be. But getting from iOS to iOS+ is a tough call, and I'm not convinced he's going to do it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: A generous interpretation of Forstall's departure

One suggestion is that the Apple board are all as rich as rich bankers and, like the bankers, now see themselves as masters of the universe who can do no wrong. Jobs was clearly driven by many insecurities. It wouldn't be the first time a successful one man business or empire was wrecked because the successors thought that they had all this power through their own merits. See Gibbon, for one, for details.

However, Google have just made a 4.7 inch 1280 by 720 screen practically the entry level - just over £200 sim free - and this must surely create market ripples; higher performance than an iPhone for the 90+ percent that won't be getting LTE for a long while, at half the price. And there are interesting new market entrants - Huawei, Lenovo, and Asus - doing things differently. Competition in the Android world will be really hotting up. Galaxy Note 2? Padfone 2? Nexus 4 plus Nexus 7? These are all machines with USPs that should outlast and outperform the current iPhones, and all Google and its partners have to do is to focus on software because the hardware is already ahead.

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Re: A generous interpretation of Forstall's departure

> One suggestion is that the Apple board are all as rich as rich bankers and, like the bankers, now see themselves as masters of the universe who can do no wrong. Jobs was clearly driven by many insecurities. It wouldn't be the first time a successful one man business or empire was wrecked because the successors thought that they had all this power through their own merits. See Gibbon, for one, for details.

Well, it would be Apple without Jobs like before in the late 80s/early 90s. No direction and thinking their success would be enough to steer them though. Luckily, they have people like Ive who has the same passion/drive as Jobs. If he ever left, you'd know Apple would be up crap street. He'd be perfect to lead Apple but maybe there's too much power mongering going on at Apple now we're outside the year since Jobs left window. Whether these products were the last of Jobs' imagination (we knew that that he had signed off certain devices / projects just before he died), we'll see next time around.

> However, Google have just made a 4.7 inch 1280 by 720 screen practically the entry level - just over £200 sim free - and this must surely create market ripples; higher performance than an iPhone for the 90+ percent that won't be getting LTE for a long while, at half the price. And there are interesting new market entrants - Huawei, Lenovo, and Asus - doing things differently. Competition in the Android world will be really hotting up. Galaxy Note 2? Padfone 2? Nexus 4 plus Nexus 7? These are all machines with USPs that should outlast and outperform the current iPhones, and all Google and its partners have to do is to focus on software because the hardware is already ahead.

You can continue to utter out gibberish. There's reasons why Apple products are above everyone else. That's because they're valued as a premium product and produced as premium products. Android products can offer all budget alternatives as they want, but none of them ever last in the hands of their owner and never keep their value. I'll say this again, it's not all about who has the biggest spec numbers. I know that means much more to fandroids than anything else, but means diddly squat on how the phone works when you're all secretly complaining about things that you'll gladly put up with because it isn't anything else but Android.

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Silver badge
Gimp

Re: A generous interpretation of Forstall's departure

You are totally misguided. If I saw an ipad/iphone on ebay for only £5 I still would not buy it. Apple have always sold underpowered/overpriced equipment that does not use standard connectors.

FFS the ipad does not even have USB port or card reader, you can't get itunes in my local pub you know. So sharing a few photos is not possible. That is a f*ing big FAIL

Also the resale value of all mobile devices is likely to be very low because there will be millions of them.

If you want to be in a cult and never have to think for yourself then join the moonies. Good luck with that!

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Re: A generous interpretation of Forstall's departure

"when you're all secretly complaining about things that you'll gladly put up with because it isn't anything else but Android."

You mean like putting up with a maps app that can't find places, and listed a place called Berlin in Antarctica?

Oh, wait...

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Anonymous Coward

Pricer is higher, it delivers less and the quality is worse. It's far from being the fresh innovative product it was in 2007.

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Paris Hilton

AC @31st October 2012 14:57 GMT Anonymous Coward

Delivers less?

Talk about blinded by hate/ignorance/stupidity

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Joke

Could it be...

... because Siri recommended that the Lumia 800 was better?

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Boffin

RE: sticking with the brand next time

surely it depends what the manufacturer has available at the time. I thought I'd get another HTC after 3 years of ownership. I saw the Samsung Galaxy Note II and what it could do so I bought that last week. One thing is clear: it won't be an Apple device

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