Short answer re: the new iPhone

Gizmodo asks why Apple (maybe) wants to make a new iPhone with a 5″ screen. The problem seems to be that most open-format systems have a dozen combinations of screen size, aspect ratio, total resolution, device capability etc, and all of this complexity gives developers fits. Apple has (for the most part) one screen ratio and a small but growing number of options for total resolution. This makes it much easier to write an app that will work on the broadest number of devices.

For example, to simplify compatibility the iPad mini has the exact same pixel number and screen ratio of the iPad 2, it just compresses them into a smaller space. Even so the mini has pixels that are rather too large, at about 160 pixels per inch, to qualify for Apple’s 260-ish ‘retina’ hi-res standard. On a lark I jotted some numbers down and figured that if Apple made a ‘retina’ device with the same total pixels and aspect ratio as the iPad2/mini, it would measure about five inches diagonal. Voila, you have a brand new device in a new niche for which developers don’t have to write a single line of code. Within reason of course; some apps with little buttons would need a very pointy styulus. A smart move on Apple’s part IMO. However, I would caution that micro-niching makes it more and more likely that someone will walk into an Apple store, get overwhelmed with the options and leave.






157 replies
  1. 1
    West Oakland original says:

    More than likely Ashton Kutcher’s new movie will do more to put people off their feed than anything the company itself could screw up.

  2. 2
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    And my experience as GUI developer tells me that having the same number of pixels in a smaller area just means that it’ll be even harder to read that small icon because the same amount of display information will be in a much smaller size. You can’t just shrink down an application and have it magically be the same experience for the user.

    I know a number of people who liked the Galaxy Note because it was big enough to write on, yet just small enough to fit in a purse or pocket. If it had been bigger, it would have been too big.

    My two observations:
    1. Apple’s losing market share to all of these different Android devices that are filling particular customers demands.
    2. With Jobs gone, the joke around my house is that the display is the only thing any successor would know how to change. And so far, the joke has been proven right. I’m not the only one: One of the shows on cartoon network had the iPhone34, which was the size of a door.

  3. 3
    Maude says:

    I’m overwhelmed at the post, never mind walking into and Apple store.

  4. 4
    Roger Moore says:

    Apple’s problem is that they’ve moved into the space between two sweet spots in compatibility. One sweet spot is the single target sweet spot they were originally trying to achieve, where there’s just one size and shape of screen so every developer knows exactly what to target. The other is the massive diversity sweet spot where Android is (and where desktop systems are), where developers have to plan for very different screens on different devices, but users get tons of choice. Apple is halfway between, with too many screen sizes (and now shapes) to make life easy for developers but without enough choice to please users.

  5. 5
    Maude says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):
    I almost dropped someone’s ipad once. It was slippery. My Nook, I don’t drop it. It has a soft case.

  6. 6
    WaterGirl says:

    I have trouble shopping at TJ Maxx, even though I like their stuff, because it’s just overwhelming.

    And don’t even talk to me about IKEA. My niece took me to an IKEA store near chicago, and as we walked around I just kept muttering “wow” as we walked through the store. It was like I was shell-shocked.

    My niece was shocked. For the first time, maybe ever, on a shopping trip, I bought nothing. Way too much stuff for me.

  7. 7
    roc says:

    Non-retina iOS devices are transitional items. (Maybe a non-retina Mini sticks around another year, but I doubt it.) So even with a 5″ phone all Apple would be pitching is non-phones in three form factors (4, 7, 10) and phones in two (4, 5).

    Given that people typically know whether they want a phone or not at the outset, Apple’s got plenty of room before people get confused.

  8. 8
    Roger Moore says:

    @roc:
    You’re leaving out questions about color and memory, which complicate matters. And Apple usually keeps selling devices that are one generation older to keep a lower cost alternative. You’ll wind up with maybe 10-20 permutations per device class, which is enough to start confusing people. It’s certainly not as bad as the situation with Android, but it’s moving away from the original simplicity that Apple prizes.

  9. 9
    Zifnab25 says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    You can’t just shrink down an application and have it magically be the same experience for the user.

    True. But scaling an interface up and down is comparatively simple when the ratios are all the same. I’ll happily take any advantage Apple wants to give me.

  10. 10
    catclub says:

    @Maude: “My Nook, I don’t drop it.”

    That word always brings the word nookie to mind. Something one does not drop, indeed.

  11. 11
    J R in W Va says:

    I just want 2 cell phones, with no gimmicks or extra charges, for less than $110 a month for the two of us.

    CAN’T be DONE!! Argh. Verizon is the only network where I need it the most, too.

  12. 12
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    With Jobs gone, the joke around my house is that the display is the only thing any successor would know how to change.

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): My stepfather’s a developer, he thinks they’re going to be OK and bought a lot of stock to prove it. I think he just flushed a lot of money down the toilet. Like my iPhone, but the next one’s going to be an Android.

    Apple’s lost in the woods. I don’t see them finding their way out, either. The whole company was his and Woz’s vision from the get-go, Jobs ain’t comin’ back and Woz has better things to do with his life.

  13. 13
    West Oakland original says:

    I don’t really trust gizmodo when it comes to Apple anyway. Stealing a prototype them acting surprised when the owner calls the cops isn’t exactly what I’d call exemplary journalism.

  14. 14
    Brachiator says:

    This makes it much easier to write an app that will work on the broadest number of devices.

    Here’s Apple’s dilemma. It ain’t about technology or pixels. People like a larger screen. It’s pretty. It’s mo better pretty than a smaller screen.

    And just as smartphones have become cameras, smart phones are also more elaborate GPS systems. People like a bigger screen for map info.

    But I don’t know if Apple needs to mimic Samsung and come out with devices in every conceivable size to be successful. They have to respond to the Samsung challenge, but that doesn’t mean that they have to duplicate everything that they do.

  15. 15
    👽 Martin says:

    I don’t think Apple will do a 5″ phone. The 5″ phones aren’t driving the mass acceptance of Android. It’s the cheap-ass 3.5″ phones running old versions of Android doing that. The 5″ devices basically launched to solve a different problem – the 4G baseband required so much power that they needed larger batteries, and one way to mask the larger battery was to sell it with a larger screen. I think the 5″/pen phones will be a profitable niche, but not a market large enough for Apple’s attention.

    Apple needs to add a high-resolution digitizer to the iPad and iPad Mini. The market for pen input on tablets is huge, and Apple is missing it.

    @Roger Moore: But the color and storage don’t affect the general functionality of the device. That is, they don’t enable/prevent you from doing anything with the device, so they aren’t decision points on what device to get, rather once you settle on the device, you get this low-impact set of choices to make. That’s one benefit of Apple’s decision to let the case makers take care of all of the color/pattern issues – you can walk out with your phone and make that decision another day without risk. But those lower-impact decisions tend to not cause the consumer to defer their choice until they get more info. In terms of locking into a purchasing decision, customers are only facing functional decisions on 3 phones (4, 4S, 5) and 4 tablets (Mini, Mini+4G, iPad, iPad+4G). That’s reasonable.

    I think Apple will likely split the phone in other ways, though, with a low-cost version (not with a larger screen) and the current one, and maybe only keep the previous year model in the lineup, so replacing the 3 models with 4. For all the progress Apple is making in the subsidized market, they’re having very mixed results in pre-pay. They need a $300 or so handset. They can easily design one to their standards for that price, the the problem is how they position it in the market.

  16. 16
    Maude says:

    @catclub:
    Yeah, I like the name Nook and I thought of that too. Never drop that.

    @WaterGirl:
    I hate shopping. I went to Kohls last fall and left feeling sick. There was so much on display. I didn’t buy anything. The next time I went, with the $10 off card, I got a watch for using at the supermarket because I take the bus and a change purse.
    Worse is Bed, Bath and Beyond. Went in there to get a pillow. They had Godiva chocolate and all other kinds of things. It was stupefying.

  17. 17
    trollhattan says:

    @West Oakland original:

    But that’s not what happened.

    Nevertheless, I don’t give a hoot, or a well-crafted dump, what plans Apple has for their next eleventy phones, much less fret over what they might do.

  18. 18
    Maude says:

    @👽 Martin:
    They are going to have to come in at $199 or lower for emerging markets. They are on the losing end now. You can only do something like iphone and ipad for so long.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    kdaug says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Ditto’d on both points.

    Further – this is the exact same mistake (closed ecosystem, etc) that Apple made the first time Jobs left/got fired. By the time of his triumphant return from Pixar, Apple had damn near been killed by MS. They haven’t learned anything, and Jobs ain’t coming back this time.

    Apple will die by committee.

  21. 21
    Luna Sea says:

    I have to find the best device(s) for caregivers to send reports on patients, whether that’s a smart phone or tablet, Apple or Android. To say I’m overwhelmed when looking at all the options and possibilities/limitations doesn’t even come close. Suggestions are welcome….

  22. 22
    poco says:

    I have to buy a new MacBook Pro (slightly OT) and I am your basic luddite–any suggestions would be most welcome.

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    And just as smartphones have become cameras, smart phones are also more elaborate GPS systems.

    They’ve also replaced paper prints in your wallet as the best way of displaying your pictures, which makes a big screen very helpful. Of course a tablet is even better.

  24. 24
    kdaug says:

    @Roger Moore: But it’s a closed loop. I’m old enough to have made games that we didn’t bother to port to Macs – 10% market share, curated front-end hoops, re-coding – where’s the upside for a dev?

    Screw it. Apple’s done this before, and it’s doing it again.

    Your own private Idaho is cool if you’re the only kid on the block. And this was totally Jobs’ schtick. But if you stop being the trailblazer and are just iterating on your last best thing, you’ve given up the market and everyone will just move on.

  25. 25
    srv says:

    @poco: You probably don’t need a pro if you’re a luddite. An Air is enough. Airs with retinas probably will arrive this year.

    Love my 13″ Retina, but it’s too pricey for most.

  26. 26
    Arm The Homeless says:

    I would consider an Apple product if they made it as easy to get homebrewed software on thier hardware as Android does. The ability to tailor your experience to what you want and need, without being forced to take the bloat is the biggest selling point, even if Apple does have a better looking screen.

  27. 27
    👽 Martin says:

    @Brachiator:

    Here’s Apple’s dilemma. It ain’t about technology or pixels. People like a larger screen. It’s pretty. It’s mo better pretty than a smaller screen.

    You can’t really isolate the screen as the main variable here, though, because the 5″ screens didn’t come in isolation. There are 4 other variables that are coming along for the ride. with 5″ screens we also got:

    1) LTE. There are almost no <5" LTE Android phones out there.
    2) Pen input.
    3) Android 4.1/4.2
    4) Samsung dominance among Android OEMs

    Are consumers buying the 5" phones to get the bigger screen, or to get Android 4.1? Or to get LTE? Or the pen input? And Samsung is dumping 10s of billions of dollars in incentives behind these devices, so retailers are pushing them hard over other devices.

    The reality is that there aren't any seemingly modern 4.1 Android phones in a 4" form factor. For last quarter, the iPhone outsold Android in the US, and Apple sold more phones than Samsung (including feature phones) for the first time. Maybe 4"+LTE is the magic combination? We can't really tell. Sure, there's a market for 5" phones, but put out 4" Android phones with otherwise the same specs, what would consumers choose? We don't know.

    Chasing only larger screens is a dangerous game and OEMs seem to be realizing it. Seriously, when you’re marketing a small phone companion to your large phone, so you don’t need to be bothered hauling out the large phone, you’ve gone too far.

  28. 28
    Calouste says:

    It really is a structural problem with iOS I think, not being able to scale properly to apps to anything but 1024×768 or multiples of that.

    I have a Surface (I work for Microsoft) and apps scale between 1366×768 (full screen) and 1024×768 (with a second app snapped on the side) on the same device. And the same apps scale to 1680×1050 on my desktop running Windows 8 as well.

    Although considering that Apple makes their own hardware, I don’t think they have really painted themselves in a corner, and in any case, Apple has never cared that much about backward compatibility, so if they would decide to drop strict adherence to the 4:3 ratio, old apps would just stop displaying properly.

  29. 29
    efroh says:

    I have a Galaxy note 2 and I will never go back to anything smaller. It’s 5.5 inch screen is the perfect size for me – large enough to actually get work done without the bulk and weight of a full-size or half-size tablet.

  30. 30
    srv says:

    I like it when all these geeks rant about closed and open as though 99% of the populace gives a rat fart.

    Samsung should just start making parachute pants again so people can fit their phone in their pockets.

  31. 31
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    If computer history has taught us anything, it’s that people will be happy with the same resolution forever.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:

    @👽 Martin:

    But the color and storage don’t affect the general functionality of the device.

    Color obviously not, but the storage affects the price point dramatically. People are left wondering if they should get an older generation device with more memory or a newer device with less. And with multiple sizes, that question comes up even more, since there’s more price overlap. Those are the choices that people hate the most, because they involve deciding between different kinds of functionality. That’s especially true of new buyers, who really don’t know how important a big screen is relative to extra memory.

    When you throw that kind of choice at people, some of them will just give up and go elsewhere so they don’t have to think about it. That was always a big selling point of Apple’s one-size-fits-all approach. People who just want something that works don’t want to spend a bunch of time fighting with options lists, and Apple was really good at paring down the choices so they just had to make a few simple ones. Expanding their offerings undermines that simplicity.

  33. 33
    👽 Martin says:

    @Maude:

    They are on the losing end now.

    Losing end of what? They outsold all Android phones (combined) in the US last quarter, and outsold Samsung (including feature phones) for the first time. Sales in China continue to climb rapidly. They’re incredibly profitable. Until their sales start to drop (which they aren’t) they aren’t on the losing end of anything.

    The growth in Android devices has been at the low end, and mostly with 3rd tier brands like ZTE and the like. This isn’t hurting Apple, but it’s killing everyone not named Samsung. And it’s not helping Google because most of these devices carry no Google services on them – not unlike the Amazon products.

    Apple is taking home most of the money here, so from a platform perspective, they’re winning. Samsung is taking home most of what’s left, and if Google isn’t careful, Samsung is going to fork Android like Amazon did and just go home. Google just made some moves to try and prevent that, but I don’t think it’s going to stop them. The Android platform is doing okay, but relative to how many units they’re selling, it should be doing a lot better – yet it’s not. iOS remains the platform to develop for and to market to and that’s not changing. That’s where the money is for developers and accessory makers and that’s what is keeping the platform attractive for consumers. In the tablet space Apple has lost some sales, but only because Google and Amazon are willing to sell at cost. They can’t maintain that indefinitely and keep up with Apple. Eventually they’re going to have to bring their prices more in line with Apple or fall behind. Apple is the only company with enough cash to go loss-leader for an extended period, and they’ll never do it.

  34. 34
    Tim F. says:

    @Arm The Homeless: The opposite for me. It wastes my time to do extensive due diligence on every app to make sure it does not have malware and won’t break something. Give me a walled garden any day as long as 1) the garden has nice stuff in it, which iOS does (THOUGH I WOULD LOVE TO USE FUCKING SUPERSCRIPT, APPLE), and 2) the wall keeps malware out. Most people are not tech heads and have near zero interest in trading security/reliability for flexibility.

  35. 35
    Maude says:

    @Luna Sea:
    Have a look at Nexus 7 and Nook HD. They are tablets.
    Come back in any thread and ask about them.
    Steep loves his Nexus 7.

  36. 36
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @👽 Martin: How big is the Nexus phone.

  37. 37
    some guy says:

    the Note2 is the bomb. photo album, GPS navigation device, notes for my students, Google Play, and camera.

    and it makes calls, too.

  38. 38
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @srv: Its all just farts in the wind until we start mass producing flexible screens woven into our clothes that can be easily washed at home. In fifty years, the idea that you would carry any piece of hardware in a pocket will be laughed at.

  39. 39
    👽 Martin says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Color obviously not, but the storage affects the price point dramatically

    Storage doesn’t affect the functionality. Everything you can do on a 64GB iPhone you can do on a 16GB one. It’s still a secondary consideration. But there are things you can do on an iPad you can’t do on an iPhone and v/v. And that’s also true from the iPhone 5 to the 4S to the 4. Storage doesn’t carry a feature list. You just pick the storage that matches your price point and go. Apple doesn’t force you to decide between storage and screen size or 4G or whatever, which is the decision you may face with other brands. The only cost to more storage is money out of pocket. You aren’t forced to get a pen or a bigger model or whatever. It’s a very simple choice.

  40. 40
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Tim F.: Absolutely, and that’s why I ignore the OS flame wars. I want to be able to engage in trial and error, Android makes it very easy to faux brick a device and then learn a lesson.

    My mom OTOH just wants it to work when she wants to surf or find something on Netflix. I want those options left open, which is why I love to see the debates. It keeps everyone in the coding community aware of the arguments for and against any change proposed to how a piece of software might be designed.

  41. 41
    srv says:

    @Tim F.: Google has a chrome check tapatalk popup whenever I browse news.google.com on my ipad. It pops up right over the search field.

    Let’s see, download all those google apps… or just stop using google sites…

    I wish Apple would go all in on a youtube competitor. Content isn’t king, recent content is king.

  42. 42
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    The new Android business model of selling unlocked Nexus phones for $350 or less is about to turn the entire market on its head.

    Huawei and ZTC are also moving in this direction. My friend bought a phone with a dual core 1.2ghz processor android 4.0 device on the streets of China for less than $150 US. When this technology fully becomes a commodity, the major players will have some scrambling to do. Apple included. A bigger screen or more GBs isn’t going to cut the mustard forever, and Mr. Stock Market is already seeing the writing on the wall (witness Apple down 38% in the last 3 months).

  43. 43
    poco says:

    @srv: Well, I am using a Pro right now (courtesy of my employer) and I really like it. Have to return it to the employer, hence I need a replacement. This one is 3-4 years old–so I was wondering if there is something new out there that would be good–if I am making an investment of $1600-2000, I’d like some information about it.

  44. 44
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Maude: I luuuuurve my Nexus 7. It has basically replaced my desktop for everything except running STELLA models.

    Now if only I could find a multi-language translator with voice recognition and offline capabilities.

  45. 45
    Raven says:

    What’s the difference between the price and the price point?

  46. 46
    kdaug says:

    @👽 Martin:

    iOS remains the platform to develop for and to market to and that’s not changing.

    Wrong.

    Next question.

  47. 47
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Raven: How did your tamales turn out? Also, recipe, please.

  48. 48
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @poco: Are you wed to the Apple brand? If not, Lenovo has some really nice designs and a good feature set. Their ultrabooks IMHO are some of the best on the market aside from the more boutique gaming rigs.

  49. 49
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I wish Apple would go all in on a youtube competitor.

    @srv: It was a stratagem that worked so well for them with Maps, after all.

  50. 50
    Maude says:

    @👽 Martin:
    They don’t have new little device on the drawing board. The problem is Android devices that work well will sell.
    Look at the court battles with Samsung. Samsung has been gaining on Apple and will continue to do so.
    Apple has severe proprietary apps syndrome. It is a locked in system. That’s fine as far as it goes. The price for their devices is high. They won’t pay those prices in Indonesia, for example.
    Oh, and to make my point about Apple not being smart, Apple Maps. Stupid, stupid. That cost them a hit on their reputation of being tech savvy.
    Things change.

  51. 51
    Roger Moore says:

    @Tim F.:
    I understand the benefits of the walled garden approach. To me, the biggest advantage of Android’s ability to install third-party apps isn’t so much that you can break out of the walled garden as it is that you can pick a different gatekeeper if you don’t like the job Google is doing. There are alternative app stores available, most notably Amazon’s.

  52. 52
    Maude says:

    @Arm The Homeless:
    I have a refurb Lenovo and I love it. It’s my tank laptop.

  53. 53
    West Oakland original says:

    @Arm The Homeless: is there a problem with installing the developer’s kit, or do you think you deserve your own set of rules so that some other special flower can side load executables and start the next smartphone virus going?

  54. 54
    👽 Martin says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): 4.7″ but no LTE or pen input. It’s hard to say what sales might be as they’re supply constrained. Google has sold ~500,000 of them in 3 months. That’s not nothing, but it’s 10% of the iPhone 5 opening weekend sales. It’s ¼ of Apple’s China opening weekend sales – and they’re supposed to be the price-conscious market.

    People believe that flagship Android phones sell way better than they actually do, and believe that iPhones sell much worse than they actually do. Consider that 50% of Verizon’s smartphone activations last quarter were iPhone 5s. Another 15% were 4Ss. And Verizon owns the Droid brand, which made up less than ⅓ of their activations. iPhone was almost 85% of AT&T smartphone activations.

    There are a lot of Android phones being sold in India and Africa, but they aren’t buying many apps there, and they aren’t 5″ Galaxy IIIs. They’re $100 (or less) wholesale branded phones running Android 2.2 or 2.3.

  55. 55
    RareSanity says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    4.7″, 1280 x 768 resolution, 320 ppi…I have one and I freaking love it! $349 out the door from Google, unlocked, no contract, went right to T-Mobile and exchanged my mini-SIM for a micro-SIM, and I was off to the races.

    As far as Apple and different screen sizes, I agree with Brachiator. It’s not about screen sizes, pixels or resolutions…

    What is Apple’s most important advantage in the market?

    Perception…the perception that Apple products are the most advanced and well designed, for whichever category they exist.

    What has started to happen, that hurts Apple more than any technical matters, is that they are beginning to be perceived as chasing Android, rather than the other way around.

    Apple chased Android manufacturers with the larger screen on the iPhone, after telling everyone for years, “Why would you need a screen bigger than 3.5 inches. It’s silly.” Then they chased Android manufacturers again with the 7″ laptop.

    Along with Apple’s perception changing, so are some of the perceptions of Android. When I pull out my Nexus 4 around, I don’t get the eye rolls and “giggle” I got when I pulled out my G1 almost 5 years ago. I’m usually met with “Wow, that’s an Android phone? It’s really nice.” Or, “I thought all Android phones were cheap plastic, yours is all glass, really nice.”

    You should see the looks on people faces when I’m at the cash register at CVS, or last weekend at the Sports Authority, when instead of pulling out my wallet, I just touch my phone to the card swiping machine to pay what I owe.

    “How’d you do that?”, “What kind of phone is that?”

    I smile, smugly, and say…”It’s my Android Nexus 4. What, you can’t do that with your iPhone? Pity that…”

    iDevices owners cannot stand to hear that there exists something that does more than theirs. Put that in a beautiful, all glass package, and I leave many iPhone owning, green eyed monsters in my wake.

    That is Apple’s more existential problem. They are starting to lose their carefully built image. Maybe they can reclaim that assumption of superiority to all others, but it’s gonna take more than “me too” products.

  56. 56
    scav says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: I don’t think one can really say they went all-in with iMaps, except in the burning their bridges too early and not knowing enough about what they were attempting. If that’s the new definition of all-in, there will be problems.

  57. 57
    some guy says:

    2012 market share was android 61%, iOS 20%

  58. 58
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    An Air is enough.

    @srv: The Air is a sad, sad failure of what an ultrabook should be, and I paid for my wife’s and I feel it every day. Play 1080 video through it – overheats. Play 720 video through it – overheats. Hell, my Nexus does better than that. Edit video – overheats. Edit audio – overheats. Open huge .pdf file – overheats. Took it in to see if we had a bad one. Tested every single one they had in the store, same deal. It’s pretty as hell and doesn’t weigh anything, but the corollary to that is that it really can’t do that much either. It handles Google Docs and internet without exploding so the wife is happy, but if we’re editing video she’s got to go do it on my PC.

    Avoid the Air. It’s a freaking joke. The MacBook, OTOH, is pretty damn awesome.

  59. 59
    Arm The Homeless says:

    They have really surprised me with how well they transitioned after being sold by IBM. I would like to know how much of their success is due to innovation already in the IBM pipeline, or whether the Chinese are starting to come into their own on hardware design? I guess there is a third option: they stole it all

  60. 60
    👽 Martin says:

    @kdaug:

    Wrong.

    I’m persuaded by your evidence.

  61. 61
    lol says:

    @Tim F.:

    Apple sells phones to people that want a phone. Geeks get upset because they want to purchase a hobby to feel superior.

  62. 62
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    @kdaug: Only a few iOS devs are actually making money. The bottom 80% of devs make 3% of the iOS income.

    25% of all iOS devs in that study made less than $200, or less than half the cost of an iPad (entry model).

  63. 63
    Walker says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Exactly. Add to that the fact that your average developer cannot make money on the Android. The conversion rates are abysmal.

  64. 64
    Maude says:

    Alabama Hostage situation over. Child is alive, hostage taker is dead. The child turns six years old this week.

  65. 65
    West Oakland original says:

    @srv: Apple didn’t need to invent a YouTube competitor. Getting Google to change YouTube from flash to h264 was enough.

    Reading these comments is pretty funny as someone who has been in technology and the Bay Area for 25 years. You’d think some of you had never understood why Apple came back on top in the first place. ROFL.

    Android is great as a lowest common denominator. And it proves that: the majority of Android users don’t browse the web, share photos, or do much else with their phones. The fact that even today the majority of Android phones are on a four year old version of Android is proof that there are two, and maybe more distinct classes of smartphone users. Plenty of room in this new space for everyone to make money hand over fist.

    It’s also telling when the Android fans get excited about market share. Here’s some market share – iPhones – just two models – were over half of Verizon’s smartphone sales last quarter.

    The battle, such as it were, is a long, long way from over. Aside from apps, everybody’s phone can do pretty much whatever they want it to. But in the android market that means mostly texting.

  66. 66
    some guy says:

    Chinese smartphone market share, 2012

    Android: 90%
    iOS: 4.2% (down from 6% in 2011)

    clearly, Apple is kicking ass in China

  67. 67
  68. 68
    Raven says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Folks really liked them. I used Trader Joe’s coconut oil for the masa in chicken and Hatch Green chilies made in corn husks and butter in the masa for the sweet potato, black bean and Hatch ones made in banana leaves.

  69. 69
    srv says:

    @poco: I can’t speak to the non-retina pro models, but the 15″ was just too big for me. I’m a 14″ thinkpad guy. If you have 15″ now, then it is the better deal. It’ll run $2200, but you get 256GB storage. With the 13″ you get 8GB and 128GB for $1700 and storage upgrade put you up at the 15″ price point. If you’re with a big employer, you might use your badge to see if you can get a discount (usually $100).

    For the same price you could buy the old-style pro or an air and add a good display (maybe even a thunderbolt). Another option if you have an ipad is to use it as a second display.

    The reviewers all pan the 13″ retina because it’s not a super game machine like the 15″ – not my thing.

    The apple store folks are pretty good generally, you tell them what you like/want and they won’t try to rip you off. Since a lot of IT//developers prefer the Air, they wanted to save me money – but I’m all about pixel density. It’s 2013, and 95% of the new PC laptops have worse resolution/keyboards than my 5 year old tpad.

  70. 70
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Calouste: iOS started as a mobile phone OS running on hardware with limited graphics capabilities and not much CPU power so it was easier to design everything around fixed sizes, powers of 2 for preference, to fit on a single-resolution screen. Developers hardcoded stuff to fit that paradigm at the same time “real” OSes like OS/X and Windows had long since provided flexible scaling systems for text and icons on screen displays of assorted sizes.

    Fast forward a few years and tablets and phones have multi-core CPUs, gigs of RAM and graphics chips and iOS is lagging because it’s got the dead weight of its fixed-size screen size decisions dragging it down, hampering developers and making existing apps look funny on the newer devices.

  71. 71
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @West Oakland original:

    Skynet and the Cylons are going to take over eventually, why not enjoy Dolphin browser while we can?

    If you spend your life frightened that nefarious coders are going to infect your machine, perhaps you should stay in the garden, I take precautions, but I accept and mitigate the risks.

  72. 72
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Raven: I can has the chicken recipe please? You know what else coconut oil is good for? As a conditioner for your hair. Massage on to the scalp about half an hour, before you wash your hair.

  73. 73
    dr. bloor says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: if you bought an Air to do video editing, you’re just a poorly informed consumer.

  74. 74
    Raven says:

    Sounds like the standoff in Alabama is over. Footage of the cops showed them high-fiving. Hope the kid is safe.

  75. 75
    Joel says:

    Apples problem is that their old products are too good. And with telecom sucking as bad as it does, not a whole lot of room for improvement.

  76. 76
    RareSanity says:

    but no LTE

    @👽 Martin:

    Incorrect. It has not been FCC type accepted for LTE. However, LTE in Band 4 can be enabled by typing a code in phone app.

    There are many Canadians happily using LTE on the Nexus 4, and there will be many happy Americans doing the same thing when T-Mobile rolls out LTE into their respective markets.

    Google has sold ~500,000 of them in 3 months. That’s not nothing,

    That number is only because of scarcity. Google failed to anticipate the high demand for the devices, and merely did not order enough initially to meet the demand. The stock they had, all sold out within 10 minutes, in every country they went on sale in.

    There are still more iPhones sold in the US than flagship Android phones, this is true. The problem is that the US market is not the one that is growing at an exponential pace, it is the emerging markets.

    The better planned development plans for Android will begin to pay dividends in the upcoming years. There is not the same grand scale difference between Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and Android 4.2 (Jellybean), as there was from Android 1.6 (Cupcake) to Android 2.3 (Froyo).

    As once the 4.x versions of Android start to trickle down to low-cost models in the coming year or two, the “fragmentation” issue is going to be less and less significant.

    It will be more like Apple’s model with still having the 3GS available, although with significantly fewer features than the iPhone 5.

  77. 77
    lol says:

    @Tim F.:

    The walled garden is important to developers too. Piracy is a big problem on Android and even the Android owners who don’t pirate aren’t interested in paying for apps.

    If you want to get paid, you develop for iOS.

  78. 78
    Violet says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: It’s good for your skin too.

  79. 79
    chopper says:

    @RareSanity:

    yet it’s the apple fanboys who are self-righteous.

  80. 80
    West Oakland original says:

    @Arm The Homeless: glad you have time to spend on that. The malware problem on android is real, but I understand that for the convenience of a non-curated store where people sell $5.00 wallpaper and upload malware/Trojans freely is important to you, then brag about not owning an iPhone and how special you are for that.

  81. 81
    some guy says:

    dropping from 6% to 4% in China is nothing to sneeze at. when iOS is down to 2% of the Chinese market Apple can finally declare VICTORY!

  82. 82
    srv says:

    @poco: Also, the prices are ridiculous, but if you try to feature up a Thinkpad X or get a W, it’s not a lot cheaper. And the W comes with shoebox sized power supply.

  83. 83
    some guy says:

    @West Oakland original:

    anybody who thinks Google Play isn’t “curated” is smoking something pretty strong. have any extra?

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I don’t think Apple will do a 5″ phone.

    Apple will be hurting big time if they don’t do a bigger phone.

    Former Apple evangelists are abandoning the iPhone in droves. They no longer recommend it. And not even a dedicated Apple polisher like John Gruber can stem the tide.

    @Roger Moore:

    They’ve also replaced paper prints in your wallet as the best way of displaying your pictures, which makes a big screen very helpful. Of course a tablet is even better.

    Good point, although a tablet may be too big for some people.

    But the main thing is that people seem to kinda like pocketable devices with phone capability, but they have moved beyond thinking of these devices as mere smartphones. So manufacturers are going to have to think about variable sizes for variable purposes.

    ETA: I realized that smartphones are the cameras that people always have with them when I was coming home one day from my commute. Coming around the corner I saw about half a dozen people with smartphones taking photos of several peacocks that had escaped from somewhere and were preening. Some people had jumped out of their cars to take photos. Nobody had a regular camera.

  85. 85
    poco says:

    @srv: Thanks a ton. I am using a 15 inch right now, so that seems good to me. There are 2 models–high res and retina display–what is the difference between them?

  86. 86
    chopper says:

    @West Oakland original:

    indeed. i don’t want to even have to worry about malware or shit on my phone, much less have to actually be proactive about it.

    because it’s a fucking phone.

  87. 87
    Luna Sea says:

    @Maude: I have a nexus 7 myself and adore it. That’s what started the conversation on what we could use for caregivers (me and my big mouth). But what’s good for me and what’s right for business/healthcare applications, that’s a whole different ballgame. And we have a very limited budget, so definitely looking for the biggest bang for the buck. Many, many moons ago, I was part of an IT team of 20 at a law firm, with a huge budget. Now it’s just me trying to come up with the best device for my sister’s company. Decidedly more pressure to get it right, and very little ability to test out different options.

    I would love to know what kinds of business apps people are using their tablets and smartphones for these days, outside of huge corporations and big budgets. When it comes to truly using them to communicate information on a daily basis, not just emails. I can see all the potential, just not sure if all the tools are in place yet.

  88. 88
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @lol: And everyone laughs at car nuts until you need to change your PCV and don’t want to pay flag hours to get it done.

    Why would anyone put a 911engine in a Super Beatle? Becuase you can, and maybe you learn something so the next time your sisters Camry is broke you’re that much ahead of the game.

  89. 89
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    @lol: Again, the lion’s share of the profits (to the tune of 97% of the profits) are made by ~25% of the iOS devs. In a world where Android phones are outselling iOS phones 3:1, it’s getting increasingly more challenging to see iOS as a better payout longer term.

  90. 90
    some guy says:

    @lol:

    If you want to get paid, you develop for iOS.

    the misinformation and the disinformation from the Apple fanboys on this thread is stunning.

    Google (GOOG) has started showing spectacular mobile app revenue growth. According to AppAnnie, Google Play app revenue soared by about 100%, while iOS app revenue grew about 20% between the third and fourth quarters last year. Doubling sales over a three-month period is an impressive performance. Total app revenue from the iOS camp is still nearly four times the amount of revenue that Google Play generates; but if the current growth trends persist, that gap is going to narrow very soon.

    http://bgr.com/2013/02/04/andr.....edium=home

  91. 91
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @West Oakland original: Flame on douche, I could care less. Obviously some mean nerds gave you swirlies in HS, but I will be over here playing my SNES emulator while you work that out.

  92. 92
    👽 Martin says:

    @RareSanity:

    iDevices owners cannot stand to hear that there exists something that does more than theirs. Put that in a beautiful, all glass package, and I leave many iPhone owning, green eyed monsters in my wake.

    Ok, this is stupid beyond measure. There are 350 million iDevice owners. A population that exceeds that of the US. You cannot stereotype 5% of the world population in the way you are – it’s projection.

    Most people appear to buy iPhones because they are relatively hassle-free. Yes, there are fewer bells and whistles, but hitting 80% of the feature set has never been a losing proposition so long as you hit the right 80%. They are easy enough that non-technical people can generally get all the features working, easy enough to buy and install apps, and they hold up well over time.

    Of course there are devices that do more than the iPhone. And at the same time the iPhone does things that yours cannot – probably things that you don’t care about. So what? I don’t begrudge you your choice. You know, I hear a lot of Apple owners say disparaging things about Google and Samsung (and I’m among them, I dislike many of their business practices and think they’re bad for consumers) but Android owners like to say disparaging things about Apple devices owners. I think that speaks volumes. You don’t hate Apple. You hate me for owning their stuff. What’s it to you? You might as well just call me a nigger or a faggot.

  93. 93
    srv says:

    @poco: Looking at

    http://store.apple.com/us/brow.....acbook_pro

    The 15-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 1,440-by-900-pixel LED-backlit, glossy display. You can also choose a high-resolution, 1,680-by-1,050 glossy or anti-glare display that gives you 36 percent more pixels.

    Which is $100 add on on the older style, not a retina. Side-by-side, don’t know how close it gets to the retina. Might check some videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcDt-lXrSG0

    Between the old 2.6GHz and 2.3 retina, it looks like 750GB slow drive vs 256GB SSD + retina for the same price.

    I think either 15″ type gets rave reviews from what I’ve seen. My memory is the retina is a bit lighter.

    EDIT: So the retina is really 2X the lower rez (2800 x 1800 or so), but it is displayed at 1400×900 but you get 2 pixels for 1. So I guess the default res for the old style pro with “high res” display is higher than the retina… You can use higher res modes for the retina, I run in 1680×1050 mode on my 13″

  94. 94
    RareSanity says:

    yet it’s the apple fanboys who are self-righteous.

    @chopper:

    They still are. How many Apple owners still pull out the whole, “Android is for poor people” trope? Nothing I say is an attempt to make a judgement on a person based on what kind of phone they use.

    That, is why Apple fanboys (and girls) are called self-righteous. They seem to think that owning an Apple product confers upon them a higher social status, than the peasants that “can’t afford to buy an iPhone”. They can’t fathom that there could be any reason to burden oneself with anything less than an iPhone…how crass.

    So do I get feeling of enjoyment when I fracture their little bubble of condescension? Hell yes I do! However, I don’t think I’m better than they are, just because of the phone I use.

    Mind you, I know that “fanboys” are a small (but not insignificant) subset of a larger group, for anything. But, yes, I do love poking with a stick, the ones I come into contact with.

  95. 95
    Calouste says:

    @Robert Sneddon:

    Yes, fixed resolution was probably the right decision to make at the point in time Apple launched the iPhone, the question that remains is, and that can’t be answered without access to the iOS source, is how easy it will be for them to change to something scalable, and considering the control Apple has over its hardware, whether it makes that much sense for them even. On the other hand, iOS is getting a bit long in the tooth, which could threaten Apple’s innovative image, so they might want to do something.

  96. 96
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @some guy:

    the misinformation and the disinformation from the Apple fanboys on this thread is stunning.

    Quoting a piece that talks (and graphs) solely in percentage terms? Dear me. It’s easy to double your revenue when your baseline is so low; it’s a lot harder to sustain it.

    @James K. Polk, Esq.:

    In a world where Android phones are outselling iOS phones 3:1, it’s getting increasingly more challenging to see iOS as a better payout longer term.

    That doesn’t address the problem of fragmentation on the developer side (which devices and OS versions to build and/or optimise for) or the issue of converting the growing number of Android users, especially in low-end and developing markets, into app buyers.

    @Brachiator:

    Former Apple evangelists are abandoning the iPhone in droves. They no longer recommend it.

    [citation required]

  97. 97
    some guy says:

    somebody who owns a device made by sweatshop/underage labor in a FoxConn concentration camp factory proclaiming ethical lapses by Google and Samsung is the sine qua non of self-righteousness.

    what a boob

  98. 98
    some guy says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    It’s easy to double your revenue when your baseline is so low;

    which is why the analyst waited until the VERY NEXT paragraph to state that very point. I guess you didn’t get a chance to actually read the story. pity.

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @Violet:

    It’s good for your skin too.

    And my kitteh likes it. When I’ve used coconut oil on my skin, he’ll come over and lick my fingers to get what’s left on them.

  100. 100
    RareSanity says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Whoa, whoa…

    You are taking that statement way farther than it was intended. I don’t “hate” anyone because of the choices in products they make.

    I have an Android phone, an iPad, a MacBook Pro and a Windows desktop. I bought my wife an iPhone 5 for her birthday, just last month. I am an engineer. I look for the best solution to a “problem”, regardless of “brand”.

    I referring specifically to the “loud and proud” iDevice owners, that take every possible opportunity to tell people how superior their device is, simply because Apple made it. I’m not talking about the vast majority that doesn’t even give a shit about all of this…

    Calm down, it was not that serious.

  101. 101
    chopper says:

    @RareSanity:

    They still are. How many Apple owners still pull out the whole, “Android is for poor people” trope?

    beats me. i really don’t live or die by what people say about phones. from what i’m able to tell tho, you seem to be just as bad as the assholes you’re talking about.

    Nothing I say is an attempt to make a judgement on a person based on what kind of phone they use.

    yeah, that statement obviously has nothing at all to do with what martin just said.

  102. 102
    srv says:

    @poco: Actually, 4 pixels to 1, not 2:1.

  103. 103
    Baud says:

    I like the Android OS over ios. I generally prefer Apple’s apps and content. YMMV.

  104. 104
    poco says:

    @srv: Thanks a lot, srv. This was very helpful.

  105. 105
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Brachiator:

    Here’s Apple’s dilemma. It ain’t about technology or pixels. People like a larger screen. It’s pretty. It’s mo better pretty than a smaller screen.

    ‘sfunny that the market for mobile phones in the 90s was driven by size in the other direction. The market’s fickle, and the carriers now have a huge amount of influence on it.

    The pursuit of bigger and bigger screens feels, to some degree, like the HDTV display in Best Buy where everything’s set to “shop mode” with max brightness and contrast to differentiate from the pack. Eventually, I think it’s going to break, and we’ll see high-spec phones with smaller displays.

  106. 106
    chopper says:

    @RareSanity:

    You are taking that statement way farther than it was intended.

    well no offense, but you seem to be really going out of your way to make your behaviour out to be dickish.

    i mean, i understand trollin’ and all, but when you start doing it in real life to people over a fuckin’ phone, you need to stop and think about things.

  107. 107
    👽 Martin says:

    @James K. Polk, Esq.:

    Only a few iOS devs are actually making money. The bottom 80% of devs make 3% of the iOS income.
    25% of all iOS devs in that study made less than $200, or less than half the cost of an iPad (entry model).

    That’s not enough information to draw conclusions. Any look at the game app marketplace might lead you to wonder if the bottom 80% of devs spent even $200 developing their games. There’s a lot of shit out there. My son has 3 friends who launched games in the market while in middle school. None have made more than a few bucks, but it was their learning opportunity. The difference with the market pre-App Store is that these apps would never have made it to market because the kids spend precisely $0 to put them on the market. This is a great democratizing change for developers, but analysts drawing conclusions from this (like you) haven’t compensated for the change in the market. The change in the market is so significant that it threatens to consume itself – if the cost to market is $0, how do you keep consumers from drowning in choices? Google Play isn’t really trying to stop that. Apple is a little bit. Both are failing to a very large degree to find ways for developers to address the issue of discovery for quality apps. In the traditional market, the problem solves itself because shelf space is limited and only products that will sell (either directly or indirectly by assuring consumers that’s the right store to go to) get on the shelves. That goes against the democratization of the marketplace, though. Where’s the balance?

    In other words, 80% of developers earning less than $200 is something of a feature. And I hate to break it to you, but the problem is much worse on Android. For all their pride of having as many or more apps offered in Google Play as the App Store, Apple is sending 10x as much money back to developers as Google Play is.

  108. 108
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @chopper: I was going to say. You swan around with your phone to make other phone-owning people jealous? Do you by any chance have in your other hand a Rolex and a Cuban cigar?

  109. 109
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @some guy:

    I guess you didn’t get a chance to actually read the story. pity.

    I guess I did, but unlike you, I understood that it wasn’t something I’d shout about as if it proved anything. pity.

  110. 110
    Arm The Homeless says:

    All I can hear from both sides is, “they started it”. People on both sides are invested in their choices, so when someone infers that they made a poor decision for whatever reason, it seems like an attack pon that persons’ logic or intelligence.

    BTW, Chrono Trigger on the Nexus 7 is ten kinds of awesome

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @RareSanity:

    I referring specifically to the “loud and proud” iDevice owners, that take every possible opportunity to tell people how superior their device is, simply because Apple made it.

    You’re surrounded by people constantly busting your balls about your telephone? Have you considered moving?

  112. 112
    👽 Martin says:

    @RareSanity:

    Android is for poor people” trope

    I’ve literally never heard anyone ever say that or anything like that.

  113. 113
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @RareSanity:

    I smile, smugly, and say…”It’s my Android Nexus 4. What, you can’t do that with your iPhone? Pity that…”

    Well, at least it’s not an assault rifle to provide you with that manhood augmentation. Small fucking mercies.

  114. 114
    lol says:

    @some guy:

    I’m not sure what point you were making by pointing out Apple developers make 4 times more money despite having so little of the market share you’ve deemed vitally important.

    You’re not in Apple’s target market. Deal with it and move on.

    @RareSanity:

    Pretty sure you’re the first one to say “Android is for poor people”.

    @Arm The Homeless:

    Exactly. You want a hobby. I just want a fucking smartphone.

  115. 115
    some guy says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    the claim was that iOS is where developers go to get paid. the reality is that is no longer a valid claim, according to the latest data.

    sort of like the claims that Apple “outsold all Android phones (combined) in the US last quarter, and outsold Samsung (including feature phones) for the first time. Sales in China continue to climb rapidly.” see if you can spot the 2 obvious false claims.

    Apple fanboys tend to pull shit out of their asses, and get really really upset when you show their claims are simply bullshit.

  116. 116
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @RareSanity:

    However, I don’t think I’m better than they are, just because of the phone I use.

    No, you just think you’re better than they are for many reasons, _among which_ is the phone you use. That’s much better.

  117. 117
    👽 Martin says:

    @RareSanity:

    I referring specifically to the “loud and proud” iDevice owners, that take every possible opportunity to tell people how superior their device is, simply because Apple made it. I’m not talking about the vast majority that doesn’t even give a shit about all of this…

    Sorry. I just assume a 5% asshole factor among any population and try and try to just write them out of all narratives.

  118. 118
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: When you can buy a new 4.0 Android (which uses esentially the same APIs as 4.1 and 4.2) 1.2ghz phone for less than $150 off contract, this problem is going to work itself out in shortly.

    The answer in the short term, of course, is to write for 2.3 (which esentially all devs write for) which covers approximately 90% of all android devices.

  119. 119
    some guy says:

    @lol:

    actually, I bought my wife the iPhone5 she lusted after, having skipped the iPhone4. if she wanted to stick with an inferior OS who was I to argue with her

  120. 120
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    @👽 Martin: Is sending or has sent?

    Citation needed.

  121. 121
    some guy says:

    oh well, the Center Right BJ Echo Chamber is now out in full force, time to do something productive.

    ciao bella

  122. 122
    lol says:

    Why would you ever buy a smart phone when you could build your own computer and just use Google voice/Skype/etc?

    Why be constrained by the choices Big Hardware makes for you?

    Wake up sheeple!

  123. 123
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @👽 Martin: This world where people are constantly bragging about their phones… this is not my world. It would be like constantly bragging about a spoon, or a zipper.

  124. 124
    some guy says:

    I’m not sure what point you were making by pointing out [an increasingly small percentage of] Apple developers make 4 times more money despite having so little of the market share you’ve deemed vitally important.

    fyt.

  125. 125
    WaterGirl says:

    @poco: After years of using MacBook Pros, I traded my MacBook Pro in for a MacBook air and I would never go back.

    Get the MacBook Air.

  126. 126
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @lol: I want a smart phone where I can decide how much or little bloat to accept on a limited amount of internal space. If you’re fine with having a couple developers decide what processes are running in the background, be my guest. I want them lean and still functional.

    Why is this an issue? Show me on this doll app where Android touched you.

  127. 127
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @some guy:

    the claim was that iOS is where developers go to get paid. the reality is that is no longer a valid claim, according to the latest data.

    Placing those two sentences together does not create a causal relationship, no matter how much you hold your breath and believe it. Developers for Android still have the problems of fragmentation, device support, and the ability to translate the time spent on their work into revenue.

    But please, continue fucking that straw chicken.

  128. 128
    WaterGirl says:

    @poco: @Forum Transmitted Disease: I couldn’t disagree more. I always had heat issues with the MacBook Air and NOT ONCE have I had a heat issue with the MacBook Air.

    I had MacBook Pros for years. Got a macbook air when it first came out but it wasn’t powerful enough. Two years laster I tried again and there was NOTHING my MacBook Air couldn’t do that my MacBook Pro did.

    Have never missed the MacBook Pro, not even once.

  129. 129
    RareSanity says:

    Android Is Popular Because It’s Cheap, Not Because It’s Good

    There was also the freak out when Instagram was released on Android.

    Also, to the peanut gallery, I don’t “live and die” by what phone I own. I don’t seek out people to flash my phone to.

    I have had several experiences, when in normal use, people have asked me about it. In answering the questions posed to me, many times there were the statements to the affect of, “Well it’s not better than my iPhone…it’s Android” Or something like it, so (if I had the time), the conversation would start with, “Why would you think that just because it’s Android, it couldn’t possibly be better than an iPhone.”

    Then a perfectly normal, polite discussion ensues. However, there have been a couple of times when I’ve had this conversation with an asshole, and (if I had the time), I would respond in kind.

    It is no different than the conversation I may have, dispelling myths about Obama, Democrats, or liberals, to a person that may have asked me about my Obama 2012 bumper sticker. If it is a reasonable person, that is legitimately interested in having a discussion, the conversation has a different tone, then if I had the same conversation with a teabagger, that was only waiting for the keywords to start hammering me with talking points.

    Same phenomenon, different subject.

  130. 130
    Don says:

    The only thing more boring than people slagging other folks over technology are people claiming that everyone who uses X technology is a douchebag and is slagging them. I’ve met people who are shitty about android, ios, windows, osx, vms, vi, emachs, blah blah etc forever.

    I can’t speak for any other ios user but man would I love a larger format phone. I don’t really WANT a bigger phone in my pocket but my eyes aren’t getting any better.

  131. 131
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @James K. Polk, Esq.:

    When you can buy a new 4.0 Android (which uses esentially the same APIs as 4.1 and 4.2) 1.2ghz phone for less than $150 off contract, this problem is going to work itself out in shortly.

    Agreed, but that still raises the question of how much of the Android user base is there to be converted into app customers.

    The people I know who do Android dev work still have to do hours of physical hardware testing on a whole bunch of devices, and then put up with supporting users who whine and whine and whine about their particular device not being compatible or having performance issues. There’s a genuine budgetary question of whether you want to deal with that shit.

  132. 132
    Roger Moore says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:
    I think a big part of the change is about the UI. If you’re making a phone that’s just a phone, it only has to be big enough to have a keypad and a screen to show what number you’re dialing. In that case, smaller is better because it makes it more portable. If it’s too small to fit from your mouth to your ear, you can just use a headset.

    If it’s a smartphone, though, you’re using it for more than just making phone calls. You’re actually looking at stuff on the screen and touching it to control the thing. You need a screen that’s big enough to see stuff and to support an on-screen keyboard. In that case, bigger is better until it gets too big to fit in your pocket and/or hand. I know somebody who would love to have a phone built into his iPad mini; he’d be perfectly happy to carry it with him everywhere.

  133. 133
    lol says:

    @Arm The Homeless:

    Android fan boys apparently find it offensive that people want to buy things that “just work” and not things that demand constantly tinkering.

    I build my own computers. I don’t find it offensive that Apple sells fairly locked in decktops and OS because some people just want a fucking computer.

    @some guy:

    You’ll likely find only a handful of Android developers make more than a negligible amount of money too.

    In fact, you’ll probably find only a handful of developers make more than a negligible amount of money on every single software platform.

  134. 134
    poco says:

    @WaterGirl: Well, given that I am used to Pro, and that I pretty much use it as a desktop in my home office (it stays on the desk all the time) and that I have heard that Air doesn’t have all the features that a Pro has….

  135. 135
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: There certainly is a budgetary issue with that shit.

    The growth curve of Android continues to be amazing (1.3 million activations PER DAY?!?). All of which are 2.3 and above. You can’t service all those customers, but you can service 85% well (if not perfectly). The customer base is already astounding, growing an insane pace and the gold rush hasn’t quite started yet.

  136. 136
    chopper says:

    @RareSanity:

    I have had several experiences, when in normal use, people have asked me about it. In answering the questions posed to me, many times there were the statements to the affect of, “Well it’s not better than my iPhone…it’s Android” Or something like it, so (if I had the time), the conversation would start with, “Why would you think that just because it’s Android, it couldn’t possibly be better than an iPhone.”

    yeah, that totally jibes with your earlier ‘self-righteous douchebag phone guy at the CVS checkout’ bit.

  137. 137
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @RareSanity:

    There was also the freak out when Instagram was released on Android.

    You’re basically quoting Dan Lyons from ReadWrite last week, and he was making a bullshitty argument.

    The point about the US phone market is that it’s hugely driven by the carriers, and the carriers shape the market based upon a combination of what they want subscribers to pay, and on the incentives they receive from handset makers. (Which is why HTC has been squeezed, and WP8 phones have trouble gaining traction.) The market is also deeply divided between contract and non-contract plans — far more so than in other countries — and the phones on the non-contract side lag behind.

    While Nexus 4 buyers can feel smug about living on the bleeding edge, they represent a fraction of a fraction of the overall market.

  138. 138
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @lol: And some car guys get their backs straight when someone says a straight six is superior to a rotary. I point, laugh, and continue with my game of Final Fantasy.

    People don’t like to be told their toys are not as cool as other toys. You cannot fathom the depths of the shit I do not give. So now that we have established you’re being a bit reationary, I hope everything turns out ok for you.

  139. 139
    WaterGirl says:

    @poco: I have been an IT professional for 20+ years. I went from a desktop to the Macbook Pro. I have been using my MacBook Pro for a year and a half and there hasn’t been a single thing I wanted to do, but couldn’t.

    Seriously.

    I don’t connect my MacBook Air to a keyboard or monitor. Is that something you want to do? Or do you use your laptop as a laptop?

    So what things do you want to do / what features do you need for your new as-yet-unpurchased Mac laptop? That’s probably the best starting point.

  140. 140
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think a big part of the change is about the UI.

    Oh, of course: and the biggest part of the change is that we’re not really talking about phones, but pocket-sized (or purse-sized) portable computers, and in a way, the US is finally getting some of the experience of the developing world, where “being online” largely skipped the PC.

    I still think there’s space for a small high-spec smartphone from a handset maker that’s brave enough to put it out.

    (Personally, I still use a ten-year-old Nokia, because I don’t want to be bilked by US carriers and I need something that is utterly solid as a phone. I have a couple of oldish backup smartphones, one iOS, one Android, that I pay for a month at a time when I need mobile data on the go.)

  141. 141
    Joel says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: I like my Air. Works well. Travels easily.

  142. 142
    poco says:

    @WaterGirl: I use my Pro as a laptop, except it is stationary on my desk. All I use it for are some fairly basic things–writing and researching academic articles, email, web-surfing, occasional you-tube, no games, no netflix streaming. I know I could get a cheaper version, but I have used Apple all my life–too late to change and too used to my comfort. From what srv said, I thought I’ll look into a 15 inch high res model.

  143. 143
    West Oakland original says:

    @👽 Martin: these things are too subtle to talk about! Android is winning! 100% growth at the play store!!!!!! Eleventy!!!!

  144. 144
    WaterGirl says:

    @poco: You haven’t listed a thing that can’t be done on the MacBook Air.

    Apple is a good choice. Enjoy whatever you get.

    Over and out,

  145. 145
    Brachiator says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    RE: Former Apple evangelists are abandoning the iPhone in droves. They no longer recommend it.

    [citation required]

    Too easy. Listen or watch episodes of Leo Laporte’s various shows. Even the people on MacBreak Weekly are using Android phones. MG Siegler has praised the Galaxy S3 and other Android devices. Andy Ihnatko, very fair minded Chicago tech writer, has seriously praised the Galaxy S3. On one of Laporte’s weekend tech shows, every guest, when polled, were Galaxy users.

    One of the hosts of one of the more notable iOS podcasts and web sites, AppAdvice, has “defected” to Android.

    Whether Apple has lost it’s mojo is a regular podcast topic on various shows.

    The consensus is that the quality of the phones and the quality of the apps has caught up to what Apple was doing, and also that the Android phones have features that Apple should either adopt or find ways to seriously improve.

    The pursuit of bigger and bigger screens feels, to some degree, like the HDTV display in Best Buy where everything’s set to “shop mode” with max brightness and contrast to differentiate from the pack.

    Don’t agree. It’s because smartphones are really like Swiss Army knives. People don’t use them just as phones or to do email.

    When a sales guy and I were driving to an offsite presentation, he pulled up his GPS app and docked it into a spot on the dashboard. The larger screen made it easier to verify the voice directions. This was using a Galaxy S3.

    The map functions are one of the apps that look and work better on a larger display. There are a number of people who like the Nexus 7 are iPad mini because the larger screen size hits a sweet spot for a smaller tablet.

    And yeah, some middle age folks with less than stellar eyesight like a slightly larger screen. And as noted, some like to view photos on a larger device.

    I wonder if people who text and don’t do voice calls anymore like a larger screen.

  146. 146
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I love the fact that the Apple-PC war has turned into the Apple-Android war. Talk about history rhyming: Jobs is no longer running Apple and they are competing against a decentralized system.

  147. 147
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    @West Oakland original: Again, any reference that Google Play sends back 1/10th of the revenue that Apple’s AppStore sent to developers last quarter would be appreciated. The numbers I can find seem to indicate that the number is AppStore revenue = 3.5x Play Store revenue (this differential is shrinking rapidly)

    As the kids say: “Citation Needed”

  148. 148
    poco says:

    @WaterGirl: Thanks WaterGirl. I’ll look into Air when I get to the store.

  149. 149
    West Oakland original says:

    @James K. Polk, Esq.: since Google doesn’t break down revenue by apps versus music versus video or books, you know as well as I that I can’t give you a number with any more accuracy than the BS number you cited. But since your argument seems to be “argue against some things people think might be possible” rather than “present a reasoned argument”, I assume you were just trolling.

    There is a very informative article on Wikipedia about the iTunes Store, which has only been around for nearly a decade before Google Play and which sells lots of other things. This is the same root of the BS “Android is winning!” 1.3M devices/day number. “iPhone sales” are quoted in the context of “Android device” sales, not against “Samsung Phones running the most recent version of Android” which would be a correct comparison.

    The fact is that even with the numbers advantage, Google is not selling much through the play store except for Apps. If you really want to wade I to a store-for-store comparison, you’ll have to look really hard, since Google doesn’t break out the sales numbers for Play, nor do they sell the variety of media that Apple does.

    Given that iOS runs on iPads and iPhones, it’s no surprise Android boosters love to cite “activated” numbers, since it applies to everything Android works with, including items like appliances that have no interface or ability to work with any other Android devices.

    Seriously – here in Silicon Valley, we (and I mean te very hottest of the hot companies) can barely get 20% penetration with free Android devices for employees. Everyone wants the “nicer” iPhone that a really works with Exchange. They don’t want a lowest common denominator phone made in real sweatshops by companies that don’t even publish their working conditions. (Samsung)

    Here’s an anecdote, since you like those: “Women love the Galaxy SIII because it makes their hands look smaller” – Asian kid in Foster City Verizon store.

  150. 150
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Brachiator:

    Too easy. Listen or watch episodes of Leo Laporte’s various shows. Even the people on MacBreak Weekly are using Android phones. MG Siegler has praised the Galaxy S3 and other Android devices. Andy Ihnatko, very fair minded Chicago tech writer, has seriously praised the Galaxy S3. On one of Laporte’s weekend tech shows, every guest, when polled, were Galaxy users.

    Praising individual Android devices != “abandoning the iPhone in droves”. I like individual Android devices. The best Android devices are the ones that most people are never shown in stores. Conversely, a lot of people get sold mediocre Android devices because their contract is up for renewal and the sales staff for the carrier have been told to push the Cryzr JaXX IV.

    Don’t agree. It’s because smartphones are really like Swiss Army knives. People don’t use them just as phones or to do email.

    And as with a Swiss Army knife, there’s a point at which they don’t scale.

    Look, I think there’s a decent argument that Apple is in a similar position to Honda and Toyota, vs Kia/Hyundai: as the market leader, with a broad userbase, it is perhaps more inclined to be conservative in its choices. But that still sells 125 million iPhones and 60 million iPads a year, with the highest margins in the industry.

    (We know about Apple’s lead time for designs: we can be pretty sure that the iPhone 5 and iPad mini were well into prototyping while Jobs was alive. And people have been calling doom on Apple ever since it was nearly actually doomed.)

  151. 151
    Paula says:

    “Android is for poor people”? WTF?

    The loss of the Netbook market and the relative expense of Android tablets and ultrabooks actually settled me on buying a used iPad 2 for mobile computing. I think the iPad mini is fooking silly because I can’t imagine trying to type on it, but yeah, most people are pretty casual about what they use it for so … whatevs.

    I hate carrying around my phone + my iPad (+ camera if need be), but I suppose if I thought I could do work or reading on my phone, I’d be in the market for a better phone. Also, if I was actually a techie, I’d consider the time and/or risk of trying Android-based devices. But it seems like everyone who’s tech savvy enough to have these debates about open or closed development would have figured out what’s best for them.

    Why does it have to devolve into “YOU’RE AN IDIOT FOR USING THAT” flame wars?

    As for the non-tech-savvy, it’s safe to say these arguments are specious at best.

  152. 152
    stormhit says:

    Apple and Android fanboys are equally insufferable at this point. Neither dominant platform needs your evangelizing.

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Praising individual Android devices != “abandoning the iPhone in droves”.

    I said “Apple evangelists,” or tech influencers. I stand by my statement.

    And a lot of people call and listen to Leo Laporte’s show. When he says “I don’t recommend the iPhone” anymore, it has an impact.

    Whether people in stores get shown mediocre Android devices or that Apple still makes a gazillion dollars is not directly relevant to what I said here.

    Nor am I calling total doom on Apple.

    But the tech world is very fickle. MySpace and the Blackberry were not entirely bad products. But when Facebook and the iPhone came along, people liked these new products more and shifted over. Nokia phones are still good, it’s just that in some markets nobody cares. I am not sure whether Microsoft or the new Blackberry will succeed even though the devices are quite good. The comparison to the auto market is not quite apt.

    Apple is vulnerable with respect to smartphones because a large segment of the public clearly likes larger screens, for the usability reasons I have noted.

    Maybe there is an auto industry analogy that works here. It’s said that Henry Ford was adamant that you could have any Ford car as long as it was black. Apple, for now, is saying you can have any iPhone you want as long as it’s small.

    GM said whatever color car you want, you can have. And people said, OK, fine.

    People want a larger phone. Apple missed the boat with the iPhone 5. They would be stupid to miss this opportunity again. And they have the additional burden of coming up with something new that doesn’t make it look so obvious that they are playing a little catch-up.

    @RareSanity:

    How many Apple owners still pull out the whole, “Android is for poor people” trope?

    Just the dopes. No technology ever succeeds that only appeals to “rich” people, to hipsters, or to hobbyists.

  154. 154
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    @West Oakland original: That 1.3 million android devices activated is called into question because not all of them are top of the line devices? Or because they include tablets? Of the 1.3 million devices activated per day 5% are tablets. Doing the math, that means that 1.235 million android phones are activated per day. That certainly isn’t all high end phones, but at this point at least 85% of them are running 2.3 or higher (which is why apps are developed with gingerbread in mind).

    My point was about iOS devs and the app marketplace, which has little to nothing to due with the profit Apple is making from media sales. As a user, I am most interested in the platform getting applications developed (hence my interest in the raw data showing developer payouts).

    I am also not particularly interested in what the “hottest tech company employees” use. I care about a thriving ecosystem for Android. Witness Temple Run 2, the hottest game in the history of mobile gaming. How long was that an iOS exclusive? 1 week. How long was Temple Run 1 an iOS exclusive? 6 months. The marketplace is drastically different in 2013 vs. 2011 and the numbers will continue to bear this out.

    American activations are important, certainly. But other developed nations are shying away from Apple primarily because their kit is so expensive. Witness the explosion in Android games in Korea and Japan.

  155. 155
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Brachiator:

    a lot of people call and listen to Leo Laporte’s show.

    They do, but I file Laporte alongside Verge/Engadget/Gizmodo, where not putting out the latest and greatest every three weeks is enough to get them antsy.

    The US cellphone market is built around two groups of people: a majority who buy on two-year contracts, and a large minority who get last year’s tech on pre-pay with Virgin or Boost or Cricket or other MVNOs. The people buying unlocked Nexus 4s are not that significant here. (I say this as someone who bought a SonyEricsson P800 unlocked a decade ago, so I know a bit about being on the bleeding edge with smartphones.)

    Anyway, my broader point is that having the bulk of users locked into two-year deals means that whatever’s new on the market this week is irrelevant to a huge chunk of the user base. You stop caring until the carrier says it’s upgrade time, and you base your decision on what’s available then. The tech media, with their continuous exposure to review models, doesn’t really get this.

    Apple definitely hit the sweet spot of the contract-based market curve in the US over the past five years, definitely has issues in foreign markets that are predominantly prepaid, and definitely has to adapt to the slow decline of postpaid. If it doesn’t, then hail to the new king.

  156. 156
    sneezy says:

    @kdaug:

    this is the exact same mistake (closed ecosystem, etc) that Apple made the first time Jobs left/got fired

    What? The mistake they made during Jobs’ hiatus was opening the system up and licensing MacOS to other manufacturers: Motorola, Power Computing, maybe a couple I’m forgetting. Jobs came back, put a stop to that shit right away, and it’s been a closed ecosystem ever since.

  157. 157
    Llelldorin says:

    @sneezy:

    Actually, if you go back pre-clones, the biggest mistake Apple made in the 80s and early 90s was becoming heavily dependent upon their principal competitor for their primary applications. Early on, Apple published its own office-ish suite (MacWrite, MacPaint, MacDraw, and MacProject), but–fearing this would stifle support by third-party developers–by 1991 they’d more or less ceded the field to Microsoft Office. Apple’s 90’s collapse really started when Microsoft replaced their outstanding earlier products with (IIRC) Word 6 and Excel 5.0, which were simply cross-compiled versions of their Windows suite. The 1993 Office was so slow that it was actually faster to run the Windows version under emulation on the Mac than to run the “native” versions.

    Interestingly, if you look at the current environment, that lesson has been learned by everyone. Apple has iWork, and Google has Docs, and no-one sits and mutters darkly about smothering developers the way they used to.

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