Laughing City

Which phone system do you prefer?
Windows
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
iPhone
58%
 58%  [ 10 ]
Blackberry
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Android
29%
 29%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 17

Author Message
Kirk
Sea Post King


Iíve been negligent in posting here. The original iPhone was announced in January 2007. I literally thought about it every single day for the following six months until it was finally released on June 29. I took the day off work to wait in line at the Apple Store. I later upgraded to a 3GS and banged that up in a few continents, but it still served me well. Finally the iPhone 5 came out and I sat outside the nearby AT&T store for a few hours to be first in line to buy it.

The iPhone 5 is the nicest thing I own. Itís crazy thin (important because Iím a bit OCD about things in my pockets) and really, shockingly light. It has great battery life, is super fast, has an awesome camera, andóimportantly for meóties into an extensive ecosystem.

I love iMessage. I regularly move between (or simultaneously) use my iPhone, iPad (3), and MacBook Air. All of my messages are everywhere, all the time. They even worked out the timing of notifications. If Iím messaging someone on my iPhone, thatís where Iíll get the first alert. If I read it quickly, my iPad and Mac stay silent. If I ignore it, about ten seconds later Iíll get the message on my iPad and Mac. If I respond from one of those, it will start getting notifications first and my phone will stay silent. It ďjust works.Ē I especially like that I can text my best friend in London without having to use some special app (such as WhatsApp). One place (on everything) for everything.

Also, I think Apple Maps is honestly a big improvement. Have I noticed mistakes? Yes, but I think people quickly forget just how awful Google Maps sometimes is. In my personal use, in situations where it really mattered to me, Apple Maps have consistently been more useful and better showed me actual road locations. Your results may vary widely, but Iím happy, and the data can only get better.

CHANGE OF TOPIC:

Moving beyond my own personal experiences, I have broader observations for the mobile market (something I pay extremely close attention to). Of the major ecosystems Iíll discuss the smaller ones first:

Blackberry: Dead. This is not a topic worth much further discussion. Itís a company with absolutely no future. The question is only one of timing and how it goes. Does somebody buy the whole thing? Do they auction it off piecemeal? They have a new OS thatís supposed to come out next year, but it is far too little way, way, too late. It has absolutely no chance of success.

Windows: Despite billions of dollars being pumped into this effort at buying market share, itís just not working. I honestly, truly like Windows Phone. And I think the Nokia Lumia is a very respectable piece of hardware. If the iPhone suddenly disappeared and I had to buy a phone, I would want a Lumia. But the iPhone hasnít disappeared. Here in the real world customers have loudly rejected Windows Phone. They just donít want it. Itís unfortunate, but thatís the way it is. I see no plausible reason for anything to change. Microsoft has no leverage, and even outright bribery isnít working. Best of luck to them.

Android and iOS: The future is problematic for Android. There are only two companies in the cell phone industry (manufacturers and platform developers, excluding carriers) that make any real money: Apple (by far the most), and to a lesser but still considerable extent, Samsung. Nobody else makes anything. A large chunk are losing money. Apple is in the most comfortable position by far. It makes considerably more money than all the other phone companies combined; it has been able to steadily grow market share without sacrificing average selling prices (triple other smartphone makers) or margins. The App Store is still the premiere place for mobile software development and looks set to remain that way. Android boasts a large number of ďactivations,Ē but usage metrics from every source imaginable indicate that a majority of those devices are only being used as feature phones. The average iPhone is actually used as a smartphone; the average Android is used exactly like a $30 Nokia flip phone. Samsung has managed to turn this into a highly profitable enterprise, but they donít actually develop Android, Google does. So does Google make money on Android? NO! Sources are scarce, but iPhones are evidently far more profitable than Android phones, and thatís just because people use Google search. In a horribly misguided attempt to secure what it turns out are largely useless patents, Google spent $12.5 billion buying money-losing Motorola. This venture shows no hope of turning a profit, meaning that Googleís COSTS for Android are $12.5 billion, PLUS everything else they actually spent to develop it. All of this is in an attempt to squeeze a few dollars of advertising revenue out of devices that largely arenít actually used to access the internet.

Which leads me to my most important point: How long will Google continue to subsidize Samsung? One company spends all the money and the other gets all the profits from it. With a dismal outlook for ever profited from Android, will Google just give it up? And what will Samsung then do? Will they try to hire away the Android engineers? Will the developerís ďopenĒ-source zeal die with Googleís Android amputation? Also, for Samsung, just how safe is their position as the biggest Android vendor? They have some excellent economies of scale, and some vertical integration advantages, but is that enough to hold off ZTE or Huawei when they decide to move up into the more premium Android market?
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


Finally, been waiting on this post. Thorough, as was expected. Cool
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Kirk
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wilsmith wrote:
Finally, been waiting on this post. Thorough, as was expected. Cool

Thanks. And I was worried it was tl;dr material.
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inorbit
Laughing Citizen


Kirk wrote:
wilsmith wrote:
Finally, been waiting on this post. Thorough, as was expected. Cool

Thanks. And I was worried it was tl;dr material.


Thought Google's interest in propagating Android was as a data collection channel via the api hooks (you know, the closed source ones)?
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Kirk
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inorbit wrote:
Thought Google's interest in propagating Android was as a data collection channel via the api hooks (you know, the closed source ones)?


But to what end? Google is an advertising company. Thatís all it is. As with all businesses, it comes to to the almighty dollar in the end, and Googleís exclusive (over 95%) source of profits is advertising. But, it turns out that they just donít make that much advertising revenue from Android. Theyíre in an eleven-digit investment thatís simply not paying out. Google has little control over Android and has been unable to monetize it in any meaningful way. Apple sells and iPhone and pockets $300. Samsung sells a Galaxy and Google pockets maybe a few bucks a year. Worse still, by making Apple angry, they get a smaller portion of iOS revenue than they used to. From an advertiser perspective, iPhone users are the most valuable users (because they actually spend money). With Siri and Apple Maps, Google is slowly being removed from the iPhone, a platform that is far more lucrative than their own.

I can come to no conclusion other than that Android was a monumental mistake for Google. Itís a strategic back-fire and a serious financial drain. They made a big gamble, and they lost. Which leads us again to the question of when Google changes strategies, and where this leaves the future of Android (and Samsung).
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


Though it seems improbable, there is something to be said for waiting for the competition to loose it's footing and stay stable enough that you are a reasonable alternative when the proverbial shizzle hits the fizznizzle.

It worked for Sony. Sega and Nintendo eventually faltered, and they prospered.

It worked for Microsoft. Sony and Nintendo faltered, and they prospered after taking a heavy loss initially.

It worked for Apple. Gateway and Dell faltered, and eventually Microsoft faltered (they always do, there just wasn't a viable alternative most of the time) and Apple prospered, with the skittles, then the Ipod (Sony would have been in the ideal position to corner the portable/ digital music peripheral market had they not tried to prop up minidiscs), followed by Imac Intels (why mess with Vista on a crap PC when you can get a sleek Imac since you have to learn a new OS anyway? All of this was pre-Iphone even.

The rest of the telecommunications industries faltered, and A T & T and all the baby bells prospered BIG TIME.

Every other Automaker faltered and Toyota prospered with the Prius in a major way.

Cable may prosper in spite of threats from satellite, netflix, and AT&T u-verse pushing fiber. Their data speeds are still largely the best, and they've had less upheaval with keeping broadcasters than satellite.

I'm just saying it pays to stay in the game. I don't expect Apple to drop the ball, but never trust consumers to consistently support products they buy partly due to public opinion, and largely in ignorance of why said product may or may not be superior. I've got a continent made completely out of idled Gameboys, Gamecubes, and Wiis (owned by gamers) that begs to differ.

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Kirk
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wilsmith wrote:
I'm just saying it pays to stay in the game.

I guess my main contention is that it costs to stay in the game, and while Iím all for long-term investments, at some point you have to ask yourself if itís worth it.

And since you brought it up, I still maintain that the Xbox is a disaster for Microsoft. They dug themselves into a truly massive hole that the meager profits of today arenít enough to make up for. The "Devices and Entertainment" division at Microsoft is unlikely to ever be financially justified, and has been able to exist only due to the high profits of the increasingly vulnerable Windows and Office divisions.
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


Cost vs. Benefits, that's legit. On the other hand, X-Box Live is a through-point for Microsoft to deliver content and pilot software development that will ultimately see light in some configuration in the consumer market, you know, like Windows 8?

The other reason I bring up X-Box live is because online console gaming is still a pretty big thing for some people and when the Playstation Network got compromised, it was a catastrophic failure on the part of Sony, and their recovery was BP Gulf Spill haphazard. Microsoft was able to position themselves excellently, so that going forward they may possibly be able to corner that demographic of the gaming market, which ultimately will be all of it. At some point a strictly online distribution method of content delivery for games will take over. If your marketplace is the best and most robust option, people are going to shift over to it. The could end up positioning themselves to strong arm developers and consumers just like they did during the 90s, which ended up with the gvt. filing anti-trust action against them. With the degrees of deregulation, I highly doubt that will ever happen again.

Another situation to consider, though it's strange, is Netflix vs. Redbox vs. Blockbuster. Here in STL Blockbuster is gone, kaput, no more. The thought was that Redboxes would only last so long, because eventually everyone with the internet would turn to Netflix to get their dvds and blu-rays. Then Netflix coupled streaming with the discs, and suddenly Redbox seemed totally obsolete. Meanwhile Blockbuster tried to adopt a hybrid business model, part Netflix, part Redbox, cept their boxes were actual storefronts. Blockbuster couldn't compete, and the good money was Redbox would be next to go, but then, like a bolt of lightening, Netflix launched Flixster and tried to smooth the Brand split, and it backfired bigtime. Redboxes spring up in new places and are apparently doing good business around here.

Next year they will launch some form of streaming, I haven't read up on it too much just yet, but here's a link: http://gigaom.com/video/redbox-instant-launch-date/

Since they use a set up online already to check availability and what-not their client base is already registered so transitioning those users to a streaming service should be a snap, and whaddayaknow, suddenly Netflix is up to it's ears in competition.

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DRMS_7888
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I'm still waiting till an official Google Maps app is on iOS 6 before updating. I like my iPhone, but I also like a functional, useful GPS feature.
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Kirk
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DRMS_7888 wrote:
I'm still waiting till an official Google Maps app is on iOS 6 before updating. I like my iPhone, but I also like a functional, useful GPS feature.

Seriously? The default Apple Maps app works great. I have no issues trusting it to take me where I want to go. Of course thereís also a web version of Google Maps that is also available. Or you could check out one of the alternative services. Nokia has the best street data of anybody on earth. Do you know whatís better than systematically driving a few cars down every street you can? How about a GPS tracker on every FedEx and UPS truck, because thatís what Nokia has. The amount of data they collect is mind-boggling. There are a lot of choices out there.
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Kirk
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wilsmith wrote:
Cost vs. Benefits, that's legit. On the other hand, X-Box Live is a through-point for Microsoft to deliver content and pilot software development that will ultimately see light in some configuration in the consumer market, you know, like Windows 8?


Iím not sure I follow here. The Xbox is justified because it helps promote development of software for Windows? Also, digital content delivery is a near-profitless venture. Apple created the iTunes Music Store so people would have more of a reason to buy iPods. Not much has changed since then as far as the market for content sales. Netflixís profits are being swallowed whole by the licensing costs. Donít get me wrong; I definitely think itís somewhere Microsoft should go now. Theyíve already committed to Xbox so they might as well try to get everything they can out of it.

wilsmith wrote:
The other reason I bring up X-Box live is because online console gaming is still a pretty big thing for some people

The trends are moving against console gaming. Itís still reasonably big, but in a decade, I canít really picture any company making a dedicated console game system. Even today I can play an iPad game on my TV through my Apple TV, and the graphics have to be scaled down to mere ďHD.Ē Where will we be five years from now? Or even three years from now?

I think the future of gaming lies in mobile devices that can, optionally, be displayed on TVs using either built-in systems or cheap external devices. Microsoft is already looking at an Apple TVólike Xbox streaming device. The other piece of the puzzle, the one they absolutely require to stay relevant in the technology industry at all, is Windows Phone. Steve Balmer has had many failures for which he should have been fired, but his biggest failure was in taking too long to respond to the iPhone. Windows Phone would have been a big hit even in 2009 (still two years after the iPhone), but instead it sort of came out at the end of 2010, never really got updated, and was then all early adopters were abandoned at the end of 2012 with a new version of Windows Phone that they canít update to. Pathetic.
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wilsmith
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To the clear up the first statement:

I was agree that in a cost benefits analysis, the X-Box hardware wasn't a wise move, but when you have capital like Microsoft did then, as did Sony, you could afford to take a loss to secure a position in a transitioning marketplace. Sony ate a major loss on the costs of going Blu-Ray when the technology was at its most expensive and took a loss on every PS3.

The X-Box live platform was supposedly the model on which they started developing future OSs, or at least with incorporation of of X-Box Live as a key component to get a foothold in their own channel on digital content distribution. For a software developing company, that's essential. The developer fees to get on the varying stores (apple, android) add up quick. It only takes a handful of good properties to make money. Case in point: Halo was pretty much the saving grace of the original X-Box. That one game turned the tide.

Now, one of the worst offenses Microsoft is guilty of is the one you pointed out, stop gap products that they abandon. I think it's partly a drawback of being so big that failures aren't as much of a problem because you can afford to whiff a few times before hitting a home run. The Zune was a whiff, the first Windows Phone was a whiff. The Surface may very well be a whiff. You could argue that they are modeling their offerings after Nintendo, who are notorious for issuing out disposable product in increments of revision, so that you never get anything totally new, just with a few new customizations and minimal backwards compatibility, like the WiiU. Didn't Sega already do a system with handhelds as controllers? Which one was that the Saturn? No, no it was the Dreamcast.

Anyway, the mobile industry is all about high cost disposable hardware. Apple was smart to get in there early. Microsoft never had an answer to the ipod, so getting in during 2009 was moot as far as I'm concerned. The first people I know who had iphones, were hardcore ipod users who had sells that they didn't use that much anyway, so why not get a new ipod that was also a cell phone? Microsoft never had an "in" with those folks to begin with. They were able to use their preexisting libraries and itunes, so it was business as usual when they switched devices, and so it remains.

X-Box live exists as the facsimile of itunes by which Microsoft can hope to tether their base to new products for all their devices, ideally. The needed the Xbox to introduce this, and it didn't hurt that it gave them a dedicated path to sell their own software in the form of games, outside of the PC demographic. Motion devices and mobile devices are the future, that much is true, and I'm sure Microsoft is trying to get their by hook or crook, to the point that the Xbox will be streamlined and packaged as what it truly is, a Windows PC with a customized OS, and no keyboard, mouse, or Monitor. Once the go to downloadable content exclusively so that you don't buy "games" and just download software, X-Box's will have nothing beyond whatever they are controlled with to differentiate them. I imagine eventually a middle ground between the Windows Phone and Surface will serve as the "controller"/ "interface" for this box along with some evolution of Kinect technology. We'll see.

It's possible that Microsoft's path to mainstreaming a full on multimedia device for gaming, streaming services, and app deployment across mobile devices might be easier to pull off than Apple's, given the number of PCs that will be running some flavor of Windows, that can then serve as the input device to manage their other devices through, in place of an Xbox.

So, I totally agree that the Xbox is going to be ditched in its current incarnation, but may evolved into a more flexible & robust appleTV like device. Otherwise, I consider it a very useful Trojan Horse, through which Xbox Live was launched, and Xbox live is going to be indispensable for Microsoft's future developments as the "home base" their users will return to to manage their software and hardware.

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Last edited by wilsmith on Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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inorbit
Laughing Citizen


Kirk wrote:
inorbit wrote:
Thought Google's interest in propagating Android was as a data collection channel via the api hooks (you know, the closed source ones)?


But to what end? Google is an advertising company. Thatís all it is. As with all businesses, it comes to to the almighty dollar in the end, and Googleís exclusive (over 95%) source of profits is advertising. But, it turns out that they just donít make that much advertising revenue from Android. Theyíre in an eleven-digit investment thatís simply not paying out. Google has little control over Android and has been unable to monetize it in any meaningful way. Apple sells and iPhone and pockets $300. Samsung sells a Galaxy and Google pockets maybe a few bucks a year. Worse still, by making Apple angry, they get a smaller portion of iOS revenue than they used to. From an advertiser perspective, iPhone users are the most valuable users (because they actually spend money). With Siri and Apple Maps, Google is slowly being removed from the iPhone, a platform that is far more lucrative than their own.

I can come to no conclusion other than that Android was a monumental mistake for Google. Itís a strategic back-fire and a serious financial drain. They made a big gamble, and they lost. Which leads us again to the question of when Google changes strategies, and where this leaves the future of Android (and Samsung).


Can't speak to how it looks for them at this point, but my understanding was that the intention wasn't to monetize the product directly, but to monetize the resulting data collected. That may have assumed greater penetration than Android has thus far achieved, and as the data gets collected via the app services api, if app utilization on the platform is a low as you say it is it's not happening.

Google has deep enough pockets to loose on a bet or two though.
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Kirk
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inorbit wrote:
Can't speak to how it looks for them at this point, but my understanding was that the intention wasn't to monetize the product directly, but to monetize the resulting data collected. That may have assumed greater penetration than Android has thus far achieved, and as the data gets collected via the app services api, if app utilization on the platform is a low as you say it is it's not happening.

Google has deep enough pockets to loose on a bet or two though.


How do you ďindirectly monetizeĒ data? Itís not like theyíre going to sell customer profiles to other advertising companies. Iím sorry but I just donít understand what revenue opportunities this data provides apart from helping to customize the ads Google itself delivers. And thoughts?
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


You can sell market reports and demographic correlations. Companies are extremely interested in peoples habits' and prefernces and tailoring their efforts to advertise, market, and develop goods and services to maximize impact based on said data. Market Research is a pretty significant industry. It's made Maritz a boat load of money (worked for them myself years back, later my Ex did the same). They were contracted by Billion, and Trillion dollar companies to do market research via cold calls when I worked for them, and still were when she took a job their. If google can aggregate that kind of date by means of their OS collecting data points with every click, that's a veritable gold mine in the corporate world. It's just the nature of the beast.
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