Monday, September 13, 2010

Innovation vs Commoditisation of the technology Market

"Commoditysation" only occurs if there is lack of innovation. And by innovation I don't mean introducing a faster or smaller processor that that does the same thing but entirely new set of technologies that destroy the current market balance.

The Netbook was a product of extreme commoditisation. Nothing new, just the old stuff produced at extremely low cost and smaller size. A smaller and cheaper computer, not a better computer.

Now consider the iPad. While its component cost is similar to that of a netbook, the mix is entirely different as are the technologies used. The result, a dramatic new level of functionality rendering the netbook obsolete in many respects.

Most companies on the market today benefit from commoditisation. The reason is that they do not produce a complete product but rather compete for the parts of somebody else's product. Those that offer complete solutions however benefit from innovation more. The reason here is that profits are greater when your product offer something new, rather than counting on your suppliers to provide you with the same but cheaper components.

The question comes down to which force on the market will dominate? Well, evolution did not result in humans by making the DNA a commodity. It constantly experimented with a new variations and it constantly introduced new strains and mutations.

Between 1985 and 2005 there was a force in the technology market that choked innovation by constantly searching for it and destroying it using its market power. That was Microsoft. For 20 years the only thing that changed in the computer market was the speed of the components. The PC remained the same. Thing only looked prettier. Only only need to remember that they even tried to make the phones work and look like a PC!

However, even Microsoft could not be everywhere. One of the things they missed to swash in time was very small but very important "organism". It was called the iPod. It eventually grew to dominate the market not by destroying it but by out-inovating it, trough a new "DNA mix" every year. Sometimes one of the new iPod species did not have a successful "DNA mix" (iPod with 4 buttons, iPod Video, iPod Shuffle 3rd gen). However, its creator Apple kept trying harder and harder even when there was no other competition in the entire "food chain" left. The iPod now only competes with itself, but it has not stopped to try a new "DNA mix" every fall.

Unless the technology reaches a fundamental "bottleneck" or a higher power demands the stop of this constant innovation arguing that ever increasing GDP is unsustainable, the world will not plunge into another era of technological commodisaton.

Until that day, the creator that is Apple is likely to mirror the "evolution" success of its "species" in every market niche, as long as everybody refuses to build a complete solutions and rely on commoditisation.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gartner make another laughable prediction

Apple is projected to sell 130 million iOS-based mobile devices per year by 2014, but both Google Android and Nokia Symbian are expected to each double that amount, according to Gartner.
This is such bullshit. The only way you can make prediction about sales of devices is to know what devices will be selling.

Can anyone actually guess how many iOS devices will be on the Market in 2014?

BTW, the iPhone sells at 4 million a month now, the iPad is a 2million and the iPod touch at 3 million. That 103 million units per year right about now. And apple is working on constantly increasing that. In fact Apple has been more than doubling its production capacity every year so far.

So - shipping rates per year so far:
2007 - >9 million (iPhone + iPod touch)
2008 - >20 million (iPhone 3G + iPod touch)
2009 - >45 million (iPhone 3GS + iPhone 3G + iPod touch)
2010 - >100 million (iPad + iPhone 4 + iPhone 3GS + iPod touch)
2011 - ?
2012 - ?
2013 - ?

And Gartner predicts this:
2014 - =130 million . I mean, WTF Gartner !?!

So, how about I make my own prediction: Apple will be shipping a iOS devices at a rate of 130 million a year before the end of 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

The "no iPod touch clones" mystery

Has any one noticed how all the iPod models got lower case identifier names now. The iPod Touch is now iPod touch, the Nano is nano and so on. Is Alppe trying the emphasize the iPod part?

Also, up until now Apple was selling a 2nd Gen iPod touch model at $199. Now for $30 more you get a 4th gen device.

Back to the mystery after this though detour...

So Apple makes the iPhone in 2007 and changes the whole phone industry. Everybody wants to have an iPhone clone in its line up. 3 years later there are countless iPhone wannabes

Apple also makes another device that they call the iPod touch. It is the phones without the phone and even less (no GPS, camera and all) and represent 1/3 of all iOS devices sold. The incredible thing is that there are 0 - zero iPod clones that challenge in any way the touch. The Zune does not count as it was clone of the iPod touch from 2007 but in 2009 (2 generations behind)

For some reason the only thing companies are successfully cloning from Apple are 3G enabled devices. There is no clone yet, coming for the iPad Wifi. Alldevices have 3G antennas build. No only that, they all preserve the phone functionally. At best the only thing they are cloning is the iPad 3G. There is no contract free iPad clone that is available widely.

If I had to make a guess as to why this is the case, it would be that a 3G device is a lot more profitable and/or a lot more sellable.

If I had a second guess as to why is that, it would be that only carriers have retail locations and store partnership. Only a Carrier can potentially market and sell a device since no one else but Apple has 300 stores and retail network that has nothing to do with phones. Only Apple has the complete product distribution solution.

If I had to make a third guess, it would be that Carriers are only interested int 3G (phone) enabled deices as only trough them can they make a profit. Consequently, no Android device would be sold if it does not have a 3G phone feature.

If HTC were to market and sell the devices it sells all by itself, it would have had to incorporate the cost of the retails store and advertising into the price of its products. People constantly complain about the Apple tax on products, yet no one even tries to measure the cost of ex. renting a super huge palace like the 300th Apple store in the middle of London and making it profitable. Most of the 40,000 Apple employees work in retail. They are support personal and they earn good salaries.

If my analysis is correct then we would never see a 3G less iPod Touch clone.
Same for the iPad.

The only company big enough to replicate the Apple complete product matrix and distribution solution would likely chose its own operating system too.

Seams like the Android platform has shot its one leg off right from the start. Even if there are eventually more Android Phones and Tablets than iPhone and iPad 3Gs, there will be just as many if not more iPod touches and iPads.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

iRemote - Magical Remote for iOS iTV


There has been a lot of speculation lately about the 4th iteration of the Apple TV. Seams like everybody is content about ii being based on a iOS interface instead of the Front Row like one before. Make sense, not just in terms of expanding its capability but also at finally cracking that "Go To Market Strategy" Steve talked about at the D8.

What people do not seem to have a coherent opinion about is how is Apple planning regular folks to control it. With a rumored price of $99, you can't just put in a $199 iPod Touch as a free remote. Even the regular Apple TV remote sold at $50 seams complicated and expensive.

Apple needs to come up with a really revolutionary device to satisfy what the bloggers have have put forth as a requirement for this remote

The problem in front of Apple is that iOS is touch based operating system. The controls are everywhere and change place in each app. You cannot use a traditional D-pad to navigate among them. Apple needs to find a way to for the users to directly touch stuff on the screen.

To me, something like the Nintendo Wii seams to be the answer. A remote with accelerometer and gyroscope that beams the raw movement data to the iTV via bluetooth or IR. The iTV with it full blow OS then interprets the movement of the hand. There will be some visual element on the screen showing you where you are about the touch.


I also see 3 controls on the device. Sleep/Wake button, Home button and a small trackpad area for 3 basic one finger controls:
1. Click to push item on the screen
2. Double click to zoom
3. Flick to scroll or pan when in zoomed mode.
If you don't have your finger on the mini trackpad the movement on the hand will not be tracked on the screen.

Or maybe all this is just not practical and Apple has a much better idea. What if there are no UI controls on the screen? What if there is only content and the controls are still on the remote?

A little more food for though...
The 1.8x1.8 screen everybody is sure to be the new nano. What if that is part of the new Apple remote?

yeah, maybe I should have explored that idea more. I think I will leave that to Apple.

iEvent or the new Apple Live Event

UPADATE:
This Just made my day. Apple has just announced they would be Streaming their Sept 1 even, and by doing so confirmed my entire theory. in this blog post. Looks like somebody actualy reads what I write...Nah, with 3 days notice, who am I kidding.


For well over a decade now, Apple has been holding therese special events where they introduced their hottest new products Usually via a keynote by the CEO Steve Jobs

The idea was that apple could gather around the whole media and unveil its new iStuff in a dramatic and emotional way. Remember Steve taking out the Macbook Air out of an postage envelope?

These days however the media is not what it once was. People do not wait for the newspaper or magazine to come out to read a detailed editorial about what apple unveiled and how. There days people read the live chat of bloggers on the even, posting their own thought snap snapshots of images as the even unfolds.

We have to remember that Apple' CEO has become a master of presentation. His keynotes are very efficient and informative and to think one can report the apple's new product without the full apple message is .... well irresponsible

This kind of live opinion reporting and quoting stuff out of context has created a PR problem for Apple. Taking advantage of the new web technologies and people appetite to know the latest, a few non journalists have become the de facto distributors of the news surrounding apple to the exact audience apple if mostly making products for.

Apple has largely dampened the long term effect of that by releasing the keynote recording in a streamed version shortly after the event and a downloadable version as an podcast a few days later.

Just recently on the WWDC event apple came across a whole new problem arising from the massive hoards of bloggers packing its keynote. The bloggers were bringing with them hundreds in MyFi 3G base stations to connect their laptops to report. As a result Apple CEO could not effectively connect the new iPhone 4 to the room Wifi for a demo as there were 520 WiFi hotspots in the room.

So these bloggers don't just take seats that could otherwise be used by developers who this keynote is for but mess up the message of the apple' CEO and his keynote too.

Time for Apple to unleash the blogger kill switch and turn on live streaming of its events. Everyone should be able to see the Steve Jobs keynotes himself as they happen. Further more every iOS device could receive a push notification about the event 15 min before, so they have a chance to hop on to a WIFi, click on a link an watch it live. Just imagine the price of the iAds running during that media spot.

Apple could potentially do this in the event prior to the one where they amount a music/video streaming service. This will give them the opportunity to test their ability to stream to millions of people all at once.

While such an approach carried a great risk, it also kill the reasons for some of the problems it has been having lately:
- opinion reporting about its products before its updated website can go live
- crashing demoes of its products because of overwhelmed networks
- seas taken by bloggers, not developers

If live video is too much trough to do, perhaps Apple should consider the next best thing - forbid the use of internet while its keynotes occur.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

4th Gen iPod Touch - no GPS again :(

When Apple was about to introduce the 2nd gen iPod Touch, I was sure it will have GPS. I was even more sure just before they unveiled the 3rd gen.

Now, I am convinced they will not do it for the 4th gen either.

Why?

Two words: Performance and Battery Life.

The iPod touch, while featuring similar music and video playback times as the iPhone of the same generation, actually has a battery with less than half the capacity. It's battery is only 600 mAh vs the iPhone's 1400 mAh.

Stand alone card GPS devices are big and don't last long without external power.

There is one device out there that has the biggest battery charge per cubic centimeter of electronics ever. Ok, that's just speculation but the fact is that the iPad has one bad ass huge battery and boy does it last.

Yet the WiFi version has no GPS, why?Why is Apple willing to include GPS as part of the WiFi+3G model but not the WiFi only one? It's not the battery this time.

Apple uses what is called A-GPS or assisted GPS. Instead of relying entirely on GPS lock on to triangulate the device position, the iPhone 3G used the WiFi/Cell tower triangulation first.

The result: The iPhone could achieve location lock within few seconds, while a dedicated GPS could take up to a minute.

Apple being religiously zealous about efficiency of design and operation will likely never put a GPS module into a device without a data connection. A-GPS performance is hat good.

With the iPod Touch being WiFi only device, GPS will not be among it's new features.

It will have retina display, gyroscope, front/rear cameras for Facetime, but it will not have GPS unless...

...unless Apple decides to really go for an iPod Touch attack and introduce a Wifi+3G model as well. To revitalize the iPod growth and fend off emerging similar Android devices.

Unfortunately I don't see that happening either for one simple reason. No internal space. The iPod is packed to the gills. Its 7 mm thin. You can't just find a space for a 3G athena, and all the new circuitry.

When iFixit made the iPad teardown, it was truly remarkable how much internal free space there was inside the iPad. That's even if you did not consider the space they left for 3G components.

So the iPod Touch does not have the internal volume and battery capacity to operate a 3G circuit to justify the addition of a GPS unless ....

....unless the iPod also gets a redesign.
Well with the all the recent leaks about iPod Touch with camera casing, it seas Apple will stick with the ergonomic design one more generation.

The reason to keep the iPod Touch design unchanged for a third generation is simple. 3rd Party Accessory and case makers. They would just love to be able to sell their products with with no or minor modifications to an ever expanding pool of customers.

New design requiring more time to mature will also appear spurred by the fact that the iPod Touch is not just a sotware platform with its iOS but very much a hardware one, with its clean design and compatible outline spanning across generations. Did you see the iPod touch case
with GSM athena and slot for SIM card? If it works as advertised, the combination of that case + the new iPod Touch will rule the third world countries. It's the one product Apple refuses to make.

In this world of consumer technology companies like Nokia though us for years that a new phone with a slightly different design every few months is something normal. Now Apple is about to keep the design of its most profitable iPod ever for a 3rd year in a row, likely blasting
in to new highs of sales records and revenue.

Oh the irony!


Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, June 6, 2010

iPhone & Android loyalty implications

What is interesting about this image beside the fact that the majority of both iPhone and Android will make the same choice on the next purchase? The implications of course.

For the foreseeable future the rapid growth among these two platforms will not come at the expense of one another, but at everyone else. Android isn't winning iPhone users over, and neither is the iPhone. Well not in significant numbers anyway.

These are the only two hot platforms on the market and they will continue to grow rapidly until the other competitors either catch up or a limited to a niche corresponding to the specific specific advantages and demographic. For RIM that will be only those customers who have made a continuos choice to get a Blackberry for its form factor and focus on email.

While the 80/70 % loyalty split implies the above prediction, the 14/7 % are much more interesting to talk about. Interesting because these is a market contradiction in there. It should be the established player that should be loosing more of its customers to the new guy, not the the other way around. And it is as far as number goes. But as percentage of users, it is not.

When the iPhone originally came out, it was the new guy on the block. It offered less features to its competitors but for those people that had the right features, it was the absolute #1 choice. People using it claimed 90% brand loyalty.

Let me let this sink for a moment: Right now twice as many people as a percentage of the Android platform plan to get and iPhone as compared to iPhone users who plan to try out Android. And because the iPhone has been the establishes player, those 7% of iPhone users are not likely dissatisfied but just willing to explore something different. The Android users on the other hand have been probably just ended up with an android handset and found out, that its does not measure up to the hype and there are a lot of issued you discover after purchase.

This statistic is interesting in a way that if Android and iPhone were the only two platforms on the market with a 50/50 split, the iPhone would start to gain on the Android by adding twice as many users than its loosing.

In other words, if this keeps up, whatever market share Android gets eventually, Apple will be able to surprises it on the long run through the better user satisfaction.

Monday, May 31, 2010

2 million iPads for 60 days, 10 million in 2010

Apple just announced they sold 2 million iPad in less than 60 days.

I remember back when the device was announced and everybody was trying to figure out how many it will sell in 2010. Figures started from as little as 1 million to the then bullish 5 million devices. I remember thinking, why can't they just sell 10 million.

It's been the second month in a row Apple sells a million units. Actually Apple has managed to sell virtually everything that is produced, the demand is that high and shows no sign of stopping. A lot of people underestimated the device before its launch and a lot of people had their opinion changed from "I am not sure how this will fit into my lifestyle" to "I now can't imagine going on without it". This turnaround in opinion took a few years with the iPhone. Apple had to add a lot of features and software capabilities to match the needs of the fast majority of people and turn the critics around. With the iPad, the turnaround just happened in a matter of weeks. That turnaround has suddenly added a lot of potential early buyer. It's a tidal wave and there is just nothing else even close on the market.

Back to sales. If Apple does nothing but just keep production at the current level and sells 1 million units each month, that will ad up to a total of 9 million units this year. This now seams like a very conservative scenario, because several more factors could push sales even higher:
  • Apple is rumored to be increasing production to 2.5 million units a month starting in June.
  • Several more rollouts into other countries are scheduled till the end of this year.
  • The earliest quasi competitors would not show up for another 3-4 months, and Android based, more closer competitors till at least the end of this year if not early 2011.
  • Sales so far have happened in the historically 2nd lowest sales quarter - Q2. Thing will significantly pick up after september.
  • As sales of the iPads began to reach ears of the big company CIO, web content providers will move even faster towards HTML 5, erasing the FLASH argument against the iPad
  • The Fall iPhone OS 4.0 software update will be a major sales boots as it significantly increases the capabilities of the device.
  • Developers are still surprising with awesome new iPad apps that turn heads. Just today Pulse showed up. The iPad catalogue stands at 5000 today will likely pick up significantly after WWDC..
  • A whole new class of OS 4.0 Application will start to roll out later this year.
These factors will only push iPad sales beyond the current 1 million a month making the 10+ million iPads in 2010 a prediction I will get comfortably behind.

Actually the 10 Million is my low end estimate with the high end being Apple selling almost everything it can produce till the end of the year, which means around 15 million iPads.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Has Android really outpaced the iPhone with v2.2 Froyo

After the Google I/O conference, fans of the Android operating system, fresh from entusiasm of the tech demos shown in the Froyo keynote and general announcements made throughout have claimed that Google had surpassed Apple in terms of inovation in the mobile space. Add that to some reports that Android is outselling the iPhone in the US and you have the tech bloggers making some very biased conclusions.

I am far from being e tech expert myself, but I think a bit or some realism can paint quite a different picture. Let look into some of the more popular assumptions made by people when reading those stories

1. Google is developing the Android platform faster than Apple is own iPhone OS and is now ahead in features.
  • Its interesting but it turns out that development of both Android and iPhone OS started around the same time around 2005. I do believe that the numbering scheme that Google has choses for the Android platform does reflect the progress made in the operating system. Consequently a software platform at version 2.2 cannot be more feature rich as very comparable platform at version 3.1 For indirect proof look at the Chrome desktop browser being at version 5 now, ahead of Safari which is still at version 4. Clearly Google considers the desktop browser the most important software it works on.
  • the features which people find the Android platform to be superior, namely Gmail, Voice search and Turn by Turn navigation are part of the Google core competency and a differentiator, just like Apple has build its iTunes/iPod business
  • the more important general features which Froyo 2.2 added, such as Exchange and application data backup, have been with the iPhone OS since its own version 2.2 back in September 2008.
  • The really interesting features demonstrated at the Froyo keynote, such a push application purchasing and other types of over the air delivered features and content are not part of Froyo, but sneak peaks into some future release. Stiff, Google is a cloud company an its is to be expected that it will get ahead in the cloud services game, where Apple clearly does noBulleted Listt make a lot of effort at.
  • One of the reasons Google went behind Adobe as a application development platformis that is own Android SDK obviously sucked and Apple left it in the dust. Google hoped to use the iPhone platform as an incentive for developers to create app that could easily then be easily converted to Android using Adobe tools and quickly close the gap in number of apps the iPhone enjoys. Clearly a tactic not worthy of a allegedly superior platform.
2. Android is now faster than the iPhone OS and its mobile phones have surpassed the iPhone in terms of hardware.
  • The iPhone 3GS was introduced in min 2009 with worldwide availability. While some resent new offerings carry bigger displays and newer generation components, none of them has reached significant availability. An not all of them are superior the iPhone in terms of end user performance. I am not talking about feature specs, but actually battery/software performance, display quality in all lighting conditions, hardware reliability and so on. Only one device with the Android operating system can be compared with the iPhone in terms of overal market impart and that is the Motorola Droid. I will go on the record by said that its success in the US in particular has to do with nothing else that the name DROID. George Luscas has spend 3 decades encoding that word into the American popular culture trough the Start Wars francise, and Motorola just rode the wave.
  • All these new generation of Android phones: The Nexus One, the Droid Incredible, the EVO 4G and so on are 2010 devices. Just because, Apple is the only company that does not announce its new hardware just prior to actually being able to ship it, does not mean that comparisons with the iPhone 3GS, 2 weeks prior the the iPhone A4 are still valid. In recent performance tests with the Nexus One running the latest Android 2.2, the iPhone seams to have lost the edge in speed it held for 10+ months now. But not by a significant margina and that is to be expected. What people miss to notice however is that the speed diference between the iPhone 3GS and the Nexus One running Froyo is much less than the hardware spec advantage the Google phone seams to have. The 2009 iPhone had a 50% clock speed increase / 2X RAM increase over the 2008 iPhone resulting in system wide 2X performance increase. 2010 The Nexus One has 70% clock speed increase / 2X RAM increase over the 2009 iPhone, yet it seams to enjoy a small system wide performance advantage over the 3GS only when it does now make significant used of its other alleged advantage: background processing. What would the results be when Apple matches or exceed any current or projected Android hardware with the iPhone 4A? Should'n we wait a few more weeks and make a 2010 Android device vs 2010 Apple device comparison instead, before making claims Andorid is faster.'
3. Android is outselling the iPhone in the US.
  • It's funny how people ignore things like cheap Android phones with 1.6 or even 1.5 still being sold in buy one, get one free fashion. Everybody can sell hardware at a loss, by tying people to two year old contracts. Everybody that does not value its customers beyond the point of sale. Not Apple
  • Why not compare iPhone Sales in AT&T with comparably priced Android phones sold just by Verizon. That's a fair comparison in my opinion as it matches the the overal price and service and leaves the actual experience and value of the device to shine out. People like bashing how Nexus One seams to edge the iPhone 3GS in some ways but never mentions its actual sales. The wide public seams to associate the Android with these top/flagship devices even though they are not the bread and butter of the sales. The exception being the Motorola droid, which has sales figures compared to the original iPhone prior to its price drop.
  • Android sales will quickly level out when the introduction across all 4 major US carriers is complete in less time than the first adopters had a chance to go trough their 2 year contacts. At that time people would know whether they want to have the same experience again or switch to the iPhone. The thing about the iPhone is that very few people ever switch away from it, some of those come back eventually and some do it for no other reason than the service provider AT&T
  • Why are not people counting the iPod Touch as sales? Oh, because it's not a phone. In many ways the iPod Touch is more of a smartphone than many so called smartphones sold today. Apple will eventually add a phone feature to most of its iPods. You should not discredit sales of a particular product based on definitions that constantly change but rather on the impact that it has. One can argue can a person with a dumb phone and an iPod Touch has in effect a smartphone. One can also argue that people owning iPod Touches are not likely to also carry a touch screen smartphone. So again, why not count those as sales too if they can be a substitute for a canonical smartphone. Everything will make since if only people compare sales by operating system, not by specific hardware features. After all a person with an iPod Touch running OS 4 and a MiFi in his pocket can have a better Skype phone functionality than most smartphones today.
So has the Android latest update and the new handsets available from its hardware partners really outpased the iPhone? No. Neither are features, speed, sales or potential.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Apple sells 1 million iPads in 28 days

Apple just announced that is had sold 1 million iPads during the first day of the device. Is this a lot? Is this enough to justify the new products category Apple claims to have created?

To put this into perspective have to take a similar look few other devices that seam to establish a new category.

While there were smart phones before the iPhone, it changed the landscape forever and it was the first such product from Apple. The original iPhone was also sold only in the US initially and it took 2.5 months for it to reach the 1 million mark. Obviously some may consider this a slow start but it is definitely a humble beginnings given consecutive launches of the device with the 3G and 3Gs models making 1 million during the first weekend of sales. Almost 3 years later, Apple sells close to 3 million iPhone per month.

It is quite obvious that the all things "i" maker does not plan on taking it slow this time.

The other important device the iPad is compared to and dismissed by Apple as a good product is the netbook. Many Apple haters will be quick to point out that netbooks sell in the tents of millions per year now. How is Apple in any way affecting that? These pundits forget how netbooks started. The first model of PC considered to be a netbook was the Asus Eee PC introduced at the end of October 2007. During the rest of the years it sold just 300,000 units. That is 150,000 per holiday season month.

Granted Asus did does not have the marketing buz of Apple, nor was the economy in recession at that time to influence consumers into buying budget devices. Nevertheless, the iPad has considerably higher price and it started selling during the non spectacular month of March with only US availability. It it widely believed that sales will pick up considerably when:
  • production meets demand. Right now, its way bellow:
  • the iPad 3G is introduced
  • international availability is a fact next month
  • Apple negotiates breakthrough 3G deals with international carriers
  • enough iPad specific apps populate the App Store
  • iPhone OS 4 is available for iPad in the Fall
Clearly Apple has a lot things it can do to increase sales without even touching the price of the product and the iPad is off to a much better start than the nebooks it will eventually kill.

By the way you only need to follow the news to see that already netbooks sales are slowing down considerably. It's is no surprise to me. The iPad is clearly a more capable device.

Oh look, AAPL is up 5% so far today on the news. Another 10% increase and it will pass MSFT (Microsoft) in market cap as the biggest technology company on the planet.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nokia borrows some Apple Marketing tricks


I wish Nokia had more fortunate unveiling of its N8 flagship but it was not the first to do so. The guys that got a hold of its phone in Russia spoiled the whole thing. No remote wipe as was the case with Apples iPhone prototype "uncovered" by Gizmodo.

Anyway, a couple of day later Nokia decided to unveil its new flagship phone to the world even though it will not ship out for 2-3 months.

I was surprised I like it. Well at least the hardware looked nice. A lot of attention to detail. The colors looked great and there was something about the presentation of all that gave me a familiar feeling. When I read that its made of single piece aluminum block or that its colors were anodized aluminum it hit me. This is nothing short of Nokia trying to imitate the best Apple had done. It's not the first time.

I starte looking in the N8 and Apple site back and forth and I started to notice some very apparent similarities:

While the iPod Nano is a completely different product, the style of the presentation is so similar that one may confuse these two products of belonging to the same company.

App Store madness. Everybody is envious of Apple's success with the App store and with when you have tried and failed at this so many times, it best to just copy the competition. However, it is no secret that Apple was teaching its customers to buy from iTunes for 8 years now. You cannot copy customer behavior. Also you are asking developers to do stuff for a non existing platform. How many Nokia N8s are there? Apple will likely ship its 100,000,000 iPhone OS device by the time Nokia ships 1 N8

I just don't think Nokia showed its awesome video capture in this style before. An interesting note. N8 takes 720p at 25fps while the iPhone 3GS does 480p at 30fps. They should have copied that too, because while 720p looks nice, it even more important to capture every moment at 30 fps.

I can honestly say that when I saw this, I though I was looking at a really bad Chinese iPhone clone. This show how little innovation Nokia can bring on the software side. At best they can somewhat copy Apple, which is never a bad thing.

I admit, I do not visit Nokia products site a lot but the N8 specification sheet looks a lot like the one one Apple's iPhone site. At least as far as presentation though. They did try to list a lot more useless stuff, making it look the Nokia can do more. I only hope Apple does not start listing what its hundreds of thousands of apps can do, just to mock Nokia. I mean, have you even seen the kind of video recording apps are out there for the iPhone?

A few more thoughts on the design. Have you ever seen a Nokia phone with rounds edges like that? And what about the metallic screen bezel? It's funny cause the N8 looks a lot more Appleish, while the iPhone prototype shown by Gizmodo looked totally industrial and one could almost say these two companies switched their design departments for their next gen products.

Had Nokia released the N8 last year with these features and price, it would have had a really hit the nail. This years iPhone however is going to be nothing like the N8 and is totally going to kick ass.

iPad is expanding its capability lead

I just thought about the the above chart I did as part of my previous article on the matter...and I changed the Tablet rating for "2 Hand stationary use" to Good. Given all the great software that's on the iPad and the apparent ease of typing, not to mention the great cases that come for it.

I don't know how much more obvious it can get about the market for tablets and specifically the iPad which is the only one of its kind now.

This device has so many potential real life uses.

I hope Jobs and Apple are prepared to meet the adoption wave that is unfolding. First reports are that they are: quote Tim Cook "Shocked" already.

4th Gen iPhone 4A to borrow iPad pricing model

If you read any news from the technology world you know there is a war going on. On one side is Apple and on the other is virtually everyone else with the exception of Microsoft who do not have any pieces on the board yet. I also have to mention RIM, who barely support the web browsing at all (4% of the trafic in US), let alone Flash, but RIM sells 1/4 of the smarthphones on the planet. OK, so not everyone.

I am talking about whether Flash will sidelined into a niche web technology or whether it will continue to widely used on websited and one day adopted by the iPhone OS produces from Apple. Ops, Steve spoiled the answer to the second part already. Besides who on the iPhone cares about Flash? We all use the Web trough iPhone Apps and to a lesser extend webapps.

This summer when Adobe allegedly finally releases Flash 10.1, everyone with Smartphone OS will be tooting Flash support in order to stand against the market dominance of Apple.

What can Apple do to counter this pro Flash marketing push comming this summer. If the Droid Ads from last Fall are any indication, Apple better be prepared. I think they are doing all the right things:
  • releasing a magical device at a breakthrough price, aka the iPad
  • working on the 4th biggest and best update to its iPhone OS
  • working on a awesome new iPhone hardware as spoiled by Gizmodo
There is one last thing Apple need to do when it introduce the new iPhone with the new iOS 4:

Borrow the iPad 3G pricing and carrier service subscription model.

OK, here are the factors that will influence next iPhone pricing favorably:
  • Apple uses superior manufacturing process, let expensive raw materials and more components produced by the company to keep the hardware price the same while dramatically increasing capability.
  • By adopting the iPad 3G on device contract management, Apple can reduce the price of servicing the device.
  • First software update is free while consequent ones are paid by the customer. Previously Apple needed to factor in the price of 2 year free updates in to the price of the phone.
  • The iPhone brand is well established and Apple has working relationships with many carriers in the word. Introducing a new device will not be as costly.
  • The iPhone is starting to have some serious competition and Apple needs to lower its profits to the level of the other products that it offers. Just like it did with the iPad.
Overall, while the Nokia surprised many by releasing the price if its new flagship N8 as $430, Apple may just as well offer a much superior device at the same price point with no contract. If carriers were to subsidize that using todays formulas, we could see the new iPhone 4A being offered this summer for $29 with affordable two year contracts.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Trying to fix my iPhone...dead strip still there

This was going to be a test of things to come. Can I open my iPhone to the extend needed to replace the display? Can I put it back together and still work?

I got all the tools, time and guides I needed. By the way, I used this iFixit guide

That part was easy.

Nothing special here either.

Remobing the battery was a very long process. It was glued so strongly that I got it to bend quite a bit more before I broke free. The metal spudger was essential here.

I was hoping that the display conector was not making a good contact or something but the problem appeared to be buried deep inside the display assembly. I had to buy a new one. They are $100 bucks on ebay.

I assembled the phone and the problem was still there. Here is what does not work:

- second button from the bottom on a popup menus.

- a couple of letters in the landscape keyboard.

Had the dead stribe been a little bit more up or down, it was likely that the portrait keyboard would have been completely unusable. Thank jobs it still is.

Monday, April 19, 2010

No MicroSD card. Only iTunes to sync to! Why Apple, why?

I reader of my previous blog post asked me to comment on the "MicroSD slot and moving away from iTunes syncronization for all media".

I didn't think I would have much to say about it, but it turned out there is a lot...I mean a lot. I hope I can make it short.

Let's consider for instance the ultimate music player if technology was not a limitation. Let dream of the ultimate music device and see if MiroSD cards and Syncing options are there to be found!

I will start with something I believe with to absolutely true about Apple and the future of it music players.

If Apple could make a music player that had no screen, ports or even physical controls of any kind, and still play the music you wanted to hear the moment you heard it played already, they would. And they are trying...

What does that say about the company, about Steve Jobs? It says that the only thing he considers of importance is the actual listening of the sound. The buttons are not important, the headphones are not important, even the artwork is a distraction and god forbid you mention the storage capacity. Its all about listening to the right music at the right emotional state.

How can Apple possibly create a player that does that. There are two sides to the question. A hardware and a software one. I will give you a hint for each: Software is kind of Pandora style but taking much more variables such as time of day, calendar appointments, speed of movement, acceleration, hearth rate, temperature, background sound. All wrapped up in one super intelligent Genius. Now that you have seen the software part, having to guess the hardware it easy: Wireless connection, GPS, accelerometer, heart monitor, thermometer, microphone and so on. There player might consist of more than one device, some of which will be embedded in the clothing and the shoes. The part that goes into your ear might be less visible than a in-ear headphone bud.

Now, where in this futuristic picture do you see any kind of optional storage or syncing? You don't and here is why.

The most fundamental mistake that people assume when it come to music is that people want to be able to make a choice. Any kind of choice. Choice about whether to have MicroSD card or not, choice to have a red or a green colored player, choice to listen to the Beatles or Queen. I have come to believe to the bottom of my heart that it is in fact quite the opposite. People do now want to chose, they do not want to decide, do or even look when it comes to music. They just want to listen. That is the secret behind the long existence of radio, because someone else decides it for you. It's convenient. Pandora has taken things one step further. It learns from your listening preferences and make you a personalized radio station. While there is indeed an initial choice, the whole point of services like that are to deliver the music you like without you having to make the choice every time.

Now, when you grasp this concept you start to wander, if even choosing the music I play is not something I want to do, why would I even bother to decide on where to store it or what program it will sync with. Why do even things like storage and syncing exist? Why would I have a limit on the music I can cary with me? Do I care if I actually carry the music with me, it I can here it anytime I want?

When one asks important questions like that, it becomes obvious that beyond iTunes, it is not another syncing program. That will only bring limited conform to the people that lie to themselves about the choice question. Beyond iTunes is CloudTunes or just iTunes. Really just iTunes. No interface, no syncing. It all there connected to your phone at all time. You may pay some initial fee to get started but its all there available to you and to your smart software to decide on the next song.

And while Apple is expected to deliver this CloudTunes still, the question of MicroSD cards or the removable storage option has already been decided and the CloudTunes will just put the finishing nail on it. In fact, on the quest for the ultimate iPod, Apple removed this choice very early....with the very first iPod, back in 2001. One has to be insane to think Apple will introduce it back. Quite the opposite... they are planing to sacrifice even more things. Just look at the iPod Shuffle and how that nicely sits on the path to the ultimate music player.

Now, for some the above thoughts may be all pie in the sky type of stuff, so here are some more of todays reasons for not using MicroSD cards and different sync methods or programs.

Let's see how one uses removable storage today. You plug it into you computer, you load it manually with music and then you plug it into your device expecting it to recognize everything. There are several problems with this scenario.
  • you lose time for loading the stuff on your card
  • you can add a song with bad quality, broken file or missing tag
  • you are dealing with folder and hierarchal structure, which no user should be doing
  • the date will likely contain no information about which song was played
  • unless you use a special software to structure the content on the card, you may have to find the music the old fashion Winamp way.
  • how do you know which content is purchased from you, and which is not?
There are many other reasons against MicroSD cards, ranging from minor one, such as "another thing to loose" to why not just build it into the device, seal the whole and save on manufacturing cost.

The only practical use from flash cards is perhaps to transfer your pictures from a camera to the iPhone via an 30 pin dock connector/SD-card adapter.

Regarding the issue of wireless syncing. It is practical for some services like contacts but not for media file. They are too big file inability for devices to link to each other without a common WiFi router is also an issue. As long as I have a need to charge my device I have no problem docking it to the computer for syncing too. If I had to do full wireless syncing, I would have had even bigger battery issues.

So while wireless streaming makes sense, wireless downloading of files does not. We will move beyond the desktop iTunes, when all its content goes online, when the bandwidth is sufficient and when the right business model present itself.

Now, having exceeded my own expectations and goals, I will shut up.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why This Picture of 4G iPhone makes sense

Update: A lot happened in the days following this article. I can only smile at the confirmation on most if not all my assumptions by the leak of the year. :)

Is this the iPhone 4G?

One thing is certain. It is some sort of iPhone. Whether it is just a prototype or the production model is another story. One other thing is certain. It would not be called the iPhone 4G.

There are however some very interesting details about it that give away the fact that it's a next generation hardware by Apple. I believe its actually a revolutionary approach to building phones, just as Apple did with the unibody Macbooks.

It's not a fake by any means and I hope Apple will not change stuff just because they lost a prototype.

Here is what I noticed:

1. No screen bezel. All aluminum frame
While the screen bezel was a beautiful touch, it was actually part of the supporting structure for the components. With this new model, Apple has taken a new approach to internal hardware design. As seen from the pic showing the internal hardware, the main supporting structure for the device is a 1 or 2 piece unibody aluminum frame.
The advantages here are quite obvious too:
  • Maximum torsion strength and minimum weight
  • very cheap to produce
  • machine process commonality with all other Apple products
  • fully recyclable
  • access from top and bottom with equal ease
2. It has a full edge to edge top and bottom glass cover.
How revolutionary is that? Apple has to work some obvious problems like, will it crack easily it the iPhone is dropped, is the brick form-factor comfortable to hold and all these finger print smudges. However the advantages are way more impressive:
  • Perfect signal reception
  • Almost no cost to manufacture
  • fully recyclable
  • scratch resistant
  • easy to replace if broken
  • no holes needed for camera or flash
  • iMac/iPad approach to screen gorgeousness
  • glass panels help with bending moments
3. Size and feel of the new design
While, there is no way of knowing how much it would weigh or the exact size, I suspect this to be the thinnest iPhone yet, perhaps around 10 mm or less. The overall size however, remains the same. The report that is had been found in an existing iPhone 3G case is interesting. Replacing a plastic back and steal frame with all aluminum and glass parts does sound like it could reduce the weight somewhat.

4. Front Camera and LED flash
While these were all expected, integrating them behind the glass for protection is well....ingenious in a way only Apple can achieve. It's just so simple, elegant and efficient. There is just one LED component, while all other phones feature two.

5. Ports, button and other notes of interest.
  • Volume controls are now two separate buttons which should dramatically make it easier to press, improve reliability and damage tolerance
  • SIM card port is moved to the right side. Kind of logical since cramping too many openings on top would have made this section of the phone substantially weaker.
  • It's interesting if the small hole next to the headphone jack is noise canceling microphone. It makes more sense to have one now, since in video chat you will not hold the phone close to you for clear audio reception.
  • I cannot say much about the internal except that they look even more beautifully and efficiently laid out. The speaker/microphone assembly actually looks quite substantial. Possibly finally solving the 3 year complain of good output volume.
  • The two seams on the aluminum bezel do indicate a two piece frame assembly. I actually think, they will be gone on the production model. There is no reason Apple cannot manufacture the frame as a single part, aka unibody.
  • The new design absent of complex curved shapes will be much more easy for case/dock developers.
  • The flat back, thin design and OS 4 features will allow for one longtime dream of many users: An iPhone case with slide out bluetooth keyboard.
  • I really like how Apple how found a way to simplify the whole design down to it two favorite materials: Glass and Aluminum. First the Macbook Pros, then the iMac, now the iPad. The iPhone could be next, followed by the iPods.
  • I cannot stress this enough. Apple has found a way to produce just 2 glass and 2 aluminum parts that hold all other non Apple produced components. If they also put in their own SoC silicon now, this phone will have an incredibly low production price, giving Apple's phone not just quality but cost advantage. How do you beat that HTC?
I have never been more confident in the future of the iPhone platform than after writing these thoughts. Apple is taking an all out engineering and design assault on how a smartphone is made, innovating right down to its internal design.

This summer's iPhone will indeed going to be a " A+ upgrade" as his highness Steve Jobs said.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Flash Domination


These are the reasons why I watch Starcraft these days. There is just one player out there, who just dominates like no other in the history of the game.

This is the Ultimate weapons, this is Flash

The only player to go beyond 70% in 1 vs 1 record.
All time: 272-111 (71.02%)
Last 6 months: 70 wins - 14 losses (83.33%)

Source: TeamLiquid

P.S. ELO is a measure of skill. Generally speaking you get more points for beating better players and you also loose a lot by falling to a player with low ELO. The more points you get, the more you fall in the ranking when you loose. Untill Flash, no one had come close to the 2400 mark.





Monday, March 15, 2010

6th Generation Fighter Aircraft - Replacing the F-22 Raptor

Here is a post I made in the SecretProjects.co.uk forum, that I am kind of proud of and it has a lot of solid logic and a lot to look forward to in the Future. Enjoy!

Seeing how things are changing in the world of technology I do not expect anything conventional to replace the F-22 Raptor. The 6th gen would not be about the same things just more and better. It would need a new paradigm. Think about it, every generation of fighter aircraft had added something fundamentally new, while ever so slightly improving the legacy features.

1st - Get Engine
2nd - Get Engine + Speed
3rd - Get Engine + Speed + Guided Missiles
4th - Get Engine + Speed + Guided Missiles + Maneuverability
5th - Get Engine + Speed + Guided Missiles + Maneuverability + Stealth
6th - Get Engine + Speed + Guided Missiles + Maneuverability + Stealth + ???

So what would be the rosseta stone of the 6th gen fighter? Here is my proposal, just conjured out of thin air.

The platform:
F-35 sized, tailless, 1 engine (F136 based), high-performance unmanned fighter. It will have 6-8 dual range air to everywhere missile and a 1 MW optical laser as weapons. It will have supersonic performance to rival the YF-23 but be able to withstand much higher G-forces.

Control:
Pilots can be located either on the ground or on a VLO flying command post hundreds of miles away awaiting in conform for any action. Communication can be done via lasers guaranteeing high bandwidth and extremely low probability of intercept. The fighter will be brought to the battle zone completely automatically via on board intelligence. When fuel is low, it will automatically refuel and return to station. It may be possible to even rearm in mid-air, if the weapons payload is made truly modular and flexible. Laser, needs only electricity so they just need more fuel to the engines which generate it.

Operation:
If a situation arrises the pilots, can just pick up the closest fighter available to respond to the battle needs and take tactical control. They will only tell the fighter what targets to engage as if in a computer game and the AI of the craft would pick the the best situation and launch parameters for the weapons, with the pilots issuing the final shoot order. If and when WVR combat is required the pilots can take full control but be able to chose viewing as if it was a flight sim. By this time full 360 degrees visual/sensor coverage should not be an issue at all. Pilots will be able to view the battle in full 3D in real time and just draw maneuvers on the screen, that the fighter can perform.

Conclusion:
I do believe the Unmanned option to be the true enabled of the 6th generation fighter. While it has value on its own, it serves to benefit all other 5 features of the aircraft by removing the need of a "on board pilot" requirement.

Every experienced fighter pilot can tell that the most demanding part of the flight is the battle when humans are actually needed is just mere minutes, sometimes seconds. The rest is boring and exhausting routine. If I had to design a 6 gen fighter, I would create a cheap but capable platform (not a mutirole fighter) that can be available over the battlefield 24/7. Obi Wan, said it best "Flying is for droids". The pilots should be working as a team in the same room making tactical decisions together and not worrying about their lives.

This actually turned rather nicely, for a first draft. B)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A little bit of unwanted Advice:Part 1

Apple is doing great. The just seam to defy the laws of physics if the physicians were the tech pundits analyzing their every move and especially those making design suggestions on their next generation products.

With this post I might just as well fall into that category. I would not pretend to be predicting the future though just rather make some logical observations.

Apple has proven that traditional smarthphones are obsolete and the whole Market is up for grabs by whoever embraces the iPhone approach and does a good job creating a great user experience. Android has done it to some extend and WP7S are poised to do so as well at the end of this year. Apple is not in danger of being out-inovated but of not delivering its 2007 innovation to people fast enough for it capture dominant market share, the way it did with the App Store.

Apple needs to replicate the success of the App Store into the iPhone. Don't get me wrong, I know the better the App Store, the better the iPhone sales. It's just that Apple managed to create and new type of digital store in such a way as to appeal to majority people in the one area that matters most besides quality: COST!

While the original iPhone had quality to spare, its cost constrained its sales.

Why is it that Apple can sale 1000 times more apps than devices on which they run? Clearly the iPhone is not 1000 times more expensive than its App's....or maybe it is. A lot of people have raized the valid point about the total cost of an iPhone over the two year contract being somewhere in the thousands.

Do you really need to tie people with a 2 years data plan contracts to guarantee that they will spend money on data traffic and bring profits to the carrier? Haven't people by now learned to conveniece of the allways on internet that they are going to purchase trafic themselves anyway?

Maybe, but maybe that's one side benefit to the success of the App Store. It trained people to buy is small parts but all the time. There was never a mountly fee to use the App Store, but boy did people not download stuff all the time?

What it is that I am trying to say here? Where is my point you ask? Well, my point is illustrated by the success of the approach some great App Developers have taken is selling their products ..... for FREE.

Great games and software now come virtually full featured from day one free of charge. But there is nothing like a full featured software from day one. There is always something you want to add or customize your experience or add additional functionality. These small updates cost what now cost the cheapest apps on the App store - 0.99 cents. Affordable to any and no brainer to buy if you have the slightest need to add this functionality to your app.

Apple has the best platform for generating money not just for itself but for its developers by bringing great content to the mass audience at unbelievably low prices. It's a WIN-WIN for every one. The more iPhones Apple deploys the more people can get access to its App store. The more people have access, the more incentive to developers to create better apps and lower prices. The more Apps are sold the greater the profits for Apple too.

The iPhone as a physical device is no longer anything special. It does not have any top of the line component any more. Not even the largest and highest res screen. But it doesn't matter, and it with the platform and its experience already established it probably better stick to its current specs. This should play to enormous financial benefit for apple as it can get ever lower prices on components and lower the manufacturing cost of the product.

Last September, Jobs talked about a the $199 Magic price point. Well it is magic but has a lot more power if its not tied to a 2 year contract. I think Apple are heading in the right direction and the Market underestimates the impact an existing product like the iPhone 3GS could still have if Apple manages to sell it at a new magics price without a contract. The iPad has proven that cellular devices can indeed be sold without a contract for a reasonable price.

So my first advice to Apple that they know themselves: find a way to negotiate with AT&T an 8GB iPhone 3GS for $299 without a contract.


Monday, February 8, 2010

The coming war of Tablets vs Netbooks


You may have heard of Tablets, and you may have heard of Netbooks, but one thing you need to hear about is that with the introduction of the iPad by Apple these two product categories will go to war with one another in the near future.

Tablets had flopped until now because they were waiting for a newer generation of components than those on netbooks and for totally new generation of software. Netbooks could get away with the old OSes because frankly they are still used as a laptop. They are like 12inch powerbooks at fraction of the cost. With the iPad, for the first time a tablets have reached the level needed to become mainstream and find their market. What may not surprised everyone is that market may have already been taken by netbooks.

When looking to compare products, one is naturally tempted to look into specification. For Product categories and platform like he iPhone this tends to produce very incorect predictions over time. This is because product categories and platforms tend to evolve in features while keeping their names.

So, a totally new way of comparing netbooks and tablets is needed. One far simpler and much more powerful. One based on fundamentals that will never change. For what is more important than how and where do you use a product. Apps don't matter, interactions do. There are essentially only two variables: number of hands used and product position. In addition we add the all important price consideration and one field to indicate overall capabilities.

How we measure the quality of each product in each category is also important. Exact numbers do not mean much. What is much more
telling is how each product category fares compared to the others in the same field. Consequently, there are only 4 meaningful choices. A products is ether the best there is, does a good job, can be used to work in this way or is unpractical to handle like that. Lastly, when talking about tablets, I am mainly referring to the next generation of iPad like devices that will come to market shortly.

Armed with those assumptions the following battle-gram unfolds by itself.

While some ratings are pretty strait forward, I would like to explain a couple of the ones which do decide the battle and may stir controversy:

  1. You cannot use laptops and netbooks without supporting their weight by something other than your hands.
  2. The tablet win the 1 Hand Stationary Use round, because its main workflow paradigm does not depend on using two hands, while productivity on laptops and netbooks drops significantly to the point of frustration if you are limited to just using one hand
  3. While a Tablet may not run full OS apps, it will be able to do stuff that come out of its inherent design. For example, a whole new types of programs (books, comics, magazines) become practical, when you can rotate the device in portrait mode. Can you work in portrait mode on a netbook? Or can you imagine accelerometer controls on a netbook?

Conclusion:
Each product category had something that is best at and its actually no brainer to tell. What is interesting is that Tablets are potentially just as usefull as a full laptop but at a lower cost, meaning that they have a potentially bigger market than either laptops or smartphones. Netbooks on the other hand, just like Steve Jobs said are not good at anything. Their only true quality is their price, which is not enough to keep them competitive on the long run with a much better but slightly more expensive product like the tablet.

Monday, February 1, 2010

And the 4th Gen iPhone is called....

Recently two things happened that may unintentionally reveal the Marketing name of the 4th gen iPhone.
  1. Apple CEO Steve Jobs was quoted to say the the next iPhone is a A+ device. Did he choose that definition by accident or was he trying to hide 2 facts into 1.
  2. Apple released the iPad, which features a custom silicon by Apple called the A4. This processor has technology inside suitable for smartphones.
Apple has been fairy strait forward in marketing the iPhone. The first one was the iPhone, since that was its most important feature. The second one was the iPhone 3G, since 3G speeds were the halmark of this device. An the last one that came out las summer was called iPhone 3GS with the S standing for speed, and that being its main feature.

So the big question is, what will be the main feature of the new iPhone. Seeing how the Apple approached its third generation of iPhone OS products, visual hardware change will likely not occur. What will change is under the hood. Screen resolution might change but that will not be the main new feature. I believe, Apple plans to move its new A4Chip into all its iOS products, creating an economy of scale and even more platform commonality.

If the A4 chip screams on the iPad, given its much higher screen resolution and more capable apps, it is likely that it will make the next gen iPhone go into hyperspace. Apps will probably launch so fast that the need for multitasking will hardly be an issue and battery life will likely see a significant improvement. This will contrast a lot with the approach other platforms like Android take. Better hardware with more resource hungry features resulting in similar battery life.

If Apple keeps the approach combining its iPhone trademark with a designation of its main feature then the name iPhone A4 seams the most logical choice for name.

Further, the number 4 might have been intentionally chosen at it also suggests that this is the 4th model. If that is the case then A4 chip might have been made to for iPad but named to suit better the iPhone.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Defending the iPad

OK, So the Nerds and Geeks were again disappointed that Apple is no making a gadget worthy of their talent to hack and tweak any product to no good end. Well, wake up! Apple is a consumer company now and has been for some time. They build devices for the average person. But lets get into the details, shall we.

Check out those 10 things the iPad can't do and tell me is anybody serious enough about his work will do those on any netbook and not use a full laptop!

There is the 10 things from CNET which I will go over one by one
1. Video Chat.
Ask yourself how many times have you used video in a chat out of all chats you have made recently. Close to nothing right? And why is that? It's simple. The bandwidth is not there yet to do it anywhere at anytime. People are also a bit touchy when it comes to privacy. Lighting is also not good at all times. Do I need to go on more?

2. Run Flash.
The only 2 good things about flash are its everywhere and that people know how to do stuff on it. However, Flash has much more drawbacks:
  • it's consumes processing power in a big way draining your batteries quickly
  • is is not a open standard that everyone can contribute to like HTML 5 or Webkit
  • it is very unreliable
  • it is very unsecured
  • Flash sites are not indexable by google
  • there are better and open alternatives
Apple is the only company that has taken an active stance against this technology that adds no true value to our internet experience.

3. Not good for hacking as it does not run Windows 7.
Come on! This one ruined your point already

4. Cannot Upload Photos from a camera.
Well, I go you here. There are simple dock adapters with SD card slots already. I guess, you have not paid attention. That too ruined you credentials.

5. Store more than 64GB.
That's flash memory not some hard disk. Its durable and its fast. The iPad is not a laptop to store all you files, and the Netbook's 160GB are also not enough for that too. By the way, Windows 7 takes 10 times more space than the iPhone OS and that says a lot.

6. Play Facebook games.
Are you kidding me. WTF. The App Store has 20,000+ games most of which far better than anything on Facebook.

7. Swapping a battery for a better one.
Seriously dude, you need to actually read the iPad specification before posting stuff like that. I have an iPhone 2G for 2.5 years now and the battery works just fine. The iPad will have a battery live of 5 years that's to the 1000 recharge cycle ability. The iPhone proved that external batteries are much more flexible than replacing your internal one.

8. Instal CD Media.
WTF again. Are 11 million songs from iTunes and 140,000 apps from the App Store are not enough for you? You know you can sync the iPad to your computer to load anything else trough iTunes right?

9. Not good for typing.
5 things:
  1. There is a special dock with full size keyboard with some custom iPhone OS keys.
  2. You can use apple bluŠµtooth keyboard as well
  3. Last I checked there are a lot of non English typing people out there. The iPhone keyboard can transform to efficiently enter characters in tents of languages. Can a netbook do that? No
  4. Can you type of a netbook without sitting with one or 2 hands? No
  5. Are the netbook keyboard actually full sized keyboard good for serious typing? No
10. Upgrade.
I have yet to meet a regular person who has actually upgraded his netbook or any laptop. By the time you feel to upgrade anything, more often than not people just buy a new device, because the device is obsolete. With old netbooks trying to run Windows 7, this is just the case.
I can still run the latest apps and games on my iPhone if I want even though startup time is a bit slower. The iPad is a big leap in performance and will stay relevant for years to come.

Now for the last and most serious criticism. Lack of listening to Pandora while doing something else. WTF.
For one you need to be in the US. For two you need an active 3G/WiFi connection at all times.Its much more power efficient to just listen to your build in iPod.

The iPad is not a serous productivity machine like a Laptop. It is not meant to be, even though it will be one day, believe me. Multitasking as we know it on the laptop is not a good idea on such a device. If my apps could load instantaneously and remember the state I have exited them, I will be more than happy with the Apple model. And it seams the iPad does just that.

All Apple need to do with 4.0 is allow intelligent memory management based on user habits. The software should learn the most used apps and try to keep them in memory for faster startup.

Lets give the iPad an year to evolve and judge it by its sales, software and capabilities then or we risk swallowing our own medicine as was the case with the iPhone.



Saturday, January 23, 2010

Avatar - its all about beauty

I have to admit, I am never a fan of movies that are pre-hyped and predetermined to be good. Especially if they involve jungle creatures. I guess I mussed be obsessed with the world of product technology these days. After lord of the Rings, I just could not believe I will be impressed by any other battles with arrows and primitively dressing folk.

I obviously never read too much into Avatar, but I also knew that I will go and see it just because someone really has put an enormous effort into a something that I get to enjoy for some 8 bucks.

Once the music and the huge spaceship started rolling I knew I was going to discover something to awe me for a long time. I just literally fell in love with this beautiful planet - Pandora. The sounds and the music of the place were resonating so strong with me that I was often on the verge of crying at the stupidity by which we do not appreciate those moments any more.

"Look at all that chatter" is a classic line that shows how people can just be inhuman when their mind has been tainted by money and power.

After watching the movie for a 3rd time and listening to the soundtrack more than 10 times, i am enchanted with this positive desire to achieve this beauty in my life. The first thing is to get Neytiri battle cry as a ringtone for the telephone number that will belong to my girlfriend. Or just say "I see you" to the people that mean most to me.

Even if you are not a romantic person, there are more than enough reasons to enjoy this film. Its has everything and its has it done right. It has it real. So real, that it affects your view of the world you walk into after you exit the cinema.