Five thoughts on the year ahead for Apple

  • Posted: 05 September 2011 05:05 PM #31

    FalKirk - 05 September 2011 06:16 PM
    DawnTreader - 05 September 2011 05:40 PM

    Early November marks the two-year anniversary of the release of the original Droid and there are millions of expiring Android contracts at Verizon. Watch for a big gain in iPhone unit sales at Verizon as the iPhone 5 debuts.

    Excellent observation.

    The release date for the iPhone 5 is being determined in a deliberate and purposeful way.

         
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    Posted: 05 September 2011 05:15 PM #32

    And I would add that Apple’s perhaps-deliberate choice has been greatly aided by the weak competitive environment in 2011.  For now, lucky Apple.

    Shareholders (who Apple puts at third or below on the priority list, after “make a profit”) are still hanging onto their hats, though.

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    Thanks, Steve.

         
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    Posted: 05 September 2011 07:27 PM #33

    jjjz - 05 September 2011 07:06 PM

    With patents filed, technology bought and IOS leaks, we know that Apple will be launching major VOICE control initiatives in the very near future.

    Evolving the interface evolution beyond our hands WILL BE VERY BIG. It will be big in ways that we can only begin to fathom. And it will, IMHO, favor the company that is most vertically integrated.

    Given that iPhone now supports 30 languages, imagine the gargantuan technological hurdles the Apple elves right now must be toiling to overcome.

    Could this be one cause of what seems to be a release delay?

    Will “it just works” voice recognition be Steve Jobs crowning glory?

    Voice recognition per se is not as critical as the power it will unleash. Apple will license technology from Nuance, but they bought Siri for the AI technology that will truly thrust personal computing even further into sci-fi territory.

    The type of voice commands and voice text entry that are currently available on Android and iOS (via Nuance apps) are only the beginning. I don’t think iOS 5 is being “delayed” (I don’t consider it a delay) by this as much as by iCloud integration. They want that launch to be glitch free.

         
  • Posted: 05 September 2011 10:13 PM #34

    DawnTreader - 05 September 2011 01:40 PM
    Early November marks the two-year anniversary of the release of the original Droid and there are millions of expiring Android contracts at Verizon. Watch for a big gain in iPhone unit sales at Verizon as the iPhone 5 debuts.

    Thanks, DT. Does anyone have approximate Android-based phone activation numbers or sales history by month or quarter? My real question is at what point will the possibility of high-volume shifts from Android to iOS begin, based on expiration of 2-year contracts (at least in the U.S.).

         
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    Posted: 05 September 2011 10:43 PM #35

    Mav - 05 September 2011 08:15 PM

    And I would add that Apple’s perhaps-deliberate choice has been greatly aided by the weak competitive environment in 2011.  For now, lucky Apple.

    Shareholders (who Apple puts at third or below on the priority list, after “make a profit”) are still hanging onto their hats, though.


    I can’t believe you said that Mav, Apple wanting to make a profit? rolleyes

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    Posted: 05 September 2011 11:06 PM #36

    Considering your ordeal MB, I’ll give you a pass for a few weeks.

    In the past, when Apple was somewhat less profitable, Steve Jobs mentioned putting the customer or making the products they’d want to use themselves first, with profit and shareholders following.

    I don’t think we can seriously question Apple’s order of priorities, or the results.

    [ Edited: 06 September 2011 12:13 AM by Mav ]

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    Posted: 06 September 2011 12:10 AM #37

    PurpleApple - 06 September 2011 01:13 AM

    Does anyone have approximate Android-based phone activation numbers or sales history by month or quarter? My real question is at what point will the possibility of high-volume shifts from Android to iOS begin, based on expiration of 2-year contracts (at least in the U.S.).

    Activation numbers are vague to the point of being meaningless. Even the moronic tech punditry are beginning to suspect these numbers. But if you want to track them, here are the recent claims by Google and one number from Apple:

    July 14 @ Google earnings:
    ? “up to” 550k activations/day
    ? total of 135 million Android phones activated (not necessarily sold)

    June 6 @ WWDC:
    ? 200 million iOS devices sold

    By the end of 2011, Apple will have sold nearly 300 million iOS devices. If Google maintains it’s current activation rate, it will reach ~235 million Android activations.

    Android OS developer Google, for its part, claims there are more than half a million Android device activations per day. But those numbers have fallen under considerable scrutiny as the company has declined to offer any numbers showing actual Android device sales to back up the activation claims. Instead, Google doesn?t reveal this information despite almost certainly having collected it from Android hardware vendors. The vendors themselves have been highly tight-lipped regarding total Android device sales, and have instead limited their announcements to tightly defined numbers such as Samsung?s ?one million Galaxy Tab units sold? claim. Skeptics across the industry have pointed out that activation numbers could be whole number multiples higher than hardware sales thanks to multiple activations per device which could take place each time the OS is updated to a new version, each time the OS is reinstalled, and each time a device changes ownership.

    There?s also the issue of prepaid disposable Android phones, which are commonly sold in grocery and convenience stores, being counted as activations despite potentially being disposed of weeks later?

    http://www.beatweek.com/news/9240-samsung-galaxy-tab-sales-total-in-doubt-amid-android-activation-claims/

    As to your real question, in July Verizon announced that they sold 2.3 million iPhones and “1.2 million 4G LTE smartphones and Internet data devices”. They did not announce how many Android phones were sold. I think the answer is that the shift from Android to iOS has already begun. iPhone 5 will accelerate that shift.

         
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    Posted: 06 September 2011 12:28 AM #38

    Always enjoy your perspective, Drew.

    I’m not so sure Google would stoop so low as to get multiple Android activations out of a single device.  And hey, I’m not doubting everyone other smartphone vendor’s ability to outsell Apple - they have since Day One by hundreds of millions of handsets, while Apple’s still growing (and chomping share the whole time).  I’ve long said that’s all meaningless, only Apple’s rate of iPhone growth counts. 

    But you’re right, “Android” means a bunch of things, including feature phones that take up the new low-end where Symbian and heck, even Palm (remember Centro?) used to be.  I’m sure semi-fancy alarm clocks could one day run Android, if a model or two doesn’t already.

    To which I say, who gives a damn?  There’s more than enough share for multiple competitors in such a huge market.  Let’s revisit this when iOS and Android have occupied most of the available territory (which they haven’t).

    As Apple moves handset sales closer and closer to the 150-200 million/year run rate, with iPads tearin’ it up and iPod touch bringing up the rear, only one company will be heard laughing.

    [ Edited: 06 September 2011 12:31 AM by Mav ]

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    The Summer of AAPL is here.  Enjoy it (responsibly) while it lasts.
    AFB Night Owl Team™
    Thanks, Steve.