Thundering herd: iPhone edition

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    Posted: 15 June 2012 02:16 PM #76

    This graph was posted months ago. It shows units rather than revenue, but it’s still impressive.

         
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    Posted: 16 June 2012 05:33 PM #77

    Samsung S Voice vs Siri (still beta). Funny, long review by a Brit. Here’s just one example:

    Round five: Find a good restaurant nearby

    S Voice: This should be a simple query—it’s certainly not particularly complex, but instead of understanding my request to recommend some positively reviewed eateries nearby, S Voice gets in a right muddle. After a few repeats of “I didn’t catch that. Please try again”, it renders my question as a single word: “Bed”. I suppose ‘rest’ might be construed as ‘bed’ but only if you stop listening halfway through the word ‘restaurant’.

    S Voice follows up its bed-based revelation by saying, rather ironically it must be said, “I’m not sure what you mean by bed.” You tell me, S Voice, you tell me. More failure to understand me follows, but finally it successfully grasps my question. Can it now find a good restaurant nearby? It cannot. “I’m sorry I don’t have the answer. Would you like me to search the web?” is all it offers.

    When I—rather foolishly—respond verbally by saying “yes, search the web”, rather than just tapping the ‘web search’ button, I inadvertently send S Voice off round the houses. Now it thinks I want to text someone so it asks me who. I try to cancel this phantom message and it feigns deafness before trying to send a message to a contact called “sucks”. Followed by a contact called “hello”. And then a contact called “cancel”.

    As I repeatedly beat my head against the desk in frustration, I finally resort to sending a faux message (to Zack) just to quit out of this phantom message cycle that I never wanted to get into in the first place. What message does Zack get? “Directors meeting”. Oh my days.

    In a last-ditch effort, I try another tack, searching for “cafes in Southwark”. S Voice turns this into ‘cafes in Suffolk’ but actually returns listing for Virginia Beach, US. Massive, massive fail.

    http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/samsung-galaxy-s3s-s-voice-vs-siri-on-iphone-4s-50008087/

    The Galaxy S3 is scheduled to hit the U.S. market about 3 months before the 6th gen iPhone. It will first butt heads against the HTC One X. Both combined will have a tough time outselling the iPhone 4S in it’s final quarter as top iPhone. The next gen iPhone will leave all Android phones choking on exhaust fumes as it launches into the stratosphere.

         
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    Posted: 16 June 2012 06:10 PM #78

    Even worse, S Voice is competing, as a _layer_ (thereby assuring that Android will always have a little extra overhead compared to iOS, which is probably an understatement), against any Google-based voice/AI technology.  So you’ll get Google/Moto with a Siri competitor most likely, and all remaining Android vendors either trying to create their own tech, or using/building off a second-class open-source Google/Moto Siri-like functionality, because it sure wouldn’t make any sense to keep third parties on full software parity with Moto.

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    Posted: 16 June 2012 10:42 PM #79

    You’re right, Mav. S Voice is backed by Vlingo, which is what drove the Galaxy S2’s Voice Commander feature. It’ll be interesting to see what Google announces at I/O later this month. I’m sure they’ve been busy working on their Voice commands.

    I find it amusing that despite Siri’s oft-reported shortcomings, neither Google’s or Samsung’s solutions comes anywhere close to matching Siri’s capabilities. It’s easy to criticize, not so easy to create.

    I wonder how Samsung will handle the Jelly Bean upgrade if it includes a better Siri clone. Android fans in the U.S. will get the S3 with ICS this month. JB arrives in the Fall and they wait until Summer 2013 for an upgrade?

         
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    Posted: 16 June 2012 11:07 PM #80

    It’s one of the downsides of “open” - you just won’t get everyone on the newest release of an OS before an integrated, single-source vendor like Apple.  (Whatever happened to Android 3.0/Honeycomb, anyway?) 

    And that’s just the base case.  Add in disparate vendors and forkable Android and layers upon layers and testing procedures and that how-they-NOT-play-it Motorola (at least temporary) Android exclusivity card…

    I should also add, Apple’s current ventures often have threads going unbelievably far back.  Stuff like Siri has a distant-but-probably-not-coincidental connection to the talking Mac in 1984.  Apple has been thinking about this stuff in multiple dimensions for years, though obviously moreso in 1996-present.

    [ Edited: 16 June 2012 11:11 PM by Mav ]

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    Posted: 16 June 2012 11:20 PM #81

    In fairness, here’s a video from a non-British-accented individual (from ExtremeTech) demoing S Voice with better success:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGI6tZvscJI

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    Posted: 17 June 2012 01:28 PM #82

    Mav - 17 June 2012 02:07 AM

    It’s one of the downsides of “open” - you just won’t get everyone on the newest release of an OS before an integrated, single-source vendor like Apple.

    I think consumers are learning that this is a bigger deal than it appears. It’s not just a matter of getting OS upgrades later than iPhone users; many Android users will never get an OS upgrade.

    The iPhone 4 will be 2 yrs. old next week. In a few months it will receive most of the iOS 6 upgrades (no 3D Flyover). Its Android mates from the class of 2010 (original Galaxy S series, Droid X, Evo 4G, etc.) were lucky if they received Android 4.0 a few months ago. Almost zero chance they’ll ever see Android 5.0 without hacking their device.

    For a large majority of consumers this means an iPhone has at least an extra year of useable life with a much higher quality of user experience. There’s a good chance I’ll be using my iPhone 4S with iOS 8 in 2014. How many Galaxy S2 owners will have upgraded to Android 5 by then?

         
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    Posted: 20 June 2012 06:31 AM #83

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/technology/personaltech/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-phone-bristles-with-extras-state-of-the-art.html?partner=yahoofinance

    The Galaxy S III has declared feature war on iPhone, and Pogue (who’s been writing differently lately, it seems), is semi-gaga over it.  I’m still not sure why Samsung feels compelled to go to larger-than-EVO form factors as a differentiator, unless it’s all because of the display.  A 4.8” display makes for one very big smartphone.

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    Posted: 20 June 2012 11:40 AM #84

    Mav - 20 June 2012 09:31 AM

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/technology/personaltech/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-phone-bristles-with-extras-state-of-the-art.html?partner=yahoofinance

    The Galaxy S III has declared feature war on iPhone, and Pogue (who’s been writing differently lately, it seems), is semi-gaga over it.  I’m still not sure why Samsung feels compelled to go to larger-than-EVO form factors as a differentiator, unless it’s all because of the display.  A 4.8” display makes for one very big smartphone.

    Because stupid consumers who are lazy can easily spot a bigger screen. No needing to read reviews, specs, actually test the thing. Look Ma, it’s got a bigger screen! (saw this in Best Buy the other day).

    Samsung TV sales brother said to VZ phone sales brother at Christmas: “is that a plasma TV in your pocket or are you just happy to see me!” 4.8? better get some new pants.

         
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    Posted: 20 June 2012 12:05 PM #85

    The S3 is warring primarily with the HTC One X (aka EVO 4G LTE) for consumers who prefer large screens, ‘customizability’ and complexity. Such Android hero phones will tempt the tiny fraction of iPhone users who are bored with Apple’s focus on a practical screen size and “just works” philosophy; the very concepts that continue to draw Android users to iOS devices.

    Pogue and Mossberg have been struggling to appease those who accuse them of Apple ‘fanboyism’. They should know better. The Android fanatics will not be appeased and these two old-guard tech pundits have lost credibility by pulling punches on their Android reviews and hitting below the belt on their iOS articles.

    Pogue begins the review by asking if the S3 is “masterpiece…Or…a heap of chaotic spaghetti?”. Instead of concluding with a straight answer, he writes: ”...with great flexibility comes great complexity. The phone bombards you with warnings and disclaimers ? sometimes upside-down. You really need a Learning Annex course to master this thing.”

         
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    Posted: 20 June 2012 05:08 PM #87

    Terry Gou is awesome (as an Apple partner and booster).

    Though I’m not sure Steve would’ve liked to have heard that statement from him, and “Double Down” Tim less so.

    Then again, everyone keeps citing to the China Times, and there’s so source article I can find.

    [ Edited: 20 June 2012 05:14 PM by Mav ]

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    Posted: 21 June 2012 04:15 AM #88

    Microsoft copies the Android way.

    Fortunately this fact was fairly well known and few people actually bought a Windows Phone 7 device. That’s one way of keeping complaints at a minimum.

    Windows phones to miss out on new software

    Microsoft says current Windows phones won’t get coming Windows Phone 8 update

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/windows-phones-miss-software-211521911.html

         
  • Posted: 21 June 2012 01:01 PM #89

    Drew Bear - 21 June 2012 07:15 AM

    Microsoft copies the Android way.

    Fortunately this fact was fairly well known and few people actually bought a Windows Phone 7 device. That’s one way of keeping complaints at a minimum.

    Windows phones to miss out on new software

    Microsoft says current Windows phones won’t get coming Windows Phone 8 update

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/windows-phones-miss-software-211521911.html

    Microsoft is cutting off their entire Windows Phone 7 user base. Who is going to want to buy a Windows Phone 7 phone between now and when the Windows 8 models are available?

    In the long run, I think it’s a smart move for Microsoft to consolidate their code base. But can they really afford to reboot their phone OS yet again?

         
  • Posted: 21 June 2012 01:49 PM #90

    FalKirk - 21 June 2012 04:01 PM

    Microsoft is cutting off their entire Windows Phone 7 user base. Who is going to want to buy a Windows Phone 7 phone between now and when the Windows 8 models are available?

    In the long run, I think it’s a smart move for Microsoft to consolidate their code base. But can they really afford to reboot their phone OS yet again?

    Surely, they’ll piss off the early adopters and the MSFT faithful, but MSFT’s market share is too small to hurt them that much.

    MSFT had to jettison CE.  And based on the MSFT Phone demo, they actually have a phone I would choose ahead of Android.  I especially like the customizable tile sizes and tile positions (I believe one can edit the colors as well).