Particle Debris (week ending 4/2) Business is War!

In a carry over from March 26, Daniel “Fake Steve Jobs” Lyons at Newsweek went into some detail on the Apple’s design philosophy for the iPad with three Web pages of “Think Really Different” An early skeptic, Mr. Lyons has bought into the iPad, hook, line and sinker. “Right away I could see how I would use it. I’d keep it in the living room to check e-mail and browse the Web. I’d take it to the kitchen and read The New York Times while I eat breakfast. I’d bring it with me on a plane to watch movies and read books…. That may not be life-changing, but is it worth 500 bucks? Yup. Done. Sold.” This is one of the more meaty articles you’ll see on the iPad.

The arguments about Apple’s war on Adobe’s Flash rage on. Is Apple’s position based on what’s best for the customer or what’s best for them? In the long run, it may not matter as businessmen, mesmerized by the iPad, stake out their territory in the iPad Gold Rush. Business decisions may already be changing the status quo and explained by Gizmodo’s “How the iPad Is Already Reshaping the Internet (Without Flash).”

Some writers don’t like Apple’s iPhone closed platform and control over how apps behave. But at least Apple iPhone and iPod touch owners always have access to the latest version of the OS. Not so for some customers of smartphones with Android — as I mentioned last week. So now Google is going to try to fix the OS fragmentation problem. CNET’s Tom Krazit explored the initiative in “Google planning fix for Android fragmentation?” We shall see how that works out.

One indication of the importance of smartphone market share is the rate a which the whole smartphone segment is gaining market share. Fewer and fewer people are buying the traditional “Feature phone” and moving to the “Smartphone” as shown in this chart from Silicon Alley Insider. The projection in the chart shows how important it will be in the future to be a market share leader in the smartphone race. As usual, this one chart is worth a thousand words.

Yes they will! No they won’t! The debate over whether Apple will sell an iPhone compatible with the Verizon network rages on, and it’s beginning to sound like a shouting match between Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner The latest information from a credible source, the Wall Street Journal, says Apple will. I believe that, and have steadfastly predicted it, because it’s in the financial interest of both companies to work out their differences. Here’s what the Wall Street Journal said this week in “New iPhone Could End AT&T’s U.S. Monopoly.

If you’re curious about what iPhone OS 4.0 will bring, Kasper Jade and Prince McLean at AppleInsider explained, in just a little more technical detail, the steps Apple is taking to move to a more liberal multi-tasking iPhone OS. This is a good read and will give you ample background and understanding: “Apple’s iPhone 4.0 to support multitasking via Expose-like interface.

Only in California, if you buy a mobile phone, you’ll pay sales tax on the estimated retail price of the phone — even if the carrier grants you a significant subsidy. Why? California has figured out that if they don’t, the carrier is essentially pocketing the sales tax the state would have received without a subsidy. This pisses customers off, but I actually think its smart. Modern business is all about figuring out how to transfer costs to the customer or others in the production chain — or grabbing money from the government in new, creative ways. California is seeing through it, even though customers rant. For the customer side, see: “Taxation without negotiation for Calif. smartphone buyers” at CNET.

This week, iTunes 9.1 was released. To find out more what’s in the new version, check this excellent summary at Macworld by Chris Breen. It’s hard to get this kind of information from Apple. I guess that’s what keeps us all in the business in business. Check out “iTunes 9.1: What’s changed”.

Finally, Valleywag has published “A Treasure Trove of Steve Jobs Stories,” all from people who’ve had close encounters with Steve Jobs. We all know that Mr. Jobs can be a bit picky and difficult in the workplace, but in some of these stories, we get to see a different side of Mr. Jobs, especially when interacting with every day people, especially those not in the best of health — as he is now. This is a must read.

This just in: Apple has already published its list of best selling and top grossing iPad apps. Philip Elmer-DeWitt wrote the story up at Fortune. And Dan Frommer writes about Microsoft’s strategy to deal wit the iPad:  Ignore it!

Technical Word of the Week: You’ve all seen guys carrying them. I call them a hiker’s “guide pack.” (At least that’s what the Eddie Bauer sales tag says.) Some call them a “man purse.” This week, I saw a comment that went something like: “No, no! It’s not a man purse! It’s a “European carry-all!” I don’t like any of those terms, but can live with “guide pack,” although that’s somewhat mystifying to people who live outside the Rockies. If you have a better name for these bags, where guys stash their kleenex, checkbook, pens, iPhone, Leatherman, spare change, and sunglasses, let me know. I’ll publish the best suggestions.