Particle Debris (wk. ending 10/22) Right and Wrong Headed Thinking

Every once in awhile, a keen observer makes an astounding technological observation that changes our perceptions. Here’s one: “Today, I was watching my son trying to figure out why touching the screen on a BlackBerry Bold does nothing.” You don’t have to think about that very long to realize what Apple has done and RIM has not. If you’d like to read more, including why IT managers will have a hard time forcing specific phones down the throats of users, there’s much more in: “The Enterprise Smartphone is Dead.

Apple is so successful, it’s natural now to ask: “What’s next?” While Apple surely has much more in store for the consumer, as we saw with Mr. Jobs’s Lion demo, a worthy challenge now for a company on the threshold of US$100B in annual revenues is the enterprise. Yes, I know. I was there, in Apple Federal sales, so I’m familiar with every nuance and everything ever written about Apple and the enterprise. And written my fair share about in the last 10 years. However, one can argue that Apple was just putting the pieces in place for a more serious assault at the proper time. Take a look at “Apple Sees a Ripe Corporate Market” by Ian Sherr at the Wall Street Journal. What’s changed? The iPhone and iPad.

Here’s a novel way of looking at Browser market share. The way to read this is that the circumference of each ring is 100% of the market, independent of its actual length. The market share of each browser is the length of its arc. This is a great chart because it shows ebb and flow. Growth, as in Chrome. Or stagnation, as in Safari. Click on a ring (in the link above) then slide to see details for that browser.

Browser Market Share

Snapshot: Browser market share over time

During the “Back to the Mac” event on Wednesday, Apple COO Tim Cook provided some astounding data about the Mac and sales. For example, Apple’s annual sales for just Macs is US$22B. If the “Mac corp.” were a company, it would be #110 on the Fortune 500 list. (Not to fear, Mr. Cook says. Apple isn’t going to spin out a Mac subsidiary.) With all that and more, I find it interesting that the Mac, as a percent of sales, isn’t growing over time. Is the average selling price going down? Anyway, here’s the SAI sand chart that shows the revenue growth of all Apple major products, up to date for September 2010. Ideas welcome.

We’ve heard from time to time about the iPad competitors, but no one has heretofore put the competitive picture into focus. Now we have it. Jason Hiner has published a list at the TechRepublic of all the known iPad competitors and also ranked them based on the probability of success. I’ll be referring to this list often.

iPad competitors

iPad Competition (TechRepublic)

How many Macs are in active use world wide? (Installed base.) I used a couple of different methods recently to predict the number (60M), but Apple public relations wouldn’t verify. They stated that Apple has never publicly disclosed that number. However, at Apple’s “Back to the Mac” event, Mr. Jobs did for the first time. Answer: 50M. What’s cool about the graph, if I’m perceiving it correctly, is that it’s exponential.

Are one of those people who can’t wear earbuds? Suffering from “Earbud Cartilage Deficiency Syndrome.” David Pogue has the answer.

Frankly I don’t know how Ryan Faas does it. He must have a Dragon dictation system because no one can write this fast. Want to read a great summary of Apple’s event on Wednesday that includes a lot of insight and explanation? Read: “Apple’s Lion:A marriage of iOS and OS X.” Highly recommended.

The Virtuous CircleThe Virtuous Circle (Apple)

Another great observer of Apple is Philip Elmer-DeWitt. In this Fortune piece, he tells us about a rare mathematical approach by an analyst, Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore. Namely that Apple seems to be exploiting “Metcalf’s Law” that relates to the value of networks. Just go read it. Thank me later.

Steve Jobs moves us inexorably forward in technology. The computing world is littered with the debris of technology that Apple killed. And Mr. Jobs just keeps doing it. Here’s a recap from Wednesday’s event: “The Eight Technologies That Steve Jobs Killed Yesterday.

Snow Leopard on DVD

Did Google rush the Google TV to market? Are they technologically naive? Or arrogant? Some people thought Google TV would solve problems that Apple could not. Not so, Ethernet breath! As Rachel Maddow advices, I hate to say, “I told you so.” But maybe this once…

Googlr TV (Sony)

Google TV (Sony)

Finally, Steve Smith at VidBlog wonders if the record labels have ever made a good move with consumers. Now, they’ve apparently made another incredibly wrong headed move. For Friday comic relief, read: “Here’s An Idea: Let’s Insult and Offend the Consumer.” Featuring Gilbert Gottfried no less.