Particle Debris (wk. ending 4/8) A Levelheaded Week

PensiveAwhile back, I gave notice to the tablet competition: “You can’t win. You can’t break even. You can’t change the rules. And you can’t even get out of the game.” I wasn’t being sarcastic, rather I was summarizing my technical take on it all. So I was amused and pleased to see Chris Seibold lay it all out in more detail. The tablet competition certainly has its work cut out for it because: “Competing with the iPad: the Old Tricks Won’t Work.”

Along those lines, one old trick is to try to characterize the iPad as a toy by claiming, for example, it’s good for games and browsing, but it doesn’t have the mojo to work well in a business environment. That old trick doesn’t seem to be working either. Here’s some supporting evidence: “How the iPad Is Emerging as a Business Tool.”

It gets more interesting. As businesses begin to standardize on the Apple iPad — an item that’s been shipping now for over a year — it gets even harder for the competition to get in the door. Here’s an example of the iPad being embraced, in fact, scrambled after, in the enterprise: “iPad 2 shortages delay paperless meetings.”

The whole issue here is how the iPad inspires people to do things they couldn’t do before, so they’re not really listening to the bogus propaganda by the competition. For example, “Touched by an iPad: Tablet computer powerful tool for kids with special needs.” If you want to refer to that special kind of enabling as, well, something magical, then I suppose that works. (Jeff Gamet covered this as a worthy news item today as well.)

Here’s an article guaranteed to get all of you fired up in the comments section: “Android is a mess, say developers.” Among the problems Android developers are complaining about is the ability to get paid, and that alone can be a powerful deterrent. My suggestion: listen to the developers.

There’s a difference between mathematical extrapolation and predicting the future. If there’s a specific effect, driven by well understood factors, then one can make an extrapolation. For example, if I start applying heat to a jar of water, if I know the amount of water and input heat quantity, I can extrapolate the temperature of the water and predict what it will be in the future. However, with complex systems like the weather, climate, the stock market and modern technology systems in the market place, one can’t be so confident in the future. The further out in time one goes, the less confidence we have in market predictions because unknowns keep cropping up.

That happend this week when Gartner made its predictions about the smartphone market in 2015, claiming that between now and 2015 Microsoft’s WP7 would climb from 4.2% to almost 20% of the market. That’s not extrapolation, that’s a wholesale opinion based on the assumption that the Nokia and Microsoft partnership will flourish into fabulous success. Horace Dediu has more to say about this in: “The pitfall in platform predictions.

There were a few runmors this week that Apple might buy Netflix after we learned that Apple was acquiring 12 petabytes of storage for its North Carolina data center. So I thought it was timely that Business Insider interviewed Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix. It’s a fascinating interview, and once again, an opportunity to listen to a CEO who has the facts about his own industry.

In a particularly sane article by Dan Frommer with Business Insider, Dan tells developers: “Here’s The Right Way For Developers To Think About The Apple Vs. Android Race.” There’s confirmation there of the developer complaints mentioned above, and Dan says, “If you are trying to make money selling apps, prioritize Apple for now.”

This story didn’t produce as much agitation around the blogosphere as I thought it would. I have no idea why not. It caught my attention though and annoyed me greatly. What do you think? “Apple Rejects App for Lacking Functionality, then Releases it Itself.” WTF?

While Motorola hasn’t released any sales numbers, people are still trying to estimate how many Xooms the company has sold. This week, according to Deutsche Bank analysis, Moto has sold about 100,000 Xooms in two months. Android Blast reported the news and didn’t disagree.

Who’s to blame for the poor Xoom sales? Everyone, according to Matt Burns at CrunchGear. I saw a tweet that essentially said, this is why Apple has its own retail stores — to eliminate a lousy buying experience. Here’s the sorry saga: “Everyone’s To Blame For The Xoom’s Low Sales Numbers.

Here’a another article that only got modest attention, perhaps because it embarrassed other columnists for not doing their homework. It all started when Business Insider’s Henry Blodget took some simple data and magnified it into a major conclusion. Shame on Henry, says Gregory Sean at Expletive Inserted. Read the analysis here and, even if you disagree, use it to remind yourself that analysis is hard work and that major conclusions don’t come easy. “iOS versus Android: OS Footprint is not a Proxy for Application Footprint.

We’re all human, and we all make mistakes, even Steve Jobs. Herewith, I present: “The 10 Dumbest Things Steve Jobs Has Done.” Yep. All ten were mistakes, but the key was that they weren’t fatal, and Mr. Jobs learned, moved on.

And now for some Friday humor, I present a charming video at YouTube: “Charlie and the Apple Factory.” I would have embedded it, but the creators asked for embedding to be blocked. The entire TMO staff, me included, thinks this video is just.plain.brilliant. Enjoy.

[Late addition:] I’m just throwing this in for fun because the article itself is so much fun.  So many references. So much joy.  So many little personal insights. It’s just a neat little piece that wraps up the iPad so well: “Tablets: A thin slide of the future.