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

| Particle Debris

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.

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“this video is just.plain.brilliant.”

What makes you say that?


There’s only so many times people can gather the amount of caring needed to post about Apple rejecting an App for capacious reasons.

Lee Dronick

In the Charlie and the Apple Factory video I like the Steve golf swings the spinning rainbow cursor with his cane.

Lee Dronick

“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?”

There wasn’t even any comments about the story on the author’s blog. Anyway I think that the iAd Gallery app does have a function. It is meant to show off iAds, to encourage others to create them. I downloaded the app to take a look and there are some nice ads in there.


There?s only so many times people can gather the amount of caring needed to post about Apple rejecting an App for capacious reasons.

“capacious = capricious?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

The iAds app is just old, expected news on the “Apple censorship is capacious for capriciousness” front. How about this one… iCab has “been ordered” to halt JavaScript downloads.

If the iCab thing gains some interest, it will plow new ground in that what it was doing is not insecure by Apple’s definition—JavaScript through its engine, OK—and comes closer to the widget app issue. All the more reason for innovative developers to go where they are wanted rather than have their innovations clock blocked by Apple.


Nice reviews on the iPad, John.

Chris Seibold’s, as well as your earlier post, nailed it. It’s not about specs and cost, although these are important.

That HP and Dell deride the iPad as a business tool is not at all surprising. This is part of the propaganda campaign that characterises any war, and there is clearly a tablet war afoot, with the enterprise real estate being of high strategic and monetary value. And like all well-crafted propaganda, theirs reinforce core themes amenable to sound bites (e.g. Apple too expensive, Apple closed, proprietary), without many specifics. In fact, the fewer the specifics, the better (after all, facts can be checked). However, if either HP or Dell truly believe their own press releases, then their offerings should have a very different focus and feature set (not necessarily different specs) than that of the iPad. Theirs should also have some nested security features superior to those of the iPad. I maintain that the absence of USB, SD and other portable media/storage ports is a security feature on the iPad that appeals to at least some sectors.

I agree with your earlier analysis that, of all the competition, HP remain best poised to challenge the iPad, which would be a good thing for the tablet platform, certainly in defining its formative phase.

Given the ongoing interest in the Android vs iOS landscape, I enjoyed Gregory Sean’s reminder that most data are nuanced, and taking only the most surface and accessible metrics as the whole story can not only lead to the wrong conclusions, but miss the real story entirely. That said, I am surprised that he did not take this in a slightly different direction, namely that analyses comparing Android to iPhone market share, are comparing two very different phenomena, although he touches on this in his treatment of Apple vs other handset makers.

Anyway, what’s left of my coherence is about to surrender to jet-lag. Cheers.

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