Particle Debris (wk. ending 5/21) Churn, Fancy Forwarding, Fluff and Hot Flashes

Have you ever wondered how the iPhone has affected AT&T’s churn rate? (That’s the rate in percent at which customers leave the wireless service.) Turley Miller, an Apple analyst has pointed out that since the introduction of the iPhone 3G, AT&T’s churn rate has gone down while Verizon’s has gone up. It’s all part of the corporate puzzle of pieces that leads up to major decisions — like whether Verizon will carry the iPhone at some point, something Verizon desperately needs to battle AT&T. Maybe.

One of the uses for the iPad that many predicted (including me) is by pilots in the cockpit. It turns out that many pilot apps for the iPhone are making their way to the iPad, and my friend, Steve Sande at TUAW, reports, “we’ve heard from commenters who fly for a living that they think the iPad may be the greatest thing to appear in the cockpit since Charlton Heston.” Or Jimmy Stewart.

You know I love those Silicon Alley Insider charts, and here’s another one that shows how much money several large high technology companies spend on lobbying. I surmise that one can equate the money spent to how needy each company is in terms of protections it needs from government, and so it’s no surprise that Apple spends almost nothing.

It turns out that there is a set of key commands you can punch into an iPhone on the phone number line to achieve things like: 1) Call forward if busy, 2) Call forward if not answered, and 3) Call forward if not reachable. I had not seen these techniques before, and it’s looks like they could come in very handy. It’s an older article, but check out Simon Ng’s “How to Use Conditional Call Forwarding.” which links to the applicable AT&T page.

Poor Windows Mobile. What has Steve Ballmer been doing, you ask, lately? For one, he’s watched Google’s Android OS eclipse Windows Mobile, according to the latest data from Gartner. Note, the data supplied is for worldwide sales. Can Windows Phone 7 save the day? Can Batman escape the clutches of The Joker? Tune in next quarter on the same Bat Channel!

I need to mention this next article because I’m a Newsweek subscriber, and I think Jacob Weisberg’s article is one of the worst pieces of Apple journalism Newsweek has ever published. It was, in part, what I was talking about in my latest Hidden Dimensions. If you want to see what kind of analysis of Apple (er, fluff) is being fed to the masses at Newsweek, check it out. But have your puke bucket handy and thank your luck stars you read The Mac Observer.

Google has been making a lot of noise lately — and making some mistakes. Just one of the many was at an event in London during which Google co-founder, Larry Page, blamed the Android developers for apps that drain an Android phone’s batteries. Smart, huh? Jim Goldman summed up the differences in corporate philosophy: Google: The Android battery life is sub-par and we blame you, the developers, our partners out there who are slaving away at trying to expand the platform. Apple: We’ve identified an issue in our platform and we have come up with an innovation to address it, so that we can help you the developers, our partners out there who are slaving away at trying to expand the platform.”

You’ve heard a lot about Apple’s take on Flash and its affect on battery life. That’s because Flash currently runs the video codec in software instead of hardware — as H.264 on the iPhone/iPad does. In this article at engadget, buried deep in a review that highlights some killer benchmark scores for Android 2.2 “Froyo” beta is this observation of Flash 10.1 running on a Froyo phone: “Battery and heat are also of concern: the pre-release beta we have, according to Adobe, lacks hardware acceleration. Ergo, our beloved handset got piping hot after about 30 minutes of heavy video watching, and the battery indicator in the upper right had a sizable dent.” You heard it from the experts.

On Friday, Kara Swisher at All Things Digital, accused Google of essentially throwing an Apple Tantrum at its I/O event this week. The salient phrase: “Note to Google: A scary search behemoth with a stranglehold on Internet advertising isn’t really believable as a victim of ‘The Man’–in this case, Apple CEO Steve Jobs.”

Finally, if you aren’t googlefied enough, Google is planning to compete with Apple in yet another arena. It’s called Google TV and is examined by MediaPost. from a TV industry perspective.

Apple gives customers a limited but very understandable environment with the Apple TV. Google TV looks more like the Wild, Wild West. It will definitely appeal to the nerds. But will it blend? Er, I mean will it sell? Seems to me it’s one of those flash in the pan ideas like Google Wave that gets thrown out there to see what sticks. It reminds me of what John Welch said this week on Twitter: “Google the new Microsoft? Nope. Microsoft develops and supports its products.”