David Gewirtz, two days ago, claiming “iOS developers abandoning sinking Apple mothership: Biggest drop ever”:
In what may be another sign that Apple’s fortunes are on the downward slope, an interesting chart reports that Objective-C popularity has plummeted for the first time in two years, and more than ever before.
iOS (and Mac) developers, today…
Last year developers had half a day to get their WWDC ticket purchases in before the conference sold out, this year tickets sold out in just two paltry minutes. Apple restrictions limited sales to one per person and five tickets per organization. Tickets cost $1,599.00. It doesn’t really matter though, they’re already gone.
And this guy is, apparently, “CBS Interactive’s Distinguished Lecturer… a regular CNN contributor, and a guest commentator for the Nieman Watchdog of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.”
Five ways Apple has lost its bite | Technology | guardian.co.uk.
Having turned the music and telecoms industries on their heads, Apple was understood to have trained its sights on cable TV companies. But the move has been talked about since 2011 and yet there is still no sign of an Apple television set – or iPanel as some predict it will be called.
This single paragraph contains so many weasel words it’s an entire nest of weasels. Apple “was understood to have…”, “as some predict…”
Why does this article exist? What insight does it bring to the table? How does it leave any reader – ANY reader – better informed about one of the world’s biggest and most influential companies?
I always thought one of the points of Internet publishing was that it liberated us from having to have second-rate “filler” stories which existed solely to fill space in print. This woeful piece of crap proves me wrong.
There’s a part of me which wonders, as a massive Doctor Who nerd, if someone in Google’s web platforms team isn’t a big fan. In “Blink”, one of the best episodes ever, the enemy is a group of aliens who take the form of statues which can only move when you’re not looking at them. They’re the ultimate stealth attacker: blink, and they’ve got you.
Likewise, Google’s decision to split with WebKit and instead create its own browser engine – called, Who-style, Blink – looks at first like a stealthy move to control more of the Internet than the search giant already does. Like the statues in Doctor Who, if you don’t keep an eye on them, they’re going to control everything.
That’s certainly the angle that many Mac fans have taken with Blink. I’m actually not so sure. I think that Blink might turn out to be the best thing that’s happened to the web – and, indirectly, a really good thing for Apple too. Continue reading
I’ve been a Mac user since 1986, and edited a Mac magazine for a couple of years. I’ve contributed to MacGasm, MacFormat, and pretty-much anything that has the word “Mac” in its title. I attended more Steve Jobs keynotes than is healthy, and suffered the epic 3 hour Gil Amelio keynote which reduced even the hardest-bitten hacks to weeping babies. If there is such a thing as Mac spurs, I’ve earned them.
But as a technology writer, I’ve also always kept an open mind about other options. I’ve used Windows in anger (back in the days when a tablet PC meant Tablet PC, not an iPad). I’ve had Android phones. I’ve used my own cash to buy Android tablets (and boy, did I regret that one).
And in the past couple of years, anyone that follows me will know that I’ve also long been interested in the Google’s Chromebook concept. The idea of a machine which reflects how I actually work (mostly online) is attractive. It’s secure, fast enough, and I never have to worry about where any of my data lives. Almost all the software that I use on a day-to-day basis is web-based, and my browser is the application I use most often. Sometimes two of them. Continue reading
Trevor Pott, over at El Reg, makes an early entry into the “Doesn’t like this new-fangled world” competition with his piece on how “Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus“. Pott’s demand of a machine – all-day battery life, a multi-tasking OS – aren’t outlandish, but his stalwart rejection of, basically, anything that isn’t a netbook running Linux marks him out as someone who really doesn’t understand the new world of “just works” computing.
Consider, for example, his rejection of the Chromebook as an option:
“Google could make Android a serious contender as a ‘good enough’ netbook OS in a very short timeframe. The web giant won’t because it views Android as its touch-based consumptive tablet and phone OS, and ChromeOS as the desktop replacement. ChromeOS is entirely reliant on internet connectivity and keeps you trapped into doing everything using SaaS apps; great for Google because it can ruthlessly invade your privacy in order to sell more advertisements. Bad for us because it cripples the OS in order to achieve this goal.”
Where to begin with this? Aside from the “ChromeOS is entirely reliant on internet connectivity” error (it’s not), saying that ChromeOS “keeps you trapped into doing everything using SaaS apps” is a bit like saying Windows “keeps you trapped into doing everything with Windows apps”. And there’s no compulsion on you to use Chromebooks with Google services: mine happily works with iCloud and Microsoft Online services (yes, including Office web apps).
And of course, the iPad also fits Pott’s bill…
Paul Thurrott, explaining in 2010 how the iPad is Not ‘Killing’ Netbook Sales:
“And IDC is now forecasting that ‘mininotebook’ (i.e. netbooks and sub-12-inch machines) will sell 45.6 million units in 2011 and 60.3 million in 2013. If I remember the numbers from 2009, they were 10 percent of all PCs, or about 30 million units. Explain again how the iPad will beat that. Please. Even the craziest iPad sales predictions are a small percentage of that.”
Total number of iPads sold in 2012: 58.31 million.
Netbooks, on the other hand…
Netbook shipments in particular fell from 39.4m in 2010 to 29.4m in 2011, a 25% fall, as the total number of tablets shipped rose almost threefold from 23m to 63m by Canalys’s calculations.
As Paul put it in his original post:
So. Who you gonna believe? An Apple blogger from a web site and a Morgan Stanley employee? Or IDC and The Wall Street Journal.
I think we now have our answer to that one.
The inestimable Mr Gruber:
Even “hardware” features are defined by software, and can no longer be judged on their own. Consider, say, mobile phone cameras. The camera itself is important – the sensor, the lens, the physical size – but ultimately what matters is the quality of the images it produces, and software is a huge part of that.
This is something that I have to repeatedly point out to Android users. Over and over again, they point out how the hardware on a particular phone is better than the iPhone, and how the software allows you more precision control over the shot you take with the camera.
And over and over again, I ask “which takes better pictures?”
And the answer is always the iPhone.
(via Daring Fireball Linked List: CES Is the World’s Greatest Hardware Show Stuck in a Software Era)
Apple to play wearable computer game, says analyst | ZDNet:
“We note that recent speculation from tech blogs suggests that Apple may launch a watch as a companion device to the iPhone. While we are unsure of the ultimate launch timing (likely 2014 or later), we believe that Apple will eventually introduce some type of wearable computing product.”
When your “analysis” consists of nothing more than reading “speculation from tech blogs”, you probably should find another line of work.
For the record, I’m betting “nope“.
Benedict Evans sums up the current state of the mobile market:
“In other words, Apple has 20-30% of the market by volume, but it is the top 20-30%. Google ‘has’ the rest, but has only a very tenuous connection to large parts of it, and another large proportion is likely to be worth little or nothing for a long time. Roll on uncertainty (link): everything will change, again, in the next year. ”
This is only phase one. Whether iOS and Android are even in the same market most of the time is up for debate.
John Gruber on the way that people got the Apple retail stores 100% wrong:
The first is that Edwards wasn’t out on a limb. In the investor and general tech press, it was common at the outset to believe that Apple’s foray into retail was folly. The second is that Edwards was more than just a little bit wrong. He wasn’t merely implying that retail might prove difficult for Apple, that success was a longshot. His argument, backed by quotes from analysts and even former Apple CFO Joseph Graziano, was that Apple’s retail foray was surely doomed.
One of the things that you have to remember about people writing about Apple in those days – and I was one – is that we’d got used to an Apple which constantly failed. The ten years prior to the release of the iMac had seen Apple lurch from drama to crisis, with not a single major success to its name.
Even after Jobs’ return, the company had a few initial missteps. The new OS strategy, required to replace the ageing OS 8/9, had a big change of course when Rhapsody (which didn’t run legacy Mac apps) transformed into Mac OS X. The Power Mac G4 Cube was a failure, leading to the company “suspending” production (it has yet to resume).
I remember being sceptical about the Apple retail project for two reasons. The first was that Apple had never really done retail. In Europe, it had created the AppleCentre idea, which was an Apple-controlled (but not owned) set of “premium” retailers. You had to follow strict guidelines to be an AppleCentre, and in return got the kudos of the Apple brand behind you.
The second reason I thought Apple might be doing the wrong thing was that its existing dealers had invested a lot of money in keeping the Mac afloat during some hard times, and setting up in direct competition to them was a kick in the teeth. Yes, there were some slightly dodgy box shifters amongst retailers, and the experience in national stores like PC World had never been great. But most dealers – and I talked to them a lot back then – were really passionate advocates for the brand and platform.
Really, almost no-one thought that Apple retail stores were a great idea. But we were all wrong.