IPhone accounts for more than 80 percent of AT&T smartphone sales:
AT&T posted its fourth quarter results for 2011 on Thursday and highlighted smartphone sales in particular, which reached a record high of 9.4 million devices, beating the standing company record by 50 percent. Apple should be very happy with those results, too, since 7.6 million, or 80.9 percent, of those smartphones were iPhones.
So 80% – eighty per cent! - of the smartphones AT&T sold were iPhones. More than 50% of the smartphones Verizon sold were iPhones. Yes, this was a quarter with a fair amount of pent-up demand for iPhones, given the “delay” to the iPhone 4S, but remember that phone buyers tend to have to wait until their contracts run out before buying – something which tends to smooth out the spikes a little.
UPDATE: As the inestimable Richard Gaywood pointed out to me on Twitter, this is conflating two types of figure: 9.4m smartphone sold and 7.6m iPhones activated. You might not think there’s much difference, but there is: activations include second-hand iPhones, hand-me-downs, and so on. That doesn’t meant that Apple didn’t make AT&T very happy bunnies, but it does mean that it’s less than 80%. How much less? No one outside of AT&T really knows.
It is that the consumer is Google’s product. Android is a delivery system to serve the consumer to Google’s target market — the advertisers. So Google’s customer for Android is not the consumer (with the arguable exception of the Nexus phones), but rather the carriers.
He’s right, and he’s wrong. It’s a bit like saying “magazines are the delivery system to serve the consumer to advertisers” – it’s true, in a literal sense, but it makes absolutely no difference to the qualities of the product itself. Why? Because, like magazines, if the product isn’t attractive to consumers, it won’t attract them enough for it to also be a viable “delivery system” for advertisers. The moment you stop thinking that your customer is the consumer, you’ll fail to make a product that works for your real customer (the advertiser).
Just like magazines, in order for it to be attractive to consumers, Google has to forget that Android is a delivery system for advertisers. Just as magazines developed the “Chinese wall” system that kept advertising and editorial apart, so Google has to have a Chinese wall between the people who develop Android and advertising. Google, like Apple, has to solely focus on the needs of consumers.
Technology companies these days are scared to death to make a product that varies too far from Apple does because they fear being left behind. Some companies even go so far as to say that Apple’s inventions were inevitable — if that’s the case why weren’t they done before?
Indeed. Everything looks obvious in hindsight. And it’s fear that makes companies copy, rather than laziness or stupidity. It’s not that companies like Samsung are bad (I love Samsung TVs, for example), it’s simply that when you’re playing catch-up, sometimes the best first step simply to stay in the game is to copy what other people are doing, and rely on customers who want options. In the long run, it will hurt you: but when a company launches a product that creates or redefines an entire category, it’s better to stay in the game with a me-too product in the short term.
Siri could be the interface to future products, like tiny little Nano-sized devices, or home entertainment systems.
I think the people thinking of putting Siri on to the Mac, Apple TV or iPad aren’t thinking big enough. Imagine a Nano with Siri, and you’re closer to the mark of where Apple is going.
Mathew gets it:
I’m sure when Bill Gates looks at the iPad or the iPhone, he thinks about all the features it doesn’t have, or all the things that it can’t do. But no one else thinks about those things — all they are interested in is what they can do, and how much fun it is doing them, and how appealing those devices are. And that is one of Steve Jobs’ biggest gifts to the world of technology and design.
(from Steve Jobs and why technology doesn’t matter — Tech News and Analysis)
So much for the iPad killers:
Apple managed to gain market share in tablets at the very time that many of its new competitors were supposed to be taking that share away, IDC said Wednesday. Having full access to data from the past spring, it found that the iPad had gained share, moving up from 65.7 percent at the start of the year to 68.3 percent. Multiple Android tablets’ arrivals only led to Google’s share shrinking, dropping from 34 percent in early 2011 to 26.8 percent mid-year.
Make no mistake about it: the iPad’s on-screen keyboard is actually very good. You can easily rattle off a quick email or tweet with it, and some more proficient users have been known to write several hundred words without their fingers falling off.
But not everyone gets on with it, and if you’re a professional write then you’ll probably hit its limitations. Compared to even a poor-quality physical keyboard, the iPad’s virtual one simply feels weird.
Apple’s preferred solution is for you to use the iPad with its own excellent Bluetooth keyboard. However, this means you also have to carry around something to prop the iPad up with, and although Apple’s keyboard is slim, it’s still bulky and likely to rattle around a bag. What’s more, using it on a lap (like, say, a laptop) is tricky.
To put it simply no one can match the iPad because no one can match Apple’s prices with a tablet that matches its features:
When better equipped (though bulkier) netbooks can be had for $250, tablet-makers need to set their sights below $200. There is just one problem: the cost of the components currently used comes to more than that. According to the market research firm iSuppli, the basic TouchPad cost Hewlett-Packard $306 to build.
At the moment, as The Economist correctly points out, Google’s strategy isn’t working either:
But the ultimate killer feature that Android and other tablets have failed to replicate is the care Apple took from the start to ensure enough iPhone applications were available that took full advantage of the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen. Today, over 90,000 of the 475,000 applications available online from Apple’s App Store fully exploit the much larger screen size. By contrast, only a paltry 300 or so of the nearly 300,000 apps for Android phones have been fully optimised for the Honeycomb version of the Android operating system developed for tablets—though many of the rest scale up with varying degrees of success.
There simply isn’t enough incentive at the moment to develop applications which fully take advantage of Honeycomb. And Google doesn’t appear to be pushing developers to do it.
It’s not even out yet, and already the Lenovo IdeaPad — the Chinese manufacturer’s attempt to crack the tablet market — is getting something of a savaging:
The IdeaPad K1 has been in development in one form or another for a year and a half, yet it still isn’t ready. And even if it had hit the market a year ago, it wouldn’t have been good enough (at least in its current form) to go head-to-head with the original iPad. The K1′s hardware is chunky and cheap-feeling, its screen is washed out, and the software is unstable to the point of being unusable at times. It sounds harsh, but when you can pick up the iPad 2 or the Galaxy Tab 2 for just $499, the $50 you save by getting a K1 doesn’t seem close to worth it — unless, of course, you think there’s some value in buggy software.
So it’s shitty hardware, buggy software, and not even comparable to the iPad of a year ago?
It certainly isn’t getting anywhere near the point that Lenovo’s CEO, Yang Yuanquing, is after:
Apple only covers the top tier. With a $500 price you cannot go to the small cities, townships, low salary class, low income class. I don’t want to say we want to significantly lower the price, rather our strategy is to provide more categories, to cover different market segments.
So much for that. If Lenovo can make an expensive tablet this bad, just how bad will one be if they push the price down?