Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
The latest cell phone market share figures should have tablet makers quaking in fear of what Apple may do to them once iPad 3 arrives. Currently, Apple is sucking all the profits out of the market. Moreover, many of Apple's competitors have taken their best stab at iPad by flooding the channel, but with weak sell-though results (just ask Samsung, HP or RIM how tablets are working out).
The latest figures peg Apple's global tablet market share at 61.3%. Like with iPhone vs Android phones, we saw Android quickly race out ahead in deployment numbers, which are flattening out or starting to work back in Apple's favor. New numbers for the iPhone comes from BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk, predicting up to 30 million iPhones could be sold in the September quarter. If iPhone sales are poised for this absolute explosion, what will halo effect be for iPads vs the rest of the pack?
According to a report by All Things D, Apple's iPhone is now the best selling smartphone for Verizon and AT&T.
To that we say a big, collective, DUH! Add in the revelation that T-Mobile (a non-authorized iPhone carrier) now admits they have over one million unlocked iPhones on their network!
Apple's Steve Jobs seems to be the wunderkind reborn after his return to Apple in 1997. His first stint with Apple led to the design and launch of the original Macintosh and the original Mac OS. During his second time behind the wheel he brought us the iMac, Mac OS X, and the i-Series of products and iOS operating system.
There's not much that Apple has done under Jobs' leadership that hasn't been a success. One of guiding principle Jobs has used is during his second term is, "Keep Your Friends Close; Keep Your Enemies Closer". There are three examples of this from the recent decade: Intel, Google and Facebook.
iOS vs Android: The Market Share War That Is
Analysts and tech media alike have one central theme correctly identified. Apple and Google are in a heated market–share war, but declaring any victor in today's battle would be pure folly. Yet Henry Blodget advances his position that Android is now the victor and iOS is dead. Blodget flashes around Nielsen's latest purchasing intent survey as proof positive. I also recall a survey claiming nearly 54% of all Verizon customers would turn in their Blackberry's and Android's for iPhone 4 on day one of it's launch.
Lack of Security within mobile OSes isn't anything new. Developers have seen the gaping holes for quite some time an the public is just starting to become aware. Back on April 5th the WSJ did some pretty impressive research on Pandora's invasive practices within the Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems, and both seem to be unable in stop applications from taking what they want out of the phone (at least for now).
With the latest iOS is tracking you story making national headlines, the general consumer seems to be catching on that their devices are peeking in on what they are doing, or at least they think they are (and their apps are likely doing even more privacy damage). The whole buzz around this privacy issue is eerily similar to that of "antenna-gate" and it's best Apple get in front of this as they did with the iPhone 4's attenuation story. It is critical Apple blows holes in mis-information and rumor before it becomes an assumed fact the Apple is stealing your every move from iOS devices.
Recently a big stink over user privacy has reared its ugly head again, but this time about one of my favorite products and something I use daily, if not hourly — the iPhone. Security researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warde revealed last week that Apple was storing logs of users' geographic coordinates in a hidden file. The researchers didn't know why Apple was doing this or what it was using the data for, but they said Apple indeed is gathering this information about the whereabouts of its iPhone users.
In business there are times when opportunity knocks and you had better be ready to answer the door. Is your hair combed, your shirt tucked in, does your breath smell good? Because on the other side is royalty, and it's called "opportunity".
Google had such a knock on their door in 2009 when Apple decided to enter into a third year of exclusively with AT&T. On the other hand, Google was working with several handset makers across the other three major US carriers delivering the Android OS. While Android wasn't yet mature and its feature set somewhat lacking, Mr. Opportunity knocking at Google's door. But did Google answer?
Google announced a new video codec in May 2010, called WebM. This format uses Ogg Theora audio and VP8 video codecs. Google received VP8 when they purchased On2 for $106 million back in August of 2009. WebM is designed to take on the H.264 video codec that has become the digital video standard. Google says WebM is an open and free format.
Since Google does not make any money on WebM, Why have they created it? Google makes money by selling advertising. In Google's eyes, users are the product and advertisers are the customers. The more users Google has, the more they can sell to their advertising customers, and the more money Google makes. Google creates free products and services to bring in more users.
This weekend Apple added a Japan Tsunami donation page to iTunes. Apple claims 100% of your donation will go to the Red Cross. Last week social media giant Facebook announced the rental of Warner Bros. movies through Facebook. In response Netflix stock took a 5.8% hit on the news. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos fired back (in fear) "Nobody goes to Facebook to watch movies." Ah,... yet. I remember no one was going to watch movies on their computer when Netflix first started their online streaming services too. There really is no reason Facebook can't do what Netflix did by integrating their movie service into the AppleTV, XBox 360, Wii and more.
These are just two examples (iTunes donation, Facebook movies) of giants walking about and running out of room, so they start bumping into one another.
Google's Android OS fragmenting into a death spiral may be overblown at times, but it certainly won't be overstated in the tablet arena - assuming of course, one of these years PC hardware vendors will be able to compete with Apple's iPad and its pricing.
Android's appearance in the tablet market is currently minimal, but as PC vendors are forced to get in the game due to shrinking netbook and notebook sales, Google is going to witness Pandora breaking out of her box, with no quick fix on how to remedy the situation. The issue I am speaking of is one that is (or soon will be) staring every Android tablet developer squarely in the face — Android's complete lack of attention to hardware vendor's screen resolution, aspect ratio and pixel density. Mind you, this is no trivial problem.