Monday, May 30, 2011

Android Mobile Warriors Are Web Hogs And Blackberry Market Share Slide May Have Stopped

Here are some interesting facts about the mobile platforms and what the mobile users of each platform are doing with their smart handset.  The information are provided by Nielsen.  The takeaway for me is that Android users are downloading more music than I expected.  That's pretty awesome given the perception we are given about Apple's iTunes dominance.

  • Android dominates the market at 36% followed by Apple at 26% and Blackberry at 23%.  Looks like the second half of 2011 could be an epic fight for second between the Canadian company and Cupertino.  
  • Android users are wireless Web hogs.  It's not difficult to imagine that since Android has ran up quite a bit of ad impressions during this time.  The average Android users use 90 MB more data than Apple at 582 MB.  Surprisingly, WebOS users are not too far behind at 448 MB versus iOS users at 492 MB.
  • iOS users download quite a bit of music but Android users spend 23% of the bandwidth doing the same thing.  That's a lot of music for a platform that does not have its own music store.
  • iOS users spent a larger percentage of their data downloading more apps via wireless than Android.  However, there are reports that for developers, Apple's mobile users could be more profitable for them than Android users.
  • WP7 ahdn Windows Mobile has  1% and 9% of the market share respectively.  It is not great but definitely a good launching point for Microsoft should its deal with Nokia pay off.  
  • Interestingly, Palm OS still has 1% of the market share.  
The biggest surprise for me is iPhone and the lack of growth.  Keep in mind that the iPhone gained an additional carrier in the US.  And as everyone knows, Verizon is the biggest carrier in the US.  If anything, by adding an additional carrier, Apple has managed to keep the iPhone sales in line with Android sales, since neither platform grew.  

Right now, I eagerly look to the 4th quarter of 2012 when just about everyone will bring their best to the market:

  • RIM will release new Blackberries powered by their newest OS.
  • Microsoft's next Windows Phone 7 update, Mango will give it a lot of features that puts WP7 devices on par with current Android and iOS devices.
  • Google will merge the smartphone and tablet OSes into one unifying OS much is Apple has done with its own mobile platform.  
  • Apple's anticipated iOS 5 should bring new features that could set itself apart from its competitors while, hopefully, close the gap with Android where it is the weakest
In a way, this post is a summary of the smartphone and mobile device market.  What we've seen so far is a fight to a stalemate.  Depending on your perspective, it could be good or bad.  RIM held ground while Apple has at the very least stunted Android's growth while not doing much beyond that.  And for HP and Microsoft, there is hope for them yet as this market is clearly one that is growing and has plenty of room for more competitors.

Sad Tablet Displays At Staples, Best Buy Could Be Why Only iPads Selling Well - Oh, iOS App Dominance Helps Too

I had to go to a few Office Depots and Staples today because I needed to print out a few post sized prints, four feet by seven feet.  Each store had almost different printers.  While there, I had a chance to look at the tablets that each are selling.

Let me just stick with Staples.  I saw posters for the Xoom and Playbook.  So I got distracted and decided to find the tablets first.  I had never seen a Playbook before and I was looking forward to it.  Well, I saw it after having to walk through half the store to find it.  It was virtually like that in most stores.  And worse than that, no tablets were working!  

Three of the Staples stores had both models.  But in two of the three stores, neither the Xoom or Playbook could be turned on.  I glanced around for help but there was no one interested in helping me.  Typically, at an Apple store, you get one or more of the retail people ask if you need any more within thirty seconds of being in the store.  Then at the 3rd Staples store, the Xoom was on but had apparently suffered some kind of kernel problem or something because it was frozen.  No buttons work.  The Playbook turned on and then decided to turn itself off.  

Now, I know that there are a lot of complaints about lack of native Honeycomb apps for Android tablets.  The Playbook suffered similar complaints but more.  However, if Google and its camp is going to trying to sell tablets and compete with the iPad in these kind of retail environment, they can forget about it.  The same goes for the Playbook  I have no doubt that RIM had seen initial success with the Playbook sales but it is hard to see a sustained effort.  

Apple needs competition and the presence of Android tablets and Playbooks, soon to be joined by HP's Web OS Touchpad, might be enough to make every major tablet platform innovate but if Apple's competitors want to take sales away from the iPad, they're gonna need to do a better job of it  Don't be surprise if someone decides to open up an Android store to compete and better compliment Android sales effort.  

Back On iPhone To Lock Unlimited Data Plan

I am back on the iPhone to lock up wireless data plans for which ever carriers I decide to go with.

I don't think I'll be going with an Android device ad my next phone anymore. It had become way too complicated a platform to use.

And with most carriers grandfathering plans these days, I think it's a good idea for me to lock things in while I can.

I am on T-Mobile's 3G plan now. We also have Verizon's unlimited plan. So I guess I am set. Not way I am going with AT&T and Sprint isn't going to alter it's plans any time soon.

Should the iPhone come to all the carriers this summer/fall, I would be good to go.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, May 27, 2011

Would Apple Invite International Coverage for the WWDC Keynote Just For Demos And Previews?

Apple is inviting a lot for foreign journalists to the WWDC in San Francisco beginning on June 7th.  What's interesting is that we've known for months that there will be no new hardware introduction as it has been in previous years.  After all, the World Wide Developer Conference is about developers and software.  So why the hoopla over OS X and preview of the next iOS?

Well, it's hard to say.  It is not inconceivable for Apple to trying sneaking an iPhone in there.  But I highly doubt that.  Having just made that point, if Apple is trying to drum up world-wide coverage of the keynote speech (no one knows who's giving it so far), it better be much more than just about the next Mac OS Lion and what's going to be in iOS 5.  

And it definitely better not be just an intro with a bunch of demos.  That is not worth a trip across the pond or across the Pacific from Australia.  After all, it's not like they'll be going to LA or NY. This is San Francisco after all.  Right, not much going on there.

However, if Apple is to sneak in the next iPhone, that definitely would be something.  That's my pony wish with Santa and Easter Bunny all roll into one.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Windows Phone 7 Update "Mango" Has What It Takes To Go Against iPhone And Android

This is a very interesting day indeed as Microsoft outed the next Windows Phone 7 update.  Multi-tasking and more social friendly features are coming our way. 


What's also interesting is that Microsoft confirmed Nokia mobile devices running Mango is in the works.


What this means for the mobile landscape is anyone's guess right now.  It really depends on when Nokia gets their WP7 phones out on the market.  I'm gonna go ahead and say that they will be rushed out on a limited release in Nokia's backyard where home field advantage might still mean something.  If it does come out around the Holidays, it may have to contend with a newly released iPhone (4GS or 5) and whatever else Google has coming with an Android update that features Honeycomb UI.


What I'm interested in seeing if this will reverse Nokia's fortunes and, if so, at Apple or Google's expense.

Now, we'll have to see if Microsoft can actually deliver the update on time. That itself is the trickiest part of all.


iPhone 3GS Rumored Not To Run iOS 5 - Wrong!

Not going to happen.  There's a rumor that the iPhone 3GS will not run iOS 5.  I think that's false. 


If anything, it will not be able to take advantage of all the new features in the next iOS upgrade but it will still be able to run more than a few cool features that are coming our way 

If I had to speculate right now, I would have to say any Siri integration may not work for the 3GS because of the higher level of processing power that is required.  Of course, it really depends on Apple how they implement it.  After all, Siri works even now on just fine.




Wednesday, May 18, 2011

PC Market Is Big Oil Companies As Tablet Market is to Green Tech Revolution

Finally, I’ve found a way to merge two topics I find a lot of interests in and maybe this will be an awesome click bait. Nah, I’m kidding (but not really). So, I have been reading a lot of posts of late about how the iPad really isn’t cannibalizing PC sales but rather that consumers are holding on to their old PCs older. Hey, that could be what’s happening and it go a long way in explaining why both HP and Dell are both experiencing a slow-down in the consumer PC market. It would definitely explain why Acer’s netbook market collapsed, people simply are very very satisfied with the netbooks.

This would go contrary to the earlier reports that the iPad sales, along with other tablets, are hurting netbooks and low-end laptop sales.

Here’s where I’m gonna to go “freakanomics” on you. People are definitely holding on to their personal computers, desktop or laptop, longer. And the reason is because many folks have bought a tablet and find that they can do most of what they do on their PC and don’t see a need to upgrade just yet.

Obviously, there will be deniers. PC-birthers who USA Today said were like global warming deniers. Let’s call them “tabniers”. Well, the tabniers are out in force.

Hence the title of this post. The companies that sells PC, like HP, Dell, and Lenovo are like big oil today, BP and Exxon. It’s my opinion, that they hold onto what’s making them money, their cash cow, but have little or no plans for tomorrow. When the oil runs out for the energy companies or when demand for PC shrinks to the point it makes no sense to make them any longer.

Sure, HP has Web OS and I applaud their thinking. Dell is going with Android as is everyone else but they really have no idea why they’re doing it. There isn’t an organic feel to their gears. It’s like they’re coming out with tablets because they are afraid what not to and, yet, they don’t seem to get why people want the iPad to begin with. Don’t believe me? Just look at the promotions when the Touchpad comes out. See if HP give is equal marketing with its PC products.

And we know that Dell says almost nothing about the Streak. Look at its sales. If Dell really gets the tablet, it would use one of its existing laptop brands like Insperion instead of creating a a brand new one with arguably, a different naming scheme than they the’ve come up with in the past. The problem is no one recognizes it and if Dell thought “Streak” would be cool and “down” with the younger market, well, then they’re the only one.

All the old PC companies, HP probably has the best chance to make a splash in the tablet market. And even they are moving too slow. In about a year, we may well be talking about the Kindle and Nook tablets along with the iPad. Let me tell you this. The people buy Kindles and Nooks are from the older generation. And if you think consumers are holding off on buy or upgrade their PCs, you just wait until the boomers stop buying PCs and opt for Barnes and Noble’s offerings.

Note: For my click-bait post, I will talk about how big oil can survive the green revolution (not the one going on in Iran) and the first one to be the Apple of old energy will eventually dominate the world. See, click-bait.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

iPad Provides A More Intimate Experiences Between Computer and Owner

Intimacy.  That is the word that is put to the personal computing experience the iPad has brought to mobile computing and entertainment.  And while the iPad cannot get more intimate than the iPhone since it doesn't fit in the pocket of our jeans, the fact that it can do much more while it sits on your laps.

It's on the moment you need it and it can easily take you through a work day or on a flight.

I'm not sure that people, even iPad owners realize what's going on.  Their relationship with their iPads is vastly more different than with their laptop or smartphone.  

I thought of this while I was looking at the original MacIntosh.  The very first one. The boxy thing with the smallish screen in black and white. Yeah, that one.  It was computing on a vastly different even than the Apple II or the IBM PCs around that time.  

The new UI with the mouse as the controller gave users a level of control that was not achievable.  And through the decades after, the experience has largely been the same with Windows or Mac OS.  

That all changed with the iPad.  Apple took that intimacy shared between user and computer onto a whole new level.  And the iPad is a little more than a year old.  We are only scratching the surface of what the iPad can allow us to achieve.

If anyone wants to compete more effectively with Apple, they need to realize this first.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Apple's MobileMe Down For Some; Doesn't Bold Well for iCloud

MobileMe mail is down for some folks and Apple has acknowledge that.  So far I haven't seen anything worse than the number of refrehses that I have do do on a daily basis.  Still, this can't be a good thing for Apple.

There's expectation, rumors about iCloud notwithstanding, that Apple will revamp it's cloud services.  

So, this late into the game with WWDC just weeks away does not give me confidence that Apple has its cloud issues licked.  

More at Macnn.

Siri Is Nice But Hardly Use: Hope Apple Addresses It

Voice is great but even with Android having a huge lead in this department, I still see people hacking away on their Google e-mails or texting rather than speak their messages.  Here's the reason why.  We have not been trained to use voice after decades of trusting the keyboard.  And while iOS app, Apple's Siri, is pretty need, Apple needs not only build voice capabilities into the iOS but give us a reason to use it.

Take Ping on the other extreme.  It's okay but we have no reason to use it.  With the rumored voice capability that is forthcoming, I'm sure Apple will vastly improve on Siri.  But will that be enough?

I've used Siri to look things up  I've used it to look up definition of words.  I've put Siri in the dock to force myself to use it.  Practice using it so that I'm more comfortable with voice and when the time comes, I'll be able to take advantage of iOS 5's voice abilities.  But that's me.

I'm sure you don't go to such extreme to use Siri or get yourself comfortable with voice input/output.  

I have no expectation that the iOS update will allow me to chat with my iPhone the way folks on the Enterprise is able to make queries of the computer onboard the starship.  However, I think Google will probably take us there sooner rather than later.

What I do expect is for Apple to attempt to make the use of Siri and other voice capabilities more second nature, and less of a conscious effort that I have to put in now to use it.

On another note, any other interest uses of the current Siri that you can think of?

iPhone Hardware Surpassed iOS in terms of Power

Right now, the iPad 2 is awesome in that it's fast.  Very fast.  But that's limited to some apps and tasks. For the most part, I can't tell the different between playing Angry Birds on the origial iPad versus the iPad 2.  So, the question is if hardware development as advanced far beyond the needs of iOS 4 or even 5?

Here's a most that kind of question this issue.  

It's worth thinking about some more.  We know that Apple has a way to get us to upgrade by cripple certain features in favor of newer iOS devices over older ones.  Still, a hack here or there via jail-break can usually bring some of these missing features back to the older models.

Other than Apple's artificially placed limitations, I don't see anything that iOS 5 can bring that the iPhone 4 cannot handle.  Obviously, we know nothing about iOS 5 yet and my declaration here is premature.  And I certainly hope to be wrong about this.

Also, take Nvidia who is readying a four-core Tegra.  Apple probably should and will work on their own version as well.  And when that time comes, will we see a even greater gap between the iOS hardware and the need of iOS to use all that power?

More at Computerworld.

Apple Should Worry About Kindle And Nook Tablets More Than Xoom or Tab

As tablets goes, it's iPad.  Don't let anyone kid you.  Xoom isn't selling well and the Galaxy Tab might have a market in South Korea where Samsung is headquartered but that's it.  Playbook?  Yeah right. Not even on the market for a month and there's already a recall. However, Apple's tablet dominance could be coming to an end if Amazon and Barnes & Noble can get their tablet plans off the ground.

Amazon will soon unveil a new family of Kindle branded products  I reckon there'll be new e-ink readers as well as Amazon's flavor of Android tablets.  BN has done well with Nook Color and we'll see their second generation effort at the end of May.  What makes these two ebook sellers different from the other hardware companies?  And how can they succeed against Apple where other tablet makers have largely fail?

Well, the first evidence of this is this. Angry Birds have been downloaded 1 million times on just the Nook Color alone.  And they got the app store not too long ago.  And since the Nook Color gamed more tablet abilities, I've seen interest in the NC peaked.  

On top of this, Amazon has its own Android app market that, in my mind, is better than the Android Marketplace.  Why is that?  It's more curated than Google's effort and less so than Apple's App Store. And I think BN will follow the same idea.  Between the stores managed by Amazon or BN and Google's, I'll take the Kindle and Nook store any day.

And that's another thing.  The Kindle and Nook app market will be smaller than the Google's app store but most users won't care about that.  It's about feeling safe and, ironically, it could make it easier for users to find the apps they need.

Look for Amazon to leverage its music and video empire as well.  

So yeah, I think Apple needs to worry about these two companies. Which is why I think both the Kindle and Nook apps will soon disappear from Apple's app store some time this year.  Because later, both Amazon and BN will not only be Apple's ebook competitors but also tablet foes as well.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What Are You And I Doing On Our iPad

A survey took a snap shot of what iPad users are doing on their Apple tablet.  The gist is this:  we consume and consume.  In all likelihood, we have evolved into a different kind of coach potatoes.  A digital or mobile variant of it.

The top activity we do on our iPads is surf the Web.  Love Apple or not, Apple had done in incredible job duplicating the desktop browsing experience and ported it over to the mobile experience.  While the native mobile Safari on the iPad lacks some of the bells and whistles of the deskop version, for 90% of what you need to have a seemless Web experience is there.  And before, you get into Flash, ask the Android folks, not devotees (I wouldn't ask you take anything an Apple fanboy say either), and you'll know that Flash isn't quite there yet.  It's not Google's fault.  It's Adobe.  

The second thing we do a lot of on our iPads is socialize.  In this day, "socializing" means tweeting, checking or update Facebook statuses, or sending messages back and forth with friends/family.  Surprisingly, this category is put into one of its own. I would have thought that they fit in with the Web browsing experience.  After all, I don't use a separate app for Facebook on my Macbook Air.  However, I do use an assortment of apps for Twitter.  

Others is the next biggest category but I'll get into that later.

The next two groups are close enough for me to call it a draw.  Gaming and watching video.  I get why the two are separated but I think they give developers a clearer picture about their development, what to develop, and how to market their apps.  I think it's okay had the survey takers put the two together into one category.  It's entertainment.  

This is a great start but I think something might be missing.  What about business use?  It is possible that some of the Web browsing, e-mailing, and the "other activities" should more appropriately be put into a productivity category.  However, the fact remains that iPad or tablet use is largely non-business related.  It is possible that over time, we will see higher tablet adoption in enterprise.  It is only a matter of time before productivity gains a bigger share of tablet use.  

Another category I like to see surveyed is tablet use in education.  And not just as education in general but how iPads and tablets are helping teachers and students become more engaged in the classroom as well as the learning materials.

More at TUAW.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Eli Could Have Gotten A New iPhone If Stargate Universe Wasn't Cancelled

As you know by now, if you're a Stargate or SG-1, Stargate Universe was wrongfully cancelled after two seasons.  The idiots at MGM not withstanding, I hope it lives on in some form, other media.  Maybe even a TV movie.  However, I'm gonna assume one this.  Had there been a season 3, Eli Wallace, could have received a new iPhone or iPad 2.

See, the fictional Department of Homeworld Security could have established another Icarus base.  It potentially would have been a unidirectional trip.  That means the Milky Way could dial the Destiny but not the other way around.  That means at the very least, the Destiny could get supplies.

That means Eli could get a new iPhone 4, or iPhone 5.  Heck, the crew could be supplied with tablets of their choice.  iPads, I reckon, will be the choice that many onboard the ship will make.  

Anyway, like I said at the top, it's unfortunate that MGM decided to cancel the series and SyFy did not fight harder for the series.  TV/Movie execs are just as spineless as music execs, on the same level of politicians, never willing to make the though choices.  There, I got my shot in.

It would be nice to see today's mobile tech play a bigger role in the fictional universe.  Obviously, we've seen Dells used on SG-1.  That's unfortunate.  But as far as fan fiction goes, we own it and I'd say we should give the crew of Destiny new iOS devices as well as the Thunderbolt Macbook Pros.

Link: Stargate, SG: Universe, Gateworld (no, I will not provide links to MGM or SyFy).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tablet Users Prefer Digital Reading Over Print; Laptop Users Don't

We iPad users prefer reading out our LCD screens over print media by a large margin.  Well, that's not exactly right but it's one interpretation.  By that line of logic, that's 94% of us.

52% of us think digital reading is better than print while 42% thinks digital and print media are about the same.  I think this is something that publishers all need to heed.  Textbook as well as book publishers on down to magazine publishers should understand just how quickly their industries are being transformed in a matter of about a year since the iPad came onto the scene.

I still have books that I like to buy when I head out to Borders or Barnes and Noble.  I like the feel of having a book in my hand.  Nevertheless, I do a major of my reading on the iPad.  And with an estimated 60 million tablets expected to be sold in 2011, the publishers who have not figured out the revolutionary changes taking place, and that's a lot of them, they need to get their acts together or else, they will go the way of the dodos.  

Also, laptop users are not as impressed with digital reading as their tablet counterparts.  So expect more mobile warriors swithc over to the iPad or other tablets over laptops in the coming years.

A bit more at Teleread.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Apple Release Apple TV, Over WiFi - So Why Not Other iOS WiFi Updates?

I caught wind of the update that Apple posted for the Apple TV.  Ordinarily, I don't pay too much attention to it unless it about new features.  Bug fixes don't concern me as much.  However, I noticed that you don't need to unplug your Apple TV and plug it into your Mac or PC and update it via iTunes.

You can just apply the upgrade directly via WiFi.  So, why can't we do this yet with the iPhone or iPad? Or my iPod touch for that matter?

Anyway, hope this feature is coming and soon.  I really don't like to have to wait until I get home just so I can sync my iOS devices first before applying the update.  I reckon the NC data center has a lot of capacity and I hope over-the-air data storage is a part of that.  

More at Macworld.

VISA To Get Ball Rolling On Mobile Payments This Fall

Looks like VISA is taking the initiative and setting up an NFC payment network.  Hey, someone has to and as I've mentioned in the past, it would likely take VISA or Mastercard to get involved to move things along  

What is also cool is that VISA should get a lot of banks onboard and has a few tricks up its sleeve that might make it easier for people to trust it.  After all, security and privacy is going to be a big big issue from now on.  

What will it potentially involve?

  • Multiple payment systems.  It does not necessarily have to be VISA credit cards.
  • dynamic authentication for security purposes.
  • NFC abilities on credit cards.  It means you don't need a mobile or phone.  This could also mean that any device with NFC capability without phone functions, like iPod touches, can be used to make mobile payments.
  • Services to be available on the fall for the US and Canada - why not Mexico?!
  • Can involve opt-in deals for merchants.
Two things I like to add.  Social networks and privacy.  I'm not a big Facebook fan with regards to their privacy.  I like to see social network aspects added to the NFC network that VISA is creating here or anyone else who might develop their own.  

Groupon, LivingSocial, Gowalla, Yelp, Foursquare should also be involved one way or another.  Even Twitter.  However, privacy should be the most important aspect of social functions and NFC.  It ought to be opt in and just because a consumer wants a deal doesn't mean that he or she has to give up their live stories to anyone.  Otherwise, you can forget about it.  

Pretty excited about this.  Big time.  This is one of the first networks and I'm sure we'll hear from other credit card companies, the mobile device makers, and banks.  Just the beginning.

More at Electronista.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

iWeb and iOS: iWeb On Life-Support But Hoping iOS Needs Will Resuscitate It

iWeb has pretty much been written off by many users.  As an iWeb user, who find it limiting but also ease to use as well, i had hoped that Apple would have greatly improved iWeb with a few asked about features that we dreamt about since version one.  Alas, none of that came to pass.

I'm not ready to write it off until WWDC, the likely event for Apple to make some splash about MobileMe.  See iWeb is kinda of tied into MobileMe if you want to use the iWeb to publish your own website.  Again, there were a lot of limitations but because of vast potentials, many loyal users stuck with it.  It's typical behavior for Apple and its users.  Apple come out with a new app that shows great promise and users stuck around to see it grow into something special.  

I'm touching on this today because I've been using Rapidweaver for another side project of mine and also that Sandvox 2.0 came out today and I figure it's a good opportunity to share what I hope Apple has in-stored if iWeb and the self-publishing component of MobileMe is to survive.

I'm hoping Apple will announce an updated iWeb as a standalone product that is more tied into iWork.  While I don't necessarily want to see it happen, iWeb can be merged with Pages.  If done right, it can be a fantastic product.  Or Apple might go the route of making iWeb more iOS friend and allow users to create their own webapp or standalone iOS app.  

Don't think so?  Apple did release an application that makes it easier for developers to make iAd.  So, it stands to reason that perhaps Apple can take some of that and make it easier for mere mortals like myself to create rudimentary apps - even sell them or include iAds as well

Furthermore, and updated iWeb along with a more social oriented MobileMe could give Apple the ammunition to capitalize on the social network craze and leverage its legions of loyal Mac and iOS users.  Ping was a misfire but I think Apple is quick learner.

Regardless of what Apple decides to do with iWeb, it should not give up on it.  It is too important of an avenue for content creation, especially of for the iOS.  Facebook has, well, Facebook, Google has Blogger and Webapps, and Microsoft has Facebook and Wordpress that it partnered with.  While iOS has app support for all of the mentioned social and blogging platform, there is none that Apple can use as its own. 

Perhaps it had hoped to use Ping  Oh, and let's not forget Game Center.  iWeb can be the glue to ties in every social component that Apple has or will have in the future and allow the user to use iWeb to publish it only one platform. 

That's my hope for iWeb, the ability to continue to publish to website with added social components as well as added mobile features like app creation.

How likely is this to happen?  Given Apple's focus is traditionally on the larger picture, there are enough social apps in the App Store and Web publishing is less and less of a component that people these days are focused on.  Rapidweaver, Sandbox, and not to mention, Dreamweaver, are three great tools for beginners on up.  

iWeb will not be missed if it does disappear.  Nevertheless, iWeb is specially because it has that special Apple designed feel to it that no other companies has been able to duplicate.

Are You Ready For An ARM Chip In your Macbook?

The question analysts and bloggers ought to be asking when pushing the idea of Apple using its own ARM chip in Macbooks is this:  is the Market ready to move away from Intel and embrace OS X on ARM?  Also, has Apple gained such a sufficient share in the PC market that Windows compatibility is no longer a wanted feature?

The speculation that Apple will move to ARM in Macbook started last week and has yet to due. Apparently, there is nothing to talk about until WWDC next month.  So let's speculate further by asking a few other questions concerning this theoretical move.

  • Again, are you ready to buy a Macbook without Intel inside?
  • Will doing this give Apple an advantage over its competitors?
  • Is Windows compatibility no longer a relevant move?
  • Are you fine with good graphics but an overall slower Mac operation - Intel chips will still be much faster than ARM chips in 3 to 4 years. 
Keep in mind that having Windows compatibility is a key selling factor for the Intel-based Macs even if people don't use it much.  But it is nice to know that if I never need it, I can just boot into Bootcamp or run Parallels with Windows installed.  Of course, there is a solution:  Microsoft is working on am ARM-based Windows.

I think all this is just what it was like about 10 years ago when bloggers got wind of the fact that even as Apple was shipping Macs based on PowerPC, it had a parallel Intel version of OS X in the works as well.  So, it's not unthinkable that Apple has a version of OS X running on ARM or AMD chips for a "just in case" scenario.

While this has no direct impact on Apple fans or mobile warriors, it is fun to speculate nontheless. What I hope for is that a switch to ARM chips might not mean monster speed increases on work like 3D rendering or Photoshopping, it could mean way longer battery life than laptops today.  

Just in case, I bought a new Macbook Air about a month ago and I don't see any reason for me to upgrade for another 3 years at the very least.  Maybe by then, just maybe...

Monday, May 9, 2011

3GS Kicking Butt At AT&T - It Means Opportunities for Apple

People want the iPhone.  It's why Apple was only recently able to keep up with demand.  And as Apple move away from exclusive deals in more countries and expand carriers, it shows that even the 11 months old iPhone 4 is still able to keep up with the newer (not necessarily better) competitors on the market.  Ask AT&T about Atrix sales and ask T-Mobile with its slew of new Android devices but still managed to lose close to half a million subscribers.  

It's not a surprise that we learn the two-year old iPhone 3GS is managing to even outsell the top Android devices. People want the iPhone.  It's a clean mobile experience that is a joy to use.  Still, outside of AT&T, the 3GS continues to elude users on Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, the other three top US carriers.

This provides Apple with an interesting opportunity.  Tim Cook has stated in the past that Apple does not plan on giving up any segment of the market to its competitors.  Nor do I think it should.  It makes very little sense for Apple to give up profit margins to do it either.  It's anyone's guess how Apple plan on attack the lower-end smartphone market and get users to go with its mobile devices.  

I don't buy the argument that Apple will make a cheaper iPhone.  Any Wall Street analyst who suggests it should be fired on the spot.  Just as Apple has said on the past that it did not know how to make a $500 computer that wasn't a piece of crap, Apple isn't going to come out with a $99 or $199 iPhone that is also a piece of crap. 

I reckon that Apple will change the financial model a bit to make sure that it can earn back any money it sacrifices if it should decide to sell iPhones at a lower price.  Perhaps, it might look to the iTunes ecosystem to help pad margins. That's just my guess.

Rest assured that Apple will address the low-end smartphone market.  And the 3GS or a variant of it could be the key.

More at Loop Insight.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

iPad Sneaks Into Top Floor Of Corporations

I don't work for a company that has a top floor.  We only have one floor but my boss has an iPad.  And more and more, he is realizing the potential of having a light 10-hour mobile device with wireless connection that allows him to work and play no matter where he is in the world.  You could do that with a laptop but when you're the CEO and president of a company, having to start up a laptop with a 3-4 hour battery life just doesn't have the same appeal and ease of use as what the iPad brings to the table.

And thought I've already got my own iPad, he is also looking to spread the tablet love to the rest of the company.  We're a small company and that's just us.  Companies many times bigger are virtually doing the same thing.  Hundreds of iPads are being adopted by one company while another with thousands are being deployed.  

Whether it's iPads, Xoom or other Android devices, or RIM's Playbook, it's an opportunity for everyone.  And hardware aside, apps optimized for tablets are also changing the way we work.  

The main thing is that productivity will benefit greatly when information are just a few touches and swipes away.  

While our company doesn't have apps that we develop in house for easy access to our data, what apps are available are working for us.  I'll getting into another post about what apps my boss uses to help him with his work.  The bottom line is that for someone who isn't all that into computers, he sure loves his iPad 2.

Friday, May 6, 2011

In the Unlikely Event That Apple Switches Away From Intel in Mac, This Is How It Can Happen

There's been a rumor going around that Apple will make the switch from Intel's chips in Macbooks and switch over to the ARM architecture by around 2013.  There are a lot of posts on the Web about it.  Some think it'll happen and some think it'll never happen.  I'm in the camp that says "never say never".  However, you have to wonder why would Apple do such a thing?

Here begins my speculation and let me say that in no way do I think this will happen.  Arstechnica laid out a good argument that while Apple can make the switch, there is no good reason why it would.  So, in what case would Apple use ARM chips over Intel?  

How about this?  The Macbook.  The low-end Macbook.  Apple can begin to use the ARM chip in the Macbook.  One of the selling points about the Intel-based Macs is that they are Windows compatible.  It's less likely that Macbook buyers is likely to use Bootcamp and switch over to Windows.  And let's not forget that Microsoft is developing a version of Windows for the ARM chips for use in tablets to compete with the iPad.  So, it is possible that apps can allow an ARM-based Macbook to boot into Windows still.

And by introducing ARM chips in the Macbooks, Apple can give the market time to slowly adjust itself to the idea that "Intel Inside" is no longer necessary.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

iOS Making More Money For EA…than DS And PSP Combined?!

According to EA, it's mobile revenue is $70 million while DS and PSP pulled in $28 million and $16 million respectively.  Not bad right?

It's hard to say since the margins can vary.  EA probably makes more from DS and PSP sales considering how much more expensive those games are but it more than makes up for the smaller margins on mobile sales through volume.  All in all, not a bad quarter.

Now consider this.  Apple's popular iOS devices, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, dominates the app store revenue with about 80% of the market.  Taking a bit of a leap and extending that to EA's mobile revenue, Apple's ecosystem could be helping EA generate $56 million of total mobile sales.

That means the iOS platform is taking in more sales than DS and Sony combined!  

Of course, this is just some fuzzy math I'm throwing out there but I am pretty sure I am not that far off.  Without knowing the margin, we won't know if developing and selling games for the iOS is more profitable than for dedicated gaming devices.  Still, with the explosive growth that mobile is experiencing, not only will mobile revenue dwarf handheld gaming revenue, but mobile profit will eclipse those generated by DS/PSP many times over.

More at TUAW.

Apple Only Managed To Muster 82% Share of Tablet Market

With the huge iPad 2 launch that began in March and we just finished up April, Apple "only" managed to muster up 82% of market share.

Okay, not being sarcastic or nothing like that.  I thought Apple would have wiped the floor with everyone else.  I think there might be two reasons for this.  

First, despite what folks think, Apple does face meaningful competition from the rest of the tablet market as a whole.  You add in all those Android devices, Xoom, Galaxy, and other minor players, you can probably come up with 10-15% of the tablet market.  Then on top of that, you've got a few Windows versions that are just basically laptops without the keyboards.

Second, Apple was still running into supply issues.  I've had to wait 10 days for our latest 3G iPad.  

So, 82%?  Pretty good but I think Apple could have done better if supply issues did not come into play.  Love to see what May looks like and when Playbook from RIM has had more time on the market  

More at MacDailyNews.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

White iPhone Or Not At the End of May

I think when my T-Mobile contract ends at the end of May, I'm gonna fight really really hard not to get the white iPhone from Verizon. It's gonna be hard. In trying to help my retired dad and his wife save money, I've decided to take on their mobile bill. However, I am forced to go with Verizon because both ATT and T-Mobile have horrible coverage where they live.

Still, I've got a couple of weeks left. I might even be able to hang through June. I figure I've got a month until we hear something more definitive on what Apple has planned. It is beginning to look more and more like there will not be an iPhone until later in the summer or early fall.

Now, there are smart folks over at Apple running the company. I'm not talking just about Steve Jobs and the top echelon of the executive team but the folks who are forecasting sales. Obviously, Apple is continue to do well with the iPhone 4 and it doesn't appear they will be in a hurry to rush out the next iPhone.

And I would have to agree. It's likely that Apple has found a firmer footing with Verizon in the mix in the US market.

Three Quarter of Docs Owns An Apple Device

According to a healthcare survey, 75% of physicians owns an iOS device, iPhone, iPad, or even an iPod.  

30% Of docs own an iPad.  I reckon this number will be higher soon enough.

Brilliant and amazing.  In the past, a patient would look at the doctor's diploma to rate his or her qualification.  Pretty soon, we're gonna want to know if they use an iOS device.  After all, how can anyone trust the man or woman with his or her welfare if they don't use an iPhone or iPad?

More at MacDailyNews

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How I Found Out About Osama Getting What He Deserved, AP Told Me

It was Sunday when the Americans and much of the Western Hemisphere learned about Osama Bin Laden getting what he deserved.  This is one of those events in our lives that we will always remember where you were when you found out.  I was at home when I started up the browser and shocked to read about it.  This was a day that many of us would not think we'll see.  At least, now that I've read up on how the special op went down, not in the way that was so dramatic.  

Like I said, I was at home but it was earlier when my AP app on the iPod touch informed me that the President will be making an address.  This was around 1900 PST.  Yeah, President Obama wanted to talk to Americans on a Sunday night.  This could not be good.

When I got the notification, I was in my drive way on the way to go get dinner.  I immediately went back into the house to grab my mobile hotspot just in case I needed to read up on what's going on.  

Went to the supermarket, got food for the week as well as dinner.  Came home.  Along the way, I got a couple of more notifications from other apps and e-mails. Then around 8:30, stuff started going crazy.  Texts, e-mails, calls.  Even a FaceTime chat with my uncle and aunt about it.

After that, the President addressed the nation from the White House to confirm it.

Is this how we are going to find out about breaking news from now on?  Push notifications?  For many of us mobile warriors, I reckon that to be so.  I don't watch much television and I catch up on my video on Hulu.  News I get each morning on the Web.  Ordinarily, I don't use my Macbook unless I want to tweet or update my blogs  

Had I not have my touch with me, I probably would not have known about this until Monday morning.  

Using Generative AI Has Given Me A New Appreciation For Siri and Excited For The Future of Apple Intelligence

I used generative AI this week to find the dimensions of a refrigerator based on the model number. I googled first because of muscle memory ...