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  • Tablet Wars: RIM Gets Aggressive With Apple iPad Comparisons [View article]
    Sweeney, I must agree with Truthteller's last post -- of course, I'll be nicer ;-)

    While a small cadre of very tech savvy users may be peeved about what Apple is doing to Flash, there is no evidence of a large body of consumers voting against Apple with their wallets, at all, let alone for that reason. It peeves me as the founder of a mobile app dev shop and causes me problems, but I don't see any evidence of it costing Apple much business.

    Also, while I agree the vast majority of apps are useless, I have put it this way in related topics -- Apple is usually a little ahead of Android for having the coolest / most useful / most buzzworthy apps, who is WAY ahead of Blackberry. We haven't even bothered building to the Blackberry app platform yet and won't for several months because it is more important for us to get out iPhone/Android apps, the improve upon them, and only then look at other platforms. I doubt my shop is alone in this approach, and there is plenty of evidence to show we aren't.

    Nov 16, 2010. 06:35 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tablet Wars: RIM Gets Aggressive With Apple iPad Comparisons [View article]
    Okay, let's play ball and we'll keep it sane. What is it about the PlayBook that makes you believe it will do well in consumer? I've presented the core of my case above, but a few add-on's and replies.

    The most interesting will be the Flash/full web support issues. They don't appear to be causing many problems to date for the iPad or iPhone, but we'll see what happens when it's time to sell the iPad to a broader audience.

    Apple has the lead, the buzz, the apps, the inter-device integration (which will grow more important over time), and the stores. And let's see how the next version stacks up whenever the PlayBook finally comes out.

    The floor is now yours, sir.
    Nov 16, 2010. 05:38 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • So what if there are 300,000 apps for the iPhone (AAPL) and iPad? "You don’t need an app for the web," says Research in Motion (RIMM) CEO Jim Balsillie. He also boasts the upcoming PlayBook Blackberry Tablet computer will be 3 to 4 times faster than the iPad.  [View news story]
    I've heard this general argument before -- "the faster the mobile web, the less we'll need mobile apps". I think this argument is flawed for a few big reasons.

    First and foremost, the visual real estate. One of the major reasons you need mobile apps is to redesign how data is presented, even considering a website's ability to detect a mobile browser and present the "mobile version". That problem NEVER goes away unless someone finds a clever way to deal with the visual real estate issue.

    Second, not all mobile apps are just reformatted versions of website. Some mobile apps (and I would argue, the most exciting) are specifically for taking advantage of what a computer generally cannot -- mobile calls, GPS, location-based stuff, barcode-based shoppers, augmented reality, etc. etc.

    Third, the processor on the phone is still not strong enough to crunch some data aspects of presenting or interacting with a full fledged website or web app with "acceptable" speed. I readily concede that this will get cured in fairly short order, courtesy of Moore's law. But it's still an issue right now.
    Nov 16, 2010. 05:28 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tablet Wars: RIM Gets Aggressive With Apple iPad Comparisons [View article]
    Oh boy. Not that I ever expect any rational discussion when it comes to Apple/RIM/Google, but against my better judgment, my thoughts. I step back and ask what makes RIM and Apple succeed in its current niches and how does this generally apply to tablets?

    RIM is a great business phone b/c of email integration, security and choice of networks. RIM has some consumer business b/c of the keyboard + BBMS making it a nice tool for texting. Apple is a great consumer phone b/c of the apps, it has a successful high-margin niche in computers because of design and ease of use. So now let's look at tablets.

    Apple able to translate its leadership in apps, which (for the vast majority of iPhone apps) are fairly easily ported to iPad. Already scoring well in consumer, getting a little bit of early traction in business. RIM may get a decent market share in business for the same reasons as the phone but I wonder how big that segment pie will really be -- if the company is already footing the bill for phones and laptops, what makes them shell out more for this? Or is the assumption that a ton of laptops are replaced by the tablet? Their strengths in consumer phone segment don't translate to the tablet (unless you want to give them "choice of networks").

    So in short, my *belief* is that RIM may get a niche hold in businesses that really, really can use the tablet form factor. But I don't think it's going to be that big. And I just don't see them overcoming Apple's strengths in consumer -- especially when Apple starts making it even easier to hook up other Apple devices with the iPad (i.e., "throw" a video on your iPad onto your TV via Apple TV)

    And no, I'm no Apple fanboy, I don't own a single Apple product.
    Nov 16, 2010. 05:17 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Android Share Jumps, Now Second Most Popular OS Worldwide [View article]
    Hi Cameron, I partially agree. I live in the mobile app industry, so here's my own perspectives.

    Certainly, Apple and Android are way ahead of everyone else on apps. And the difference is very important to the consumer -- there are a LOT of cool and/or important apps that are not available on any other platform, or aren't available for a very long time after they are available on Apple/Android.

    Between Apple and Android, Apple still has the lead. Most apps still come out on Apple first. But with a few exceptions, they're available on both within a fairly short period of time. So I think that lead is still "noticeable". But it's not "massive".

    Between Apple and Android, I don't personally see the raw app count as that important to users. Most apps on both platforms are total crap or nothing to write home about -- how many fart apps, calorie counters, bikini-pic-o-the-day, and tip calculators does one need? Not to mention the sheer quantity of useless vanity apps. Also, wallpaper and music downloads are a very large proportion of both. Meh.
    Nov 11, 2010. 03:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Taxpayers made a $3.3B profit from selling Citigroup (C) shares, at least according to an analysis released today by finance professor Linus Wilson. With the Treasury still holding another 3.3B shares, returns on the bailout might not be too shabby.  [View news story]
    1. The article only discussed Citi, it didn't say anything about "all of TARP being a success"


    2. Agree w/ all the above posters, let's talk about Fannie, Freddie and AIG, and then get back to me on the masterfulness of the US federal sovereign investment fund
    Nov 11, 2010. 10:15 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Android Share Jumps, Now Second Most Popular OS Worldwide [View article]
    What's the "half truth"? It's an article about the smartphone OS market. The headline indicates that. The table indicates that.

    It's not an article about all mobile phones. It's not an article about mobile manufacturer's share. It's not an article about all mobile devices.
    Nov 10, 2010. 05:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A conundrum for the Washington Post (WPO -1.8%): Its Kaplan subsidiary has grown into its biggest revenue producer, but shady practices and those of other for-profit educators have drawn unwelcome scrutiny, slamming Post stock by 25%. Latest industry black eye: fat executive compensation despite high student loan defaults and dropout rates.  [View news story]
    Maybe the Washington Post should write an expose on the shady practices of for-profit educators.
    Nov 10, 2010. 04:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Android Share Jumps, Now Second Most Popular OS Worldwide [View article]
    It's a valid point. But it also comes back to "what is it you're trying to analyze"? Total mobile phone sales? Smartphone sales -- and within that, just OS, just phone, or what? Or are we talking about "mobile device OS"? Or OS for any kind of device?

    But I would not be surprised to see the same dynamic and subsequent religious war play out just as it did with smartphones -- Android taking the fastest growing share of a rapidly growing pie, Apple making the most direct money, Google making a hard to quantify (but I argue, large) benefit from this.

    As someone who owns a development company in this space, it's practically gotten to the point where I think the vast majority of developers will simply see it mandatory to develop to all -- iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Android tables... with iPods also factoring in, to a lesser degree (of being "mandatory"). So I don't see the quantity of apps mattering in the Apple v Google wars, as time goes on (when you're both in the hundreds of thousands, does it *really* matter who has more?)
    Nov 10, 2010. 04:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Greece's 2010 deficit will come in at 9.2%-9.3% of GDP, well above its 7.8% target, Reuters reports. Greece must meet fiscal consolidation targets under its bailout agreement with the IMF and its euro zone partners in May to stave off default.  [View news story]
    Is this the part where I'm supposed to be shocked?
    Nov 10, 2010. 03:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Main Street pays Wall Street, again, as municipalities across the country pay billions to big banks to get out from interest-rate swaps for which they had been convinced to sign up before the financial crisis. The termination payments come at the worst possible time, as the recession has left states and cities facing huge budget gaps.  [View news story]
    And I guess none of those municipalities wanted to talk about what they stood to gain if the trade "went their way". No, they just want to whine and cry when it doesn't.
    Nov 10, 2010. 03:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Android Share Jumps, Now Second Most Popular OS Worldwide [View article]
    I see what you're saying, it certainly would be nice if Google would break out the financial indicators for "Android". But in fairness, they may not fully know. Kind of like "what does Gmail contribute to Google's overall business"? While one could try to limit that question to the value of display ads or paying customers on Google Apps, that would be problematic too -- how to measure the overall impact/PR value of free Gmail usage; how to measure which paying Google Apps customers paid b/c of email vs Docs etc.?

    Per your response to me above (thanks for keeping the dialog non religious), I don't think it's illogical to say that owning a large and the fastest growing share of the "OS-for-(the rapidly growing) smartphone market" isn't worth *something* worth having. Admittedly it is hard to quantify and value, far less easy than it is to value for Apple given the different business models. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth doing and doesn't have a lot of *potential* for Google.

    I'm not here to *defend* Google. I'm just replying to some of the other posters who tend to be Apple zealots and state that "Google makes nothing off Android".
    Nov 10, 2010. 03:23 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Android Share Jumps, Now Second Most Popular OS Worldwide [View article]
    The title of the table that is the focus of the article makes it quite clear that they're talking about the shares in the market for OS that run smartphones.
    Nov 10, 2010. 03:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Android Share Jumps, Now Second Most Popular OS Worldwide [View article]
    Once again, it appears impossible to have a non-religious conversation on this topic. ALL of the below are true:

    * Android's marketshare growth of smartphones is stunning
    * But look at the unit volumes for nearly everyone -- up MASSIVELY for the top 4 platforms. Everyone is enjoying life, although some more than others
    * iOS is losing share as a smartphone platform, but if you want to evaluate it's total success, you have to look at non-phone usage of iOS, which is a spectacular success
    * The iPhone is the dominant model of smartphone out there
    * The iPhone enjoys superior direct margins
    * Android will continue its share gains because it enjoys support from more manufacturers at more price points, to reach more customer segments
    * Google is also probably making tons of money (or at least defending tons of money) because it's game is totally different -- share of mobile advertising and other indirect monetization via controlling the platform (increasing relevant to Apple's strategy too, to be clear)

    Summary -- Apple and Google are BOTH "killing it" in smartphones, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
    Nov 10, 2010. 12:24 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Market Gives a Big Thumbs-Down to QE2 [View article]
    A Calafia post I can buy into
    Nov 9, 2010. 04:06 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment