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  • Apple: The Shift To Asset-Light, High-Margin, Middlemen Businesses [View article]
    You spend a lot of time talking about the Apple ecosystem and the role the App Store plays as well as other elements of the ecosystem, and yet you completely ignore the role of iOS the OS in this ecosystem.

    99% of the apps in the App Store are third party. As such their stickiness to Apple is fickle.
    Aug 2, 2015. 02:02 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Not All Vertical Integrations Are Created Equal [View article]

    As you state these two companies bring different expertise to bear.

    A few years ago Samsung was squeezing Apple leveraging its position as a prime provider of various components. In the past few years Apple responded by sidelining Samsung's role as a prime supplier. They have shifted their source of memory, screens and even cpu's to other suppliers which has had two effects:
    1) decreasing revenue Samsung accrues from Apple, resulting in less money to invest in its own infrastructure
    2) with the loss of volume their margins decrease

    As you state while Apple is able to control its destiny by utilizing the volume providers of components to its advantage Samsung has been limited by Android. It must compete with all the other vendors of largely equivalent products while it cannot improve its product along lines it wants to go. It is limited by the vision of Google whose aims are not always in synch. So while Samsung is vertically integrated to some degree it really is not. Smartphones are a vehicle of the software that they contain. Since Samsung does not control the OS they cannot really be vertically integrated.
    Aug 2, 2015. 01:42 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft, Capitulation And The End Of Windows Everywhere [View article]
    Benedict

    Good article. Love your blog. Your use of data showing trends in computing is quite powerful.

    In browsing the comments here it seems you have made many Microsoft fans upset.

    My only comment on this piece is while I agree that Microsoft's OS and hardware efforts on mobile are too little too late, I believe their other software efforts may bear fruit.

    Microsoft has the largest and broadest software portfolio in the world. Satya's recent efforts at producing mobile applications seem to do well. While Office may not be the most natural suite of products to reside on mobile when it was introduced on iOS it went to the top of the charts. They recently introduced an hybrid IM/mail app that may work out.

    I think their mobile first cloud first strategy is correct as they are at least aiming where the world has moved to ( as your charts so succinctly show ).
    Aug 2, 2015. 01:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft, Capitulation And The End Of Windows Everywhere [View article]
    Just because you can watch a movie on your cell phone doesn't mean you can write, and edit a movie on one.

    Actually you can. They have existed at sundance film festival for a few years now.
    Aug 2, 2015. 01:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft, Capitulation And The End Of Windows Everywhere [View article]
    @techy46 your definition of a personal computer is of course technically correct, but common usage dictates that a phone or a tablet is NOT a PC.

    I generally define a phone as a mobile computer because that is what it is. A tablet is not really a mobile computer as while you can take it with you people do not generally walk the streets with one.

    So a mobile computer is a very personal computer while a PC is a semi personal computer. To wit, at work your PC is not really yours. Others can sit at YOUR computer and use it without permission. As at home in many cases a PC is a shared resource while the phone generally is not.


    The larger issue to this thread is there are many applications on your mobile computer that just do not exist on the PC and probably never will. As such stating you can write your application once and get 1b PC users for free is not the inducement you would think.
    Aug 2, 2015. 01:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft, Capitulation And The End Of Windows Everywhere [View article]
    @techy46

    Apple sells about 300m iOS devices per year. Let us say the ASP is $500 ( I am sure it is higher but let us be conservative ), $150b.
    Then you can add the 1.2b Android sales at whatever ASP you choose. The point being that mobile hardware revenues are huge.

    I think you miss the point regarding windows and mobile. What the author is saying is many of the hot apps do not have a PC equivalent. As such there is no incentive to build a windows phone ( or tablet ) app so you can leverage the efficiencies of getting a PC one for *free*

    And really the story with Microsoft mobile is always next year. How long has that been. It was wait for windows phone 7 a complete rebuild of their software, then it was WP 8, now it is WP 10 and the atom chip ( incidentally killing the previous generations ), etc
    Aug 2, 2015. 01:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple More Vulnerable Than Microsoft To Trends In Mobile? Probably [View article]
    Actually Mr. Blair has a point

    Apple is more vulnerable to mobile than Microsoft.

    Apple makes the bulk of its profits in the mobile market.

    Microsoft makes virtually nothing in the mobile market.

    Hence Apple is more vulnerable to mobile.
    Aug 1, 2015. 07:34 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple More Vulnerable Than Microsoft To Trends In Mobile? Probably [View article]
    To pile on here.

    Samsung just reported their numbers and mobile is not doing good for them. Exactly how is the s6 bailing them out?

    iOS is now selling more units than pc's. Exactly how does windows save Microsoft if the windows world continues to trend down?

    Mr. Blair is nothing if not consistent. He has written essentially the same piece for years now and has been proven wrong time and again.

    To be clear, I like Microsoft's prospects. I think they are on the right path.

    I just think Mr. Blair is viewing this world through the wrong lens which is why he is so consistently wrong.

    I think he should hang out with Mr. Ballmer and compare notes.
    Aug 1, 2015. 09:07 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: The Stark Contrast Between iPad And Surface Sales [View article]
    @glen rivard

    I believe the iPad is still the gold standard in the tablet space. I don't believe any other tablet line can claim that mantle.

    As for market share, numbers provided by IDC and others is suspect. They poll retailers and the vendors for their projections and then they just make stuff up and dump it into 'other'. When the iPad came out these organizations actively tried to paint the iPad as irrelevent. Now they dump tablets into the PC space because it suits them.

    I have seen mini tablets sold as a package for $1. They are functional and work reasonably well. I don't know if these tablets add to the bottom line of the companies providing them nor do I know if the people who buy them use them in similar ways that others who pay more.

    Numbers that I see on usage for holiday buying put the iPad footprint as very significant in mobile purchase decisions. I do not recall android tablets as having the same or greater purchase footprint even with a majority share of the market.

    Now I will not argue that holiday purchase decisions are the only indicator of usefulness, but I do think it is a data point that indicates how useful a device is to the owner. If you are doing holiday shopping you will use what you use every day and or trust to make a purchase in an easy secure way. If Android tablets outsell the iPad but do not have at least the same footprint what does that say about its usefulness?

    As apps integrate Apple Pay the consumer will benefit and I would expect to see the recent trends of iOS dominating mobile payments.

    Additionally from a perception viewpoint cheap means cheap. In other words worthless. If something costs $50 and a similar thing costs $5 the $50 item is worth more to you regardless of whether it is in fact more useful. These $1 promotions do nothing for android as a platform. Quality component costs for screen, memory, CPU, etc far outweigh a retail cost of $1 for a device.
    Jul 31, 2015. 09:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: The Stark Contrast Between iPad And Surface Sales [View article]
    @glen rivard

    I agree that Google offers some fine services.

    YouTube is a great franchise. For some it is a primary platform for entertainment. Their maps app is widely regarded as the best option available. They still dominate in traditional search.

    I will disagree with your contention that what the customer wants is completely in step with what Google wants. What the customer wants are services that are easy to use and useful. What Google wants is to sell ads. They could care less about the services if it does not allow them to sell ads.

    While Apple maps is not as good as Google's for most purposes it is good enough. I have used it a few times in the past month to get where I am going and it was fine. It is built into the OS and so its infrastructure is naturally available for any app that needs a mapping service. From articles I have read this has given Apple not Google a majority position for mapping services on iOS.

    Apple owns the most lucrative mobile platform and its services are mostly good enough. This is the primary reason why Apple garners the overwhelming majority of mobile platform handset profits.

    Microsoft is very hungry. The future of the company depends on becoming an important supplier of software and services on mobile. Their efforts in the past year are promising,

    I think there is room in the mobile world for these 3 tech giants to succeed. They have different strengths and so while they will compete for the same consumer $ they will approach the consumer in different ways.
    Jul 31, 2015. 08:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's True, Apple Is About To Crush Microsoft With Business Customers [View article]
    Thanks. That sounds like a good feature.

    It won't help them sell phones of course, but it's good they are continuing to help their core.
    Jul 31, 2015. 05:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's True, Apple Is About To Crush Microsoft With Business Customers [View article]
    @dwd investing

    Didn't all these guys also like win 8?

    I have read good things about 10.

    I have two questions:

    1) what does it offer the enterprise?
    2) will it drive the consumer to buy an x86 phone so they can seamlessly work with their desktop?

    1) I have no idea. One of the big features is being able to move an application from device to device. Is this something business wants? Does it want its applications and services on devices it does not control?

    2) you don't need an integrated ( or the same ) OS to have portable data. Office 365, sales force, et al are proof of that.
    Jul 30, 2015. 11:49 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Music The Next Maps? [View article]
    How does it give them an advantage? Most of their important apps they give away.

    There is a cost to providing customer identification, payment systems, and all the other administrative tasks including delivery of product and storage. It's not free.

    Yes. Software services is starting to be profitable for the company but in case you haven't noticed pretty much all platform vendors charge the same rate.
    Jul 30, 2015. 11:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft: The Long Struggle Ahead To Grow Windows Revenue [View article]
    @glen rivard

    Ok so here we have all these examples of a vanilla experience. So what do they gain? Why have all these guys making the same phone. The smartphone is a platform for software. If the software is identical how do these vendors differentiate ? How do they make money?

    Why should they build phones? This still does not answer why Samsung was compelled to give away it's only real differentiating feature to it competitors.
    Jul 30, 2015. 11:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft: The Long Struggle Ahead To Grow Windows Revenue [View article]
    @glen rivard

    Ok let us take Samsung as an example.

    In the past they have changed the UI to fit their needs. They have added software to differentiate their products. You may like or not their efforts.

    Last year under threat of being disavowed they 'donated' their security software to the android Borg complex. This was the single most important add on that differentiated their product from everyone else and they donated the ip so they can sell android branded phones.

    Why did this happen? Samsung is the most important android oem. Google owns the software. They fought and guess who won?

    All that you say is true. Google is everywhere.

    I don't see that as a good thing.

    I have read the dystopian books like 1984 and they paint a picture of the world that is upon us.
    Jul 29, 2015. 01:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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