The Apple iPhone Is The Biggest Fish In The Biggest Tech Pond

There has been an awful lot of negative talk concerning Apple this past month. In response, Jan Dawson wrote an excellent article for Techpinions entitled, “Why 2016 isn’t 1997 for Apple”. I encourage you to give it a look if you haven’t done so already.

Apple is always subject to criticism, but this time the criticism feels a little out of place. After all, Apple’s quarterly numbers are good, their revenue per employee is outstanding ((Revenue per employee for 2015:
Yahoo: $419,830
Twitter: $462,009
MSFT: $789,145
Google: $1,160,648
Facebook: $1,412,655
Apple: $2,032,304)) and Apple has so much cash in hand that Horace Dediu humorously titled his graph on same “The Trauma Of Too Much Money”.

Part 1: Big Fish

The Smartphone Better Be Great

Still — despite Apple’s obvious successes — the criticism grows unabated. Even Walt Mossberg, one of the most respected journalists in tech, has added his voice to the ever swelling chorus of Apple naysayers.

Note: Bolded words within quotes are emphasis added by the author of this article.

One day this fall, if things occur as usual, Apple will stage a big event to introduce the next flagship iPhone. And, based on the events of this month, that smartphone better be great. ~ Walt Mossberg

Of course, Walt Mossberg is not the first to tell Apple what to do, and forewarn of dire consequences should they fail to do so. It has, in fact, become something of an annual ritual. Everyone, it seem, knows how to run Apple better than Apple does.

For Apple this is a critical year, can the next iPhone be a big hit again to protect the top end where Apple is no longer always the coolest most desirable device…. ~ Tomi T Ahonen, Former Nokia Executive, Inc

Written this year? Nope. Last year? Nope. The year before last? Nope. Written April 10, 2013, almost exactly three years — and about $300 billion in profits — ago.

The Hardware

Walt Mossberg continues:

I stand by my view that the premium iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are the best smartphones on the market. But the top-of-the-line iPhones were challenged impressively just two weeks ago by rival Samsung’s beautiful, carefully engineered new Galaxy S7 phones.

Competitor’s phones are better than Apple’s. Hmm. When have I heard that before? Oh yeah, every single year since the iPhone appeared on the market. ((“Read these hilariously negative reactions to the original iPhone announcement”, BGR ))

2013

Remember when the iPhone was truly innovative? Think hard, because you’d have to go back to 2007, and the release of the first iPhone. But since then, Apple has been tossing out retread after retread, and this year’s iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S represent a curious creative nadir for the firm. A new Windows Phone video shows how hard Apple must have worked to come up with these turds. Hint: Not that hard. ~ Paul Thurrott, Supersite for Windows, 13 September 2013

2010

Thanks to the open nature of the Android platform, vendors from HTC to Motorola to Samsung are building more powerful hardware than Apple…. ~ Avi Greengart, Research Director, Consumer Devices, Current Analysis, 17 November 2010

2007

Apparently none of you guys realize how bad of an idea a touch-screen is on a phone. I foresee some pretty obvious and pretty major problems here. I’ll be keeping my Samsung A707, thanks. It’s smaller, it’s got a protected screen, and it’s got proper buttons. And it’s got all the same features otherwise. (Oh, but it doesn’t run a bloatware OS that was never designed for a phone.). ~ Reviewer of the original iPhone ((“Read these hilariously negative reactions to the original iPhone announcement”, BGR ))

That’s just three examples among many. My personal “Claim Chowder” folder contains 12 examples of articles that contend the Android Operating system is better than Apple’s iOS and a whopping 67 examples of articles that claim one or another Android phone is, or was, supposed to be superior to the iPhone.

On the hardware side, there are some esoteric examples of smartphones that were supposed to be superior to the iPhone, such as the “Atria 2,” “ePhone,” “LePhone,” and the “Thunderbolt,” along with numerous examples from well known manufacturers such as Blackberry, Google Nexus, HTC, LG, Microsoft Windows Phone, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, and of course, Samsung.

According to data from research firm BITG, checks at 150 Verizon Wireless stores indicate that in some cases the Thunderbolt is outselling the iPhone 4. According to the company’s data, 61 percent of the stores said they were selling equal numbers of both devices, and 11 percent more iPhones than Thunderbolts, apparently mainly in the southeastern US. But 28 percent were selling more Thunderbolts, seemingly indicating that at least on Verizon, the iPhone may have met its match. ~ Ed Oswald, technologizer.com, 1 April 2011

I cannot possibly link to all of the articles that claimed this phone or that was superior to the iPhone, so I will have to settle for merely quoting from those articles that identified rival products as “iPhone Killers”.

But when it comes right down to it, the BlackBerry Storm will be the superior mobile device and represents a true iPhone killer. ~ Andrew Hickey, ChannelWeb, 14 Nov 2008

The Palm Pre Will Be an iPhone Killer. ~ Ross Catanzariti, PC World, 2 Apr 2009

Top iPhone Killers
1. LG GD900
2. Samsung Pixon12
3. Samsung OMNIA HD
4. Sony Ericsson Satio
5. HTC Touch HD

iPhoneKiller.com, 1 June 2009

‘iPhone Killer’ BlackBerry 10 is here: iPhone is Dead! ~ Bob Brown, InfoWorld, 30 January 2013

When it comes to using the word “killer”, I think Harry McCracken has it about right:

New rule for tech journalists: Once in your career, you’re allowed to refer to something “killing” something else. Just once. Choose wisely! ~ Harry McCracken (@harrymccracken)

Only The Software

Let’s return to Walt Mossberg’s view of the iPhone’s competition:

(T)he top-of-the-line iPhones were challenged impressively just two weeks ago by rival Samsung’s beautiful, carefully engineered new Galaxy S7 phones. A Verge test showed the Samsung’s cameras are better. Only the sadly typical software mess on those phones makes them lag behind Apple’s long-superior iPhone.

“Only the software” differentiates the phones?

“Only”?

Isn’t that sort of like saying that the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz would be smart if he “only” had a brain? Or that a singer could be an Opera star if he “only” had a better voice? Or that a model could be a superstar if she “only” had better looks?

The tech pundit fallacy: that software is easier to get right than is hardware. ~ Ben Thompson on Twitter

You know, the software is, well, it’s kinda important. It’s even kinda essential…or at least Apple thinks it is.

If the hardware is the brain and sinew of our products, the software in them is their soul. ~ Steve Jobs

Software is the user experience. ~ Steve Jobs

The Mac was just software in a cool box. We had to build the box because the software wouldn’t run on any other box, but nonetheless, it was mainly software. ~ Steve Jobs

Ever-Thinning Lead

Walt Mossberg isn’t done quite yet:

If the smartphone category is to take a leap forward, and the iPhone is to maintain its ever-thinning lead as the best smartphone you can buy, Apple needs to impress big time in the fall.

“Ever-thinning lead”? Say what now?

— You mean the iPhone, who’s average selling prices just went UP, while everyone else’s prices are being sucked into an ever downward death spiral?
— You mean the iPhone that people are switching TO far more than any other smartphone?
— You mean the iPhone whose approval ratings haven’t improved in years…because they’re always at or near 99%?

[pullquote] There isn’t a company in the world that doesn’t wish they had the “ever-thinning lead” that Apple has[/pullquote]

Walt, I love your stuff and all, but Dude — c’mon! “Ever-thinning lead”?

Let’s do the math here. The Apple iPhone has about 15% of the smartphone market share; holds a mortal lock on the top 10% of the buyers that constitute the premium sector; and consistently takes in 90% — and even as high as 95% — of all smartphone profits. That’s not an “ever-thinning lead.” That’s lapping your opponent five times over. There isn’t a company in the world that doesn’t wish they had the “ever-thinning lead” that Apple has.

Money is just a way of keeping score. ~ H. L. Hunt

The iPhone isn’t the “Mad Max” of phones, desperately trying to outrun a horde of more numerous and more aggressive competitors.

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CAPTION: How Pundits Picture The Smartphone Market

Apple certainly doesn’t want to rest on its laurels, but the words “Apple had better…” really don’t belong in any serious conversation concerning the iPhone. (See also: ‘“Apple Must…”: A Brief History of People Giving Apple Advice’.)

huell money breaking bad
CAPTION: Apple Resting On Its Laurels

Measuring By Proxy

But maybe you don’t think money should be the measuring stick for success. Of course, 250 years of economics disagrees with you — but what the hey — let’s go with that.

So how else could we measure the success of the iPhone? Let me count the ways…

— Profits we’ve already covered. Check. ((The iPhone generates more revenue in 3 months than Android has in its entire existence.))
— Engagement? Check. ((Apple users use their devices more often with 63% of mobile traffic coming from Apple devices compared to 29% from Android. And remember, that’s from a much, much smaller base.))
— Customer Loyalty? Check. ((Apple enjoys a nearly 90% retention rate among its customers. iPhone loyalty rate is almost twice as strong as next brand.))
— User Satisfaction? Check. ((Recent surveys say customer satisfaction rate for 6s and 6s Plus is at 99%))
— Upgrade Cycle? Check. ((Apple users tend to replace their old devices regularly.))
— Most Affluent Customers? Check. ((Apple users in first world countries are significantly richer than non-Apple users and emerging market Apple users have 50% higher per-capita incomes, according to Credit Suisse.))

By any meaningful measure, the iPhone leads the pack.

Excellence is rarely found, more rarely valued. ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Apple Can’t Match Up

Rafi Letzter, writing for Tech Insider, unintentionally sums up the the “thinking” that passes for intelligent criticism of the iPhone:

(C)ompanies like LG are working on some interesting, though so far unsuccessful, design innovations that Apple can’t match. ~ Rafi Letzter, Tech Insider

images-155

You have to ignore all of the ignorant people out there. ~ Steve Jobs

What’s sad is not that Rafi made such a perfectly nonsensical statement — but that he — and so many other Apple naysayers — believe it and think it makes perfect sense.

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is great. ~ Saul Bellow

Why People Buy Premium Products

Despite the critics’ insistence that Apple’s products never seem match up to those of the competition, Apple continues to make money hand over fist. How can this be?
Scrooge
CAPTION: Rare photo showing Tim Cook and Apple board members discussing how they can distance themselves from the fast-sinking iPhone.

As Ben Thompson says: “as long as there is a clear delineation between the top-of-the-line and everything else, some segment of the user base will pay a premium for the best.”

Customers pay a premium for product attributes that can’t be measured — intangibles like surprise and delight. All premium brands, not just Apple, need to elicit a strong positive emotional response from their customers.

(T)he real issue for me is, are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself. ~ Steve Jobs

Why People Criticize Premium Products

Apple’s critics perceive no intangibles that sufficiently delineate or distinguish the iPhone from competing offerings. And that is perfectly fine. We’re all different and we evaluate and value things differently.

Unfortunately, it’s human nature for us to then assume that if we cannot perceive it, it cannot be perceived; if it does not exist for us, it does exist at all; if the added value that a product offers does not appeal to us then, we reason, it should not appeal to anyone else either. In other words, if we’re not surprised or delighted by a product, we not only see no reason to buy it — we see no reason why anyone else should buy it either. And if there is no reason to buy it — yet others buy it anyway, and pay a premium to boot — then those others must be acting unreasonably.

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. ~ Nietzsche

If we can’t hear the music that the iPhone is playing, then we, quite naturally, assume that those who dance to Apple’s tune are mad as hatters. ((Definition: completely insane. [popularized with reference to Lewis Carroll’s character the Hatter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), although the phrase was first recorded in the 1820s; the allusion is to the effects of mercury poisoning from the former use of mercurous nitrate in the manufacture of felt hats.])) We interpret our inability to hear what they hear, to see what they see, as their inability to think (because they don’t think what we think) and we label their irrational motivations accordingly. For example, over the years Apple’s critics have contended that Apple’s customers buy iPhones because they are part of a cult, ((To its many fans, Apple is more of a religious cult than a company. ~ Apple iPhone Will Fail in a Late, Defensive Move – Matthew Lynn, Jan 14, 2007)) or because they fall prey to marketing pitches, (((T)he iPad is not ‘amazing.’ It’s just marketed very well ~ Paul Thurrott (in response to comment by Mum), Paul Thurrott’s Super Site for Windows, 26 April 2010)) or because they are influenced by benefits that are only imaginary, ((“iHeads” who continually proclaimed the imagined superiority of Apple smartphones vs. those of Samsung now have grudging respect for the Korean giant, and will soon be awed by Sony and LG. ~ Henry Long, Seeking Alpha, 6 September 2013)) or because they are susceptible to fads ((That’s really all Apple’s iStuff is — an enormous and very profitable fad. It’s the Pet Rock of the new millennium. ~ Anders Bylund, Motley Fook, 6 Mar 2012)) and novelties, ((It just doesn’t matter anymore. There are now alternatives to the iPhone, which has been introduced everywhere else in the world. It’s no longer a novelty. ~ Eamon Hoey, Hoey and Associates, 30 April 2008)) and think the iPhone is cool ((Consumers are not used to paying another couple hundred bucks more just because Apple makes a cool product. Some fans will buy it, but for the rest of us it’s a hard pill to swallow just to have the coolest thing. ~ Neil Strother, NPD Group, 22 January 2007)) or trendy, ((Although Apple’s gadgets are trendy, their hardware will eventually become irrelevant. ~ Edward Zabitsky, ACI Research, 29 Dec 2009)) or simply because they are profligate (((A) device for people who have more money than brains. ~ Alex Valentine, /dev/null, 28 January 2010)) hipsters. ((The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. ~ Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, 15 January 2007))

Of course, it is not Apple’s customers who are acting irrationally. It is we who have failed the test of rationality. Just because we don’t value a product, it does not necessarily follow that a product is valueless or that those who buy it are clueless.

Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem (Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.) ~ William of Occam

“Occam’s Razor” proposes that one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything and, if employed in this instance, it cuts the critics’ argument to ribbons. There is no simply no need to explain the motivations of iPhone buyer’s by belittling their intelligence or disparaging their ability to reason properly. There is a perfectly simple, perfectly logical, explanation for why people pay a premium for the iPhone. Some people like Apple products more so they are willing to pay more to obtain them.

To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. ~ George Orwell

The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody had decided not to see. ~ Ayn Rand

Part 2: Big Pond

One-Trick Pony

I don’t think people — even people who follow the industry and who should really know better — quite grasp what is going on here. People say that Apple is a one-trick pony. But that one trick is the smartphone. And the smartphone is one hell of a trick.

40-years-of-apple-in-pictures
CAPTION: Steve Jobs holding up Apple’s One-Trick Pony

— The UN reports there are now more people with mobile phones (6 billion for a population of 7 billion) on earth then there are with access to clean toilets (4.5 billion).

— By 2020, it’s been forecast that 2 billion smartphones will be sold EACH YEAR. ((Our new forecast predicts 1.96 billion smartphones sold in 2020))

— By 2020, 80% of people around the world (6 billion) will own a smartphone. ~ Roberto A. González

— The smartphone is being adopted faster than any other tech device ever.

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— The number of smartphones are going to dwarf the number of PCs.

mobile-is-eating-the-world-2016-4-1024

Take a moment to think back on how much the desktop, and then notebook, computer changed our lives from 1975 to 2005. Now try to picture the changes that are going to occur from 2007 to 2037 when 6 billion — not 1 billion — people have a supercomputer in their pocket.

Impact

How important has the smartphone become to our daily lives?

— We now spend ~$1,000 bucks on cell phones annually. ~ Matt Phillips on Twitter

— Mobile ecosystems are now enabling at least $225 billion a year in economic value. Likely to double in a few years. ~ Horace Dediu on Twitter

— In some nations, smartphones are already bigger than television. ((Mobile usage about to overtake TV and PC usage for catchup TV in France according to @LeCNC ~ Jérôme Derozard on Twitter))

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— 75% of millennials grab their phone first thing in the morning. The percentage among non-millennials is smaller, but still significant for every age bracket. ~ John Starkweather on Twitter

— Smartphones are checked 8 billion times a day in the US alone. ~ Kazuo Hirai, Sony CEO at Mobile Congress 2016

— The importance and the impact of smartphones simply cannot be overestimated. People today spend a lot of time on their phones. They check them constantly throughout the day and keep them close to their bodies. They sleep next to them, bring them to the bathroom and stare at them while they walk, eat, study, work, and wait.

— Smartphones are this generation’s automobile — the most transformational tech of its time. ((The automobile was, in many respects, the defining commodity of the twentieth century. The ways in which we produced consumed, used and regulated automobiles defined the post-World War II generations. Now that mantle has been passed on to the smartphone. Understanding the automobile was fundamental to grasping the last century. Understanding the smartphone and our transformation to a global economy where information is king, is fundamental to understanding what’s happening, and what’s going to happen, in this century.))

— Generation Y has already indicated that they would rather have a smartphone than an automobile.

— Smartphones are the Swiss army knives of computing. Like the Swiss army knife, they fit in our pocket and go with us most anywhere, but unlike the Swiss army knife, smartphones have a virtually infinite number of “blades” that can be applied to a dizzying variety of tasks, in an innumerable number of situations. On the hardware side, the smartphone is our camera, our guide (GPS), our personal communicator and a location monitor. On the software side, we have access millions of apps that cost only pennies to own.

— And the above is only the tip of the smartphone iceberg. The smartphone is becoming a true universal remote control that manages everything from drones to thermostats, from cars to monitoring our health.

Please take 7 seconds to watch the video: “20 years of apps eating the work desk“.

The video is a great synopsis of how more and more of our daily tasks are being absorbed by our computers. The only thing wrong with the video is that it should end by showing the notebook computer morphing into a smartphone.

Decentralizing and Democratizing Economies

 

Author’s Note: Much of the information in this section is paraphrased from: “The Smartphone Society” ~ by Nicole M. Aschoff

MALLEABLE
The smartphone reduces the rigidity inherent in formal work relationships and replaces it with malleable human labor. It facilitates contingent employment models and self-interest by linking workers to capitalists without the fixed costs and emotional investment of more traditional employment relationships. Combine malleable labor with inventive capitalists and the market for goods and services expands exponentially. The smartphone is becoming the primary mechanism for activating, accessing and channeling unused assets and unengaged labor.

And the way that labor is being employed is changing too. Smartphones have facilitated the creation of new types of work and new ways of accessing labor markets. Temporary, project-oriented employment models are proliferating, creating a “distributed workforce.” Some examples:

TASK RABBIT
TaskRabbit connects people who would prefer to avoid the drudgery of doing their own chores with people who are willing to do piecework odd jobs for pay. Those who want chores done, like the laundry or cleanup after their kid’s birthday party, link up with “taskers” using TaskRabbit’s mobile app. Once the chore is successfully completed, the “tasker” can be paid directly through the phone.

POSTMATES
Postmates tracks its “couriers” in cities like Boston, San Francisco, and New York using a mobile app on their iPhones as they hustle to deliver artisanal tacos and sugar-free vanilla lattes to homes and offices. When a new job comes in, the app routes it to the closest available courier, who then responds and gets paid upon the successful completion of the task.

AirBNB
AirBNB taps into unused capacity, i.e. empty rooms and houses, matches owners with potential renters, then coordinates and facilitates rental agreements.

UBER
Uber, like AirBNB, takes advantage of unused capacity, but this time it is the form of inactive motor vehicles and unengaged vehicle owners, rather than unused rooms. Uber matches those occasionally in need of the service of a vehicle with those who occasionally wish to provide those services.

WORK ANYWHERE, ANYTIME
Smartphones extend the workplace in space and time. Emails can be answered at breakfast, specs reviewed on the train home, and the next day’s meetings verified before lights out. The Internet becomes the place of work, with the office just a dot on the vast map of possible workspaces.

As Bennedict Evans says “Every new sensor creates new businesses.”

mobile-is-eating-the-world-2016-24-638

Today, sensors give us directions, help us to measure our fitness, assist us with shopping and making payments. Location sensors make entirely new industries, like Uber, possible.

With new and better sensors being attached to phones with every iteration, we simply have no idea what new businesses, and what new business opportunities, will spring up tomorrow.

It used to be that there were large gaps in our lives where we were unable to do anything other than wait. The smartphone fills those gaps with writing, communicating, viewing, picture and video taking, working, playing and more. As individuals, we are able to achieve more, produce more, do more. Collectively, we are able to communicate more, collaborate more, create more.

If you look at things I’ve done in my life, they have an element of democratizing. The Web is an incredible democratizer. A small company can look as large as a big company and be as accessible as a big company on the Web. ~ Steve Jobs

I love things that level hierarchy, that bring the individual up to the same level as an organization, or a small group up to the same level as a large group with much greater resources. And the Web and the Internet do that. It’s a very profound thing, and a very good thing. ~ Steve Jobs

I don’t think even Steve Jobs could have foreseen how revolutionary, how world changing, the iPhone and the smartphones patterned on it, would be. He, and Apple, certainly did put a “dent in the universe.”

Imagine A World…

In the century after the Civil War, an economic revolution improved the American standard of living in ways previously unimaginable. Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, home appliances, motor vehicles, air travel, air conditioning, and television transformed households and workplaces. With medical advances, life expectancy between 1870 and 1970 grew from forty-five to seventy-two years.

Some see this as a reason for pessimism. “How,” they say “can we possibly repeat such a rapid technological advance? The era of unprecedented growth has come to an end.” (Pessimism sounds smart when we look forward to an unknown and unknowable future, but it looks mighty dumb when we compare the predictions of pessimists with the actual outcomes that occurred. See: Why Does Pessimism Sound So Smart?)

What the pessimists conveniently ignore or overlook are the twin truths that the progress of the twentieth century was mostly confined to the first world and that the technology of today is going to help push the benefits of the technology of yesterday farther and faster than ever before and, in some instances, help to leapfrog that technology entirely.

What the railway was to Victorian England, the mobile networks are to Africa. ~ Smart Africa: Smartphones pave way for huge opportunities

I don’t think that analogy is nearly powerful enough. The smartphone is to the third world what the industrial revolution was to Europe and the Americas.

mobile-is-eating-the-world-2016-10-638

Let’s look at that list of twentieth century technological advancements again.

Electric lighting, indoor plumbing, home appliances, motor vehicles, air travel, air conditioning, television, medical advances.

There are third world populations that still don’t have access to many, or any, of those technological advances. But that’s not going to happen with the smartphone.

— The smartphone is going to get to billions of people before many of the other great technological achievements do.

— Smartphones will bring more people online in the next five years than the PC did in the previous 30 years.

— Smartphones are going to be the vehicles — the digital car, if you will — for transporting the technology of today to every corner of the globe.

— Smartphones are going to spread the wealth in ways that are unimaginable.

— From Congolese coltan miners to tweens in Tijuana, anyone can communicate with everyone, anywhere, anytime.

If you look at the personal computer, it’s going from being a tool of computation to a tool of communication. ~ Steve Jobs

b6088232-c38c-11e5-808f-8231cd71622e.img
CAPTION: A group of men take a picture of themselves in the River Nile outside Khartoum, Sudan

— The smartphone is going to link together six billion minds. Six billion minds with access to the sum of human knowledge. The possibilities for the trade of goods and services, for collaboration, for the creation of knowledge, for the transfer of knowledge, are virtually endless

Steve Jobs foresaw this. Sorta.

Let’s say that, for the same amount of money it takes to build the most powerful computer in the world, you could make 1,000 computers with one-thousandth the power and put them in the hands of 1,000 creative people. You’ll get more out of doing that than out of having one person use the most powerful computer in the world. Because people are inherently creative. They will use tools in ways the toolmakers never thought possible. And once a person figures out how to do something with that tool, he or she can share it with the other 999. ~ Steve Jobs

The only thing wrong with the above is that smartphones aren’t one-thousandth the power of PCs. They’re powerful computers in their own right.

[pullquote]The smartphone’s most disruptive days are still ahead[/pullquote]

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again.. The smartphone’s most disruptive days are still ahead. ~ Ben Bajarin on Twitter

You’re No iPhone

One of the barbs most frequently hurled at Apple by its critics is that no new Apple product — whether it be Apple Music or Apple Watch or the iPad Pro, etc. — is, or has any chance of being, as big as the iPhone.

No shooting Sherlock.

Of COURSE no new product is going to be as big as the iPhone — because there is NOTHING BIGGER THAN THE IPHONE. And that’s the point.

[pullquote] The iPhone dominates the most dominant tech sector of our time[/pullquote]

The iPhone dominates the most dominant tech sector of our time.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t criticize Apple for not surpassing the profits of the iPhone without acknowledging the profits of the iPhone or the fact that no one has been able to surpass the success of the iPhone.

Saying that Apple’s success is “limited” to the iPhone is like saying:

— Henry Ford’s success was “limited” to cars
— John D. Rockefeller ‘s success was “limited” to oil
— Andrew Carnegie’s success was “limited” to steel
— Cornelius Vanderbilt’s success was “limited” to railroads

Being limited to a product with limitless potential, ain’t such a bad thing and if you have to be dependent upon something, it’s best to be dependent upon the most dependably profitable product of your time.

Apple kickstarted the smartphone revolution just eight short years ago. Microsoft Windows had a thirty year run (and will continue on for many years hence). Google search is decades old. Are the critics seriously suggesting that the smartphone revolution has run its course?

Of course they’re not. What they’re actually suggesting is that the smartphone revolution will go on — but it will go on without the iPhone. Why? Because the iPhone is a premium product and that’s, uh, a bad thing, umm, because, ah….

…oh what’s the point in trying to fathom the unfathomable? There is simply no support for the proposition that smartphones will be fine but the iPhone will not. It makes zero sense.

His argument is as thin as the . . . soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had been starved to death. ~ Abraham Lincoln

And frankly, if the pundits are worried about Apple, then their blood must run cold when they think about the prospects of the oh-so-very-many other tech companies who are not nearly as well positioned to take advantage of the smartphone revolution as Apple is.

Biggest Fish In The Biggest Pond

So, is Apple’s future assured?

No.

There are two kinds of forecasters: those who don’t know, and those who don’t know they don’t know. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

Apple’s future isn’t assured…but their present is.

Apple is not a big fish in a small pond. They’re the most bad ass fish in the biggest dang pond the world has ever seen. They absolutely dominate the premium sector of the premium tech product of our time.

images-157

Or, mixing my metaphors yet again, if Apple is a one-trick pony, that’s the biggest, fastest, strongest and most valuable pony in the world.

“But wait,” you say, “Android owns most of that smartphone Pony.” True enough. But Apple, all importantly, holds the reins while Android controls only the rearmost 85%. One ((Not me mind you, but one.)) might even be tempted to say that makes Android — metaphorically speaking — a horse’s ass. ((The fact that the iPhone generates more revenue in 3 months than Android has in its entire existence, seems to support that characterization.))

Here’s the thing. Calling Apple a one-trick pony is no insult because Apple, throughout its existence, has always been a one-trick pony. First the Apple I and ][, then the Mac, the iPod and now the iPhone. Apple has always relied upon one product to bring in the majority of its profits. But — as Horace Dediu recently pointed out on his Asymco podcast — Apple has been very adept at changing ponies in the middle of the technology stream.

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Patience, Padawan

Yoda-The-Empire-Strikes-Back

So Apple is here for the foreseeable future. But what about the unforeseeable future? What then?

Being the biggest player in the biggest market does not guarantee Apple a future, but it does guarantee them the resources necessary to make that future.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. ~ Alan Kay

Apple’s future lies in their own hands. They will invent it, or they will fade away like so many others before them. But that is not unique to Apple. To say Apple might fail soon or Apple will fail eventually is true but trite because it’s equally true for every other company as well. Predicting Apple’s eventual end is not insightful nor helpful. It is not if, but when, that matters.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. ~ Cowboy wisdom

Those who predict the future we call futurists. Those who know when the future will happen we call billionaires. ~ Horace Dediu (@asymco)

Some say we don’t have to divine an uncertain future to be certain about Apple’s fate. Apple’s inability to create a breakthrough product, following Steve Jobs’ death, is proof positive that Apple is destined for mediocrity, followed by failure.

But this is nothing new. Apple’s critics have always insisted that Apple’s most innovative days were behind it.

Apple is a company that has to come up with hit after hit after hit, every 12 to 18 months, but once you do the iPhone on Verizon, what’s the next thing past this? ~ Patrick Becker Jr, Becker Capital Management, 7 March 2011

Further, it is a mistake to assume that the products produced by Apple in the past several years are predictive.

— Did the iMac foreshadow the iPod? No.
— Did the iPod lead us to believe that Apple would create the modern smartphone? No.

We do not say anything about future products. We work on them in secret, and then we announce them. ~ Steve Jobs

[pullquote]Like a bikini, what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital[/pullquote]

Apple’s product offerings have always been like a bikini — what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.

Those impatient for Apple to reinvent the world on an annual basis simply ignore the reality that iteration on existing tech products is the norm and significant change is the rare exception.

It seems to take a very unique combination of technology, talent, business and marketing and luck to make significant change in our industry. It hasn’t happened that often. ~ Steve Jobs

Further, those who claim to know the most about Apple’s future, are the very same ones who seem to know the least about Apple’s past. Has Apple ever been first to market with a wholly new, wildly innovative device?

You don’t want to be first, right? You want to be second or third. You don’t want to be…Facebook is not the first in social media. They’re the third, right? Similarly, you know, if you look at Steve Jobs’ history, he’s never been first. ~ Malcolm Gladwell

images-158

CAPTION: Apple is always behind their competitors

Steve Jobs, who was famously lacking in patience in his personal life, always showed a surprising degree of patience when it came to introducing new products.

These waves of technology, you can see them way before they happen, and you just have to choose wisely which ones you’re going to surf. If you choose unwisely, then you can waste a lot of energy, but if you choose wisely it actually unfolds fairly slowly. It takes years. ~ Steve Jobs

You just make the best product you can, and you don’t put it out until you feel it’s right. ~ Steve Jobs

Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius. ~ Benjamin Disraeli

We have to wait to see whether Apple will, in the future, reinvent themselves as they have so many times in the past.

Go as far as you can see; when you get there you’ll be able to see farther. ~ Thomas Carlyle

Don’t pretend that you know Apple’s future. You don’t.

— Did we expect the Apple ][ to be a success? No.
— Did we expect Steve Jobs to get fired from Apple? No.
— Did we expect Steve Jobs to return to Apple? No.
— Did we expect Steve Jobs to turn Apple around and save it? Probably not.
— Did we anticipate the iMac, the MacBook, the iPod, iTunes or the iPhone? No, no, no, no and no.
— Did we expect Apple to surpass Microsoft and become one of the biggest, most profitable, most powerful companies in the world? Hell no.

Why are you so very certain that you know what is going to happen to Apple when you’ve never, ever, not even once, known before?

You’re suffering from the ‘End of History’ Illusion: we expect things to change little in the future despite knowing that things have changed a lot in the past.

It seems to me that beliefs about the future are so rarely correct that they usually aren’t worth the extra rigidity they impose, and that the best strategy is simply to be aggressively open-minded. Instead of trying to point yourself in the right direction, admit you have no idea what the right direction is, and try instead to be super sensitive to the winds of change. ~ Paul Graham

The Best Innovation Is The Company

I discovered that the best innovation is sometimes the company, the way you organize a company. The whole notion of how you build a company is fascinating. ~ Steve Jobs

Toward the end of his life, Steve Jobs turned his attention from creating the next big thing to inventing a company that could continually create the next big thing.

My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. ~ Steve Jobs

The real question here is whether Steve Jobs was successful in that attempt. Did he build a company that could repeatedly innovate at the highest level? Unsurprisingly, Steve Jobs thought that he had.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. ~ Steve Jobs, August 24, 2011

Also unsurprisingly, your opinion may differ.

Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making. ~ John Milton, Areopagitica

I look forward to “making some knowledge” with you in the comments, below.

Published by

John Kirk

John R. Kirk is a recovering attorney. He has also worked as a financial advisor and a business coach. His love affair with computing started with his purchase of the original Mac in 1985. His primary interest is the field of personal computing (which includes phones, tablets, notebooks and desktops) and his primary focus is on long-term business strategies: What makes a company unique; How do those unique qualities aid or inhibit the success of the company; and why don’t (or can’t) other companies adopt the successful attributes of their competitors?

4,176 thoughts on “The Apple iPhone Is The Biggest Fish In The Biggest Tech Pond”

  1. “it’s human nature for us to then assume that if we cannot perceive it, it cannot be perceived; if it does not exist for us, it does exist at all; if the added value that a product offers does not appeal to us then, we reason, it should not appeal to anyone else either.”

    Well said. There is a profound lack of understanding when it comes to Apple’s success, or perhaps more accurately a denial, an almost pathological need to explain Apple’s success in a way that makes it ‘not real’ or some kind of short-lived anomaly (Apple will fail Any Day Now tm). Anything to avoid coming to grips with the reality that people buy Apple gear because they actually derive value from it.

    1. Even better, people buy Apple gear because they love it.

      Maybe the meme “Apple will fail Any Day Now” really IS a trademark!

      1. I can’t actually remember a time when people weren’t saying Apple was on the verge of failure.

        1. I had originally intended to title the article after a Twitter hashtag: #Apple: going out of business since 1976.

  2. Thanks, I had a good laugh.

    Aren’t you tired of writing the same defensive, bunkerized even, articles over and over again ? Why not get some fresh air, get a couple of Android handsets (I suggest GS6E and Honor 5X so you can have a taste both of something iPhone-priced and of something 1/3 the price) and use them full-time for a month so you can get past the PR and the warmed-over second-hand accounts ? Would require a bit of an open mind, to not just tally what’s different or inferior from iOS, but also what’s new or better.

    Commentary is fine, but I could exhume pretty much the same article from you from 1, 2, 3 years ago.

    1. “Commentary is fine, but I could exhume pretty much the same article from you from 1, 2, 3 years ago.” ~ obarthelemy

      “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” ~ André Gide

      1. “No one”, really ? Most of this site’s contributors (any of them use anything but iStuff as a daily driver ? Ever used ?) and the commenters couldn’t possibly fawn any harder over everything and anything Apple. I get the “look at the money, we’re a business analysis site” argument. But we also get fawning product reviews (only iStuff need apply).

        A whole part of your article is complaining people have saying Apple is sliding for a while. Have you actually tried to get first-hand experience about that ? Compared how a SG7E handles opposite a iP6S+, and put it in the context of the iP5 and whatever SG was opposite it ?

        In another part of your article, you say Apple has 99% user satisfaction. I’ve got another source that says Galaxy Note users are actually happier than iPxx users, and Galaxy users in general as happy as iOS users in general. Is that old, recent, anecdotically plausible ?

        At any point in time, there’s bound to be someone somewhere saying something idiotic about anything. I don’t have the energy to gather up quotes about pens, designed for hands, holding it wrong, but regurgitations often splash back. What’s important is not regurgating those idiot quotes, but determining what is and is not silly, and that’s not done by extrapolation, but by reasoning and observation.

        1. “At any point in time, there’s bound to be someone somewhere saying something idiotic about anything.”

          Truer words have ne’re be said.

          1. Beautifully said, JK you are a pain in the arse so please stop, your making me won’t to subscribe for my birthday present.

        2. “…and that’s not done by extrapolation, but by reasoning and observation.”

          So when are you going to start employing this tactic?

        3. “I’ve got another source that says Galaxy Note users are actually happier than iPxx users, and Galaxy users in general as happy as iOS users in general. Is that old, recent, anecdotically plausible ?”

          Certainly plausible. One wonders how relevant it is, however. Galaxies/Galaxy Notes are not a big fish, and one wonders why more Android users aren’t buying them.

          Tens of millions of people, including former Galaxy and Note owners, buy iPhones every quarter. And the user base is extremely diverse (9 – 90yr olds, and all that).

          So, anecdotally, one product of one Android OEM (not even their highest selling product) is getting great user reviews. But sales aren’t going up, and its maker’s ASP is going down. Cheers. I had a good laugh.

        4. I don’t share your preference for Android devices, but I do appreciate the point of your response. At the end of the day, both Android and iOS fans will defend their preferences and both walk way thinking they are right. The funny thing is, both are probably right. Why? People often have differences in requirements for these devices.

          For some people, free services and nearly unlimited customizations are absolutely essential and anything less is considered a poor or limited choice. Having used a variety of Android devices, I can understand the appeal for some.

          On the other hand, a powerful device with a more elegantly simple user experience is preferred. If things like quality of apps, security and malware are important to you, you’ll probably prefer an iOS device. For that matter, the ecosystem is very important. Google has a very capable line of services available. However, the trade-off is your privacy and how comfortable you are with Google monetizing information about you.

          The point being, there are factors that go into a device / platform decision that go far beyond device specs or even device cost for many people. I’m not knocking those who are aware of these things and still choose Android. However, I would suggest that a good percentage of people simply make purchase decisions based on cost alone and end up with Android. Regardless, it’s important to acknowledge that there are intelligent people on both sides of these platform debates. As you mention, having discussions that involve reasoning and observation makes sense. However, we should also do our best to no project our requirements and preferences onto others. I know… easier said than done.

          1. Agreed, but that’s a discussion that has never actually happened, on arguments that have never been proven.

            People are running off assumptions: iOS is safer, iOS is easier, apps are better… that I am convinced are outdated and untrue. The guy who writes avc.com (he’s… a Venture Capitalist ^^) forces himself to switch between iOS and Android every 6 months, so he can have a valid, first-hand, opinion on the devices, ecosystems and his stable’s apps. He’s the only one I know with no vested interest (he’s not directly in IT, he’s not looking for gigs, he’s old enough to be mature…). He’s up for his next Android device, and his comment was: I’m always happy to leave iOS because my productivity suffers on it. Chorus: say whaaaaaat ?

            Sure, quality of apps is important;. The latest data I have is that iOS apps crash more often than Android’s.
            Sure, security is important. The latest data I have is that iOS has more holes, and has had more active exploits, than Nexus devices.
            Sure, ease of use is important. When/where did that get measured ? Can anyone actually spot the difference ?

            A lot of people make decisions not on cost alone, and end up with Android too. Saying Android = cost is as reductive as saying Apple = shiny. Android also offers more choice, the best camera, the best screen, the best battery life, the biggest devices, the most rugged devices, the forward-thinking guarantee you’re not locked in to a single vendor, arguably the best looking devices, the best sound, the safest devices… and indeed, also cheaper devices. Not all in one device, alas, but hey, as you say, people are allowed to be different. Comparing iOS to Android is like comparing Tiffany’s to all other jewelers. Concluding “the rest is just cheap and worse” is just as invalid: some are cheaper, some are “better”, a lot offer qualities/features/items that Tiffany’s doesn’t…

            I know I sound like I don’t respect iOS users, and it’s because I indeed mostly don’t. First, most have no clue why and no reason to pay that much for a device: whatever it is iOS can do that Android can’t (if anything, best as I can tell, it’s music creation, maybe video editing), they aren’t doing it. Then you’ve got the level 2 guys, who can go on about OS versions w/o a clue that OS versions on iOS and Android mean wildly different things (each new iOS feature requires a new version, Android is happy backporting them to older OS version via OS-version-independent Google Services and AppStore). We end up with a morass of bunk arguments about “ease of use”, “better apps”, “updates”, “safety” that are not based in reality.

          2. “First, most have no clue why and no reason to pay that much for a device:” What/where did that get measured?

          3. “The latest data I have is _______”

            WRONG. It’s the data you choose to believe. It’s the data you have cherrypicked. You ignore everything that contradicts your trite Android fantasies.

            YOU have no f’n data, troll boy. You only have your cherished anecdotes.

            And don’t bother posting links. We all know your history of posting so-called “evidence.” You consistently misunderstand what your links actually mean. More often than not, your links mean the opposite of what you believe.

            Can’t be bothered with that, troll boy.

          4. At least I do post links (and it *is* data, sorry). Did you, ever ? Actually, did you ever post anything but invective, say, facts ?

            To others: this is good example of the mindset…

            Anyway, again:

            security: http://www.gfi.com/blog/2015s-mvps-the-most-vulnerable-players/ (hey, the 2015 version is out ! thanks for helping me notice that !). Anecdoctically, the iPhone whose hack was going to bring the end of the world… got hacked… by a non-gov party..

            reliability: http://bgr.com/2015/02/13/ios-8-vs-android-5-0-lollipop-crash-rate/ (nothing more recent, unless you have actual data ?)

            meaning of updates: see picture, can’t find the original ars article this is from.

            etc, etc… this is neither anecdote for trolling…

          5. Wanna know why Google hasn’t been sued by anyone?

            Because any field mouse can hack into them accidentally while not paying attention to what they’re doing. In fact, I have data that Andoid devices can be hacked simply by holding them in your hand.

            Thanks for the links, troll boy. I made a point not to read them.

          6. I’ll try to address your points.
            1. App quality – There have been plenty of articles in the past which have compared iOS and Android apps side by side. There has historically always been an iOS advantage in this regard. This is especially true with tablet apps. While I admittedly haven’t seen recent comparisons, fundamentally I do know that some of the things that make iOS apps better are how they leverage the latest and greatest OS features. Given the state of Android fragmentation and how developers have been on record as having to develop for the lowest common denominator on Android, I see no evidence which would suggest this has changed. If you have evidence to the contrary, I’d be happy to see it.

            2. iOS Safer – Walled garden, Malware statistics which show that 90%+ of mobile malware exists on Android. The lack of many Android devices to even get patched when bugs are fixed,,. Seriously, is this really even a debate? I’ll go down this path with you if you’d like, but you’ve got an uphill battle trying to defend this one.

            3. Agree that Android offers more choice. Traditionally, iPhones have had better cameras. Yes, the S7 is being rated better right now, but there are even some sites that have done tests and claim the opposite. Even still, that’s one device. The same goes for battery, it’s not just the Mah listing, it’s the actual usage life that matters and in both cases the iPhone is either at or near the top for both camera quality and battery life. The point being, even in the cases where a specific Android device is better at one thing, it’s not better at all things and the difference is marginal.

            4. App crashing – Actually, the latest data from Apteligent shows that iOS 9.3 apps are more stable than Android Marshmallow.

            5. Stereotyping user bases – You claim that iOS users make uninformed decisions and don’t know why they choose what they do. It may come as a shock to you that I have a degree in Computer Science with a strong technical background. If we’re going to stereotype, I see far to many Android advocates that can’t see past spec sheets. They get hung up on data points which they don’t even understand. A common example is bragging about the difference in memory for various Android and iOS devices without even acknowledging fundamental differences such as the memory management model for each OS. Android relies on garbage collection and requires more memory in order to avoid lags, etc. iOS relies on ARC (automatic reference counting) which achieves the same task far more efficiently. etc, etc. These same people can’t begin to imagine the synergies you can get on Apple devices with features like handoff and continuity, etc.

            The bottom line is this. I absolutely do respect the fact that there are knowledgeable who do prefer Android. From my own admittedly anecdotal evidence, these people are the rare exceptions. The majority of Android users that I encounter are the “tech wannabees”. You know, the type that goes around spouting specs without understanding what they mean and that like to tinker with every possible setting on their device, etc. Then, there are the far greater majority who are on Android simply from a cost basis.

          7. 1- app quality: any link to any recent article ? Even to any old article ?
            1b- Fragmentation suddenly stoppped being a discussion topic when iOS started having the issue: what%age of the installed base supports which feature ? What %age of apps ? Any stats on how many iOS apps use ForceTouch, are compatible with split-screen… ?
            2- I’ll do security, no problem. First, the source of the stats is usually the antimalware vendors, which are not allowed to sell their wares on iOS, only on Android. Guess what, they find reasons for everyone *who can* to buy their stuff. The table I linked is straight from the exploit database, not from an Android antimalware vendor. Second, what percentage of those oodles of malware actually apply to non-rooted, playstore-only phones ? Basically, none except stagefright. Then to Nexus phones, which those interested in security buy ? Absolutely none. 3rd, how many actual phones on each side are currently running, or have ever run, any kind of malware ? Google says 0.15% for vanilla Android, for a loose definition of malware. Apple don’t say, they’ve had several breaches though including some distributed by their own appstore.
            3- Not just the GS7. The GS6 before it, the G4, the V10… sure, it’s not all devices, but that’s choice: I can get the best if I want, cheaper if I don’t care, something else if I focus on something else.
            4. you’re right, the latest data is a reversal and show iOS crashing 0.05% less than Android 6. That was the other way round before, by a wider margin. So you’re allowed to say it: iOS is, AT LAST, as reliable as Android. My congratulations !
            5. Indeed, we’re techies, you like handoff, I had it years go w/ Pushbullet, welcome to the club Maybe you’ll get true widgets soon ^^. 90% of consumers don’t have the beginning of a hint of a tech/spec reason for their choice, whether iOS or Android. Let’s simply acknowledge that: most people buy on price, brand looks, not specs. And stop making up tech/specs reasons. I freely acknowledge that Android has a dire image problem, and that Apple has a pricing issue. But spouting specs w/o understanding them isn’t worse than spouting “ease of use” w/o a shade of evidence.

          8. 1a. Provided recent links in my second post.
            1b. – Fragmentation the same? Sorry, not even close. iOS user base is now over 80% on iOS 9. What is Marshmallow? About 2%. Seriously, I can’t take you serious if your’re going to try to equivocate iOS and Android fragmentation.
            2. – Security – What table did you link to? I still don’t see it. My guess is that you’re linking to CVEs. Hint: Vulnerabilities are not the same as exploits. Further, attempting to make a platform security claims based on reported CVEs is more than naive. A simple example of that is the fact the numbers don’t speak to severity. You could have 1 high severity on Android and 10 moderate severity on iOS and the Android platform would be more vulnerable. Further, your argument for malware is weak. It’s not like the malware that’s running is going to post a banner on your home page telling you so. The fact is, iOS is ahead of the game with features like system integrity protection which prevents even users with root access from modifying system files. Android is just scratching the surface with things like application sandboxing, etc. That’s why you still see things like flashlight apps sending people’s personal data to unknown servers in China on Android. Not to mention the fundamental flexibility to sideload apps on Android which end up getting some in trouble. Finally, you can’t simply excuse away actual malware statistics because they are reported by companies that can profit from them. That doesn’t change the facts.
            3. Camera – Again, while I do personally tip my hat to the G7 here, it’s not universally accepted to be better. Example:
            http://www.imore.com/best-camera-iphone-6s-samsung-galaxy-s7
            4. App crashing – I think we can both agree that this was a meaningless statistics as it has never been an issue for me on either Android or iOS devices that I’ve used. The only reason I mentioned that fact was to counter your previous claim to the contrary.
            5. Yes, pushbullet exists for iOS as well, but it’s far more limited than the built in services in terms of the functions it can do and in terms of the applications it works with. It is an approximation and gets you about 80% there though.
            Further, iOS does have “real widgets” and I prefer them in the notification center rather than taking up space on my home screen. I acknowledge this is a personal preference, but I would challenge the notion of iOS not having real widgets.

            Anyway, to the point. My original post was actually siding with you. I don’t care much for these unsolicited blind cheer-leading articles. I think it’s fair to challenge BS that is being posted out there, but I think it should be done by exploring the topics discussed rather than simply regurgitating quotes from various historical figures and attempting to apply these quotes where they were never met to be applied. To that end, I challenged the author that sometimes, there is an underlying kernel of truth behind some of the nonsense and these topics are worth exploration and discussion. As you can see from his response, he doesn’t get it.

          9. First, I appreciate the informed, cogent and polite discussion. Thank you.

            Second, each of our topics would deserve its own post, maybe even series. This subthread is becoming unwieldy and we’ve barely scratched the surface.

            Re: Fragmentation. Several things bother me:
            1- Why wasn’t fragmentation ever mentioned about Windows, which has about as many versions, and even more devices, out ? It seem like a manufactured issue ?
            2- On the Apple side, we’ve gone from 2 devices total to 3 devices, 2 lines (phone and pad), 3 generations, 2 OS versions. That’s 3x2x3x2 = 36 configurations, and that’s not counting Watch, TV, and OS sub-versions. I think it would be worthy of a mention / look at some point.
            3- a lot is made about version numbers, but again, to the end user they barely matter as the apps run regardless of version in all but the fringiest of fringe cases, the OS is no longer evolving that quickly, and a lot of new features can be provided by swap-in 3rd-party apps. For the devs, Google supplies backward and forward compatibility, so (again, in most, not all, cases), it’s just a matter of picking a target version and a compatibility range so the dev tool bundles the appropriate compatibility libraries.

            Re: security: sure, talking of vulns is pointless, since an unexploited vuln is a mere potentiality. But wait, isn’t a non-installed malware a mere potentiality too ? In my opinion, either we count potentialities, ie vulns, or actual cases ie infected devices. The middle ground of counting malware that exists but is not infecting anyone seems a manufactured metric.
            Also, last time I had a diagonal look at vuln severity (for 2014), iOS and MacOS skewed higher severity than other OSes.

            Re. Camera: I’m sure iMore prefers iPhone. iFan too. I’m trying to source on platform-agnostic sites (Ars, Anand, Pocketnow, and Les Numeriques are the ones I respect and trust most).

            Re. app crashes: indeed, I think it’s a draw and not very prevalent nor important, yet it gets mentioned as not-a-draw and important all the time, which is irking.

            As for Widgets, it must be an acquired taste, I couldn’t bear to have to launch 5 apps every time I need to check on stuff. Both my phones’ and my tablets’ homes are pure widgets. tap-tap-wake, see mails/news/to-do/agenda. I wished there was one for IMs, actually a consolidated one for all IM platforms (my iBrother tells me Windows Phone and BB had that, once upon a time).

          10. Thanks for the comments… Again, I want to start off by saying that I’m not very interested in the platform “fight” thing and that I agreed with your initial comment. That said, since this is a friendly discussion, I’ll add a few points.
            1. 2. & 3. Fragmentation – The fact that some minor level of fragmentation exists on other platforms doesn’t suddenly make them equal. It’s the severity of fragmentation that makes this an issue on Android. For that matter, Android developers are clearly citing this as an issue as noted in the links I provided. When you start listing the permutations of devices on iOS that are spread across two versions of the OS, it makes me think that you aren’t quite clear what the issue is. If you’re writing what is essential a wrapper around a web app, there is no issue at all. However, if you’re writing an app and you want to leverage the latest and greatest features offered by your OS, then you have a problem and will likely end up serving the lowest common denominator. I believe this plays heavily into the app quality difference as well.

            4. Security – As you suggest, this is a multifaceted discussion where we can barely scratch the surface of in this type of forum. I’ll grant you that listings over potential vulnerabilities and even potential malware alone are not terribly meaningful. Going back to the fundamentals though, I would ask you how many Android devices actually use full device encryption? The latest statistic I saw was about 2%. Essentially all iPhones are encrypted. What’s the state of application sand boxing on Android? How about system integrity protection? Does the ability to side load applications provide a higher or lower security risk profile? Which platform is more likely to get timely security updates installed across their respective platform? etc, etc. The point being, no device is perfectly secure. We know that. Google is certainly heading in the right direction, but from my perspective, security hasn’t been their top concern and I find that “in general” they are behind where Apple is on this topic. I’m sure you’ll want to debate that opinion, but I think you’d be hard pressed to make a convincing case that would change my opinion here.

            5. Widgets – Again, I’m not quite sure of the point you are trying to make here. You claim that you couldn’t bear to have to launch 5 apps to check on stuff. That seems to imply that you think there is some advantage to Android here. Are you aware that with one simple swipe of my finger, I bring down the notification center which has my widgets for things like weather, calendar, sports scores, etc. ?

            6. Camera – I get your point that “fan” sites can often be dismissed. Of course, that’s really the lazy answer. In this case, the author of the story, Daniel Bader, is the Android Authority guy (same parent company – mobile nations). He’s not a regular on iMore. I would encourage you to view the images and decide for yourself. Based on the test images provided, I agree that the iPhone images were better most of the time. I’m sure other tests may vary. I previously noted that I tipped my hat to the S7 camera, but I also acknowledge that the “winner” isn’t universally accepted.

            7. App Crashes – We’re in agreement here. Nothing further to say.

            8. Article / quotes – I think we’re also in at least similar agreement here. I found the article an amusing (if long winded) read, but honestly, the rebuttals to criticism were hardly devastating. What I found most concerning is that at least some of the criticism, especially from people like Mossberg were worthy of exploration rather than summary dismissal. Alas, that would have involved actual critical thinking and a more open minded view.

          11. I think fragmentation gets less, not more, painful with scale. The first time your device-specific app has to be rebuild for a different resolution, you’ve got a mess of hard-coded stuff to change. The 100th time… you not only have variables for that, you’ve got a smart layout engine that picks among 4-5 and adjusts automatically.
            This example is simplistic, granted, the issues with DRM handling, video decode… are a bit more hairy. But the dev tools and the appstore support the diversity intrinsically, for example the appstore has incredibily detailed black/white-listing criteria.
            And again, this is Android, most of the latest and greatest features are not in the OS, but in Google Market / Play Services. Andorid Wear did not require an OS update, as opposed to Apple Pay. Ditto Wear. Ditto Music. Ditto Fit. Ditto Car. Spot a pattern ?

            Full device encryption is not a major issue, it’s a PR point. Since login (especially touchID) can be easily broken, local encryption is fairly pointless. Both iOS and Android have sandboxing, and AFAIK iOS’s has been broken more often than Android’s. For updates, depends, Nexus are fine, flagships are mostly fine, but users are free to prefer some other feature than updates. I’d *would* make the point than Nexus devices are safer than iOS devices: Android has been hacked (real hacks, in the wild) a lot less than iOS, and updates are as speedy on both sides.

            Widgets: Android also has interactive notifications. Widgets are quicker, richer, and a lot more immediately and consistently visible. During the day, my tablets is an always-on dashboard to news/mail/appointments. iOS can’t do that.

          12. I’m aware of that many things are updated through the play services, but not everything. Some features are truly unique to the OS release as well.
            I don’t agree with your assessment with encryption. I think the recent kerfuffle with the FBI/DOJ make that clear enough. Given Android’s market share, it stands to reason that law enforcement has needed to get into ore Android devices than iOS devices. The fact that there has never been a legal case to this point makes it clear that either Google is rolling over and providing the government what they want or the more likely scenario that law enforcement doesn’t need Google’s help, at least beyond simple cooperation. I think the fact that device encryption has stymied the FBI was an eye opener for some. Yes, the device was eventually hacked and yes, it was likely done through means other than breaking the actual encryption. However, they also acknowledged that the hack only works older devices (non 64bit) due to the secure enclave that’s used in newer devices. The point is, your summary dismissal of the use of device encryption is detracting from your credibility a bit.
            Also, when it comes to discussing differences in platforms, you can’t just pick and choose individual devices as it suits your argument. Yes, software patches come to Nexus devices in a more reliable way. That’s clearly and exception and a very small niche of the overall Android platform.
            Widgets – I don’t think you have an understanding of how iOS widgets work. There are interactive notifications on iOS as well. As an example, I can respond to a message right from my lock screen. I can use a calculator as a widget in my notifications, etc, etc.
            Bottom line… it’s been a fun discussion, but I’m not trying to do a platform battle here…

          13. “And again, this is Android, most of the latest and greatest features are not in the OS, but in Google Market / Play Services.”

            Is that strategy/direction not a response to the very real fragmentation of the platform?

          14. Partly, indeed, it helps cope with diversity: no need to update the OS to get most tools and apps (or for devs, features), contrary to iOS.
            It’s only partial though: devices still are different on the hardware side, and several version of the underlying OS do coexist.

            Again, the main thing is that fragmentation is a PR talk point
            – fragmentation is bad, diversity is good. To me, it’s diversity: I can choose the screen size, price point, radios (FM !) I want.
            – unlike iOS, Android does not link all tools and features to OS version. I think that alone explains why misinformed (or biased) iFans keep rising the issue, which is critical to them, but fairly irrelevant for Android users.
            – I’ve got devices from 4.0 to 5.1, all run the same apps, the same way, I actually have to check in Device Info when I want to know which version I’m on. I’m sure I should care about OS version… but… can someone tell me why, exactly ? Because version ? I’m sure Devs care some, but users ?

          15. Android developers don’t share your view of fragmentation being strictly PR talk. You’re attempting to spin this legitimate issue as such. I’ve even provided links where developers have specifically cited this as a real issue and a burden.

          16. Agreed, Fragmentation is an issue (we can discuss its importance and its inevitability) to *devs*.
            It is not much of an issue to end users. The apps run on all phones, even if it took more effort to get them there.

          17. Come on, you’re smarter than that. What do you think happens if the developers see fragmentation as an issue on Android?
            1. The develop for iOS first.
            2. They don’t support or optimize for many devices.
            3. They develop for the lowest common denominator which ends up decreasing the overall quality of the app delivered.
            So, if you just look at the quantity of apps as a checkbox and see “Android has that too”, then you’re missing the point.

          18. Sure. Find me apps that are missing on Android, or features that are missing from apps on Android, and well talk. I just answered another of your posts which linked such a list that was untrue in its entirety…

          19. Nit pick: the links are about code length and dev time (both between +2% and +200% for Android ?), and are anecdotal, not statistically significant: what was the sampling method / how were the 10 interviewees selected ? I’m sure you’d get reverse results in India (85+% Android). What made some only +2% and others +100% ? skill ? scope ?

            Also, code length and time are a weird measure of app quality. I’d look at design, features and reliability. We’ve already discussed how reliability is a wash. Ditto design and features (except music creation, but to me that’s counterbalanced by true widgets, much more commonly useful)

          20. First link = 3 items:
            – non-tabbed interface on Android. Fine. I have plenty of tabbed apps though.
            – square not rounded corners. Not sure I’ll overcome that one. Where’s my shrink ?
            – same UI. “required more work”. OK. Sorry. about 8x more devices (though not more money), so if they’re after users they probably came out ahead, still.

            Second link, must be a mistake: it’s about how Nova Launcher gives an Android N feature to any version of Android, so supports my point not yours ?

          21. Not sure how that happened… I think the URL changes once you scroll down past a certain point. Try this one..
            http://www.androidauthority.com/open-thread-apps-better-ios-android-374946/
            In addition to the article, there are a few good comments in the the threads. Again, this is just scratching the surface and none of this is meant to be a definitive list by any means. I’m not sure why you’re attempting to spin it as such… (actually, I am sure, but you get the point).

          22. I don’t think you’ll understand what Steve_S is implying. For you app is an app whether it’s on android or on iOS but many people including me believes that all apps are equal but some are more equal. People like me value aesthetics and design which might be totally strange things for you. Gucci makes shoes and superstore brands sells shoes as well. To you they’d be just shoes but for many they are not equal.

            One wise man once said: “It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”

            I’m not sure you can truly understand what he meant because nerds don’t have that portion of brain which understand aesthetics and beauty.

          23. Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

            Strange thing though:
            a) that was not really Steve_S argument, yet you feel justified to add it in
            b) same as you add imaginary qualities to apps on iOS. Un less you can objectively show them ? At least you have a pattern: magical thinking
            c) and take the opportunity to be snide and dismissive. I’ll refer you to the audiopphiles who hear a clear difference on their $1,000/ft one-way cables, wine aesthetes who taste a clear difference between $5 and $500 wine even when it’s the same. They’re very snide and dismissive too, you should feel at home with them. If you ever convert to objective thinking, or find a double-blind study that does support your imaginary arguments, please do come back to me.
            Also, for your personal growth, maybe nerds simply don’t see beauty in the same places ? And it’s neither inferior nor superior to yours, even if it’s not branded ?

          24. ”b) same as you add imaginary qualities to apps on iOS. Un less you can objectively show them ? At least you have a pattern: magical thinking”

            This is the problem. You’re trying to measure something which cannot be measured. Apps are or looks more beautiful on iOS. This is not just me, many people think like that.
            There are many small elements in iOS which are aesthetically more superior(at least for me) than android. Let me give you some example.
            These are the lock screen photos of iOS and android when music is playing. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ed6d1d23081e9acadd6a5fe5157a42080a289b9d82309c16601a08870849afe.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f614a98e25918a70a166fd8646576e16ae28331708ea32b7708255164147cb50.jpg

            Which one is better?I can point many things like this.

          25. You do know Android users can switch lockscreens ?

            And I’m actually not sure which one is supposed to look best. They look pretty similar to me. You should hide top+bottom to make sure, and ask a handful of friends, making sure to switch the 2 around and to not influence the answer.

          26. Yes I know Android users can switch screen but what I’m showing you is first party app i.e.Google Play app. Just look at it how horrible the album art is.

            ”And I’m actually not sure which one is supposed to look best. They look pretty similar to me. ”

            As I expected your response would be. Same way you cannot understand the difference between iOS app and Android app looks wise. It’s silly that you’re arguing about certain thing which you can’t comprehend.
            It’s not your fault but I think you’re hard wired like this. I told you earlier that nerds in general cannot appreciate beauty and you just proved my point. Again it’s not your mistake that you can’t understand aesthetics but please don’t assume that everyone thinks like you. But again I know that as well nerds think what’s best for them is best for everyone.

            Android may be very good for many people but for me they don’t bring much originality(creativity) to the table and design wise they’ve no taste at all. There was one very beautiful design element in iOS 7, an equalizer showing next to the song currently playing. The creative geniuses in Mountain View instantly copied that thing but in a very poor way.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/41f481f8b80a1c094d3657ec5fe54ffdfeda5224adaf6e17371b334d5f865fa1.jpg
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f40855acc09533384405705446228b164ae5ed1ace1702fbf2db6a3d489e461e.jpg

            ”You should hide top+bottom to make sure, and ask a handful of friends, making sure to switch the 2 around and to not influence the answer.”

            Typical nerds response ‘do this do that do this do that problem solved’ but why the problem is there at first place.

          27. Beauty is in the eyes on the beholder. delete the telltale top bar, put the 2 side by side (make 2 versions, switching the pics), and ask people which one they prefer. Make sure the list shows the same songs.

            Personally, I don’t want an equalizer on my songs’ title, and I’m not using Google’s default app anyway, but N7 Player because I like both its word-cloud and its cover mosaic layouts, and it doesn’t choke on my few thousands locally-stored MP3s+AACs.

          28. I’ve asked some normal people and they’ll have said one looks better. So the conclusion with this study is nerds don’t have that part of brain that appreciates aesthetic values.

            About that equaliser thing. This live equalizer shows next to the song when you go back to the list of songs. It indicates which songs is played right now. In older versions of iOS there used to be a speaker symbol. I’m just disappointed by the lack of originality in Android camp. Remember that camera shortcut on down right corner. Remember the toggle buttons in settings menu. They’re just blatantly copying iOS. This the level of originality in Android.
            You cannot understand beauty, you cannot appreciate design. You’re just full of hatred.

          29. I’d say my definition of beauty is not an equalizer in a playlist, and that’s a good thing… As for hatred, you seem to carry way more than I do…
            As for who’s copying whom, consensus is “both ways”. Maybe Google is taking more design cues from Apple, and Appel more tech cues from Android, but it’s balanced cross-pollination.

          30. Hopefully now you’ll understand what is meant by when someone says apps on iOS are more aesthetically better than Android. I just showed you one screen and it’s pretty clear for normal people(not nerds) which one looks better.

            So now can we agree that for NORMAL people iOS and iOS apps are more aesthetically pleasant.

            I’ll ask you one thing. Why Apple is successful and why other android OEM aren’t that successful? Why Samsung or some other android OEM isn’t that successful in premium handset segment?
            Why Apple is trend setter? Why everyone copies them? In whatever category they goes they completely change it. Be it music players, phones or tablets. What’s the reason? Please try to be objective.

          31. No, it’s not clear and we don’t agree, especially when Android allows you to change apps to whichever your find cutest if that’s what you’re after.

            You forget that Apple also copies the others: 5.5″ phone (which they advertised against a year before releasing theirs, hypocrites), interactive notifications, Intents, NFC, custom keyboards, multiwindows/tasking on a tablet, interactive lockscreen, apparently soon the app drawer, metal unibody phones…

            I don’t think Apple get copied from more than they copy.

          32. Very well balanced and thought out, as always. There IS a major difference however. The broader device allows for the more limited, but focused subset. The more limited device does not accommodate the other scenario.

            Case in point, if SD doesn’t matter to you, don’t use it. If you’re concerned about malware, shop App Store only. If you can’t be bothered administering your device, stay inside the ecosystem.

            Apple is like the ’90s AOL version of the internet, but you were able to get in and out using the same computer.

          33. One very important aspect techies/nerds never understand that there aren’t any free lunches in this world. Why? Because I think techies/nerds have much inclination towards socialism/communism. This idea never cross their mind that every single thing cost, every option cost, every choice cost. And this is the very reason they can’t run any successful business.
            Now putting aside the technological reservations for having SD card functionality into iPhone think about it as a option. Will this option/choice cost Apple? Or it will be FREE? If it cost Apple than why would they do it? They’re selling ship load of iPhones every quarter.
            But Klahanas you’ll never understand because this the inherent problem of socialist/communist system: what is best for me is best for everyone.

          34. Oh I agree! You’re paying for it, you’re just not receiving it.

            Edit: The broadest solution is best for most. If you can’t get it, you’re out of luck.

        5. This whole discussion thread is missing the point. I’m not saying that Android owners don’t have legitimate reasons to buy Android products. They do. I’m saying that iPhone owners also have legitimate reasons for buying Apple products and that Android is not even close to moving iPhone owners to Android products.

          1. So I’m guessing that’s a no, you haven’t ever tried using Android as an exclusive daily driver for 1+ month to forge your own first-hand opinion.

            We could then discuss legitimate reasons. As it is, your position is a non sequitur.

          2. Obarthelemy, you’re missing the point, as usual. Android has excellent hardware and software, but the iPhone appeals to a certain portion of the buying public. All the available evidence shows that iPhone buyers enjoy their products and are unlikely to switch to Android anytime soon.

    2. Maybe we should ask Kenny to join you in criticizing what John writes. I’m sure he’d be happy to do that.

  3. “By any meaningful measure, the iPhone leads the pack.”

    Minor correction: By any meaningful measure other than market share.

    I know why you left marketshare out — the cult of market share is still going strong, so a great many people in the tech punditry realm make the mistake of thinking that MS is far more important than it is. But that doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant.

    Marketshare is meaningful a) when it’s linked to profits, which in this case it isn’t (this is where the tech pundits run aground), and b) when your business model is based on reaching the greatest possible number of customers. So it’s not a useful metric for keeping score on “who is on top in the smartphone sphere”, but it *is* a useful metric for deciding whether or not you should have an app for a particular platform or not.

    If you’re a government or public service organization (ie, your target is to serve *everyone*) or your business model is based on trying your best to make the entire world’s connected population into your customers regardless of their income level (ie, facebook, whatsapp, etc), then you ignore Android at your peril.

    1. Market share is very important but in smartphones, unlike most other sectors, there is an inverse relationship between market share and success. The premium product in any sector should probably lead in customer loyalty, user satisfaction and more affluent customers. However, there is simply no way that any product with 85% market share — and especially a platform product that depends upon third party contributors — should trail, and trail by so much, in profits, user engagement and upgrade cycles. My knowledge of business is not encyclopedic, but I can’t think of any other product where the provider with the smaller market share so dominates the product with the larger market share. Can you?

      So market share is meaningful, yes — except in smartphones.

      1. Please re-read my comment. Market share of smartphones is meaningless if you are looking at makers of phones, but it is meaningful for makers of certain apps that run on phones.

        An app that is all about reaching those who use their phones a lot, or those who have high income, is fine ignoring android.

        However, an app that is all about being able to serve the entire population, must pay attention to Android, because, at worst, half the population – more if you look outside N. america – is on Android. Companies seeking to be like Facebook must provide an android app. Organizations seeking to serve the entire populace must provide an android app.

        1. “Market share of smartphones is meaningless if you are looking at makers of phones, but it is meaningful for makers of certain apps that run on phones.”

          Fair enough, but my article was primarily focused on the makers of phones. However, I take your point.

          1. I mentioned it only because I could hear the knee-jerk tech pundit reaction as I read the paragraph, where they would be jumping up and down and saying “but what about market share!?!?!?”

  4. “Everyone, it seems, knows how to run Apple better than Apple does.”

    But Tim Cook is too busy to notice them.

  5. “With medical advances, life expectancy between 1870 and 1970 grew from forty-five to seventy-two years.”

    Another small nit – public sanitation and other public health measures deserve a lot more of the credit than any medical advances. We would still mostly live to be 70 or 80 even if all the doctors and pharmaceuticals mysteriously vanished to tomorrow, as long as we continued to have public sewers, municipal drinking water, mosquito control programs in malarial areas, and the like.

    1. You’re almost certainly correct, however, I took this information from a source, so I prefer to leave it as they stated it rather than alter it with information that I’m not personally familiar with.

  6. “So Apple is here for the foreseeable future. But what about the unforeseeable future? What then?”
    I would like to make a suggestion: Don’t keep just a good company. Be an extra power. Dance. Take places. Play some good music. A combination of Shrek and Alice in Wonderland. Yokai.

  7. Most battleworthy piece of work I’ve seen in a long while, John. Only the Macalope inflicts as many cuts, but then pure sarcasm is the sharper edge.

    I did notice you ignored an important driver of the negativity toward Apple—clickbait headlines and links, which evolved on the internet like stone age hunters evolved to track the woolly mammoth, then surround and slaughter him. It’s largely about earning a living…

    1. I think click bait is an inevitable part of Internet life. However, I think it’s important to attack unsupported memes. When something, no matter it’s validity, is said over and over again, it becomes unassailable truth.

      Example: “Apple has nothing in the pipeline.” Complete rubish, but accepted as true by many.

  8. Well done article (as usual).

    It’s noteworthy to me that Walt Mossberg, whom I regard as generally VERY fair and reasoned in his experienced observations, has seemed to have taken on a bit more of skeptical stance about Apple’s future since his team has joined The Verge group. (Probably this is somewhat of an overture to just fit in well with that group of under-initiated critics and be “sociable”.) In his podcasts with Nilay Patel, I note that Walt often has to provide needed perspective and context to pull Nilay back to reality. Then, when Nilay gets back into podcasts with the “junior” Verge commentators on the Vergecast (sans Walt), it’s usually a full-on Apple bash festival where Nilay admits, for example, that he wears an Apple Watch around the office but states he hasn’t bothered to charge it in a month??? (So on the Vergecast, get ready for a one-hour Spotify, Galaxy, and Amazon Echo commercial week after week.)

    1. Walt Mossberg is very good and very fair minded. However, he and I are not always going to agree and I thought his words exemplified some of the odd ways that we think about Apple. Just this last week, I read a dozen articles that contained far greater errors written by far lessor writers than Walt Mossberg. Those articles are easy to dismiss. Walt Mossberg is a far better foil. Clashing with him forces me to sharpen my wits and to better clarify my thinking.

  9. “Those impatient for Apple to reinvent the world on an annual basis simply ignore the reality that iteration on existing tech products is the norm and significant change is the rare exception.”

    Well said, John. That is my take away from this fine piece. Well done!

  10. Wow! That was about 10 commentaries in one. Over the years, you’ve written a plethora of good observations, this was one of your best!

    “Despite the critics’ insistence that Apple’s products never seem match up to those of the competition, Apple continues to make money hand over fist. How can this be?”

    I’ve been told it’s all “marketing”.

    I wonder, why do these “critics” persist in their unsupportable nonsense? Is it a disease? A chronic Windows infection? They can only seemingly tell what’s good by the specification, and not by their own intuition?

    1. Thank you for the complimentary remarks.

      My original purpose was to point out just how huge the smartphone sector was and how silly it was to say that Apple was in trouble because they ‘only’ had the iPhone. No one complains that Google makes 96% of their income from search and that Google search is almost 20 years old. Saying Apple is doomed because they haven’t invented the next big thing is silly because smartphones still are the next big thing.

      On Saturday I intended to proof and tune up the article, but I became inspired and wrote another 1,500 words, mostly about how it is human nature to assume that if we don’t understand a thing, that thing can’t be understood. In other words our lack of understanding is not proof of our ignorance, it’s proof that those whom we don’t understand are ignorant.

      The article ran long, but I haven’t received any complaints (yet) so hopefully readers found it entertaining and informative.

  11. Now that I think of it, I’m reminded of Paul Krugman taking austerians(is that the right word?) to task for their repeated delusions about how the world will end if they, the smart ones, don’t save us from ourselves by imposing austerity upon us.

  12. “Those impatient for Apple to reinvent the world on an annual basis simply ignore the reality that iteration on existing tech products is the norm and significant change is the rare exception.”
    Not only that, but perhaps Apple is only feeding the world as much disruptive technology as it can handle on an regular basis. The world is still adjusting to the introduction of the first iPhone. I think the markets fear disruption, the constant criticism of Apple for failing to re-invent the wheel on a monthly basis is an Orwellian doublespeak criticism by those who actually fear change.

    1. The iPhone moved the focus of computing from desktops and notebooks down to smartphones. As Bennedict Evans puts it, the smartphone is the sun and everything else in tech obrbits around the smartphone. All of Apple’s current efforts are satellites of the iPhone, including the new desktops, notebooks, tablets, and watches.

      What is the next disruptive product? I don’t know, but I do know where to look. Look to the fringes for disruptive products usually come from the outside, rather than the inside, of a sector.

      1. Ben Evans also said 2 years ago that there now was no reason to not buy iPhones except price. So with the iPse I guess Apple’s share should stop sliding downwards ?

        1. It’s a mistake to assume that market price has anything to do with company value. If you don’t know this, then I strong advise you not to invest in the stock market.

          1. “It’s a mistake to assume that market price has anything to do with company value. If you don’t know this, then I strong advise you not to invest in the stock market.”.

            I’m trying to understand how you answer relates to mine. Do I mention market price or company value anywhere ? So I even remotely brush that subject ?

            I’d also have strong advice… something about reading skills…

          2. I’m sorry, I misread your comment. When you said “share”, I thought you were referring to stock market share price but now I see you’re referring to market share. My apologies.

            In response to your original comment, I don’t believe there is any evidence that iPhone market share is sliding downwards. Apple owns different market share in different countries. In some countries, like the U.S., there market share is close to Android’s. In other countries, like India and Spain, their market share is low. Overall, at this time, Apple has about 15% market share world wide.

          3. Looking at the chart you linked to, one would be more likely to conclude that Android, not iOS, market share is slowly declining.

          4. ??? Mentally draw a straight line across the peaks for both, then across the trough for both. the Android ones are up, the iOS ones are down.

          5. Actually, Apple’s were more smiles (except the that very last quarter peak) than downward dogs.

            Joe

  13. Overall, this was an enjoyable read, though a bit long winded (much like this response of mine). That said, I do get a little concerned with the heavy cheer leading though. Let’s take Mossberg’s criticism as an example. While he rightfully agrees that the iPhone 6s is the best phone on the market, there is an underlying tone of truth behind his observations. The quality gap between iPhone and Android devices isn’t getting bigger, it’s shrinking. On the hardware side, many Android devices are every bit as good as an iPhone and on the software side, Android is catching up. Android isn’t the joke that it was several generations back. Google has been copying Apple heavily (and to a much lesser extent, Apple has been copying Google) to the point where they are more similar than they are different. Perhaps Apple’s biggest advantage is the fact that Android remains fragmented and the lead time between Google’s OS release and when a reasonable amount of the user base actually sees these features can be a considerable amount of time.

    To that end, pointing to Apple’s cash horde as a form of evidence of product superiority is a bit dangerous. Apple has earned a strong reputation and is riding on the success of that reputation. It takes a long time for brand image to change significantly. But, the concern that I feel Mossberg is getting to is that the quality difference between iPhones and Android devices is becoming marginal and probably not representative of the profit share differences. Should the balance shift in favor of Android for any period of time, the profit share will drop like a rock along with it.

    I don’t subscribe to the “Apple isn’t innovative anymore” nonsense and I do believe Apple is still doing great / innovative things. However, there have been concerns about Apple’s code quality lately and we’re seeing Apple introduce products like the Apple Watch that don’t live up to the intuitive user interface that we’ve come to expect from Apple. Apple is also ignoring the pro creative markets that have sustained Apple through their dark years. I realize it’s probably more important that Apple looks forward rather than looking back, but I think they can do that while still satisfying their existing user base with minimal effort. Apple is a brilliant and innovative company, but they continue to make bone-headed decisions and missteps than may impact them negatively in the long term. With that, I think it might be more constructive to look at Apple’s criticism with more of an open mind rather than with the knee-jerk defensive posture in this post.

    1. “On the hardware side, many Android devices are every bit as good as an iPhone and on the software side, Android is catching up.”

      Steve, you say my article was long winded, but apparently it wasn’t long enough because you still don’t get it. Android is a fine operating system and many phones that run Andriod are excellent. Android is a very legitimate choice for those who seek what Android provides. But, for the reasons stated in the article, iPhone is a legitimate choice for those who seek what Apple provides too. Arguing that Android is catching up to the iPhone is like arguing that vanilla is catching up to chocolate. It’s just not true. Premium phone buyers are not getting closer to abandoning the iPhone anymore than chocolate lovers are getting ready to abandon chocolate.

      You say that I should look at criticism of Apple with a more open mind when I’ve just demonstrated that much of the criticism directed toward Apple is not open minded, but empty headed. I don’t

      1. It seems that you are very defensive, so I realize there is little point in attempting to have an open discussion with you. However, I will say this. We’re talking about phones, not ice cream. The reasons for preferring one phone over another is different from the reasons you prefer one flavor of ice cream over another. I prefer the iPhone. While my reasons are indeed multifaceted, ultimately, it comes down to what the device can do for me without getting in my way. The point that YOU don’t get is that this choice is not necessarily a constant. That’s the point that Mossberg is trying to illustrate. Common sense should tell you that there were a ton of Blackberry fans years back. Where are they now? That’s why your ice cream analogy fails.

        1. Stevie baby.

          Your backlash, err ‘reply,’ sounds far more defensive then Mr. kirk’s. Seriously, after reading his piece, you’re actually contending that Apple may become the Blackberry of tomorrow?

          Because of fickle preferences?

          You are contending that Blackberry fans abandoned the platform because choice isn’t constant? And this is common sense?

          You’re new to this whole critical thinking thing, aren’t you?

          1. Sigh… if only your actions matched your user name. Apparently “Critical thinking” is a bit of a misnomer in your case.
            Let me explain this in child like terms that perhaps even you can follow along with. Maybe…
            Kirk is extremely dismissive of any sort of criticism against Apple or their products. I used Mossberg’s comment as an example. Apple’s iPhone is on top and largely regarded as the best. Mossberg’s comment is that the gap is narrowing and that Apple is going to have to wow us with the iPhone 7 to remain on top. Kirk’s comment is that device preference is like ice cream. It’s fine to like either and the people that prefer vanilla over chocolate will always continue to do so. My point is that I’m sure the Blackberry die hards thought the same while they were on top.
            “Critical thinking” would be to discuss and consider the merit of Mossberg’s actual comments. Instead, Kirk misstates what Mossberg actually said (he didn’t say other devices were better). Kirk then follows up with random bits of nonsense from others. The point being, it makes for humorous light reading, but this kind of response is far from actually exploring the issues. It’s just mindless cheerleading. When challenged, Kirk’s response was… because … ice cream.

          2. He’s not dismissive of criticism.

            He’s dismissive of stupid criticism. And stupid claims that Apple “must” do this or that or else they’re doomed.

            There’s a major difference. And your rebuttal that the technologically-outdated Blackberry lost to the iPhone paradigm because of fickle preferences is more ridiculous than ice cream.

            So, was that clear enough? Or after reading the piece, do you still need a diagram to understand his point?

          3. No, your point was not clear enough. In fact, it was completely incoherent. People have preferences in devices and brands… just like ice cream. That’s the point Kirk attempted to make. That was the basis of attacking Mossberg’s piece. My challenge was that Blackberry had a die hard following (that preferred that flavor) as well. Where is Blackberry today? That’s exactly why I find Kirk’s piece, amusing as it was, to be extremely dismissive. Do you need a diagram to understand that point?

          4. “People have preferences in devices and brands”

            That’s not quite right. Consumers hire products and services on a jobs-to-be-done basis. If you don’t read Asymco already, you should. Horace goes into more depth on this. The problem with much analysis of Apple is that the pundits don’t seem to understand why people buy Apple products. There are many flawed assumptions about why consumers choose Apple.

          5. The other problem is that a lot of Apple users keep insisting it’s about features and capabilities, when it is about brand and looks.

          6. You just don’t get it, and you’re proving my original comment (the first comment in this thread I think). Sure, it’s about features, capabilities, brand, looks, and a lot more. It’s about the value delivered within the user experience, about the jobs-to-be-done I’m seeking, it’s about peace of mind, time, total cost of ownership, life of the device, design, craftsmanship, ecosystem, retail presence, support and service, and even more than that.

            But you want to reduce it to fit your own set of values and ideas, and by doing so you’re proving my original statement: “There is a profound lack of understanding when it comes to Apple’s success, or perhaps more accurately a denial, an almost pathological need to explain Apple’s success in a way that makes it ‘not real’ or some kind of short-lived anomaly (Apple will fail Any Day Now tm).”

            Why does Apple’s success upset you so much?

          7. I’m not saying it’s anomalous, I’m saying it’s because phones are handbags now.

            What’s upsetting is not Apple’s success, I’m not upset at other luxury brands, it’s the rationalization of that success to imaginary features/capabilities. Even the support thing is arguable, I had to tell an uncle to drive 2hrs to an Apple Store last month due to a borked OS update. Sure, nice store. A bit far maybe.

          8. Phones are not handbags, but it is clear you’ve convinced yourself that this is true. What is happening to you is called cognitive dissonance. Again, you’ve proven my original comment. Have a nice day.

          9. What’s a significant technical characteristic or capability we should ask users around us about to lay rest to the issue ?
            I assure you, you’ll be amazed at the result.

          10. You could have saved your uncle a trip and simply had him plug into iTunes. Perhaps you shouldn’t be providing tech advice for products you are not familiar with.

          11. Except he’s got no iTunes on his Wintel PC, and not Mac.
            Perhaps you should check for info before jumping to conclusions and insulting others in situations you know nothing about.

          12. reading comprehension issues: “he’s got no iTunes on his Wintel PC”.

            Read again, slowly: “he’s got no iTunes on his Wintel PC”. And I’m not Apple tech support to go to his place, install iTunes, and open *that* new can of worms.

          13. It’s not a reading comprehension issue. What you’re saying is just nonsense. iTunes is a free download. Please explain why you would recommend someone drive for 2 hours to an Apple store when you can easily accomplish the same task from a simple download. Either way, your advice was bad.

          14. I can give you his phone number if you want to walk a computer-illiterate 75 yo though installing iTunes on his PC and doing a restore from there. My bet is it’ll take more than 2hrs, and you’ll end up on the hook for tech support for ever after.

          15. “it is about brand and looks”

            As usual, you fall back on “magic” and shallow buyers to explain why people pay a premium to buy iPhones.

            A brand is not a magic wand that gives you sales. It’s the other way around. A great product and great customer service create a great brand.

            And, suggesting that iPhone is popular for it’s looks is trite. There may be some who buy the iPhone for its looks, but there are also some who buy Android products for its looks. Almost all the phones look alike. The number of people who use looks as their primary criteria for selecting a phone is insignificant.

          16. If that’s true, why are there those choices of expensive-looking materials ? Why would people (20% of them in France) rather hang about with a broken screen than use a case ?

          17. Apple wants to appeal to the premium market so, of course, they want their phones to look good. But Samsung makes handsome phones too. Appearance is not the primary way that iPhones and Android phones are distinguished one from the other.

          18. Are you sure ? Have you ever tried passing off your Android as an iPhone, and having current iPhone users marvel how cool it is ? I have. It’s kinda fun. Doesn’t work 100% of the time, but more often than not.

          19. I’m familiar with and have great respect for Horace Dediu’s work. The notion that devices are hired to perform a specific function and the notion that people prefer specific brands are not mutually exclusive. If device function in the most utilitarian sense were all that mattered, Apple’s devices would most surely not be doing as well as they are.
            Some punditry is indeed stupid. This type of article is all that bad punditry deserves. Yet, some punditry includes valid criticism that deserves actual thought and exploration. Do you deny this?

          20. “If device function in the most utilitarian sense were all that mattered, Apple’s devices would most surely not be doing as well as they are.”

            It would seem you have not understood the concept of jobs-to-be-done. As I’ve said a few times already, there is a profound lack of understanding re: why people buy Apple products.

          21. I agree with the notion that “in general” there is a profound lack of understanding of why people buy Apple products. For this reason, I understand the nature of this post. However, when people like Mossberg, who DO understand why people buy Apple products, start to raise concern… it probably warrants more attention than that which was afforded by this article. This is a concept which you don’t seem to understand.

          22. Perhaps you’re not aware that Walt Mossberg was essentially acquired by The Verge, and his analysis seems to have changed a bit, leaning towards clickbait. Mossberg’s specific analysis referenced in the article here is quite dumb, I would guess it was purposely designed to generate page views for The Verge.

          23. Okay, so now we’re talking about conspiracy theories and the personal integrity of known entities? Really? Okay, I think we’re done here.

          24. Thanks for sharing that you have no ethical values and that your own integrity is quite low. I think that speaks enough to your own credibility in this discussion.

          25. Dude, you have no idea. I took some tests in university, part of a number of things I did to make money (paid lab rat). One such test was part of a pysch dept study, they said I was a very interesting subject, and that I had what they would call ‘sociopathic tendencies’.

            It’s not that I don’t have integrity, I just don’t follow the rules you’re used to. It’s cute that you think you’re insulting me though. But that has little to do with our discussion. In the real world it is very common for money to influence journalism. Again, you are incredibly naive if you’re not aware of this.

          26. Great, so your a sociopath as well. I’m not quite sure how you think this helps your credibility.

            If you’re a no-name, you might be influenced by offers and be persuaded to follow poor ethical practices. If you’re a name like Mossberg, the game is different. You get to dictate the rules and there are a dozen other places that would be happy to pick him up if he had a difference of opinion with his employer. Likewise, it is use that is rather naive here.

          27. Attempting to make this about my credibility is a logical fallacy. The issue at hand is whether you understand how the real world works re: journalism, and you seem to be in denial of that reality. The game is different because it’s Mossberg? Come on, that’s magical thinking, the reasoning of a child. Further discussion will be pointless. Please have the last word.

          28. – that article is 2 years old. That’s a very long time in Mobile.
            – the first app, Paper, is slated to be discontinued
            – Secret got to Android after 4 months as iOS only
            – Paypal Android supports personal payments (don’t know since when)
            – Hangouts supports voice calls

            So, 100% of the examples in that article are no longer true. Kinda makes my point for me.

          29. Yes, and if there were a current article, there would be different examples. We both know that I’m just scratching the surface here. No matter what article I produce, you’re going to attack the source or make up stories like a certain app might be going away, etc. Yet, the bottom line is this. Throughout the history of iOS and Android platform, iOS versions of apps have always been better. You can spin the reasons until your heart is content, but the reverse is not true. The individual apps are less important than the overarching trend here.
            But, I digress… spin away.

          30. Well, I’m sorry, you’re saying stuff, I’m asking for proof, turns out your proof is untrue now. My take on it is it was true years ago, no longer is.
            And same on my side: I’m saying there’s no app gap so fragmentation is a dev-only issue and not that big an issue, you’re saying there is but can’t come up with any valid example (though you can come up with outdated ones which explains yours, and others, misconception: outdated info), yet you won’t change your mind in the face of your own data, either.
            The trend here is outdated info spinned up to make it a trend, and to make it still current. It is neither.

          31. Over the years there have been plenty of articles which demonstrate how Android apps lack in quality as compared to iOS apps. The opposite has never been true. There have never even been articles which demonstrate how Android apps are improving in quality as compared to iOS apps. How many times do you expect articles written on the same tired subject? Your assumption that the situation doesn’t exist because there isn’t a current articles which illustrates this is illogical. Historically this fact has been proven to exist. Until it’s determined that this fact doesn’t exist through a similar comparison of apps, the existing fact still stands. You don’t have to like it, but logically, that’s how these things work.

          32. The only thing I’ve seen”over the years” is statistics on iOS apps crashing more often than Android’s, though that has apparently changed to mostly equal with the latest versions of each OS.

            As for iOS apps having been superior in the past (1 year is 10 years in phone years ?), if you’ve got examples, preferably current, shoot. Your last one was the opposite of convincing.

            Edit: I concede on Music creation, no contest.

          33. Really, you’re now going to deny there are and have been articles written which either demonstrate or try to explain why iOS apps are still better than Android? Try doing a Google search. It’s not hard. A valid argument might be that past examples are no longer valid, etc. but to deny the fact, despite the few examples I’ve even provided is just silly. If that’s the approach you’re going to take, then I can see that you’re not interested in a rational discussion. Perhaps I gave you too much credit.
            What’s even funnier is how hard you cling to the app crashing statistic, yet the latest results show iOS to apps crash less than Android… but again, you’re probably going to claim you didn’t see that one either (despite previously acknowledging this).

          34. haven’t we just had that discussion, and you came up with a 2yo article with 3 examples that all no longer applied ?

          35. You seem to be missing the point that any such comparison that has been performed at any time has always indicated by example of how iOS apps have been better than their equivalent Android Apps. You rebuttal only demonstrates that years later, Android apps eventually catchup to the level of where iOS apps were years ago. You’ve produced nothing to demonstrate any sort of counter example which would in any way shape or form demonstrate that this long established trend has changed.

          36. The iPhone disrupted Blackberry and all other feature phones by creating a new product category — the smartphone — that obsoleted the old feature phone category. If someone introduces a product category that is to the iPhone what the iPhone was to the Blackberry, then yes, the iPhone will suffer the same fate as the Blackberry. There doesn’t appear to be any evidence that the smartphone category is in danger, but we should always be on the lookout because disruption comes from unexpected directions.

          37. My first thought when I saw the original iPhone in 2007 was “It’s a Mac in your pocket”. But “pocket computer” doesn’t have the same ring as “smartphone”. I make the assumption that when we say “smartphone” everyone understands we mean “a computer in your pocket”.

          38. What point? You’re still beating the nonsense that Blackberry users only left the platform because ice cream.

            I understand that as revisionist history and dismiss it without need for further thought. You should just admit you’re wrong.

          39. Try actually making a coherent argument and I’ll respond to it. What you’ve written is nonsensical. The only thing that is clear in your post is that you’re unable to even follow a discussion between two other people, yet you feel obliged to chime in with your nonsense.

          40. “Kirk is extremely dismissive of any sort of criticism against Apple or their products.”

            Well, I did provide a bevy of facts to support my position. Those who say that Android is catching up to iPhone provide only their own subjective opinions in support of their contention. And again, this isn’t about which one is superior. It’s about whether the premium device holds a distinct enough difference to insure its continued success in the near term.

          41. Yes, your post included many whimsical quotes and examples of past events that echo your current sentiment. While what you posted is true (the quotes are real, etc.), they’re also largely irrelevant. Past events do not dictate the future. You could provide “facts” stating that the grass is green and that the sky is blue. While true, these “facts” are also irrelevant.

            Look, I’m not trying to start a flame war here. I enjoyed your post, it was a nice opinion piece that shares some historical perspective. On that basis, well done. Indeed, there is a lot of garbage coming from the Apple punditry and for the most part, silly punditry is answered by responses like your article. However, at times, there is a kernel of truth in the tech press punditry. Mossberg in particular has been calling out Apple on quality issues lately. He’s not alone in pointing this out. As you mention, he also indicates that Apple needs to impress with the iPhone 7. Taken literally, no, I don’t think Apple is in danger if the iPhone 7 isn’t a major innovation. However, if you take his point as it was intended, it’s that Apple is at risk at becoming complacent, etc. I don’t believe there is any one release of the iPhone that will make or break the company, but I do believe that it is imperative that Apple continues to provide a competitive advantage over Android rivals.

            Anyway, the point is, yes there is a lot of noise out there with regard to tech press punditry. However, some pundits are more influential than others and should be taken more seriously than others. If nothing else, at times it’s better to keep an open mind and to explore whether there is a real issue that needs to be addressed or not. I used Blackberry as the example. BB fans were in complete denial in 2007 through 2010. When the future of BB was challenged, lots of “facts” were presented which included increase sales, sales in new geographies, etc. There were plenty of “facts” to feed the denial. Yet, those who were less emotionally invested could better see the writing on the wall. I’m not saying Apple’s future is in question at this point. However, I am saying that a less defensive posture would invite a more constructive discussion.

        2. The iPhone is a premium product aimed at a premium audience. Android is a value product aimed at a value audience. Each product does an excellent job. However, Android is not even close to taken market share away from Apple’s premium product — at least not at this time. I provided plenty of objective measurements proving that point. The only proof that Android is getting closer to the iPhone is subjective and, as I pointed out in the article, those subjective opinions have existed since the iPhone’s inception yet they have never affected the objective measures I have listed.

          If one’s subjective opinion if contradicted by the facts, they one should change their opinion, not try to change the facts.

          1. “Android is not even close to taken market share away from Apple’s premium product”
            Are you arguing that if Android disappeared overnight, iOS sales wouldn’t rise, and that Jobs was crazy to declare a nuclear war ?

            Agree with your conclusion ^^

  14. Ok, I’ll bite. Let’s do some critical thinking. Let’s start with some questions. I’m not asking facetiously or rhetorically. I really want to know what we, as analysts, are missing about what matters to consumers?
    – The data shows that iPhone loyalty continues to remain significantly higher than other smartphone brands/models. Why is this?
    – The data shows that the net number of switchers from Android-based phones to iPhone is higher this past year than in previous years. Why is this?
    – Many Android users have claimed that Android “is better than iPhone” (iPhone-killer), “is catching-up-to iPhone”, “has more features than iPhone”, or “more innovative than iPhone” in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. Despite this, iPhone has continued to increase sales every year, without decreasing ASP. Why is this? Why should we believe it matters now more than in any of the previous years?

    Gotta go right now but I’ll be back.

    1. – because it’s only premium. All other brands are diluted w/ entry and mid range. Customer satisfaction for example is higher than Apple’s for *some* Samsung models, not *all* Samsung models, not *average* Samsung models. Ditto for pretty much all flagships, its just that Apple only has flagships.
      – the number of iOS swichers to Android is higher too. Smaller exit pool though.
      – mostly, because features don’t matter that much, phones are handbags now. It shouldn’t matter more, what could matter is that Android OEMs are also equalizing on design/materials, though mostly not on branding/PR.

      1. All I’m contending is that
        1) There are legitimate reasons why iPhone buyers like iPhones, i.e. they’re not cult members, etc.;
        2) The existing objective evidence shows that the iPhone is in a stronger position now than ever before; and
        3) The only evidence used to support the suggestion that Android is catching up to the iPhone is subjective in nature.

        1. 1) any reason is legitimate. I’m arguing the reasons have mostly to do with branding, not features/capabilities. What’s not legitimate is pretending otherwise.
          2) if you define diminishing market share as stronger, indeed. If you define diminishing share of app revenue, indeed. I’m aware profit share is not diminishing. Not sure it’s rising either.
          3) again, depends on what we’re talking about. If we’re talking, branding, sure. If we’re talking design, that’s by essence subjective, but consensus is Android flagships are equalizing. If we’re talking specs, that isn’t subjective, and we’re way past “catching up”. We could also be talking about app catalog, os features, security… what are we talking about exactly ?

          You have a habit of very broadly generalizing, then picking on tangential details when I try to be specific, so I won’t be more specific than that, and I think I’ve already been too specific for the occasion.

          1. Branding doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Marketing is a helpful part, but its foundation was and is continually formed by widespread customer experiences that match, build up, and reinforce the values incorporated in the brand (identity).

          2. Like you, iPhone competitors have that same dismissive attitude while at the same time, desperately desiring to sell highly profitable phones. It makes Apple shareholders happy.

          3. I’m not dismissive, I’m actually awed at Apple’s margins and branding. I’m selectively dismissive of imaginary features/capabilities lead: the best camera, screen, sound, battery, durability, arguably desgin, etc… are not on any iPhone.

          4. Stop thinking “superior”, which is subjective and start thinking “distinctive”. The iPhone is differentiated enough form Android to maintain its position as a premium product. When customers — not your or I or pundits — decide that their is no distinction between the iPhone and other phones, then the iPhone will lose it’s premium status.

          5. We might be working off different assumptions about what “superior” means. Hopefully, people do get the phone they think is superior for them.

            “Superior”
            1. doesn’t have to refer to something tangible. Superior service is legit.
            2. not even to something objective. Superior looks is legit.
            3. and it’s not even universal. Rolls Royce is a superior brand if you want to be “classy rich”, Ferrari for “sporty rich”.
            4. is a compound evaluation of a jumble of criteria. One can choose to compromise on picture quality to get better sound.
            5. and both scores and weights vary over time for the same person. At one point I insisted on a removable battery, now I’m OK with a fixed but very large one.

            The 2 caveats are that I’m assuming that people are both reasonably informed, and reasonably self-aware: What’s not legit is buying a phone thinking you’re getting top-notch battery life when it won’t last a day, or insisting you bought it for among other things its sound when you have $15 headphones.

            Differentiation for the sake of differentiation is pointless, it’s got to lead to “superior” in some sense of the word for some niche.

          6. I assume you attribute all of Apple’s ability to get that margin to its branding since you persist in arguing Apple is equal or worse in everything else. And you seem to keep equating branding with fashion, and equating fashion with stupid, when neither is true.

            People are not unemotional robots, so fashion has significant value, likely not to the geek/engineer, but certainly to the mainstream consumer, which just happens to be most people. More fashionable should be included alongside better camera, better customer service, better likelihood company doesn’t disappear or EOL support, etc, as aspects that matter to varying and different degrees to each user. In any case, 500m+ unique iPhone users did not buy iPhone just because of fashion; for some, certainly yes; for many others, it’s a whole package of things, including all those substantive aspects that are the foundation of most brands. And in that package, there are still differences between the two platforms and the two experiences that matter for those who make a relatively more deliberative decision.

          7. Agreed on the second part. On the first part… I’ll have to call the Kardashians ^^

          8. Yes, I do attribute Apple’s margins mostly to branding, kudos to them for being the first to understand that phones are handbags. There’s nothing shameful about that, a good part of France’s GDP is made up of it. Fashion is legitimate, what isn’t is pretending fashion is anything but. Apple’s doesn’t offer better camera than other flagships (if you want the absolute best camera, get a GS7), Nexus has about as much chance to disappear or EOL support.

            There sure are differences beyond brand image between the 2 platforms. I’m saying about 80% of buyers don’t know about those differences. Even in the comments on this very, presumably above-average-informed, site, that’s fairly obvious. I’m just off discussion about per-app rights management, 2 year old app gap, the difference between what OS versions means for iOS and Android… that’s fairly basic stuff, yet even here, it’s misunderstood…

          9. I think most iPhone defenders believe iPhone has clear advantages in many technical areas, as well as greater attractiveness to more people in brand, fashion, customer service, long-term stability, etc. I think few iPhone users believe fashion isn’t legitimate or valuable; it’s just another aspect. In any case, different people are attracted by different aspects in making their purchases, and one can provide some assistance and perspective in the process, but if they choose not to listen, so be it. Bottom line is it’s great that there’s lots of products, and many companies competing to make better devices, which allows customers to have choices.

            Now it’s worth discussing differences if both sides actually listen and hear what the other side says. I think your bias is so strong that it’s not worth discussing even though I largely disagree with your assessments. I think I clearly understand your points, and still I disagree. After reading your posts over time, I’ve concluded there’s negligible chance of you changing your mind regarding anything specific to iPhone or Apple, so I usually don’t bother.

            So the primary reason I’m here is I want to hear what others, especially different-minded people like you, are seeing and thinking, not to argue with them or you, but to consider it, and see if I might find true nuggets that help me invest better, both for my work and for myself. I want to know it before the general market knows it.

          10. How then do you reconcile the fact that a company like Samsung spends billions more on marketing than Apple, yet Apple has the better brand? Could it possibly be that there is more to a brand than marketing? Gasp…

          11. I think we all agree there are brands that are just a name with no added consumer value; a nameplate on a generic commoditized product. Most people don’t put Apple in that same subset. Are you?

          12. Partially. A good 80% of Mobile users in general, including Apple users, are not features/capabilities driven, but brand-driven.
            Anecdote time: the first 2 to get an iPhone in my family were my 15yo niece, and my iSister-in-Law, both by far the most brand-driven persons in my vicinity (the stuff they make me buy… at some point it was fashionable to buy stuff from recycled materials. “What about just not buying and keeping your old bag ?” “Whaaaaaat ?” We could have the same discussion about using aluminum vs plastics ^^ ). The rest are happy with their cheaper, uglier Androids. All do the same things with their smartphones.

            I’m sure you and I are part of the 20% that actually look for and use specific features /capabilities. We’re in a small minority.

          13. Is it a bad thing if someone is purchasing iPhone just because it has Apple logo on it?

          14. Not if they own up to it: I wanted a brand and I love rose gold. Yes if they fudge their choice “It’s so easy ! look how easily I can launch Angry Birds, I just touch the icon !”

          15. Okay, what is the basis of your claim that 80% of mobile users are brand driven? I mean specifically by logo and not because of the superior experiences they’ve had with a specific product from that brand?
            Anecdote time? Really? Okay, if we’re going to stereotype an entire user base on the merits of your personal anecdotes, then it’s also fair to assume that Android users are all poor and only buy the cheapest device they can afford. They don’t buy apps either as statistics show us. A subset of users are tech “wannabes” who conflate device customization ad nausea with with being “power users”. There, how’s that?

          16. “I’m arguing the reasons have mostly to do with branding, not features/capabilities.”

            Yes, you are (constantly) arguing that but your only support is your own, subjective opinion.

      2. – 85-95% of iPhone users won’t leave iPhone for someone who has just “caught up” or “equalized.” You can call it inertia or ecosystem effects or lock-in. It will take a disruptive innovation, which Falkirk and Ben Evans have noted (see comment from 3 days ago). Are any competitors introducing something disruptive within the same high-end price range (or even up to $200-$300 more)? VR/AR might get there someday if it can satisfy broader, mainstream customer use cases.
        – As you noted, it’s not only about features, but it’s also not just about fashion (like handbags) or brand. There are still many other aspects involved in the buying/using experience that I’m not sure any iPhone competitors give any attention to. For example, marketing, usually mentioned here in a pejorative sense, has a positive purpose – it deals with the softer sciences/arts in persuading someone to buy. And great customer service leads to building trust leads to repeat buyers.

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  53. Dàn karaoke tầm trung với mức giá nằm trong khoảng từ 20 đến 40 triệu đồng thì đây là lựa chọn của rất nhiều người khi có nhu cầu trang bị dàn karaoke. Các …

  54. G�nes Enerjisi Ekipmanlarimizla Elektrik �retiminizi Degistirin. Bizimle Iletisime Ge�in. Ankara B�lgesinde Uygun Fiyatli G�nes Paneli mi ariyorsunuz? Bizi Arayin

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  62. Yiyecekleri korumak ve paradan tasarruf etmek için bir kurutucu kullanmayı düşünüyor musunuz? Kurutucular, yiyeceklerin daha uzun süre dayanmasını sağlamak için harikadır. Raf ömründen elde edilen tasarruf, bu makineyi çalıştırma maliyetiyle bile aşıyor muYiyecekleri korumak ve paradan tasarruf etmek için bir kurutucu kullanmayı düşünüyor musunuz? Kurutucular, yiyeceklerin daha uzun süre dayanmasını sağlamak için harikadır. Raf ömründen elde edilen tasarruf, bu makineyi çalıştırma maliyetiyle bile aşıyor mu?

  63. Küçük mutfak aletleri, pratik kullanım fonksiyonları ile size zaman kazandırır. En sık tercih edilen ürünler arasında yer alan meyve sıkacağı, kolay kullanım işlevleriyle lezzetli ve sağlıklı içecekler hazırlamanıza yardımcı olur. Ayrıca, güçlü bağışıklık sistemi için gereken vitamin ve mineral değerlerini düzenli olarak almanızı sağlar. Meyve sıkacağı çeşitleri ile hem kendiniz hem de sevdikleriniz için vitamin değeri yüksek ve sağlıklı içecekler hazırlayabilirsiniz. Birbirinden farklı fonksiyonlara sahip olan birçok meyve sıkacakları ÇiçekSepeti’nde sizleri bekliyor.

  64. “Güvenlik soruşturması ve arşiv mesafeştırmasında kişinin ortamında bulunduğu hava, ikamet adresi ve gerçekten eğleşme etmiş olduğu bulunak dikkate alınarak;AYM’nin silme hükümı verildiği tam güvenlik soruşturması devam fail kişilerin bu soruşturmasının sonlandırılması gerekirdi. Bu şekilde hatimelanmayan eşhas bile silme davası açarak hakkını kanuni olarak arayabilir.Web sitemizdeki tüm makale ve dâhileriklerin telif hakkı Kadim Dostluk ve Danışmanlığa aittir. Tüm makaleler pay sahipliğinin tescili amacıyla elektronik imzalı çağ damgalıdır.Güvenlik soruşturması ve belgelik aralıkştırması kamuda çkızılışmak talip her insanın geçmesi müstelzim bir uygulamadır. Biryoğun kişinin tasa ettiği güvenlik istifhamşturması hakkında sorulara cevap vereceğiz. Bugün tutum hukuku avukatı Umur Saika’a “Güvenlik soruşturması ve arşiv çatlakştırması nedir? Nelere Fallır?

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  70. Sebze kurutma fabrikası kurulumu anahtar teslim. Meyve kurutma fabrikası kurulumu anatar teslim. Modeller: Kanal Tipi Fan, Sığınak santrali, Yuvarlak Fan.4-5-9 Tepsi seçenekleri. Dijital / Analog Zaman ve Sıcaklık Ayarlama ile Güvenli Kurutma. Dünyanın 1 Numaralı Besin Kurutucusu. Sebze, Meyve, Et, Pestil, Ezme ve Kraker tarifleri. Meyve Sebze Et Kurutucu. Excalibur Besin Kurutucu. Sebze Kurutma Makinesi.

  71. Umay veteriner kliniği uzman kadrosu ve son teknoloji donanımlı ekipmanları ile Ankara veteriner, Etimesgut veteriner, Sincan veteriner, Eryaman veteriner, Elvankent veteriner, Yenimahalle Veteriner olarak dostlarımızın sağlığı ve mutluluğu adına sizlere hizmet vermektedir.

  72. Araçlara hasar vermeden, gerek kazalı araçlarınızı, gerek sel su baskınında, her türlü hasar almış araçlarda nakliyeyi taşımayı itinayla yapıyoruz. Taşıma esnasında oluşabilecek her türlü hasar için sigorta vardır. Ege bölgesinde her yere nakliye yapıyoruz. Ayrıca anlaşmalı olduğumuz taksiciler ile sizlere transfer hizmeti sağlıyoruz. İzmir, Ula, Ortaca, Köyceğiz, Datça, Antalya, Muğla, Dalaman, Fethiye, Milas, Aydın, Turunç, Denizli başta olmak üzere bir çok il ve ilçede aktif olarak hizmetteyiz.

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  74. Triger Kayışı nedir. Triger kayışı, araçlarda krank mili ile eksantrik mili arasındaki hareket iletimini sağlar. Triger kayışını iki mil arasında doğru hizada geren ise gergi bilyesidir. Kayış sistemini tamamlayan son parça da devridaim pompasıdır. Motorun güvenliği ve performansı için önemli bir parça olan kayış, kopması hâlinde ciddi sorunlara neden olabilir. Motor soğutma sıvısının sistem içinde ilerlemesini sağlayan triger kayışıdır. Devridaim pompası, gücünü kayıştan alır. Triger kayışının ömrü, kullanım süresine, kullanılan mesafeye ve son kullanım tarihine göre değişiklik gösterir. Belli aralıklarla kayışın kontrolü şarttır. Markaya ve modele göre araçların triger kayışının kullanım süresi farklılık gösterse de kayışların ömrü ortalama 3 senedir. Süre dolduğunda hasarsız dahi olsa kayış değiştirilmelidir. Değişiklik işlemi, uzmanlarca yapılır. Bir kayışın ortalama ömrü, 90.000 ile 100.000 kilometrede arasındadır. Triger kayışları; kauçuk, çelik, tel, kumaş malzemeden üretilen bir parçadır. Kompozit yapıda kevlar, aramid ve karbon fiber malzemeler de yer alabilir. Özel parça, kaymayı önleyen özelliği ile dayanıklılık vadeder. Triger kayışı yerine triger zinciri de kullanılabilir; ancak pek tercih edilmez. Zincirde uzun mesafede aşınma olabilir Zincir, zamanla uzayabileceği için motor sesine ek bir gürültüye sebep olabilir. Zinciri uzun süre gergin tutmak, raylara ve dişlilere de zarar verebilir. Yıpranma oluşabilir. Triger kayışının kopması, motorun da ciddi zararlar görmesi anlamına gelir. Motor iflas edebilir. Supap zamanlamasının bozulması, açık kalması, pistonlara çarpması, sipopların eğilmesi, tüm parçaların zorlanması ve gürültü oluşması, bu sorunun sonucudur. Kayış koptuğunda yapılabilecek en doğru hamle, aracı kenara çekip uzman yardımı almaktır. Kaputu açıp motora bakıldığında kayışın durumu görülebilir. Motordan ses gelmesi, egzozdan siyah duman çıkması da triger kayışında bir sorun olduğunun işareti olabilir.

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  76. Triger Kayışı nedir. Triger kayışı, araçlarda krank mili ile eksantrik mili arasındaki hareket iletimini sağlar. Triger kayışını iki mil arasında doğru hizada geren ise gergi bilyesidir. Kayış sistemini tamamlayan son parça da devridaim pompasıdır. Motorun güvenliği ve performansı için önemli bir parça olan kayış, kopması hâlinde ciddi sorunlara neden olabilir. Motor soğutma sıvısının sistem içinde ilerlemesini sağlayan triger kayışıdır. Devridaim pompası, gücünü kayıştan alır. Triger kayışının ömrü, kullanım süresine, kullanılan mesafeye ve son kullanım tarihine göre değişiklik gösterir. Belli aralıklarla kayışın kontrolü şarttır. Markaya ve modele göre araçların triger kayışının kullanım süresi farklılık gösterse de kayışların ömrü ortalama 3 senedir. Süre dolduğunda hasarsız dahi olsa kayış değiştirilmelidir. Değişiklik işlemi, uzmanlarca yapılır. Bir kayışın ortalama ömrü, 90.000 ile 100.000 kilometrede arasındadır. Triger kayışları; kauçuk, çelik, tel, kumaş malzemeden üretilen bir parçadır. Kompozit yapıda kevlar, aramid ve karbon fiber malzemeler de yer alabilir. Özel parça, kaymayı önleyen özelliği ile dayanıklılık vadeder. Triger kayışı yerine triger zinciri de kullanılabilir; ancak pek tercih edilmez. Zincirde uzun mesafede aşınma olabilir Zincir, zamanla uzayabileceği için motor sesine ek bir gürültüye sebep olabilir. Zinciri uzun süre gergin tutmak, raylara ve dişlilere de zarar verebilir. Yıpranma oluşabilir. Triger kayışının kopması, motorun da ciddi zararlar görmesi anlamına gelir. Motor iflas edebilir. Supap zamanlamasının bozulması, açık kalması, pistonlara çarpması, sipopların eğilmesi, tüm parçaların zorlanması ve gürültü oluşması, bu sorunun sonucudur. Kayış koptuğunda yapılabilecek en doğru hamle, aracı kenara çekip uzman yardımı almaktır. Kaputu açıp motora bakıldığında kayışın durumu görülebilir. Motordan ses gelmesi, egzozdan siyah duman çıkması da triger kayışında bir sorun olduğunun işareti olabilir.

  77. Datça oto çekici kurtarma olarak tüm Datça bölgesinde hizmetini profesyonelce veriyoruz. Oto Çekici ve Oto kurtarma Datça firmamız hızlı ve en iyi şartlarda çekici hizmeti veriyor. Ayrıca hangi tür yolda kalma olursa bizlere bildirebilir ve destek alın. Bölgenin en iyi ve donanımlı ekipmanları ile profesyonel hizmet ile sadece talihsiz yolcularımızı memnun etmek ve onları mutlu etmenin onlara yardımcı olmayı amaçlamaktadır. Ekibimiz yolda kalan ya da aracı arıza yapmış tüm dostlarımızın imdadına yetişir. Yolculuk sırasında başınıza talihsizlikler gelebilir. İşte bu talihsizlikleri önleyemesek de daha sonrası için tecrübeli ekibimiz sizin için size bir telefon kadar uzaktayız. Önemli olan doğru Datça araç çekici firmasını aramaktır. Datça oto çekici olarak; arızalanmış, bozulmuş, aküsü bitmiş, yakıtı bitmiş ve hatta yeni alınan araçlara da ekiplerimizden yakın olanı ile çekici hizmeti vermekteyiz.Datça Yol yardım ve Datça Oto çekici firmasıdır bizi arayarak Datça’nın neresinde olursanız olun 7 gün 24 saat açık olan telefonumuza ulaşabilirsiniz. Tam donanımlı ekipmanlarımız ve deneyimli ekibimizle haftanın her günü 24 saat müşterilerimizin hizmetinizdeyiz.

  78. Eksantrik Yatak almak çok kolay ve çok hızlı. Kaçıramayacağınız en uygun fırsatları bulabileceğiniz inanılmaz liste burada. Şimdi, listedeki ürünlere ve profesyonel yorumlara göz atarak rahat bir alışveriş yapın. Quigg, tanınmış indirimci Aldi’nin ticari markasıdır. Quigg ayrıca Aldi’de muhteşem fiyatlarla her zaman çok övgü alan bir teknoloji olduğuna inanıyor ve şimdi çok yayıldı. Çünkü ev aletleri ile ilgili her şey üreticiden geliyor ve Aldi şubelerinde Almanya’da ve şimdi de Fransa gibi ötesinde sunuluyor. Quigg ekmek kızartma makineleri, el elektrikli süpürgeleri ve aynı zamanda eksantrik yatak üretir. Quigg, bir şirket değil, sadece Aldi tarafından işletilen bir markadır. İnşaatta diğer üreticilerle aynı olan ve onlar tarafından üretilen cihazlar genellikle sadece diğer adla ve biraz değiştirilmiş bir tasarımla piyasaya çıkar. Aldi’den satın alma miktarları nedeniyle, indirimci bu cihazları çok iyi bir fiyata sunabilir. Teknoloji buna bağlı olarak olgun ve yenilikçi ve işleme yüksek kalitededir. Fonksiyonlar: eksantrik yatak bugün çeşitli işlevleri vardır. Mikrodalga testi kazananı durumunda, bu işlevler bir yandan belirtilmeli ve diğer yandan test uzmanları tarafından ayrıntılı olarak incelenmelidir.

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