All posts tagged “Apple

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The dirty little secret about Google Android

Google Android began with the greatest of intentions — freedom, openness, and quality software for all. However, freedom always comes with price, and often results in unintended consequences. With Android, one of the most important of those unintended consequences is now becoming clear as Google gets increasingly pragmatic about the smartphone market and less and less tied to its original ideals.

Here’s the dirty little secret about Android: After all the work Apple did to get AT&T to relinquish device control for the iPhone and all the great efforts Google made to get the FCC and the U.S. telecoms to agree to open access rules as part of the 700 MHz auction, Android is taking all of those gains and handing the power back to the telecoms.

That is likely to be the most important and far-reaching development in the U.S. mobile market in 2010. In light of the high ideals that the Android OS was founded upon and the positive movement toward openness that was happening back in 2007-2008, it is an extremely disappointing turn of events.

When Apple convinced AT&T not to plaster its logo on the iPhone or preload it with a bunch of AT&T bloatware, it was an important first step for smartphones to emerge as independent computers that were no longer crippled by the limitations put on them by the selfish interests of the telecom carriers, who typically wanted to upsell and nickel-and-dime customers for every extra app and feature on the phone.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said, “iPhone is the first phone where we separated the carrier from the hardware. They worry about the network, while we worry about the phone.”

Almost for that reason alone, the iPhone was an immediate hit with customers, despite the many limitations of the first generation iPhone when it was released in June 2007.

Later that year, Google announced the Android mobile operating system and the Open Handset Alliance. Here was Google’s statement made at the time:

“This alliance shares a common goal of fostering innovation on mobile devices and giving consumers a far better user experience than much of what is available on today’s mobile platforms. By providing developers a new level of openness that enables them to work more collaboratively, Android will accelerate the pace at which new and compelling mobile services are made available to consumers.”

Then in the spring of 2008, Google pulled off a brilliant coup in the U.S. government’s 700 MHz auction when it bid enough to drive up the price for Verizon and AT&T to lock them into the FCC’s open access guidelines (which Google helped form). Verizon had initially fought the open access concept with legal action, but eventually made a 180-degree turnaround and trumpeted its own plans to become an open network.

However, Verizon’s open network plans have never really materialized. To say the company is dragging its feet would be a massive understatement. The best hope for a popular, unlocked handset on Verizon was Google’s own Nexus One.

After launching in January 2010, first with access to the T-Mobile network, the Nexus One was planned to arrive on all four of the big U.S. wireless carriers by spring. The phone was sold by Google, unlocked, for roughly $500. Then users could simply buy service (without a contract) from a wireless carrier. That’s the model that has worked so well for consumers in Europe and the Nexus One was supposed to be Google’s major initiative to start moving the U.S. in the same direction.

Unfortunately, sales of the Nexus One were tepid and customers were frustrated by Google’s poor customer support. By the time spring rolled around, Verizon was still dragging its feet and eventually the Nexus One on Verizon was canceled and replaced with the HTC Incredible, a nice device that nonetheless completely followed the old carrier model.

By some reports, the Open Handset Alliance is now in shambles. Members such as HTC have gone off and added lots of their own software and customizations to their Android devices without contributing any code back to the Alliance. Motorola and Samsung have begun taking the same approach. The collaborative spirit is gone — if it ever existed at all. And, Google is proving to be a poor shepherd for the wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing that make up the telecoms and the handset makers in the Alliance.

As a result, we now have a situation where the U.S. telecoms are reconsolidating their power and putting customers at a disadvantage. And, their empowering factor is Android. The carriers and handset makers can do anything they want with it. Unfortunately, that now includes loading lots of their own crapware onto these Android devices, using marketing schemes that confuse buyers (see the Samsung Galaxy S), and nickle-and-diming customers with added fees to run certain apps such as tethering, GPS navigation, and mobile video.

Just as Google is overwhelming the iPhone with over 20 Android handsets to Apple’s one device, so the army of Android phones that can be carrier-modified is overwhelming the one Apple phone on a single carrier that allows it to stand apart and not play the old carrier-dominated game that resulted in strong handsets weakened by the design, software, and pricing ploys of the telecoms.

Despite the ugly truth that Android is enabling the U.S. wireless carriers to exert too much control over the devices and keep the U.S. mobile market in a balkanized state of affairs, Android remains the antithesis of the closed Apple ecosystem that drives the iPhone and so it’s still very attractive to a lot of technologists and business professionals.

But, the consequence of not putting any walls around your product is that both the good guys and the bad guys can do anything they want with it. And for Android, that means that it’s being manipulated, modified, and maimed by companies that care more about preserving their old business models than empowering people with the next great wave of computing devices.

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Can you buy me now? Apple and the war for the mobile market

The short history of the computer industry is dominated by two well-known stories of business triumph and defeat. The first is the story of how mainframe makers failed to take the personal computer seriously until it was too late. Most of them faded away, and those that didn’t still failed to dominate the PC industry.

The second is the story of how Apple Computer, Inc. refused to license its innovative new operating system to other hardware makers in the early days of the PC revolution and ended up ceding the market to Microsoft, which licensed its operating system far and wide.

The temptation to fit every new computer industry business conflict into one of these two molds is strong, and frequently surrendered to. For a modern example, look no further than the current battle for the mobile market between Apple, Google, RIM, and others. The first story may end up applying in the case of RIM, which might have waited a bit too long to recognize the primacy of the touchscreen and the mobile application marketplace. Or perhaps it applies to Microsoft, which refused to let go of the idea of shoehorning Windows onto a phone until very recently (or not).

But I want to talk about the second story, the one about the company deciding not to license its operating system to third-party hardware makers. In the mobile-market version of this story, Google is Microsoft, Android is Windows, iOS is the Macintosh operating system, and Apple is, well, Apple. The pieces match up so well, it’s barely even an analogy. The lesson seems clear: unless Apple learns from its past mistakes and opens up its mobile platform, it’s going to end up with a Macintosh-like minority market share while Google licenses its mobile OS to all comers and the Android phone becomes the Windows PC of the new mobile computing era.

Maybe you’ve heard this sentiment expressed before, and maybe you’ve read the inevitable reactions to it from ardent Apple supporters explaining why the current situation is very different and how Apple will succeed this time around—or perhaps how it has already succeeded. I’m on board with the first part; I think the mobile market is very different from the PC market of old. On the second part, Apple’s prospects for success, I’m less sure.

But first things first.

Built to fail: Apple and the war for the desktop

To understand the differences between the war for the PC market and today’s mobile battlefront, consider the specifics of Apple’s historic failure against Microsoft. According to the story, Apple’s refusal to license its OS led to several insurmountable disadvantages.

First and foremost, Apple had to make and sell all the hardware that would run its OS. Microsoft, meanwhile, had an entire industry working to make hardware for its OS. PC makers fought for every last scrap of the market, building hardware to suit all sorts of customers: PCs for home use, education, gaming, point-of-sale, data centers, businesses, industrial use, you name it. In the heat of this competition, PC hardware prices were driven down and margins were cut to the bone; PC hardware was commoditized.

Even when its catalog of Mac products was at its most sprawling, Apple made a comparatively narrow range of products, with just a few half-hearted excursions into less-mainstream niches. It was clear that a single company couldn’t make and support enough different kinds of hardware to serve the entire PC market.

Since the margins on hardware are a lot lower than the margins on software, Apple was at a distinct profit disadvantage versus a software vendor like Microsoft. To compensate for this, Apple tried to stick to the sweet spot of profitability in the hardware market, avoiding the tiny margins of the very low end and the low volumes of the very high end. This further lowered the glass ceiling of Apple’s maximum potential PC market share.

To add insult to injury, Apple wasn’t even on equal footing when it came to hardware costs. While the IBM PC and its eventual clones used Intel CPUs, Apple chose Motorola—twice. The battle between x86-compatible CPU vendors pushed performance higher and prices lower, but Apple was left out of that virtuous cycle, making its Mac hardware more expensive and often slower than its PC competition.

The result was that Microsoft dominated the PC industry, achieving a bona fide monopoly and reaping huge profits, while Apple nearly went out of business.

Pattern recognition gone awry

Now let’s compare this to the contemporary mobile world, starting with the idea that a single company can’t profitably produce a wide enough range of hardware to serve an entire market. While that may have been true for the PC, I don’t think it’s true in the mobile space.

Consider the iPod. Apple started with just one, Mac-only iPod model, refined it for a while, expanded beyond the Mac market by making a Windows version, re-calibrated its aim for the mainstream and released the smaller iPod mini, then iterated confidently while also branching out into less profitable segments. The end result: Apple completely dominated the digital music player market.

Next up is pricing. By allowing hardware vendors to slit each other’s throats, Microsoft ensured that customers would have access to cheap PC hardware while not hurting Microsoft’s own (software-based) profits. At the height of the war for the desktop, PCs weren’t cheaper than Macs by a few dollars; they were cheaper by hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. That was a crushing blow to Apple’s sales prospects, and one that a company that made its profits from hardware sales had no way to retaliate against.

iPhone X-Wing

What does mobile phone pricing look like today? Well, the iPhone isn’t much more expensive than comparable phones. And since phones cost a lot less today than PCs did in the ’80s and ’90s, both adjusted for inflation and in absolute values, the differences are even smaller: tens of dollars, not hundreds or thousands. That kind of pricing differential is eminently surmountable with product features and design—an advantage Apple definitely enjoyed back in 2007 and arguably still has some of today.

A big reason for this price parity is that most of the cost of a phone isn’t in the phone itself, but in the contract with the carrier. An iPhone 4 may cost you $200 to buy, but the contract will cost you thousands of dollars.

This doesn’t mean that there’s no room for handset pricing to affect sales, but it does mean that those price wars will take place at a scale and in a realm where Apple has already proven itself able to win: portable consumer electronics that cost a few hundred dollars at most, dropping down to two-digit prices at the low end.

As for hardware costs and performance, Apple’s component suppliers are the market leaders. Even its “unique” ARM-based CPU uses the same instruction set as the CPUs in its competitor’s phones. For now, at least, Apple is on the right hardware train. And if the time ever comes to make a change, Apple is uniquely experienced in switching CPU architectures in a way that’s mostly transparent to customers.

The right stuff

All of this is to say that the situation in the mobile space today is not analogous in a straightforward way to last millennium’s battle for the PC desktop. Now, without using history as a crutch, let’s reconsider Apple’s mobile prospects. Is the iPhone destined to be a minority player in this market, or will it come to dominate? If, as I propose, a single vendor can provide enough hardware diversity to cover most of the market, and if every player has similar hardware costs and roadmaps, what does it take to win this war for our palms? Where’s the edge, and who’s got it?

An idealist might say that having the better product will make the difference. As much as I’d like that to be true, I don’t think any company has a product that is so much better than its competition in the eyes of so many people that quality alone will decide things.

Critical mass is another factor. Are customers buying iPhones because their friends and relatives have iPhones and they want to video chat with them, use some of the applications they’ve seen, or just be part of the in-crowd? In other words, has Apple’s 2007 launch of the iPhone given it insurmountable lead? Again, I have to say no. Apple had a head start, for sure, but Google has closed the gap quickly with Android in terms of both product quality and sales.

Speaking of which, what explains Android’s recent rapid sales growth? Android is a good OS, but then, so was webOS, and look what happened to Palm. Quality is not enough. Android is available on a wide variety of hardware, but a menagerie of form factors has not stopped RIM’s market share slide. Handset variety also poses challenges to application developers who must target a fragmented platform. Hardware is not going to make the difference. So what will?

Carriers, carriers, carriers

Let’s revisit the Mac/PC analogy, with a twist. In the desktop era, distribution wasn’t much of a factor. Everyone had access to the same retailers, and, eventually, the same Internet. Retail margins were all very similar, and exclusive distribution deals were rare and usually inconsequential. Product features and pricing were the most important differentiators, and both were controlled by the hardware manufacturers.

Today’s mobile market is the polar opposite. Distribution is almost completely controlled by the carriers—albeit sometimes indirectly. A lack of decent coverage in a particular geographic area can eliminate a phone from consideration, regardless of how great the hardware is or how much it costs.

Carriers are also running the show on pricing. Carrying the vast majority of the cost of the phone in their contracts means that the carriers have the most leeway to move the market by, for example, lowering monthly bills, lowering or eliminating bandwidth caps, increasing subsidies (thus making phones appear “cheaper” to consumers), and negotiating how much of this money will be shared with phone manufacturers.

And, of course, the carriers decide whether to allow a phone on their network at all.

Distribution isn’t important when all competitors have the same access, but it’s incredibly important when the market is fenced-off into independent kingdoms, the choice of which can make or break a sale before the merits of the actual product are even considered. The way customers have been buying cell phones for the past few decades further minimizes the importance of the phone itself. Most (non-geek) people take a trip down to “the cell phone store,” choose a contract that fits in the budget and maybe includes some discount plan for friends and family, and then pick the handset that looks the best (or the one that’s suggested by the store clerk). Maybe things like ease of use and application availability are considered in that final step, but at that point, they’re not going to make or break the (contract) sale; the customer is walking out of that store with one of the phones that it sells.

Android sales are surging because there’s a pretty good Android phone—probably several, in fact—for sale in nearly every place that sells mobile phones. And as hard as it may be for some of the people reading this to believe, the Apple store is not where most people go to buy a new cell phone. All those Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile kiosks in the mall exist for a reason. Apple has 229 retail stores and a big marketing budget, but both are dwarfed by the combined retail presence and advertising spending of the carriers. And yes, I’m including AT&T in all this; AT&T sells Android phones too! It’s Apple on one side and an entire industry on the other…starting to sound familiar?

Leveling the playing field

Apple doesn’t need to license iOS to other handset makers. Yes, Android is starting to look a lot like the Windows of the mobile era, but not because it’s licensed to third parties. The contexts and uses for handheld devices like music players and cell phones are far more limited than for PCs; hardware diversity is not driving Android sales. The magic formula is simple: quality + availability. Android is ascending in the market because it’s good, it’s available where people want to buy it, and it runs on the networks people want to use.

Droid TIEs

The current carrier situation may end up being a transient aberration in the long run, an inefficient market created by the huge fixed costs of building and running a wireless data network. But if the comparatively more mature (wired) telephone, cable television, and Internet service provider markets have taught us anything, it’s that the road to a more competitive marketplace for infrastructure services is a long and hard one. Carrier segmentation will be a fact of life for Apple for the foreseeable future.

There’s only one thing for it. Apple needs to get the iPhone on more carriers as soon as possible. Nowhere is this more important than in the US, where the iPhone is available on just a single carrier—one that’s decidedly not the market leader. The only way for Apple to eliminate the distribution and marketing advantage currently enjoyed by Android is to make sure that everywhere an Android phone is for sale, there’s an iPhone sitting right next to it that will work on the same network. Only then will Apple get a fair shot at selling based on the things it can actually control: the hardware and software of the phone itself. At that point, it can—and should—diversify its iPhone product line just like it did with the iPod in the last decade.

Epilogue: market share matters

On a recent podcast, John Gruber spent some time musing about the inherent worth and actual relevance of market share, noting that “you can’t cash checks with it” and suggesting that it might just be a convenient way for industry observers to “keep score.” It’s true that Apple only needs some reasonable share of the market to sustain its platform. The Mac has had a market share well below 10 percent for decades, and that’s been enough to ensure that developers will still write Mac applications and customers will pay enough for Mac hardware to fund the development of future models.

Furthermore, in the mobile market as in the PC market, Apple’s share of the profits is considerably ahead of its share of the revenues. Analogies to luxury car makers inevitably follow. “Hey, BMW has only 7 percent market share, right?” The idea is that Apple either can be or should be happy with just “the most profitable portion of the market.”

Well, rest assured, BMW is not content with its current share of the automotive market, and Steve Jobs’ Apple will not be satisfied with anything less than the biggest piece of the pie that it can possibly take, in terms of profits, revenues, and unit sales. With the iPod, Apple has proven that all of those numbers can be well above 50 percent—without compromising product quality.

In the mobile market, the goal is the same. Apple is playing to win.

여기에서 보실 수 있습니다.

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애플 제품별 수익 차트 공개.

사용자 삽입 이미지
그래프 출처 :

아이팟의 수익 비중이 감소하는게 눈에 보이고,
나온지 3년정도밖에 안된 아이폰이 가장 큰 수입원이 되었다.
나온지 3개월 남짓인 아이패드는 3위.
맥은 거의 제자리를 지키고 있고 iTunes도 약간 늘긴 했지만 자세한 내역을 알수가 없으니.

아무튼, 애플은 대단한 회사임에는 틀림없는것 같다.

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We wait. We must wait. We will wait. We vs Apple with MBP in the middle.

Apple, as any other company, is a company
that strives for profit increase.

In this thread, I want to give you my point of view of why we should
wait for updates. I believe, it will help many people with the choice
they are about to make.

The reasons for waiting are pure logic, I will try to stay as scientific
as possible and the area that I am concentrating on are ECONOMIC ONLY.
There will be no “Oh my God, they really should update, because I want
to!” No, everything will be clear and visible.

And your opinions are welcome. And by the way, before I start, I want to
remind you that we, the customers, are one group, and Apple, the other,
so no matter what, we should stay together on this deal for a mutual
benefit, about that in details later.

The reason we wait. The reason we must wait. The reason we will wait.
Apple vs us.

We live in a world, where, wherever there is a need for something, this
need is filled with supply. Whenever there is a need to cut digital
video, people create Premiere and Final Cut. Whenever we want to feel
clean, toilet paper gets invented and it fits the need. There are
millions of examples.

In a capitalistic world, the world we are living in today, the drive for
inventing and filling the need is purely due to profit. Filling the
biggest gap with a unique product has a very rewarding effect. Ask Bill
Gates about that.

Now, back to Apple and Mac.

What is the reason old computers lose value? Not because they are slow!
Because there is a smaller demand for them! The demand is: I want to
watch HD on my pc, I want to render fast in FCP, I want to play games
that were released recently, I want a better display, longer battery
life – whatever it is, the demand changes, and the old supply becomes
worthless, and we all know, when demand falls, the value goes the same
way with it.

**Now, let’s take a look at current Macbook Pro 15. 2,53Ghz, 250GB,
NVIDIA 9400 (no memory) and that for $1,699.00 from 2010.
**Now look at my 500 dollar craigslist 17inch, 2.4Ghz, 250GB,
Nvidia8600. from 2007.

(Note: European prices for used macs are much higher, I bought mine in
Santa Monica)

A slight drawback in overall performance. Huge leap in design, display
quality and battery.

Why was my book so cheap? Because there is a LOW demand on its design,
battery life, display quality.

Why are new ones expensive?: for the reasons mentioned above, but not
for its performance.

Do you see the problem? The demand for actual properties of what a
computer should do does not seem to affect the price a lot. The computer
must be able to calculate things, have a certain amount of work done
within a specific time period. The speed is measured in fps, seconds,
Ghz, Gb/sec, etc

People still buy this product, despite of a very old and outdated
hardware. Why? Because they do not need the computer to be fast. I am
not wrong: the demand for high speed is LOW among average macbook pro

It is fact that people buy Macbook Pro for its design, quality and maybe
reputation of Apple Products. Everyone agrees. Sale numbers agree.
Steve Job’s pockets agree. Bill Gates agrees too, in a sad way probably.

And we must agree, the performance of a laptop is no longer defined by
its performance in apps. Not in our minds, but in sale numbers. My own
opinion: I want the fastest macbook pro possible. Period.

It is fact that people buy macbook to just surf the net, write some
college papers, and never fully use their laptop.

Now more about Performance:

What’s inside of Macbook Pro, is also a result of demand and supply
structure. If its performance was neglected completely, say, Intel
Pentium II 233MMX inside, no one would buy it. But where the demands
lie, the current macbook pro can fill the gap: watch hd video
(downloaded, as there is no Blue Ray), have a word processor, and a
browser and people who truly need performance, are left out, since every
business operates on one of the premises of utilitarism
(utilitarianism): It is good, as long it is good for the majority.


Companies always look at consumers like at brainless flock of sheep that
can be manipulated in any way. But don’t you forget:

We, the people, have the power to control companies.

Simply, because we can demand.

The demand vs supply power is 50/50, unless the customer is blinded, or
the company is not doing good. Right now, Apple has a higher power over
consumers. Many reasons for this: new, groundbreaking products, the
hardware monopoly in its sphere, the design, media buzz, but I think,
these are not worth mentioning, and the thread already becomes a novel.

WHAT WE WANT: Every one, who started a thread about demanding update for
MBP, wants better insides of macbooks pro.

HOW WE CAN CHANGE IT: We know, if the demand falls, the value of a
product drops, and instead of this product, an updated version of this
very one fills the need (the demand) in order for a company to maintain
or continue to receive profit.


How we do it? Simply DO NOT BUY THE CURRENT Macbook Pro and WAIT FOR THE

You, as a customer, have responsibility to buy best possible products,
or else you do not support the idea of competition. This responsibility
of ours is inborn. We always want more for less. It is in the laws of
sociology, physics, biology – a universal rule. We want to invest less
and have higher returns. We want to do no homework and get A’s. That

Now, buying an outdated Macbook Pro, you break this responsibility, and
you make yourself responsible for something else: that there is an
outdated hardware inside the laptop.

Our choices as customers make products what they are. Without us,
Starbucks would not be Starbucks. Apple would not be Apple. The demand
sets the standards, not companies. Companies only make standards
possible, they fill the gap, the supply the demanded. We are responsible
for what quality toilet paper is in the shops. If everyone is satisfied
with with bad paper, bad paper always be in the shops.

Fellow people, let’s raise the standards, the demand for hardware, in
order to get better products.

9400M in the $1,700 version of macbook pro is a SIN! And people,
who buy a laptop with this graphic card, are reason why there is bad
graphic card inside. We cannot blame them! We are always a reason what’s
inside Macs.

But if we raise our awareness of other people, who need better graphics
card, faster processor, for the same price, we should open our hearts,
and demand from apple a product, that fits everyone. USA has always
functioned with rules of utilitarianism, but nevertheless, we have the
power to change it, to have better products, better future, and have a
friendly heart for other people, who want something more from the same

Having this power, I call you to wait for the upcoming macs.
With every choice we make, be it a vote for a new president, or be it
the choice between toothpastes, we change world. Let’s make it a
better place.

We wait. We must wait. We will wait.

Thank you!

Last edited by hundert : Today at 03:34 PM.

reference :

비단 맥북 뿐만 아니라 어디든 통용될 수 있는 글.

어느정도의 비약도 있고 비현실적인 이야기도 있지만 원론적인 입장에서 보면 충분히 수긍 가능한 이야기.

예를 들자면 현대-기아 차 라든가..

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