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My Comments on Tablets on Bloomberg Surveillance

My thanks to Tania Chen for organizing my appearance on Bloomberg Surveillance in New York on September 26th.

Is Apple Really Dominating the Tablet Wars?: Video – Bloomberg.

Although there isn’t much one can cover in 5 minutes, there were some good questions around tablets. The role of Amazon and Microsoft in particular.

  • obarthelemy

    This is so biased. Android tablets = low end = crap = no apps. Apple OTOH just made their Office suite free.
    It’s not like there are plenty of high-end Android tablets (higher-end than iPads: pen, I/O, windowing/split-screen, better support for docks/keyboards/mice/USB…), and Google made their QuickOffice suite also available for free earlier (there were others before).

    • using

      If they’re not all “low end” and “crap” then why is nobody in the world using one?

    • http://www.noisetech-software.com/Home.html Steven Noyes

      But your holy grail of market share in Android tablets comes from the low end white box “crap”. There is very little volume in quality Android tablets. Device support in Android is spotty and fragmented while it is highly unified for iOS. For example, a friend of mine has fits getting his Toshiba Thrive to work consistently with a BT keyboard but his Nexus 7 (running the same version OS) works fine. My iPhone and iPad have had no issues with BT keyboards for years.

      • Space Gorilla

        obart just doesn’t get it, and probably never will. obart wants support for mice on a tablet, how behind the curve can you be? Stuck in the 90s and afraid of change. Must. Have. File. System. And. Mouse. And. Windows. New. Things. Frighten. Me.

      • obarthelemy

        Others think file management and a mouse (with more than one button) are prerequisites for actual work….

      • Kizedek

        Some people think a suit and tie is a prerequisite for actual work… but I beg to differ with that, too.

        One begins to ask such people where they hide themselves all day. I think the term was “confirmation bias”.

      • Space Gorilla

        A hardware keyboard used to be a must have for ‘real email’ on a smartphone as well. And I agree on the suit and tie. I wear steel toe boots, duck work pants, and a work tee to business meetings. Nobody gives a shit what I look like (unless I showed up naked or actually filthy), the work is what matters.

      • marcoselmalo

        I would argue that steel toed boots are more effective than wing tips when you want to emphasize a point.

      • Space Gorilla

        So true :) I also wear expensive work boots because they are *by far* the most comfortable footwear I have ever owned. Over the years I noticed how much better my feet felt when I was wearing my work boots, so finally I bought a brand new pair to wear as my ‘good shoes’. A good pair of work boots is incredibly well made. Same goes for most work wear, it’s a cut above quality-wise because it has to be, otherwise it won’t last. And it kinda fits with the new hipster back to the land fashion that’s trendy now.

      • marcoselmalo

        I got really bad shin splints from a job that involved jumping off and climbing back on a truck tailgate 50 times a day. Someone suggested I try Wolverine Durashocks and thick backpacking socks. I’ve never had shin splits since, and the steel toes have saved me from quite a few broken toes.

      • http://www.noisetech-software.com/Home.html Steven Noyes

        Others think getting things done are a prerequisite for actual work.

      • Space Gorilla

        As I said, stuck in the 90s.

      • marcoselmalo

        (Sorry I’m so late to the commenting party)

        Actually, I can do file management “on” the iPad. Let me explain the quote marks. I manage my files using drop box. I’ll grant that this can be problematic when traveling and not having wifi access, but most of the time I have internet access when I am working and need to manage files.

    • Walt French

      Maybe your perspective comes because you have Europe-centric sales data and/or tablet app sales data to contradict the “biased” assertion that Horace made.

      But as *I* heard it, he was talking about a large number of tablets in Asia that were primarily used for browsing rather than being an app platform. I don’t know where you’d get information that would contradict that, much as it might be uncomfortable for you.

      Certainly, the fact that “Other” is becoming such a large share of tablets doesn’t disagree Horace’s assertion, and it’s also consistent with the notion that the US is both where the app sales are, and also Apple’s iPad share.

      • obarthelemy

        The way I heard it, Horace started from low-end tablets in Asia, then dismissed all Android devices based on that: some Android tablets are cheap and limited -> Android is cheap and limited -> only Apple devices are any good for anything.

        This is

        1) over-generalization: the fact that there are low-end Android tablets does not mean all Android tablets are low-end, especially since the high-end Android tablets offer quite advanced hardware and software features,

        2) probably false anyway: I’m probably not representative, but I use my new $100 Ainol Venus and 3-yo B&N Nook Color and $80 Minix Neo X5 Android desktop for pretty much the same things I use my $400 Huawei Ascend Mate and $600 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 for: email/IM, rss/web, ebooks, movies/series, and a few games. Sure, the Note is the best of the lot, with a stylus and sunlight-resilient screen, a nicer case, bespoke peripherals, “less worse” speakers and better performance, but when time comes to renew it, I’ll probably look closely into what’s available at 10-12″ for $100: once the battery, screen and radios are good, the rest really is icing on the cake. Even performance is always OK as long as there’s no multitasking involved (split-screen or PIP movie, or background app update). $400 is a lot to pay for icing. I’m trying to hold off for hardware h.265 support though, hopefully next year ?

        I’d ask again what it is that iOS devices can do that Android can’t, but in over a year I never got any answer beyond music creation and “beautifully integrate hardware and software to create a delightful magical experience”.

      • using

        “I’d ask again what it is that iOS devices can do that Android can’t, but in over a year I never got any answer beyond music creation and “beautifully integrate hardware and software to create a delightful magical experience”.”

        They’re able to be used by people to do things.

      • charly

        You can couch surf on a $100 Android device and that is the only task 90% of the people do with it.

        Music making etc. sounds like why Amiga was better 20 years ago but you may have noticed something about Amiga.

      • using

        If people are couch surfing on them then where are they in web stats?

      • thang

        I have a 1st generation kindle fire, an ipad2 and an ipad mini.
        the web surfing experience on the kindle fire is SLOOOW! even email is slow. I use it mostly to read books on kindle, and occasionally surf the web.
        the ipad2 was the first tablet we bought, it’s still being used today. the response is fast enough that my 16 years old son who is developmentally delayed (mentally like a 2 years old) use it all the time, and is not frustrated by it. the intuitive layout and interactions allows him to be more independent than even a regular book (as we’d have to read a book to him, while on the tablet, the book read itself). he uses a whole bunch on interactive books (dr. seuss, etc..), netflix, and some other apps that are not too challenging. the kindle fire was very difficult for him to use. the response was too slow so he can’t see/feel the connection of his actions to the screen. and would get frustrated.
        the ipad mini is just like the ipad2. he uses both, when one battery runs out, he would want the other one. I use whichever ipad he’s not using. i find that i’m just as happy surfing the net on the ipad as the laptop, if not happier.

        i know that the kindle fire can do everything that an ipad can, however, the speed and intuitiveness of the ipad made it so much easier to use. the kindle fire now only gets use when i’m camping or vacationing somewhere and want something to read, and don’t want to worry about losing my device. so while it’s true that the kindle indeed do everything the ipad can, it’s not getting use at all because it’s not a pleasant experience, while between the 2 ipads, they get use about 13 hours everyday, to enrich and entertain a boy who wouldn’t be so independent without them. so thanks apple for that.

      • charly

        you are comparing a older and cheaper tablet to a newer and more expensive tablet. It should be news if the expensive tablet wasn’t better.

      • thang

        the kindle fire was bought after the ipad2. the kindle fire was introduced after the ipad2, that’s what it was competing against. i’m not say kindle fire is crap, it just doesn’t get much use because it wasn’t as good an experience.
        some folks keep saying that android and ipad are the same, so why pay more. i’m just sharing my experience.

      • obarthelemy

        That’s why I steer clear of Kindles: they’re not really Android, never get updated, and don’t offer much apps since they’re supposed to be media-viewing gizmos.

        Apart from costing a third ($199 vs $599 at launch) than the iPad 2, I don’t see much point in them. On a regular Android tablet, the suggestion would be to put a lightweight launcher, better browser (Amazon’s SYLK is notoriously bad), and for the more adventurous look for an updated ROM.

        Actually, there’s a CyanogenMod 10.1.3 RC for the original Kindle Fire (codename otter), same as the one which is keeping my Nook alive. The fun starts here: http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Otter_Info

      • tfd2

        iOS devices have much more than ‘OK’ performance. this makes them easier to use, which makes people use them more. see the recent benchmarks on android tablets taking almost twice as long as iOS devices to respond to touch inputs.

        but by all means, if you’re happy with your ‘OK’ performance, and love the $100 market segment, go for it.

      • charly

        The $100 market segment has also advantages compared to the $300 device. You don’t have to worry about theft or your 5 year old who uses it as a hammer.

      • tfd2

        in that case, i would say that you’re not buying a tablet to be a tablet, but to be not stolen, or to be used as a hammer. choosing the right tool for the job is important.

      • obarthelemy

        I’ll own up to using my tablet as a coaster sometimes… y’ouve got to justify that gorilla glass :-p

      • Sander van der Wal

        Errr, you have 5 devices, and the best one is 600 dollar. I’m sure that by the time that device costs 100 dollar, you’ll pay 100 dollar for it. But right now you need to pay 600 dollar for it. Which you did.

        The point then is, while in the future, things will be cheaper. But everybody lives in the here and now, and they are buying their stuff in the here and now. Right now I cannot use a device that I will buy for less in 5 years time. And in 5 years, I canot use a device that will be available in 10 years.

        And I also do not understand why you bought 3 more, apart from the Nook, unless is is a hobby.

      • obarthelemy

        My point was, you don’t need to spend $600: $100 devices *today* are more than OK to do more than “browse the web” (sic).
        Also: yep, I’m trying out gadgets as a hobby. Keep them a few months, sell them on for (bigger and better) cheaper and often smaller.

      • Sander van der Wal

        The cheapest stuff that will do a task is never as good as more expensive stuff doing the same task. Whether it is good enough to do the task at the annoyance level one can live with is an unknown. So one investigate. That takes time, and expense. One can also buy the most expensive device one can pay, and not investigate.

        As for the 100 dollar device being good enough, you paid 700 dollar to come to that conclusion.

      • obarthelemy

        Yes. More expensive == better == more performance.
        Say, I’ve got a bridge to sell….

      • obarthelemy

        I’m curious about why of the other devices, you only find the Nook justified. Is it because it has a brand ? The Mate is my (large) phone, and the Venus is superior to the Nook is every aspect except screen luminosity.

      • Sander van der Wal

        Indeed. The other devices do sound like OEM jobs, and what if they are only available in France? Waste of time trying to figure that out.

  • John Willis

    When you go on the show Horace, do you get a chance to “pre-answer” a few questions, or do they just keep throwing fresh questions at you on purpose? It really seemed that they were trying to follow a different narrative than you were.

    It would be nice if they truly recognized that their narrative is wrong, and truly helped their viewers by understanding what you are trying to say. They really seemed to have a difficult time understanding the role your “toy” is playign in the market.

    • davel

      In my reading of the show they were throwing questions at him related to the common themes of the day with regard to Apple. I think Horace did a good job answering those themes. Of course they did not allow him to just talk about his themes much. They did recognize Horace’s talents. They made much of his education background and the other guest had his questions too.

      I think Horace did a good job. He was not able to go into his analysis in part because his case is a bit more nuanced. He was held as an expert on Apple and mobile computing and his one big contribution about the junk Android devices out there and their uses was a good one I think. It is a powerful argument refuting the Android ecosystem dominance theme.

    • http://www.asymco.com Horace Dediu

      I don’t get any questions in advance. There is no prescribed agenda and the only suggestion in the invitation was that we might talk about tablets.

  • blenheimorange

    Are the market share chart Q212-Q213 believable (Top 5 Worldwide Tablet Vendors)? Tim Cook surely made a reference to the ‘shipped vs sold’ for android tablets. It’s not enough to say they are junk tablets. Are people really buying junk and using them?

  • Walt French

    Nice talk. Given the toxic forum where the panel members want to preen for the regular viewers (who probably tune in for just that reason), you got a lot of great ideas out.

    Wish I would’ve had seen this clip over the weekend where I tried likewise to push the theme that Apple’s disruption is NOT of the phone market — because a $600 “phone” is NOT a low-end disruptor of a $60 phone — but rather the other $540 of the phone (or the $329 tablet) is a very flexible if limited, low-end disruptor of Wintel. You succinctly made the point of iPad+iWork being a low-cost, easy-to-use, flexible platform that’s good enough for many lite productivity scenarios.

    In the last Fed news conference I watched, a number of reporters were using iPads as note-taking devices. (Another large fraction had MBA’s.) If iOS8 offers a side-by-side or top+bottom option for two apps, iOS now has about 95% of the population’s need for “full multi-tasking” covered. Stick that iPad into a Logitech typing tray and Apple could have the default platform. If the Microsoft CEO search committee knocks at my door (

    • Space Gorilla

      I use my iPad 2 in a ZAGGFolio as a replacement for my MacBook Pro for business/travel/meetings use. The angled touchscreen plus hardware keyboard is very comfortable and easy to use. I got used to it very quickly and now prefer it over my MacBook. And of course the iOS 7 ‘panes of glass’ lend themselves very well to multitasking.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/azulum azulum

    Interesting that these financial pundits seem to take as writ that the iPad is more expensive than the iPhone—when a same 16GB iPhone is $20 more than the same GB iPad+LTE—and that Apple pursues a strategy of planned obsolescence. The narratives that subsidies and the pace of technology create sure are amusing.

    • http://Marcos.Kirsch.com.mx/ Marcos

      The whole planned obsolescence comment was off topic and misguided. It’s an urban myth that companies design their products to become obsolete in a specific time. Tech Companies spend their trying to move technology forward. One side effect of that is that things become obsolete. It’s always been this way and it’s not some evil conspiracy. It bothers me that someone who has never worked in technology gets air time to perpetuate this myth.

      Kudos to Horace for staying on topic and not addressing the planned obsolescence comment.

      • tfd2

        agreed, i wish the hosts would not have interrupted as much, but horace did a great job. as to the ‘planned obsolescence’ comment, i wish he could have had a chance to point out how apple supports their devices with software upgrades for a couple years, where as android devices are lucky to ever get an upgrade after they’re released.

      • obarthelemy

        fact check: Android devices of the Nexus and Google Edition persuasions are updated for years. People who care about speedy and guaranteed updates should choose these. You know, choice…

      • http://www.noisetech-software.com/Home.html Steven Noyes

        Fact check: How did that Nexus One fair on being updated for years. Hint. Not very well. It never got to the plural of years.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/azulum azulum

        It’s the salient narratives that are most pernicious.

        Even in non-tech domains, I’m not sure that planned obsolescence was ever a real strategy—just the result of cheap stuff being cheaply made to be sold as semi-disposable from the outset, like IKEA furniture. It was more profitable than making fewer, more expensive, higher quality goods (note that the disposal costs are not included). The dynamics are not far from the difference of between IAP apps and those sold for an upfront price in the App Store.

        Behavioral Economics strikes again.

      • obarthelemy

        I’m not sure what you mean by “salient”. It means “remarkable” ?

        I’m sure you’re mistaken about obsolescence though: it doesn’t mean “to break”, it means “to become obsolete”, and as such is pretty much specific to tech markets since you need specs evolution for obsolescence to actually happen ?

      • https://twitter.com/#!/azulum azulum

        You know, all this time I thought you were a troll. Turns out you just can’t be bothered to read and research others’ ideas.

        I’ll explain the first:

        “Salient” means it sticks around. “Remarkable” is one way to look at it, but better, I think, easily observable and memorable. Those ideas which are hard to grasp are not typically salient. Some may argue for Occam’s razor dictates that the salient idea be the default—but the narrative simplicity (a.k.a. cause and effect) is usually *not* the simplest explanation, just the one that most readily comes to mind. This is the narrative fallacy. The way our brains compress logic make it easier to store narratives than data

        As for the second:

        Planned obsolescence <—CLICK IT

      • JohnDoey

        That is ridiculously stupid in about 2 ways.

        The metric system obsoleted a lot of Imperial toolkits. Had nothing to do with wear and tear or breakage of the Imperial tools. Had nothing to do with computers (aka “tech.”)

      • obarthelemy

        Actually, I’m fairly sure Apple think more about how to extract more money from their current customers than of how to conquer new ones.

        Existing customers are the low-hanging fruit, especially when you’ve got the “premium” ones. It’s easier to get 10 of them to upgrade or buy an extra doodad (cases ?) than to get a new customer, and both garner as much profit (cases are 90% profit, phones “only” 60%).

        Also, subsidized customers, Apple’s mainstay, are not that many, so better cajole and revenue-optimize the ones you do have. That’s what the whole closed ecosystem, lack of SD, etc… are about.

        Planned obsolescence is just one step out, and follows the same logic. Ideally, a mostly captive market company would do it, I’m I’m getting a whiff of that with the iP5S’s camera and lack of larger Flash RAM options, but maybe industrials constraints and/or lack of competitive pressure also contribute to that.

      • sdcard

        SD cards are an awful user experience.

      • charly

        In what way?

      • Space Gorilla

        Heh, obviously you didn’t live through the Zip disk era.

      • Kizedek

        Oh, man! I forgot about that — spindles and spindles of CDs/DVDs and racks and racks of Zip disks and had to chuck out about 2 per week. I had a Jazz drive too, but I never used it, not once!

      • Space Gorilla

        I had a Jazz as well, I had ‘em all, that was the only way to manage client files. What a nightmare. No way am I going back to anything like that. Cloud or on the device, that’s it. I don’t mind external drives either, but it has to searchable all at once, not card after card or disk after disk.

      • sdcard

        Inconsistent performance, require file system management, confusing behaviour (e.g. app data on SD card, app in flash) etc.

      • marcoselmalo

        The one thing for which I would find SD cards really useful is photo, music, and movie storage. I’ve got a 16 GB iPad, and I am really fighting the space limitations. Next iPad is going to be a 64 GB.

        I would also consider using the iPad for video work if there was a way to work off of SD cards. I still prefer the iPad to any other tablet out there. It really is a PC replacement. But I would like it if it had a SD card slot.

      • JohnDoey

        Get a bigger iPad.

        The SD does not help, it just delays the inevitable upgrade. Buy the iPad with the storage you need for the next 2 years and be done with it.

        If you want access to more data on iPad, there are many storage devices that can put 2GB of video into your bag which the iPad reads over Wi-Fi.

      • charly

        An SD filled with kids movies is easier than more storage. Cheaper too

      • marcoselmalo

        I’ve got one of those wifi hard drives. Very clunky, but does the job more or less. However, wifi is not workable for editing video, at least not last time I checked. (Before we get into a pissing match over this, I’ve got a great deal of professional experience in digital video dating back to 1999. If you know of pro solutions that involve editing material over a wifi, I’m all ears. I’m not interested in “theoretically possible”.)

        That said, you are 100% correct that my next iPad should have more storage. I’m thinking at least the 64 GB. At the time I bought my iPad 2 16GB, I had no idea it would be my sole computing device.

      • JohnDoey

        Everything about them. The data is unique, not backed up. The card can be lost or broken. Once you have multiple cards you can’t find which data is on which one. Capacities are too small. Cards are too expensive. There are multiple sizes, requiring adapters. Some devices restrict what kind of data can go on SD, as opposed to internal storage. The user must also be familiar with hierarchical file systems in most cases just to store or retrieve data from the card. The card is insecure compared to local storage which is encrypted and remote-wipe capable.

        How could an SD card be anything other than a terrible experience for 90% of humans, 90% of the time?

        If you don’t understand that, you do not understand the consumer market.

      • charly

        What do you mean by expensive. 16GB for $20 means you are being fucked. And yes it is true that if you use them to store programs or settings that it is complicated so don’t do it. but they are perfect for storing music, photo’s and video.

        People other than Mac-apologists like them

      • JohnDoey

        Half of Apple’s customers are new during the entire 21st century. Apple has to design to please both new and returning customers.

        I have an original iPad here that still gets a full day of use almost every day. Still goes for 8–9 hours on a charge. Still has better security than any Windows system. This iPad has paid for itself 10 times over. It is running at something like 5 cents per hour of use and that continues to drop as it is still used. The idea that Apple products do not last or do not return value is ABSURD. They easily pay for themselves.

      • charly

        A 5 year old iMac can’t use its Safari browser on the internet so the idea that Apple products don’t last is simply correct

  • charly

    Today i opened the toy store gift book for Santa Claus. It had two different brands of made for kids android tablets. Something i didn’t see last year. This is one of the reasons why IOS will be a runner upper in a few years time.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/azulum azulum

      made for kids android tablets.

      Question: How do you make a bad product?

      Answer: Make it for kids.

      (Some jokers might say—use Android, but I disagree. Android has come a long way in four years.)

      My girls have no problem using the iPad mini—they don’t care that it’s not pink with the clutter of fat plastic. It’s Vader black, and they ask for it by name. Certainly the iPad is unlikely to retain its crazy share of the unit sales with the likes of Amazon, Google, Samsung and Asus making capable devices at lower prices, but iPads remain useful far longer, so the usage statistics should remain at the astronomic levels they’ve been for ages.

      • obarthelemy

        “I see no evidence of a single company selling more tablets than Apple for the foreseeable future”; That’s par for the course when you choose to go it alone. Is it iPad vs Galaxy Tab or iOS vs Android ?

      • MarkS2002

        Look at what happened in the PC world. Sales way down, quarter after quarter, Dell way down, HP way down, IBM sold to a Chinese company, Gateway long gone. No margins lead to no profits. It will be instructive to see what happens in the Android community as similar economies tear it apart.

        Apple, curiously, among the most successful companies in the world. It is hard to argue with results, although some people like to tilt with windmills…

      • obarth

        Apple “old PC” sales are down too, so I’m not sure what your point is ?

      • Kizedek

        “old” ;) ??? Blow me down, is Obart finally getting it?
        I know it’s hard for you, but thanks for admitting that Apple adapts, innovates, goes in new directions, disrupts, creates new markets, envisions the future, plans for the future…

      • obarthelemy

        I admire your ability to read so much, and whatever you want, into a simple chronological adjective.it touches on the poetic, with a lot of license.

      • Kizedek

        Thanks! I for one admire the ability of pundits and Apple critics to carry on about (“old”) PCs, deny the transition to a “post-PC” era, and talk about how downturn in PC sales “affects” Apple as much as anyone….

        And yet, pundits ignore the sale of 20M iPads per quarter: devices capable of most of the computing needs that most people routinely do; devices more profitable and more interesting than netbooks ever were before they all but disappeared (and more profitable and interesting than most “old” PCs as well); and realising that the likes of IBM, HP, Dell, etc. are struggling in the “old” PC business, while each of Apple’s businesses are about the healthiest and largest of their kind in the world.

        But you know this, which is why you had to qualify your statement with “old”.

        Apple’s (“new”) iPad business is larger than many OEMs “old” PC businesses… so, MarkS2002′s point, which you took issue with, stands:

        “Apple, curiously, among the most successful companies in the world. It is hard to argue with results, although some people like to tilt with windmills…”

        A lot of personal computing has moved on from the “old” PC, while the OEMs haven’t, and Apple has — that’s the point you profess to fail to grasp, again with the obtuseness you seem to be proud of.

      • MarkS2002

        My point is that the Windows loaded PC clearly won the battle over the Mac; but it hasn’t been without severe costs to many of the companies that produce the hardware. Without the healthy margins, it is something of a Pyrrhic victory. I expect the same of the iOS Android war, with Samsung and Moto the Android survivors and Apple continuing to sell the iPhone (and the Mac) in healthy quantities while moving on into new product areas.

      • JohnDoey

        No, the Windows PC did not clearly win the battle with the Mac. Windows provided LOW END Mac clones only. Windows never replaced the high end.

        Apple takes over 50% of PC industry profits by itself. The best-selling PC model every yer since 1998 is a Mac.

        The next-generation mobile version of the Mac also makes the next-generation mobile Windows look ridiculous. How did HP do when computing went mobile? How did Microsoft do?

        Are you saying that HP wouldn’t trade its PC business for Apple’s PC business? HP made almost no money on PC’s since the 90′s.

        Who won the PC wars? APPLE. They not only made the most money of any PC maker, they provided the design and technology leadership, and they alone ported their PC successfully to mobile. The comparison only gets more absurd as we continue to go forward and iOS makes more money than the entire generic PC industry including Microsoft.

      • charly

        Windows is not a low end mac clone. Only a cool-aid drinker would say that. It is cheaper but that is because there is much more competition and as proof see the profit margin of the PC makers.

        Apple sells mainly to consumers and a little bit to small businesses. HP, Lenovo, Dell etc. have large sales to large companies & institutions and those sales are used as loss-leaders.

        HP would want to have a consumer division like Apple. But Envy & Alienware try to be that with some success.

        Apple lost the PC wars as total profits are not important otherwise Porsche would be much more important than GM but it isn’t. Apple is almost completely gone for Fortune 500 companies. Only hope to be bought by gamers is if Mac OS X is SteamOS compatible which is sad. They only sell to artist types or those who use their computer purely as internet machine. This last market is lucky for Apple the biggest PC market but they are way overpriced in this market.

        There is also the issue that you compare Apple with Dell. But Dell is purely a middleman and middleman without rarely have high profit margins. Looking at the margin that Apple makes on a Mac and compare that with Microsoft makes on a PC and they look much more alike

      • https://twitter.com/#!/azulum azulum

        I think you mean “tilt at windmills”.

        And yes, many would like to slay perceived giants that are actually useful for getting real work done. Knights-errant abound. Emphasis on the errant.

      • MarkS2002

        My apologies for the errant choice of preposition. I believe that the proposition stands. None of those PC makers sit at the top of the charts, due to the economics of the industry. The PC pie is baked and sliced into too many pieces while the Apple pie serves just one.

      • Kizedek

        Par for the course? No, it’s par for the course that those who don’t focus on making the best product struggle to sell as many units as the company which does.

  • berult

    Usability, as beauty, is in the the eyes of the beholder.

    The model here is the human brain. The Apple end-user uses a smart device within a dynamics of optimization, just as one smart individual will subconsciously push neuronic usage past the roughly twenty percent horizon.

    Don’t look for spec differentials for a passionless understanding. Metrics distilled from the beholder’s blood-and-sweat line, alone, tell the crux of the Story.

    Neither a cult, nor a trend, nor a fad, nor bondage from either vassalage or brand dependency, …a naturally occurring bond of fertility between symmetrical strategies. If we insist in playing the spec game, an iPad assembles into constantly morphing networks the very same neurons as we…

    Describe my iPad, …and you will have just circumscribed me.

    • obarthelemy

      Yep. Same with my Android.

    • Space Gorilla

      Heh, obart didn’t understand a word you said :)

  • Stephen Olson

    I never understood the ‘planned obsolescence’ claim against Apple. Their products are durable relative to competitors. They’re supported with software updates (free in the case of iOS) for multiple years. Releasing new and improved products does not affect products already in use. It can only affect people’s perception of the older products.

    • charly

      A software stack on the internet without update is obsolete the moment a hole isn’t fixed. And Apple stops updating it software relatively fast

      • Stephen Olson

        I know someone who uses an iPhone 3G and it works just fine. iPhone 4 is three years old and is supported with iOS 7. That seems like solid support to me.

      • charly

        If i look at Mac OSX i see something else

      • Stephen Olson

        Which would be?

      • charly

        Every 10 year old windows PC can still be used. No 10 year old Mac can still be used for its intended use. In fact a 5 year old IMac best use is as paper weight

      • intended

        Ah, if we’re going by software updates does that mean that most Android device can never be used for their intended use?

      • charly

        You will be able to buy updates for any reasonable sold phone made by one of the third party Android distributions

      • intended

        I have no idea what this means.

      • charly

        I didn’t say updates, i said security updates. And for battery powered devices i would say that 5 years is minimum for security updates. If most Android devices don’t deliver that than they are not fit for use.

        What is actually the end-of-life policy for iPhones?

      • Stephen Olson

        Plenty of people use 5 year old Macs. Specifically, why do you think an old PCs > old Macs?

      • charly

        Because it gets security updates and even macs need them

      • Stephen Olson

        I don’t know what you mean by that.

      • charly

        A 10 year old windows pc still gets security updates while a 5 year old iMac does not get them. Not even if you offer Apple money for it.

      • Stephen Olson

        Mavericks will cost what, $20 to upgrade to? That’s far less than upgrading from XP to Win. 8. I’m not sure if your claim is true, but even if it is, a 5 year old Mac probably doesn’t need security updates in the first place.

      • charly

        So you can update a Imac you bought in August 2009 to Maverick? That is not (officially?) possible. XP is old but i doubt that there are many Vista era Macs that can be updated to Maverick. Normally my claim would be true because their unstate end-of-life is only the last two releases get updates but they seem to have changed that. But who knows when they will end-of-life 10.6?

        5 year old iMacs had java installed. That clearly needs security updates and the browser highly likely too.

      • Stephen Olson

        Even if you couldn’t upgrade an old Mac it wouldn’t really matter because the 2009 Mac is still useable. Whether or not it’s supported indefinitely with new software updates is irrelevant. There lots of old PCs that can’t run Windows 8. An old Mac is solid with or without a sofware update. Not improving something after it’s release does not equal ‘planned obsolescence’. The product still performs it’s original function.

      • charly

        It isn’t usable. A webbrowser with a big hole in it is simply useless and consumers buy computers mainly to surf the web so a mac simply does not perform it’s main original function without security updates.

        ps. I don’t know why imacs are called iMac but i(nternet)mac would be my logical guess. Without security updates no internet as you will see when XP is E-O-L-ed

      • Stephen Olson

        It’s not useless, the user could always get security software. I’m not aware of any huge security holes for old macs. My primary focus was on iPhones also as they really are the main target of the ‘planned obsolescence’ claim. Also old Macs retail for a higher % of the original purchase price compared to PCs. Why would people pay more for something that is more obsolete? Personally I’ve had Mac and PC laptops and the Macs have lasted longer.

      • charly

        I won’t say that is was useless, just not as useful as it was. And using Safari on such an old machine to surf is unwise to say the least. Mac have status, PC doesn’t. That is the main reason why. But the whole $300 for a new PC is another reason. If you can buy a faster new one for less money than the depreciation on a Mac.

        ps. Lasted longer than the software security updates?

      • ICallShenanigans

        iMacs sold in Mid 2007 and later can run the current OS X, Mountain Lion. The Mac mini and Xserve are the systems with the least legacy support, requiring a 2009 or later model. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5444. Mavericks has not been officially released, but all signs indicate the requirements will remain the same as Mountain Lion. http://osxdaily.com/2013/06/11/os-x-mavericks-system-requirements/

        Apple no longer offers security updates for Tiger, which was released in 2005. Apple still releases security updates for Leopard, which was release in 2007. http://www.google.com/search?q=site:apple.com+leopard+security+updates

        Any machine purchased in 2007 will likely run the current OS for at least another year, and will have security support whether you upgrade or not.

        Your previous assumptions were incorrect.

      • JohnDoey

        A 5 year old unpatched Mac is still exponentially more secure than a patched XP system of any age. So your point is moot.

      • charly

        How did the cool-aid taste?
        A hole is a hole. OpenBSD with a hole is less secure than windows ME without holes.