While I was writing a comment on Alex Schleber’s post about the iPhone 5 event on Google+ I got a bit carried away and ended up with quite a long comment. Therefore I decided to copy it to my blog. Check the link if you are interested, or join the discussion in Alex’s thread or over here if you like.
My two cents: the iPhone 5 is a cool phone. The glass and aluminum body, the larger screen, faster CPU, longer battery life. All very nice improvements. But my guess is that most 4S users won’t be interested to upgrade to the iPhone 5 except for the fanboys and early-adopters. I am an iPhone 4S user and will definitely skip the iPhone 5 since my two-year contract will expire by the end of next year and the new features are not interesting or major enough for me to justify the upgrade. I’ll wait for the iPhone 6, or 5S, or whatever it will be called. In my logic, iPhone 5 customers will be former iPhone 3GS and 4 owners and the people who got tired of the Android experience when they bought a cheap-ass Android phone about a year ago, running Gingerbread, constantly running out of phone memory. People owning a more recent Android phone with version 3 or 4 of the Android OS probably won’t be interested in an iPhone 5. These Android phones can compete with the iPhone 5 easily on features, screen quality, camera quality, etcetera.
Continue reading Thoughts: My View on Apple’s iPhone 5 and iOS 6
After checking a few posts on the announced Microsoft Surface tablet, my opinion is that they hit a sweet spot here. It’s going to sell very well. The Surface tablet will run Flash and it will run Windows RT apps that can also run on a desktop in the future when Windows 8 is released. The Surface Pro edition will run all your existing Windows software and can be used in your home environment and in a business setting.
What I am seeing here is that the desktop world and tablet world are integrating slowly but surely. A few years from now, a lot of people won’t own a desktop or a laptop: they’ll own a tablet. It will be more than enough for everyday use for the majority of users. Hell, it will even be enough for most business users as well! This will be especially true if companies start making docks for tablets like Microsoft’s Surface that will transform it into a laptop-like device.
My bet is that an awful lot of people will want to own a Surface tablet or an other Windows tablet from an other manufacturer. People are already used to Windows on their machines, at home as well as at work. The step to a Windows tablet will be much easier for them than stepping into Apple’s iOS world. That will not mean that Microsoft is going to reign the tablet space. Apple is the undisputed leader here and will keep that position for the at least the coming 3 to 5 years. Manufacturers of Android tablets should be more worried in my opinion. They could lose market share to Microsoft’s Surface easily, especially when you consider the hybrid desktop/tablet usage combination.
Finally, here is a post with over a dozen of links to news coverage on the Microsoft Surface:
Here is a link to a very interesting opinion post on how much money Google makes from Android compared to iOS. Estimation of the earnings from Android have been based on Google’s proposed settlement of the Java patents lawsuit that was started by Oracle. I found the numbers surprising and they are probably not too far from the truth.
Link : Digital Trends – Wait, Google earns four times more from iOS than Android?
The Register published the following news on their website a few days ago:
A new study conducted by IDC and mobile-developer platform and services company Appcelerator has determined that as Google’s open source Android operating system becomes more and more fragmented, fewer and fewer developers are putting it on their “must-code-for” list.
When this subject comes up, I always point to these statistics, published by Tweetdeck in October 2010:
If the Android ecosystem was that fragmented already 18 months ago, consider how fragmented it is nowadays now that we have Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) added to the equation.
Oh, and don’t forget about tablet support that was added to Android 3.0, which makes the number of screen sizes and types of hardware even more diverse than it was 18 months ago.
Link : The Register – Fragmentation bomb wounds Android in developer war
Good news on the Oracle-Google-Android lawsuit. The final claim of the following ridiculous patent has been removed from the case:
transitory electrical and electromagnetic signals propagating through some medium, such as wires, air, or a vacuum
What the hell were the people thinking that granted this patent in the first place?
If you have time and are interested to read up on the Oracle-Google-Android lawsuit, then check out this extensive write-up at Groklaw.com linked below.
Link : Groklaw – Oracle Drops Final Claim in Patent ‘476 and Google Moves to Strike Portions of 3rd Oracle Damages Report
A number of times I posted links to Android malware news, like this one.
An important lesson in these messages was: don’t download apps from untrusted sources because you risk downloading an app that contains malware.
Every now and then though, the official Android Market gets infected with malware apps. And it happened again recently, where Google had to pull 22 malicious apps from the Market. The post linked below talks about an estimate of 14,000 infected users.
In total, Google took down over a hundred malicious apps already. Since Android phones are very popular with over 500,000 activations a day, I am afraid these malware practices will get worse. I hope I won’t be right and Google invents a mechanism to find and block these apps as soon as they appear.
In the meantime, people should not only be careful when downloading apps from external sources. The Android Market can contain a nasty bug every now and then too.
Link : CIO.com – Google Pulls 22 More Malicious Android Apps From Market
Just what the world was waiting for… *sigh*
[Georgia Weidman’s] Android proof-of-concept botnet installs itself in a fashion similar to the DroidDream malware, a trojan that could record phone conversations. The proof-of-concept botnet payload could be spread in several ways—either as part of a malicious application on an app store, or through a Web link sent to the smartphone or clicked in the mobile browser. “It ‘roots’ the phone,” she said, “and it works as a proxy between the cellular modem and the application layer.”
iOS users aren’t safe either. Weidman said that a similar botnet could also be created on iOS devices, but the malware needs to be distributed via a “jailbreak” package.
Link : ars technica – Researcher demos threat of “transparent” smartphone botnets
The lesson to be learned here is in the last sentences of the article:
In a related blog post, Juniper said it discovered a “trove of malicious applications aimed at Android users hosted across different Russia-based third party app stores,” which serves as a reminder to only download Android apps from trusted locations, like Google’s Android Market, Amazon, etc.
Link : HotHardware – Android Malware Infestation a Fast Growing Problem, Report Says
Today I read the post linked below that talks about a rumor that Oracle is planning to buy webOS from Hewlett-Packard. HP became the owner of webOS when it acquired Palm and released the Touchpad a few months ago that used webOS as its operating system. Sadly for HP, this tablet failed miserably and only became popular for a short while when the price was dropped to $99 in the United States, resulting in a fire sale.
The post is a bit cynical when stating the following:
Oracle? How does that work, you ask? Well, Oracle has close ties to Apple, since Oracle’s CEO, Larry Ellison, was one of Steve Jobs’ closest friends. This explains – in large part – Oracle’s interest in suing Google over Android’s use of Java technologies. Since Oracle probably has some spare change lying around, a purchase of webOS and associated IP may give them some additional patents to sue others with.
I sincerely hope that a great, though unpopular operating system like webOS will not end up as ammunition in patent lawsuits.
An other post on ZDnet publishes the same thoughts and has some other views as well. The link to this post can also be found below.
For the past few months I have been pondering: will I stick with Android or switch to iPhone? One of the strongest arguments for me to go for a new generation Android phone as the replacement of my (rather crappy) HTC Desire is the dedicated Gmail app. In my opinion this app is the best email experience on a mobile device available today. As a big fan of Gmail, this app is something I simply cannot live without. It has all the important features that the desktop version has: conversation threading, labeling and starring email, email address autocomplete using my Google Contacts, et cetera.
Well, the argument I made above may actually go out of the window. Rumor has it that a dedicated Gmail for iPhone is on the way. This app could be the argument that tips the balance in favor of the iPhone and steer me away from the Android platform.
Link : The Next Web – Could a native Gmail iPhone app finally be on the way?
Looking at the graphs in the article linked below, the iPhone 4S is about 80% faster than the Samsung Galaxy S2. That’s nearly double the performance of this flagship Android device. The benchmarks of the iPhone 4S are getting close to those of an iPad 2. Quite impressive.
I am very curious how the Nexus Prime with Ice Cream Sandwich will perform compared to the iPhone 4S. We’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out.
Link : AnandTech – iPhone 4S Preliminary Benchmarks: …
If you check the table in the article at Engadget.com linked below you’ll see that the Samsung Galaxy S2 beats the iPhonse 4S on 13 points where it comes to the hardware. That’s a not a good sign considering the iPhone 4S is not even in the shops yet. Every new Android flagship phone from Samsung, HTC, LG and other phone makers will leave the iPhone even more behind.
Link : Engadget – iPhone 4S vs. the smartphone elite: Galaxy S II, Bionic and Titan
The Samsung Galaxy Tab gets a fairly good review. When I look at the price tag in the US, which is $600, I think they could learn from that over here in Europe. In the Netherlands for example the recommended retail price is €750, which is over a thousand dollars. That’s an outrageous difference in price.
Link : Engadget – Samsung Galaxy Tab review
Windows Phone 7 gets quite a lot of positive responses in the media lately. The statements in this article are interesting because John Gruber has a preference for Apple products.
Link : Business Insider – Apple Fan John Gruber: Windows Phone 7 “Really Nice” …