Saturday, July 17. 2010
Have been tres busy this week, hence no posts - but the non-admission of a design error on the iPhone 4 by Apple this week has been very amusing, on a number of fronts:
Form f*cked Function
The Beautiful Device got in the way of efficient Antenna design, essentially allowing Antenna attenuation to be added to by a 100 - 220 lb soft bag of salt water. Not good (If, as may even be the case, it was because they had no wireless engineers, then this is even scarier.
Pride Goeth before a #FAIL
What us nore intereting is that they must - MUST (surely) - have seen this result in testing before launch, so it is interesting to speculate why the launched regardless - after all the evental sticking plaster (that would work too...) was hardly rocket science or costly, and yet the impact of such an error is surely huge compared to whatever benefits were gained by launching at the time
How to win friends and influence people the Apple Way
The attempt to recover essentialy by blaming the users for the way they held it, or for whining, or for being hundred pound saltbags was an..."interesting" strategy. It plays well to the fanbois, but outside of that sanctum less well methinks.
Thats 3 strikes in rapid succession - what does this say about what is going on within Apple, one wonders?
Anyway, policy in Broadstuff Towers is to be a laggardly Early Adopter - always wait 6 months while The Market (aka the suckers who buy early) irons out the bugs (and beside, the price usually drops too).
Thursday, June 24. 2010
Apple fanboi behavioural psychology
What is it with Apple Fanboi's? The diagram above was drawn with respect to the iPad a few weeks ago, but its all happening again with the iPhone 4 (replace Curry's with Carphone Warehouse in the UK etc etc).
The only conclusion I can come to that describes this odd behaviour is that Apple fanbois get sexual pleasure from queueing in front of Apple stores. Come to think of it, maybe its the only type of sexual pleasure they get in the real world
Tuesday, June 8. 2010
New iPhone 4G vs Competitors (Source The iPhone Blog)
Now that the iPhone 4G is announced, as a way of reviewing it I thought I would look at the rather bad Torygraph Pre-Review piece and compare their views with the reality - as sort of post pre-review analysis of mainstream media journalism as wel as an iPhone review. There has also been a rather good analysis of the iPhone vs the other major competitors on TiPPB which is summarised in their chart above.
So, on to comparing reality vs the Torygraph analysis - here is the Torygrah (italics) vs reality
1) It’s expensive: Buy the top-of-the-range Blackberry or Android handset and you will still pay a lot less than the extortionate prices Apple charge
So - what would you give the Torygraph in accuracy? I think 2 out of 10 (Flash, Satnav) as those are factual. Nos 7, 8 and 10 are opinions and the kindest thing one can say about them is that they are irrelaevantly counter-intuitive. The rest are just wrong.
As to the iPhone 4G - well, in summary it is a small step ahead of the others rather than the gamechange that the original iPhone represented, but it probably does enough to keep the bulk of current iPhone users from migrating to mther devices, and will also competitively recruit some new users.
Monday, June 7. 2010
What's the best way to scoop the review of a much heralded new piece of geek bling? One option is to borrow it from a bloke in a bar, though that brings its own problems. Another is to review it before its even been released, and give it a foul review, as the Torygraph did last week for the Apple iPhone 4G, due to be outed today. Here are their 10 main points:
1) It’s expensive: Buy the top-of-the-range Blackberry or Android handset and you will still pay a lot less than the extortionate prices Apple charge. If the iPhone weren’t made by Apple, networks would have had to start giving it away on £30 a month tariffs years ago.
They then committed the ultimate sin in blogging, by moderating the comments to remove all the fanbois arriving with their burning digital pitchforks, so that (allegedly anyway) only those who agree with them saw the the bloggy dawn light. There has been Lots of Harrumphing about this (probably because a lot of people wished they'd thought of it first, I'll warrant) and of cours e- from a fanboi point of view - its all wrong, wrong, wrong.
Or is it? Lets just go through those points:
1) It’s expensive: Buy the top-of-the-range Blackberry or Android handset and you will still pay a lot less than the extortionate prices Apple charge
We are anything but Apple fanbois (just type in "Apple" in the blog search) and tend to cleave somewhat to the view in "Stuff White People Like" that Apple is largely bought by people who need to feel they are creative etc, but I must say if you were doing a Pre-Review based on zero knowledge of the pre-released product you could do a better extrapolation of what Apple is likely to do, and where the pros and cons are.
In short I'd say the Torygraph review scores about 2/10 tops in accuracy, but 8/10 in linkbaiting. Which was the point, after all, I suspect - they don't make their money from flogging 'phones.
Nor, as some wags would suggest, from accurate reporting
Saturday, May 29. 2010
The UK iPad Review Media Ecosystem
This review is in 3 parts. Firstly, technically, we can say that the iPad is:
- a tablet computer
Thats all you need to know about it technically. Now, let us look at it socio-behaviourally, because this thing is not about the Technology. It's about belonging to the faith (aka being able to show the length of your fanboi d*ck). Consider the behaviour traits:
Most people said they would use it for browsing the internet, or reading, or work etc but its really just so they can tell other people that they have one on Twitter, and say existentialist things like:
The third part of this review is to explain this phenomenon of the pathos of geek love, and how a closed, branded product makes right-on people who during the week opine for Open Source and Anti Capitalism etc etc go weak at their trembling knees for a bit of fluffy overhyped locked up tech bling. I turn to the Metrosexual Poseur's Gospel, "Stuff White People Like", Verse 20, "Apple Products":
Plain and simple, white people don’t just like Apple, they love and need Apple to operate.
Here endeth the lesson. And that'll be £600 please - I need to get mine too
Monday, April 12. 2010
Article by Paul Carr on the iPad as a reading device:
I think the dynamics are wrong - if anything Twitter, with all those minds constantly rubbing along against each other, is more like mental frotting than an iPad is. Anyway, it hopefully gives me a salacious linkbait eadline
But back to his main point, that the demographic that buys e-Readers is the same as that which will but ipads, and why have the single function when you can have it all?. His other point is that the reading experience of an iPad is far less pleasant than a dedicated eReader so that if the ipad wins out vs eReaders, then reading real, long form books will disappear as a pursuit.
I think he's a tad off beam as he is describing a perturbation in the market and extrapolating it to be the norm. I think two things will happen:
(i) The need to read long form media will remain for some considerable time - for business and pleasure
I'd predict that people will continue to use paper for quite a while yet, that e-Readers will keep a market segment for those that ave to do a lot of reading on the move, and that over time eBooks will increase as a market.
Sunday, April 4. 2010
Yup, its not just big media that are licking their lips:
iPad users will also soon have access to plenty of porn optimized for Apple’s touch-screen device, thanks to a number of studios working feverishly on converting their catalogs over and optimizing existing mobile offerings.
Now there is a surprise......predictable or what
Video of "The Internet is for Porn" courtesy "Avenue Q"
Saturday, April 3. 2010
There was an article by Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing about why he wouldn't buy an iPad:
In essence the argument is that by locking it down and being unable to tinker, this iPad device is letting the next generation of wannabe geeks down.
The response on Daring Fireball is something like "This is the Way now, get over it":
My own take on this is that they are both right, and wrong.
Firstly, the iPad is not the sort of device that will help the next generation of tinkerers. But this generation of tinkerers are not tinkering with the iPad and most other Apple stuff anyway. On the PC front they are mainly playing with WinTel devices, overclocking them, building their own gaming machines etc etc. They are also tinkering with mobile devices and mobile applications. To the extent that the iPad allows apps they will tinker with it, but thats it. Geeks love Android for that reason.
Secondly, the iPad demographic - in fact all of Apple's recent product's demographic - are not "real" geeks. Apple stuff is aimed at faux-geeks - the sort of people sent up so well in the "Stuff White People Like" blog:
You see, you don't actually need to be very geeky to operate Apple stuff. By locking it all up you can't f*ck with it:
An Apple device will by and large not embarrass you in public by requiring you to know how to dig into it and make it work. And for a mainstream adoption market this is essential for business success, and Apple does a brilliant job of selling to the (high margin) upper middle classes who want to feel that they are tres geeky.
But don't be fooled into thinking this is where today's real geeks are to be found, they will be wherever you can open stuff up and tinker with it....
As to the iPad taking off outside the fanboi/tech journo/road warrior market, we are yet to be convinced that its ergonomics work but its still very early days.
By the way, it has come to my notice that some Apple owners may be grumpy with me for the above, to which I must add that (i) Yes, I have an iPhone, and thus can creativley check my emails and (ii) White People Love to Be Offended
Update - Fake Steve Jobs does almost good a job as me on taking the p*ss on iPad Hype :
Price of iPad - $500. Value of the marvellous p*sstaking it is driving - Priceless
Thursday, April 1. 2010
There is a lot of hype about the iPad right now, but today news has reached us that Google is in the process of building its own iPad killer.
Google is clearly set on a new strategic initiative. They have clearly worked out that, in the future markets being able to aggregate content and sell ads against it is not enough. As Apple has shown, to really make money you need to own the end device as well. That way, you get the benefit of an end to end - and most importantly, closed - supply chain.
This is clearly very hard to do in the existing PC/Internet ecosystem, as to go up against WinTel, HP, Sony, Apple etc would be very expensive, even by Google standards. But to penetrate new end device markets as they emerge is a different story, as Google can then become an early player and influence the market. So for Google, the key is to identify new device driven end-to-end markets
Take Smartphones, for example. Planet Mobile was caught with one finger in its navel and the other up its *rse with the arrival of smartphones, allowing first RIM, then Apple to enter and take it away. Google has now started to execute it's strategy in Smartphones with the Android system. Its a classic "fast follower" strategy, but with limited success to date. Maybe they got in too late, maybe Mobile is one step too far for a company with PC/Internet DNA - time will tell.
But the iPad market is a different game, its far more of a PC derivative with tones of e-Readership. Google has already been bludgeoning the book industry to get all its content online, so what better than a Google device that optimises the reading experience and curation of the Ad serving against it, page by page?
In fact, owning the end user device gives Google an exciting extra amount of your data to mine:
- Your location - a Google device can constantly tell Goggle where you are, and even better, where all your friends are - all it has to do is parse the social graphs on the apps on your Google tablet
It will automatically serve targeted Ads against all content, and of course by owning teh OS Google ensures that users cannot use ad blockers etc. We understand that it will run under an expanded implementation of Android, and be mainly wizard driven (for the largely dumber mass market audience). The new OS is code named gWIZ (though Googlewags call it AlterVista)
Google is staying very quiet about the device right now, but all the signs are there that this is a serious play, and like Google Wave it is being developed by a large team somewhere out-US that is warm and near the beach. Cape Town and Rio de Janiero have been mentioned. The design of the device is said to be similar to the iPad, but also (to quote) "far more awesomer".
We also understand that the device is to be manufactured in Taiwan - rumours that the Chinese fracas was driven by their state-run firms losing the contract are apparently totally untrue.We are also told it now has its own project name code, OCULO (it sees everything) but may be called the gPad in the market.
We wonder if it will hit the gSpot?
Wednesday, March 31. 2010
Well, that was predictable - no sooner does Apple announce an iPad than a plethora of others break out of the long grass - Forbes:
I doubt they will be the only ones.
There are 2 main strategic questions for the iPad, firstly Economic:
Secondly, it may well be let down on comparative ergonomics, never mind economics. I was kicking this around yesterday with a friend from the BBC who asked some good questions:
Moore's Law solves all these things, but over time - which implies that devices coming in a year, 2 years later may be much better and make it hard for the first mover to gain advantage.
If it were anyone else but Apple I'd say the fast followers will win in a 3 year horizon, but this is the one consumer gadget company that can possibly carry it off.
Update - typical of the hype spiel is this post from Walt Mossberg. First, the standard "iPad is a laptop Killer" schtick from the fanboi glossies:
For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.
Fainting with damning praise Give him his due, though - he also sees some of the issues we do too:
But first, it will have to prove that it really can replace the laptop or netbook for enough common tasks, enough of the time, to make it a viable alternative. And that may not be easy, because previous tablet computers have failed to catch on in the mass market, and the iPad lacks some of the features—such as a physical keyboard, a Webcam, USB ports and multitasking—that most laptop or netbook users have come to expect.
As discussed above, I think this is a bigger "if" than Walt (and the rest of the Breathless Club) do in the short term.
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