Apr 282011

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Google’s Android OS for mobile devices will doom Apple’s iOS soon. Witness the impending savage brutality:

The analyst’s conclusion: Android will overtake iOS by July of this year. Looks pretty obvious from this graph, right? Not really.


1. Where did you people learn statistics?

Wanna hear something awesome? I will be a millionaire by the the time I retire and I have the statistics to prove it. You see: I found $100 bill on the street today. If you assume that I will find $100 on the street every day for *cough* *ahem* *cough* years, and allow for compounding at a modest interest rate, I will be a millionaire around 65. Screw the IRA!

Distimo used the February-March 2011 month-to-month data to project the June numbers. I know this because they say so in their write-up. Taking month-to-month growth of an app ecosystem and extending a line from it is as meaningless an exercise as taking any 2 short-term data points and extending a trend line from the segment formed. And speaking of drawing…


2. Where did you people learn to draw?

Maybe it’s me, but do you see the line come off a little “flat” for iOS in March and get a little goosed for Android around mid April? You guys know something we don’t? Wanna let us in on it?


3. Try looking up “ringtones” in the Android Market.

Wanna guess how many of these apps are conduits for pirated, copyright/trademark-violating properties? If you guessed “a shit-ton”, you’d be correct. People used to joke about how many fart apps were in the App Store. The Android Market wishes it had apps as valuable as the worst fart app ever put up. Distimo does note that Android now has more free apps than the App Store. Nothing screams “make money here!” to app developers as effectively as having more stuff not worth paying for in your market.


4. So I guess the iPad doesn’t count now?

We’re comparing OS markets, but we’re leaving out devices that make up part of the market ecosystem. I guess if you want a graph that fits well in landscape orientation, you have to cut some corners. Like not drawing our lines straight. Or making that ziggy line on the y-axis between 50,000 and 100,000 on a graph that spans 0 to 400,000. Hallmarks of a company that should be taken seriously.


If you’re banking on Android overtaking iOS in the near future, you’d feel a lot better if you sought out analysis that actually makes sense, as opposed to getting it from another no-name firm with zero track record looking to make a quick buck by using shitty statistics poorly.

Apr 282011

Google has come to fancy themselves as sophisticated manipulators of the media, which isn’t saying much since the collective media hivemind is about as sharp as a sack of wet mice. Witness the “user study” released by Mountain View today touting how awesome location-relevant mobile ads are. Given that this report uses data from the end of 2010, one would wonder why Google chose now – almost 5 months later – to release data about the effectiveness of mobile advertising?  The obvious motivation is the last clause of the topic paragraph:

“71% of smartphone users search because of an ad they’ve seen either online or offline; 82% of smartphone users notice mobile ads, 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase as a result of using their smartphones to help with shopping, and 88% of those who look for local information on their smartphones take action within a day.” (emphasis mine)


Let’s connect the dots. Yesterday, Apple responded to frothing media and political questioning about a .db file that contained what (to some) looked like a chronicle of user locations. Apple debunked the “tracking” myth by explaining that the locations discovered in the file were actually the locations of all nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers “to assist the iPhone in rapidly and accurately calculating location.” In a phone interview with Ina Fried, Steve Jobs also went on record as saying that Apple would be certainly be appearing before Congress about Apple’s practices that he would be interested to see how “lazy” the press would be in pursuing other location data collectors (i.e. Google), intimating that others might not be as “hands off” with location data.


I will bet anyone that this “Mobile Movement” Survey will be cited no less than 743 times by Google representatives during congressional testimony.

“So why is it that you need to actively track location and have that information sent back to Google on an ongoing basis? Apple doesn’t need to do this.”

“Apple and Google have very different business models. Consumers query Google using their mobile devices with an expectation of receiving location-relevant results. As we discovered in a survey we released earlier this decade year, an overwhelming percentage of people click on search results that are geographically relevant. In order to maintain these high quality results, it is necessary to track users wherever they go.”


The timing of the release of this survey was anything but arbitrary. It’s laying the groundwork for a more invasive level of user tracking and will serve as a justification for how “up in your shit” Google is when Congress calls them out.

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