Jan 242012
 

It gets hard to talk about how insanely profitable Apple is – every quarter. Aside from running the risk of disappointing retarded analysts, as was the case last quarter when they nonsensically decided to go shithouse the quarter before a new iPhone was released, there’s this feeling that it can’t possibly last. That feeling was exacerbated this morning, as the Street started pushing estimates up hours before the earnings call.

Apple’s response to the hype made all of their prior performances look like dainty appetizers. I’ll try to put it in context with a couple of comparisons.

This quarter, Apple had:

  • Profit equal to its revenue 5 quarters ago and $3 billion dollars more than Google’s revenue from last quarter.
  • Twice Microsoft’s revenue and net income.
  • The 4th largest reported profit of any company – ever – and the only non-petroleum company in the top 20 all-time.

Macworld has some pretty jaw-dropping graphs that detail the carnage.

While knock-off iPhone expectoraters like Samsung keep poking fun at Apple with their shitty advertising, there is a kernel of truth to them. People form lines for Apple’s kit – 37 million iPhones and 15.5 million iPads this past quarter alone. Samsung sees no lines, and now they can’t even claim a unit sales advantage – even though they vomit a bazillion phones every quarter. Can’t wait to see your earnings this quarter, guys. I have a feeling you’ll be “HTC’d”.

Jan 232012
 

Verizon’s been taking a couple of stabs at advertising the second-best smartphone operating system and I have to say, the latest tie-in kinda nails it. Ladies and gentlemen, R2D2:

What better way to advertise Android than with an actual droid? The resemblances between Lucas’s reboot of the Star Wars franchise and Android don’t stop there, however. To wit:

  • Both bastardize popular original ideas to turn a buck with vastly inferior offerings
  • Both substitute eye-catching features to cover for their lack of substance
  • Both feature lead characters that have the likability of wet cardboard
  • Both have successfully suckered in millions, only to have them regret the experience

Android: the Episode I of smartphones.

Jan 132012
 

I confess I haven’t been following the whole Google, Search Plus Your World debacle, aside of muttering to myself “catchy name”. What I’ve picked up from my RSS feed is that Google has gone and flipped another one of those damn switches, and this one folds information from Google+ into your search results. This ostensibly ranks some results that favor Google and its services over results that, say, would give you the most relevant information.

Even though I’ve been turning a deaf ear to the latest exploit of Google’s search monopoly, according to Bloomberg, the FTC hasn’t. They plan on broadening their current antitrust investigation, which Google made public in June, to include Google S,PYW. Who says there’s no efficiency in government? Put your hand down.

I really hope all that talk about Eric Schmidt going into politics was just that. This guys appears at 2 Senate Subcommittee meetings chanting “Google doesn’t play favorites with search” over and over and now Google+ makes it 100 times more obvious than any of the algorithmic games that were being played before. At least then you needed smart people to root out their bullshit. This rises to a level of bluntness that even elected officials will be able to act on. Do Larry and Sergey secretly hate Schmidt? Maybe this is their idea of a practical joke?

You can bet that this piling on is going to yield some kind of blowback for Mountain View (in addition to the supernova of Schmidt’s political future), and it won’t be the kind of trouble that Larry will be able to buy his way out of.

Jan 132012
 

In an attempt to provide some unification to the cornucopia of ass that the apps in the Android Market resemble, Google announced a framework of design principles for the latest  version of the Android operating system. “Design principles” are a lot like “Mission Statements”: pretty words intended to signal some sort of unification, but really only as consequential as the means of enforcing them. And Google doesn’t really have the means. Samsung is going to continue with TouchWiz and HTC will keep slapping Sense over the base Android UI/UX. In terms of app developers, they fall into 3 camps. The vast majority produce cut-and-paste and/or knock-off shit and don’t give a whit about Android’s design principles. The ones who currently employ good design and make good apps for Android (both of them) are probably insulted by the principles’ obviousness, so it won’t effect them either. I suppose there is a small group of earnest developers seeking some direction that stand to benefit, so congrats to Google and artisan Matt Duarte on reaching those souls who are artistically gifted, yet in need of guidance.

This is Google’s latest attempt to address the rampant fragmentation that is encouraged on a Wild West platform like Android. If the mandated inclusion of the Holo theme on all ICS handsets is a stick, this is its analogous – and equally inconsequential – carrot. But I do hear ICS comes with some sweet new wallpapers.

I'd f*ck me.

Jan 122012
 

The Corporate Vice President for Corporate Communications at Microsoft (Redundancy Division), Frank X. Shaw, may well be the anti-Christ, but man I love it when he gets in Google’s shit. Remember when the Chief Shyster at Google started whining about the nature of patents and claimed that Redmond was “out to get” Android by teaming up with Apple, RIM, Sony and others to swipe the Nortel patents out from under them? Remember when Shaw tweeted the actual email that Google sent to Microsoft about a potential partnership that said “thanks, but no thanks“? Shaw may bear the mark of the beast, but he’s fucking hilarious.

Shaw’s latest dig refers to all the scratch Microsoft is making off of Android’s OEMs through the license agreements that all of the big manufacturers have been signing:

#occupyandroid

Redmond tipped the 70% point after signing up LG for the “extended we won’t sue your ass warranty”. The only major manufacturer not paying out to Microsoft? Hint: they duped Google into overpaying for them. Motorola gets to hide under Larry’s skirt while everyone else pays their tithe. That deal just gets better and better.

It’s a shame we don’t know how much these manufacturers are ponying up for the privilege of having Microsoft do nothing for them, but for the companies making Google’s kit, it’s as free as it is open. It has to be especially tough for suckers like HTC, which just announced that their October-to-December profits fell 41%.

So shine on, Frank X Shaw, you crazy diamond. The enemy of my enemy is…well…still my enemy. But Apple is stomping your hapless corpse in PC growth and in every category of consumer electronics where you two compete, so it’s easy to laugh at your tweets.

Jan 112012
 

John Biggs from TechCrunch is telling us how Samsung “can have it all” :

“So you have two superlatives: biggest phone manufacturer and biggest TV manufacturer. Add in some tablets, some washing machines, and some acceptable software and you have a real and vibrant ecosystem. The next year will bring plenty of efforts to bring streaming media into the home, but the guy who is already there will win.”

So this is what it takes for a “real and vibrant ecosystem”? Someone should tell the other guys who were “already there” (Palm smartphones, Rio mp3 players, and a long list of etcs.) that the game is rigged and they should have won. Apple’s success has come on the backs of products that were not “already there”; it came from executing flawlessly – mostly in markets where they had no prior presence.

The only thing Samsung’s “already there” status tells me is that history is pretty decent indicator of future performance.

Jan 112012
 

I’m starting to love MG Siegler almost as much as I love Daniel Eran Dilger. His explanation of why he hates Android gives some nice historical context, and I only disagree with one clause:

Because Google sloppily decided to do the Motorola deal (driven by the full-on patent war, for which Apple and Microsoft, and not Google, are largely to blame)…

Microsoft has a nice business collecting license revenue from Android OEMs. That’s not Apple’s motivation. Apple “started” the patent war – and yes, may have escalated it, in some cases unreasonably – because Android was such a blatant rip-off of the iPhone.

Maybe it’s the use of “blame” in a sentence structure that seems to exonerate Google – I don’t know. Other than that incredibly shallow gripe, I heartily recommend it.

Jan 032012
 

Happy New Year to all my beloved readers. May all your resolutions be rationally thought-out, and not something absurd like “post to blog every day”. Don’t know what I was thinking with that one.

When Apple introduced the iPhone 4S with the Siri personal assistant, you could almost hear the photocopiers warming up in Redmond and Mountain View. After all, when your business models are based on cloning someone else’s superior offering, a feature like Siri was never going to go uncloned. While we wait for Android’s official duplication (despite Andy Rubin’s insistance that Siri was “no big deal” when it was released), Android’s developer community of copyright and trademark destroyers ecosystem will have to step up in the meantime. Because the Android Market is moderated with the efficacy of an inner-city public school restroom, suckers who actually bought into this “Siri on Android” bong water were sure to be treated to something that may have looked a lot like Apple’s interface, but sure as hell didn’t do as much. Here’s the most egregious copy, Speerit, from a Korean developer courtesy of 9to5Mac:

Note the liberal use of the Siri icon complete with text bubbles. The other current entrant, the understated “Siri for Android”, rips off a whole bunch of iconography, complete with ads because we are talking about Android here:

Is it really that surprising that the earliest knock-offs of Apple’s Siri IP would come from the country Samsung calls home? I submit that it is not.

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