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Tablet sales up 26%, Apple's iPad takes 95% of market

post #1 of 42
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With little competition in the market thus far, Apple's iPad unsurprisingly has a dominating share of all tablet sales, and has also helped to drive the demand for tablets up by 26 percent last quarter.

A total of 4.4 million tablets in total were sold in the September quarter, according to a report from research firm Strategy Analytics issued on Tuesday. Apple announced it sold 4.19 million iPads in the last quarter, representing the lion's share of the market.

Last quarter's total tablet sales were up 26 percent from the previous three-month frame, when total sales amounted to 3.5 million. Those sales, too, were driven by the launch of the iPad in April.

"The tablet wars are up and running," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston reportedly said. "Apple has quickly leveraged its famous brand, extensive retail presence and user-friendly design to develop the tablet segment into a multi-billion-dollar global business."

Tablet-style devices running Google's Android mobile operating system represented just 2.3 percent of the total market in the third quarter. That share is expected to rise as devices like the Samsung Galaxy Tab come to market this fall.

Still, with its 2.3 percent, Android was the second-largest tablet platform on the market, beating Microsoft's Windows platform, which has been a part of stylus-based tablets for years.

In his company's most recent earnings report, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs highlighted the growth potential for the iPad in a market that is in its infancy. He and other executives noted they have been surprised, in particular, at how fast the iPad has been adopted in the corporate sector.

"We've got a tiger by the tail here, and this is a new model of computer which we've already got tens of millions of people trained on with the iPhone," Jobs said. "And that lends itself to lots of different aspects of life, both personal and business."
post #2 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Until or if we ever see a real Tablet with something like HTC hardware running Android 3.0 then Apple will continue to have the entire market.

A lot of the announced stuff looks promising. But as of now, nothing really interesting has hit the market.
post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

A lot of the announced stuff looks promising. But as of now, nothing really interesting has hit the market.

In my opinion, the only other tablet worth mentioning is the HP Tablet running WebOS. I'm sure the software and hardware will integrate nicely as Apple has managed to do with its iPad.
post #4 of 42
It will be interesting to see the iPad's relative numbers a year from now. Competing tablets will have all sorts of crazy configurations: USB ports, SD slots, removable SIM cards, dual cameras, and they'll tout Flash compatibility!

The iPad will be incrementally improvedit will probably gain a camera and maybe an SD slot (50% chance), but it will never get USB or removable SIM cards. iPad competitors, anti-iPad pundits and trolls will talk about the lack of USB as a major shortcoming of the iPad. The question will be whether the market, that is consumers, agree. I think only time will tell.

I think Apple has fairly specific design guidelines for iOS devices; i.e. they will never have USB or any physical I/O interface other than the 30-pin dock connector. I'm still 50/50 on the SD slot. If you must have USB, then move up to Mac OS X hardware.
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post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

I'm not sure how this is even news worthy because there isn't any real competition. This was suppose to be the year of the tablet and Apple is the only one that put out a real Tablet.

I am actually surprised its not 99% of the market. .....

Huh? Then, what exactly are the 3.5 million 'tablets' that the article says were sold in the previous quarter?

(Ah, I get it: Those were iPads too.)
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

I'm not sure how this is even news worthy because there isn't any real competition. This was suppose to be the year of the tablet and Apple is the only one that put out a real Tablet.

I am actually surprised its not 99% of the market. Until or if we ever see a real Tablet with something like HTC hardware running Android 3.0 then Apple will continue to have the entire market.

Also I didn't mean real as if the iPad is not a real Tablet I meant real competition from Google. Which doesn't exist at this point.

Windows Tablets are real tablets and been around for years. They also have full desktop OS, which we've been told over and over are much better tablet than the iPad with its iPhone OS (iOS now)
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Huh? Then, what exactly are the 3.5 million 'tablets' that the article says were sold in the previous quarter?

(Ah, I get it: Those were iPads too.)

I agree. I don't get these guys that rant about Apple being ahead due to no "real" competition. How many YEARS had the other players had but squandered their opportunity?

There is no "real" competition yet because the other makers (as usual) are playing catch-up. They waited to see what Apple came up with first before they dip their feet in the water. Now, they have the pressure of trying to come up with something with the polish of the iPad, and especially at a price-point that is competitive with the iPad as well and that is probably where they will have the most difficult time competing against.

Oh.. but wait until Android comes out... then <insert blah, blah Android comment here>
post #8 of 42
I am curious what the MS-tablet share was in the first quarter of 2010. Had to be pretty darn near 100%. In 2 quarters since that time, they have dropped to less than 2.3%. How the heck did that happen? It isn't like the tablet is a new category. They've been out since the early 90's. As a matter of fact, Steve Ballmer predicted that Portable Handheld devices would one day overtake PCs. That was back in 2000. 10 years later, MS has practically nothing. Apple and Google have a huge market share. I can't believe there is not a single Windows 7 Tablet product that is capturing our attention this holiday season.
It is absolutely amazing how quickly Apple has stolen practically all of the market share for this computer category so quickly.
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

Windows Tablets are real tablets and been around for years. They also have full desktop OS, which we've been told over and over are much better tablet than the iPad with its iPhone OS (iOS now)

I know you are not saying this, but your post made me think of this:

It is a mistake to equate full desktop OS Windows tablet devices with mobile OS iPads. They are two very distinct products. The former are just regular laptops without hardware keyboards. They share all the advantages and disadvantages of full-on desktop Windows OS. The iPad and impending tablets with WebOS or Android are designed from the ground up to be something else--with their own advantages and disadvantages. One would never equate a laptop to a desktop, yet the distinction between mobile OSes and desktop OSes is even greater.
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post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


It is a mistake to equate full desktop OS Windows tablet devices with mobile OS iPads. They are two very distinct products. The former are just regular laptops without hardware keyboards. They share all the advantages and disadvantages of full-on desktop Windows OS. The iPad and impending tablets with WebOS or Android are designed from the ground up to be something else--with their own advantages and disadvantages. One would never equate a laptop to a desktop, yet the distinction between mobile OSes and desktop OSes is even greater.

Right, but MS had "Pocket PC" a mobile OS that was available in 2000, where is it now? What mobile device is using a modern version of that mobile OS?
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

It will be interesting to see the iPad's relative numbers a year from now. Competing tablets will have all sorts of crazy configurations: USB ports, SD slots, removable SIM cards, dual cameras, and they'll tout Flash compatibility!

Like with the iPhone, all devices combined outnumber it, but there isn't a single device that can come close to it's numbers.

You can bet your bottom dollar that before long the market will be saturated with 500 different tablets shipping with Android. Collectively they will outnumber the iPad, individually their units sold will pale in comparison to the iPad. While this is great for Google, manufacturers like HTC and Motorola will soon realize that in order to compete, they're gonna have to differentiate, which means creating their own OS. They're essentially competing with each other, rather than with Apple. In my opinion, this blurs the line for customers - in their minds, buying Motorola is no difference than buying HTC, since they both run the same OS.

This is just my opinion, though. What do I know?
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Like with the iPhone, all devices combined outnumber it, but there isn't a single device that can come close to it's numbers.

You can bet your bottom dollar that before long the market will be saturated with 500 different tablets shipping with Android. Collectively they will outnumber the iPad, individually their units sold will pale in comparison to the iPad. While this is great for Google, manufacturers like HTC and Motorola will soon realize that in order to compete, they're gonna have to differentiate, which means creating their own OS. They're essentially competing with each other, rather than with Apple. In my opinion, this blurs the line for customers - in their minds, buying Motorola is no difference than buying HTC, since they both run the same OS.

This is just my opinion, though. What do I know?

I totally agree. While collectively Android devices will be competing against iOS devices, individually, they'll be competing against each other. What's more, they'll all be racing to the bottom, which will kill their margins, while Google will laugh all the way to the bank, because they will make money regardless. Meanwhile, the iPad will continue to turn in impressive numbers.
While people say they prefer choice, it's really not true. Too many choices is complicated and confusing. Yes, in the Android world will be able to "choose" between Motorola and Samsung and HTC and whatnot, but those choices are about as meaningful as closing your eyes and picking one at random.

Graphic designers and web designers know it's not good to show the client 50 different design options. It's best to just give them a couple or three "choices" and let them pick their favourite from those. Apple understands this, and their sales numbers bear this out.
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post #13 of 42
Just like the iPod, Apple is first to market, has the bigger share and others will try to play catch-up but never will. UNLESS, some ACTUALLY makes a better product.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmikeo View Post

Right, but MS had "Pocket PC" a mobile OS that was available in 2000, where is it now? What mobile device is using a modern version of that mobile OS?

Like the Newton, the Pocket PC was a good idea whose time had not yet come. We had to have ubiquitous WiFi and 3G for such portable devices to have anything approaching the connectedness and usefulness of any smartphone. You could argue that developments related to the iPod and iTunes Music Store also had to be in place before any pocket computer would function well enough to be truly popular.
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post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmikeo View Post

... . As a matter of fact, Steve Ballmer predicted that Portable Handheld devices would one day overtake PCs. That was back in 2000. ...

It's one of the very few predictions Ballmer has made that has actually come true. (Or did he say that simply because Bill Gates told him to?) They were both obviously hoping that WinCE (aka Windows Embedded Compact aka Pocket PC aka Windows Mobile aka SmartPhone aka Windows Phone 7 Series) would be that future popular "Portable Handheld."

Or maybe Ballmer was hoping that the round Windows peg could somehow be jammed into the square tablet hole. And let's not forget that Bill Gates himself took every opportunity to wave a UMPC around, stylus and all. (There's something about Bill Gates that causes him to make everything he announces extremely dull, but that's beside the point.)

I have seen precisely two Windows tablet devices in the wild. The first was in 2001 at a meeting (at Oracle, of all places) where some dope was scribbling as fast as humanly possible on it, with a stylus, trying to take notes. And the other sighting was at a bar in Monterey, CA, about 2 years ago. It was in its case, he wasn't using it, and I asked the guy what it was. He mumbled something about "portability" and I flashed him the "Mac geek" t-shirt I was wearing under my jacket. He shut right up, even before I mentioned rumors of an Apple tablet.

So yeah, good vision there, Ballmer. You managed to predict Apple's current dominance in mobile.

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post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

In my opinion, the only other tablet worth mentioning is the HP Tablet running WebOS. I'm sure the software and hardware will integrate nicely as Apple has managed to do with its iPad.

Do you mean the one that's not shipping, or announced, or mocked-up, and only lives in the dreams of those who doze under the shadow of unicorns? I couldn't agree more! But it gets owned by the third gen iPad, wouldn't you say?
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post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

While collectively Android devices will be competing against iOS devices, individually, they'll be competing against each other. What's more, they'll all be racing to the bottom, which will kill their margins, while Google will laugh all the way to the bank, because they will make money regardless. Meanwhile, the iPad will continue to turn in impressive numbers.

Agreed. I don't expect the Andro-tablets to take off like Android handsets have done. The iPhone only being available on AT&T so 2/3 of US customers had Andorid as the only choice. The iPad is now everywhere. It's not like you have to buy an android tablet because your phone company doesn't have the iPad...

Also don't forget: Not even Adroid 3.0 is made for tablets. According to Andy Rubin (Android's main man), it's a version after 3.0 (called Honeycomb) that's built for tablets. Coming out some time in 2011...
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Like the Newton, the Pocket PC was a good idea whose time had not yet come. We had to have ubiquitous WiFi and 3G for such portable devices to have anything approaching the connectedness and usefulness of any smartphone. You could argue that developments related to the iPod and iTunes Music Store also had to be in place before any pocket computer would function well enough to be truly popular.

True. Now fast forward to 2010. Apple now has 95% of the tablet market, using a mobile os. MS has 0% of a tablet market using a mobile os, and less than 2.3% using a desktop os. (the largest os in the world) Kinda sad don't you think?
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

In my opinion, the only other tablet worth mentioning is the HP Tablet running WebOS. I'm sure the software and hardware will integrate nicely as Apple has managed to do with its iPad.

I agree, WebOS looks nice and HP will likely make a nice tablet. The big, big difference is content. Very few web os apps are available and will likely take a little time for current apps to upscale for a tablet. HP/WebOS does not have a media market like iTunes. People will buy apps from HP's Marketplace. Movies and music will come from Amazon. Books, newspapers will be from wherever. Apple has a huge upper-hand in media content. I can't wait to see what Apple has in store for us with their data center. I'm guessing Apple isn't spending $1Billion just to host apps, movies and music. Something big is going to happen and it will be just another added value that Apple will offer to differentiate it's tablet from the rest.

I am looking forward to the HP WebOS tablet, assuming it ever gets released. I think it will be another competitor that will keep Apple on their toes.
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmikeo View Post

True. Now fast forward to 2010. Apple now has 95% of the tablet market, using a mobile os. MS has 0% of a tablet market using a mobile os, and less than 2.3% using a desktop os. (the largest os in the world) Kinda sad don't you think?

No argument there. But a more realistic sharing of the pie will evolve as Android tablets and Windows 7 tablets start to appear. In fact I expect iPad to eventually to lose its majority share just as the iPhone has when faced with an onslaught of copy cat almost as good devices at lower price points. The iPad and iPhone will quite simply be what the Mac has been for years, the best premium product in their respective classes, used by those who can afford and appreciate them.
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post #21 of 42
Where is Microsoft's tablet? where is Google's tablet? etc etc etc.....
post #22 of 42
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Originally Posted by zindako View Post

Where is Microsoft's tablet? where is Google's tablet? etc etc etc.....

They're coming, bet on it. If something is successful and can be copied they will do it. Although it will likely be only the OS that they'll make, leaving the hardware to anyone.
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post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmikeo View Post

As a matter of fact, Steve Ballmer predicted that Portable Handheld devices would one day overtake PCs. That was back in 2000.

Actually, Capt. Kirk and Dick Tracy kind of beat him to the punch. That's one of those predictions that anyone can make. I predict that in the future personal transportation that flies will overtake that which rolls on rubber tires on concrete pathways. (Kind of inevitable don't you think?)
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post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

In my opinion, the only other tablet worth mentioning is the HP Tablet running WebOS. I'm sure the software and hardware will integrate nicely as Apple has managed to do with its iPad.

I am going to suggest that the RIM Playbook might actually do pretty well. Simple because of name recognition more than anything else.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Actually, Capt. Kirk and Dick Tracy kind of beat him to the punch. That's one of those predictions that anyone can make. I predict that in the future personal transportation that flies will overtake that which rolls on rubber tires on concrete pathways. (Kind of inevitable don't you think?)

Not really, given the amount of energy involved in elevating a vehicle of any kind. But your point stands. :-)
post #26 of 42
It seems to me the right framing for an article like this is something along the lines of "A few modestly selling competitors to the iPad are just now tentatively making their way onto the market, nearly a year after that device's introduction, and are managing to eke out a few percentage points of share. It remains to be seen how additional announced products will fair in the market that the iPod created."

That, rather than "the tablet market is heating up" or "tablet sales are up" or any of that. The iPad was a new kind of device that caught the incumbents napping, it's had the "tablet market" (as that term now must be defined) to itself up till now, and whatever variations in that market have to be attributed to the iPad itself, not some imaginary larger context where the iPad's fortunes must be compared to nearly imaginary devices.

What part of that 26% rise in "tablet sales" was accounted for by the iPad? Do the math: Apple sold 3.27 million in the quarter the article sites as having 3.5 million tablet sales total, all but 230,000. Against 4.19 million iPads and 4.4 million total tablets this quarter, or all but 210, 000. In other words, the non-iPad segment of the "tablet market" is actually shrinking, and from this we are to understand that the "tablet wars are up and running"?
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post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmikeo View Post

Right, but MS had "Pocket PC" a mobile OS that was available in 2000, where is it now? What mobile device is using a modern version of that mobile OS?

Dozens of phones use it. Verizon sells at least a couple.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I totally agree. While collectively Android devices will be competing against iOS devices, individually, they'll be competing against each other. What's more, they'll all be racing to the bottom, which will kill their margins, while Google will laugh all the way to the bank, because they will make money regardless. Meanwhile, the iPad will continue to turn in impressive numbers.
While people say they prefer choice, it's really not true. Too many choices is complicated and confusing. Yes, in the Android world will be able to "choose" between Motorola and Samsung and HTC and whatnot, but those choices are about as meaningful as closing your eyes and picking one at random.

If the above is true, then how does it follow that there will be too much choice? There will be a tablet from each OEM (and of course in different sizes and memory/connectivity configs) but that's about it. That certainly won't be too much choice. I suspect tablets are going to be handled differently from phones. OEMs aren't going to be putting out a new tablet line-up every 6 months. Once each OEM nails down a form factor, all you'll really see are spec bumps....exactly like Apple is doing now.

As for margins, we'll see. I suspect that even Apple's margins will drop as competition heats up....albeit not to the same level as the other OEMs. And I suspect this will happen in the phone space too....just give it time. There was a long lag and no effective competition for the iPhone until Android's phenomnal rise this year. And now you have not just Android but Windows Phone 7, an upgraded Symbian and a revamped Blackberry OS nipping at the iPhone's heels. It's not too hard to command good margins when you have 95% of the market. But when you have substantially less than that? I don't think these dynamics (and by that I mean Apple's crazy margins) will hold forever....though Apple will always make tons of cash for its shareholders.
post #29 of 42
As of now there are 53 days until Christmas. If they haven't made it to market by now, you can pretty much count any potential iPad competitors out so far as holiday shopping is concerned.

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post #30 of 42
War? What war? This is no war, this is a fucking massacre! It's like a 21st century war machine invading some territory in the 2nd century BC. Which is defended by people with sticks. Boom. Boom. Boom!
post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

but wait until Android comes out... then <insert blah, blah Android comment here>

The Droid boys will declare it superior months before anyone even sees a live demo. Funny how they deride Mac as aficionados "macSheep", while the ads for the products they prefer promise to turn them into robots.

I guess the irony just gets lost in their circuitry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

Not really, given the amount of energy involved in elevating a vehicle of any kind.

Ironically, some of those bleating loudest for flying cars are also demanding that everyone drive a Prius.
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

If the above is true, then how does it follow that there will be too much choice? There will be a tablet from each OEM (and of course in different sizes and memory/connectivity configs) but that's about it. That certainly won't be too much choice. I suspect tablets are going to be handled differently from phones. OEMs aren't going to be putting out a new tablet line-up every 6 months. Once each OEM nails down a form factor, all you'll really see are spec bumps....exactly like Apple is doing now.

As for margins, we'll see. I suspect that even Apple's margins will drop as competition heats up....albeit not to the same level as the other OEMs. And I suspect this will happen in the phone space too....just give it time. There was a long lag and no effective competition for the iPhone until Android's phenomnal rise this year. And now you have not just Android but Windows Phone 7, an upgraded Symbian and a revamped Blackberry OS nipping at the iPhone's heels. It's not too hard to command good margins when you have 95% of the market. But when you have substantially less than that? I don't think these dynamics (and by that I mean Apple's crazy margins) will hold forever....though Apple will always make tons of cash for its shareholders.

Except that the iPad is priced extremely competitively, Apple's margins notwithstanding. If Apple is getting "crazy" margins for the iPad, what are we to make of the asking price for the Tab? Has Samsung gotten greedy?

How about the iPod Touch? Not seeing a lot of small tablets selling for less. The iPhone? Yes, that's being undercut by Android handsets, but arguably because of carrier subsidies and a willingness on the part of struggling handset makers to make almost no money at all in order to drive market share. LG is losing money, Motorola is barely eking out a profit, Samsung and HTC are pretty much holding steady.

Apple can both sustain margins and undercut competitors prices because they have the iOS machine completely wired. Shared componentry, economics of vast scale, locked in bulk purchases, fine tuned supply chain, etc. And has been noted many times, they're making all the money in the segment, just sucking up the profits.

As far as the economics of scale starting to work for Android tablet makers, why couldn't Samsung seriously undercut the iPad's pricing right out of the gate? It's "just a big Galaxy S" isn't it? They make a lot of their own hardware, don't they? What's going to happen that's going to allow Samsung (or any of the subsequent Android tablet makers) to drive those prices down? The OS going to get cheaper? Those phone parts that they're already shipping by the millions going to suddenly decide to yield to market pressures brought on by modest volume increases?

What will happen is that there'll be a lot of no-name entrants with rock bottom pricing and build quality to match, which of course will be just fine with a certain segment of the market. But that will actually hurt Samsung and LG and HTC worse than it hurts Apple.
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post #33 of 42
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post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Except that the iPad is priced extremely competitively, Apple's margins notwithstanding. If Apple is getting "crazy" margins for the iPad, what are we to make of the asking price for the Tab? Has Samsung gotten greedy?

I do think Samsung's made a terrible mistake with their pricing. I suspect they just don't want to devalue their product early. But I think they'll be forced to do it once they get disappointing sales results.


Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

How about the iPod Touch? Not seeing a lot of small tablets selling for less.

Umm...those small tablets (like the Dell Streak) are significantly larger and more capable than the iPod Touch. Samsung's newly derived media player (Galaxy S sans 3G internals) is the first true Android competitor to the iPod Touch. I think this is a growth area many Android OEMs have ignored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

The iPhone? Yes, that's being undercut by Android handsets, but arguably because of carrier subsidies...

And that's not going to get better. Forget the USA. As Android picks up in the rest of the world, I predict there's going to far less willingness by carriers to foot the Apple premium on behalf of their customers. That will drive down Apple's margins with time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

....and a willingness on the part of struggling handset makers to make almost no money at all in order to drive market share. LG is losing money, Motorola is barely eking out a profit, Samsung and HTC are pretty much holding steady.

HTC is holding steady with record profits??? Motorla is barely eking out a profit. And that's a positive after nearly being wiped out from the business altogether. I would say that's quite the turnaround. But hey, if you don't count turning around revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars as substantial, that's your call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Apple can both sustain margins and undercut competitors prices because they have the iOS machine completely wired. Shared componentry, economics of vast scale, locked in bulk purchases, fine tuned supply chain, etc. And has been noted many times, they're making all the money in the segment, just sucking up the profits.

Again. That's a snapshot in time. What happens as competition picks up? That's the defining question. While Apple has its advantages (some of which you have pointed out) I don't necessarily agree that Apple's large (almost excessive) margins are destined to continue forever.

Consider for example, your suggestion of iOS as a strength. It is. However, that doesn't mean Android is a millstone around the OEMs necks. How much would it cost each of them to develop their own operating systems? Where would they be without Google's efforts? I would suggest that Google has saved a lot of them from outright failure, competing with Apple.


Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

As far as the economics of scale starting to work for Android tablet makers, why couldn't Samsung seriously undercut the iPad's pricing right out of the gate? It's "just a big Galaxy S" isn't it? They make a lot of their own hardware, don't they? What's going to happen that's going to allow Samsung (or any of the subsequent Android tablet makers) to drive those prices down? The OS going to get cheaper? Those phone parts that they're already shipping by the millions going to suddenly decide to yield to market pressures brought on by modest volume increases?

Again. Agreed. I think Samsung made a mistake, which I expect they'll learn from and rectify in the next few months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

What will happen is that there'll be a lot of no-name entrants with rock bottom pricing and build quality to match, which of course will be just fine with a certain segment of the market. But that will actually hurt Samsung and LG and HTC worse than it hurts Apple.

I disagree that this low end segment hurts Samsung, LG, HTC. More like this segment would simply not exist without these cheaper options. Moreover, there's nothing stopping the larger OEMs from addressing these markets (with say 5in tablets or 4in media players like that new Samsung Galaxy S media players).
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetz View Post

I do think Samsung's made a terrible mistake with their pricing. I suspect they just don't want to devalue their product early. But I think they'll be forced to do it once they get disappointing sales results.

And do what, take a loss on each sale?

Quote:
Umm...those small tablets (like the Dell Streak) are significantly larger and more capable than the iPod Touch.

The Streak is $549 sans subsidy, so it's also significantly more expensive. So why the huge margins?

Quote:
Samsung's newly derived media player (Galaxy S sans 3G internals) is the first true Android competitor to the iPod Touch. I think this is a growth area many Android OEMs have ignored.

How much does it cost? If it isn't significantly cheaper than than the iPod Touch, why is Samsung demanding such high margins? That's what we're talking about right, not just if someone makes something Touch like.

Quote:
And that's not going to get better. Forget the USA. As Android picks up in the rest of the world, I predict there's going to far less willingness by carriers to foot the Apple premium on behalf of their customers. That will drive down Apple's margins with time.

So how does that work, exactly? Most Android phones get cheaper and cheaper, with the end game being free on contract? And where does the money come from, again? If Samsung can't build a 7" tablet priced competitively without carrier subsidy, why do you think Android phones are such a good deal for the carriers? I think that everyone is forgoing money to grab market share, but that model isn't sustainable. I don't think Android pricing disparity will get worse, I think there'll be a shakeout with the HTCs, Samsungs, etc. trending towards "hero" phones priced similarly to the iPhone (which is what they need to charge to make a decent return) and the vanilla Android market taken over by no name Asian clones that are worth every penny of their free price.

Quote:
HTC is holding steady with record profits??? Motorla is barely eking out a profit. And that's a positive after nearly being wiped out from the business altogether. I would say that's quite the turnaround. But hey, if you don't count turning around revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars as substantial, that's your call.

If you look at the last 5 years or so HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG are basically flat, with only HTC making modest gains. "Hundreds of millions" isn't much money in the global cell market, and it's chump change in the global CE market.

And that's with Android phones selling like gangbusters. Where's the real money? Again, how can Apple be making so much profit if their pricing is so out of line? Android's growing, but so is iOS, and massively. Why would Apple want to "compete" with a race to the bottom of no profit commodity pricing propped up by subsidies?

Quote:
Again. That's a snapshot in time. What happens as competition picks up? That's the defining question. While Apple has its advantages (some of which you have pointed out) I don't necessarily agree that Apple's large (almost excessive) margins are destined to continue forever.

How has competition not "picked up"? Android is skyrocketing. Apple is still making all the money. Android is the OS of choice of struggling handset makers, else they would have developed their own OS ala MS and RIM.

Carrier subsides completely distort the cell market. I think the tablet market is going to demonstrate just how far Apple has come with controlling costs. All 7" tablets coming to market are priced at least as much as the iPad, when unsubsidized. According to you, Apple's inflated margins should make it easy for the competition to swoop in and seize market share with sharply lower pricing, but that's not happening. Apparently because they're not actually competing yet, for some reason.

Quote:
Consider for example, your suggestion of iOS as a strength. It is. However, that doesn't mean Android is a millstone around the OEMs necks. How much would it cost each of them to develop their own operating systems? Where would they be without Google's efforts? I would suggest that Google has saved a lot of them from outright failure, competing with Apple.

Agreed, but what does that say about these manufacturers ability to continue to innovate and advance the platform? Apple is pouring money into iOS. Android is represented by a bunch of manufacturers that couldn't afford to do their own OS and grabbed onto Android as a lifeline. Does that sound like a healthy basis for improvement, going forward?

Quote:
Again. Agreed. I think Samsung made a mistake, which I expect they'll learn from and rectify in the next few months.

I'm sorry, that's absurd. Samsung knows exactly what the stakes are, and they priced the Tab as low as they figure they possibly could and make it worth their while. Downward price pressure isn't just an unlimited game, where companies can afford to give all their stuff away just to drive sales. They have to be profitable. If Samsung substantially reduces the price of the Tab, it will have to be considered a loss leader, which isn't good for Samsung or the nascent Android tablet industry. Someone has to make some money somehow, and you're stuck on the idea that whatever Apple charges must leave a lot of room to price cut, on account of their high margins. I'm arguing that their efficiencies mean they can build these things cheaper than the competition, still make their margins while undercutting pricing.

Quote:
I disagree that this low end segment hurts Samsung, LG, HTC. More like this segment would simply not exist without these cheaper options. Moreover, there's nothing stopping the larger OEMs from addressing these markets (with say 5in tablets or 4in media players like that new Samsung Galaxy S media players).

If the idea is that cheaper wins, then why wouldn't no name products that cost less than an HTC item cut into HTC's sales? You explicitly believe that that very phenomena will hurt Apple, why not everybody else?
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post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futuristic View Post

I totally agree. While collectively Android devices will be competing against iOS devices, individually, they'll be competing against each other. What's more, they'll all be racing to the bottom, which will kill their margins, while Google will laugh all the way to the bank, because they will make money regardless. Meanwhile, the iPad will continue to turn in impressive numbers.
While people say they prefer choice, it's really not true. Too many choices is complicated and confusing. Yes, in the Android world will be able to "choose" between Motorola and Samsung and HTC and whatnot, but those choices are about as meaningful as closing your eyes and picking one at random.

Graphic designers and web designers know it's not good to show the client 50 different design options. It's best to just give them a couple or three "choices" and let them pick their favourite from those. Apple understands this, and their sales numbers bear this out.

The tried and true sales technique is for the salesman to give the potential customer 2 choices -- this does not include "yes" or "no".

If there are more than 2 choices available, the observant salesman picks the 2 the customer is likely to buy (and the salesman has available to sell):

Salesman: Do you want the 16 GB model or the 32 GB model?

Customer: I am leaning towards the 64 GB model.

Salesman: Do you want that without 3G or with 3G?

Customer: Without 3G.

Salesman: Do you want the Apple Case or the Brand X Case?

Customer: I don't need a case.

Salesman: Do you want the Standard warranty or the Extended warranty?

...

Obviously, there will be questions by the customer, intermingled -- but the salesman will always give the customer 2 "yes" choices.

... This was taught to me by a very successful shoe salesman -- and later reinforced by a very successful Apple Sales executive.


... Do you prefer something in brown or black...

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post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I'm arguing that their efficiencies mean they can build these things cheaper than the competition, still make their margins while undercutting pricing.

Yeah, like buying a half billion worth of flash or a half billion worth of displays or whatever in a block. Even Samsung, who makes flash, has to consider opportunity cost in terms of tablet pricing based on current flash pricing.
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by storneo View Post

Just like the iPod, Apple is first to market, has the bigger share and others will try to play catch-up but never will. UNLESS, some ACTUALLY makes a better product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Like the Newton, the Pocket PC was a good idea whose time had not yet come. We had to have ubiquitous WiFi and 3G for such portable devices to have anything approaching the connectedness and usefulness of any smartphone. You could argue that developments related to the iPod and iTunes Music Store also had to be in place before any pocket computer would function well enough to be truly popular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

In my opinion, the only other tablet worth mentioning is the HP Tablet running WebOS. I'm sure the software and hardware will integrate nicely as Apple has managed to do with its iPad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

... The iPad and impending tablets with WebOS or Android are designed from the ground up to be something else--with their own advantages and disadvantages. One would never equate a laptop to a desktop, yet the distinction between mobile OSes and desktop OSes is even greater.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0yvind View Post


Also don't forget: Not even Adroid 3.0 is made for tablets. According to Andy Rubin (Android's main man), it's a version after 3.0 (called Honeycomb) that's built for tablets. Coming out some time in 2011...

Here are what I believe are the Apple advantages in the Tablet space:

1) first to market
2) integrated design of hardware and software
3) iTunes / store ecosystem -- including developers
4) low cost/price due to economies of scale
5) reservation of critical parts and production lines
6) Tablet specific OS features
7) Repository of sophisticated OS APIs and Frameworks

I think that the last 2 items will allow apple to dominate the tablet marketplace for the foreseeable future.

Tablet specific OS features

iOS already includes features that exploit the additional real estate of the tablet -- this gives them at least a 6-month lead time.

A simple example to illustrate this is the mail app on the iPad -- it has a 2-column display, e.g. mail headers and selected mail detail (one column and popup in portrait mode).

Android * doesn't have this! WebOS doesn't have this! I am not sure about PlayBook OS, but I doubt it!

* The Galaxy Tab has implemented this by skinning Android with system-supplied apps that imitate the apps on the iPad. There is no API or Framework in Android to do this.

Obviously, Windows 7 is capable of this, but there is no Windows 7 that is practical for a Tablet.


Repository of sophisticated OS APIs and Frameworks

Apple did not create a mobile OS from scratch -- rather they took a robust, mature, existing OS and ported it to the mobile arena.

I can't overstate the importance of this!

Apple has a single core OS that runs on all its hardware!

That means that any features on the Mac that would be desirable on a tablet -- are there for the taking (porting).

Again, here's a simple example to illustrate what I mean:


Open iTunes and display the contents of your song library or a playlist in list view. The display will show several columns that all scroll together, vertically. When you tap the header of any column, the table is sorted by that column (alternately, ascending and descending). Also, you can resize and rearrange (drag and drop) columns

No big deal, right! On an iPhone, a multi-column table doesn't make much sense -- it would be too small to read and manipulate.

What about a tablet? Could someone taking inventory in a store, or drilling-down any data use a multi-column table?

I think so!

As of today, iOS does not support multi-column tables (nor do any of the other mobile OSes).

When Apple implemented the single-column table on the iPhone, it did not implement it from scratch -- rather, it subsetted and ported the NSTableView from Mac OS X to become UITableView.

If Apple decides (or developers insist) that a more robust multi-column table view makes sense in iOS -- it already has working code that it can port at any time.

There are several ways Apple could do this. I suspect they will re-implement NSTableView to run on iOS, then migrate it back to the Mac OS X Mothership.

Apple (and NeXT, before it) has been working for many, many years to implement features like this in Mac OS X.

No other Mobile OS has this repository!

No other Desktop OS has a Mobile OS version to which it can port,

No one but Apple has a single SDK for both desktop and mobile.


By the time the competition has this capability, Apple will have a uOS (Universal OS in Sol's words) that runs seamlessly on all its real devices and cloud devices.


BTW, a multi-colmun table might be useful navigating, say, an AppleTV. How about someone browsing for files on a tablet file system?

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post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

A simple example to illustrate this is the mail app on the iPad -- it has a 2-column display, e.g. mail headers and selected mail detail (one column and popup in portrait mode).

Android * doesn't have this! WebOS doesn't have this! I am not sure about PlayBook OS, but I doubt it!

* The Galaxy Tab has implemented this by skinning Android with system-supplied apps that imitate the apps on the iPad. There is no API or Framework in Android to do this.

This isn't an OS feature but the app. This is why the Samsung folks could easily replicate this.

Quote:
Apple has a single core OS that runs on all its hardware!

So does google. It's called linux. Linux sucks in comparison but there it is. Of course Google doesn't have a desktop Android yet.

WP7 is based on the WinCE kernel which is it's own kernel but the API level (WPF, XNA, .NET, etc) is common to the desktop. As common as iOS is with desktop OSX anyway.

Quote:
That means that any features on the Mac that would be desirable on a tablet -- are there for the taking (porting).

That's true for Android and WP7 as well given that folks have ported Java apps to Android and Windows apps to WinCE and presumably will again for WP7.

Quote:
Again, here's a simple example to illustrate what I mean:

Open iTunes and display the contents of your song library or a playlist in list view. The display will show several columns that all scroll together, vertically. When you tap the header of any column, the table is sorted by that column (alternately, ascending and descending). Also, you can resize and rearrange (drag and drop) columns

No big deal, right! On an iPhone, a multi-column table doesn't make much sense -- it would be too small to read and manipulate.

Actually there are many examples of multi-column tables on phone apps. I use them in mine. Apple, IMHO, has some advantages over Android here but not much over WP7. Frankly, developing UIs on Android isn't much better than developing on Java was. Possible to make very elegant UIs but a manual and annoying process.

Quote:
What about a tablet? Could someone taking inventory in a store, or drilling-down any data use a multi-column table?

I think so!

Already done.

Quote:
As of today, iOS does not support multi-column tables (nor do any of the other mobile OSes).

False. TableLayout in Android is one of the basic layouts. It supports rows and columns of arbitrary child views. Sorting by column you have to do yourself. After you do that once you can refactor that for any other app. There's probably one you can already refactor on CodeGuru or one of the other various coding how-to sites.

Quote:
When Apple implemented the single-column table on the iPhone, it did not implement it from scratch -- rather, it subsetted and ported the NSTableView from Mac OS X to become UITableView.

If Apple decides (or developers insist) that a more robust multi-column table view makes sense in iOS -- it already has working code that it can port at any time.

Or you can just code your own:

http://www.iphonedevx.com/?p=153

Apple improving UITableView would be a nice to have but given that TableLayout already exists on Android this isn't exactly moving the state of the art forward.

Quote:
There are several ways Apple could do this. I suspect they will re-implement NSTableView to run on iOS, then migrate it back to the Mac OS X Mothership.

Apple (and NeXT, before it) has been working for many, many years to implement features like this in Mac OS X.

Given that iTunes has these (via a prettified NSTableView) and MacWidgets replicated that in Java I'd say this is very much a solved problem and it was fairly trivial to do anyway. Not a many, many year effort.

http://code.google.com/p/macwidgets/

Quote:
No other Mobile OS has this repository!

False. Android's is probably behind iOS in terms of ease of development but I expect WP7 to be equal or better to iOS in terms of ease of development. From my experience I was mucking around with making the layout and UI not suck in Android while my iOS teammates were tracking down some memory leaks like 1999. WP7 has about 80-90% of the ease of use in terms of UI laydown using WPF as iOS and C# has garbage collection like Java on Android.

WPF and XNA are fully baked APIs with thousands and thousands of coders familiar with them.

Quote:
No other Desktop OS has a Mobile OS version to which it can port,

No one but Apple has a single SDK for both desktop and mobile.

Both false statements.
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


A simple example to illustrate this is the mail app on the iPad -- it has a 2-column display, e.g. mail headers and selected mail detail (one column and popup in portrait mode).

Android * doesn't have this! WebOS doesn't have this! I am not sure about PlayBook OS, but I doubt it!

* The Galaxy Tab has implemented this by skinning Android with system-supplied apps that imitate the apps on the iPad. There is no API or Framework in Android to do this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

This isn't an OS feature but the app. This is why the Samsung folks could easily replicate this.

You make my point! UISplitViewController is most-definetly an iOS API\t\t:

http://developer.apple.com/library/i...009370-CH3-SW1

Any iPad iOS developer can easily add this capability -- Any Android developer must RYO or DIY. There is little probability that Android apps [using this capability] will have a consistent look and feel across various implementations.

The forked iOS for the iPad (iOS 3.2) is full of things that were added or reimplemented for the larger screen and targeted uses of a tablet as compared to a smart phone. Likely, Apple worked on this for a year, or so, before the iPad announcement.

I suspect it is things like this that cause Google to say that Android is not tablet ready -- and won't be until 2 releases from now/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Apple has a single core OS that runs on all its hardware!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

So does google. It's called linux. Linux sucks in comparison but there it is. Of course Google doesn't have a desktop Android yet.

WP7 is based on the WinCE kernel which is it's own kernel but the API level (WPF, XNA, .NET, etc) is

I guess I should have been more specific (though I think you know what I meant).

I meant a core OS and its UI.

Do you think Google is going to offer and support a full-blown desktop OS? What UI? To what end?

Sure Linux qualifies for the OS part. But, who would want a Linux UI (which one) on a phone or tablet. Certainly not Google. Android provides the UI through s Java derivative. Java tends to supply a consistent, but meets-minimum. UI/UX.

WP7 is an unknown. It, likely, will have some success in the smart phone marketplace. It is unclear what MS is going to do in the Tablet space -- Windows 7 or WP 7 or Both.

AFAIK, these 2 OS variants do not share common code to the extent that iOS OS X and Mac OS X do. Apple has been working on re-implementing and consolidating the 2 OSes since before the iPhone was announced. For example, the Midi API, has been recently ported to iOS. The Mac OS X file system has always existed on iOS -- it's just hidden and sandboxed.

I feel fairly confident that Apple is working on an Universal OS. uOS, to run seemlessly on all Apple hardware. I am less sanguine that MS is doing the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


That means that any features on the Mac that would be desirable on a tablet -- are there for the taking (porting).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

That's true for Android and WP7 as well given that folks have ported Java apps to Android and Windows apps to WinCE and presumably will again for WP7.

Here, I was referring to Apple having a robust set of APIs and Frameworks including many UI constructs.

Because the underlying OS is the same, Apple can more easily migrate APIs/Frameworks in either direction.

This would relieve the app developer from doing the heavy lifting. and tends to provide a pleasant and consistent UI/UX.

In my experience neither Linux or Java provide anything but an "acceptable" UI and certainly not a pleasant UX for the average consumer.

Win 7 does provide a better UI/UX, but, as of today, this is not acceptable (in demand) on a smart phone or tablet. I don't know that MS plans to migrate APIs/Frameworks among W7 and WP7 (or if they even can).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Again, here's a simple example to illustrate what I mean:

Open iTunes and display the contents of your song library or a playlist in list view. The display will show several columns that all scroll together, vertically. When you tap the header of any column, the table is sorted by that column (alternately, ascending and descending). Also, you can resize and rearrange (drag and drop) columns

No big deal, right! On an iPhone, a multi-column table doesn't make much sense -- it would be too small to read and manipulate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Actually there are many examples of multi-column tables on phone apps. I use them in mine. Apple, IMHO, has some advantages over Android here but not much over WP7. Frankly, developing UIs on Android isn't much better than developing on Java was. Possible to make very elegant UIs but a manual and annoying process.

Sure there are -- I've written a couple myself. But they are very specialized and somewhat difficult to use on a phone-size device.

To be clear, I am talking about a single view displaying multiple, manipulatable, table columns -- as opposed to a view with a single table column, drilling-down to another column on a separate view.

I certainly have not seen nor written multi-column table apps that exploit all the NSTableView capabilities -- resizable columns, drag and drop column repositioning, intermingled fat rows, etc.

In most cases, multi-column tables are limited by the small screen size. On the larger screens, it makes more sense and is more useful.

But my point here, as above, is that Apple has an existing Mac OS X API/Framework that it can readily port to iOS.

So the developer can take advantage of the construct without having to do the heavy liftiing.

I've written most of the NSTableView capabilities in JavaScript -- It was a bitch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


What about a tablet? Could someone taking inventory in a store, or drilling-down any data use a multi-column table?

I think so!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Already done.

Sure. it's already done -- the hard way.

My points are:

1) with the proper API/Framework it is easy to implement, consistently -- without, it is difficult
2) Since Apple already has the construct running in a [largely] compatible OS it is relatively easy for Apple to migrate this to iOs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


As of today, iOS does not support multi-column tables (nor do any of the other mobile OSes).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

False. TableLayout in Android is one of the basic layouts. It supports rows and columns of arbitrary child views. Sorting by column you have to do yourself. After you do that once you can refactor that for any other app. There's probably one you can already refactor on CodeGuru or one of the other various coding how-to sites.

My example specifically refers to a table of multiple columns [simultaneously displayed] that can be easily manipulated as individual columns or as the table as a whole..

Even the beginning developer can write an app that displays a simple table (including using HTML in a WebView}

When you start to add the manipulation of the table columns. things start to get more complex: sorting; resizing columns; repositioning columns (drag and drop); horizontal scrolling of columns; fat rows....

As mentioned above, Apple has the capability to port NSTableView to iOS. NSTableview makes these capabilities easy to implement. Android has nowhere to get this construct other than to roll its own or copy Apple's implementation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


When Apple implemented the single-column table on the iPhone, it did not implement it from scratch -- rather, it subsetted and ported the NSTableView from Mac OS X to become UITableView.

If Apple decides (or developers insist) that a more robust multi-column table view makes sense in iOS -- it already has working code that it can port at any time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Or you can just code your own:

http://www.iphonedevx.com/?p=153

Apple improving UITableView would be a nice to have but given that TableLayout already exists on Android this isn't exactly moving the state of the art forward.

Two different things -- displaying a table and manipulating individual columns in a table.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


There are several ways Apple could do this. I suspect they will re-implement NSTableView to run on iOS, then migrate it back to the Mac OS X Mothership.

Apple (and NeXT, before it) has been working for many, many years to implement features like this in Mac OS X.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Given that iTunes has these (via a prettified NSTableView) and MacWidgets replicated that in Java I'd say this is very much a solved problem and it was fairly trivial to do anyway. Not a many, many year effort.

http://code.google.com/p/macwidgets/

Are you deliberately being obtuse. This thread is talking about tablets in general and the iPad in particular,

My post discusses the potential advantage that Apple has to port constructs to its mobile OS, iOS.

Yes this problem has been solved on the desktop -- it has not been solved on a mobile OS, particularly on a tablet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


No other Mobile OS has this repository!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

False. Android's is probably behind iOS in terms of ease of development but I expect WP7 to be equal or better to iOS in terms of ease of development. From my experience I was mucking around with making the layout and UI not suck in Android while my iOS teammates were tracking down some memory leaks like 1999. WP7 has about 80-90% of the ease of use in terms of UI laydown using WPF as iOS and C# has garbage collection like Java on Android.

WPF and XNA are fully baked APIs with thousands and thousands of coders familiar with them.

I was referring to desktop APIs/Frameworks (including UI) that could be easily migrated to mobile OS.

Sure, it's easier to write garbage-collected code -- it it better?

As to WP7 -- it is unclear whether MS plans to use it on tablets.

I do not know enough about WP7 to know if Win 7 APIs/Frameworks can be easily migrated to WPY. I suspect not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


No other Desktop OS has a Mobile OS version to which it can port,

No one but Apple has a single SDK for both desktop and mobile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Both false statements

I'll give you that...

I should have linked the 2 statements together:

Android has a mobile OS but no desktop OS containing a repository of APIs/Frameworks -- to port to the mobile OS.

MS has a Desktop OS with a repository of APIs/Frameworks -- but it is unclear whether MS will port these to WP7 for use on tablets.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


By the time the competition has this capability, Apple will have a uOS (Universal OS in Sol's words) that runs seamlessly on all its real devices and cloud devices.


BTW, a multi-colmun table might be useful navigating, say, an AppleTV. How about someone browsing for files on a tablet file system?

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