Going is not now. Who knows where Samsung is going? As far as I can tell they still use Android for their newest products.
Interesting read, thanks. One of the reasons I check AI daily.
The question I have: If the days of broadly licensed OSes are over, what then? Will every vendor cook up their own OS? Samsung OS? Dell OS? LG OS? HTC OS? Apart from being an expensive task with a high risk of failing (see: Windows Phone, BlackBerry), I'm doubtful they have the human resources and knowledge to pull it off. Maybe with a mobile OS but certainly not with a desktop OS.
Personally, I love Apple and their ecosystem but the idea of Windows/Android isn't bad, it's the execution that's lacking.
You raise an interesting point.
IMO the key difference between Apple and Microsoft, Google and other competitors is that Apple is fundamentally motivated by Steve Jobs demand to create "insanely great" devices i.e. they give the highest priority to creating the highest quality user experience. They refuse to cut corners in terms of quality of hardware and finish. They go to great lengths to make their software intuitively easy to learn and use and to work across all their mobile devices. There is little question that Apple made a disruptive, revolutionary breakthrough in smartphones, which was well described recently by an Federal Appeals court judge, in a landmark case which ruled that Apple's touchscreen patent was valid and not "obvious" as Motorola claimed:
"The Smartphone has defined modern life. Be it in the workplace, the home, airports, or entertainment venues across America, individuals are tethered to their handheld devices. Not long ago, users primarily spoke into these devices. Today, fingers tapping, grazing, pinching, or scrolling the screen is a ubiquitous image that reflects how we conduct business, work, play, and live. The asserted patent in this case is an invention that has propelled not just technology, but also dramatically altered how humans across the globe interact and communicate. It marks true innovation."
Those "fingers tapping, grazing, pinching, or scrolling" gestures are intrinsically iOS and most are protected by a thicket of patents. Apple have extended these to the iPad and attracted developers to produce Apps first and foremaost for the iPhone and iPad, without the fragmentation problems of Android. Apple, unlike Google, insisted on vetting and testing iOS Apps. As a result survey after survey shows that iOS Apps are of a significantly higher quality than Android, and in fact significantly more numerous because Android Apps contain many duplicate, pirated copies. This difference is greatest in iPad Apps where there are more than ten times as many iPad Apps than Android tablet Apps, many of latter being just smartphone Apps 2x larger.
Google's motivation is totally different. Google's real interest is to get as many devices as possible using Android because their real motivation is to get as many clicks on Google adverts as possible. However their strategy is unravelling. They ignored other companies IP rights, infringed patents on a massive scale belonging to Microsoft, Nokia, Ericcsson, Motorola (until they bought them), Oracle, Apple and others. They originally were copying Blackberry and then changed to copy iOS. They ignored quality in favor of numbers and market share. They did not test or vet Apps, they did not care about carrier bloatware or fragmentation and resulting negative effect on user experience. Most users ended up with out of date versions of Android with many Apps simply not working or riddled with glitches, along with rampant duplication resulting from pirated copying of Apps. Google also left Android users users vulnerable to over 100,000 malware, viruses and all sorts of criminal scams. They and Samsung have paid companies like Strategy Analytics to create large fantasy shipping numbers of Android tablets, which just don't appear in any web usage surveys. Developers are highly unlikley to be fooled. They know that by fare the most lucrativer market for Apps is the iPad.
Microsoft's motivation is to sell software. Windows never offered users as good an experience as Apple. As somebody who uses both all the time I am constantly amazed and frustrated at how many faults and glitches there are in Windows, even after 30 years. Windows was succesful for one main reason, they successfully attracted developers so that most useful applications were on Windows. However, in mobile computing this advanatage is held by Apple, especially with the iPad and to a lesser extent Android smartphones. Microsoft tried unsuccessfully to pay and bribe developers to make Apps for Windows mobile, but this has failed.
However Microsoft have a fatal flaw in their mobile software. It is profoundly fragmented. Buying Nokia will not resolve this. The failure and demise of the Surface RT has left them with just the Surface Pro, which has Intel x86 softare which is not compatible with their ARM based smartphone Windows software. The RT could not compete with the iPad in terms of price, quality of OS and number of available Apps. The Surface Pro is even more expensive, with even worse battery life and is even less competitive against the iPad. Windows/Nokia smartphone has a tiny market share and its Zune like metro interface seems to have limited appeal.
This leaves Apple with the only successful OS across all mobile devices, with a huge, unmatched range of quality Apps for the iPhone and especially iPads, along with a huge ecosystem of music, movies, TV programs, books, magazines, and unparrallled range of business, medical and educational software and a rapidly growing base 700,000,000 loyal, affluent credit card iTines account holders.
Now Apple is moving into a more affordable 5C smartphone sector, which should help Apple increase its market share, and hopefully coming out with its patented, easy to use, high level fingerprint security which will allow Apple to take a disruptive lead in mobile e-commerce.
Google didn't start Android as a reaction to iPhone. It started it out of fear that Microsoft's Windows Mobile would lock Google out of the mobile space the same way Vista was attempting to lock Google out of the desktop. Vista never did much damage, but it was a threat Google was taking very seriously in 2006.
As things turned out, Windows lost much of its monopoly power and Windows Mobile totally dried up and blew away. So Google took Android and refashioned it as an iPhone clone, which had the result of losing its tight exclusive partnership with Apple and incited the iPhone maker to pull away and develop its own services, from Siri to Maps.
Samsung use a scattergun approach with a wide range of feature phones, smartphones, phablets and tablets using Windows, Tizen as well as Android and possibly other OSs.
However, the bad news for Google is that the most successful Android OEM is goings its own way. Samsung have forked Android, encouraging developers to develop Apps specifically for Galaxy phones to make use of their own UI and a number of features not available in other Android devices.
Additionally they have also set up their own version iGoogle Play
1) I think you have confused the terms "affluent" and "rich". Every survey I have seen seen has found that iOS users are better educated, more affluent, travel more, user the internet more and buy more on the internet than Android users.
2) You may be right. However Google took a huge risk by offending by their breach of trust their strongest ally in mobile computing and they are beginning to pay a heavy price. Android is already costing them billions and those losses will mount up, especially as Samsung and other Android OEMs increasing fork and fragment Android.
I'm sorry, but just because the software actually works well with hardware that is designed well, doesn't require an outspoken "vertical strategy." And I do not contradict myself. The sum and substance of my post is simply that the products are better, and each could have stood on their own right. Even if the iPod was designed at the outset as a Windows only device, it would still have been better than all of the competition.
It's impossible to go back in time, but hypothetically, if Apple had designed iOS and got partners to make phones for it in 2007 - perhaps in the same manner as Google had a couple years later - it would still have been a success. It was that much better than the alternatives.
So - there's nothing particularly strange about my logic. What I find particularly strange is anyone who can reduce a company's success to just one facet and say that's the reason why everyone else will fail. I do think Apple's vertical strategy is working at the moment, but I hardly think it's the defining reason for their market prowess.
Strange logic Crimguy.....LOL
You say "vertical strategy of Apple has had little to do with their success." Then you contradict yourself by pointing out the the benefits of Apple's tight integration of software and hardware which makes their devices so much better:
* "iPod - great interface with revolutionary scroll wheel was miles ahead of the clunky buttons ...."
* "iPhone - capacitive touch screen and snappy performance coupled with an ingenious interface and the first mobile browser that actually worked."
* "iPad - very much the same benefits of the iPhone but having the added benefit of an established developer community and a way to make apps work across platforms."
You're forgetting that Windows' success was built on a hardware platform that was ultimately too easy to clone. IBM designed the PC in the early 1980s, but chose to use off-the-shelf hardware, unlike all of the other computer makers at the time (Apple, Commodore, Atari, etc) and only a small BIOS ROM chip was proprietary. Once the BIOS was reverse engineered, anyone could make PCs, and companies like Compaq, HP, DELL, etc sprung up and quickly took all the profit away from IBM. The only thing Microsoft did was retain the rights to MS-DOS instead of selling DOS to IBM, allowing Microsoft to sell their OS the PC cloners, and the rest became the "Wintel" duopoly. I contend that if IBM hadn't taken the lazy way out, silicon valley computer manufacturers might have continued to design and build proprietary platforms instead of becoming final assemblers of commoditized components.
My point is: Microsoft lucked out because IBM was lazy, and their laziness created a hardware platform that got away from IBM's control. You can't even have a viable business licensing an OS to other hardware manufacturers if the hardware platform isn't common or easy to clone. One stipulation: the first OS to establish a beachhead on a new, cloneable hardware platform basically owns it forever: another challenger OS will have a hard time wrestling away that monopoly position on the same hardware. NeXTStep, BeOS, Linux, and other x86 OSes were not going to unseat Windows on the PC, then, now, or ever. Aside from the fact that circumstances have to be perfect to apply Microsoft's OS licensing model, there's nothing wrong with that model; it's just very, very impractical to execute.
Pundits in the 1990s telling Apple to copy that model were idiots. John C. Dvorak was the most annoying of them. No imagination, no real vision, other than hindsight.
What made Apple successful again wasn't that Apple's model is now "the right one." Apple has been vertically integrating hardware and OSes since 1976. They don't know how to make a profit any other way. What's changed is the Internet. While Microsoft was busy fighting the defensive "embrace, extend, extinguish" wars against the Web, Apple was successfully leveraging the Internet. The success of iTunes + iPod is the most visible expression of that. iPod wasn't born with the Internet in mind, but Apple quickly figured out that it was the second half of the iTunes equation, because people don't just listen to music on their computers. PlaysForSure was a solution to the wrong problem. Wrong problem: how can I rip CDs and play it on any brand of MP3 player? Right problem: how can I easily find and purchase music legally over the Internet and play it anywhere? Apple learned that by solving the right problem, they would come to own a platform (iTunes-licensed content delivery and iPod), without having to copy the Windows licensing model. People would beat a path to their door to buy an iPod. Not that the iPod wasn't a desirable piece of hardware all by its lonesome. But iPod + iTunes (+ Internet), was just brilliant.
The Internet is also the key difference that has made it possible for Apple to pounce on Microsoft's Windows hegemony with iOS devices. What I mean is that the Internet changed what consumers do with computing devices. Before the World Wide Web, people bought computers to mostly run programs like Office or play games. And yes, there were dial-up services and Usenet, but most people who owned a PC used it to create and print documents, and store information. Now, most people surf the web, email, skype, download porn, shop online, watch cat videos, FaceBook each other. For many people, consuming Internet services is ALL they do. Windows OS doesn't have a monopoly on the Internet. Apple's support for WebKit, HTML5, and saying "No" to Flash helped Apple level the playing field, and push us beyond the days when websites were designed for IE6 + Flash and nothing else. Like iTunes, the iPhone and iPad are successful (and only possible) because of the Internet.
I think the Microsoft's OS licensing model isn't broken or wrong. It just can't be successful in very commonly found circumstances. In any case, in an Internet-dominated computing world, where Windows OS doesn't have a monopoly on what people use technology for, Microsoft has to adopt a different strategy to play. Because Apple is the single dominant successful company doing this, everyone is copying them. I don't think they'll succeed the way Apple has, because Apple's strategy is best suited for, and takes full advantage of, Apple's traditional strengths: the so-called intersection of technology and liberal arts. In other words, Apple's model is the best model for Apple. Like Microsoft, Apple doesn't know how to do it any other way.
(Edited for clarity)
"These guys [Apple] are really, really good. This [iPhone] is different." --Mike Lazaridis, RIM co-CEO
"These guys [Apple] are really, really good. This [iPhone] is different." --Mike Lazaridis, RIM co-CEO
Because DED remembers those days and is articulate in framing a response to the crap metered out to Apple faithful at the time.
Still, we had our fun, this post from around the beginning of Apple's renaissance (heading to mobile) in 2003 (with a few edits):
The Trojan War began when prince Paris of Troy (Gates of Microsoft) abducted the beautiful Helen (GUI experience), wife of Menelaus (Jobs) of Sparta (the enlightened ones). Menelaus persuaded his brother Agamemnon (Apple) to lead an army against Troy. Great Greek heroes including Achilles (John Sculley) and Odysseus (Mike Markulla) took to the field of battle but to no avail. After years of fighting (an epic) and appearing to give up thoughts of winning (%), the Greeks sailed away (Opendoc, Taligent etc) leaving a parting gift for the Trojans (and the free world) to enjoy as testament to their skill as craftsmen and as a token of their good sportsmanship, a beautifully crafted horse (iPod). However, hidden within the Trojan Horse was one of their greatest, most skilful warriors (Jonathan Ive) and his companions (the Apple design team). After the Trojans had accepted the gift (iPod for Windows), had become drowsy (Windows XP etc) and nodded off (Longhorn), the brave Greeks quietly opened the city gates, allowing Greece (the free world) to enter and overcomeTroy.
Now, Apple is everywhere one looks - enjoy the victory!
All the best.
You make a very good point.
IBM made a huge mistake not buying MS-Dos or obtaining an exclusive license and by not buying an exclusive licence for x86 processor or not using one of their own chips. The problem was that IBM saw the PC as a high risk, very low priority (they had around 70% of the global mainframe computer market) and Bill Gates ran rings round them and kept the IP of MS-Dos. The rest is history.
There used to be a saying "Nobody gets fired for buying IBM" So when they brought out the IBM PC corporate IT departments overwhelmingly opted for them, even though there were a number of better PCs around at the time. I had a 16-Bit machine called Sirius which was far faster and better built than the IBM PC.
Shortly after the IBM PC clones began to come on the market. IT departments tried them and found them cheaper and often a lot better built.
Shortly after IBM PCs and clones came out, most software developers began to develop for MS-Dos. I found it increasingly difficult to find good software for the Sirius so began to buy IBM clones.
Incidentally, my Sirius had amazingly efficient software called "Smart. The Sirus had two floppy disks each of 720k and no hard disk. The Smart software suite consisting of a Word Processor, a Spread Sheet, a Diary and Data Base and the Sirius OS which was all on one floppy. The other floppy held the documents.
When I upgraded to my first IBM clone it had a 20 megabite hard disk. I thought I would never fill it....LOL
Some stream-of-consciousness musings about Daniel's interesting and provocative post.
While his apparent feelings about the inclination of Tech Journalists to "go with the flow", "write about the current winner", "do the least possible research and thinking about where the tech sector is going" mirror my own thoughts, I'll concentrate on something else.
The MS business model has always seemed to be: "See what's out there, evaluate it, copy the design, and then spin the idea" that "We, MS, bring you this (OS, application, product) for the very first time - all you have to do to achieve its manifest benefits is to sign this license agreement, in perpetuity". Nothing new - everyone corporation copies in some sense (cultural vibes, the latest meme) - anyone remember Japanese producers blatantly reverse engineering German camera and car designs?
MS achieved desktop dominance because "it became IBM" when the PC era got under way (and the mainframe one languished) - MS largely stepped into IBM's shoes in the corporate world. MS thrived when their systems became entrenched in the business world, because, just as in the earlier IBM mainframe times, the corporate mantra became - "no-one gets fired for buying MS products". Nothing wrong here either - all corporations try to lock their clients in somehow.
However, as MS has learned, a business model that focuses on copying, being first to market with products that may be sub-standard, flooding the media with soap-style advertising, and using licensing to lock-in clients - while successful in the short term, cannot win forever. Sooner or later, you have to innovate or stagnate.
Unfortunately, creativity is not something you can buy or spray-on. What MS has never understood, across all their products, is the concept of usability. Whether it's the OS (e.g., 3.1, NT, XP, Vista, Win 8 ;-) or the product (e.g., MS-Project) - they just don't get it. In the end, the user has to want to use the product, and have the minimum difficulty and pain in doing so. It's all about UX.
My own takeaway from Daniel's post is that if MS had had a single clue (like the software engineers at Apple clearly do) about what makes people relate to, and engage with, products, systems and applications, they might still be dominant, even with all the lock-in licensing rubbish.
Apple should've patented their business method (which is possible to do, by the way): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_method_patent
sorry but everyone here including DED still misses the one key reason for MS' success in the '90's - the absolute necessity for software files that could be universally shared among businesses, government, and professionals.
i was the boss in the '80's that decided how my small company should first computerize. it was some DOS system, i can't even remember which. by the early 90's that was obsolete. so some of us got Macs, but by then MS Windows PC's were becoming common in many businesses. the proprietary business software we had to use for some of our work was PC only.
the overwhelming problem for us all then - many today probably don't even know this - was that the file types of each office software suite - lotus, word perfect, word star, MS office, some others i forget too - COULD NOT EVEN BE OPENED BY THE OTHERS, let alone worked on. and there were no translator programs yet then either to convert them - those finally appeared in the late '90s'. and of course no Mac files could then be opened on a PC an vice-versa either.
so it became unavoidably clear to me we had NO CHOICE but to switch to PC's for most staff. and we did. that also meant brining in a Windows IT shop to get the company network all set up - it was very complicated in those days. they saw the Macs as nothing but an obstacle of course. over the years they just kept adding more and more MS system stuff.
today of course universal cross platform file sharing is trivial. but 20 years ago its was THE DECIDING FACTOR. i know, because i made the decision then and that was the ultimate reason. that's also the real reason why all those other office suites died out.
Ah, the Windows Kin:
To this day, I believe that Microsoft missed a huge opportunity by not licensing it to the medical industry to combat depression.
It sure makes me laugh whenever I see it.
Apple should've patented their business method (which is possible to do, by the way): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_method_patent
There was a precedent at the time. Hewlett-Packard was the era's supreme, vertically integrated computing/instrument manufacturer. Jobs and Wozniak learned many lessons at HP which they put into practice at Apple.
Regrettably Constable, that's sure the way it seems, but Apple probably doesn't care too much about the cognitively challenged (mostly male) droids on Wall Street and the (mostly male) "big money investors". After all, they are the ones who respectively, fucked-up the US economy in 2008, and don't have a clue about investor value today. Size isn't everything - quality of performance is everything. Ask any Woman.
IMHO, I think that Nokia may have asked Microsoft to buy the handset business in order to save it from closing it down entirely. There was so much integration between Microsoft and Nokia from a software perspective for the Lumia line that it made complete sense for both parties.
Actually, I think that there was talk a while back that Apple was in talks to be an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) and integrate service, content, software and hardware thus cutting out the provider from the equation. That would have been very simply incredible as Apple could have provided a single experience throughout the vertical stack.
Several things come to mind, my N7 was virtually unusable for months till they released 4.3 with significantly better memory management. Google got a pass on that, like all the other crap they pull.
That Google and Microsoft have become vertically integrated is amazing to me, both companies are heavily invested in a distribution model, it's not working for Google, and I just can't see MS pulling it off, maybe if they put 90% + of their managers out to pasture and hire 20 year olds to replace them, but I just don't see them pulling it off, this is the company that thought the Kin was a good idea.
Google can't pull off a good phone/tablet through Motorola or the nexus line because it risks pissing off Samsung and all of it's other OHA members. What they can do is put out "average" phones like the Moto X. Every nexus device launch has been a mess, and Google gets a pass again because "Well, they contract out a company to do that, it's not really Google."
Neither company has the balls to do what it would take to become a wildly successful fully integrated vertical company like Apple has become because of their pre existing relationships with OEM's.
Were I Tim Cook, I'd be sorely tempted to watch MS and Google burn some bridges with OEM's and then license out iOS and OSX to Foxconn for a year (but hide the year only part of the licensing) and watch MS and Google scramble to rebuild OEM relationships.
They'll just try to make up a story like Apple copied someone else. It tries to divert the attention away from Microsoft and themselves.
It is with a kind of regretful honesty that I think that the selfish monopoly that is MS brought the computer industry into a kind of harmony by making the kind of compatibility, you speak of, the LAW. As in a Play our way or Die.
It was a painful era for many who bet on alternatives, sometimes way superior. But it was play our way, or die an ignoble pauper's death. And it was too often, 'you are competing with the MotherShip so die no matter what'.
None the less I think we got a cruddy but common and refined framework. Apple is now Intel, USB is everywhere, and Word or compatible is universal. It was an ugly, unfair process but like British Royalty in the end it works pretty well. Think of MS as an aging matriarch, heir to the system, but not really in charge of much as history races past.
The Sony x-peria is pretty slick too, had a go at it at the store, very sharp colorful screen, very comfy to hold, so much slicker than the Samsung Galaxy phones imo, but for some reason no one talks about the Sony phones.
affluent |ˈaflo͞oənt, əˈflo͞o-|adjective1 (esp. of a group or area) having a great deal of money; wealthy.
I believe you have it the other way around. iDevice users are reportedly known (by pundits and the media) to be affluent. Owning an iDevice does not make one affluent by any means.....although it does enrich one's life. The hundreds of millions of iTunes account holders (with credit cards on file) are what is coveted by Apple (and by the rest of the tech industry) and they are a HUGE asset that has yet to be tapped. It's Apple's 'Ace in the hole', and I believe, in conjunction with the strong security of the fingerprint scanner, that Apple will capitalize on future transactions taking place outside of the iTunes Store, through the iTunes Store, IMO.