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Microsoft, HTC use Windows Phone's Cortana to poke fun at Apple's iPhone in new ad

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
A new television spot from Microsoft's Windows Phone division again puts Siri on the iPhone 5s up against Cortana on an HTC One M8, though the video slants more toward a hardware comparison than Microsoft's previous Siri-focued efforts.




The iPhone is first shown turning from side-to-side and admiring itself in a mirror, with Siri reciting the famous "I Feel Pretty" song from West Side Story. In a stilted voice, Siri then greets Cortana and -- following Cortana's introduction of the HTC handset -- says that she is "more than just a pretty face."

Interestingly, Microsoft does not seem to have used Cortana's actual speech generation for the narration, as they have in previous spots. Instead, a human voiceover artist appears to have been used to exaggerate the comparison.



The ad goes on to tout Cortana's ability to proactively alert users to heavy traffic in advance of an appointment before showing off the One M8's dual-speaker configuration.

"Oh, I only have one. And I'm sitting on it," Siri replies.

Apple's competition has increasingly employed direct head-to-head comparisons in recent years in an attempt to break the company's stranglehold on the smartphone and tablet markets. South Korean firm Samsung is the most notorious offender, recently releasing a video that purportedly asked everyday New Yorkers whether they would prefer an iPad or a Samsung Galaxy Tab S -- the Galaxy, predictably, won out.
post #2 of 54
Offender?
post #3 of 54
Someone tell MS to update Siri voice in their ads!
post #4 of 54
Time for a new series of Apple versus Microsoft commercials of the "I'm a Mac" variety. I have a feeling the iPhone 6 could be used to crush these pretenders, if only Apple has the will to go on the attack.
I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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I have enough money to last the rest of my life. Unless I buy something. - Jackie Mason
Never own anything that poops. - RadarTheKat
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post #5 of 54
Julie Andrews played a Puerto Rican?
Really? AI?
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
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Where's the new Apple TV?
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post #6 of 54

Just so we're clear- they use an exaggerated and poor version of Siri's voice, and they use a human voiceover for theirs?

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #7 of 54
Most people know that the iPhone is superior overall in terms of ease of use, build quality and so on. These ads are fooling very few people. Most advertising is really about re-affirming to the customers who have already bought the product that the purchase they made was a good one. The intent is to get repeat buys. Most companies do this. All those BMW ads on TV are not directed at new buyers really, but at current BMW owners to make them feel good. No, the problem, especially for Microsoft, is it's pitiful market share which has dropped from a massive 4% down a point. HTC is in a similar predicament. Don't get me wrong the HTC phone is a great phone, but the Android competition is killing HTC. It's not Apple they should be comparing themselves with at all.

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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post #8 of 54
It won't save Windows Phone.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #9 of 54
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Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

Julie Andrews played a Puerto Rican?
Really? AI?

 

Practically twins... lol

 

2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2012 27" iMac i7, 2010 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air, iPad Mini Retina, (2) iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #10 of 54
It's sad that they need to include the iPhone in any advertisements on the other hand, it is cool that Apple never even acknowledges 'competitors' in their iPhone ad. I know people like to think these are the same as the Mac-vc-PC ads, but they are not. PC is not a company or a 'brand' in the way that Apple is.


Phones are now very over-featured, like cars are. Too many bells and whistles that users never take advantage of, and are often harder to use than they appear. These 'assistants' are getting smarter, but are people really using them in the wild, or where the rubber meets the road. I don't need Siri to remind me to tell my wife 'Happy Anniversary', as long as I know it is my anniversary. Maybe in the future we will, because I don't know anyone's telephone number any more.
post #11 of 54

I do hope that Apple improves Siri & integrates the Cue purchase soon.  To have Siri alert me of traffic, driving times, plus using my email to personalize alerts/improve my daily life - would love this.  Google does a good job of this (and I assume Cortana) but I prefer it in a much, much less creepy way (no ads, please).

post #12 of 54

I don't think Apple needs to attack anyone. What do they have to win? They are already comfortably on the throne. 

post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

It won't save Windows Phone.

If you think about it, prior to the smartphone, which is really a computer. MS had 95% of the OS market. Now it is down to under 50% in 5 years. That is the reality for Microsoft and is the reason it is moving in the direction of cloud and business services just like IBM before it.

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

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Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply
post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post
 

Just so we're clear- they use an exaggerated and poor version of Siri's voice, and they use a human voiceover for theirs?

Typical Microsoft tactic, fake their own functionality. They did it with most of their junk before.  The folks at Redmond have not changed. This is good information and tells me the company is not worth investing in. But I knew this already great to have it re-confirmed. Yes MS share price has doubled based on cloud and services , buts its consumer business is finished. They tell us all their plans and don't deliver, fix it in the next release. Same old MS M.O.


Edited by Paul94544 - 9/2/14 at 9:07am

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply

Originally Posted by Rickers - 2014

Cook & Co will bury Apple.  They can only ride Steve's ghost for so long.  Steve == Apple and Apple == Steve.  

Reply
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

It won't save Windows Phone.
Agreed, not even Super Steve Jobs

 

 

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post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post
 

I do hope that Apple improves Siri & integrates the Cue purchase soon.  To have Siri alert me of traffic, driving times, plus using my email to personalize alerts/improve my daily life - would love this.  Google does a good job of this (and I assume Cortana) but I prefer it in a much, much less creepy way (no ads, please).

What is the 'Cue'? Doesn't Siri already alert you to traffic on daily travel, if you go to the same place a lot? Its on the screen when you pull down and check for weather. It knows the traffic and tells you it will take so long to get to where you go everyday (or so). It could be a little more location aware, but it works for me as it is most of the time.

post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadarTheKat View Post

Time for a new series of Apple versus Microsoft commercials of the "I'm a Mac" variety. I have a feeling the iPhone 6 could be used to crush these pretenders, if only Apple has the will to go on the attack.
Crush them with what? A lot of what's coming with iOS 8 and the new iPhone(s) already exists on other platforms/phones. I'm sure Apple will heavily advertise continuity and handoff but they can do that without giving anyone else free advertising. Let Microsoft get in the gutter. Keep Apple out of it.
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by WisdomSeed View Post
 

What is the 'Cue'? Doesn't Siri already alert you to traffic on daily travel, if you go to the same place a lot? Its on the screen when you pull down and check for weather. It knows the traffic and tells you it will take so long to get to where you go everyday (or so). It could be a little more location aware, but it works for me as it is most of the time.

 

Apple purchased Cue earlier this year.  Cue was an app that worked much like Google Now.  And I'm saying I'd like for Siri to alert me if traffic is heavier than normal and suggest alternate routes, for example.  If you've used Cue or Google Now, you'll may understand what I'm saying.  Both worked to 'push' personalize information to the user, vs  the user needing to 'pull' info from an app/OS.

post #19 of 54
I disagree that Apple should ignore the competition and rest comfortably on its laurels. Advertising can be a powerful tool. They can use humor to cement the idea in people's heads that iPhone is not only the coolest, but also the best. And that pretenders are just that. Stay hungry, Apple.
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
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post #20 of 54
Think about when you see an ad comparing honda to a BMW, saying it has the many more horse power or whatever.. Are you really fooled? Oh, now I won't buy a BMW for the rest of my life! No, common sense tells you they'll pick apart a few small benefits of their car, but pass over the ones that make the most difference in cost. People will know this, as long as Apple continues showing their ads for the high end stuff they're doing.
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post

Most people know that the iPhone is superior overall in terms of ease of use, build quality and so on. These ads are fooling very few people. Most advertising is really about re-affirming to the customers who have already bought the product that the purchase they made was a good one. The intent is to get repeat buys. Most companies do this. All those BMW ads on TV are not directed at new buyers really, but at current BMW owners to make them feel good. No, the problem, especially for Microsoft, is it's pitiful market share which has dropped from a massive 4% down a point. HTC is in a similar predicament. Don't get me wrong the HTC phone is a great phone, but the Android competition is killing HTC. It's not Apple they should be comparing themselves with at all.

Well said. Hey they got to make commercials. I have one friend whose about to get rid of his Nokia for the upcoming Galaxy Note phone. Recommended by carrier minion no less. I told him to hang on and see if he likes the iPhone 6. How much bigger is Samsung going to make these 'phablets?' I think his new one is suppose to be 6". So MS ain't doing to well if there are a whole lot of folk out there dumping their phones. They could have been No.2, perhaps even No.1 but blew it. Time will tell if they last. They have a steep climb to get to the top.
Edited by gilly33 - 9/2/14 at 9:18am
post #22 of 54

This ad that Microsoft uses to compare Siri to Cortana, to supposedly showcase Siri's shortcomings, will mean nothing when Apple executes its plan for Siri.

 

Siri is a technology that Apple will slowly integrate into its entire ecosystem throughout its hardware, software, and services; where the user will interact with everything naturally through Siri.

 

Microsoft is nowhere near that level of integration.

 

And to compare the HTC M8 to the iPhone?

 

Siri-ously?

 

HTC M8 - "We got two speakers to your one speaker."

iPhone - "We have a true 64bit OS with Touch ID."

HTC M8 - "???"

post #23 of 54

Having used both Cortana and Windows Phone quite heavily, I find these adds pretty humorous.  The truth, at least in my opinion, is that Cortana unfortunately has a long way to go before it catches up with Siri.  Any comparison between the two that seems to end up in Cortana's favor is a bit of a joke.

 

I don't say this from a perspective of simple bias; I used Cortana for about a month in the developer beta releases... which was only about 3 months ago.  And I found Cortana to be so frustrating to use that it bordered on being a useless feature.  Among the annoyances of Cortana was the fact that there was no equivalent function in Windows phone to asking Siri a question from sleep.  With win phone, you had to wake up the phone, enter a passcode (if you had one set), and then tap the Cortana or search icon in order to ask a question.  And that series of actions made the feature almost useless when engaged in any activity (driving, walking, etc) where one might expect to actually gain value from it.  The lack of a real button on windows phones can be seen as a true liability here, since Apple has been able to leverage it for so much.

 

One positive for Cortana is that it is not simply a voice assistant - Cortana doesn't have to speak at all, and is wired into almost every search activity the OS presents.  But that feature spurred two more annoying issues.  First, when Cortana was active (e.g. configured to be enabled), every search enacted by the user is routed through Cortana, and if Cortana is down (which it was a LOT), then you just plain couldn't do a search with Bing at all - you had to open a browser, navigate to Google, then do your search.  And Cortana would not work across WiFi - only using the phone's cellular connection.  Which made it pretty useless when you were deep in the bowels of some building and wanted to know if there were any good places around there to eat.  Now, if a developer had these issues, can you imagine what Grandma would do with these issues?  

 

Basically, I think the Cortana implementation is flawed, and lacking in attention to detail... and unfortunately the details that were missed are the ones that take features like this from the gimmick to the useful category.  That is of course my opinion.

 

Maybe MS will fix these issues - maybe they have already.  But at the time, I came away from Cortana thinking it had really no chance at all of competing against Siri.


Edited by Thomas Tupper - 9/2/14 at 9:41am
post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by WisdomSeed View Post
 

I don't think Apple needs to attack anyone. What do they have to win? They are already comfortably on the throne. 

 

In Game of Thrones, sometimes the king gets to execute and have people beheaded.

 

I would like for Apple to get more aggressive sometimes.

post #25 of 54

As for SIRI, I've mentioned this before, but you should check out the female brit SIRI, that's the one that I use and like. I prefer it more than the US female SIRI. It just sounds better to me.

post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post

Most people know that the iPhone is superior overall in terms of ease of use, build quality and so on. These ads are fooling very few people. Most advertising is really about re-affirming to the customers who have already bought the product that the purchase they made was a good one. The intent is to get repeat buys. Most companies do this. All those BMW ads on TV are not directed at new buyers really, but at current BMW owners to make them feel good. No, the problem, especially for Microsoft, is it's pitiful market share which has dropped from a massive 4% down a point. HTC is in a similar predicament. Don't get me wrong the HTC phone is a great phone, but the Android competition is killing HTC. It's not Apple they should be comparing themselves with at all.

You assessment is spot on, however their is an element of the advertising directed at the user who never owns the product before, it make them sit back and think maybe the next time I am in the market for a new product I should look at their product. This work for BMW and Apple as well, they are both seeing the number of people buying their products increase.

 

Apple can not do this now with the IOS products they are already on top so if they attempted to do this it looks like they beating up the little guy. This is why apples ads not talk about what their products can do for you verse how they are better then everyone else.

post #27 of 54
Any language software is going to have different performance in different contexts so it's going to be a point companies use in marketing. Siri doesn't perform very well here for example:




Cortana here has some pretty funny responses - the user asks about Ballmer about halfway through:



But then, Siri has come in useful here:



The new iOS voices sound much more human so that's not really a plus for Cortana. The only true comparison for performance is for multiple people to say the same things to both and see which has the best replies - even one person isn't enough as different engines will handle dialects differently. Until they reach a point where they never screw up, they aren't good enough. As the above videos show, there was some poor understanding of context there. Siri interpreted sentences that would make no sense. There should be an assumption that people are making comprehensible statements and interpret them that way. If there is an incomprehensible statement, it should be corrected to the nearest comprehensible statement and an appropriate response given. If it's wrong, people will ask again anyway but hearing 'I don't understand' or 'I didn't get that' is more frustrating than an incorrect answer because it gives no continuity to the conversation. If the user knows what Siri thought they meant, they can give Siri a corrective follow-up that further helps Siri understand them.
post #28 of 54
Wow, microsoft is almost as bad as samsung in my eyes now! I can't believe they would stoop to this level and using a voiceover artist and comparing it to an actual AI assistant! If steve was alive he would probably not be friends with bill gates anymore.
post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Tupper View Post

Having used both Cortana and Windows Phone quite heavily, I find these adds pretty humorous.

Me too. I think this is the first time I actually like one of their ads. Of course, I have only seen a few as I do one thing only in life; read this site.

Marvin put up a few videos, the 3rd one is funny, but does show that a large phone is totally useless as it requires both hands. Proves there won't be a 5.5" from Apple I guess.
Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul94544 View Post

If you think about it, prior to the smartphone, which is really a computer. MS had 95% of the OS market. Now it is down to under 50% in 5 years. That is the reality for Microsoft and is the reason it is moving in the direction of cloud and business services just like IBM before it.

IBM retreated completely from B2C itself, but sells services to help other businesses do B2C. Microsoft had a pretty solid smartphone OS business after defeating Palm OS for the title. Then the iPhone wiped that smirk off Ballmer's face.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Me too. I think this is the first time I actually like one of their ads. Of course, I have only seen a few as I do one thing only in life; read this site.

Marvin put up a few videos, the 3rd one is funny, but does show that a large phone is totally useless as it requires both hands. Proves there won't be a 5.5" from Apple I guess.

 

I pretty much hate the large phones.  The windows device I have is a Nokia 1520, which has a 6 inch HD display.  And personally, I think using it sucks; it is way too large to handle effectively.  I found myself constantly being afraid I would drop it.  And holding it in one hand, it was really difficult to interact with the device to do things like unlock it so I could get to search for Cortana.

 

Whether or not Apple will bow to pressure and provide a 5.5 inch device or not I don't know... but I personally am puzzled by the favor these devices get in the press.  I'd like to see sales figures for these large devices.

 

As for the add... I found it humorous mostly for the wrong reasons - because I know from personal experience that Cortana needs work, and is simply not a competitor for Siri right now.

post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Tupper View Post

I pretty much hate the large phones.  The windows device I have is a Nokia 1520, which has a 6 inch HD display.

Wow, 6". That simply cannot be considered a usable phone. Personally I think a 4.7" is already way too large for me, but I will need to feel it, try it out in my jersey (cyclist here), pants and whatnot. See this video on the supposedly 4.7" iPhone

@Tallest Skil have you seen this??

Quote:
Whether or not Apple will bow to pressure and provide a 5.5 inch device or not I don't know... but I personally am puzzled by the favor these devices get in the press.  I'd like to see sales figures for these large devices.

Excellent point! Even numbers shipped would do it for me. Well, maybe not, but I cannot believe people actually think this is a workable size. Then again, if they think they are better of with one device instead of a phone and tablet then I guess I'm simply using my brain in a better way and understand that devices like these are meant to be used for what they are made for. No compromise, no large phone whicis too large for phone use and too small for tablet use. IMO, which is actually shared by many, not just here.
Quote:
As for the add... I found it humorous mostly for the wrong reasons - because I know from personal experience that Cortana needs work, and is simply not a competitor for Siri right now.

Didn't know that, though I presume the same can be said for Siri.
Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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post #33 of 54
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

@Tallest Skil have you seen this??

 

I was referring to the earlier video where they turn it on. The one made by something & something. That’s an Android phone. This? Who knows; he doesn’t turn it on. Might even be the same guys.


EDIT: woo! This post beat the update restart by a single second!

 

The moron thinks the Apple was ever going to be illuminated, and he calls the Apple LiquidMetal without providing any evidence for that. He could prove it conclusively by just dropping the thing and having it bounce. It’s only the logo insert!


Edited by Tallest Skil - 9/2/14 at 11:33am

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

As for SIRI, I've mentioned this before, but you should check out the female brit SIRI, that's the one that I use and like. I prefer it more than the US female SIRI. It just sounds better to me.
I use the male British Siri. He sounds like a dignified villain. It's very commanding.
You can't spell appeal without Apple.
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You can't spell appeal without Apple.
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post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I was referring to the earlier video where they turn it on. That’s an Android phone. This? Who knows.

Indeed, who knows. But from the speedy reply I take it you haven't seen the video? Seems unusably large to me...
Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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post #36 of 54
Siri doesn't have to speak either. I turned of voice last year sometime because of work. Works great without it too.
post #37 of 54
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
Indeed, who knows. But from the speedy reply I take it you haven't seen the video? Seems unusably large to me...

 

Post edited now; I’d seen it elsewhere before. This teardown is certainly high quality and everything matches the more realistic leaks we’ve seen. It’s a gorgeous device, but there’s still no proof that this is it. That first video was an Android and it looked the same. Then again, it IS Android we’re talking about…

 

I think the size is fine. It’s a 4.7, so that’s the absolute upper range. Even with the size increase, I don’t like at all that they moved the power button. That immediately tells you the size forced a compromise in the design and utility of the phone.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #38 of 54

I think they have to get all these ads out of the way now before the 9th, when we will probably see a large upgrade of Siri.

Striking while their supposed advantages still exist.

post #39 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I think the size is fine. It’s a 4.7, so that’s the absolute upper range. Even with the size increase, I don’t like at all that they moved the power button. That immediately tells you the size forced a compromise in the design and utility of the phone.

It seems way too large for a phone. I agree that putting the sleep/wake button to the side is a compromise. If this thing is real, or the real size, I won't be buying it.

Edit: problem is, if everyone else is buying it they won't resurrect the 4" model, never mind the 3.5". What has the world come to?

http://www.phonearena.com/news/Smartphones-to-blame-for-77-increase-in-dining-time-at-one-restaurant_id58378
Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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Android seems to be an illiterate product, as they only have numbers to show for.
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post #40 of 54
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post
It seems way too large for a phone. I agree that putting the sleep/wake button to the side is a compromise. If this thing is real, or the real size, I won't be buying it.

 

Hey, do what I did. Go hold that HTC thing that runs Windows Phone. Changed my mind about the size. But you’re right: it can’t be any larger than 4.7” and be usable. Then again, I have piano hands.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
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