iPad

There were a few people complaining about the new iPad. Apparently it wasn’t innovative enough. That a faster processor (presumably more RAM), 4G networking (and faster 3G), quad-core graphics, Bluetooth 4, 1080p video recording and pushing 4 times the number of pixels (Retina Display at 2048×1536*) while still maintaining the battery life and the same cost is not innovation.

The iPad was revolutionary because it consisted of a screen with a border. The screen was everything. The screen was the gateway to the magical software that runs on the device. Not the Apple-supplied Springboard but apps like Pages, iPlayer, pUniverse, The Elements. The software changed the entire purpose of the device with just a tap. That was the magic and that is, in my opinion, the singular reason for the success of the iPad.

Which is why the most important part of the upgrade was the Retina Display and the quad-core graphics processor to push those millions of pixels. The singular magical feature of the iPad just got four times better. Not ten percent better, 300% better. The touch interface will be just as accurate but the pixels which make up the display will be, for nearly every instance, invisible to the naked eye.

Tim Cook made a big deal that none of their competitors managed to beat their Retina Display in the iPhone nearly two years later and none managed to beat the iPad to release with a similar class of display. As the screen is the most visible part of the device and in many ways; is the device ; it surprises me that none of the competitors have bothered to improve the most important part of the device.

Technology journalists can’t just embrace the success. They get eyeballs from presenting jeopardy so every headline is about how Apple still needs to look out for a series of unlikely competitors because one of them is bound to unseat the Cupertino giant. They wanted the iPad to debut with haptic feedback, fold out keyboards, anti-gravity repulsors and the ability to transform into a pony. They’re also seething that their puerile predictions that it would be known as an iPad 3 or iPad HD were also torpedoed. And they’ll rail in their little gilded cages about how the device will only appeal to the Apple faithful; an assertion that if true, means there are millions of new faithful followers appearing each year. In truth, they’re just angry about being wrong. And they’ll take their anger out on Apple by writing glowing reviews of third rate plastic tablets running outdated versions of second rate software. Or in touchy-feely tones about how Apple was better, you know, before Steve died.

I’ve been a long-time user of Apple equipment and software. The equipment was the only way to get to the software and the software, nomatter what you may have thought of it, was worth paying extra for. I’ve always had the choice of software and hardware over the years due to working for a couple of huge corporations but I came back to Apple every time because it was simply better. They understood what I wanted out of a computer and they still do.

People will buy the new iPad in their millions as they have in previous quarters. The new lower priced iPad 2 (£329) willow, I predict, further push Apple into places they could never have considered before.

* Putting that in perspective, Apple’s 27″ display costs twice as much as an iPad and offers 2560×1440.

Apple is not the dominant player in any market that matters

How significant is Apple to the mobile market?

Mobile Review writes:

Before the Digital Agenda anti-competitive investigations centred on companies with dominant market positions, this initiative would change that to companies with a significant market position e.g. Apple. It may result in Apple being forced to allow Flash on their iOS platform amongst other things like allowing 3rd party devices to sync with iTunes e.g. the way Palm tried to do with the Pre. Apple has built a closed eco-sysem for itself that delivers a first rate user experience in terms of interoperability, a situation not totally dissimilar to what Microsoft was trying to do with bundling its own products with its Windows OS, a move that ran foul of the EU’s competition commissioner.

As much as I would like to say that Apple is dominant in the smartphone market, it’s simply not true. Apple is behind Nokia, Samsung, RIM and others in their share of the overall mobile market – and they’re not even dominant in smart phones. Apple does, however, have significant mindshare – which isn’t the same thing. The comparison with Microsofts EU ruling regarding anticompetitive practises with their monopoly is unwarranted – Microsoft had a 95%+ market share at the time. Apple is not even out of single figures in their share of the mobile market.

Adobe has been crowing about being present on 97% of Internet devices and yet they’re bleating to the DoJ and the EU to allow them to increase this market share? It’s plain who has a dominant or significant market share here and who is trying to force their will upon the market.

What is it about Apple doing well which sends competitors into unreasoning panic? Why do we have Microsoft fumbling with Windows Phone 7 and then undermining their own efforts with the Microsoft KIN and then undoing all that work after selling just over 500 devices? Why do we have Adobe tripping over themselves to get Flash onto a couple of devices when they themselves lay claim to 97% of the content framework market? Why is Nokia stumbling with half-baked attempts like the N97 and their own hubris regarding signal/antenna issues when they should be working to make something truly great. Why is Google lying and rewriting history to suit their new paradigm where they are the only freedom option against Apples alleged iron grip of the market? You have to remember that in each of these respective markets it is these companies, not Apple, who is the dominant player. Apple is, in every case here, a distant minor player. So why are they so worried?

It’s plain to see that not only have these companies lost their cool but they’re also out of ideas. Apple is a niche player. Their own dominance, in digital downloaded music, is what they consider to be a break-even business. It enabled the rise of the iPod but in itself it doesn’t make a huge benefit to Apple’s bottom line. When companies have to lie, cheat, plead with the authorities – then you have to acknowledge that something is rotten.

And it is blindness that motivates them. Microsoft has a successful OS launch with Windows 7 and some neat new innovations with Windows Phone 7. Notable because they haven’t copied the iPhone. So why are they pissing about with Courier and KIN and all the rest? Why squander that advantage? And what the fuck is Ray Ozzie doing?

Adobe used to be a great company with great product. Now all I see is posturing about Flash on iPhone. Flash, a recently acquired technology, is being pursued at the expense of their own self-regard. Give it up, make Photoshop, Acrobat, Illustrator even more kick-ass! (and make them as good on the Mac as you do for the PC and see if Apples attitude softens) Stop making me roll my eyes at every douche move you make.

Nokia. Stop fucking about. The last good phone you brought out was the N95. Move the fuck on. Stop whining. Stop over promising and under delivering. And stop wasting effort on Symbian. No-one likes working with it. And anyone who says they do just doesn’t want to lose a dominant position on a dying platform. They’re stupid and you need to ditch them.

Google should know better that the Internet stores truth better than any other medium before it. We know you didn’t buy Droid to save us from Apple. We know your OS is a ‘little bit open’ but getting access to it requires signing away your first born. Stick to what you’re good at. You’re a shit liar.

These mega-corporations will gut themselves rather than see Apple win – even when Apple isn’t trying to win. They’re being distracted from making good products. They’re declaring Apple to be a winner when it ain’t true and they’re suffering because of it. And it needs to stop.