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« Nokia HMD Comeback? First Year Finishes with 8.7 Million Smartphones Shipped and 1.0% Market Share by Year-End (Updated) | Main | iPhone Quarter, ZTE Troubles, Facebook Troubles, Nokia Come-back »

February 27, 2018

Comments

Tester

@Per:

"Thank you for your services, as always. It's really fascinating watching Apples own hubris destroy themselves from the inside."


Let's not forget that it isn't just iOS. I think on Macs Apple has really dropped the ball by considering themselves above the law of economics. The USB-port debacle is only one good example of questionable hardware decisions that really alienated the user base. I think far worse is that the current Mac lineup doesn't appear very "professional" to me anymore, there's not a single system to be found that caters to the greatest stronghold Mac ever had: Power users with exceptional demands on their hardware which are willing to pay exorbitant prices for it. The graphics crowd is pissed because Apple bet on Intel's integrated chipsets, and equally bad, refusing to upgrade OpenGL to modern standards, meaning that more and more software gets thrown under the bus because nobody is willing to make a Metal-exclusive port for it.

All in all, there's warning signs aplenty that Apple is doing stuff wrong, but it all gets hidden by a huge user base of fashion minded users which do not realize how the solid foundation of the whole thing slowly erodes away. So as a result people like Jim Glue can still gloat at the insane profits for some time - but my guess is that as a premium tech leader, Apple's days are numbered. Nearly every single thing Apple has done since the iPad was ultimately laughable in its limited applicability and sole focus on skimming off the fashion-minded users they have learned to milk. The current management won't turn things around, that's for sure. They have bet on the profits, hook, line and sinker.


Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Jim:

Apple is a smoker. And a heavy one at that, chaining cigarettes like crazy and doing at least 20 cigarettes a day.

So you say "See, this chain smoker just ran the Boston marathons and won the entire race! He's healthy as could be! Smoking isn't bad for your health at all!"

... Except it is. It just takes a long time for the damage to show. And I and many others with me are saying, it's time for Apple to move on, past the smoking, or perish.

@Tester:

Yeah, I hear you. The really tragic part is, right now Linux has a *humongous* opportunity. Many Windows customers are getting more and more nervous about the Windows 10 licensing practices, and as you say, Macs are no longer desirable for hardware enthusiasts.

So what does Linux do about it? Well... They invented systemd, one of the suckiest pieces of software ever to be conceived (I do not disagree with their end goals, but the implementation of it is just shite), still no wayland proper, wayland in and of itself is based on raster graphics (would've been much better to go with vector graphics -> raster IMO, haven't we learned anything?)... And yeah, Linux on the desktop is in such a sad state right now, even I as an avid Linux fan cannot recommend it to anyone anytime soon.

So it looks like opportunity will not meet preparation this time either, and we'll be stuck between a Windows hell or MacOS hell. And I think most in that case stick with MacOS. *sigh*

Jim Glue

Well,Mac sales are better now than ever. Customer satisfaction is still far better than any other company.

It's like I'm saying Apple does not wrong or makes no mistakes. I'd like an SD card slot on an iPhone. I'd like it if the new Macs also had traditional ports. And, of course, I'd love for Apple products to be cheaper.

But am I going to buy a Dell? An Asus? Am I going to give up MacOS for Linux? No. (I do use linux on servers quite a bit).

But that's me. Everyone has their own set of values and budget. The reason Apple talks about customer satisfaction is that is their number 1 core value. Apple knows better than anyone what people like and don't like about their products. But what may make you, or a thousand people on the internet angry about a choice Apple has made...might not represent "the whole of Apple's customers" very well.

Jim Glue

File this under: Google saves the iPhone. http://bgr.com/2018/02/28/google-flutter-beta-release-fuchsia/

Google is beta testing Flutter, it's dev environment that lets you easily create apps that run on both Android and iOS....and in the future, Fuschia the OS Google is creating to replace Android.

Why? Fuschia the new OS is designed to fix the fragmentation problem...you know, that problem nobody here thinks is a real problem but for some reason, Google keeps trying to fix it.

For the other? Still too many iOS only apps. If Google can make app building for both iOS and Android...it's thinking goes...then developers will stop treating Android like a second class citizen. Again...WHY Google feels this is so when "EVERYONE" knows that developers all prefer Android. It's a mystery.

E.Casais

"the fragmentation problem...you know, that problem nobody here thinks is a real problem"

Excuse me?

I argued at length in previous comments on this blog that fragmentation and the resulting ever more painful update problem would lead to Android shrinking and being replaced by not just a new OS, but an entirely new platform (OS+libraries+runtime+UI+standard services) that would resemble more feature phones that current smartphones.

Google is trying a variety of approaches -- FuchsiaOS is one, Android Go a second, ChromeOS possibly a third.

As for Flutter, I leave it to other people to compare it with similar tools that provide similar capabilities (iOS+Android targeting with a single programming base). Such tools have been existing for many years already, I wonder what Google brings -- and more pointedly, what it takes away from the app developers there.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

Interestingly enough, was just made aware that MacOS and iOS now support Vulkan through a middleware layer.

I think this will be the final nail in the coffin for Metal, though great news for cross-platform devs, and this will also increase the software coming to MacOS and iOS a bit.

Now if only the same thing could be done for PWAs, then iOS might have a fighting chance... :)

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/02/vulkan-is-coming-to-macos-ios-but-no-thanks-to-apple/

Tester

That Vulkan middleware layer actually won't have much of an impact.
The main reason being that it's proprietary software with heavy strings attached.
This will help professional software but aside from games that will be slow to transition away from OpenGL. Such software may be in need for a higher OpenGL version but not benefit from Vulkan at all.

What this is utterly useless for is Open Source because the conditions for this thing are a deadly poison pill and not help one bit bringing such software back to the Mac.

Ultimately, though, this just highlights Apple's stupid messing around with their product that's only going to put off customers.

Per "wertigon" Ekström

@Tester:

Actually they reconsidered and relicensed under an Apache 2.0 license - and there is also a DX12 version in the works. Seems to be a portable subset of vulkan though.

That's why I think Metal will have a really hard time now.

John A

I guess the thing that so to speak can save Apple are the US market. American carriers seems very afraid to bring in Chinese brands by political pressure.
But globaly its different of course.
Samsung are a big force with lot of resources so nobody can challenge them.

HMD Global/Nokia doing fine especially in feature phones and mid range android segment. But I feel they still lack the killer flagship device to compete with Samsung Galaxy S9 or iPhone X. We will see if they release that device later this year (Nokia 9)

Then the struggling group HTC, LG and Sony. Now I think HTC will be gone first. They fired a lot of people recently in their US Office.

I wonder if Sony will change the trend with the new designed phones? I guess we will wait and see if the sales will improving. LG delayed their new phone to a later date so we will find out what they will show up.

OnePlus got a carrier deal in Sweden for the first time with Telia. So they seems to be a sort of established brand now.
The smartphone war continues and it be interesting to follow what happends.

ピコ太郎

I also having a blue nokia blood
I wanting the new communicator

ピコ太郎

@Jim

You dreaming
Money can buying happy

but, apple is on the top of their hill,
the only way is down

the really question is, how bumpy

Wayneborean


Hehe. IOS is dead. Android is dead. Will you guys at least post numbers?

Wayneborean


By the way, I am forecasting that the global smartphone market will start shrinking somewhere in the 2025-2030 time frame, and that mobile phones will be a dead issue by 2040.

Huber

Hi Jim Glue,

"I think ASP's and Unit sales are relevant together. They help debug the ridiculous notion that Apple is hurting despite unit market share."

Nobody says Apple _IS_ hurting yet, except in markets like India, where they have 2-3% market share. What a lot of people on this board say is that Apple _WILL_ be hurt if the market share drops below a critical value.

Then their ASP won't help them. WHen this happens, we will see if Apple's management is able to utilize their cash to turn things around.

As always, you focus on numbers and ASP and disregard the effects market share has on ecosystems. Tomi has explained this time and time again, as well as other people here.

"As for Samsung, since their numbers grow while their premium sales shrink...that tells you they are selling more of the cheap stuff...and you'll see it in their ASP."

With your logic, BMW would have been in severe trouble after introducing the 1 series. Also Mercedes with their A-class. Both cars lowered the ASP and raised sales. Clearly BMW and Mercedes are in trouble since their numbers grow while their premium sales shrink :-)

Samsung could also have a lower ASP because the prices of the "premium" devices drop quickly nowadays. A Galaxy which costs €800 in April can be bought for €500 in October.
But at this time, the earlier sales with their high ASP can very well have covered the costs for R&D and machine tooling, so the phones sold for €500 still make a profit.

Hence your focus on ASP and sales numbers don't tell the whole story.

And I have yet to understand why falling prices are bad. They are good for the consumer, which is the most important part. Suppliers have to adjust or die, this is how it works. Apple is not immune to this.

Pasi

Speaking of Nokia/HMD:
In the light of their financial results, the HMD loses money for each smartphone they sell. If they want to fix that, they should sell less, not more - LOL!

Tester

@PWE:

"Actually they reconsidered and relicensed under an Apache 2.0 license - and there is also a DX12 version in the works. Seems to be a portable subset of vulkan though.

That's why I think Metal will have a really hard time now."

This seems to be a different implementation than the one I read about. This here sounds a lot better and may indeed help a lot pf projects to stay on Mac. Of course, without adequate hardware to back it, it's still only half the story and that's where Apple is currently lacking in serious ways

Jim Glu

Hi Huber - yes, I've heard the market share/ecosystem argument for YEARS now. When will reality cause you to update the theory?

Turns out, "money to be made" in an ecosystem can trump unit market share. How many more years must Apple prove this to be true? What market is left for Android to gain to turn around it's fortune?

And of course ASP doesn't "help". It's the result, not the cause.

FWIW - the Windows/Mac wars is where ecosystem support followed unit market share. Mac had an early lead in a GUI but the original Macs were toys that couldn't do much. And it was Msft that came out with Word and Excel on the Mac that gave the Mac it's first true business software (there wasn't much of a home market for PC's back then).

By the time the Mac was becoming a force, there was so much business software running on DOS and not on the Mac. It was Windows, not the Mac that brought the GUI into mainstream. The Mac survived due to desktop publishing. Photoshop, PageMaker and the LaserWriter kept the Mac alive long enough to find other reasons to still exist. The Mac never had anything like the software catalogue of DOS, or after it Windows. The Mac was ahead in the GUI game and therefore GUI specific apps (photo editing, desktop publishing) arrived on the Mac and kept the platform going until, in time, the Mac became a general use computer. It helped that schools adopted the Mac in a big way.

This is nothing like the story of iOS, other than Android came along much sooner than Windows. iOS app store was quickly followed by the Android app store. For the entire time, devs could support both or pick one. The "devs follow unit marketshare" should have LONG LONG LONG LONG LONG AGO had each and every deleterious effect on iOS. But it never has and there's nothing we can point to to say it ever will. Except theories. Theories that for years have failed to predict iOS/Android adoption by developers.

Apple stole a march on the telecom industry and now sits atop the most lucrative ecosystem ever. Not just for Apple. For everybody that participates in Apple's ecosystem. There is just far more money to be made.

The old "well, Android phones used to suck but now they are great" --- that too has been trotted out for years to explain this away.

The difference between iOS and Android's ecosystem is not in which one is better. Better is impossible to define and will vary person to person. But there is "an app for that" on both platforms for every major thing there is that MIGHT otherwise make a difference (like if Android had WeChat but iOS didn't).

The difference is in who buys iPhones vs. Androids. Apple's customer base simply punches (economically speaking) way way way above their weight class (unit market share).

stoplivinginthepast

"Richard Yu from Huawei has said in an interview that in the future the amount of phone manufacturers will drop since in the long term 10% market share is needed for break-even and 15% for being profitable.
Apple is so doomed."

Yes that applies to the Android OEM´s and not to Apple and is directly caused by Apple.
Q417 iPhone made 18%+ units, 51% of the revenues and 87% of the profit. Samsung made 10% of the profit so that left 3% of the profit to the rest of the Android OEM´s. That future is grim for these companies hoping to last in the market for the next year.

stoplivinginthepast

"USB-port debacle"

For the last time this screw up is Intel´s. Intel effed it up. Intel owns and develops USB technology. So stop blaming Apple about it.

stoplivinginthepast

"Apple is a smoker. And a heavy one at that, chaining cigarettes like crazy and doing at least 20 cigarettes a day."

Apple is the healthiest company (and financially the fittest) on the planet and you came up with this? *facepalm*

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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