Emil Protalinski of The Next Web:
The bigger picture is still the same though: Gingerbread (released December 2010) is first, ICS (October 2011) is second, the latest and greatest Jelly Beans (June 2012 and November 2012) are third, and Froyo (May 2010) is fourth.
An OS that is 2 years and 2 months old controls over 45 percent of the Android ecosystem. An OS that is 1 year and 4 months old controls another 30 percent. 75 percent of the entire Android ecosystem is still on the non-current versions of the OS. It’s 2013.
The latest OS controls just 13.6 percent of the market, 8 months after its initial release — which is actually a huge improvement. And we wonder why developers are still going iOS-first.
$13 billion paid, 13 patents invalidated. Nice symmetry there.
As a reminder, Google paid such an insane amount for Motorola mainly for patents — patents which keep disappearing.
Steve O’hear for TechCrunch:
When your product idea turns into a meme, you’re probably doing something right. I’m referring, of course, to Bang With Friends. It’s the controversial Facebook app that lets you privately nominate those in your Friends network you want to hook up with and alerts you if they feel the same way. This in turn gave rise to Bang With Professionals, a site that takes the same concept and applies it to LinkedIn.
And, not to be er, left out in the cold, today sees Google+ get the Bang With Friends treatment with the appropriately named Bang With Nobody.
Austin Carr for Fast Company looks back at the project that started as “The Netflix Player” but was eventually spun out into the Roku box/company:
It was December 2007, and the device was just weeks away from launching. Yet after all the years and resources and talent invested in the project (a team of roughly 20 had been working on it around the clock, from ironing out the industrial design and user interface to taking trips to Foxconn to finalize production details), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was having serious second thoughts. The problem? Hastings realized that if Netflix shipped its own hardware, it would complicate potential partnerships with other hardware makers. “Reed said to me one day, ‘I want to be able to call Steve Jobs and talk to him about putting Netflix on Apple TV,’” recalls one high-level source. “‘But if I’m making my own hardware, Steve’s not going to take my call.’”
In hindsight, good call.
But ultimately, Wood says, “It was totally the right decision. Licensing [digital content] has been hugely successful for Netflix. [The Netflix Player] would’ve created tension with partners, and increasingly decisions would come up where Netflix would have to decide, ‘Should we make decisions based on what’s best for licensing, or what’s best for our own hardware?’”
Sounds eerily similar to the dilemmas that both Google (with Motorola) and Microsoft (with Surface) now face, no?
Since I couldn’t link to it from the previous “chat” post, I wanted to link to Steven Levy’s interview of Larry Page for Wired. “Moon shots”, Google as a million-person company — it’s fascinating stuff that’s well worth a read.
One thing that sticks out: Page starts out by saying over and over again that it’s important not to focus on competition. But then he says the following when asked about Google+:
> I’m very happy with how it has gone. We’re working on a lot of really cool stuff. A lot of it has been copied by our competitors, so I think we’re doing a good job.
That, to me, says a lot right there.
Steve Jobs felt competitive enough to claim that he was willing to “go to thermonuclear war” on Android.
How well is that working?
To make sure we can all play along, the Explore/What’s Hot section is the giant button in the left sidebar titled “Explore”:
- This analyst firm says iOS sucks Android’s balls
- Here’s how to root your latest Galaxy Nexus Extra HD Petro Mega Dung Conquistador XP with the latest…
I mean, he’s not lying. And it’s pretty ridiculous. It’s like the Chinese talking about how great China is on state-run television.
Russell Holly for Geek.com:
Ad revenue from a healthy YouTube channel can be enough to keep an operation of 2-3 people happy, but these new channels are significantly larger scale operations with budgets that can only be reached with the help of some guaranteed monthly cash. To help keep the quality of this new content trending upwards, Google plans to offer certain channels the ability to charge a monthly fee for their content.
I, for one, welcome our new subscription television overlords. You pay for what you want to watch rather than hundreds of channels of bullshit you couldn’t possibly watch even if you wanted to. $1-$5 a month per show. A fair price. What a concept.
Tim Carmody on Google’s earnings:
Motorola Mobility poses a different problem. Last quarter, Google’s cellphone and tablet division posted an operational loss of $523 million. This quarter’s loss of $353 million shows a modest quarter-over-quarter improvement, but things still aren’t healthy by any means. (Last year, in the same quarter, an independent Motorola’s mobile division posted a loss of $70 million.)
Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette pointed out that Google hadn’t yet the chance to put its own imprint on Motorola’s mobile line. “We are really 180 days into this business,” he said, largely repeating the same mantra that he offered last quarter. Then, however, Motorola was in its “first 150 days.” (Pichette’s arithmetic here is elusive. For the record, it’s been 245 days since the Motorola acquisition closed.)
All fair for a new business perhaps. But this is a company Google acquired for $12.5 billion (really now more like $13 billion). Sure patents, patents, patents — but well, yeah.
I continue to believe former Motorola head Sanjay Jha was a wizard for pulling off this deal.
Steve Kovach for Business Insider:
That means (if we’re being conservative) at least 80% of all smartphones sold through AT&T, the second largest carrier in the U.S., were iPhones. The rest were Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, or whatever else is out there.
Now let’s look at Verizon’s earnings last earnings report for the same quarter. Verizon, the largest carrier in the U.S., sold 6.2 million iPhones out of a total of 9.8 million smartphones. That means the iPhone made up 63% of Verizon’s smartphone sales.
This is not some survey of a few thousand people. This is not data extrapolated from ad impressions across a vague number of devices. This is sales data. It does not lie. On the two largest carriers in the U.S., the iPhone dominated last quarter.
You can argue about whether that’s important or not. But clearly, when Apple launches a new iPhone in the U.S., it sells a lot of new iPhones — even more than the plethora of Android options combined. (A trend which has continued for a few years now.) Which suggests one of two things:
1) People buy an insane amount of iPhones in the U.S. because of the subsidy model. Verizon and AT&T (and now Sprint, and it looks like T-Mobile soon as well) allow you to get one for $299, $199, $99, or free. Those price points matter a lot, and they would matter in other countries as well.
2) The U.S. market is just different. For some reason, consumers in the U.S. want iPhones even when those in other countries do not as much.
If the first point is indeed the case, it’s a hell of argument for a lower priced phone without subsidy. It’s suggests that it’s not that people don’t want iPhones, it’s that they want new iPhones at good prices.
The data is also a pretty good argument as to why Apple may want to speed up the release cycle of new iPhones. (Though such a move would undoubtedly dampen the yearly “bulge” in sales.)