#iPhone

Paul Thurrott:

By the end of this year, things are looking better, and much better in many countries. Worldwide, Windows Phone commanded 3.6 percent worldwide market share. Still a pittance, you say, and fair enough. But continued year over year growth of over 150 percent helped Windows Phone catapult ahead of Blackberry for good. Indeed, Windows Phone market share is over double that of Blackberry.

Congrats on that, I guess. Some might consider it like winning a race against someone with two broken legs — but, as the Dallas Cowboys have reminded us time and time again this year, a win is a win. 

But this:

And where iPhone commanded a bit under 21 percent market share in 2012, it was down to 12.5 percent in Q3 2013. The distance between Windows Phone and iPhone has been cut dramatically.

Now, Apple will see a temporary one-quarter bump in Q4 because of the iPhone 5S, as is the case each time it launches a new iPhone, and Apple of course performs overly-strongly in just the United States, its richest and home market. But the overall trends are clear: iPhone is sinking as Windows Phone is growing. And if these trends continue, Windows Phone has a chance of catching up to the iPhone in the coming years. This was a fantastical possibility just a year or two ago.

Yeah, I wouldn’t hold my breathe here. Much of what Thurrott touts are Windows Phone’s big gains on a percentage basis. But that’s obviously because they were starting from a position of almost zero. It’s much easier to grow at a near-infinite rate when you’re starting from nothing. (Unless, of course, you count Windows Mobile.)

Kyle Vanhemert spoke with Square’s VP of hardware, Jesse Dorogusker, about their new card reader:

The redesign also gave Dorogusker and company a chance to tweak the feel of the swipe itself, which is a crucial detail that makes the product itself feel trustworthy despite its tininess. By tweaking the design of the spring to which the magnetic read head was attached, the team was able to fine-tune the friction customers feel when swiping their card. At one point in development, they found that the level of contact they needed to successfully transfer data from a card resulted in a swipe that felt too loose. And when the swipe felt too loose, it felt like it wasn’t working, and would thus require another swipe. So they increased the friction above what was actually needed–an adjustment that was overkill from a technical point of view but resulted in a swipe that felt perfect to the hand.

Design is how it works…

Not surprisingly, Dorogusker came to Square from Apple, where he most recently led the development of the Lightning connector.

Such a good response from Brian Barrett to this nonsense the NYT published last week. My favorite part:

It’s annoying that your phone—or more specifically, your phone’s battery, because that seems to be the crux of Rampell’s argument—won’t make it much longer than three, four years tops. It’s also annoying that my car won’t last 300,000 miles. It’s annoying that my knees make a little popping sound when I stand up now. It’s annoying that nothing lasts forever.

Mark Glassman:

As a business unit, the iPad is huge. The device accounted for $31 billion in revenue in Apple’s most recent fiscal year. That’s more than the annual sales of 84 percent of members of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index.

It’s easy to cast aside the iPad because the iPhone business is so much larger. But it’s also easy to forget that the iPhone business is one of the best and biggest businesses ever. Period. Bigger than all of Microsoft, for example. But the iPad, at any other company, would be the marquee product. And I’m sure we’ll hear more about that next week.

John Gruber:

When the iPhone 5C came out last month and was not “low cost”, many took it as a sign that Apple was somehow ignoring China. I would say it’s just the opposite: they’re skating to where the puck is heading, not where it is, and positioning their products to thrive as China’s upper class grows.

The most simple observation that as usual, most everyone overlooked.

Darrell Etherington seems to really like the Nintendo 2DS overall, but:

Does that mean they 2DS screens are great? No, and the low resolution relative to today’s modern smartphones and tablets is really beginning to show. Plus, that bottom touchscreen is still resistive, which means that even though it’s tempting to want to tap buttons with your fingers, especially in settings menus, you’ll still need to break out that stylus to get good, consistent results in terms of registering taps.

Both of those things sound inexcusable to me nearly seven years after the capacitive-touch iPhone was unveiled and well over three years since the first retina iPhone launched.

dimestoresandbustations asked:

Re: the Fred Vogelstein post on the build up at Apple to the unveiling of the iPhone in 2007... " And the rest of the day turned out to be just a [expletive] for the entire iPhone team. We just spent the entire rest of the day drinking in the city. It was just a mess, but it was great.”... What is the expletive the times left out? I can't figure it out?

I was wondering the same thing. My best guess is… wait for it… SHITSHOW.

Speaking of Steve Jobs, I too will share the Fred Vogelstein post on the build up at Apple to the unveiling of the iPhone in 2007. A few of my favorite parts:

Jobs wanted the demo phones he would use onstage to have their screens mirrored on the big screen behind him. To show a gadget on a big screen, most companies just point a video camera at it, but that was unacceptable to Jobs. The audience would see his finger on the iPhone screen, which would mar the look of his presentation. So he had Apple engineers spend weeks fitting extra circuit boards and video cables onto the backs of the iPhones he would have onstage. The video cables were then connected to the projector, so that when Jobs touched the iPhone’s calendar app icon, for example, his finger wouldn’t appear, but the image on the big screen would respond to his finger’s commands. The effect was magical. People in the audience felt as if they were holding an iPhone in their own hands. But making the setup work flawlessly, given the iPhone’s other major problems, seemed hard to justify at the time.

And:

Shrinking OS X and building a multitouch screen, while innovative and difficult, were at least within the skills Apple had already mastered as a corporation. No one was better equipped to rethink OS X’s design. Apple knew LCD manufacturers because it put an LCD in every laptop and iPod. Mobile-phone physics was an entirely new field, however, and it took those working on the iPhone into 2006 to realize how little they knew. Apple built testing rooms and equipment to test the iPhone’s antenna. It created models of human heads, with viscous stuff inside to approximate the density of human brains, to help measure the radiation that users might be exposed to from using the phone. One senior executive believes that more than $150 million was spent creating the first iPhone.

And:

The second iPhone prototype in early 2006 was much closer to what Jobs would ultimately introduce. It incorporated a touch-screen and OS X, but it was made entirely of brushed aluminum. Jobs and Jonathan Ive, Apple’s design chief, were exceedingly proud of it. But because neither of them was an expert in the physics of radio waves, they didn’t realize they created a beautiful brick. Radio waves don’t travel through metal well. “I and Rubén Caballero” — Apple’s antenna expert — “had to go up to the boardroom and explain to Steve and Ive that you cannot put radio waves through metal,” says Phil Kearney, an engineer who left Apple in 2008. “And it was not an easy explanation. Most of the designers are artists. The last science class they took was in eighth grade. But they have a lot of power at Apple. So they ask, ‘Why can’t we just make a little seam for the radio waves to escape through?’ And you have to explain to them why you just can’t.”

And, of course, launch day:

By the end, Grignon wasn’t just relieved; he was drunk. He’d brought a flask of Scotch to calm his nerves. “And so there we were in the fifth row or something — engineers, managers, all of us — doing shots of Scotch after every segment of the demo. There were about five or six of us, and after each piece of the demo, the person who was responsible for that portion did a shot. When the finale came — and it worked along with everything before it, we all just drained the flask. It was the best demo any of us had ever seen. And the rest of the day turned out to be just a [expletive] for the entire iPhone team. We just spent the entire rest of the day drinking in the city. It was just a mess, but it was great.”

The iPhone seems so obvious and inevitable now. But it’s really the ultimate testament to the incredibly hard and complex work that so many at Apple did while being pushed by Jobs. This entire post is a great reminder of that.