The most sought after feature on the iPhone 6 was a sapphire cover screen and Apple needs to deliver a sapphire covered iPhone sooner rather than later.

Matt Margolis, an analyst with PTT Research, in a new note this week. Margolis is the one who long said the new iPhones would feature such a screen.

Of course, they did not. Which is fine, I’m sure they will one day. But suggesting this was the “most sought after feature” of the iPhone 6 is beyond ridiculous. Most consumer would have no idea there was a difference. Actually, even more ridiculous may be the notion that Apple “needs” to do this. Sometimes, it’s better to just admit you were wrong.

[via AppleInsider]

Jean-Louis Gassée on the topic of the AT&T CEO bitching about carrier subsidies:

I don’t know if Stephenson is speaking out of cultural deafness or cynicism, but he’s obscuring the point: There is no subsidy. Carriers extend a loan that users pay back as part of the monthly service payment. Like any loan shark, the carrier likes its subscriber to stay indefinitely in debt, to always come back for more, for a new phone and its ever-revolving payments stream.

I was told as much by Verizon. In preparation for this Monday Note, I went to the Palo Alto Verizon store and asked if I could negotiate a lower monthly payment since Verizon doesn’t subsidize my iPhone (for which I had paid full price). Brian, the pit boss, gave me a definite, if not terribly friendly, answer: “No, you should have bought it from us, you would have paid much less (about $400 less) with a 2-year agreement.” My mistake. Verizon wants to be my loan shark.

 Ben Thompson:

Make no mistake – AT&T would rather not give this discount (and that is what makes Stephenson’s remarks duplicitous); until now, smartphone customers spent some number of months paying off their phones with higher bills, and then, once the phone was paid for, postpaid subscribers effectively gave AT&T cash equivalent to their phone’s monthly payoff amount because they didn’t know any better. People who kept phones longer than two years, for example, presuming that ~$20 of every month’s bill was intended for phone payoff, effectively gave AT&T et al. $240 of pure profit in that third year. T-Mobile exposed that, and AT&T is giving some of that money back.

Right, once again we have AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson talking out of his ass. It’s not that the carrier can no longer afford the subsidies on smartphones — these costs are baked into your bill, hence the two-year contract — it’s that the smartphone market is almost saturated (in the U.S.) and others are making it difficult for AT&T to make as much money as they once did while still subsidizing phones.

What jackassery.

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.)

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.

Brian X. Chen:

If there’s one thing to learn from new versions of Apple’s mobile software, iOS, it might be that everyday people don’t care about what so-called tech influencers have to say. Many developers and designers scrutinized early versions of iOS 7 before its release, saying it was awkward to use and the design was not attractive.

The latest operating system has a far different design than earlier versions, but consumers appear to be reacting mostly positively to the change. Topsy, a company that does Twitter analytics, sampled seven million Twitter posts about iOS 7. About 1.2 million of the tweets were positive and 1.1 million were negative; the rest were neutral. Most of the negative tweets were from people complaining about having to wait to download the software update, Topsy said.

"I think iOS is a disaster. Moving chairs around on deck of titanic."

Yes, this type of post, take 10,000. Only this one is almost too boring to even bring up — except for this line by Dylan Tweney:

Finally, there’s the question of the iWatch. Many of us expected Apple to launch a wrist-mounted wearable device this week, but there wasn’t a peep about this in Cupertino on Tuesday.

Many of us? Did even a single person who knows the slightest bit about Apple expect to see an “iWatch” unveiled last week? The answer is the same as it is to Tweney’s clickbait headline. 

Greg Bensinger:

The statement, from an Amazon spokesman, refutes a report from website JessicaLessin.com on Friday that the Seattle company has been exploring options to offer a smartphone free of cost.

So let me get this straight: if you legitimately break news, you get neither a link or a citation from WSJ. But if you publish a bunch of “exclusive” bullshit, you get both?

Also not mentioned is the fact that both Lessin and author Amir Efrati used to work for WSJ — which I’m sure doesn’t factor in here…

Will Oremus asks the larger question

In the hypercompetitive online news landscape, is being first and wrong sometimes better for business than being last and right?

It is without question the former.

Mike Masnick:

Ministry of Sound, the well-known nightclub/record label in London that puts together various compilations of dance music is suing Spotify, claiming copyright infringement in a case that will fascinate copyright fanatics. This one goes a few layers deep, so stick with it: MoS is not suing because the music on Spotify is unauthorized. Nor is it suing because of anything that Spotify itself did. Rather, it’s suing because some users of Spotify have put together and published “playlists” (a feature found on pretty much any music playing software ever) that mimic some of the compilations that MoS has released. Again, the music itself is all legally authorized and licensed to be on Spotify. The complaint from MoS is merely that some Spotify users have put them together in the same order.

Probably a bad sign if your business is so reliant on the order in which music is ordered that you feel compelled to sue to protect such nonsense.

Cliff Edwards on Intel’s progress in making a cable TV competitor:

Time Warner Cable and other pay-TV operators are offering incentives to media companies to withhold content from Web-based entertainment services such as the one Intel is pursuing, people with knowledge of the matter said this month. The incentives can take the form of higher payments, or they can include threats to drop programming, the people said then.

Total jackassery.

In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins during an interview at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles yesterday.

Oh boy. Heins may want to check with Apple on their tablet business, because it sure seems like a good model. 

There are some quotes that I’m pretty sure will come back to bite someone in the ass. This one I’m sure about.

I’ll make my own prediction: In five years, tablets will be an exponentially bigger business than BlackBerry, because BlackBerry will no longer exist.