Apple's iOS vs Android -- Learning From the PC Wars

Nothing can grow forever, especially a company. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) appeared to defy this for a long time, but a year ago income growth came to a screeching halt as shrinking margins sliced revenue growth. Shares briefly topped $700 per share before plummeting, dipping below $400. Apple's iOS is fighting a battle against Android that echoes back to the PC wars of the '90s.

Investors are antsy. Which way will it go?

[Yahoo Finance]

Clearly, a lot of investors have lost confidence in Apple's ability to grow. The two major arguments:

1. Apple no longer innovates, and

2. Android from Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) is like the IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) PC and clones and Apple will lose again.

The first belief appears to have been at least somewhat refuted by the recent release of the iPhone 5s. While many bemoan the fact that the iPhone 5c did not address a lower price point, the 5s has overall seen very positive reviews (WSJ has a summary).

Here I want to address that second point, summarized nicely by Sam Grobart in his excellent Bloomberg interview with Apple's Cook, Ives & Federighi:

"You could say that Apple's approach in mobile ignores history, specifically the Mac/Windows wars of the 1990s, which Apple clearly lost. In this scenario, Android is Microsoft's Windows—available to all kinds of manufacturers—while iOS is on only Apple devices. Microsoft made money by charging Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and others to put Windows on their PCs, and Apple's market share shriveled." [emphasis added]

The prevailing meme here is that Apple lost the PC wars because Windows was an open hardware system and the Mac was not.

The problem here is not that this is wrong, but that it is only a portion of reality – and to my mind, the smaller portion. And while there may be other problems for Apple, this is not one of them.

Mac vs. PC – What really happened

To understand the personal computer wars of the '90s, it helps to understand how we got there.

In 1970 there were no personal computers.Throughout most of the 1970s there only early precursors of today's PC. There are several contenders for the first PC: Datapoint 2200, Olivetti Programma 101, Xerox Alto, etc. Yet these were either expensive or too simplistic to be really called a personal computer. The real PC was not possible until the advent of the microprocessor, which incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit, or CPU, on a single integrated circuit.

It was only in 1971 that integrated microprocessors first became available, with the first 8-bit processor, the Intel 8008 available in 1972. These processors made the modern PC possible, and in 1977 the trinity of commercial PCs became available – the Commodore PET, the Apple II, and the TRS-80.

Meanwhile, many other PCs were developed, but there was a problem. Every computer has an operating system (OS). This is low level software that provides basic functionality that is used by other programs. For example, if a program wants to write a file to disk, then it calls an operating system function or routine that will do that, and sends it the data to write. Without this, every program would need to reinvent the basic, low level code to write to disk.

The same is true for writing to the screen, sending a beep to the speaker, or nowadays drawing graphics, displaying photos, or getting data from wi-fi. The problem then was that every computer had its own OS, so software had to be rewritten for every model. There were a dozens of different makes of PCs. It was chaotic.

Enter CP/M. This was an operating system that if ported to a computer system would allow application programs to be used without a rewrite. They would need to be compiled on the new platform, but not rewritten. (Well, at least in theory. Generally rewrites were necessary for some parts, but not nearly to the extent that was required before.)

In 1981 IBM released the IBM PC. It ran using PC-DOS (Disk Operating System), which was based on CP/M. Eventually IBM contracted with Bill Gates and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) , which went on to create MS-DOS, and the rest, so they say is history.

1981 IBM 5150 [source: Wikipedia]

MS-DOS was originally associated with the IBM PC, and as I recall, there was tremendous excitement about IBM's entry to the market. IBM was, at the time, one of the largest corporations and the leader in computer hardware and software. The PC immediately became the gold standard.

As the compatible MS-DOS was available, a group of clone makers sprung up, pretty much beginning with Compaq. In just a few years, other competing OSs – CP/M, and others – all faded away, leaving Apple, Atari, Commodore and MS-DOS.

At the time there was no graphical OS, and no mouse or track pad, only command line access. There was a scrolling display with the command line at the bottom and you'd have to enter cryptic commands to navigate the disk file system, find the program or file you wanted, and then open it. "CD" meant change directory and you would enter the path to the directory you wanted. "DIR" would list the files in the directory. It would look something like this:

[Source: http://www.osdata.com/system/ui/screens/smsdos.htm ]

In 1984 Apple launched the Macintosh, the first commercially successful GUI OS computer. Steve Jobs had visited Xerox's PARC and bought the basic technology from them. From that simple, little black-and-white screened computer, the modern PC evolved as Microsoft copied the concepts with their various versions of Windows OS.

Mac aficionados

In the end, the partnership of Microsoft and Intel beat down the competition. (Macs at the time were built on Motorola chips.) Apple was on the verge of extinction.

Apple had existed in large part due to its devoted following of graphic designers. They appreciated the design of the Mac, the finesse of Mac OS, and the insane attention to detail in every aspect of design. They also appreciated the superior reliability of the machines. Without a doubt, Macs were much more stable than Windows PCs. This allowed them to be significantly more productive.

Wintel Dominance

The question now is, why exactly did MS Windows come to dominate so completely?

The pundits like to say that it was due to the fact that Wintel was an open system, while Mac is not.

  1. Macs were more expensive to buy.
  2. Macs were not compatible.
  3. Macs did not work with a lot of industry standard hardware (e.g. IDE drive).

There is a certain amount of truth to this. The problem is that those who are anti-Apple take this partial truth and believe that this is all there is to it. But there is a lot more.

The simple fact is that Bill Gates wanted Microsoft not to be the dominant player, but the only player, and ruthlessly attacked all competition.

Let's look at compatibility. At one point Apple added the ability to mount PC hard drives. Why did Microsoft not add the same for Mac drives? Was it beyond their programming capacity? Word and Excel existed on the Mac as well as the MS Windows. (Excel was actually first developed on the Mac.) Yet there were file compatibility issues for years. Why? Was it impossible for Microsoft to create compatible systems?

Then came the browser wars

Gates and company saw (rightly so) that as computing moved to the Internet and was accessed via browsers, that this would change the industry to a more open one that would decrease reliance on any one particular OS. This was particularly true with the introduction of JavaScript, a programming language for web browsers. The code exists on a web site, and runs in your web browser.

This was a threat to Microsoft's desktop hegemony, so the company fought back. Microsoft created an alternative to JavaScript called Jscript, which ran only on Internet Explorer. Since all MS Windows PCs shipped with IE, almost all PCs had it. So web developers developed for that flavor of the scripting language, thus making all others (e.g. Netscape) incompatible.

Oh yes, Microsoft also made IE for the Mac. But the Mac versions were always behind and never compatible. Website code became a tangled web of:

  • if browser = "Netscape" and version = "2.0" then [code for this version]...

And this was repeated for each browser and version. It was ugly. There were many, many web sites that never bothered to make a Mac-compatible site. Mac users were left out in the cold.

Microsoft – leveraging its virtual monopoly – had manipulated the software landscape to isolate and marginalize all competition, especially Apple and the Macs.

There are enough problems in the world without adding an incompatible system to your life. The Microsoft strategy was effective. It was only when the company was staring down federal lawsuits for monopolistic practices that it signed an agreement with Apple to guarantee continued MS Office development. This was necessary for Apple to survive.

Conclusion

So, while there is some truth in the assertion that Macs lost to Wintel PCs due to the closed nature of the system, in reality this is just a small part of the equation. To those who try to say that today Android is the Microsoft that will marginalize iOS in like manner, there are just too many reasons the situation is not analogous.

Apple may or may not continue to lose market share. It may continue to have margin compression. However, it will NOT lose market share because it is a "closed" system just like the Mac was vs. the Wintel PC.

In a follow-up article I will describe just why the current situation is so different.

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  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 2:06 PM, PaulPhoenix wrote:

    Who at this point do you hear saying "I'm leaving Android for iOS"? People stay with Apple because they have invested so much money in their interconnected tech, not because the product is better.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 2:07 PM, mattack2 wrote:

    "the Intel 8008 available in 1072"

    Uhh, 1972.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 2:12 PM, mattack2 wrote:

    Actually, even on Slashdot, I see PLENTY of people saying they're leaving Android for iOS.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 2:26 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    @PaulPhoenix, you're completely off your rocker.

    There have been plenty statistics recently which show that Android users are leaving for iOS at a greater rate then the reverse. These findings are supported by market share changes in some mature markets - e.g. US and Europe - where iOS is actually gaining or overtaking Android.

    The primary reason Android devices are eclipsing iOS in market share is PRICE - and its impact on sales in the emerging markets. Don't fool yourself (or try to fool others) into believing that people are leaving iOS for some non-existent superiority of "Android". It's price and price alone. Most folks in the emerging markets simply can't afford an iOS device.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 2:47 PM, Sejongcamus wrote:

    @twolf2919

    Well, I'd say its price and screen size. There is a significant minority that legitimately wants a bigger screen. Folks who need reading glasses are part of that.

    I also think there is at least something to be said for getting used to the Android system as well. In my mobile software business I wind up speaking to a lot of users. I've found that often the non-tech-savvy who've recently switched to Apple, buying a low-end 4 or 4S in the past year, get confused by things like the lack of a back button.

    Folks with that level of non-geekiness are the mass market. Many still make the shift, but it's not like Android is just a crap OS that's got negligible stickiness, unlike in the past. My bets still on Apple, that all withstanding.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 2:49 PM, hades914 wrote:

    @twolf2919: Completely agree with you. Personally, I upgraded from an iphone 4s to galaxy s3 earlier this year, not a decision I'm happy with. Will surely be switching back to apple at next upgrade opportunity. Apple is much better with its user interface, the only reason android devices are getting any traction is pricing.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 2:54 PM, hawkhell wrote:

    But Android is winning because iOS. Is a non customizable OS...

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 2:54 PM, samkass wrote:

    1. The entire premise of this article is that Macintosh, currently the most profitable computing platform on the market, lost to Windows, whose top 5 manufacturers together don't equal Mac profits? Ok, song me up for that kind of "loss".

    2. The PC market is only tangentially a consumer market and very different from phones. Isn't the MP3 market a better historical precedent to examine?

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 2:59 PM, cheatsheet wrote:

    Regarding the reason Microsoft worked with Apple, it was not due to getting sued as monopoly. It was primarily Microsoft losing a suit to Apple over the use if QuickTime source code in one version of Video for Windows. Search "San Francisco Canyon Company" for some more color on this.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:03 PM, musicianm2002 wrote:

    Why do you need to customize iOS?

    Obviously the people that use it don't really care to customize. It's already so simple.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:06 PM, dmvcal wrote:

    Cutting to the chase:

    Steve Jobs was into "delighting" end users -- Bill Gates, instead, went after IT managers (neither of who cares about "delighting" end users) and established himself as the "standard" for bean counters. Now, that "b-y-o-d", bring your own device, is the corporate norm Microsoft's "playing to the bottom" has bitten them in the bottom(line). Android & iOS pursue divergent philosophies, because they differ in their targeted CORE markets. My understanding of "business" is linked to bank deposits. Willie Sutton, the bank robber, was asked "Why do you rob banks?". Answer: "That's where the money is". What are Tom & David Gardner's personal investment goals? Diversification? Own as many stocks as possible? Or, making the most $ ? How about all those analysts, especially those who get it wrong time and again, what is THEIR bottom-line goal? How about the myriads of mutual funds managers who don't buy for THEIR portfolio what they heap on their investors? When push comes to shove, when rhetoric ends, Willie Sutton's insight carries the day. The guys who wrote the bible knew that. Right, Bill. Warren. George?!

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:11 PM, Mike42R wrote:

    I've used both, and like both, arguing about which is best is just silly, it's just whichever you like best, I do like the little bit lager screen, and I'm not blind or old

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:12 PM, fwe43 wrote:

    These Apple vs Android arguments I find so ridiculous and petty. It's just astounding that these corporate behemoths have been able to psychologically manipulate their customers into such a frenzy over their products that people become so defensive about "their" product and attack any competing products. That kind of behavior is priceless and worth moe than a billion dollars in marketing. It's as if billions of people's lives revolve around products.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:14 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    While it's nice to have a historical summary of some of the important events in the early days of the PC era, the events cited don't have much to do with why the current situation of Apple vs. Android is nothing like the situation between Apple and WIntel at the beginning of the PC era. The reason is actually quite simple:

    Applications!

    In the late 1970's and early '80s, application software development was just getting started. Because MS-DOS was available on more machines (which, in turn was due to MS-DOS being "open" and licensable by multiple hardware vendors), software developers gravitated towards that platform! This became a "virtuous circle" - the more applications became available for WIntel, the more likely it became for people to buy Wintel (vs. Macs) - since they could do more things with it. Apple lost.

    Now contrast this with today's situation: Apple, being the "first mover" in both the smartphone and tablet spaces, has built up a tremendous app store - all before Android ever entered the picture. Anyone who wanted to make money in smartphone or tablet apps already wrote significant apps in iOS. Hundreds of thousands of apps - all there, before Android. And then Android came and quickly became ubiquitous market share wise. Smartphone and tablet developers who wanted to reach that market began converting their iOS apps to Android. But of course, they kept their iOS "cash cow" (it is well known that Android versions of apps don't generate nearly as much revenue as their iOS counterparts, due to the demographics of iOS users vs. Android users).

    In this environment, with hundreds of thousands of apps already written, with iOS users spending much more on apps than their Android brethren (and their ranks growing - albeit more slowly than Android's user base), why would any sane developer even think about abandoning iOS? And make no mistake - that's what it would take: developers leaving the platform!

    Meanwhile, Apple makes developing software for iOS much simpler: unlike an Android developer, an iOS developer doesn't have to worry much about what operating systems their app will have to run on, they don't have to worry much about dozens of hardware configurations to code for.

    Finally, Apple's proprietary, single-app-store approach allows for a powerful means to control the spread of malware. Already 80% of malware targets Android devices and only 0.7% target iOS. Users have already begun to notice - and once getting an Android device implies also having to buy anti-virus software to protect yourself, more and more people will gravitate towards the safety of iOS.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:15 PM, fwe43 wrote:

    @hades914 - " I upgraded from an iphone 4s to galaxy s3 earlier this year, not a decision I'm happy with."

    - Or try something different like Windows Phone? There are actually a number of options beyond paying a huge premium...

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:21 PM, engelsione wrote:

    I prefer Android over iOS. As a user I want to be able to enjoy my phone to my likes and taste.

    With Apple you only have 1 device and is the same as everyone else. Is like going to a party and everyone is wearing the same outfit as you are.

    Iphones lacks modern technology currently on the market.

    retina display? is not even HD None of the iphones features 1080p display wich is HD

    Iphones are the only phone now in 2013 without NFC.

    On Android I have the freedom to choose, not ruled by one source only.

    There are too many "I cant do that on my iphone" that is just not for me.

    can not share music

    can not share files through Wifi

    can not access file from your phone

    can not use your phone as an harddrive

    can not download any music other that Itunes

    can not change icons, colors, screen layouts.

    and too many more.

    Android, Google now is far more advanced than Siri.

    However. anyone that is just an average user " text, see weather, see game scores and call Grandma on the weekends will not know any difference on the advance of technology and will stick with iOS because dont know any better.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:23 PM, bubbathaluva wrote:

    Clearly the author is an Apple Fanboy. Gates created Windows. Gates created Office. Gates created a version of Office compatible with Mac. End of story. When I was young and saving money for my first computer, I had a choice to make on what to buy. Walking down the software isles at Best Buy made my decision easy. There were 4 isles worth of PC games and a half isle of Mac games. That was half of the decision. The other half was hardware. There were lots of options that allowed me to buy pre-made computers like Compaq, HP and (god save us) Packard-Bell or I could build my own. Apple said you get this hardware and only this hardware. Apple said you can't upgrade your processor later. While lack of hardware options is what made the Mac OS more stable, its also what turned off all the gamers.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:27 PM, bubbathaluva wrote:

    Gaming is what forced hardware makers to innovate. Why create a faster graphics card for spreadsheets? Apple failed to address our needs and paid dearly for it. With phones its the same thing. When I bought my first smartphone my decision was based on this. I wanted to plug my phone into my computer and move music files and picture files to it without any special software (i.e. like plugging in a thumb drive). With iPhones, you have to use iTunes to load up your music. iTunes liked to move files and reorganize music libraries. That was a no-go for me and Android is a dream come true. Apple is totally ignoring history and you have failed to supply a logical arguement to the contrary. Fanboy.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:33 PM, webguy76 wrote:

    It really isn't the same thing though because before the iPhone or really the iPod and iTunes, Apple was not something that people would talk about. Not one of my friends or colleagues owned anything from Apple unless they were a teacher or in the design business. The truth is Apple is popular because of the phones, nothing else. People may have gone out and bought a Mac after the phone or iPod, but if it were not for these two devices (and iTunes) Apple would still be a stain on Microsoft's underpants.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:42 PM, webguy76 wrote:

    @bubbathaluva you are 100% right. I had an iPhone for 2 years, and while I liked the phone, I hated iTunes. My S3 is so much more open and free to do what I need like connect to my Windows network and pull files from multiple computers. I remember the first time I tried to use my iPhone as a flash drive and I was totally disappointed that it wouldn't work.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:43 PM, Malevolo wrote:

    What I would like to know is the market share, iOS vs Android in developed countries... In the segment of high end devices from android. I'm sure a very high percentage of android smart phones get sold in third world countries, in which the people that buy those low end android phones, barely get on the Internet , for the reason they can't afford to pay for Internet connection 3G , 4g, hell, not even wifi , most of these people don't even have running water or electricity, google will never be able to monetize those people, those countries are poor and will always stay poor, I don't want to hear that these countries eventually will developed, They Won't and never will. Anybody that hasn't been in a third world country, don't know what they're talking about.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:48 PM, webguy76 wrote:

    @malevolo what the h$ll are you talking about?

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:58 PM, vernr75 wrote:

    It's impossible for iOS to become the dominant mobile platform used by the globe because Apple's "high price, low variety, no options" business strategy only allows less than a billion people to get access to it. In fact, the platform would be almost nonexistent if the real price wasn't being disguised by subsidies...and if subsidies ever disappear, so does Apple's iPhone. You can't possibly build global relevance or reliance by pricing almost everyone out of the ecosystem. Android is targeting all 5 billion+ mobile users with the aim to increase mobile use by at least another billion. That's why it's succeeding. Only platforms that are doing the same thing can compete with it, and Apple's iOS is simply not one of them.

    As a result, when it comes to the globe, I don't regard iOS as a real competitor to Android at all - because the iPhone is no more a true global competitor than Gucci handbags are. Apple's real competition is actually Microsoft's Phone OS. That's because Microsoft via Nokia has a good chance of taking over the second place slot in all those very populous countries where Apple has and will continue to have very weak to negligible market presence as Android use doubles and triples beyond today's levels. Once that second place slot slips away from Apple in most countries, app development for local use will push folks in most of those countries away from iOS and fortify Android and Windows phone as the must-have platforms needed to run locally made apps that provide the essential local services that make smartphones so critically useful. By being rendered locally irrelevant in more than 200 individual countries, iOS will then become globally insignificant even if it remains popular in the US, Japan and a portion of Western Europe.

    This is not a war any more than there is a war between men and maggots.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 3:59 PM, engelsione wrote:

    @Malevolo

    If you refer to Android users as low class , no internet , poor countries, scum... will it be fair for me to call iphone users "technology impaired stringed marionettes"?? or hamsters in the play box?

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:00 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    @engelsione,

    "Iphones lacks modern technology currently on the market"

    Hm, that's a common refrain by the Android fans - when in doubt, list hardware specs.

    While in general I agree that Android devices tend to have higher-spec'ed hardware than iPhones, sometimes those superior hardware specs are gimmicky rather than of value. Let's go through some of the items you list:

    - iPhones not having HD - what would HD buy me if I had it on my 4" iPhone display?

    - iPhones not having NFC - again, what does it buy me? The original idea behind NFC was to allow for easy, touchless payment systems. Well, that hasn't exactly happened. None of the stores I frequent lets you pay via NFC. If you're talking about an easy way to share files, Apple's "Airdrop" does that already - and you don't have to be as close to one another as with NFC.

    On the other hand, the iPhone:

    - has always been a better game platform - because its graphics capability are much better (especially now with the 5s) than anything on Android.

    - the new A7 in the 5s is about twice as fast as the fastest Samsung (Galaxy S4) on the market

    - there's a finger print scanner that actually works fast and reliably (vs. the junk that was in the Motorola Atrix)

    - the touch screen on the iPhone gives apps feedback about twice as quickly as any Android phone (allows for less lag and better user interaction)

    - no-fuss-no-muss photo and video streaming to any other Apple device

    - no need to worry about malware as in Android (with the "choice" you like, comes the downside that less technically savvy folks than you might catch a virus or two)

    I use Apple devices - not because I'm ignorant technically (s/w developer for 25 years) - but because I like the simplicity and safety that comes with a "walled garden" approach. I understand that others like Android - because of its infinitely greater customizable. To each their own. But to suggest that the vast,huddled masses out there - who don't know a CPU from a donkey's butt - are better off with Android than with Apple is just plain wrong. Most of these folks would be much better off in the less customizable, but vastly safer embrace of iOS.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:00 PM, musicinmykey wrote:

    What Microsoft failed at was creating an operating system that sold 1 product, where Apple has now created an environment where you want all of their products and that's where I see the difference between iOS and Android.

    Apple has now created an environment where you want all of their products and that's where I see the difference between iOS and Android. Interconnectivity and a seamless environment. If you want a cheap phone, knock yourself out and get an Android. If you want everything else, I'll see you at the Apple store.

    Believe me, I used to bash the fanboys, but then I bought an iPhone and started to learn. The real difference is the ecosystem. Apple has done a great job interconnecting their products together and because of it, I have not only switched my home devices (laptops, touchpads, TV) over to Apple, but also all my office computers (MBPs and iMacs) and my employees have iPhones. I just don't see how Android could make me (us) feel as connected to my (our) other devises.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:03 PM, Malevolo wrote:

    @webguy76 I just want a break down on android smartphones high end vs low end, I have never seen those numbers.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:07 PM, webguy76 wrote:

    Why what does that prove?

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:14 PM, webguy76 wrote:

    @musicinmykey. In a business environment fine, but you could also say the pros for Android and Windows is that you are not tied to one system. Every time one of those devices breaks or needs service you will be paying a premium. My point is that I know people who rent in poor parts of town, drive a '96 caravan that is rusted out, work at Applebee's as servers, and do nothing on a computer except blog, but they have brand the new 5S and MacBook pros and Apple TV and all this crap that they don't need. I could see if you are a high end graphonc designer and you want a nice $3000 MacBook Pro, but if you can't tell from my screen name I am a web developer and I do everything on a nice Gateway i3 desktop, no issues.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:25 PM, engelsione wrote:

    twolf2919

    Specs? Android SnapDragon quad cores vs Apples dual cores?

    - the new A7 in the 5s is about twice as fast as the fastest Samsung (Galaxy S4) on the market

    A7 64 bit chip, made by Samsung !!!! LOL

    How can I enjoy a HD less screen "fast game" in a tiny 4inch screen?

    Here is my partial list of the thing you Can't do on your iOS device

    that I can do anyday on my htc ONE

    can not share music

    can not access files from your phone

    can not use Swipe to type faster with keyboard.

    can not use your phone as an hard-drive

    can not download any music other than Itunes

    can not change icons, fonts,colors, screen layouts. Jony Ive already made that decision for you.

    and too many more.

    Android, Google now is far more advanced than Siri.

    Oh, malware on Android was ancient. Now as any intelligent OS there are lots of FREE security apps to add intelligent security to any device.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:25 PM, Snoopy2012 wrote:

    @webguy76 - he meant, even if you can sell $hit load in developing countries, you can not make any profit.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:31 PM, Snoopy2012 wrote:

    @elsione- A7 64 bit chip, made by Samsung !!!! LOL

    But designed by Apple...any dom,dick and hari with fab factory can manufacture the chip. It means nothing.

    LOL :-)

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:31 PM, zippero wrote:

    Thanks for pointing out that Steve Jobs bought the Xerox PARC GUI technology. Xerox had no use for it and saw no potential for it, so sold it to Jobs on the cheap.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:33 PM, webguy76 wrote:

    Oh but its okay that these are the primary targets for Apple though right? Its all about market share and Android is dominating Apple in every way. I would much rather have 80% of the market at 20 points versus 12% share at 40 points wouldn't you?

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:36 PM, webguy76 wrote:

    @ Snoopy2012 and everyone else makes the Apple hardware so your right that's why the phone sucks. Good point!

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:42 PM, Cuftbll wrote:

    I noticed someone mentioned NFC above. I work for the biggest credit/merchant processor in the world so I'll let you know a little secret. NFC was/is dead. Apple knew this and never wasted their time with it. Google Wallet is moving away from NFC and PayPal as well. I will let you in on another nugget. iBeacons plus the Touch ID = a true digital wallet. Boom!

    Apple is just getting consumers to 'trust' the Touch ID not only as a security function but by introducing them to making purchases with it via iTunes. Once the consumer is convinced (something NFC didnt do) Apple will roll out their digital solution. Apple knew about NFC as they did Flash.

    PayPal even rolling out their own beacon solution.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 4:56 PM, bobbydig wrote:

    IBM lost and Apple Won

    Microsoft lost and Apple Won

    Its only time before Google will be added to the list.

    Google's model, like IBM and Microsoft was good for a sprint, but no for the long run.

    Hate Apple all you want, they are in it for the long run.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 5:06 PM, MoltarRocks wrote:

    Actually, I don't think you could be any more wrong about the history of Apple. IBM and Windows succeeded in their day due to marketing strategy. IBM went to their customers and listened to needs and built the machines around that information. Apple made the better machine, IMO, but they forced customers into adapting to the machine. Be this as it may, I'll take an iPhone over an Android any day. I've had both.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 5:08 PM, webguy76 wrote:

    @bobbydig Haha see that's why I love you Apple people: all feeling and no stats. The truth is none of these companies are going anywhere. Our market is set up for duopolies to exist. There will always be at least two computer manufacturers in business because no one will ever 100% agree on which is best. You like this, I like that. Simple as that. BTW IBM is Lenovo now which is the worlds second largest computer manufacturer, their not going anywhere.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 5:23 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    @engelsione,

    "Specs? Android SnapDragon quad cores vs Apples dual cores?" - blah, blah, blah....it's not the number of cores that count, but what you do with them. If you got your head out of the sand and actually did some research, you'd find that the A7 with only two cores is running rings around the current Android competition. When it comes to graphics, the A7 also has quad-core graphics subsystem that is over twice as fast as any other smartphone on the market.

    "A7 64 bit chip, made by Samsung !!!! LOL" - yes, very mature, little boy. Not that it makes any difference to someone like you, but just because Samsung built it doesn't mean that it can turn around and copy it (not that it hasn't tried with a lot of things). The design is entirely Apple's. So what are you laughing about, little boy?

    The rest of your reply is just as much gibberish: of course I can share music on my iPhone, of course I can access files on my iPhone, and of course I can download music from places other than iTunes. Google Now is not better than Siri (Siri does some things better than Google Now and Google Now does some things better than Siri) - but even if it were, I have Google Now on my iPhone - can you run Siri on your Android device?

    Yes, you can use your custom keyboard or install custom icons and I can't in iOS - so what? If that were important to me, I'd get an Android system. It just isn't.

    "Oh, malware on Android was ancient. Now as any intelligent OS there are lots of FREE security apps to add intelligent security to any device." So you're saying that malware on Android is no longer a problem because you can install anti-virus programs on your Android device? Smart guy - so, just like in the PC era, you want to slow down your quad-core (no wonder you need a quad core) "intelligent OS" running smartphone with anti-virus software running in the background. Not only is this the dumbest use of a smartphone's processing/battery power, but a little virus program running on your little smartphone can't possibly be as effective as a sophisticated anti-virus program running on a massive datacenter computer.

    Ok, don't bother replying - it must be time to do your homework.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 6:51 PM, JokerJoey wrote:

    I can sum up these arguments very succinctly with the following declaration:

    I have some bad news for all the Android aficionados out there: with the advent of iOS 7 for iPhone and iPad and the forthcoming Mavericks for the iMac, MacPro and other desktops, Apple will just be opening the door to a whole new world of functionality that it will take Android about two years to even get close to. And at the same time Apple will again turn the tables upside down with a new class or two of product that will integrate flawlessly and which the competitors will stare at with their jaws dropped to the floor. Just watch the next month.

    You heard it here first gang!

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 7:52 PM, webguy76 wrote:

    Yawn. There will always be new technology. That's all we do from Apple is wait. We wait for this and wait for that but it doesn't come. Have fun waiting though, hope you get in line first if and when that stuff comes out.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 8:13 PM, stuffs4s wrote:

    Malcom is only partially correct. I was heavily involved in the computer industry from 1970 through 1987. The short story is MS-Dos was only a intermediate solution for the IBM PC as IBM wanted to develop it's own OS. It was a better OS, but by the time it was released, MS-Dos had so many business applications (the predominant users were businesses) the new IBM OS died a slow but painless death. The Apple/Mac applications never took hold in the business world, plus IBM made their PC's the computer of choice for business, and IT departments bought them by the hundreds and even thousands and there was nothing Apple could do because they were not strong in the business world. Not until the internet became ubiquitous did personal computers really have a place in the consumer market and finaly became useful. Steve Jobs, now back at Apple, recognized this and released his iMac. The bottom line is usefulness, which today is defined by applications. Tomorrow it will be defined by how something integrates into all the technology in your life, and that is where Apple has a massive, massive advantage. Full disclosure, I bought Apple at $18 when OSX first came out.

  • Report this Comment On September 24, 2013, at 8:20 PM, JaanS wrote:

    @engelsione

    There are several errors in your lists of "can nots"

    The most blatant is the can not use music other than iTunes. If by this you mean that you must use iTunes to load your music - then you are correct. But what does that matter?

    But what you seem to be saying is that you cannot buy/download music except from iTunes and this is completely false.

    Only about 2% of my collection has been purchased on iTunes. The rest come from CDs, amazon, etc.

    ---

    On another point. Who gives a darn how many cores a processor has. Which is faster and more efficient is more important. Check out the AnandTech tests.

  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2013, at 9:52 AM, rubenreyes2000 wrote:

    I disagree with the author's assessment of the causes for the "Wintel" success.

    What you are saying is that the most important cause for Apple's failure is "bad boy" Microsoft, who instead of playing nice with Apple, did what every competitor did, does and will do: attempt to marginalize competitors and leverage any advantage they have.

    That competitive nature is is exactly WHY Apple decided to have a closed and incompatible system in the first place. They wanted to marginalize competitors by monopolizing their hardware and software. They bet on the market willing to pay a premium for their product.

    So the causes for the success or failure don't depend mostly on what a normal competitive environment will do, but rather on the decisions you make and your products. Apple was no victim of a mean Microsoft.

    Apple bet on having a closed system is the same now as is was back then. They still bet on the market paying a premium for their products. And this is a good strategy, as long as you can stay ahead.... way ahead.... of your competitors. But when you competitors catch up the market for expensive products shrinks rapidly.

    Apple's current success is mounted exclusively on the iPhone. They seized the opportunity to make major improvements to cell phones, a device category that was clearly undeserved by the then dominant players (Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson), who were just milking the market and were barely moving the needle of innovation.

    However, now that iPhone competitors have caught up and exceeded iPhone in some areas, Apple feels the pressure to make another quantum leap to justify their premium prices.

    I have no crystal ball, but I don't see other opportunities like the iPhone available for Apple to grab. There is the iPad and other products but they don't have the scale and profitability of the iPhone. And I think it is quite unlikely that Apple can outpace their competitors in innovation. So, unless Apple changes it's pricing strategy in face of this reality, it may be 1990s all over again.

  • Report this Comment On September 26, 2013, at 11:04 AM, JaanS wrote:

    @ rubenreyes2000

    To begin with - Apple system was never THAT closed.

    There were gobs of 3rd party applications, and the Macs used industry standard buses. They used the industry standard SCSI bus for hard drives. These were more expensive - but worked seamlessly.

    I attended a technical workshop in 1998 (or so). The presenter had rented a dozen Macs and brought up nothing but his hard drive. He plugged it in to each in turn and and loaded his software. At the same time, I read instructions for adding a hard drive to a Wintel PC - it was 3 pages long.

    Also - they used ethernet, and were the first adopters of USB ports.

    ====

    But more importantly....

    There is a difference between making your system the best you think it can be, and using your monopoly power to intentionally marginalize competition. Apple never could do this. MS did so.

  • Report this Comment On October 02, 2013, at 8:53 PM, RMengineer wrote:

    Nice recap of the lead up to the wintel PC (snark). So the argument is that because the paths to the same state of the market might not be identical that that makes them not the same state? Just because you take a different path the same destination that means you _aren't_ at the same destination?

    The simple fact is that wintel PCs cost less than Macs. And Android phones cost less than iOS phones. In the end, low price almost always wins. And the numbers back that up. I mean despite all the "argumentation" posited by the writer, the fact remains that Android came from behind to capture the lions share of the market. No "recapping" of history changes that fact.

    And what has made that possible (as with PCs) is a _large number_ of manufactures working ways to drive down cost and drive up innovation (or at least trying to offer better and better features, performance, whatever) to eek out any modicum of advantage.

    And as I say, produce evolution also has a lot to with a numbers game. The more people there are trying more things out and getting them in front of more customers, the more rapidly you find out what new things work and which don't.

    When you only come out with one new iteration once a year, that is a huge deficit against the numbers of the other "camp". This is how it went from Android chasing Apple to now Apple trying to chase features on Android phones.

    Again, no "recounting" of history doesn't refute or disprove the shear numbers advantage a multi-manufacturer platform has over a single source closed platform. And it's not like this is a new or unique phenomena or precedent with computer technology. Witness how VHS vs Beta Max went down. The PC vs. Mac battle was more just another example of the rule than an something exceptional. And there is no reason to think iOS vs Android should be any different.

    And not only is no amount of recounting of history make the principle in play not the principle in play, no amount of blindly supporting Apple or arguing that history doesn't apply this time doesn't change the fact that those same principles are once again extant or that those principles will this time produce different results unlike the past. If you have to argue "but this time it's different", then it probably isn't nor will the outcome be different.

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