The first book I have finished this year is Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolutionby Fred Vogelstein. The book covers the development of the iPhone, iPad, development of Android based phones, looks at the legal battle that erupted between Samsung and Apple, and finally, what these gadgets have done to change the market in a broad sense. I have seen this stated in other reviews and it held true for me after reading the book myself, that the first two-thirds of the book is the best part of the book and that it tails off after that. I read the first two-thirds of the book over the course of five days and it took me another week to finish the last third of the book.
The first seven chapters make up the telling of the creation of the iPhone, Android, and the iPad and the battle that takes place between Apple and Google once Apple learns about Android. Those first seven chapters are the strongest and where we learn most interesting details about the inside stories of the two most popular mobile operating systems. It is in the telling of the back and forth story between Apple and Google where Fred Vogelstein shines in the book. The chapter covering the trial between Samsung and Apple was alright, just did not grab me as much as the previous seven chapters. It did not cover as many interesting details which I guess is not a huge surprise given it was focused on a patent trial. The next two chapters are a bit different than the rest of the book, focusing on the more industry-wide effects that iOS and Android devices have had on the world of technology. From how it has effected websites, to media publishing, and the entertainment industry of movies and TV among other things. While there is some good information in this section it just is a bit of a different turn for the book after a much closer look at a smaller set of topics in only two companies and topics in the first seven chapters.
Overall if you enjoy reading about technology and parts of the inside stories surrounding Apple and Google, there is enough good information I think to read this book in the end. Although it is interesting after reading this book and now several weeks after I have finished it, a lot of the details from it have not stuck with me as well as I might have thought since I have just so recently read it.
I am a few days late on this post since the Mac’s 30th anniversary was last week but I still wanted to share my thoughts. For me I have used Apple computers all my life. The first computer I used at home was one of the green-screened Apple II models. Over the course of the years I have used several Macintosh computer models and I am inclined to think that Apple and their computers have had a great effect on my continued love for all things technological. The first Mac computer I bought for myself was a Titanium PowerBook G4 in August of 2003 before I went off to my freshmen year of college at Gustavus Adolphus. That was a great laptop for me that served me through my entire college career. My Mac’s have served me well over the years and I hope they continue to.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball has a great post that he did yesterday on how in some key ways you can still see the design decisions from the very first Mac OS.
For one thing, they sweated the details. The greatest testimony to their genius is just how much of that original design is recognizable in today’s Mac OS X 10.9. A Mac user from 1984 could sit down in front of an iMac or MacBook today and recognize it as a successor to that original machine. That’s simply amazing.
Even more amazing is that some things haven’t changed at all. File, Edit, and View menus to start the Finder menu bar — the same today as in System 1 in 1984.
I think this quick quote really helps show the dramatic success Apple’s iPad has been.
Apple sold 11.8 million iPads during the quarter, more than double the number it sold last year. Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, helped put this in perspective during the company’s earnings call.“Just two years after we shipped the initial iPad, we sold 67 million,” he said. “It took us 24 years to sell that many Macs, and five years for that many iPods, and over three years for that many iPhones.”
A good article on the changing landscape in technology and the devices the companies make. The article talks about several reasons have helped speed up the process of declaring them a failure or success. Which really is not a huge surprise given the growth of Twitter, Facebook, and tech websites and other places that all help to speed up the process on reviews and the collective consensus for each new device, which is talked about a bit in the article.
I think that is partly where Apple is successful they often are able to create great buzz around their products. The company then also has to deliver the goods when the product is actually shipped or all the hype won’t help once it is out, and in terms of hardware devices Apple has had an amazing success rate in the last decade.
These days, big technology companies — particularly those in the hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet industries — are starting to resemble Hollywood film studios. Every release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer over time.
Some analysts trace the origin of this blockbuster-or-bust mentality to Apple. Each release of the company’s popular iPads and iPhones crosses over into being a mainstream media event. Al Hilwa, an analyst at the research firm IDC, described the accelerated lifecycle of high-end hardware as “Darwinian.”
“There’s a level of desperation from anyone whose name is not Apple,” said Al Hilwa, an analyst at the research firm IDC.
Two great articles that look at different angles as to why Apple has been so successful over the last decade. The stat in the quote below from the NY Times piece, about how how if the iPad itself was a stand alone company, really illustrates how much of a success it has been. The second article gives great insight on why Apple has been successful by explaining the philosophy that drives Apple and Steve Jobs.
Hit products like the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad are fueling Apple’s logic-defying growth. The latest entry — the iPad, introduced in April — is on track to deliver $15 billion to $20 billion in revenue in its first full year of sales, estimates A. M. Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. At that size, if the iPad were a stand-alone company, it would rank within the top third of the Fortune 500.
Apple’s successful conquest of Sony’s home turf could be seen as the final evidence that the Cupertino company is what Deutschman calls Sony’s “spiritual successor.” “Under Jobs, Apple has the kind of passion for design and innovation that Sony did in its heyday,” he says. “Everything they do is the ‘greatest thing we’ve ever done,’ which will ‘once again change the world.’ And recently, most of the time they’ve been right.
The iPhone for Verizon has been a long time coming. There were news articles back in 2007 a few short months after the phones’ launch, in how it would soon be headed for Verizon. Unless something drastic happens, it certainly appears that Verizon plans to announce this coming Tuesday that it will get its own version of the iPhone 4.
The two things that I certainly will be curious to hear about is how many people will either switch from AT&T if they already have an iPhone and how many new iPhone users there will be who have not wanted to sign up for it with AT&T. On those two topics, a few quotes from Wall Street Journal article on that.
Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford Bernstein, has estimated that Verizon could add more than 10 million U.S. iPhone customers.
“It’s great news,” said Michael Benkoski, 55 years old, who works at a technology leasing company in Chicago. “I’ve been waiting for it for about two years.”
Analysts fear AT&T could see one to three million fewer new subscribers because of the Verizon iPhone.
The New York Times has an interesting article up on the growing discussion/battle between physical books and e-books on devices like the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad. The quotes below show one case of this tension, and the growing numbers of e-book device readers in some form.
Auriane and Sebastien de Halleux are at sharp odds over “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but not about the plot. The problem is that she prefers the book version, while he reads it on his iPad. And in this literary dispute, the couple says, it’s ne’er the twain shall meet.
“She talks about the smell of the paper and the feeling of holding it in your hands,” said Mr. de Halleux, 32, who says he thinks the substance is the same regardless of medium. He added, sounding mildly piqued, “She uses the word ‘real.’ ”
By the end of this year, 10.3 million people are expected to own e-readers in the United States, buying about 100 million e-books, the market research company Forrester predicts. This is up from 3.7 million e-readers and 30 million e-books sold last year.
Personally for me it has taken me a long time to come around to reading books on my iPad or more generally reading books on an electronic device. Since I have gotten the iPad earlier this year I have read parts of books on the device. I have not read a whole book on it quite yet, but that is because of me losing focus on a book and starting and stopping. I am not sure if I really will for the foresable future ever give up on physical books, but I certainly think I likely will split where I buy my books between digital and physical books from now on. In the end I think digital will keep growing but I think for a long time at the very least that there will be a place still for physical books. From the article and what I have written it is easy to see that in this one area it makes for an interesting discussion on the advancement of technology into this realm of book publishing and reading.
As an Apple geek, I am quite happy to see this story, about how Apple’s Macintosh computers are gaining a stronger presence on Minnesota college campuses with the students and the computers that the colleges and universities use themselves. From the article there is no one cause listed for the reason to the increase in the number of Mac’s. The reason’s vary from good marketing, to people being more familar with Apple products because of iPod’s and iPhones, to more exposure to Mac’s at early age sometimes through school. Other reason’s are mentioned as well in the article. For whatever the reason I am glad to see it gaining ground, since I have always been a fan. To me it is just a very stable operating system, currently very little worry about viruses and for the most part things normally just work.
The Macintosh is on the march at Minnesota colleges and universities.
Apple’s computers, primarily its laptops, are must-have machines for more and more students at such schools as Macalester College, St. Olaf College, St. John’s University and Winona State University. Now, for the first time, the Mac has achieved rough parity or slim majorities at some local schools, with hefty gains on other campuses.
The Mac’s rise on some local campuses is striking, though, given that Apple machines remain a tiny percentage of this country’s overall computer-using population. It’s also worth noting that Apple all but lost the higher-education market a decade or so ago, so this is quite a comeback.
While I won’t get my own iPhone 4 until tomorrow (and then selling my iphone 3GS to help with the cost) I thought I would do a round up of some of the iPhone 4 coverage that has happened in the last few days. First here are a few excerpts from the iPhone 4 review over at Engadget.
Perhaps the most notable change with the new iPhone is the drastic industrial design overhaul — Apple seems to have completely rethought its strategy on how the phone should look and feel, and the results are nothing if not striking.
We can’t overstate how high-end the design of the iPhone 4 is. The 3GS now feels
cheap and chubby by comparison, and even a phone like the HTC Droid Incredible — which just came out — seems last-generation.
We’re not going to beat around the bush — in our approximation, the iPhone 4 is the best smartphone on the market right now. The combination of
gorgeous new hardware, that amazing display, upgraded cameras, and major improvements to the operating system make this an extremely formidable package.
Initally I was not quite sure about the new design, but I think I have started to come around and actually like the re-designed phone. However the real test will be how it feels in my hand come tomorrow morning. I have to say the most anticipated new feature for me on the new phone is the new 5 megapixel camera on the back. From the Engadget review it sounds like the new camera does a great job for being a camera phone and that’s much more of a reason to not carry a dedicated camera and getting to the point where one can take decent casual shots that look great on it. The other feature that will be neat to try is facetime or Apple’s version of video conferencing with the front facing camera they added. Not sure how much actual use I will get out of the feature, but at least have to try it.
Like Engadet says below, I am also a bit surprised that Apple & AT&T sold out of iPhone 4 pre-orders. Granted I was one of the people making a pre-order so I helped in a tiny degree to it. For me it makes sense to get the new phone when I can sell my current 3GS model to cover most of the cost of the new one. The one thing that the pre-order sell out tells me at least is that the interest for the iPhone has no real sign of letting up and that there is still a huge amount of interest, which is not a surprise thing really but more the magnitude of how many pre-orders there where for the phone.
We were amazed last night to see both Apple and AT&T sell out of iPhone 4 pre-order units despite the sustained ordering issues, and now we know why: Apple managed to move 600,000 iPhones in just a single day. Yes, that says’s a lot — Apple says it’s the largest number of pre-orders it’s ever taken in one day, and AT&T says it’s ten times as many orders as it took for the iPhone 3GS. It’s not all sunshine and roses, though; Apple’s also apologizing to the large numbers of people who simply couldn’t get through yesterday.
Also the increase in the new iPhone 4 is not just in the US, noted in this article over at Mac Rumors that the German carrier also had a ten fold increase in internet traffic compared to last year for 3GS.
Another quick Apple note is that I am quite happy to see that Apple has announced an update to the Mac Mini line. While a shame they have raised the price $100 on the lower model, the Mac Mini that I got in 2007 has worked out very well for me and it is a great machine. Nice that they finally added in HDMI to it, but not a huge need for me if I was to consider upgrading my Mac Mini. For more details check out this post at Macrumors.com Apple Updates Mac Mini with New Design, Faster Graphics