Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tablet and Smartphone Market Share 3Q13 (IDC)

These numbers are according to IDC:

In the smart phone market, IDC did not break out by OS, however, we know Nokia had 8.8 million units sold in 3Q, so that would be 3.5% of the market, making Windows Phone overall < 4%. IDC says that Apple's share was 13.4% down from 15.6% last year.

World Smartphone Marketshare 3Q13
Apple iOS13.4%
Windows Phone~4%

Windows tablet market share was listed only as "struggling" by IDC, I'll give it 4%, it may well be significantly less.

World Tablet Marketshare 3Q13
Apple iOS29.6%
Windows Phone~4%

IDC, in the tradition of market analysts sucking up to the companies they cover, said:
However, with the new iPad Air shipping November 1st and the refreshed iPad mini with Retina scheduled to roll out later in November, IDC expects Apple to enjoy robust shipment growth during the fourth quarter.

This is of course silly. Apple unwisely raised the price of its new mini. It has severe screen supply problems with the new mini. Mini and iPad 2 sales dominated last holiday season. Android vendors have plenty of new tablets for the holidays not shipping yet too. Add to this iOS 7 woes and it is very likely that Apple will fall even further behind in 4Q13 and IDC surely knows this. Beyond marketshare loss, a contraction in number of units shipped (4Q12 vs 4Q13) is not out of the question.

Samsung's share grows while Apple's declines in Q3 smartphone market - Computerworld

Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Grew In Q3 While Chinese Demand For Low-Cost Android Devices Hurt Apple’s Market Share

IDC on tablet market in Q3: Android up, iPad down, Windows struggling | ZDNet

Apple's tablet lead shrinks as Android gains momentum | PCWorld

iPad market share dips to less than 30% while tablet market grew 7%

Nokia Lumia sales hit record 8.8 million in Q3, North America doubles | The Verge

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Apple Censors iOS 7 Users Talking about Warranty Rights

The lead story in this Apple news update is that Apple is censoring its support blogs to keep users from finding out about their warranty rights.

Apple censors Lawrence Lessig over warranty information; iOS 7 mess grows

Make sure you read Lessig's post as well:
Wow, or from the When-Apple-Became-the-Borg Department

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Live" Blogging the Apple iPad Event

[Synopsis: Apple launches two new iPads. Neither are cost competitive with Android. iPad mini with retina display costs $399!!! It clearly is delayed, time will tell whether or not supply chain problems will make it essentially unavailable for the holiday season. OS X Maveriks will be a free upgrade. All in all one can regard the new iPads as an early Christmas present for Android vendors. These tablets, especially given the problems with iOS 7 and the A7 processor that is in the iPhone 5S and both new iPads, virtually guarantee a great holiday season for Android.]

This "live" blog is just my reactions to the Apple iPad Event. I tried to watch it via live stream, but Apple is apparently incompetent about such things. This is the third event in a row where they have screwed this up. Did everybody competent there move to Google or something?

Friday, October 18, 2013

More on iOS 7, iPhone 5S Problems

Well, the floodgates are opening. Because Apple commands so much ad money, many places avoid criticizing anything Apple. But once a few places do so, it becomes OK to talk about the obvious.

Anyway, I feel vindicated, I've only been talking about this since the day iOS 7 released [link, link, link, link]. The volume of news stories about individual bugs made it clear that iOS 7 had significant problems. Also, many Apple users just flat out do not like it.

I want you to take away three things from this article (and the ones linked to above):

  1. Apple has released its worst upgrade ever. It fails so badly it is kind of like Windows ME and Windows 8 combined.
  2. The iPhone 5S has sensors so faulty that it seems likely that Apple will have to recall all of them.
  3. iPhone 4 and 4S users are in major pain and Apple will not let them downgrade. If you have a 4 or 4S and have not yet "upgraded" you really should not do so. Apple should let these users downgrade.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Legacy Platform Update (Apple iOS, MacOS X and Microsoft Windows)

I generally intend to do this post once a month or so, but as Windows 8.1 released today, it seemed warranted to do an extra post this month.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

ChromeOS Revolution Update

Wow, this is what Amazon's best-selling laptops list contains as I write this (10/12/2013):
  • #1 Samsung Chromebook
  • #2 HP Chromebook 11 (White/Blue)
  • #6 Acer C720-2800 11.6-Inch Chromebook
  • #7 Acer C710-2834 11.6-Inch Chromebook
  • #36 Acer C710-2833 11.6-Inch Chromebook
  • #37 11.6" Acer C7 C710-2856 Chromebook
  • #89 Acer C7 C710-2847 Chromebook
Amazon doesn't publish such details, but the Samsung Chromebook has been #1 on the list nearly every day since it shipped about a year ago. (It's possible it has been on the list every day, I've never seen it not be #1 on the laptop list.) The top two laptops are both Chromebooks and ARM-based, not Intel-based.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Strange, Possibly Humorous News

Nokia Wants to Use Lightning to Charge Your Phone [VIDEO]

If you were trying to prove your embarrasing mapping system was all fixed, you certainly would not want to route motorists onto an airport runway. However, if you did do that by mistake, surely you wouldn't do it again?
Apple maps route to AK airport runway reactivated - Times Leader

The funniest part is that a phone that is truly gold-plated only costs 5x what an iPhone 5S does.
The Gold HTC One is a $4,400 limited edition plated in real gold

IEF 2013: Get ready to buy your last light bulb ever - Absolutely FABulous | TechEye

Strange, definitely creapy news:
U.S. military commissions real-life liquid armor Iron Man suit | DVICE

Chromecast Status

Recently, the biggest news is that the Android Hulu Plus app supports Chromecast.

The Chromecast is selling very well:
Go On, Guess What Amazon's Top-Selling Gadget Is Right Now – ReadWrite

The big question everyone is asking is when will Google let developers release apps?
This has led to speculation that Google is favoring "Big Copyright":

Chromecast, 2 Months Later: Where Are All The Apps? – ReadWrite

What's Holding Up New Chromecast Apps? Nothing ... But Google, That Is – ReadWrite

Numerous competitors are in progress:
Mozilla developing Chromecast killer with tab mirroring from Firefox for Android

Roku Strikes Back Against The Chromecast Menace – ReadWrite

Android News

During the latest blog format change, I reduced the amount of Android I cover.
Android is an incredibly rich platform and if you really want to know what's going on, try Android Authority, but be prepared to get quickly overwhelmed.

Here's a summary of what's been important in the Android world in the last few weeks:

As always, Samsung is a "leader":
Android benchmarks: Almost every major device maker is cheating - Liliputing

The Apple bloggers try to make a big deal of this, but to me it is just as sign that Android really is the #1 computing platform. Back in the days of workstations, benchmarks were cheated on (CPU and compiler). Then came the PCs (CPU and graphics cards), when that started, you really just knew that Windows was ruling the world. Now, the computing world has moved on once again.

Not only does Android ship the most devices per quarter, but its installed base has probably passed Windows. (Windows has long claimed a billion users (which realistically is a device count), though one thinks it might have shrunk a bit. Google claims 800 million Google Play devices. That would not include Amazon or White Box devices not using Google Play, so it is likely that Android now has more "users" (devices) than Windows.

Anyway, it is clear where the numbers and growth are, so the hardware folks are cheating there now. They shouldn't do it, but they do and they will.

Android has over one billion activations! - Android Authority

This next one I think is important because it points out some weaknesses in Android. One can only hope Google is thinking about these things.
With HP’s Slatebook X2, Android’s Not Ready for Work Yet |

One reason I've not had much Android news is that most of it has been device or app news. Also, I don't like to cover rumors. However, some stuff does seem to be known about KitKat and the Nexus 5 [which may be called the Nexus 4 (2013) as the new Nexus 7 is Nexus 7 (2013)].
Google Partners with KitKat for the Next Version of Android (Not a Typo) |

Nexus 5 design, Android 4.4 KitKat features detailed in new photo leak; LG-D821 gets second Bluetooth SIG sighting

At last it will be easy to find tablet apps.
Play Store change will make tablet apps more visible, starts Nov 21

Google did some research on Android's level of malware, this article covers it:
Contrary to what you’ve heard, Android is almost impenetrable to malware - Quartz

Legacy Platform Update (Apple iOS, MacOS, and Microsoft Windows)

iOS 7 News

iOS 7 continues to reveal an unprecedented level of bugs. If you get your Apple news only from Apple fan blogs you may not realize just how bad the problem is. Here is one metric (searches done around 1pm MDT on 10/11/2013):

Google News Search StringItems ReturnedDays Released
"ios 7" bug21,50023
"windows 8" bug8,460351
(All of Jelly Bean)
"android 4.3" bug
+"android 4.2" bug
+"android 4.1" bug

In a mere 23 days, the bugs in iOS 7 has generated 5 times the number of news stories that Android Jelly Bean bugs generated in over a year. The use of the word "unprecedented" seems thoroughly justified.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Celebrating 40,000 Pageviews

The blog is now 10 months old.

We have a new #1 most viewed post at 6,000 pageviews:
Arm vs Intel Benchmarks

#2 has 5,500 pageviews:
How to Live with Windows 8

#3 has 900 pageviews:
Alternatives to Microsoft Office

#4 has 690 pageviews:
Are Google (or Any Cloud-based) Products Trustworthy?

#5 has 680 pageviews:
Why Ultrabooks Do Not Sell Well and the Future of Laptops

#6 has 670 pageviews:
Microsoft's Best Buy-based Windows Stores - Impending Spectacular Failure

There are 327 posts.

Added Z3740 (Bay Trail at 1.3ghz) Benchmark

This is the processor in the new Asus T100.
There is only one benchmark value in Geekbench at this time, but it seems reasonable enough.
As always visit Arm vs Intel Benchmarks to see the chart (you can always access this via the Resources section at the top right of the page).

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Non-Android Linux and Open Source News

I use MongoDB as my main database in my business. I really do not like SQL, MongoDB is easy to use. It is amazingly small. Our main server is an atom-based 4"x3"x1" box with a 16gb ssd and an external 2TB USB drive. It has 1gb of memory. Mongodb is so efficient that we've seen no need to get a bigger server, even though several other functions are on that system too.
MongoDB Leads Big Data With $150 M Infusion, Attracts Partners IBM, Microsoft And - Forbes

Wow, a Firefox OS box!
VIA APC $79 computer can now run Firefox OS (or Boot 2 Gecko) - Liliputing

Free Software Foundation celebrates 30th birthday - Stallman looks back | TechEye

The author of this list has really good taste in what he chose:
10 open-source alternatives for small business software | PCWorld

French National Police Switch 37,000 Desktop PCs to Linux | Wired Enterprise |

Analysis: Can SteamOS drag the PC game industry over to Linux? | Ars Technica

Arm and Intel News

While I've seen a few investing sites talking Intel up this week, but they've mostly taken it on the chin. Bay Trail is great and I'm sure it will make some very interesting inexpensive Windows laptops and hybrids, but its ability to make inroads into the tablet world remains to be seen. It's good, but the momentum is on the ARM-side. Intel has to be better than ARM to overcome that.

This next doesn't surprise me... what surprised me is that Lenovo dabbled with Intel on phones at all.
Intel dumped by Lenovo phone project - Playing it safe with Qualcomm | TechEye

Applied Micro is "the most likely immediate threat to Intel"These are server oriented chips based off ARM, but with enhancements.
Intel faces threat from tiny Sunnyvale upstart -

Well, it's good to see Intel facing yet more reality...
Intel labels Ultrabooks a "Failure" | SemiAccurate

While Apple used it's own design for the A7, there is reason to believe the Cortex A5X will perform similarly (indeed probably better, especially when handling 32-bit code). A lot has been learned since AMD designed the "Intel" x86-64 standard. Apparently there are some significant efficiencies in handling the new ARM 64-bit instruction set. This article talks about it from Apple's perspective, but it likely applies to servers as well.
Intel Corporation (INTC): Intel: Apple's A7 Chip Reveals Dangerous Trend - Seeking Alpha

I'd really love to know Bay Trail vs Haswell vs ARM real pricing... but the companies involved are infuriating when it comes to trying to find such information.
Intel ships low-power Core i3 Haswell chips for tablets, notebooks - Liliputing

Allwinner unveils Allwinner A80 Octa processor - Liliputing

The videos are worth watching (especially the second one).
ARM demoes a Cortex-powered future (videos)

Developer Boards and Mini-Devices

Today's SoC's really have to come on a board before you can use them. This new section of this regular post will cover this area of devices.

Cubietruck dev board with Allwinner A20 dual-core CPU now available for $89 - Liliputing

This looks really nice, my next server may be based off this one:
$139 Intel NUC with Bay Trail chip on the way - Liliputing

Arduino boards to run full Linux thanks to TI’s new ARM-based chipTechie News

Intel supplies open-source Galileo computer with Quark chip, targets DIY crowd - Computerworld

Android Device News

As I said last time, this post is done on a monthly basis and contains those devices that I find unusual or important. It is FAR from exhaustive. Small developer oriented boards are moving to ARM and Intel News as the SoCs generally need to be delivered on a board... in other words, they are now a "chip".

Google Glass and Competitors

My gut tells me that glasses as an always worn consumer platform is likely to fail - at best it is likely to be a fad. (Note, I only mean this statement for the next couple of years... with significant changes in battery life, weight, resolution, etc. it could change, though I still have doubts.) On the other hand, glasses as a specialized device for a specific use is already common. As the price for the technology falls, surely one will see it show up in gaming.

This company has shipped 50,000 devices (aimed at sports), uses Android:
Uh-oh Google Glassholes: Sugar daddy Intel strokes HUD goggles upstart • The Register

Ion Glasses Are a Stylish Alternative to Google Glass [VIDEO]

The Glass Development Kit Launch Will Finally Allow Glass To Live Up To Its Potential

Google announces U.S. Glass tour, starting with Durham on October 5th

Smart Watches

Nissan enters wearable tech market with Nismo Concept smartwatch- The Inquirer

Really, the only watch announced so far that I actually am intested in seeing:
Qualcomm Toq battery lasts for days, works well in bright light

I have real concerns about a smart phone tied to one place right against your body. Cell phone radiation is a known problem if you have prolonged exposure close up to one area:
A.I smartwatch is also a standalone Android smartphone (video)

Tablets and Phones

This next article is a good overview of "cheap" tablets now available. I include it because its the first review I've seen that includes a "white box" tablet in the set of tablets covered (the Hisense Sero 7 Pro). In many ways it is competitive with the iPad mini (which is now hopelessly behind most branded, Android 7 and 8 inch tablets).
Best Cheap Android Tablets (September 2013)

This tablet will be sold rebranded by NVIDIA partners:
NVIDIA unveils the Tegra Note (reference platform for Tegra 4 tablets) - Liliputing

HP really getting into Android:
HP Slates 7-HD, 7-Extreme, 8-Pro and 10-HD Cover Full Android Spectrum | Ubergizmo

This is a serious, decent smartphone for $189. Should be perfect for Junior High kids, so your world won't end when they squish it!
Kogan introduces $189 Agora quad-core smartphone - Liliputing

Amazon's not my favorite place for things Android, but for some users it seems to be a good place:
Review: The Kindle Fire HDX Is the Amazon-centric Tablet Finally Done Right |

Looks like Android's going to have the 2013 holiday season to itself (well, technically Windows is there too... but will anyone notice?):
Reuters: Retina iPad mini may not launch in 2013 due to supply constraints


Not Android, but I think the start of new competition for Android tablets. Not thrilled about pricing, but interesting none the less:
Hands-on: HP Spectre 13 x2 - first fanless detachable Haswell notebook

GameStick $79 Android game console hits the FCC, launching in October - Liliputing

Yet another use of Android in an unusual way:
RCA Internet Music System is a stereo powered by an Android tablet - Liliputing

Look back at older posts, I've been saying that custom hardware was just around the corner:
Now even supermarket chains are making cheap Android tablets | Ars Technica

Why, or why Samsung, did you make this only work with Samsung phones?
Samsung launches $299 HomeSync Android-powered media center - Liliputing

See, see, see... yet another way to get your own custom hardware:
Oracle introduces a DIY tablet, the DukePad - Android Authority

Spike Kickstarter Project Puts Accurate Laser Measurement Hardware Right On Your Smartphone | TechCrunch

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bill Gates Asked to Step Down as Microsoft Chairman

Reuters reports that 3 of the top 20 Microsoft investors are pushing for Bill Gates to resign as chairman.
The three investors are concerned that Gates' presence on the board effectively blocks the adoption of new strategies and would limit the power of a new chief executive to make substantial changes. In particular, they point to Gates' role on the special committee searching for Ballmer's successor.
Exclusive: Time for Gates to go, some top Microsoft investors tell board | Reuters

The article says there is no sign that Gates will actually be forced out, but it surely is a sign of serious trouble at Microsoft.