Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Do Want?

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  • Pete Sime,

    I thought the Kindle was in fact available in NZ. I was spammed by Amazon on this very subject not two weeks ago.

    As did I, but I checked on Amazon's site and no joy. Kiwis can order the BeBook from Australia, which looks interesting - but ebooks won't pick up in NZ - aside from enthusiasts - until you can go into the shops and buy one

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 144 posts Report Reply

  • Jock Hopeful,

    "Might it be the the iPhone sells well and rates highly for consumer satisfaction because it's actually a better product than the others?"

    No. Definitely not.

    Have you heard the old saying - "Research is used as a drunk uses a lamp post; more for support than illumination".

    Other research (e.g.: Crowd Science study) shows the reason for iPhone satisfaction has nothing to do with functionality; it is solely based on brand loyalty.

    Apple relies on this to get away with murder in terms of pure functionality.

    The reason I love HTC is because their devices work on all levels.

    Ever heard anyone say they love the iPhone as a Phone?!

    Not only are my phone conversations crystal clear and uninterrupted, but I can sync between multiple systems meaning exceptional connectivity when I'm travelling internationally (which I do frequently) and at home between various locations and machines...

    I challenge anyone to do what I do with my HTC on an iPhone.

    As an aside, did you know Conde Naste did a challenge with 3 American journalists who travelled to Russia - one using a printed guidebook, one using an iPhone and the other a Blackberry. They weren't allowed to use anything except the one device they were given to make bookings, find information etc...

    The printed guidebook came out on top.

    This just backs up the age old argument - you need the right tool for the job you need to do...no matter how "antiquated" it may seem...no matter how uncool the solution is...

    Central Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    I challenge anyone to do what I do with my HTC on an iPhone.

    Can you write a list, because having done just about everything on a PC and now doing most things I need to on my iPhone, I'd be keen to know what you do that I can't.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Stephen Fry and I appear to be on the same page ...

    I know there will be many who have already taken one look and pronounced it to be nothing but a large iPhone and something of a disappointment. I have heard these voices before. In June 2007 when the iPhone was launched I collected a long list of “not impressed”, “meh”, “big deal”, “style over substance”, “it’s all hype”, “my HTC TyTN can do more”, “what a disappointment”, “majorly underwhelmed” and similar reactions. They can hug to themselves the excuse that the first release of iPhone was 2G, closed to developers and without GPS, cut and paste and many other features that have since been incorporated. Neither they, nor I, nor anyone, predicted the “game-changing” effect the phone would so rapidly have as it evolved into a 3G, third-party app rich, compass and GPS enabled market leader. Even if it had proved a commercial and business disaster instead of an astounding success, iPhone would remain the most significant release of its generation because of its effect on the smartphone habitat. Does anybody seriously believe that Android, Nokia, Samsung, Palm, BlackBerry and a dozen others would since have produced the product line they have without the 100,000 volt taser shot up the jacksie that the iPhone delivered to the entire market?

    Nonetheless, even if they couldn’t see that THREE BILLION apps would be downloaded in 2 years (that’s half a million app downloads a day, give or take ) could they not see that this device was gorgeous, beautifully made, very powerful and capable of development into something extraordinary? I see those qualities in the iPad. Like the first iPhone, iPad 1.0 is a John the Baptist preparing the way of what is to come, but also like iPhone 1.0 (and Jokanaan himself too come to that) iPad 1.0 is still fantastic enough in its own right to be classed as a stunningly exciting object, one that you will want NOW and one that will not be matched this year by any company. In the future, when it has two cameras for fully featured video conferencing, GPS and who knows what else built in (1080 HD TV reception and recording and nano projection, for example) and when the iBook store has recorded its 100 millionth download and the thousands of accessories and peripherals that have invented uses for iPad that we simply can’t now imagine – when that has happened it will all have seemed so natural and inevitable that today’s nay-sayers and sceptics will have forgotten that they ever doubted its potential.

    There's quite a lot more of this ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    There's quite a lot more of this ...

    Can I get a hell yeah from the starry-eyed loons please? I already liked Stephen Fry, now I think I'll reserve a special place in my iHeart for him too.

    Ever heard anyone say they love the iPhone as a Phone?!

    I love my iPhone as a phone, because since I got it I spend way less time on the phone, although that may be the driving rules also, and including my data plan, which allows all the online reading I want, I pay less than $90 per month, and on my old Sony it was $140 plus.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    In June 2007 when the iPhone was launched I collected a long list of “not impressed”, “meh”, “big deal”, “style over substance”, “it’s all hype”, “my HTC TyTN can do more”, “what a disappointment”, “majorly underwhelmed” and similar reactions.

    I was just remembering that. You'd barely know it these days, though.

    I thought the Kindle was in fact available in NZ. I was spammed by Amazon on this very subject not two weeks ago.

    No; they just released it to something like 100 countries, but not New Zealand. (Or Canada, Singapore, Turkey, China and Argentina, to be fair.) I think it's something to do with negotiations regarding book rights; it's still sucktastic.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "something to do.... with book rights"

    -there are now at least 3 participants in the ww grab for book e-rights - Amazon, Google, and - v. recently - Apple.
    Only one of those parties is seeking exclusive-to-their-machine rights: whoever do you think will win?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    And one reason why Apple is still consistently preferable to Linux, who as yet have provided no way for developers to earn the fruits of their labour.

    This is a bit nonsense. `Linux' isn't a body like Apple that could be expected to take responsibility for paying developers. (Linux as a thing that acts probably means the kernel email list, but that's not really sensible.)

    There are actually quite a lot of people getting paid for work on various free/open source projects. (Including by Apple as a matter of fact, but see also IBM, MySQL, the FSF.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1376 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    (Should add I'm buggered if I know what IBM pays people to work on, but it's one of the great facts everyone knows: Big Blue hearts Linux these days.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1376 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    This is a bit nonsense. `Linux' isn't a body like Apple that could be expected to take responsibility for paying developers. (Linux as a thing that acts probably means the kernel email list, but that's not really sensible.)

    And, actually, 70-95% of Linux development is done by paid developers. Someone's clearly making money there...

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I was just remembering that. You'd barely know it these days, though

    Oh, there's heaps of fun to be had there. Go back to the iPod launch:

    The analyst on the iPod launch:

    The iPod is another stab at Sony's success in the consumer market, Deal noted.

    "Clearly Apple is following Sony's lead by integrating consumer electronics devices into its marketing strategy, but Apple lacks the richness of Sony's product offering. And introducing new consumer products right now is risky, especially if they cannot be priced attractively," Deal said.

    Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD Intelect, said that the iPod will likely stand out for its large storage capacity but predicted that the device may have trouble digging out a niche in the market.

    The first line of a Slashdot thread:

    No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

    The MacRumors forums:

    Great just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where's the Newton?!

    Same source:

    I still can't believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently!

    Why oh why would they do this?! It's so wrong! It's so stupid!

    And again:

    I really wanted to like it. Really. But do the math:

    20GB hard drive: $199 from APS tech.

    MP3 player: $50 from Best Buy.

    You save $150 plus get an extra 15 Gig of storage!

    This is why geeks sometimes don't make good consumer product decisions.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Jock Hopeful,

    And we think dear ole Bishop Tamaki is a worry...jeez...the Apple cult is out of this world..."starry eyed loons" seems appropriate.

    Recordari - do you use your iPhone primarily for personal or business use?

    Refer my earlier comment about finding a device that works for you.

    iPhone does not suit my usage.

    I do not primarily play games, mess around on the internet or shoot crap related to my friends and family; I use my mobile device for business.

    How many times have you told colleagues - sorry; can't open that file...sorry; can't hear you...sorry; never received the appointment.

    Talk to anyone who works in IT operations - I am not one of them - and they will tell you the problems iPhones present in the business context. They are not made to integrate into existing systems.

    You don't have to like it, but that's the way it is...

    Central Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Talk to anyone who works in IT operations - I am not one of them - and they will tell you the problems iPhones present in the business context. They are not made to integrate into existing systems.

    If they're selling millions just for personal use, do Apple really care?

    And if it's not just for personal use - then do you consider it vaguely possible they might work as business tools for people who aren't you?

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    No it isn't. I send and receive docs, PDFs and xls files on my Iphone. I can read all of the above also. It uses a VPN to file share with my Linux server at work, iCal would sync with my workstation, if I could be bothered, but the calendar works fine. What else? It has helped me find clients using the GPS, which is fantastic, and the Stanley level means I can hang pictures straight. Sorry, that's not a work thing.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Jock Hopeful,

    Lucy and Recordari - yes; perhaps they do work for business people that aren't me.

    But; I remind you yet again. The point is - choose the tool suited to the task at hand, not because of what it looks like or how it makes you feel.

    Recordari - you obviously do not travel or attend many meetings. Syncing is an absolute priority, particularly when others want to view your availability.

    Also, what range of business contacts do you have? When you deal with a broad spectrum of people around the world you experience problems on an iPhone that other smartphone users don't have.

    And other cultures are not shy like us - they want to talk to us on the phone. All the time. Phone use is not declining in the major markets of the world. Far from it. Other cultures will only form a business relationship with people and companies they can talk to; and that does not mean email or instant messaging.

    Microsoft still dominates the business world - get over it and face it. Legacy systems are not going anywhere soon and Apple have nothing to replace the stability Microsoft currently represents.

    Once again - I will say it again - it might not be sexy. It might not be cool. But that is the way of the business world.

    Get over it.

    The iPhone and the iPad are all about the individual....they are not designed for business or integration...sounds like w*** to me.

    Central Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Holy shit ...

    This [the Apple A4] is a huge deal. I got about 20 blessed minutes of time using the iPad demo units Apple had at the event today, and if I had to sum up the device with one word, that word would be “fast” … It is fast, fast, fast.

    Web pages render so fast it was hard to believe. After using the iPhone so much for two and a half years, I’ve become accustomed to web pages rendering (relative to the Mac) slowly. On the iPad, they seem to render nearly instantly. (802.11n Wi-Fi helps too.)

    Everyone I spoke to in the press room was raving first and foremost about the speed. None of us could shut up about it. It feels impossibly fast. And our next thought: What happens if Apple has figured out a way to make a CPU like A4 that fits in an iPhone? If they pull that off for this year’s new iPhone, look out.

    John Gruber is no mug.

    Apple has 40 billion bucks to spend picking up companies like PA Semi, which created the basis of the A4. I'm seeing troublesome market dominance being more of a problem than failing products.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Recordari - you obviously do not travel or attend many meetings. Syncing is an absolute priority, particularly when others want to view your availability.

    When others want to view my availability, they have to at least buy me a couple of drinks first.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Microsoft still dominates the business world - get over it and face it. Legacy systems are not going anywhere soon and Apple have nothing to replace the stability Microsoft currently represents.

    Which does not change the fact of Microsoft's comprehensive failure in the mobile sphere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Recordari - you obviously do not travel or attend many meetings. Syncing is an absolute priority, particularly when others want to view your availability.

    Jock, I genuinely appreciate you signing up to argue your case -- it's been the lively discussion I'd hoped for -- but have you actually used an iPhone? If you want them to, they seem to sync up the wazoo.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18957 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Get over what? We disagree, and there are plenty of international companies, one of which I work for, running Macs, and iPhones successfully. Is that so impossible to imagine? And why do you have to be right? I don't care either way really.

    Sorry I didn't see all above comments, and thanks. Gio, drinks on me, if the chance arrives. You see I'm doing this on my iPhone while watching House on mysky. Boys really shouldn't multi-task.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Jock Hopeful,

    "Which does not change the fact of Microsoft's comprehensive failure in the mobile sphere."

    You are only looking at this from an individual perspective, which is surprising, given your political bent.

    When you work in large organisations, the broader considerations are worth more than the odd individual getting hacked off about the tiny frustrations encountered.

    Really. Seriously. These frustrations are tiny when compared to the overall good of the people"" in business...

    Research on how consumers feel is not the same as research on how business feels, so you are not comparing apples with apples.

    Central Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Scott A,

    If Apple can engender real passion in their customers, more power to them. It wasn't so long ago the the personal computing industry was characterised as one massive effort to catch up with Apple. As of Windows 7, Microsoft may have finally caught up.

    I like the wow factor of some of Apple's products...

    Yeah, I agree. But to speak as someone who doesn't feel the need to be a tech-leader, an early-adopter, a gizmo-hound then Apple just hasn't done it for me any time in the last decade.

    Worse, it smells like "fashion." It smells like the "to be cool, you've got to have this shit."

    Nah, not me. I do like whizzy stuff, but I want it cheap, I want it easy, I want it easily replacable when it dies, I want it to be my tool, not I its.

    And, truthfully, everytime I see a new Apple product I go "cool," and hang out a while for the cheap easy knock-off version with endless amounts of free software online, or a completely basic utilitarian version that costs very little and yet still seems to last a lifetime.

    And thank god for that, eh? Where Apple leads others follow, meaning all us who don't really care and just want stuff that works can coast along following the crest listening to our 600 albums and reading out fifty books without even thinking about it...

    That all said, Stephen Fry could see me anything...

    The wilds of Kingston, We… • Since May 2009 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    The iPhone and the iPad are all about the individual....they are not designed for business or integration...sounds like w*** to me.

    Anyone remember how PCs got into businesses? How the early spreadsheets and databases slowly displaced the mainframes and minicomputers, over the protests of the centralised IT (or data processing, as it might have been) staff? People realised their value and smuggled them in, and as they got seniority, they didn't have to smuggle any more.

    "Not designed for business" doesn't mean they won't succeed in business over time if enough people are smitten with them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Once again - I will say it again - it might not be sexy. It might not be cool. But that is the way of the business world.

    You know, IBM used to think like this, and turns out, It Just Isn't True. You can't coast like that for very long, & sure there's money in them thar hills for old Cobol codejockeys and all, but legacy systems are called that for a reason.

    Look at Sun, or SCO, or Hewlett-Packard.

    Personally I think iPhones aren't particularly great telephones, & Apple is not exactly a leader in telephony. But you know what? Nobody gives a damn. I like Nokias, and in terms of cool shit in the exciting world of telecoms system engineering I am told they are doing great stuff. But advances in micro-billing in the Third World don't sell in California*; really cool little computers do.

    * yes yes, the Californians aren't up to the standards of Botswana.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1376 posts Report Reply

  • Jock Hopeful,

    "Get over what? We disagree, and there are plenty of international companies, one of which I work for, running Macs, and iPhones successfully. Is that so impossible to imagine? And why do you have to be right? I don't care either way really."

    Don't take it personally. I'm simply making a point that few outside the geek community seem willing to make.

    The iPod and the iPhone have made Apple widely popular recently,yet still hardly anyone owns a Mac.

    Most business people are trying to integrate the iPhone into a Microsoft legacy system. It doesn't really work.

    Hence the problems you are not aware of....

    Central Auckland • Since Jan 2010 • 14 posts Report Reply

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