The downside to fragmentation

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Sam Posten, May 5, 2011.

  1. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Name an Iphone that's available at 30 bucks a month on a no contract plan. Oh, that's right. You can't.
     
    "Seem" not to be? Explain why a company would make a model of something they don't make money on. Sam made a claim about "too many" based on some pseudo-pyschological claim that "too many" choices are somehow bad (even though the author he cited in defense of this idea conceded that he got perfect fitting jeans from all the choices available), ie he was ignoring economics. I say if it sells, there's no reason not to offer it. How is this wrong?
     
  2. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'm really not familiar with that model but I understand there are people who prefer it. But don't count on an iPhone variant that's pay by month any time soon. Cook announced yesterday they have asked suppliers who traditionally do that to reverse course and be reasonable and do it Apple's way =)
    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/02/15/transcript-apple-ceo-tim-cook-at-goldman-sachs/
    Maybe we're talking about different things. Dunno. If I am please let me know where.
    Anyway, I'm sure it's just us fanboys who are finding the ridiculous number of choices remarkably bad. Er nope.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/whats-the-ideal-tablet-size/2012/02/14/gIQAnFvZFR_story.html
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    The truth is somewhere in between?

    _Man_
     
  4. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/whats-the-ideal-tablet-size/2012/02/14/gIQAnFvZFR_story.html
    You say that, but then the article you cite doesn't seem to have much trouble sorting through the choices. You really are making a problem out of nothing. People like choices. They'd rather have a lot than a few. The market will sort out the right number, without all the psychological gibberish about how being better satisfied is somehow "bad".
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Well from my perspective the marketplace has CLEARLY made it's choice and it's iPad or nothing and the Android manufacturers are unwilling to take no for an answer, continually throwing new feature spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks, so.....
    I actually think all this choice pushes a lot of people TO Apple. Rather than being paralyzed by all the potential alternatives they simply say "F it, I'll just get the iPad after all". Obviously this doesn't work for the tech geeks who ARE impressed by spec differentiation but for the rest of the world...
     
  6. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    The facts state otherwise. It's true that Ipad holds 58% of the tablet market, but that's VERY far from meaning everything else is "nothing". The Android share is up to 39%, which means that there are a LOT of people who have none of the trouble picking an Android you claim they "should" have.
    http://www.phonearena.com/news/Android-tablets-hunting-down-the-iPad-market-share-without-mercy-new-research-shows_id26291
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    That report computes market share based on units "shipped", not sold. This is a problematic method.
    The last study comparing I saw "sold" numbers was for the US, before Xmas, and put the iPad at ~89% domestic share (but without Nook or Kindle)
    http://daringfireball.net/2011/11/fun_with_numbers
    Maybe global is down to 50%. But we need a decent study on actual #s sold.
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Why would a company run their business badly and fail? Like Kodak? Or RIM?
    Who can say. But they do.
     
  9. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Corporations can't actually tell the future, so they can certainly lose bucket-loads of $$$ on risky moves in the process, especially in relatively new markets like tablets.

    Time will tell whether Android will get anywhere in this market segment and whether it will truly thrive and reap meaningful profits for most of its supporters in the smartphone world. Probably still too soon to be sure of anything me thinks although I agree it's not looking great for most Android supporters in the near term. In the case of Amazon (and even B&N), it's really more the other way around, which probaby doesn't bold so well for Android as a general platform for mobile computing. Kinda like what happened w/ Unix.

    _Man_
     
  10. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The irony is the analyses indicating Google makes more money from iPhone than Android on advertising. But that's at risk, with Apple now (seemingly) bent on eliminating Google from their default configurations. (Look to see Google maps removed and replaced with an Apple map solution this year in iOS6, I estimate.)

    I wonder if Google would be better served by aggressively pushing a single-phone solution, a Nexus phone, sold on all carriers with the latest software, and only one or two revisions per year, guaranteed software OS upgrades day and date for at least two years, and no carrier crapware pre-installed. Essentially the iPhone strategy, to make available the definitive Android phone to everyone and not just fourth-run Sprint.
     
  11. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Why am I not surprised that you want every company to be like Apple? I don't look at prospective purchases from the standpoint of what's best for the company (as you seem to). I calculate what's best for ME, and being force-fed ONE so-called "definitive" product isn't it.
    Why would a company (or anyone else) assume that not offering only one "definitive" model defines what constitutes running a business badly?
     
  12. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    To be honest, google's strategy would work more effectively if it was something like Microsoft's, not Apples... plenty of different handsets, however you like it.. but when OS updates come out, everyone gets it universally
     
  13. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    Time for some car analogies.
    There's just too many Hondas. Damn those 11 models. What's worse, there's 7 variations of the Civic alone that come in a total of 17 different options packages from the factory. I'm not even going to bother counting how many variations and options packagaes Honda offers across their entire line.
    This is fragmenting the car market, and there are just too many choices. I'll never be able to decide which one to get.
    I wonder if Honda would be better served by aggressively pushing a single model solution?
    Oh, and I wouldn't model my products after something you can brick by connecting via bluetooth to a car audio system. Yes, I've seen it happen with an iPhone just last week.
    It. Just. Works. My. Butt.
     
  14. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I wouldn't mind that. I'm not overly worried about the update aspect, since htc has said my phone will be getting Android 4.0 in a couple of months.
     
  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Cars don't require interoperability, ecosystems, model specific training etc. next.
    I like Matt's reply tho. I am a bit perplexed why MS has struggled so far.
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    So, every car model across all brands have their instrument panel laid out in the same manner, and all controls work the same? Every model is also serviced in the same manner, and technicians do not need to be trained? Inventory of parts for repairs do not need to be developed across the different models?
    I do not think it's any more difficult for a person to figure out how to use the different model phones than it is to figure out how to operate different models of cars. It seems like every rental car I get in causes me to search for some hidden control, or wonder whether the headlights turn on/off automatically, etc. As automobiles add more and more technology, the similarities between the operations of different models grows further and further apart.
    The owner's manual for my car has a lot more pages than the one for my phone.
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    There's a big difference between similar functionality and interoperability.
    Your analogy misses the fact that there's really only four viable carriers too. If every car buyer in the US were forced to buy from one of four third party vendors and you couldn't take your car bought from one of them on to the other's roads you might have a point. But given the realities of the telecom industry, no it doesn't have remotely the same considerations and constraints.
    I can also legally modify my car to my heart's content as long as it remains street legal. And while it may be technically legal to hack my phone doing so immediately makes it suspect and out of warranty at a minimum, if not illegal. Take that into account.
     
  18. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    It seems ironic for you to talk about constraints on mobile phones when advocating still further restraints by restricting the number of choices.
     
  19. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Well, you can dock your smartphone in a car for actual use, but I don't think you can do the reverse, so...

    I don't necessarily agree w/ everything Sam's saying, but I also don't think the car analogy works all that well either...

    As I blurted before, I think the truth in all this is somewhere in between...

    _Man_
     
  20. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I think you misunderstand my position, lets clear it up:
    I think fragmentation is unhealthy but c'est la vie. In no way do i want it regulated but i think the more fragmented android or whatever alternatives get the weaker they become.
    I think device portability would be healthy overall for the market, a net win for Apple but not a big one, but a major boon for Android. Device portability would result in-more- fragmentation perhaps, but again i would take that trade off over the alternative.
    Things in this market change quickly tho, and i have changed positions in time. This is just a snapshot from me, one lone person with no power or skin in the game. YMMV and all that.
     

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