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The downside to fragmentation


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#41 of 343 RobertR

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Posted February 12 2012 - 05:58 AM

:confused:   iPhones cost the same as Android (and other) smartphones.

Name an Iphone that's available at 30 bucks a month on a no contract plan. Oh, that's right. You can't.  

if 27 varieties of a cellphone aren't profitable, then it's too many by definition. Which they seem to not be.

"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?

#42 of 343 Sam Posten

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Posted February 15 2012 - 03:02 AM

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 =)

Because in China, one of the things we did was we convinced China Unicom to try the postpaid business as well, and it really hadn't been tried very much in China before, but it was amazing what kind of conversion that they go to the postpaid business with iPhone. And this is great for the customer, because they get the phone at a lower price; it's great for the carrier, because they lock in a customer for a longer period of time, and so everyone wins from this. I'm not saying that will work in every market; it won't. But it's a different way of looking at the issue, and it's certainly been successful in China.

http://tech.fortune....-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.

By Hayley Tsukayama, Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 8:59 AM Let’s face it, there are a lot of tablets out there. It goes beyond iOS or Android now. There are so many form factors to choose from that it’s getting to be a terrible headache to decide what’s the best for you.

http://www.washingto...vZFR_story.html

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#43 of 343 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted February 15 2012 - 04:11 AM

The truth is somewhere in between? Posted Image Posted Image


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#44 of 343 RobertR

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Posted February 15 2012 - 04:41 AM

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 =)

Because in China, one of the things we did was we convinced China Unicom to try the postpaid business as well, and it really hadn't been tried very much in China before, but it was amazing what kind of conversion that they go to the postpaid business with iPhone. And this is great for the customer, because they get the phone at a lower price; it's great for the carrier, because they lock in a customer for a longer period of time, and so everyone wins from this. I'm not saying that will work in every market; it won't. But it's a different way of looking at the issue, and it's certainly been successful in China.

http://tech.fortune....-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.

By Hayley Tsukayama, Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 8:59 AM Let’s face it, there are a lot of tablets out there. It goes beyond iOS or Android now. There are so many form factors to choose from that it’s getting to be a terrible headache to decide what’s the best for you.

http://www.washingto...vZFR_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".

#45 of 343 Sam Posten

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Posted February 15 2012 - 02:34 PM

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...

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#46 of 343 RobertR

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Posted February 15 2012 - 03:46 PM

Well from my perspective the marketplace has CLEARLY made it's choice and it's iPad or nothing

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.phonearen...h-shows_id26291

#47 of 343 DaveF

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Posted February 19 2012 - 12:16 PM

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://daringfirebal...un_with_numbers Maybe global is down to 50%. But we need a decent study on actual #s sold.

#48 of 343 DaveF

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Posted February 19 2012 - 12:21 PM

if 27 varieties of a cellphone aren't profitable, then it's too many by definition. Which they seem to not be.

"Seem" not to be? Explain why a company would make a model of something they don't make money on.

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

#49 of 343 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted February 19 2012 - 01:34 PM

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.


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#50 of 343 DaveF

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Posted February 19 2012 - 02:50 PM



Originally Posted by ManW_TheUncool 

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.


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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.



#51 of 343 RobertR

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Posted February 19 2012 - 03:46 PM

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.

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 run their business badly and fail? Like Kodak? Or RIM?

Why would a company (or anyone else) assume that not offering only one "definitive" model defines what constitutes running a business badly?

#52 of 343 mattCR

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Posted February 19 2012 - 05:18 PM

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


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#53 of 343 nolesrule

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Posted February 19 2012 - 05:47 PM

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.

#54 of 343 RobertR

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Posted February 19 2012 - 05:48 PM

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

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.

#55 of 343 Sam Posten

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Posted February 20 2012 - 06:15 AM

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.

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#56 of 343 Scott Merryfield

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Posted February 20 2012 - 06:38 AM

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.

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.

#57 of 343 Sam Posten

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Posted February 21 2012 - 04:23 AM

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.

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#58 of 343 RobertR

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Posted February 21 2012 - 07:19 AM

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.

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

#59 of 343 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted February 21 2012 - 09:13 AM

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


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...


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#60 of 343 Sam Posten

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Posted February 21 2012 - 11:06 AM

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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