Friday, January 16. 2015
Google to stop making Glass "In present form"
Google is to stop producing its wearable technology Google Glass in its present form, but is still committed to the idea of smart glasses, the company has said.
In a statement posted to its Google+ account, the company said the Glass team would move out of the “Google X” incubator labs and become a separate division. What the "New New" form will be is anybody's guess, but I'd suspect it will be less obvious to other people more than anything else, to stop both the "Glasshole" problem and to not alert other people so visibly that its filming and recoding them. Somehow I don't think they will relinquish the "hoovering up all that data" play.
In other news today, UK hypermarket chain Tesco has just launched an app for Google Glass...talk about timing. While the aim is largely laudable, it seems like yet another unfortunately timed play from this beleagured retailer.
Update - Had a Twitter discussion with Steve Bowbrick, his point being that the Google Glass busiiness model (very expensive device that records other people as UGC) has been rejected (by the public). I am less sure that Google will let go of it, as with Facebook I suspect it will be a 1 step back, 2 steps forward when you're not looking sort ofplay - I think it will be interesting to see what 2.0 does.
Tuesday, September 9. 2014
iPhone 6 launched today, apparently the "Biggest Advancement" in iPhone history. In 2010 we made some predictions about iPhone 6 specs based on a Moore's Law progression (see chart above, written in 2010 - as a commentator notes, 2010 "Hot PC's" had gone up a few notches too by 2014), we thought it would be interesting to go back to that - we were estimating it would:
- Launch in 2014 (got that right)
- 4Ghz processor (actual apparently 25% faster than the 1 GHz processor in the iPhone 5)
- 2 Gb RAM (not yet known but unlikely to be 4Ghz)
- 256 GB Memory (currently only 128, same as iPhone 5)
- 1.2 kppi (currently at iPhone 4 levels, at c 330 ppi, but has a slightly bigger screen)
Now it could be that an "iPhone 6s" will come along with more oomph, we shall see, but right now its an iPhone 5+
It is a bit thinner, so chalk a semi-win for Moore there as its also longer so little change in actual volume, and the battery lasts c 20% longer than an iPhone 5 playing music - but its probably a bigger jump in reality as the iPhone 6 is feeding a bigger engine and doing more internal "added value" tasks.
Pricing is always a hard one to track with mobile phone deals, by our rough estimate its about 2/3 that of the initial IPhone 5 launch price, so maybe we shouldn't be too harsh about capability - you don't get a halving of the price AND a doubling of your capability every 2 years - but its mainly Android competition pushing the price down rather than a Moore's effect we reckon, that was much less a concern in 2012.
Now to be fair, we reset this prediction once iPhone 5 came out, but even applying Moore's Law to iPhone 5 would have predicted better than these iPhone 6 specs. But it is still interesting to look at rate of development by Moore's Law vs actual nonetheless over a number of cycles to see the rate of development. By our 2010 Moore's Law predictions, the new iPhone6 is actually more an iPhone 5 with "added value" lateral functionality rather than a new product cycle in capability. Certainly not the "biggest advancement" ever.
There is an iPhone 6Plus (bigger screen device) but it too is no further on than the 2012 Androd Nexus 4*
Whether the development cycle has slowed mainly due to a falling off of Moore's Law, or more due to price point pressure, is an interesting thought for the next 4 years.....
* Hat Tip James Cridland for that link
Today Apple unveiled the next iPhone (v 6), which pretty much follows our Moore's Law iPredictions, and a watch - Grauniad.
The Apple Watch will monitor health and fitness, tracking the wear’s movement, heart rate and activity with built-in sensors, feeding the information into Apple’s Health app for the iPhone and iPad, allowing review and analysis of the data.
Most people stopped wearing watches when mobile phones became ubiquitous. But this is no ordinary watch though, it watches you - and sends the data on to Big Apple.
This is called progress, in the same way as the choice of U2 as the promo band..... perhaps the Police would have been better?
Thursday, September 13. 2012
Predicting Successive iPhone generations, 2010 (Broadsight)
It will be interesting to test our prediction of the iPhone 5 (made about 18 months, end of 2010/early 2011 - see above) ago vs reality. From what we have gleanes so far it has:
(We have been arguing that smartphone screens will get to banknote size for quite a while, all the work we have done says the bigger the screen, the better the functionality, so eventually it will be as big as can be easily carried in a pocket - look at our iPhone 6 predictions, its hard to iamgien a device like that constrained in a c 2 x 3 inch screen)
We assumed weight would stay about the same, in fact its gone down c 20%, from 140g to to 112g - quite a drop. It would be interestimg to know where its gone down
Battery life we also assumed would be similar to the 4S. The iPhone 5 and the 4S both have eight hours of talk time, but the iPhone 5 can browse the Web for 10 hours instead of eight
Looking at the specs it seems that the processor is a genuine jump forward, but its other systems are more like an iPhone 4 with a bigger screen and a bit better battery life, as you'd expect it runs the latest comms systems (4G not 3G, latest WiFi etc) and a Moore's Law-esuqu increase in toy performance. No doubt the 5S will move to a 128 Gb memory and prove our prediction right
We don't think price has much to do with cost, when the costimgs come out it will be interesring to see where the weight was saved - I hope its not in the casing.
Friday, March 23. 2012
Apps vs Web - Pew Research
A Pew Research piece on the Future of Apps suggests that they too, shall pass:
Futurist John Smart, founder of the Acceleration Studies Foundation, looks beyond 2020 and sees apps as merely a passing phase in Internet evolution. “Apps are a great intermediate play, a way to scale up functionality of a primitive Web,” he said, “but over time they get outcompeted for all but the most complex platforms by simpler and more standardized alternatives. What will get complex will be the ‘artificial immune systems’ on local machines.
They also had a survey 0f 1,021 Internet experts about which of 2 scenarios they agreed with, these and the outcome is in the diagram above - roughly 2:1 for the Web (see diagram above).
The Pew article points to Wired's Chris Anderson leading the cheers for Apps in their rise up the hype curve in 2010, when they argued that the World Wide Web was “in decline” and “apps” were in ascendance:
By 2011 the App craze was in full swing:
The boom in mobile connectivity has been accompanied by a boom in innovation and sales of targeted software applications (apps). Apple’s iPhone and its App Store debuted in June 2007; the iPad debuted in April 2010. On March 3, Apple announced that 25 billion apps had been downloaded.4 Similarly, Google’s Android Market hit 10 billion downloads by December 2011, and users have been downloading apps at a rate of 1 billion a month.5
even Tim Berners Lee was worried, writing in Scientific American that:
“The Web as we know it is being threatened,” adding that it “could be broken into fragmented islands.”
But, we are now starting to see some interesting countertrends - research shows us that App usage declines soon after download, and there is an App 80/20 - most of the Apps downloaded are hardly used at all after a while, so while App usage rises as new users find them, existing users' use declines over time. This is the classic system dynamic of a hype curve, everyting is in the ascendant as users are gained, but as that slows the cycle of people ignoring apps becomes more prevalent and a rapid decline then sets in.
Thus, I must admit I agree with John Stuart, and the 59% who voted for the Web. To me, Apps are just the latest RingTones or Widgets (remember them) - simple functions to make it easy to use simple devices, which are redundant as the next generation of smarter devices come along. These have now passed, and Apps, too, will likely also pass.
Friday, March 9. 2012
What Broadstuff's Moore's Law Predict-a-Scope might predict for the iPad 4
As the iPad 3 hooha was releasing, the FT Digital media Conference was opining. Sooth was said by:
The iPad has been:
- A Transformatory product (because people pay), generating 7% of all paid circulation after 6 months (Conde Nast).
- iPad accessible by younger kids (and less IT savvy people) has brought PC to the masses (Yahoo)
And will be
- Tablet is marvellous Ad device - (Oh yeah? I think Ads, like tourism, will kill the thing they love here)
But soft! What goeth there - Uh Oh, the Big Monopoly Shadow has fallen across the room:
Forsooth, who will compete with iPad. Someone? Please? Please?
Incidentally, at Broadstuff Towers we did a little analysis of iPad Futures using Moore's Law, I'm hanging on for iPad 4 - see the stats above in our Moore's Law Predict-aScope.....
The only downside is I can't decide whether to queue outside the Apple Store, AppleO2, AppleBBC or get it mail order from AppleZon.com. And now that the FT and WSJ have been merged into The Big Apple, there is only the AppleConomist left for independent comment. Oh, wait....
Apart from that, everything else will be as for the iPad 3. Oh yes, except it now interfaces with the iPTV, iRobot, and iSpy-in-the-Sky.
Update - the breathless reviews are out, here are some updates:
- 1 Gb RAM confirmed
Wednesday, September 28. 2011
Amazon has launched a demi-tablet to not compete with the Apple iPad - The Omnivore has a good synopsis:
Unlike a wave of other tablets that have emerged hopefully only to flop, such as the HP TouchPad, the Motorola Xoom, and the RIM PlayBook, the Kindle Fire has a good shot at turning the newest theater of war in high-tech into a two-tablet battle. With a 7-inch display, the Fire is about half the size of the iPad. At $199, it’s also less than half the price of the cheapest Apple model. Amazon has painted over the rough surfaces of Google‘s Android operating system with a fresh and easy-to-use interface and tied the device closely to its own large and growing content library. Kindle Fire owners can watch the film Rio, scroll through magazines such as The New Yorker or Esquire, and access their music collection on Amazon’s servers.
Its not an iPad in other words - its not a premium product, its smaller screened, cheaper and (knowing Android) probably nastier to operate - so its a mass market play that hopes to be a Good Enough for most of the rest of the (non iPad owning) market.
We have done quite a lot of work for clients inthe e-reader/tablet supply chain, and the one thing that drives success - time and again, as for all devices - is a good variety of content. It took Google a long time to get this in Androidworld, but Amazon has the best chance of taking Apple on of all the players (as they showed with Kindle).
So, an early hypothesis from me - Apple will probably continue to sell high margin, high class product to the 20% at the top of the tablet market (as they have done since the 1970's in every market). Amazon will be mopping up the low margin mass market. The fact that Microsoft, the arch mass-market mop-up player, is underpinning the Fire's OS is another pointer to this.
No doubt there will be a bigger Fire soon, but no doubt Apple will also be innovating. They could launch a prodcuct that is half-way between the iPad and iPhone in a fairly short time we suspect - maybe call it the iPhad
Tuesday, April 26. 2011
I just don't believe these numbers on advertising from “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users,” a study from Google and conducted by Ipsos OTX, an independent market research firm, among 5,013 US adult smartphone Internet users at the end of 2010 - Google blogs:
71% of smartphone users search because of an ad they’ve seen either online or offline; 82% of smartphone users notice mobile ads, 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase as a result of using their smartphones to help with shopping, and 88% of those who look for local information on their smartphones take action within a day.
Or more accurately, I don't believe the face value. I'd like to see the underlying definitions, for eg how often the 71% who search because of an Ad actually do search, and what the 88% "taking action" means. . While reading the whole thing (below) I also became aware that many of these were probably generic facts, ie applied to nearly any comms device - so I replaced the term "smartphone" with "dumbphone" and found the results still made nearly total sense, ie these are generic "this is what people do on phones" stats (The`y still made quite a lot of sense when I replaced smartphone with "carrot".....). I have also added a few "watch out for misleading wording" tags in [square brackets].
General Dumbphone Usage: Dumbphones have become an integral part of users’ daily lives. Consumers use dumbphones as an extension of their desktop computers and use it as they multi-task and consume other media.
So, after a few sections of "well they apply to anyone " data, it is that last section that I really struggle with. Those action rates are an order of magnitude (at least) higher than any Ad responses I've ever seen, and the behaviours reported here look nothing like anyone I asked about it (granted that is a small sample). Do you fit the profile here?
Given that it is (i) Planet Mobile (famous for exagerrating/misleading data) and (ii) self serving for Google, I'd approach those latter numbers with a large pinch of salt and a healthy dose of scepticism. Anyway, there is a webinar tomorrow with (hopefully) more details.
Monday, April 11. 2011
Last September we wrote that we just did not believe Gartner's forecasts for the smartphone market (see Dumb Forecast for Smart Phones):
Turns out they have radicaly revised them more in line with our views, ie much more Apple, much less Nokia and Android - Apple Insider.
Whereas we have argued till we are blue in the face that (i) Olde style Planet Mobile suppliers (read Nokia) don't have the DNA to build smartphones, and that "Open" (aka Android) is not what it is about, the lessons from the PC market and most others after is that "Software" - or "Apps" as they call them in SmartPhoneSpeak - is what drives intelligent device sales, not device features. And Apple has the winner take all end-to-end supply chain for that.
So why the error? Apple Insider reckons its because of Payola:
If Gartner's historical predictions were more accurate, it would be harder to suggest that the firm was simply concocting its numbers to fit a particular outcome for profit rather than modeling numbers to deliver a useful outlook for the market. It certainly wouldn't be the first time. Microsoft's confidential memos leaked during its monopoly trial state that the company paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Gartner as it "lobbied" the firm to change its outlook to flatter Windows NT and denigrate competing Network Computers in the late 90s prior to that trial.
Like Apple Insider, I just cannot see where they are getting their Microsoft assumptions from, it seems hugely optimistic - the "what you have to believes" are fairly extreme in this case. Unlike Apple Insider, I think they are capable of making the errors without payola, because their predictive models do not seem to look at the end-to-end supply chain and how it impacts the game theory of decisions downstream at the device end. In my experience, until a market is fairly mature and just chugging along so you can run it on "last 3 years mean growth", it is essential to understand the "whole system" dynamic.
(I should add that in may other areas I find Gartner quite reasonable, but they have always been very optmistic about the Olde Planet Mobile growth data over the 10 or so years that I've been watching the industry - and they are not the only ones, mobile seems to be continually subject to overoptimism by many analysts - pre smartphone days we used to take a mean of all the major analysts' forecasts and halve the growth - turned out to be surprisingy good 2-3+ years out )
Tuesday, April 5. 2011
He's probably right - or at least for the 90% who don't create or critique, just consume
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