HTC Acting President Wishes iPhones Were Less Cool

I brought my daughter back to college — she’s down in Portland at Reed — and I talked to a few of the kids on her floor. And none of them has an iPhone because they told me: ‘My dad has an iPhone.’ There’s an interesting thing that’s going on in the market. The iPhone becomes a little less cool than it was.

Did I say “wishes”? My mistake. Here we have a scientific study of a large population by an unbiased source that proves it.

How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet

I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing
with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle,
printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these
things work, which is this:

1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;

2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly
exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;

3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order
of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s
been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.

Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to
work out how old you are.

Fantastic article by Douglas Adams written 11 years ago. It’s great not just because Adams “got” the Internet, but rather “got” technology and society as a whole.

I chose the above passage because it’s generally true, but also because I’m an exception to it. Though more than 20 years past the stated cut-off, I still love seeing technology progress. Especially in the areas of mobile and personal computing. Though a geek myself, I believe the more technology is taken out of the hands of IT groups, geeks and “gurus”, and put into the hands of a typical family home, the better.

Palm: “Hey! We’re still here! Look at us!” (*waving arms*)

Starting June 18th and ending on July 9th, the promotion will slash the price on every paid app in the App Catalog by 50%.

Palm is subsidizing the promotion, making up the difference so developers still get full price.

It’s a fine idea, but with major developers like Adobe currently (and predictably) telling Palm to get lost, surely others will follow. This is just a stop-gap measure similar to the bargain-basement prices on the Palm handsets themselves. At best, it provides temporary relief and a press release, but it’s no fix. The patient is still bleeding. If Palm (i.e., webOS) is to survive, HP must come out with a competitive device to show its worth.

MobileMe Maintenance Tonight

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The system will be unavailable for two hours.

While I’d love for Apple to throw in a surprise feature or two (e.g., smooth iDisk integration with the iPad’s iWork apps, or OTA Note syncing) I suspect this is simply the equivalent of yesterday’s iTunes upgrade. There’ll be iOS 4 and iPhone 4 compatibility changes, maybe some big fixes, and that’s it.

Google to Android Hardware Manufacturers: Be Generic

While it’s doubtful Google would outright restrict custom interfaces, the move could potentially solve much of the OS fragmentation issue that plagues Android today. Proprietary interface layers have been the primary cause of OS upgrade delays as phone makers have gone several months before updating the OS or even skipped upgrades entirely because of the extra testing and compatibility problems found in Google’s own updates. Despite Android 2.2 being available for the Nexus One a month ago, for example, no other Android phone currently uses it.

If Google puts the kibosh on custom UIs, hardware makers will have little with which to differentiate their devices. Google couldn’t care less, but the hardware makers do.

It’s a return to Dell and HP spitting out no-name clones running the same software and racing to the bottom on price. This invariably leads to razor-thin margins, cheap products and low quality as they must squeeze every penny they can. When your hardware “partners” aren’t happy it can’t be good for the platform.

Could they differentiate on hardware? Not really. Not if there’s no custom software to support it. This is where Apple gets it, and kicks ass. Add a front-facing camera, and include FaceTime for video calling. Add HD video recording, and offer simple clip editing/sharing, with more advanced iMovie editing for just five bucks.

It’s the integration of hardware and software, not one or the other, that makes a device. If the article is true, Android took yet another step to becoming the next Windows Mobile (you know, the mobile OS that ran on tens of millions of devices and nobody knew it, or cared?), not the next iOS.

Motorola Introduces the DroidPad.

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Apple keeps the iPhone screen size the same, but increases its resolution significantly while making the phone itself narrower and thinner. It is, after all, a handheld device.

Motorola increases the physical screen size and produces something half the size of Cleveland. It’s huge.

Pick what you want, but I can’t tell if Motorola is gunning for an iPhone/iPad hybrid or just thinks bigger is better even where it doesn’t make sense. Either way, no thanks.

Apple’s ad terms

Consider the flipside perspective, too. What if it were Apple honing in on Google’s lucrative search advertising business, building up profiles on Web searchers via Safari and displaying targeted ads within the browser during Google searches? Or selling the search behavior of Safari users to Microsoft so that it could improve Bing at Google’s expense? I can hardly imagine Google would be happy about Apple using Google search data to threaten its bread-and-butter business. In fact, whatever deal Google and Apple have struck for Safari’s search bar probably already prohibits that kind of behavior. Does that sound anticompetitive to you? Or is it just the sign of a company protecting its crown jewels from a fierce competitor?

The big difference is that, if Apple did attempt to “hone in” on Google search, and Google took steps to prevent it, Apple, not Google, would be derided as the aggressor. Such is the tech tide flowing against Apple.

Apple’s secrecy pisses tech pundits off. Push comes to shove, the majority of them will support the company with free-flowing PR every time. Any communication, whether vapor, marketing speak or statistical manipulation is better to them than a “no comment”, and typically reported with little question. It’s why they proclaimed Microsoft King the better part of 20 years.