Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / Apple

  • Apr 18 / 2014
  • 0

GNU/Linux Gains Half the Loss by M$ in Czech Republic

The breakout by GNU/Linux in the Czech Republic is demonstrated by the following graph. It shows the loss by M$ of desktop page-views since the beginning of 2013 versus the gains by MacOS and GNU/Linux. One can see that MacOS was getting all the joy until mid-2013 but then GNU/Linux rapidly gained half the loss by M$. The rate of decline of M$’s OS is increasing as well. It’s all good.

Top 7 Desktop OSs in Czech Republic from W01 2013 to W16 2014.

  • Feb 24 / 2014
  • 1

The Strange Case of Tablets

I haven’t had much in the way of statistics on tablets since the year-end stuff. This needs to be fixed…

I visited StatCounter and asked for all of the CSVs of Tablet OS v Continent. After a lot of cutting and pasting this emerged:

I noticed a few things:

  1. In “established” IT markets there are some GNU/Linux tablets rattling around.
  2. Everywhere, iOS had a head start. That’s because Apple went to market first.
  3. In established IT markets iOS holds its lead longer.
  4. In emerging markets Android/Linux is nearly caught up with iOS.

This is about installed base assuming folks are using those tablets to browse which is very likely. It looks like iOS is converging to be somewhat less than 50% everywhere. It looks like Android/Linux is going to take over emerging markets this year and established markets within a couple of years. I have no idea what’s happening with GNU/Linux on tablets. Is that Ubuntu GNU/Linux? Why is there a spurt followed by a plateau? It’s all good. Freedom has come to smartphones and it will this year to tablets as well. Wake up OEMs and retailers! FLOSS sells! Start selling it on legacy PCs.

  • Feb 03 / 2014
  • 1

Cambodia Is Rapidly Freeing Itself From Wintel

I was monkeying around on StatCounter today, when I discovered Canada/USA uses more IE browsers than Cambodia, a random Asian country. I had thought all of Asia was infected by XP, but no, it’s the small cheap computers running */Linux and iOS that are doing in XP, and “7″ for that matter.

Cambodia is an emerging market and that other OS is sinking into oblivion pretty rapidly. “8″ is already swamped by Android/Linux, XP too, and “7″ is sliding rapidly. There is just no way for Wintel to keep up with sales of small cheap computers. In January 2013, the entire share of page-views counting desktops, notebooks, tablets and smartphones was 64.4% Wintel. Now, it’s 51.7%. That’s a 20% per annum decline. The tax is too prohibitive. Bundling the OS with the hardware doesn’t hide anything when there’s competitive hardware and software in the market. The positive feedback that locked the world into Wintel is now pushing the world away from M$. A similar pattern is emerging in Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and many other regions although less dramatic. It’s all good.

See Top 8 Desktop, Mobile & Tablet Operating Systems in Cambodia from Jan 2013 to Jan 2014.

  • Jan 23 / 2014
  • 5

Small Cheap Computers Eat Legacy PCs For Lunch Any Way You Measure It

“Samsung Electronics and Apple remained the top semiconductor buyers in 2013, increasing their combined semiconductor demand by 17 per cent, according to Gartner, Inc. Samsung Electronics and Apple together consumed $53.7 billion of semiconductors in 2013, an increase of $7.7 billion from 2012″ Recently, apologists for Wintel have been arguing that real people need really powerful computers and must use Wintel. That’s false of course, because most PCs are idling but here’s another way to “weigh” the matter: total cost of semiconductors… There’s a reason Samsung and Apple top the list. They are shipping the semiconductors in small cheap (?) computers by the shipload and are growing rapidly while Wintel is shipping less and hating it.

All that silicon is going into flipping bits so whether or not some particular chip has more MIPS, */Linux on ARM and iOS on ARM are flipping more bits… If you must include clockspeeds, if this is not true today it will be sooner rather than later. If the apologists are right about some individuals, they clearly don’t understand the world.

See Samsung Retains Position as the Top Global Semiconductor Customer in 2013, According to Gartner.

  • Jan 21 / 2014
  • 6

Mysterious Disappearance Of PearOS

A distro with GUI resembling MacOS and known for distribution of multimedia codecs has suspended downloads. That could violated GPL licensing unless the new owners appear promptly.“Its future is now in hands of a company who wants to remain anonymous for the moment. The concept has pleased them it and now wants to continue and improve the system for their own products. I can not give a name but it is a very large company well known …”

What well known company would do this? An OEM? Apple, M$? We shall see. I reserve judgment until then. It all depends on who and why. If it’s Apple or M$ that’s likely an anti-competitive act. That’s very unlikely as PearOS was barely on the radar at Distrowatch. If it’s an OEM, this could be an important step to getting GNU/Linux onto retail shelves. For some reason OEMs prefer distros with some angle different from the likes of Debian although Debian is not anti-business in any way. They just don’t ship software without a proper licence like some codecs. Presumably a business could afford to pay whatever licensing fees are required and fix that. Why then, PearOS? Some OEMs think Apple is the one true source of wisdom. Perhaps they think imitating Apple is a recipe for success. Samsung was accused of that but Samsung is way ahead of Apple now and is not looking back. Maybe GNU/Linux’s time is coming.

See David Tavares – Google+.

  • Dec 16 / 2013
  • 5

Wait A Minute, StatCounter

Aodhan Cullen of StatCounter: “The perception is that tablets are proliferating and replacing traditional PC and laptop machines so we developed our research platform to isolate tablet usage stats. In reality we found that tablet internet usage globally at less than 5% is still relatively small compared to desktop and mobile.”

Let’s compare oranges with oranges. Shall we? StatCounter is measuring page-views which should be more or less linearly related to installed-base. Tablets have been on the go for many years but it’s only in the last couple of years that their sales/shipments have exploded. StatCounter’s installed base includes every PC made in the last 6 years or more and perhaps some as old as 10 years. What needs to be compared is the rate of change of StatCounter’s stats with shipment rates. They agree pretty well.

Look at the rate of growth of Android/Linux globally according to StatCounter. It’s a fairly constant rate for the last year or more, about 0.55% per month increase. Meanwhile iOS and that other OS are actually decreasing. It won’t take many months before Android/Linux takes a huge share, with more than a million activations per day. At this rate, the 5% StatCounter’s creator is blathering about will be taken over again by Android/Linux tablets, or smartphones. See? in the last five months Android/Linux’s share has doubled against Tablet, Mobile and Desktop OS… The installed base of that other OS is huge but declining steadily. 5% is nothing. It will be forgotten a year from now. Already, developers and web-sites accommodate Android/Linux because it is the future whether on tablets, smartphones or desktops.

See New StatCounter data finds that tablet internet usage is less than 5% globally.

  • Nov 20 / 2013
  • 3

Digitimes Predicts Tablets Will Dominate PC Shipments In 2014

Digitimes predicts continued but slower growth for tablets in 2014: “Global tablet shipments are expected to reach 289 million units in 2014, up 23.6% on year. The growth, however, will be weaker than that for smartphones due to the fact that the tablet market has already entered the maturity stage, according to Digitimes Research’s latest figures.”

non-Apple first-tier 105 million
Chinese whitebox 104 million
Apple 80 million

They see shipments breaking down like this:
The grand total is more than three times the latest estimate of shipments of notebook/desktop PCs in a quarter and is more than four times the latest estimate of notebook shipments in a quarter. While it took the notebook more than a decade to overtake the desktop box, tablets have overtaken the notebook in less than five years since the first iPad.

Needless to say, but fun anyway, ;-) the operating system on most of those tablets will be Android/Linux, a Free/Libre Open Source operating system, not Apple’s and not M$’s. This freedom from slavery to a single corporation means lower cost computing and freedom to innovate for most of us. Clearly, those two monsters are not disappearing but they have retreated to their caves and can be ignored for the foreseeable future. Their willing slaves can continue to pay for the permission to use hardware they have bought and the rest of us, the majority, will be able to use our hardware the best way we can.

See Digitimes Research: Non-Apple brand vendors to ship 105 million tablets in 2014.

  • Oct 03 / 2013
  • 1
Linux in Education, Teaching, technology

22% U.S. School Districts Use Chromebooks

Children are the future and most of them are in schools using IT of some sort. “About 22% of the school districts in the U.S. are now using Google Chromebooks. That’s over 5,000 K-12 schools”

see 22% U.S. School Districts Use Chromebooks.

Wintel cannot undo the “damage” to the monopoly of millions of children experiencing other operating systems. MacOS/Apple is getting a share and so now is ChromeOS/Google-and-partners. Already Chromebooks are getting retail shelf-space. The monopoly is on its last legs in its home base, USA. Within a year or so even GNU/Linux will get a share of retail shelf-space all over USA. M$’s revenue from clients is heading for a drop of at least 25% and more likely 50%. That’s not growth. That’s decline. Get used to it. This is happening at a time when legacy PC sales are dropping, a double whammy. Clearly, “anything but M$” is a growth industry on the client side. It won’t be long before everyone realizes they can do without the Windows tax.

I recommend Debian GNU/Linux for clients, servers and everything else. It’s the universal operating system and it has none of the drawbacks of Wintel: high price, low reliability, malware, re-re-reboots, etc.

  • Sep 30 / 2013
  • 0

Another Monopoly Bites The Dust

When Nathan Myhrvold wrote that monopolies in IT were “natural” and that it was natural that M$ have a monopoly in desktop OS, he was clueless. Two decades later people were saying that about Apple and tablets but
“During the second quarter of 2013, the number of Android-powered tablets surpassed iOS-based slates for the first time, tablet-related hardware revenues reached parity, and perhaps most important, the average selling price (ASP) of iPad is rapidly approaching the market average.”

see Android Ecosystem Takes the Baton From Apple iPad.

The reality is different these days. Monopoly does not stand a chance with FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) because FLOSS can always beat the price of non-Free software. In reality, price matters. Apple making its own OS from scratch is more expensive and less flexible than the world cooperating to create Android/Linux and a raft of applications that perform very well compared to Apple’s stuff. Apple did have a near-monopoly for a couple of years… but then Android/Linux gained a bunch of ISVs and OEMs and took off. No single OEM had to develop all that software so every single OEM could ship a great product for less money than Apple. QED

The same is happening with desktop/notebook operating systems. The last hint of monopoly is that many retail shelves still offer nothing but M$’s OS. That’s changing rapidly as Dell doubles it stores selling Ubuntu GNU/Linux in China and, globally, fewer desktop/notebook systems are being sold. OEMs are shipping GNU/Linux trying to produce more profit in a shrinking market. The world is demanding less expensive/bulky/energy hogging systems and GNU/Linux is providing them. This is not about replacing one monopoly with another. It is about destroying monopoly. No one business can have a monopoly with FLOSS because of the FLOSS licences. They can still compete and win on price/performance which is good for everyone.

  • Sep 28 / 2013
  • 29

M$ Does Less

Steve Ballmer said, “Apple, Ballmer said, is about being "fashionable," while Amazon is about being "cheap," and Google is about "knowing more." Microsoft, Ballmer said, is about "doing more."”

see In last company meeting, Ballmer calls Apple 'fashionable,' says Microsoft about 'doing more'.

Perhaps Ballmer doesn’t really understand M$. That’s why he’s leaving. M$ is about doing less, not more. M$ does less to rake in a dollar than most other businesses, by leveraging its monopoly. It doesn’t really need to sell a product, its product is shipped by default, occupies space on retail shelves by default and is bought with PCs, bundled with the hardware. It didn’t even need to compete until a few years ago. Sure it makes software but the cost of making the software is tiny, per copy, when hundreds of millions of copies are sold per annum. It’s the OEMs, the retailers, the consumers and the fix-it guys who do all the work while M$ grew fat on the revenue. The users certainly don’t do more. They suffer the re-re-reboots, the missing drivers, the slowing down, the malware and the re-installations. Out of ignorance they pay $hundreds to have a “broken hard drive” repaired for the umpteenth time or just buy another PC hoping it will be more reliable than the last one. Out of ignorance, they blame the hardware rather than M$ for the “breakage”.

GNU/Linux is the OS that’s about doing more. I blog, I crunch numbers, I edit graphics, I search huge databases of text and data which I store on my PC as well as the Internet and I use multiple PCs as if they were one using Debian GNU/Linux. That’s the right way to do IT, the right way to do more. I have never had malware despite running without firewall or anti-virus software on hundreds of PCs and servers for many years. I have never had a PC slow down unless it was doing multiple big jobs for me. I haven’t paid a penny to M$ for my software. I haven’t had to re-install or reboot as a normal part of my use of computers. I have two or three times as much going on as I could with that other OS. That other OS is about doing less.

  • Sep 04 / 2013
  • 1

FLOSS Attacks The Centre Of Small Cheap Computers

There are two huge players in the game for small cheap computers who are taking their lumps. While trying to grow their empires, they are cutting off their roots, endangering the whole operation:

  • “Microsoft’s expansion in the hardware industry is expected to further deteriorate its relationship with PC brand vendors, pushing the vendors to seek cooperation from other software designers such as Google.” see Microsoft purchase of Nokia handset business may boost Chrome devices

    M$ wonstole share by exclusive dealing and bundling. They will lose share by kicking the folks who brought them to the dance, OEMs and retailers. OEMs see M$’s entry into hardware as unfair competition since M$ does not charge itself licensing fees and takes huge profits. Retailers are tired of M$’s stuff gathering dust on retail shelves while consumers slurp up ChromeBooks and smart thingies.

  • Apple’s unit sales are falling as consumers have a shot at N devices rather than just Apple’s devices. Since Apple’s plan is to produce a few models on the high end rather than a wide range, they will become a niche-player. Apple won market share by being first to market and using heavy promotion. Apple will lose share by clinging to the original business plan as the world moves on.
    Unit sales by segment in 2013:

    iPhone iPad
    Q2 31.2million 14.6million
    Q1 37.4million 19.5million
    Drop 6.2million 4.9million

Of course Apple is not suffering but M$ has a lot more to lose. M$’s whole empire depends on OEMs bundling that other OS with equipment. OEMs have a clear known-successful option now, FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software), developed collectively by the world to run everything from controllers to super-computers. The world doesn’t need M$ nor its software any longer, if it ever did, and all the lock-ins that M$ once had forcing everyone in the supply/support chain to dance to M$’s tune are worn out. Consumers and businesses are doing more with web applications so the client OS is no longer a lock-in. The web is already run by FLOSS. The only question remaining is how low will M$’s share go.

  • Aug 07 / 2013
  • 1

When Is Prior Art Not Prior Art? When The US Federal Circuit Ignores It.

“Secondary considerations evidence can establish that “an invention appearing to have been obvious in light of the prior art was not” and may be “the most probative and cogent evidence in the record.” Transocean, 699 F.3d at 1349 (quoting Stratoflex, Inc. v. Aeroquip Corp., 713 F.3d 1530, 1538 (Fed. Cir. 1983)). This evidence guards against the use of hindsight because it helps “turn back the clock and place the claims in the context that led to their invention.” Mintz, 679 F.3d at 1378. Apple presented compelling secondary considerations evidence that may have rebutted even a strong showing under the first three Graham factors, and the ITC failed to grapple with it.

For example, Apple presented evidence of industry praise by business publications. Time Magazine hailed the iPhone as the 2007 “Invention of the Year” in part because of the phone’s touchscreen and its multitouch capabilities. J.A. 7483–84. Bloomberg Businessweek issued a 2007 article entitled “Apple’s Magic Touch Screen,” in which it labeled the “sophisticated multipoint touch screen” as “[t]he most impressive feature of the new iPhone.” J.A. 7826. Around the same time, Wired Magazine recounted that, after Apple demonstrated the iPhone and its “brilliant screen,” an AT&T executive praised the iPhone as “the best device I have ever seen.” J.A. 8259 (internal quotation marks omitted). The ITC failed to address this evidence and the record does not appear to contain any contrary evidence.

Apple also presented evidence of copying. The ITC failed to address this evidence as well.

Lastly, Apple presented evidence that the iPhone has achieved a high degree of commercial success. Apple presented financial information that showed that the iPhone and related products received billions in dollars of revenue from 2008 to 2010. J.A. 14184. Apple also presented evidence showing a nexus between the undisputed commercial success of the iPhone and the patented multitouch functionality, namely evidence that Apple’s competitors copied its touchscreen and that those in the industry praised the iPhone’s multitouch functionality. The ITC did not address any of this evidence.4

For the foregoing reasons, we vacate the ITC’s decision that claim 10 of the ’607 patent would have been obvious and remand the case for further proceedings.”

see Groklaw – Apple, Motorola, ITC – Federal Circuit Remands – The Beat Goes On ~pj.

You couldn’t make this up. It’s too strange. The law specifically excludes issuing patents for stuff that’s obvious, yet the Federal Circuit in USA want press coverage to be considered instead of prior art… This nonsense is on top of software patents being invalid anyway.