Tag Archives: iPhone

Apple posts best quarter ever, for anyone

It turns out that Apple recorded it’s best sales quarter in company history in the fourth quarter of last year. They sold 74.5 million iPhones during that quarter, significantly more than the estimated 66 million that was estimated.

That’s a profit increase of 37% to $18 billion. According to CNet they sold 46 percent more iDevices than their record-setting device sales from this time last year, and as CNN Money points out, “That’s larger than Gazprom’s $16.2 billion profit during the first quarter of 2011 — the previous profit record posted by a corporation.”

That’s good news for Apple, setting the largest quarterly profit of any company ever, and with the iWatch shipping in April that could be an additional boon for the company. On the other hand, the iWatch starts at $350, and will require – from what I can tell – an iPhone to operate. That will either be good for them, tempting all those new iPhone owners to invest in the watch, or it could be a downside if it requires tethering to the iPhone.


Additionally, you want as many people as possible to become tied to your ecosystem, which is the associated services your platform ties in to; In Apple’s case it would be things like iCloud and iTunes, because that makes it more difficult to leave the phone and the platform, even if you want to. With all of those sales and the upcoming release of the iWatch, they’re well on their way.

This all puts Microsoft’s good news in perspective.

News for Friday

A lot is going on today, so I thought I’d provide briefs of some of the bigger stories that are happening rather than three gargantuan posts. I’ll put those off until next week.

iPhone 6 finally becomes available

The first, and I suspect biggest, story of the day is that the iPhone 6 is finally being launched, and people are going crazy all over the world. Unfortunately, all that excitement can lead to some problems. For example, here is a video of a guy in Australia, the first person to buy one over there, dropping it on the concrete right after buying it.

Then there’s the guy who decided to perform a drop test of the new phones immediately after buying them. Kids, please don’t try this at home.

Larry Ellison steps down

Larry Ellison, co-founder of business-software powerhouse Oracle and fifth-richest man in the world is stepping down from his executive position at the very company he co-founded. Although he hardly wants for money, there is some speculation as to why he is doing it and if the timing is significant; he’s 70, after all, but you’d never know it. He will stay on as the Chief Technology Officer, though, so it isn’t as though he’ll have no impact, in fact, he’ll better be able to steer future developments and change from the new position.

Larry Ellison

Larry Ellison

Toonotown Rewritten comes out of beta, opens for everyone

In mid-2003, Disney, wanting a piece of the online-gaming pie, released a kid-friendly yet surprisingly clever online game called Toontown Online. In the game, whose art direction and settings were based somewhat on the cartoon world of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, players created a humanoid, bipedal toon from a variety of animals (you could be a horse, monkey, cat, dog, that sort of thing), and went into the streets of Toontown to fight cogs. Cogs were black-and-white corporate stereotypes such as pencil-pushers, glad-handers, and micromanagers who were trying to turn Toontown corporate, convert all houses and shops into towering skyscrapers, and remove all of its color. Using gags such as throwing pies, squirting water from a flower, and dropping safes, players would have to defeat the cogs and return the color and the buildings to the town.

Toontown Online

Toontown Online

Well, Disney being Disney, they shut it down in September of 2013 to focus on other ventures. What’s incredible here is that a team of 20 people located all over the world and led by a teenager in Maryland, recreated the whole thing, even made improvements, supplied their own servers, and are opening it up to the public today under the slightly new name of Toontown Rewritten, with no intent of ever charging for the experience. I’m surprised Disney didn’t quash it immediately, but they’re in a tough place. The whole project is such a labor of love that to do so would foster significant ill will, but I can’t help but think that if it becomes more and more popular they will be forced to step in in some manner.

Now here’s a surprise

I have a Windows phone. Many people, when they find out, are surprised to hear that. On the other hand, I’m surprised that they’re surprised. Why would someone be surprised over someone else’s choice of anything; phone, food, clothes, or anything else?

When I inquire, the common response is “Windows doesn’t have as many apps.”

That’s true, or at least what they mean is true. They mean the Windows phone ecosystem doesn’t have as many apps as does the iOS or Android ecosystem. And on that point they’re correct. At last count, Apple’s app store had 1.2 million apps (June 4th), Google Play had 1.34 million apps (August 24th), while Windows Store trails behind with 300,000 apps (August 8th), although in their defense that’s over double the amount they had at the beginning of the year.

Getting better!

Getting better!

I chose my phone for many reasons, however when it comes to apps specifically, there have been sacrifices. Or perhaps ‘compromises’ would be a better word. Google is notoriously reluctant to release apps for Windows, which results in third-party, and arguably better, apps like MetroTube, and some apps that would likely be much better if developed by the original company, like Facebook, who is also unwilling – at least for now – to publish on the platform.

But here are the three big catches: One, I do actually have most of the apps I need and want; USAA, Flixster, web browser, Outlook, bar code/QR code scanner, CNN/NBC/Sky news, Plex, Runtastic, Netflix, Twitter, Skype, Wallbase and Zillow to name a few, along with the afore-mentioned third party MetroTube (which I rarely use, to be honest) and a few others.

Two, attention needs to be paid to the quality v. quantity of apps. To use the old comparison, if you have a million apps in your store but 500,000 of them are fart apps then do they all really count (They may; one was ranked the #1 app and raked in $10,000 a day)? The number two app in the iPhone app store, set to earn $200 million, is one that lets you accompany Kim Kardashian!

Even with all of that, and coming in at number three, is something I found most surprising of all: It turns out many people don’t download any apps anyway. The article points to a ComScore whitepaper that indicated over 65 percent of smartphone users download zero apps a month (infographic pasted below). In my case I download the occasional app, but it’s more like one app every two or three months. Of course, that zero-download percentage also means the remainder are responsible for the $10,000 a month the fart app earned and the $200 million the Kim Kardashian app will earn, and that is scary.

ComScore infographic on app downloads, via nbcnews.com

ComScore infographic on app downloads, via nbcnews.com