It Doesn’t Add Up… (Enron Math?)

With the release of the Android phone right around the corner, the “analysts” sales estimates are starting to show up, but I am having an slight issue with some of the math involved. Is it an issue of figures don’t lie, big liars figure, or just an example of Enron Math applied to the smart phone arena.

This article on MacNN/Electronista states the analysts project that about 400,000 android smartphones will sell in Q4 2008, or “4% of the entire smartphone market”, and my brain starts telling me that number cant be right…

So I start to look around, because a friend of mine and I had a discussion on the iPhone’s market share being #2 to the blackberry, and I also recall reading that the iPhone 3G’s initial weekend sales were in the neighborhood of 1 million units, or by the original articles math, 10% of the market. I also remember that RIM’s sales figures are in the 10’s of millions of units annually, or  by the articles math 100% of the market.

A couple of google search’s give the following information…

An April 8th 2008 WirelessWeek article stated that RIM was forecasting total CY 2008 smartphone sales of 14 million.

A March 5th 2008 Fortune article stated the apple’s goal was to sell 10 million iPhones in CY 2008, and was forecast to exceed that number by 2.9 million.

So lets do the math here, if 400k = 4% of the total market, then the total market is 10 million units. 

14M + 10M + 400K = 24.4M 

So with 100% of the market being 10M, looks to me that a lot of people are buying more then one smart phone per year, factor in Palm and Windows Mobile, I’m guessing the average Joe is out there buying 3 and 4 a year.

Now I may be being stupid here, and be comparing US sales versus global sales, but I have to believe that the US smartphone market is also larger then 10 Million units. I also believe that the Android platform will not have an easy path into the market place going against Blackberry, Apple, Windows Mobile, etc, and it looks like its T-Mobile release will be a head to head against Verizon and the Blackberry Storm.

The other question I have is how Android is being touted as an “Open” system, vice Blackberry and iPhone, and if that is that case, why is it only available at T-Mobile.

For those of you that missed the beginning of the decade…

You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. The public buys your bull.


The iPhone and Me…

It has been just over three weeks since my transition from blackberry to iPhone, and I am finding a few thing that I miss, but not that much. Overall I think the iPhone is a great peice of hardware, but the famiuarity of 10 years of blackberry use is a bit of a tough habit to break.

iPhone 3GThe first thing is the typing aspect, the lack of a physical keyboard is hard to get used to, but I could see how a new user would have a lot less issues then a blackberry user may. I could pretty much type on the blackberry with my eyes closed, and one hand tied behind my back. I am getting some of my old speed back, with the spellcheck and predictive typing keeping me honest.
The lack of CUT COPY and PASTE is a complete annoyance, but I hear rumors that it is to be included in the 2.1 software, well that’s what everyone is saying.

I have had quite a few crashes/lockups, but those have almost always occurred while in a third party app, and usually one that has not made it to version 1.0 yet, and most of them are free, so I guess I’m getting what I paid for. My 8703 blackberry crashed on a fairly regular basis, and for no apparent reason, and I really never got resolution on that from Verizon, who’s typical response was to upgrade to a new device, or RIM/blackberry who’s response was to wipe the device and reload the most current software. That usually worked for a week or so, and then it would do it again. There was also a physical issue that would cause the unit to reboot whenever you set it on a hard service, this wasn’t just me, it was at least 4 others that I know of at my company, one solved it by getting a pearl, but now his trackball gets clogged up all the time.

Battery life, trying to work this one out, because I live and work in a cell hole. My blackberry would go through batteries faster then advertised, and since I barely see 1 bar in 3G, and 3+ bars in EDGE, and I did notice while wandering around Delaware in edge mode my battey was a lot slower to drain. My brain says that if you have a device, that has CELL, 3G, WIFI, GPS, etc… It should be able to operate more then 8 hours with everything on.

The GPS is a great addition, the accuracy is as good as most people would need in day to day life. The GPS in the iPhone is fairly accurate, almost on par with my Garmin GPS60-csx. The turn by turn directions built into the bogle maps application does need some work, and eliminate the need to click next at every turn, not very helpful or safe when you are driving. The blackberry is not even close on this aspect, but keep in mind I’m coming from a Verizon device where you weren’t exactly allowed to use the GPS.

The email support on the iPhone is fir the most part is on par with blackberry, with the addition of Exchange ActiveSync, and in some cases beats the blackberry, like with GAL lookups, they just happen, instead of having to do individual lookups. The handling of multiple email accounts really sucks, there is no easy way that you can move from one account to another, where all the accounts on a blackberry show up in the main messages screen. I’d really like to see a way to bounce between the accounts, or at a minimum an easy way to get to the accounts screen.

The calendar sync is as good as on the berry, and as easy to use, but the notes just kind of lay there in limbo, with no way to move them from iPhone to mac. The inability to move between iphone and computer pretty much makes the notes useless.

One thing I liked about my berry was the auto on auto off feature. I used the blackberry as an alarm clock so I didn’t have to worry about it at home or on the road, it was consistant. The iPhone has no auto sleep/wake function so for the alarm to function, you need to keep the device on all night, so the alarm will work.

Overall I am very happy with the iPhone, and I’m not sorry for changing. I have a lot better functionality with the iPhone for the work I do,



Blackberry 8703

I have been a Blackberry user for forever, I was the first kid on my block to have one. We did beta testing for the first clamshell MobiText units in the 90’s, and I have always been very happy with the devices, I put my old 950 through hell, and the thing would just keep on ticking. Time progressed, and I upgraded to one of the full size units, but handed down my berry to a user who needed basic email functionality, and he used it for a few more years, and the device was retired still functioning, but no longer supported by RIM on the wireless side.

I intentionally skipped the first generation of blackberry phones, I was not impressed with the initial capabilities, and I had the way cool real thin phone that I wasn’t going to swap. We had a couple users with the Gen-1 Blackberry phones, and they weren’t happy, with them, I guess it was the requirement to use a headset, that annoyed them.

I Finely made the jump to an Blackberry phone, after moving away from GSM coverage, and my cool skinny phone no longer worked. Over next 7 years, I went through 3 Blackberry changes, one due to the fact that my company changed providers, device still had limited functionality after service was terminiated, so I used it as a network monitor. The swap provided me with my first 8703e Blackberry, great device, did everything I wanted nice readable screen, and great functionality, and that blackberry would be problem free until I turned it in upon my departure from the company.Prior to my departure, I purchased my own 8703e, for 2 reasons, the primary was that the company I worked for was in the process of being torn apart by the owners and I was not sure that the parent I was going with would continue allowing us to have company berries. The second reason was that I was doing a lot of consulting at the time, and needed some segregation of work and personal stuff.

Ok enough of the background stuff.
After about the first 3 months, the new 8703e started having “issues”, it went through this little spat of needing a hard reset once every other day, a full software reload fixed that problem for a couple months. I start getting calls from others in the company that their Blackberry 8793e is resetting all by itself on a regular basis, some of the symptoms are the same as mine, so I recommend they do a software update on the device, that seems to solve the problem for a while….

So after a few months of relatively flawless operation, my berry starts exhibiting the same behavior, resetting and rebooting randomly, I do a wipe and reload, and 2 days later the device starts doing the reboot thing again, and my battery life is in the cellar. I also start noticing that it starts rebooting a lot as I pull it from the holster. Seems like the Blackberry has a loose connection, and the thing resets when it is pulled out of the holster, set down on a hard surface a little to hard, gets bumped in the console of the car while going over a speed bump, or if you tap it in the right place on the lower right side of the device. Now I could understand it if it was just mine doing this, but it happens that this is the same issue with 4 others in my company, and they are all out of warranty.

I remember when RIM was a rock solid Customer Service company, but those days went away with the IPO…

Going to replace the 8703, and I am thinking it wont be with a Blackberry, thinking on making the jump to iPhone, but lets see how many of the rumors are based in truth