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Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it

Bloomberg published an article today about Samsung's plans to release a device with a display that wraps around the edges. Why would you need such a feature, you may ask? As Van Baker, director of research at Gartner, explains, it's all about throwing a bunch of s#@& against the wall and see what sticks.

Curved screens may be a technology in search of a problem to solve, said Gartner’s Baker. Samsung may provide a test case because they have shown a willingness to release products into the market to see if they gain favor with customers, he said.

“There are enough companies out there that are very fond of throwing whatever hardware they can out into the market, just to see if anybody will bite,” he said.

Of course, Samsung will sell this to us as true innovation.

By definition, innovation is the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulated needs, or existing market needs. Innovation must solve an existing problem, not just be a demonstration of what can technically be done.

Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should do it. But Samsung likes to prove it can be first. Not first at creating a new innovative product. Just first at creating a product.

iPhone market share is bigger in Japan than it is in the US

According to market survey, Apple has a slightly bigger market share for iPhone in Japan than it does in the US, as the WSJ reports:

Even before that, the iPhone was Japan's best-selling smartphone, with a 37% market share in the six months ended Sept. 30, according to Tokyo's MM Research Institute. That's comparable to the iPhone's 36% share in the U.S. in the third quarter, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

The market share in Japan is also expected to grow a bit due to the fact that carrier NTT DoCoMo started offering the iPhone for the first time in late September.

iPhone 5s beats Nokia Lumia 1020 in camera shootout

You know how they say that sometimes more is less. Some also say that specs don't really matter anymore. Well, it all comes true in a camera shootout carried out by the folks at Laptop Mag between the Nokia Lumia 1020, and the iPhone 5s. For those who are still keeping track of specs out there, let's note that the Lumia 1020 comes with a whopping 41MP camera. Apparently that wasn't enough to beat the iPhone 5s 8MP camera though...

The iPhone 5s conclusively beat the Nokia Lumia 1020 in our photo face-off, taking seven out of 10 rounds–and tying one. Even after updating the Lumia 1020′s camera software, which reduced issues with the blue color cast on many images, colors were still more accurate on the iPhone. Apple’s device also excelled when delivering detail and contrast.

Half of the Top Overall apps in the App Store are games generating 79% of revenue

An interesting tidbit of information coming from analytics platform Distimo about the App Store most popular category – Games – and how much that category generates in terms of revenue.

Looking at the Top 400 Overall Grossing, 48% of all apps in the Top Overall were games and those apps generated 92% of the revenue for Google Play in September 2013. For the Apple App Stores (average of iPhone and iPad), 52% of the apps in the Top Overall were games and these apps generated 79% of the revenue.

In short, half of the apps in the Top Grossing charts of the App Store generate 79% of total revenue. Note that these apps do not generate 79% of the total App Store revenue. They generate 79% of Top Grossing charts revenue.

The never-ending worry about Apple’s future is a good thing for the company

Jean-Louis Gassée reflects on Apple and the negative press the company has been receiving, despite having products that constantly top customer ratings and sell like hot cakes:

I recently experienced a small epiphany: I think the never-ending worry about Apple’s future is a good thing for the company. Look at what happened to those who were on top and became comfortable with their place under the sun: Palm, Blackberry, Nokia…

In ancient Rome, victorious generals marched in triumph to the Capitol. Lest the occasion go to the army commander’s head, a slave would march behind the victor, murmuring in his ear, memento mori, “remember you’re mortal”.

Fingerprint sensors coming to Android devices in the next 6 months

Of course it was just a matter of time. As always, Apple wasn't first to market, but it was the first to make fingerprint sensors a popular technology that will be used in many future devices. This shift is happening barely two weeks after the iPhone 5s launched. Can't innovate my ass!

But six months from now Barrett says he will be able to choose from the latest Android models that will come equipped with a biometric sensor capable of letting him swipe his fingerprint to access a wide range of his online accounts.

That's the scenario being proactively pursued by the FIDO Alliance, a group of 48 tech companies, led by PayPal and Lenovo, hustling to implement a milestone technical standard.

Read the full article on USA Today (via The Verge)

The only way to have a 100% secure smartphone is to not have one at all

In his review of the iPhone 5s, MG Siegler hits the nail on the head about the ridiculousness of the Touch ID pseudo hacking:

In the least surprising news of the year, hackers have already been attacking the security of the feature and have found some ways to get around it. Newsflash: the only way to have a truly, 100 percent secure smartphone is to not have one at all. Touch ID still seems like a significant security upgrade over the most-used alternative: nothing.

You can read Siegler's full "non review review" of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s here.

My family cares about taking a good picture, not a megapixel count

In an interview with USA Today, Craig Federighi illustrates what I believe is the essence of Apple:

"Look at the camera space, companies are chasing megapixels but the pictures often look horrible because of their tiny sensors," says Federighi. "My family cares about taking a good picture, not a megapixel count. We carry that through to all the decisions we make about our phone. What experience is it going to deliver? Not what number will it allow us to put on a spec sheet."

This is the thinking behind everything Apple does. And this is why my mom has an iPhone.

Surprise! Samsung’s future smartphones will feature 64-bit processors

Kim Yoo-chul reporting for the Korea Times:

The co-CEO implied that upcoming Samsung Galaxy-branded smartphones will be more powerful and faster by confirming that they would have 64-bit processing capability. [...]

“Not in the shortest time. But yes, our next smartphones will have 64-bit processing functionality,” Shin said, adding he followed the media coverage of Apple’s new iPhone.

Notice the "not in the shortest time." Of course, it will take them a minute to adapt to the new standard Apple just set.

Nintendo should make great games for iOS

Although Nintendo made it clear on multiple occasions that they will not port their games to other platforms, things aren't looking up for the Japanese company that's been slashing prices left and right in a hope it will sell more of its gaming devices.

Apple pundit John Gruber chimes in and shares his views about what Nintendo should do to keep relevant in a market it helped define:

We should write AT&T a check for $1 billion

You know what we should do to stop them from complaining? We should write AT&T a check for $1 billion and if the deal doesn’t work out, they can keep the money. Let’s give them the $1 billion [Apple had $5 billion in cash at the time] and shut them the hell up.

Steve Jobs, talking to telecommunication consultant Raj Aggarwal about how he was annoyed that AT&T was spending too much time worrying about the risks of the deal he was negotiating with them before the first iPhone came out...

How Samsung is beating Apple in China


Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook believes that "over the arc of time" China is a huge opportunity for his pathbreaking company. But time looks to be on the side of rival Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which has been around far longer and penetrated much deeper into the world's most populous country.

Some great insights in this article where the authors break down how Samsung is outdoing Apple in China. In shorts, it all comes down to the different strategy Samsung adopted in China: multiple devices with low to high prices, creating "perceived innovation", a large retail presence, and maintaining good relationships with carriers.