Why the Rumour of the Beats by Dr. Dre Acquisition by Apple is Ridiculous

Yesterday the Washington Post ran a report that Apple is on the verge of buying Beats, at the sweet price of $3.2 billion.

As both an Apple and music fan, this mix seems a match made in Hell. And that for multiple reasons, aside from the price tag.

First of all Apple is a brand which understands design and can make elegance fashionable. Beats by Dr. Dre headphones are the total opposite and merely a fashion statement. A fugly rather colorful one at that too, a fashion statement which comes with additional Beats branding at almost every possible side of the headphones too.

The complete opposite of what we know from Apple’s elegance. Chique elegance or was it elegant chic?

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How I Switched Back. Back to an iPhone, from Android

Thousands and probably many more articles have been written about how users switched from iPhone to Android. One of the more prominent ones in recent times being Apple reviewer, and Top 5, fan Andy Ihnatko.

After around two years on the other side, using several Android phones, with always larger screens I returned back to the iPhone, and got an iPhone 5 as second line initially.

Having been a Samsung Galaxy line fan, and owner of both Samsung Note models, I have promoted Android as being a great alternative on my online profiles. But something happened: within less than three (3) days the iPhone 5 had become my main device and replaced my Android phone for 70%, or more, of my mobile time.

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Consumer Electronics

Screen resolution, one of the major specs newer smartphones do wrong

Contrarily to the situation we noticed in the first half of the ‘noughties’, mobile phones seem to have ended up in a race to become the larger mobile device fitting in one’s pocket. Mobile phones, and tablets, are always more becoming the future way of being online, and manufacturers have switched strategy. It’s not about the smallest phone anymore. Maybe still the thinnest, but it’s all about the biggest in 2012.

Rumors indicate that Apple is also considering switching to a new size for the iPhone. And again it seems that in the new race only Apple’s doing the right thing.

Compaq iPAQ

Compaq iPAQ by Monochrome, on Flickr

I have had several smartphones, and admit that I am a fan of slightly larger screens than the iPhone’s screen. I even had a Samsung Note. Currently I reverted back to the Samsung Galaxy S2, in my opinion the perfect size for its screen resolution. This post is based on having used a large plethora of smartphones over the last years, as well as their predecessors which some of us might still remember. Some even with names too similar to actual products to sound true for many, like the Compaq iPAQ show on the left.

Together with the leap to ‘smartphones’, we have seen a new revolution in the portable market: the ever increasing screen resolution. Most of us still remember the days of the 1024*768px 15″ CRT monitor for our desktop, while now our 13″ laptops are equipped with a resolution of up to 1440*900px. Mobile phone screens are no exception to this evolution and modern screens larger than 4.5″ are all equipped with a seemingly generous 720*1280px screen. Continue reading


The Beauty of $.99 iPhone Apps

Jens Alfke has a great point on the possibilities of the Apps Store for developers.

Interesting is the conversation which had grown/could have continued in the comments had I hijacked the comments even more.

Sure, it’s peanuts, but it’s a significant step up compared to nothing at all. Also, $35/year for hosting, if that was static, is nothing compared to hosting on your own and potentially seeing your hosting costs skyrocket to hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month.
On the whole, though, I just don’t think the comparison with Sourceforge will hold once this all goes live. The two have very different (developer) communities and, more importantly, audiences. [Faruk]

The point of this comment was my comparison to an eventual Sourceforge alike, jungle which might grow based on $.99 applications.

I entirely agree with Faruk that both platforms (iPhone and Sourceforge) have a different audience. But the iPhone platform is only 10 months old and already heading for 10m users (not counting the multiple iPod Touch users – I use a touch at work as well, an iPhone in private life).

What does this mean? The iPhone/Apps Store surely has the potential to reach out to even more people than Sourceforge does. Not that long ago it costed $35/year to host an (open source) application at Sourceforge. The Apple digital certificate costs $99 (for a lifetime probably since no edits pointing at a yearly fee have been made since yesterday).

Let’s bring things back to reality now. Until little more than 2 years ago I ran several Windows communities, with around 20 k members and more than 4k daily active forum nerds. My voice pretty much was law in those communities. Yesterday I applied as Enterprise developer for the iPhone platform. It cost me $99.
If I hadn’t sold on those Windows communities (I’m on Mac now), I could have pitched no matter what sh|tty iPhone application to around 20k people without much of an effort. Apple takes care of the effort hosting and distribution. And highly improves the visibility of my crappy application, even more than the 2-3k nerds who will blindly throw in a buck to test/use my stuff.

Does my popularity guarantee that I deliver quality? Nope, but probably the fact of running a community soon will see my application among the most popular apps and boost my sales even more.

Did I say Sourceforge Jungle? $99 Is nothing compared to hosting on your own and potentially seeing your hosting costs skyrocket to hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month.