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So $30 Android phone is a PC, but a Smart TV isn’t?

12/12/2012 6:37:56 PM

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Numerous online (and probably offline) publications covered Internet Trends presentation by Mary Meeker from Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers. Judging from the slides it was really interesting and I’d love to see a video of it, but …

Most sites used the above slide as the main takeaway from it and cited the numbers as the biggest reveal of that presentation. I haven’t heard the comments accompanying this chart, so I’m having a hard time understanding what does it represent?

Does “Apple” include OS X and iOS on iPad, iPhone, iPad Touch, Apple TV? Does Android represent Android tablets, phones, cameras, etc.? Judging from the fact that Android’s chart starts in 2007, I would guess that all of them are counted in. Are all of these PCs or PC replacements?

Let’s say we consider the cheapest and crappiest Android phone a PC. This sounds absurd, but OK. But If we do, then why “smart TVs” are not on this chart? Why not eInk readers? Why no Xbox or PS3 or Wii? Why no Sega Mega Drive (or whatever) in the middle of that chart?

I’m pretty sure Amazon has sold a substantial amount of “classic” (non Fire) Kindles to warrant a place on this chart. And Samsung alone expects to sell 25 million smart TVs in 2012. So why don’t we count them in?

You may say these are not PCs and I’ll agree with you. Android based camera isn’t a PC either. And even a mid range Android phone that was never used for anything but phone calls is not a PC. So what constitutes a “Personal Computing Platform” in this chart and what doesn’t?

I’ve definitely watched more YouTube videos on my smart TV than I did on my phone. I did more “internet commerce” (bought ebooks) on my Kindle 3 than I did on any of other devices except for PC. So what makes these devices non-PCs but, say, HTC Magic a PC?

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Android. But I do have a problem with this chart and the idea of using it to make ANY conclusions. It’s just a pointless piece of infographic created to deliver some message.

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Spotify-like App Stores

9/24/2012 3:03:52 PM

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Photo by ZeroOne

I’m the last person to say good things about iTunes, but there’s no denying it brought legal digital music to mainstream users. Same goes for iOS App Store. Geeks were buying Windows Mobile apps long before the App Store, but Apple made it easy for a regular person to buy apps for their smartphones. That said, buying MP3s-to-own sounds very old school in 2012 and I bet only the most devoted fans or those who have never heard of Spotify, Zune Pass, Rhapsody, etc. still do it.

But what about apps? All of the app stores still operate in the “classic” iTunes model. Even though it’s clear that paid 99 cent app model never really took off on Android, all Windows Phone success stories are ad based, and even on iOS free-to-play games reign supreme at this stage.

Yet, I think it should be way easier (from the legal standpoint) to introduce the subscription model to the app stores than it was (is) in the music world. Obviously not every smartphone user would like to pay a monthly fee for the app firehose and not every niche app maker would agree to get pennies for each download/use. But, in general, the 99 cent developer crowd should be happy and power users would happily pay $5/month for unlimited access to most of the app catalog. And it shouldn’t be just one or the other.

There’s no doubt it would take a lot of math, market testing, etc. to perfect the formula, but overall I think it’s a win-win solution and an obvious next evolutionary step in the app store history.

What do you think?

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