The Consumer Electronics Madness

Three old men are the reason I haven’t written a word here when I should have written a lot of them. Our country is so kind and generous to kids that we don’t have just one gift party here (Santa, which is called Papá Noel over here and pays a visit at Christmas day), but two. The Three Wise Men (also known as The Three Kings or Magi, which are called Los Reyes Magos here) come every January 6th to give every child some more Christmas presents and complete this crazy and fantastic holidays.

There is one problem, though: The Three Wise Men don’t care about CES, and CES doesn’t care about The Three Wise Men. If you’ve got kids, there’s no option: these are their (second) days, and you can’t fail them.

lego

That’s the reason I haven’t been able to write, but even if I had tried I’d probably failed. And I would have because it has been another crazy CES with a ton of things to talk about. Several well known sites have done a great work with their coverage -The Verge has been specially great combining short and long stories- and the story is the same year over year.

There are too many vendors, too many products and too many promises. We can’t pay attention to most of them.

I remember a column from BuzzFeed three years ago. In ‘Why We’re Not At The Biggest Tech Show In The World‘ Mat Buchanan lamented this little circus the CES has become. Industry and press should do better: instead of squeezing so many product launches and try to steal journalists attention (and audience attention) from each other, it would be wiser to distribute that madness, to lighten it, to spread out the magic.

I will for sure talk about some of the products that have been launched in the past few days later on. For now I just wanted to take a little breath and enjoy a little silence. There’s too much noise at CES. Too much madness.

Windows 10 on 200 million devices is not a success

win101

Paul Thurrot throws new adoption data for Windows 10, which is now active on 200 million devices around the globe. Thurrot is a little bit overoptimistic with comparisons with Windows 7:

Despite the availability of Windows 10 on new device types, the average monthly usage gain over the past quarter was 31.25 million units per month. That is dramatically better than the standard-bearer, Windows 7, which was artificially massaged to accomplished 20 million units per month.

That would be a great reference, but there’s one thing missing in Thurrot’s argument. Windows 10 is a free update.

It has been so since its launch and will be free for another six months. And saying that Windows 10 monthly usage is so huge isn’t such a big deal when you take into account that you actually had to pay for a Windows 7 license.

I’m not a big fan of Apple, but you should consider what happened with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, the first version of that operating system that was available as a free update from Mountain Lion. In five months Mavericks had a 40 percent share in the US on Mac based computers. An image is worth a thousand words:

win-osx

If you put that into context and compare that first free version of OS X with this free update for Windows 10, something is clear.

Windows 10 has a 9.96 percent market share globally (data from Chikita in March 2014 was just US based, that’s true), while Windows 7 is over 55 percent. And the 200 million devices include devices like the Xbox One, not just desktop PCs and laptops. The numbers are good, but not that good.

I asked here why Windows users don’t upgrade to Windows 10 and the answer was interesting: privacy concerns was the clear reason for almost half of the respondents. Microsoft made some mistakes on this launch, and I’m affraid that concerns have not been solved to this day. Microsoft is actually forcing the update, which is not a smart thing to do for the vast majority of traditional Windows users.

I wonder what will happen after the free update period, and I really hope Windows 10 takes off both on the PC/laptop and on mobile, but the growth isn’t that great as Thurrot wants to reflect.

Not if you make other comparisons, at least.

Will 2016 confirm Apple’s erratic path?

Great monopolies create great antagonists. Apple has become that kind of company: loved and hated equally, with products that usually cause everykind of feelings, but almost never indifference.

2015 was a weird year from Apple, with products that many of us have rendered as unoriginal, beta devices that according to some editors ‘kinda sucked‘.

bii apple revenue by segment 3Q15

They probably did on some fronts, and now the analysts predict Apple will have a ‘difficult’ 2016. iPhone saleswill go negative for the first time in history‘, iPads won’t recover, and there are no products that could maintain Apple current growth.

The fact is, even with that kind of assesment I’m pretty sure Apple will again be bigger than before. The products they have released in 2015 are mediocre on most cases, but even considering that the sales have been impressive. I think Apple is the only tech company that has been able to cross a siginificant border: the one in which product quality is not as important as the brand itself.

I wonder if that will be enough on the next 12-24 months to maintain Apple where it is now, but what I’m sure right now is that Apple is not going to have a tough year. They know exactly where they want to be. And that could be pretty different to what we would like them to be.