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When mistreating users becomes competitive advantage

Posted on September 16th, 2014 at 20:50 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

This week, of course, provided a glorious example of how technology companies have normalized being indifferent to consent: Apple ‘gifting’ each user with a U2 album downloaded into iTunes. At least one of my friends reported that he had wireless synching of his phone disabled; Apple overrode his express preferences in order to add the album to his music collection. The expected ‘surprise and delight’ was really more like ‘surprise and delete’. I suspect that the strong negative response (in some quarters, at least) had less to do with a dislike of U2 and everything to do with the album as a metonym for this widespread culture of nonconsensual behaviour in technology.

Deb Chachra talks about the age of non-consensual technology.
Betsy Haibel explains why companies engage in these practises

Consent-challenging approaches offer potential competitive benefits. Deceptive links capture clicks – so the linking site gets paid. Harvesting of emails through automatic opt-in aids in marketing and lead generation. While the actual corporate gain from not allowing unsubscribes is likely minimal – users who want to opt out are generally not good conversion targets – individuals and departments with quotas to meet will cheer the artificial boost to their mailing list size.


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Comments:

  1. Wow, did they really download the album over wireless against user preference? Was there some agreement with the carriers in place that the bandwidth used wouldn’t count against the user?

  2. They didn’t. Or rather, they didn’t on my devices. Apparently there are some hard to find “always download purchases on all devices” setting somewhere that you need to enable before you get this behaviour. And on top of that allow those purchases to download on 3G as well, which is yet another setting disabled by default.

  3. And even after a few days, on my devices the album shows up on my list of available music, but with a little icon next to it that I need to tap before it downloads a song.

  4. Oh gosh, this is all quite vexing! Annoying, even.

    But to compare the unwanted part of someone’s digital life to non-consexual sex (or even rape) is unworthy of whoever Betsy Haibel is. Do stop pouting and get a grip, madam.

    I shall have to look up “involement” – presumably it has something to do with small grey rodents?

How do launch numbers for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S phones compare?

Posted on September 16th, 2014 at 11:42 by John Sinteur in category: Apple, Google

[Quote]:

Some rivalries will never die — chocolate vs peanut butter, Yankees vs Red Sox, and iPhone vs Android, just to name a few. With the announcement of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, many Android users took to the Internet to loudly exclaim how underwhelmed they were by the devices. Its new features were things they’d already had for years, except for all the ones that weren’t, of course. Rivalries are fun, but the musings of voices on the Internet aren’t nearly as important as the voices of the buying public. And when you compare the launch numbers of various Samsung Galaxy S phones to the iPhone 6 and earlier iPhones, there’s absolutely no competition.

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And still the overall market share of Android is higher. I think it’s because people who get an iPhone make a conscious choice to do so, and (most) people who get an android do so because they walk into a store and tell the sales rep they want “a phone”. They will make calls, use facebook, make a selfie, and that’s it. They never download an app unless recommended by a friend (“get snapchat!”), and just use the phone as a phone and are very happy with it.


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Comments:

  1. I don’t think that android users are attached to a brand. In my case, I have chosen between several brands before buying the phone, (Samsung, Sony, LG…). In addition, I’ve chosen and “old” model that runs smoothly the latest Android version, I’ve been waiting and studying several models. I would say that buying an iPhone the first day is not a conscious choice but an impulsive one. In addition, just released products have flaws, so buying it the first day is more like being a tester.

    I use several app, all free, among them you can find the “Rain Alert”, Maps (also offline), email, google drive (spreadsheets, documents), games…

    In Android, there are plenty of choices of high-end and other market segments phones. There are a lot app, but I think that Android users usually go for the free ones.

  2. Purchasing of iPhones may be social signalling of wealth and taste for some. Other people are excited by technology and like to try out new stuff. These are conditioned reactions to marketing not actually impulses. All these users are wealthy enough to make that choice and regularly buy new devices. These are nice products for nice people.

    What’s the marketing opposite of the “long tail”?

    Disclaimer: I bought my Android phone from a yard sale. I forgot the brand.

  3. One very simple factor: in the iOS ecosystem, there are 3 viable models right now. How many high-end-ish phones does Samsung have? S4 and S5 in several editions (regular, mini, active); Edge; Note; Duos… AT&T wireless has 10 listed as currently available. Sales in the Android domain are split over more models.

  4. There’s another gotcha in this graph: the Apple numbers are all for the first 1-3 days only, and the Samsung numbers are for 30-60 days. But the numbers are *per*day* sales. So Samsung had those lower numbers consistently over 30 days, and we don’t know what the drop-off was in Apple’s numbers. I don’t doubt that Apple’s numbers are higher, but this chart is deceptive.

  5. No, I don’t think that’s the gotcha. That’s the whole point of the graph. the iPad 3 had 1 mil of sales in 3 days, the S5, in 30 days, has yet to reach that number. Maybe it would have been clearer to have all bars at the same number of days, but then the samsung stuff would be 1 pixel on the left side of the graph..

  6. You are not comparing like with like. It’s a false comparison and the sort of sub high school use of stats that Apple cultists trot out to prove that their gang is the bestest ever, like deranged One Direction fans.

    When I upgraded from my Samsung S3 earlier this year I had a wealth of options to choose from (of which the Iphone was one) offering different combinations of features, allowing me to select the one that best suited me.

    With Apple, an upgrade means a choice of 1. New iphones are an event. So yes, if you are a devotee you are naturally going to want the latest iteration and you will want it as soon as it comes out. With Android there is no such pressure to upgrade to the latest model, as there are new and improved models coming out all the time. A new Samusung simply is not a big thing that will drive people to preorder.

    I can’t wait to find out what is wrong with the new iphone as 4 million people at once find out that holding it the wrong way cuts the signal, or syncing it with the cloud wipes everything or some such.

    For the record I switched to HTC.

  7. @John: The graph clearly says “units/day”. It’s meant to deceive.

  8. Or rather, it says “units/day” once you pay attention. It’s not actually *clear*, which is that makes it deceptive.