The doomsayers knock Apple as Nokia shows signs of recovery
25th Jan 2013 | 10:30
Huge numbers, little devices, massive fines and big ideas
What begins with A and is totally doomed? That's right, it's Apple, which only managed to sell 47.8 million iPhones in the last three months.
That's the most iPhones Apple has ever sold, and is a clear sign that Apple is doomed - as is the news that Apple sold more iPads than ever before, and that iOS devices are flying out of the door at a rate of ten per second. Dooooooooomed!
Actually, it's not all rosy for Apple. Its hyper-growth appears to be slowing and sales of Macs are down, partly because of delayed products - the new iMac didn't ship until the very end of the quarter - and possibly because tablets and smartphones are eating traditional computing's lunch. Apple remains ridiculously, enormously rich, of course, but the stock market wasn't impressed.
While Apple's sales growth may be slowing, Windows Phone is going from strength to strength. It's miles behind iOS and Android, of course, but its market share almost tripled over the last three months.
That means it's closing in on the BlackBerry, which doesn't look like it'll be Britain's third favourite mobile OS for much longer. It's particularly good news for Nokia, whose UK share is up 50 per cent year on year.
Steve Jobs wasn't that nice
Does Apple owe part of its success to Steve Jobs putting the frighteners on people? It certainly looks that way: in a case alleging a conspiracy between tech firms to eliminate competition and drive down potential employee wages, some of Steve Jobs' emails have been published.
One, sent to Palm, is rather Godfatheresque: "I'm sure you realize the asymmetry in the financial resources of our respective companies when you say: 'we will both just end up paying a lot of lawyers a lot of money.'," Jobs wrote. These days, of course, Palm sleeps with the fishes.
Apple isn't the only big tech firm in hot water: Sony is too, and the UK's Information Commissioner has just slapped it with a £250,000 ($400,000) fine for breaching customers' privacy.
The fine is for the infamous PlayStation Network hack of 2011, which compromised millions of users' details, although Sony says it'll appeal against the ruling.
Your car, connected
If you think security's important now, wait until our cars are connected: imagine if someone could hack into your Honda, tweak your Toyota or fanny about with your Ford. That's where we're headed, although the car companies didn't quite put it that way when they got together to talk about the future of the connected car.
As Jamie Carter explains, "the digital highway is here, but nobody is quite sure which direction it will take." At the moment, connected-car tech largely involves GPS, safety features and the odd bit of in-car entertainment, so "there's a big prize for whoever can figure out the connected car's killer app before someone else does." And they should probably avoid the term "killer app", too.
Toyota says that "the internet of the automobile" won't be like the one you have at home or work: it'll be about apps that "enhance the driving experience". Ford says there are three different users - the car, the driver and the passengers - with "distinctly different" needs, and it thinks the answer is to have everyone bring their own devices.
So, phones, then. And Nissan reckons it's mainly about navigation, but that over time you'll be able to get email and have your car invade your privacy. The consensus? The connected car is coming, but it isn't coming very quickly.
What's even sexier than a man who knows about cars? A man who knows about tech, according to a not-spurious-oh-no survey by a memory company. Its survey found that women want "technosexuals".
Our columnist Gary Marshall explains: "Technosexuals are men who know where ladies' buttons are, and how to press them" - apparently women like nothing more than a man who can "improve their hardware". Marshall tries not to make the joke, but he can't help it: make sure your skills are up to date and your hardware current, he counsels. "Let's face it. No woman wants to be presented with a horrible old floppy."