5: Negativity, Skepticism, and Doubt15 Mar 2013
Google Reader shutting down, the RSS market and client architecture, demand for Google I/O and WWDC tickets, Apple pessimism, and diversifying the iPhone line.
- The upcoming Google Reader shutdown.
- The market for RSS today, and the way forward.
- Client-side vs. server-side feed crawling.
- Addressing excessive demand for WWDC and Google I/O tickets.
- Apple pessimism is at an all-time high, even in the mainstream.
- What could Apple do to turn the pessimism around?
- Apple and web services.
- The Apple TV's interesting new A5.
- Diversifying the iPhone line.
⏹️ ▶️ John People were tweeting me thinking I was drunk on the last show.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, yeah, because you didn’t get
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John a chance to explain your voice. Because my voice
⏹️ ▶️ John sounded terrible. Right. Like, that’s not what you sound like when you’re drunk. That’s what you sound like when you’re sick.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey People are crazy. All right, so what are we talking about tonight? I think I know.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, I think we have to talk about the Google Reader thing.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think we do. So let me start by asking, do either of you guys believe in RSS? I presume
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the answer is a resounding yes.
⏹️ ▶️ John It exists whether you believe in it or not, Casey.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey It’s all around us
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, I use RSS constantly. You know, a lot of people have always said like, oh, RSS is dead.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t use RSS. I just replace it with Twitter or whatever. And I think that’s true for a lot of people,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco certainly. But RSS as a technology is fine. It’s behind the scenes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of quite a lot of things. And a lot of people do use it the way
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you think of when you say, do you use RSS? A lot of people still do that. And I don’t really think that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ever going away because it serves a lot of really good functions. Now the problem with RSS,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well one of the problems with RSS, is that it gives you a really, really easy way to shoot
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yourself in the foot, which is you subscribe to all the sites that everyone’s heard of, all the big
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like 30 posts a day blogs and news sites and everything. So it’s very, very easy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to reach a point where you’re getting like 500 new RSS items per
⏹️ ▶️ Marco day and you just don’t, you can’t get to all that and so it piles up and then it becomes
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this guilt inbox that you never want to clear. And so I, and then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually that results in you abandoning RSS and just, oh, I can’t, I can never go back to RSS, too many unread items, you know.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That happens a lot, especially with geeks. And so I can totally see why people
⏹️ ▶️ Marco move off of RSS when they get to that point. But that doesn’t mean that you have to, it doesn’t mean it’s the only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco option, and it doesn’t mean RSS is dead or dying, it just means you’re using it badly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And sure, you know, it’s partially the technology’s fault for being so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco easy to misuse or to use in an unsustainable way for yourself, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s not to say the entire technology is dead. have the same problem with Twitter, where they follow too many
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people and they can’t keep up with their feed and so they find ways around it. They, you know, skip everything that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco rolled to the top, they only look at new stuff or whatever. You know, they find ways around it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Oh, they trim their follower counts. Right. You know, we think about like, you know, lots of people saying, well nobody uses RSS
⏹️ ▶️ John blah blah blah, but obviously in our circles, in the circles we travel in and on the net,
⏹️ ▶️ John I think the usage is still pretty widespread. I mean, I was looking at, you know, Gruber just tweeted a little before he tweeted his stats
⏹️ ▶️ John on I mean, he’s got it on his own website, but he tweeted the actual like logline.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, it’s like and he has like 400,000 400,000 RSS subscribers. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John like oh nobody uses our as well apparently 400,000 people At
⏹️ ▶️ John least are using it because that’s just from one site stats right so that’s yeah, we’re a tiny
⏹️ ▶️ John group of people right but you know In in the
⏹️ ▶️ John circle that we travel in of computer nerds is big enough to sustain a
⏹️ ▶️ John a technology. Because there’s plenty of technologies we use that nobody else is interested in. I mean, like, how many people
⏹️ ▶️ John use Xcode? And yeah, that’s still a viable product because it has a purpose, right? APP.NET. Right. Well, APP.NET
⏹️ ▶️ John remains to be seen. But, you know, like, I mean, we sustained Twitter for a long time just ourselves before everyone else discovered
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not – I don’t think the, like, the popularity of the technology –
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s way past the threshold of, like, it’s viable, right? So the only question is, you know, The technology is viable.
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s more than enough people who want to use it more than enough people to sustain a market for the usage of that
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s just a question of where do we go from here now that you know Google came along and pushed everybody out and
⏹️ ▶️ John then Took its ball and went
⏹️ ▶️ Marco home right and and you know a lot of people are saying to like Oh, well Google said that usage
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has been declining so it’s not worth keeping up Well, there’s a whole lot of businesses that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco are not worth a Google paying attention to at their size size, but that a lot of smaller
⏹️ ▶️ Marco companies can make very good businesses addressing those needs. There’s a lot of things Google doesn’t do. Certainly, you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco can look at some of their projects and think they do everything, because a lot of their stuff is a major flop.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco They do a lot of experimentation. If RSS is now too small for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Google to care about, that doesn’t mean that it’s too small for anyone to care about.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not so much that I don’t think that it’s too small for Google to care about now, as as if like this,
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know how much I buy the thing, oh, declining readership. It’s almost as if like, they didn’t ever have
⏹️ ▶️ John a reason to get into it at all anyway, really. Like, I think by the time they got into
⏹️ ▶️ John it, it was clear that it wasn’t going to be the next Twitter, you know, like RSS was what it was.
⏹️ ▶️ John And it was never gonna like suddenly bust out and be, it’s kind of like Usenet,
⏹️ ▶️ John where they bought Deja News and stuff. They didn’t think Usenet was gonna sweep the nation and the world and just become like,
⏹️ ▶️ John It was already, you know, sort of the thing that it was, but, you know, I figured, oh, I guess we might as well
⏹️ ▶️ John have that. And them having a reasonable free product for such a long period of time,
⏹️ ▶️ John kind of, they weren’t doing it intentionally to crush everybody else, but
⏹️ ▶️ John the net effect was Google’s really good at keeping their servers up. Google’s really good at making their servers fast.
⏹️ ▶️ John And doing the things that they were doing is actually kind of difficult. And they’re giving away for free. So
⏹️ ▶️ John companies like Newsgator and stuff that were trying to make a business out of it couldn’t do it. But they’re like, yeah, we’re better than Google Reader, but just
⏹️ ▶️ John barely, and they’re free. And so they just sat there until everyone else was gone
⏹️ ▶️ John or out of business. And they said, why are we even doing Google Reader? I don’t know. Let’s stop doing
⏹️ ▶️ John that. I mean, I think they kept going longer than they had to, kind of like a relationship where you don’t want to break up with somebody because it’s going to be
⏹️ ▶️ John bad, right? You’re just like, oh, it seems like I’ll just keep, you know. For years, I think,
⏹️ ▶️ John anyone who was surprised by this, I would be shocked. I’ve been looking at Google
⏹️ ▶️ John Reader for years and thinking, why are they still going to read it? We all knew the hammer was going to fall for
⏹️ ▶️ John years and years. Even Brenton Simmons had a blog post about it, and I remember reading his blog post and saying, well, yeah,
⏹️ ▶️ John duh, Google Reader is not long for this world. And yet here we are two years later, and I’m just finally getting around to axing it. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t – anyone who’s mad at Google for axing it, I don’t understand where that comes from other than just frustration. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I totally see why they’re getting rid of it. Your post that you put on
⏹️ ▶️ John Marco that you put on your website is like this finally frees us all up to maybe do something Interesting in the area that’s also
⏹️ ▶️ John true But I think people are still bummed that I was bummed because we know like alright If the other shoe finally dropped
⏹️ ▶️ John now, we have to have this period of time where there’s nothing while we wait for something You know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, I mean and there’s already there is a feed Lee. I’m not that familiar with what they do
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I gather they make some clients some RSS clients feed Lee posted on their blog like very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco fast after very quickly after Google posted their thing, that they
⏹️ ▶️ Marco were kind of preparing for this for a while, and they built an API-compatible
⏹️ ▶️ Marco clone of Google Reader for themselves that their clients will just automatically start syncing
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with once Google Reader shuts down. And there’s already, like, a number—I mean, just tonight on Twitter,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I even thought about building one. There’s already tons of people saying, okay, now I’m starting this new
⏹️ ▶️ Marco project, just going to mirror the Google API and you can self-host it, it’s open source
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whatever, or somebody else can build a big platform on it. I do think though
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was really funny that Feedly and their post, they said, okay, so Google, we thought Google was going to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco shut this down for a while, so we built this thing. We built it on Google App Engine.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, but that’s the thing about it, like, you know, it’s not that what Google Reader did is so groundbreaking,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s the fact that it was run by Google, which meant that it was up and available and there, and I’m sure people
⏹️ ▶️ John are going to say, oh, well, it was down lots
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco of times. Well, until recently.
⏹️ ▶️ John But the reason – having someone else do this annoying stuff, like
⏹️ ▶️ John the operation stuff, running a server, keeping it up, keeping it efficient, having it work at scale for how many bazillions
⏹️ ▶️ John of – like even the RSS, like, oh, the declining usership, the number of people who are hitting Google Reader is huge compared
⏹️ ▶️ John to like, you know, if you’re some little company, you say, okay, well, we’re going to have 7 million people hit your server tomorrow and
⏹️ ▶️ John pull stuff from it. Is that – are you okay with that? you scale.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco One of the biggest challenges of designing a service like that is that Google crawled the feeds
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then the client just logged into Google and said, hey, what’s new? So Google had to maintain
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this crawling infrastructure,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John which they do anyway. They can never
⏹️ ▶️ John crawl the entire internet. They’re uniquely positioned
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do that better than you. Right. But for anyone else to do it, you have to build a crawling infrastructure that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has to crawl millions and millions of feeds quickly and repeatedly until there’s new
⏹️ ▶️ Marco updates. Do you think that’s an
⏹️ ▶️ John important part of the service, though?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey the apps that integrate it?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Because that’s a major thing that your app doesn’t have to do. If you’re writing an RSS client, that’s a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco big deal. And also, they normalize all the feeds into one particular
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Atom format. So you only have to build one parser. there’s lots
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of reasons for clients to want to do it that way, to want to build their services
⏹️ ▶️ Marco against that. So yeah, I think any service that replaces Google
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Reader is going to have to provide at least the automatic content crawling
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and normalization of the feed format. Now
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John that’s not to say that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they can leave out all the social stuff, they can leave out flagging, tagging, starring,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they can leave all that stuff out as far as I’m concerned. But the basics of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco syncing a list of feed you’re subscribed to, syncing what you have read and unread, and providing that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whole crawling back end so that the client doesn’t have to do it. I think any replacement has to do those things.
⏹️ ▶️ John And why—I’m still stuck on the crawling part. That’s just basically so the client doesn’t have to open up 10 million
⏹️ ▶️ John TCP connections to 10 million different servers and pull stuff from it? Exactly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we see this with podcast clients on iOS. There’s I think only
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one. I think only Pocket Casts by Shifty Jelly, they do server-side
⏹️ ▶️ Marco crawling of all the feeds, similar to what Google Reader does with RSS. I don’t think any other major client
⏹️ ▶️ Marco does that. Please email John if I’m wrong. I would like to know that, actually. I use Downcast
⏹️ ▶️ Marco from my podcast client, and every time you launch the app or every time it has to update,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it has to crawl all 25 or whatever number of feeds I’m subscribed to individually.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That sucks, and it’s a big waste of bandwidth for things that don’t implement, not modify, modified, stuff like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s very inefficient on a thin client like a phone where you don’t really want to have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some massive thing. On a desktop where you’re just pulling things in the background, who cares? If you have some
⏹️ ▶️ Marco app hidden in the background, that’s fine. But on iOS, that matters a lot. When you launch the app, you don’t want to have to sit
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there for a minute and a half while it crawls all these feeds. Google Reader clients are awesome because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they only have to sync to one thing. They only have to hit Google and then Google comes back
⏹️ ▶️ Marco saying, here’s a list of new things. Instead of, and with RSS, you might have way more subscriptions than with a podcast client.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco So with RSS, if you subscribe to 150 feeds, and most of them aren’t updated
⏹️ ▶️ Marco most of the time, but there’s a few that are, that’s way more efficient to do the Google Reader way, where the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco server side crawls everything, than requiring the clients to crawl 150 feeds every 15
⏹️ ▶️ Marco minutes that you launch them.
⏹️ ▶️ John I wonder if that’s a transitional thing, though. Fast forward 20 years, is that still a factor? Do we still?
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Well, yes and no.
⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe just parallel, if you have umpteen core processors in our wristwatch
⏹️ ▶️ John communicator of things, and bandwidth is really high, and it’s actually
⏹️ ▶️ John faster to crawl 150 different URLs in parallel than to ask one server for the other. Oh, no. Because think
⏹️ ▶️ John about what you have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You have to use so much more data. You have to keep the radios on longer. I mean, that’s never going to be more efficient.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s always going to be better to go through the intermediary.
⏹️ ▶️ John I know it won’t be more efficient, but like you said on the desktop, on the desktop is not as much of a factor
⏹️ ▶️ John because we’re not worried about opening up a TCP connection takes a
⏹️ ▶️ John long time. So if you only have to open up one of them, that’s better than having to open up 150 of them. But the
⏹️ ▶️ John bandwidth concerns, like assuming mobile bandwidth goes away, and the CPU concerns of having all these
⏹️ ▶️ John threads going at once, which is untenable on an iOS device today, maybe that isn’t in the future,
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m just wondering if it’s one of those things where remember back when to do any sort of RSS syncing the
⏹️ ▶️ John server. We don’t do that for the web. We don’t do all the mobile web surfing through a proxy, unless, I guess, what, Amazon
⏹️ ▶️ John Silk does that or whatever. It used to be in the bad old days that mobile web surfing had to go through
⏹️ ▶️ John a proxy because it had to tear down the pages for you and do all sorts of awful things. Amazon’s still doing it, but we accept
⏹️ ▶️ John now that the trade-off is like, look, I’d rather have Mobile Safari just go right to the website. Don’t compress
⏹️ ▶️ John my images. Don’t modify the markup. It’s like a real web browser. It connects the real way.
⏹️ ▶️ John We’re just going to bite the bullet and go with that. It seems to me that that’s got to be eventually
⏹️ ▶️ John the future, assuming RSS is still around. That’s got to be the future of this type of service long term. Not
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco presently, but long term.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But also, RSS, like the access pattern is different. With RSS, almost
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all of those requests that the polling client makes are going to be returned back with nothing new.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, a 304 or whatever, nothing new. So for the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco client to have to check that over and over again is extremely wasteful. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one way you can solve this is with push. There’s PubSubHubbub and RSS cloud to address this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco push issue. But push is really complicated to implement on all various ends of it. The
⏹️ ▶️ Marco polling is just way simpler, so that’s why we still have it. But with RSS, I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think it makes a lot of sense because almost all of the polls that happen will result in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nothing new this 15-minute interval. Then it makes sense to have all that inefficient
⏹️ ▶️ Marco polling happening somewhere else that can and tolerant inefficiencies, like a data center that’s powered by
⏹️ ▶️ Marco AC power, not on a battery, that has a big, fat connection to the internet and is always running this app,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John as opposed to an iOS app that you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have to launch. And you have to, like iOS apps, who knows how this will change in the future. But at the moment,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iOS apps, like RSS readers, can’t automatically check things in the background every 15 minutes. They
⏹️ ▶️ Marco have to be running. And so when you launch it, it has to load all of its state from something right then. And so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s so many reasons to have that be remote-based and have a Google reader-like setup
⏹️ ▶️ Marco where the server’s doing all the crawling and then the client just sends one very lightweight request to the server, which has already done most
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I think the thing that maybe we’re not considering is the difference it is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at creation time. And one of you guys kind of lightly touched on this a second ago, but if I was about to write
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a pod, if not a podcast client, an RSS client tomorrow, I wouldn’t want to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey have to fiddle around with trying to figure out all the different and varied
⏹️ ▶️ Casey responses I’m going to get from all these different and varied web servers. I’m going to want something that’s going to be a facade in front of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey that, that’s going to make that nice and clean. And so I can get the part of the app that I
⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t want to do, which is the behind the scenes, boring, getting the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey RSS updates. And I can get that out of the way as quickly as possible so I can do the cool stuff on the UI
⏹️ ▶️ Casey side. Now, as it turns out, I actually am a terrible UI developer. But in principle, if you’re going to write
⏹️ ▶️ Casey an RSS client, you’re going to do it because you have something new and exciting to do. And you’re not going to want to bother with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey doing all the back end stuff. You’re going to want to do all the UI stuff. And like you were saying, Marco, having
⏹️ ▶️ Casey one place to get all that normalized and in a clean state
⏹️ ▶️ Casey is much better. And that saves you so much time before you compile. When you’re just writing
⏹️ ▶️ Casey the code, it saves you so much time. And I don’t think many people have very much interest in doing that boring
⏹️ ▶️ Casey stuff. They just want to do the fun UI
⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff. Oh yeah, also there’s a practical aspect of, like with iOS apps in the App Store,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if there’s some new weirdo feed that you find that’s some weird format, if it’s a server-side configuration
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the parser, you can just update that immediately. And then all your clients have that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco immediately. You don’t have to recode the app and go through app review.
⏹️ ▶️ John like maybe it’s that I’m channeling Dave Weiner too much, but like the idea that,
⏹️ ▶️ John The idea of all RSS feeds funneling into a service
⏹️ ▶️ John which then feeds an app, I see all the reasons for it, but it just
⏹️ ▶️ John seems like Amazon Silk to me. It seems like WAP. Do you remember that? What was it? Yep.
⏹️ ▶️ John It just smells like that to me. It seems like it’s just a bump in the road along our way to
⏹️ ▶️ John a completely decentralized thing. Maybe we need a new protocol for that. Maybe pulling down an entire RSS feed or expecting
⏹️ ▶️ John a 304 based on some timestamp, hopefully getting your time zones right and everything is not like
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe there’s a better protocol. I mean, maybe it’s app.net or something that looks similar to that, where if
⏹️ ▶️ John you made a more efficient protocol and really decentralized it in some way, maybe it makes up for it. But
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, you know, the other aspect I’m thinking of, not just the content crawling, but
⏹️ ▶️ John the main reason, the main way that I use Google Reader, I think at least a quarter of the people who are
⏹️ ▶️ John habitual Google readers use it in this way, is as a syncing service, as in,
⏹️ ▶️ John I read news, that’s an activity I do in some place, and when I go someplace
⏹️ ▶️ John else, a different computer, a different device or whatever, I wanted to know that I read that thing on that other thing.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that is really an entirely separate thing from I create my feeds, normalize
⏹️ ▶️ John them, tell me if there’s updates and stuff like that, because now you’re into like a state synchronization
⏹️ ▶️ John that has nothing to do with the feeds, that has everything to do with you. What did you read so far? What did you subscribe to? What did you
⏹️ ▶️ John want to subscribe to? And that state synchronization is probably a harder
⏹️ ▶️ John problem, I guess algorithmically at least,
⏹️ ▶️ John to figure out what the hell the right thing is to do than the mere operational problem
⏹️ ▶️ John of crawling the entire web of RSS feeds and normalizing them and providing a service for it and stuff like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so those two things, that’s quite a bit for any
⏹️ ▶️ John one party or multiple parties to bite off because that’s what people are looking for. I never see the Google Reader
⏹️ ▶️ John web UI. Some people live in it, but I never even look at it. But I use NetNewswire, and I use it on various devices
⏹️ ▶️ John and on various machines, and I want it to all be in sync. So I want something to do that as well as, like, the normalization,
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t see that that’s going on. That’s more of a development concern. So if something doesn’t normalize and doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John aggregate and, for example, doesn’t cache, which is the thing that drives everyone who authors an RSS feed
⏹️ ▶️ John crazy about Google Reader, because if you get a bum item in there, Google Reader never forgets it, right? It’s another opportunity
⏹️ ▶️ John for someone coming into this field to do it better, hey, give us a way to delete that crap out. Or maybe we have smart caching that
⏹️ ▶️ John forgets it when it disappears. But anyway, the syncing aspect of it
⏹️ ▶️ John is what I’m really looking for in some third party vendor to hop up and say, hey, we’re going to provide a service for all
⏹️ ▶️ John your newsreading applications to keep them all in sync. And we’ll charge some small amount of money. And you’ll subscribe
⏹️ ▶️ John to it. Or you’ll subscribe to the app or something like that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Isn’t that what Fever, is that right? Fever was supposed to do that? It was supposed to be like self-hosted with
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco a really slick web front end.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But the problem is, when you ask people to self-host
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John the web app,
⏹️ ▶️ John self-hosting, I know. There’s no technical and knowledge barrier for me doing that, but
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t want to self-host anything.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Oh, I agree.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Completely. Self-hosting, that will always
⏹️ ▶️ Marco limit your audience, requiring that.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, it’s a good way to learn something if you don’t know about all the technologies involved. Self-hosting is a good learning experience
⏹️ ▶️ John with an audience of one, so you’re not destroying someone’s business learning about server-side
⏹️ ▶️ John development. But self-hosting is not going to explode
⏹️ ▶️ John now that Google Reader is gone. What we all want is something to do what Google Reader did for us, which is when I
⏹️ ▶️ John read something, it knows that it’s read, and everything is fast, and all my clients work with it. And some people
⏹️ ▶️ John use the web interface, and for them, they’re looking for an equivalent or better web interface.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. I think the web interface, hopefully,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is uh… is on its way out for our assess because i mean certainly our assesses being pushed pretty heavily it always
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was a very deep centric technology and uh… and while there are nine p two user i’m
⏹️ ▶️ Marco i’m sure there are a heck of a lot more geeks who do and so if our assess
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like if if the web uh… reader experience never fully gets
⏹️ ▶️ Marco replaced i think that’s fine where i think we’re gonna see you know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco i think we’re a seat two things come out of us First, we’re going to see, obviously,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we’re going to see that the back end syncing platform will be replaced by a million different people doing,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically, all doing the same thing, which is just mirroring the Google Reader API with some kind of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco hosted or open source thing that anybody can get or use. And that’s cool, and we need that.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, you’d think that would be kind of a shame, because everything I’ve heard from people who develop against the Google Reader API, well, I
⏹️ ▶️ John guess it doesn’t help that it was undocumented and unsupported. Right. But if you had to pick an API to make it easy for
⏹️ ▶️ John app developers to implement syncing, maybe the Google Reader API is not ideal. I understand you’ve got to do
⏹️ ▶️ John it for easy compatibility with all the people who are talking to Google Reader. But if I was doing one of those
⏹️ ▶️ John projects, I would be like, OK, do the Google Reader API mirroring to get us off the ground.
⏹️ ▶️ John But let’s plan a much better API that makes it even easier for developers to
⏹️ ▶️ John have that be versioned off in a different place. And like,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco oh, now. Oh, sure.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I mean, I’m sure that will happen with almost all of these where they will
⏹️ ▶️ Marco make, they will start out with the Google Reader API to bootstrap it and then they’ll have their own like clean,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco nice new API. But the Google Reader API is probably going to be the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco standard if there is one. Like you know, right now, it was really easy to make an RSS app
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the last few years because all you had to do was give people Google Reader username and password fields on login
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that was it. Now I think we’re going to basically see a third field being
⏹️ ▶️ Marco added to that, which is like host name, like whatever
⏹️ ▶️ Marco service you’re using that merges the API, type in the host name here and then type in your username and password for it in these
⏹️ ▶️ Marco two boxes. I think that’s the easiest way forward for the clients.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so if that is the outcome, assume we have like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco multiple services that spring up that are going to be like this that are going to replace Google Reader
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and get some popularity. If that’s the case, none of them will have the leverage
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make a new API. You
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John need one. That’s why you’re afraid
⏹️ ▶️ John that Google Reader will be stuck with it. Right. It’s just.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because look, the clients have already written all the code for it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right. And you’re like, why would I rewrite my client code just to support your new fancy API? I’ve already got my client working
⏹️ ▶️ John Google Reader API. It’s been working with it for five years now, or whatever. Why would I change it? Well,
⏹️ ▶️ John our new API is cleaner. Well, for new development, maybe you get those guys on board. I think that would be a shame because,
⏹️ ▶️ John like I said, it’s not like people are saying, Google Reader is the most awesome API for syncing and
⏹️ ▶️ John keeping track of stuff. It’s maybe not so awesome.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco As a funny sidebar, one of the weird little projects I did at Tumblr was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco back before Twitter bought Tweety from Lauren Berkder when Tweety was its own app and everyone
⏹️ ▶️ Marco loved it, one of the very advanced settings fields
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was API hostname. And you could type in any host name there, and it would use
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that as the basis of all the Twitter API URLs. So I wrote
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the Twitter API for Tumblr, enough of it so that you could browse
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Tumblr in Tweety, just using this field to say,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John like, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tumblr.com slash whatever. And it was really, it was interesting, because again, like, it was like, you got this
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whole app kind of for free by just making, by just mirroring enough of Twitter’s API
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to make this work.
⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s why I’m saying the RSS, not that it’s inadequate,
⏹️ ▶️ John but that it’s just a piece of the puzzle. Because RSS
⏹️ ▶️ John and Atom are standards for data representation, but they don’t help you with the, all right, so what
⏹️ ▶️ John about you want to have an API that is efficient and can give you synchronization information?
⏹️ ▶️ John That would have to be a layer on top of it. And then that layer would say, OK, well, de facto, that is the
⏹️ ▶️ John Google Reader API, because it has the most client apps written against it, and it was the only player in town
⏹️ ▶️ John and it was free. And now that’s our middle layer. It would be nicer if there
⏹️ ▶️ John was a similarly open standard like RSS or Atom to fill that role that wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John just like the leftover droppings of a company that was once vaguely interested in the business
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and it’s also worth speculating on why they did this a little bit more.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I just thought of a new theory. Now, I think the real reason
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they shut it down is because I’ve heard from various people over the last
⏹️ ▶️ Marco couple of months as we started to see problems, I’ve heard that the staff assigned to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco work on Google Reader was basically between zero and three people, depending on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco who you believe and how you measure that. So I’ve heard that they had basically nobody working on it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so, remember, it had a pretty bad outage like a week or two
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ago. something like that. I’m guessing what happened was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it was working fine for a long time and then things started to break and when things started to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco break you know weeks ago or whenever that was nobody knew how to fix it because nobody had looked at this code
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for years and so that’s probably what made Google decide you know what this is just easier
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to kill than to fix because it’s not giving us enough value you might as well just kill it rather
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than maintain it. I think the real reason but it’s worth considering one conspiracy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think like crazy reason is when you’re reading RSS you’re not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to people’s websites and seeing ads
⏹️ ▶️ John like put that but they put ads I mean the thing they don’t like about from a business perspective the only the only business reason
⏹️ ▶️ John that you can think to get rid of this thing is like look if only they know these numbers but how many people
⏹️ ▶️ John are using it as a an API that they never see like how many people are using apps like reader and that newswire
⏹️ ▶️ John whatever and never see a single one of our ads because all they like it’s just an API back and all we’re doing is providing
⏹️ ▶️ John computing horsepower and uptime for them for free for zero benefit, they never see our ads, the people in
⏹️ ▶️ John the web interface, they can show them ads, they can, you know, harvest their interests. And you know,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, it’s all it’s just like Gmail, like, if everybody used the web interface, and if that everybody
⏹️ ▶️ John was a much larger number than it currently is, it would still be around. But from a business perspective,
⏹️ ▶️ John I think a very large number of people don’t use the web interface and the total sum of all
⏹️ ▶️ John Google Reader users is so much smaller than like the Gmail user base or whatever that it just doesn’t make any
⏹️ ▶️ John sense for them to keep it. Right.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And to that end, if you’re going to replace Google Reader, why would
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you get into that business if the whole point of the business is to use third-party clients?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I guess this comes back to App.net and the idea is, well, you have super nerds that are affluent
⏹️ ▶️ Casey enough that they’ll be able to spare a few bucks a month to pay for it or you know, 50 bucks a year, whatever the number may be,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey but I wouldn’t want to get into that business. That seems…
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, this business models for it. I’m going to get back to Gruber with his 400,000 RSS subscribers.
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s how he makes money from his site, you know, but he has, well, one of the ways, he sells RSS sponsorships
⏹️ ▶️ John and you get to, you’re sponsoring the RSS feed, which is the thing that the customers want. And I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John pretty sure the ads that he puts on his site, those are in the RSS feed as well, right? So if you, if you control the RSS feeds,
⏹️ ▶️ John you can insert an ad into RSS feeds, other people’s Maybe that maybe that model does not work and people
⏹️ ▶️ John will hate it But you know the app that that model is certainly more direct Pay us a little bit
⏹️ ▶️ John and you get to use our synchronization service and now wherever you read you know like I mean app That could
⏹️ ▶️ John be that service. I don’t think it’s you know quite designed for this thing exactly, but You know
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s the question of like okay, so Google was subsidizing it with Zolt’s profitable business like you know their search revenue
⏹️ ▶️ John Like they were doing this more or less out of the goodness of their own heart. I mean not entirely
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like quite I mean they they want to have access to all the world’s information and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and this and a lot of information flows through RSS I mean they bought feedburner for so I mean fever it was more
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of an ad buy But you know I think it made sense why they started this in the first place
⏹️ ▶️ John Well did it even when they bought feedburner though? it’s like I don’t think anyone at Google had any any notion
⏹️ ▶️ John that RSS was going to grow tremendously
⏹️ ▶️ John from the point where they bought it. And it hasn’t, and the point where they bought it already wasn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John like, I mean, it was big among nerds, but it was never, like, the growth curve was never, never
⏹️ ▶️ John an illusion that it was going to take off like Facebook or Twitter. There was no hockey stick curve at the time that they
⏹️ ▶️ John bought into it. Maybe they wanted to have it just because, like, there’s no sense in other
⏹️ ▶️ John people having this thing and people spending their time elsewhere, and maybe, like, the long-term evil plan is,
⏹️ ▶️ John all right, we’ve got to get this because it is a thing. It’s not a big thing. It’s not going to grow, but we’ve
⏹️ ▶️ John got to get it so we can just kind of quietly put it to sleep, which is the rap
⏹️ ▶️ John on Google when they buy companies, Jaiku or I don’t know, a million other companies
⏹️ ▶️ John that Google has bought that have kind of faded away and you never really hear about them again,
⏹️ ▶️ John or they don’t improve rapidly.
⏹️ ▶️ John all under Google’s umbrella. They have the option to let it go live up on
⏹️ ▶️ John a farm upstate whenever they feel like it, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think, I mean, first of all there’s a big problem here which it’s kind of,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, this has a lot of parallels to way more controversial things, but you know what they did
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really, and I don’t think they planned this, but what happened
⏹️ ▶️ Marco was that Google Reader came out and destroyed a very big market of desktop RSS
⏹️ ▶️ Marco readers and web RSS readers, Google just came in and destroyed it because it was free and it synced and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco none of the none of the things did that at the time. And they destroyed it and they held on to that market for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco eight years and now they’re killing it. Now
⏹️ ▶️ John Gruber… Oh wait a second, you know I think Wyner asked you on Twitter this, how did they destroy the market for the desktop
⏹️ ▶️ John apps? Like how did they make it so it’s no longer viable to sell the apps? They definitely destroyed
⏹️ ▶️ John the services like Newsgator. Newsgator was trying to
⏹️ ▶️ John you synchronization services. But the desktop app, I mean, what they did to the desktop apps and the iOS apps
⏹️ ▶️ John was even more insidious. They didn’t destroy them. They just made it so that they were the only game
⏹️ ▶️ John in town for a thing that those people needed but didn’t want to write.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Well, at first.
⏹️ ▶️ John And so now all the clients, now Reader uses Google Reader, NetNewswire uses Google Reader, and all these things
⏹️ ▶️ John use Google Reader because it’s the only game in town. And now they’re hooked onto this train that Google was
⏹️ ▶️ John always kind of meh about anyway.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It wasn’t the sync engine that killed the desktop clients. It was the web interface. It was making
⏹️ ▶️ Marco RSS reading free. So
⏹️ ▶️ John you think that took people away? People stopped buying that newswire because they could just go to the Google Reader
⏹️ ▶️ Marco website and use it? Absolutely.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Definitely. Oh, I disagree. I completely disagree. Not all
⏹️ ▶️ Marco people, but I bet he’ll tell you. I guarantee you it was a mess.
⏹️ ▶️ John going to guess, who would we go to to get that information? Google presumably knows how many people
⏹️ ▶️ John used Reader over the lifetime. they could show us that growth curve. Sure. And I guess Brent could show us the growth curve of like
⏹️ ▶️ John sales of NetNewswire. I
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco mean I don’t know, he might not be allowed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to with his deal with NewsGator, but I don’t know. I mean I can tell you, I mean just having lived through
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, anecdotally I saw that happen. I saw I saw many RSS clients just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco give up and die and the few that were left were the ones that integrated Google Reader. Like
⏹️ ▶️ John iOS gave a resurgence to readers. Yes,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco that’s true. All of a
⏹️ ▶️ John sudden, and it wasn’t like Google Reader’s website went away and in fact I believe it worked reasonably well on mobile from
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey early as anything worked
⏹️ ▶️ John reasonably well on mobile on iOS. But that kind of gave a resurgence in, you know, suddenly, like, things
⏹️ ▶️ John like Reader are a creature of iOS. Like, they wouldn’t have, you know, it was, NetNewsWire was sitting
⏹️ ▶️ John there as the once and possibly not future king of desktop
⏹️ ▶️ John reader market, and people were not clamoring to write reader applications, but as soon as the iPhone launched, now everyone wants to write a news reader application,
⏹️ ▶️ John which, of course, we’re all talking to Google Reader.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco And I’m gonna give you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco some idea of Google Readers dominance right now. I pulled up my feed stats and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco 90% of Subscribers to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my feed are subscribed via Google Reader sync Like that’s how big this is 90% of my of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my subscribers and then like there is like I have a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John hundred You can’t tell those are using
⏹️ ▶️ John web interface, right?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco No, cuz you can’t they don’t they don’t distinguish But you know that give you some idea like if this service shuts down
⏹️ ▶️ Marco down not only is this is leaving a gaping hole in the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the RSS sync business but this could have a massive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco impact on the readership of websites
⏹️ ▶️ John like I could also boost their ad impressions because now people actually have to go to the website
⏹️ ▶️ Marco maybe but like RSS is one of the reasons RSS is so great is because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it allows you to very easily follow sites that don’t update frequently
⏹️ ▶️ Marco enough for you to check every day. So before RSS came out, if you had a blog that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco posted once a month, nobody would read it. And you know you’d have to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco post every day so that people would go to your site every day and check for new stuff.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco of people still work that way. As
⏹️ ▶️ John someone who has a website that posts not once a month but very infrequently, I can tell you people still won’t read
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it. That’s generally yes but there’s the great power
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of RSS is allowing you or enabling you to follow a whole
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bunch of sites that update infrequently and be and doing that in a manageable
⏹️ ▶️ Marco way so because it’s so easy to read them then
⏹️ ▶️ Marco those sites that do update infrequently they have better audiences they have more reeks they’re more influential
⏹️ ▶️ Marco even if they don’t write every day and you can get some of that value now from Twitter or Facebook or all these other
⏹️ ▶️ Marco crappy services please email Casey but I there’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco still so much of that happening on RSS as you can tell by you know stats from me and Gruber anybody
⏹️ ▶️ Marco else a ton of that activity is on RSS so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it could be really disruptive come July when this shuts down
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and sites like mine and Gruber’s and other people who have like heavy RSS readership
⏹️ ▶️ Marco like especially in the geeky spaces sites like this we could see
⏹️ ▶️ Marco major shifts in in either direction I’m not really sure we could see major shifts
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in how people read our sites I
⏹️ ▶️ John mean you’ll be able to tell in the month leading up I guess the nice thing about Google readers it puts in the little subscriber numbers and log lines
⏹️ ▶️ John and everything but like if those people disperse I don’t know if all the other things they disperse to
⏹️ ▶️ John will identify themselves in such a nice, convenient way. So it may be difficult
⏹️ ▶️ John to like, I mean, counting RSS subscribers is different than counting, all you’re counting
⏹️ ▶️ John there is like, someone decided this was worthy enough to put in their feed, and when I make something new on the
⏹️ ▶️ John site, their little feed thing becomes bold, presuming they even look at their little feed thing,
⏹️ ▶️ John which is not, you know, like, you know, those 400,000 Google Reader
⏹️ ▶️ John subscribers, you don’t know how many of them are actually going to look at that feed, Or maybe people have stopped using Google Read
⏹️ ▶️ John at all, but Google Read will keep hitting their site, right, and counting them as a, you know, it’s part of their subscription.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco sure. Like, I’m not sure how long they will do that for. Whether it’s, whether they’ll just do it indefinitely, so like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco many of these numbers aren’t even reading your site anymore, or whether they like, have some kind of timeout period where they stop
⏹️ ▶️ Marco counting you after a while of not looking at Reader. I’m not really sure.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, it’s like Twitter followers. I mean, how many of those are human beings who have used Twitter in the last year, and how many
⏹️ ▶️ John just people who followed you when they joined Twitter for three days, two years ago, and are not there anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ John Web stats and viewership things are always kind of voodoo, but Google Reader at least gave some sort of unification
⏹️ ▶️ John to the voodoo. And like, well, it summarizes it for you. It’s measured the same way
⏹️ ▶️ John because everybody’s using it. It’s 90% of your subscribers anyway. So now that’s going to become much
⏹️ ▶️ John fuzzier. Even if every single one of those people who was actually reading your site continues to, to
⏹️ ▶️ John be able to detect them and track them and confirm to yourself that’s the case probably going to be difficult.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So you’re begrudging the disappearance of Google, the all-seeing eye, because
⏹️ ▶️ Casey it doesn’t let you see everything.
⏹️ ▶️ John I’m not begrudging. I’m just saying it’s a strange scenario. Strange situation we
⏹️ ▶️ John found ourselves in. I mean, this is what happens when a company, you know, I mean, Microsoft has done it before too.
⏹️ ▶️ John The company with some profitable business can use that profit to subsidize other businesses that it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John speculating in. These may or may not be things that we want to get into, you know. Like I said, I think
⏹️ ▶️ John Google never had any illusions that RSS was going to do a hockey stick. But it’s like, well,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s worth keeping our eye on. And we should buy everything up that has anything to do with
⏹️ ▶️ John it so then we can sunset it, to use Marco’s favorite term, when we feel like it. And so like,
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah, now is the time. Like I said,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I think they stayed in it longer
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco to. And it was easy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for them. It was easy because they already had all that web crawling infrastructure in place that they could use. So it was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco easier for them to do it than it would be for anyone else to do it.
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. No, not so much, because that’s their muscle. Their company is
⏹️ ▶️ John built on, we can put up services on the internet that scale to any number of people, including
⏹️ ▶️ John the entire internet, like our search does. And our whole business is built around, like we have a section
⏹️ ▶️ John of the company that just works on an infrastructure, constantly improving it, and it helps every service that we do. That’s why
⏹️ ▶️ John whenever they buy our startup, they’re like, OK, I don’t care what crazy crap you were doing before, it’s time to get on board the Google train,
⏹️ ▶️ John because we know what the heck we’re doing. the ROA seems crazy to you, let me tell you that you should
⏹️ ▶️ John rewrite your application from scratch on top of our infrastructure, which will delay your business for years. And by
⏹️ ▶️ John the time you’re done, maybe no one wants your product anymore. But we’re not going to let you keep running your crazy PHP Ruby
⏹️ ▶️ John thing here if we can help it, because you really need to get with the program, because our program is pretty
⏹️ ▶️ John damn good. Whereas other random companies, if you’re starting from scratch, or even
⏹️ ▶️ John if you’re some other big company, like Microsoft is trying to get some data center expertise, and Apple and like
⏹️ ▶️ John they just none of those companies dedicate maybe Amazon is the only other one that dedicates proportionally
⏹️ ▶️ John the same amount of resources about we need to get our crap together service side because it’s an essential part of our business
⏹️ ▶️ John yeah I know we sell things but like you know where does ec2 come from well because we want to sell things better
⏹️ ▶️ John and hey that’s a marketable service in s3 and all those things Amazon I think is the only
⏹️ ▶️ John competitor who has the kind of expertise in scale and I think there’s still
⏹️ ▶️ John much more sort of slapped together, evolved over a long period of time under tremendous
⏹️ ▶️ John pressure with a crazy man with a whip at their back versus sort of Google’s
⏹️ ▶️ John philosophical PhD’s algorithmic strategy for indexing the entire web.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey So what else?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. I mean, that kind of blew away a lot of other stuff that was being talked about. I mean,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I guess we have a new pope, and we now have one less podcast network, but otherwise, I don’t know.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco What else is happening in the world of technology?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco, you don’t want to talk about South by Southwest? Come on.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey veteran. You’re a veteran. I’m sure you have tons of useful and insightful things
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m so happy I didn’t go this year, or the year before this, or I think the year before that.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s a bold-faced lie, because you’re missing out on Salt Lake.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Man, South by Southwest. I mean, the whole conference thing, oh God, what a mess that is.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco First of all, one thing that’s worth talking about briefly, I think, is Google I.O.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tickets went on sale, I think this morning. And as usual, it sold out very, very
⏹️ ▶️ Marco quickly. And there were lots of, like I saw our friend Chipone complaining about duplicate transaction
⏹️ ▶️ Marco logs and stuff like that. It did not sell out gracefully, but it did sell out quickly.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And we see with that, we see with WWDC selling
⏹️ ▶️ Marco out, not that quickly, but at least still very quickly every year.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And there’s an interesting question, like, what do you really do about that? What can you do about that problem?
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And because WWDC tickets are going to come on sale any minute now. We don’t know.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco It could be any time between now and late May that they will probably make tickets available for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco WWDC of this year. And we don’t know. to sell out within a half hour, 45 minutes.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple has tried different things, different prioritizations of like, they’ll have these tech
⏹️ ▶️ Marco talks around the country, they’ll have mini WBDCs around the country, and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can only get a ticket to those if you haven’t gone to WBDC recently, so there’s kind of this priority
⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing where if you get locked out of one, you can go to the other. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they still have this problem of there’s just way more demand than there is supply of tickets. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they can’t just do the typical economic thing of just raise the price really high, because that would kind
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of make them look like dicks. And they would get a lot of flack for that. It probably wouldn’t be worth it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And Google is actually making the problem worse, because Google I.O.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco tickets, it’s become a pattern that Google gives everyone free hardware
⏹️ ▶️ Marco at their devices. That’s usually worth about as much as the ticket price, which is like 900 bucks. So, like a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot of the people buying those Google tickets are probably just wanting the free hardware and not really giving a crap
⏹️ ▶️ Marco about the conference. And so that’s kind of like that I think is a really bad thing for Google
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be doing. Like they should probably stop doing that. Like what what do you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think Apple could do to reduce demand for WWDC or to make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it to make it sell out less quickly
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John or do you think they even need to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco solve this problem?
⏹️ ▶️ John There’s one thing they could do that’s like you talked about raising the prices being seen as a dick move well this is
⏹️ ▶️ John also kind of a dick move but it’s one with economic precedent and it’s slightly less is they could just
⏹️ ▶️ John do what airlines do and overbook and the reason I think this will actually work out with them is that
⏹️ ▶️ John except for the keynote, which maybe even including the keynote, you
⏹️ ▶️ John see how the herd thins out as hangovers start to come into effect,
⏹️ ▶️ John or even just late in the day when people are just going on fumes and they just can’t
⏹️ ▶️ John go anymore. I think you could probably over, I mean maybe there’s fire codes and
⏹️ ▶️ John stuff like that or whatever, but they’re limiting them, but I think you could overbook it and with the exception of a few choke
⏹️ ▶️ John points, continue to be okay. Because Really, with the exception
⏹️ ▶️ John of like, I know this because I’m there in every session like a crazy person.
⏹️ ▶️ John Most people are not. It really thins out during certain points. And so I feel like
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s one way to get around this is just sell more tickets. Sell as many tickets as, even
⏹️ ▶️ John if you think it’s going to be like, oh, it’s crazy. I don’t want to be like, the classroom sizes are going to be too giant or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it will still work out because those rooms are not at capacity in the middle of the week in some boring session.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco It’s just me.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco know I don’t know I think you could probably get maybe 20% more tickets sold that
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John not even more than something
⏹️ ▶️ John but because I’m not saying this is gonna be a doubling in size you just overbook a little bit well
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cuz yeah cuz the problem is that the the popular or
⏹️ ▶️ Marco mainstream sessions really are filled up to capacity and a lot of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John times and they do you’ll have to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco wait online for you know 20 minutes or a half hour before the session starts
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then you get in there and you can’t even sit down like there’s like only standing room is like people backing up in the back.
⏹️ ▶️ John there’s only like 10 sessions like that. And they duplicate them. They’re addressing that with like, you know, they do them twice.
⏹️ ▶️ John They do them once on one day and then once on two days later or whatever. Like this is all
⏹️ ▶️ John in service of not doing the thing of South by Southwest, which is like, oh, let’s just keep going to bigger, bigger venues, like because
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Let’s stretch across the entire
⏹️ ▶️ John Right. So, you know, you can’t or just go into like an even bigger convention center in a different city and just get bigger and bigger.
⏹️ ▶️ John But like I’m saying, can you can you get something out of Can you do something to improve things,
⏹️ ▶️ John keeping the same conference center and everything? I think you can get a little bit more out by overbooking.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I wonder, this year, maybe it’s just because I’m paying attention, but I don’t think so.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think this is actually happening. This year, it seems like Apple pessimism is at
⏹️ ▶️ Marco an all-time high of just the company’s prospects, the effect
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of competition, the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John products. Yeah, but not among the people
⏹️ ▶️ John who go to WWDC. Right. For that matter people who are selling popular apps in the
⏹️ ▶️ John App Store I mean EA is probably still pretty darn bullish about iOS in terms
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey of where you can make money in terms You
⏹️ ▶️ John know, how much money did we put into this game? And how much did we get out? Keep making those iOS games
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you say that but it’s funny I would agree with you Marco that I’ve had regular people who are not
⏹️ ▶️ Casey total dweebs like us come to me and say yeah You know, I don’t know if I’m gonna get an iPhone again when I’m up for a new phone
⏹️ ▶️ Casey cuz I haven’t done anything new In a while.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Oh, yeah, me too
⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know if you’re a nerd you can say whoa, whoa, whoa What do you mean they haven’t done anything new? But to a regular person, I mean, springboard
⏹️ ▶️ Casey looks the same as it’s always looked. Most of these apps, most of the UI button is a UI button,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a UI label is a UI label. All these things look the same. A table view is a table view. Granted, you have collection views now and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey actually I haven’t seen them used that much, come to think of it, but I mean, it doesn’t look flashy anymore.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And maybe iOS 7 will bring
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John it. What could
⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey do to change that?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, I agree. I don’t know. I completely agree. I’m not saying
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John that. Because
⏹️ ▶️ John I think like a UI overhaul wouldn’t do it. those same people would be like, Oh, it’s still like a rectangle with a screen
⏹️ ▶️ John on it. Like unless it starts hovering above their desk by two inches like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John there’s certain
⏹️ ▶️ Marco levels. There’s there’s like the the people who write for the verge who, you know, they’re never going to be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco happy with whatever Apple does like that. Or actually, the writers are good. The commenters
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the verge are never going to be happy with, you know, whatever Apple does. It’s new because they’re going to complain,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh, it’s not like Android and not doing enough and blah blah blah okay that segment they can’t satisfy
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but like Casey I have regular people asking me all the time or talking
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to me all the time about about comments that make it sound like all this Apple
⏹️ ▶️ Marco skepticism in the media actually reflects what they are thinking like it there
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is no question that Apple is being significantly and severely affected
⏹️ ▶️ Marco by the attention in the media that it gets and negatively
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean really I have regular people say like even a week ago
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I had somebody asked me oh I was thinking about getting an iPhone but I heard the iPhone 5s is coming out next month
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I’m gonna wait like I hear and every of course every
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey iPhone but like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but you hear like oh you know it’s they didn’t really change that much like well have you seen the iPhone 5 like
⏹️ ▶️ Marco believe me it’s a big difference but people aren’t even giving it a shot because they’re hearing in
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the media and on the news and the websites and everything, they’re hearing all the stuff about Apple being doomed and not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco innovating enough. I hear regular people have asked me about Samsung for the first time ever in the last six
⏹️ ▶️ Marco months. I’ve never heard anybody ask me about Samsung. In the last six months I’m now hearing it.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think Apple’s doing great, but the mainstream
⏹️ ▶️ Marco culture, the mainstream rhetoric around Apple is now that they’re suffering and that’s
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really damaging them, no question.
⏹️ ▶️ John So I think there’s only probably two things they could do to get the regular
⏹️ ▶️ John people, I mean, ignoring the echo chamber, people who don’t even know what the verge is, to get those people
⏹️ ▶️ John who still might come up to you and say, oh, they haven’t changed that much, what can you do to bring them around? Because I think,
⏹️ ▶️ John like, outside of the tech nerd circles, like, there definitely is the media and their perception
⏹️ ▶️ John and everything in there, but like, it’s when someone who doesn’t even remember that Apple makes the iPhone or just kind of vaguely
⏹️ ▶️ John knows what iPhone does when they get the news story like on their local news or whatever that there are some problems that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John when they start to get those bad feelings what can you do to bring those people around you can’t do with new OS
⏹️ ▶️ John overhaul because no matter how crazy you change springboard no matter how weird you make things look those people
⏹️ ▶️ John are never going to know that’s not how the phone always looked like they don’t have nothing to compare it to that does not impress them that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John nothing you can get them either by making a new product that
⏹️ ▶️ John gets people excited about Apple again. Insert whatever product you want here, television, watch,
⏹️ ▶️ John hoverboard, self-driving car, spaceship, anything like that.
⏹️ ▶️ John Automatically, those people are like, oh, Apple’s back. It’s some crazy new thing, blah, blah, blah. Suddenly, the iPhone
⏹️ ▶️ John seems viable again. I wouldn’t bank on that happening, and I don’t think Apple’s banking on that happening
⏹️ ▶️ John to get their phone sales. The second thing I think would actually work, and they probably are going to end up doing,
⏹️ ▶️ John is just make it have a bigger screen. And as dumb as that sounds,
⏹️ ▶️ John not dumb that it has a big screen, but dumb that before you weren’t excited about it, but now you
⏹️ ▶️ John are, that is enough of a change that a regular person, it’s bigger, a
⏹️ ▶️ John regular person will notice that change. And again, not that I’m saying a big screen is not a good idea, because I think it is a good idea,
⏹️ ▶️ John but I’m saying that is the type of change far beyond a radical new UI or something
⏹️ ▶️ John like that that you put on the phone, which is much harder to do. Bigger screen,
⏹️ ▶️ John I think, can revitalize interest in the iPhone. Bigger screen, I guess, lower cost, but a combination
⏹️ ▶️ John of the two. Because, I mean, Apple is behind in the screen size
⏹️ ▶️ John war, as in we talked about this last time, with the resolution, all that stuff, and what they’re going to do in that area. But those are
⏹️ ▶️ John all technical details. So just bottom line is, when someone, you know, when the Samsung S4 comes out tomorrow, or whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John day it is it’s going to be, the new Galaxy phone, it’s going to have a big, amazing
⏹️ ▶️ John screen on it. that’s going to be bigger and more amazing-er than the iPhone 5 screen.
⏹️ ▶️ John You know what I mean? And regular people can see that. They look at the iPhone 5, they look at that other phone,
⏹️ ▶️ John and they say, well, that’s more of what I want. It looks better, it looks nicer. Android
⏹️ ▶️ John phones, the big thing now is that native 1080p on Android phones are like 460 DPI or something.
⏹️ ▶️ John These are fairly amazing screens, and they’re still pretty darn thin. And yes, they’re much bigger and heavier, but
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s what Apple’s up against here. And I think to revitalize interest in its phone line in particular,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s going to have to answer to that. And I think that’s pretty much all it will take to get people the ball back rolling
⏹️ ▶️ John on that. And then their longer term problem is, oh, what’s the next big thing? And then they got to figure out what the hell they’re going
⏹️ ▶️ John to do with TVs or watches or hover cars
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or whatever. That’s a
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wonder a little bit if some of this problem is self-created in the
⏹️ ▶️ Casey sense that, John, you’ve been talking for a long time about how poor Apple is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey at services. And if you think about it, you know, well,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Siri was a brand new thing and it was supposed to be amazing and it was supposed to cure all of our problems
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and it ended up being fraught with problems and it was kind of a disaster.
⏹️ ▶️ John ______ I think it was successful in terms of getting people interested. It’s that phone that you can talk to. Even
⏹️ ▶️ John if people bought it, talked to it on the first day, played with it, and then stopped using it because it didn’t quite
⏹️ ▶️ John work right. It served its purpose at that point, and I think people come out of it
⏹️ ▶️ John with a generally positive, like it’s a positive experience. I heard there’s this phone that you can talk to. I bought this phone
⏹️ ▶️ John that you can talk to. Me and my friends had a hilarious two days talking to it. Now I don’t use it anymore, but I’m not sore
⏹️ ▶️ John about it. Like, I think, basically, I think Siri was a net positive for the iOS
⏹️ ▶️ John platform and the iPhone in general. Oh, sure.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey It may be, but it started positive. It may or may not have ended positive. Then you have Apple Maps, which
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John wanted. And it did not start positive. Right.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey And nobody, I mean, and obviously as nerds we understand kind of the political motivations behind all
⏹️ ▶️ Casey this, but for a regular human, you didn’t want it in the first place. Suddenly your phone, which you
⏹️ ▶️ Casey previously loved, one of the critical aspects of this phone now sucks, and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey you didn’t even ask for it. And that’s why, you know, iOS 6 adoption from most reports, I haven’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey looked at David Smith’s in a while, but you know, iOS 6 adoption was terrible until the Google Maps app came out.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco actually not true.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco there was a lot of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco negative perception, certainly, and a lot of people were holding back, but in the grand scheme of things, it was minimal.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, it hurt them PR-wise way more than it hurt iOS 6 adoption rates. I
⏹️ ▶️ John think this is another example of the positive of Siri, and that eventually it’s like, man, you leave it around. This was
⏹️ ▶️ John an initial negative, but I think the same phenomenon happened. Initial negative instead of initial positive.
⏹️ ▶️ John But eventually, it’s just like, meh. And now I think people buying phones, like it’s transition
⏹️ ▶️ John that hurts you. It’s transition, you know, like, you know, or helps you in the case of transition to series
⏹️ ▶️ John like, wow, this amazing new thing. And this helps Apple get people into stores gets people to buy it. And then it just fizzles and it’s like,
⏹️ ▶️ John man, fine. The transition from, you know, to a bad thing. Suddenly, this
⏹️ ▶️ John is new bad thing and maps are bad. And they’re going from the maps that were better to the bad ones are just I’m getting bad ones.
⏹️ ▶️ John But that trickles off to and now anyone buying a phone now, you know, even though the
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple Maps are still not as good as Google Maps, it’s kind of like, Oh, oh, these are just the maps my phone came with. And
⏹️ ▶️ John if I don’t like them, I can try that Google one, and what’s the big deal, right? So I think
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe those two things cancel each other out. But I think going forward, neither one of them are a factor, except
⏹️ ▶️ John for maybe reputation-wise among nerds. I think they’ve cleared
⏹️ ▶️ John the PR disaster of maps and are onto, now we’ve got to see what the next thing is. Are we going to have something that’s going to be a
⏹️ ▶️ John big negative or a big positive? They need something for the next phone other than just gets faster
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I know I’m not really sure that anything they do with the next iPhone, although
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I do agree that they need to make the screen bigger for at least one of the models that they sell. Just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey for all the reasons. And the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco cheaper one you get people excited
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco to. You know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m not I’m not entirely sold on the cheaper one idea. Although we should talk about too,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know if you saw. So I’ve been talking about the the the weird new CPU
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the Apple TV that was just released that was just updated quietly and Chipworks
⏹️ ▶️ Marco has this post here I’ll paste it into our chat thing so that you guys can see it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they had this post up that they’ve been taking apart the CPU in it and they found so
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my original theory which we actually talked about I believe on episode 1 of this show
⏹️ ▶️ Marco my original theory was that what you know because originally we had thought that they were die-shrinking the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a5x and there’s really no good reason for the Apple TV to need an A5X yet.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Maybe if they have a future model that can do high-end games, maybe then, okay. But there was really no
⏹️ ▶️ Marco good reason for it to have an A5X. We later found out, just a couple days ago,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco we found out that it is indeed not an A5X, but it’s an A5 that is somehow a lot smaller
⏹️ ▶️ Marco than the normal A5 package. So again, we speculated, okay, it’s a die shrink, so what are we going to do with the new
⏹️ ▶️ Marco A5? Because the Apple TV doesn’t have and they don’t sell enough Apple TVs to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco justify making a whole separate processor for it. So now,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the most recent news that we have is that the processor on the new Apple TV
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is indeed still an A5, is substantially smaller than the regular A5,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco but the reason why is because it only has one CPU core instead of two. still the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco same process the I think I believe it’s the 32 nanometer
⏹️ ▶️ Marco process from Samsung so it’s still the same manufacturing process just now there’s only one core
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the chip now before with the Apple TV I believe didn’t we say they were they were like burning out one core because
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it whether it failed
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a test or whether they were
⏹️ ▶️ John this makes perfect sense because by the by the time they’ve been manufacturing do course for a 5 such
⏹️ ▶️ John a long time the number of ones that are bum and have one bad car on them down Now has
⏹️ ▶️ John got to be pretty darn low I mean like that’s the question of like were they just you know It’s an efficient use of the ones
⏹️ ▶️ John that were one core doesn’t work Are they are they literally taking them and and you know burning the fuses
⏹️ ▶️ John out on the on one of the cores? If it was the case that they were trying to get things that weren’t
⏹️ ▶️ John that one core didn’t work Presumably the number of those has dwindled now because they
⏹️ ▶️ John really you know, they’ve been making this chip forever So
⏹️ ▶️ John no more like leftovers for it
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But given how few Apple TVs they sell, it would probably still be cheaper to just give them dual-core
⏹️ ▶️ Marco working chips than it would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey be to make a set.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m looking at this because the whole reason why the Apple TV CPU change was interesting
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the theory that they make so few of these, it doesn’t justify a custom CPU. So therefore,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whatever CPU they’re using in this is probably going to be put into a future, more popular
⏹️ ▶️ Marco product. And so that’s I think worth considering. What could they make
⏹️ ▶️ Marco with a small, single-core A5? And that, to me, screams
⏹️ ▶️ Marco low-end iPhone or low-end iPad Mini.
⏹️ ▶️ John I suppose it’s possible. It’s really tough to tell because it’s not a Herculean
⏹️ ▶️ John effort to… And they have been selling more Apple TV. So making a single-core A5 just for the Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John TV is not crazy, crazy. They really have been increasing the number of these things
⏹️ ▶️ John that they sell and especially if their whatever their crazy grand TV plan
⏹️ ▶️ John keeps getting pushed off into the future for you know presumably content related reasons,
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re maybe just playing for the future of the Apple TV and unlike the other things that run apps and stuff, there’s
⏹️ ▶️ John no real reason that year after year the Apple TV has to get tremendously faster or they finally got up to 1080p,
⏹️ ▶️ John so like what more does it need to do? it shows video in 1080p, you can’t run apps on it.
⏹️ ▶️ John It could be they’re settling in for the long winter waiting for whatever the heck, you know, and they want to continue to, you
⏹️ ▶️ John know, have 60% year-over-year growth on the Apple TV or whatever they were at before. They’re selling
⏹️ ▶️ John a not insignificant number of these things, maybe now it deserves its own chip. Not a big deal chip, just a single-core
⏹️ ▶️ John A5. Single-core A5 for a cheaper phone? I’m wondering how much
⏹️ ▶️ John cheaper does that make it because the cost of that single core A5 versus dual you know basically comes down
⏹️ ▶️ John to the area of the chip how you know and like the big cost components in that thing is like I have to imagine
⏹️ ▶️ John like the screen the battery the CPU the GPU and the case are your
⏹️ ▶️ John big cost components there I’m not sure how much shaving a tiny little bit of cost on the CPU
⏹️ ▶️ John is gonna like is that gonna get you over the line in terms of low cost
⏹️ ▶️ Marco well not alone but you know if you can shave X percent off of a lot of the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco key components then
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what’s gonna say in aggregate it might be
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s conceivable I mean like did we think that the single core a5 is
⏹️ ▶️ John useful sure other than a low-cost
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John most of what I always have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to do is not multi-threaded so we can we can kind of look and see at or no
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Okay, but most
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John that are really CPU intensive
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that apps are doing for the most part I think we’d be fine with single core
⏹️ ▶️ Marco for a low-end product. I think if you look at, you know, if they’re trying to shave
⏹️ ▶️ Marco off dollars and cents here to try to get down to lower price points,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco first of all I think the iPad mini is probably the more obvious choice here than an iPhone just because the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco iPhones are still subsidized in most markets so they have more room to play with there. Whereas the iPad mini,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco they want to get that down cheap. And the A5 is probably, even with
⏹️ ▶️ Marco this smaller version, I would imagine the A5 is probably still too much power
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be used in something like a watch. I don’t think that would work. But
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it would be fine as a low-end model for either the iPhone or the iPad.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, see, you think, like, the iPad mini, I have problems here, too, because, like,
⏹️ ▶️ John again, I have to think of, you know, if they wanted to push, if they want to push the iPad mini price down to give an even lower
⏹️ ▶️ John price one, where else are they going to get, where else are they going to pull value
⏹️ ▶️ John out of that? Cheaper cameras, slightly cheaper CPU, they can’t really give it less battery,
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco really make the screen worse. Oh, on
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the contrary, if they only have one CPU core,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John they can give it a little bit
⏹️ ▶️ John Not that much. Like, I have an easier time thinking that you could
⏹️ ▶️ John shave down a phone because it’s subsidized. That you could work it out so
⏹️ ▶️ John that it ends up looking way cheaper to the customer where you just saved a little bit of cost and maybe your margins are lower. I’m not sure how
⏹️ ▶️ John much you can squeeze the Mini with a single core A5 in it. And I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John also not sure that Apple ever wants to take any of its products and go backwards in terms
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So can I propose two alternate theories, one of
⏹️ ▶️ Casey which I think is ridiculous and the other I think is marginally
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco ridiculous? You can
⏹️ ▶️ Marco probably propose one and a half before we interrupt you.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s probably true. So one of them is, what if the whole point of this,
⏹️ ▶️ Casey and one of you guys just inferred it a second ago, what if the whole point of this, this chip is physically
⏹️ ▶️ Casey smaller, is it not? Yeah. So what if the whole point was either to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey increase battery volume in the same size case, Or alternatively, what if we
⏹️ ▶️ Casey are finally getting our iPhone Nano that we used to talk about constantly and then gave up
⏹️ ▶️ John Dave If you really want the space back, you got to shrink 28 nanometers or
⏹️ ▶️ John get Intel to fab them at 22.
⏹️ ▶️ John really want space back, that’s the way to do it. You don’t ditch a core and stick to 32. I’m
⏹️ ▶️ John more inclined to believe that cost is the reason because you take a 32 nanometer process that your
⏹️ ▶️ John manufacturers already have a lot of experience with, really good yields, not pushing the limits of technology,
⏹️ ▶️ John give me one that’s a little bit cheaper. But if you wanted to space back, if you wanted
⏹️ ▶️ John iPhone Nano or something, it’s much easier to get that space by going through a new process.
⏹️ ▶️ John 20 nanometers seems like it’s in the cards for 2013 for Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John products from Taiwan Semiconductor or whoever they’re going to do that. And
⏹️ ▶️ John if the Intel things come through, maybe that’s not going to happen this year, maybe next year. If that isn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John just a pipe dream, but I think that’s the way you get space back
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, you say that that’s the easiest way to get space back, but it’s also a more expensive way to get
⏹️ ▶️ Casey space back Is it not?
⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I mean, but it’s a it’s an expense you have to incur anyway Like it’s not like you’re gonna stick at 32 nanometers forever Like you’re
⏹️ ▶️ John the train is going along and like this is the year that we’re Apple, you know All the other phone manufacturers are already at 28
⏹️ ▶️ John or lower, right? You know the Android the big Android guys already have phones that you know I have 28 nanometer quad
⏹️ ▶️ John core things with 1080p screens, and I’m like they’re they’re outclassing Apple’s hardware in all respects
⏹️ ▶️ John With the exception of power consumption, but they make up for it by having a bigger battery because they have bigger screens, right?
⏹️ ▶️ John So Apple you know it’s gonna happen anyway Apple’s gonna have to make that transition if you’re gonna do that you
⏹️ ▶️ John wait to put out your iPhone nano until every all your components Shrink down and I believe also
⏹️ ▶️ John like shrink it we always talk about the CPUs And I guess the GPUs as well. You know the system on a chip whatever
⏹️ ▶️ John But there’s other components inside there, not many, but there are other ones. And some of them, I think, Anandtech
⏹️ ▶️ John had a good article about the process used for the cell radios, which are limited by the various analog
⏹️ ▶️ John things that go into them. But those could stand to be, I mean, that’s what, you know, the first LTE chipsets
⏹️ ▶️ John were not great and sucked up a lot of battery. There are other places where you can get some savings by shrinks, which
⏹️ ▶️ John is, you know, even if you had a 20 nanometer CPU, if all the rest of your chips are fabbed at like 45 or 65 or
⏹️ ▶️ John some crazy size that can make you sad as well so this
⏹️ ▶️ John you know to bring bring all the internal components of your mobile thing along on
⏹️ ▶️ John a train of continual process shrinks I think you can get to your iPhone nano
⏹️ ▶️ John with that technique and that’s that’s maybe the only way you can get there because otherwise if you just take the internal like it’s not
⏹️ ▶️ John like there’s a lot of room left over in the iPhone 5 as it is and just shrinking the screen is not going
⏹️ ▶️ John to if anything that’s gonna hurt you because then you have less room for a battery in there. So I’m not sure the iPhone
⏹️ ▶️ John Nano as a concept really makes much sense. And if it does, I think they’ll get there by
⏹️ ▶️ John shrink and not by chopping out cores.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I also think too, like just demand might not really be there for that. I mean, people want their smartphone screens
⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be big. And I think Apple will very well address
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the market of people who want to keep their smartphone small with the regular sized iPhone.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I really don’t think they’re going to go big only in their product line, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think they have to go smaller than the iPhone 5 size, really.
⏹️ ▶️ John I think they might go big only. Like, not… I see the iPhone 6
⏹️ ▶️ John having a larger screen than the 5, and them not offering a smaller one, except by still selling the iPhone 5,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically. Well, the only reason they could… the only way they could do that, I think, would be if the screen was
⏹️ ▶️ Marco bigger, but not, like, a ton bigger. And… Yeah, I
⏹️ ▶️ John mean I’m not expecting them to make a phablet.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But the problem is, if they don’t really make a substantial jump, then it’s not going to really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco serve them very well in the reasons why they should need a big screen in the first place. It’s not going to really stand up well
⏹️ ▶️ Marco in a store next to these giant Android phones. It’s not going to potentially replace
⏹️ ▶️ Marco the need for an iPad for some people, or at least they would think that if they would buy that
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it would stand up better in the store, just a little bit bigger. I mean, it’s the question we talked about,
⏹️ ▶️ John I think it was last week. It’s like, do you just make it bigger at the same res, which is what we all assume? And
⏹️ ▶️ John I believe that would be completely adequate to give them the boost they need of having something bigger. Or
⏹️ ▶️ John do you bite the bullet and actually, whether it’s 1080p, or pick a new canonical res. Because
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s not above picking a new canonical res. They did it once with the iPad. I guarantee you they’ll do it again sometime in the history
⏹️ ▶️ John of iOS, before the company goes out of business and the heat death of the universe. be a new resolution besides 1024
⏹️ ▶️ John by 768 points and whatever the heck the iPhone is. I mean, they did it with the iPhone 5 as well.
⏹️ ▶️ John That will happen. It’s just a question of when and a question of now. Is it too soon? They just went tall phone.
⏹️ ▶️ John Is it too soon? Do they have to wait a generation to bump it out again? That’s going to happen.
⏹️ ▶️ John I could see them doing that sooner rather than later if they start feeling the pinch.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, but if they only make one size iPhone, then imagine if they only made
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one size laptop. Like, what size would that be? Probably the 13-inch. Right? And then you
⏹️ ▶️ Marco miss out on the great value of the 15 and the 11. You know, if you look at the phones, like,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they’re going to keep having just one model for the foreseeable future, and if they make the next
⏹️ ▶️ Marco one bigger, say, then they’re missing out on all the greatness in product design,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the sales, all the goodwill that would come from the people who would want the smaller
⏹️ ▶️ Marco phones, like the 5 that we have now, compared to other big phones at least and people who would
⏹️ ▶️ Marco want even bigger phones like the weirdo phablets I think ultimately
⏹️ ▶️ Marco as this market matures which I think it’s pretty safe to say the smartphone market is fairly mature at this point
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think they have to go to multiple sizes
⏹️ ▶️ John it was on my 2013 to-do list you know what we call diversify the iPhone line and that means
⏹️ ▶️ John not just keep selling the old one as you’re as you’re different size so yeah like I mean the
⏹️ ▶️ John reason I say that it’s not inconceivable that he won’t it’s because that’s been Apple’s M.O. for so long. There is one iPhone and there’s the older
⏹️ ▶️ John iPhones. And the older iPhones fill our needs. And what I’ve been saying they need to do is diversify the line by not doing that, by having,
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, there’s actually not one iPhone. There’s actually two iPhones and possibly some older
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And what if the single-core A5 is how they do that?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I mean, that’s, you know, you can combine them both and say, we’re diversifying the line, we’re getting a bigger screen, and the
⏹️ ▶️ John way we’re diversifying is that the one with the smaller screen is the cheap one. Exactly. Which would disappoint the
⏹️ ▶️ John people who want a smaller phone that’s full performance, but they should feel the same pain that iPod touch users have had to feel, where we
⏹️ ▶️ John just want all the good things, but you can never get all the good things.
⏹️ ▶️ John They have so many options for how they can diversify their line, whether they just want to do it on size, they also want to try to do
⏹️ ▶️ John it on cost. I mean, hell, they could come out with three of them. They could go right from having one phone to having three phones.
⏹️ ▶️ John It’s conceivable that all these things are possible, it’s just I don’t know which one of them. It’s hard to read
⏹️ ▶️ John what they think the issue is. We all think they need a bigger screen. Does Apple believe that? I think
⏹️ ▶️ John at this point they probably do. Some of us think they could benefit from a lower-cost one, but I can imagine
⏹️ ▶️ John the bean counters at Apple going, you know what, actually, that’s something that you as a customer may want, but actually it would
⏹️ ▶️ John be worse for Apple as a business, so we’re not going to do that. I have a hard time seeing into that
⏹️ ▶️ Casey So to take this sort of kind of full circle, does that mean that in order
⏹️ ▶️ Casey to continue to, what was the Steve Jobsism, like to
⏹️ ▶️ Casey delight and amaze our customers or whatever it was, in order to keep people talking about the iPhone is
⏹️ ▶️ Casey what I really mean, do they not do a 5S this year? Do they instead do
⏹️ ▶️ Casey either a 6 or do they do a 5S and a iPhone Plus or whatever you guys
⏹️ ▶️ Casey called it. Is that enough to… is something non…
⏹️ ▶️ Casey something unexpected enough to get people talking positively about the iPhone again?
⏹️ ▶️ John That’s a timing issue. I think, like, if they could, they definitely would. I can say that right
⏹️ ▶️ John now. Like, if they had planned enough in advance and foreseen this, like,
⏹️ ▶️ John they would definitely do that. Like, maybe, like, maybe that, you know, I just don’t think that the
⏹️ ▶️ John current situation they find themselves in, they planned on two, three years out. And that’s the kind
⏹️ ▶️ John of planning you have to have to say, we’re going to go from, you know, this four, four S, five, five S cadence.
⏹️ ▶️ John Actually I’m not going to do that with the five. We’re going to do four, four S, then we’re going to do five, then six. Start planning now. Because
⏹️ ▶️ John they would have to start planning that a very long time ago. I think they would really benefit from that, but
⏹️ ▶️ John if they didn’t start playing it two, three years ago, I don’t think they’re capable. I think like they just got to ship what
⏹️ ▶️ John they have, which is going to be a five S.
⏹️ ▶️ John and keep going. We don’t know. The problem is we’re having
⏹️ ▶️ John complete information. So we don’t know all this wild card stuff. Whatever the heck else they’re doing that’s
⏹️ ▶️ John not a phone, that’s not an iPad, presumably there’s something or several things on various burners
⏹️ ▶️ John in various states of whatever. Any of those things, if they come to a boil,
⏹️ ▶️ John make this much less of an issue. Oh, we’ve got the 5S, but we also got the Apple Hover car. No one cares
⏹️ ▶️ John that it’s a friggin’ 5S anymore. You know what I mean? Whatever crazy other things, whether it’s watches
⏹️ ▶️ John or TV stuff or new services or they buy some
⏹️ ▶️ John other company, like so many other things can not make this an issue. But if there’s nothing new for
⏹️ ▶️ John this entire year and they just have the 5S and they make all their products better in the ways
⏹️ ▶️ John that we always expect them to make things better, I think that will not be a great year for Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John in terms of their perception in the industry.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, although I would argue that they have, you know, like Gruber
⏹️ ▶️ Marco talks a lot about the concept of momentum, and I would argue right now that…
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Traction. Traction,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah. That Apple has so much negative momentum
⏹️ ▶️ Marco or traction in the press, or in people’s perceptions of how they’re doing. They have
⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much negativity around them right now, and skepticism, and doubt,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that I don’t think anything they release this year is going to fix that. I don’t think it can be fixed. They could release a flying
⏹️ ▶️ Marco unicorn watch toaster tomorrow, and it wouldn’t change anybody’s mind.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Everyone would just find some reason to complain about
⏹️ ▶️ John it. If they released some new product that was actually good, it has to actually be good,
⏹️ ▶️ John that would turn it around.
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Well, but the only product-
⏹️ ▶️ John They would come out of the year, and it would just be like a bump.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But the only product that they’ve released in recent memory that everyone thought was good from the start was the iPhone.
⏹️ ▶️ John And not everyone’s gonna think it’s good from the start, but I’m like, net, net, coming out of it. It’s kind of the same naysayers that everybody
⏹️ ▶️ John had. I mean, the iPad had them. The iPhone probably had the most positive reception. But even that had like, well,
⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a nice product, but you’re not going to be a phone maker. I mean, you’re not going to just walk in. Like, everything’s got the negative. But it doesn’t
⏹️ ▶️ John matter. Like, the net out of that was exciting new thing. Apple’s
⏹️ ▶️ John exciting, doing exciting new thing that’s risky and interesting. And I want to know what’s going
⏹️ ▶️ John on with it, right? Whereas just keep making better Macs and better
⏹️ ▶️ John iPads and iPhones year after year, some of which are not as interesting
⏹️ ▶️ John as the best phones from best Android phones. That’s boring. And the worst thing
⏹️ ▶️ John you want to be is boring. Even if they come up with a watch and everyone says it’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a piece of crap, that’s more exciting than not coming out with a watch, right? And the net at the
⏹️ ▶️ John end of the year, I think, would be positive from that, because we were like, everyone hates it, but who knows? It’s kind of crazy. And it’s got this
⏹️ ▶️ John one interesting thing that we didn’t think of. you know, uncertainty and excitement is more
⏹️ ▶️ John interesting than just boring iteration on the same things. Although, yeah, I don’t understand the finance industry,
⏹️ ▶️ John like when they want boring iteration, when they want a gigantic machine that turns out money, but I guess they want explosive growth. So
⏹️ ▶️ John they were looking for the next hockey stick graph and, uh, the graphs for the phones and iPad are not
⏹️ ▶️ John hockey sticky enough for them.
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Wow. Is that a technical term?
⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. I mean, they are. Every time I see Horace’s graphs on a Simcoe, like they’re still hockey sticks. Like look at the frigging iPad graph.
⏹️ ▶️ John That should be like, wow, all smiles. Look at that growth curve. It’s great. And Apple’s dominating the tablet industry
⏹️ ▶️ John and all these great things. And the story is still Android tablets to surpass iPads next year.
⏹️ ▶️ John Which may actually be true, but it’s like they have two great products on hockey stick trajectories,
⏹️ ▶️ John the phone and the iPad, and that’s not enough. That’s not enough because those things
⏹️ ▶️ John used to look more attractive when they had no competitors.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And going back to what Casey said earlier, this has been as we discussed last episode this has been like a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco draft blog post in my head for weeks and I just haven’t written it out but uh but I’ll ruin
⏹️ ▶️ Marco it for you guys here I feel like Apple’s next big product here you know
⏹️ ▶️ Marco all the press and maybe the public they wanted to be some gadget they say oh I want it to be
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a watch or I want a toaster or I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John want said hover car a hover car
⏹️ ▶️ John that’s not a gadget
⏹️ ▶️ Marco gadgety it’s people who want hover cars are probably people who want smart watches also. So,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, everyone wants it to be some kind of hardware gadget, a TV set, which I think would be probably the most boring product
⏹️ ▶️ Marco ever. You know, all these things. And there was also,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco speaking of Gruber, a good discussion of this on Talk Show with Guy English and Gruber last week.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think Apple’s next big product shouldn’t be any of those
⏹️ ▶️ Marco things. It should be dramatically improving their services
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and their software in that order.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Yeah, good luck with that. And I know it’s probably
⏹️ ▶️ Marco not going to happen, and it wouldn’t make anybody except users
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and nerds happy. It’s not flashy. It’s not
⏹️ ▶️ Marco very newsworthy most of the time. It’s not going to fix their perception.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco But what their products need the most is significant, substantial
⏹️ ▶️ Marco progress in services and quality of software. And
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that, I would much rather they take what they already have, what they’ve already
⏹️ ▶️ Marco started, all these different things they have going on these platforms, just
⏹️ ▶️ Marco make them really great. Make the services better and improve the quality of the software.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco much rather have that than a smart watch. You know? But you’re right.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco The market does not demand that, even though the market’s better off with that.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John But the market demands a gadget.
⏹️ ▶️ John They would see that it’s like a shark that stopped moving. They’d be like, oh, they’re retrenching. And
⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco in some respects, Apple has like, a little
⏹️ ▶️ John they don’t think they recognize this from a technical perspective, but at least from a strategic perspective, that’s what the Maps
⏹️ ▶️ John thing was about. It’s like, the future is more of this network-connected
⏹️ ▶️ John service thing, it’s not less. We need to take control of this. We need to take the reins. And they screwed up
⏹️ ▶️ John with Maps. But at least they recognize that it’s not a tenable long-term strategy to
⏹️ ▶️ John rely on your most bitter rival for an essential service that your phone provides.
⏹️ ▶️ John So we all understood why they had to do Maps. At least there’s some recognition that they realized that.
⏹️ ▶️ John Speech recognition could be another similar issue with them not really owning that technology. But
⏹️ ▶️ John if they woke up one day and fully realized how screwed they are
⏹️ ▶️ John on their inability to to do network services and how important they’re going to be in the future,
⏹️ ▶️ John they would have to sign themselves up for a multi-year dark period of figuring that stuff
⏹️ ▶️ John out. Kind of like the multi-year dark period coming out of the 90s, where they had their whole
⏹️ ▶️ John crappy OS that they had to rev. And they had to keep the company in business. And then they start working on the
⏹️ ▶️ John next big thing. And they did. And they came out of it and went gangbusters. They probably
⏹️ ▶️ John need another period like that to get their house in order on
⏹️ ▶️ John the server side stuff because it’s not like we’re in a future where that server side stuff is going to be less
⏹️ ▶️ John important. You know, there’s no going back. And so they need to get really good at it or
⏹️ ▶️ John get really chummy with someone whose interests are aligned with theirs who is good at it. And that used to be Google, but it’s not anymore. So
⏹️ ▶️ John you know, I mean, all these reasons are like, people keep saying that Apple’s getting slammed for illogical reasons
⏹️ ▶️ John or like, oh, they’re making all this money hand over fist, Wall Street is crazy. In some respects, the
⏹️ ▶️ John negativity that is reflected in the press about them is
⏹️ ▶️ John like accumulation of all the negative things that I’d been thinking about Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John for the past 10 years. But at the time I was thinking of them, no one else agreed with them.
⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s going gangbusters. Everybody loves it. All their products are great. And you’d be like, but server-side this. And they’d be like, what are
⏹️ ▶️ John you talking about? Their stuff is awesome. They have no complaint. And now it’s kind of all coming home to roost. And
⏹️ ▶️ John maybe that’s just projection. maybe they’re being negative for another reason, but I don’t think the current negative view of Apple
⏹️ ▶️ John is that crazy. I mean, it’s kind of crazy in terms, I don’t know the details of the finances
⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever, but it’s like, you see they’re making tons of money, like they’re not going out of business, they’re a successful company,
⏹️ ▶️ John they’re well run, they have products that people like, all the things that Gruber posts again and again, but at the same time, I see where all
⏹️ ▶️ John their strategic weaknesses are, and I see that it’s not like you can snap your fingers and make those strategic weaknesses go away.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right. And even making a new Apple TV or a watch does not make all those weaknesses go away, It
⏹️ ▶️ John just staves off the inevitable for a little bit longer.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco In fact, a new gadget or a new platform would probably make a lot of these problems
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Because here’s more things that require software
⏹️ ▶️ Marco and services that they’re having trouble keeping up with.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, like they are presumably, they’re reaping the benefits that Google reaps. It’s like, okay, well, if we do have
⏹️ ▶️ John a new TV thing, presumably, you know, it’s based on iOS, and we can leverage the App Store, and we can
⏹️ ▶️ John leverage iCloud. So they are getting a common core of stuff that they work on that makes all
⏹️ ▶️ John their products better. It’s not like they’re going to go out and make something totally unrelated where they can’t reuse any of their
⏹️ ▶️ John tech or platform. So it’s a marginal increase, but the thing that makes us
⏹️ ▶️ John feel bad about it is a distraction. Could you just get the crap that you have now to work right? Stop with
⏹️ ▶️ John the watch stuff. stuff. We have this crazy perception that probably isn’t rooted in reality
⏹️ ▶️ John of them taking off their AAA players and putting them on whatever the big new project is.
⏹️ ▶️ John Like, oh, pull off all the best and most awesome iPhone people and put them on the Hoverwatch, right? And like, no,
⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t pull those guys off. We need the good people. We felt like that when they
⏹️ ▶️ John seemingly pulled the big, good, awesome, important people off Mac OS X for a while to be all hands on deck with
⏹️ ▶️ John the iOS and the App Store, which was the right business decision but like they have finite resources and we don’t
⏹️ ▶️ John want them to be those are nothing on the talk show episode we don’t want them to be spread too thin like
⏹️ ▶️ John they don’t have an infinite number of awesome talented people and with
⏹️ ▶️ John with the financials in the share price and everything going down it may be harder to acquire and retain those
⏹️ ▶️ John amazing people so maybe you don’t have so many to spread around as you used to
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah I mean it’s that’s a major problem for them is the size of the company
⏹️ ▶️ Marco is talent wise it’s smaller than it needs to be they have very limited resources
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that they can allocate to these things and you’re right that like the business case for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco pulling a snow leopard like you know with snow leopard they basically spent what was it 18 months development
⏹️ ▶️ Marco of it not adding a lot of user facing features you know the hope the
⏹️ ▶️ Marco whole message of snow leopard was we’re gonna rebuild a lot of the foundation of this and add things, you know,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco really important foundational APIs, like Grand Central Dispatch, we’re gonna, we’re gonna like really make the foundation
⏹️ ▶️ Marco better and awesome and fix a lot of bugs, rather than adding a whole bunch of new user facing features.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco And mountain lion was kind of like that, you know, compared to lion, but
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I feel like they need to have some, they need to have a period like that, for for
⏹️ ▶️ Marco services and for all their software, they need They need a company-wide period of
⏹️ ▶️ Marco two years of just improving the stuff we have. But you’re right that business-wise and market-wise,
⏹️ ▶️ Marco that will never be a smart idea to do.
⏹️ ▶️ John Well they could afford to do it on the Mac because all eyes were on iOS. That’s true. So that’s one reprieve.
⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, there’s no excuse for the services because I
⏹️ ▶️ John guess all eyes are never going to be off iCloud because that’s the nature of services is an underpinning infrastructure. But
⏹️ ▶️ John if they, not that they’re going to introduce a third platform, but if they did, Eyes
⏹️ ▶️ John would be off iOS briefly, and then those guys could do iOS 8, which would be their snow leopard or whatever.
⏹️ ▶️ John Right? But I don’t think that’s going to happen. Two platforms is
⏹️ ▶️ John plenty for them. They’re much more likely to, I mean, maybe they get away with it, iterate
⏹️ ▶️ John on the watch your TV or some other thing where it gets its own fork of
⏹️ ▶️ John the OS, is still iOS based or whatever. time to sort of
⏹️ ▶️ John pin down the phone OS. But I think services are much more dire than the
⏹️ ▶️ John OS stuff. I think they’re on a pretty good track with the OS revisions. I think they’re
⏹️ ▶️ John already in refinement mode on iOS. There’s a couple of major things they need to add here and there.
⏹️ ▶️ John But the services are really the big deal. Because it’s not something you do
⏹️ ▶️ John by snapping your fingers. And they can’t have a snow leopard release of services that cures their problems. It’s
⏹️ ▶️ John a problem that can’t be fixed in 12 to 18 months.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly. And it requires a lot of substantial changes, substantial
⏹️ ▶️ Marco investments in infrastructure and talent that does that, and really, really
⏹️ ▶️ Marco big shifts and big investments that just take a long time. Even if they were 100% prioritized
⏹️ ▶️ Marco on that right this second, that just takes a long time to build that up.
⏹️ ▶️ John So if they want to do that fast, here’s my advice to them. Buy Facebook, shut it down, use the talent to do your server-side
⏹️ ▶️ John stuff. Because do they have enough money to buy Facebook? Probably, I don’t know. It might be close.
⏹️ ▶️ John You’re looking for a big investment. Remove Facebook from the earth, which is a general good
⏹️ ▶️ John for humanity, right? Take all those people, most of them are probably going to leave and go off and do other things, but
⏹️ ▶️ John enough of them will stay, and they know how to do it. They’re not Google caliber people,
⏹️ ▶️ John but they know how to run a service that a whole jillion people use that has better reliability than
⏹️ ▶️ Marco yeah, that’s my opinion. I would even think like that if they would have bought Twitter, I mean
⏹️ ▶️ Marco now I don’t think Twitter would sell at a
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John price that Apple wanted to pay. I
⏹️ ▶️ Marco think they tried. Right, but like if they would have bought Twitter, they would have had a lot of that type of talent and
⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of that type
⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey of experience and infrastructure.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, I think Twitter is not. Not at a Facebook level, but not, you know, certainly probably better than whatever Apple’s doing now.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, isn’t a lot of iCloud still outsourced to Microsoft Azure or Azure, however you say that?
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Azure, and I was going to say exactly that. I don’t think Microsoft is terribly capable as
⏹️ ▶️ Casey a host, unlike Amazon, whom has become very capable as a host. But
⏹️ ▶️ Casey I wonder, and I was going to ask you guys until you brought it up, I wonder if Apple and
⏹️ ▶️ Casey Microsoft could find a common enemy in Google and perhaps the two of them could fumble along together
⏹️ ▶️ Casey in order to improve their services to the point that they’re actually, I don’t
⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco know, functional.
⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s kind of what they’re doing, isn’t it?
⏹️ ▶️ John You’d have to wait for Microsoft to be much, to have fallen much even lower than it has now for
⏹️ ▶️ John them to ever, because Microsoft is in the same situation as Apple kind of, where they both recognize that Google
⏹️ ▶️ John does that server side stuff better. It’s just that Microsoft has been, in typical Microsoft fashion,
⏹️ ▶️ John much more sort of head down. Okay, this is an area where we are not strong and we’re going to improve, and
⏹️ ▶️ John we’re going to hire the guy who did Lotus Notes, and we’re going to revamp our entire server side architecture,
⏹️ ▶️ John and we’re going to be serious about this. like Apple hasn’t done all that or at least not as publicly, who knows what they’re doing internally,
⏹️ ▶️ John but it’s clearly not a top line item, you know. So
⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t see Microsoft as a big win for Apple to cooperate
⏹️ ▶️ John in this regard. And I also don’t see Microsoft ever stooping to that level and say, we’re just going to be your helper in the battle
⏹️ ▶️ John against Microsoft against Google. Rather than Microsoft still wants to be a big player,
⏹️ ▶️ John even though we all kind of recognize that it’s not going to be.