Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jan 2010 22:42 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless During the iPad presentation, I was rather perplexed by Apple's claim to be the largest mobile device company in the world. Apparently, I wasn't the only one scratching his head, as Nokia itself, and even the Financial Times, is calling Apple out on its juggling with figures and definitions.
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Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Or have I missed something? Is there no such thing as a mobile computing market any more? Or are only certain types of devices allowed to be counted in that market? Maybe only ones made my Nokia?


Laptops have never been included in the mobile devices category. Sure, it's arbitrary, but that's just the way it is. Kind of like when you want to analyse the pen market, you don't include crayons or pencils.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Chaos_One Member since:
2005-07-18

So laptops aren't mobile devices? What are they then?

A laptop is a device designed to run on a battery and be moved around. Just like a MP3 player and a cell phone. Why shouldn't they be considered mobile devices?

MP3 players and cell phone are hand held devices, laptops are not (iPad enters a grey area here), but all are mobile devices.

If the "definition" doesn't include laptops, it is wrong in my view.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

A laptop is a device designed to run on a battery and be moved around. Just like a MP3 player and a cell phone. Why shouldn't they be considered mobile devices?


Because by that definition, we should include cars as well. They run on a battery and can be moved around. There we have it: Toyota is larger than Sony, Nokia, and Apple combined.

The thing here is that traditionally, laptops are not included in the definition, and the reasons for that are obvious: is a laptop closer to a computer, or to a cell phone?

Reply Parent Score: 2

Chaos_One Member since:
2005-07-18

Regarding the pen example, you're saying: analyze the mobile writing tools market, but only count pens.

Reply Parent Score: 1

mrhasbean Member since:
2006-04-03

"Or have I missed something? Is there no such thing as a mobile computing market any more? Or are only certain types of devices allowed to be counted in that market? Maybe only ones made my Nokia?


Laptops have never been included in the mobile devices category. Sure, it's arbitrary, but that's just the way it is.
"

Mobile: able to move or be moved freely or easily

Electronic: having or operating with the aid of many small components, esp. microchips and transistors, that control and direct an electric current

Device: a thing made or adapted for a particular purpose, esp. a mechanical or electronic; implement, gadget, utensil, tool, appliance, apparatus, instrument, machine, mechanism, contrivance, contraption; informal gizmo, widget, doohickey.

So, by definition, a laptop, which is an apparatus that uses microchips and transistors to direct electric current and can be easily and freely moved, is a mobile electronic device. It's totally irrelevant what class you or Nokia want to put it in, or the rest of the world for that matter, by DEFINITION it fits the bill so there is absolutely no reason why it can't be used in Apple's figures.

Is it a marketing ploy? Absolutely. Nobody is debating that, well I'm certainly not. Is it another reality distortion field? Yep, that too, but we live in a world full of them - for example not classifying something in a category that by definition it fits creates a reality distortion field. In which case it could be argued that Apple haven't created a reality distortion field here but rather taken a laptop and squashed one, because it all depends on who creates the "reality" to begin with doesn't it.

And if you had approached this from a different angle, maybe indicating another manufacturer of "doohickeys" that could fall into Apple's mobile electronic device definition - for example my LED torch could be loosely classed as such - who by Apple's measurements are bigger than them, THEN you would have had a valid argument. But as is your standard approach you instantly jumped on the bandwagon of anyone who hits out at Apple even though the argument was totally irrelevant.

Kind of like when you want to analyse the pen market, you don't include crayons or pencils.


Your ability to get it wrong never ceases to amaze me. A "pen" is a type of writing implement, just like a laptop is a type of mobile electronic device. If you were analysing the pen market you wouldn't include crayons or pencils, but by your definition you also wouldn't include them if you were analysing the "writing implement" market...

Reply Parent Score: 3