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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elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

Mobile devices is a very broad and general category. If it's a device and it's mobile you can fit it in here. Apple makes a number of these devices so why can't that say they're a big player in that department?

You're trying to disprove Steve/Apple's claim not by fact, but by some semi-official definition.


You're being pedantic. Laptops are general purpose computers. Portable, yes, but general purpose computers.

Mobile devices are special purpose computers, they represent a subset of what general purpose computers do. That's why the analysts and media segment them as such.

As someone who reads a considerable amount of tech media, as well as works with analyst reports from companies like NPD, I have never seen laptops categorized as mobile devices until Jobs decided to have his way.

If Nokia turned around and claimed sell among the highest number of computers in the world, would you accept that as valid simply because a mobile phone comprises a CPU, memory and an OS? Because, you know, technically they'd be right.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

If Nokia turned around and claimed sell among the highest number of computers in the world, would you accept that as valid simply because a mobile phone comprises a CPU, memory and an OS? Because, you know, technically they'd be right.


Hadn't even thought of that. Brilliant argument.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Chaos_One Member since:
2005-07-18

So an iPhone isn't a mobile device either, as they are closer to general purpose than to special purpose and a mobile device isn't a device that is mobile, but it's a device that has a single purpose. Wicked.

Reply Parent Score: 1

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

So an iPhone isn't a mobile device either, as they are closer to general purpose than to special purpose and a mobile device isn't a device that is mobile, but it's a device that has a single purpose. Wicked.


Again, that's not only pedantic, it's not even an accurate interpretation of what I said. First of all, I never said that a mobile device had a single purpose, I said it was a special purpose device compared to a generic PC, representing a subset of the functionality you can achieve with a PC. Second, I never said the iPhone was closer to a PC than being a mobile phone.

If you're going to really drag this out, then use this simple acid test: would the iPhone be an acceptable replacement for a laptop for the majority of laptop users? Would a laptop with an GSM card be an acceptable replacement for an iPhone for the majority of iPhone users? I think a reasonable person would answer no, because they are different types of products.

I'll admit the lines are blurring, but we're hardly at the point where we can consider a mobile phone to be the equivalent of a laptop. Would you categorize an iPad or iPhone to be the equivalent of a flat panel TV? They're both capable of displaying video, and higher end TVs are starting to come with built in web-browsing etc., but they aim at entirely different markets due to their entirely different primary purposes.

The fact that they have some overlap in functionality doesn't make them functionally equivalent overall.

You really think otherwise?

Reply Parent Score: 3

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

If Nokia turned around and claimed sell among the highest number of computers in the world, would you accept that as valid simply because a mobile phone comprises a CPU, memory and an OS? Because, you know, technically they'd be right.


I was curious about a similar question: if lap-tops are now "mobile devices", is there another vendor - like Acer or Dell or whoever - who's sold more lap-tops than Apple has sold lap-tops and iPhones, and could therefore be the "largest supplier of mobile devices in the world?"

Reply Parent Score: 2