A sense of perspective
In the great scheme of things, whether one company sells a few more gadgets than another doesn't really matter, as the populations of Libya and Japan would be especially well qualified to argue right now.
But an increasing number of people and companies have bet the farm on succeeding in the mobile market and, looking around this site and the rest of HEXUS this week, they've all got a hell of a fight on their hands.
What made me think this first was reading Scott's warning to AMD that it's better off out of the tablet market. I don't want to bang on about Apple again, but that company is seriously calling the shots right now.
The mad thing is that everyone's gone from saying how great Android Honeycomb tablets are going to be, to saying they're crap. What changed? The iPad 2 that's what. And that's fair enough; Apple totally blind-sided everyone with the new hovercraft feature... No, of course it didn't, it launched exactly the product everyone thought it would, but maybe a bit thinner.
There's some serious mind control going on here. Check out this Reuters video below taken at the London launch of the iPad 2. Right at the beginning, when it shows Steve Jobs announcing the product, there's clapping. Now you might be thinking fair enough, but this was a press event, and the people in attendance are supposed to be objective commentators.
Then the clip goes onto a couple of blokes saying what a surprise it was that Jobs turned up, before it goes to some consultant who says the old iPad was too heavy, but everything's cool now because the new one is really light. The thing is, the new one is lighter, but only by about 11 percent. Surely that's not enough to make such a big difference.
Also, notice how the Reuters bloke calls it ‘iPad', rather than ‘the iPad', as if it's a person or a concept rather than a thing. That's straight out of the Apple marketing handbook, together with white backgrounds, acoustic guitar, the letter ‘i', and maddening superciliousness.
But with the assumption that people are going to spend more of their time online on mobile devices rather than on PCs, the stakes are high for everyone. NVIDIA's done nothing wrong but it's having its shares spanked anyway, meanwhile I read that Microsoft is paying Nokia to use WP7. Isn't it supposed to be the other way round? If not then Microsoft owes me a pile of cash for using Windows all these years. And as ever the bad guys aren't far behind.
The thing is, everyone who talks about technology, whether they're bloggers, journalists, analysts, or whatever, lives in the moment. Every new thing is an incredibly big deal until the next big thing comes along, which usually takes a couple of minutes. At the same time anything that has been around for a day or two is hopelessly obsolete.
But reality didn't get the memo. The paperless office? No more shops? Robots doing all the work? This isn't the Jetsons guys. What we're seeing is more like the dotcom bubble 10-15 years ago, when everyone knew it would be huge, but not how. Apple's the big Daddy right now, but the mobile Internet land-grab is going to take a long time to play out. In the meantime the world will keep on spinning, warts and all.