Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Last (Last) Post On These Topics

I could get away from this if you guys would stop sending in such damned interesting e-mail.

First off, Chris Kohler had an excellent comment about Gamestop's use of gutting new game cases to reduce theft:
If gutting games is solely done to reduce theft, why not just print up dummy cases for each game in the store?

In Japan, the stores put out empty dummy cases for every single game. They never, ever open a package.

I think that's Occam's Razor for this discussion. It would actually save Gamestop employees time if they could just put out a dummy case and NOT gut all the new product--just keep it behind the counter intact.

As to why Gamestop would be doing it the difficult way instead of the easy way, draw your own conclusions. I know I have.

Okay, moving on to Androis versus iOS. I'm using this next excerpt anonymously, but the e-mail brings up an excellent point:
I work on a reasonably major mobile website in [redacted], and while our numbers are obviously specific to our territory and user base, they don't really paint Android and iOS as direct competitors. We do get massively more iOS use than Android, but we're seeing rapid Android growth-- for low-end devices. An increasing number of $100-outright devices are running Android, displacing "feature phones".

Android's winning handily in the space of devices you can pick up in a supermarket, because iOS doesn't even exist there. While that's certain to be a huge long-term boon for the OS (that market segment is big and never going to go away), from a developer point-of-view it makes an iOS vs Android comparison nonsensical. In terms of what you can deliver to the user, fully-specced Androids have more in common with iOS than their cheap siblings; "Android" isn't a coherent development target.

So I tend to see the buzz around iPhone vs Galaxy S2 and its ilk as being a bit of a distraction from all the manufacturers of budget phones quietly switching to Android. The question there will be at what point will the cheapest, most terrible piece of hardware shipping with Android be good enough to run a decent chunk of javascript or most apps acceptably? The ones walking out of supermarkets right now really aren't.

Well, that was a gigantic plate of context in one meal.

And now, these two topics are closed. They will remain hidden until, at some unspecified point in the distant future, they emerge from their dark lairs.

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