AAPL > MSFT

It was bound to be again as it was prior to 1990.

Apple’s Market Capitalization is once again greater than Microsoft’s.

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Ballmer: No plans for WP7 in tablets

We’re focused on putting Windows Phone 7 in phones, no plans for tablets.

Ballmer: No plans for WP7 in tablets? | WMExperts.

Keep pining for those fjords.

Dell Streak Phone

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Would you buy this?

The reason Robbie Bach was fired

Vague justifications about under-performance of Windows Mobile or cancelled Courier miss the whole point.  The chronic problems with Microsoft’s consumer businesses cited as causes for dismissal have roots in core processes and priorities which management changes will not address.  The failure of Zune was evident long ago. Windows Mobile has not been competitive with RIM for years, and failed to take significant share from Symbian, never mind iPhone. Tablets were the responsibility of the Windows team.  Kin is a rogue project based on a bone-headed acquisition. From a P/L point of view, Entertainment was mostly Xbox, which although deep in the hole over its lifetime, was starting to break even.

No, the reason I believe Bach lost his head is that HP bought Palm.

Bach lost a key account; in fact, he could be responsible for having lost the biggest account that Microsoft ever had.  Ballmer is a sales guy and he knows the importance of these relationships.  A customer like HP must be managed carefully and their strategy must be steered to fit with yours.  If HP felt they needed to go somewhere else for their mobile OS, it’s a slap in the face, but if they buy the asset and IP and internalize a competing platform, then that is a dagger to the heart for Ballmer.

Consider Google’s seduction of Dell. Microsoft can tolerate Dell’s affairs (Dell even fooled around with Linux back in the day.) But in contrast, HP is effectively filing for divorce.

The blow could not have been more obvious and more cruel.

Apple’s R&D Efficiency

In fact it’s rumored that Apple brought the iPhone to market for a mere $150 million, doing so organically without acquisition outside of a touch gesture recognition company named FingerWorks.

This begs the question: how in the world did Apple grow the iPhone platform organically from zero into the most profitable cell phone business in the world with so little investment?

via Apple’s Incredible Efficient Growth.

Apple has always spent below the industry average for R&D.

Here are Apple’s trailing 9 quarters R&D as percent of sales:

3.42% 3.86% 2.59% 2.65% 3.51% 3.50% 2.93% 2.54% 3.16%

Nokia spends at least 10% of sales on R&D and Microsoft at least that much.

But these numbers are not as spectacular as the comment above that iPhone development cost was $150 million.  To date, the product has generated $31.4B in sales.

As the article points out, Apple spent $4.6B on R&D over the past four years and Microsoft spent 7x that or $31 billion. Cisco and Intel spent 4x.

Instant messaging: AFK

In 2007, 14% of Britons’ online time was spent on IM, according to the UK Online Measurement company – but that has fallen to just 5%, the firm says, basing its findings on the habits of a panel of 40,000 computer users.

The study was released shortly after AOL sold its ICQ instant messaging service $187.5m (£124m) – less than half what the company paid for it in 1998.

And in September 2009, a survey of internet use by the New York-based Online Publishers Association found that the amount of time spent by surfers on traditional communications tools, including IM and e-mail, had declined by 8% since 2003.

via BBC News – Instant messaging: This conversation is terminated.

In other news today Yahoo and Nokia announced a worldwide partnership. Yahoo will provide e-mail and chat services on Nokia phones. The services will be co-branded.

OMG LOL.

Does iPhone really have 72% of Japanese smartphone market?

MM Research does not count Symbian as a smartphone platform. This makes them inconsistent with any other analyst for counting smartphones.  So shouldn’t Symbian be included?

In a comment to iPhone has 72% of Japanese smartphone market | Asymco it’s been pointed out that 12 million Symbian sold in the same time frame as Apple sold 1.7 million phones in Japan.

It would seem then that the correct market share for iPhone would be 12%, with Symbian having 83% and “others” having less than 5%.

However

Symbian in Japan is not the same thing as Symbian elsewhere.  Symbian in Japan is used as a low level OS by Fujitsu, Sony Ericsson Japan, Mitsubishi, Sharp and others to provide devices running the MOAP(Symbian) software platform.  MOAP (Mobile Oriented Applications Platform) is the software platform for NTT DoCoMo’s FOMA (Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access) service.

Unlike Series 60 and UIQ MOAP(Symbian) is not a open development platform.

MOAP is also supported by Linux with Panasonic and NEC using it in something called MOAP(Linux).

MOAP(Linux) is also not an open development platform.

So the “72% share for iPhone” in Japan must be stated with this important caveat: that Symbian and Linux are not included because, due to not having exposed APIs, they are classified as feature phone platforms.