They say that in war one of the first casualties is information, so there’s also a battle going on between fact and fiction. A few headlines caught my eye this week that describe the battle and the players and the problem with accurate information and the need for insightful analysis.
Need More Power!
Tim Beyers of The Motley Fool claims Apple’s new MacBook Air, which tops out at 8GB of RAM, should really have 32GB or even 64GB.
Why? Because of cloud computing services like Amazon which has 158,000 computers in its web hosting service.
Say what? Yes, supposedly all those cloud apps which run in browser windows need more RAM than native apps, and that somehow the future of computing is that most apps on most devices will reside in the cloud.
Maybe Google would like to see that happen but there’s not much else that indicates it’s a trend. In fact, the opposite appears to be the case. Apps are being sold in ever greater numbers.
ABI Research just announced that the mobile app market will be worth about $27-billion in 2013, with two-thirds of that amount going to Apple for iPhone and iPad. In other words, there’s money to be made in native apps, and Apple makes most of it.
That trend also indicates that Google isn’t married completely to the apps-in-the-cloud dogma, and will do whatever is necessary to cull personal information from smartphone and tablet users, regardless of platform.
I’m not saying that a MacBook Air (or, even an iPhone or iPad) that has 32GB of RAM wouldn’t be nice to have, but at what cost? And, how would that make native apps perform vs. cloud-based apps in a browser window?
What’s interesting about market research is how wrong it usually is, and how little accountability exists following an obvious train wreck prognostication. ABI says tablet users will buy more apps than smartphone users in the near future, and pay more for the apps. Why? The larger screen justifies the price differential.
Is that a guess? Or, is there data which outlines the trend?
Data says there are more apps available for Android device users, yet apps for Apple devices make up the lion’s share of revenue and profits. In other words, iPhone and iPad users buy and use their apps, while Android device users tend to like free downloads.
Regardless, the future of mobile devices is clearly mobile apps, and right now those apps perform better in every way as native apps. When cloud-based applications can compete with the speed and capability of a native app, we’ll begin to see a shift in buyer sentiment. For now, there’s not much of a shift taking place.
If anything, cloud-based applications remain rooted in backend services which often require a dedicated native app which lives on the device. Both Tim Beyer’s analysis on RAM and cloud apps, and ABI’s research seems more like a hope that Wiley Coyote will one day catch up to the RoadRunner.