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  (Source: Reuters)

Apple's sales plunge: January '08 thru February '09
Apple is stuck in recession purgatory

It’s been a fast paced start to the year for Apple.  The electronics superpower has rolled out a new laptop, new desktops, and even a new iPod Shuffle -- priced for the recession at $79.  However, what would normally make for another record setting start of the year for Apple is fast turning south as fears of the recession has sent customers fleeing from Apple's pricey luxury lineup.

After seeing its sales growth surpassed by PCs for the first time in months in January, the latest figures show that February was far worse for Apple.  The NPD Group has released its sales figures for the month and they are worse than even Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster's pessimistic forecast.

Both iPod and Mac sales were down 16 percent year-to-year.  The worst predicted by analysts was around a 4 percent drop.  Analysts were somewhat predicting the drop as last February was a particularly good month for Apple, and Apple only released its new desktops and iPod in March.

Munster's new predictions place total iPod sales for the quarter ending in March at around 9 to 10 million units.  He predicts that 2 to 2.2 million Mac computers will ship in the same period.  The Street is predicting 9.5 million iPods.  These figures are not significantly worse than last year, and represent analyst optimism that Apple's new products will lead to a strong March.

Thus, the real test for Apple will be how its sales have fared at the end of March.  While January was a letdown and February was undeniably downward trending for Apple, a strong March could salvage an otherwise rocky quarter.

One potential ace in Apple's sleeve is the announcement of the iPhone OS version 3.0 later today.  No one knows quite when Apple will release the new OS, but many are speculating wildly, including guessing at new hardware (every past x.0 release has been accompanied by new hardware).  Big news could stave off the Wall Street wolves for a little while, even if Apple's sales disappoint.



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RE: maybe, just maybe...
By michael2k on 3/17/2009 12:49:49 PM , Rating: 1
5% of the software?

Didn't you hear they switched to Intel? That they can/do run Windows, natively and in VM?

More like 99% of the software, and now PCs only run 90% of the software.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By omnicronx on 3/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: maybe, just maybe...
By michael2k on 3/17/2009 7:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I don't, but you can if you want.

Feel free to eBay your system.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By consumerwhore on 3/17/2009 1:55:52 PM , Rating: 3
Uh... So after buying an overpriced laptop, I have to fork out more money for virtualization software and a (non-OEM) copy Windows?

No thanks.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By afkrotch on 3/17/2009 3:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
Thinking PC owners don't care about that 10% of software. If they did, they wouldn't be PC owners.

Also what's so good about a Mac if you have it running Windows? Wasn't the point of getting a Mac to run OSX? Or you going to tell me the reason you bought a Mac was because it was shiny and pretty? Sure as hell wasn't because of it's price.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By michael2k on 3/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: maybe, just maybe...
By retrospooty on 3/17/2009 7:30:19 PM , Rating: 3
" The choice was always between getting something done, or configuring your system and software to work. With two kids, it's much easier to pay an extra 15% than to eke out an extra 10 hours to get everything working. "

If that is your case, all it means is you dont know much about Windows. Its super easy. I am sure Mac is easier for you, because you are used to it.

Both OS's are just fine, and do almost everything that almost everyone needs them to do. It really comes down to preference. Neither is better or worse. PC is better for Games and Business apps. Mac has some good aspects as well. Both also have bad points.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By michael2k on 3/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Felofasofa on 3/17/2009 9:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's not my contention.

You contend that buying a Mac allows for better iparenting, as all us PC guys are mired in problems trying to edit and burn DVD's and neglect our kids.
It's tosh at it's thickest, reeking of ismugness, and insulting to zillions of PC users who get far more out PC's than your light-weight icrap suite allows for. Besides my soon to be teenage son would kill me if I got rid of his PC and got him a Mac. "Play Crysis on this thing son" WTF?


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/17/09, Rating: -1
RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Felofasofa on 3/17/2009 9:45:05 PM , Rating: 2
He's got an Xbox as well, which he likes, but I'm careful in how much screen based entertainment I allow. Sport is his priority which is good. I find getting him to read novels is the hardest.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/17/2009 10:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
Just Crysis? WTF are you talking about? Crysis wasn't even all that great, and it's over a year old now, so I have no idea why you picked that as your example... Wait, yes I do know why -- it's because you are incapable of presenting a worthwhile argument that is based in reality and supported with factual evidence.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/17/2009 10:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
*meant to say 'sole example'


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/17/2009 11:06:45 PM , Rating: 1
Crysis was my sole example because it was the last big budget blockbuster PC exclusive FPS in history of gaming.

After Crysis is gone there's not much sense to buy gaming PC - everything major and/or big budget is multiplatform or console-only these days.

Unless you're a WoW-type fan of course and hence don't require flashy graphics, any decent onboard AMD GPU will render WoW-type crappy 3D just like that.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/18/2009 10:10:00 AM , Rating: 2
Who cares if new games are multiplatform as long as they are fun? Your comment about "not much sense" in PC gaming is purely subjective. Maybe for you that is the case, but as you have demonstrated time and again, you are not demonstrative of typical users.

Here's a different perspective. Personally, I can't stand Sony's controller layout, and I greatly prefer Microsoft's gamepad. I also can't stand Sony in general, so I won't be buying one of their consoles any time soon. The Wii has terrible graphics and few games that interest me. That leaves the 360, and though I admittedly do want one, I really don't need it. I mostly play FPS games, and a gamepad is not suited to that genre. PC also has the benefit of better graphics.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By retrospooty on 3/18/2009 11:27:38 AM , Rating: 2
"After Crysis is gone there's not much sense to buy gaming PC - everything major and/or big budget is multiplatform or console-only these days."

Spoken from someone that is obviously not a PC gamer. Games on PC are still the best. Better graphics, better resolution, better mods, better control. Nothing can match a keyboard and mouse for full range motion and pinpoint accuracy in a 3d shooter or FPS.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Whaaambulance on 3/18/2009 11:37:33 AM , Rating: 2
Rest assured, Pirks will always chime in with his biased, opinionated answers backed with zero knowledge. I like how as soon as Pirks makes a post, he is already rated down to -1.

Justice.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 2:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I like how as soon as Pirks makes a post, he is already rated down to -1
And I like how Whaaambulance continues lying again and again, his clownish performance entertains me every morning. Thanks Whaaa :P


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 1:45:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Better graphics
Nope, no progress in graphics since Crysis release. Sad but true. Until I see another big budget PC exclusive that pushes rendering ABOVE what the Crysis showed us - I'll stay by my opinion. Where's Crysis 2? Nowhere to be found. Why? Because Crytek is busy porting their stuff to consoles, trying to compensate for their massive losses due to PC piracy. Make your own conclusions out of it, I don't care and I won't persuade you.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/18/2009 2:26:52 PM , Rating: 3
Clearly you either have not looked at image quality comparisons or have chosen to ignore them. Here's one of many:
http://www.gamespot.com/features/6202552/index.htm...

The fact that PC games haven't really surpassed Crysis for image quality yet is irrelevant if consoles haven't even reached that level. You're talking about higher image quality from newer rendering engines and game content, but the problem is that the consoles fall short on antialiasing and various filter and shader effects. That's the cost of having a 3-generation-old GPU.

There's nothing to persuade here. You are wrong, plain and simple.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 3:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're talking about higher image quality from newer rendering engines and game content, but the problem is that the consoles fall short on antialiasing and various filter and shader effects.
Who cares about those few un-antialiased pixels on screen if console is MUCH MUCH cheaper than a gaming PC? For most people it's pretty idiotic affair to pay extra grand just to get a few better looking pixels on screen. NOT. EVEN. FUNNY.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/18/2009 3:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
LOL. How very typical of you: argue one thing, then as soon as you are proven wrong, say that it doesn't matter.

First of all, way to try and minimalize the difference by saying 'just a few pixels.' Some graphical elements, such as the trees in Fallout3, look downright terrible on the consoles, and that comes down to more than just a few pixels. Secondly, Judging by the popularity of 8800/9800 and 4700 series graphics cards, I would say that quite a few people care. Third, you are completely ignoring the fact that a PC does way more things than a console, and if you are going to buy a new PC anyway, why not spend several $100 more to make it a decent gamer? Also, you are inflating the cost of a gaming rig (shame on you). You can build a very solid gamer for $700-$1000, which unless a console costs zero or negative dollars, is not an extra grand.

In summary, you fail.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 3:49:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
the trees in Fallout3 look downright terrible on the consoles
Didn't notice that on those screenshots from your link.
quote:
Judging by the popularity of 8800/9800 and 4700 series graphics cards...
...people prefer to invest their money in expensive GPUs instead of games, hence the piracy and exodus of gaming studios to the console or cross platform side due to this piracy. No amount of marketing money from AMD or nVidia will change that, unfortunately.
quote:
why not spend several $100 more to make it a decent gamer?
Why not spend less than that and get more great big budget games like GeoW 2 or Uncharted by buying a console?

In summary, you're blind.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/18/2009 4:05:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Didn't notice that on those screenshots from your link.

You can call me blind (metaphorically) all you want, but if this is true then you literally do have vision problems. Your right to judge aesthetics (ahem, Apple) is hereby revoked.

quote:
...people prefer to invest their money in expensive GPUs instead of games, hence the piracy and exodus of gaming studios to the console or cross platform side due to this piracy. No amount of marketing money from AMD or nVidia will change that, unfortunately.

Shifting the argument away from you failure again, lovely.

quote:
Why not spend less than that and get more great big budget games like GeoW 2 or Uncharted by buying a console?

You missed the point, as usual. If you are in the market for a new computer and you don't own a console, then the cost to boost your purchase to a decent gaming rig is the same as what it would cost to get a console in addition to the computer. And again, you're ignoring the fact that there are lots of great games for PC. You're also ignoring the fact that games are frequently discounted on Steam, while consolse games are generally more expensive because they have to make back their losses on the hardware.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 4:30:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you are in the market for a new computer and you don't own a console, then the cost to boost your purchase to a decent gaming rig is the same as what it would cost to get a console in addition to the computer.
That's only if you hand build your computer which is very rare case in general. So your arguments are not applicable to the general public. Unfortunately far from all games are on Steam (where's new Riddick game, Assault on Dark Athena? not on Steam! oh nooooeesss, Ronald Hubbs just told me it MUST be on Steam!) so this is moot too. And you are ignoring the fact that almost all these great games on PC are multiplatform so they exist on consoles, which negates a reason to buy a gaming PC.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/18/2009 4:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's only if you hand build your computer which is very rare case in general. So your arguments are not applicable to the general public. Unfortunately far from all games are on Steam (where's new Riddick game, Assault on Dark Athena? not on Steam! oh nooooeesss, Ronald Hubbs just told me it MUST be on Steam!) so this is moot too. And you are ignoring the fact that almost all these great games on PC are multiplatform so they exist on consoles, which negates a reason to buy a gaming PC.

You continue to fumble around the issue (I almost said dance around, but then realized that it would imply a level of gracefulness, of which you have seem to have none). I never said that Steam has all games, I simply said that the games it does have are frequently discounted. The fact that digital distribution is growing means that sales will become more common as competitors to Steam inevitably arise. Also, while you get the best deal by hand-building, it is not required in order to get a gaming rig for under $1K. Perhaps you should look into these things before you comment.

By the way, have you given Scientology any serious thought? You seem like prime candidate.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 5:17:14 PM , Rating: 2
Gaming rig "for under $1k" is still significantly more expensive than Xbox 360 or a Wii, so this changes nothing.

When and only when digital distribution is everywhere you start telling me your fairy tales about Steam, but not now.

Now the situation is pretty different - I can't find some games I want in digital form, they're sold as packaged goods only.

Why should I care about your Steam argument about "old PC games being discounted" when the old console games are also discounted? You miss the basic logic here.

quote:
have you given Scientology any serious thought?
Ah, this is where your nick comes from ;)))


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/19/2009 12:08:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gaming rig "for under $1k" is still significantly more expensive than Xbox 360 or a Wii, so this changes nothing.

Changes nothing? You claimed that a gaming PC was a grand more expensive than a console. You were wrong, as usual.

quote:
When and only when digital distribution is everywhere you start telling me your fairy tales about Steam, but not now.

Steam isn't a fairy tale. It exists now, and has existed for several years. And Steam isn't the only game download service.

quote:
Now the situation is pretty different - I can't find some games I want in digital form, they're sold as packaged goods only.

Again, I never claimed that Steam has everything. But let's look at some packaged goods prices. What do you suppose is the going rate for some recent games on each platform?
http://www.ebgames.com/browse/search.aspx?N=0&Ntk=...
http://www.ebgames.com/browse/search.aspx?N=0&Ntk=...
http://www.ebgames.com/browse/search.aspx?N=0&Ntk=...
http://www.ebgames.com/browse/search.aspx?N=0&Ntk=...
You can feel free to look up other games, but the overall result is the same. Console games cost more than PC games because they need to make up for their losses on the hardware.

quote:
Why should I care about your Steam argument about "old PC games being discounted" when the old console games are also discounted? You miss the basic logic here.

No, you fail at reading. Where did you get the word "old" from? It isn't from any of my comments, so next time you use quotes, how about actually copying what I said into them. But we can talk about 'old' games too if you want. How cheap can you find a new copy of Bioshock for the PS3 or 360? I got it for $5 on Steam a couple months ago.

Clearly you don't use Steam or you would know that games often launch at a discounted prices and that every few weeks they put large portions of the their catalog on sale. This isn't just for old games, it also includes new ones.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Sazar on 3/20/2009 2:10:31 PM , Rating: 2
Not really.

You can't do anything with a gaming console.

You will likely need to buy or own a display, so that has to be factored into the cost and also will likely have to buy or own a decent sound system.

Not a necessity but it is part of the total cost of ownership of a console. A self-contained gaming system for a PC is cheaper than a self-contained gaming console. It's actually common sense.

With regards to the Steam Distribution system, this is a lot like Xbox Live is attempting to be, but Steam is far more useful in what it offers, all around and has a very large reach and massive installed user base. And, it is FREE, unlike Xbox Live.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By retrospooty on 3/18/2009 6:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
"For most people it's pretty idiotic affair to pay extra grand just to get a few better looking pixels on screen. NOT. EVEN. FUNNY. "

You are clueless on this. Just because a game isn't PC only, doesnt mean its not a great PC game. Most games today are written for all platforms - this doesn't make PC any better or worse. Just because You aren't a PC gamer doesn't mean its not a great platform... Just like because I don't personally like the Mac OS, doesn't make it a bad platform.

And a gaming PC is more than just a game cosole - its also a PC. You purchase a low and PC and a console. For the same price, I have both in one, and faster. It's not any more expensive... Clueless.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 6:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
For the same price, I have both in one, and faster
But with less games :P
quote:
Most games today are written for all platforms - this doesn't make PC any better or worse.
No, I didn't mean PC is better or worse, I meant just this: gaming PC is just too expensive for most people for very little return on investment. It wasn't true when big budget blockbuster PC exclusives like Crysis were developed regularly, but since these are gone forever, gaming PC lost its status and became a niche machine. Doesn't mean it's worse of course.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By retrospooty on 3/18/2009 7:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
"gaming PC is just too expensive for most people "

Like I said - the cost of a low end PC + a console is about the same as a good gaming PC

" gaming PC lost its status and became a niche machine."

Right... This is why Nvidia is filthy rich and ATI is keeping AMD afloat. In a world of cheap computers with built in video cards, they sure sell an aweful lot of video cards - even in this tight economy.

Again, clueless. Just stop - your embarrasing yourself.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 7:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Like I said - the cost of a low end PC + a console is about the same as a good gaming PC
Like I said - you're gonna miss a lot of great games if you go the PC only route. That's plain stupid path for most people, i.e. all those who aren't tech literate. From their point of view missing great big budget games while not saving any money is _dumb_.
quote:
This is why Nvidia is filthy rich and ATI is keeping AMD afloat. In a world of cheap computers with built in video cards, they sure sell an aweful lot of video cards - even in this tight economy
By the way Apple is filthy rich for EXACTLY the same reason - niche "elite" high margin goods for a little group of buyers with lotsa extra dough are goood for bottom line, ya know ;-) Apple's and nVidia's experience proves this point, now doesn't it?


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/19/2009 12:11:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Again, clueless. Just stop - your embarrasing yourself.

I hope to hell that he's just a troll, because if he is serious about any of the things he posts then he is one of the most horrifically obtuse individuals I have ever encountered.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 3:22:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
http://www.gamespot.com/features/6202552/index.htm...

"I really need a console though, as I can't afford a high-end pc. I don't get everything handed to me by my parents so that is in the future. That is where consoles beat it out, with its dirt cheap price."

See, it never hurts to read your own links, eh? ;)
*LOLzzz* :))))


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/18/2009 3:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
Using anonymous user comments as supposed backing for your argument? That's pretty lame, even for you.

And by the way, it's called a job. If you work hard and get one that pays well, then you can afford to pay a bit extra for better quality. For someone who continually defends Apple's overpriced garbage, you of all people should be able to understand that (though in this case you actually get something for the cost premium). And the comment about parents buying things for you is just stupid because most gamers are adults, if you bother to check recent gaming statistics.

And what was that line of yours, something about: "who are you to judge how someone spends their money? let's see your credentials please." Hypocrite.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Pirks on 3/18/2009 3:58:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And by the way, it's called a job. If you work hard and get one that pays well, then you can afford to pay a bit extra for better quality.
That's a good argument, and it explains why PCs are relegated to a niche status of expensive "elite" gaming machines with the ocean of cheapo consoles surrounding them these days. A few people who can afford expensive gaming PC buy it, the rest, the masses - they just buy cheapo consoles like Xbox 360.
quote:
who are you to judge how someone spends their money?
I'm not judging how someone spends their money, idiot. I'm just saying that gaming PCs have moved to the expensive "elite" niche, leaving "cheapo machine for masses" status to Xbox 360 and Wii. I DON'T CARE HOW PEOPLE SPEND THEIR MONEY. Is that clear?


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/18/2009 4:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Pirks: For most people it's pretty idiotic affair to pay extra grand just to get a few better looking pixels on screen. NOT. EVEN. FUNNY.

quote:
Pirks: I'm not judging how someone spends their money

You lie, as usual. Fail.

quote:
A few people who can afford expensive gaming PC buy it, the rest, the masses - they just buy cheapo consoles like Xbox 360.

Fail. This has already been addressed and you are still spewing the same BS.

quote:
I DON'T CARE HOW PEOPLE SPEND THEIR MONEY. Is that clear?

No, it isn't clear at all. You flop around more than John Kerry.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By michael2k on 3/18/2009 12:38:54 AM , Rating: 2
What are you talking about?

I'm not insulting you for buying a PC. I'm saying the time it takes to learn a PC vs learn a Mac I would rather spend taking my kid to the playground or something. Are you trying to argue that using PC software is as easy as using equivalent Mac software? I use PC software at work, and it definitely isn't as easy!

I don't know why you even bring up zillions of PC users. My tech support emails tells me zillions of PC users don't actually know how to use their PCs and should probably use a Mac instead.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By Felofasofa on 3/18/2009 5:33:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
where do I have the time to figure out how to bend Picasa (a free app even) to my Will?

Seriously if you can't figure out a basic Image editor like Picasso then sterilization would be best for you.
quote:
Or figure out how to use Google Pages or Sites?
You can't figure out Google? See above.

Learning a real app like Maya is almost identical on both platforms as would almost anything beyond utility software.
quote:
My tech support emails

You're involved in Tech support? God help us


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By michael2k on 3/18/2009 11:35:44 AM , Rating: 2
I figured it out, you can't read. I say "Google Sites" and you see "Google Search". I say "bend to my will", and you "figure out".

I use more than "basic" stuff. The difference between Apple and other software is that most software makes basic things easy. Apple makes hard things easy.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By LRonaldHubbs on 3/18/2009 9:25:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you trying to argue that using PC software is as easy as using equivalent Mac software? I use PC software at work, and it definitely isn't as easy!

Your claim is worthless without specific examples.

I can just as easily say "I had to use Macs at school from grades 1-12 and they suck." That statement, while true to my experience, is just as worthless as the statement that you have given.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By retrospooty on 3/17/2009 6:55:34 PM , Rating: 3
"Didn't you hear they switched to Intel? That they can/do run Windows, natively and in VM?"

Yes, we all know the superior Mac OS. Its so superior that it needed to be made to allow you to run Windows on it so you can have a full featured machine.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By gabacus on 3/17/09, Rating: 0
RE: maybe, just maybe...
By retrospooty on 3/18/2009 10:04:37 AM , Rating: 2
OK, take your Mac to work at your average company, and try to run business apps on it and see your massive failure... Then take it home and try to run any of the latest games released in the past 4 years... You cant - it cant.

it's not that Mac OS isnt capable, it is, but business apps and games arent written for it, and wont ever be. it will never get much more than the current 9% marketshare... and therefore games and business apps will never be developed for it. It is now, and will always be a niche market.


RE: maybe, just maybe...
By gabacus on 3/18/2009 7:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
i agree with what you are saying there. mac just doesnt fit in the corporate world. the software just isnt written for it and you are right, it never will be. as a personal computer however it is a gem. for doing stuff at home like managing your music, photos and family movies, mac offers a very simple integrated solution that is a pleasure to use. sure a win pc is capable of doing the same thing, but it just doesnt.

mac do fall short on gaming. this is something apple has tried to deal with but failed. halo was originally a mac game that was taken over by ms and given to the xbox. and while i agree that real gaming can only be enjoyed on a pc, a console offers an simple solution for the average person.

oh, and i think the 9% marketshare will grow for apple. it will never get to equal footing with pc's but there is still a lot of potential for growth. there are people out there that are starting to realise there is another option. a windows computer is not the only computer available and the move to mac isnt as scary as people think. i have seen people who have made the transition and they will not go back.


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