Monthly Archives: October 2011

The hidden truth behind the iPhone 4s Sales

The last couple of days, everyone I know of and anything I read on the internet is about “how great the iPhone 4s sales are”. People are taking a number of “4 million iPhones sold” and make it look like this is a huge number compared to the sales of the iPhone 4, implying some sort of improvement on apple’s side, getting peopple even more interested in it’s phone. However, people forget that it is so easy to lie or to fool with statistics and that, in economics (and any science for that matter) you can only compare numbers “everything else being equal” and that’s just what I’m going to do here.

There are multiple factors we should take into account to really compare the launch sales of the iPhone 4 and those of the iPhone 4s :

  1. The growth of the smartphone market
    The smartphone market grew by between 50% and 70% from mid 2010 to mid 2011. For the two launches to be compared, this has to be taken into account (there are more people interested in smartphones in general, making it a lot easier to sell them). This number becomes even more impressive if you combine it with point 2 -> it didn’t take a year, but 16 months to get the new iPhone 4s, so the smartphone market grew between 66.5% and 93.1% in that time.
  2. The gap between the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4s
    When the iPhone 4 came out, it was 1 year after the iPhone 3s. The iPhone 4s, however, came out 16 months after the iPhone 4. This means that 33% more people came to a natural end of their 2 year contract. These are people that naturally waited for the new iPhone to come out before signing a new contract.
  3. The countries in which the phone was available on launch
    The iPhone 4 was only available in Britain, France, Germany, Japan and the U.S. upon launch. This is a total population of 641M people. The iPhone 4s, however, was available in the same countries plus Canada and Australia, adding another 56M people (8.7% more)

Now that we have all of those factors that have nothing to do with the iPhone 4s itself, we can go ahead to really compare it’s sales with the iPhone 4.

  • Sales of the iPhone 4 on launch (first weekend) : 1.7M
  • Taking into account factor 1 (smartphone growth) the sales, if they were to be kept equally popular, should be : 1.7 * 1.665 (I am playing it safe here, going with the smallest estimate) = 2.83M
  • Taking into account factor 2, the additional people with a new contract to sign : 2.83M * 1.33 = 3.76M
  • Taking into account factor 3, the additional people available due to the fact the phone got launched in more countries : 3.76M * 1.087 = 4.09M

This means that, if you factor in all the external developments of the smartphone market development, the iPhone 4s sales were actually less then what they would be if the iPhone 4s was as big a success as it’s predecessor. By taking into account all of these factors, we can easily define that the iPhone 4s was definitely less of a success then the iPhone 4 on it’s launch and that is without waiting to see what the sales numbers are in the first months. If the pre-orders are this much, but people are not buying them directly in the stores anymore, the total sales might be even worse…

I really don’t get why nobody has taken the time to actually analyse these numbers and blindly take the fact that “the iPhone 4s was such a success, it sold more then doubled the iPhone 4 sales”… Yes, it’s mathematically true, but economically, the picture is a very different one…

Sources :

Ubuntu Broadcom Wireless problem (specifically with Samsung 900x3a)

I have had quite some problems with my Samsung 900x3a and it’s wireless adapter. For some reason, it showed up the wireless connections fine, but it wouldn’t connect to encrypted networks. Sometimes, if I tried a couple of times, it would suddenly manage to go through. However, I now have a solution which seems better (not perfect, but  better) which was mentioned on the Ubuntu help pages : switch off and back on your wireless card !

I had tried everything from uninstalling, re-installing the proprietary driver, downloading a new version, etc. but this simple solution did it in the end…

This helps me get around the problems and everything is working now. Hope this helps someone else out that is having the same problem I was :).

Edit : I just found out another thing that was a problem for me : IPv6 ! For some reason I couldn’t figure out, my laptop would now connect to every network, except for my home wifi (BT Home Hub). By going to Network Manager -> IPv6 Settings and selecting “Ignore”, I have NO MORE WIRELESS PROBLEMS :).

Joomla permissions fix script

As I’m doing quite some Joomla development, I wrote this small script that could be used for multiple purposes. It takes 1 parameter which is the directory of your joomla installation (I restrained it within the “/var/www/” directory, as a precaution, but you can get rid of this) and  then goes through folders and files to change their permissions. Hope it’s useful to someone :

#! /bin/bash
# This script simply fixes the permissions on a Joomla install to be perfectly $
# Need at least 1 parameter, which is the joomla root directory

if [ ${DIRECTORYPARAM:0:9} == "/var/www/" ];
if [ $DIRECTORYPARAM == "/var/www/" ];
echo "The directory CANNOT be /var/www/ itself"
find $DIRECTORYPARAM -type d -exec chmod 755 {} ;
find $DIRECTORYPARAM -type f -exec chmod 644 {} ;
echo "The directory can ONLY be in /var/www/"

First impressions on Ubuntu 11.10

Two days ago, I decided I would give Ubuntu 11.10 a try as my full-time desktop. As I was already running 11.04, I started the update process hoping it would go without a problem. Of course, I was wrong…

Luckily, I made a backup of my files and proceeded to a clean install of Ubuntu 11.10. However, to my big surprise, WIFI wasn’t working at all suddenly… It took some figuring-out, but I now have a working instance of the new OS and am pretty happy with it. Here are some of the features I like most :

  1. Thunderbird over Evolution. This is a major step in the right direction. Evolution was starting to become very slow and searching wasn’t very effective. This is the kind of change that makes my day a lot easier 🙂
  2. Gnome 3. I have been a major fan of the new Gnome 3 and have tried to install it multiple times under Ubuntu 11.04, without real success (there was always something wrong). Now it comes out-of-the-box, it works and all I have to do is install the “gnome-shell” for my lovely new interface to appear !
  3. Login-screen. I know this is not necessary, but it’s simply nice. For once, the Ubuntu design team have done a really good job here.
  4. The Ubuntu Software Center. It has had a major overhaul and is a lot clearer to navigate, rate, install, remove and everything else you would want to do with it.
  5. New PhpMyAdmin in official repositories. I konw this is not a direct feature of the Ubuntu team, but as a web developer, this surprised me in a good way. A new and clean user-interface to deal with, finally making the old one obsolete.

The things I don’t like :

  1. The Ubuntu Software center. I know, I also put this in “the things I like”, but that is because it does come with one MAJOR drawback : speed. For some reason the Ubuntu Software Center is starting to become very slow for me and they should pay real good attention to that (I mean, I am running on a fairly new computer that should have no problem running this at all, and it still takes a couple of seconds to load -> more then ANY other application on my computer).

I will continue to add to this list over time and hope it helps you decide if Ubuntu 11.10 might be your cup of tea 🙂