The Talk Show

28: Inappropriate Outfits, with Dan Frommer


00:00:00   Have you ever been to CES?

00:00:02   I have not.

00:00:03   And this is the first year – sorry, this is the second year that I kind of kicked myself

00:00:07   a little for not going.

00:00:09   Are we taping now or should we –

00:00:13   I'm taping.

00:00:14   All right, good.

00:00:15   I'm taping too.

00:00:16   I'm always taping.

00:00:17   I tape everything.

00:00:18   Good.

00:00:19   So when I worked at Business Insider or like if I were to work at the Verge or Engadget

00:00:23   or something like that, I don't think CES would be any fun.

00:00:27   I think that would be miserable because you have a lot of work to do.

00:00:29   You have to run around, you have to post stuff, and you have to constantly be available for

00:00:35   editors and that sort of stuff.

00:00:37   But now that I don't work in a situation like that, I actually think it might be kind of

00:00:42   fun because you kind of walk around and see weird stuff and pace yourself.

00:00:50   Work when you feel like working and don't work when you don't feel like it.

00:00:53   And no one's telling you when to post or what to do.

00:00:55   And it actually sounds like it might be kind of fun.

00:00:58   at least to go at once or something like that.

00:01:01   - Yeah, I have the exact same thought,

00:01:02   and if it wasn't last year, it was two years ago,

00:01:05   I think I had this same conversation with Dan Benjamin

00:01:09   on the old talk show where I said the same thing

00:01:12   and said, "I think next year I'm gonna go,"

00:01:15   for the exact same reasons that you just said,

00:01:17   that I wouldn't have to do it in a,

00:01:19   well, there's gotta be 30 posts a day

00:01:21   from Daring Fireball about this stuff,

00:01:24   that I'd have to adhere to some kind of crazy schedule

00:01:27   where I'd have to make all these nine o'clock keynotes

00:01:31   and have meetings scheduled throughout the day.

00:01:34   I mean, some of this stuff is just horrible.

00:01:37   And I wonder, for people who've never been to Vegas,

00:01:40   it can be tough to get around the strip.

00:01:43   Even for places that seemingly are only

00:01:45   two, three blocks apart, they're huge blocks,

00:01:48   and the cab situation sounds terrible at CES.

00:01:51   And so people who are at the convention center

00:01:53   in the morning and then have a noon meeting

00:01:56   with some company at, I don't know,

00:01:58   the Palazzo or something like that,

00:02:01   it's like impossible.

00:02:02   You can't walk it, it's too far to walk,

00:02:04   and it's like an hour long wait to get a cab,

00:02:07   and all of a sudden you've spent three hours

00:02:09   to get to a meeting that's, I don't know, half a mile away.

00:02:13   But I wouldn't have to do that, neither would you.

00:02:15   - No, and if you make that kind of part of your experience,

00:02:18   like taking time to get from one place to another

00:02:21   and not setting up back to back to back meetings,

00:02:24   or avoiding keynotes and that kind of stuff.

00:02:27   I don't know, I think it would be really fun.

00:02:28   And this year, it was like a couple days before,

00:02:31   I completely forgot, obviously,

00:02:33   that CES was even happening,

00:02:34   and then like two days before, I was like,

00:02:37   huh, I wonder how much it would cost

00:02:38   if I decided to go right now.

00:02:40   And it turned out I could have booked a plane ticket

00:02:42   for free using miles, and then either try to bum a hotel,

00:02:47   like square foot of floor space from someone,

00:02:50   or just find some cheap hotel somewhere.

00:02:53   but it ended up not being worth it.

00:02:55   It was just maybe next year,

00:02:57   'cause I'd wanna kind of stay in comfort

00:02:59   and not be bumming it too much.

00:03:03   So there's a weird,

00:03:07   if you follow a lot of tech journalists on Twitter

00:03:10   the way I do, and I assume you do too,

00:03:12   there's a lot of people being downers about it,

00:03:14   like, oh, this is horrible, this is so stupid,

00:03:17   why do we do this?

00:03:18   I don't like the attitude.

00:03:21   I think the attitude's kind of dumb.

00:03:23   There's a lot of people who actually really enjoy

00:03:25   going there, and there's a lot of people

00:03:27   who actually get really good business out of it.

00:03:30   If you're looking at the people who are going there

00:03:34   for real work and not just to post a bunch of stuff

00:03:36   on a tech blog, this is a really good opportunity

00:03:40   to make money and to meet people that only fly

00:03:43   maybe to the US a couple times a year.

00:03:45   And then also, even the media guys can do it right.

00:03:49   I love Brian Lamb's attitude.

00:03:51   He's always from the wire cutter.

00:03:53   He slummed it for many a year as the editor of Gizmodo,

00:03:58   forcing people to write however many dozens of posts a day.

00:04:01   And now he says, "All right, we're going to have

00:04:03   "everyone here, we're going to hang out together

00:04:05   "for a few days, and we're going to collectively write

00:04:08   "one post for the wire cutter about what's actually

00:04:11   "interesting at CES."

00:04:12   And I think that's a great attitude.

00:04:14   Now fortunately, he has a business model that supports that.

00:04:17   You know, the sites with banner ads and that sort of stuff.

00:04:20   and especially the ones who seem to be

00:04:22   like official media partners of CES,

00:04:24   they probably have a lot more work

00:04:26   that they're required to do.

00:04:27   But I love Brian Lamb's attitude.

00:04:29   One of the reasons I want to go now

00:04:31   is just to go hang out with him and troll everyone else.

00:04:34   - Yeah, totally.

00:04:35   I see it the same way.

00:04:37   Like the story I would like to write,

00:04:39   and other people have done it,

00:04:40   when it sounds like certainly not the most original take,

00:04:43   but just do my take on it, is the sort of gonzo,

00:04:46   what is it like to be at CES story?

00:04:48   And it may, you know, it's the sort of thing

00:04:50   that I almost certainly would not be able

00:04:51   to finish up during CES.

00:04:53   It would be something maybe I would work on

00:04:56   on the flight back to the East Coast

00:04:58   or something like that or finish a week later.

00:05:00   But the sort of you are there,

00:05:03   what exactly is it like sort of thing,

00:05:06   which you don't get at all from most of the gadget blogs.

00:05:10   - You don't, and I think actually Matt Honan

00:05:12   did a fun one last year.

00:05:13   - Yeah, Matt did a really good one last year.

00:05:14   - That came close to that, and I was teasing him

00:05:17   a few days ago, but my editor last year was basically like,

00:05:22   every post you write for the rest of the year

00:05:24   must be as good as Matt Honan's CES post,

00:05:26   and I'm like, you're crazy, man.

00:05:28   - Yeah, that was a really good piece.

00:05:29   - Yeah, it was awesome. - It was inspired.

00:05:31   - There's actually a couple good slideshows up

00:05:34   that I was just looking at before we started taping.

00:05:37   One is from TechHive, which is affiliated with Macworld,

00:05:42   and it's CES 2013, Amazing Spectacles and Awkward Moments,

00:05:46   And it's kind of like a visual, you know, like that,

00:05:50   what is it actually like to be here sort of thing.

00:05:52   There's a lot of ridiculous stuff going on, it seems.

00:05:54   And there was another one, oh, Gizmodo,

00:05:57   the most wonderfully unrealistic gear from CES 2013.

00:06:01   And that's like-- - Unrealistic gear?

00:06:02   - Yeah, totally, like the flexible e-ink tablets

00:06:06   and a 20-inch Panasonic 4K tablet and that kind of stuff.

00:06:11   Just like the really ridiculous stuff that,

00:06:14   To me, actually, it sounds like the more interesting reason

00:06:16   to go to CES.

00:06:17   I've been to the Mobile World Congress

00:06:19   a couple of times in Barcelona.

00:06:21   And a lot of stuff there is realistic.

00:06:24   It's like, oh, yeah, here's a bunch of new cell phones.

00:06:26   But CES, there's really potentially some really

00:06:28   ridiculous stuff there.

00:06:30   Yeah.

00:06:30   And I wonder-- and it's funny.

00:06:32   And I guess part of it, too, is that I just happen--

00:06:35   I enjoy Las Vegas.

00:06:37   I like to gamble, like to drink a little bit

00:06:40   and go there a couple of times a year.

00:06:42   And here's like the one time of year where I could legitimately

00:06:45   write the whole thing off and charge it

00:06:48   as a legitimate business expense, and I've never gone.

00:06:52   And then it is partly, though, it's

00:06:54   sort of like a South by Southwest type thing,

00:06:56   where if you want to go, you've really

00:06:58   got to plan for it many months in advance,

00:07:00   because it's such a big show that hotels really do sell out.

00:07:07   It's not that you can't get a hotel in Las Vegas,

00:07:09   But the ones that are closest do seem sold out.

00:07:13   Like I did the same thing you did where I thought,

00:07:15   well maybe I'll book it last minute.

00:07:17   And I saw like the Mirage was totally sold out

00:07:22   and the Wynn and Encore, it was like--

00:07:25   - Like 800 bucks a night.

00:07:26   - Yeah, like 800 bucks.

00:07:27   - So I looked and I found that the El Cortez downtown

00:07:31   had rooms for like 50 bucks.

00:07:33   And I don't know if you've ever been there.

00:07:34   Like that's where, when I was 21,

00:07:36   that's where we used to go play $5 craps

00:07:38   and like two dollar black chip.

00:07:40   - Right, I've been down there.

00:07:40   I've never stayed in a black chip.

00:07:41   - Yeah, no, it just seems really nasty.

00:07:42   So I was like, well, at the very least,

00:07:45   I could crash there on the floor

00:07:46   and then just get the hell out of there, but.

00:07:48   - The best deal I saw for a last minute,

00:07:50   and it's not a bad, I've never stayed there,

00:07:52   but I know from being inside, it's certainly,

00:07:55   it's more upscale than downscale.

00:07:57   When I tried to book the Mirage and they said,

00:07:59   "Nope, we're sold out,"

00:08:00   they had rooms at Bellagio for like 200 and some a night,

00:08:05   And then they had rooms at the MGM for like $109 a night,

00:08:10   which is--

00:08:11   that's probably the best you were going to do.

00:08:13   Although the MGM's all the way down the other end of the strip

00:08:16   from the convention center.

00:08:18   Maybe just bring a skateboard and cut your commute down.

00:08:22   Yeah, I don't know.

00:08:23   But it is crazy, though, because I also

00:08:25   saw from following along externally

00:08:27   and watching where people are going and stuff like that,

00:08:30   I saw people--

00:08:32   I don't know if they're officially part of CES

00:08:35   or if it's just ad hoc stuff that people are just renting out,

00:08:38   companies are renting out on their own.

00:08:41   But I saw people do have an event at Mandalay Bay, which

00:08:44   is even further than MGM at the-- what is that?

00:08:47   The north end of the strip or south end of the strip.

00:08:50   I forget which one's north and south.

00:08:51   Yeah, there seems to be a lot of stuff that's loosely affiliated.

00:08:56   And a lot of it's like the weekend before CES officially

00:08:59   starts.

00:08:59   And I wonder, I'm sure there's really strict rules about what

00:09:03   you're allowed to do even in the whole area of Vegas

00:09:06   during CES and before it, and if you have to pay

00:09:09   an extra fee or something like that.

00:09:10   But a lot of that stuff seems to be unaffiliated.

00:09:14   Random marketing and agencies have these little--

00:09:17   - But in terms of what it would cost,

00:09:19   obviously you can, MGM for $109 a night

00:09:23   isn't that bad of an expense.

00:09:24   - No, that's good.

00:09:25   - That's pretty good.

00:09:26   I don't know, we'll have to plan on it next year.

00:09:28   Maybe we'll do it together.

00:09:31   Absolutely, I'm there.

00:09:34   Here's the one thing that I just don't get.

00:09:36   And I was kind of wondering if you had done it when

00:09:38   you were at Business Insider.

00:09:40   But Business Insider was never really been--

00:09:44   it's more of an operation.

00:09:45   There's a staff and there's a bunch of writers,

00:09:47   but it's not really like a Virgin gadget type thing.

00:09:50   The thing that boggles my mind is the number of people

00:09:53   that these outfits have sent.

00:09:56   I think they said that CNET has 90 people there,

00:09:59   and The Verge has 80, and I forget how many people

00:10:03   on Gadgethead, I mean, how does The Verge

00:10:05   even have 80 people?

00:10:06   It doesn't make any sense to me.

00:10:08   What are they doing there?

00:10:10   - Yeah, they have a trailer.

00:10:12   It's crazy, I've never been a part of that

00:10:14   sort of team coverage.

00:10:15   I've certainly witnessed it, like again,

00:10:17   at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona,

00:10:19   The Verge probably had like six or seven guys there

00:10:22   last year, but I can't even imagine the CES thing

00:10:26   where literally everyone from the whole staff,

00:10:28   even international bureaus gets flown in

00:10:31   and they all do stuff together.

00:10:32   It looks, I mean, if you look at the site,

00:10:34   there's just a ton of stuff on there.

00:10:35   There's articles they have, they brought,

00:10:38   it seems their own, their whole video people out there,

00:10:40   and they have a studio set up,

00:10:42   so they're doing videotaping and--

00:10:45   - 80 people though.

00:10:46   - I know, it's crazy.

00:10:48   - And just think about the expenses involved.

00:10:49   I mean, 80, that's, you know,

00:10:51   assuming nobody's local to Las Vegas,

00:10:53   that's 80 round-trip air tickets.

00:10:56   Even if you double everybody up in a room,

00:10:58   That's 40 hotel rooms.

00:11:00   And that's if you double everybody up.

00:11:02   I asked the guys at The Verge--

00:11:05   remember when I wrote that weird article about all the tech sites

00:11:08   and included you, and they did that funny artwork with you and Topolsky

00:11:13   and all those guys?

00:11:14   I think I had asked them--

00:11:15   Oh, I remember that.

00:11:16   Yeah, it was like last summer or something.

00:11:17   Didn't they dress us up as superheroes or something?

00:11:19   Yeah, yeah.

00:11:20   It was pretty funny.

00:11:20   That's why I never, ever agreed to do photos.

00:11:23   It's like, everybody wants goofy pictures.

00:11:25   So it's like, you know what, hire an illustrator.

00:11:27   - They did, it was actually pretty, it was,

00:11:31   anyway, it doesn't matter.

00:11:32   I had asked the guys, I'm like,

00:11:34   'cause I interviewed Joshua Topolski and Neelai Patel

00:11:37   and also one of the guys on the business side,

00:11:40   and I asked him, I'm like,

00:11:41   "What does it actually cost for you to do CES?"

00:11:44   And he said it was, if I recall correctly,

00:11:47   I don't have my notes in front of me,

00:11:50   but I think he told me that it would surprise me

00:11:53   how little it actually was relative to what a,

00:11:57   what you think it would cost.

00:12:00   And they have to rent out, I guess they have this trailer,

00:12:02   and they do have to put everyone up in a hotel room

00:12:04   and there's 80 flights involved,

00:12:06   but it can be a really big opportunity for sponsorship.

00:12:10   If you get kind of a marquee sponsor,

00:12:12   I'm looking at Gizmodo and it says,

00:12:14   CES, live from Las Vegas, presented by Outlook.com.

00:12:18   I don't know how much they paid for that,

00:12:21   but it could be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars

00:12:24   for that whole sponsorship.

00:12:27   So it could end up being profitable or break even.

00:12:31   And if you make a spectacle covering CES,

00:12:35   the idea is that it would kind of flow through

00:12:36   to the rest of the year.

00:12:38   So I don't know, but I've never been part of that.

00:12:41   I think this year at Business Insider,

00:12:42   they sent a few people there,

00:12:44   which is definitely more than whenever I was working there.

00:12:47   I think maybe we had one person go, but it was never me.

00:12:52   - The thing, I guess the thing I would like

00:12:54   to try to capture, and to me,

00:12:55   it's a forest for the trees type thing.

00:12:57   And then all these other gadget sites,

00:12:58   it's just tree, tree, tree, tree, tree,

00:13:01   bombardment all day long of trees

00:13:04   and no sort of picture of what the forest is like.

00:13:07   And I feel like you're talking about,

00:13:10   you're interested in the same sort of thing where--

00:13:12   - Yeah.

00:13:13   - And I do think, I think that CES in a weird way

00:13:16   has gotten more interesting now that

00:13:19   some of the bigger companies aren't going

00:13:23   and Microsoft's not doing the keynote.

00:13:26   I mean, that Qualcomm keynote was weird,

00:13:28   but it's weird in a way that sort of tells you something

00:13:30   about what that company's thinking.

00:13:35   - That was super weird.

00:13:36   And I've actually, I've seen something like that in person.

00:13:40   It was the Samsung keynote at Bubble World Congress

00:13:43   the year before last.

00:13:45   And like the Qualcomm, I mean,

00:13:47   that Qualcomm thing was like an hour and a half long.

00:13:49   It's crazy, like they bring,

00:13:51   and the Samsung one was the same way,

00:13:53   And it was like, first there was some hilariously kind of just really

00:13:58   bizarre skits, basically.

00:14:01   Yeah, they hired like three actors, a young woman and two young men.

00:14:06   They were all probably about 25, but were pretending to be teenagers

00:14:12   and were talking about themselves as the mobile generation

00:14:15   or something like that.

00:14:17   And I don't know.

00:14:17   And I couldn't tell if it was if they were mocking themselves or not,

00:14:22   which usually means they're not.

00:14:23   I don't know, I thought it was parody at first,

00:14:27   but then it clearly wasn't when the Qualcomm CEO,

00:14:32   Paul Jacobs, rises.

00:14:35   My wife and I were watching it, she's like, "Is that Jesus?"

00:14:38   And I was like, "No, no, no, it's Paul Jacobs saying,

00:14:39   "'And a CEO.'" (laughs)

00:14:42   It was very funny. - Here's a quote

00:14:44   from a guy on Twitter, his name is Andrew Jay.

00:14:47   Doesn't have his real name on his Twitter account,

00:14:49   but he, I thought his little tweet captured it perfectly.

00:14:54   What's missing from Qualcomm's CES keynote

00:14:56   is authenticity, overproduced and vapid.

00:15:00   And in tweet length, there it is, that's the whole thing.

00:15:04   It was so inauthentic, like so phony

00:15:08   in a totally non-ironic sense.

00:15:10   But it's, that says something though,

00:15:14   you know what I mean?

00:15:15   There's something about that that tells you

00:15:17   what the heck is going on.

00:15:19   - It's interesting because I never felt that way

00:15:21   about the Balmer keynotes.

00:15:23   Like I always felt that they were probably a little too long

00:15:27   and you know, like the content was not that compelling.

00:15:31   But there was never a moment where I was like,

00:15:33   oh this is too ridiculous for words.

00:15:36   Whereas there's, I think there was another Samsung keynote

00:15:39   where they were doing some really, really silly stuff.

00:15:42   - Yeah, Samsung had one.

00:15:43   I forget what event it was,

00:15:44   if it was Mobile World Congress last year,

00:15:47   if it was CES last year.

00:15:48   But yeah, they had a real crazy--

00:15:51   - Weird dancers and all kinds of stuff.

00:15:54   - Right, like a 1978 variety show on TV.

00:15:57   Like that, in hindsight, it's like,

00:15:59   what the hell were we thinking?

00:16:00   - And they spend probably a million dollars

00:16:02   on this sort of thing.

00:16:03   I mean, it's not cheap.

00:16:05   There's a lot of production involved.

00:16:07   So yeah, I don't know.

00:16:09   I wonder if, you gotta wonder if a company like Qualcomm

00:16:13   is happy with it.

00:16:13   I'm sure they're getting a lot more attention

00:16:16   from the mainstream than they ever get on a normal day,

00:16:19   but still it's hard to say it's positive attention.

00:16:23   I don't know.

00:16:23   - Well, the weird thing about Qualcomm being selected

00:16:26   to do a keynote, or the first keynote,

00:16:29   and they're agreeing to do it,

00:16:32   is that Qualcomm is not a consumer-facing company.

00:16:36   Normal people have no reason

00:16:37   to ever buy anything from Qualcomm.

00:16:39   Qualcomm makes things,

00:16:40   I mean, I've probably got eight devices

00:16:44   within arm's reach of me right now

00:16:45   that have Qualcomm components within them.

00:16:47   - And you may still have Eudora too.

00:16:49   - No, do they?

00:16:52   - Yeah, they remember they bought Eudora at some point.

00:16:55   - Yeah, but I don't think that--

00:16:56   - No, I don't think they still made it.

00:16:57   - They took that out back behind the shed and shot it, right?

00:17:00   - Yeah, I think so. - Yeah, they shot it.

00:17:02   But that was weird when they were,

00:17:04   I forgot that Qualcomm had Eudora.

00:17:05   - So were they chosen or did they pay for it?

00:17:07   I mean, that's the question. - I don't know.

00:17:09   - I don't know.

00:17:09   Well, but obviously, the CEA who runs CES

00:17:13   thought it was a good choice.

00:17:15   Whether there's, I don't know who pays whom

00:17:17   or what happens, obviously both sides

00:17:21   thought it was a good idea.

00:17:23   - I wonder who else could have done it, though.

00:17:25   - Samsung?

00:17:28   Well, Samsung did one, though, another night.

00:17:29   I don't know.

00:17:30   - Yeah, some of those guys might wanna do it

00:17:32   on their own schedule and not as the opening one.

00:17:34   So if it's not gonna be Microsoft,

00:17:36   it's not gonna be Apple, obviously.

00:17:38   (laughs)

00:17:39   Do you remember though, what was it, a year ago,

00:17:41   people were like, "Oh, it could be Apple's

00:17:44   "grand entree into CES."

00:17:46   And it's like, no, I don't think so.

00:17:49   - I saw a thing today that apparently Apple

00:17:50   did participate in CES many, many years ago.

00:17:54   Literally the last time that they were there was 1992,

00:17:57   when they unveiled the Newton.

00:17:59   - Huh, interesting.

00:18:00   - Which is, I mean, I was only 19.

00:18:03   I was like a sophomore.

00:18:04   I mean, I didn't, I mean, I was into Apple,

00:18:05   but I didn't even follow stuff like that.

00:18:08   I wasn't even an internet back then.

00:18:11   Yeah, that's-- I don't--

00:18:13   The Newton of 1992.

00:18:14   And then, of course, every year Apple does have employees

00:18:17   there.

00:18:18   They're just not doing a booth or anything like that.

00:18:26   Are you going to Macworld later this year?

00:18:29   I guess not.

00:18:31   No.

00:18:32   I am.

00:18:33   I will be there.

00:18:33   And that's the other reason I wonder why I don't do CES.

00:18:36   I still like going to Macworld, and I still get,

00:18:39   I find it to be very worthwhile,

00:18:41   and I feel like for the exact same reasons

00:18:43   it would be worthwhile to go to CES, you know, that I meet.

00:18:48   - The networking, I mean, that's really the reason to go.

00:18:50   You meet with people, you know,

00:18:52   I'm sure you meet with a lot of developers

00:18:54   and people who are doing hardware,

00:18:56   and you can get real answers to questions that,

00:18:59   you know, in my kind of old day job as a proper reporter,

00:19:04   like they set you up on these interview

00:19:07   or meetings with people,

00:19:08   and usually they're there to talk their book,

00:19:10   but if you meet someone at a conference,

00:19:12   and they had a couple drinks or at dinner or something,

00:19:15   they'll tell you stuff that you would never get from them

00:19:18   in a normal meeting or something like that.

00:19:21   - Somebody pointed out that if you went to CES this year

00:19:25   and you wanted to stop by every single exhibitor

00:19:28   on the show place floor,

00:19:31   and you were there all day every day

00:19:33   that the exhibit hall is open.

00:19:36   From opening until the closing,

00:19:38   you would be able to spend 39 seconds at each exhibitor.

00:19:43   So obviously it is of a scale that it's enormous,

00:19:47   but no one would ever do that.

00:19:49   Like, you know, you've been to Macworld.

00:19:52   I've never been to CES, but I mean,

00:19:53   I've been to Macworld and other trade shows.

00:19:55   You don't want, you're not, you know,

00:19:57   when you walk down the aisle,

00:19:58   most of them don't catch your eye

00:20:00   aren't doing something that you find interesting.

00:20:03   No, and that's kind of why some of them do really absurd stuff.

00:20:08   There was a company that was supposedly banned from Mobile World Congress because they – and

00:20:14   they were from like Russia and they had these Russian girls dressed up in very like kind

00:20:18   of inappropriate outfits handing out very weird posters and stuff.

00:20:25   And so everyone knew who they were, but it was still a little over the top.

00:20:30   but it looks like that stuff's pretty normal at CES.

00:20:32   There's a lot of Booth Babe type stuff and even still.

00:20:35   - Yeah, I can't remember if I linked to it yesterday

00:20:38   or if it's still open in a tab,

00:20:39   but I know the BBC had another video sort of,

00:20:42   not really chastising them over it,

00:20:46   but just sort of kind of looking at the Booth Babe situation

00:20:50   at CES with an objective view, sort of,

00:20:54   look, this is weird, this is a little weird,

00:20:56   And it's no wonder that women feel a little uncomfortable

00:21:00   as engineers in the industry if we're just

00:21:02   going to pretend that this is acceptable marketing.

00:21:06   Yeah, and I think it made a little more sense

00:21:08   like when the porn convention was also there

00:21:10   at the same time.

00:21:11   But I think they're not even there now.

00:21:14   And it's funny, like Macworld has gotten--

00:21:16   I don't think Macworld's ever been as booth baby as CES is.

00:21:19   I mean, I think the fact that it's in Vegas certainly

00:21:22   exacerbates it.

00:21:23   And I think the fact that CES is like the kingpin

00:21:25   of this sort of consumer electronics stuff,

00:21:29   where it's harder to get attention because the show is

00:21:31   so much bigger.

00:21:33   And it's going to draw the sort of one-off companies

00:21:38   from around the world that maybe are only-- like you said,

00:21:40   maybe only come into North America once this year.

00:21:44   But I have noticed--

00:21:46   maybe I just notice it more because--

00:21:49   I don't know.

00:21:50   More people are sort of criticizing

00:21:52   the whole idea of having female models in your booth

00:21:56   just to draw attention.

00:21:57   But it's weird, to me Macworld Expo has gotten

00:22:01   a little bit more like that in the years now

00:22:04   that it gets longer and longer from the old days

00:22:07   when Apple was there.

00:22:09   'Cause it seems like they've attracted

00:22:10   more smaller companies, I don't know.

00:22:13   - And maybe the smaller ones are the ones

00:22:15   that do a little more of that.

00:22:16   I just remember the one year I was at Macworld,

00:22:18   it was the last year that Apple did the keynote.

00:22:20   It was Shiller with the, I want to say,

00:22:25   a MacBook Pro or something,

00:22:26   and I forgot what he was introducing there.

00:22:30   - Yeah, it was Shiller though,

00:22:31   because the last year Apple did it was a year

00:22:34   that Jobs was--

00:22:37   - He was out.

00:22:38   - Right, and it was awkward and mysterious

00:22:41   because he had originally said he was going to be out.

00:22:43   It was like the low point of Steve Jobs' decline, I think,

00:22:50   because it was clearly where, in hindsight,

00:22:53   behind the scenes you can tell that there was a bit

00:22:56   of denial and question going on.

00:23:00   Because there was a sort of, hey, he's gonna be out

00:23:01   for a couple weeks, and then it was the,

00:23:04   what did he say, like a chemical imbalance?

00:23:08   - Hormonal imbalance. - Hormonal imbalance,

00:23:09   and it can be adjusted by diet, and then a week later

00:23:11   it was like, nevermind, I'm gonna be out for six months,

00:23:14   'cause that's when he realized he needed

00:23:16   the liver transplant. - The liver, right.

00:23:18   So that was the year, yeah, that was the last year.

00:23:20   And then Apple was like, you know what,

00:23:22   we're not doing this Macworld shit anymore anyway.

00:23:23   Phil Shiller will be there in a couple weeks,

00:23:26   but after that, we're out of there.

00:23:28   - But I remember there were like a couple,

00:23:30   a couple girls in like Bumblebee costumes.

00:23:34   I remember just taking photographs of this stuff for,

00:23:36   I probably did a slideshow for Business Insider,

00:23:39   and it was a little bit of that,

00:23:40   but it was mostly not so much, I don't know.

00:23:43   - The one I remember, and I can't remember

00:23:45   if it was last year or the year before,

00:23:47   And to me, it was almost like over the line,

00:23:52   because it was outside the exhibit hall.

00:23:55   I think it was last year, because it was in Moscone West.

00:23:57   And I think last year was the first year

00:23:59   that they moved the show to Moscone West,

00:24:02   the building where WWDC takes place,

00:24:06   as opposed to the north and south halls

00:24:07   where it used to be.

00:24:09   And what it was, I don't know,

00:24:11   it says how effective the marketing, the technique is.

00:24:14   I have no idea what the company was.

00:24:16   but they had hired three or four women

00:24:19   to stand outside the hall, like as you go in.

00:24:23   And that's what, to me, put it over the line,

00:24:25   'cause it wasn't like in their booth.

00:24:27   It was outside in like the lobby area as you go in,

00:24:31   and they had these things on their butts

00:24:34   that they were encouraging people to take photos of.

00:24:37   So it wasn't just that they were scantily clad women

00:24:41   promoting something, they literally were promoting it

00:24:44   with signs on their butts that they were voluntarily

00:24:47   bending over so that you could take a close-up photo of.

00:24:51   - That's a good place for a QR code.

00:24:53   - I think that maybe they were QR codes.

00:24:57   They might have actually been QR codes, I don't know.

00:25:00   But the thing that struck my mind is what do you say if,

00:25:03   and it just, you know, and to me in a way

00:25:05   that they really should have, somebody at IDG I think

00:25:08   sort of said, you know what, you can't do that.

00:25:10   We're not, you know, we'll give you your money back

00:25:12   if you want it, but you're not doing this.

00:25:15   What do you say if you're a parent

00:25:18   of a 11, 12-year-old girl who's into this stuff

00:25:22   and wants to go check this out,

00:25:23   that to get into the hall,

00:25:24   you've got to walk past something like that?

00:25:26   It's, I don't know.

00:25:28   - Yeah, it just feels like something from an old era

00:25:31   that has passed up, like smoking in restaurants

00:25:34   or something, like I was in Tokyo a few weeks ago

00:25:38   and people were smoking in the,

00:25:40   not at a bar, at a nice restaurant.

00:25:42   I'm like, man, this is still happening here?

00:25:44   That's crazy.

00:25:45   - Right, it's like antiquated.

00:25:46   - Yeah.

00:25:47   - Well, not that it was ever right in the first place,

00:25:49   but it somehow sticks out in a way now that it didn't

00:25:52   when we were in less enlightened times.

00:25:56   - Exactly, yeah.

00:25:57   - All right, let me thank our first sponsor.

00:26:00   Our first sponsor this week is Tonks Coffee.

00:26:04   Now, if you're a longtime listener of the show,

00:26:06   you know Tonks, they've been with us before.

00:26:08   They're a great, great supporter of the talk show.

00:26:10   If you're not a longtime listener of the show,

00:26:12   shame on you. But let me tell you about Tonks either way. Tonks is a coffee

00:26:19   sourcing, roasting company. They make coffee, you buy the coffee, they ship

00:26:24   it to you. What they do is they buy the best beans from all over the world. A

00:26:29   couple shows ago I listed all the countries that they went to. I think it's

00:26:31   I don't know 37 countries that they've sourced coffee beans from. They just go

00:26:36   to the... all they want is they want to get the best beans. Then they roast it

00:26:40   themselves the best way that they can. Then they seal it up fresh and ship it to you immediately,

00:26:48   right after they've roasted it, sealed it up, it comes to your door. So you go to their website,

00:26:53   tonx.org, T-O-N-X.org. You can sign up for a free trial and the stuff, a couple days after

00:27:01   you sign up, there it is right at your door. Do that if you're in the least bit skeptical

00:27:08   about how good Tonks Coffee is.

00:27:10   And as soon as you make one cup of it,

00:27:11   you'll go right to their website

00:27:12   and sign up for the service.

00:27:14   What you do is like a subscription.

00:27:17   Every two weeks or every week,

00:27:19   you get fresh coffee in the mail, right to your door,

00:27:22   however much you need.

00:27:24   It's just great stuff.

00:27:26   I drink it all the time.

00:27:27   My biggest complaint with Tonks Coffee

00:27:28   is that the longer I go drinking it

00:27:30   as my usual daily coffee,

00:27:32   the harder I find it to drink anything else

00:27:35   from any other coffee place or anything like that.

00:27:39   It's just getting harder and harder

00:27:41   to drink something like Starbucks when I'm away from home.

00:27:44   It's that good.

00:27:45   Let me read a couple of tweets

00:27:46   from people talking about Tonks.

00:27:48   Here's one from a guy on Twitter, Jesse Atkinson.

00:27:50   Having been a barista at multiple coffee shops

00:27:53   for over four and a half years,

00:27:55   I can honestly say Tonks coffee

00:27:57   is the best coffee I've ever had.

00:27:59   Here's one from Brendan Hutchins.

00:28:03   "Thanks to Gruber and Marco Arment.

00:28:05   "I'm drinking my second cup of Tonks coffee

00:28:08   "and it is the only coffee I've ever liked

00:28:10   "without sweetening."

00:28:11   See, people think you need sugar in your coffee.

00:28:13   You don't need sugar in your coffee.

00:28:15   You need sugar in bad coffee.

00:28:17   If the coffee's good, don't put sugar in it.

00:28:19   You don't need it.

00:28:20   I'm telling you, don't take my word for it.

00:28:22   Go to tonks.org, sign up for a free trial

00:28:25   or sign up for a subscription today.

00:28:26   My thanks to Tonks for sponsoring this week's show.

00:28:32   I think that was better.

00:28:36   Yeah, I gotta try that stuff actually. I have become a coffee snob as well.

00:28:41   And I should try the subscription stuff.

00:28:45   You know, the only coffee I've had since I've started drinking tonks that I've found that was up to par with it

00:28:50   was Marco himself hand roasted some beans

00:28:55   over right before Christmas and sent out like a Marco Arment's roast

00:29:00   coffee thing to, I don't know, a handful of friends.

00:29:03   - That's cool. - Which was great,

00:29:04   and it was great, and it was delicious.

00:29:06   Like, my wife still talks about Marco coffee.

00:29:10   We were at his house a couple months ago,

00:29:13   and Marco made coffee, and it really was like,

00:29:16   it's like a Pulp Fiction moment,

00:29:17   like, "God damn, that's good coffee."

00:29:19   But, on the other hand, to me,

00:29:23   sending out delicious, hand-roasted, by you coffee

00:29:27   as like a holiday gift to your friends

00:29:28   is sort of a rotten thing to do,

00:29:30   because it really makes you feel like a bum

00:29:33   if you don't do, I mean, I didn't send Marco anything.

00:29:36   - And if you like it, you can't just buy more.

00:29:38   - Right, yeah. - So it's almost like a tease.

00:29:40   - Yeah, it's both a tease and like a guilt trip.

00:29:44   So thanks, Marco. - Thanks a lot.

00:29:45   - Great, yeah, you're a bum.

00:29:47   What else is going on this week?

00:29:51   Well, we got--

00:29:52   - You wanted to talk a little about the,

00:29:57   I mean, we could talk a little about the phone sizes

00:29:59   and Nokia, if you want.

00:30:01   Those two little things you posted.

00:30:03   - Yeah, I want to talk about the phone size thing,

00:30:05   because part of it is a stupid DigiTimes report

00:30:10   from a week ago, but there's all these rampant rumors now

00:30:13   that there's a Wall Street Journal story

00:30:16   and a Bloomberg story that maybe Apple's working

00:30:18   on a second iPhone, maybe they'll switch

00:30:22   to two iPhones this year, and later in the year

00:30:24   they're going to have one that's cheaper

00:30:25   than current iPhones.

00:30:27   And I guess, and some of the articles just skip

00:30:29   right over this, like it's not already there,

00:30:33   that they don't already have cheaper iPhones.

00:30:35   They do, they sell old, you know, last year's 4S

00:30:38   and two years ago's iPhone 4 at lower price points.

00:30:41   The idea, I guess, is that maybe instead of doing that,

00:30:45   the lower price tiers for iPhones would be a new model

00:30:49   that's, you know, I don't know.

00:30:53   But anyway, Digitime says that they're gonna do that

00:30:55   and it's going to have a bigger five inch screen.

00:30:57   And Digitime, they must make stuff up.

00:30:59   But one of the things I think is interesting,

00:31:03   one of the things is the angle of this cheap iPhone,

00:31:05   which is not that interesting to me.

00:31:07   The thing that interests me is this size thing,

00:31:11   because there's something weird in the industry

00:31:14   that I still can't figure out what the explanation for it is

00:31:19   and it's, you know, I had that tweet, where was that?

00:31:22   - So while you're looking for that,

00:31:24   I'll just say, the cheap iPhone,

00:31:26   yes, they do sell in subsidized markets,

00:31:30   last year's phone and the year before

00:31:32   for half price and for free, basically,

00:31:35   but those are still $600, $500 unsubsidized phones.

00:31:39   And the word that comes to mind

00:31:41   when they start talking about cheap iPhones is China,

00:31:45   is somewhere where you could easily sell 100 million

00:31:51   of something that costs $100 unsubsidized

00:31:55   or $200 unsubsidized, but you're not gonna sell

00:31:58   100 million, $600 things there.

00:32:01   And as China becomes Apple's second most important market,

00:32:06   and maybe someday their first most important market,

00:32:09   I could see the potential for developing something for that.

00:32:14   But on the other hand, as you posted,

00:32:16   And as people who realistically look at Apple would know,

00:32:21   they're never gonna sell crap at any price.

00:32:24   Like they're not gonna go to a $200 or $100 price

00:32:29   and sell something that they're not happy with.

00:32:31   It's just something they've absolutely never done

00:32:33   and I can't see them ever doing.

00:32:35   But if they can develop something within a couple years

00:32:38   that they can realistically sell for $200, $100 unsubsidized

00:32:44   that is as good as maybe last year's 4S

00:32:47   or even now this year's 5, sure they'll do that,

00:32:51   of course they will.

00:32:53   But it just has to be quality for the price,

00:32:55   not just strictly trying to reach a certain price.

00:32:59   - Right, and my comparison today was with Netbooks

00:33:03   versus the iPad, where in 2007, 2008,

00:33:06   everybody was Netbook, Netbook, Netbook, and that's,

00:33:09   and my take back then, and I still stand by it,

00:33:12   I think it was exactly right,

00:33:13   is that Netbook wasn't really a new category.

00:33:15   It was just a label to slap on cheap notebooks.

00:33:20   They were just cheap Windows notebooks

00:33:23   that were less expensive than what people were

00:33:25   used to paying for notebooks.

00:33:28   - I think that was actually what Steve Jobs said, too.

00:33:31   Netbooks, they're just cheap laptops.

00:33:34   - Right, and well, and he said, we can't,

00:33:36   this is in 2008, something, I could look up the exact quote,

00:33:39   but he said, I guess you don't want to misquote Steve Jobs,

00:33:43   - He also said, "Netbooks aren't better at anything."

00:33:46   - There are some customers which we choose not to serve.

00:33:50   We don't know how to make a $500 computer

00:33:52   that's not a piece of junk,

00:33:54   and our DNA will not let us ship that.

00:33:56   Now, two years later, they shipped a $500 computer

00:33:59   called the iPad, maybe you've heard of it.

00:34:01   - And then two more years later,

00:34:05   they shipped a $300 computer.

00:34:06   - And Jobs does two different things in his quotes.

00:34:08   There's two things that Jobs is famous for,

00:34:10   or one of the things he's famous for is saying,

00:34:12   "Wow, we're never gonna do a video iPod.

00:34:14   "Nobody wants that."

00:34:15   And then a year later, "We've got a great new iPod.

00:34:17   "Now it plays video."

00:34:19   And it's like he never said the other thing before.

00:34:21   And one of the reasons he did it,

00:34:22   it wasn't even that he meant it.

00:34:23   One of it was just that if they didn't have it yet,

00:34:26   he's just gonna lie and say that it's a terrible idea

00:34:29   because they don't have it yet.

00:34:30   And two, especially since his biography has come out

00:34:35   and since he's died, and Tim Cook has said this many times,

00:34:38   that the man really was remarkably able to change his mind.

00:34:42   You know, that maybe he did think video iPods

00:34:45   were a piece of crap and that nobody would want to do it.

00:34:48   And if you could, you know, a year later convince him,

00:34:50   no, it's a good idea, then he would change his mind.

00:34:52   It's, you know, something like that.

00:34:55   But I think with his dismissal of netbooks, though,

00:34:58   clearly they were already working on the iPad at the time.

00:35:01   It wasn't about, I think what he said there

00:35:06   was not a lie or even misdirection.

00:35:08   I don't think he was being just completely honest,

00:35:10   that at the time there was no way they could make

00:35:11   a $500 computer that wasn't a piece of junk.

00:35:14   It wasn't that they would never do it,

00:35:16   it's just that once they could, they did.

00:35:19   - Yep, yeah, and at that point he probably had no idea

00:35:22   that the iPad would cost $500.

00:35:24   I mean, that may have been something

00:35:26   that Tim Cook's supply geniuses only made possible

00:35:29   within the few months before it.

00:35:32   We don't know that.

00:35:33   - I'll bet, yeah, in 2008 I bet they had no idea

00:35:37   what an iPad would cost in 2010.

00:35:40   In fact--

00:35:41   - 'Cause just now we have an iPad mini,

00:35:42   which is basically better than the first iPad

00:35:45   for even half the price of that.

00:35:47   - Right, and I also remember too that the,

00:35:50   it wasn't until summer of 2009 that internally

00:35:56   that Apple was like, okay, total green light on the tablet.

00:35:59   I think that was, and I'm almost certain too,

00:36:04   that 2009 was when he came back from that medical leave.

00:36:08   - Yes, and that's when there was an article

00:36:10   talking about how he was focusing on a new--

00:36:13   - But prior to that, I mean, they were, you know,

00:36:16   famously now, you know, it's come out that

00:36:19   a tablet-sized thing was the whole origin of iOS

00:36:22   and touch screens, and that they scrapped it,

00:36:24   put it aside, and said,

00:36:25   "Let's do a phone with this stuff first."

00:36:28   I mean, they've been working on tablets forever.

00:36:30   The whole reason iOS exists was tablets.

00:36:32   but in terms of actually saying,

00:36:34   this is what the tablet is going to look like and be like.

00:36:38   It wasn't until 2009.

00:36:40   But I still think that that quote, though, from 2008,

00:36:43   is exactly applies to phones,

00:36:45   that maybe there is a huge market

00:36:47   for piece of crap $100 phones.

00:36:50   It certainly is.

00:36:51   Nokia sold, they just had,

00:36:54   everybody's calling it really good results.

00:36:56   They sold 4.4 million Lumias,

00:36:58   which are really the only good phones that they make.

00:37:01   They also sold 70 million phones that don't count as smartphones

00:37:06   and 16 million of these ASHA things

00:37:09   that they call smartphones, but they're--

00:37:11   I don't know, runs like a--

00:37:13   what are they called?

00:37:14   S40 or whatever.

00:37:15   I don't even know what the name of the operating system is.

00:37:17   Certainly wouldn't qualify as a smartphone

00:37:19   that you would put up against a high-end Android or iPhone.

00:37:27   So you can sell, the companies can sell 80, 90 million piece

00:37:31   of crap phones a quarter.

00:37:33   Doesn't mean that there's any money to be made in it

00:37:35   or that they're good devices.

00:37:38   Right, and again, I think that's where they'll draw the line.

00:37:41   But then as far as the screen size on the iPhone series,

00:37:47   like--

00:37:49   and did you find that tweet that you were going to read from--

00:37:52   Yeah, here it is.

00:37:52   It's from Vlad Savov, who I hope I'm not misremembering.

00:37:56   I'm pretty sure he writes for--

00:37:59   Verge.

00:38:00   Right.

00:38:00   I just would want to make sure it wasn't in Gadget.

00:38:02   But I think he's one of the guys who used to write it in Gadget

00:38:04   and went to the Verge when they left.

00:38:07   So here's the tweet.

00:38:08   And I've written about this many times before,

00:38:09   but it's still true.

00:38:11   The world's best selling smartphone

00:38:13   has a four inch screen.

00:38:14   None of its competitors have a flagship model smaller

00:38:17   than 4.7 inches.

00:38:21   And then over at Quartz--

00:38:23   this guy is such a jackass.

00:38:25   What's his name?

00:38:25   God, this website makes it so hard to find bylines.

00:38:31   Christopher Mims?

00:38:34   Yeah, Christopher Mims.

00:38:35   Has this article about, see now I've lost it because of their

00:38:41   goddamn website.

00:38:42   It's when you scroll, if you scroll too far, it goes to the next article.

00:38:45   Apple refuses to make the one mobile device taking over the world, but not for long.

00:38:51   And what's that device?

00:38:52   Fab, fablets.

00:38:53   (laughing)

00:38:56   Right, and so, but why do you see,

00:38:59   and I've seen this argument before,

00:39:00   when is Apple gonna make a five-inch phone?

00:39:02   When is Apple gonna make a five-inch phone?

00:39:03   Apple's gotta make a five-inch phone

00:39:04   'cause everybody else is making it,

00:39:06   and some people are, you know,

00:39:07   they're selling 10 million of them or something like that.

00:39:09   You know, and what did,

00:39:11   I think Samsung sold 10 million Galaxy Notes,

00:39:14   which is their giant-ass, you know, five-plus-inch phone,

00:39:19   which is a lot.

00:39:20   But Apple sells like 25 to 30 million iPhones a quarter now.

00:39:25   So it's not like 10 million Galaxy Notes

00:39:30   means that something is totally beating the iPhone.

00:39:35   As Vlad said, the single best selling phone

00:39:37   in the world is the iPhone.

00:39:39   Why does nobody else write articles,

00:39:43   like why does it seem like almost nobody writes articles

00:39:45   saying when are these other guys

00:39:46   gonna make a four inch phone?

00:39:48   Like, why not copy the best, like, of all the stuff

00:39:51   and all the accusations of copying that's out there?

00:39:53   It doesn't seem like anybody has any interest

00:39:55   in copying the size of the iPhone.

00:39:58   - Well, and then when they do, like,

00:39:59   Nokia had that one Windows phone,

00:40:01   but it was severely underpowered.

00:40:03   It was, like, clearly billed as, like, their cheap phone.

00:40:07   - Yeah, and that's a good example.

00:40:08   That was the original Lumia.

00:40:10   I forget the number.

00:40:11   I think it was the-- - 800 something, maybe?

00:40:13   - Was it the 800 or the 700?

00:40:14   I think it was the 800. - I think the 900

00:40:15   are the big ones, but maybe the original was a 700.

00:40:18   - Yeah, and it's my single favorite,

00:40:21   it's my single favorite non-iPhone smartphone

00:40:24   that I've ever used, by far.

00:40:27   - Really nice.

00:40:28   - Really nice, and I love the size,

00:40:30   and in fact, the size was actually,

00:40:33   if anything, it was a little bit bigger.

00:40:35   It wasn't a 3.5 inch screen,

00:40:37   'cause I think all the Windows phones are 16.9.

00:40:39   I think they have, it's hard-coded,

00:40:42   and the rules for Windows,

00:40:43   Windows Phone that their screens are all 16.9.

00:40:46   So it was really more like the iPhone 5 screen size.

00:40:49   I think it was like 4.1 inches or something like that.

00:40:54   But about the width, it was very much like the iPhone 5 size,

00:40:58   about the width of a traditional iPhone, but taller.

00:41:03   So it was actually, they got to where Apple

00:41:06   has gotten to before Apple.

00:41:09   But there's a big difference.

00:41:10   And I've used some of these bigger 5 or 4 point something,

00:41:14   like 4.7 inch phones.

00:41:18   And I'm not saying that there's--

00:41:20   when I badmouth it, then people say, well, I love mine.

00:41:24   And I don't doubt that.

00:41:25   I don't doubt that some people like the bigger size.

00:41:28   I'm sure there's plenty of use cases for it.

00:41:32   But I don't understand why nobody copies Apple

00:41:35   in this regard, given that the iPhone remains

00:41:37   the single best selling and most popular phone in the world.

00:41:40   Well, and some of that--

00:41:42   So some of that could be just power efficiency.

00:41:46   Like remember, I think you wrote about,

00:41:48   some other people were writing about how

00:41:50   the first LTE phones had to be that big

00:41:53   because of the chipset. - That was my--

00:41:56   - And I had heard that from a guy from HTC.

00:42:00   I asked him about that and he basically confirmed,

00:42:03   I don't even, it wasn't like some interview on the record,

00:42:06   but it was just some guy in a booth

00:42:08   and he's like, "Yeah, that sounds right."

00:42:09   like that the first generation LTE phones

00:42:14   had to be bigger because of the chipset

00:42:17   and maybe also the battery, I don't know.

00:42:19   - Yeah, because I think the chipsets were bigger,

00:42:23   but it, and it's, every time a new generation

00:42:26   of cellular technology comes out,

00:42:28   the first round of chips are woefully power inefficient.

00:42:32   Right, I mean, that's why, it's exactly why

00:42:34   the original iPhone didn't even have 3G,

00:42:37   was that Apple, when they made the original iPhone in 2006

00:42:42   to ship in 2007, couldn't get the battery life

00:42:48   they wanted out of 3G, it took another year.

00:42:50   That's why Apple was later than any of its major competitors

00:42:55   to LTE, that they couldn't get the battery life

00:42:57   they wanted out of it.

00:42:58   - So I think that, and could that still be the explanation

00:43:03   for why Android phones are much bigger?

00:43:05   Is it that Android, the operating system,

00:43:08   it uses more power, is less efficient than iOS?

00:43:13   Or maybe that the chips that they use

00:43:15   are less efficient than the ones that Apple

00:43:17   has custom designed for itself?

00:43:19   I obviously have no idea, but that's one potential reason.

00:43:24   Another could be that people actually

00:43:26   do like the larger phones.

00:43:29   Yeah, but there's existence proof.

00:43:30   The fact that the iPhone is the world's most popular single

00:43:33   means that there is also demand for smaller ones.

00:43:38   - Well, that's a little, I mean,

00:43:40   so to play devil's advocate,

00:43:41   the reason that the iPhone is the world's best-selling phone

00:43:44   probably has very little to do with its screen size,

00:43:46   which is another argument as to why

00:43:49   that the other ones maybe shouldn't,

00:43:51   should try to go smaller,

00:43:54   but part of it is 'cause Apple only has, what,

00:43:57   like three different phone models, versus--

00:43:59   - If you wanna get an iPhone,

00:44:01   You really only got to, you choose a model year.

00:44:04   - Yeah, you don't really have a choice

00:44:05   on the screen size. - You don't get a choice

00:44:06   on the screen size, so we can't prove it.

00:44:07   That is a good point, we can't prove.

00:44:10   - Yeah, and it's the iPhone.

00:44:11   It's better in so many other categories that people,

00:44:14   perhaps there are people who say,

00:44:15   man, I really want a five-inch screen,

00:44:17   but I want an iPhone more, so I'm gonna get the iPhone.

00:44:20   So I don't know if that's necessarily causation, but--

00:44:24   - Well, but the thing that gets me, though,

00:44:26   is that there's, why hasn't anybody even tried it, though?

00:44:29   Why hasn't anybody since that one first Lumia

00:44:32   tried an iPhone-sized device?

00:44:36   And you said that first Lumia, if it sputtered

00:44:40   in the marketplace, it almost certainly

00:44:42   had nothing to do with the physical size of it.

00:44:44   It was the fact that it was the first version of Windows Phone

00:44:47   7 and was really, really limited technically

00:44:52   by the software in a lot of ways.

00:44:54   It was a great device, but it was really, really limited

00:44:59   software-wise in terms of the apps.

00:45:02   I mean, however far behind Windows Phone remains today

00:45:05   in terms of apps in their app store and stuff like that,

00:45:08   it was like night and day compared to, I think,

00:45:12   about two years ago when that first Lumia came out.

00:45:14   - So someone somewhere is making this decision,

00:45:17   and I would love to hear, I'm sure you would too,

00:45:19   like what the actual reasoning is behind it.

00:45:22   One reason may be just the opportunity to say that,

00:45:26   oh, there is something different about this phone

00:45:30   than the iPhone, and it's bigger,

00:45:32   and bigger is better, right?

00:45:33   Big, of course, bigger is better.

00:45:35   - But not one company-- - But no one's even tried it.

00:45:39   - Right, and that's supposed to be the difference

00:45:41   between Apple's platforms and, quote-unquote,

00:45:45   open ones like Windows and Android.

00:45:47   It is, and it's a lot easier to see how it's

00:45:50   in Apple's interest to have one canonical screen size,

00:45:54   or now a new one, but that it's as minimally different

00:46:00   as the old screen size is possible, right?

00:46:02   And that when they went to higher screen resolutions,

00:46:05   they did it instead of going incrementally

00:46:08   and adding a few pixels per inch every year,

00:46:10   they waited three years and then one fell swoop

00:46:13   went to double the resolution,

00:46:15   but at exactly the same physical size.

00:46:17   And we can see how that's in Apple's interest

00:46:19   with the control they have over the whole platform,

00:46:23   so that for the ease of software development

00:46:25   and developer targeting devices,

00:46:27   and what's the word everybody always uses?

00:46:30   - Fragmentation.

00:46:31   - Fragmentation.

00:46:32   To minimize fragmentation that it's in Apple's interest.

00:46:34   But the whole point with Android,

00:46:36   supposed to be like Windows,

00:46:39   where you get this incredible plethora of devices

00:46:43   that are supposed to run the gamut from everything

00:46:47   from Blackberry-style keyboard devices to touch screens.

00:46:52   - So the funny thing is that a lot of that

00:46:57   is being dictated by the carriers,

00:46:59   and that's kind of my point to,

00:47:02   you linked to a great post by MG Siegler the other day

00:47:05   about Samsung as the fifth horseman,

00:47:07   and the reality about Samsung

00:47:10   and most of the Android companies is that

00:47:13   they're in a way not necessarily

00:47:16   the only one to credit for their success or failure.

00:47:20   So much of their business is dictated by

00:47:22   the guy at Verizon and AT&T and Sprint

00:47:26   who decides what phones they want to sell in their stores.

00:47:29   There's a lot of interplay there both ways.

00:47:32   And credit Samsung for being able to be profitable,

00:47:35   which a lot of their competitors aren't.

00:47:37   But a lot of their decisions--

00:47:38   - All of their competitors aren't.

00:47:40   - Right, yeah.

00:47:40   - Right, I mean that's the thing to keep in mind

00:47:42   is that there are only two companies in the world right now

00:47:44   turning a profit in smartphones.

00:47:47   And that's Apple with like 75% of the profit

00:47:51   and Samsung with all of the rest.

00:47:53   I mean, HTC just reported results.

00:47:55   They made like 10 bucks last quarter.

00:47:57   It was, I mean, it was like record-breakingly sad,

00:48:00   like 2000 all the way back to like 2007 levels

00:48:03   of like profit for HTC.

00:48:06   - Yeah, I wonder if that horrible acquisition they made

00:48:10   and then got rid of the Beats headphone company,

00:48:13   I wonder if that had anything to do with it.

00:48:15   - I can't imagine that they paid that much for Beats

00:48:17   that it would affect.

00:48:18   - I think it was like half a billion dollars.

00:48:20   But I don't know.

00:48:21   - I really think it's all about--

00:48:22   - I have to look at their stuff.

00:48:24   - Horace Dejue, and I relinked it earlier this week,

00:48:27   has pointed out that Samsung spends an ungodly amount

00:48:30   of money on marketing compared to all of its competitors,

00:48:33   and that they're on pace to spend like,

00:48:35   I think like $12 billion for calendar 2012.

00:48:39   Now he wrote this post like three, four months ago.

00:48:41   So like, it was projected for 2012,

00:48:44   but mostly based on a couple quarters of actual results.

00:48:48   So that Samsung spends like $12 billion last year

00:48:51   on marketing and stuff that you could

00:48:55   more or less call marketing.

00:48:57   Apple spent, I think, under a billion.

00:48:59   Dell and HP spent a little more.

00:49:02   Microsoft spent a little more.

00:49:04   But you could add up Apple, Microsoft, Dell,

00:49:09   I forget who else he had in the list,

00:49:10   and they were all combined, were like one third

00:49:13   of what Samsung spends on marketing.

00:49:15   And that they spend even more than Coke.

00:49:18   And Coke, Coca Cola company is almost famously all marketing.

00:49:21   That's the only thing you could do with soda pop,

00:49:25   is market it.

00:49:26   Because you're selling stuff, 50, 60 cents.

00:49:32   I guess soda costs more than that now, what?

00:49:35   But it's like a dollar a shot.

00:49:37   You have to market the hell out of it

00:49:40   when you're only selling stuff for a dollar a shot.

00:49:44   And that nobody else can compete with that.

00:49:46   HTC can't spend $12 billion a year on marketing.

00:49:49   And that the result of it--

00:49:49   - And that may be how they're able to win

00:49:52   all these deals with the carriers,

00:49:53   is say, "Hey, we'll spend the hell on marketing

00:49:55   "because we can.

00:49:57   "That means you'll buy our phones at these prices

00:49:59   "and we'll work together on what the products

00:50:01   "actually look and feel like,

00:50:03   "and it'll work out for all of us."

00:50:05   - And part of that marketing is not just advertising.

00:50:08   It's stuff like, look, if you, you know,

00:50:11   the spiffs and kickbacks and stuff like that

00:50:13   that they give to, you know, the salespeople

00:50:16   in carrier stores.

00:50:18   And that works.

00:50:20   That works for phones because, you know,

00:50:22   and I've written about this for years too,

00:50:24   that the phone business is still, you know,

00:50:27   unique in that way.

00:50:28   It's like buying a car, where buying a car

00:50:30   is unlike buying anything else, because car dealers

00:50:33   are this weird sort of moon man retail landscape.

00:50:36   Buying cell phones is still like that.

00:50:39   There are most people when they go buy,

00:50:41   and I get, you probably get email like this too,

00:50:43   but I get email like this all the time,

00:50:45   where there's still people who say like,

00:50:46   "Hey, my dad went to buy a new phone

00:50:49   "and he wanted to buy an iPhone,

00:50:50   "and he goes into the Verizon place

00:50:52   "where he's bought his last three phones

00:50:54   "and said I want to buy an iPhone."

00:50:55   And the guy's like, "You don't want the iPhone.

00:50:56   "You want this."

00:50:57   And steers him another way, and he's like,

00:50:59   "Nope, I want the iPhone."

00:51:00   And either, the emails usually end with one of two ways.

00:51:04   Usually it's like, and then he ended up buying

00:51:06   the Samsung Galaxy, whatever, and now he kind of hates it

00:51:10   and he wishes he had the iPhone.

00:51:12   Or B, the guy actually had to leave the store

00:51:15   and just went to the Apple store and bought it.

00:51:17   But that, you know.

00:51:18   - And that's why those retail stores are such an advantage

00:51:22   for Apple, not only from the marketing and sales perspective

00:51:26   but all they sell to their iPhones.

00:51:28   So if you think to go, and I think that's huge

00:51:31   for the iPad too.

00:51:32   I mean, no one in their mind thinks,

00:51:34   I need a new iPad, I'm gonna go to the Verizon store.

00:51:36   - Right, and that's exactly where I'm heading,

00:51:38   which is why, that explains why Samsung has had,

00:51:41   you know, undeniably terrific success

00:51:44   selling touchscreen smartphones,

00:51:47   and almost no success selling tablets.

00:51:50   I mean, it's like a tiny little blip on the radar,

00:51:54   that all the Galaxy tabs that they've sold to date.

00:51:57   - Which is why they're also starting to do their own stores,

00:51:59   but we'll see how that works out, I don't know.

00:52:02   It's interesting, I had once heard,

00:52:04   Nokia, before the iPhone and all this stuff,

00:52:07   Nokia was famous for its worldwide sales infrastructure.

00:52:12   Like it was Nokia that had all the guys in India

00:52:16   selling out of vans and that kind of stuff.

00:52:18   And the story I'd heard was that Samsung

00:52:21   was starting to have some real success there,

00:52:24   packaging cell phones along with their

00:52:29   washing machine infrastructure and that kind of stuff

00:52:32   in those markets, but obviously I have no idea

00:52:34   if that's true or not, but that could explain

00:52:38   how some of that sales promotion stuff works too.

00:52:41   Not just at the nice Verizon store in a big US city,

00:52:46   but also around the world where Samsung,

00:52:49   it was interesting, I was in Japan a couple weeks ago,

00:52:52   and Samsung obviously has done very well there too,

00:52:56   but there's a lot of tension between the Japanese

00:52:59   and the Koreans over things like these islands

00:53:04   in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

00:53:05   that they dispute who owns them and just stuff like that.

00:53:08   And of course the decline of Sony in Japan

00:53:13   is just a huge topic of embarrassment for the Japanese.

00:53:17   So what Samsung has done there is interesting,

00:53:20   is in their advertising,

00:53:22   they don't have Samsung's name at all.

00:53:25   It's just, it's all Galaxy.

00:53:27   - Huh, interesting.

00:53:28   because Galaxy is a new brand that's not owned by the Korean Samsung company, but they

00:53:35   try not to amplify that part. It's just Galaxy. It's a whole new thing. I posted

00:53:41   on Splat Off, there were a bunch of "Merry Christmas" from Galaxy signs up in Tokyo

00:53:47   that literally did not have Samsung in the ad at all. Or maybe it was really, really

00:53:52   small on some of the phone, but it wasn't like, "Samsung Galaxy wishes you Merry Christmas."

00:53:57   It was all galaxies.

00:53:59   So it's kind of interesting the way they've done that there.

00:54:01   - I've seen a few things from people who have,

00:54:04   I definitely have a better perspective on

00:54:07   those sort of cultural dynamics in Asia,

00:54:12   better than I do,

00:54:15   who've said that, you know, for a long time now,

00:54:20   months, you know, a year even, really,

00:54:22   is this Apple, Samsung rivalry,

00:54:24   and legal stuff has escalated.

00:54:26   However much it gets played up in the press

00:54:31   of Samsung versus Apple,

00:54:33   that's really just a coincidence of the fact that

00:54:37   they're both in this specific market

00:54:41   of touchscreen smartphones

00:54:43   and that they're battling it out

00:54:44   and the stakes are very high

00:54:46   and they're both having tremendous success.

00:54:49   But that institutionally, the company that Samsung

00:54:52   has long had its gun sights on is Sony.

00:54:57   That they have explicitly been gunning

00:55:00   for everything Sony does for years, decades maybe.

00:55:04   That they, when they got started in consumer electronics,

00:55:07   their whole goal was to take Sony down.

00:55:12   And they kind of have, really.

00:55:13   - They really have.

00:55:15   - I mean, even in stuff, and like you said,

00:55:17   that in terms of being a source of embarrassment,

00:55:19   The fact that they've taken over as a leader in TVs

00:55:24   is really weird.

00:55:26   If you're old enough-- and I don't know.

00:55:27   I feel like if you're young, maybe you don't know.

00:55:29   But when we were kids, a Sony TV was it, man.

00:55:33   I mean, that was the best.

00:55:35   I mean, that was it.

00:55:37   It didn't even matter what size or whatever.

00:55:39   If you got Sony TV, Trinitron, Trinitron was like--

00:55:42   then you knew you got--

00:55:44   it was just so much better.

00:55:45   It was.

00:55:46   I mean, and you just--

00:55:47   maybe it wasn't even better.

00:55:48   but everybody certainly thought it was better.

00:55:49   It was the, as they say, the Cadillac of TVs.

00:55:53   - I remember the first time I bought

00:55:56   a Samsung computer monitor,

00:55:58   and I think my dad was like, what, you bought a Samsung?

00:56:01   And I'm like, oh, actually they're pretty good now.

00:56:04   But, so here's the funny thing,

00:56:06   is that I've been using my iPad Mini a ton,

00:56:10   especially over Christmas,

00:56:11   I was kind of not really doing anything

00:56:13   for a couple weeks, and I don't know.

00:56:17   Now I kind of see where the Galaxy Note is coming from,

00:56:20   like the really big phone.

00:56:22   And I don't think I would want that--

00:56:25   I don't know.

00:56:25   I don't know if I want that as my only phone.

00:56:27   I do really appreciate that the iPhone barely even

00:56:31   makes a bump in my pocket.

00:56:32   But it would be kind of cool to have an iPad mini or something

00:56:36   a little smaller than that with me all the time as my kind

00:56:40   of everything device.

00:56:41   I don't know.

00:56:42   Maybe I'm getting a little weird.

00:56:45   Well, I don't deny that.

00:56:46   And I do feel, there's a certain anti-Apple contingent

00:56:50   that I saw it on Twitter today just from a few things

00:56:53   that I tweeted, who their perspective is sort of,

00:56:56   I'm not quite sure why they think,

00:57:00   they seem to think that if it's true,

00:57:02   they assume that it's true that Apple's

00:57:04   gonna make a five-inch phone.

00:57:05   And that in their view, Apple gets,

00:57:09   all these idiots think Apple's the leader,

00:57:10   but Apple's really the follower.

00:57:12   Like that the iPad mini is just a response

00:57:15   to these other tablets, the seven inch size tablets.

00:57:20   And that it's an about face because Steve Jobs

00:57:23   poo-pooed a seven inch tablet three years ago.

00:57:26   And that Apple's going to make a five inch phone.

00:57:29   And that, I'm not quite sure though

00:57:33   why they think they haven't yet though.

00:57:34   That they, did they think that they think

00:57:36   that Apple couldn't?

00:57:37   That Apple is like technically inept

00:57:39   and can't make a five inch phone?

00:57:42   It doesn't really make much sense to me

00:57:43   where they're coming from with this sort of

00:57:46   Apple's gonna have to follow these other guys

00:57:50   eventually perspective.

00:57:52   Clearly Apple can make an iPhone whatever size they want

00:57:56   that they choose not to.

00:57:58   - Right, I think that a lot of people,

00:58:00   I see this actually a lot in,

00:58:02   even in just tech journalism,

00:58:04   which is confusing the order in which things happen

00:58:08   with what's actually the cause for them.

00:58:12   - Yes, yes.

00:58:13   So much of it has to do with things that are not actually one thing causing another thing

00:58:19   just because it happened after it.

00:58:21   There could be that Apple wanted to release a four and a half inch phone a year before,

00:58:26   but there was something else in the product cycle that didn't permit it.

00:58:31   Or maybe the iPad mini had been tested just as long as the first iPad, but they didn't

00:58:36   want to make it so close to the size of a phone at first because they weren't sure if

00:58:41   if that was a convincing argument to buy it.

00:58:45   - Right, or just couldn't make it thin enough

00:58:46   with that graphics performance.

00:58:48   - Exactly, thin enough or cheap enough or any,

00:58:52   there could be a billion different reasons

00:58:54   for why these things happen,

00:58:55   especially in the order that they happen,

00:58:58   that really have nothing to do with what else is going on.

00:59:01   - And Apple is, a lot of times,

00:59:03   except in the cases of something like the iPhone,

00:59:06   where it really was like nothing that came before it,

00:59:09   But when it comes to things that are more incremental,

00:59:13   like new sizes of existing things,

00:59:16   Apple usually is behind, certainly not first,

00:59:21   because they don't rush things out,

00:59:23   and somebody else is gonna rush the thing out, right?

00:59:27   I mean, somebody else is gonna make

00:59:28   a seven-inch tablet first once tablets exist,

00:59:31   because somebody else is gonna be willing to do it badly.

00:59:35   - Absolutely, and like for example,

00:59:38   the iPhone, what if to make the screen bigger a year earlier, they had to ship it 2mm thicker

00:59:48   to account for the old 30-pin cable?

00:59:51   Well now we're talking about a really big phone in your pocket, but the fact that they

00:59:55   were able to make it thinner because of the new port and also probably some other improvements

01:00:00   in battery and that sort of stuff, that may have justified making it a little longer because

01:00:05   it's thinner, so its overall volume is about the same.

01:00:09   I don't know, there's just a lot of weird stuff

01:00:12   that goes into this stuff that it's not,

01:00:14   oh, Apple copied Amazon Kindle

01:00:16   because they have a smaller iPad.

01:00:18   - Let me run this by you before we switch topics.

01:00:22   And it's the sort of thing that, I don't know,

01:00:25   if I run it up on Daring Fireball,

01:00:26   it's the sort of thing that's gonna drive

01:00:28   the people who think I'm just an idiot fanboy up a tree.

01:00:34   But my thinking on this sort of goes along the lines

01:00:38   of something that John Siracusa has often mentioned

01:00:41   about buying TVs, that when you go into a big box retailer

01:00:46   to buy a TV, they have the TVs on the show floor set

01:00:50   at these preposterous settings with unbelievable amounts

01:00:54   of contrast and color saturation

01:00:56   because when you're sitting there looking

01:00:59   at 30 different TVs in a Best Buy,

01:01:02   your eye is going to get drawn to the one with the most vibrant color saturation and

01:01:08   contrast even though you would never want to set it like that in your home because you're

01:01:13   ruining skin tones in the way that like movies and TV shows are supposed to look.

01:01:18   They're not supposed to look anything like that.

01:01:20   But what you buy when you're looking at things side by side isn't necessarily what's best

01:01:25   for you.

01:01:28   And so I think there might be a factor like that

01:01:30   at play with phone sizes,

01:01:32   that you're in the market for a new phone

01:01:36   and you go in to look at them

01:01:38   and you see one that's bigger and you think,

01:01:40   well, I want to do a lot of reading, it's better to read.

01:01:43   And clearly, the whole thing, it's clearly a trade-off.

01:01:47   There's absolutely good things and bad things to be said

01:01:49   about form factors that are even smaller than the iPhone.

01:01:52   There's some cases where a 2.5-inch iPhone might be better.

01:01:57   watch or whatever.

01:01:58   Right.

01:01:59   Everything's a trade off in life anyway.

01:02:00   So, especially when you're talking about relatively

01:02:03   incremental differences in size and let in the grand scheme of

01:02:07   computing devices, if you went back in time, 20 years, just 20

01:02:12   years to like, to the CES where Apple unveiled the Newton and

01:02:16   you had an iPhone in your one hand and a Samsung galaxy note

01:02:20   in the other, you know, two radically different to our minds

01:02:24   today smartphones and showed them to somebody in 1992,

01:02:27   they would think they're two of the exact same thing.

01:02:30   It's the exact same thing.

01:02:32   It's, wow, you guys have amazing little handheld touchscreen

01:02:35   color devices 20 years from now.

01:02:39   Can't wait.

01:02:40   Whereas today, we can make a bigger difference over--

01:02:43   a bigger deal over the difference between a 4-inch

01:02:45   and 5-inch screen.

01:02:47   But I think there might be a factor there

01:02:49   where if there were two iPhones side by side--

01:02:53   Well, if Apple did a five inch phone, would it be, would they do it alongside one that's still the existing size?

01:02:59   I don't know that they could because I feel like

01:03:02   people when they go and look at them side by side would be

01:03:09   disproportionately drawn to the bigger one because they just would think on the show floor that the good things about a bigger one

01:03:15   stand out visually whereas the good things about the smaller one like feeling better in your pocket all day long

01:03:23   or being easier to use one-handed

01:03:25   while you're doing something else or just walking,

01:03:29   don't really show when you're trying them in a store.

01:03:32   And that more people would buy the five than the four,

01:03:35   maybe to the point where the four wouldn't even sell,

01:03:37   the four-inch size one wouldn't sell that well,

01:03:40   even though Apple might know, or at least think,

01:03:43   based on their own design work internally,

01:03:48   that the smaller size is actually better.

01:03:51   You see what I'm getting at?

01:03:55   And so it's better for them, at least in Apple's mind, that maybe Apple actually truly believes,

01:04:01   having tried five-inch iPhones or other sizes internally to Apple, that more people would

01:04:08   be better on—not necessarily everybody, but more people would be happier with a smaller

01:04:12   size than a bigger size, but if they made both, a lot of people would make the wrong

01:04:18   choice.

01:04:19   And so they're not even going to let you make that choice.

01:04:21   are going to make that choice for you and only make what are now considered smaller

01:04:27   smartphones?

01:04:28   Yeah, I think there's something to that.

01:04:30   And I think that amplifying on that is that maybe Apple is the only company that does

01:04:35   try to do that thinking for you and maybe even the only one with the confidence to do

01:04:39   that.

01:04:41   Every time you see Johnny Ive speak or you would hear this from Steve too, it's kind

01:04:47   of the essence of what they're saying is that they want you to be happy with your device

01:04:53   and that they will often make decisions for you that you may not even know that you need

01:04:58   to make or that you certainly don't know the right answer to because you haven't spent

01:05:03   as much time with this thing as they have. And ultimately, a year later, you'll thank

01:05:08   them for it.

01:05:09   Right. And I think it's exactly the sort of thing about Apple that makes Apple such a

01:05:13   polarizing company is that for me, that I see that as a good thing because I trust that

01:05:18   they know more about this than I do because this is what they do. And I would rather leave

01:05:23   it to an expert to make those decisions and try both out and have, you know, spend weeks

01:05:29   walking around Johnny Ives secret lab with a five inch iPhone before deciding, you know

01:05:34   what, my thumbs hurt more, you know, and making those decisions. And then I feel better. I

01:05:38   I feel like it's easier to make these purchasing decisions

01:05:41   than having to do it all for me.

01:05:43   And I think that's exactly the same thing

01:05:45   that drives some people to hate Apple.

01:05:47   - Well, it's a similar argument to, you know,

01:05:50   should you be allowed to have the file system in iOS?

01:05:53   - Right.

01:05:54   - You know, oh, I don't, people, you know,

01:05:56   demanding that sort of feature,

01:05:57   but maybe the real answer is that in the long run,

01:06:00   no, you don't want access to the file system.

01:06:02   So, and then Apple has the confidence

01:06:05   to make that decision for you,

01:06:06   And actually, the control to back it up,

01:06:10   to make sure that no one gets in there,

01:06:13   and in the long run, you're happy with it.

01:06:15   - And to make that, to have the foresight to see

01:06:18   that there are many repercussions of making such a decision

01:06:22   that play out to the benefit of everyone,

01:06:25   and that, yes, even if expert users

01:06:28   could use file system access on the iPhone

01:06:32   and not get confused and not screw things up,

01:06:35   And it could, in theory, be done in a way where most people wouldn't even turn on the

01:06:40   setting in settings that let you do it.

01:06:43   And they'd still have the same experience that they have on the iPhone where nobody

01:06:47   has access to the file system.

01:06:50   That because they've made that decision, it forces all developers to get on board with

01:06:56   this in a way that if it were an option that you could turn on, developers might not.

01:07:02   And then, you know what I mean?

01:07:05   - Yeah, I will admit, I'm actually pretty surprised

01:07:07   how quickly pretty much everyone got the new screen-sized

01:07:12   apps out for the new iPhone.

01:07:14   So maybe that sort of stuff is easier than we thought.

01:07:17   I don't know.

01:07:18   - Well, and that's the last point to me

01:07:20   about a hypothetical five-inch iPhone,

01:07:23   is that to me, if they did it,

01:07:25   they would have to introduce a completely new

01:07:30   app target size.

01:07:31   I don't think that they could do it with the same pixel dimensions as the current phone

01:07:39   blown up.

01:07:40   Because even leaving aside their own marketing definition of what a retina display is and

01:07:46   how far away it has to be from your eyes, I just don't think that they could do that.

01:07:49   I think if they actually went to closer to five inches and made a radically bigger screen

01:07:54   for a phone, at 960 or 1136, whatever the current,

01:07:59   1136 by 640, it would look bad, or it wouldn't look bad,

01:08:02   but it wouldn't look as good.

01:08:04   You would note, you might actually be able

01:08:05   to notice the pixels.

01:08:06   I think that at those bigger sizes,

01:08:08   you need higher resolution screens,

01:08:10   and developers, it would be more than just

01:08:12   a little bit of letterboxing at the top and bottom.

01:08:15   I think it would be like a totally new pixel dimension.

01:08:19   - It would be as if they cut that retina iPad screen

01:08:22   into quarters, right?

01:08:24   Yeah, and like you said, the appeal of it would be to get more as, you know, I know

01:08:33   exactly what you're talking about, being a big, big fan of the iPad Mini myself, more

01:08:37   and more as the weeks go by.

01:08:42   That it would be more than just blowing up this thing, it would be about some kind of

01:08:47   experience halfway between the iPhone and the iPad Mini.

01:08:51   But there's no way to get there by,

01:08:53   you can't shrink the iPad interface

01:08:55   any smaller than the iPad mini.

01:08:57   - No, you don't want to do that.

01:08:58   - And I don't think blowing this one up

01:09:01   without just scaling it up another inch,

01:09:03   I don't think that gives any advantage.

01:09:06   What's the point of making the phone bigger,

01:09:07   if it's not more, the screen bigger,

01:09:09   if it's not more pixels?

01:09:10   - And that's-- - I mean, you can make it,

01:09:11   I mean, there's a small number of people

01:09:14   who maybe because their eyesight isn't good,

01:09:15   who would actually prefer that.

01:09:17   And I'm not discounting that,

01:09:19   and I'm fascinated by accessibility issues like that,

01:09:22   but that's not a market that's big enough to do it.

01:09:25   That's not a reason enough to do it.

01:09:27   - And that gets back to the point where

01:09:29   that's the exact decision that someone,

01:09:33   another company would happily make,

01:09:35   but Apple will think twice and then ultimately not do

01:09:38   because of that exact reason is that

01:09:41   it doesn't make it better.

01:09:42   So just because we can make a five-inch phone

01:09:45   doesn't mean we should or will.

01:09:48   So, I mean, ultimately we'll see.

01:09:50   I mean, who knows?

01:09:51   There were people who yelled at me,

01:09:53   thought I was a crazy, insane person

01:09:55   because I said once that they should make a Verizon iPhone.

01:09:59   People were like, no, why would they have

01:10:00   more than one type of phone?

01:10:03   So, I, you know.

01:10:05   - Well, let's get, we should put ourselves on the record.

01:10:07   Do you think Apple will ship

01:10:09   a bigger screen iPhone in 2013?

01:10:11   - I think if they do, it would be,

01:10:16   so I'll say no, and I'll say if they do,

01:10:18   next year because I think this year we're gonna have the 5s and and that's

01:10:21   about it but maybe I don't know maybe not I'm gonna say no no no bigger screen

01:10:26   iPhone in 2013 you know any other thing I think people a lot of people really

01:10:31   discount are especially people who are who Android fans who really like the

01:10:37   unbelievable plethora of Android devices that are that come out every single week

01:10:41   is just how big of an advantage it is for Apple in the and this ties back to

01:10:47   to CES, right, with all these iDevice peripheral makers,

01:10:51   just how huge an advantage it is for Apple

01:10:54   that you can target the entire iPhone market

01:10:58   with just three sizes, the iPhone 3G, 3GS,

01:11:02   the iPhone 4, 4S, and now the iPhone 5.

01:11:05   That you could, with just three sizes for cases,

01:11:08   you can cover all iPhones that have been made since 2008.

01:11:12   I'm discounting the original 2007 iPhone.

01:11:15   And really, everyone's only making cases for the five and the four sizes.

01:11:22   And that's a great point because when I was in Japan a few weeks ago, literally like

01:11:28   an entire floor of, well no, like half the floor of some of these electronic stores are

01:11:33   selling phone cases.

01:11:35   And it was like three aisles of iPhone 5 cases, three aisles of iPhone 4S cases.

01:11:43   And then all these different kinds of things for like Samsung Galaxy and all these other

01:11:50   Docomo phones and all this stuff.

01:11:52   The options that you had as an iPhone owner were like 10 times more choice than any of

01:11:58   those other ones in terms of different cases.

01:12:01   I'll bet it's like a logarithmic scale too where as an iPhone owner you've got 10 times

01:12:06   the options of the next best phone, which is like the Samsung Galaxy 3.

01:12:12   And then after like one or two models of those,

01:12:14   I bet there's another 10 times drop.

01:12:17   And if you've got something like the Droid something

01:12:19   something X, you're looking at maybe like 100 times fewer case

01:12:24   options than the iPhone user has.

01:12:27   Yep, exactly.

01:12:28   You know that Samsung is doing well enough

01:12:30   with their flagship ones that maybe they're within one

01:12:32   order of magnitude, but the other ones

01:12:34   are probably two orders of magnitude behind.

01:12:37   Totally.

01:12:38   All right, let me do the second sponsor.

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01:13:40   Boom can really change the way that you listen to Netflix

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01:13:51   The Equalizer has stuff like system-wide presets.

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01:14:40   I hear something like this, that it's

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01:15:18   You didn't drop out again, did you?

01:15:24   - Nope, I'm here.

01:15:25   I was on mute.

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01:15:30   All right, here's the last thing I want to talk to you about

01:15:32   before I let you go.

01:15:33   Since the last time you've been on the show,

01:15:36   you have launched, you, Dan Fromer,

01:15:39   you have launched a new endeavor.

01:15:41   It's called City Notes.

01:15:43   You can find out about it, citynotes.io.

01:15:46   You tell me, you give me the pitch on what City Notes is.

01:15:50   - So I basically spent the last seven years

01:15:54   as a tech journalist watching a lot of people

01:15:58   and companies kind of start from zero

01:16:00   and do really cool things.

01:16:02   And at some point last year, sorry,

01:16:06   it was actually the year before, I'd got married

01:16:09   and we were kind of talking about, like,

01:16:10   oh, what should we do?

01:16:12   We both kind of want to start our own things at some point.

01:16:15   And so I was just like, all right, fine,

01:16:17   I'm going to quit my job and I'm going

01:16:18   to figure out what kind of startup I want to do.

01:16:21   And it took a little while.

01:16:23   And that's last year.

01:16:24   I had a great gig writing for ReadWriteWeb

01:16:27   about international technology stuff.

01:16:30   and I figured out kind of quickly

01:16:32   that I really wanted to do something involving travel.

01:16:35   With a name like Frommer, you kind of get that all the time.

01:16:38   - Is the other one, are they a Frommer too, or are they from?

01:16:41   - They are.

01:16:42   I actually don't know how they pronounce it,

01:16:44   but it's spelled the same,

01:16:44   and people are always wondering like, are you--

01:16:47   - With two M's.

01:16:48   - Yeah, yeah.

01:16:48   People are always wondering, are you related to them?

01:16:50   - Are you sure that that's how you pronounce your name?

01:16:53   - That's definitely how I pronounce my name.

01:16:55   I don't know if that's how they pronounce theirs.

01:16:56   It might be. - I don't get it.

01:16:57   I don't get it.

01:16:58   I still get, you know, and I always get a lot of grubbers.

01:17:01   Which I don't get, I only have one bee.

01:17:02   Why would it be grubber?

01:17:03   I don't get that.

01:17:05   - Yeah, I think it's German,

01:17:06   and maybe there's an accent that we've lost.

01:17:08   I don't know, I have no idea.

01:17:09   - Yeah, I'll tell you, the people who say grubber

01:17:11   usually don't seem very German to me.

01:17:13   (laughing)

01:17:14   Anyway, keep going, damn.

01:17:16   - So I always want to do something involving travel,

01:17:18   and having been writing about mobile for a long time,

01:17:23   I knew that that was kind of the future of where

01:17:27   our digital media industry was going.

01:17:29   So it took me a few months,

01:17:32   and I figured out exactly what I wanted to do,

01:17:34   which was, forever I've been traveling my whole life,

01:17:38   and I've always made these kind of lists

01:17:40   of things for my friends to do in different cities.

01:17:44   I had one for Tokyo and Paris and New York

01:17:49   and Chicago and San Francisco,

01:17:50   and it's not like here's a list

01:17:53   of the obvious tourist destinations

01:17:56   that you obviously know about already.

01:17:59   It's not like here's the Louvre in Paris

01:18:01   or here's the Sears Tower in Chicago.

01:18:04   It's kind of the idea of if you were to be directed

01:18:08   around a city by a cool friend,

01:18:11   here are some of the places they might take you.

01:18:13   Here's a somewhat obscure restaurant

01:18:16   that's really amazing that you should go to.

01:18:18   Here's a cool neighborhood that you should walk around

01:18:20   that's not gonna be in your typical travel guide.

01:18:23   Here's a good place to take a walk.

01:18:25   or here's great coffee in Paris

01:18:28   that won't show up in your tour guide.

01:18:30   And I'd always kept these lists

01:18:33   and kind of sent them out to my friends for free.

01:18:35   And one day I realized this should be a product.

01:18:38   This should be something that someone can buy.

01:18:40   And it should be an app.

01:18:41   It should be something that,

01:18:43   if I'm going to Minneapolis for a wedding

01:18:46   and I have six hours to kill and I want to find,

01:18:48   where should I have lunch

01:18:49   and where can I get a nice cappuccino

01:18:51   and go for a fun walk?

01:18:53   That's the kind of thing I should be able

01:18:54   to find really quickly, or if I'm going to Hong Kong

01:18:56   for a week for business, where's a couple good bars,

01:18:59   where's a good restaurant?

01:19:02   And it's a little like the wire cutter in the approach

01:19:06   that it's not an exhaustive list of 400 places

01:19:09   to go in a city, it's 10 to 20 to,

01:19:13   we'll have more than that, of the best places

01:19:15   to go in a city.

01:19:17   - I love that analogy, comparing it to the wire cutter,

01:19:19   like wire cutter for travel guides.

01:19:21   And I think that's gonna make a lot of sense

01:19:23   to people out there listening.

01:19:24   Because ever since I've started talking about the Wirecutter,

01:19:27   I get on Twitter all the time, people are like, hey,

01:19:30   I listened to the talk show.

01:19:31   And you were talking about, what's that gadget site

01:19:33   that only gives you like three recommendations for everything?

01:19:36   Everybody wants to know it.

01:19:38   And especially last month, I'm sure it's

01:19:40   because people were buying gifts,

01:19:42   I got all of these emails like, oh my god,

01:19:44   thank you for sending me to the Wirecutter.

01:19:46   So all of you who've checked out the Wirecutter,

01:19:49   I completely agree with Dan's comparison

01:19:52   that that's what city notes are comparable.

01:19:56   - Yeah, and I mean, it's not like necessarily a novel idea.

01:20:02   I've been doing this for years, but it really makes sense.

01:20:05   Like, in the age of a phone that has Google Maps

01:20:08   and Wikipedia and Foursquare and Yelp

01:20:11   and no shortage of lists of places to go, period,

01:20:15   why not provide someone a cross-section

01:20:17   of the absolute best places and the most interesting ones

01:20:20   and not just a bare list.

01:20:23   - Yeah, and it's an interesting and obvious,

01:20:28   I mean, I'm sure, but it is interesting though,

01:20:31   like compare it to the pre-smartphone world

01:20:35   where you could do something like this as a website

01:20:38   or you could do something like this

01:20:42   as some kind of print guide, right?

01:20:45   But if it's a website pre-smartphone,

01:20:48   you're not gonna have it

01:20:49   when you're actually there in the city, walking around.

01:20:52   And if you did it as a print guide,

01:20:53   you would have it in your pocket as you walk around,

01:20:57   but you wouldn't have things like search

01:21:01   or even mapping, right?

01:21:04   I mean, that's one of the huge things

01:21:06   that makes this a natural fit for a phone

01:21:07   is you say, yes, you can have my location,

01:21:10   and then when you're actually in New York

01:21:13   reading your New York guide,

01:21:15   it tells you here's how to get there.

01:21:17   - Right, so things that are important to me

01:21:18   our simplicity. I'm always going to err on the side of simplicity. I guess I should

01:21:24   describe the product first. Basically, what we're building is a guide per city, basically,

01:21:30   to start off with. We did a pilot test over the holidays of a New York holiday guide.

01:21:36   I kind of botched the timing of having you on the show by …

01:21:39   That's okay because … No, it was a really good learning experience. It was the first

01:21:44   app I'd ever shipped and it actually did pretty well.

01:21:48   - Good, I'm glad to hear that, but it is kind of funny

01:21:50   that your first one was a holiday guide

01:21:52   and then I have you on the first show after the holidays.

01:21:55   (laughing)

01:21:57   - No, it's-- - It's really nice.

01:21:58   I'm looking at it right now.

01:21:59   - It's good.

01:22:00   - I have to say it's really nice.

01:22:02   It looks good.

01:22:02   And I think everybody will agree that's the first test.

01:22:07   - Yeah, and it's basically, it's kind of like

01:22:11   almost an offline version of Instagram almost.

01:22:14   It's like here are, and we started with 20 places

01:22:17   for three bucks, and we'll kind of tweak all that

01:22:19   as we see what the right model is.

01:22:22   It may end up being free with a sponsorship,

01:22:24   or it may be a dollar for 10 places,

01:22:27   and we're gonna do a lot with in-app purchasing,

01:22:29   so maybe you'll start off with like a top 10 list,

01:22:31   and then you can kind of drill down

01:22:33   into different categories of things you like.

01:22:35   You might start off with like the top 10 whatever,

01:22:39   San Francisco list, and then if you wanna do

01:22:42   in-app purchases, maybe you can get 10 more restaurants

01:22:44   and a guide to Noe Valley and a guide to free--

01:22:49   - Or maybe separate, I'm just tossing up some ideas here,

01:22:53   I'll give you these ideas free,

01:22:54   but maybe separate something like eating

01:22:57   from what to do all day.

01:22:59   - Absolutely, I mean, basically anything that can be--

01:23:01   - I'm in San Francisco with my family, what should we do?

01:23:04   Where can we go?

01:23:05   What are we supposed to, how should we spend our time?

01:23:08   It is a very different problem

01:23:09   than where should we go for dinner.

01:23:12   - Totally. - Just saying.

01:23:13   - And basically-- - Pause that out there, Dan.

01:23:15   - I appreciate that.

01:23:16   Anything can be a guide.

01:23:17   I mean, it could be,

01:23:18   we'd love to do the John Gruber Guide to Philly

01:23:22   if you wanted to do something like that.

01:23:23   It could be organized around something else.

01:23:26   We could do the Ghostbusters Guide to New York.

01:23:29   We could do all kinds of stuff.

01:23:30   But the goal at first is just to make really, really simple,

01:23:34   inexpensive guides with things like beautiful photography

01:23:38   and the first app didn't have it,

01:23:41   but offline mapping is something that's important to me.

01:23:44   A lot of people when they're traveling overseas

01:23:46   don't wanna spend a bunch of data on downloading map tiles.

01:23:50   So our system supports offline mapping.

01:23:53   We did not include it in the first app,

01:23:55   but we may in future apps.

01:23:57   It's actually changing a little now

01:23:59   that maps are vector-based,

01:24:00   it's actually a lot less data than it was before.

01:24:03   So I don't know if, oh, sorry, that's my doorbell.

01:24:06   It's not for me though.

01:24:07   - That's all right.

01:24:08   If you need to get it, you can get it.

01:24:09   - No, no, no, it's not for me.

01:24:10   It's me, I'm downstairs.

01:24:12   - The call is coming.

01:24:14   So we'll see.

01:24:16   So we have the holiday guide is still in the App Store

01:24:19   and actually we'll be doing an update of that

01:24:22   within the next couple weeks

01:24:23   and everyone will get a free update

01:24:25   to the normal New York guide

01:24:28   which will be launching sometime in the next month or so,

01:24:30   I would guess, or maybe even a couple weeks from now.

01:24:33   And then we'll do a Brooklyn guide

01:24:36   and we'll do Tokyo and Paris

01:24:37   are probably gonna be the next ones.

01:24:39   but the goal is to do one for every city

01:24:42   and to have really fresh current, really high-end guides.

01:24:47   Kind of like my target audience

01:24:50   is kind of the daring fireball reader,

01:24:52   like the person who cares about fonts and likes design.

01:24:57   And a lot of the recommendations are gonna be

01:25:00   a little artsy or a little design-focused

01:25:04   for shopping and for--

01:25:05   - People who are interested in the best stuff.

01:25:08   The best stuff, yeah, the best restaurants,

01:25:09   the best coffee shops.

01:25:11   And again, it's not the most obvious

01:25:13   or the most famous places

01:25:14   because usually those are not the best ones,

01:25:17   especially anymore.

01:25:18   It's the really good up-and-comers,

01:25:21   who's the hot new chef in town,

01:25:24   where can you see something new and interesting?

01:25:27   And that's the challenge for me

01:25:29   is kind of aggregating all that information

01:25:32   and presenting it in a nice way

01:25:35   and building a business out of it.

01:25:36   but I'm really excited about it.

01:25:38   I actually met my co-founder after appearing on this show.

01:25:42   The first time I was on last summer,

01:25:45   this guy named Mark Dorison emailed me and said,

01:25:47   "Hey, I heard you mentioned a travel thing.

01:25:50   "I'd love to hear about it."

01:25:51   And it turns out he lives around the corner for me,

01:25:54   basically, here in Brooklyn.

01:25:55   And we met up and just started hanging out,

01:25:59   and eventually we're like,

01:26:00   "Hey, let's work on this together."

01:26:01   - So I get all the credit for your success.

01:26:03   - Yeah, you're more than welcome

01:26:05   to join our angel round if you'd like to.

01:26:08   - Now I'll just take the credit.

01:26:09   - All right, just take the credit.

01:26:11   So, yeah, I mean, we both have jobs right now.

01:26:15   We're working on this kind of as a--

01:26:16   - What's the next city guide that's gonna come out?

01:26:19   - So it's gonna be the main New York guide.

01:26:21   I think New York will end up being

01:26:23   probably our best seller over all time.

01:26:26   And then we need to build out our platform

01:26:28   to support in-app purchases of booster packs

01:26:31   or whatever we're gonna call them.

01:26:33   But we'll do New York and Brooklyn.

01:26:34   those will probably be separate guides with a little crossover.

01:26:38   And then I was just in Tokyo, and so we'll do Tokyo probably, and I was in Paris a few

01:26:44   months ago and I'm going back, so we'll do Paris also.

01:26:47   But I had a couple of really nice articles written about it in TechCrunch and also in

01:26:53   the New York Times, and I've gotten a lot of requests from people who want to help me

01:26:56   do guides for the cities they're in, like New Orleans and Barcelona.

01:27:00   And some of it will be contributors and kind of--

01:27:04   - Do you guys, is it set up such that if you guys

01:27:07   make a content change, does it require a new version

01:27:11   of the app, or can the app, does the app already have

01:27:13   all the content, or do you serve the content

01:27:17   to the app somehow?

01:27:18   - To make it offline, all of the content comes

01:27:22   with the download, so that means the initial download's

01:27:25   gonna be a little bigger than it would be

01:27:27   if it were being pulled live.

01:27:29   I think having offline access is super important,

01:27:31   especially if you're in New York on the subway

01:27:34   or if you're overseas without,

01:27:36   and don't want to do data roaming.

01:27:39   The system actually supports kind of a way to update

01:27:42   without updating the iOS app,

01:27:44   but I don't think we would use that.

01:27:46   I think we plan to update it infrequently enough

01:27:49   that we would also be bundling along some kind of changes

01:27:52   to the app's technology as well,

01:27:54   some either feature additions or stability enhancements

01:27:58   that sort of stuff. I think it has a good layout. I like it.

01:28:01   It's it's simple and I feel like there's a tendency in a lot of

01:28:07   it. I mean, in a way it's an ebook, right? I mean, it's at

01:28:09   least in it's a book type content and there's a lot of

01:28:13   there's an urge that a lot of people have when they design

01:28:16   stuff like this for smartphones and tablets to to design too

01:28:21   much navigation wise, right? Like this is an app where when

01:28:24   you launch it, it doesn't have to explain the interface to you,

01:28:28   which is good, right? I mean, that's the problem with all these apps where you launch them and you get this like over, you know, this like overlay that says, here's how you use the app. No, you open it up, and it's just a list of places, right? You just scroll the list, each one has a photo. And if you want to read it, you tap it. And then you're in there, and you're looking at the place, and that's it. And then there's a back button to go back to the main menu. So it's like two two levels of hierarchy deep. Perfect.

01:28:52   And I mean, if you look at, so that's exactly right. Everything that we do, I

01:28:58   want to be simple over everything else. Like that's always, to me, the goal for

01:29:01   everything is just to make it simple because ultimately like people are on

01:29:05   vacation or they're on a business trip. I don't want to waste a lot of people's

01:29:08   time trying to learn some complicated system or, or even read a lot of stuff.

01:29:13   Like I want to keep my descriptions really short and succinct because I want

01:29:18   you to have fun while you're in Paris. Like I don't want you to be sitting here

01:29:21   reading my long ass essay about someplace.

01:29:24   So--

01:29:25   - I didn't think of it, but now that you mention Instagram

01:29:28   as like an inspiration, that is what the main index page

01:29:31   looks like.

01:29:32   - Kind of, yeah.

01:29:33   - The pictures aren't square, but which is actually better

01:29:35   'cause you can fit two on the screen at once.

01:29:39   - More on the screen, a little better support

01:29:41   for wide screen.

01:29:42   - Right, but the pictures are all big enough,

01:29:43   they're plenty big enough that you get a good idea

01:29:46   of what it is, you know.

01:29:47   They're not thumbnails, they're full width of the thing.

01:29:50   - Exactly.

01:29:50   It's a great interface, I really like it.

01:29:53   - I appreciate it.

01:29:54   And so yeah, we just wanna provide really good information

01:29:59   and in an attractive and simple package.

01:30:01   - Right, and that's what it looks like.

01:30:03   It looks like a thing.

01:30:05   It feels like a little, it's not just, I don't know,

01:30:09   it's not just web pages or text.

01:30:11   It's like a little, it feels like a thing in your hand.

01:30:14   - But it can also be, like you said, it's kind of an ebook.

01:30:17   It really is kind of an ebook,

01:30:18   and that's kind of our file format is almost based off that.

01:30:21   So we'll probably do an iBooks version of each city,

01:30:24   and maybe even a PDF.

01:30:27   A lot of people have said,

01:30:28   oh, what are you gonna do for Android?

01:30:29   And I say, you can have a PDF, how does that sound?

01:30:32   - Yeah, but see, this is better though, I think.

01:30:34   - Oh, it's much better.

01:30:35   The mapping with location and all that sort of stuff,

01:30:38   I think is important.

01:30:39   So we're just getting started.

01:30:41   This is literally version 1.0.

01:30:44   We shipped it a few weeks before the holidays,

01:30:48   and it was funny, I was in the airport

01:30:50   waiting to fly to Tokyo, and I got the email from Apple

01:30:53   saying that it had been approved.

01:30:55   I'm like, oh my God, I'm about to go offline for 14 hours.

01:30:58   What am I gonna do?

01:31:00   - Did you wait?

01:31:01   - No, I didn't wait.

01:31:01   It worked out, everything worked out.

01:31:04   - I guess here's my last question for you design-wise,

01:31:07   is how quickly did you arrive at the idea

01:31:11   of each guide is its own app.

01:31:15   And every time you make a new guide,

01:31:17   it'll be a new app in the App Store

01:31:19   versus the one City Notes app, and then you

01:31:25   download new guides within the app, which I can only guess

01:31:29   you at least thought about.

01:31:30   So we'll do both.

01:31:34   One thing that I wanted to learn by doing as opposed

01:31:38   to just by guessing was seeing, is there

01:31:40   a kind of a search-based reason to have a city per app.

01:31:45   When I'm searching in the app store,

01:31:49   am I searching for Tokyo City Guide

01:31:51   or am I searching for travel guide app?

01:31:54   What are people searching for?

01:31:57   Because it is such a city-based thing.

01:31:59   Short answer is we'll find out.

01:32:03   But we do plan to have a main city notes app

01:32:06   and that may ultimately be the big winner

01:32:10   in terms of sales, I mean, that's the kind of thing

01:32:13   that Apple would feature.

01:32:14   I couldn't see Apple necessarily featuring

01:32:16   a single city guide unless there was a reason to,

01:32:19   like London for the Olympics. - Yeah, and the other thing,

01:32:20   too, is I would imagine that it's an easier way

01:32:22   to help build the City Notes brand,

01:32:24   as opposed to where, with the discrete apps,

01:32:28   it's more about the, each app is about that city.

01:32:31   - Right, so we'll see.

01:32:33   I'd love to learn by doing, as opposed to just by guessing.

01:32:38   I now have the tools to make individual apps

01:32:41   for each city really easily,

01:32:42   and then it's a matter of building

01:32:44   the kind of flag, tent pole, flag pole,

01:32:49   I don't know, flagship app that has all this stuff in there.

01:32:53   And we'll ultimately see which one works out best.

01:32:55   But for now, my plan is just to make a bunch of these,

01:32:59   and hopefully the company will succeed,

01:33:03   and I'll get to do this forever, but who knows?

01:33:08   - Well, I think you're onto something here.

01:33:11   I like it.

01:33:12   - So citynotes.io is our website.

01:33:14   City Notes Travel is our Twitter account.

01:33:18   Again, anyone who buys the initial New York City

01:33:21   holiday guide will get a free upgrade

01:33:24   to the main New York guide.

01:33:26   So it'll end up costing the same.

01:33:29   It's not gonna be cheaper or anything.

01:33:30   - Oh, so that app will turn into that app?

01:33:32   - Yes. - I guess so, yeah.

01:33:33   I just noticed that the name of the app is just New York.

01:33:36   - Yeah, I mean basically, well you can change that I think,

01:33:38   but we wanted an excuse to stop selling it

01:33:42   if we decided we should,

01:33:44   so that's why we made it the holiday guide.

01:33:47   And also that kind of, some of these places in here

01:33:50   we're gonna take out 'cause they wouldn't really fit

01:33:53   in a non-holiday guide, but--

01:33:55   - Well, but that's a great thing though

01:33:56   for everybody to know that.

01:33:57   If you hear this, you're listening to the show right now

01:33:59   and you're curious and you wanna check it out,

01:34:01   you can buy the holiday guide in the app store

01:34:04   knowing that it's not going, it's, you know,

01:34:06   it'll soon be more relevant than just

01:34:09   the just completed 2012 holiday season.

01:34:12   - Absolutely, buy with confidence.

01:34:14   It will be a free upgrade to the normal New York guide,

01:34:17   unless Apple tells me I can't do that, but I don't think.

01:34:20   NBC actually did that.

01:34:22   They turned their Olympics app into the NBC Sports app.

01:34:27   Anyone who had downloaded the NBC Olympics app

01:34:30   when they did an upgrade, it just turned into

01:34:33   generic NBC Sports app, which is interesting.

01:34:37   I had the Olympics app, and I thought it was such a piece of crap that I deleted it.

01:34:41   It was a piece of crap.

01:34:43   I did. I watched one basketball game, and then as soon as the game was over, I deleted

01:34:49   the app.

01:34:50   But anyway, yes. So we'll have a New York app out within a few weeks, and then we'll

01:34:55   do other cities. I hope by the end of the year we'll have a dozen cities up, and this

01:35:01   this will be my full-time job, but who knows?

01:35:04   - Well, that's great.

01:35:07   And should I encourage people who are interested

01:35:10   in maybe writing for it to contact you, or no?

01:35:13   Don't, don't.

01:35:14   - Sure, yeah, I mean, I'd love to hear from people.

01:35:16   We're gonna be super cautious and super selective

01:35:19   of that stuff at first, but it's always better--

01:35:21   - Right, because like you said, even if you pull it all off,

01:35:24   you're only gonna do maybe a dozen this year.

01:35:25   It's not a, you know, throw it all against the wall

01:35:30   and see what sticks.

01:35:31   It's not a shotgun approach.

01:35:32   - No, and most important to me is that we kind of,

01:35:35   if the goal is to build a brand that people think to know,

01:35:39   it's make sure that the voice is really genuine

01:35:43   and consistent and really means what I want it to.

01:35:48   Like, I would say I did a decent job at this,

01:35:51   but I'll probably look back at it in a couple years and go,

01:35:53   "Oh man, I can't believe you did that."

01:35:56   But that's really important to me,

01:35:57   is just really being proud of the work we do.

01:36:01   So that's why at first we're going to be a little slow probably to work with other

01:36:06   contributors.

01:36:07   But who knows, we'll see.

01:36:08   But yeah, I definitely would love to hear every bit of complaints or praise.

01:36:14   If there's something you hate about it, let me know.

01:36:17   There's a link to a survey at the bottom of the app.

01:36:19   I'd love for people to take that survey.

01:36:21   It's very simple.

01:36:22   It should take less than a minute or a couple of minutes.

01:36:26   And I'd love to know where people are planning to travel in this audience so that we can

01:36:30   make guides for the cities you're going to. So I've already learned that Chicago

01:36:35   and San Francisco are two audience favorites so far. So we'll do some other

01:36:41   stuff too. I think that at some point we'll let readers either submit places

01:36:45   or vote on places or you know even make and sell their own guides at some point.

01:36:50   But for now again everything I just want to keep as simple and clear as possible

01:36:55   so that people get information and have fun while they're traveling because

01:36:59   That's really what this is about.

01:37:00   I I I I second that notion.

01:37:06   Cool. That's great stuff. Thank you. I appreciate you. Dan Fromer city notes dot

01:37:11   io. Thank you for doing the show. My pleasure as always. Yeah, I will talk to

01:37:16   you soon. Cheers.