What's the best measure of who's on top of the consumer technology war? Browser stats? How about retail traffic in the holiday season? Or perhaps crime blotters?
The novel story line developed during the holiday season was a comparison of the crowds at Apple, Microsoft and Sony stores in a single mall. The Apple Store is packed, while the others look more like the early Saturday Night Live skit about the mall store that sells only Scotch tape.
Walker: [lighting his pipe] Yeah, you know, when you're working with a brand new, fresh idea, it's always a little harder. You know, um, most people are used to buying their - their tape when they go to the supermarket or drug store, you know. What we've got to do is turn their thinking around so they make a special trip down here to the Scotch Boutique when they want, uh, tape.
Floyd Hunger: Uh, look, uh, you know, you've probably thought of this but have you ever considered adding, uh, other prod-- you know, products like, uh, paper clips, uh, stationery, you know, things like that?
Or what about Windows 8 and Surface machines?
Meanwhile, criminals know that the machines worth stealing this year — as in previous years — come from Cupertino. Michael Grynbaum reported in a recent New York Times crime story that Apple thefts skew the overall crime stats, according to New York officials.
“If you just took away the jump in Apple, we’d be down for the year,” said Marc La Vorgna, the mayor’s press secretary.
On the radio, Mr. Bloomberg said that Apple products appeared to be the preference for many thieves, noting that he was not including thefts of competing devices, like the Samsung Galaxy, in his count.
The article also said that the police were using decoys to try and catch the theft rings on the subway.
This isn't new. This Apple effect on the crime rate was noted a number of years ago when researchers noted that iPod thefts were raising crime on the streets and transit and even retail. In those days, Microsoft hoped that Zunes would be stolen. No such luck.
Mayor Bloomberg suggests that iPhone/iPod owners should put their device in an interior pocket instead of a coat pocket so that owners may feel it when a thief puts his or her hand in a pocket. He suggested that "more body-fitting, tighter clothes" may help this effort.
While some may go for Bloomberg's fashion advice, I suggest it's easier swapping the Apple white earbuds for better sound technology with noise isolation, such as the Etymotic Research ER•4 earphones ($299) or the hf3 headset earphones ($179). These products provide great sound that will preserve your hearing and even make it look as if you're using a Android phone.