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Although reports made in May 2010 indicate that Android had outsold Apple iPhones, more recent and current reports of the 2nd quarter of 2011 made by National Purchase Diary (NPD) on Mobile Phone Track service, which listed the top five selling smartphones in the United States for the months of April-June of 2011, indicate that Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS outsold other Android phones on the market in the U. S. for the third calendar quarter of 2011. This was true for the previous quarter of the same year; The iPhone 4 held the top spot.  The fact that the iPhone 4 claimed top spot does not come as a surprise to the analysts; rather, it is a testament to them of how well the iPhone is revered among consumers. The iPhone 3GS, which came out in 2009 outsold newer Android phones with higher screen resolutions and more processing power. The list of the five top selling smartphones is depicted below:

  1. Apple iPhone 4
  2. Apple iPhone 3GS
  3. HTC EVO 4G
  4. Motorola Droid 3
  5. Samsung Intensity II[1]

Apple’s iPhone also outsold Android devices7.8:1 at AT&T’s corporate retail stores in December. A source inside the Apple company told The Mac Observer that those stores sold some 981,000 iPhones between December 1st and December 27th 2011, and that the Apple device accounted for some 66% of all device sales during that period (see the pie figure below) . Android devices, on the other hand, accounted for just 8.5% of sales during the same period.

According to the report, AT&T sold approximately 981,000 iPhones through AT&T corporate stores in the first 27 days of December, 2011 while 126,000 Android devices were sold during the same period. Even the basic flip and slider phones did better than Android, with 128,000 units sold.[2] However, it is important to understand that this is a report for one particular environment at a particular period in time. As the first iPhone carrier in the world, AT&T has been the dominant iPhone carrier in the U.S. since day one, and AT&T has consistently claimed that the iPhone is its best selling device.

Chart courtesy of Mac Observer: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/iphone_crushes_android_at_att_corporate_stores_in_december/

A more recent report posted in ismashphone.com, dated January 25 2012, indicated that Apple sold 37 million iPhones in Q4 2011.  It appears that the iPhone 4S really helped take Apple’s handset past competing Android phones. According to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple’s U.S. smartphone marketshare has doubled to 44.9 percent.[3] Meanwhile, Android marketshare in the U.S. dropped slightly to 44.8 percent. This report means that the iPhone has edged just a little bit past Android in U.S. marketshare. This is occurred after Apple’s Q1 2012 conference call, which saw themselling 37 million handsets. Meanwhile, it’s reported that marketers of Android devices, such as Motorola Mobility, HTC and Sony Ericsson saw drops this quarter.

Like me, I believe most people go about their business never to give a serious thought about their assumed private correspondence when using Gmail to email friends, colleagues and business associates.  As it turns out, your daily banter may not be so private after all.  A recent article in Fortune Magazine, “Judge Rejects Google Deal Over Email Scanning” caught my attention and an immediate thought dominated my curiosity…Google email and scanning scam.  

 

In essence, the article describes Googles’ agreement to change the way it scans incoming messages so that it no longer reads emails while they are in transit, but only when they are in someone's inbox! So, what exactly does that mean? Judge Koh, a San Francisco federal judge, said she's not so sure about that. Her ruling claims the settlement does not provide an adequate technical explanation of Google's workaround, which involves scanning in-transit emails for security purposes, and then later parsing them for advertising data. The judge also proposed a legal settlement to pay $2.2 million to lawyers, but nothing to consumers.

My interest in this story is not so much about the proposed settlements or the specific details about how Google or any of the web giants settle claims based on vague legal language. It is however, more about the naiveté of myself and perhaps many others that never question how the email scanning process really works. I wonder, do most of us really care that Gmail uses contents of our mail to display targeted ads?

No industry is as global as software development.  Pervasive networking means that software developers can, and do, work from anywhere. This has led many businesses to hiring development subcontractors in other countries, aiming to find good development talent at lower prices, or with fewer hassles on entry into the US.

While this is an ongoing and dynamic equilibrium, there are compelling reasons for doing software development in the United States, or using a hybrid model where some parts of the task are parceled out to foreign contractors and some are handled locally.

Development Methodologies

The primary reason for developing software overseas is cost reduction. The primary argument against overseas software development is slower development cycles. When software still used the "waterfall" industrial process for project management (where everything is budgeted in terms of time at the beginning of the project), offshoring was quite compelling. As more companies emulate Google and Facebook's process of "release early, update often, and refine from user feedback," an increasing premium has been put on software teams that are small enough to be agile (indeed, the development process is called Agile Development), and centralized enough, in terms of time zones, that collaborators can work together. This has made both Google and Facebook leaders in US-based software development, though they both still maintain teams of developers in other countries tasked with specific projects.

Localization For Americans

The United States is still one of the major markets for software development, and projects aimed at American customers needs to meet cultural norms. This applies to any country, not just the U.S. This puts a premium on software developers who aren't just fluent in English, but native speakers, and who understand American culture. While it's possible (and even likely) to make server-side software, and management utilities that can get by with terse, fractured English, anything that's enterprise-facing or consumer-facing requires more work on polish and presentation than is practical using outsourced developers. There is a reason why the leaders in software User Interface development are all US-based companies, and that's because consumer-focused design is still an overwhelming US advantage.

Ongoing Concerns

The primary concern for American software development is talent production. The US secondary education system produces a much smaller percentage of students with a solid math and engineering background, and while US universities lead the world in their computer science and engineering curricula, slightly under half of all of those graduates are from foreign countries, because American students don't take the course loads needed to succeed in them. Software development companies in the United States are deeply concerned about getting enough engineers and programmers out of the US university system. Some, such as Google, are trying to get programmers hooked on logical problem solving at a young age, with the Summer of Code programs. Others, like Microsoft, offer scholarships for computer science degrees.

Overall, the changes in project management methodologies mean that the US is the current leader in software development, and so long as the primary market for software remains English and American-centric, that's going to remain true. That trend is far from guaranteed, and in the world of software, things can change quickly.

Controversy was recently courted as Southern California Edison (SCE) prepares to cut their own staff while looking to meet their staffing needs with offshore employees skilled in the field of “IT” or Informational Technology. This has been the second major utility company in the United States to take this path towards providing services to its consumers while holding current rates at consistent levels. SCE does not disclose the exact numbers of expected lay-offs, but the LA Times reports that it is in the hundreds.  Utility companies tell their consumers that these moves are necessary as a hedge against inflation and to keep their services at rates that their customers can easily afford. Critics claim that the use of foreign workers is the first step to using an entirely foreign workforce and promoting large scale unemployment amongst American citizens. Often this has been seen as a conflict between national and international workers for the same jobs, salaries and careers.

It has been noted that this State of California utility company, much like other corporations that hire foreign workers does so primarily when there is a shortage of national citizens that can perform these jobs well. IT workers that are brought in with H-1B Visa work permits usually are college educated and hold expertise in technical areas and studies that local employees may not be especially trained in. Once again, critics decry the fact that these employees are not hired directly. On shore contracting companies operating in the continental United States are directly hired by the utility companies. These contracted companies then serve as “middle-men” and hire a wide range of foreign workers with H-1B paperwork so that they can move to the United States. The workers then perform a variety of jobs instead of American workers who were either born in the country or have achieved American citizenship on their own.

Needless to say, the amount of visas issued in a given year is a concern for U.S workers in various fields but particularly in Information Technology. As large corporations stack the employment deck with foreign workers who put in the hours for a fraction of the pay-rate for local employees, local IT professionals are finding it more difficult to find work nationally.  They encounter rejections, endless interview processes or low –ball offers from companies and recruiting agencies looking to fill positions at a bare minimum cost for coveted skill-sets.  


Meanwhile, an H-1B worker is a worker brought in on a temporary basis with a visa allowing them to work freely in the United States. Much like a student or travel visa, it is issued for on a calendar oriented basis.  Applicants who successfully renew the visa for an extended period of time can expect to work in the United States for up to ten years.  Although U.S companies hiring these employees may pay them less than their local employees, the salaries earned by H-1B Visa workers are almost always higher than these workers would earn in their own country of origin.

Both sides can agree on several issues. When it comes to these H-1B Visa workers, their assignments are generally of a contractual nature and require them to reside in this country for a period of months to years. However it is also an accepted fact that while they are in this country, they are responsible for paying rent, utilities and all other living expenses. As residents of the United States on a permanent basis, they are also liable for taxes on any salary they have earned while living here.

Dr. Norman Matloff, a professor at the University of California, Davis and writer on political matters believes the shortage to be fiction. In his writing for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, he claims that “there has been no shortage of qualified American citizens to fill American computer-related jobs, and that the data offered as evidence of American corporations needing H-1B visas to address labor shortages was erroneous. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) agrees with him and describes the situation as a crisis. Likewise, other studies from Duke, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Georgetown University have disputed that in some years, the number of foreign programmers and engineers imported outnumbered the number of jobs created by the industry

Tech Life in Wyoming

Wyoming has one public four-year institution, the University of Wyoming seven two-year community colleges spread through the state. It was the first state to give women the right to vote. Wyoming has the lowest population of all the fifty United States with 91% of the land being classified as rural. The two industries that account for most of its revenue are tourism and mineral extraction
The wisest mind hath something yet to learn. George Santayana

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the hartmann software group advantage
A successful career as a software developer or other IT professional requires a solid understanding of software development processes, design patterns, enterprise application architectures, web services, security, networking and much more. The progression from novice to expert can be a daunting endeavor; this is especially true when traversing the learning curve without expert guidance. A common experience is that too much time and money is wasted on a career plan or application due to misinformation.

The Hartmann Software Group understands these issues and addresses them and others during any training engagement. Although no IT educational institution can guarantee career or application development success, HSG can get you closer to your goals at a far faster rate than self paced learning and, arguably, than the competition. Here are the reasons why we are so successful at teaching:

  • Learn from the experts.
    1. We have provided software development and other IT related training to many major corporations in Wyoming since 2002.
    2. Our educators have years of consulting and training experience; moreover, we require each trainer to have cross-discipline expertise i.e. be Java and .NET experts so that you get a broad understanding of how industry wide experts work and think.
  • Discover tips and tricks about Cisco programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Cisco experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Cisco programming tools
  • Save on travel expenses by learning right from your desk or home office. Enroll in an online instructor led class. Nearly all of our classes are offered in this way.
  • Prepare to hit the ground running for a new job or a new position
  • See the big picture and have the instructor fill in the gaps
  • We teach with sophisticated learning tools and provide excellent supporting course material
  • Books and course material are provided in advance
  • Get a book of your choice from the HSG Store as a gift from us when you register for a class
  • Gain a lot of practical skills in a short amount of time
  • We teach what we know…software
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