Tag Archives: Apple

How the 6 digit Apple passcode requirement wastes $6.551 Billion annually

Apple this week announced that they are going to require 6 digit passcodes instead of 4 digit passcodes for the lock screen.

Newer ipads and iphones will require the 6 digit passcodes. That’s apparently more secure than 4 digit passcodes.

The only reason to go to 6 digits is when your phone gets stolen by someone who can brute force 10,000 codes (with 4 digits). Well, apparently, most people use pretty common passwords, so if you only try 27 known passcodes (such as 1111) then your chances of unlocking the phone are at 67%. That means only a third of the people actually use complicated passcodes that will take more than 15 minutes to crack.

If however, you have 6 digits, then the combinations are a million (versus 10,000+) so, it should take longer and more effort to crack your password.

I doubt that. 90% of people will go with 111111 instead of 1111 is my guess, or 123456 instead of 1234. Now, your stolen phone will take 22 minutes to be unlocked instead of 15. Yay!

Apple has sold 512 Iphones to date and about 200 million iPads. Of those, about 75% or 534 Million devices are still in active use. 83% of them run the latest version of iOS.

I am going to assume that most people will upgrade to the new OS version so about 500 million (534 million to be exact) iOS devices will be upgraded to 6 digit passcodes.

The median salary in the US is about $42,000 and the median iPhone users salary worldwide is higher – $53,000.

90% of the iPhone users move to 6 digit passcodes and each user actually unlocks their phone 50 times a day (given that most users glance or unlock their phone 150 – 500 times a day, it is a reasonable assumption).

The extra two digits will cause 1 second more to unlock is also a fair assumption to make.

This equates to $6,551,388,888.89 in productivity loss every year.

iPhone 6 digit passcode Migration Wasted Productivity
iPhone 6 digit passcode Migration Wasted Productivity

With no discernible added security. All for a feature going from 4 digit passcodes to 6 digits.

There were 1.6 Million phones stolen in 2014. The average price of the stolen iPhone was $250, equating to a $400 Million market.

End note: I know the value of a stolen iPhone to a user (especially if there is a loss of life tragically in some cases) is much more than $250, but a 6 digit passcode is not going to change that for the better.

Predicting news: The top 25 headlines after the launch of the Apple watch #AppleWatchPossibleHeadlines

Predicting the news is rather hard.  There are many things you dont even know about or can anticipate, but not with all news related to Apple. Given the over 12,000 blog posts devoted to Apple over the last year from The Verge, Mac Rumors, 9to5 Mac, EnGadget, Business Insider and many others, it is easy to put together a list of potential headlines that you can anticipate with  some level of confidence.

For every angle of the news of the Apple watch there are 2 possible outcomes, the good outcome, the bad outcome. It is more likely that the average outcome is what happens, but with Apple fans it is not at all hard to be confident that every average outcome is re purposed as a feature and not a bug. Case in point: The iPhone 4 dropped calls and users were blamed for “holding it wrong“.

So lets do a thought experiment and put the various possible headlines.

  1. Apple confirms over 1 million watches sold as pre-orders exceed expectations (MacRumors)
  2. Here are the only 5 Apple stores still left where you can get appointments for your Apple Watch (Business Insider)
  3. Apple analyst says his checks indicate that demand for the Apple Watch is off the charts (VentureBeat)
  4. Hands on with 15 different Apple watches and straps (Video) – The Verge
  5. Which Apple watch should you buy (we have tried them all) – Mashable
  6. Apple watch tear down reveals 78% margins and $102 is the BOM cost – iFixit
  7. Apple watch reservations are being auctioned on eBay for $25 to $50 – Tech Crunch
  8. The genius move by Apple to force reservations and create artificial demand – Jon Gurber
  9. Apple has sold more watches in 1 week than Android Wear for the entire year – enGadget
  10. Apple has significant supply chain problems, which is creating artificial demand for reservations – ReCode
  11. Here is the list of top 100 celebrities who have bought the Apple Watch (with photos) – Business Insider
  12. What happens when I strapped my Apple watch on my cat and left it for a day – Apple insider
  13. Apple watch straps cause rashes on your wrist – Mac forums are full of people complaining about it – Mashable
  14. The 50 unintended uses of Apple watch that I never expected – Apple fanboy
  15. How we jailbroke the Apple watch to work with Android KitKat – Android Central
  16. The expected lift from Apple watch to Q3 revenues for the company- Benedict Evans
  17. Apple watch disrupts the iPad and Telecom carriers voice plans – Asymco
  18. Apple watch gets poor reviews from early users causing oversupply – Business Journals
  19. Apple watch oversold and the reviews pouring in are overwhelmingly positive – San Jose Mercury News
  20. New blog showing celebrities sporting their Apple Watch goes viral – Huffington post
  21. Watch demand in China over strips supply as Apple reroutes orders from Europe – ZdNet
  22. Notifications are overdone say users as many turn off apps on the watch – ComputerWorld
  23. How many people bought the $10K Apple watch on Wall Street – We have the answer – Business Insider
  24. 10 things you never knew you could do with your Apple watch – MacRumors
  25. Apple stock hits an all time high as watch users drive sales – CNBC

For each and every one of these headlines the opposite can also be true. Which means we don’t quite know if it will do well or not, but if you are a editor at one of these publications, I’d totally steal these headlines and start writing copy to beat the others.

#AppleWatchPossibleHeadline

How the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) victory is like the launch of the iPhone

If you are not into politics in India, you can skip this post.

In 2007, Symbian was the dominant operating system among “smartphones”. There was another popular mobile OS – Blackberry. Then Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. The key feature was it was a “touch phone” and provided the power of the Internet in your pocket.

Then came the Android OS. I personally believe the Android OS was a copy of the iOS. Google did to Apple, what Microsoft did to Apple 30 years ago, but with a key difference – they made it (the OS) free.

Now, the similarities are eerie.

Congress is the Symbian phone. AAP is the iPhone and BJP is Blackberry. It is likely, that BJP or some other party could be Android. They can pick up the best pieces of the AAP and work at scale.

I really doubt that Congress will become the Android phone. They will likely continue to be Symbian or morph into the Windows phone (good for most parts, but with little market share).

Farhad Manjoo misses the point on Apple and contradicts himself

There’s a piece on Apple at the New York times today.

Farhad says Apple has done very well “financially” under Tim Cook. That’s the measure of any CEO’s success. So Tim Cook according to him should be praised not criticized.

Here’s the thing:

Under Steve Ballmer, Microsoft revenues doubled and profits tripled. He was still criticized as “not a good CEO”. I disagree on that BTW.

The stock market notwithstanding, Ballmer did a great job given what he was supposed to do.

If you read Farhad’s piece on Steve Ballmer a few years ago on Slate, he was a bad CEO, because he moved from music players to XBOX to other things. He also said later, that Steve Sinofsky leaving meant the wrong Steve leaving.

So much for consistency.

So which is it Farhad? Why should Steve B be maligned for boosting profits and revenues, while Tim C be praised for the same?

<This was the Twitter conversation the two of us had on the topic>. Great to see him engage to tell his side of the story.

Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo