Friday, July 23, 2010

Nokia vs the World and where Android fits in

Recently news made its way around the tech world that Nokia is in need of new leadership. After their earnings showed a drop, people around have begun to speculate that this is the beginning of the erosion period of the company. While it does look bleak for Nokia, I somehow feel that they don’t have to die out in this way. And I am fairly sure they won’t just decide to go down like that anyway.

When I saw that particular tweet, I just couldn’t help but think to myself, why would Nokia let themselves go just like that? So far Nokia’s attempt at breaking into the smartphone market has been both ineffective as well as costly. But looking at the products launched one could make a safe statement that it isn’t all about the hardware that has cost Nokia a loss in this area. I firmly believe that Nokia needs to leave Symbian out of its equations when coming into this arena. After all, you don’t walk into a stadium full of gladiators wielding swords, maces and other various evil looking weapons armed with just knuckle dusters. Sure you might bruise one or two guys but in the end you won’t go aywhere except six feet under.

Preambles done, I believe that Nokia needs to look at what Motorola did at a time when people were starting to wonder how much longer the patient had till he stopped breathing. Motorola took a step back, realised what it is really good at, and went over to building hardware while utilising an open source smartphone OS that had already proved itself in the big wide world. And look at where they are now. Signing off deals with networks to sell their phones. So much for the patient’s breathing slowing down.

And that… Is exactly where Android fits in. I replied to the erosion tweet by stating “maybe Nokia will go ahead with the Android strategy. Make Android their OS and they focus on the hardware”

To which I got a reply

ldignan

@area51research probably too invested in symbian to make that move”

Really? So Nokia would leave themselves entrenched in Symbian and would let themselves die with it? Symbian can’t and won’t save Nokia. Not at this point. And Nokia knows this. So why would Nokia or any company at this point continue investing into making a smartphone OS when they know darn well that there’s an open source one for taking right out there. Sure, maybe they want to stand out and start developing something which has more functionality. But to do that they need to be on a roll which is exactly what they are not on.

I’m no prophet, nor pundit. I’m not some wall street analyst. But if I was Nokia CEO, I’d take the decision to begin rolling out the smartphone market using the Android OS while I manufacture the hardware and keeping the Symbian OS for the low scale mainstream phones that are in any case, being used by the majority of people still.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Motorola: we are your friends!

Ah the great droid x vs the rest of the android community. Or at least... The geek squad.

Http://i.engadget.com/2010/07/16/motorola-responds-to-droid-x-bootloader-controversy-says-efuse/

see that? well while endgadet likes to call the idea silly, i just can't help but wonder if what motorola is doing is really a bad thing.

Sure one could say that all the customizability that comes with android is lost. But consider who is being affected here. I mean how many people actually know how to root their phones. Whats the percentage of users who know the whole process. And more importantly, what section does that percentage represent? if i was to take a wild stab in the dark i might say that the percentage is at the moment not an insignificant one and that these people mostly belong to the geeks. Not even gadget nuts. Because my bets are that gadget nuts will take the phone, use whatever they can get out of it and then sell it soon after. But rooting? na.

The reason i put a bet that the percentage is probably tending towards the significant factor is that despite what the numbers are like i'm still inclined to believe that a majority of the users of android phones are still tech savvy people. And techies care about their customization options.

Flip the coin for a bit. What is android trying to do? its trying to take over the smartphone market. Push apple away. Take rim out. And shut down winpho7s growth even before it gets started.

Whats their strategy? separate the os from the hardware makers. Let them build the phones and android supplies the user bit. I shall probably go in depth regarding that in another post but for now, back to the point.

The point is that google has it right. Be non myopic. Make a user experience which anyone is going to be able to feel comfortable with. And they need the hardware makers to follow this principle too. Its mutual after all.

So with that in mind i think motorola has built an idiot proof environment which helps protect the average user who would probably use less than 20 percent of the features of the phone effectively. And like it or not i think in terms of being the future, this is the strategy that is in place.

The only reason you havent heard an outcry about the htcs like desire is because someone managed to get past their walls. But even they set walls and from what ive read, htc desire was no walk in the park for the rom makers.

So final thoughts. I think that techies like myself need to look beyond our needs and regard the big picture. Sure. For now we rule the community. But in the future it wont be that.

Atleast... It better not be.

Sidenote. As the market grows i think the hardware makers need to come up with ways to give users ways and means to customize their experience at a level that goes beyond the home screen.

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on the apple iphone 4

Well that has got to be one big embarassment for the great and admittedly at times rather arrogant stevie. But here's reality. The man really did do a bad job of the whole thing.

He did mention several rather interesting things. Amongst them was the fact that he said we are not perfect and that phones have problems. I still recall the release of the iphone for the first time where the man insisted on reminding the world that at its core, the iphone would always be a phone.

Unfortunately as fate would have it, the iphone was best at everything except truly being a phone. Its ability to drop phone calls with ease did nothing to support job's claim.

Now that we are in the era of the iphone 4 steve has given the thing a really cool steel band which acts as an antenna. Provided you aren't blocking it with your hand that is.

Which brings me to the point which has the world buzzing with excitement as the sharks swim around smelling blood. Iphone's latest failure in ability to keep up the calls. This time around it drops it so easily one could call it butterfingers and stand correct. The so called death grip is such that when a person holds the device in a certain manner it just disconnects. It isnt like this method of holding has to be a gymnasts move. It apparently is a very normal hold for lefties.

So what has apple done about this. The much awaited eventual press conference was held and it really helped bring out the lack of experience apple has in handling this stuff.

First up when it was brought to the attention of the people at apple all they had to say was hold your phone some other way. Next solution that came up was the bumper.

And then the press conference which was finally held two days ago. In it jobs announced that
a. They knew about this all along. But they just think everyone is kind of bloating the issue out of control.
B. They will be giving free bumpers to everyone who has bought an iphone.

Well what does that tell us? it means that apple has caught up with the red ring of death issue and in essence they just hope people will be able to live with the problem.

What's interesting to note is that the problem is also due to the fact that the technology used thus far to calculate the number of signal bars the phone should have is wrong. Their calculations over estimate it utterly. Thus if my reasoning is right... They used that same technology to test their new design which involved quite a bit of cash. Which means that after all that testing, the people in the labs were convinced their signal couldn't get any better.

My question is this. If jobs can claim that apple knew about this, why didnt they find out about the equation early on? what stopped them from changing the design, given that apple is all about usability and ergonomics.

Nothing adds up. 2+2 is giving me nothing but a doubt as to where this fiasco might end up.

Personally i dont think itll be as bad as vista was for ms. But itll definitely hurt them.

On a side note, jobs did claim that there were less returns than for the last iphone. Am i the only one who's thinking... Well naturally. Given that 70 percent of those early orders were simply upgrades.

Say what you like about common sense but the hype that apple has the ability to generate usually takes precedence over it.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

W3lcOme

To my domain I guess. As posted up on testing grounds this blog is pretty much going to add to the plethora of available blogs out there which constantly discuss techie stuff and la di das and do di doos. Only difference is this more of a muse centre on some of the things which I just can’t help but feel a lot of people seem to be missing these days. :S

Go figure.

There’s a whole load of stuff out there that I dislike due to bias that seems to run rampant even on the likes of Tech republic and CNET. If there’s some sort of controversy they all jump on the bandwagon and seem to roll around, which is exactly what I want NOT to do. That’s where the musings come in.

Time to set the records straight.

 

(that being said… I’m an ardent fan of the wealth of information that does come out of the sites mentioned above and any others I read. But still…. Gotta start with some sort of controversy right ;) )