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Archive for the ‘iPhone’ Category

China’s WoPhone to compete with iOS and Android OS ;).

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China Unicom, one of China’s three largest wireless operators, plans to introduce its own mobile operating system to compete head-to-head with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android OS in China.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the wireless operator, which is building a third-generation wireless network that competes with China Mobile and China Telecom, is developing a new mobile OS brand known as WoPhone.

The new operating system is based on Linux, and it’s geared toward mobile handsets and tablets. Companies that plan to build devices using the new OS include China’s ZTE, Huawei Technologies and TCL. South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, US-based Motorola, and Taiwan’s HTC are also building devices using the new OS, China Unicom’s parent company, China United Network Communications Group, said in a statement on Monday.

For more on this story, read China Unicom to take on Apple, Google with OS on CNET News

Who said? Marguerite Reardon said ;).

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Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

March 25, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Smart Phone OS Breakdown: Pretty Colors Edition ;).

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Now this is how you make a chart. Cold hard facts and figures are already irresistible, but Nielsen has done one better by organizing data about  US smart phone subscribers into attractive, colorful infographics. The chart shows the distribution of mobile operating systems by manufacturer, which gives Apple and RIM some nice big bars for their respective platforms. With their iPhone and Blackberry products, each company controls 27% of the US smartphone market. HTC is the next most successful manufacturer, with a 12% market share for its Android devices and 7% for its Windows Phone 7 handsets.

When considering OS penetration, Android managed to squeak past the iPhone and Blackberry marketshare with a leading 29% cut. Windows Phone 7 isn’t doing too badly for itself–10% seems like a decent portion of the market for such a young OS. A second chart, posted below, demonstrates the smart phone breakdown by age.

These results are remarkably even–while Windows Phone 7, webOS and Symbian obviously post smaller numbers, almost every bar shows a pretty consistent distribution of phones among age groups. Android has a 2% advantage in the 18-24 range, while RIM has a modest 1% edge among 45-54-year-olds.

Who said? Wesley Fenlon said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

March 24, 2011 at 10:00 AM

How Android, iPhone and Blackberry Users See Themselves ;).

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Who said? Antonio Wells said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

November 8, 2010 at 8:00 PM

Why I Switched to Android: 7 BlackBerry Geeks Speak ;).

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Lots of players are trying their hands in the modern mobile game. What used to be a contest dominated by just a couple of companies, namely Nokia and Research In Motion (RIM) (RIM), in both the consumer and enterprise spheres, now has successful players ranging from Apple (AAPL) to Google (GOOG) and perennial mobile hanger-on Microsoft (MSFT).

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Apple, with its iOS-powered iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and Google, with devices based on the Android mobile OS, seem to be having the most success. That’s due largely to both the “freshness” and functionality of their respective operating systems. Indeed, these two companies are stealing the most prospective smartphone users away from BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM).

A few months back, before Android had gained the public support it’s currently seeing, and while Apple was barreling along, full-steam ahead, I spoke with a handful of hardcore gadget-geeks, folks who live and breathe mobile, who’d recently made the switch from a BlackBerry to the iPhone. The idea: Spotlight the factors that lured them away from RIM and into Apple’s “arms.” (Check out “The BlackBerry-to-iPhone Switch: Converts Speak” for details.)

Since then, Android has stormed the scene like a ravenous giant, devouring new subscribers in hordes and stealing buzz from RIM and Apple.

So I’ve hit the Web yet again to corral another collection of well-informed mobile enthusiasts and experts who’d recently dropped the BlackBerry for Google Android devices.

Every one of the seven sources featured in this story was located on Twitter, and I both respect and trust their opinions, because I read many of them on a daily basis. Every source also has a background using both BlackBerry smartphones and Android devices–and in some cases, others handhelds, as well. Most of them use their smartphones for both work and play.

In other words, these folks know smartphones.

Keep moving for straight talk on why RIM is slowly losing market share to competitor Google, what the company could do to retain and regain users, and the future of RIM’s BlackBerry OS, according to former “CrackBerry” addicts. If you’re not interested in the specifics, skip right to my conclusions.

Name: John Barsodi

Twitter Handle: @jbarsodi

Age: 31

John Barsodi Twitter Image

John Barsodi’s Twitter Image

Bio: IT staffer for an international gaming company who’s worked in various messaging-related IT roles, mainly designing and supporting Windows and messaging infrastructures.

Personal website: lopo.com

Smartphone History: Google Nexus One; BlackBerry Storm 9530; BlackBerry Bold 9000, AT&T Tilt2, BlackBerry 8820; and BlackBerry Pearl 8100.

Current smartphone(s) of choice: Motorola DROID X and Apple iPhone.

Why this particular device(s)?

“The screen, the speed of the processor, and the 8MP camera combined with the slim ‘chassis’ and light weight make [the DROID X] a hard-to-beat smartphone,” Barsodi says “Software comes third as the hardware really sealed the deal for me.”

User-type (Business v. Consumer): Both. The Droid X is Barsodi’s personal device, iPhone is his work handheld.

Does your organization support Android devices? If not, why not? What devices does your org support?

No.

“We are waiting on the vendor we use for iPhone device management and connectivity to support Root detection within their Android client,” Barsodi says. “Android poses a unique threat to corporate users since it has a much different application execution and multitasking implementation. For example, thedrive by root exploit via Flash on the Sprint (S) EVO.”

Catalyst for the Switch, i.e., why leave BlackBerry?

Barsodi says that he uses many Google services, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Voice and Google Docs, so switching to Android, which integrates nicely with many of these services, was a no-brainer.

Also, Barsodi says that he is not confident that RIM can keep up with its competitors in the future, though he does acknowledge BlackBerry’s security edge in the enterprise.

Why are so many people switching from BlackBerry to other mobile platforms?

“The ability to ‘do more’ is a big part of it,” Barsodi says.

The variety of available Android hardware-configurations and feature-sets are other drivers, according to Barsodi.

“RIM has a habit of rehashing the same device in a slightly different form factor or leaving one feature off Model A, then introducing Model B with the previously missing feature,” he says.

Is RIM “in trouble” because of the large number of BlackBerry users switching to other platforms?

Barsodi says RIM’s recent second quarter 2010 earnings suggest RIM is not yet hurting financially, but that could change quickly if the company doesn’t better adapt to the modern smartphone market.

“RIM needs to look at revamping the entire [BlackBerry] OS. Theyre still relying on and tweaking an OS that was designed for one major use case: enterprise e-mail,” according to Barsodi.

What do you miss most about BlackBerry?

“At this time, I don’t miss my BlackBerry,” Barsodi says. “I do miss a specific application though: Viigo.” (Viigo is an RSS reader and “lifestyle” application. The company behind the app was recently acquired by RIM.)

Barsodi also misses the BlackBerry e-mail interface and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

What does Android do best, in your opinion?

Barsodi appreciates Android’s general application “richness,” availability and selection.

Why Android and not iOS or webOS, etc?

Barsodi uses an iPhone for work, and he likes the Apple device, but was unwilling to switch from Verizon (VZ), his personal wireless carrier, so that ruled out the iPhone as his only device. He also hasn’t seen anything about webOS or Palm’s Pre that got him truly excited.

“Android was the logical choice given my heavy Google Apps usage,” Barsodi says

What could RIM do to get you to switch back to BlackBerry?

“RIM could offer more variety in form factor and make more progress in revamping or improving their OS,” Barsodi says. “New bubbly UI tweaks aren’t as important as improving overall performance of the OS and reducing memory leaks.”

Name: John Maguire

Twitter Handle: @Zerog46

Age: 38

Bio: Former police officer, recently retired due to an injury after 11 years of service in a New Jersey small town. Web moderator for Android fan-site MyDROIDWorld.com.

Smartphone History: Maguire’s first BlackBerry smartphone was the brick-esque BlackBerry 7200, and he has owned the majority of BlackBerrys available through Verizon Wireless since then. He switched to the original Motorola DROID a few months ago, then the HTC DROID Incredible and now the Motorola DROID X.

Current smartphone(s) of choice: Motorola DROID X

Why this particular device(s)?

Maguire says he’s sticking with the DROID X for a while, because he appreciates the device’s larger size–both screen size and its overall dimensions. (The DROID X is significantly larger than any modern BlackBerry, even RIM’s touch-screen Storm and Torch devices.)

User-type (Business v. Consumer): Mostly consumer, though he uses and has used his personal devices for work purposes.

Does your organization support Android devices?

Yes. Maguire says the small-town police department he formerly worked for mostly supports any device that’s compatible with its specific infrastructure.

Catalyst for the Switch, i.e., why leave BlackBerry?

Application choice and quality.

“On Android, there are at least 4 to 5 different browsers to install on your device aside from the stock Google browse,” Maguire says.

He’s also a big fan of Google’s free navigation offering on the Android platform.

Why are so many people switching from BlackBerry to other mobile platforms?

Maguire thinks Android’s ease of use and the ability to do more with less, i.e., more applications, etc., are the platforms greatest strengths.

And he appreciates Android’s selections of mobile games, as well.

“Soon smartphones are going to replace smaller game consoles, like the Nintendo DS or the Sony PSP,” Maguire says. “When we go on a road trip my son, who is 9-years-old, doesn’t want to bring his PSP with old games, he wants to use my Moto Droid X where he can download a new game if he gets tired of playing the one he’s currently playing.”

Is RIM “in trouble” because of the large number of BlackBerry users switching to other platforms?

Not now. Not yet.

“There might be an issue [in the future] if they don’t keep up with everyone else,” he says.

What do you miss most about BlackBerry?

BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and the trusty, full QWERTY BlackBerry keyboard. BlackBerry is clearly the market-leader when it comes to security as well, according to Maguire.

What does Android do best, in your opinion?

Maguire appreciates Android’s “openness” and the platform’s tight integration with Google’s various Web services.

“I can root my device–jailbreak, hack, etc.–and basically put whatever I want on it,” he says.

Why Android and not iOS or webOS, etc?

AT&T’s iPhone exclusivity contract meant no iPhone for Maguire, since he’s unwilling to switch from Verizon. And the current momentum of Android is very exciting to him, since it will likely lead to more and more quality developers creating new and innovative applications for the platform, Maguire says.

What could RIM do to get you to switch back to BlackBerry?

Not much, Maguire says. Right now, he has no regrets at all about leaving BlackBerry, and he’s very excited about the future of Android.

“I can’t wait to see what Google brings in the future, and I am looking forward to the tablets running Android,” Maguire says.

Name: Kai Armstrong

Twitter Handle: @phikai

Age: 25
Kai Armstrong's Twitter Avatar

Kai Armstrong’s Twitter Image

Bio: Library-systems and technology worker in higher education and student, who’s a computer geek as well as a software developer. Armstrong used to create BlackBerry applications for EDL Industries (http://edlindustries.com), back when he used a RIM smartphone.

Personal Website: KaiArmstrong.com

Smartphone History: Armstrong’s first BlackBerry device was the Storm 9530 on Verizon, which he used for more than a year before switching to the HTC DROID Incredible.

Current smartphone(s) of choice: HTC DROID Incredible.

Why this particular device(s)?

“At that time, the Incredible was the top of the line Android device on the [Verizon] network,” Armstrong says.

User-type (Business v. Consumer): Mostly consumer, though he does access corporate resources via DROID Incredible.

Does your organization support Android devices?

Yes, Armstrong’s organization supports “just about any device you’d like,” he says.

Catalyst for the Switch, i.e., why leave BlackBerry?

Armstrong’s entire experience with the BlackBerry Storm left him feeling very unsatisfied.

“The iPhone was pretty much the standard at the time, and following the information about the BlackBerry Storm up until launch, it seemed like it was certainly going to compete,” Armstrong says. “However…it just didn’t live up to its pre-launch hype. The device was slow, the browser unusable, and the developer community didn’t bond around the device with applications. It wasn’t the experience I was looking for.”

Why are so many people switching from BlackBerry to other mobile platforms?

“One of the biggest gripes I had with my [BlackBerry Storm] 9530 was that I was actually scared to open links that people would tweet on Twitter for fear of the BlackBerry Browser just crashing or the phone stopping.”

Armstrong calls the BlackBerry browser the platform’s “worst feature.”

He also thinks a lack of developer support, at least to the extent that developers are embracing Android and iOS, is hurting BlackBerry.

Is RIM “in trouble” because of the large number of BlackBerry users switching to other platforms?

Armstrong thinks RIM is in trouble in the consumer space, but that the company still has an advantage in the enterprise, due to BlackBerry security and stability.

“[I]n several more years when other mobile platforms have built the back-end infrastructure necessary to keep corporations and government agencies ‘happy’ about allowing [non-BlackBerry devices] on their networks, RIM will be in trouble,” Armstrong predicts.

What do you miss most about BlackBerry?

Armstrong misses the colored LED notifier found on all BlackBerry smartphones, which lets you know when messages are waiting for you.

“Other than that, I don’t miss a thing,” he says.

What does Android do best, in your opinion?

“Android’s greatest quality to someone like myself is that ability to tinker,” Armstrong says. “There are custom ROMs, custom Kernels, and all kinds of things that you can tweak and play with at a much deeper level than a settings menu. I think this type of open architecture/platform is one of its greatest features. ”

Why Android and not iOS or webOS, etc?

“I don’t like Apple products or their ‘closed’ eco-system, and WebOS still hasn’t managed to do anything impressive,” Armstrong says. “That leaves Android and RIM and after my previous BlackBerry experience, Android was certainly the way for me to move.”

What could RIM do to get you to switch back to BlackBerry?

“Provide a large black duffel bag of non-sequential unmarked US denomination cash,” Armstrong jokes.

He’s not planning on switching back to BlackBerry anytime soon.

Name: Kelly Murphy

Twitter Handle: @ke11

Age: 36

Bio: Telecommunications worker who’s been in the industry for 13 years; small-business owner; and technology/clothing-design blogger.

Personal websites: SauceWear.comThe SauceReport.com; and TeeGazette.com.

Smartphone History: First BlackBerry was an 8830 World Phone, followed by the BlackBerry Storm 9530, BlackBerry Tour and now the BlackBerry Curve 8530. Murphy has also used the original Motorola DROID, and she currently carries two devices: The Curve 8530 and the HTC DROID Incredible.

Current device of choice: HTC Droid Incredible

Why this particular device(s)?

Murphy says she “loves” the Android interface on the Incredible, as well as the ability to “completely customize” it.

Android is also “not being held back by infrequent updates,” Murphy says, knocking RIM and/or wireless carriers’ slow release of new BlackBerry OS updates.

User-type (Business v. Consumer):

Murphy’s a consumer user in that she pays for her own devices, and doesn’t connect to any corporate resources. However, she also operates her own business and ensures her websites are all up and running using her various smartphones.

Catalyst for the Switch, i.e., why leave BlackBerry?

“I felt as though BlackBerry kind of stalled,” as far as platform technology goes, Murphy says. “I needed something that was pushing forward and didn’t resist change. Android, to me, offered me this and more.”

Why do you think so many people are switching from BlackBerry to other mobile platforms?

The BlackBerry interface feels stale, Murphy says. RIM’s not evolving quickly enough, and she has little confidence that it will in the near future, she says.

Is RIM “in trouble” because of the large number of BlackBerry users switching to other platforms?

Yes, in the consumer market, she says.

“[Consumers] are leaving in droves, but at the same time there are many organizations that aren’t going to switch,” Murphy says.

What do you miss most about BlackBerry?

Murphy says BlackBerry just feels more secure, and she appreciates that. She trusts Android when using Google services, like Gmail, Google Calendar, etc., but isn’t confident that Android is secure enough for use with other Web services.

The BlackBerry e-mail client is also second to none, Murphy says.

What does Android do best, in your opinion?

Android is just more fun, Murphy says.

“[Y]ou can customize everything, you’ll always have gaming, a great browser, uniformity between your calendar, email, contacts, etc through the Google interface,” according to Murphy.

Why Android and not iOS or webOS, etc?

Murphy says she’s not at all a fan of webOS or the associated device selection, since she doesn’t like the basic UI. But she does have her eye on the iPhone.

“If Verizon gets [the iPhone], I’ll be buying one,” Murphy says. But she’s unwilling to leave Verizon for the device.

What could RIM do to get you to switch back to BlackBerry?

Murphy hasn’t abandoned BlackBerry completely; she’s still using a BlackBerry Curve 8530, but much prefers her HTC DROID Incredible.

Releasing more frequent OS updates would help draw her allegiance back to RIM, Murphy says.

“Don’t hold updates hostage,” Murphy says. “Get that new technology out!”

Craig Gormley's Twitter Image

Craig Gormley’s Twitter Image

Bio: Human resources management (HRM) consultant with The Educe Group who has been in the e-learning and HRM industry for more than 9 years. Gormley travels frequently and sees his smartphone as an essential business tool.

Smartphone History: Gormley’s first BlackBerry was a Curve 8330, which he replaced with a BlackBerry Storm2 9550 following roughly a year and a half of use. After just six months with the Storm2, Gormley picked up an HTC DROID Incredible and hasn’t looked back since.

Current device(s) of choice: HTC DROID Incredible

Why this particular device?

“From the work point of view, it has the best feature set for completing my job when I am on the go,” Gormley says.

He lists application multitasking, Wi-Fi tethering, a functional e-mail client and Office support for Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. as the device features most important to him.

And “[f]rom a personal point of view, I love to tinker with my phones.” Gormley says. “Having the ability to customize how your phone runs is a big advantage in my book.”

User-type (Business v. Consumer):

Both. Gormley’s DROID Incredible is his personal phone in that he purchased it himself. But his organization foots the service bill and he’s connected to a variety of corporate resources via Incredible.

Does your organization support Android devices?

Yes.

“[During] the last year the standard phone everyone had in the company was a BlackBerry,” Gormley says. “Now half of company has either an Android phone or iPhone.”

Catalyst for the Switch, i.e., why leave BlackBerry?

Gormley could no longer deal with the BlackBerry Browser, which just wouldn’t load all the websites he needs to do his job.

“It became increasingly frustrating not being able to access certain client websites because of limitations of my Blackberry. The more I heard about the advances the Android platform had made e-mail wise, especially a reliable push connection with Exchange, and the flexibility to hit 99% of my client websites, it became a no-brainer to switch.”

Why are so many people switching from BlackBerry to other mobile platforms?

“I think people view the Blackberry OS as an aged platform, even the new BlackBerry 6 [OS],” Gormley says. “It’s like [RIM is] putting band-aids on a 10 inch cut when it really calls for major surgery with stitches. ”

Is RIM “in trouble” because of the large number of BlackBerry users switching to other platforms?

“[A]s long as RIM remains the leader in the corporate market place [the company] should be okay for a while,” Gormley says. “But RIM cannot afford many more dud phones and BlackBerry 6 needs to be something special.”

What do you miss most about BlackBerry?

Gormley says he has no regrets about leaving BlackBerry, though he says BlackBerry has an impressive and valuable set of keyboard shortcuts. RIM also has a great system for profiles and notifications, according to Gormley.

What does Android do best?

Gormley appreciates Android’s Web browsing features, multitasking, navigation and the seamless integration with Google services

Why Android and not iOS or webOS etc?

Gormley almost went with webOS before choosing Android, but he says he could tell Palm was in trouble and didn’t think betting on that company would prove to be wise.

The iPhone isn’t an option because of AT&T’s “terrible” coverage where he lives and works, he says.

What could RIM do to get you to switch back to BlackBerry?

Gormley’s not against going BlackBerry once again, but RIM hasn’t shown him that BlackBerry can compete with Android.

“Android just meets all my needs right now,” he says.

Name: Jared DiPane

Twitter Handle: @drm2blv

Age: 23

Bio: Geek Squad Service Center supervisor and mobile blogger for both CrackBerry.com andAndroidCentral.com.

Smartphone History: In the past year alone, DiPane used a BlackBerry Storm 9530, BlackBerry Curve 8330, BlackBerry Tour 9630, BlackBerry Storm2 9550, a Droid Eris and other devices.

Current Smartphone(s) of Choice: Motorola DROID and BlackBerry Bold 9650

Why this particular device(s)?

“This combination [of smartphones] fits my every need: something to easily keep in contact with nearly anyone while on the go (BlackBerry); and something to have fun with, play games, use widgets, tinker with system settings (DROID),” DiPane says.

User-type (Business v. Consumer): Consumer

Catalyst for the Switch, i.e., why leave BlackBerry?

DiPane says he simply got bored of his BlackBerry and wanted a change. Since he wasn’t particularly excited about the BlackBerry devices expected to become available through Verizon, his wireless carrier of choice, he decided to give Android a go. Four months later, he picked up another BlackBerry–the Bold 9650–because he missed it, but is still hanging onto his DROID.

Why are so many people switching from BlackBerry to other mobile platforms?

Two reasons: Android’s “openness” and customization options; and the fact that Android is the “It Platform” right now.

“I honestly think that some people are switching because their friends are, and now it is ‘the cool thing to do’,” DiPane says.

Is RIM “in trouble” because of the large number of BlackBerry users switching to other platforms?

Not really, DiPane says.

“I have personally been in or around [wireless] stores and still see how popular BlackBerry devices are by how many [people] walk out activated in just the time that I am there,” he says.

DiPane also thinks BlackBerry 6, RIM’s new OS, is a big step in the right direction and is optimistic about RIM’s future.

What do you miss most about BlackBerry?

“The Android OS it is still rough around the edges, and having come from a rather polished [BlackBerry] OS, the transition was a bit tough,” DiPane says. “I missed the way emails were handled so well and I also missed all my BBM friends.”

What does Android do best, in your opinion?

DiPane says he really appreciates the fact that he doesn’t have to reboot his Android devices after every application update, which is often the case with BlackBerry devices.

Why Android and not iOS or webOS, etc?

DiPane’s decision to go Android had a lot to do with the fact that he’s a Verizon customer, and isn’t willing to switch to another carrier for a webOS or iOS device. He simply wasn’t interested any of the webOS offerings via Verizon and AT&T is the exclusive iPhone carrier in the United States.

What could RIM do to get you to switch back to BlackBerry?

DiPane hasn’t abandoned BlackBerry, nor does he plan to. But he does offer constructive criticism:

“I would like to see RIM market BlackBerry applications a little more,” he says. “I feel as though many think that there is no benefit to developing for the BlackBerry platform so a lot of the attention is placed on other platforms.”

Name: Eric Tonn

Twitter Handle: @edtonn

Age: 23

Eric Tonn's Twitter Image

Eric Tonn’s Twitter Image

Bio: Commercial insurance worker and gadget geek. Gormley says his company’s IT staffers often defer Blackberry related questions and issues to him.

Smartphone History: BlackBerry Pearl 8100; BlackBerry Bold 9000; BlackBerry Bold 9700; BlackBerry Curve 8330; BlackBerry Tour 9630; and Samsung Captivate.

Current Smartphone(s) of Choice: AT&T Samsung Captivate (personal), Verizon BlackBerry Tour 9630 (work)

Why this particular device(s)?

Tonn says he wasn’t ready to leave BlackBerry by the wayside, but did want to try a device that was “decidedly not a BlackBerry.” At that time, he saw the Samsung Captivate as the best AT&T Android offering.

User-type (Business v. Consumer): Both. Tonn’s BlackBerry Tour was provided by his employer. His Samsung Captivate is a personal device.

Catalyst for the Switch, i.e., why leave BlackBerry?

Tonn’s general frustration with the BlackBerry platform led him to investigate other options.

“As a Mac user, I had several fights over contacts sync/deletion/duplication,” Tonn says. “I got to the point where I was expending as much effort just keeping the BlackBerry running smoothly and dependably as I could expend actually enhancing (rooting, adding custom ROMs, etc) an Android phone.”

Why are so many people switching from BlackBerry to other mobile platforms?

“The problem I see with BlackBerry is, simply put, a hardware issue,” Tonn says. “With the introduction of BlackBerry 6, the software is better than in the past, but RIM’s insistence on using small, low-resolution screens and less-than-state-of-the-art processor speeds, combined with the relative scarcity of apps, gives BlackBerry users the feeling–at least, it gave me the feeling–that they are behind the curve and playing catch-up.”

Is RIM “in trouble” because of the large number of BlackBerry users switching to other platforms?

Yes, he says.

“The mixed response to BlackBerry 6 and the Torch seems to indicate that RIM is still mostly focused on its core business customers,” Tonn says. “Playing it safe appeases users of the BES–where consistency is key–but bores the personal-use customers. The consumers are already voicing their preferences, and as Apple and Google up the security ante on their platforms, RIM’s core competency will come under fire soon as well.”

What do you miss most about BlackBerry?

Impressive battery life and RIM’s “famously strong phone antennas,” Tonn says.

What does Android do best, in your opinion?

The open source nature of the platform. And the ability to customize, whether after hacking or while using stock software, is a huge plus for Android, Tonn says.

Why Android and not iOS or webOS, etc?

Tonn says he never seriously considered webOS, since he was leery of the recent purchase of Palm by HP and the future of the software.

“The ability to customize–I wanted my phone to be a hobby, as well–whether after hacking or while using stock software, was a huge plus for Android,” Tonn says.

What could RIM do to get you to switch back to BlackBerry?

Tonn has no regrets about leaving BlackBerry. But bigger screens, faster processors and more applications would go a long way to grab his attention once again.

Who said? Al Sacco said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

September 27, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Smartphone wars: The PC wars all over again ;).

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How RIM, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are re-enacting the desktop wars of the ’80s and ’90s

The current smartphone playing field looks amazingly familiar. In fact, I think I’ve seen this movie before.

The names have changed, but the roles remain the same. The players today are RIM, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Twenty years ago it was IBM, Apple, Microsoft, and Novell.

[ Despite Steve Jobs’ best efforts, you just can’t keep a good iPhone jailbreak app down. | In 2008, InfoWorld Editor in Chief Eric Knorr predicted Android would crush the iPhone. | Stay up to date on the lighter side of tech goings-on with our Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]

You might recall that once upon a time, IBM had a stranglehold on the computing market. It wasn’t threatened by anything, really. If you wanted computers, you went to IBM, where execs held court like emperors who meted out technology from on high at a spectacular price. Then IBM introduced the PC, and although there were were a few comprtitors, IBM didn’t really care. PCs were small potatoes and IBM was making beaucoup bucks with big iron.

Everyone else, however, did care about PCs. Apple introduced the Macintosh, showing the world how an intuitive computing interface should work. Then as now, Apple kept things proprietary and locked down. Microsoft, on the other hand, opened up to everyone, allowing its inferior product to gain acceptance simply because it was everywhere. IBM finally saw its mistake and started pushing OS/2 heavily, but eventually gave in and accepted defeat.

To sum up War No. 1: Even though it was first, IBM missed its chance to capitalize on the PC market; Apple created a superior product, but the lack of external licensing severely limited its market share; and Microsoft grew absolutely huge on the success of Windows and Office.

Meanwhile, Novell was trying really hard to show everyone that Netware was the superior NOS to Windows NT, only to be crushed by the Microsoft juggernaut.

This is pretty much what’s happening right now with RIM, Apple, Google, and Microsoft. RIM bears an unfortunate similarity to IBM: It basically created the smartphone market and enjoyed years of success as the only viable business communication device. However, it got lazy and for the most part stopped innovating, producing phones that seemed years behind the competition. Apple, meanwhile, is in the same position it was in way back then. With the iPhone, Apple showed everyone how an intuitive smartphone UI should work, and its product took off, but only on Apple hardware with Apple-approved applications.

Google holds Microsoft’s place in this comparison, since it has released a product inferior to Apple’s iOS. But Google has licensed Android all over the place, so it’s enjoying broad adoption. Android is “good enough” for many people — and it can be found running on devices in a variety of form factors available through just about every carrier.

Microsoft, of course, is filling Novell’s shoes. Windows Phone 7 is so lacking in inspiration, it’s likely to follow the path of the Zune, which is to say it will wander aimlessly for a few years before being refreshed with yet another incarnation that will do the same thing. (Frankly, that’s the weakest part of this comparison, since Novell actually had a compelling product. Novell just couldn’t — or some say, wouldn’t — sell it the way it should have been sold.)

The wireless wars are every bit as heated as the PC wars — except that they are transpiring at Internet warp speed. If history is any guide, RIM will become an also-ran in the consumer and business smartphone market; Apple will enjoy a steady revenue stream from the iPhone; and Google’s Android will basically take over everything else, if for no other reason than because it’s everywhere else.

RIM and Google are new to this situation, but Apple and Steve Jobs have been here before. I have no doubt that Jobs knew which way this was going to go as soon as the iPhone was an official success, but he’s maintained the same position with the iPhone that he did with the Macintosh back in the day.

If nothing else, it’s clear that Jobs absolutely values quality over quantity and always has. He’d rather be a smaller part of the market and offer the best user experience than be the market leader and relinquish control over his creation.

Based on Apple’s stunning recovery in the past 10 years, I suppose it’s hard to blame him. On the other hand, RIM must see the writing on the wall and know that there’s little aside from a miraculous and revolutionary product release that can stave off the inevitable. Google is flying high right now, although the Oracle patent lawsuit may be curtailing the jubilation somewhat.

And then there’s Microsoft, scratching its head and wondering how it wound up being the Novell of the smartphone wars.

Who said? Paul Venezia said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

August 27, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Comparing smartphones to cars, from Prius to Lexus ;).

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The type of smartphone you carry can certainly say something about you, or at least it may be used by others as a way to try to glean something about you.

A BlackBerry says that you’re likely a corporate professional. An iPhone says that you’re more of an intellectual. An Android phone says that you’re probably a bit of a technophile. A Nokia device says that you’ve got European sensibilities. A Windows Mobile or Palm phone can mean that you’ve been in tech for a long time and you’re loyal to the more traditional brands.

When you hear people in the technology industry talking about how today’s tech is becoming more like fashion, they’re not talking about chips embedded in clothing. They’re talking about the phenomenon of some people selecting their gadgets as part of their self-expression, in the same way that some people choose clothes to wear as part of the image they want to portray to the world about the type of person they are.

In today’s world, the type of smartphone you use can be the digital equivalent to the kind of car you drive since both of these machines tend to have a very personal connection with their owners. That’s one of the reasons why I recently compared theHTC EVO 4G to a Hummer and the Motorola Droid X to a Cadillac Escalade. Plus, it’s just an interesting comparison to make because both markets have a lot of diversity in terms of brands, style, and functionality.

When I published both of the comparison pieces mentioned above, TechRepublic members asked about extending the car metaphor to other top smartphones, so this is my effort to do just that. I’ve put together a list of 20 popular smartphones and compared each one to a car brand or a specific car model. The best way to view this is in the photo gallery that we’ve built, but I’ve also included the list in text form below.

Keep in mind that this is just a fun exercise. As most IT and business professionals will agree, the functionality of a smartphone is far more important than it’s style, but fortunately there are lots of choices in the market right now and so there’s the option to have both in many cases.

If these smartphones were cars…

1. Apple iPhone 4 = Jaguar

The Jaguar is a luxury vehicle that’s a mix between a sedan and a sports car, and it comes in a package with the greatest attention to detail and style. Easy to see the similarities here.

2. Apple iPhone 3G/3GS = BMW

2. Apple iPhone 3G/3GS = BMW

The iPhone 3G/3GS reigned for two years as the most popular high-end smartphone on the market; the BMW 3 Series is most popular luxury sedan in the world.

3. Google Nexus One = Lexus

3. Google Nexus One = Lexus

Arguably the highest rated and most critically-acclaimed sedan on the road today is the Lexus; the Google Nexus One has received similar rave reviews, and it has the same type of style as the Lexus — top notch quality, but simple and not overdone. Plus, the name similarity is too good to pass up.

4. Motorola Droid X = Cadillac Escalade

4. Motorola Droid X = Cadillac Escalade

Both the Motorola Droid X and the Cadillac Escalade are symbols of oversized luxury vehicles. They both make a big, powerful statement.

5. Motorola Droid = Ford Fusion Hybrid

5. Motorola Droid = Ford Fusion Hybrid

The Ford Fusion Hybrid is Motor Trend’s Car of the Year (2010), while the Motorola Droid was widely hailed by the tech press as the phone that launched the Android revolution. Plus, they’re both very popular with the public, and the Fusion Hybrid gets great gas mileage (+40 mpg) while the Droid has some of the best battery life of any smartphone on the market.

6. Motorola Backflip = Chrysler Sebring

6. Motorola Backflip = Chrysler Sebring

Motorola Backflip has drawn customer interest, but has been also drawn wide criticism for “crippling” the Android experience. Similarly, the Chrysler Sebring was derided by U.S. News & World Report for its performance and style and called “the worst midsize car for the money.”

7. HTC EVO 4G = Hummer

7. HTC EVO 4G = Hummer

Another monstrous new smartphone in 2010 is the HTC EVO 4G. With its large, boxy design and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink feature list, the EVO naturally evokes the Hummer.

8. HTC Incredible = Infiniti

8. HTC Incredible = Infiniti

The Infiniti is a luxury sedan (made by Nissan) that often flies under the radar but is known for its quality and is typically well-liked by its owners. In the same way, the HTC Incredible is a top quality smartphone that is overshadowed by the EVO and the Droid X.

9. Samsung Galaxy S = Ford Taurus

9. Samsung Galaxy S = Ford Taurus

The Samsung Galaxy S is a new Android phone that is coming to many different wireless carriers under various product names in 2010. It’s automobile equivalent is the workman-like, unpretentious Ford Taurus.

10. LG Ally = Nissan Sentra

10. LG Ally = Nissan Sentra

LG’s first Android phone comes in a minimalist package and is a little underpowered, but the price is right and it has few nifty features to brag about, much like the practical and economical Nissan Sentra.

11. BlackBerry Bold = Cadillac CTS

11. BlackBerry Bold = Cadillac CTS

BlackBerry’s flagship device, the Bold, is a symbol of well-balanced, high-quality craftsmanship based on years of experience and design savvy. It’s design also represents a rebirth of a classic brand, similar to the Cadillac CTS. And both are popular sellers as well, especially in the US.

12. BlackBerry Curve = Toyota Corolla

12. BlackBerry Curve = Toyota Corolla

These two both represent minimal styling but reliable service year-after-year.

13. BlackBerry Storm = Audi A4

13. BlackBerry Storm = Audi A4

The Storm 2 and the Audi A4 are both slightly quirky but nevertheless top quality. Both tend to get lost in the shuffle because of more prominent competitors.

14. BlackBerry Pearl = Honda Civic

14. BlackBerry Pearl = Honda Civic

Like the Curve-Corolla match, here’s another example of two brands that represent substance over style. Both draw solid reviews year-in and year-out and are distinguished mostly for their dependability.

15. Palm Pre = Volkswagen Beetle

15. Palm Pre = Volkswagen Beetle

Here are two brands that both think outside of the box with a unique sense of style, and both have a small cult following because of it.

16. Nokia E71 = Toyota Prius

16. Nokia E71 = Toyota Prius

Nokia’s E71 has a great mix of high-end smartphone features in a very slim package with great battery life. The Prius packs lots of terrific tech features (from hands-free Bluetooth to a big LCD in the dash) into a small hyrid vehicle that can get up to 50 mpg.

17. Nokia N97 = Honda Odyssey

17. Nokia N97 = Honda Odyssey

Nokia loaded a ton of high-end features into the N97, including an excellent camera and a full hardware keyboard. But, the result was a thick, bulky device, the smartphone equivalent of a mini-van. And since the Honda Odyssey is among the most tech-equipped mini-vans available, it is the perfect analogue.

18. HTC HD2 = Ford F-series

18. HTC HD2 = Ford F-series

Before the EVO and the Droid X, the biggest smartphone on the market was the HTC HD2. This monster is still around, but since it runs Windows Mobile it’s a more utilitarian and less flashy device, albeit still very powerful. It’s perfect counterpart is the Ford F-series pickup truck.

19. HTC Touch Pro2 = Honda Accord

19. HTC Touch Pro2 = Honda Accord

The most popular Windows Mobile device on the market is arguably the HTC Touch Pro2. It’s the Honda Accord of smartphones. It’s a little bit nicer than its smaller competitors, but it also doesn’t have any of the extra touches that its high-end competitors can boast.

20. Microsoft KIN = Yugo

20. Microsoft KIN = Yugo

Microsoft’s KIN was hyped for years as “Project Pink” but the product was so disappointing when it finally hit the market this year that Microsoft killed it shortly after launching it. The whole saga has echoes of the much-hyped Yugo car from the 1980s, one of the most infamous automobiles ever made.

Your take

Which of these comparisons do you agree or disagree with? Which smartphones aren’t on the list, and can you think of a good car comparison for them?

Who said? Jason Hiner said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

July 23, 2010 at 12:03 AM

Who’s more annoying: Android or iPhone fanboys? ;).

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Ah, there’s nothing like a good platform war to stir up the emotions. We’ve seen plenty of battles over the years. Old stalwarts like Windows versus Mac and Xbox 360 versus PS3 always manage to light up the message boards. And I still miss all the personal attacks I got from HD DVD versus Blu-ray wars. But nothing seems to get people more worked up these days than Android versus iPhone.

Take a recent post I did on the 20 most-wanted features I’d like to see in the next-generation iPhone, which may be called the iPhone 5. The comments section immediately degenerated into a battle between iPhone versus Android backers. Here are some samples from the melee.

Android camp:

zizzybaloobah: “You can waste your time wishing for a phone w/these features, or get an Android phone that already has them.”

javawebdeveloper: “@Bonesbautista, @slickuser No, you are giving the typical iPhone fanboy response: You are so convinced that the iPhone is the best thing since sliced bread that you cannot accept that a competing device has features that the iPhone does not have, so you denigrate them as being unimportant, hazardous, or only ‘for geeks’. If they are implemented in iPhone 5, then they will magically transform into Apple innovations.”

Ebraheem: “Anyone thinking that ports are a synonym for holes really shouldn’t be talking about security. iOS has 65535 ports, Android has 65535 ports, Windows has 65535 ports, and pretty much anything that has a TCP/IP stack has 65535 ports! Typical non-geek mentality, thinking you understand technical details when you don’t.”

Sourdust: “So the author [David Carnoy] basically wishes the iPhone were more like an Android phone. As other have written, just buy an Android and be done with it. It seems the real wish here is for Android phones to run the iPhone OS. But that would have been a much shorter article (one sentence) and might not have been published.”

Stereotypical Android user.

(Credit: CBS)

Apple camp:

bonesbautista: “Typical response from Android fanboys. Too much kludge with stock Android, too many complaints of poor RF with most of the HTC smart phones. The new iOS is missing a Today screen and better notifications. Android? Meh.”

Stereotypical iPhone user.

(Credit: NBC)

slickuser: “Typical geek (Android) mentality! By the time iPhone 5 is out, Flash would be on a lifeline.”

MaLvaDo39: “Why do you want an Android? Just another fake iPhone…follow the leader is all Google and Microsoft could ever do.”

NeonRazor4: “Since you seem so eager to write about missing features, why not write an article about the features you want from the Motorola Droid 2 or the Blackberry Storm 3? Why do you feel such a need to nitpick the iPhone? Sure it’s missing a few features, but there are many other phones that are missing some features we wish it had. Yet, they don’t get the same amount of vicious scrutiny as the iPhone does…”

Chandyyyyyy: “Alrighty. So I’m not a geek or a nerd, but I understand the argument and what each person is saying if that helps you understand where I am coming from. I have an iPhone along with thousands of other consumers. I’m not a fanboy. But I couldn’t care less about which phone is better. I’m very happy with my iPhone, and I see many more iPhones than droids htc or whatever. What the iPhone has that other phones do not is an iPod. That’s no better than any other mp3 player, but it’s the top brand of mp3 player. It’s convenient and easy to use, even older folks have one.”

As you can see from these comments, some lines are being drawn and some stereotypes are being formed. Here’s how I envision the two sides see each other based on some of the vitriol going around. (Yes, these are sexist descriptions, but 85 percent of our readers are male. If you’re part of our female audience, feel free to comment with your views on all of this).

Android smartphone owner (as viewed by an iPhone fanboy):

  • Resembles Dr. Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory
  • Installed Linux on the PS3
  • Fashionably nerdy
  • Becomes aroused when seeing a DOS command field
  • Views the phone as a purely utilitarian device
  • Chooses his phone based on carrier

iPhone owner (as viewed by an Android fanboy):

  • Resembles Ross from Friends
  • Superficial, insecure douchebag with metrosexual tendencies
  • Drives a BMW or Prius
  • Enters a hypnotic state when seeing the Great Steve
  • Favorite phrase: “You still there? Hello?”
  • Doesn’t actually know how to work a real phone

OK, I’m embellishing a little. But things are getting more heated as the smartphone space seems to be increasingly divided into two camps, though Blackberry certainly makes up the third piece of the pie; however, its fans are less vocal.

As some of you already know, I own an iPhone. When I bought my 3GS, the Android phones just weren’t as good as they are now (I didn’t want the Droid, which was arguably the top Android phone at the time I made my purchase). However, my feeling of superiority comes from being comfortable with my purchase and not being tempted by the iPhone 4, the Evo 4G, or Incredible or whatever the next hot new phone will be. In my opinion, you’re all just chasing your tails–or as one reader, bweston1a, puts it:

“Wow. Being a long-time Mac user, I think it’s kind of ironic to listen to the Android Fanboys. Most of the arguments I read make sound very much like the longtime refrain of Mac users (We’ve got this feature or that feature–does Windows?). At the end of the day, it didn’t really make much of a difference though.”

Who said? David Carnoy said ;).

Written by Syafirul Ramli>>

July 18, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Posted in Android, Apple, Google, iPhone

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