It’s finally been officially announced. Nokia is back in the smartphone business.
…how many things can you do wrong at the same time?
Whoever is in charge of product marketing and development for Microsoft phone devices really should have been fired a while ago. While I thought that sacking Steven Elop was the start to a better future for Microsoft’s device business, it really has been going downwards further ever since. And who thought that this was possible starting on a low with Elop.
Now let’s summarise what happened with the Windows 10 devices, Lumia 950, 950XL, 550 and 650.
Lumia 950 and 950 XL:
- these phones should go in to the history books as the most uninspiringly designed phones. How can one wait for 1.5 years for a flagship release (Lumia 930/Icon) and then take such a step back
- charging top-shelf flagship device prices for plastic phones while all other manufacturers have stepped up their game (even Samsung managed to) really makes no sense
- As per Satia Nadella’s own description the Lumia flagships are for the enthusiast crowd. What happened is that plastic phones were launched on an unfinished OS with unfinished features but the full price is being charged. What this amounts to is a rip-off of the loyal MS following rather than rewarding those that have stayed loyal to Windows Phone, are prepared to be public beta testers with appropriate competitive pricing
- MS must have known that the devices are bland like anything, hence the simultaneous launch of “fancy” back covers by Mozo. So they really dared to ask for another $50 or more just to make the phone look nice
- Basic testing of the phones should have made it obvious that the Lumia 950 has massive battery life issues, rendering the device semi-useless for heavy work day usage
- Granted, Continuum is cool. But then throw in the dock for free in the package to make the one stand-out feature a default that the early adopters can brag about and spread the word
- There are so many features in the applications missing and they are so far behind the Android and iOS equivalents that it almost seems like even Microsoft is putting more effort in developing for other platforms than their own
- The lower mid-tier phone costing a third of the price of the 950 has a much better premium design with more premium materials. How can that happen
- The phone is targeted at the business crowd but it doesn’t support Continuum, the one stand-out feature that could convince that exact target audience
- Why… or why would anyone put such a low-end chipset into this phone, combined with 1GB RAM only. Even if the OS runs fairly smoothly it obviously resulted in the absence of Continuum. And the device will inevitably not cope if 3rd party developers launch some more demanding business apps.
- For the business crowd a 2000mAh battery is just a joke
- Don’t even get me started….
I don’t know if Microsoft can still turn the ship around or if the current lineup of phones was the final nail in the coffin of Microsoft phones and Windows 10 for phones altogether. Even if there are some moves from 3rd party manufacturers like HP and Acer, market shares have declined even further from what was already a very low base.
I do have a few suggestions though:
- Launch the rumoured Surface-Phone that needs to have the same quality, design and attention to detail as a Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book
- Cut the prices for the Lumia 950 and 950 XL to $300 and $350 respectively. Bundle in the dock and a Mozo cover for free.
- Offer the Mozo cover and dock to any current 950 and 950 XL user retrospectively for free.
- Launch a decent mid-range phone (Lumia 850) with a proper mid-tier chipset (Snapdragon 617 or 652) and a 1080p screen.
- Get moving on those Office Apps and Outlook on Windows 10 before the business crowd completely gives up on you
WhatsApp announced that it will end support for WhatsApp for all Blackberry OS’es including OS10.
If there was ever any doubt that BB OS10 will die this is it. Without WhatsApp the phones are pretty much useless. Even though BB announced that they will launch more Android phones, without any signs of a decent pipeline of Android devices (Wake up: Where is the conversion kit for the Passport to move to Android?) there is no hope left. Even the hardest die-hard fans of BB must admit that this seems to be the end.
Andy Yen has captured the crux of the issue so succinctly:
1. Banning encryption would stifle democratic movements. I would add that this is already the case even in the “most” democratic countries like the US and Western Europe.
2. Why do we need encryption if we are apparently have “nothing to hide”. Giving government the means and authority to snoop in on anyone at any time (regardless of judicial oversight or not) opens up the doors to abuse which it has so clearly already been happening. Just think of the Snowden revelations.
3. Privacy is private for a purpose
Thanks to Andy Yen for his article and setting up an encrypted public email provider. I hope that this will be adopted by the Outlook.com, Gmail and others in the future.
Back in summer 2013, the Edward Snowden revelations got me thinking. How much of our lives are compromised when security agencies — or hackers, or anyone else — can read our emails?
Emails paint an intimate narrative of ourselves — the people we talk to, the books we read, the politics we practice. This information is powerful. When we lose control over it, it can do great harm to ourselves and our loved ones.
I realized that I wasn’t comfortable with the power contained within this information, nor with my lack of control over it.
Banning encryption won’t stop terror attacks or end religious extremism. But such a ban would stifle democratic movements, scuttle online security, and undermine our open society.
In fact, no one I talk to is comfortable with this information or with its power. But too often, they seem to prefer not to think about these things. Perhaps…
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I just received my Huawei Honor 6 in black. A very sweet device to look at. Great feel in the hand.
I am just running it through it’s paces but wanted to give you a quick view already on the performance. It’s beating any other phone out there in AnTuTu with a score of 37,540.
What else does the phone have to offer? There is nothing missing. It’s has the best spec of any phone at the moment:
- 5″, 1080p display
- Slim bezels; great form factor
- 3GB RAM
- Dual SIM
- Micro SD card support
- 4G LTE (Cat 6)
- 3,100 mAh battery
- 16 Mpx main / 5.1 Mpx selfie camera
- Gorilla Glass 3 covered front and back
Now the unbelievable part is that the phone is $340.
The new Android based Nokia X, X+ and XL are already priced on Amazon.es.
The X will set you back EUR 109, the X+ EUR 119 and for another EUR 10 extra you will get the Nokia XL.
This makes the X range 30 Euros more expensive then the top of the Asha line (Asha 503 at EUR 89).
Interestingly this competes head-on with the Lumia 520 at EUR 119. It will be interesting to see if consumers opt for Android based or Windows Phone based offerings at this price point.
Looking into that crystal ball of mine here are five technology predictions for the next 5 years.
1. Google forced to split up
Due to fears of many governments that one company is effectively controlling most of the publicly available information globally (or at least controlling the access to finding it), Google will be forced to split up. One privately managed technology company and one company for Google search. Google search will be forced to disclose it’s search algorithms and make it’s search history and data collection publicly available. The organisation will be supervised by a non-governmental organisation.
2. Facebook is dead
After having grown to over 3bn users and with 70% of the entire Internet userbase having an account, Facebook will effectively have become the Internet within the Internet. Once this has happened consumers will migrate off the platform to the next thing of online interaction
3. Tablet sales outstrip Notebooks
For the first year, more tablet computers than notebooks or desktops will be sold in 2016.
4. Apple’s slow decline
After a series of less successful product smartphone and computer launches than in it’s recent history, Apple is recording declining sales figures for the first time since Steve Jobs took control of the company again back in 1997
5. No more coins
The first country (or community) effectively ends the usage of coins as a legal tender token in favour of smartcard and other NFC enabled devices for micropayments across the country.
Source: My Crystal Ball