Alot to get to so I’ll just cut to the chase. MIicrosoft, Apple has all but teed up your best chance to publicly claim the crown you never really lost. Don’t blow it. I consider it a great sign that you’re utilizing pop-up stands to expand your presence during the holiday season. Use the momentum generated from this initiative to find out which areas should be placed on the express train for permanent stores.
Nokia & The Lumia Advantage
Microsoft can pretend and trumpet all they want that HTC’s 8X & 8S represent true Windows Phone hardware. I’ll simply respond that the 8X won’t even begin to move the needle in your favor. Keep talking out the side of your neck and you’ll only bring unneeded mockery to your doorstep. The overwhelming and very vocal majority are waiting for the Lumia 920. The next time HTC adds value to my mobile experience will be the first. I say this having purchased the HTC Titan (WinMo version), Touch Pro 2, Surround and Titan (WP7 version) as my last four devices. So when I say I’m switching to Nokia know that the decision was not made lightly. There is simply no arguing against Nokia’s ability to craft a premium experience. Think I’m a lone wolf? WPCentral’s poll revealed that more than 80% of close to 10,000 polled whose planning on purchasing a Windows Phone as their next device feel the same way. I’ve read a few articles by a couple of *sshats that suggest that Nokia is “blowing it” by pricing the Lumia 920 near the same price as the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III. In the words of my wife “I buy what I want and that’s it.” If the Lumia is the best phone on the market and they have the apps people are looking for then they will sell like hotcakes. From my conversations RSPs are really looking forward to getting their hands on the Lumia 920 and actually are considering switching from the iPhone. That says more than you think. RSPs are the carrier sales professionals who field consumers questions and help them pick a device that fits them.
The Curious Case of Vanishing Apple Magic
So much for the days where you could brag about the quality and instant class update purchasing an iPhone gets you. Yes the giant spaceship in Cupertino still turns out a beautifully designed phone but in case nobody has noticed there is a decided lack of iPhone envy for the first time since maybe the 3GS was announced. First we got the “scufflegate” incident. It wasn’t long before “Purple Haze” started to pop up where the users were noticing an unfamiliar purple flare effect showing up in their photos. Of course compared to the mess that was the launch of Apple Maps these were just bumps in the road. Finally this week I had imagined that the worst was over for Apple considering Apple’s CEO Tim Cook stepped up and apologized for trying to put lipstick on a pig and call it beautiful Maps thing. Boy was I wrong. iPhone users who actually took the time to notice their data charges realized they were getting charged for data while on wi-fi. But wait it gets better, it wasn’t just the iPhone 5 but all other variants of iOS devices that were upgraded to iOS6. The very fact that the sum of these miscues hasn’t resulted in a complete media bludgeoning of the tech giant shows the level of brand loyalty that Apple has managed to gather in the past five years. The magic is gone but at least they have the brand. That should get them through another two years at least before the herd wakes the hell up. You really should check out the awesome “Was The iPhone 5 Rushed to Market?” article penned by our EIC, Ramon.
Don’t Look Now, BlackBerry Is Coming…or Not
In what was surely a great week in RIM’s history they had their BlackBerry Jam Americas event and took the chance to show off their BlackBerry 10 OS to some select media. The resulting promise the OS gave has resulted in over a 20% jump in their share price. Here’s a good stock tip for you all. If RIM appears to be circling the drain and has an event coming up buy some stock. Analysts refuse to admit what we all know to be happening. They want RIM as the 3rd ecosystem and will take any chance to signal BlackBerry’s revival even championing the fact RIM’s quarterly results didn’t suck quite as hard as their predictions. Never mind the fact BlackBerry continues to lose market share and the next three months will see the release of quite simply the best three month release period of hardware we’ve ever seen.
The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend…And Then Some
Lost in the whole impending an iDevice to rule them all media headlines that is sure to be proliferating our favorite news feeds is the announcement that AMD and BlueStacks team up to bring 500K Android apps to Windows 8 desktop. So in one swoop the iPad’s Helm Deep (app count) is in danger of being overrun. This of course only applies to the AMD flavor of Windows 8 tablets, laptops and PCs. Still not only does AMD now has a leg up on Intel at a time when everyone was pretty much counting AMD out but in a strange twist of fate Android apps could prove to be the stop gap Windows 8 devices need to buy time for Windows 8 Metro apps gain sufficient momentum. See, I told you, and then some. Its like some weird bizarro Super Friends world.
You know that moment when you realize this will be changed forever? This is that kind of time in the tech world. Unquestionably all things Apple remain the strongest branded products out. But strangely for the first time in a long time I think things are about to change. Apple has settled in to their iteration cycle which results in an ever improving product. Downside to this is that while, stable and solid the experience tends to be static. Like Amazon’s new tv ad ends “normal just begs to be messed with.”
Hey RIM nobody who matters uses BBM anymore. No, teenagers and people in places that don’t even use 3G don’t matter. Think I’m wrong just look at RIM’s shrinking balance sheet despite growing their customer base. The fact that RIM had the gall to leak a promotional video that showed off a revolutionary time-shift camera feature that Nokia has already used in their Lumia series of phones is comical to say the least. No self-respecting company would use tech owned by another company and hail it as a tent pole feature.
Microsoft prepping their own WP device? Sure, why not? What could possibly be wrong with this? I have to admit, I love the Zune HD hardware and the Surface looks top-class too. Microsoft actually can build really good hardware so why am I not excited? One word, Nokia! There is no way Microsoft and the gallacial pace they innovate will be able to offer a more compelling Windows Phone experience than Nokia. Instead of risking alienating your OEM partners that is the foundation of your business why don’t you take that money and partner with carriers to start having your Microsoft retail store employees cross trained as RSPs. Make sure anyone who is walking in Microsoft stores have access to the latest and best Windows Phone devices from hardware partners. Heck, I guarantee for the amount you’re spending developing your own Windows Phone hardware you really could just give it to the big name app devs to expedite the landing of key apps on the platform.
Finally, you really should consider reading this excellent article written by our own MartiM on who really is the master of gaming. Women who win and game is a phrase that just pops into my mind while devs erroneously chase the dream of converting hardcore gamers into casual gamers. Want to make some money on Windows Phone? Read MartiM’s post on the strength of a female focused gaming motive.
I’ll bid you a hearty goodbye and leave you with this nugget of nifty video satire. Nokia has joined Samsung in mocking the iPhone purchasing experience. Have a look below: