IGNORANCE IS BLISS!

I saw this on the web. And there are many more rants. Well. For the record this is grossly misinformative. Someone has to set it straight.

awrQdRr_700b_v2

So here we go, not knowing the history. Ignorance is a bliss.

It is been said even that Apple got it’s original idea of implementing the modern App Store (There were old Palm OS App Store like concept) having seen the underground developer community (Installer by RipDev and later as Cydia) growing in disguise after the original iPhone was released. It was soon hacked (Jailbroken) and was found to be running Unix variant of Mac OS X. So developers soon started to make unauthorized iOS tweaks, hacks and tools and distributed as Debian packages for the original iPhone before the Apple App Store era came in.

So Control/ Notification center like many modern swipe gesture app/ tweak concepts had been originally populated on (Installer/ Cydia Repo) the iPhone almost from the beginning of the iPhone revolution. Look at the history of Installer and Cydia App Repository later. This particular one is called SBSettings that is how Google got the notification center idea for Android that fandroids are always hammering as Apple copied in iOS 5. Most of these ideas were borrowed originally from the Palm OS , Symbian and Windows Mobile. And then iPhone jailbreak concepts are the original reasons for rooted Android tools, tweaks and widgets thereafter which fandroids are calling themselves as superior tweakability and unique to Android. What an irony!

sbsettings-266x400

SBSettings
Cydia

Just do a Google search on SBSettings and click images. Even almost all notification center themes were there for SBSettings. The successor to the SBSettings is NCSettings later.

palm_0105_01

And the handy multitasking cards thing these fandroids are jumping on when Apple “licensed” and implemented in iOS 7 is 100% pure Web OS copy. Difference is while Android ripped it off blatantly Apple had officially licensed it from Palm Access (now HP) many years before they put it in iOS 7. And there were many similar Cydia multitasking tweaks (Backgrounder/ Zephyr/ Auxo and many more) even before Apple officially support  multitasking. Oh.. what a shame that fandroids don’t belong to the history! 😀

Palm Patents

And that is the proper ethical way of doing business if someone wants to borrow ideas, they can license it paying the anther. And Apple even sometimes officially hired these original jailbreak developers like Peter Hajas and Comex without just introducing the features later. They did it in a ethical way without just sending them out of business. Check out this few of wonderful Cydia tweaks for iOS from hundreds of others even underground tweak developers can make a living developing them for iOS.

Where Android altogether is a gross shameless copy of iOS/ Java and other technologies prior to it where Google Android head Andy Rubin was working at Apple team, even before the iPhone launch. He and then Eric Schmidt (Early Apple broad member until Steve Jobs asked him to leave when conspiracy leaked) brought many of the original iPhone ideas secretly to the Google Android project. They ripped off others ideas and implemented those concepts as Android. Where it was originally had been Windows Mobile (CE) like rip off as Danger Sidekick project. The rest of the Apple iPhone IP Samsung copied blatantly and popularized it as cheap alternative to iPhone for the none savvy eye.

samsung-phones-before-and-after-iphones

Well, Copy paste is not a viable/ sound or ethical business.

And now these new found fandroids think Android is heaven send (and not a stolen product) without a history, origin or real business ethics.

In this industry everyone copies everyone. Apple copies Xerox and MS copies Apple. And many other incidents. The difference is most of these concepts are either lab or abandoned or pet or none commercially successful projects (Xerox UI) which either Apple or Microsoft commercialized later and brought in to the mass market. Where as Android is a 100% of a blatant copy of other commercially successful designs and concepts of commercially viable products. In the business ethics this is called a rip-off! And the company which does it pathetically calls others “Don’t Be Evil” while being the best at it.

Another hush.. hush… secret is that everyone does not knows is that later Apple and Microsoft cross licensed themselves and paid third parties officially if they commercially launching any of those implementations. Read the iPhone Legal License Agreement they have officially mentioned all these hired ideas from the beginning where as Google is really try to do it just after Samsung, Oracle and many other various law suites. It is known even the original iPhone name was belong to abandoned Cisco product that Steve personally called the Cisco and informed them that he will be using the name before he announced the original iPhone in 2007. And then brought the rights for an undisclosed amount before it goes commercial. (iPhone was sold a six months later the announcement)

Think of this like this, if someone imitates you one-to-one and try to be yourself to gain the benefits you own as an individual in the society, how would you feel? Pathetic, right? Its a one thing that someone copies something he likes in you and make use or fun of it, say your kindred. But its a totally different thing that someone is trying to pretend and imitate your commercial success 100% for those who are unfamiliar of this exploitation of the market. (commoditization sake).

This is darn cheap practice. I called this in Sinhala a game kade (ගමේ කඩේ) concept which is popularized in many of the rural areas (usually the road ends inside the village) when someone is opening a Grocery Store and being successful for a while with limited village society someone else also get the “smart” idea and opens his own similar grocery shop a little inside the village after the first shop. Soon both undercut each other and get bankrupt without a sufficient market or profit and people go all the way to the town shop again. So it is always the town shop which grows and grows and be successful. When one start a grocery why the other can’t start a hardware or a garage? I have seen this cycle played repeatedly in many areas in my lifetime. This is why I think Apple won the legendary Samsung case.

Nobody calls Blackberry, even Windows CE, Web SO, Palm OS, Newton, Windows Mobile, Symbian or iOS are this kind of rip offs but Android! Others truly have always co-benefited one another. But everyone who knows the history calls Android is a 100% design and concepts wise a stolen product. It reminds me the exacts words Mr Smith (The agent) utters in the Matrix saying who we human are. A plague. : -D

Agent Smith says:

Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague.

This is what Android is becoming. An Ice Cream Sundae put on a cup, bucket, basket or any container is still an Ice Cream Sundae! Period. It doesn’t really give the mobile world the vibrant differentiation it needs. This all happened before in the Windows PC era. People got lost the choice.

Google openly praying “Don’t Be Evil” moto but being evil at best ripping off Apple iOS and made money with ads on Android. It killed Microsoft Windows Embedded and web advertising business for others giving it free. It gave an easy access OS to counterfeit cheap Chinese and (Only Samsung and LG exploit it to make money) manufactures wings to compete in the heavy R&D budget viable business companies like Palm, Apple, Blackberry and Nokia to push them out of business with cheap common products. This is not natural selection. Android is profit squeezing enforced product suffocating one another.

At is killing the market choice just as Microsoft did in the 80’s as Windows commoditization. Everyone who lives in that history knows the drill very well. I have lived that generation where MS Windows and IE stagnant  for more than a decade without a single innovation, version update or choice. See now after Firefox liberated us from Internet Explorer, the sheer amount of wonderful browser choices with new innovations we got

Luckily with history old experience of Microsoft ripping off its all core ideas and values as Windows and MS Office, vision, moral  and innovation intact Steve ran Apple remained as a choice and later pulled off the iPod marvel to resurrection. Apple was the only survivor of golden PC era after Microsoft started the chain reaction industry wise-copy-paste PC business to flourish. People did really lost the choice. What drives Apple forward is their legacy in innovation. And they are the only one who can still Drop the Legacy.

This rather too much complicated for these infancy fandroids minds to understand.

I have nothing but a pity for these ignorant fandrods’ big blindfolded shameless rant. Most don’t see it yet but Android is in a self-indulge stabbing killing spree. It will eventually kill all these wonderful pre iPhone manufactures out of business. Trust me on this, Apple is not in the threatened species here. They are the only survivors of the Windows world and the surviving innovator of the PC world. They know the best that how to survive in this Android onslaught. Recent iOS 7 is just a simple answer to it. But Blackberry to Nokia to Palm do not.

For others there is no real choice left now and Android is all-out killing Nokia, Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Plam like genuine rival OS platforms out of the market. I like choice. We are as consumers quickly loosing the real choice in the open mobile market. Remember those early PC vendors like IBM, Packard-Bell, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq, Gateway and even Dell now? Likewise believe me it’s not a pretty world to be. Android again dragging the tech world to the 90’s stagnant once one company dominated Windows PC centric virus plagued world if it wasn’t for the Apple. And they will send all profit shrinking small phone vendors like LG, HTC, Alcatel, even Samsung who rides it all down. I am pretty sure all these companies (even Samsung with Tizen) now looking for a way out of this utter Android lock-out! Just wait till Chinese breed their Androids for cheap as good as Samsung for Samsung to feel the real heat. They already are… And they are getting better and better here.

m2a_1

Can you compete in the commercial world with an imaginative 0 dollar free given phone for 50 bucks a year fucking insane Xiaomi phone deal. It will happen. To understand this Xiaomi thing please read this. When Samsung copies 50% of Apple, Chinese copy 100% of Samsung which running the same Android stock and gives it FREE. Apple will at least have iOS differentiation here to play the game.

Purpose of Droid is to destroy every other business proposition sending them out of business.

No innovation come out the companies with old school vision-less dead unsold OEM products in inventory. Androids only makes money for Google and Samsung for the moment. Soon this will be a dead zone for other OEM manufactures. That’s why Amazon is trying to differ here with Android itself with Fire tablets. Just like Xiaomi I think Amazon will make a phone which will be free given to the Amazon Prime subscribers. Before Windows people had so many PC platforms to choose from. Only Apple survived. Likewise in the past we had so many phones to choose from. Now there’s only two viable phone platforms to choose from just like in the PC world. I don’t like this. Palm dead. Symbian dead. Nokia dead. For BB is too late now. I hope at least MS will do something about this with brought over Nokia at least for us to have option 3 spot so my kid will have a phone other than Apple or Samsung or Chinese crap.

if you want more elaborate history on how our tech world came to be here refer WIKI or Daniel Eran Dilger who write for RoughlyDrafted Magazine and AppleInsider. Otherwise count my words, all this fandroids pushing us to a tasteless cheap copy-cat Chinese grey phone and tablet market. That is downright gross. Google also know this that they know Android got out of control and try to negate it with Nexus and Moto X initiatives with little success. I hope at least Apple will always remain as viable choice to withstand the Android invasion. Like the some inventors who regretted their babies. I hope Google will be pushed to close the Android open flood gates and will eventually focus on the Chromium OS branch.

I know, this is too much dog-food for these fandroids to eat, chew, devour and understand. For some, if Ignorance is a bliss. So be it.

ignorance-is-bliss

DROPPING THE LEGACY! – THE NAME OF THE GAME

There is an Only One Company in the world which does what it does at its best. If the name of the game is Dropping the Legacy.

Welcome to Apple Incorporated.

macbook
Though this article is dated back, the picture i wanted show just came in today.

portsThe new Macbook do away with all the legacy ports but one!

Make no mistake. This may look like moving too fast too soon. Sometimes just look plain pastel crayon color child’s play in iOS 7 release. Give it a year or two. Boom! You will all grow upon with it. Give it a decade you will know no better world esisted before.

ios_7_vs_ios_6_home_screensiOS 7 colors were critizied but adopted very well with the industry.

Years passed since the original iMac, iPod, iTunes, Music Store, iPhone, App Store, Macbook Air and iPad. Many nay sayers started questioning the Apple’s ability to further innovate any of the intended market, let it be the Personal Computer Industry, then the Music Industry or later the Mobile Industry. So for a week or so there are ney sayers and famous Apple doom stories hush… hush.. for a moment.

Then the whole industry knows better than who invented the wheel.

There’s no question that the original iPhone upside down or down up and iOS with multi-touch together make for the best mobile phone ever made.

The can of offhand, dismissive spec bias criticism from the Android fan base that Apple never innovates should be silenced, canned, at least for awhile, given that Apple now sells the only dual-tone LED flash; the only 64-bit mobile CPU; the only 64-bit capable mobile OS; the fastest touch-screen performance phones by far; (we iPhonions all knew this all along) the only wide-scale deployment of Multipath TCP; and the only useful, usable and widely used fingerprint scanner ever placed on any consumer electronic device.

Yes, there’s plenty of petty grousing. And who knows what competitors will ship tomorrow? But as of today, rest assured it’s clear that Apple rules the high tech market and again sets the way forward for rest of the industry.

When BlackBerry OS 10 launched earlier this year, it made iOS the oldest of the modern major mobile operating systems. Web OS, Android, Windows Phone all launched after Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone in 2007. (Some well after.) iOS, which had started the smartphone revolution, was facing a world where it was no longer revolutionary, and it was unclear what, if anything, Apple would or even could do about it. After all, it’s difficult if not impossible to change course when hundreds of millions of customers are being dragged behind them. We saw this very well with 2 decades of Windows withheld the tech world from innovation altogether (think of IE browser stagnant until Firefox liberated it)

And Apple as usual is pushing everyone to ditch the legacy just in six years as it ignited the App ecosystem, where as Microsoft took nearly 2 decades and still somewhat carry the DOS legacy.

ios_7_vs_ios_6_apps_screens
First when paper became digitized we needed it to remind us of the paper, now we have accustomed and lived that generation
isn’t this now growing up further upon you?

So this is what Apple does. They ditch floppies. They ditch PowerPC chips. They ditch Intel, they re-write the Mac OS X, then port it for the Intel, make it the first 64 bit OS years before others even think of it, make it mobile ready, port it to ARM. They reshuffle their executive teams, shake up the very people who got them to where they were, and they radically change course months into their product cycle. In short, instead of dragging legacy, they get out and push the future forward.

Is there any other company which does it and excel at it? When Palm dis it, they went bankrupt. When Compaq, Dell do it they loose their market. When Microsoft does it they loose their core business model altogether, when Nokia does it they sell their headquarters. Apple do it and build 5 billion spaceship to prove it to the world. In the later days no one noticed, now everyone nags about it.

It’s messy. And iOS 7 is still messy around the edges. I’ve been using it since June, through all the betas, being in software I know its scary and messy. But it’s also damn good. very bold. Excellent even. It’s computationally expensive in a way that will be non-trivial for the competition to match, especially when paired with the equally forward-thinking new Apple A7 and Apple M7 chipsets in the iPhone 5s. That’s good for us, because when competition is hardest, the results are the best. Still Apple pushes it forward keeping others on the nerve.

After the iPhone in 2007 and Web OS in 2009, and then Windows Metro, I wondered often what would be the next. iOS 7 with it’s crayon pastel colors and 1500 new APIs for the developer magic. This is it.

This is the one aspect where Apple might take it.

And most importantly, it’s just the beginning.

BROKEN SWORDS! (MICROSOFT – NOKIA MERGER)

Wow! Whatta an interesting week to be a gadget lover!

brokensword

  • Google announced KitKat 4.4 their next Android love.
  • Samsung unveiled new Note 3 and Galaxy Gear watch
  • Amazon did introduced Kindle Paperwhite 2
  • SONY and LG is putting their new high end series
  • Apple announced their September 10 iPhone iOS 7 event

While all the above seem positive

  • Microsoft announced it brought Nokia for 7.1B Dhah!

From Microsoft point of view this came as no surprise. Stephen Elop (Nokia CEO) is the old Microsoft guy Microsoft send to Nokia as Trojan Horse to get Nokia alined with Windows Phone instead of Nokia marrying the Android army. The only viable Windows Phone licensee for Microsoft while old OEM Samsung, LG, HTC all went to bed with Google beloved Andy. Meanwhile Nokia, from being the most prime mobile phone vendor in the pre iPhone era, are killing themselves of being such a historic company a 6 years ago. It seems to me Microsoft – Nokia got entangled in such a mess that they themselves can’t even get out with their broken swords.

MICROSOFT’S DILEMMA – A PC COMPANY IN THE MOBILE AGE!

– For Microsoft their lucrative OS licensing system is broken, dead, finished and done with. You can’t sell OS when Google give away such wonderful Android (Chromium too) for free. The problem for Microsoft in mobile is that Android has completely destroyed the value of a licensed OS. They did what Linux couldn’t do and now every darn gadget I know of comes in “Android Embedded” form. No, you can’t sell OS (ecosystem) by the means of hardware as Apple does either if you don’t speak hardware and don’t have the content to go with. Microsoft’s traditional software model is broken and Microsoft doesn’t really know what to do. Bingo!

NOKIA’S DILEMMA – A HANDSET MAKER IN THE SOFTWARE AGE!

– No matter how good, you can’t sell your hardware if you waste your chance to build or go with a robust OS and content ecosystem (like Android/ iOS/ Amazon) and brush up your expertise on hardware and logistics to differentiate . So now your Microsoft Windows Phone OS experiment failed that your Lumia hardware is still so good almost everyone (Except MS) wish that it runs Android. Overall it’s now too late to build your own OS while your expertise is on hardware and can’t even go to bed with Android due to your ego and hard ties behind MS. Bingo!

Now what..?

Nokia has already sold it’s Head Quarters year back to recover expenses, can’t recover sales from loss of 90% to 4% market share drop and left with no where to go other than bankrupt. MS on the other hand failed to get traction on Windows Phone from other old Windows Mobile OEM manufactures (or PC) and can’t let Nokia die cos it’s the only Windows Phone licensee which had some success (Lumia Series) which going fast down the drain if it do not pump even more money on it.

So where do we go from here…

and comes the fight of the Broken Swords. The Microsoft – Nokia Merger. Done. Deal.

Now the difficult part. How do we correct that what went all wrong? Will others stay on their laurels (Google, Samsung, Apple, Amazon, Xiaomi) while Microkia get their act under one hood, figure things out and plan ahead to ‘Empire Strike Back’ ? and when? Are there any place left in mobile ecosystems to grow-in profitability? Do customers care? Will enterprise hold their breath till they get this sorted out? Would they?

bb

Gosh, now the Ballmer has left Microsoft with such an ordeal, who would be the next superman, superhero CEO to take up this challenge? Coming MS CEO is gotta be another super CEO like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, Do we have a candidate? I don’t think that anyone is around there to take up the challenge, have the guts and the vision to drive forward. It’s again the famous “Burning Platform” for both parties and specially for Nokia for this time for real! Ironically Stephen Elop could be Microsoft’s next CEO too!

Then in the Microsoft end, here’s the mess Steve Ballmer leaving for his successor:

  1. Windows 8 and Office have failed to produce break-through turnaround in Microsoft’s gradual decline cash-cow business. It has found no business model to survive in today’s Google and Apple invented could centric App, Service Content ecosystem model. iPad, Android succeeded without MS Windows or MS Office anywhere near them.
  2. The Surface tablets have more or less died in the market.
  3. The company’s just been through a massive top-level organizational change. That process will be disrupted while everyone waits to see if the new structure will stick with the new CEO (unlikely; new CEOs almost always want to change things).
  4. And now Microsoft needs to mesh and fix the Nokia and Microsoft businesses. There’s a cultural challenge. There are also operational challenges. It’s incredibly difficult to manage an operating system to please both your in-house hardware team and your licensees. They always want conflicting things. Microsoft claims it can both license Windows Phone and run Nokia. Whatta bluster, it will not work in practice. It’s an almost ridiculously complex situation. Who could make all of it work? Who has the ego big enough to even try?

nokia-blow-mind

Now to match iOS, Android duopoly ecosystem, MS need more than what MS has failed to do. Zune, Win Mobile, Tablet PC, Bing anyone? In a pre WINTEL world there were many PC OS systems, none survived well. Even Apple was 90 days from bankruptcy when MS put money on it to breath. But that genius guy called Steve Jobs turned it around for Apple with a per-determined plan, and then after the iPhone era was also just like that. None survived well. Palm OS, HP Web OS, RIM, Alcatel, Ericsson, Symbian, Meebo and now Nokia all dead and burned their platforms.

I think there may be room for at least 4-5 OS ecosystems in the world, the issue is none has the vision, guts, funds and time to get there while only main one or two can make money on this business. Widows-Mac OS, iOS-Android duopoly proved that. Samsung may be the new Dell and lucky child for the moment while Amazon is the company to look forward as a successor.

MS says it got in to 3rd place in mobile passing BlackBerry, Come on, you are beating already dead horse. You should be at least like Amazon to survive this onslaught. Otherwise MS will only loosing all the money it made on Windows and Office trying to get there as No 3 in mobile and retain it. The issue is they are already there after trying all this hard. But is there money in it? No way! To be successful Microsoft-Nokia would need to find a new business model that will challenge and render obsolete App, Ad and content combined hardware ecosystem business models pioneered by Apple, Google, Amazon and the likes. A very very risky undertaking even for the one time kings of the past to say the least. And to make matters worse they are even loosing their core business competence already. Windows 8.1 anyone?

(This is extracted from the web)
By far the smartest strategic thing either Nokia or BB could have done would have been to accept their weakness – they didn’t have an adequate OS or ecosystem – and focus on their strengths.

  1. BlackBerry should have adopted Android and made it enterprise-ready, with BBM for consumers. And, of course, those hardware keyboards.
  2. Nokia should have adopted Android-stock, and used their unmatched supply chain and distribution to do to their competitors, well, exactly what Nokia had been doing to their competitors for the last decade (if you think Samsung is running over everyone today, in 2007 they could only manage less than half of phones compared to what Nokia shipped.

Both BlackBerry and Nokia would have gotten a good OS and thriving Android ecosystem for free and been able to compete and differentiate themselves on the exact same area they had previously. To put it another way, RIM and Nokia had never been successful because of their OS or ecosystem, yet both decided their best response to iPhone iOS and Android was to build a new OS! Alas!

Building a healthy app ecosystem is probably the most difficult problem in technology even the expert Microsoft could not still do it right.

You need an API that can be built upon
You need an OS that developers want to use
You need consumers who are willing-to-pay
You need a liquid marketplace
You need to overcome the opportunity cost of developers working on other platforms

And so, for BlackBerry and Nokia at last, here came the fall.

Mobile computing will continue to evolve in form of new business models where hardware is not the source of profits but a distribution channel. Chances are that the new Microsoft together with what’s left of Nokia devices will not be a part of this now-showing future.

We will see.

SMARTPHONE BUYER’S GUIDE: SPRING 2013

Chan

Stepping into a carrier’s store can be like a visit to the candy shop for the gadget junkie, but once playtime is over and it’s time to choose just one, the decision can get a bit overwhelming. You’ll find Android phones that range in size from tiny to massive, Windows Phone handsets that cover the rainbow in colors and, of course, the ubiquitous iPhone, which has a price point to suit every need. There’s also the latest BlackBerry, which melds a familiar name with a brand-new operating system.

Naturally, it’s no easy task to sort through the wide number of options on the market today, and it’s even more difficult to find the best of the best. That’s where Engadget’s smartphone buyer’s guide comes in handy. Here, you’ll find a very exclusive list of the smartphones that we confidently use and achingly desire. Regardless of your financial situation or platform preference, you’re bound to find a stellar choice that’s a great fit for your needs. So read on as we round up the very best smartphones of the season.

Android

HTC One

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

Quite simply, the HTC One is the best, most well-rounded smartphone on the market today. Not only does it fuse exemplary design with chart-topping performance, but it also combines the finest mobile display we’ve ever seen with a versatile camera that outshines its peers in low light. The HTC One bucks the shortsighted trend toward more megapixels with an innovative sensor, image processor and lens that effectively form the UltraPixels setup. Here, the camera is able to capture significantly more light — aided by optical image stabilization hardware — all while keeping file sizes more appropriate for sharing on the web. The HTC One is the new smartphone to beat, by almost every measure but one — its battery life is adequate, but still trails the best by a good margin.

The bottom line: The HTC One sets a new high standard with its gorgeous display, versatile camera and impeccable design. It’s now the smartphone by which all others will be judged, and it’s going to be very, very difficult to top the One.

Key specs: 4.7-inch 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) S-LCD 3 display, 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600, 4MP rear / 2.1MP front cameras, 32GB / 64GB non-expandable storage, Android 4.1.

Price: $200 to $300 (AT&T, Cincinnati Bell and Sprint); $580 or $100 with an installment plan (T-Mobile)

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

We reckon it’d be difficult to make a device much larger than the Galaxy Note II without sacrificing pocketability or ease of use, and in this sense, the phone is nearly ideal if you’re seeking an extra-large display. The Galaxy Note II’s jumbo-sized 5.5-inch screen is well-suited for viewing web and media content (especially if your eyesight isn’t all that great), and thanks to its S Pen stylus, the phone’s also a capable replacement for a traditional notepad. Combine this with one of the better cameras on the market and a beefy 3,100mAh battery that goes for miles, and it’s easy to understand why the Galaxy Note II is a popular choice, regardless of its niche appeal and high cost.

The bottom line: If you’re seeking either an extra-large display or stylus functionality, the Galaxy Note II is a great choice that’s currently without a rival.

Key specs: 5.5-inch 720p (1,280 x 720) Super AMOLED display, 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos 4412, 8MP rear / 1.9MP front cameras, 16GB / 32GB / 64GB expandable storage, Android 4.1.

Price: $300 (AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular and Verizon Wireless); $680 (T-Mobile)

Samsung Galaxy S 4

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

Like the Galaxy S III before it, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 is an impressive handset that benefits from widespread availability. In this regard, while the HTC One is our favorite Android smartphone, the GS4 is also an appropriate choice if your carrier doesn’t offer the One, or if you just want a cutting-edge device with superior battery life, the latest version of Android and best-of-market features. Similarly, the Galaxy S 4 is a great bet if expandable storage or a removable battery are on your list of must-haves. As you’d expect, the 13MP camera delivers impressively detailed shots in daylight, but the One remains a more versatile shooter, which excels in low-light situations. Considering the phone’s top-notch performance and gorgeous 1080p display, the Galaxy S 4 checks many boxes in the high-end category, but the handset itself is generic, uninspired and lacks the fit and finish that you’d expect in a high-priced smartphone.

The bottom line: The Galaxy S 4 is your best bet among leading Android smartphones if the One isn’t available on your carrier of choice. It lacks the premium design that its high price warrants, but redeems itself with expandable storage and a removable battery.

Key specs: 5-inch 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) Super AMOLED display, 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600, 13MP rear / 2MP front cameras, 16GB / 32GB / 64GB expandable storage, Android 4.2.

Price: $200 (AT&T and US Cellular); $250 (Sprint); $630 or $150 with an installment plan (T-Mobile); TBD (Verizon Wireless)

Nexus 4

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

The Nexus 4 deserves special recognition as the only smartphone on this list to feature a true Android environment, just as Google had intended. This alone makes the Nexus 4 worthwhile, since we believe that stock Android is more attractive and less overbearing than the custom software environments that you’ll find on the majority of Android phones. What’s more, since software updates for the Nexus 4 come directly from Google, you’re guaranteed to be first in line to experience new versions of Android. At a price of $299 unlocked, the Nexus 4 is a fantastic value, especially given the phone’s excellent performance and build quality. Sadly, the low price of the Nexus 4 comes at a sacrifice of camera quality and battery life — that is to say, both aspects are fine, just not great.

The bottom line: The Nexus 4 is the best value on the market today. It’s also the only smartphone worth considering if you want timely Android updates.

Key specs: 4.7-inch WXGA (1,280 x 768) True HD IPS display, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, 8MP rear / 1.3MP front cameras, 8GB or 16GB non-expandable storage, Android 4.2.

Price: $299 (8GB) or $349 (16GB) from Google

HTC One SV

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

Even if your smartphone search is confined to the prepaid carriers, you’ve got at least one great option with the HTC One SV. The phone succeeds by emphasizing quality components where it matters — most notably, the 5MP BSI camera, Snapdragon S4 Plus chipset, S-LCD 2 display and LTE connectivity. All of that’s packaged within an attractive enclosure and sold for a reasonable price. One of our primary nitpicks with the One SV is its aging Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, but if it’s any consolation, Jelly Bean is already rolling out in some parts of the world. Naturally, the Nexus 4 stands as another excellent choice for going prepaid (especially with T-Mobile MVNO’s such as Solavei and Simple Mobile), which is priced similarly and represents an even better value. That said, it’s nice to have options, and the HTC One SV is an excellent one no matter how you look at it.

The bottom line: The HTC One SV takes the prepaid Android smartphone realm to new heights. We love it and think you will, too.

Key specs: 4.3-inch WVGA (800 x 480) S-LCD 2 display, 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus, 5MP rear / 1.6MP front cameras, 8GB expandable storage, Android 4.0.

Price: $270 (Boost Mobile); $280 (Cricket)

Motorola Droid RAZR M

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

If you long for an Android smartphone that’s easy to operate with one hand, look to the Droid RAZR M, which is among our favorite compact handsets on the market today. The phone offers enviable performance and battery life within its class, and we’re also quite fond of its camera. Beyond its smaller size, the Droid RAZR M deserves consideration if you’re unable to splurge on a new smartphone, as it’s commonly available for free with a two-year contract. For what it’s worth, US Cellular also sells a variant of the Droid RAZR M that’s called the Electrify M, but if you have the choice, we recommend the Verizon model, which comes unlocked and ready for global roaming.

The bottom line: Think most Android smartphones are too big? Too expensive? Get the Droid RAZR M and buck the trend with something great.

Key specs: 4.3-inch qHD (960 x 540) Super AMOLED Advanced display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, 8MP rear / 0.3MP front cameras, 8GB expandable storage, Android 4.1.

Price: $100 (US Cellular and Verizon Wireless)

BB10

BlackBerry Z10

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

Even with its storied past, BlackBerry is essentially the new kid on the block with a brand-new OS that’s known as BlackBerry 10. As with any new platform, you’re likely to experience growing pains until the software (and ecosystem) matures, but even at this stage, you’ll find over 100,000 apps at the ready, along with an operating system that excels at the communication and typing experience. Whether you’re a loyal BlackBerry fan or you’re simply looking to try something new, the Z10 currently stands as the only way to experience the blossoming world of BlackBerry 10. On the upside, the smartphone itself is thoroughly competent, and it’s a safe bet if you’re comfortable with life as an early adopter. Naturally, because the Z10 uses a full touchscreen, traditionalists may wish to hold out for the physical keyboard on the Q10. But with a significant tradeoff in screen real estate (and an excellent virtual keyboard on the Z10), the all-touchscreen Z10 seems a better bet for most users.

The bottom line: The Z10 is a very good smartphone and stands as a worthwhile choice if communication is central to your daily life, but you’re likely to experience growing pains until the ecosystem matures.

Key specs: 4.2-inch WXGA (1,280 x 768) LCD display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, 8MP rear / 2MP front cameras, 16GB expandable storage, BlackBerry 10.

Price: $200 (AT&T and Verizon Wireless); $532 or $100 with an installment plan (T-Mobile)

iOS

Apple iPhone 5

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

It goes without saying, but if you want a smartphone from Apple, the iPhone 5 is where it’s at. The iPhone 5 is a top-notch device that combines quality construction, an excellent camera and nimble performance, along with unique software features such as Siri and the camera’s fantastic panorama mode. Given the handset’s compact size, the iPhone 5 is also an outright winner if one-handed operation is on your list of must-haves. With iOS, you’ll also find access to a great wealth of apps and content, along with timely updates and freedom from carrier bloatware. The iPhone 5 for Verizon is especially noteworthy; it comes unlocked from day one for use with mobile networks abroad. Meanwhile, if you’re willing to pay for an unlocked iPhone 5 in full, snag it from T-Mobile, which discounts the phone $69 below Apple’s retail price.

The bottom line: The iPhone 5 ranks among the very best smartphones out there, and it’s our top pick among compact handsets. Do yourself a favor and grab an unlocked version, if possible.

Key specs: 4-inch (1,136 x 640) IPS Retina display, 1.3GHz dual-core A6, 8MP rear / 1.2MP front cameras, 16GB / 32GB / 64GB non-expandable storage, iOS 6.1.

Price: $200 to $400 (AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless); $500 (Cricket); $580 or $100 with an installment plan (T-Mobile)

Apple iPhone 4

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

Let’s face it; you can get a lot of smartphones for free on contract that are straight-up cheap. The iPhone 4 isn’t one of them. Yes, it’s going to get eaten for breakfast in a face-off against today’s flagship phones (its lack of LTE is a particular turnoff), but the iPhone 4 has retained much of its original value over the years. You’ll still find the same fantastic Retina display, along with an impressive camera, a great media player and access to the same wealth of apps and content. Likewise, the iPhone 4 has also maintained relevance with Apple’s latest iOS 6.1, even though you’ll miss out on some of the advanced features such as Siri, panorama mode and FaceTime over cellular. If you decide the iPhone 4 is a good fit for your needs, be sure to go with AT&T’s version, which offers data speeds that are significantly faster than its peers. You’ll be sorry otherwise.

The bottom line: The iPhone 4 lacks LTE and some of the advanced features that iOS offers, but it’s a premium device that’s friendly on the pocketbook.

Key specs: 3.5-inch (960 x 640) IPS Retina display, 1GHz A4, 5MP rear / 0.3MP front cameras, 8GB non-expandable storage, iOS 6.1.

Price: Free (AT&T and Verizon Wireless); $250 (Cricket); $350 (Virgin Mobile)

Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 920

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

Not only is the Lumia 920 one of the most colorful and distinctive smartphones on the market today, it’s also one of the most innovative. For starters, its camera features optical image stabilization hardware, which delivers excellent low-light performance and videos that are remarkably stable. Other advancements extend to the phone’s curved touchscreen, which can be operated with gloves, and thanks to a polarizing filter, it’s more easily viewable in direct sunlight. The Lumia 920 is the premiere Windows Phone 8 device on the market today, and it’s also an excellent value. Sadly, the phone is one of the chunkier options we’ve come across in recent memory — its advanced camera and wireless charging capabilities are partially responsible here — which could make it difficult to operate if you have smaller hands.

The bottom line: With a wide variety of colors, innovative technologies and Windows Phone 8, the Lumia 920 stands out from the pack in the very best way.

Key specs: 4.5-inch WXGA (1,280 x 768) PureMotion HD+ IPS display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, 8.7MP rear / 1.2MP front cameras, 32GB non-expandable storage, Windows Phone 8.

Price: $100 (AT&T)

HTC 8X

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

The HTC 8X ranks among our very favorite Windows Phone 8 handsets on the market today. It shares a lot in common with the popular One X, all wrapped within a premium enclosure that’s refreshingly colorful and unique. We’re very happy with its ability to capture beautiful photos, although the camera software within Windows Phone is more simplistic than we’d like. The HTC 8X delivers wonderfully responsive performance, excellent battery life and its display is a pixel-dense delight. Its storage is a bit limited, however, and you’ll find no expansion options, but this is partially offset by deep integration with Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage service.

The bottom line: If you find the Lumia 920 a bit too bulky or you aren’t willing to jump ship to AT&T, the HTC 8X stands as a flagship Windows Phone that’s nearly without sacrifice.

Key specs: 4.3-inch 720p (1,280 x 720) S-LCD 2 display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, 8MP rear / 2.1MP front cameras, 8GB or 16GB non-expandable storage, Windows Phone 8.

Price: $50 to $100 (AT&T); $100 (Verizon Wireless); $200 (Cincinnati Bell)

Nokia Lumia 620

Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide spring 2013 edition

If you’re thinking that an entry-level smartphone can’t be desirable, then you haven’t seen what Nokia’s been up to recently. Unlike wimpy Android phones that cheap out with low-res displays, the Lumia 620 features a proper WVGA resolution that looks great when condensed into a compact, 3.8-inch screen. The phone’s also rather quick, and feels every bit as nimble as the flagship Lumia 920. Combine this with great battery life, plus a camera that handily bests others in its class, and it’s easy to see why this one’s a winner. The good news doesn’t end there, however, because the Lumia 620 also features tons of personality. Its replaceable, two-tone rear shells are delightfully colorful and surprisingly rugged. Also, as a brilliant bit of engineering, the unit’s headphone port is contained within the replaceable shell, which makes for an easy fix should any damage occur. You won’t find the Lumia 620 available from the carriers, but you can snag it for under $240 unlocked. Very impressive, indeed.

The bottom line: The Lumia 620 is an incredibly compelling option if you’re seeking a compact Windows Phone or an unlocked handset. It’s also quite a steal.

Key specs: 3.8-inch WVGA (800 x 480) ClearBlack display, 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus, 5MP rear / 0.3MP front cameras, 8GB expandable storage, Windows Phone 8.

Price: From $234 (Amazon)
Extracted (Engadget)

APPLE NEEDS A STRATEGY FOR ASIA. PERIOD.

Samsung along Androids flood the market here.

GALAXY Y
This is a cheapest dishonest, mean, pitiable, shabby, sordid version of iPhone 3GS, Anyone?

I’ve been running a small Apple products related shop in Colombo suburbs in Sri Lanka and have seen how our markets behave.

1. Our mobile market is very active and lucrative business right now growing super fast as anywhere else.

2. As anything else it IS preliminarily price sensitive.

3. We have very competitive GSM market with 5 neck-to-neck operators in a small 65,610 square kilometers. (Dialog GSM, Mobitel, Etisalat, Hutch and Airtel)

4. Few have repeatedly tried a subsidized model without any sort of success. Subsidized phones with contracts can not be sold here even if the phone is FREE given. Contract free, top-up, SIM swappable phones sell like hot cakes. We are a predominantly a prepaid market.

5. At the current market price (20.05.2013) cheapest new iPhone 5 costs Rs.100,000/- or 795USD here. Whatever brand recognition or hype Apple has, which is waning now you can not convince many persons to spend that kind of money on a phone even if they have money unless he or she is an Applacoholic. Rs.1 LAK is a mind barrier.

6. Our market always had phones for every sweet market spot. Traditional cheap Nokia and Chinese phones, luxury Nokia and Samsung clan had anyway got it all covered. From 20USD Feature phone to near 900USD Nokia N95 marketing had always flooded the market from the past.

7. Phones were phones, all dumb phones. None expected more than that unless a fashion or status statement as Nokia Vertu or the latest flagships according to the time.

In 2007 Apple iPhone DID change all that, everywhere.

8. Now after 6 years we (Asia) still don’t get iPhones. Walk in to any phone shop, they all have but condemn Chinese Androids and now recommend Samsung Galaxy as the De-facto Smartphone over once dominant Nokia. And the cheapest piece of Samsung Android sells as Galaxy Y (Android 2.3) for Rs. 15,000/- or 99USD a sweet package. Roughly a monthly wage of young worker.

9. After iOS 6.0 maps debacle and near impossible iPhone unlocking, bricking new bootrom 3GS killed even the refurbished market dead which I was based on. So from last year Apple advocate me and my company also had to start offering Android without having any other resort for us to survive.

10. No official iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S or 5) can be obtained by any of the 5 operators we have. Not even the grey market here now have iPhones for the above reason either.

11. Samsung is the new SONY. From TVs, to Smartphones to the electronics. Samsung is now well renowned, positioned and portrayed as the highest profile consumer brand and riding the waves. Locals have bad perception for Chinese. But they also catching up. No one knows nor they care that Samsung DID copied Apple or use the off-the-shelf Android. Or what is the real values of the Apple ecosystem can bring in for the users, as an option of choice at least. Most they want is to go online, Facebook, Google, play a game and have fun on their phones, have VOICE calls on their tablets. Quality, value, integrity and market differentiation apart Android now provides it all. I guess this is exactly the way commodity PC market grew on the 80’s and even my neighbor Indian market is heating up.

12. iPad has no Voice Calling Facility has perceived as very negative for Apple tablets here. More than Samsung, cheap Chinese Tabs which runs the latest Andy 4.2.2 sold in this regard.

13. Apple iOS 6.0 update brought few real surprise for the Apple’s remaining fanfare here. Google Maps which always had worked near perfect for them, which any darn corner of the street name can be looked upon was suddenly gone. Apple crowd was pretty used to it. Now Apple Maps killed the chance even to search the main cities here I live in, Imagine?

14. Samsung and carrier backed Android marketing is in full swing! Apple brand name is never heard of in any of the media circles for new breed of people who look at my iPad units at demo desk and ask, what is this tab? Is it Chinese? Don’t you guys have Galaxies? What the heck?

15. There was a notion Apple is considered a BMW to a Toyota. Not quite, I never buy that, not quite so in consumer electronics.

16. Where is Apple? From my point 8 to 15 Apple has no iPhone to showcase. So Apple is not been in the talk show lately.

17. Even car DVD setup and TV market is now warming up to Android embedded devices. When they all come in 4.3 Jellybean it’s almost iOS for almost everyone here.

If Apple don’t make junk products. There should be some ways they might move forward from here: They can surely figure out a way.

A cheaper strategy that do not hinder Apple’s own values better be put in to action soon.

I can see 2 ways around this.

(i) They figure out how to make a low-cost iPhone that’s not “piece of junk” (Well Galaxy S3 Mini)

(ii) They just can’t figure it out so can make the old 3GS or plastic iPhone 5 as unlocked iOS 7 device and market it aggressively.

Just look at the Samsung portfolio you will soon see how to differentiate. I know it is a soup of 90 devices a year marathon. But it DID remarkably well to established the Android Platform for Google and Galaxy Brand for Samsung. So ain’t Apple smart enough to figure out at least three (5 ideally) sweet market spots out of this soup???

As far as I can see this doesn’t have to be a demographics view, rather price and feature points, hardware or software differentiation for people with various needs who don’t care about the other.

You cater them all or soon you will be serving no one.

iPhone Category 1

Generally the cheapest iPod/ feature iPhone for

1. School/ Education (Safety/ Being in touch/ Locate/ Academic Apps) 2. Early Teenage/ Laborer/ Worker (Fun/ hyped/ iPod Nano like/ Basic Apps)

iPhone Category 2

Average Premium iPhone for

3. Late Teenage/ Worker/ Starter Executive (Fun/ Work/ Special Features/ Laser Measurements/ IR)
4. Junior Executive/ Manager (Management/ Work/ Special Features/ Projector/ Laser Pointer/ NFC)

iPhone Category 3

High Premium Designer iPhone for

5. Affluent/ Celebrity (Hype)
6. Specific high-skill professional market (Photographer, Doctor, Scientist, eCommerce/ Merchants)

This is at least 3 iPhone models. When Apple don’t respond to the market. This is happening right now .

In the Asian market.

i. Someone who makes a smartphone that is basically as good as the iPhone-or at least “good enough”- which radically undercut the iPhone on price and features. Now showing, Samsung Galaxy low end and other Chinese Android copies. They gather up the volumes.

That’s what tends to happen in consumer technology markets. And Apple’s massive profit margin leaves it highly exposed to this kind of competition.

ii. If a high-end smartphone market radically undercuts the iPhone on price, Apple will either be forced to sit and watch as it loses sales to the cheaper competitor-or match the competitor’s price. This is what Verizon did with original Droid which kicked off Android, it didn’t have much effect then on Apple there, but got wings in the Asia when Samsung dig it deeper. “Thermonuclear War” Anyone?

For Eg: Samsung still sells S3 and even S4 now 100USD cheaper than iPhone 5 now

Then this has to alter a bit of Apple iPad internals too. Mini and big iPad seems ok. But they sure has to be integrate two main features missing now seem to be a main-stream here, though iPad is the declining pioneer.

i. Add Voice Calling Facility
ii. Integrate handwriting Wacom Pen for productivity apps

Macs had long relationship with Wacom. I used it on my Mac since year 2000. I wonder how it slip through an Apple and got in to bed with Samsung? Samsung S Pen is high productive seller for professionals. Even software guys I know now prefer it over iPad.

I hope Apple make itself heard this chapter very clearly.

Goes unheard, Other than that I have personal business which I like to be Apple success focused, I have no personal bearings on this. I either can sell Apple,Samsung or Chinese brands in my shop for the same profit margins, sometimes even higher margins cos I portrait them against Apple prices. But I like the choice to be remain viable for my customers. Like what Mac vs PC brought to the world on personal perspectives. Any gain or market loss for Apple is a market loss for the Apple platform, hence iTunes, iPods and future Macs innovations to come. Killing it for whatever the ignorance with that 150B of cash pile is a shame to the man we all knew as Steve, the greatest visionary-marketeer of our time.

Platform Wars was or is as fierce as or more fearsome in the 2012 as the 90s Windows PC vs Apple Mac outcome.

I am sure Apple don’t feel the heat yet, but it’s apparent:

It’s all over 80 to 90 all out Mac-PC war again. Since PC won we consumers got lost the real choice and suffocated the PC innovation waves up until Apple itself shakes it with iPad. Bear in mind this had a long serious negative effect on both hardware and software innovation for years.

To wait another decade that to happen in mobile again is nightmare!

NB: After I wrote this article these reports come from India. Now Apple is reportedly pushed out of top 5 mobile players in India. I imagine this picture will be much worse, if Apple do not act on this fall 2013. Period.

Apple in India

INFESTING THE MOBILE WITH FACEBOOK HOME

lh2Facebook Home
A sweet infesting home!

When Mark Z announced his new boldest plans so far for the mobile, I questioned myself, Can Facebook Home re-shape the future of the mobile? Seems, yes, but for reasons that Facebook isn’t talking about right now with this announcement.

There is quite a possibility to hit it with Google and Apple strong hold. But whatever the success Facebook Home makes on Android, apart from Apple, Google at least can easily replicate as it own the eco-system and all the other knick knack knuckles. So I am still scratching my head to make a solid business case for Facebook move. There are a plenty of catchy moves can be hidden under Facebook’s agenda.

As far as I know there are two faces of Facebook, one which we saw with Facebook Home, the part which want to create the more open people connected walled world. The other face which we don’t talk about as much as we do on Google is the data mining part of Facebook.

The secret to Facebook Home success will most likely may depend on that untold side of Facebook which we will see in coming months. In that scenario if I am Google I would be worried Facebook is being a parasite on my own Android turf, if I am Apple I would be more cautious to let live iOS uses without the itching parasite or how far I should let it to infest iOS.  For anyone else (Mind you Nokia, Blackberry and other guys)  in the industry it may be alarming, that Facebook Home is eying to become the third force in mobile and beyond.

I am still waiting to see my friend Micheal Mace to dig it bit deeper.