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Spillikins No83. Motorola Defy is the Most Protected Phone on Earth
Every time I tell to myself Ц do not write about Nokia, but the company generates news I cannot ignore. Who else opens and closes down services with a wink of an eye or changes prices dramatically in both directions? Nobody does. That is why the only option I have is to tell the news quickly and move on to other items. Let's start.
The sounds of first battles raging in Asia are clearly heard as Android attacks in earnest. In China this OS already has 10% of the market, though it was barely present there just recently. If a year ago Symbian had around 70% of the local market now the estimates vary. Researchers of the Chinese market argue whether Symbian lost 10% or 20% and what is the speed of its freefall. The trend is obvious, but Symbian still has some strongholds in other countries and I do not think that before the arrival of Android 3.0 we will see the ultimate demise of Symbian. This OS can still fight in the segment of entry level smartphones.
Cheap Symbian models sell well, but Nokia views it as bad manners and tries to prove it can create top smartphones. Nokia N8 will get numerous promotional events and the party in Moscow will be held this Monday. We can expect adverts offering Nokia N8 for pennies, because not many will like this device even if given for free. It looks as if after the giveaway of Nokia N8 to employees of the Russian Representative Office some have already sold their phones. I do not have any other explanation why people got N8 in official boxes for Russia (it was not given to anybody outside the office or sold for $480).
You can read more about it here.
Unfortunately, the price of Nokia N8 was changed again. Due to delays the company decided to set the price at $618, but then closer to the sales start the price was increased and from the second part of September N8 will be offered in Nokia branded shops for $651. The model in Russia will receive an additional case. The firmware now supports Swype, though it is still a beta version for Symbian. Interestingly, Nokia follows Samsung, which was the first manufacturer to introduce Swype to the mass market.
What is OVI Files? Why Nokia closed it down? I was asked these questions by a friend, who is aware of market trends, but does not watch it closely. She is an experienced user, who wants to be in the know and try out all innovations. I think the reaction is symptomatic when an owner of Nokia E72 with preinstalled OVI Files cannot understand the nature of the service. I would like to remind that the service was offered to store your files on an external server with 1 GB of space and more. It was not a clear cut offer when you do not have unlimited data plans and fast internet connections. It is more appropriate to use WiFi and still it is not clear which files on your phone require remote storage.
The service was ruthlessly shut down due to failure and the lack of success. Starting from October 1, 2010 OVI Files will not be available according to the Nokia website. Users are advised to uninstall all related software from their PCs. I am interested how Nokia will uninstall the associated app from Eseries models on sale. The models are already in shops, but when the customers try to launch an application they will get a message that the service is no longer supported. It does not sound nice for a new phone. It leads to the destruction of brand image, which is already underway. There will be one more story, but first let's return to OVI services.
On OVI main page there is still a link to OVI Files. Probably, the company has not decided what to put there instead. OVI experienced numerous changes during the last couple of years. In particular, Nokia abandoned the independent development of OVI Mail/Chat and outsourced it to Yahoo. The Finnish manufacturer stopped investing into OVI Share (service for the upload of photos and their online storage), which immediately threw it back several years in terms of services offered. I think the service is no longer supported because many people could complain about the disappearance of photos and promises to store them indefinitely for free. It was a truly tough choice for Nokia Ц keep on losing money or shut down the service and get negative publicity again.
What do we have in OVI, which is still developed by the company? A wobbly apps store has not been reorganized yet. Sadly, OVI Store in its second incarnation is still unpleasant to deal with. It is far behind its rivals by the convenience of use and content. I wrote about it many times, for example, you can read about the statistics here. We have reached September now, but judging by the silence from Nokia there is nothing to be proud of in this respect. The figures must have remained the same.
Nokia Comes with Music was killed and then resurrected as OVI Music Unlimited. It is a matter of time when the new version is dead, because this model proved hopeless. Otherwise Nokia would not have splashed millions on the promotion of CWM with its subsequent renaming. The service will exist in some form or another, but it will not play the intended role.
OVI still has a calendar and contacts download. There are no complaints, everything works well and can be useful for Nokia users. Sorry, I forgot that Nokia maps belong to OVI. This is the most powerful part of the company and its operations deserve praise.
The bottom line is that we have to decide whether the glass is half full or half empty? May be I am biased and several years of organizational chaos are normal. As well as the confusion with services, which are opened and closed soon thereafter. Nevertheless, it hardly gives any confidence in future or the urge to become a beta tester of Nokia services, which may fold any other day and you will get only the acknowledgement for your testing efforts.
Dou you remember the times when on each memory card from Nokia phones was mentioned the name of the manufacturer. Look at the example below.
Recently cards lost this text and look like ordinary noname cards. Look at the picture of a memory card offered together with Nokia X2.
For customers not to see the card it is already installed. Nokia believes you will not take it out. What is the reason for such a behavior?
It's no secret that Nokia does not manufacture memory cards, but serves as one of the leading consumers. Annually Nokia buys hundreds of millions of memory cards and it is one of the biggest buyers of SanDisk. If in the past cards were purchased from several manufacturers, now they are bought from numerous sources. The reason is not in the lack of supply, but in the desire to save, which is reasonable enough. Another thing is the absence of Nokia logo. It appears that the marking on cards is not free and in large consignments it costs up to one cent. Within one year Nokia can save on these logos up to several millions.
What about brand loyalty though? Earlier Nokia had those logos and sold memory cards separately, but now it communicates through its products that there is no difference between cards and you can install any noname card. This kind of conclusion is made by numerous consumers. In the long term the decision to save on "pins" will lead to negative consequences and the value of products will go down. This story is not alone. Taken together they explain why Nokia products become less popular. These minor trifles seem irrelevant if viewed separately, but the bigger picture tells the true story. Unfortunately, due to the structure of Nokia business it has no people with vision and ability to understand the whole picture. Everybody deals with narrow scope of work and faces only insignificant issues, which never seem crucial for products.
Navteq developed a feature, which is obvious, but has not been used before. Now navigators will not only tell the distance to the nearest turn, but these directions will be associated with local objects. For example, the navigator will tell: "Turn right after the glass building". Did you get the idea? The video provides a simplified explanation, but it is better than nothing. I personally like the idea from Navteq.
I've got a dream. These famous words of Martin Luther King should have been used by Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg at the beginning of his Beijing speech. In his dreams Sony Ericsson must become the leading Android supplier in the world. You may ask when. There are no time indicators here. According to Nordberg his company now boasts 17% of this segment, while the market leader has only 23%.
I think that Mr. Nordberg was disoriented. Or he wants to fool us and provided figures from the second quarter as an all time achievement. In the second quarter of 2010 SE could have 17% of Android phones, because it started shipping new devices to carriers and the sales were at maximum. Against the background of HTC, Motorola and aggressive growth of Samsung these figures are not gigantic. Unfortunately, the current lineup does not allow SE becoming the leading Android provider.
One more funny news is about Chinese manufacturers who managed to come up with a copy of Sony Ericsson Pureness for $60 and equipped with two SIM cards. Transparent screen and plastic body replicate the original phone. You can buy the model here, and if there are owners of this wonder in Moscow, I would be thankful if given the opportunity to play with it for a week and compare with the original model. Thank you in advance.
During the 8th anniversary of our website Ilya Tarakanov showed 3D-engine of Epic Citadel on his Apple iPhone 4. I have to confess that I have never seen anything like it on mobile phones. It's a miracle. Courtesy of Unreal, the world is portrayed breathtakingly on par with good games on PC. In fact the revolution has already taken place and sophisticated high quality games are available on mobile devices. Countdown has started and it's not an issue of years, but mere months. However, look at the video of the game. The quality is average, but it shows all new capabilities (thanks to the screen of iPhone 4 the game looks better than on iPad).
Those who want to try the engine can download it to iPhone 3Gs/4 and iPad here
I think that similar games will become extremely popular very soon. This new benchmark is quite demanding to hardware. Manufacturers, which lag behind will be left overboard.
All new gadgets from Apple have been reviewed by Sergey Kuzmin in a separate article.
Taking the opportunity I would like to express my opinion. During our anniversary we discussed that new Apple iPod Nano does not look like its predecessor for a reason. It expands the products range, while the absence of the camera module means the model will reemerge in the current (or should I say previous?) Nano form factor, but with a camera. I bet it will take two or three months and this model will be launched after New Year.
It is not a secret that we have no protected models on the market. Standard models are very few and have limited capabilities. They are no more than entry level phones. Motorola decided to change the situation and in the fourth quarter of 2010 it will launch Defy. In Europe this model will become available in October with other markets to follow in November. We should expect Defy in Russia no sooner than in December. Its price will be approximately И400.
This model has no rivals as it is the first protected smartphone (not only on Android, but among other OS as well). The phone offers protection from dust; the screen has protective Gorilla Glass resistant to scratches (Motorola likes to use this type of glass and was the first to do it). What really important is that it can spend around 30 minutes under water (1 meter). This fact was mentioned by the company representatives, though the protection level is just IP-67. In any case this level of protection has never been heard of in the market. It turns a new and beautiful page in the history of protected phones. It is true that the model will become outdated by December as it offers the current Android 2.1 and MOTOBLUR 1.5. By this time many models with Android 2.2 and higher will be on sale. We cannot expect a tremendous success, because the segment is narrow and the characteristics are average Ц 5 MP camera, WiFi b/g/n, RAM Ц 512 ћB, ROM Ц 2 GB, GPS, 3.7″ screen of 480х854. To my mind this model will get its followers. It does not look huge (107х59х13.4 mm (4.21″x2.32″0.52″) and is pleasant to hold in hands. This is a model of a protected phone.
Motorola Milestone 2 was also unveiled. It received better hardware characteristics, new keypad (the lucky ones who tested it claimed that the text input is now more convenient). It gets 8 GB of internal memory and the same amount is offered on the card. You will be able to buy the phone in Russia for around И 450. It is a welcome addition to the lineup with a nice price.
In my blog the heated discussion was started by the fact that I need several devices Ц a phone and a player. Some opponents offer amazing arguments Ц why not carry several batteries for a good smartphone, which could play music and do all other things. I would be glad, but batteries have to be recharged inside a smartphone. I have not bought the external battery yet, and tossing batteries for recharge every couple of hours is not an option. The second reason is that the player should be recharged every 3-4 days even with several hours of music playback and podcasts. For a phone it means that the battery will die by lunchtime (due to data transfer it happens anyway with me). I would like to repeat that separate devices will be long-lasting until the issue of power consumption is solved. It is a problem for all manufacturers. More functions translate into fewer operation hours and you cannot beat it. This brings us to the end of this article. Have a happy and fruitful week.
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Published 07 September 2010
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