Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look
Today, large companies, especially corporate giants like Samsung, do not surprise users with extraordinary products...
|First look. Sony ST21i Tapioca Microsoft Windows Phone 7: Reasons for Failure First Look at Samsung Galaxy S3 as a 2012 Flagship|
Spillikins #104. New PlayStation – blast from the future
This week was absolutely packed. Every day we had around a dozen of significant events, which does not happen very often. For example, Samsung plans to ship 4 times more Apple processors in 2011. It means that Apple buys more processors than Samsung uses in its products.
Microsoft reported to Engadget that they sold 2 million licenses for Windows Phone 7 to all companies. Licenses are bought for manufacturing of phones and as far as in December the figure was 1.5 million we can easily calculate the volumes. Whether you are an optimist or a pessimist the number ranges between 250,000 and 500,000 a month. Production volumes are likely to decline with time. Retail figures are not encouraging.
Nvidia roadmap was leaked this week. Tegra2 lineup will be boosted soon and by the end of the year we will get quad-core processors. More interestingly, several companies are mentioned as possible manufacturers of models based on abovementioned solutions. Let's wait and see how quickly these offerings will hit the shelves.
In Spillikins I have already mentioned that Nokia E7 was initially planned for February 2011, but Nokia decided to implement a PR campaign and the phone had to be launched in December of 2010. Unsurprisingly, the phone was not released in time. Taking into account the current level of defects in Symbian^3 Nokia reasonably decided not to aggravate the situation. Nokia representatives maintain that they want to ensure the best features in the product, but the issues were not specified. A vague promise to launch the model at the beginning of the year cannot mean January now as the month has already come to an end. It is not mentioned in February price lists, so shipments can only start in March. News from UK lead to the belief that the phone will appear in April for £500, which is quite a lot for a delayed model. I remember the announcement of Nokia E7 and HTC Desire Z in London. I was pretty sure that Desire Z would be available before Christmas, but Nokia E7 was an unknown quantity in terms of actual release date.
Nokia started preparing a key update for N8. We were promised a new browser and one touch language switch in firmware 2.0. The date was initially set for October, but it is February now and we have not received any update yet. What's the reason?
Nokia has no resources to carry out the task. New browser turned out to be similar to the old one and it seems to be the main issue with test firmware versions. When iPhone sets the tone and Android follows suit Nokia tries to offer a comparable browser, but cannot do anything in time. Nokia fails to meet deadlines and the same happened to Siemens, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, which is a serious sign of troubles.
Nokia pays more attention to PR than creates new products. Model known as Nokia N9 (though it is different from what was intended at the beginning) will be released in the amount of 90,000. It is even not funny any more. The failure of N900 makes the company extremely cautious while MeeGo became outdated even before its release. MeeGo is only a future promise, which is likely to be another flop. Nokia has not enjoyed real success from the days of N95. All subsequent flagships - Nokia N96, Nokia N97 and Nokia N8 were hugely disappointed. The company promises a lot, but constantly fails to deliver.
One of the reasons for Nokia troubles lies in managerial decisions. The company is ravaged by internal conflicts. With the arrival of Stephen Elop old conflicts resurfaced. Nokia was always afraid of turning into a US style corporate monster. After the change at the top current managers are encouraged to follow the US way of doing business. A Canadian CEO is viewed as a representative of an American corporate culture, which does not help internal harmony.
Two rival approaches are so different that the company started destroying itself from within. We even hear sounds of separate battles. You can remember the struggle with Finnish unions about the protection of 500 jobs at home. 500 employees will be fired elsewhere. It seems like a small victory for the traditional Nokia approach, but this camp is unlikely to win the whole war.
Finnish newspaper Kauppalehti disclosed how Stephen Elop was chosen as the next CEO. US investors allegedly threatened to fire the Head of the Board Jorma Ollila unless their candidate is given preference. Subsequently, Jorma decided not to pursue the appointment of Anssi Vanjoki, who enjoyed the popularity within Nokia and was the best person to resurrect the Finnish giant. He left the company and will be followed by Jorma Ollila, who promises to quit in 2012.
What does it mean? US investors probably do not want to see the success of Nokia. They prefer generating news to earn money from stock market fluctuations. Any change can be beneficial for key shareholders and the prices should not necessarily go up. US investors initiated the internal battles in Nokia. Products are delayed due to the sabotage from people who do not see eye to eye with current leaders of the company. The moral is at its low now.
RIM had problems keeping its plans secret during January, First, we received the description and pictures of unannounced GSM models and now we know which CDMA handsets will be launched in 2011. Now we can easily analyze the entire lineup. First come the new models.
One of the most intriguing solutions is Blackberry Dakota, which boasts a VGA touchscreen and a full keypad. This new form factor can become quite successful. For the US market its CDMA counterpart will be known as Bold Touch (codenamed Montana). Features are similar and the phone will be released in August of 2011.
Curve Touch has no hardware keypad and should cater to those who need a touchscreen only. To my mind, it is a risky decision for Blackberry fans.
The same model named Monaco Touch offers a slightly different design and will be available on GSM markets (read Europe). It looks interesting and can even get an accessible price.
Before the Barcelona congress PocketNow revealed the entire lineup of HTC. Several devices were shown, but we have no information about their features. I will not be surprised if US models will be released first. A couple of new phones now boast a front camera missed by some.
Engadget has photos of the phone to replace HTC Desire HD.
Another phone looks simpler and it will be available both in Europe and USA.
Surprisingly, HTC Smart will get a continuation despite the lack of popularity of the original model.
I have recently quoted the gossip from Bloomberg that INQ Mobile is developing a model for Facebook and I was skeptical that this product could be attractive for the social network.
Then we heard that HTC will show Facebook models at MWC in February. The patience of Facebook people came to an end and Business Development Head Dan Rose said in his Reuters interview the following:
"This is really just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs (application programming interfaces) and integrated them into their device in an interesting way. The rumors around there being something more to this HTC device are overblown."
Full stop. Indeed manufacturers can create their own apps for different social networks and it is happening all the time. We will know in the next 2 weeks if we see a new Sense from HTC or just Peep will be face lifted.
Don't hurry getting happy though! New mobile console will appear only at the end of 2011. Sony wants to be ready for Christmas. It is the first and most considerable upgrade of the original PSP. A thin version does not count and the same applies to PSP Go. To my mind the next generation of the console can attract new and old users. All ingredients of success are there. In contrast with mobile phones the life cycle of PSP is much longer and goes up to several years at least without getting outdated. My two old consoles are attractive as ever and some games are still pleasant to play (Bomber Man is wonderful).
The device was unveiled under the name of NGP - Next Generation Portable entertainment system. The commercial name will surely be different. We already know about the OLED screen of 5″ (960х544, 16 million colors) and multitouch support. Apart from the screen the back side will feature a touchscreen area with new movements in games (you can shake the console, press the touchscreen area or use the screen). The movement sensor is active in three planes and the same can be said about the gyroscope and digital compass. It is one of the most sensor rich devices on offer. It promises a lot, because many new games can use different types of movements.
Definitely, the console has two stereo handsets, two cameras (at the front and at the back, but we know nothing about the resolution so far), an in-built GPS alongside WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP support. All standard PSP controls were kept. We have a fairy tale game console which will get a hefty price tag, but will be accessible in comparison with the initial incarnation. I like the features. Do not forget a quad-core Cortex A9 processor and SGX543MP4+ graphic module. This gadget will be one of those I would like to get as a Christmas present to try it out myself.
I am slightly perplexed that the company mentions some type of flash cards for storing games. I think it will not be microSD and Sony will not make the same mistake of creating their own cards format for this device. Repeating the same mistake will be silly and unpleasant for users.
An in-built 3G module will be used not for voice calls, but for data transfer only. Sony banks on users playing everywhere and the console will search for partners depending on your location. This solution seems quite logical. High tech at work!
As far as the console will be released in a year's time, it will not be so mind-boggling then. One year is enough to create games though and this is the most important element.
Another Sony initiative is directly connected with PSP Phone plans. The company created PlayStation Suite, which works with Android 2.3 or higher. This software kit allows playing old games on the phone, but we don't know titles or the number of these games. The download will be carried out via the store application from the suite. Sony understood that other companies will not offer phones with appropriate hardware buttons and they will be emulated in games themselves. Moreover, there are no limitations for PS Suite on any phone. It is still unclear if you need to install this piece of software or the manufacturer will do it independently. In the second case this solution will be very attractive and the maximum audience will be reached. As Sony Ericsson continues suffering PSP Phone will not sell extremely well, but other companies could capitalize on the availability of PS Suite. I doubt that Sony will get it right to ensure the maximum number of downloads/installations. Everything depends on minor issues and it is still unclear how Sony is planning to develop this market segment. The overall idea is definitely interesting and deserves attention.
MT15i generated so much interest that we decided to make a photo of both models together for you to compare their dimensions, screens quality and so on. Just photos without comments.
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Published 06 February 2011
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