58 posts • joined Tuesday 20th April 2010 12:15 GMT
Nothing new here!
I work in the mobile industry and used to work for a network operator dealing directly with handset manufacturers. These deals are nothing special and very common. We call them MOQs (or Minimum Order Quantities) and the OEM offers a certain price and/or marketing funding in return for the operator paying a "fine" if they don't need the minimum number.
The advantage of the iPhone is that you have a pretty good chance of hitting the MOQ - whereas launching one of the myriad of Samsung variants can be significantly more risky.
So the real story here is that everyone is probably paying a small amount of money for the disaster that was the Android phone with a built in tea maker - rather than the iPhone.
Expensive Christmas present
An unlocked Galaxy S4 goes for £384 on Amazon. The cheapest Nexus 5 is £299.
According to VoucherCodes, the average amount a person spends on /all/ Christmas presents is £240.
It might be more realistic for him to suggest buying your other half a Moto G and then a pair of socks for each of the other members in your family.
Re: To put it into perspective ...
The difference is that other people /want/ to do Apple's advertising for them.
Less so for Samsung, which is why they are spending bucket loads of money.
Don't underestimate how difficult it is to buy brand loyalty.
It's nice that they spoke to Apple and asked for them to sort out the problem.
How come Samsung, HTC, Nokia, LG and Motorola don't seem to have to do anything?
Re: Will we ever get the truth?
"So what compensation will Barclays customers get for this loss of service? RBS gave us nothing; it would be nice to see a change to this trend."
I would normally suggest that you try to get them to waive a months fee for the service that they provide.
However, for the majority of retail customers, this would be a 12th of nothing.
All the reviews I've seen of tablets which are sized appropriately for watching films and TV is that when you rotate them into landscape, there isn't enough screen space to comfortably view stuff without excessive scrolling. Not to mention that once you pop the onscreen keyboard up, it takes up over three quarters of the available space.
Maybe my priorities are different, but since I like using a tablet in landscape to browse the web and check my email, I'm more than happy putting up with some black bars top and bottom when watching films and TV.
What on earth?
"Rob Andrew, joint project manager for the partnership, says that the town’s venues saw the wide range of Pass-approved card designs as confusing."
Maybe I'm missing something blindingly obvious ... but why on earth did the Pass scheme not mandate one single design (or possibly two, depending on the age bracket) for all cards produced?
Does Apple even care?
I didn't think Apple cared that much about businesses wedded to Windows systems. In fact, I don't think they have for many years now. If I'm right, I can't see how they are going to worry too much about this news - especially when they are still making money hand over fist in the more lucrative consumer market.
Plus, the days of buying a home computer based on what you had at work are long gone. Otherwise we'd all be rushing out to pick up XP based systems with IE6 - rather than iPads, iPhones and Android based devices.
Re: I'm using Feedly now
I've got my fingers crossed for Digg Reader as I don't want social sharing or a magazine-like user interface. If that stinks, then I'm not sure what I'm going to do as I cannot stand any of the alternatives I've played with so far.
The other concern I have is what domain these services are going to have. If they hang off popular time-wasting locations on the interwebs, then IT departments will already have them on their block-lists.
Best analogy I've heard
Google and Amazon are like those people who turn up to a "bring a bottle" party with a litre of Aldi coke and then proceed to drink the Wyborowa vodka and Hendricks gin all night.
They may piss a lot of people right off, but, alas, they've technically not broken any rules.
Too soon to upgrade
If my previous experience is to go by, enterprises will not upgrade Windows until the current version gets near to going end of life. Windows 7 EOL date is currently 14th January 2020. So 6.5 years from now.
Working on a Windows version every year, by the time Windows 7 EOLs Microsoft will be up to Windows 14. Drop a version number (because it'll probably be seen as not mature enough) and you're looking at enterprises jumping from Windows XP to Windows 7 to Windows 13.
If we work on a Windows version every other year, then you're looking at enterprises jumping from Windows XP to Windows 7 to Windows 10.
"Maybe I am naive, but bleeding market share doesn't seem like a great sign, unless something changes."
A reduction in market share doesn't mean much when the market is still expanding.
Using completely made up numbers, you could easily go from 100% market share to 70% in one year but (thanks to the increase in the size of the market) still be shipping 3x more units than you did the year before.
This page would seem to agree with you.
Combined total of the 10 roles listed nets $805,872 AUD vs £301,504 for the UK.
At today's exchange rate, the AUD amount would be £558,814.21. So basically someone in Australia is earning 1.85 times more than someone in the UK.
As such, I wouldn't be too surprised if I walked into a store (paying 1.85x more rental) and purchased from the cashier (earning 1.85x salary) a CD that also happened to cost 1.85x more.
This is not unusual
I've launched a few handsets in my time and there is absolutely nothing unusual in having a roadmap that goes out two years. Not all of the details my be finalised at that point, but that doesn't mean you don't have a good idea of where you want to go.
Get yourself an NDA with any chipset manufacturer and you'll get two years of roadmap, reference designs, schematics and (if you're important enough) engineers will come onsite and help you get the thing working. All that effort takes time.
Anyone who is remotely surprised by this has no experience in any kind of product development.
In Product Management speak, the iPhone would be one product line, the iPad would be another product line and the MacBook would be a third product line. Generally because the people who work one on one line, don't work on the other (although there is some cross-over with the operating system between iPhone and iPad).
With the exception of the iPad, each line only had one product.
The iPad may have had two pieces of hardware, but since the software was the same for both pieces of hardware, they probably considered that bit a single item too.
(usual disclaimer about not actually working for Apple, so I could be completely wrong)
This could be fun
Samsung has no problem boasting about "devices shipped" which is not a particularly helpful metric since 1 phone shipped ≠ 1 phone sold.
Finding out how many phones they actually sold, why the disparity between shipped vs sold and what happens to all those phones which are shipped but aren't sold could be interesting reading.
Not sure why they bothered making a totally different lens system, only to then include an adapter as an optional accessory. Given that the overwhelming advantage is this backwards compatibility, it is disappointing that they didn't just bake it into the camera as standard.
(at a guess, there is a more than healthy markup on the adapter and EF-M lenses)
Not just marketing
"Deflecting the 4S' sales trajectory downward is the Samsung Galaxy S III, its manufacturer having finally realised what Apple has understood for years: splash the cash on marketing and people are more likely to buy your product."
Well ... that and having a decent product to market in the first place.
Having one without the other isn't a recipe for long term success.
Re: Memo to self: Leave phone at home when going to Olympics.
Look at the screen shot of the app at http://www.androidauthority.com/visa-samsung-galaxy-s3-oympic-games-contactless-payment-nfc-84057/
Guess what doesn't happen if you don't press the "Make a payment" button?
Re: TomTom iPhone/iPad app
That "duplicating in-built functionality" rule was relaxed years ago, evidenced by the fact that you can download Sparrow, Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo mail clients from the app store.
Sloppy and lazy
Not only was it badly tested, but it was also sloppy, lazy and unpolished. To quote TheVerge:
"The app is basically just the Gmail web app with a wrapper around it and offline functionality, though it does have some nice tweaks like a left-side drawer that slides out to show labels and an easy way to attach photos from your camera roll. Of course, the bugs handily outnumber the features — you can't save an attachment from the app itself, it's often unresponsive, and the app doesn't yet index your device's address book. "
Personally I'd just stick with the native iOS client.
Re: They don't need to
Good for you. You tell 'em.
Out of interest, you do know that Mastercard doesn't actually set your interest or credit card fees though right?
That would be the bank that issued the card.
"Since so much of this review is taken up with comments about how much the 15z resembles the MacBook perhaps the author could suggest how Dell could have made a thin 15.6" laptop look any different? Make it circular? Have all the corners return at a sharp 90 degrees? Make it out of bakelite?"
Well, I'm not the author but Samsung and Sony seem to be able to manage it just fine on their newer products. Here is the rather nice looking Samsung Series 9 and it certainly doesn't scream "MacBook clone" the moment you see it.
Re: Nailed it
"The best way to continue to make Android the most relevant OS on the Market is to have all manufacturers contribute back to the baseOS whilst being given credit for their contributions."
In an ideal world, yes. The problem is that the manufacturers see their contributions as the only real differentiation they have in the sea of identical looking (and specified) handsets.
As such, they don't want credit, they want people to buy their phone over another manufacturer. Passing anything back to Google will be seen as giving their competition a leg up.
Re: Asking for it
That's all very nice and well in theory - but out here in the real world this advice spectacularly fails when there is no .com, .co.uk or any other official TLD available for your company name (or variant) without you ending up with something that implies that you're based out of the Cayman Islands or Antigua.
Hence why we have all these alternatives.
I quickly ran a search in bugzilla (so I'm sure someone will pick holes in the methodology) but there appears to be 676 confirmed issues (with more than 5 votes) which haven't yet been resolved.
Even if I have concocted the search incorrectly, there must be at least a good couple of hundred that could do with being looked at.
Re: Why wait?
Depends on what you define "better than iPhone". Rather a lot of people like the consistent and slick user interface and the absence of bundled crapware and ugly skins which only serve to slow the phone down. Not to mention functionality that isn't half baked and a past history that gives you the confidence that you're probably going to be seeing up to 2 years worth of software updates.
Send from my operator untouched, unlocked retail HTC Desire HD which still hasn't seen one update since I bought it 9 months ago...
Re: Who's that?
I'm on PAYG with O2 and if I top-up £10 or more each month they give me 300 free texts and "unlimited" data.
Since I don't go over either (doing about 200 texts and 400MB a month), I think I'm getting a pretty reasonable deal - even more so when I see 12 month SIM only contracts for almost double the price on other networks and they either include a measly amount of data or none at all.
Of course, you need to have an O2 signal in the first place - but everywhere I go in London seems to be okay.
Re: Here's a hint - the problem isn't with all those company laptops...
Ahh, the list looks a little schizophrenic as they aren't requirements - more the experiences I've had in the last 5-6 companies.
Some companies have been better than others but then they have their own oddities. One gave you a nice new beefy machine but decided that allowing you to connect a mouse was a security risk. One company gave me a laptop which looked like it had been kicked around like a football. One company upgraded everyone to XP but the hardware simply couldn't cope with it and your virus checker would render the machine unusable between midday and 2pm whilst it did a full system scan - which you couldn't prevent.
Finally, I'm not insisting on IE6 and WMP9, it's just that often that is all I get. I've used VLC on company laptops before. However one company I was at didn't have any other authorised video playback tool except for WMP9! Mind you they also blocked people from accessing Wikipedia on the grounds that it wasn't "work related" ...
I'm more than happy for the company to just give me a laptop as long as:
1. It isn't so badly configured (or loaded up with security software) that applications and services fail to work, crash or lock up on a regular basis. By all means load stuff on it, just make sure you have versions that actually work.
2. It isn't so woefully underpowered that it can barely run the operating system, let alone the operating system, Outlook, IE6 and Word at the same time.
3. It doesn't look like it has been used as a football.
4. It isn't so old that clients look at me oddly in a "Why are you using that ancient thing? Aren't you supposed to be a technology company?"
5. It doesn't weight a tonne so that your back hurts lugging it in a bag.
6. It doesn't have a battery life of about 35 minutes.
7. It doesn't have random things locked down for no particular reason in the name of "security". Like the loud speaker or the ability to use an external mouse.
8. It doesn't have anything later than IE6 and Windows Media Player 9. As such I cannot view videos supplied to me by agencies and vendors.
Unfortunately all the laptops given to me by various companies have had one or (often) more of the following.
Re: Only Visa
Inconvenience? Only two banks in the UK don't offer Visa debit cards, Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank. Neither of which are particularly big.
I know, don't let solid facts get in the way of a good exaggeration.
Looks good but a shame it doesn't have an Ethernet port. That would have made for some really interesting projects...
Re: Less than 24 months
So? Since when have Apple (or any phone manufacturer for that matter) been responsible for a contractual agreement between a customer and their network operator?
Or to put it another way ... if I (stupidly) enter into a 10 year phone contract with Vodafone to get a free 64GB iPhone 4, why should Apple have to support it for 10 years? The contract has nothing to do with them.
That's very nice, but you're talking about computer operating systems and we're talking about mobile operating systems.
Different products, different eco-systems, different sales strategies, different purchasing models, different support models...
Re: @SAP Bod
"I'd expect any software update that COULD work on my device if it wasn't arbitrarily locked out for commercial reasons to be available."
The problem is that whilst this is great for the consumer, it's not an economically viable business model.
There are significant costs associated with developing, testing, releasing and maintaining code for older devices which - because they are still getting updates - will cannibalise your current hardware sales.
In addition, there is nothing wrong with encouraging people to upgrade after a certain (reasonable) timeframe and I think that 2.5 years is pretty reasonable when you consider the length of contracts and that only a couple of years ago we got the software that came with the phone and it never received any updates to fix bugs it its entire life - let alone new functionality.
Just so long as all the features you have on your current phone continue to work when it is discontinued then I don't really see the issue. You bought the phone for the functionality it had 2.5 years ago and now you still have that functionality plus a bit more you got for free.
It's not like you've lost out.
... and it still will be dog slow and you'll have to roll back to 3.x to make it usable.
In all seriousness, I'm pretty confident that this won't be offered to 3G users. That phone will be nearly three years old by then (it was launched June 2008) and Apple will want to encourage you to buy a new device.
(which I have no problem in them or anyone else doing, just so long as it's merely "encourage" and not "force")
Seen on a poster in Wetherspoons over 10 years ago:
2 FOR 1 DRINKS 5-7PM EVERY DAY*
and then at the bottom:
* Not available Sunday.
Re: How can an update brick a phone that was already a brick?
"Obviously it has failed. Microsoft must try harder before it can bring the miraculous features of Copy/Paste and full multitasking to Windows Phone 7"
You say that, but I notice that my HTC Desire HD has Copy/Paste functionality that could hardly be called "miraculous". It's not only woefully inconsistent (some apps support it, some don't and some have different implementations) but also a bit buggy.
For example, trying copying something out of a mail message you've received in Gmail.
Tap and hold does nothing (unlike other apps), you have to hit "Menu" then "Select Text". You don't get little bars to move nor a magnifying glass, you have to tap at the beginning of the text and then drag your finger until the end of the text and let go. When you let go, it goes into the clipboard and the selection clears. Made a mistake? Oh tough, sorry, try again.
Then when you try and paste it into the description field of a new calendar entry all the newlines are lost. Really helpful.
Rag on Microsoft all you want about how they should have supported CopyPaste from the beginning but don't kid yourself that the Android* implementation is any good.
(* could be HTC's fault too, I don't know)
"For once, Microsoft may not be to blame. It's said network operators and device makers are demanding changes to code that was complete before the end of 2010."
As someone who used to directly work in that area, I'm not surprised that the OEM's and operators are demanding changes to the Microsoft updates.
However in our industry we normally call them "bug fixes".
Re: autorun not on win7?
That's AutoPlay. The difference between AutoRun and AutoPlay is that AutoRun just blindly went off and ran whatever EXE the autorun.inf file told it to run.
Whereas AutoPlay looks at the content of the CD/DVD and then pops up a menu presenting you with some options (eg. view the pictures on this CD) and asking you what you want to do next.
AutoPlay solves the problem of people who don't know how to go browse the contents of a CD and find the setup.exe file vs those who don't want some virus riddled exe to startup as soon as they pop the disk in the drive.
Re: Now they need to fix all the other bugs.
My favourite is in Windows Backup. You tell it to automatically manage the disk space and yet as soon as it fills up the contents of the external drive, it stops working up and screams at you to delete older backups.
What on earth does "automatically manage the disk space" mean then? I can't be the only one expecting it to delete older backups to ensure that it could continue working?
Re: Why Wireless?
According to Amazon there are plenty of mid-range wireless keyboards (some come also with a mouse) from £15-£20, so your £50 price point seems to be way off - unless of course you're buying from PC World or Maplin.
Given that the price difference between a wired and a wireless one seems to be in the region of a five to ten quid and for the latter you aren't constrained by cables and don't get two of them snaking across your desktop, I can see how many people decide to pay little extra.
Double check Microsoft keyboards
I used to really like Microsoft keyboards but I was given a Wireless Media Desktop 1000 for Christmas.
Whilst it feels nice and works nicely, in Microsoft's infinite wisdom they've relabelled the function keys with little pictures that bear zero relevance to what I actually use the keys for.
To be fair, it does still have the F1..10 labels, but they are written in dark blue (on a black background) above the keys - so they are almost impossible to read.
Didn't Sony claim that PSP was as powerful as the PS2?
Didn't Sony claim that the PS2 could render Toy Story in real-time?
Sony have made wild claims before and I shall be taking this one with a large bucket of salt.
What I don't understand is why it seems to be only Apple that makes any kind of effort to develop a fully rounded product?
We have LG here with a phone that has a metallic casing for a premium phone feel ... but then forget to continue to design aesthetic and so tacks on a nasty Windows button.
Then they add the "Play to" feature which streams music and video from the phone to another device ... but forget to implement it the other (and arguably more useful) way around.
Then they add the "ScanSearch" app ... but forget to include enough data so that you're better off just using the maps application.
So three half-assed attempts to differentiate and none of them actually go the full mile.
I've worked in the mobile industry for over 10 years and I'm still constantly amazed about the low level of thought and effort that is put into these improvements.
This hasn't changed the BBC's position on iPlayer development in the slightest. If you want iPlayer on your device (and you're not prepared to use the bigscreen version) then you approach them and they evaluate the effort required and the costs involved verses the payback.
If you're a no-name Chinese manufacturer who will churn out 50,000 el-cheapo plastic devices to sell at Maplin then they'll tell you to go away. If you're a TV manufacturer who is going to put it on their next 6 TV sets and sell 10+ million then they'll help you.
This is why the Wii, PS3, Samsung TV's and Sony TV's have iPlayer. Big brands, big presence, big volumes.
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