I am rather impressed by the U/X, tiles and speed of the Windows Phone and RT platform.
Their tablet seems a bit top heavy (screen) vs the keyboard. The keyboard seemed responsive but it felt fragile. Didn’t have enough time to actually write a full letter with it but it probably isn’t something I would use. At $700 plus, I am about $400+ away from a nice MacBook Air.
That said, I do like Windows Phone! Whether they can own the 3rd ecosystem is another question. The platform looks fast on the Samsung device that my colleague had even if the size of the Samsung was too big. Too much mental overhead worrying about that kind of size for a “portable”. Would be less of a “carry able” for me.
I never disliked Windows RT and Windows Phone. Just had reservations about traction.
BTW, there was a noticeably different app ecosystem experience on the tablet. Cleaner and just a tad more lively.
Kudos to my friend who works for MSFT keeping me hostage on the GO TRAIN LONG ENOUGH to unleash the propaganda. I am a fan. :D
What I found more disturbing was the terrible 4G connection even for a moving train. I got the impression 4G was just as bad in a stationary environment. For the pretty coin being dished out by citizenry, Canadian incumbents should do better than that.
Actually, that headline is somewhat incorrect. I was already sold on the Playbook when I saw demonstrations of the device at the Mobile World Congress back in February 2012. On full display at this event, it was hard to avoid it given Blackberry had one of the largest event displays at the conference.
Since purchasing the device, I have found myself using the Playbook far more often than my iPad (Gen 1) in many areas. I just find the tablet far more portable and far more useful than the badly built Kindle Keyboard that died a mere week out of warranty. Even more surprising is how well built the Playbook really is. This is some solid-state technology at its best! Nothing feels like garbage and it simply can’t compare to some of the crappy Android “tablets” out on the market.
Market perception that the Playbook isn’t a “premium” device is short-sighted thanks to biased media and simplistic assumptions of what makes a device good - sure, apps are far more bountiful through Apple’s AppStore, Google Play or Amazon AppStore. But, more doesn’t mean better. Every ecosystem has its weaknesses — this includes Apple, Android and Microsoft.
Which brings me to this point. If we ignore the tribal chatter of “my computer is better than yours” (nothing has changed since the Apple IIe vs. Commodore 64 days sadly :-)), and you focus on the really important stuff, the Playbook really stands out. I actually prefer the Playbook OS 2.0 experience to Android. Further, I believe there’s more than enough room globally to support a third and fourth ecosystem. I could be wrong but I don’t see people complaining about Windows Phone or even the Playbook OS (minus the absence of a similar O/S experience on BB devices - it’s coming!). Even after doing some basic tests of Windows Phone 7 on my mom’s Nokia handset, I found it to be a likeable OS and U/X experience.
Also, the actual motion within Playbook 2.0 is “so fluid” (the scrolling), it’s simply beautiful. When I would draw comparisons between iOS and Android, it was easy for me to suggest that this simple “feature” was better on iOS. Now, when I compare Playbook 2.0 and iOS, I can almost say without a doubt, the Playbook 2.0 O/S is visually more appealing than iOS. Hands down. It’s that good.
Playbook’s app ecosystem is growing. I found a good bounty of “anchor brand” apps to keep the restless user happy. I spent a bit of time over the weekend rewarding good app developers with actual purchases in several categories ranging from games, to productivity, to content-specific apps. There’s even a large assortment of mid-tier apps made by smaller developers that does a great job in keeping the ecosystem vibrant. In fact, it’s this part of the ecosystem which reminds me of the old days when Apple’s MacOS (before Steve Jobs 2) had more quality “shareware” than a lot of the crappy “commercial” software found on the WinTel platform. The mid-tier developer community really kept Apple alive during the lean, dark and difficult years.
It is unfortunate that folks like Netflix have opted to NOT support the Playbook. My view on that is simple. It’s politically motivated. Especially, when you consider how deeply embedded Netflix is within Apple’s ecosystem since the TV “app” is included with the AppleTV out of box. It’s sad that they feel they need to play that game because the Playbook’s capability cannot be questioned. The video playback is amazing and so is the speed. To be fair, both the Playbook and iPad don’t choke on their own own O/S but of late, with each new iOS upgrade, I have noticed the iPad stuttering to keep up which is probably an indication that I need to do a full, clean iOS install or the chip itself is at the heart of that issue.
There’s no doubt that BB10 (and yes, I BB10Believe) will be a strongly co-ordinated launch to release powerful touch-based and qwerty-based consumer/enterprise devices with a huge bounty of apps. I do believe the new devices will surprise the skeptical media if they’re honest to themselves about balanced reporting.
I am ashamed that a lot of the Canadian media properties have had to be coerced into supporting the Playbook even as the tablet ranks second to the iPad in the Canadian market. Yes, some of this was due to heavy price cutting but that’s beside the point. I’d think differently (ha ha) if the tablet itself was of sub-standard quality. I would say the same if the O/S was terrible. But the Playbook has an amazing O/S and it is solidly built!
Hey, this is the way I see it. If leading media properties like the Economist and the Globe and Mail can put their efforts forward to create a quality Playbook app, surely they must know something the other media properties don’t. I am actually quite impressed by the Techvibes Playbook app which was designed/built by Polar Mobile. Functional, slick and fun to use. So what are the rest of you waiting for?
- New BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 Update Now Available: 3 Reasons to Download (blogs.blackberry.com)
- Unlike Samsung, RIM can claim originality (bbgeeks.com)
- Porting your iOS game to Blackberry Playbook (and future BB10 phones) (altdevblogaday.com)
- Blackberry Playbook to be used in trial program by UK police forces (ubergizmo.com)
- BlackBerry 10 needs more than Flow for RIM to swim (zdnet.com)
What a hilarious charge against our gadget addiction. Who me, addicted? Ask my lady - LOL. That said, Bezos mentioned that people don’t want devices/gadgets but they want services. Um, maybe Jeff but the reality is that you’re part of the same game.
LOL … iPhone 3G! The line cheering is Apple’s smart way of capitalizing on the attention-lusting populace living in a media-drenched world. Not too far off from that institution famous for attracting actors into religion. Hmm…what tribe do you belong to?
Vision Mobile’s Visualization Tool is a good start on the app developer community and the economics behind all of it. While sample sizes are still small and many set queries list as ‘insufficient data’, it still presents a good overview.
I opted to filter against all main goals:
- to promote a brand
- to reach as many users as possible
- to make as much money as possible
- to deploy within my company
- to learn or have fun
- to attract funding
- to get more media attention
There’s two ways to look at it. Bias from retail-level representatives based on their personal and peer network preferences or indirect influence from elsewhere. A while back, reports indicated Apple was investigating such claims.
The latest in a direct salvo against Macnn.com:
Update: An AT&T representative has issued the following statement to MacNN: “The idea that we would steer any customer away from a particular device couldn’t be more farfetched. Our reps do what it takes to align customer needs with the best device for them. iPhone remains one of our most popular devices, which doesn’t happen by steering people away from it. Our reps are encouraged to try all devices so they are more knowledgeable on our industry-leading smartphone lineup.”
More in this Wall Street Journal report.
More data points from the world of statistics. :-)
Top Mobile Original Equipment Manufacturers
Having a closer look at the data points, I was surprised at how close Motorola was as an OEM handset competitor to Apple. In May 2012, Apple pulled away but clearly, Samsung remains the dominant OEM Android brand in the U.S. market.
On the smartphone platform side, we see nominal changes between Google and Windows Mobile, and somewhat larger changes between Apple and RIM. Symbian, the O/S predecessor to Nokia’s current Windows Phone strategy, will eventually fall off the charts as a dead platform. I am still a hopeful believer in the RIM platform and while naysayers are looking for a blood and guts dead pool collapse of the Canadian brand, we’ll have to wait until Q1, 2013 to see what happens — I like the underdog spirit so I expect RIM to re-assert its position in the marketplace.
Top Mobile Content Usage
I am puzzled that sending text messages is considered “content” - more like data filler for the data sheets. Perhaps the most interesting part of this table is the amount of social networking being accessed from a smartphone handset. I would have expected this number to be a lot higher; especially considering the botched Facebook IPO and its advisory around mobile usage and the lack of a clear mobile ad revenue strategy. That said, the table isn’t really exciting (to me, at least) and doesn’t really advance the discussion in a positive trend-line manner. Call it boredom.
Show me something I already didn’t know, I guess.
Here are some interesting mobile statistics I’ve compiled from public sources on the InterWebs:
Here’s an interesting Q1, 2012 Android breakdown by OEM manufacturer.
Clearly, Samsung is leading the pack for the Android (OEM) camp with:
- better products
- better service bundling
- better promotion
- better execution
Click here for more information on the graph findings.
- iOS is more profitable ad platform than Android, but for how long? (betanews.com)
- Rumour: Nokia may get 1 month Windows Phone 8 exclusive (wmpoweruser.com)
- Google’s Nexus 7: Android tablets have the same old problems (zdnet.com)
How does Yahoo! become relevant again in an extremely noisy, fragmented world of “solutions”, “social” and “options”. The shift to an engineering-centric leadership may mean more product but will it define vision? Oddly, Schmidt was told today that Google has lost its way and is out of ideas. Is this the result of “big” or an “engineering-centric” core that suffers from an artist or ethnographic void?
I’ve worked in engineering centric cultures. Engineers get saucy about their own “brilliance” but in some cases, cannot navigate themselves out of a paper bag if creativity hit them. This IS the great debate.
Artists or Engineers or BOTH?
The media had a
field slow day yesterday so they opted to keep harping on the same old boring drumbeat. But we have good people at Research in Motion fighting the good fight. Until then, we’ll let them speak and build their “Klout”. ;-)
And so on, and so on. Now onto more serious stuff.
My good friend, Volker Hirsch (Director, Global Head of Business Development - Games), is a likeable, tall, well-spoken international man (Where in the World is
Carmen Sandiego Volker Hirsch?) has his own view on games. Here’s the slideshare presentation. Volker, oddly your name “Volker” gets auto-corrected to “Revolver” — Volker (aka Revolver) Hirsch. It’s in the game! LOL Great presentation mate!
Looking forward to new devices, a new U/X and tons of games. I almost have too many of them on other devices. :-)