Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Η ταφόπλακα των εταιριών κινητής

Ειλικρινά λυπάμαι που το λέω, αλλά η Apple σύντομα θα οδηγήσει όλες τις υπόλοιπες εταιρίες (NOKIA, Ericsson, LG κτλ) στη χρεωκοπία.

Πέρα απο το ότι το iphone πουλάει τρελά, βελτιώνεται συνεχώς όλα τα προβλήματα του παρελθόντος ξεπεράστηκαν ενώ το δε App store γίνεται κάθε μέρα και πλουσιότερο τόσο σε ποσότητα τόσο και σε ποιότητα, με πραγματικά καινοτομικές εφαρμογές ή παιχνίδια.

Τα υπόλοιπα; Μπήκα σήμερα στο Ovi store (NOKIA) και μόνο που δεν έβαλα τα κλάμματα. Το 80% των "εφαρμογών" είναι wallpaper/themes ή απλά links σε κάποια ιστοσελίδα με ειδικό CSS για οθόνη κινητού (βλ. facebook). Ελικρινά τραγικό για μια εταιρία της εμβέλειας της ΝΟΚΙΑ, κι ενός λειτουργικού (Symbian) που υπήρχε πολλά χρόνια πριν το iphone OS.

Ακόμη κι εγώ, που μήνες πριν δήλωνα "Eternal NOKIA fan" αγοράζωντας το Ε71, δίνω στην ΝΟΚΙΑ προθεσμία μέχρι το 2010, όπου η Apple θα βγάλει το 2nd generation iphone. Αν μέχρι τότε δεν έχει φτιάξει ένα σοβαρό ovi store και δεν προσφέρει τα updates που δίνει η Apple, τότε θα κάνω (για πρώτη φορά στα χρονικά μου -απο το 1998) αλλαγή μάρκας κινητού.

Ειλικρινά λυπάμαι που η Apple κάνει γιγάντια βήματα μπροστά και οι άλλοι (υποτίθεται παλιές καραβάνες του χώρου) κοιμούνται τον ύπνο το βαθύ.

8 comments:

vpapanik said...

Εγώ πάλι δεν λυπάμαι καθόλου !

Νοkia, SE κλπ -> στα τσακίδια !

(τα λεγα, δεν τα λεγα ;)

Eugenia said...

Here is what is happening, based on my personal experience with the industry that I covered for years as a reporter:

Nokia is on the way out. Europe is the last bastion for Nokia. They STILL don't get why though, and this is what prevents them from doing anything to fix their position.

Back in 2004, and especially after the release of the iPhone, there was a massive change in the minds of the consumers regarding what they wanted from their cellphones. The mindset CHANGED from "cooler hardware" to "better software". Apple became such a big driving force not because their iPhone looks better than another phone or even has more hardware features than other phones of the time (it didn't!!!), but because its software kicked ass and allowed people to do things they couldn't do before in a MANNER they always wanted.

Nokia -- and MOST other old school HW companies -- just doesn't get the importance of software. That's the crux of the problem. Nokia is the company that broke API/ABI compatibility with Symbian twice, leaving S60 3.x with just 500 new apps, compared to 2,000 apps for S60 1.x/2.x (and don't let me start on the state of their SDK). They did the same mistake with their Maemo platform, where they broke compatibility 3 times already. That's just a no-go to build a platform of users and developers who can trust the system. Developers just gave them the finger after all that. And Nokia, STILL doesn't get it!

Instead, what Nokia does, is releasing one or two new models EVERY month, models that are 98% identical to other models. This is like having a child asking you for a chocolate, and you keep giving it jellybean candy instead, at different colors each time. It's mind blowing how they can screw up so royally and not clearly see what's wrong. Then again, keeping compatibility and having a good dev platform is a very hard engineering problem, so I put some blame on their engineers as well for keeping mum about it and not pushing for compatibility.

Motorola was on the same boat that Nokia is right now just 3 years ago (they are essentially dead right now). They had a Linux touchscreen platform back in 2002, earlier than ANYONE ELSE in the market, but their US offices didn't want to have anything to do with it. They never released an SDK for any of their Linux phones, despite promises. At the end, Motorola was jumping platforms every 3 weeks, and couldn't decide what was their next-gen platform. If it's one cell company that I hate from the bottom of my heart for being so DUMB, that's Motorola. They could have the world right now, owning everyone's asses. But they never realized what they had, when everyone else had _nothing_.

Eugenia said...

Same with Nokia, they have S60, but they also have Maemo, they want to port Qt on S60 and break compatibility once more, and just TODAY they announced a NEW platform creation with Intel! Talk about "going Motorola"! Even Nokia's latest 5th edition touchscreen phones don't hold a candle usability-wise to the iPhone. Engadget was roasting them yesterday on their Nokia N97 review for example. I mean, you can't even finger-flick through lists, which is the No1 thing one expects from a modern touchscreen device.

In my opinion, the platforms that will survive the smartphone wars are Apple, Google, and Palm. For Windows Mobile remains to be seen, depending how good or bad the WinMob 7 refresh will be in a few months. But Nokia stands no chance, not because they don't have the money and manpower to make it happen, but because they don't know what they are supposed to be doing! Either that, or they don't have a strong figure in the company to grab every exec by the balls and tell them how it's done. The open sourcing of S60 is too little, too late.

I would suggest you just buy an iPhone or an Android phone. Once you go touchscreen (on a UI that makes sense, not on crap like Nokia S60 5th Edition's or the current WinMob), you just don't go back to normal "features" phones, no way. My personal favorite between the best three (iPhone, Android, Palm webOS) is the iPhone btw. People are going berserk about the iPhone because it's indeed the best phone/UI out there. It's not just hype. Surely there are areas that the iPhone can be better (e.g. background apps, common file space for apps, file management and Bluetooth file exchange etc), but even as it is, it kicks everyone else's ass because it's so damn *polished*. It makes all the difference in the world.

Stormrider said...

@vpapanik
και μετά μου βρίζεις την Apple!!!

@Eugenia
Ευχαριστώ για την ανάλυση (ψωνίζομαι όταν έχω μία Sillicon Valley reporter να συνεισφέρει στο blog μου χεχεχε)

Καταρχάς συμφωνώ ότι το touchscreen είναι το μέλλον και σε αυτό παίζει το σημαντικότερο ρόλο το μέγεθος της οθόνης, το μόνιμο πρόβλημα των κινητών "παλιάς σχολής".

Παρ' όλα αυτά, δεν μπορώ για κανένα λόγο να γράψω σε touch screen keyboards. Το πληκτρολόγιο του Ε71 είναι πραγματικά μία απόλαυση να γράφεις, ενώ παράλληλα σε ομορφιά πιστεύω ότι υπερέχει του iphone (μια και τίθεται τέτοιο ζήτημα σε "προσωπικές" συσκευές).

Αλλά όπως είπες, κινητά όπως το Ε71 τα θάβει το λογισμικό τους, ενώ ουσιαστικά αν κοιτάξει κάποιος το hardware τους, μπορούν κάλλιστα να "σηκώσουν" κάτι πολύ πιο sophisticated. Πράγματι, πριν πολλά χρόνια έβλεπα φιλαράκια μου να αγοράζουν βιβλία για το πώς να προγραματίζουν σε Symbian, ενώ σε κάποιες σχολές υπήρχε ΜΑΘΗΜΑ για mobile device programming στο εν λόγω λειτουργικό!!! Μα πού πήγε όλο αυτό το κίνημα; Γιατί κανείς δε το εκμεταλλεύτηκε;;;

Δεν ανέφερες πάντως καθόλου τα Blackberry. Απο το λίγο που τα έχω δουλέψει, είναι μια απο τα ίδια σε σχέση με τις παλιές συσκευές, άσε που τα συμβόλαια τους είναι πολύ περιοριστικά. Πάντως μου έκανε πολύ (αρνητική) εντύπωση το εγχείρημα της RIM με το Storm, όπου ήθελε να μιμηθεί το iphone. Σαν να παραδέχτηκε την ήττα της!!!

Κι επαναλαμβάνω, παραμένω φίλος των E71-style συσκευών, αλλά όταν βλέπω οτι δεν υπάρχει κανένα software ecosystem, τότε αισθάνομαι πολύ πιο περιορισμένος απο ότι ο χρήστης του iphone, που ότι εφαρμογή έχει πρέπει να έχει ελεγχθεί απο την Apple

Eugenia said...

The Blackberry is indeed old school. They have a strong infrastructure, but their front end is bad, and very perioristiko indeed (you can't even use EDGE/3G without having a *specific* Blackberry contract in the US).

Now, regarding typing on the iPhone. I actually wrote about it in my original reply but I removed that bit. So, I can type on the iPhone MUCH FASTER than I can on my brand new Nokia E75 (await a review of the E75 on OSNews soon btw) which has a full hardware keyboard. Same goes for Android's G1 phone that has a hardware keyboard and my older E61 (which is similar to the E71).

Not only that, but I can type way faster on the soft-keyboard of the iPhone than I can on the soft-keyboard of the Android G1. For some reason, Apple gets the keyboard-hitting interpretation right, and Android doesn't. More over, the fact hat the iPhone is 3.5" compared to 3.2" makes a difference for me, even if it doesn't sound much.

Apple has worked hard on the 3.0 firmware to make sure that typing works well. Personally, since my fingers are small, I don't have a problem even on vertical screen typing! And especially now that they have landscape keyboard support you won't have any problems.

If you have an iPod Touch or someone's iPhone, spend 10 minutes with it trying to type, and you will see that it works well. Firmware 3.0 now supports Greek fully btw.

Eugenia said...

Hey guys, please watch this. It's HTC's new Android UI (given that the default Android UI ain't that good, they seem to have taken the job to redo it themselves). It's very impressive and modern.

If that phone had a 3.5" screen instead of a 3.2" (so I can type vertically easier), and not have that ugly Jay Leno chin again, I might have gone for it and replace my iPhone with it. Maybe next model.

Stormrider said...

looks really nice, my baby brother told me he wants to buy a new cell-phone and he doesn't want the iphone, so I will definitely suggest it to him (although I doubt it will be available in Greece soon)

Eugenia said...

Heh, check this out too.

It shows how successful the iPhone is and how important native apps are. Breaking compatibility is simply not an option.