Andrew grapples with Android in readers' Mailbag

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"the winners can only be the companies with huge economy of scale advantages, which means Nokia, or ultra cheap, corner-cutting no-name manufacturers we've never heard of."

Or, alternatively, HTC, who are the giant elephant missing from this entire article. They're a large and well-established company with considerable expertise in both hardware and software engineering, they make mid- to ultra-high end phones, and they make almost exclusively Android phones, these days. They're certainly not 'no-name' to anyone with a passing interest in phones. Any article discussing Android without mentioning HTC is missing a large part of the puzzle.

(You almost mentioned them when you invoked the Nexus One, but missed out by saying Google did it themselves. Google mostly did the software, but HTC built the phone.) And, of course, there's Motorola, who are tying themselves pretty firmly to the Android mast, and building their nicest phones for a long time.

I'm still clinging on desperately for Nokia to announce something nice and Meego-y, but if they don't get around to it soon I'll just give in and get something Android-y from HTC. Or Samsung.

I think you're a bit behind the curve on RIM, as well. They're flailing. Version 6 of the Blackberry software isn't turning anyone's crank, no-one's buying the Torch, and they don't have any particularly buzzworthy new models coming up either. The most telling stat I've seen lately was a survey on whether existing iPhone, Android and Blackberry users would buy the same type of phone again next time; I forget the exact numbers, But it was something like 90% yes for iPhone, 75% yes for Android, and 40% yes for BB.

Adam Williamson

I'm confused by this statement:

"If you don't believe me, try a test with someone who has a new, rival touchscreen phone; invite them to change the wallpaper or the ringtone."

On my Android phone I press "Menu" and then select "Wallpaper" to do the former, or "Menu, Settings, Personalize" to set the default ringtone.

That didn't require the manual, and was perfectly obvious when I went looking to do so.

I don't know if early Android phones were hard to use, but the recent ones seem about as easy as the iPhone when I see people playing with them.


There is a word of sympathy for Nokia, though.

At times it's pretty hard to read El Reg without wondering wether the authortards are just plain incompetent or simply biased.

Well, you gave me a couple of good laughs, so why should i complain?

Is Ovi dead? Is Apple king of the ring?

Let me start out with a couple of titbits from the past.

I remember when O wrote an app, as you call it nowadays. Just a simple game, a rippoff of the good old classic Arkanoid (or Break-Out, however you may call it). You know, I even made it into the top ten of Nokias Softwaremarket. Ahh, what a bright future. They have the address to their softwaremarket imprinted in every device they sell. Just wait till they add other payment plans (which kid as credit card after all?), or they start advertising their market (they several thousand apps there after all).

Well, that was over half a decade ago, well before the iPhone. Could have had it all well wrapped up.

I can only assume why Nokia didn't care shit. Didn't want to piss off the operators. Only cared about hardware sales. Who knows.

iPhone? The current going prices on Amazon here in germany are 1000€+. You got to be kidding me. Affordable? Sure. Total waste of money? Definitely. Desire? Galaxy? Nice phones. Phones. I don't spend that much on a phone. N900? As a die hard Linux user this one nearly had me. The possibility of assigning a dyndns address (or simply polling a webserver of my choice) and ssh-ing into the phone or installing apache and writing a simple php to access to the camera and speakers is intriguing.

Well, 300€ and i would have been a sure customer. Wildfire? Cheap versatile Android. Would have been my second choice. So, what DID i get. Nokia 5230. Wifi would have been nice. But hey, 640x360 touchscreen (only resistive), GPS, SD card slot and HSDPA. At 140€. Got putty from Sourceforge and a nice filemanager for free. No appstore required.

No wonder Nokia sells the most phones. And, so what does most phones equal? Biggest installed base. The combined revenue the operators make with mobile software just dwarfs Apple's app store.

Maybe time for Nokia to get a decent share.

So what should Nokia do? Innovation? WTF happened to morph? http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia/research/demos/the-morph-concept iPhone looks like old shit compared to that. Meego? Well, at least try to get this right. If you can get a full Linux distro onto a phone, screw Android ... and dont even mention that legacy bullshit iOS.

Syren Baran

[And then Nokia realised they were doing so well, they got rid of their CEO]

Finally, how not to get noticed in Andrew's Mailbag. Take it away, Javier Conti:

"If you don't believe me, try a test with someone who has a new, rival touchscreen phone; invite them to change the wallpaper or the ringtone."

Hi, I admit I stopped reading your "article" after that sentence.

And Javier, I stopped reading your "email" after that sentence.

You must at least pretend to have read to the end. ®

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