Qualcomm's connected world
Dr Paul Jacobs started by looking back ten years, neatly avoiding the issue that back then Qualcomm meant CDMA and so were the enemy. Mobile data may have existed, but people didn’t want it. What he sees is a world in which everything is connected. Tens of billions of devices rather than the few billion people with a handset – but the handset will be the hub.
That connection will be through multiple types of radio so that your phone can talk to your TV. If it’s as much of a pain to connect a device as it is with todays Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, that’s not good enough. Those radios will explore the local environment but they'll need to do it at very low power, and to do that it needs to happen at the hardware level. Guess what Dr Jacobs makes? Hardware.
Next up was a very impressive Stephen Elop. Not only did he avoid the A word, he stayed away from the M word too, with only one passing reference. His focus was the low end: getting the internet out to people who can only afford the cheapest phones. Making them aspirational, dual SIM, and Qwerty. Nokia ships a million phones a day to these people and they will get Nokia Maps, Nokia Money, Nokia Life Tools, more social networking, instant messaging, and email solutions – all on Series 40.
As he was avoiding the M word, Jacobs didn’t include Bing, even though part of the deal announced last week is that all Nokia phones, not just smart ones, will get Bing. The overtone was of social responsibility. Nokia is a caring company, doing well by doing good. In a very clever twist, “Connecting People” is no longer about voice, connecting people to each other, but connecting people to their environment for health, banking, education, and agricultural information.
Back to the Future
And while the two Canadians and one American looked to the future, Ryuji Yamada, president and CEO of NTT DOCOMO, lives in it. Japan has 100 per cent 3G penetration, and he expects data ARPU to overtake voice next month. Machine-to-machine connections are heading for double-digit growth, and NTT DOCOMO will sell six million smartphones in the year including some with LTE.
Connected devices include the $11/month Otayori photo service, which gets you a digital picture frame you can put in your old folks' house so that you can send pictures of their grandchildren by email. Mechanical diggers now have cellular tachographs in them so that the owners can both track utilisation and, if they are started at night, know if they are being stolen.
The mix of the speakers led moderator Ben Wood to ask the insightful question: “Has the focus of development moved to the US?” The response from Paul Jacobs was that it’s a global industry, and most of his money comes from selling chips to Asia. Stephen Elop countered that Nokia was a proud Finnish company, and Jim Balsillie said that RIM is the operators' friend.
Ben Wood also asked Stephen Elop about his declaration that Microsoft (there, I’ve said it) and Nokia constituted a Third Ecosystem, after Apple and Google. Had he not noticed the Canadian sitting next to him?
Elop gave a very different answer to the one that he gave to the same question at a press conference on Sunday. Then he said “Qwerty phones, we make them too”. Today, ever the gentleman, he talked of being in the same ecosystem as RIM. The one that was the operators' best friend. So perhaps it was both the handset manufacturers playing to the gallery. ®
RIM boss: 'Our PlayBook shames the You Know What'
Burning question left unanswered!
When will Samsung's Bada phones get Bing?
Apple can afford to do that as the whole of the media takes care of building hype for them, for free. Other companies need to do the job themselves.
Anyway, remember the iPhone, Apple did pre announce it months in advance, they don't need to do it any more.
Can't we all just get along?
Well it's very clear where most of you lot all stand with your tastes in hardware/software vendors. I am the first to admit that I am a fairly dedicated Blackberry user and it’s a huge chunk of my job. I DO however appreciate Apples hardware and some of its devices. I do think some people have overlooked a few things with the Playbook though and are letting rivalries get in the way.
I think RIM and HP have made a strong decision with the OS of their tablets. Instead of trying to add functionality to a phone OS, they've started from scratch to make a OS just for tablets and then further down the line, disable whets not needed to move it onto a phone. Yes OS6 on the playbook meant it would have been out by now but how buggy would it have really been. Not that the iOS is that bad but at times it does feel rushed. Although no where near as bad as W7P that feels very rushed and lacking at times.
Yes, it has taken them a very long time to go from initial announcement to actually selling them, as long as the time has been taken to iron out any issues with the OS, I for one would not mind waiting a few months more to have a near faultless device as possible. I mean you wouldn’t be happy if you brought a car if the engine kept on cutting out every time you tried to take a left hand turn, at 20mph on a Tuesday would you? Although I do agree that if it's not out by the end of April, 9 months from announcement to sale is more then pushing their luck.
RIM say that it's big feature is "it supports real-time multitasking with symmetric multiprocessing," however have you guys even looked at the hands on reviews and videos of how the play book handles multitasking of two HD videos being shown on the same screen at once with comparative ease? I’ve read from a hardened apple fan who was taken aback from RIM's offering. Though that's just it's party trick to be fair, the fact that companies that want a highly secure mobile device can get a Playbook and connect it into an existing BES server. There is a reason why Apple don’t get threatened with being banned in a country because their devices are too secure for the local governments own liking.
Honestly though, I don’t think the Playbook will be an "iPad killer" much in the same way no blackberry will ever be an "iPhone killer". They are chalk and cheese, the playbook will take a good portion out of the tablet market this year but they will be mostly taking it from a part of the market that’s not accessible for the iPad, The medium/large scale businesses and government departments. Just like the iPad will strive ahead in the personal and small business markets.
"he talked about how the PlayBook does things the unmentionablepad doesn’t, and how those things will make money for networks"
...by not connecting to their networks directly, instead requiring a tethered/mifi blackberry or other mobile device. Hummmm....