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Profits Don’t Mask Apple’s Need to Innovate

April 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Ignore the dollar signs, Apple needs to get back to doing what it does best.

That bookies exist should be enough to tell you gambling doesn’t pay. That no matter how many winners you back, ultimately somewhere along the line you’ll come crashing down to earth. The world’s biggest gambler Apple hasn’t crashed yet but, after quite possibly the longest winning streak in financial history, the stakes for its next big bet have never been higher.

Fighting Fit Finances

This all sounds like nonsense looking at Apple’s latest financial results. On Tuesday the company announced figures for its fiscal 2013 second quarter which ended on 30 March. The numbers were mind boggling. $43.6 billion (£28.6bn) in revenue, $9.5 billion (£6.23bn) in profits and sales of 37.4m iPhones, 19.5m iPads, 5.6m iPods and 3.95m Macs. It also reported a cash balance of $145 billion. $145 billion! Tim-Cook-to-be-declined-Double-Salary-Bonus-by-Apple (1)

Tim Cook sounded optimistic as well. He teased reporters saying “Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware and software and services for this fall and throughout 2014.” He also crowed that “We have a lot more surprises in the works”, but naturally wouldn’t expand upon them. The financial markets seemed impressed. Stock increased by five per cent as Apple fractionally outperformed estimates and over $17bn was added to the company’s value overnight.

Out of ideas

So why all the drama? Because, quite simply, nothing much is going on. Doubters point to the fact that Apple’s year-on-year quarterly profits fell for the first time and that the share price has crashed from a high of $702 to a low of $390 last week, but the trouble is not about what has happened but what hasn’t. ipad_mini_pf_pb_ps_wht_ios6_print Right now Apple appears stagnant, dull, out of ideas. For a company that trades on ‘magic’, having this perception gain traction would be disastrous.

In reality, Apple doesn’t make magic or cast spells, it gambles. The company’s business model is very simple: enter a struggling or early adopter sector, revolutionise its ease of use, wrap it in a slick design to create demand and facilitate high margins. When the sector popularises jump to a new one. The jump is the gamble and, given Apple’s disinterest in small profit margins and the mass market, the crucial part in securing its business model and pioneering reputation for the next three to four years. To date Apple has a near flawless record leaping from PCs to MP3 players to smartphones to tablets.

Consequently Apple doesn’t care what competitors do in its existing markets so long as it gets the jump right into the next one and hence jump the competition. The problem this time is the competition is leaping first and that brings the whole model crashing down. This is a sample. To read about the problems Apple faces in its mooted new markets and why it is time for the company to gamble once more click here for the full editorial @ TrustedReviews

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

 

Google I/O 2013: what to expect

April 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

The official unveiling of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie will be just the tip of the iceberg at I/O 2013…

San Francisco’s Moscone Center is most famous in technology circles for hosting Apple’s major keynotes but, just as Android gazumped the iPhone revolution, it seems Google I/O may now be the most interesting event at the venue. I/O 2013 will run from 15 – 17 May and takes place just 11 months after the 2012 conference brought us Jelly Bean 4.1, Project Butter, Google Now, Chrome for iOS, the Nexus 7 and Project Glass.

In 2013 expectations are equally high and with leaks and rumours stockpiling it is time to round up our expectations for what promises to be one of the highlights of the technology calendar.

Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie
Whatever else Google announces, nothing will grab the headlines like the next major version of Android. While we will deal with some of the key functionality for version 5.0 in the sections below, the overriding question is whether an ‘evil Android’ will finally compromise openness in favour of greater control.

The biggest hint comes this week from Motorola with executives confirming Google’s influence will see its next handsets released with stock Android, while Google itself is expected to further push its Nexus brand at mainstream consumers. Google CEOs have also been increasingly vocal about issues of Android fragmentation and, while networks have been partly responsible for this, the growing trend for major partners like Amazon, Samsung and most recently Facebook to fork Android for their own ends could finally see Google fight back.

 key-lime-pie-cartoon

Google Babble
With leaks abound this unified messaging system it looks nailed on to make its first appearance at Google I/O 2013. Babble is expected to unite Chat, Talk, Voice and Google Plus communication into a single service with the same conversations and features available everywhere. Furthermore talk of a Google bid for WhatsApp earlier in the month suggests the company has plans to go toe-to-toe with Apple’s iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger long term.

Interestingly Babble is also said to incorporate notification syncing, a long overdue feature that dismisses notifications on all your devices once they are checked on one. Given the growing number of smart devices we carry, hopefully this will encourage other services (we’re looking at you Facebook) to follow suit. Incidentally it is unknown at this stage whether ‘Babble’ will be the final name for the new service (we hope not), but we don’t have to wait long to find out.

gsmarena-001

New Nexus 7
With annual and even bi-annual product life cycles now the norm a new Nexus 7 tablet is certain to grace us next month. The original Nexus 7 was announced at Google I/O 2012 and proved a breakthrough device given its remarkable price point. This time around the new Nexus 7 is expected to gain a super high resolution screen like the Nexus 10 and faster quad core Qualcomm chipset while shedding the pounds and reducing the size of its bezel. Talk is the new Nexus 7 will come in at the same $199 price as the current model, though a $149 RRP has been mooted along with rumours that the original Nexus 7 will continue to be sold for just $99.

Nexus 5/Motorola X Phone
The tech world seems split over what new handsets Google may have for us at I/O 2013, but there is consensus we will see something to show off Key Lime Pie. Motorola’s next-generation handsets, most notably the fabled ‘X Phone’ (supposed render, right) is widely tipped as is a Nexus 5 with 5-inch 1080p display.

The latter would seem premature given the Nexus 4 only launched in November though the former would provide a fine stage for Motorola’s increasingly hyped new handset and confirm the successful Googlefication of the company with the world’s press watching. We expect any handsets unveiled will update seamlessly to new Android versions as Google looks to send a message.

Google Game Center
Game Centre may be one of the worst-looking services on iOS, but its ability to unite iPhone, iPad and iPod touch gamers and simplify multiplayer gaming across these devices is beyond doubt. Hints that Google is about to follow in Apple’s footsteps broke only this week… This is a sample, to read more about Android’s answer to Game Center along with major announcements planned for Google Glass, Google Now and the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and Nexus Q click here for the full feature @ TrustedReviews

 Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

 

Why Microsoft is backtracking with Windows 8.1 Blue

April 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Microsoft pitching Windows 8 as Windows 7 is actually smart…

Four words have triggered talk of the biggest tech U-turn in years. ‘CanSuppressStartScreen’ was found in leaked code for the Windows 8.1 ‘Blue’ software update. Can. Suppress. Start. Screen.

The same start screen Microsoft hailed at launch five months ago as ‘A Beautiful New Start’, the future of computing and the answer to unifying PC and post-PC devices. The ultimate answer to the ultimate question.

Does it really expect to make better progress shipping Windows 7 version 2.0? I think it makes more sense than what it was doing…

Windows 8 pitch is naive
Up to now, Microsoft’s pitch for Windows 8 has been incredibly naive. It equates to this: everyone likes touchscreens; everyone likes tablets; everyone knows smartphones and tablets are eating into PC sales; we don’t have successful smartphones and tablets but look everyone here is an operating system that makes your PC work like a smartphone and tablet!

Except most PCs don’t ship with touchscreens and their software isn’t optimised for touchscreens. Microsoft’s desperate leap of faith was too big and – much like any movie will tell you – those who try hardest to avoid their fate are guaranteed to cause it.

Cue IDC last week revealing PC sales in 2013 experienced their worst ever slump and that Windows 8, far from reviving the market, has slowed it, while pointing the finger at the ‘radical’ interface.

windows-8-touchscreen-laptop

Windows 8 = Windows 7 but even better
What Microsoft forgot was fundamental. Not everyone likes touchscreens, not everyone wants a smartphone and/or tablet to replace their PC and far from everyone wants their PC to operate like their smartphone… especially all in one go and before hardware designs and costs have evolved to ease the transition. These memories now appear to have been restored.

While Microsoft has yet to comment on the ‘CanSuppressStartScreen’ code leak, it is already starting to sell a very different image of Windows 8 to customers in preparation of Blue. One product manager has even gone on record saying he now starts his Windows 8 pitch on the desktop, not the new Start Screen, selling the idea that Windows 8 is the smarter, faster and more secure update to the already popular Windows 7.

That’s the key: Windows 8 is Windows 7 enhanced and it can be something new when you are ready for it to do that. And if you’re not ready for a revolution, Windows 8 can boot straight to the desktop. That should be Microsoft’s new pitch.

samsung-ativ-tablet-smartphone-and-hybrid

Stand and deliver
The good news for Microsoft is the naive, reckless yet ambitious motivations behind the creation of Windows 8 should ultimately stand it in good stead long-term… This is a sample, to learn about why Microsoft’s mistake may just have a silver lining click here to read the full editorial @ TrustedReviews

 Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

 

EU Antitrust Probe Will Make Android Leaner & Meaner

April 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Microsoft-led pressure group may simply create a a stronger mobile rival…

In early 2000 Google employees Paul Buchheit and Amit Patel were sat in a company meeting being a nuisance. “[We] kept kind of forcing them to put it up there,” recalls Buchheit. “And because we wouldn’t let it fall off the list, it made it onto the final set and took on a life of its own from there. Amit started writing it down all over the building, on whiteboards everywhere. It’s the only value that anyone is aware of, right?” ‘Don’t be evil’ was born.

Thirteen years later Google finds itself at the opposite end of the spectrum at the centre of a spiralling EU antitrust investigation. It has already spent the last three years under scrutiny for manipulating search results to promote its own services, but now Microsoft-led lobby group ‘FairSearch’ wants to bring Android into the mix as well.

1The Case for the Prosecution “Google is using its Android mobile operating system as a ‘Trojan Horse’ to deceive partners, monopolize the mobile marketplace, and control consumer data”, said FairSearch counsel Thomas Vinje in an official announcement this week. “We are asking the Commission to move quickly and decisively to protect competition and innovation in this critical market. Failure to act will only embolden Google to repeat its desktop abuses of dominance as consumers increasingly turn to a mobile platform dominated by Google’s Android operating system.”

FairSearch argues Google only achieves its dominance in the smartphone market (approximately 70 per cent at the end of 2012) by giving away Android ‘free’ but that “in reality, Android phone makers who want to include must-have Google apps such as Maps, YouTube or Play are required to pre-load an entire suite of Google mobile services and to give them prominent default placement on the phone”. The result, it claims, puts rivals at an unfair disadvantage and sees Google increasingly gain control of consumer data on mobile as it has on the desktop.

How is the arguably greater control exerted by Apple, BlackBerry and indeed Microsoft itself enforced on their own mobile platforms not caused cries of hypocrisy? Because such practises are only punishable when a company achieves a monopoly. Something FairSearch argues Android now has.

2

The Case for the Defence If this all sounds familiar, that’s because it should. In 2006 the EU ordered Microsoft to pay €497 million, at the time its largest ever fine, for exploiting the 90 per cent monopoly Windows enjoyed by forcing hardware partners to pre-load its entire suite of desktop services. At the heart of it was Windows Media Player and Microsoft was told to produce a version of Windows without Windows Media Player within 90 days. Yes technology’s power shifts are a game of musical chairs.

That said Google’s legal position in 2013 is arguably fair stronger than Microsoft’s in 2006. For a start Android is open source and anyone is able to fork the OS as they choose and pre-install whatever services they like. Android without core Google services installed doesn’t get Google certification, but that seems a fair compromise. Similarly Android offers users the choice to switch default apps away from Google’s core services.

Meanwhile the allegation that Android has an unfair advantage in being free is somewhat disingenuous. In 2011 HTC admitted it pays Microsoft a minimum of $5 per Android handset in patent royalties and Microsoft’s own financial results have shown it earns more from Android patent payments that it does from Windows Phone.

The Future – Be Evil?

While the only certainty in sizeable legal disputes is that lawyers get rich, the bigger question for Google is what the investigation means for the future of Android…

3

This is a sample, to read about why FairSearch may ultimately force Android to become a beast that cannot be controlled click here for the full editorial @ TrustedReviews.

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

Media Consultancy – Making sense of media: what to use and when

April 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Media & Copywriting

Reprinted with kind permission of Cision UK. Find the original feature on the Cision UK blog.

Shall we publish it? Post it? Print it? Tweet it? Or Pin it? Does it require links, likes, retweets, or +1s? Gordon Kelly reveals the technologies that PRs should know how to use and, more importantly, when it’s best to use them.

The boundaries are blurring. Never before have journalists, PRs and consumers had so many ways to publish, consume and promote news. If you meet someone who tells you they have mastered them all, the polite term is ‘they need better PR’. Quite simply the machinations are bewildering and ever more complex strategies are inspiring indecision as much as, well… inspiration. That said there are general rules and, for the most part, they are simple, logical and far too often forgotten:

It needs publishing
Your news is actual news. PRs know how to categorise this far better than they’re given credit. Poor pitches are predominantly caused by losing a battle with the client, which journalists interpret as stupid PRs – so don’t lose!

The print verses digital debate rages on and while digital’s ability to show up in search engines means a longer tail, print retains (however falsely) greater gravitas. Print needs exclusives and NDAs to stay in touch, so make sure you provide them. Digital is about speed, so releases that say what isn’t available (price, release date, etc) as well as what is, saves journalists time spent on needless follow-ups. When successfully published feel free to link, tweet and post about this as much as you like, you’ve earned it.

It needs sharing
>Publishing comes via the filter of a journalist or title, but when your news is unlikely to catch their eye the key is going direct. Facebook pages build consumer loyalty, especially when enticed with competitions and prizes, but beware: journalists largely hate being contacted while they’re organising their holiday snaps.

Twitter is the place big companies do tech support and smaller ones reach out looking for contextually relevant user tweets, but announcements are a flash in the pan unless you pull off the holy grail of getting your topic trending. Still, journalists are happy to be contacted using Twitter and it gives an invaluable gift – this is what this journalist is thinking and needing now.

Pinterest and Instagram work best for announcements with a visual flair and Foursquare when there is something to visit – tie in prizes and something (anything) free to get the public flocking.

It needs sponsoring
Let’s face it, some things simply aren’t going anywhere unless you pay for it. Google ads, occasional sponsored Facebook posts (don’t do too many unless you want consumers to leave you in droves) and contextual advertising (sales teams still pressure editorial to review products from major buyers) all have their time and place.

In these economically stretched times advertorials also don’t carry the stigma they once did, especially if they are informative, educational and stay away from the biggest faux pas: self promotion. Competitions with titles are warmly appreciated as well, again don’t push for editorial flattery and don’t do it unless you can offer good prizes to get the attention of the title and its readers – offering too little is an insult.

It needs intelligence
Variety is the spice of life and it is also the spice in successful promotion. Relentless press releases, social media blitzes and uninspiring giveaways deliver only diminishing returns. Categorisation and contextualisation must be the first stage of analysis for every client proclamation and request. Set off on the wrong path and it is typically too difficult or too expensive to correct. Lest we forget the problem with the Information Age is too much information and, in a time when news aggregation king the RSS reader is considered too much of a time suck, getting the message and medium right first time has never been more important.

For the discerning PR a planet of always-connected consumers and journalists is the richest of bounties, but faced with endless choice the attention spans of both have never been shorter.

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

Whisper it: the PS4 & Xbox 720 are not about gaming

April 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Microsoft and Sony are taking a big risk with their next-gen consoles…

JawsPbk1In literary circles it is often debated whether ‘Jaws’, the original novel by Peter Benchley, is not actually about a big shark, but infidelity. Shark expert Hooper is portrayed as arrogant, with more interest in studying the shark than saving the townspeople and Brody dislikes him on the suspicion he had an affair with his wife. In the novel Hooper is ultimately eaten by the shark. It seems fair comeuppance.

Step into gaming circles and a similar, equally odd, debate is happening. It may have taken until their third and fourth generations respectively, but there is growing support for the notion that the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 are not about gaming – even though both platforms have aged far better than any of the subsequent Jaws films ever did. What’s more, in casting their affection away from what should arguably be their primary focus, both may also be chewed up and spat out for it…

The arguments for this shift in priorities are compelling:

  • The consoles are no longer competing on performance, but being aligned
  • Talk is rife that both consoles won’t be backwards compatible with current games
  • Both consoles may block users from playing second-hand games and neither seems keen to clarify this once and for all.

All three are major no-nos in the eyes of hardcore gamers and suggest Microsoft and Sony have far less appetite this time around for a war fought over frame rates, polygon counts and draw distances. Furthermore Sony has gone out of its way to dramatically simplify coding for the PS4, stressing ease of game development on the platform as opposed to a tidal wave of exclusives. Even Microsoft’s Kinect won’t be such a great differentiator after Sony unveiled ‘Eye’, which mimics Kinect alongside controller support for Move-like operation.

US-SONY-PLAY STATION 4

So how will Sony and Microsoft duke it out this time around? Two different kinds of media: social and multimedia. “It’s going to be connected. It’s going to be social. It’s going to be immersive. It’s going to be interactive,” said Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat when speaking about the Xbox 720. Mallat admitted next gen console graphics would be “mind-blowing”, but also added that “the connected aspects and the social components will be what will define the difference between a next-gen experience and a current-gen experience.”

Likewise Sony has announced the PS4 will be always connected, will pre-download content users might be interested in and will also feature a dedicated ‘Share’ button. “Base hardware architecture for PlayStation network [is] designed to integrate social networks through all aspects” according to lead Sony developer Mark Cerny. Furthermore Sony is going after casual gamers and a wider female user base.

“We are not going down the route of making the console pink of course,” said Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House, however “the key is getting games developers who are going to make the next Angry Birds excited about the PS4.” Throw in extended television, film, music and indie developer support which builds upon the current gen consoles and it becomes clear Microsoft and Sony will position the Xbox 720 and PS4 as the technological heart of our homes. And this is a big ask for devices which are not mobile. This is a sample, to read about the threats posed by Nvidia, Valve and threats to the consoles’ longevity click here for the full article @ TrustedReviews

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings.

 

iPad At 3: How Simplicity Changed Computing

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

It was predicted to flop, but a focus on simplicity saw the iPad change the world…

 

Simple
adjective
-easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.
noun
-ignorant, foolish, or gullible
Dictionary.com

Journalists are supposed to be good at English, but on 27 January 2010 history will show we suffered a global outbreak of illiteracy. While Steve Jobs’ iPad unveiling keynote overloaded on the adjective ‘magical’, professional reporters fixated on his use of ‘simple’ as a noun. Headlines declared the iPad was foolish, Apple had been ignorant of its customers’ needs and gullible in believing that iOS could be slapped onto a ‘big iPod touch’ with positive results. This month, three years since the iPad first went on sale, we include ourselves amongst journalists who were taught a grammar lesson we will never forget.

steve-jobs-ipad-1

Elementary My Dear Watson – Sherlock Holmes
Of course the iPad didn’t just ram home the importance of simplicity and its infinite number of positive linguistic interpretations, it created a mantra for the evolution of the computer industry. The result is been a drive to strip away the complexities long deemed part and parcel of computing (driver maintenance, anyone?) and push intuitive functionality in the form of bite size, affordable apps to the forefront. Presented with the blank canvass afforded by tablets’ sizable touch-screens developers have responded in their droves.

Furthermore, everything representative of a time before we became obsessively touchy feely is fast being swept away. Netbooks were the first casualty. The promise of an affordable, if compromised, PC experience on the move went from ingenious to antiquated almost overnight. Deemed a breakthrough with the launch of the Asus Eee PC in 2007, at the start of 2010 services firm Morgan Stanley estimated annual netbook sales of 42.7 million during 2012. Instead by December 2012 every major netbook maker had abandoned the category. Unsurprisingly Asus was the last to go, giving up the ghost in December.

Since then Mac OS has modelled its future on iOS, Windows 8 does a great impression of Windows Phone and talk of the first ‘Androidbook’ hit the press this week. The once-bonkers iPad model of applying a phone operating system to a tablet is now not only the norm but, as sales threaten to overtake PCs, a survival drive desktops and laptops are being forced to follow.

Screen-Shot-2013-03-13-at-15-06-57

Simple Is As Simple Does – Forrest Gump
While the iPad is a categorical success, the extent has left a significant mess in its wake. Apple was undoubtedly thrilled to see it first fracture Android into phone and tablet editions then divide customers over Microsoft’s ‘hybrid’ Windows 8, but it isn’t just rivals who have suffered.

he scale of the iPad’s success has clearly also confused Apple and left it startled like a rabbit in the headlights. Unlike Microsoft, which has at least taken the plunge with Windows 8, Mac OS X has spent three years paying increasing graphical lip service to iOS as it runs out of point releases and big cats to name updates after. It’s as if Apple has yet to work out what OS XI should be: a potentially disastrous hybrid drawing Windows 8-levels of criticism or a full port to iOS which would destroy invaluable legacy software, especially for professionals.

At the same time iOS itself appears dumbstruck. The impression is Apple has become scared to make any major changes in case it alienates the iPad’s huge mainstream, tech-phobic user base. As such it just keeps tweaking and releasing incremental hardware updates. Having blown all of its major rivals away for the last three years, Apple’s subsequent behaviour suggests that the company was almost as stunned as they were…

Screen-shot-2012-12-06-at-11-28-52

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – Leonardo da Vinci
Still Apple remains in the box seat of a simplicity revolution it created… This is a sample, to read about why the quest for simplicity is now the most powerful drive in technology click here to read the full editorial @ TrustedReviews

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings. 

Legacy – Technology’s Gift to Innovation

April 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

Why the traps of technology’s past are crucial to the progress of its future…

Legacy is a tricky beast and never more than when the primarily positive connotations of the word clash with its wholly negative interpretation within technology. Look at the perceived lack of innovation at Apple since Steve Jobs’ passing in October 2011. Steve would never have allowed this! is the common cry, but a new report reveals not only that he did, but that he was behind it…

steve-jobs-tim-cook

Cooking Time
The news comes via US District Attorney George Gascón who reported recently on his discussions with Apple government liaison, Michael Foulkes. Gascón has been looking at ways to reduce phone crime and became frustrated when Foulkes told him little could be done in the near future because the next two generations of iPhone have already been developed. “They preceded Tim Cook,” Gascón quotes Foulkes as saying.

2014’s iPhone already developed prior to 2011? This shouldn’t be a surprise, tech road maps are years in the making. When an Apple television eventually appears, Jobs’s hands will also be all over it.

After all, his biographer Walter Isaacson already quoted him on the subject proclaiming, “I finally cracked it!” Good, bad or indifferent, Jobs will have allowed it and the same will be true of the rumoured Apple smartwatch. Legacies don’t switch on and off like light bulbs, yet Jobs will be credited for Apple’s future success and made blame free for its failures. Siri? Apple Maps? Both developed on Jobs’s watch by his golden boy, the recently fired Scott Forstall.

cff67a3351111302050f6a706700bcd3-2

Black(and Blue)Berry
A similar affect can be seen at BlackBerry. In this case the resignation of co-founder Mike Lazaridis (below, right) last week was met with cheers akin to the ones that greeted news fellow co-founder Jim Balsillie (below, left) had sold his remaining shares last month after resigning in 2012.

The “anti-Jobs”, the duo was seen as responsible for the stagnation at BlackBerry as they failed to adapt to the threat of touchscreen phones and touch optimised software interfaces. Again the true legacy is somewhat different: both were heavily involved in BlackBerry 10, the company’s innovative comeback platform, which launched to largely positive reviews last month.

Speaking of Lazaridis’s resignation, current CEO Thorsten Heins – who has been credited as the progressive leader to turn things around – said: “I admire Mike for his many achievements and for his vision in helping bring BlackBerry 10 to fruition.”

In the Information Age where too much information has seen attention spans drop and viewpoints more easily formed around the certainties of black and white a key message has been forgotten: change takes time. Like BlackBerry, Microsoft was also lambasted for its inability to adapt to the new threats of iOS and Android.

The truth is both companies were weighed down by legacy while Apple and Google were both newcomers without this burden. Now BlackBerry and Microsoft are repositioned around BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone respectively Apple is getting the cat calls… because iOS has built “legacy”.

Android-Historical-Version-Distribution

Jelly Has-Bean
‘What about Google?’ I hear you cry. Without the burden of being tightly tied to a specific line of handsets it is true Android has so far managed to keep innovating at a tremendous pace, but its biggest problem remains legacy… This is a sample, to read about the challenges to Android and why legacy is vital to the future of all technological process click here for the full editorial @ TrustedReviews

Copyright for all reviews, editorials and features on this site belong to their respective publishers. All samples published on this website are via prior agreement with those publishers and serve to act as a portfolio and centralised location for all my work. Contact me at gordon@gordonkelly.com should you wish to commission me or supply review samples, press releases or arrange meetings.

Why Buy A Flagship Android Smartphone?

April 5, 2013 by  
Filed under Features & Editorials

With a £600 RPP it’s impossible to justify buying a Samsung Galaxy S4. Or is it?

Here are a list of things you can buy for under £600: a 64GB iPad 4, a 55-inch Samsung PS51D550 plasma TV, an Acer Aspire Timeline ultrabook, an LG BH8220B surround sound system, a Canon EOS 650D DSLR camera, a return flight to Caribbean and ‘’any smartphone on the market’’… except the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Then again, this stands to reason because did you know the S4 is twice as good as the Galaxy S3 and more than twice as good as the Google Nexus 4?

What’s that… it isn’t? But that’s what the asking price says. Flippancy aside it is about time we asked: are premium smartphones worth the money?

EE

Spec-tacular
From a hardware perspective there is a great deal to admire. The current crop of benchmark handsets, which includes the circa £500 HTC One and Sony Xperia Z, pack quad-core processors producing benchmark results that almost double those of the previous generation.

They also have jaw-dropping 1080p Full HD screens and the latest camera technology. Furthermore their costs can be spread over the length of a two-year contract for those intimidated by their hefty SIM-free asking prices and it is a tactic that seems to be working.

“The demand for the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been truly phenomenal at pre-order stage,” reported Phones 4U chief commercial officer Scott Hooton on Thursday. “In the first six hours alone, pre-orders placed both online and in-store are five time that of the Samsung Galaxy SIII over the same time period.” Hooton also confirmed the S4 had broken the record for the highest number of pre-registrations previously held by the iPhone 4S.

That said look closer and the total cost of ownership for these handsets is eye-watering. In the case of the Galaxy S4, Three currently has the cheapest deal, which nets you a free phone if you sign a £35pm two-year deal on its Ultimate Internet 500 plan. This gives you 500 minutes, 5000 texts and All-You-Can-Eat data.

The total cost of ownership (TCO) is £840. On Vodafone and O2 a free S4 starts on two year contracts costing from £42pm and £47pm respectively and on EE tariffs (above) a £56pm two year contract on 4G gets you the S4 for a £19.99 outlay. TCO here comes in at £1,008, £1,128 and £1,363 respectively. Wow.

Nexus-4

In the Cheap Corner
Just four months ago the picture pin-up phones were very different. Top of our lust list were the Samsung Galaxy S3, LG Nexus 4 and HTC One X. They pack 4.7-inch 720p HD screens, lower clocked quad-core processors and eight-megapixel cameras rather than the 13 megapixels found in the S4 and Xperia Z.

Today all three handsets can be bought for under £300 new and contract free. Coupled with Three’s The One Plan which offers 2,000 minutes, 5,000 Three-to-Three minutes, 5,000 SMS and unlimited data on a 30-day rolling contract for just £25pm the TCO over two years comes in at… £900. ‘’Surprise!’’

Yes the twist is that, for all the outcry about the sky high prices of the latest handsets, the real cost isn’t so much in outlay but freedom… This is a sample. To read about the shock in opting for the cheaper option click here for the full editorial @ TrustedReviews

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