God Bless You, Mr. Elop!

This is Stephen Elop.

He’s been appointed as the new CEO of Nokia.

I liked Olli-Pekka, but he seemed to have a vision he couldn’t execute. Whether the failure was his fault or just due to nature of the Nokia beast doesn’t matter anymore. I hope Mr. Elop can bring necessary change to Nokia and renew their promise of Connecting People.

Is Apple Letting Android Live?

In short, no. Android lives on regardless of Apple.

Earlier today, I actually deleted a potential post about what would have happened if there been a CDMA version of the iPhone. After messing around with it for a while I came to the conclusion it doesn’t really matter, the past is past and who knows what would have really happened.

And then TechCrunch runs the article, “Is Android Only Surging Because Apple Is Letting It?

Head-smacking ensued.

They don’t take the revisionist history approach I was going for, but they did lightly touch upon some of the areas I wanted to cover. Namely, why do people choose Android and what would have happened had Verizon been able to get their own iPhone? There were more areas for sure, but since I couldn’t get the post to be anywhere near coherent, I gave it a swift death. In retrospect, maybe I should have just slimmed it down like TechCrunch did.

But if you enjoy thinking about these things, here are some of the areas I was thinking about:

  1. How does one explain the growth of Android in non-U.S. markets like China?
  2. Also, if Apple really wanted to win China, should they do a TD-SCDMA version?
  3. Did people really choose Apple over Android or did the strength of each operator’s channel determine the majority of the choices?
  4. If a CDMA version had existed and therefore no exclusivity with ATT, would Android have been used as a pawn by both ATT and Verizon to gain concessions from Apple? You have to admit, their hardware IS expensive. And I’m sure they’ve been eye-balling the App store of Apple for some time…
  5. Apple famously attempts to defend it’s consumer experience, so could they have effectively supported both a VZW and ATT platform? And if not, how would they prioritize without aggravating the other partner?
  6. With CDMA typically being a more expensive technology, would Apple have accepted the margin hit on their hardware?
  7. Is Apple just sticking around at ATT until LTE comes to Verizon?

Obviously, I have my opinion on these questions, but there is no point in going through them. In the end of my now-deleted piece, I couldn’t think of a compelling reason for why Apple would have ever gone to (or will go to) Verizon before LTE. I just wasn’t comfortable enough to say it with confidence. So what am I getting at with all this? Basically…there is a lot at play, especially in the U.S. market and it wouldn’t be wise to try and simplify Android’s growth around only one or two factors.

Apple Hello! Nokia Good-Bye!

Wow, two of the world’s most important manufacturer’s of mobile phones and services made their own set of announcements today. It should be interesting to see what each of them had to say.

Let’s start with Apple.

Apple Introduces New iPod touch

Apple today announced the new iPod touch, packed with incredible new features including Apple’s stunning Retina display, FaceTime video calling, HD video recording, Apple’s A4 chip, 3-axis gyro, iOS 4.1, and Game Center — all combined in the thinnest and lightest iPod touch ever. The new iPod touch features up to 40 hours of music playback and seven hours of video playback on a single battery charge.

Apple Reinvents iPod nano with Multi-Touch

iPod nano has been completely redesigned with Multi-Touch, which lets you navigate your music collection by simply tapping or swiping a finger on the display. Nearly half the size and weight of the previous generation, the new iPod nano features a polished aluminum and glass enclosure with a built-in clip, making it instantly wearable.

Apple Unveils New iPod shuffle

The redesigned iPod shuffle features both clickable buttons and Apple’s innovative VoiceOver technology, enabling you to easily navigate your music and playlists without ever looking at your iPod shuffle. The wearable iPod shuffle has an all-aluminum enclosure with a built-in clip and comes in five brilliant colors — silver, blue, green, orange, and pink.

Apple Introduces iTunes 10 with Ping

iTunes 10 features Ping, a new social network for music that lets you follow your favorite artists and friends to discover what music they’re talking about, listening to, and downloading. With Ping you can post your thoughts and opinions, your favorite albums and songs, and the music you’ve downloaded from iTunes — plus view concert listings and tell your friends which concerts you plan to attend.

Apple Premieres New Apple TV

The new Apple TV offers the simplest way to watch your favorite HD movies and TV shows on your HD TV for the breakthrough price of just $99. With Apple TV, you can choose from the largest online selection of HD movies to rent, including first-run movies for just $4.99, and the largest online selection of HD TV show episodes to rent — from ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel, and BBC America — for just 99 cents.

Wow, that was pretty impressive. It wasn’t revolutionary in any regard, but they definitely brought a lot of new updates to the table. I can’t wait to see what Nokia had to announce today.

Oh wait, it looks like they sent me an email with an announcement:

Dear Ovi Files user,

Nokia is discontinuing the Ovi Files service, effective October 1, 2010.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Please make sure to uninstall the Ovi Files Connector installed on your personal computer. To do this, execute the standard Windows or Macintosh uninstall procedure that came with your computer. You will not lose any files as a result of this service discontinuation. Ovi Files simply creates an ‘online mirror’ of the files saved on your Windows PC or Mac, so your original files will remain intact. The files on your computer are always treated as the master version, even if some are selected as ‘Anytime Files.’

You will still be able to share content between your phone and PC using another Nokia product, Nokia Ovi Suite. With Nokia Ovi Suite installed on your PC, you can do the following: sync your contacts and messages; transfer videos, photos, and music; back up your Nokia and update your device software. Please note that this is not a direct substitute for Ovi Files as Nokia Ovi Suite requires a wired connection between your PC and mobile device. For more information visit www.ovi.com/suite.

Again, we are sorry for the inconvenience and hope that you will continue to enjoy our most popular services:

Maps Find your way with free navigation, downloadable maps and easy location sharing.

Store Browse a wide selection of mobile apps, games, ringtones and more.

Music Download albums and individual tracks, share playlists with friends, and much more. »

Thanks Nokia, I will TOTALLY use your existing services knowing that you may discontinue them at any point in the near future. Also, knowing the fact that whatever service I use from you may cause extra work for me (uninstalling) gives me a big, warm fuzzy. I sure am glad I signed up for DropBox instead of Ovi Files, it looks as thought it’s saving me a lot of trouble.

Apple’s Next Big Thing is Mobile Commerce?

I had dinner with a former colleague last night. It was good catching up, but as usual, we ended up discussing  the wireless industry and Apple. It’s been lampooned numerous times from other mobile manufacturers that Apple rarely brings out anything new, they just seem to do it in a better and more innovative way. I told him I was fairly unimpressed with the iPhone 4 offering, as it just felt like a hardware change to me. There was nothing about it that seemed compelling.

So this begged the question, what is going to be Apple’s next new (but old) thing?

Engadget may have answered it here.

I’m now officially curious as to what their approach will be for this market…

Wireless and Net Neutrality: Explain to me…

I’ve been on the handset side a long time, so I’m not fluent on wireless infrastructure challenges. As I read Engadget’s review of the Google / Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal, one section particularly stood out:

Wireless broadband. Possibly the most important provision of the entire agreement, and the biggest compromise. Under Verizon and Google’s plan, wireless networks would be excused from every provision except the transparency requirement. Why? Because of the “unique technical and operational characteristics of wireless networks,” of course. Or… perhaps because Google has an interest in allowing Verizon to do whatever it wants with traffic on its Android-dominated wireless network. Either way, it’s hard to reconcile the stated need for net neutrality in this agreement with a giant exception for wireless networks, which are quickly becoming the most important networks of all.

I’ve been told many operators have suffered with wireless capacity issues for quite awhile, especially as more users move toward more data-intensive smart phones. So with limited spectrum, they have to be careful so as to maintain a decent level of service for all customers. Some of them will massage certain traffic, like torrent downloads, in favor of others. So in a sense, they are doing the common user a favor by keeping possibly illegal file-sharing and such to a minimum. It really isn’t even about censoring or neutrality, it’s just about keeping the network alive.

So I ask anyone reading this, I beg you to correct my thinking. To me, it seems a reasonable position for some wireless operators to take. However, I’d like to know more about this debate. Educate me please.

One caveat: Give me something better than the “slippery slope” argument.

Page 2 of 41234