My views on Nokia World 2010

Well every techie and phone enthusiast out there in the world(notice that I said “the world” not USA) should have heard about Nokia’s biggest event for the year; Nokia World.  In past years Nokia fans would eagerly await this event with the prospect of seeing the best smartphone in the world for the next year or so unveiled. While things have changed a bit since those times the eager anticipation is still there with alot of persons betting on the moment as Nokia’s counterattack against it’s growing smartphone rivals. How was Nokia World though? Well I was not at the gathering but did manage to watch the event on Nokia’s blog and gathered some insight from what I saw and experienced from that video.

A more aggressive approach

Everybody should agree that the big N’s previous events were never this aggressive in nature in marketing and throwing a couple words or so at its opponents, people complained that they were too soft in marketing the advantages of Symbian and they seemed to have stepped up a bit. The biggest insult thrown by Nokia at it’s event was at a rather unlikely opponent; HTC. Many people would ask, why HTC? They are much smaller than Nokia, have a much smaller reach and is just… smaller. When you look behind the lines however you will see where all of this is coming from, not past rivalry but from the Taiwanese sly and opportunistic move. What HTC did was to hold it’s equivalent of Nokia World in the very same city and at the very same time as Nokia, a move which some said was to attract journalists and developers heading to Nokia World who otherwise would not have  been anywhere near London for HTC’s event. This was a move that got Nokia upset and forced their PR department to respond with a “Survival Guide for HTC event” that lists all kind of wacky stuff to allow attendees to stay awake when they leave to attend HTC’s conference. This I think is a brilliant move and it illustrates Nokia’s goal of regaining mind-share of both the public and the media. Read more about My views on Nokia World 2010

The Tablet potential: How capable is it?

The big talk about tablets began with the announcement of the Apple iPad in January. Since then tablets have gotten more and more popular with many new and not so new designs popping up with increasing frequency, the newest being the Samsung Galaxy Tab. According to analysts this is just the start of great things to come, tablets are expected to boom both in popularity and in numbers in the middle of next year.

Galaxy S i9000 beside it's tablet size big brother

The tablet in itself is a unique device with a unique niche where it will dominate for some time to come, but how useful is it? My ideal tablet would be one with a 7 inch screen, at least 16Gb of internal memory plus expandability and a wide range of connectivity options that should allow me to plug whatever I want to plug into it; from usb keyboards to my own personal USB wimax dongle. This is a geek’s wish and I don’t expect it to suite any and everyone but these are what I think the ideal properties are; anything more is an overkill and anything less is not good enough. A tablet’s philosophy is to provide the missing link to smartphones and mobile computers a niche that was thought to be held by an entrenched netbook category. The truth though is that netbooks are ideally smaller less functional laptops, not a new category per se but more of a slimming down of a line to gain a broader audience by the reduction of price. Read more about The Tablet potential: How capable is it?

Digicel Jamaica Wimax Review Part 2

This is the second part of a 2 part review of the recently launched Digicel Jamaica Wimax service. Part one of there review can be viewed by clicking here. Part one explained Wimax technology as well as giving an overview of the two types of modems that customers of the Digicel Wimax service will use to access the network including installation. In part two I will be covering the following areas:

  1. Subscribing and Account Management
  2. Speed and General Performance
  3. Pricing and Conclusion

Subscribing and Account Management

To start using the service you will need a modem which can be bought at select Digicel outlets as of this writing. Get the CPE modem if your are someone looking for a more fixed solution with the ability to connect multiple laptops and PCs to one connection, get the USB modem if you desire mobility and the ease of setting up. One thing to note however is that if you are living in far rural areas the CPE should be a clear choice because it has a larger antenna surface area which allows it to work in dead spots like where I am living. Read more about Digicel Jamaica Wimax Review Part 2

Digicel Jamaica Wimax Review – Part 1

Digicel’s long anticipated WIMAX 4G has finally gone live after months of testing and fine tuning the network for optimum performance. The service is set to rival LIME’s broadband ADSL, mobile 3G connectivity being offered by Claro and LIME and the newcomer Dekal Wireless with their wireless broadband based on Wifi. As you can see WIMAX (World Interoperability for Microwave Access) has a lot of competitors offering increasingly better rates and speeds to consumers in Jamaica, so it has a lot of ground to make up in the first few months of it’s incarnation. How does Digicel’s WIMAX stand up to these rival services? In Part 1 of this Digicel Jamaica Wimax Review I will be covering 2 main areas.

  1. WIMAX: The Technology
  2. Hardware Overview

Digicel Logo

WIMAX: The Technology

Wimax is an IEEE standard for broadband distribution commonly referred to as 802.16. Wimax is sometimes confused with Wifi since they are both based on the same 802. Open standard, however they are different both in the way they operates and the hardware involved. The first technology officially branded Wimax was 802.16d-2004 which offered last mile broadband access in places where broadband cables are difficult to set up. Wimax was further improved with 802.16e-2005 which added improved security performance, greater bandwidth and improved latency and spectral efficiency. 802.16e was also the first Wimax iteration to gain true mobility with the decrease in antenna and chip size caused by the overall improvement of the standard. Wimax 802.16e has a maximum speed output of 75mbps under ideal conditions, this bandwidth is diced according to load or according to the ways in which it will be used. Mobile wimax 802.16e has enabled mobile phones, laptops and netbooks to have high speed broadband access on the go, a feat that the older standard could not match. Read more about Digicel Jamaica Wimax Review – Part 1

Top 5 recent fails in Smartphone Technology

The smartphone world in the last 3 years have seen more hype than ever before, three new operating systems came to life: iphone OS (rebranded iOS), android OS and webOS. With all the innovations and the attempts in innovations there were a few who failed, both technology-wise and in PR blunders. This is my top 5 list of smartphones and their technologies in the last 3 years that deserve a big failing grade.

iphone 4 black and white

5. Nokia N-gage 2.0

The N-gage 2.0 gaming platform was one of the most hyped and promising innovation of the time. The gaming service touted chatrooms, online gaming, scoreboards and an on-device storefront to purchase games-the first true appstore. Nokia carried out heavy marketing and touted the service as the future of mobile gaming, however what followed was one of the biggest fails in Nokia’s history. The first thing that crippled the service was the small amount of devices that were supported, many of which only supported the service in theory but never performed well with it. Only big name companies could build games for the service, the two man developer group had no chance and could not get a license, this could have been forgiven if those big companies churned out a lot of quality games, however a lot of games were of poor quality and had lackluster gameplay. Nokia crippled what could have been the best gaming service on a smartphone bar none and it will continue to haunt them in the foreseeable future. This deserves number 5 on this list. Read more about Top 5 recent fails in Smartphone Technology

iPhone 4 Officially Revealed at WWDC

Well we have a pretty impressive beast here, iPhone 4 have been officially unveiled by the man of the moment Steve Jobs and packs all that was known in the previous leaked device. Impressive features include the highest resolution screen on any smartphone 960×360 pixels at 326 DPI making each pixels invisible to the naked eye. The new iPhone also packs a decent 5 megapixel camera with flash, a front facing camera and HD recording. The iPhone 4’s feature set brings it up to par with the likes of the HTC evo 4g, nexus one and other high end models.

apple iphone 4

The iPhone 4 is believed to be powered by the same A4 1Ghz chip as the iPad, and might have comparable ram. These similarities with the iPad leaves the latter with only one advantage- a larger screen. Pricing is expected to follow the same route as previous iPhone iterations with the iPhone 3g being phased out, the 3gs falling to 99$ and the iPhone 4 coming in at 199$. Read more about iPhone 4 Officially Revealed at WWDC

Nokia’s goal with Symbian^3

The long anticipated and rumored Nokia N8 smartphone has been announced officially, both with a positive and a negative effect on Nokia. The N8 thundered to the scene with some pretty impressive features, most notably a 12 megapixel camera utilizing the largest camera optics to ever find a place in a phone. The biggest hiccup to come about, which is quite unfortunate to say the least, arrived in the form of a preview report from a prominent Russian tech journalist. The preview was done from the usage of a very early prototype, a prototype Nokia said was among the earliest available, which went missing before showing up on the preview done on the journalist’s site. Nokia did release a statement on their conversations blog where they spoke about wanting back the device, and that they would try and discover the source of the leak. The journalist described the software as premature (it was since it was a prototype) and he went on to joke that someone in the company might want to bring Nokia down (ironic), which he described as the reason for the N8 coming to fruition. The big issues though is not about the leak itself, it is about the software, it is about Symbian^3.

Symbian^3 is a very important milestone, both for Nokia and the Symbian foundation alike. What is this big milestone? This milestone is entirely based on the Qt 4.6 framework, with which Symbian^3 and the Nokia N8 ships. Qt is significant in that it will allow Nokia to fulfill their cross platform ambitions, it will allow programmers to write an app for Symbian and deploy it across Meego, windows, linux and Mac OS with minimal change to code. Read more about Nokia’s goal with Symbian^3

A message to LIME Jamaica

This is more than a message to LIME, it is a letter, a letter of final plea to the former telecoms monopoly of Jamaica. This plea is more from the people of Jamaica than it is from a single individual, it represent the views of those who have come in contact with Cable and Wireless, Bmobile, LIME or whatever their branding was at any given time which, unfortunately, did little to change the overall behavior of the company to it’s loyal customers. All that was received from the company after these several re-branding attempts were: arrogance, insensitivity and general lack of interest, it is time for a change.

The Message

Cable and Wireless have been among the leading companies operating in Jamaica for the last two decades. During this time you have provided the Jamaican populace with landline phones, internet and cellphone service. The novel service is that of cellphones. Cellphones provided by you suffered from many problems including: signal problems, an outdated technology framework, poor customer support and rates among the highest in the world. Those interested had to go through terrifying processes just to get a chance to use the novel cellphone service, thus the full potential of the marketability of cellphones were not realised, YET. The question is: Why worry about the customers? You had total control of the cellphone market so why sweat? No competition was there so you got your free time, you could do anything you wanted and no one could complain because you controlled ALL. It was then that a mostly unknown Irish businessman, looking for a fresh start after selling his Irish telecom company, saw the major possibilities of the suppressed Jamaican telecoms market and moved on to capitalize on it. He and his board members christened the company ‘Digicel’ and set a modest target of 100,000 customers in a year, a figure later surpassed in just under 100 days. Read more about A message to LIME Jamaica