A cheap facsimile of the classic Nokia 8110 managed to upstage the launch of of a range of premium Android phones at MWC. Nostalgia is powerful, but I don’t think what’s going on here. I could see this as a weekend phone allowing consumers to wind down at the weekend and go cold turkey on the app economy.
I think that the model of a single form factor based on common reference designs is broken. Apple managed to elevate the build quality of all smartphones as contract manufacturers moved towards an armada of CNC machines and advanced manufacturing. But in the process, the common designs, common components and new baseline in product integrity has homogenised and commoditised Android handsets to such a decree that only scale and advertising budgets are differentiators.
Amazing selection of music from the sound tracks of classic kung fu movies over at Shaolin Chamber 36.
Roni Size talks about the music that influenced him
Frank Herbert talks about creating the science fiction epic Dune
Wow. Facebook eroding much faster than anyone expected. Pivotal’s analysis of Nielsen data shows core app dropped 11% in time spent per person in November. Without Instagram/WhatsApp, a complete cliff dive in share of time. pic.twitter.com/tEd5UclZ3p
Nokia on 5G at MWC, what struck me is the sales pitch was more like an enterprise software company like IBM or Oracle than a telecoms vendor. There is lots of tech in the networks but there isn’t a recognisable killer app. His warnings about 5G upgradeable products ring true though.
Asian Boss do some really nice street interviews in different Asian cities and this one about Apple iPhones in Korea is particularly instructive. Samsung is seen as the default as they assemble phones (mostly for Asian markets) in Korea. Whereas in Europe all of the are made in China.
The iPhone seems to have won out on product design amongst younger people.
There has seldom been a fall so drastic as Nokia’s fall in the mobile phone market from leading player to disaster. With that fall came the humbling of a country.
Given the scale of the fall and the size of Nokia as a brand around the world, I was surprised the the book hadn’t been translated and published in different language editions. Instead it was up to numerous Finns to translate it into English for free and provide it on an as is basis.
Had Nokia’s fall had been so complete that it literally fell out of interest for non-Finns?
What becomes apparent is a story more nuanced than the press coverage would allow. Elop comes out of it a flawed tragic figure – a one-trick pony; rather than a skilful trojan horse.
Nokia’s feature phone line up where surprisingly a hero of the piece contributing positively to the business for longer than I would have expected and slowing down the business collapse precipitated in the smartphone business.
Nokia’s board of directors and former management come out of it much worse.
Nokia’s strengths had become its weakness.
Smartphone manufacturing processes weren’t ready for mass adoption
MeeGo had been unfairly assessed
It blew its marketing budget on a bet on the North American market, ignoring other countries
The marketing budget was spent too early and all at once, by my reckoning it was roughly $100 per phone sold during the launch of the Lumia range in the US
Windows Phone software and cheap Android phones were key issues
Chip technology parter issues from its relationship with Qualcomm to it
The more pertinent question would be is there any circumstances where Nokia stood a chance of staying on top in the mobile phone marketplace?
Tim Wu is an American lawyer, professor and author on internet matters. He is main claim to fame is coining the phrase ‘net neutrality’ back in 2003. He is well known as an advocate of the open internet.
Western Union-owned Associated Press’ relationship with the nascent newspaper industry
AT&T in telecoms
The early film industry and the rise of Hollywood studios
Apple’s history – though this point is less nuanced because Apple has cycled a number of times between open and closed systems – a nuance that Wu doesn’t fully pick up on
In Master Switch, he points about how these companies have moved from open systems to closed systems in order to maximise profits and resist change. Wu then uses these cycle to argue that a repeat of history was under way with the modern internet. In 2010 when the book was written; this would have ben the rise of Google, Facebook and Amazon.
Ed Vaizey announced that ISPs should be free to abandon net neutrality in the UK and it was abandoned in the US when FCC chairman Ajit Pai was appointed by Donald Trump.
I love Connie Chan’s blog posts and presentations. In this talk she covers how Asian applications manage to squeeze so much more features into their apps than their western equivalent to provide a fuller eco-system of services that she terms super-apps.
For These Young Entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley Is, Like, Lame – WSJ – for most of the 18 entrepreneurs and investors, and especially for those in their 20s and 30s, last week’s visit largely failed to impress. To many in the group, northern California’s low-rise buildings looked shabbier than the glitzy skyscrapers in Beijing and Shenzhen. They can’t believe Americans still use credit cards and cash while they use mobile payment for almost everything back home – not terribly surprised. Silicon Valley is no longer the place ‘where wizards stay up late’. Agencies work harder than their Bay Area tech clients and it is full of hubris
Luxury is thriving in China again, thanks to millennials — Quartz – Chinese millennials start buying luxury younger, and they buy high-end products more frequently, the firm says. (It undoubtedly helps that they have more spending power than previous generations did at their age.) What they’re buying is also different. Bain surveyed about 500 Chinese millennials and found their interests leaned toward casual and street-inspired fashion – Supreme rather than Prada, put into context here
Huawei – Really Convincing Story, Not. | Radio Free Mobile – this means that this feature (RCS – Rich Communication Services), like its AI assistant, AI chip and its now commoditised imaging offering will be unable to generate any differentiation for Huawei in its devices. This leaves it exactly the same boat as all of the other Android handset makers who differentiate purely on the basis of hardware