A week on from Nokia’s N97 mini being tarred with the same antennagate brush, I thought that since Apple is dragging out the issue by now poking fun at Moto’s Droid X on the weekend, we might check out the real problem which was wonderfully cloaked by antennagate.
Wonderfully, El Jobso evaded the issue of a fundamental design flaw in the iPhone 4 by changing the subject from a detuning issue (whereby touching the external antenna at the joint with a single finger SHORTS your signal) to a signal attentuation issue (“holding your phone causes some signal drop in ALL smartphones”)
“It turns out it’s certainly not unique to the iPhone 4” – SJ
Note the difference – BLOCKING the antenna (with some of the most awkward, natural holds, and even then competitor handsets don’t completely drop your call), BRIDGING a gap by normal* hold (due to simply touching bridges the gap). *Normal as in most every way you could hold a phone.
Though there “isn’t a problem” given that magical things can’t be flawed, everyone gets free bumpers to solve the bridging issue. Some still report that this doesn’t help. Alternatively you could try some sticky tape. Wonderful.
Now whilst I have to agree that iPhone 4 has many other strengths that should not be ignored, this is a CORE feature in that the iPhone 4 is, well, a PHONE. To mislead the issue in a press conference is one thing, but to continue dragging it out…
Maybe it’s just a clever way to get the iPhone 4 more publicity. Negative press obviously can’t touch the reality distortion field.
Hopefully this is the last we’ll hear of this topic.
BTW did any of you read about iPhone 4 owners moaning on twitter (works for most things!) being given free Samsung Galaxy S? Hah, imagine Nokia did that with the Nokia N8. That maybe the only reason I’d get an iPhone 4 – Nokia N8 and basically an iPod Touch. Now if only the N8 was available…
Well as Chippy from UMPCPortal and CarryPad shows, MeeGo beats them both.
The image above shows firefox on a netbook, 3936.2ms vs 4215.2ms on Aava mobile. From Ars Techica’s tests, iPhone with iOS4 took 10901.1s with Android on 5795.2s
What’s the significance of this? Well it shows that MeeGo on the Aava mobile (via 1.5GHz Intel Moorsetown and firefox) will load pages significantly faster than the iPhone, more than twice as fast – up to 1.5 seconds faster than Nexus.
Browser type, OS, and device hardware (processors) are the factors involved here. Default browsers are used in general tests to compare default usage.
- 5344.4ms – Asus EEE 1008HA Firefox 3.5.5,
- 17050.6ms- iPhone 3GS 3.1.2, Safari
- 10590ms – iPad, Safari
- 29915ms – Sony Ericsson Experia X10, Android 1.6, 1GHz
- 37233.6ms – N900 @600MHz, MicroB (performed in April, before PR1.2 update)
- 16488.6ms – N900 @600MHz, FireFox (performed in April, before PR1.2update and FireFox 1.1)
- 13237.2ms – N900 @800MHz, MicroB (performed in April…)
- 8981.0ms – N900 @1030MHz, FireFox (” “)
Do note that the Aava mobile is just a reference design product – not something you will see on retail shelves any time soon.
Knowyourcell had some hands on with the N8 and took a snap with other popular smartphones, the new Nokia E73, the HTC EVO 4G and the iPhone 3GS.
Look at the photo below, the EVO is positively HUUUGE. I must say, that 4.3″ would make some nice video viewing and web browsing.
As the N8 is targeting more mass market, the 3.5″ screen is the sweet spot at the moment for big screen yet still pocketable.
Perhaps the N8 would look even more streamlined with a darker colour (black/dark grey perhaps) and not this striking green.
Alternatively checkout a specs comparison of the N8 versus some smartphone elites, iPhone 4, EVO, and Pre
This is mainly a tongue in cheek rant, written very late so it probably may not make sense. Note – if you are reading this, you are not the “public” which is described in this article.
Again, press X now or prepare for walls of text.
Perception, perception perception.
What Nokia needs to learn from Apple Keynotes. Pointers from Steve Job’s iPhone 4 announcement.
(There could equally be a post on what Nokia could learn from Apple products)
Every time there’s an Apple event, we see that above all else, perception is somewhat more important than the product or service itself. (In the sense of effectiveness of message towards the general public)
At your product launches, you should get to control the intended first impression (unless you “lose” your proto and it gets reviewed, forcing an early launch) so make the most of this opportunity.
What Steve and Apple do best is explain why features are great, why they’re useful to you. Regardless if it’s mundane, it helps general public and the press vomit it verbatim. It helps in direct word of mouth conversation and even more so in online social media. Even if people are retweeting nonsensical bullshit, people are talking about your product in the positive way you choreographed it.
Elaborate on your features.
When announcing N9/MeeGo phone, please take note. Don’t just dispense of it quickly and ignore it. (aka N900 and X6 announcements that were literally sneezed into existence). Don’t just rattle off features. Take time with it, demonstrate to people what a feature does, why a particular feature is good, why it’s useful and how the N9/MeeGo Phone does this well.
This gets people emotionally connected to a feature as they can personally relate with your examples and place themselves in positions where they could benefit from such features/services offered by your device/brand.
It’s no good just listing out screen resolution. Even if it’s not that much more than others. Don’t leave it to a users imagination of what they can do with a feature.
Implant situations where they’d have a need for a feature. Look what Apple did.
They showed you why the higher resolution is more beneficial, dragging on about seeing much more detail, smoother images/fonts. Apple even went as far as creating a pseudo-scientific (for retards) term, “Retina Display” to make the “increased screen resolution” all that more exciting.
Point out the obvious. You may have so many great features, you over look something you consider minute. e.g. in video calling, point out you can use both front camera and main camera. But don’t just mention it, e.g. create a side feature in being able to “see what you see with the back of the camera”. It’s simple, but again gives a context of that feature in action. e.g. 2, with front camera, point out how the depth of field is perfectly aligned to be in focus at arms length – focusing on your face for video calling.
It doesn’t matter if other handsets have an identical feature. If yours performs the same, don’t bother making comparisons. e.g. Not much talking on how good the 5MP camera is. If yours works better, point out how yours is better.
Create new terminology for old features.
As just mentioned, if you’re introducing a feature that’s years old, buff it up with new names to make it seem different and cutting edge. e.g. Instead of video calling, use “FaceTime”, instead of high resolution screen, use “retina display”, instead of iPhone OS4, call it iOS4. It’s like calling the janitor Chief Hygiene and Sanitation engineer.
Or if you’re not changing the name, just make a statement of how your feature is somehow better. e.g. “Multitasking – Done the right way”. Many mobile users aren’t aware of multitasking therefore claiming yours does it the right way (lies that may be or not) you imply others are doing it wrong (even though they may be the ones giving you proper multitasking).
Marketing babble – Hyperbole power
It also helps to douse with ample hyperbole. “Amazing, magical, wonderful, phenomenal, great, fantastic, beautiful, slimmest, fastest” blah blah blah. Rinse and Repeat.
These subliminally etch into the mind that what you’re talking about is pretty special. Most people won’t have time to make their own decisions. They’ll just agree.
Furthermore, add some stats about how good your features are. It doesn’t really matter what they mean.
1) public avoids having to think and manually deduce comparisons; you’ve made it for them. N% thinner, N% faster, N% higher res etc.
2) It adds to what people can repeat. Instead of being a random specification 9.3mm think, stats give significance – i.e. N% thinner than Y.
E.G. Instead of just 960×640, you have, 4x resolution, 326 DPI. I doubt the majority even knew resolution iPhone was on previously, but that doesn’t matter. Now they know they have 4x resolution in new iPhone and 326 dots per inch (which they probably won’t understand either but hey, another thing to spout about).
Public don’t know what they want – you need to tell them.
What we have seen from Apple is that they don’t necessarily always bring new things to the table, but they do polish old features and make people want it. They weren’t the first with a touch screen, or a tablet, or to try and sell apps. They weren’t the first with 3mp cameras, 3G, GPS, Copy and Paste, Multitasking, Wallpapers, Folders, digital zoom and now Video Calling. But they do make a scene when they finally get certain old industry standard features and demonstrate to everyone that they do that feature better than anyone else (be it true or not e.g. multitasking).
The public, God bless them, has no recollection of these years old features and just blindly accepts them as yet another fantastic thing by Apple.
Nokia is the complete antithesis. They’ve always been pretty poor at shouting about things they do really well. They overlook fantastic features which Jobs would spend 10 minutes and 20 slides on were they to appear on iPhone.
Why does it work? Because the general public aren’t geeks. They don’t know what they want. They need to be told what they need. That’s why advertisements/commercials are so powerful. We just do what we’re told.
Apple has been the best in recent years of dictating exactly what you want in your devices and what features you don’t want. Even if it means being hypocritical years down the line, that doesn’t matter as the public won’t remember. e.g. When talking about Kindle in 2008, Jobs said, “People don’t read anymore”, but with launch of iPad, it’s all about iBooks, ePrint, eMagazines. If you aren’t good at something, dismiss it as useless, or even better, detrimental to mobile phone industry. e.g. Flash. MMS isn’t important, who sends MMS…Multitasking isn’t important it drains battery….
It’s all about creating the perception of need: Make your own game with your own rules
Smartphones are luxury items, borne out of want not need. To be desirable you have to meet certain requirements, certain characteristics, certain needs. You can either meet the needs of an already established market or create your own niche. The latter more powerful as you’re in the driving seat. You make your audience need what you want them to need.
When apple announced the iPhone in 2007, they made a game changer. With that, they wrote the rule book. You want touch screens only, you want swishy UIs, you want apps, you don’t want hardware keyboards. Everyone else followed and played along, but it’s impossible to score points, catch up and over take when Apple is in charge and constantly changing these rules.
You must step out and make your own game, create your own set of rules, produce a new paradigm of mobile. Innovate, focus the public’s attention into wanting something else. e.g. how Nintendo broke away from the graphics race.
If you have a feature that you do particularly well, make that seem like the most important thing in the world. Establish that phone as the best in the world at doing that. Or at least make a deal of that feature if indeed it’s new for your device or a unique/rare feature in the market.
Smoke and Mirrors
In the end, all that matters is that people prefer your product over competitors. Manipulating perception destroys logical thinking, removing any sense of practicality. Just make them crave your device.
Of course it’s necessary to have a really good product, but when smartphones are becoming extremely similar (basically just a window) you need to separate yourself from the competition.
You need to have a believable, friendly, and really motivated speaker.
Steve Jobs is to the Tech world what Barrack Obama is to Politics. They both seem to speak with purpose. You kinda want to listen to what they have to say.
You’ve got a great presentation ahead of you, positioned your killer key points, now you need a fantastic speaker to sell it to the public.
We want someone who is used to speaking in public. Someone maybe who is used to following a script, or is excellent at speaking impromptu without hesitation.
E.G. Whilst it was great to see a product manager talking to honestly about the N8, it did seem terribly rushed and unprofessional.
Whilst Nokia has learnt from the N97 about only producing truthful video performance demoes, it doesn’t hurt to polish the delivery of your presentation, aka sales pitch. It’s not merely about content – how something is said maybe just as important as what has been said.
One way to assist excellent delivery is to pepper the presentation with highly choreographed and well directed videos (perhaps at start or at the end). These videos must show people/families using your product like it’s the easiest and most wonderful thing ever created. Use popular slogans, even if they’re not your own.
Now they’ve bought in to your pitch, you have to get them ready to hand over their wallet.
What apple do best is they create and concentrate hype and within that window they sell you that product. Hype, hype, hype – sell, sell, sell.
Once sold, people can share their love for that device, bring more hype and attract more sales.
What Nokia’s doing with their flagships is announcing them months in advance, creating lots of hype, hype, hype, but then making people wait, and wait, delay maybe, and more wait to the point where it maybe forgotten and no one cares as other devices have been announced.
In that time, that Nokia handset has aged. and released amongst newer competitors e.g. N97. Announced 6-7 months prior to launch. I had hoped for only a 30-60 day wait at best for N8. Perhaps Nokia’s hand was pushed to announce it early given the scathing report/preview on a lost Proto N8.
Fortunately, the N8 still has some pretty advanced features that won’t grow too stale by August/Sept. The timing of release however, is not haphazardly decided. Unfortunately it seems more due to the unreadiness of Symbian^3 here and Symbian^1 in N97.
So come on Nokia. There’s still over a couple of months left till big Nokia World 2010. We want to see some magic!
Video: Brain Party – Nokia N900 Brain Training Game from Apple iPhone to Maemo 5 (YOU MUST DOWNLOAD THIS! -Best N900 game ever??)
One of the reasons it looks really good is because it began life on the iPhone and has now been ported to Maemo (and other reason – we don’t have that (m)any titles at all :o)
The game interface just looks really attractive – finger friendly, nice animations, simple interface (the music isn’t bad either) as you’d expect from iPhone quality apps.
It runs beautifully on the N900 (super fast, no lags) as I’d expect pretty much most iPhone apps were they ported to N900 (bar maybe multitouch capabilities)
- Brain Party is a brain training type game with absolutely tons of mini games.
- You have a test mode and a practice mode. Before you can go into pactice mode, you have to go through 5 minigame “tests”.
- Games vary from number skills, verbal skills, spatial awareness type games or combination. That probably doesn’t sound appealing but check the video out.
- You’ll come across some classics such as pairs, see twists on familiar games like rock paper scissors, speed reaction type games – quick counting and er…”sheep tapping”…(watch the video!), verbal logic …etc etc.
- The better you perform at each test, the higher your score. You get a total score at the end which is measured by “brain weight” (technically not at all related to cognitive ability between humans, but who cares :p).
- Games you play after a 5 test run are saved in practice mode, so you can enjoy and practice them later.
- Play more tests to get more games out – they’ll be random so may encounter new ones as well as ones you’ve already played.
- The games have varieties of difficulties – though it depends mostly on what type of “thinker” you are – you might find the math ones a breeze but the verbal logic ones harder – or you might be a super genius and find them all easy.
There’s so many mini games I haven’t encountered them all just quite yet.
Interestingly, on Symbian, each of these mini games would probably count as ONE separate app. But now they’re all here.
You can get it from app manager – it’s a simple one click install. No xterm fussing about.
Do come back and tell us your BRAIN SCORE ^_^
dottormoresco has uploaded a video comparing the browsers of the Nokia N900 vs Samsung Omnia 2 vs iPhone 3GS
- screen brightness
- Graphical User Interface (short tour – check out the highly customizable N900 homescreen vs…well…)
- Java/Flash plugins
- Browser scrolling
- Browser zooming (N900 spiral vs pinch and zoom – got to give it to pinch and zoom here)
- Browser back button (Nokia seriously need to change the back button to an actual back button. You can already obtain carousel history from swiping left. Having the same function for the back button is STUPID!!!!! When I click back, I just want to go back.)
- Flash Embedd – iPhone fails miserably here having NO flash. Recent firmware of N900 makes flash appear even smoother, with much higher frame rate for smoother playback. N900 = the entire web as you know it. Unlike N97 vs iPhone where flash on N97 was more of a hindrance, it’s a real key feature with the N900. Just check out how well the flash based Flash Earth works in the web browser! Not to mention YouTube, BBC iPlayer and other flash video sites. Note, flash videos buffer for first few seconds and do appear glitchy, but they do smooth out.
- Browser screen resolution: N900’s 800×480 vs iPhone’s 320×480. N900 much more information on screen.
Not shown in the video (it’s mainly for web browsing comparison) is the ease of switching between tasks, apps and other browser windows as you can multitask them all like on your desktop. Very easy, very capable, no wasteful swiping a million times because your multitasking interface is linear.
Video: N900 Multitouch Pinch and Zoom ‘Hack’. Ctrl+Shift+K* If N900 had iPhone Multitouch Pinch and Zoom. (*idding)!
Whilst looking for a stray .pdf document for my dissertation, I found this old video I did a couple months just messing about with Vegas.
This wasn’t ever meant to be published but I thought it might be interesting to share and anticipate the multitouch pinch and zoom goodness that Nokia are promising us with BOTH Symbian^3 and MeeGo (Maemo 6/Moblin mix)
This was just a quick first try so it doesn’t look that convincing. I was gonna do another but never got around to it (i.e. more responsive, larger zoom range with smaller movement, removal of screen artifacts)
The last time I joked about multitouch on a Nokia was with the N95 back in 07. It didn’t even have a touch screen but it went viral within a few hours of upload. (BTW, that was just a bluetooth keyboard)
So, are you looking forward to multitouch? Do you think you will need it?
For me, the answer is yes on both points.
- Multitouch isn’t just about pinch and zoom, though in browser mode, it does help a big deal in making more accurate clicks.
- Multitouch is beneficial for an OS designed for two hands.
- Multiple keypresses would assist in virtual keyboard messaging, as well as a whole host of apps and games that could offer new functionality/screen manipulation/gestures from pressing multiple points on the screen.
Some interesting things might be on the horizon with Nokia and touch screen. Though multitouch is inevitable, Nokia users might even get 3D multitouch (3rd dimension is pressure – not in the resistive sense) possibly with haptikos tactile feedback (where bits of the screen actually rises so you can feel actual buttons!).