Next week Nokia will start the negotiations about the sale of it’s phone unit to Microsoft.
I can see only one possible response to this: There ain’t no freakin’ way. All that Nokia does is make phones. This would be like Ford selling its car and truck manufacturing units to BP — there’d be nothing left of the company.
Nokia used to do much more, but it has outsourced or dumped just about everything but its division that designs and makes phones. If it sold this off, it would be a company in name only, as it wouldn’t have anything left to do.
Check the Source
Murtazin has a good track record when it comes to having the inside scoop. He was, for example, the first to reveal that Nokia was dumping the Symbian OS in favor of Microsoft Windows Phone as the operating system for its future smartphones. But in this case, I think he’s off base.
Nokia responded to the blog post by saying via Twitter:
We normally don’t comment on rumours as you know, but we have to say that Eldar’s rumours are obviously getting less accurate with every passing moment.
Despite Murtazin reputation for accuracy, in this case I think he’s incorrect. Or if he is on target, the people running Nokia need to have their heads examined. The switch to Windows Phone was bold and a bit controversial, but it has a decent chance of being a long-term success for Nokia. But selling its phone division to Microsoft? That would be the end of Nokia.
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More than a week later, the Droid Charge is still MIA. I had expected it to launch on May 5, as this carrier likes to introduce new models on Thursdays. But this didn’t happen, and Verizon is keeping mum about why. And, in fact, the company has never said what the problem was that caused its LTE network to fail.
Verizon customers have been able to access LTE service again for more than a week now, but this carrier has yet to release the Droid Charge. Why the extra delay?
Is the Droid Charge at Fault?
I’m slightly suspicious about the timing of the LTE outage — less than a day before the launch of the Samsung Droid Charge. Is it possible that a bug in this model is somehow responsible?
I know this sounds like a conspiracy theory, but the fact that the network failed at the same time Verizon stores all across the U.S. were getting this model in stock, followed by the long delay in the release of this smartphone, seems to stretch coincidence more than a bit.
Whatever the case, I’m sure there are plenty of Verizon customers across the U.S. who will be happy when they can finally get their hands on the Samsung Droid Charge. Assuming it’s bug free, of course.
The Samsung Droid Charge finally launched on Saturday, May 14, over a week after this blog post was written.
Samsung Droid Charge Preview
The Droid Charge is going to be a cutting-edge smartphone with a 4.3-inch WVGA (800 x 480) Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen. It is going to debut with Google Android OS 2.2 (Froyo) running on a 1GHz processor, with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface layered on top.
In addition to Verizon’s 4G service, this Samsung model is going to have Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS, and DLNA. Multimedia features will include a rear-facing 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with flash, a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera for video conferencing, and an HDMA (720p) video-out port.
It is being priced at $300 with a two-year contract, well above the typical cost of similar models.
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RIM is in an odd situation. It is currently one of the top sellers of smartphones, but many experts think that it has been surpassed by the iPhone and the Android OS not just technologically but also in terms of customer awareness. Most of what’s keeping it afloat is the conservatism of IT managers, who like BlackBerry as a safe choice. Consumers, on the other hand, are turning to devices that are more oriented toward them and therefore more fun. This is what’s pushing the iOS and Android past BlackBerry.
Up By Its Bootstraps
But because RIM is still doing well, it has an opportunity to rescue itself. Doing this is going to require dumping the tired old BlackBerry OS and going with something more powerful. The good news is that the company is already doing this — it’s switching to a new operating system based on QNX, the same OS that runs on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The bad news is that this transition is taking a long time.
RIM said it was starting this move last fall, and information leaking out of the company says the QNX-based version of the BlackBerry OS is going to come out in 2012. So the change is going to take about two years, which isn’t bad, but could be worse. In fact, it still can be worse, if RIM doesn’t buckle down and ends up having to push the release back to 2013.
Take a look at Palm, Inc. if you want a good example of how this process can go wrong. Early last decade, this company was on top of the PDA world. But it ran into a snag: the Palm OS was out of date and needed to be replaced. Thanks to several false starts, it took about seven years to come up with the webOS. As a result of this painfully long delay, a once powerful company has become a shadow of its former self. This could happen to RIM too, if it doesn’t buckle down and make the transition to a more advanced operating system.
What a Difference a Version Makes
BlackBerry OS 6 was a significant change over its predecessor. It brought an array of new features, most notably a web browser that people were actually willing to use.
The new BlackBerry OS 7 is going to be a much smaller change. RIM has further improved the web browser, added voice searching, and is including a system designed to keep the secure corporate information on BlackBerry smartphones away from the consumer-oriented apps like Facebook. Nice, but hardly impressive.
The QNX-based version will include some really major changes, like support for running Android apps and an Adobe Flash player. These features are already part of the PlayBook, or will be soon, but smartphone users are going to have to wait another year for them.
Is BlackBerry OS 8 going to save RIM?: I don’t know — the competition from Google and Apple is fierce. But getting a much more powerful operating system out as soon as possible is a requirement if it hopes to have any chance at all.
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