Wednesday, August 24, 2011

HP Touchpad Frenzy

So apparently HP made the announcement of getting out of its PC/Tablet/Mobile business last week, and the dramatic price reduction of the Touchpad from $499 to $99 indeed reflected the PR message. What immediately followed was a frenzy of people gobbling up these cheap Touchpads across the country. Soon enough, all locations such as BestBuy, Target, Barnes & Nobles are selling out and people are still asking for more. I personally wanted to be in the crowd and get onto this deal bandwagon, but after much thought, I think $99 can be saved and spent else where when appropriate. First, one got to think what type of task functions he or she is going to use on this device? If it's simple web surfing, any notebook/PC/mobile phone can do the job. Second, because HP is phasing out its entire PC division, there will be no customer support on this device as it's running on an unpopular WebOS platform which draws no developer attraction on apps. Third, I think I will just wait out until the rumored iPad 3 that's due beginning of next year. This $99 can serve as the initial downpayment until I get the rest saved up.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Patent Fighting

There has been some heated legal battles recently between Apple vs. the Android world, and those includes phone manufacturers such as Samsung, Motorola, HTC, etc. It is rather interesting to witness that these companies are spending millions on legal fees just to tough it out on patents that may or may not be legitimately infringement upon. Granted it takes a lot of resources and efforts to build up the patent portfolio to begin with and it is in these companys' interest to protect their essential intellectual properties. But given the time and resources they spend on the legal front, they can certainly be spent else where to entrench their respective company's core strengths. Looking from a historical trends, most of these patent disputes are settled via cross-licensing method, ultimately ending in a truce format for both parties. If this is how it's going to conclude, then why bother with the battle in the first place? Whether it is for PR recognition or self-defense purpose, I personally think legal battles never portray a good image for either side.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life of Mobile Technologies

The trend of relying on smartphone for your daily tasks has been on the rise for the past few years. Things can range from multimedia, gaming, GPS, internet, emailing, social networking, to the good ole making phone call function. As these feature sets become increasing integrated with our everyday functions, we are beginning not only getting use to it, but rather too dependent on it. Granted, the useful features and applications on your smartphone can make your life easier to a certain extent, but sometimes we may tend to over rely on it such that we forget some of the basic human functions that we can perfectly perform without it. Take me for example, I get anxious when I am not able to use my phone to check my work emails or sync up on Facebook updates after few hours, and I'm sure there are people out there who may feel the same way. As mobile technologies advances at a ever increasing rate, we should realize both its potential upside and downside to the way it affects our daily lives.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Qualcomm's New Chip Naming Convention

Qualcomm has recently announced their new way of naming their mobile chipset, namely categorizing into four buckets entitled System 1, System 2, System 3, and System 4, sorted from the least powerful to most powerful in terms of performance levels from a combination of processing speed, mobile technology, and graphics. I personally find this quite useful for the mainstream consumers to decipher. Before, an average Joe will have no clue how to comprehend the chipset naming convention, hence having no knowledge or direction on picking out the most relevant chip technology for his phone. Compared to Intel and AMD, this is a big step for Qualcomm in terms of consumer marketing as it helps the end user to pick a mobile phone based on the core technology embedded inside. Intel is probably the best harbinger in distinguishing its PC chipset by speed and cores, although Qualcomm is not following the exact same steps, its new naming convention does fit pretty well in a more complex mobile world. Now, whether consumers will ultimately catch on and begin adopting the buying patterns for mobile phones based on chipset branding and categorization such as the new Qualcomm solution, that will remain in speculation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Google+ & New Facebook Chat

I've recently adopted the new social platform developed by Google as well as the new Facebook chat format, while the former is voluntary and latter is involuntary. To my disappointment, I wish there was a feature on Google+ where it can automatically import all my contact from Facebook then I can manage the circles accordingly. But obviously that wouldn't fit too well with Google, given that this new platform is intended to compete with Facebook. However, wouldn't it be more rational to include your existing social network in Facebook to Google so you instantaneously have your social communities ported over to start experience the difference that Google+ offers? In this case, I only have few friends manually added to my network and have nothing really compare to. Yet, I have to give Google the benefit of the doubt that this platform currently is still in beta stage. Now comes the new Facebook chat, either the product manager really never thought it through or Facebook has nothing better to do than switching around its formats, once again confusing users all over the places. The new chat bar is always sticking on your right side of screen and showing all contact it thinks you want to chat with, regardless of its online or offline status. Now, why would you want to chat with somebody who is offline in the first place? Now, I know it is quite difficult to satisfy 500 million users all at once with a feature change, but at least make sure these changes make sense on the rudimentary level.

Which Tablet?!

Working in a wireless industry company, I thought buying a smartphone was already difficult enough, but now as I am planning to buy a tablet, the decision is even harder! I know, you might say the obvious choice is iPad. But for me, I like to make some comparisons before making my purchasing decisions. Given there are zillions of tablets out there, some are better equipped than the iPad while others may not, I wish there is a tool that can compare all of them and make a decision for me. Given that tablets are almost replacing desktop PCs and notebook computers at a much accelerated pace, what's the next technology gadgets that may replace the tablets? The sad thing is that we humans always chase for the latest and greatest trend and conforming to societal patterns. On the other hand, this is how part of human civilization continue to evolve, for the better or worse.

Battle between Androids vs iPhone

As the smartphone industry continue to heat up in its battlefield of competitions, two forerunners are clearly grabbing market shares. One of the most heated debate that has been ongoing is whether iPhone is better than android devices. In terms of timing, iPhone definitely paved and shaped the way smartphone industry has evolved to today. This can be seen in both the phone factor and features. On the other hand, Android, which is an operating software platform developed by Google, utilizes its partnerships across multiple OEMs such as Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG to compete against iPhone. One of the distinctive difference I see between iPhone and Androids is that the former tends to be more rigid and formalized in terms of hardware specs and/or software customization, whereas Android devices tend to be more flexible in user options and template designs. So who is the ultimate winner you ask? It all depends on self-preference. Whether you like the simple stylish Apple designs with one phone to choose from versus multiple user interfaces with a wide selections of handset choices, at the end of the day, does your phone serve you the functions you need? Heck, buy both if you really like them all.