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Can Any Smartphone Platform Overcome the Android/iOS Duopoly?

timothy posted about a year ago | from the rumbles-from-redmond dept.

Android 404

Nerval's Lobster writes "The company formerly known as Research In Motion—which decided to cut right to the proverbial chase and rename itself 'BlackBerry'—launched its much-anticipated BlackBerry 10 operating system at a high-profile event in New York City Jan. 30. Meanwhile, Microsoft is still dumping tons of money and effort into Windows Phone. But can either smartphone OS — or another player, for that matter — successfully challenge Apple iOS and Google Android, which one research firm estimated as running on 92 percent of smartphones shipped in the fourth quarter of 2012? What would it take for any company to launch that sort of successful effort?"

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firefox or ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754411)

i am hoping ubumtu comes out very strong.

Re:firefox or ubuntu (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754511)

I won't get a smartphone or tablet until there's one running a real GNU/Linux. Not this locked-down Linux under Java crap.

Re:firefox or ubuntu (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754719)

Then you'll never have it. Catering to freetards is not profitable.

Re:firefox or ubuntu (2, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42754769)

How is a nexus phone locked down?
I have a Debian chroot is that not enough?

Re:firefox or ubuntu (0)

itzdandy (183397) | about a year ago | (#42755067)

hmmm, can the debian chroot let you update your system to current? nope. stuck on ICS? JB not support your hardware? how can JB not support your hardware?!? oh, because it's not using drivers written for linux, it's stuff written for dalvik.

In contrast, ubuntu is just linux. you can update the system to current anytime. You can disable eyecandy if your phone is a bit too slow and keep it modern. It puts the user back in control.

I can appreciate canonical's efforts here. ubuntu can be used as-is for users that wont mess with things, or can be tinkered with by those who want too. You can launch an X session to run X apps, or an X session on an external display. QML is pretty straight forward and well documented.

I don't know how well it will be received, but I for one am willing to try it out. I'm a long time iOS user and haven't been completely satisfied with android (orig droid owner) and lack of ability to update the system without a TON of effort by cyanogen etc etc.

Re:firefox or ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42755109)

webOS ?

Re:firefox or ubuntu (3, Interesting)

errandum (2014454) | about a year ago | (#42754783)

The problem with ubuntu (and any new mobile OS in the past few years) is that they do not innovate, they simply copy and add a few gimmicks.

Developer tools need to be available WAY before the launch. They need to be free. Pay developers for startup apps. Make an office suit, a few games, etc. and make them freely available for everyone. Make them run android binaries (last I've heard, the dalvik code is open source). See those cloud services others charge for? Make them free.

Let your hardware partners go crazy. Don't impose guidelines, just make sure all binaries will run. The rest, leave it to them so they are not all clones of one another (like windows phones).

Be ready to spend a few millions without return of investment.

And above all, don't try to keep your competition out, invite them in. Google develops for iOS and with that they give out a good company image to iOS users. Maybe those that love the new Maps app will want to get it on android without the limitations. Having a full set of google services would be a plus.

Re:firefox or ubuntu (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754935)

I love your business plan: Make everything free and spend millions on it with no returns. You should set up a Kickstarter page immediately. I know you'll do well!

Re:firefox or ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42755117)

Ubuntu is totally wrong for smartphones. It is intended to run on a general purpose computer, that may have umpteen billion different possible hardware peripherals, and as such, it contains a massive kernel with umpteen billion drivers and packages.

Smart phones have known, fixed hardware configurations. It is a completely different paradigm, and Ubuntu is exactly the wrong thing for a device with an SOC and fixed hardware.

Maybe... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754433)

...if giant asteroids hit Mountain View, South Korea, and Cupertino at the exact same moment.

I'd expect that... (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#42754437)

... if anybody knew the answer to that question, they'd probably already be filthy rich.

Re:I'd expect that... (4, Funny)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about a year ago | (#42754471)

I know the answer: No. Unfortunately, I'm still not filthy rich.

Re:I'd expect that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754609)

Android and IOS just don't have really good tools to integrate with business. I imagine BlackBerry will cut out a nice niche in the enterprise but probably not in the consumer market.

Re:I'd expect that... (1)

Spectre (1685) | about a year ago | (#42754979)

Android and IOS just don't have really good tools to integrate with business.

I'm curious what you feel they are missing.

E-mail and calendaring, I prefer Android and iOS's tools to what is available from Microsoft, and that is connecting to a Microsoft's own Exchange servers on the back end. I imagine Android should be even better for businesses that have migrated to GMail for their back-end.
Remote wipe features for mobile devices are available on all platforms.
Document creation and perusal seems to be pretty inter-operable across platforms (although animations in presentation packages aren't always compatible across platforms).
With more and more business software migrating to web apps (accounting systems, customer management, ERP, etc), it seems that most business software will be more rather than less device-independent.

Re:I'd expect that... (1)

blackpaw (240313) | about a year ago | (#42755049)

Control, Monitoring and provisioning.

Re:I'd expect that... (1)

Spiridios (2406474) | about a year ago | (#42754991)

I know the answer: No. Unfortunately, I'm still not filthy rich.

I know the answer: Yes. But it'll take both an unusually well designed platform and a shitload of money thrown both at handset makers and app developers. No customer in their right mind is going to come to a platform with no popular apps. And no handset maker is going to take a chance on an upstart. Whoever wants to try this is going to bleed money like crazy just to get a foothold in.

Re:I'd expect that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754539)

And we're done. Next!

Re:I'd expect that... (-1, Troll)

yuaggyta (2829823) | about a year ago | (#42754577) [] what Ryan explained I'm startled that you able to earn $7858 in one month on the internet. have you read this web link

Re:I'd expect that... (5, Insightful)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about a year ago | (#42754591)

I would give the answer No about 80% odds. It's very unlikely that RIM will be able to undo what they've already done. They took a monopoly and pissed it away. Every blackberry I used was worse than the one before it. My battery life went from 3 days with my first 8830, 1 day with my tour, and 16 hours with my bold. I enjoyed some features, (mail delivery and calendaring is much better on the BB than on Android), but the lack of apps was very disheartening. I really didn't mind the lack of a touch screen, and the keyboard was the perfect size for me. Even if the BB10 OS is soooo much better, the only way I would consider it is if the monthly fees were ridiculously cheap. Unfortunately, since RIM actually does something on the back end, they have the biggest price disadvantage of any manufacturer, and you are more likely to pay more than the competition, not less.

battery life vs flexibility (2)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#42755023)

The early blackberrys were highly optimized text messaging machines...everything was aimed at maximizing battery life.

Once you start bringing in big bright high def screens, arbitrary apps, fluid video, fancy gui elements, etc. you pretty much by definition are going to use more battery keeping the whole thing running.

You could have 3 days of battery life now if you were willing to go back to the feature set of the 8830.

Re:I'd expect that... (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about a year ago | (#42755059)

Every (older) phone company has seen decreased battery life. Battery tech has improved at a much slower rate than CPUs, screens, wireless networks, etc. etc. and the innovations in decreased power consumption aren't enough to compensate. Comparing an 8830 to a Bold is almost as ridiculous as comparing a Nokia dumbphone to the new Lumia.

One other thing to note is that Apple, the main competitor, had a miraculous turnaround not all that long in the past. If they can do it so can BB or MS/Nokia or anyone. And BB still has more marketshare than Windows Phone....

Re:I'd expect that... (2, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year ago | (#42755083)

I take encouragement that iOS is a combo of Windows CE and older Blackberry functionality that was done well. Schmidt was on Apple's board when they were conceiving iOS, and he took what he discovered and grafted it onto Android. These have all been incremental repackaging of stuff. BB/RIM has a weak engineering team, but good ideas, hobbled by not making vast ecosystems out of content, apps (especially games), and so forth. They focused on business. In a way, that much hasn't changed, but they're trying to break open the cartels behind iTunes and G+Stuff.

Someone will come along and one-up the one-uppers. It's only a matter of time. Whether it's a Boot2Gecko/Mozilla, Ubuntu in the flesh, Chinese hack of Android, it'll be something. Windows 8 faces a lot of animosity, so it's a "dark horse" in my mind.

All this will pass. Everyone will try to get you to buy new hardware, change your sub & carrier, do subscription models, and so forth. New combos will be found. Maybe BB will survive and flourish. The OP seems like he/she's asking a baited question.

Lots of Money (4, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#42754445)

I think Microsoft can. It's a matter of how many billions of dollars they want to bleed first. It worked with the XBox. Of course the XBox was also helped by Sony's stupidity.

Re:Lots of Money (3, Interesting)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about a year ago | (#42754499)

Microsoft will not win this time. If they continue to waste money on their phones, they will die an ignominious death. They need to move on to bigger and better things, like the massive robotic invasion that's not even ten years away.

Re:Lots of Money (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#42754537)

Dude, please. If Microsoft software became self-aware, it would be Terri Schiavo.

Re:Lots of Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754569)

You're about a decade too late with that one.

Re:Lots of Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754589)

You're about a decade too late with that one.

Still funny.

Re:Lots of Money (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#42754731)

I almost said Foster Brooks.

Re:Lots of Money (5, Insightful)

Spectre (1685) | about a year ago | (#42754547)

I think Microsoft can. It's a matter of how many billions of dollars they want to bleed first. It worked with the XBox. Of course the XBox was also helped by Sony's stupidity.

I was going to ask what you were smoking after reading the first sentence. Reading the rest of the post lends credibility to the possibility, though.

If Apple seriously screws up the next iPhone and Microsoft manages to come up with something far, far better than any OS they've put on a phone ever ... than they might stand a chance of Microsoft coming out over Apple.

It would be hard to beat out Android on all fronts, though ... there have been some seriously crappy Android phones, but I don't think the market has been without great Android phones from at least two different manufacturers in years. So that would require a failure from Google that applied to all manufacturers of Android phones, which doesn't seem too likely.

Re:Lots of Money (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | about a year ago | (#42755095)

Android has come down to Samsung in terms of profit. Google might pull something out of their ass with Motorola and both LG and Sony have some chance if they continue to improve, but right now it's all Samsung. (I am ignoring Chinese manufacturers because, as my economics prof once said, nobody understands China.)

Re:Lots of Money (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | about a year ago | (#42754597)

Personally I would rather have one of those new backberry phones forced on me than anything with windows8.

Re:Lots of Money (3, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#42754671)

They could call it the ZunePhone.

Re:Lots of Money (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42754845)

I don't think Microsoft can. Microsoft phones have been around for a while now, and not only do they still suck but they're still not popular. AFAICT the Xbox 360 is a fairly decent platform all told, too bad about their overmonetization of Xbox Live but that's not enough to keep them from success. But Windows CE and all its incarnations have always sucked hard, and not in a good way. I imagine that Microsoft will keep up their unvarying record of mediocrity in the mobile space, so I doubt that Microsoft can ever become even the #2 player in mobile no matter how much they spend. They have never demonstrated an ability to make a phone that fucking works.

Re:Lots of Money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754913)

Of course the XBox was also helped by Sony's stupidity

And Sega's stupidity, which saw them withdraw from the market entirely. And Microsoft's own stupidity (or brilliance, if you're the conspiratorial sort), which drove many PC gamers to the realm of consoles.

Google isn't Sega - while there's some similarity in their willingness to investigate cool but ultimately useless and unwanted technology, Google understands how the technology market works, and they understand advertisement. Apple isn't Sony - again, there are similarities, especially when it comes to ecosystem control - but Apple produces quality hardware, and more importantly, understands what users actually want.

The XBox and XBox360 succeeded because Microsoft was attacking from a position of massive capital strength against a foe on life support (Sega) and one that was already losing touch with the market (Sony). Even so, Sony fended them off for a great long while with the PS2. Hell, if the PS3 was even half as brilliant as the PS2, Microsoft would be merely another Sega-level player, not an equal opponent.

No, I don't believe Microsoft's going to be able to force their way into a strong position in the phone market. The battlefield is completely different - they're up against two titans who are well aware of the threat that is Microsoft, both of whom can very easily match any amount of capital Microsoft attempts to sacrifice.

And really, you can't sell phones at a loss and make up the difference in games, like you can with consoles.

RIM might be able to pull it off. But they've been schizophrenic and have been trying to make the gold standard in mobile business tools into texting devices for giggling teen girls. Disclaimer: I haven't looked at the new Blackberry yet. I hope I'm pleasantly surprised. Really, I do hope - while I doubt anything's going to move me from my iPhone, the more heavyweights that are able to stand in the ring and duke it out, the better it is for all of us, regardless of what phones we may use.

Re:Lots of Money (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year ago | (#42755141)

And really, you can't sell phones at a loss and make up the difference in games, like you can with consoles.

Microsoft has its own market on its phones and I believe are you locked into their market if you have one of their phones. If they can get traction, they could indeed sell phones at a loss and make up the difference in apps/games.

Didn't Google do something pretty close to that with the Nexus 7? They made extremely low profit on Nexus 7 hardware. [] Of course, they knew that almost no one uses anything but the default app market. They were trying to compete with the Kindle Fire's price because it doesn't use Google's market. They wanted people to prefer their market over all others. After all, if nothing is wrong with the old market app, why would you switch when your app purchases are already registered with your current market. You would have to use the new one side-by-side just to be sure that you can continue to download and update previously purchased apps.

Re:Lots of Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754993)

I think Microsoft can. It's a matter of how many billions of dollars they want to bleed first. It worked with the XBox. Of course the XBox was also helped by Sony's stupidity.

Er how's that? The PS2 is probably the best-selling console ever ... the XBOX was helped more by Nintendo's stupidity. If you're talking the 360, it had an arguable advantage in price, not so much in games, and the PS3 has still outsold it. This time unarguably helped by Nintendo's stupidity and appeal only to "casual gamers".

Both of these situations helped much more by MS's billions thrown at it.

For the PS4/720, one can only guess, I'm sure they'll both be the consoles to own since the WiiU is obviously still the crap console.

Re:Lots of Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754995)

In the case of XBox MSFT really got the online component right. XBox Live is really what set them apart from any other option on the market. The Windows phone OSes have nothing like XBox Live to set it apart from the market.

Re:Lots of Money (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | about a year ago | (#42755061)

Windows CE for phones for 2002. I haven't seen much since then that makes them seem like they have more of a clue now then before. The problem before was that they tried a Desktop-Mouse metaphor on a phone. Now they're forcing a touchscreen phone UI on a desktop.

This will not end as well as they'd like.

Re:Lots of Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42755105)

MS has tried for nearly 15 years to get a foothold in the mobile sector, but everyone who ever used a WindowsCE device is burned for life as a customer... They killed symbian, they will buy Nokia soon, and still, noone wants WindowsCE, Mobile, WiMo8 or whatever it's called this week...

Re:Lots of Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42755135)

Microsoft entered a market with two yawning, giant voids.

First, Sega was gone. The market has proven that there is room for three console makers. I'd not be surprise if MS had a hand in Sega's downfall. They were involved in the dreamcast development, and probably wasted a whole lot of Sega's time and money with that crap port of CE. Microsoft is always toxic to their (non-pc, non server) partners.

Second, online services. Microsoft completely created the market for console online experience with the xbox, something the Japanese makers pretty much had zero interest in previous to that. (Yeah, there was some online/internet stuff previous but nothing like a large unified online experience like the xbox had)

No (4, Insightful)

SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) | about a year ago | (#42754451)

As is always the case with /., if the subject is a question, the answer is no.

Unless you let enough time pass, then the answer to this case is most certainly yes. Nobody knows how much time that would be, though.

Re:No (4, Interesting)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about a year ago | (#42754661)

Their only hope is for current Android/iOS devices to age out and become dull and boring, and then come up with something radically new. Google Glasses are a possibility, because they change the paradigm from a phone handset or a tablet to something radically different but with the same functionality of the phones plus a whole lot more. Microsoft would have to at least play catchup with Google, and I would bet a few bucks that Apple already has a few secret prototypes. If they don't, then they too are roadkill.

Better question (5, Insightful)

NEDHead (1651195) | about a year ago | (#42754473)

Can any smartphone platform overcome the Nokia/RIM duopoly?

Re:Better question (5, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#42754563)

That's not a good comparison, though. Yeah, apple and google have eatten RIM's lunch, but even if they hadn't, they'd still be bigger because most of their growth was from sales to people who don't own smartphones. The market is saturated now. Even apple is starting to have problems competing with their own products that people already own. What we're talking about is something that's good enough to make people switch. Not new growth. And if you already have products you've bought through the app store for your platform, that's a hurdle. Your new offering has to be of more value that what you're walking away from.

Re:Better question (3, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year ago | (#42754739)

But most of those people already had phones. So a future market player can sell a foo-phone to the (large) market of people who don't own foo-phones and only own smartphones.

Re:Better question (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#42754779)

The monetary value of the apps probably isn't a hindrance, I've probably bough maybe ten apps. Total cost is around $50. That wouldn't deter me from switching to blackberry or Jolla if they are decent.

Re:Better question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754951)

Can any smartphone platform overcome the Nokia/RIM duopoly?

Yes, because the Nokia/RIM duopoly was a tiny fraction of the potential market for smartphones. Now that more than a third of people who want a smartphone have one, adding a new one is far harder.

I love Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754481)

Impossible, Android is the best platform!!

Betteridge says (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754489)


(Blablabla padding bla. bla bla.)

Something we haven't seen yet. (5, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#42754491)

I didn't know I really, really wanted an iPod until I saw one. Same with a cell phone, GPS, digital cameras, and palm pilots. It wasn't a stretch to imagine a device that integrated them all, but that took about another 7 years.

What it will take to break the duopoly is someone bringing me a new capability on the order of the iPod, cell phone, GPS, digital camera, or Palm Pilot. And , of course, it needs to be integrated with the phone. Just giving me a new user interface, or a way to stir facebook, twitter, and the rest of that crap together won't do it. NFC payment systems are trying to be this, but don't make it. Whatever it is will be a whole new class of feature.

Re:Something we haven't seen yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754635)

Agreed. A visionary learns from from life experience but is not limited by it. The next big thing is likely to spring from the 21st century equivalent of garage innovation.

Re:Something we haven't seen yet. (2)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about a year ago | (#42754691)

I didn't know I really, really wanted an iPod until I saw one. Same with a cell phone, GPS, digital cameras, and palm pilots. It wasn't a stretch to imagine a device that integrated them all, but that took about another 7 years. What it will take to break the duopoly is someone bringing me a new capability on the order of the iPod, cell phone, GPS, digital camera, or Palm Pilot. And , of course, it needs to be integrated with the phone. Just giving me a new user interface, or a way to stir facebook, twitter, and the rest of that crap together won't do it. NFC payment systems are trying to be this, but don't make it. Whatever it is will be a whole new class of feature.

All of those functions were, at the time, handled by individual devices or analog usually. We knew about all the things that were being done with those services, before those devices came and the devices made it better. So the question is, what possibly else could a mini computer do for you that it doesn't already do? All the sensory and location recording and communication is pretty mature now. The only possible thing I can see, mainstream, is some type of medical monitoring through sensors on the skin or swallowed pills. So unless someone can come up with some type of computer driven telepathy/brain interraction, I don't see any big jumps down the line. Though probably just my lack of imagination.

Happened before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754497)

Didn't they say the same thing about Sony when Nintendo and Sega were the only game in town? And then later, Microsoft?

Re:Happened before... (2)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year ago | (#42754541)

I think a big difference here is in how large of an impact these purchasing decisions can have on your everyday life. For game consoles, at most the decision only affects which games you can play. With a smartphone, it impacts the games you play, how you use the web, how you keep in touch with business/friends/family, etc.

Didn't Blackberry have a monopoly 10 years ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754505)

AOL, Compuserve, Prodigy, Nokia, Gateway, Compaq

The technology industry loves giants.

Re:Didn't Blackberry have a monopoly 10 years ago? (1)

AwesomeMcgee (2437070) | about a year ago | (#42755145)

That's because they make so much more to eat when they fall

ubuntu phone (2)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#42754507)

there were a lot of nice features about the ubuntu phone... but the one thing i disagreed with was the lack of a lock screen... at least as far as i could tell

Re:ubuntu phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754727)

Ubuntu Phone looks nice but, it is not enough to get over the hurdle of lemming minded consumers. And to make Matters worse most phone makers are going to be afraid of a Product that turns out to be another HP TouchPad and will not take the chance on a non android OS ( i left iOS out because no way Apple would ever make a non iOS phone)

Re:ubuntu phone (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#42754855)

Perhaps because that's patented [] .

Yes (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year ago | (#42754515)

Presenting the EyePhone []

All a company has to do is to come up with something that none of the big companies have thought about, patent the shit out of it so they have exclusive rights and then they will have people falling over themselves to buy it while everyone else stands around saying "Why didn't we think of that?". The big companies do not have a lock on innovation.

But can they do it is a different question from "How easy is it to do?"

Why just Smartphones? (2)

vencs (1937504) | about a year ago | (#42754519)

If you are still thinking about just a smartphone OS then you pretty much left with no options.
However, there is a huge potential for any OS/framework that can tap into Cars, TVs, Office Cubes, Kitchen appliances..

Re:Why just Smartphones? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42755101)

This is exactly what I want. My smartphone should be able to easily dock into my car and transfer my maps, media, text messages (to voice), call functions, etc to the car's display and audio easily. I know there's a level of that possible now, but nothing as simple as dock and forget. I should then be able to come home, plug my phone into a dock and have my media easily available, and if i have a landline style phone, my calls should just transfer to that while docked. Same plan with an office. Stop building on the phone, but make the phone the brain of a larger operation... Lot's of these things are already doable, just no easy, universal solution. All these years after Android too, I figured someone would have picked up on this and started it up.

Helps if you have phones to sell (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#42754535)

The Z10 wont be available for sale in the USA until "sometime" in March. The CEO blamed this on the slow and methodical process US carriers use to verify new phones on their network, yet he failed to mention that the testing delay was actually because RIMM was so late in delivering production-final samples to the carriers.

Re:Helps if you have phones to sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754823)

Then why is it available immediately an the UK and in a few days in Canada? They just happened to sign for the dev models earlier?

Or perhaps it was pressure from other exclusive smartphone manufacturers?

Does it matter ... (2)

DeadDecoy (877617) | about a year ago | (#42754559)

if we are legally prohibited from unlocking [] our phones to make any modifications to the software or firmware?

Re:Does it matter ... (5, Informative)

neiras (723124) | about a year ago | (#42754721)

Does it matter if we are legally prohibited from unlocking our phones to make any modifications to the software or firmware?

You are not legally prohibited from making modifications to software or firmware.

The recent law that prohibits unlocking refers only to the unlocking process that allows you to use any SIM card you want in your phone.

You are still free to jailbreak or root your devices, install the operating system of your choice, etc. None of that has anything to do with unlocking your phone.

Re:Does it matter ... (2)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year ago | (#42754785)

That's referring to unlocking, which is turning your carrier-specific phone into a carrier-independent phone. You're thinking of jailbreaking, which enables you to modify software you were not originally intended to modify. They're entirely separate things.

Re:Does it matter ... (1)

Formorian (1111751) | about a year ago | (#42754959)

Don't most carriers provide this for you?

Tmo gave me mine Today, after this law was passed. Simple, easy, took a few hours to get an email for both my phones. Just incase I sell them.

Secondly, if you have a att phone why would you want to bring it to tmo, the 3g/fake 4g run on diff frequencies. Sure you could make phone calls/text but the data would be 2g/edge speeds. Fun times.

Just buy an unlocked phone to begin with. That way you know it's has more frequencies so it can go on either network.

(I do not know how verizon/sprint work and if you get full cababilities from Sprint to Ver and vice versa).

I can't imagine why not. (1)

somaTh (1154199) | about a year ago | (#42754579)

When Android hit the market, Blackberry was just introducing the Blackberry Storm, and it was kind of a big deal. The refinement of Android and the phones it ran on was absurd. I think the biggest thing that's changed is that you now have much smoother interactions with phones and computers. I think it may be in Blackberry's interest to try to work with big media providers (Amazon, perhaps) to try to match the ecosystems Google and Apple have formed.

Re:I can't imagine why not. (1)

corbettw (214229) | about a year ago | (#42754987)

Why would Amazon partner with BlackBerry when they already have their own phone coming to market [] .

Really Slashdot? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754621)

Really slashdot? Linking to self-generated news? It's just masturbation at this point.

Waiting only makes it more impossible (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#42754625)

The thing that makes Windows stay is not "because it's better." It's because it has critical mass and the cost of moving away from it is too painful and complicated.

Smart phones in the form of Android and IPhone have not quite reached that point but they will soon. At the moment, there are no "can't live without it" apps though the games are a kind of resistance to change already.

Integration with business will be a critical piece for any smartphone challenger to offer. Blackberry has done this while offering fantastic security. IPhone and Android are wonderful distractions, but they haven't done anything to become entrenched... even the beloved and expensive iDevice turns out to be disposable within a year or two. And that's kind of the problem. They are disposable... dispensable... replaceable. And this is done by the carriers "by design" so they can keep selling new phones and extending contract obligations. This is not particilarly compatible with business interests.

So like the PC before it, find a way to integrate with business as RIM did before and you've got a winner.

Big Cash Prizes! That's what it takes! (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year ago | (#42754627)

It wouldn't hurt anyway. Seriously though. They had better either do something remarkable or have some great features. For example, I'd pay good money for a phone with a physical scrolling wheel. Ditto for sound. Or an On/Off switch that didn't make you wait for the computer to contemplate its navel would be worth something too. Sometimes you can't beat physical controls. Nobody has yet done scrolling right and you always end up clicking something you wish you hadn't. Truly painless linking to Outlook and other phones (all the other phones) would be another awesome. By painless, I mean, 100% easy and without stupid arbitrary limitations of content length of anything. Battery life that mattered would do it. If the phone lasted even three days between charges, that would matter a lot. Voice recognition that was less stupid than Siri.

There are a lot of things they could have done. They won't have done any of the ones that would help, I expect. Like Microsoft, they'll probably solve a bunch of problems that neither I nor any other customer actually had.

Re:Big Cash Prizes! That's what it takes! (3, Insightful)

joh (27088) | about a year ago | (#42754975)

It wouldn't hurt anyway. Seriously though. They had better either do something remarkable or have some great features. For example, I'd pay good money for a phone with a physical scrolling wheel. Ditto for sound. Or an On/Off switch that didn't make you wait for the computer to contemplate its navel would be worth something too. Sometimes you can't beat physical controls. Nobody has yet done scrolling right and you always end up clicking something you wish you hadn't.

What? No.

unique angle (1)

ironman_one (520863) | about a year ago | (#42754633)

Well. They have to find a very unique angle to be able to do that. Either they can go for superior hardware. Or they go for cheep, secure, user controlled or something that neither Apple or Google will provide.

Re:unique angle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754893)

Blackberry Balance fits the bill for unique features. A phone which can be corporate-controlled and secured that you can still keep your personal stuff separate on it.

Apps and carriers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754649)

if Blackberry can get the apps and the carriers they could do it.

*Another thing they could do is use their image as the "business" tool and imply that Apple an the others are the smart phones for kids and wannbes but if you need to get work done and use your device to make money, then the Blackberry is the tool for you.

*It doesn't matter if it's true or not - image is what counts.

OTOH, over the last few years, many businesses have based their infrastructure (phones included) on Apple. My wife's company is all Apple: her "office" is her iPad - FYI she's in medical.

If Blackberry can make their stuff easily integrated into a corporate IT structure, they could capture the new installs.

And of course, they really need to be offered by all the carrers.

Kinda (4, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#42754699)

I had a smartphone when Nokia had a monopoly on them. Even the almighty Ericsson wasn't able to make headway, albeit into what was a very small market. Palm then did relatively well, before doing its usual disappearing act, and then RIM took over.

The difference between then and now, of course, is that Smartphones are now a big thing, rather than something nerds appreciate (while being bizarrely ignored by the marketing geniuses at Nokia et al who insisted that only business people on the go would want these kinds of devices. No wonder they never went mainstream.)

The simple truth is we have Apple who popularized the concept, largely by concentrating on making the UI touch, rather than stylus or keyboard, friendly, and Google, who produced the first genuinely open mobile platform. While these are both awesome, the only degree to which people are tied to either platform beyond loyalty and brand recognition are apps, and given the numbers of people who do, indeed, switch back and forth from iOS to Android, I don't think it's the case that the app issue is that significant.

Sometime to look at, as an example, is Amazon's Android. For developers, it's the same operating system as Google's version. For end users though, it might as well be an entirely different system. Your collection of Google Play software just isn't going to run on it. And yet it's popular.

If Amazon can do that, then there's little reason to suppose that another company can't do the same thing. The major issue is that the companies that have, thus far, don't seem to be very good at it, and perhaps even are hampered by a very poor image. Blackberrys are what people used to use. Windows is that unreliable piece of crap we swear at every day. HP? Same problem. Nokia had a chance, as a very popular maker of phones that were even once admired for their design and innovation (OK, that was about 10-15 years ago) but bizarrely switched to Windows at precisely the point they had an OS ready to go.

So yes, there's an opening. The question is whether someone will bother to produce something sufficiently decent that phone makers will be willing to adopt. I haven't seen that yet.

re: Micropayment Deposit (0)

AlienSexist (686923) | about a year ago | (#42754753)

One of the last touted options was a sort of micropayment that would be forfeit if the caller complained. The way I figure, if these telemarketers are operating illegally, suppose a criminal element among them might also be using illegal funds from say stolen bank accounts, credit cards, or accounts with stolen identities. If so, what do they care if they forfeit a micropayment that wasn't really their money anyway?

I guess I'm equating telemarketers that bypass these laws with fraud. You know like "Congratulations! You've been selected to enter a prize drawing. Just enter all of your credit card numbers, and if one of them is lucky, you will win a prize!" For non-scam cases, it might work. Then again, perhaps scams are much more targeted (like to the elderly) than blasted.

Hints for the hats in Waterloo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754765)

1: Make sure it has a great app for pdf
2: Release the phones off contract and UNLOCKED directly online or in stores.
3: Make it easy to write text and keep it organized on a simple clip board that can cut and paste to data text, e-mail or convert to pdf as attachments.
4: Make your phones easy to update and do not let carriers like the jerks at BELL screw over the rom and then deny updates!

Yes? (1)

cod3r_ (2031620) | about a year ago | (#42754801)

someone at some point in time will come out with something better.. IOS is actually sort of boring platform in my opinion it just has all the apps and the phone is very functional.. There are niches yet to be filled.

Did OS/2, BeOS, NeXT, or even MacOS overcome ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754835)

Linux made inroads in the server market but that wasn't dominated by Microsoft to the extent the desktop was.

I think even iOS will have difficulty staying relevant in the long run.

A better question is "what's coming after the smartphone?"

Do the math, silly ponies (3, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about a year ago | (#42754851)

Aging population + Jitterbug phone = THE FUTURE

What would it take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754857)

Probably best to start with "products that don't suck" (or, if you prefer, "products that suck less").

I think Windows has a shot.... (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a year ago | (#42754885)

...if they can leverage the enterprise. Our support people have about given up on Android, too many flavors to support. I'm not saying they will pull it off, I don't think they can get away with their old tricks to take over the market, but I wouldn't rule them out either. RIM is toast.

Re:I think Windows has a shot.... (3, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42754997)

We have enterprise support for android and apple without any issues at all. You need new IT people.

doubtful (1)

SeanBlader (1354199) | about a year ago | (#42754889)

Out of all the contenders, (Open WebOS, BlackBerry, Windows, Mozilla, Ubuntu) I don't think any of them have a chance, Not unless lawsuits end up shutting down Android or making it entirely unsuable. I think the business model Google has setup shields them from the fray as a monopoly, especially with Amazon offering up their own Android Appstore in direct competition. Google and the manufacturers have more people and more resources and can iterate faster than Apple ever can, and none of the other upstarts can even hope to invest enough on their own to make a catchup play. I don't think Windows Phone with it's somewhat integrated position with Windows 8 even stands a realistic chance.

What I Want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754891)

I'd like to see a new interface. Touchscreens are all the rage, but I don't want to have my head buried in the virtual sand all the time; that's my description of the ubiquity of people walking or sitting around, head-down with the eyes and their brains buried in the contents of a 4-5 inch screen.

I want a translucent heads-up virtual display overlaid in front of me, but only when I want and need it to be there. Apparently Google is already working on such a display. The keys for me will be the ease of transitioning my focus from the world around me to the contents of the virtual display (on|off, dim-to-background, full-on-Monty), usability (how I command the OS/software; spatial gesture recognition would be nice) and the proper contextual cues that allow me to avoid burying my head back into the tiny little window in front of the battery (how does the phone alert me to calls, messages, email, battery condition, connectivity issues, etc.).

Some subtlety would be nice for a change. I've always been desirous of a call alert that doesn't jolt me out of my socks when it vibrates or alert the rest of the world that I'm the idiot who can't remember to turn down the volume when I'm in the library, thearter or lecture hall.

Give me a better options in the way the device and OS make information usable and any company will have a decent chance of success. That's why Samsung's keyboard pattern recognition is a selling point for me.

BTW - I don't care whether RIM/Blackberry falls of the face of the markets or not, and this marketing shill piece won't help.

Singularity (1)

freshlimesoda (2497490) | about a year ago | (#42754921)

..with dynamic form factor. The next generation OS / device will be "AI on Demand". It will have the ability to aquire "over the air" expertise to become your chauffer, your chef, dog, massuer, masseur, a wife or a nurse. Your fetish on disposal. Cheers to that!!

Re:Singularity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754965)

...just be sure to speak loudly, clearly and slowly in a neutral accent - especially when asking for your fetish.

Mu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754941)

The answer is Mu. The smartphone market is not a duopoly since Android is a (semi) open platform used by multiple corporations, and customised by them to create an ecology. By contrast, iOS is owned, controlled and sold by a single company - Apple.

Basically, rephrased the question asks "Apple versus the world - can anyone else join in?", which I assume is all part of the Microsoft "paint Google as a monopolist" strategy.

They would need a time machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42754961)

to go back to the Android/iOS beginning and compete on equal footing. Just look at MKV vs. Xvid as an example.

what? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42754983)

What kind of idiot story is this? Android and IOS just got done destroying the Microsoft/RIM duopoly... Suddenly they are the underdog deserving of our sympathy? They are doing poorly because they suck... not because they are being crushed by Google/Apples corporate might.

Firefox OS? (1)

ANonyMouser (2641869) | about a year ago | (#42755017)

Speaking for myself, I'm waiting with baited breath for the Mozilla phone to come out. The walled gardens are becoming tiresome.

No, don't make me laugh (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#42755019)

Its laughable for Microsoft or RIM to believe they can claw their way into the top 2, and I mean every other smartphone OS developer would have to have a solid year of chronic brain farts for FireFox or Ubuntu to even break 4th place.

The fight is going to be for #3 for a good long time.

Its not impossible for Apple or Google to slip (will give it to Apple to fall from grace before Google any day), just look at how quickly RIM dropped from nearly 50% global market penetration to less then 1%. But I can safely say that nothing released, about to be released, or even hinted at is capable of breaking the top 2..

Windows Phone (2, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#42755079)

I just got my second Windows Phone today. I really like it. I don't care about all of the "Apps" because it does everything I need right out of the box. I think that a well integrated OS like Windows Phone 8.0 doesn't need to rely on millions of "apps" to be able to sway customers.

Damn Kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42755103)

When I was your age, we took our phones with whatever software the provider gave us and we LIKED IT. We had DOS and plain text and damn it, we had those choices.

Waaaahhh I only have a choice of two fully featured, well supported software/hardware ecosystems. Waaaaaaah my linux distro isn't supported . . .

Do we automatically whine about lack of choices when each choice becomes popular? god.

Possible? Yes. (1)

sootman (158191) | about a year ago | (#42755131)

Likely? No.

Once any one or two players get to a majority like that, they typically only lose share if 1) they start being stupid, lazy, or ineffective, or 2) something drastically different comes along.

Related to #1 is when there is a strong competitor that gets incrementally better over time and overtakes the leader, but that usually only happens when the market is relatively young and there's lots of room for improvement. We saw it early on with battles over spreadsheets and word processors, and later with things like Quark being retarded for years and letting Adobe eat their lunch.

People don't change when "OMG it's 8% faster and 2 grams lighter!" because change takes effort and brings with it uncertainty. What good is a 1% productivity gain if it takes you a week to get to that point? People change when there is a SUBSTANTIAL gain to be had -- either a 50-100% improvement in some area (usually performance or stability) or a whole crop of new features: "I didn't used to be able to take pictures or listen to music with my phone, now I can."

People still use many-years-old computers because they do just about everything. They evolved from text on monochrome screens to high-res full-color screens, sound playback, video playback -- from 160x120 to 1080p -- and they do 3D gaming. Not much else left to be done there except to make them smaller and cheaper. Cell phones when from brick phones that could only show you the digits you dialed, to the same thing in a flip-phone form factor, to candybars with LCD screens, caller ID, and address books; then texting and cameras, then smartphones with good cameras, browser, email, and all the rest. Now we are where we were with computers a few years ago: not much left to be done there. If you have a current smartphone of ANY kind, you have a very capable device that isn't that different from the rest.

a provider monopoly / duopoly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42755139)

imho only another tie-in with network providers (as we have previously seen with Apple and RIM) will do the trick.

imagine a provider which finally gets rid of any roaming whatsoever. data, texts, calls everywhere, internatoinally available and as flat rate offering. plus integration with the next big social media hype. At an affordable (albeit higher then what we are currently used to) price.

But only available with that new device.......

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