Nexus 4 – The First 300 Billion Dollar Phone?

I’m an Apple Fan Boy, for decades, and an iOS developer as well.

Grenouille avec un téléphone portable

Everything at home has been designed in California and even my first PC (they didn’t call these machines PCs in these days) was an Apple II Plus.

Yes, I also develop with Java, Android and some other environments, for years, but if somebody has asked me in the past, what is the best phone (especially within in the last 2-4 years), I said, without any hesitation: ‘Of course, the iPhone!’

I was so fundamentally convinced by the superiority of the Apple products (software & hardware) that I also invested my money in Apple shares, very successfully, even when the stock price passed the 500$…and many people already commented: ‘What the hell..!’

And then the Nexus 4 appeared, quietly.

More or less with its appearance the Apple stock price started to tumble, slowly, and nobody really understood why, not in the beginning, not directly, but more and more people started to grasp, why the Apple phone magic might be over: The happy people who received the first wave of Nexus 4 phones were the first ones.

I’ve received my Nexus 4 probably a week ago. I often bought Android devices just to stay with Apple in the end. But this time it seems to be different, I’ve switched my daily phone and the platform… and I guess I will stay here at least until we will see a new iOS 7 and/or new iPhone.

apple

Why? This blog post explains it more or less very detailed or with one short statement:

It’s better in probably every area for half the price of an iPhone.

OK, but why is the Nexus 4 a 300 billion dollar phone? LG has to sell a billion phones to reach this number in terms of revenue.
No, it’s not meant in this direction.

The Nexus 4 phone could reduce the Apple’s current market capitalization by 300 billions back to 180 billions, the share price from 500 $ to something between 150 $ and 200 $.

Why? Because, if they want to compete with the market, or especially with the Nexus 4 and many coming cool and cheap Android phones Apple has to sell their iPhone(s) or coming iPhones for something in between 300$ and 400$, and this could maybe reduce their EPS from 45 to 25.

Many ‘coulds’ and ‘maybes’, I know, but the iPhone is Apple’s main revenue horse and the only Apple mainstream and mass market product today. If they loose their mass market product Apple will still be a cool company with cool products, but  for the niche again as Apple always was before the iPhone and Steve usually wanted to be.

But when and if this happens, Apple’s price tag has to be changed…maybe by 300 billions. Apple will then be the Porsche of the IT market again but with Porsche’s market cap and not with the Volkswagen market cap it has today.

And maybe everything started with the Nexus 4 – The first 300 Billion Dollar Phone…

nexus4-1

Why Google should kill Java for Android

From my perspective there is one main reason why Android, at the moment, can’t compete with iOS.

It’s not the hardware – meanwhile the hardware of mobiles like the Samsung Galaxy SII is somehow even better than the iPhone 4.

And it’s not the operation system – Android is based on Linux, a Unix comparable to the Unix of iOS.

The problem of Android is Java, the programming language of Android apps. And not because Java is a bad programming language. but because it’s has disadvantages over compiled languages like Objective C, C or C++.
You can’t feel this disadvantage on servers or powered desktops, where Java has its strength developing complex systems, but on small devices with limited batterie resources the difference between compiled and not and automatic memory management matters.

Java is easy to develop and easy to learn, the developer has the choice to integrate  a huge amount of third party libs, but when it comes to the runtime costs of Java, compiled languages have their advantages and these are directly related to the user experience.

Java needs a lot of energy and often stops the processor because of it’s automatic memory management. And this automatic memory management also and often leeds to improper application design, because the developer doesn’t have to care for memory management. Huge server systems or strong machines forgive these applications and their developers their mistakes (a/the reason why Java was invented), a mobile not really.

And due to the given physical boundaries I don’t really believe that this behaviour will change soon, even if you power 2 or 4 cores in your mobile.

So my advise for Google would be: Change the programming language, choose a native language for Linux, be as pure as possible.  I’m sure the Android developers will follow you.

And besides you can solve your patent problems with Oracle. Pay nothing.

Why I will never ever buy Samsung Mobiles again

I’ve owned nearly 200 mobiles in the last 10 years. Since two years I’m a huge fan of Android and 3 months ago I started to love Samsung.

I’m really impressed by the Samsung Galaxy S and even more by the Galaxy Tab.

But yesterday I’ve tried to update both. At first I thought I can do it via over-the-air (OTA), as you can do it with many other Android devices (and as given Android standard procedure). Then I learnt I need to install a client software called ‘Kies’ to upgrade. I searched for a Kies Apple OSX and Linux version, but didn’t found any. I very soon recognized that there’s only a Windows Kies version available. So I installed this Kies version (2.0) on a VMware version of Windows XP (under OSX and Linux – I only own these operating systems at the moment).

At first I had to upgrade VMware, because there’s has been a bug in VMware concerning Samsung USB devices, but after I’ve installed the VMware patch, I could connect my Samsung device with Kies.

Now I started the update process and after a while it crashed. I repeated this process for five times, always with the same result and after all I stopped any further attempts.

Today I borrowed the Windows laptop of my father and tried to upgrade again, and this time it worked, for the Galaxy Tab and the S, without any problems.

So finally it means: You NEED a native Windows PC, if you want to manage your Samsung devices. No other OS is possible, no virtualization and even the OTA functionality has been removed from the Samsung Android OS.

And none of these requirements have been stated on the package or on the product web site, when I bought the devices.

Would I have known this before, I would never ever have bought Samsung Mobiles – for sure, I and will never ever do again in the future, as long as these circumstances still exist.

Why to buy NOW an Android Nexus One

Although there might be – meanwhile – better Android Devices than the Nexus One (e.g. the HTC Incredible or the HTC Evo) the last days have demonstrated why it might be, I believe it is an advantage to own a Nexus phone.

Only one day after the GoogleIO Nexus owners can now update their their phones to the new and really brilliant new version Froyo:

And, I believe also, this is and won’t be an exception in the future:

  • Google will be always the first, who has access to a new version and will test very soon all development stages against their own phones
  • Google doesn’t have to migrate special customizations  to new version (like e.g. HTC has to with their Sense UI) – this saves, as we have seen in the past, maybe  a lot of time, time to market

In the last weeks I thought I have to switch to a HTC Incredible, but since some days now I guess it’s better to stay with my Nexus – at the moment :-)

Test Your Android Device – Multitouch with Nexus

If would like to test your Android device or compare its performance with other devices, there are some useful apps in the Android market to get hold of:

And if you want to know, if your Nexus includes a working multitouch functionality, just download this little app.

Point you Android browser to the link above and try to wipe around with two fingers. If the colored cycles will follow your fingers, everything is fine. If not, it isn’t, but don’t be scared too much.

Mine isn’t working either, but when do you really need this? :-)

The Google Nexus could be the best Smartphone ever, if…

…there wouldn’t be the issue with its connectivity.

I’ve tested the Nexus now for 12 hours and I never had a smartphone that was so fast, had such a brilliant display, a perfect usability and such a very flexible and modern operating system.
And I had or have them all: iPhone 3G, Magic, Dream, Droid, some Blackberrys and many Nokias.

But yesterday I also tested the connectivity of the Nexus in two large German cities and compared it to the Motorola Droid .
I drove with my car through the streets both handsets connected with the same provider.

And the result was: The Droid often offered HSDPA or 3G while the Nexus was only connected via 3G or EDGE.

Most of the time the Droid operated on one connectivity level better than the Nexus, and I’ve installed the given 3G Nexus Android patch before.

Due to the fact we are talking about smartphones whose nature is being permanently connected to the internet these results are, in my eyes, very important.

But I don’t believe (as the link above documents as well) this issue is related to Android or Google. It’s a hardware issue and thus a problem of HTC (the reason why the Nexus 2 might become Motorola device, who knows?)

If Apple had built Buzz

… I guess we would have seen brilliant working, stable, fully integrated and tested clients in every Apple layer.

Google has surprised us with a brilliant idea, but with a bit confusing, instable and heterogeneous clients (especially for the mobile), but Buzz is free for all and available for almost every operation system and mobile.

Google created Android, but in many cases I have the impression Google is still missing the feeling for the mobile business, many things they do in this space (App Store, Nexus, Wave and now Buzz) is, in the beginning, a kind of immature and sluggish business and  technology.

That’s the difference between Apple and Google, I love both companies, and it’s good to see both alive and kicking here on earth. They are so different, but both very successful in how they do things and thus important for our further development.

The difference between 12 months iPhone and 12 months Android

It’s just that easy:

Read this related blog post and you know what I mean.

One year back we started with the HTC Android G1, and to be honest, it’s a good phone, but not comparable to the iPhone.
Now, 12 months later, have a look at the Top Five Android phones, and if you own the G1, the Apple iPhone, the Motorola Droid and the HTC Google Nexus, as I do, you will follow my thoughts.

And what has happened the same time in the iPhone space, the last 12 months? Almost nothing!

That’s the difference when things are free and lot of creative people can play around with them…

Is that the Google App Store we’ve waited for so long?

Mashable today reports about a coming Google App Store. Is that the app store, we have waited for so long? The post relates to Google Apps and says nothing about Android or the technology which will be used for deployment and development.

Google needs an app store on the client. Not only because Apple has one like iTunes or because it’s sexy today to have one.

Google needs its app store on the client to round up the Android eco system:
The user needs an adequate opportunity to manage its Android handset on his preferred client – to download (buy) apps, music, videos and to synchronize those artefacts whenever he wants to.

Google needs the app store the establish their e-commerce platform on the user’s client machine.

From my point of view neither Google’s mobile e-commerce nor Android will and can survive without something comparable to iTunes.

Why are they waiting?

That’s what I expected Google to offer with the Android start

That’s what I expected Google to offer since the start of Android. Now a new company from Finland created with the app Dazzboard something, what we Android users are heavily requesting:

The desktop client to sync apps, music and videos with your Android device, at this stage only for Windows users, but Mac OSX will follow.

Dazzboard works as Browser Plugin for the Internet Explorer and Firefox.

I really don’t know, why Google has launched a new mobile platform without desktop based sync and shop system. Did they never use and analyze the iPhone? In my eyes this kind of software is a very important piece of the whole mobile business ecosystem and an important one to make money.

Maybe there are two reasons (besides others) for Google to wait:

They will integrate the Android desktop client in ChromeOS to make this new OS more attraktive and/or they let others start with this kind of desktop client to take the fear away of Google’s Android dominance.

Google Nexus One – the missing Puzzle of the Android Picture

Maybe we will learn something with the Nexus One launch (5th of January 2010) what most of us haven’t yet taken into a account and what will, in my eyes, compensate the biggest problem of the Android platform – the missing, native Android client for my home PC.

Maybe Google will offer a new software architecture with the start of Nexus. A client, which can download Android apps, music and movies and stream those to the Android handset. A client, that backups my apps and maybe a client, that runs my Android apps on my desktop or laptop.

Then Android fans will have something comparable to the successful iTunes (and even more), this will be the missing puzzle of the Android big picture.

And with the help of the Nexus One Google can package a native client with the Nexus box and also preinstalled on the Nexus handset. Something, Google didn’t do and couldn’t do with Motorola, Verizon, T-Mobile and all the others in the Android space in the past.

I’m curious about it!

The Biggest Google Mistake 2009

Google is, no doubt, a, if not the winner of 2009, but, in my eyes, they did one huge mistake:

Their Android Appstore is isolated to the Android platform, at the moment, there’s even no client for the desktop clients.

If I had been Google I have had chosen to buy Sun, have had made Standard Java the platform for Android and have had built an Appstore like the Sun Java Appstore.

Then I would have had an Appstore client for the desktop and the Android phones, and I have had apps, that run on the desktop and the mobile.

I know, you always have to consider screen size, hardware interfaces etc., but Apple will do so, I’m sure.
And they have a huge advantage, again – their iTunes.

The Appstore is one the winner of 2009, like Google is, too, but the importance of the Appstore business model has been undervalued by Google, at least in 2009.

Why to mobile fight? Think of the App Identity!

In the last days there is breaking out a fight among developers (and others) again.

Which is the best approach to develop mobile apps? Web or Rich Client (native apps)?

I say: Take the best of both and develop Hybid Mobile Apps, which look like rich clients, behave and will be installed like Rich Clients, but which largely depend  on a web based SOA backend and/or integrated web pages.

Why?

The Rich Client is the only one, which creates, im my eyes, the important app identity.

The user searches for (in the app store), loads and installs something, which resides automatically (with icon) on his phone (almost on one of the home screens). This creates the app identity and thus the willingness to spend money for these kind of apps. Pure web apps are anonymous, there’s no store, no download, no installation, no icon (if I don’t do it on my own), no splash screen…These are just links like many others, and the user is used to get those for free (like he did in the internet before and for years).

The Rich Client can integrate much more easier with other apps and functionality on the phone (think of the intent technology in the Android space or think of your beloved twitter app, which can send links from your browser or pictures from your camera).

The Rich Client – today – is faster, can create better GUIs, can work offline, has it’s own storage, although these advantages maybe will fade away will HTML5, new Javascript technologies and modern browsers.

The web SOA background and integrated web pages give you all the advantages, why we all love this kind of development (and to be honest, prefer). Nothing has to be deployed or installed to/on the handset. You develop once and can use these results for many handsets. You don’t waste resources on the handset (battery, CPU etc.).

So don’t fight and combine the best of both, and in the end it will be an incremental approach.The better the browser gets, the more you can port app responsibility to it.

But don’t forget about the user’s app identity and your target: You want to earn money! Or don’t you?

The Mobile App can bring Peace to the Content Gaza Strip

Sounds crazy, do you think?

Maybe, but it could work, because the Internet doesn’t have to change their current models.

Content in the Internet remains free and Google, every search engine works as usual.

Paid content will be delivered by paid (mobile) apps. The user is used to pay for content in the mobile space, and that differs from the ordinary internet.

In order to find the paid content Google or other search engines only find headlines or summaries and the found entries link to suitable app stores (Apple, Android, Ovi and others).

If the mobile model works, and I guess it can, then this model can be extended to desktop Java or Flash driven app stores. In the Java space we have already one.

Nobody has to change existing systems or behaviour with one exception:

The search engines link to content summaries and app stores, either mobile or desktop ones, instead of full articles.

I guess you can do it today already, without having to change search engines technology…

In the year of Google 2013

Google has founded  a world-wide subsidiary called G-Mobile in 2011 (bought different mobile providers all over the world in 2010). G-Mobile is the biggest mobile telephone provider in 2013,  far ahead of T-Mobile, Vodafone, Verizon and all the others.

G-Mobile has over 800 million customers in 2013. G-Mobile speciality is to provide free high speed mobile internet access within all of it’s tariffs.

G-Mobile offers, at a minimum, 3G speed and allows VOIP and tethering in its network for everybody.

Only ordinary GSM calls have to be paid, G-Mobile offers a 2,99 $ flatrate for calls within its own network and a 9.99 $ flatrate for calls outside the G-Mobile network. Free calls are possible, if the users accept ads.

G-Mobile users need a Google account, and payments will be down via Google Checkout.

G-Mobile handsets work with virtual SIM cards, there’s no need for a physical SIM card any longer. Your telephone number is connected with your Google account.

G-Mobile only works with Android and Google accounts, but with any hardware.

Google has never built any own hardware or GPhones in the last three years, as widely predicted in 2009, but in 2013 you can buy simple G-Mobile based handsets for less than 100$ everywhere…

Germany misses the Mobile App Train

The mobile app train has started. No, to be honest, it even has received remarkable speed – in my eyes.
2010 will be the year of the mobile business app, but the Germans aren’t on the train yet.

At least I don’t see many or any apps of the largest 30 companies (DAX companies) in the android or iPhone market yet.
These companies still believe the mobile web is the only approach to the mobile user.

And maybe it’s because of the bad experience we’ve all made with the mobile app technologies before the iphone and the android market (e.g. J2ME).
This defensive trend is still out here in Germany and if you’ve heard about the lastest MobileMonday Kudos champions like the Deutsche Post with their app you’ll soon share my mind.

The usecases in this app are clearly usecases for an app, at least for an hybrid app, but this app is not an mobile app, it’s a mobile web page with it’s, based on the nature of the mobile web,  reduced usability.

And the other 29 are not doing better, or does somebody know more than I?

96 hours Android Milestone Droid

I own/owned 236 handsets till today.
I have/had all iPhones.
I have/had nearly every Android Device, some BlackBerrys and Windows Mobile Handsets.

The Motorola Milestone is, in my eyes, the best smartphone you can buy – today.

Nothing more needs to be said… sorry, if I compare the milestone with the today’s possibilities I can’t find anything to criticize.

And to be honest, I thought Motorola is dying, but they did the right thing. They opened their minds…

Grenzenlos oder eingegrenzt

Es ist schon faszinierend, wie sich die technische Welt weiter entwickelt und gleichzeitig stehen bleibt.
Wie man nach 20 Jahren im gleichen Job immer noch Neues erfahren darf und Altes wieder verwenden kann und vorallem sollte!

Jetzt sitze ich hier vor meinem Laptop und steuere mit einem Putty-Client, mit gleichen Werkzeugen ein kleines Android Handy und gleichzeitig einen Multi-Millionen-Euro teuren IBM ZOS Mainframe.

Ich entwickle mit Eclipse und Java Programme, die entweder auf diesem kleinen, brandneuen Handset laufen oder halt auf einem sogenannten und über 40 Jahre alten Dinosaurier.

Linux und Java verbinden, und wer sich diesen Technologien verschliesst, wird verlieren, langfristig, weil es sich selber ausschliesst und eingrenzt.

Einige haben das gelernt, andere werden es nie lernen, glaube ich.
Ich mag die, die es lernen…

Der Handy Markt wird neu verteilt und die Geschichte wiederholt sich

Etwas anderes sagt diese neue Meldung bei Heise nicht aus, meines Erachtens. Und damit setzt sich der von den Mobileexperten und uns :-) schon eine Weile vorausgesagte Trend fort.

Die Firmen, die frühzeitig und innovativ auf neue Smartphone-Technologie gesetzt haben (wie z.b. Apple, Blackberry oder HTC/Google) gewinnen trotz Krise deutlich und die klassischen Handyhersteller verlieren (Nokia, SonyEricsson und Motorola).

Im Handyland wird also nichts so bleiben, wie es ist oder in der Vergangenheit war (auch wenn man Nokia heisst).

Und zum großen Teil sind die Probleme der Klassiker hausgemacht. Man hat einfach verschlafen, entweder etwas Neues oder Innovatives wie Apple zu erfinden oder an etwas Innovativem teilzuhaben (wie z.B. Android).

Es ist wie so häufig: Die Arroganz (“ich kann es alleine besser”) und die Trägheit der Großen führt zum/kurz nach dem Zeitpunkt der größten Machtentfaltung zum schnellen Absturz.

Man sagt so oft, Geschichte wiederholt sich nicht. Doch tut sie, nach immer gleichen Mustern, und vorallem auch in der IT.

Die nächste Statistik sollte aber auch nach Betriebssystem (zumindest zusätzlich) sortiert erstellt werden. Denn nur dann wird man auch Android wirklich mit dem iPhone vergleichen können, denn HTC bleibt mit Nichten der einzige Android…

24 Stunden HTC Magic

Sicherlich bin ich kein Mobilexperte, eher ein Handypowernutzer. Nichtsdestotrotz habe ich in den letzten Jahren über 200 Handys besessen und/oder benutzt und kann/darf mir deswegen eine subjektive Meinung erlauben.

Als das iPhone heraus gebracht wurde, dachte ich, dieses wird auf Jahre unschlagbar sein. Als dann Android mit dem G1 released wurde, war ich der Meinung, ‘wow’, der offene Ansatz und das Betriebssystem sind besser, als beim iPhone, das iPhone aber weiterhin in der Gesamtbetrachtung das bessere Handy.

Nun nutze ich seit 24 Stunden das HTC Magic mit der Android Version 1.5 und muss (mir) eingestehen, Android und das HTC Magic haben das iPhone schneller eingeholt, als ich gedacht hätte.

Und das aus folgendem Gründen:

  • das HTC Magic ist leicht, so wunderbar leicht, dass ich beim Telefonieren das Gefühl habe, ich halte nur meine Hand an mein Ohr (das Gefühl habe ich beim iPhone nicht, vom G1 ganz zu schweigen)
  • das HTC Magic ist klein und hält sich formgerecht in der Hand
  • das HTC Magic ist elegant und in seinem schwarzen Lack-Outfit ein echter “Hingucker”
  • selbst nach 24 Stunden Betrieb ist meine Batterie immer noch halb voll
  • vor der Onscreen-Tastatur habe ich als Fan der G1 Hardware-Tastatur Angst gehabt, aber diese lässt sich gut und intuitiv bedienen, besser als beim iPhone m.E.
  • Android 1.5 ist deutlich schneller und stabiler, reaktiver geworden
  • Ein Schwenken des Screens ist jetzt möglich, die Animation beim Schwenken prima
  • die Telefonfunktionen sind stabiler geworden

Sicherlich hat das HTC Magic nicht den “Markentouch” eines Apple iPhones und sicherlich muss sich auch das iPhone nicht hinter einem HTC Magic verstecken, aber beide Handys spielen jetzt m.E. in der gleichen Qualitätsliga.

Und dass dieses Ziel so früh erreicht wurde und dass auch noch mit einem Hardware-Hersteller, der sicherlich eher ein Nischenplayer in der Vergangenheit war, das ist doch schon ein beeindruckendes Ergebnis.

Eigentlich wollte ich ja wieder zu meinem G1 zurück kehren, Ähnliches hatte ich auch behauptet, als ich vom iPhone zum G1 umgestiegen bin, aber wie gesagt, eigentlich…