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Dec 31, 2010

The Mobile Spoon 2010 Summary

No, it's not going to be that kind of "10 best stories of 2010" collection. I thought about how to summarize 2010 and decided to simply tell the story as we all experienced it. So let's get going:

The year of the iPad!

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Above all other things we've seen this year, I think the biggest trend was expanding mobility beyond just cellphones or smartphones. Apple reinvented mobility by adding a new domain, a new kind of gadget most people didn't know they they needed. I'm using one, and I still don't get the magic of it, but it's obviously there.
What am I doing with it? Here are at least 10 things any geek will agree with…

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War! Bugs! Bugs! War!

So yeah, now it's obvious, we may have few players in our mobile league, but two teams are competing for the championship. Last year it was iOS who won the league, in 2010 it was the Android team. Unfortunately this stubborn fight had a price which the consumers had to pay: quality of products.

It seems like In 2010, more than in the past, we've seen companies compromising on quality in favor of fast releases and cutting edge technologies. HTC had camera issues with the HD2, HD7 and other devices, Nexus One had buttons focus issues, Motorola Droids had issues with the OS upgrades, and of course, the biggest flaw of all times in mobility: Apple's antenna design that took everything into considerations besides…well, reception… I'm a huge fan of the iOS but I, for one, will never get an iPhone 4 due to this design flaw and the way Apple handled it…

Applications:

mobile applications

Application rush continued during 2010, and became even crazier than in the past as companies had to create everything twice (at least) – supporting both iOS and Android, and now with WP7 – that's going to be 3: Objective C, Java, and Silverlight.

Ouch that hurts! No wonder we've seen the inevitable rise of Html5 – the only true cross platform technology out there today

Screen Quality vs. Battery life:

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With Samsung's Super Amoled and Apple's Retina Display, we end up having a pretty amazing screen display, but what about battery life?

Almost every new device I'm testing these days has awful battery life. Some say it's because of the screen, others claim it's because of the multi-tasking, bottom line is that you must have cradles with you everywhere you go.

Who knows, maybe in years from now there will be other solutions such as wireless chargers placed in restaurants, coffee shops etc. so people will not have to worry about it…

Google Android:

Oh no! Those droids are simply everywhere! Over 100 models exist today, many of them are pure gold, Over 50 tablets and E-Readers – and that's when Google officially admits Android is not ready for tablets!

Android is on fire and is now the most popular smartphones OS in the US.

Nexus One, Android's greatest promise, started as a big promise but got torn apart by many techies and media, eventually becoming one of PCWord's 20 biggest failures of 2010… (we reviewed the Nexus and didn't like it that much from the start I must admit… ).

Samsung's Galaxy products took over last year's Motorola's Droid hegemony, and the second Nexus is now actually a Galaxy product. Does it mean that HTC and Motorola had a bad year? Not sure, but Samsung had a great one, that's for sure.

iPhone 4:

Oh well, what can I say: Apple can produce bugs too! And when they do – they make sure those are famous and well marketed bugs… Funny thing is that no one seems to really care! Sales are still high, everyone seem to want an iPhone, and if it wasn't for the AT&T exclusive contracts I'm sure Android would have never pass iPhones sales, don't you think?

Microsoft:

Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft… no one knows what will be the end with Microsoft's mobility. At the beginning of 2010 Windows Mobile 6.5.3 was quietly released, which was strange, because it happened just few months before it was actually buried for good by Microsoft… (OK, no one admits it, I know, but have you seen any activities with WinMo lately?

Not to mention the Kin flop, the Slate, and other weird adventurers Microsoft took part in… but then came Windows Phone 7

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Sigh… the beauty of the user interface never ceases to amaze me. Sakes are not that bad as they first seemed, and at least in terms of applications it looks promising! We started to play with it too – check out our ongoing updates for building our first Windows Phone 7 application!

So sales are slowly progressing and if Microsoft will continue to do the right things in terms of the software, who knows, maybe WP7 will end up being the "Mac" of the smartphones (thanks Israel B. for that statement…).

BlackBerry:

Android killed blackberry

Seems like 2010 was a sad year for RIM. Sales are going down, popularity is decreasing, new products do not win an excitement from the market (although I must say BlackBerry Torch is not a bad product!). What will be the end? probably a re-write of the OS, which is something that may have started already when building the first BlackBerry tablet: the PlayBook.

Either ways, it seems like the good years of BlackBerry are over, it's a struggle now, and they will have to do something real brilliant to keep up with the other guys…

Palm… err, sorry… HP:

Palm is one of my favorite companies. They were there first, they had some great products in the past (Palm Treo 750 is one of my legends!), and it's hard to see one of the good guys fall down…

We've heard some promises about turning webOS into something really big – so far those are just promises but we are here, we have time, do your magic Palm/HP, we are waiting…

The Mobile Spoon:

It was a busy year for me in person, a new kid (my second!), lot's of interesting activities, and my role at ClickSoftware was never so busy – but you won't hear me complain of course…

I would like to wish you all a happy new year! See you all next year with a lot of new mobile technologies!

Gil Bouhnick, The Mobile Spoon.



5 comments:

Jason@Make Beats said...

You make an interesting point when you say the fight between iOS and Android resulted in the loss of quality in products because companies where focused on fast releases. I have never looked at it that way until now. By the way, congratulations on your second kid and have a happy new year.

Anonymous said...

Great summary but I don't think we've seen the last of RIM. They were considered to be finished long ago and they are still the most popular smartphone in NA.

Gil Bouhnick said...

Thanks Jason!

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Technology is really moving very fast and another come with some new technology.

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