October 2009 Archives

Unruly Ewoks on the Today Show

This morning during the filming of the Star Wars Halloween-themed Today Show, two Ewoks and their shenanigans stole the show:

The fun starts about 2 minutes in.

NaNoWriMo 2009

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, where the goal is to write 50,000 words in a month. The first thing to do is to go to their site (www.nanowrimo.org) and sign up for an account; it'll keep you updated and on track, and once in a while, celebrity writers may drop in from time to time to e-mail you words of encouragement...

TUAW has a great guide for a beginner getting into the NaNoWriMo game first time (which is useful for veterans too).

NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st.

Amazon 3 for 2 Video Game Sale

Amazon's 3 for 2 Video Game Sale expires on October 17, and their selection is actually pretty good.

Android vs. iPhone ... 2 Years Later

It's been two years since Google launched their cellphone operating system called Android, and it appears as if Android is finally making it into some handsets. In fact, Ken Dulaney of research firm Gartner believes that by 2012, Android may surpass iPhone to become the number 2 position, while the iPhone retains the 3rd place position. In fact, he believe the list of smartphone operating systems to look something like this:
  1. Symbian OS (Nokia)
  2. Android (Google)
  3. iPhone (Apple)
  4. Windows Mobile (Microsoft)
  5. Blackberry (RIM)
  6. Linux
  7. webOS
Here's what I think: a lot can change in a few years. If we look back to October of 2006, neither the iPhone or Android were announced, and if we look at November 2007, both the iPhone and Android were annouced, and Apple had stated that they wanted 10 percent of the global smarphone market, a goal which they met. iPhone OS and Android OS were game changers in the way they came out of nowhere and eroded the marketshare established by the smartphone champions at the time; they also managed to expand the audience of a small niche market of smartphones into a much larger audience. Here's the thing; I think there will be a massive consolidation of smartphone OS; smartphones get cycled out every two years (thanks to cellphone contracts), so some small amount is always going to be made up of those who don't upgrade.

The business world runs on Exchange and Windows, so there will always be Windows Mobile and RIM Blackberry devices, and these will be made up of the 25% of the people in the world who absolutely need to have their Exchange e-mail on their cellphone. Organizations that run Exchange are the slowest when it comes to changing, and part of that is trying to migrate an organization on Exchange to anything else.

Nokia has a huge share of the smartphone market right now, but a large part of that is simply because Nokias are everywhere, and even some very old Nokias can run Symbian OS, and the newer Nokias run some variant of Symbian, even if their phone isn't all that smart, so I feel there's probably a significant amount of inflation on the Symbian OS numbers as it relates to smartphones.

With the exception of hardware manufacturers other than those who own their OS, the lines have basically been drawn between Android and Windows Mobile, with some manufacturers offering a mix of Windows Mobile or Android based cellphones. To the consumer there's not much difference in price between a smartphone running on Android or one running Windows Mobile, but for the manufacturer, it makes a huge difference, as each copy of Windows Mobile has a small fee, while Android is free. In an effort to cost cuts, I suspect that hardware makers will in time produce more Android handsets than Windows Mobile, mainlly because really manufacturers just need a few Windows Mobile phones in your lineup for the business customers, and for everything else, Android can be installed.

I actually see the iPhone and Android making massive headway into the hands of users, especially as the current generation of high school and college students are able to get their own cellphone contracts. The benefits of these two cellphone OS makes it perfect for the social and game playing habits of the young adults of today, and in a few years, these will be the ones buying their own cellphones. This is not to say that there won't be something new to challenge and enter into the market in the next two years, but I suspect that most consumers getting smartphones in the next two years will be picking up iPhones and Androids -- not just because they're great tools for business and communication, but because phones heading in a direction away from a single-use device to becoming a multifunctional tool.

Late yesterday, Amazon announced that their U.S. Edition of the Kindle 2 will drop to $259, and they will be releasing a new U.S. and international wireless edition of the Kindle 2 for $279.

These new U.S. and International Kindles will run on the AT&T 3G network.

All of which makes me wonder if the reception of my iPhone is going to get even worse, with Amazon's Kindle also on AT&T. Previously, with the Kindle DX on Sprint, I could get reception on the Kindle DX even when I couldn't on the iPhone.