Every Software company needs a Hardware company!

nokia Bravo to Microsoft for securing Nokia’s mobile phone division. Nokia having shrunk it’s market share from 40% of phones in 2007 to just 3% of smartphones today have struggled in recent years to keep up with Google and Apple

Microsoft paid £4.6bn for the division and although the partnership agreement still had some years to run they should be able to better compete with Apple and Google now they are officially “Phone Engineers and manufacturers”!

Software companies that need to get their heads around hardware engineers and building devices benefit from these sorts of deals, think back to Sony and Ericsson in 2001, they recognised all those years ago that this was a good move, they bought back out in 2011. Don’t forget more recently Google, who took the Motorola phone division back in 2012.

So Blackberry is left on the shelf, Samsung maybe for the software rather than hardware and it’s Enterprise business?


In search of a Smartphone USP


Smartphones have become so samey that manufacturers have been searching for a USP to differentiate themselves, Android especially is suffering from this and the heavy weights are sparring as we speak.

Let’s look at some of them, starting with the King of Android Samsung, they have packed so much tech into their devices they positively bulge, there is more hardware and software innovation in a Samsung device than you can shake a stick at but, with that said they often get accused of being plastic and pretty cheap feeling from a physical perspective.

Queue, HTC and the new “One” this is milled from a single piece of aluminum and is without doubt beautiful, could this be HTC looking for their niche? Trying to be the Apple of the Android world and looking for a way to compete with Samsung.

Then we have Sony, in the past they were top of the beautiful products showcase in everything they did, Apple knocked them off that perch and so recently they went with Waterproof in their Xperia model. A useful feature for that unfortunate accident everyone dreads but a reason to choose them over another? You Decide!

Moving onto Nokia, they already have a USP or a Unique reason to NOT buy if you include operating system, for some it will put them off. Windows 8 Phone sets them apart but in an attempt to appeal they have focused on imaging, Carl Zeiss everywhere and the new 41Mp camera is evidence of that, of course Nokia have a reputation of building great devices so that helps.

How about LG, now this is a not so obvious but IMHO they have gone with cheap as their appealing factor, pack lots of hardware in a keep the price rock bottom.

How about Blackberry, they continue to hope that the legendary Blackberry experience will bring them the appeal, time will tell but perhaps they need another USP in the back pocket just in case?

Lastly we have to mention Apple, love them or hate them, you pay the money and in return they provide objects of desire that are well made and provide a slick experience, the benchmark perhaps?

In HQ’s all around the world clever people desperately try to come up with new and appealing ways to make rectangular, thin, touch screen devices more appealing over the oppositions next thin, rectangular touch screen device!

Are Sony onto something with a waterproof phone?

As phone manufacturers desperately search for that USP occasionally one comes along that is worth a second look.
Today’s smartphone users are religious with their preference and making them change is only usually by something fundamental, price or a killer feature?

How many Android users bestow the virtues of their chosen platform, while the Apple fan’s are often quite smug, although deep down they feel trapped as there just isn’t a viable alternative for them, or so they think. Let’s face it once you buy an app or 2 we are all trapped to some degree.

While Apple are iOS, Samsung largely Android and Nokia are the face of Windows making someone move brands is a challenging affair, but far more possible cross the android eco-system. At least moving from Samsung to HTC does not mean you have to buy ALL your apps again!

So when yet another device running Android shows up sporting slightly different credentials we all, especially the Droider’s sit up and take notice

Queue the Sony Xperia Z and it’s USP, (drum roll) it is waterproof!

With a spec much like all the others, 5” Screen, SnapDragon quad core CPU, 13mp camera, NFC one could copy and paste these features from the vast array of devices available, except the piece de resistance… a waterproof coating

Now the science bit

Sony reckon one in 10 has dropped their phone down the toilet and with this if you do, simply rinse it off under the tap, perhaps a drop of disinfectant may be a good idea, but that may invalidate the warranty.

There are even waterproof headphones coming soon, wow this is pretty cool stuff, check your email and listen to music in the bath or swimming pool to, is there any end to where we can use our devices now?

Typical Sony! reports are build quality is excellent and the device feels good in the hand, the only complaint in the numerous reports I read were that the ports and sockets have to be covered to maintain the its waterproof’ness, a tad fiddly perhaps.

Well done Sony, good USP.