Yes, I’m back with technology. After some truly heady days in the world of glamour and blood-red carpets, it’s time to get back to reality. And nothing makes you hit the ground faster than future devices. The world of technology has big-time rumours popping up with alarming regularity. Away from the regular run-of-the mill rumours of the ‘confirmed’ iPhone 5 specs, the ‘about-to-be-released’ iPad 7-inch Mini and the persistent story about BlackBerry being bought by Samsung, let’s take a look at the top three rumours that have most people salivating.
Rumour #1: The Facebook Phone
Apparently Facebook has already ‘hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone’. The only reason they would have done that would be to make a Facebook phone. It’s important for Facebook to have control over hardware and solidify their position on mobiles or else, they could end up just being another app on a phone. A built-from-the-ground-up Facebook phone is just months away.
The Reality: While the chances are high, I’m not really sure what a Facebook phone would do. Other than taking people to their Facebook accounts (exactly what other phones do), what else can it possibly offer? It has to have some awesome add-on
features and very compelling reasons for a person to want to switch from their Apples and Samsungs. Facebook can’t afford to make these features exclusive to their own phone. That would alienate them from the other phone manufacturers who may boycott them completely. Plus, the mobile business is a tough place (Nokia, BlackBerry, Motorola will confirm). Markie, don’t do it, dude. I firmly believe that a Facebook phone will be debacle number two for you, after the IPO. Remember – three strikes and you’re out!
Rumour #2: the Nokia Lumia Pureview
The PureView phone (that’s the Nokia 808 with the unbelievable 41.0 megapixel camera – a little nugget of info for those who have been in a coma for the last few months) shocked the world. It’s an amazing bit of technology, it lives up to the hype and delivers on the optical performance expectations. And now from Nokia, the PureView technology will be the main feature in the next set of Lumia Windows phones. The new Nokia Lumia 1000 will come with the 41.0 megapixel camera and even more optical tricks up its sleeve than the 808.
The Reality: The PureView 41.0 megapixel technology is magical but it is unfortunately stuffed into a phone that isn’t as magical. Thus, harnessing the power of all that optical wizardry and putting it into what I believe is a good series of phones is a no-brainer (I am astounded how many people are pleasantly surprised to find the entire first-time experience of Windows Phone really good). Nokia needs a ‘shaker upper’, a true differentiator and Lumia with PureView could be just that. Stephen, buddy (that’s Stephen Elop, Nokia CEO – once again for those in a coma), you’ve got to do this. You’ve jumped as far away from the ‘burning platform’ as possible. Time to swim away from the sharks!
Rumour #3: Windows 8 will kill Android as a Tablet OS
Android is king! But only in the world of mobiles. As a Tablet OS, its numbers are dismal, its performance is inadequate and it is just not the OS of choice. To take on the might of the iOS-based iPad, a new warrior must take birth. And that dark horse combatant shall be Windows 8. It’s perfect, it’s built to be on Tablet, it works brilliantly as a crossover between a Notebook and a Tablet and there is more innovation on Windows 8 devices than any other platform. Goodbye, Android on Tablets.
First, let’s get our facts right. Android isn’t a failure as a Tablet OS. It just lacks a single champion. Amazon, Samsung, Asus... all have successful Android-based Tablets. Add to that the million other companies that churn out economy Android Tablets on a daily basis. But not having a single brand winner hurts and leaves a gap. That’s where the Windows 8 onslaught will begin. There’s already a shift in the air. Asus, Acer, Lenovo, HP, Dell and in fact every single large hardware vendor has made multiple Windows 8 announcements. Nearly 90 per cent of them are hybrids (a Notebook with detachable Tablet) and the other 10 per cent are pure Tablet devices. Would you buy an extra Tablet if a perfectly adequate one comes built into your Notebook? You wouldn’t. And that’s the game and number changer: If Windows 8 truly delivers as a Tablet cum laptop platform, the numbers it will automatically pickup in each category can be mind-boggling and can hurt both iOS and Android. Ballmer, my man, you’ve dropped the ball many times. This is your single ticket to true success and can seriously demolish everybody else in the Tablet field. Don’t screw this one up.What are your thoughts on these three big rumours? Can a Facebook phone work? Will a Nokia Lumia PureView be a runaway success? Can Windows 8 destroy the Android and the iPad? Any other big rumours that I missed out on that aren’t just run-of- the-mill? Tweet in and let’s make the rumours fly. :)
Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3. Follow Rajiv on Twitter at twitter.com/RajivMakhni
From HT Brunch, June 10
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