Chris Lau - Seeking Alpha

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Notes on Nokia 14% Share Price Drop

Barrons covered an opportunity may exist for RIM as Nokia warned that it faltered in Europe.

One comment that stood out was that shift among smartphone makers lies at the developer software level.

I don’t understand why people are so surprised with the sales decline, since that is very obvious when changing technology. When Nokia announced their alliance with Microsoft I saw it as very smart move. I guess I’m one of the only ones, but I am also a developer ;). The lack of channels and usability has been the biggest problem for Nokia and the alliance cures this, since Microsoft have some of the best developer tools, biggest user base and now they have Skype as well. An acquisition which I think is not as stupid as many have stated, but lets see.
Nokia is one of the best at mobile and network technology and still not to forget has the largest mobile user base. And I really don’t understand why people are so dissatisfied with Steven Elop, since he is doing everything which is needed. Cutting expensive, making a quick shift, fast in executing, targeting the developer community and is very aware of the competition he is up against.
And as I said Nokia technology is good they have the patents to prove it. Moreover as a former Symbian C++ developer I know this technology is good. Very fast, the architecture is very well designed and has a low energy use. The problem has always been the developer tools, the multiple platforms and the distribution channels. I remember trying to get Symbian development to work under Microsoft Visual Studio and with no luck, shifting to Borland which is not my favorite. It was just a drag. I think most developers will agree ;)
Now it’s going to be one platform where there is one of the largest developer bases in the world. I would reckon just a bit larger than iPhone developers. That was with sarcasm for those of you who don’t know anything about this, there is lots more and I would reckon this is largest developer base in the world. Moreover this base is ready to easily push application on a platform where the usability and the channels have been radically improved. Just look at the numbers of applications in the last period of time. Not to forget that this platform actually has gotten a warm welcome from end-users taken into account the competition.
The problem with this kind of stock is that people don’t anything about these things, which means that it will probably continue to decline and then there the few who are going to make a huge profit. Maybe Microsoft?
Microsoft in general not doing so bad. Moreover have they made mobile the primary key concern and they have the money to do it, lots of it. Not to forget, how they did concerning Internet Explorer not so many years ago, do you remember?
Google is cool but I must also admit that I am not that impressed with Android. They are already facing the same problems as with Java Microedition – J2ME. With different platforms, functionality, different user interfaces, etc. This is crap work for developers and ends up making software for the lowest denominator. It is not fun now and this is only going to get worse.
I am impressed with Apple wow! I love my iPhone and had to have it even though I am not an Apple fanboy. Fantastic phone, but they have done their share and it’s only to copy now. Moreover when people in the future realizes how closed and tightly coupled they are to this platform when new technologies arise they are going to be surprised and I don’t think it is going in Apples favor. Look at the history it just repeats.
Well let’s see, this is very interesting. I’m quite sure that we are going to see some long faces once again.
Believe me I don’t think Nokia will be as big as before but to announce that they are done I would believe is very wrong.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Name this Phone Maker's Ad Campaign: iDoalotmore

In India there is an ad campaign, iDoalotmore.

Which smartphone device maker does this ad represent? Here are some of the features for this phone:

  • True multi-tasking
  • USB On-The-Go
  • Wireless file transfer (BT 3.0 or wifi)
  • FM transmitter
  • Hot swappable Micro SD
  • Faster GPU
  • Better camera with Xenon
  • AMOLED display
  • Single piece Aluminum chassis
  • "Replaceable" battery
  • Applications store with 70,000 apps
  • Customizable fonts/themes/ringtones/wallpaper
  • HDMI out (w/display fully repeated)
  • Dual charge ports (USB and micro pin) to support continuous play over USB OTG
  • Dolby Surround 5.1
  • Pentaband 3.5G
  • Free on and off-line globally supported voice navigation
It's not Android.

It's not iPhone.

It's not Blackberry.

It's Nokia. It's quite remarkable how rapidly Android and Apple are growing in North America. 

Overseas, however, Nokia is still doing quite well.

Nokia is still the #1 phone maker (by units) in the world. 

Research in Motion is also doing quite well overseas, much like Nokia. RIM recently saw somewhere between $5B to $12B in market capitalization (share price) evaporate as the excitement over RIM's Playbook waned. As that value flattens or falls over the next 2-3 quarters, QNX, an operating system used in autos and power plants, will prove to be an important transition for RIM. 

RIM's market capitalization is $23B. Nokia's is $30B. Apple's is $312B.

More articles on RIM Here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blackberry Playbook Post-Processing Showdown

Original: From Playbook 5MP

Modified with $2.99 Photo Touchup App in 30 seconds: 

As angry analysts issue 'sell' reports on RIM after the fact (the time to issue this warning was prior to the stock running up), let's take a step back and think of what the Playbook can do in the area a photography.

This entry was blogged from a Playbook. Additional edits made on a desktop.

Above: 5mp rear camera Playbook, no processing.

Photo 2: post-processed with 'Photo Touchup' - app available on app world

Below: post-processed in Photoshop:

Modified in Adobe Photoshop in 5 minutes including upload time:

It is unfair to compare the abilities of Photo Touchup App to Photoshop. Photoshop is a professional tool with thousands of post-processing options, and costs 500 times more. The Playbook has a good 5MP lens with f/2.8. This makes the lens faster than the average camera.

In the above example, it was easy to adjust color amounts (of green/blue), light balance, etc. 

What Touchup allowed was the ability to quickly touch-up the photo in-tablet.

Conclusion: RIM Playbook has good apps available for processing photos. What's more important is finding the few apps that matter, and Photo touchup is one of them. 

To find the best apps for the playbook, select featured or top. The apps with the most comments alongside the ranking are usually the best ones that make the "favorite" section of the Playbook.