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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Google Android Megatrend 2012

The era of a personal computer is being challenged by devices that are handheld, lightweight, durable and with a fast start-up.

These devices have started way back in 2001 in the form of the brick-like phone Nokia 3210. One of the most popular mobile phones at the turn of the century. Connecting People. Simple, easy to use menus, and sorted in logical navigation form. Nokia did came up with smaller versions and even the first "blue light" phone called Nokia 8250 or the Butterfly.

Years later, when competition grew, Nokia focused on fighting every segment of the phone market. The cheap low end "green screen" 1100s, the higher end 5 series or 7 series, and even series with 8 - 8850, Gold Editions. Then the N-Series. N95. The battle ground was wide and open. Apple did the opposite and focused on one product, putting all their marketing and research into one single phone. Think about it. Printing 10000 brochures for 20 different phones, or 10000 brochures for 1 single phone.

The other development in handheld was PDA or personal digital assistant. Which was extremely popular to business people and PALM was riding that wave in early 2001.

But any technologist and visionary would have seen the demise unless it incorporates mobile phone abilities. Seeing that phones were adapting new features - such as NotePad, Calculator, Calendar, which will and certainly had eaten up into the PDA device segment.

Laptops were once a high end commodity. Now with lower cost chips and innovation, netbooks and handheld touchpads are dominating the demand and supply. Google has parked right onto the space by providing several points of insertions - the Android operating system, the Chrome browser and Chrome OS.

Android although is free, Google will be banking on the powerful take-up rate of Android in almost all new smartphones and tablets, just as what Microsoft had done with Windows and Internet Explorer. The niche Apple market share although attractive, it will not push into the masses that thrive on openness and freedom. In a way, Apple products lock you into buying more of their products while imprisoning your reasoning to modify, change, or have total freedom with the product. Any update, application, changes, need to go through the giant's cash registers or at least their record books.

Many of Apple's new users and users were people who had the mindset of the quickest and simplest way, without wanting to have a go at changes or learning curves. And the other majority were attracted to the luxurious design and luxurious pricing. "Luxury is about something that the most number of people knows about, and the least number of people that are able to afford it." So think of the nuances here.

The fact (in numbers) is Apple is essentially able to reduce their product price to "human" levels, and in turn will control a significant market share (means at least 50%) in all of their products be it mobile phone, tablet or mp3 player. Firstly from the cost perspective. Secondly their marketing and research in normally on one single product. Compare this to Sony or Nokia, who are busy juggling 20 different new mobile phones each year, the economies of scale in Apple is so much stronger. So strong that some of their contractors had to employ peons to work 24 hour shifts with peanut salaries that are almost one rank above slavery, resulting in several cases of tragic suicides. It is not a 2 paragraph news of suicide. If you can put yourself through this, and be in the person's shoe - you're essentially in a cruel world, working for one of the most profitable multinational company, yet your workload and salary does not reward you enough. While millions are seen gleaming (in greed and luxury) of their new IPAD or IPHONE pasted happily in blogs and Facebook, you're a sad worker in a sad environment, with a sad future in a almost robotic clean room, rows and rows of sanitised, white cases of this sought after goods. Your hands have literally pinch, and grip these golden bars daily. Checking, inspecting, constructing, packaging, cleaning, them. But deep inside, you know you'll never own such a product. You have no say. You have not much rights. You weren't even educated nor informed about them. Your first day at work was only the happiest day of your life thinking you'll be working in a super company that will finally give your family a good time in their life.

Android will certainly rule the next decade in all hand held devices. 

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