#mobile

Certainly doesn’t sound like the absolute worst device is the world, but certainly nothing that will save BlackBerry. A solid C-/D+. 

I’m perplexed by the design choice here. Yes, it’s the shape of a passport, but why is that a good thing? No one types on their passport. No one reads things on their passport. It looks as if BlackBerry made it different simply for the sake of being different.

Yes, it sounds like the large, square screen makes it mildly easier to read email and documents. But the shape also makes it harder to type, negating any positives of the screen. And it’s arguably net negative given BlackBerry users love of their keyboards. 

I would have gone the other way — either way. I would have either made a device that’s the ultimate one-handed use machine (especially since Apple is going in the other direction with the iPhone 6/6 Plus). Or made the thing bigger, with the best physical “thumb” keyboard on a phone ever.

Robin Wauters:

Still, people continue to read more email on Apple-manufactured devices than any other device or platform. According to the study, Mac computers, iPhones and iPads were used to open 358 million SendGrid-delivered emails in the last year, compared to 320 million emails on Windows.

While the data is Europe-specific in this case, it’s interesting to think/see how many people primarily interact with email on their phones and/or tablets now. Certainly, it’s the main way I do. Since I always have one of those devices on me.

Charles Arthur on the likely initial usage of Amazon’s Fire:

Therefore even allowing for margins of error, it seems unlikely - based on Chitika’s data and the ComScore data - that there were more than about 35,000 Fire Phones in use after those 20 days.

If that’s even remotely the case, the Fire Phone is a disaster right now for Amazon. This is a product they’re promoting on their homepage. You should be able to sell at least hundreds of thousands of anything on that page.

I’ll go ahead and renew my call for a VP of Devil’s Advocacy.

[via @counternotions]

We have tried using the Windows Phone OS. But it has been difficult to persuade consumers to buy a Windows phone. It wasn’t profitable for us. We were losing money for two years on those phones. So for now we’ve decided to put any releases of new Windows phones on hold.
Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group, in an interview with WSJ. Worth noting that his comments on Windows Phone are still slightly better than those about Tizen, which has says has “no chance to be successful.”

Finally got around to reading most of the initial reviews of Amazon’s Fire Phone. Brutal. Really brutal.

Not that I’m surprised. At all.

I just hope Amazon isn’t surprised. Because if they are, they would seem to have a fairly large problem on their hands. That is, they’re completely out of touch with reality — or more importantly, with their customers. No one wants to have to tilt a phone to use it. It’s a gimmick gone rogue. 

As I asked back in April, when the 3D (“Dynamic Perspective”) functionality was still just rumored:

The question you have to ask is: at the end of the day, does such a feature make for a truly better user experience? Or is it just a novelty trying to mask itself as a differentiating feature? Or worse, does it actually make the device harder to use?

Now we know the answer.

Tim Moynihan on the  Vertu Signature Touch, which starts at $10,300:

It has a very pleasant odor. The Vertu Signature Touch is easily the best-smelling phone I’ve ever used. The “Claret Calf” version I tested had a stitched calfskin backing on it that emitted a rich, intoxicating leathery scent. I didn’t get any nose-on time with the lizard- and alligator-skin backings, so I can’t speak to their olfactory qualities.

This strikes me as the real-world equivalent of the old $999 app.

Mat Honan on the rise of cheap smartphones, everywhere:

Clearly great features are trickling down. But what’s more interesting is how these cheap phones are going to trickle up. Put Internet-connected, app-capable smartphones running the same major operating systems the rest of us use and there will be all sorts of unforeseen ripple effects on us that we can’t even anticipate.

We tend to think of the ways our technology will affect them. That’s arrogant. We’re the minority. It’s incredibly likely that they’re going to have just as big an effect on us.

A really smart way to think about this — and exactly right, I imagine.

Chris Welch: 

Verizon has officially announced XLTE. Rather than a new wireless technology, XLTE is basically just a consumer-friendly buzz term for speed and capacity improvements that Verizon has made to its network with the help of AWS spectrum.

After I announced my intention to ditch Verizon’s shitty network for AT&T’s slightly-less-shitty one, a bunch of folks suggested I should wait and pointed to XLTE as the future.

Yeah, there was zero chance I was going to change my mind over marketing bullshit. ”XLTE” is essentially the Verizon version of what AT&T did with “4G” in the past. “4G” was really just a slightly pumped up “3G”.

Takashi Amano:

Apple boosted iPhone shipments in Japan to 36.6 percent of the market in the year ended March, up from 25.5 percent a year earlier, according to Tokyo-based MM Research Institute Ltd. The Cupertino, California-based smartphone maker shipped 14.43 million phones in Japan the past fiscal year, the researcher said.

The number two player, Sharp, has 13 percent of the market. It’s really too bad that the Japanese hate the iPhone, or Apple could probably control 100 percent of the market. *Snicker*