Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Droid could be the iPhone killer

The Motorola droid looks amazing, the marketing campaign is full of geek bombast, boasting of open source software support and replaceable batteries. It's an Android 2.0 with a large capacitive touch screen keyboard AND a slide-out keyboard. No pricing details yet, but even if it's priced at the same level as the iPhone, it could make a serious dent.

I hate Apple in general for making products that are expensive, incompatible, and full of proprietary software and connectivity fuckups. iPods won't work without iTunes, which cannot buy tunes in India anyways. Sure, I concede, they've patented the zen of design, and Windows is a curse on humanity, but as design aesthetes, they have never tried to make their products affordable for the base of the pyramid, or the third world.

As my brother points out, if it weren't for Windows and IBM, we would have not been able to afford a PC when we could.

Expounded by Charlier Booker for maximum comedy here, here, and here are reasons why I don't quite buy into Apple.

An excerpt: This one's really hilarious.
I'd call the new KITT an iPhone with an exhaust pipe, except if it really was like an iPhone then instead of fighting crime, its owner would spend the entire duration of each episode endlessly droning on and on about how brilliant KITT was, and how he can't believe you haven't bought one yourself yet, and every time he passed another KITT driver, they'd feel compelled to pull over and sit there Twittering each other about the latest astounding downloadable KITT "apps", like the one that makes a shoe appear on the screen, then you tilt it and the shoe rocks around a bit and plays the Star Wars theme, and it's amazing really, the things it can do. Actually, you know what I'd watch? A series about a maniac who drives around singling out iPhone owners, slapping their stupid toys out of their hands and stamping on them. That's the first three minutes of each episode; the remaining 57 consist of an unflinching close-up of said iPhone owner's sorrowful face as they scoop all the bits of shattered iPhone off the pavement, clutch it to their bosom, and stagger down the pavement.

Anyways, coming back to Apple and it's failure to make any kind of an impact in India. This article by Businessweek says it best - THREE IPHONES EQUAL ONE CAR.

If only Motorola made a techno-gandhian ad campaign that said:
One iPhone could teach provide education support for 8 poor children for over a year.

Apple's pricing strategy in India has been typical of its disdain for third world sensibilities. I don't quite get it why the iPod Touch costs so much more in India than in the US.

If only Android phones did what the PC did to the MAC in the 80s. I want a customisable touch screen pocket phone/computer surfs wirelessly and on telco networks, plays music and movies, a variety of free user generated open source apps, and I want it for 200 dollars or Rs 10,000 INR.

A device that weights around 100 grams should not cost $600. A premium netbook costs that much, some flab needs to be cut around here.

I think it will take another three years at least before we get to that.

So far all the Android phones have been in the $600 range, which totally sucks. I don't expect Motorola to shake things up, but expect more cooler phones on the Android platform. Enjoy the AD.

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