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Monday, November 26, 2012

Field Notes 1

Apple iPhone 4S

Apple just released massive earnings last quarter showing the dominance of their smartphone in the market. My wife just had to have one and is thrilled in how much better it is over her previous 3G. She had no problems selling her old iPhone on Kijiji. Too bad Siri is limited in its use in Canada

Amazon Kindle Fire

Canadians beware. The Kindle Fire is crippled and has no access to US content at this time. Canada is not on the Amazon strategy road map right now so be patient, the kindle took 2 years to be Canadian friendly. Maybe a Kobo Vox is a better choice but does lack the joys of the Amazon ecosystem.

Nintendo Suffering

Well no kidding! iPad users play games on their tablet and don’t need a separate Nintendo DS game system. It makes great sense having both devices due to its game specific benefits but many are trying to simplify the amount of stuff they need to carry. The need to charge multiple batteries is an issue I find a real treat. If Nintendo doesn’t jump on IPad gaming fast they will suffer like RIM's arrogance in the marketplace. Let’s see how well the new Sony Vita game system copes but with its $250 price point it does seem too high for mass acceptance.


Looks like the markets have no trust in the new leadership structure. It’s hilarious how the perception is that Thorsten Heins seems to bring no background to propelling these guys forward. I guess he has 90 days to demonstrate the leadership required to move them forward and provide the trust was a smart decision.

RIM should pay me for a better press release like this one

" RIM :  we have focussed entirely on providing  secure solutions in the business marketplace with management tools for IT departments. Our playbook is an excellent adjunct to the blackberry for business users. We are actively working night and day to bring an excellent blackberry smartphone consumers device to the market place. The Playbook at this time will be a business tool ensuring security and privacy in the web and emailing experience.”

RIM is a trusted business tool and the keyboard and BBM features are key. Many business users don’t care about Angry Birds, they care about sensitive emails being secure in their transport. That is where RIM wins
Let LG make $10 disposable cell phones for the prepaid market.

RIM still makes a lot of money and is growing in the emerging markets and is not a dud like Kodak but it has to act very very fast to figure out where it wants to be in the US market. The silly DJ commercial for the Blackberry Bold is a joke. Everyone I ask in the 15-25 age group wants an iPhone not a Bold. So maybe they need a stronger ad campaign to keep the business user and grow into the consumer market. BYOD will decide and currently that is top of mind everywhere in the Fortune 100.

QNX software will be very good for RIM as its software that doesn’t need rebooting.

RIM employees have a lot to be proud of for their amazing innovative accomplishments over the years and are a top pick as new hires in the new start-ups happening right now.


I just picked up an AT&T Thrive as my stateside telephone to help combat the huge roaming fees the carriers charge. I got to say the Android is a great experience. It’s a little rough around the edges but I can see why Android is gaining market share. There is only one place to get an Apple but many manufacturers support the Android OS. This is the greatness of its popularity. I do prefer a gated software process that Apple offers but we do need competition in the OS to ensure everyone is being innovative. Guess what Android 2.1 isnt really that stable.


What’s there to say? Senior management have destroyed this company and overexposed the film greatly. I cannot fathom how they have blown every single opportunity to become relevant in each market segment and have decent market share. Of course Nikon and Canon own the SLR business but Kodak let HP take the printer and point and shoot business. There should have been a shareholders occupy Rochester event years ago. I still have kodachromes from 30 years ago and they colours are as rich as ever. Too bad they didn’t really grab the digital frame market and really social media it to the hilt. It’s still a cool thought to send photo updates to grandma’s picture frame using the internet since she has no laptop or flickr access.

Apple Jobs

President Obama asked Steve Jobs as to why Apple products cannot be built in America thus providing jobs. Steve replied that he couldn’t find 20,000 American workers to live in a dormitory with suicide nets and enjoy cafeteria food 3 times a day.  The fact that Foxomm can add 3000 workers to a shift instantly demonstrates on the efficiency of an off-shore labour.

I am glad that ShoreTel makes their excellent purpose built IP Shoregear appliances in the USA. Canadians should take note that we need to keep jobs in Canada (thanks to Roots and Canada Goose for that)


There have been various high schools and ham radio operators launching balloons into space and finally a couple of teenage locals took an innovative spirit plus $400 to do this.

Two teens from Toronto, Canada have launched “Lego Man in Space” using a helium filled weather balloon and captured stunning video of the miniature toy figure back dropped by the beautiful curvature of Earth and the desolate blackness of space that’s become a worldwide YouTube sensation.

17 year olds Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad lofted the tiny 2 inch tall Lego figure from a local Toronto soccer field up to a height of about 85,000 feet, or 16 miles (25 kilometers), where the 22 foot (7 m) diameter helium balloon burst in what is technically known as the stratosphere. The homemade styrofoam capsule – equipped with two video cameras and four digital cameras – then parachuted back to Earth.

AT&T Cellular Data Usage

80 per cent of their sales were for Apple iPhones and I can only assume the bulk of the rest is Android. Actually I am one of them who bought an Android and while spending 45 minutes in the store saw no activity at the Blackberry kiosk. The average data usage is almost 700MB. I guess that explains Fido changing their data plans from 6GB for $30 a month to 500MB for $30 a month. Canadians continue to get squeezed with 200 minute plans the norm. The USA offers unlimited plans without worry. Good thing I can beat the cellular charges using my ShoreTel Mobility client on my iPhone and iPad using wifi anywhere I travel. I figure I saved over $300 in roaming and long distance charges on my recent trip to Chicago.

USA Roaming Charges

USA cellular carriers love Canadians. They love to charge $2-$3 a minute for cellular calls plus long distance. Sure you can buy a Canadian travel pack and pay 60 cents a minute for calls but that is still excessive when traditional land line long distance is anywhere from 1-5 cents a minute. Does it really cost $3 to transport a call on cellular?  No it does not


Gotta love these guys from Montreal taking a chance at making millions of tablets for India. They are selling them for less than $60 so if they can make a buck or two at it...then they will make millions. The poor in India will get access to the internet through this tablet and it will really help transform them. So why does a Kobo Vox or Kindle Fire cost $199...?

Columbian Roses

How is that we I import over $25 million dollars of roses from Columbia?  Can we not hot house these locally and keep the Ontario farmers working instead of going bankrupt? 

Chinese Garlic

Can we not buy Garlic bulbs from Ontario farmers anymore?

Don’t forget to live local - eat local - be local….support your local community

BlackBerry 10 Looks Good!

Shareholders and BlackBerry fans await the new release of BB10 due out in January 30, 2013.

For government and business organizations the BlackBerry is still considered a valuable tool due to the security of the communications channels. The BlackBerry is still far superior in offering secure channels for sensitive conversations.

By far the biggest advantage of the BB is its keyboard. You can always tell when you get an email from an iPhone as its full of errors and autotype misspellings. In fact I have this warning in my email tag line. This is not so with the BB and many can type with two thumbs, unlike the touchscreen keyboards making this difficult.

BB10 will include better integration between the laptop, Playbook or smartphone allowing seamless integration among devices regardless if you are at work or at home.

The other improvement made is supporting the BYOD movement (Bring Your Own Device) which gives the smartphone a dual personality. The OS will have separate partitions for work and personal. Users and IT managers have been asking for this feature.

Expect the first release is to have a software based keyboard with improvements garnered from looking at the iPhone and Android devices with a keyboard based smartphone later in 2013.

Business users will rejoice as they migrate their current Blackberry smartphone they have known and loved to the new BB10 system and make the best use of old and new technologies.

One feature I really found to be very compelling is the concept of tiles. The tiles like on the Playbook sit in the background and are live. This means that the apps do not need to be closed or reopened with the programs running and processing in the background. This is multi-tasking at its best. This will mean that you can watch a high definition movie while checking emails and surfing the web at the same time. No Home button with a single application running on the iPad.

Another neat feature is the Blackberry Hub that puts all of the emails and BBM into a single location.

I would expect that we would have better Outlook integration and possibly leveraging RIM’s data compression technology.

Good things coming   finally from RIM and the stock price is showing some excitement in the market place.

RIM plans to be a solid 3rd choice for consumers and BB10 may just be the platform to do that.