The Future Of The Kindle

One day last week we were met with a surprise on Amazon’s homepage – the announcement of the New And Improved Kindle e-book reader. I found this coincidence particularly amusing as a close friend had been extolling the benefits of the Kindle a few days previous. They were not discussing the e-book reader however, they were discussing the software, which they have installed on their iPhone.

The dedicated e-book reader sits in a very delicate market. Its success is more due to the short-comings of other tablet devices, rather than any specific technological advancements in the Kindle hardware. Before the iPad tablets were large, heavy devices with resistive displays, short battery life and UIs which are not designed for a mouse-less experience.

Amazon have been able to offer something with the Kindle that still can not be matched by multi-purpose slates. While it is a one function device, it is able to fulfil its purpose with such brilliance that a serious book reader would almost never look past one (or its other e-ink based rivals). The launch however of products based on Pixel Qi technology and other displays which allow switching between grey-scale and full colour, will present the natural progression of this market segment.

For dedicated devices like the Kindle to remain a viable option, they will have to partake in (this was once Sony’s description of the netbook market) “A race to the bottom”. Amazon seems to have taken this challenge to heart, with the new WIFI only device launching with a price of only $139. I would assume that this will drop to $99 as a Black Friday promotion, and settle at $119 over the Christmas period, so as to counter the updated iPad. This is not the bottom however. It seems only logical that e-readers are eventually given away, most likely on the basis that the user spends around $100 on books over a 12 month period.

There is another market however that will pay for hardware. With the Kindle DX Amazon displayed an appreciation of the archaic way in which students have had to handle their study literature. The opportunity for someone to step in and modernise this industry is immense, and I am sure publishers are also aware of the potential. If for example study books were digital, they could be updated much more frequently for a fraction of the usual cost. Depending on the size and depth of the updates, they could be offered at a range of prices e.g. $20 – $40. A user could also be offered a choice of updates, and simply choose those most necessary based on their course.

There is no doubt that the Kindle DX is not the device to revolutionise this arena. Amazon had the right intentions, but the execution was poor. They were correct however on focusing in on this market if they intend to make a profit on hardware as well as content. They should treat this market with the respect it deserves however, and give it a dedicated device rather than just a larger Kindle. Build a touch screen device (adds more flexibility and speed to note taking) with a custom UI, designed for students primarily by students who know exactly what is needed on a day to day basis. Their input is essential here, as simply looking at how regular readers use their devices in no way matches the requirements of a student who needs to make notes constantly, reference and cross-reference comments across paragraphs, chapters and books.

Amazon are more than happy to distribute the Kindle app on all platforms as they make their money from the books, not the hardware. This does not mean there is no market for dedicated readers, in the same way that there is still a thriving market for PDAs (of a type). Whether its Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble or someone entirely new stepping into the e-book market place, someone will succeed in offering students of all ages exactly what they have always wanted, but just never knew how to ask.


How To Convince Mobile Users To Change Their OS

Over the next 12 months there will 6 major smartphone operating systems vying for the warmth of your trouser pocket: Meego, Web OS, Blackberry OS, iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7. With so many options to users, how can any one OS rise up to dominate in the manor Apple has achieved?

The key is not in being the best, but in educating the user.

A mere 5 years ago moving from a Nokia to a Siemens device only required copying your contacts to the SIM and deciding just how important it was to play Snake on a daily basis. As simple as this seems, the mere thought of changing manufacturers and using a device with unfamiliar icons was considered adventurous beyond belief by the average user. Those who dared to peruse such a road were considered mavericks (or nerds and shunned to the “weirdo” corner of the social stratosphere). Returning to the present and we now have the dominant smartphone OS of Apple, which has taken mobile handset Neanderthals into the area of installing applications. These same people just a few years previous struggled to comprehend placing their contacts on a SIM to switch manufacturers; how can they even begin to grasp the concept of installing applications on a different platform and no longer using iTunes?

Believe it or not, Apple has laid out the rule book for how this can be achieved:

The Promise – Great products fail before they have stepped off the factory floor because they are never presented to the public as something that can fulfil their needs. I believe the main culprit for this failing is the belief that the need must first exist to the public at large before it is addressed. This is a common misconception; you need only to observe any Apple product launch to see how such a situation is handled. First, a problem allegedly found by their analysis of the market and highlighted by their customers is explained in great detail, to emphasise the depth of their “investigation”. This detail is vital, as it implies that the solution that will be announced over the following minutes has been well thought out, and it is unlikely any other solution can be found. If this is executed correctly, the reveal of the solution produces a psychological sigh of relief, as the short lived (but “important”) problem has been resolved. The launch/re-launch of an OS is thus defined by its ability to solve the problem its designers highlighted. For the iPhone OS, the problem was complicated, ugly UIs and the solution was a visually appealing UI matched with incredible simplicity.

Hype – No successful product has been launched on hype alone, but hype is still vital. Gaining “hype” is quite simple as long as you have a worthy Promise. The key is to minimise the time between announcement and shipping. If you are unable to launch within a month, it becomes necessary to supplement the hype with leaks or interviews. If we use Android as an example, the build-up and hype would be towards the next release. A supplementary leak would be a screen shot or two of a pre-release version of the OS on a device (using a device rather than emulator implies that the release is close). Committing to providing units early to certain websites/blogs such as Engadget, Tech Crunch and CNET also guarantees some extra coverage as you build towards release.

Marketing – Apple are renowned for their advertisements; they are able to get across their message using simple, concise methods while still making their products aspirational to the public at large. The construct of an Apple advert is quite interesting: a normal person, a normal environment, a desire to conduct a simple task in the environment + The Solution to complete the task. This entire construct is almost the exact opposite of how mobile devices are currently advertised. For example recent campaign by Motorola contained a series of advertisements showcasing the differences between the iPhone and their new Droid device, using a “Droid Does” slogan. These advertisements were entertaining to the geek community and did highlight key failings in the iOS platform, but none of this mattered to the average user. The adverts placed the device in the typical high-end mobile device niche (advanced, hard to use device “full of features I do not require”) and insured it would never become a mass market success in the vein of the RAZR or iPhone. Apple’s method works because it appeals to people of all ages. An OS with intentions of competing directly with the iPhone must appeal to the same user base.

Another method Apple uses to market their devices is product placements. Here also we must learn from the way in which Apple is presented. Their is no real focus on their devices or any major functionality in their product placements in television shows beyond on occasion a character finding it necessary to install an application to accomplish a goal (note the simplicity of the problem – resolution method used here). In most instances we see average people use their iPhones to achieve simple tasks like making a call, sending a text message or taking a picture. There is one key element however that is highlighted by every TV show – the speed of use. There is an assumption that in fact the focus is on simplicity, but that is purely a by-product. TV shows are about progression, the movement of a storyline from one scene to the next. Each scene is filled with as much information as possible to allow the ease of transition on to the next one. Its impossible not to be aware of this while watching your favourite shows; a common example is when you are checking the clock profusely if it seems a story may not be resolved before an episode comes to an end. A regular viewer of a series also recognises when a foreign element is introduced. When this happens, if The Promise and Hype have been executed correctly, the viewer will recognise the product and be interested to see its use by familiar characters. The viewer will notice if this product changes the manor in which a character normally operates. What viewers notice with Apple products is their favourite characters completing tasks quickly and simply. A great length of time is not spent with a character demonstrating and explaining what they are doing as its simply not necessary. Far too many marketing departments wrongly assume that showing someone achieving some great technical wizardry on a device entices customers. They assume that if they have your attention, they’ve succeeded in selling you the product. What they fail to realise is that while an image can be eye-catching, if they have failed to show the average user that they can still achieve their simple, day to day tasks with ease on this device (or OS), the average person will never assume it can also fulfil their needs.

Matching iOS apps experience – Applications are the key to any OS; they can be used to highlight how mature, stable and innovative a platform is, while also showing all of its limitations. Handset manufacturers using the Android platform believe that the purpose of the applications being used is more important than the apps themselves, so as long as the same goals can be achieved on their devices, there is no problem. They are wrong however, there is a problem. On a mobile device, the method in which a task is achieved is fundamental. Any change in this behaviour affects a user negatively at first, as they will need to learn the flow of this new UI. What this means is that a user of an email application on one platform will not be convinced that their experience will be the same on another platform, just because there’s an email app there too. Users have to be shown that their experience with their applications can be transferred. Individual applications have to be highlighted, showing the quality of the experience available and that it works almost exactly like what they are used to. Added features and functionality is fine, but asking a user to use a completely new menu structure in order to update their Facebook status will not win customers. The focus should be on making the transition as seamless and pain-free as possible. You are more likely to convince users to switch by offering them the same basic package + more, than by offering them something completely different. Different means new, something to learn and things to consider. Even if its better, this only matters if a user is unhappy with what they already have. Ideally, the easiest way to achieve this is to get the same programmers building versions of their application for your platform, but this is not always as easy as it would seem.

This last, final step is the hardest to achieve for any platform. Good product management practices dictate that to achieve such a goal, development of applications would be brought in-house, or at the very least a multi-year contract would be signed guaranteeing support of the application on the handset, backed up by a financial reward and penalty. The truth is the margins in the mobile space currently are being squeezed almost past the breaking point; the risks for such an undertaking are too dear for anyone other than Microsoft to consider.

Or Google. With their Android platform they are in a prime position to take on such a strategy. They have nothing to loose with such an undertaking. Android will become the dominant mobile device platform with or without their promotion, purely due to the wide ranging support they have not just from handset manufacturers but makers of tablets, laptops, microwaves, cars… The breadth of support allows them to take more risks, recognising that the potential pay-offs are immeasurable. Even if their campaign somehow managed to fail, it would not hinder the growth of the OS by any stretch of the imagination.

Consider this strategy being used for the upcoming Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) release. They announce that this new release will run on every new Android handset released after the 30th of November, and will allow all devices to have access to all of the applications in the Android Market. A week or two later screenshots emerge of the OS running on a handset and a tablet. An Android Market icon can be seen on the tablet, indicating that tablets will now have Android Market support. A couple of weeks on and the advertisements begin. One airs showing someone taking pictures, then emailing them to a friend. The friend opens one of the images, then using a menu option plans a route to the location as the image was geotagged. Another ad shows someone sat on a couch browsing on a tablet. They come across an ad for a sale starting tomorrow at a local store, so they click on the Google Maps button on the website which brings up the address and they save the location as a starred item in Google Maps. The next morning we see the person walk out the door leaving their tablet on the couch, but with their phone in hand the user launches Google maps where they are already logged in and sees the starred item created on the tablet. They select on the shop address and choose the options to navigate there. One advert explains to a user that they can do something that they have done before (take a picture, email it easily, navigate to a picture) and another shows them something new which they have not done before. Put simply, they are able to do exactly what they do now, but there’s also more. This is beginning to become a compelling product.

The general public does not care about the best OS, as they have no way of knowing what that means. They only care whether something is easy, familiar and enjoyable. The iPhone OS is all of these things, while not being the best OS, but that doesn’t matter. For the majority of iPhone users its the best OS because it gives them exactly what they want. No other OS on the market is currently able to match the iOS this out-of-the-box experience (applications do need to be installed for an idevice to have any real value but this is still a much easier process than competitor offerings), but this will not be the case forever. There is a massive opportunity for Google, Microsoft or even Nokia to step out and demand attention, to declare themselves ready and willing to not only match but beat the iOS platform. The move is bold and almost certainly suicidal for someone like Nokia at this stage but, he who dares wins.

Future Developments: One

The mobile device industry adds a new technological (primarily hardware but software included) focus every 18 – 24 months. These new features are used to entice consumers with the belief that by purchasing a new device they will be at the cutting edge of technology. The focus of the last 12 months has been display technology, beginning with the introduction of Amoled and Super Amoled screens.

In the next 12 months I foresee the next push being improved battery life. The market is currently entirely focused on achieving more with their devices, becoming more connected with the cloud, streaming more, downloading more, uploading more, more multi-tasking. Currently this is all to the detriment of battery life, but over the coming months we will see the integration of components with lower battery consumption. Manufacturers will subsequently push the ability of these new devices to last a full working day, pushing towards the “holy grail” of a full 24 hours of heavy usage on a single charge.

Where are the Pixel Qi tablets?

Their displays looked to revolutionise the industry at CES, offering a world in which grey-scale e-book readers and a high resolution multi-function tablet device became one. I and the rest of the buying market still await the unveiling of a single product ready to ship with this technology on-board.

Many have reasoned that the hold up is due to the screens simply not being ready. Such advanced technology would need rigorous testing, new manufacturing techniques and there were bound to be new problems discovered that were not legislated for. Pixel Qi has consistently rejected this conclusion and placed the blame for the delay on the companies building these tablets. They continued to reiterate that contracts were in place, but they had to wait patiently on others to confirm shipping dates. To their credit it seems that PQ has been presenting an honest picture, as we have seen from the successful shipment of their displays to component retailers (the displays were sold out mere hours later). Logically the reasoning behind the delay now must turn to the tablet manufacturers.

I believe the delay is not of their making; the delay is due to Android. At present there is no real market of tablet devices, there is only the iPad. This device has no use case, but it does have the Apps Store. For anyone else stepping into this product category without a use case, the bare minimum is a lower RRP and the Android Market pre-installed. The first goal has already been realised by Archos and others. The Android store does not at present support tablet devices however due to their size and lack of 3G. This is all due to change in the 4th quarter with version 3.0 (Gingerbread)
of the Android OS, which I believe will open the floodgates.

Christmas 2010’s gadget gift list will almost certainly be topped by tablet devices, offering a vast range of functionality for very competitive prices ($299 is the market rate and another $100 is added for those using Pixel Qi technology, with holiday discount prices removing $20-30). The most enticing deals will be those including e-book coupons with the purchase, or will simply come with a selection of books pre-installed. I would also expect to see similar for films, with a tablet shipping with a Netflix app pre-installed and a 14 Day free streaming trial coupon in box or sent via email after registration.

Christmas 2010 will be a very rewarding time to step into the tablet category.

Nokia’s Plan For World Domination Part Two: Smartphones and Tablets

The rumours have continued over the last few days, so you will not be surprised when I inform you about Nokia’s plans for tablet devices.

Navigation is becoming a utility, this is clear. There is however still no solid time-frame in mind for when this switch will be confirmed. In this temporary void, while the world awaits the inevitable, there is an opportunity for someone to name that date. Nokia will attempt to achieve this by pushing on two fronts: smartphones & tablet devices.

The mobile device will be a new flagship MeeGo product which I understand will be boasting a 4″ 800 x 480 capacitive screen, 8MP rear camera, a front facing camera, 32GB internal storage, 3G, Bluetooth, WIFI, A-GPS, DIVX support and Ovi Maps preloaded. This device will be advertised as a true “all-in-one”, with special emphasis placed on navigation and the aftermarket car cradle that can be purchased. This handset will also be shown to handle true multi-tasking and will have a built in client that handles feeds from Twitter, Facebook, Flikr, MySpace, Yahoo etc with full Contacts integration. The new flagship will also ship with Terminal Mode. Nokia will use this specific feature to not only re-enforce the navigation abilities of the device, but to also highlight the high-end market they would like the device to be associated with. The current plans are very impressive; the adverts will look like a typical offering from BMW or Audi, until you are shown a Nokia in the hand of the drive as they exit the car, and you realise that the instructions playing over the speakers and the route displayed on the vehicle’s built-in screen were sent from the Nokia device. That’s “Connecting People” in a whole new way.  While many have been assuming that this will be an N Series device, Nokia are considering at a very high level the launch of a new series. There is belief that the market will find it easier to recognise this as a brand new offering rather than just another iteration, which in turn is easier to sell on to consumers. I believe that many of Nokia’s most vocal supporters will see this as a positive step, as it gives them the ability to truly emphasise a departure from the past.

I am led to believe that the tablet device will be a MeeGo based product with a 7″ 800 x 480 capacitive display, 16GB internal storage,  WIFI, Bluetooth, 5MP camera, A-GPS and Ovi Maps preloaded with optional 3G. The tablet will be preloaded with a plethora of cloud and desktop based applications, revolving around art (paint and sketch programs), entertainment (media player with various codec support, flash games, browser) and creativity (note pad, voice recorder,  image & video editors). The biggest drawback for this device at present relates to the e-book market. While the tablet market is fairly undefined in terms of definitive use cases, with the majority of iPad owners purely web browsing, it is expected for a tablet to have the ability to replace an e-book reader to some degree. To this end Nokia are hoping to have a Kindle application pre-installed at launch, but this is no easy task. Not everyone within Espoo believes this is necessary at launch, but it remains to be seen whether this short-sighted view is allowed to win the debate.

I have no knowledge of names for these devices nor have I been privy to any glimpses of the IDs, but I do believe that these are the two devices that the global market leader intended to launch in the 3rd quarter of 2010, but have now been delayed until the 4th quarter. I hope I have toned this down a little so as not to over-emphasise the grandeur of the occasion, but please rest assured in the knowledge that what will unfold before your eyes over the next 12 months will be fascinating to observe as there are only two definitive outcomes – the toppling of the PND industry and Apple being de-throned as the market leader in smartphones, or Nokia’s dominating empire crumbling to ground as Samsung destroyers their defence built on Terminal Mode, Navteq & MeeGo.

Steve says, “don’t hold it that way”

Steve Jobs demonstrates how to handle the iPhone 4.

The most interesting thing I have witnessed since this design flaw with the iPhone 4 was found, is how its dealt with by Apple “fanboys”.

They have split themselves into two camps:

1) “who holds their phone that way anyway?” – these people have decreed that there is no major problem. They site other devices where it is possible to degrade the signal strength when held in certain positions as validation (ignoring that the signal only degrades on these devices, it does not disappear entirely) and feel that the methods used to produce the issue are akin to “cruel and unusual” punishment. It is incredibly unlikely that these issues will be spotted by normal users. The final desperate attempt to refrain from describing this as a design flaw rests on claims of a soon to be released “software fix” that will rectify the issue. Pointing out that this will in fact only hide the true signal strength by showing more signal bars falls on deaf ears.

2) the second camp recognise that it is pure insanity to claim this is anything less than a design flaw and are “shocked” by the response of Steve Jobs to this issue. They say that they feel hurt, almost betrayed by the way in which Apple are handling the situation…. And demand a free case for their troubles. These are the people who just want a case to make them feel a little special; once they receive onw they will preach to the world that Apple handle their problems better than any company in the world!

There is a 3rd group, which we shall call Bloggers.
Many people suspect that Apple carry a lot of favour with some of the most popular blog sites, including Engadget and Gizmodo. Some go as far as accusing them of being on the payroll, but this is truthfully denied. What you may not realise however is that Apple do indeed have power over these blogs.

Apple runs a club, a members only club, and its invitation only. This club has multiple levels. The higher your ranking in this club, the more access you have to privileged information and technology. For example you might be provided with an iPhone 4 unit 2 days before launch of you’re mid-tier, whereas if you’re in the top rung you would look to have received your device 1-2 weeks early, enough time for a full and complete review like Engadget were able to do……

There is a set standard of behaviour to be maintained at each level. There are also base rules such as never giving an Apple product a negative review. You can also never directly recommend another product over an Apple product and of course any outright criticism of Steve Jobs is forbidden. The blogs that follow these rules have made sure not to over-promote this issue or any others. They make sure they are not leading the charge by posting the story after almost everyone else has picked it up, and they make sure they do not imply the issue is widespread, critical and is in any way a problem Apple had known about before launching (the “bumper” case makes hiding this point nonsensical).

It does not matter which camp you find yourself in. If you are an Apple user you may complain in public, but in the privacy of your own home you will ignore this problem just like all the others and you will continue to be milked for every cent you have. This is the way of Apple; its what you love them for. You can not begin to complain when their way of working and fleecing their fans for money comes back to bite.

Nokia’s plan for World Domination: Part One

June 23, 2010 1 comment

I raised my head above the water a few weeks ago, asking why no one seems to have recognised the big plans Nokia are making. Over the last few days a few blog sites have started to pick up on some rumours on this topic, but they have still failed to identify the true goal, so I will now share it with you.

Nokia believe that the key to regaining their status as the premium brand and fend off the rising threats of Samsung, RiM and of course Apple,  is the PND industry.

When it comes to consumer focused mobile innovation, Nokia has been more of a follower than a leader. Their share of the global market (over 30%) has never been due to producing “best in class” devices, its always been about familiarity. Their customers are loyal, having grown up with Nokia devices that have always matched their needs. This allowed the Finnish giant to become complacent, focusing more on market share (i.e. iteration over innovation) and bringing exuberant smiles to shareholders’ faces.

While Nokia was counting the coin, the market was changing. A company that refused to make flip phones because it was “simply a fad” and in the early days refused to jump onto the 3G bandwagon as it “wasn’t what their customers wanted” was slowly being forced to take notice of the world around them. They saw that Motorola had risen again from the ashes, only to quickly be overthrown by Samsung. Sony Ericsson with their Walkman devices were making waves, only for LG and HTC to clip their wings as they seemingly released new “best in class” devices month after month. And of course, there’s the iPhone. Due to its size and lack of true direction, Nokia’s reactions to these new and varied threats have not all been positive. While recognising the need for change, they were struggling to identify the best way in which to achieve their goals. Their attempts to use their engineering superiority to win customers spectacularly failed – this is after all a world where the all-conquering iPhone fails to handle a simple 3G to 2G handover, but their customers are more than satisfied.

The truth is that Nokia has always known that its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness – its UI. Without delving into too much detail, they knew it needed an overall almost 3 years ago but recognised that such an undertaking would amount to a lot of pain and suffering. In a market that evolves as quickly as this however, delaying the task was only ever going to make things worse. This again was always known, and devices like the N85 were released to simply buy them time while they got on with the painstaking process.

Well before the N85 however, in the middle of brainstorming this redesigned UI, it became clear that a new UI alone is not enough. No matter how good it is, without the developer support that Windows Mobile and the then new iPhone seemed to have, along with that unique “cool” factor thrown in by Apple, there was no way they would be able to get across how a great a difference this new UI really is. Software still being the key, they had to look for a marquee feature that would set them apart; something that would open up new revenue streams and have their name associated with an entirely new and modern function. The answer of course, was Navteq. In 2007 this purchase had already been marked for differing reasons, but by the middle of 2008 with the purchase just coming to completion, it became clear that there was an even bigger part this company had to play in Nokia’s future, bigger than anyone had ever realised.

While many recognised that Nokia was heading down a different road, it was still not read as a market altering purchase, as navigation on mobile phones was still seen as slow, clunky and just not fit for purpose. at this stage the analysis was indeed correct, but only in the short term. Google finally releasing one of the worst kept secrets in the industry – their free navigation app – opened the eyes of the world to the true potential of not just navigation on mobile devices, but location-based services. This had been seen as a potential growth area for years, but concerns over hardware, especially battery life issues had hindered investment. Google releasing their free navigation product however immediately squashed that barrier, since it was clear that as long as its free, people are willing to take the hit on battery.

We return to the Espoo base of Nokia, where the realisation of what free means to the industry fully hit home. The writing on the wall was clear – within 2 years, navigation products on mobile handsets would be seen in the same light as the calendar app – simply a standard utility. Many believe that this forced s drastic re-think of their strategy, but I very much doubt this was the case. Nokia already had plans in place to setup a standard API for interfacing with vehicles, recognising that being able to share information between devices (including map data) would be one of the marquee features for mobile devices over the coming years. they are still following their original plan, just at an increased pace.

Over the last few months Nokia has signed deals for the use of their Terminal Mode technology with some of the planet’s most well known car manufacturers including BMW, Daimler, Fiat, Audi, VW and Porsche. From the OEM and after-market side they have deals already in place with Alpine, Clarion and Harman Becker. These deals allow Nokia devices to connect either wired or wireless to a car’s infotainment system, potentially providing diagnostic information, music and navigation to the vehicle. The potential for this type of integration, and the choices it can offer to a user are simply incredible. While the world has been focused on purely convergence, bringing as much functionality to a mobile as possible, Nokia has recognised that there is another way. Imagine but for a moment, the ability to use a device the size of a Palm Pre for in-car navigation by having the map displayed on the built in screen in the car. Maybe you use your pocket-sized device to view movie trailers on the car’s LCD display before heading into the cinema. What Nokia’s Terminal Mode APIs allow are for smaller, more pocketable devices to still offer the same multi-purpose functionality of their larger brethren, without sacrificing a larger screen. It would no longer be necessary to only look at devices such as the HTC Incredible or Evo 4G with their +4 inch displays if you intend to use your phone for navigation. Handsets the size of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10 mini with its 2.55 inch screen become a lot more appealing. You can even “go large” with something the size of the HTC HD Mini with its spacious 3.2 inch display.

Questions are already being asked when it comes to screen sizes and where the breaking point is and many would note that Apple has not increased their screen size on the new iPhone, although there are also technical reasons for this. This type of option for smaller devices brings this discussion forward, as more alternatives are presented. Let’s not forget that while the new functionality coming to devices from Nokia is unique to the market, there is another, more established reason why smaller handsets could be appealing. Tethering for tablet devices such as the iPad is already being recognised as a viable alternative to purchasing a tablet with built in 3G. The opportunity to have a small handset and a tablet tethered offers the best of both worlds whilst undoubtedly being more cost-effective at the same time. A small device offers maximum portability, but when a bag is easily taken there’s no problem bringing along a 7 inch tablet for reading or browsing on the go.

This is Nokia’s grand plan, but only part of it. There are new devices involved as you would expect, and one or two in particular will be flagship products in their attempts to establish a new market category and ultimately, World Domination….