Valentine’s Day was this week, as we’re sure you’re aware. Whether you spent it with someone you love, someone you loathe, or yourself, it’s over now and the remnants of it will be gone as soon as the flowers shrivel and die and you finish eating the candy. Now you can finally return to spending time with your true love: Mobile news. Since you may have been preoccupied scrambling to get a gift – or a date – for the holiday of love, you probably missed some of the most notable news stories to take place over the week. Don’t worry! We have you covered with all the narratives that played out from February 10-16, 2013.
You Can’t Afford It
The very first Android phone from British phone manufacturer and former Nokia subsidiary Vertu was launched this week, and you can’t afford it. The phone will cost anywhere between $10,000 and $22,500, which really makes the top-tier priced smartphones that we normally talk about seem like a bargain. What does $10k buy you? The world’s first and finest luxury smartphone, complete with a 24/7 on-call concierge service and a recommendations service that will come up with suggestions for places to visit and restaurants to eat at. Sounds like things you’d get on your normal phone except there are real people behind it instead of Siri and Yelp reviews. Excessive? Maybe. But we totally want it. Luxury could be within our grasp, literally.
All your phones are belong to Android and Apple
In news that isn’t really news and shocks absolutely no one except Windows Phone and BlackBerry users, Android and iOS totally own the mobile market. It’s approaching duopoly status as the two operating systems now have a home on 91 percent of all smartphones. That number doesn’t appear set to get any smaller, either. Not when Apple just scored a sizable government contract in New Zealand, LinkedIn’s boss is giving all his employees iPad Minis, and Home Depot ditched BlackBerry for the iPhone. Android is keeping up with appearances too, with an OS update and a strong showing in a recent customer survey in which it had four handsets finish higher than the iPhone in consumer satisfaction. Oh, and Apple still finished first when the iPad family was added in to its company score, so it doesn’t look like that share of the market will be dropping any time soon.
The future is clear
What do you do as a developer in mobile now that we have some of the best and most well-liked phones around? You start getting crazy, that’s what. Since smartphones will finally overtake flip phones in sales this year, it’s time to make another smartphone that is over the top to isolate the people who just have the normal smartphones. There always has to be a layer of separation, though if Polytron has its way, you won’t be able to see it. The company unveiled its prototype of a totally clear phone this week. Why would you want a totally clear phone? We already lose our phones enough when they’re visible. It’s the kind of thing that could trick you into thinking you had eye troubles, but if you really do have them, then these Second Sight glasses might be more what you’re after. Luckily, the future doesn’t just yield things that are unnecessary but cool.
The iWatch watch
Speaking of the future, it looks like there’s a good chance there will be an Apple-made watch in it. That means two things are on their way: Tons of speculation and an equal amount of “iWatch” puns and wordplay. For an example of the latter, refer to the title of this section of the article. According to reports, Apple is definitely working on some sort of wrist wear that could be out in the very near future. If you choose to believe the latest reports, the supposed iWatch is definitely in production, whether we want it to be real or not. With other options already beating Apple to the market with the smart watch idea, Apple will have to step up its game. We know the company has been down this path before with the iPod Nano as an accessory, but we’re hoping this idea is a little better than a wearable afterthought. Let’s all fast forward two years when smart watches are a whole market and we’re reporting about the latest one with a 6-inch screen.
When you look at some of the press Microsoft has been getting lately, it’s hard to not feel a little bad for them. After all, the company has earned its spot in history already and is just trying to keep up with the trends now. Some signs say that it can. According to the guys at Nvidia, Windows RT is great when it’s running with the Tegra 4. The Surface Pro tablet sold out instantly according to Microsoft – though some have doubts about that. But then we actually played with the Surface Pro and we no longer feel bad for Microsoft. Now we feel bad for us for having to deal with it. The guys at iFixIt took to the Surface Pro and were less than impressed with the internals of it, and we reviewed it and were less than impressed with the whole thing. Turns out, this is one of those times when bad press comes with bad products.