More from: smart phone

Christmas Crafting

Christmas crafting: the season is upon us, and that means hand crafted belts, smart phone cases, and key fobs from API Leathercrafting. We already have several orders, this one for four smart phone cases and three key fobs. To get your handcrafted leather gifts this year, go to We price aggressively: hand crafted goods made or real leather, not fake leatherette or plastics, for about the same price you would pay at Wal-Mart for cheap foreign goods.

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Snake Skin Smart Phone Case

Preparing a smartphone case with bright red snake skin cover. First one I’ve made so it is all experimental. The pig skin lining I have down pat now, and the cases are pretty nice. Finally found a use for my old engineering texts: they work nicely as a weight to hold the smartphone case flat until the contact cement has cured tomorrow.

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Next Smart Phone not a Smart Phone

Note: this article is the writers personal opinion. It is based upon almost 40 years of experience in small computers and communications, but it is still an opinion. It is presented AS IS. All use is at your own risk.

According to an article in Network World over half (65%) of persons choosing a new phone will not choose a smart phone, but a less featured ordinary “dumb” phone. Images showing November 2010 survey results can be seen here and here. Apparently, owners of any Android variety are more likely to upgrade to a full smartphone than other types, with most people choosing to buy a phone that lacks even basic Internet or texting.

The survey found that 49% of current Android owners traded up from a not-smartphone while 13% switched from a BlackBerry device. 11% of Android owners are on their second Android device, compared to repeat buyers of iPhone at 26% and BlackBerry at 32%. It is rather astounding that 11% of a random sample would even be on a second Android… Android is essentially only two-years old.

The most common business reason given for refusing to buy a smart phone were that the high cost of ownership and requisite service contracts was not justifiable: very few felt the devices were too complicated for them to utilize. A Dutch friend of mine once told me that in Holland phones are $5 each and include all capabilities: no roaming charges, not extra fees: they buy several and keep them in a basket for out of town guests to use. By comparison the cost to Americans of nearly $100 per month with a multitude of restrictions, abusive early cancellation penalties, and piles of extra add-on fees, is rather repugnant.

For business this should be awake up call: clearly consumers are tired of expensive and deceptive contracts that add more charges after the fact. Of course telephone companies have pulled this for years, but with the mobile market it has been far more abusive than before. The net result of American mobile plan pricing is apparently to discard 65% of the market by charging drastically more than the market will bear. Watch for a severe adjustment as enabling factors are already in place: China and other foreign powers are rapidly buying up foreign markets.

All that would be required to completely own the American mobile market is for a Nokia, a Wal-Mart or another large Chinese corporation to decide to offer a no hassles plan everywhere in the US with a flat $20 fee. The existing top heavy mobile corporations that are charging substantially above market price are not likely to adjust fast enough to survive: their thinking seems to be that they can control the market, which is a fantasy that can exist only until competition recognizes this low hanging fruit waiting to be eaten and simply takes over.

There is no such thing as a free lunch: there is only temporarily above market pricing followed by a market adjustment. Such a take over could be achieved in one or two months, suddenly resource starving the existing American players with an extreme interruption in their cash flow that would force them to either accept their rival as their Hegemon by stock exchange or merging, or at least forcing them to sell off their towers and fiber and drastically resize human assets sufficiently to meet payroll in the third month. With something like a $32b trade imbalance right now China does have the cash required. At that point market terms could be set by the survivor, most likely a 50% correction (prior $60/month average – minimum $20/month)/2 resulting in a flat market price near $39.95/month.

Tit for tat

Note: this article is the writers personal opinion. It is based upon almost 40 years of experience in small computers and communications, but it is still an opinion.It is presented AS IS. All use is at your own risk.

Microsoft was unsuccessful at introducing their Phone 7 product a month or two ago, with reviewers saying everything from “Well, at least the UI looks functional” to listing long lists of features promised two years ago, and expected by consumers in all smart phones today, that still are not in the Phone 7. Most intelligent manufacturers would look at this and fix the product, but that is not the path of Microsoft Hubris.

A month or so ago, Microsoft decided that instead of fixing its own product to realistically compete with market leading smart phone platform Android and #2 phone iPhone, that instead they would try to scare Motorola away from manufacturing the Droid by suing them for supposed patent infringement. Motorola has now turned the tables on Microsoft and is instead suing them for patent infringement. The details are discussed by Nicholas Kolakowski in an E-Week article you can read here.

Don’t get me started on how stupid it is to allow massive obsolete dying dinosaur corporations to patent every mathematical algorithm and scientific principal they would like to call their own. Microsoft has once again demonstrated that it is still Business as Usual in 1986. Drive all competition out of business, kill those you cannot buy — Microsoft is ‘too big to fail’!

Microsoft is not ‘too big to fail’: Microsoft could fire their obsolete 1980’s thinkers and hire people with vision to bring the company into the 21st century and compete. This same hubris is why Microsoft has lost customer after customer over the last decade to Apple and Linux — it is a big part of why their market share (as measured by statistics on which OS is in use on every computer which visits our web sites) has dropped from 90% a decade ago to maybe 60% now. It is likely also one reason Linux has grown so much from a trivial presence a decade ago to 27% today.

This maneuverer is the same failed approach used by SCO just a few years ago to try to intimidate IBM, and it cannot but fail just as badly and for the same reasons: Microsoft does not dare show one line of code that is allegedly stolen by Linux (Android) because as soon as they do there will be a global paper chase to identify the true origin and revision history of that code, and it is very very likely that any code Microsoft would claim was stolen from them by the open source community was actually in open source some years prior to Microsoft appropriating it from Linux and inserting it into their for profit product without honoring the legal obligations that attend the GPL. In other words, Microsoft does not merely live in a glass house: they live in a glass house where most of the glass has huge cracks due to their foundation settling.

Once any supposed stolen code segment is shown to have actually been stolen from the global Open Source Community by Microsoft, Windows would likely fall under the GPL and Microsoft would collapse under its final act of supreme unfathomable Hubris and stupidity. What would be truly delicious in this situation would be if Google and IBM would like to join in the fray and deliver a serious spanking. Maybe there would follow some serious cleaning at Microsoft and the company could quit living in the past and begin innovating again.