Tag Archives: Android

Nokia Fall

Would you still buy a Nokia ?

I have to confess my Nokia N70 is getting old. It already has undergone a liver (read – battery) change operation, the epidermis has decayed & the inner skin layers are exposed. Old age has taken a toll on its audible range as well & the sound drums aren’t that flamboyant anymore. Though the rest of the parts are functioning as desired but sometimes out of blue it gets an epilepsy stroke as well, the screen goes white & a couple of heavy breaths (read – beeps) & whoosh !! Everything comes to a standstill. Only after an emergency CPR while switching the power button hurriedly & slapping the device a couple of times brings it back to life. In-spite of all this (& more) I still love my phone. After all it has stayed with me through thick & thin, a companion thru every adversity & success. We have taken falls together but we both sprang up – you can trust the durability of a Nokia anytime.

Yes ! It’s true that I have been an ardent Nokia fan. I have developed a trust over the brand which is time tested (& multiple falls tested :) ) & after all the brand has been the number one brand for so many years in India & worldwide as well. It had a majority share in mobile phone market & sold over 100 Million phones in 2009 in India. Symbian OS powered most smartphones in the world. Up to 2008, the best marketing machine in mobile telecoms had been Nokia.

But that is passé now. Just have a look at the below graph of Nokia share price which tells the whole story in one shot.

Launch of Touch Screen phone, Android OS, plethora of smart downloadable applications & yes iPhone have taken the market by storm. Apple is masters at marketing & they have revolutionized the smart phone industry. The necessary extra fillip was provided by Google launching the Android operating system for mobile phones which have additionally contributed to the fall of Nokia. It has lost its brand share worldwide with contribution from the Indian market as well.

I still remember my MBA class (IIFT Delhi) where the prof asked us to name the oldest company in the world which is still in operation. There the discussion concluded that most companies don’t survive that long & change is constant for the survival of a firm especially for firm where technology is the main core competency of the business. With the advent of any new technological innovation such non-flexible firms tend to die fast. I guess (and afraid) that Nokia might just not be one of those firms in the making.

Though some respite could be brought by C.K. Prahalad’s Bottom of Pyramid theory which is generating some fortune for the company (at least in India) & keeping it afloat in the India markets where price is major consideration and smart phones are still considered expensive & out of reach of most Indians. Here Nokia still sells like hot cakes & still the most trusted brand among the mass Indian user but for the smart phone category the future seems bleak for the firm.

Ok. Now back to my ailing phone & thus quest for a new one. Unfortunately Nokia doesn’t appear in this list as to my horror they don’t have Android & more, they don’t have a true touch screen smart phone, yet.

I am eagerly looking to buy a new smart phone & get hooked onto the Android-wagon. After huge & extensive search I have been able to zero down on the below models.

  1. Samsung Galaxy S2 I9100 - Priced at around 30 K.
  2. Samsung Galaxy S LCD I9003 (Midnight Black) – Priced at around 20K.
  3. Samsung Google Nexus S (Black) - Priced at around 20K.
  4. Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 (Black) - Priced at around 22K.
  5. Apple Iphone4 -Priced at around 34-35K.

Please help me with this!!!!

Which one do you think is a good buy, or which ones do you think I should not even consider.

And as our one marketing prof said….Mobile phones are definitely a high involvement product :) ..so please assist me in this decision making :) .

TIA. Puneet

Header Image_Angry Birds

Why is Angry Birds sooooooooooo addictive????

 
I must confess. I am a victim. A victim of this insanely addictive game with cute bird monsters called Angry Birds. So much has been the addiction that would spend 2-3 hours daily playing this game, trying to kill those green pigs hidden in wood & glass structures, using my little birdies as weapons. It was insane & this addiction stayed on as the game progressed. It only ended once the game did.

Now once my ordeal was over (it was huge fun), I sat & pondered what made the game so addictive for the millions of users worldwide. After all it’s not every day that 50 million individuals worldwide would download a simple game & then get hooked onto it like crazy.

I went through an article by Charles L. Mauro which gives a cognitive explanation of this consumer behavior worldwide for Angry Birds.

First User Experience

Oh, this is easy. I have understood. I can play this”

“And the birds are kinda cute & interesting..sweet”

Anyone who has ever played Angry Birds would have found his first experience as very simple or rather ‘perceived’ it as simple.

Angry Birds’ simple interface allows the user to quickly develop a mental model of the game’s interaction methodology, core strategy and scoring processes.

 

Simple gets Tougher, but gradually..

“This is exciting & challenging”

“Wow, these new birds have got great powers”

As Charles mentions in his article “These little birds are packed with clever behaviors that expand the user’s mental model at just the point when game-level complexity is increased. The process of creating simple, engaging interaction models turns out to be exceedingly complex”.

The game slowly progresses to be tougher & more challenging with new birds being tossed at advanced stages.

 

Clever response time with user error correction

“I need to correct the flight path jusssst a little bit”

“Bingo !! I hit the right spot in this attempt”

The flight of the angry flock is designed to be at a leisure pace as they arc across the sky heading for the pigs’ glass houses.Even in many play sequences, seconds are consumed as the pigs teeter, slide and roll off planks or are crushed under slow falling debris.

This gives the user time to think & correct his next attempt. Thus he can easily use hit & trial to become better & better at the game.

 

Use players short-term memory

Angry Birds is a surprisingly smart manager of the player’s short-term memory.

When the screen first loads, the user is shown a very quick view of the structure that is protecting the pigs. Just as quickly, the structure is moved off screen to the right in a simple sliding motion.

Predictably, the user scrolls the interface back to the right to get another look at the structure. The game allows the user to reload short-term memory easily and quickly. This keeps the player engaged.

 

Mystery

Angry Birds is full of little mysteries. For example, as Charles mentions:

“Why are tiny bananas suddenly strewn about in some play sequences and not in others?

Why do the houses containing pigs shake ever so slightly at the beginning of each game play sequence?

Why is the game’s play space showing a cross section of underground rocks and dirt?

Why do the birds somersault into the sling shot sometimes and not others?”

 

Sound Effects

Angry Birds’ audio effects and music seem simple but are, in fact, very complex.

For example,

In Angry Birds, we hear the birds chatter angry encouragement to their colleagues as each prepares for launch.

We hear avian dialogue as the birds arc toward their targets and hear the pained response from their victims when they strike their targets.

The pigs are by no means silent. When the avian interlopers fail, they are often egged on to try just one more time by the snickering, grinning pigs.

As noticed by Charles, these consistently applied audio elements reinforce the player’s interactions and deepen engagement by emphasizing the human characteristics & qualities of the main characters of the game and providing clever enhanced feedback during critical on-screen behaviors

 

Memorable Visual Design

So memorable is Angry Birds that the developers have deals for real world “brand extensions”, including Angry Birds stuffed toys, t-shirts, and all matter of off-the-wall consumer goods that make BIG profits. Whats more these have been launched in India as well by Mattel.

To summarize, in the context of Angry Birds, success is bound up in slowing down that which could be fast, erasing that which is easily renewable, and making visual that which is mysterious with nice sound effect and memorable cartoons.

But whatever may be the reason, I just loved playing it & I guess most of us would have? Isn’t it?

Any more people out there who are victims of this addiction? Please share..

vegetable-cart-cart

Does your Sabjiwaala accepts Credit Card ?

Consider a situation when a street hawker / cable-wallah / door-to-door salesperson / kabaadiwala / Sabjiwallah / kriyanawallah (mom and pop store), any such doorstep business comes to your door & you don’t have cash for payment. All you have left is a credit or debit card but ..sorry no cash. The business person,surprisingly, says that is Ok ..& then swings out his new Andriod/iphone smart phone along with a small square device with a swiping facility. He plugs that device into the phone’s jack  or usb socket and says confidently with a smile..Don’t worry we accept credit cards & debit cards as well…

Now this is something for the small businesses. How about a device which can be attached to the mobile phone & enables the small business owner to accept credit / debit cards?

Well a company called square has already developed such a device which could be a big boon for small business owners to conduct financial transactions. They have developed a card reader, that is small enough to carry in your pocket & advanced enough to do those credit / debit card transactions.

Square’s pricing structure seems simple at a per transaction charge of 2.75 % & what’s more ..they are giving the device for FREE !! Incredible technology which can do wonders in the coming years ..Isn’t it ?