Fogey Friday 1st Feb

Feb 01, 2013 No Comments by



A few things that have been going on lately.  There’s more, obviously, but who has the time?


BlackBerry Crumble

So, two new BlackBerries.  We didn’t know what to say or do with ourselves on hearing this momentous news.  One looks like an iPhone, the other looks like a BlackBerry.  There are quite a lot of apps to go with them but not nearly as many as Apple (iOS) or Google et al (Android) can offer.  The Canadian company that makes BlackBerries – Research in Motion, or RIM for short (which has nudge, nudge gay rude connotations that they couldn’t possibly have been aware of or cared about at all, even slightly) – has changed its name to BlackBerry.  Which is a bit like the BBC changing its name to Attenborough.

As everyone knows, BlackBerries are for doing business or getting your mates together to go loot JD Sports and set fire to furniture shops.  The latter is facilitated by BlackBerry Messenger, a boon for the ne’er do well-about-town because it’s a closed network and difficult for plod and his ilk to see what you’re up to, unlike social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook where everyone is party to your robbin’ schedule.

Apparently the vultures at Lenovo are circling should the Z10 and Q10 not be runaway successes.  Lenovo is a Chinese hardware manufacturer that bought IBM’s computer business and now makes the ThinkPad range of laptops.  They want to get into the smartphone business so they can compete with local rivals such as Huawei and ZTE.  It would be a smart move because the most popular price-points for smartphones in the developing markets of the immediate future will be $99 and $149, not the $600 or so an iPhone 5 or Samsung Galaxy S3 costs.  BlackBerry already makes handsets at these prices and still has some cachet and credibility that would help it slaughter the likes of ZTE and Huawei in Africa, India, China etc.  And customers will love BlackBerry Messenger in these countries about as much as the various governments won’t.

If you fancy a Z10 there are some good deals at Phones4U

The Q10 is out in a few weeks

More info on both here


Samsung Makes Lots of Money

It’s official, Samsung’s profits have passed the squillion trillion mark.  As any rich person will tell you, having lots of money can be a burden if you’re not sure how to spend it.  Over the past few years Apple has raked in many billions which seems to be sitting under a mattress somewhere doing very little.  What to do, what to do?  Buy stuff!!  But it doesn’t look as though they will.  Doing so would seem to go against the Apple ethos of total developmental and creative control.  Unlike Google, which bought Motorola’s phone manufacturing arm so they could eventually keep their Android operating system to themselves, Apple ‘only’ needs to keep making products that are so desirable everyone rushes to copy them.  Samsung isn’t an innovator but, faced with the eventual possibility that Google will stop them using their Android OS in their smartphones, they will have to develop their own, which they are doing.  But it had better be good.  And good costs.



Who needed to travel over 5000 miles to get to Las Vegas for CES 2013, the biggest consumer electronics show in the world?  So much was written about all the stuff that was on show (and TF is only adding to this colossal heap of considered opinion and drooling hyperbole) that first-hand experience seems almost redundant, even though we actually went and had some.  In similar vein, why squeeze into uncomfortable seats and squint from afar at a group of smart-bottoms debating the state of the technosphere or have mega-cheeses from the likes of Qualcomm, Panasonic and US phone carrier Verizon sprinkle the stardust of their various visions upon us when all these sessions can be watched in the comfort of our boudoir on a PC, tablet, smartphone, whatever?  So, thanks to the Consumer Electronics Association of America, who host CES, for making our expensive trip sort-of pointless.  Next year we’ll stay at home, eat proper chips, drink proper beer and watch it all on for nowt.