Pizzas are great, and everyone loves them. There are quite possibly unlimited number of ways you can cook a pizza. Global pizzeria chains have tried every topping they could possibly imagine before narrowing down on a select menu most of their customers like. They continue to add new toppings but then every now and then even they run out of ideas.
Someone thought all they could do now is just hide more cheese inside the crust. And then they did that. They even tried to stuff crusts with more meat. I’m not really a fan of that myself.
Smartphone makers seem to be on the same path.
My Nexus 5 arrived yesterday, and for some weird reason I planned to do an unboxing video in Punjabi. It has turned out to be slightly goofy so you’ve been warned. A serious video and a full review will follow.
Ever since we moved to a new place it has been an uphill task to find a decent broadband service provider. This area isn’t wired yet, and it feels like the aliens will land on this planet before BSNL or Airtel plan to dig up and plant any optical fibre cables around this place. My only option is wireless connectivity. That’s a nightmare in itself.
I started with a local WiFi based ISP called Wi5. The small Chennai based company offers wireless connections over WiMax networks. The company literally dropped dead after a few months. There was no official word, no one even came back to collect the outdoor CPE, probably fearing getting beaten up by customers. I had to switch back to the ugly Tata Photon+ USB based dongle for the time being.
Apple had earlier announced that the new iPhones – iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c – will be available in India starting November 1. This is probably the first time Apple has made an official announcement on the launch date of the iPhone in India well over a month in advance. Last couple of years we’d just know about it from speculations and then around a couple of days before the local launch event.
There has been quite a lot of chatter around the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c pricing (more about the former than the latter) in India. So from what I can make out there are two schools of thought here: the first one claims Apple has increased prices way too high for anyone to buy iPhone 5s and that no one would buy it while the second believes that the pricing of the iPhone 5s and 5c is justified and that it’s the usual Apple business thing.
I’m somewhat bent on the second school of thought.
When the first iPhone was launched in India, it set a benchmark of its own. Not only was it a revolutionary device in the market (whoa!), it was also the most expensive one in the market. Back then Samsung and the likes were only in their conference halls, sketching mockups of smartphones that resembled the iPhone. The initial thought was that the iPhone is the BMW/Mercedes of the mobile phone industry. A point that I still think is pretty much applicable.
A phone priced above Rs. 40,000 was sure to raise many eyebrows. But did the customers feel cheated once they bought one? Did they love their iPhone? No to the first and a big yes to the second.
Anyone buying an iPhone understands that they are investing into the user experience. That user experience is built to work right out of the box. On most top of the line Android devices you buy today, you really need to tweak a lot, customize the device according to your requirements to a larger scale than the iPhone to make things work for you. That unless you’re comfortable with ass-backwards TouchWiz interface and its cousins.
Coming back to the real point – the iPhone 5s prices are just right. Apple is not taking a bigger cut here. The thing is simple: Dollar/Rupee fluctuations have finally settled to a lot of extent and the conversion doesn’t work in the customer’s favor. Not this time at least. The last time when iPhone 5 came out the Rupee was like 55 to a dollar and now it’s around 62. That’s quite a jump.
That is probably the only key factor for the rise in the new iPhone prices this year. Will things be harder for Apple? You bet. Convincing the mindset is one thing in a country full of retards (sorry if that hurt). On top of that the Reserve Bank of India is putting a ban on zero EMI schemes, that were so popular especially for high-priced smartphones, this year around. Expect a workaround from finance companies but the deals just won’t look delicious this time.
Image credits: Moridin/Flickr
Samsung announced earlier that it will soon introduce smartphones with “curved displays” in October. Now it’s LG’s turn to say they’re going to do what everyone else in the smartphone industry does – make shit everyone else is making – and its smartphones with curved displays would be out by November.
There’s still a lot more to come from display technologies, I am not sure if regular smartphone owners are going to be super excited about curved displays right now. Not unless they look straight out of a sci-fi movie or are used on wearable computing devices.