There’s Going To Be a Casualty in the Smartphone War…

The Smartphone War has been brewing on for a couple of years now, with Apple, Google, Microsoft, and RIM duking it out to be the top competitor. As our mobile world continues to grow, and more people get away from their PC’s and spend more time on smartphones and tablets, it’s important to provide the most functionality possible to ensure your customer base stays loyal. That being said, there’s about to be a casualty in the smartphone war, and a significant one at that.

Research in Motion (RIM), until just a few short years ago, was the undisputed winner of the smartphone war when it was just between them and Microsoft. Blackberry phones featured an intuitive, easy to use email service that was met unrivaled. It had an amazing, exclusive messaging system that worked similar to instant messaging, with other Blackberry users. Blackberry phones were the thing to have at one point. And then came Apple’s Blackberry killer, the iPhone. Featuring it’s slick design and easy to use touch screen, the iPhone put a massive target on RIM, and up until recently, RIM has done just fine in competition. But now, it can’t keep up.

RIM announced yesterday that it was laying 2,000 of it’s near 20,000 employees off, citing that it was restructuring the company to better compete with Apple, Microsoft, and Google, it’s three main competitors. Not a good sign of a business that’s trying to create and sell quality phone products, if you ask me. It looks as if RIM is on the verge of losing the smartphone war, and bowing out very ungracefully.

Let’s take a look at two of the products that RIM has released in the past year. There’s the Blackberry Torch, which was the spiritual successor to the semi-popular Blackberry Storm, the first touchscreen device from RIM that was met with very mediocre fanfare. The torch featured a brand new version of Blackberry OS, which, according to sources that have used it, is miles better than the previous version…but still not all that great. The Torch featured a unique slide-up keyboard that was new to the Blackberry line, but also featured all of the functionality of a touchscreen phone.

Then theres the Blackberry Playbook, the seven-inch tablet that RIM released earlier this year. The tablet features everything you like in a tablet, with the Blackberry OS right on top of it. The Playbook has been met with some pretty terrible reviews, leading consumers to believe that they are better off using an Android tablet, or better yet, an iPad. In my time with the Playbook, I had a very hard time getting the device to even turn on, and when I did turn it on, I found it to be a little sluggish and not worth the hype. One cool feature that is being implemented into the Playbook is the Android Market, allowing users of the tablet to play games and use software that’s written for Android.

20110726-125148.jpg

With the mobile industry constantly evolving, RIM has definitely made some mistakes. Without it’s own proper app store (or market, or portal, or anything that won’t get them sued by Apple), they won’t get very far. Yes, they have one, but it doesn’t have the support of developers, which leads to consumers not having much interest either. Without superior build quality (let’s face it, some of RIM’s phones haven’t been built all that great, as of late), and superior customization options, RIM is doomed to exist as a smartphone manufacturer. There has been talk that the Blackberry Messenger will be developed for Android and iOS devices. The functionality of that would be superior to text messaging, and easy to use, as well. If only they could port over their superior email client, as well, then RIM could exist better as a software manufacturer, and let their three competitors steal the show completely.

It will certainly be interesting to watch the future of RIM unfold over the next few months. With these layoffs, and the lack of innovative hardware (the company is reportedly announcing a new phone today), it just appears that they are doomed to exist.

Advertisements

Introducing the Digital Lust Media Review System

Greetings, users of the internets!

I’m very excited about what will be happening tonight here on Digital Lust. For the past two weeks since the blog launched, I’ve been bringing you some insanely great features to get the blog on it’s non-existent feet. I’ve enjoyed great success, great viewership, and even successfully had my first web giveaway to great results. It’s surreal, relaunching a blog seven years after it initial launch and having it be more popular now than it was then. And now, I’m ready to take the relaunch of Digital Lust to the next level. Beginning tonight, I will begin covering media reviews. I the next few weeks, I’ll be adding content to the blog to help establish a catalog of reviews in movies, music, and gaming. I’m very excited about what’s to come, especially with tonight’s exclusive review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Before that review is posted on the blog tonight, I would like to intoduce the all-new media review system that will be put into place. The new system is based on a 5 star system, similar to what is seen on various other media outlets. Here is a quick breakdown of what each star signifies:

5 Stars: This signifies absolute perfection. In order to receive a 5 star rating on Digital Lust, there must be no flaws, with absolutely no negative comments regarding the object being reviewed. This will be the rarest award ever given to any topic reviewed on DL. Media reviewed that receive 5 stars will also receive the Digital Lust Platinum Award.

4 Stars: When something receives 4 stars on Digital Lust, it is a great piece of work that has little flaws. It must have kept my attention and interest for at least most of it’s length. Things receiving 4.5 stars will receive the Digital Lust Gold Award, while things that receive 4 stars will receive the Digital Lust Silver Award.

3 Stars: Average at best. There are some flaws with the product. To receive 3 stars, the product must still have more positive attributes than negative. The product is still recommended by me, but does not receive an award.

2 Stars: The product has several flaws that outweigh the positive attributes about it. Products that receive two stars are not recommended by Digital Lust.

1 Star: The product was not able to keep my interest at all. There are few, if any, positive attributes about the product being reviewed, and is absolutely not recommended. Read the review and move on. Don’t ever think about the product again.

It is possible for objects to receive 0.5 or 0 stars, as well. Soon, new pages will be established that will act as a Hall of Fame for products that receive Gold, Silver, and Platinum awards. And now, I’m going to go finish up my Deathly Hallows review! Be sure to check back at midnight tonight for the exclusive review!

The Hot List: July 12, 2011

The Hot List is the newest feature here on Digital Lust, and will highlight 5 things in the media world that are at the top of my mind. Let’s take a look at this week’s list:

20110712-093040.jpg
5. Batman: Arkham City
Batman is back in an all-new game coming to your favorite gaming console later this year. In this followup to the massively amazing 2009 title Batman: Arkham Asylum, gamers will explore Arkham City, a city known for it’s psychotic residents. As Arkham Asylum was one of my personal favorite games of this generation, it will be no shocker if this one tops or even surpasses it. Arkham City will open it’s gates this fall.

20110712-093715.jpg
4. Cowboys and Aliens
Universal’s upcoming film Cowboys and Aliens has me excited–two classic genres coming together into an incredibly unusual pic. Starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, the new film looks as if it will be one of the more exciting (or disappointing) films of the year. Look for my official review later this month. It releases on July 29th.

20110712-093353.jpg
3. HTC Evo 3D
Sprint’s new flagship phone was reviewed in one of the first posts here on Digital Lust just a couple weeks ago, and as I am learning more about how much this phone truly differs from the original Evo 4G, the more I really like it. This phone features a stereoscopic 3D display, allowing you to take and view 3D images and video. The phone also comes with a copy of The Green Hornet in 3D, as well as a demo of Spiderman 3D: The Game. The phone is also dual-core, making it the greatest option on The Now Network, whether you care for the 3D capabilities or not.

20110712-094045.jpg
2. Google+
If you’ve read anything here on Digital Lust in the past week, you would know just how excited I am about Google+. The new social network shows a lot of promise, especially when it comes to sharing and communicating with others. With it’s amazing group chat feature in “Huddle,” as well as spectacular video chatting on Hangouts, and much much more, Google+ is making even Facebook just a little bit scared.

20110712-094305.jpg
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The final installment of the Harry Potter franchise is FINALLY upon us. The movie will pick up where Part 1 left off, so if you’re about to go see the movie, make sure to either read up or watch Part 1 again to make sure you’re prepared! The Battle of Hogwarts and the answer to pretty much every loose end in the series will finally be answered. It’s interesting, after reading the books and watching the movies over the past year, how this tale transformed from something of a children’s book to a dark tale of life and death and many other themes. This one proves to be the most exciting yet, and if the RottenTomatoes TomatoMeter for the movie is any indication of how good it truly is (currently at 97%), then we are all in for a nice conclusion to this epic film series 10 years in the making. I will be seeing Deathly Hallows tomorrow, and I will have an exclusive review available right at midnight on Friday (as everyone else is seeing it).

Google+ Invites Still Up for Grabs!!!!

Google hasn’t stopped letting people in to Google+ in quite a few days!!! Digital Lust wants to invite readers to join the service, so that everyone can join in on the fun.

To receive an invite, you can do one of two things:

1. Submit a comment to any post here on Digital Lust. If you are a WordPress user, make sure your Gmail account is listed as your primary email address. If you are not a WordPress user, make sure to include your Gmail address in your comment (or, just sign up for WordPress).

2. Follow me on Twitter @DigiLust. Send me a Direct Message with your Gmail address, and you’re all set.

That’s all you have to do!!! I’ve gotten several people onto Google+ in the past week, and ready to get several more on. Submit your comments or follow me on Twitter!!!

Netflix Announces New Pricing Structure

Netflix announced today a new pricing structure that is sure to turn some of their customer base away from having a combination plan. Effective immediately for new subscribers, users can have one DVD out at a time for $7.99, digital streaming for $7.99, or have both for $15.99 per month. To put it into perspective, customers can currently get both for $9.99 a month plus tax. That’s roughly a 60% increase! For existing subscribers, you have until September 1st before the new structure goes into place.

Why is Netflix doing this? While the streaming collection on Netflix continues to grow, it seems as if it doesn’t make financial sense to offer both services at a discounted rate. The current pricing structure went into effect not even a year ago, and it appears as if they aren’t making as much money as they would if they offered them separately.

In my opinion–this kinda sucks for Netflix customers, and probably Netflix themselves, too. The customer database is probably in the process of deciding which service is better (I’ll likely be going streaming only). Netflix probably won’t see as many people utilizing both services as much as they’d probably like, and we may head towards cheaper pricing again as a result. I think the ultimate goal here is to expand their streaming collection and get more people to stream. I guess only time will tell.

20110712-063212.jpg

Shuttle Atlantis Lifts Off On Last Shuttle Mission

I decided to take today off to go watch the Space Shuttle Atlantis lift off from the Kennedy Space Center. Despite the fact that I have lived in Orlando for the past several years, watching a shuttle launch has never been something that I have been able to make it to. Since today’s launch was the last of the program, I decided to take a trip down to Titusville and see it.

It was only a 30 percent chance that this launch would actually make it up, due to a tropical wave that’s making it’s way through the area. Despite the clouds and threat of thunderstorms, NASA opted to give the shuttle a clear for launch, and what a sight it was. Here are just a couple of pictures that I took from today:

20110708-071559.jpg

20110708-071618.jpg

20110708-071635.jpg

20110708-071700.jpg

20110708-071718.jpg

I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon for more fun, here on Digital Lust. Be sure to send me a comment to get a Google+ invite!

Digital Lust Daily Feed: July 7, 2011

Slow news day today! No breaking news or anything like that. Heres just a couple of quick stories that we saw today:

Wii U Will Launch After April 1, 2012
Nintendo spokesman Reggie Fils-Aime said today that the Wii U will not launch any earlier than April 1, 2012. He did not specify any other details about the new console, which features new HD graphics and a touch screen controller. He did mention, however, that the console will sell alongside the DSi, the Wii, and the 3DS.

Google Docs Gets Refresh, New YouTube in Testing
Ever since the launch of Google+ last week, Google has been working to give it’s different services a new, uniform look that matches the new social network. Gmail got the refresh a few days ago, and now, Google Docs has gotten the treatment, making it easier and cleaner than ever. It’s also been reported that a new interface for YouTube is currently in testing. More details as they become available!

Google+ Giveaway Sees Biggest Day Ever!
Thank you to everyone who participated in today’s Google+ Giveaway. Anyone who posted a comment today received a shared story, which will get you an invite. The giveaway will continue tomorrow, but as I will be away from my computer all day tomorrow, I will not send those until late tomorrow night. Again, all you have to do is leave a comment on the blog(make sure that your Gmail account is in your profile before submitting!), and I will send you one!

Honestly, thats it for today. I will be taking tomorrow off for the (hopeful) launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, maybe returning tomorrow night for a couple of quick things. Enjoy your Friday!