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Coudlnt Agree More

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read this article and I couldnt agree mmore.

Shame on Reliance. Only a very desi baniya company, just tom-toming its numbers in volumes...


{{{Being in the media, we are ever so often bombarded with various companies trying to pitch themselves as "world class "and "futuristic" because they introduced something to the Indian consumer that was launched in the US a few months, maybe years back. I hate it when such companies so blatantly try to push yesterday's technology down our gullet in a restricted, overpriced manner.

Examples? There are hundreds, but for reference's sake, let's begin with the telecom industry. The biggest culprit of them all? Airtel. They've been pom-pomming their Blackberry service all over the place, pitching it as the latest-greatest productivity tool ever, and looking at the facts, it'd be quite clear to you that Blackberry is an outdated piece of technology which existed in the US ever since the beginning of the dot-com boom. The handsets being sold in India are priced at over twice the price they sell for in the US Market, and the service works out to be about 30 percent more expensive than in the US. We pay more, we get it later, and to top it all, we have to deal with inferior service quality and unhelpful customer support. What's the point?

Want another example? Hutch's there. They were "thrilled" to launch the famous Palm Treo 650 in India a few days back; you know when Palm launched that handset? Last calendar year. The GSM version was available for the public to buy since March this year. What's worse, this news comes a few days after Palm's announcement that the next Treo, the 700, is going to be out some time soon, and will have a choice of Windows and Palm OS software. What's the holdup? Why does it take six months to launch the same stuff in India?

Thankfully, it wasn't overpriced; considering the fact that the GSM Treo 650 sells for over $600 in the US, the Rs 29,999 MRP was acceptable (especially if you were getting the promised Bluetooth Headset for free).

But by far, the most shameless of them all is Reliance Infocomm. At least the others make an effort to bring the latest and the greatest from foreign shores, and then call themselves "world class" - Reliance just sleeps on it all, and still sends us press releases reiterating how great they are every few days. The CDMA handsets scene is exploding worldwide; you can find some of the coolest handsets on foreign CDMA networks in Korea, US, or for that matter, Europe, but not one of them manages to make it to Reliance's plans. They still carry the saddest excuse for a smart phone, the Kyocera Palm OS 4 PDA Phone, and it's a real shame that their portfolio still doesn't include a single decent phone with Bluetooth or proper music playback capabilities?

Is it so that they've contented themselves with conquering the value market, and have completely forgotten the high-end market? If they have, it would be the most foolish mistake they've ever made. With users wanting more and more self-selected multimedia on their phones, the sad video clips from R-World, or the horrific ring tones they offer for five bucks each aren't going to cut it for much longer. Bluetooth headsets too are becoming ubiquitous now, and if Reliance doesn't launch a decent phone featuring Bluetooth soon, they're doomed to lose many high end customers who crave for the true wireless hands-free experience.

Anyways, the point is, Indian companies need to sit up and take notice of what's happening in the world outside of their domain, adapt to it quickly, and think twice before calling themselves "world class", unless they truly are. }}}

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High end products have got its own problems it seems !

Hot products, hotter problems

- Rediff.com

BS Bureau in New Delhi | January 13, 2006

Some months ago, when a team member bought an HP iPAQ PDA phone which took forever (5-10 seconds usually) to connect after you pressed the call-accept button, it was "proof" enough that a computer firm couldn't really produce a phone -- only "phone' companies like Nokia or Sony Ericsson were to be trusted when it came to phones, even phone-PDAs.

Over the past few months, however, while we've reviewed phones and other products in this space, and it's apparent the so-called killer apps have their own share of problems. A look at some of them:

Nokia 6600: One of the models Nokia's banking on now at the entry level as far as smart phones are concerned, the 6600's frustratingly slow to start, and then use. It takes about 30 seconds to reach the "enter PIN" stage and then another 10 to get operational -- most Nokia phones take 8-9 seconds.

Almost all users of this phone will tell you it has exceptionally large number of key-press delays and either jams or hangs frequently. As for the keyboard, in order to look stylish, the first row of keys (the 1-2-3 row) has bigger keys and they get smaller as you go down to the 7-8-9 -- this makes even SMSing a real pain.

The option of using an MP3 file as a ring tone is just hype since it sounds really bad. The voice and video recording are there purely for show since 60 seconds and 10 seconds, respectively, is of little use to anyone.

This is, perhaps, the only Nokia phone that has a Bluetooth compatibility problem and so, if you go shopping in Delhi's Nehru Place, they'll tell you to buy just one or two headsets as these are the only compatible ones.

Sony Ericsson P910i: The coolest PDA phone to use undoubtedly, given the jog dial which allows you to use most functions with just one hand unlike most PDAs which require both hands.

Yet, it hangs frequently enough -- you just get a white screen -- and then the only option is to remove the battery and instal it again. For a PDA phone, it strangely does not allow you to copy text from an email and paste this onto a new/existing word file (the iPAQ, needless to say, allows this).

In fact, if you want to access email, either by surfing the net or through the Airtel Blackberry/Hutchmail kind of push-mail, the battery's the real killer -- so if you want to use the phone for an entire day, it's a good idea to carry your charger with you.

As with all non-Windows-based phones, there's no global search facility and you have to do a search in each category separately -- contacts, email, word files, excel sheets and so on. In the iPAQ, by contrast, a single search throws up all references, whether they are in the contacts list, in emails, or in excel/word files.

One of our staffers who uses a P910i kept getting a disc-full warning even after he removed most applications and pictures/songs -- finally, he had to get the software upgraded which meant that all information on the machine was lost and had to be backed up from the PC all over again.

Mini iPod: Undoubtedly the coolest product that's come out in a long time, despite the host of iPod wannabes that have been launched since, with video screens, and without them. The problem, however, is that the machine hangs very often, especially when you're hearing one song and want to switch to another.

Also, if you don't use the instrument for a few days, the battery drains out completely and recharging it through the computer cable isn't a smooth exercise either and requires you to switch on and off the instrument a few times.

The adapter to allow recharging from a normal electric point doesn't work too well either. Most important, unlike the Walkman genre of equipment that use removable batteries, the iPod's battery is fused in the product and so can't be replaced by you when its life runs out. It costs $60 to get it replaced.

Nokia 9300: Nokia's PDA killer app scores over many available in the market since it is Edge-enabled and makes surfing two to three times faster than on others like the P910i.

The biggest problem, however, is that moving from one application to another takes almost as much time as it does on an iPAQ. The keyboard's keys are too together to use anything but your thumbs and the model doesn't have the obligatory touchscreen and stylus that every other self-respecting PDA has.

LG T5100: Though sold as a music-phone, the set hangs up every time you listen to music and a call comes in. The "call accept" key refuses to work, as if reluctant to move after the musical experience.

Even the flaw is not consistent. Sometimes the music continues and even though the display shows "call waiting", you can just helplessly look at it and wish that you hadn't turned the MP3 player on.

On the other hand, the caller gets "user busy" tone even if you have a "call waiting" activated. The problem, sadly, seems to be genetic since the newly launched M4400 also suffers from the same drawback. The phone, while playing music, shows "call coming" but the keys jam up.

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The real problem is crude Marwari style of business functions like Tata, Godrej etc...where you keep on showing the same product for centuries and fool the customers that they are greatest in the world.

All Reliance has to do is focus on its networks and leave the phone manufacturing to its Nokia, Sony Ericsson etc...instead of working against Phone manufacturers by stripping its features so that Reliance/Tata users are not getting any benefits.

Reliance business model is not truely corporate though they may be making billions. It is still a family business and couple of individuals calls the shots. These guys are either busy with Bollywood actresses or court cases etc...

Unless you see competition these Reliances/Tatas/Airtels/Hutches will become another prehistoric BSNL corporations owned by some wealthy marwari families from North India.

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what Reliance or TATA must do is allow people to select their own handsets. They need not shove their handsets down our throats. Thats the SOLE reason why I choose to use a GSM operator and pay more than switch over to Reliance or TATA.

The ISP scene is even worse. They were advt 64Kbps with a share ratio of 1:4 as broadband only two years ago until TRAI put an end to it. But the definition of BB is still buggy!

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