The Rise of Killer Smartphones

It seems Nigerians, like most Americans, are missing out on an interesting revolution happening out there in the smart phone universe. But then, if you stood on a rail track with your Beats headphones on and oblivious of the rushing train, does it make you safer? Or maybe an ostrich, with its head planted in the sand and nice rump in the air, wouldn’t know that it’s about to get bitch slapped.

That was a digression. It seems I can’t keep a conversation without drawing a wonky line.

I remember vividly how Blackberry sneaked on Nokia and ate its breakfast. Then Android + Samsung ate Blackberry’s lunch. Seems Samsung is going to be hungry tonight because two bad ass boys are around the corner, but the demolition promised would upend everything.

Quite a number of smart phone makers are all over the world with most around the middle kingdom but the cachet that Samsung and Apple have over everyone has been selling high-end phones: powerful chipsets, stunning graphics and expensive clothing. Of course, the price of this phone can buy about a third of a Tata Nano.

Here comes in Xiaomi. A recent entrant into the smart phone arena and in a few months have rocketed to number 3, sniffing annoyingly at Samsung backside. It’s on track to sell 100M smart phones in 2015. What’s the trick? High-end phones at knockoff prices. What’s their game? They want to take over the world, that is, do bloodletting with Samsung then come back and earn some money.

You wonder if a business can survive without earning a decent profit? Yes. Amazon!

So far it seems to be working and investors are pouring in more cash than Hurricane Katrina.

This would have been perfectly OK if another Chinese ain’t doing same. OnePlus is just a year old as a company and wants to push out about 5 million phones this year at cutthroat prices but with hope to make money on services.

Of course, the gloomy pictures I just painted is for the like of Samsung to brood over. As far as consumers are concerned, they could slug each other to death.

By the way, when are we getting a mobile phone with 8GB RAM and 48 hours battery?

50,412,559 Nigerians on the Internet

The reality is, I’m not much better than the armchair consultants I ranted about. Some months ago I wrote that Nigeria doesn’t have more than 17M internet users. I did my calculation based on MTN’s year end result and extrapolated that for the whole industry.

Please read paragraph 5 of page 50 of the MTN Group Annual Report for 2012.

Not a bad try but then NCC poked their fat fingers into my eyes and called me a freaking liar.
Based on the current data, as of July 2013, 50,412,559 dudes are watching porn using the internet in Nigeria from mostly their mobile devices.

Well I’m starting to see that around. Not that I can see 50M Nigerians dancing Azonto on the internet. After all, how many users actually come around to read my rants? I’m not that popular. You never know, I could be suffering from a chronic case of megalomania.

I can’t overcome the temptation to rant.
Some years ago, Blackberry was the king of Nigeria’s fondlesmob market. But they were expensive and very bad. Sammy and Lugi boys came around but they were expensive too. Then Ching Chong! The market is now getting driven by extremely cheap, I mean outrageously cheap, Android phones knocked out from X,000 Chinese factories for the world to use. And they work! Some days ago, I heard how the 5 inch Tecno Phantom A+ apparently sold out in Lagos; at N35K a pop, that was a badass bargain :-). Now we even have N14K full Android phones and of course they are all on the internet. The executives of MTN and others must be going through a paroxysm of excitement.

You can read more about the latest NCC internet data here.

By the way only about 114,760,406 lines are active now. That’s more than all the population in the other African countries combined 10 times. OK, that was a joke!

Prevent message read status on Blackberry Messenger

That Blackberry share market is having a free fall faster than a rollercoaster is not news. That Blackberry is eating Nokia’s lunch in some markets, such as in Nigeria, is no news either.
It is also no secret that the number one feature that makes the Blackberry sticky is the Blackberry Messenger; quite a lot of good and as many evils can be done on it. One feature that I love most is that I could see when my message has been delivered and read. The one feature I hate most on BBM is that others could see when I have read their messages.
Isn’t that a contradiction? Well, I’m human and it is contradictions that make us Homo Sapiens.
You see, once in a while, I need to read messages while I decide if a response is required or not. But when a message you have seen shows as read at the other end, it could have unforeseen consequences. Proving that you are not ignoring the sender (which in this case, is what I want to do) could be a tight spot to wriggle out of.
I searched online for a way to defeat this feature but couldn’t find one until out of sheer serendipity, I discovered a solution.
You can keep those short-tempered and pesky folks out of your hair if you do the following:

  1. Make sure your BBM is configured to Save Chat History. To configure, open BBM, select options and scroll down to the Save Chat History; select Media Card
  2. When you get a chat from someone who you want to hide from, delete the chat without opening to read it.
  3. Now select the sender’s profile and using the Blackberry menu button, select View Chat History.

You will be able to read all the messages without the sender’s status changing to Read at the other end.
Now, configuring your BBM to Save Chat History is really dangerous and could land you in serious trouble. But since I’m exposed to the same risk, I would probably never talk about it.