Sunday, 30 September 2012

Two Words why your next phone should be Galaxy Note 2 (instead of iPhone 5): Google Maps

Based on the news surrounding the recent launch, it is no doubt that many people have spent their precious weekend hours queueing for the new iPhone 5. But in reality, there are many people who are still undecided. And even more people are wrangling with the decision on whether to abandon the familiar iPhone that they have come to love so dearly over the past few years. If you are one of those undecided, you have good news. There is never a better time to part with iPhone than now.

Read more: Ditching iPhone 5 for Galaxy Note 2: It Doesn't take a Genius

Apple is today the World's most valuable brand for a simple reason. Apple is best known for its simple, beautiful and revolutionary products. In Steve Jobs' words, "It just works". The world is spellbound by this mantra. Every product that Apple churned out is a hit. The main reason is none other than the high standard it has set for itself. Their philosophy that led them to the top is always putting their customer first. Apple is known to not hesitate to scrap, kill or delay a product if they think the product does not offer significant value improvement to their customers. Such high regard they put on their customers is probably the single most crucial factor that sets them apart from competitors.

I used to be an Apple fan myself. But I am glad that I have graduated from the club. Two disappointing launch - iPhone 4s and new iPad - were enough to convince me to abandon ship. It is not that I do not love them any more. But I think they have become too complacent and have divert away from the very path that led them to success.

With the launching of iPhone 5, it just strengthens my conviction further. The Map debacle, labelled by some as Mapplegate or Mapgate, to me is yet the clearest indication on the diverging path they have taken. Many tech pundits have described the new Map App that Apple is including in iOS 6 as unusable and not even worthy as a Beta product (depends on how you classify a beta product. Google has been referring to Gmail as beta for as long as we know it and only recently removed the beta label). Alpha release is probably the best the Map App can be called.

I have taken a snapshot from Apple's marketing page for the new Map App. The last sentence says "So everything's easy to read, and you won't get lost". Tell that to David Pogue, a New York Times journalist who had to be late for his talk because the App led him to a bizarre location that is far from his destination.

Another blogger at TUAW, wrote a lengthy review why his next phone will not be an iPhone 5. (For your info, TUAW is known as one of the strongest pro-Apple group on the blog sphere) In justifying his switch, he mentioned how the millions or probably hundreds of millions of iPhone users have come to rely on iPhone when it comes to their daily navigation. The map should no longer be treated as a feature, it should be treated as a product.
Realizing that they have let their customers down, Tim Cook has released a public apology and admitted that the new Map App fell short and they have let customers down. Can an apology change the way things are? With experts and analysts suggesting that it will not be another year or two before Apple can right its horribly wrong Map App, will you still stick to iPhone 5? To me, the issue is not in the app itself. But it is the business philosophy that they are now embarking. Being able to deceive consumers by describing such low quality app as beautiful, do you think they will stop here? I would not be so naive as to think so.

You might be interested: Why Apple decided to pull the plug on Google Map.

Samsung may be called the greatest copycat story of our time. Guilty they may be but as far as consumer choice is concerned, they are trying to delight us with choices. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is one such prime example.

One early criticism about the Galaxy Note is its size that appear unimaginable to be used as a phone. It indeed looks odd to hold such a huge device to your ears when making phone call. It was not long before we get used to this. And more importantly, ask yourself the question on how much time you spend talking on the phone compared to browsing, watching movie, chat messaging and map navigation. While making phone call is still one of the essential part of smartphone usage (that is why it is still called a phone), we are doing so much more with a phone these days.

To cut the long story short, if there is one compelling reason why millions of people are abandoning iPhone, I would not be surprise if the answer comes down to two letter words: Google Maps.

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