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  1. omniusovermind's Avatar
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       #1  
    So I found this gem today and it blew my mind. Basically it looks like Google+Motorola has hatched a plan with the upcoming X Phone to allow you to actually custom order your own Android phone online this summer just like you would a PC, choosing your own specs! Costs starting at just $200 because Google can afford to subsidize them like they did the Nexus 4. Nobody has ever done this and I was really impressed at such a clever move. Anyway it got me thinking about Nokia's business strategy with their multiple Lumia phones this year. On the surface this looks pretty close to what Google has in mind because Nokia has manufactured a wide selection of WP8 phones for pretty much every budget: 520/620/720/820/920. And I'm pretty sure this will be comparable to the self built hardware selections you could come up with doing it Google's way. But there's a few very key differences that I'd love to see Nokia try out:

    The X Phone is rumored to be able to be purchased and custom built directly from Google, and not just that, but free from carrier influence, carrier bloatware, and carrier unlocked right out of the box. One of the first things I thought of when toying with the idea of trying a Lumia was "man I wish Nokia sold these direct". If that happened, especially with the 520, 620, 720 which will be affordable without carrier subsidies that would be incredible. I think the world is getting pretty sick and tired of these doggone carriers influencing your hardware and OS updates and I'd like nothing more than to see them screwed completely out of the loop to the point where all they get to do to us is charge us our monthly fee and keep their annoying noses out of where we buy our devices and when we get our software updates. My ISP has ZERO influence on how I use my PC hardware or where I buy it and my cable provider has ZERO influence on how I use my TV or where I buy it.
    Last edited by eric12341; 03-19-2013 at 01:58 PM.
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  2. WorzelGummage's Avatar
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    #2  
    Interesting idea. I would personally custom order a Lumia 920 but without the built-in wireless charging tech and have a removable shell so I could change its colour when I felt like it. Plus of course it would have an SD card slot as well as the normal 32 GB of on board storage.
  3. rimlover's Avatar
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    #3  
    can you make a custom phone like a pc though? parts are carefully selected and placed by a company to optimize heat, weight, dimension and all other sorts of distributions. it would be a neat idea though.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by rimlover View Post
    can you make a custom phone like a pc though?
    No. Not like a PC. But some things could be configurable nevertheless:

    MSM8227 (1.0GHz) vs MSM8960 (1.5GHz)
    Low vs high resolution display
    Low vs high capacity battery (same sizes, different prices)
    Case Color
    Capacitive vs physical buttons
    Those types of things...
  5. gsquared's Avatar
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    #5  
    The only way I could see them doing this is to use common hardware then turning down the speed to provide customization. Waste of money if you asked me.
    Support your third-party developers. There just about all we have...
  6. Huime's Avatar
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    #6  
    It will never happen until Nokia regain their status and have disposable income to fool around.
  7. rimlover's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by a5cent View Post
    No. Not like a PC. But some things could be configurable nevertheless:

    MSM8227 (1.0GHz) vs MSM8960 (1.5GHz)
    Low vs high resolution display
    Low vs high capacity battery (same sizes, different prices)
    Case Color
    Capacitive vs physical buttons
    Those types of things...
    i don't know how this approach can be handled. isn't this why there are high end and low end devices (with same dimensions).
  8. #8  
    1.) Spend 800 dollars on a phone since I can't use my carrier upgrade
    2.) Wait 4 weeks for my desired configuration to be assembled
    3.) Now I have even more options for stuff I DONT NEED.
    4.) My software now has a bunch of crap related to other hardware components that my phone doesn't even have
    5.) The mass-production for each component will be lower, thus raising the costs
    6.) Already have absolutely no confidence in the ongoing support for my phone
    7.) It's harder to sell my custom phone to buy a new one because my phone was built for my liking, and not others

    Consider all of the business technicalities that consumers aren't normally aware of, and then you will see how stupid this is.
  9. ChMar's Avatar
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    #9  
    And then consider customer support. I have a problem with my phone(software / hardware does not matter) who do I contact? The carrier, google, motorola? What about APN configuration? Or mms configurations?
  10. FinancialP's Avatar
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    #10  
    I can agree with the OP.

    Other people seem to over think stuff, or search for a problem just because.
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  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by FinancialP View Post
    I can agree with the OP.

    Other people seem to over think stuff, or search for a problem just because.
    Do you really think ANY smartphone company would read this idea and say "Why didn't we think of that"?
  12. FinancialP's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carpenter View Post
    Do you really think ANY smartphone company would read this idea and say "Why didn't we think of that"?
    Don't know, if you can keep the components and combinations down. I don't see a problem.

    I wouldn't call anybody's idea stupid though.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by FinancialP View Post
    Don't know, if you can keep the components and combinations down. I don't see a problem.

    I wouldn't call anybody's idea stupid though.
    I'm just trying to stress that there are millions of complications that consumers will never understand. Implementing something like this has such a big impact on so many areas of the business world.

    As a consumer, you will also be impacted by this. The problem is that no ordinary consumer will be able to relate these impacts back to it's cause.

    You are looking at what this will improve, without looking at what this will hinder.
  14. omniusovermind's Avatar
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       #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by ChMar View Post
    And then consider customer support. I have a problem with my phone(software / hardware does not matter) who do I contact? The carrier, google, motorola? What about APN configuration? Or mms configurations?
    The same things you currently do with the Nexus phone you ordered direct from Google. This already exists and isn't a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by FinancialP View Post
    I can agree with the OP.

    Other people seem to over think stuff, or search for a problem just because.
    yep
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carpenter View Post
    I'm just trying to stress that there are millions of complications that consumers will never understand. Implementing something like this has such a big impact on so many areas of the business world.

    As a consumer, you will also be impacted by this. The problem is that no ordinary consumer will be able to relate these impacts back to it's cause.

    You are looking at what this will improve, without looking at what this will hinder.
    When people order computers online do you honestly think all of them are too stupid to understand it? Do you realize how many computers are sold online? Your estimate of consumer intelligence in the digital age is pretty low. This is very easy to market and sell. PC companies do it all the time. They offer 3 different hardware configurations and label them ***** - proof like "Express model / Home Model / Elite Model" and then offer an advanced screen where you can tweak your selection by swapping just the HD for example. or something similar. All Googorola have to do is offer the X Phone in a similar format and that solves your problem with it. Unless of course you think everyone can't even manage that level of simplicity.

    Furthermore, offering the ability to buy a cell phone direct from manufacturer without carrier and OEM price inflation is huge and game changing for smartphone. In fact every tech economist I've read so far have all sad the same thing: The biggest win in today's smartphone industry will come to whomever can offer flagship-level smartphones without paying OEM/Carrier costs for it. Regardless of your opinion on it, there's going to be a huge reaction to something as game changing as this.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by omniusovermind View Post
    When people order computers online do you honestly think all of them are too stupid to understand it? Do you realize how many computers are sold online? Your estimate of consumer intelligence in the digital age is pretty low. This is very easy to market and sell. PC companies do it all the time. They offer 3 different hardware configurations and label them ***** - proof like "Express model / Home Model / Elite Model" and then offer an advanced screen where you can tweak your selection by swapping just the HD for example. or something similar. All Googorola have to do is offer the X Phone in a similar format and that solves your problem with it. Unless of course you think everyone can't even manage that level of simplicity.

    Furthermore, offering the ability to buy a cell phone direct from manufacturer without carrier and OEM price inflation is huge and game changing for smartphone. In fact every tech economist I've read so far have all sad the same thing: The biggest win in today's smartphone industry will come to whomever can offer flagship-level smartphones without paying OEM/Carrier costs for it. Regardless of your opinion on it, there's going to be a huge reaction to something as game changing as this.
    Congratulations for not understanding a word I said!

    You need to understand that a business model that works with computers won't necessarily work with phones. The entire software process is different, and that impacts the hardware process; The main thing being the way the hardware support is maintained through the software. On a computer the hardware makers are responsible for the support of their components and it's very easy to push out a driver update to everyone who has that hardware. Phones COULD have the same process, but currently none of the phone operating systems have an update distribution method that would allow this type of system to work like this.

    My whole point was about focusing on the BIG PICTURE. The entire software AND hardware aspects combines and the way they depend on each other. And yet you were only able to focus on a small part of that with your reply. Thanks for reiterating my point.

    My statements had absolutely nothing to do with Carrier Independence......
  16. cameradork's Avatar
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    I think this has a shot of working for Google, but maybe not for anyone else. When you buy an Android phone, you pretty much know it's a crapshoot as far as support goes anyway, so it's no big deal if you have to hack it and get things working yourself after the 30 day return period. If you're the type to custom-spec your phone and not buy it through a carrier, then you're probably fine with sifting through forums to fix any issues you have. This will probably make XDA's lives a bit more challenging if they decide to create custom roms for it, but who knows - maybe it's fun?
  17. #17  
    So basically a Subway for phones?
    Patient Windows Phone User since October 2010 till cores and apps do us apart.

    Read the rules before you post. If you post, we will assume you've read this already.
    cameradork likes this.
  18. FinancialP's Avatar
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    #18  
    You guys are making a simple thing complicated.

    What phone needs a driver update? Seriously?


    What's hard about picking battery size? SD card slot? Color? Memory?
  19. HNNNNNGHHH's Avatar
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    #19  
    Could actually happen, but I wouldn't agree on the bloatware issue, as you can already uninstall those applications on WP unlike Android, where it requires root privileges to remove the bloatware.

    Either way, I'm hoping Nokia moves towards this direction with online device sales.
  20. astraith's Avatar
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    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by Huime View Post
    It will never happen until Nokia regain their status and have disposable income to fool around.
    Exactly.
  21. Arun Chauhan's Avatar
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    #21  
    Glad that in India we dnt hv this BS of cell being locked to only one network...
  22. Huime's Avatar
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    #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by FinancialP View Post
    You guys are making a simple thing complicated.

    What phone needs a driver update? Seriously?


    What's hard about picking battery size? SD card slot? Color? Memory?
    You do realized that the "firmware" is actual a bundle of OS and drivers?
  23. #23  
    Quote Originally Posted by Huime View Post
    You do realized that the "firmware" is actual a bundle of OS and drivers?
    Exactly. Each firmware update contains numerous driver files that are specific to the phone's hardware.

    These driver files are .sys files identical to the driver files found on the Windows desktop operating system. However, there is no mechanism to update Windows Phone driver files individually. And you can be guaranteed that no Firmware Update would be pushed out for the sole purpose of updating one single driver file.

    The entire scope is different because Windows checks for driver updates for each driver in the system and then pulls the updates that it needs. Windows Phone does not check for updates based on specific drivers it has, and the updates are based on the phone's model. These updates for Windows Phone are pushed to the phone from the server, rather than pulled from the server to the phone. It's actually a huge difference :)

    I know this from reverse engineering code inside of the Windows Phone operating system. =P
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    Laura Knotek likes this.
  24. Abdul Rahman Noor's Avatar
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    #24  
    If Nokia did this, the first thing I'd do is trade my L820 for one with 64 or 128gigs of onboard storage.
    Bwahaha! Eat this, cursed Others storage!
    cameradork likes this.
  25. omniusovermind's Avatar
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       #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Carpenter View Post
    Congratulations for not understanding a word I said!

    You need to understand that a business model that works with computers won't necessarily work with phones. The entire software process is different, and that impacts the hardware process; The main thing being the way the hardware support is maintained through the software. On a computer the hardware makers are responsible for the support of their components and it's very easy to push out a driver update to everyone who has that hardware. Phones COULD have the same process, but currently none of the phone operating systems have an update distribution method that would allow this type of system to work like this.

    My whole point was about focusing on the BIG PICTURE. The entire software AND hardware aspects combines and the way they depend on each other. And yet you were only able to focus on a small part of that with your reply. Thanks for reiterating my point.

    My statements had absolutely nothing to do with Carrier Independence......
    Ok fine. Let's take this back towards the spirit of your initial doubts that they could make this work. There's been more since I last posted:

    Motorola advisor (and former Apple evangelist) Guy Kawasaki posed an interesting question recently via Google+: “Wouldn’t it be great if you could personalize your phone like this?” The this of his question referred to a video clip highlighting Porsche Exclusive, the auto makers offering allow for buyers to create a completely custom vehicle, from paint job to stereo and more.

    So what does this have to do with Android and rumors of the X Phone? You might recall a report from last week detailing how Moto will approach the brand. It was said that Motorola and Google will offer buyers the option to customize different aspects of their new handset at time of purchase, including RAM, storage size, and color. The idea would be akin to the sort of upgrades offered when buying a PC or laptop.

    Is Kawasaki’s post a hint at what we can expect when the X Phone is unveiled later this year? It seems more than coincidence based on the recent speculation. It would certainly add an interesting twist to smartphone buying, treating the devices more like the mini personal computers they really are and less like the mobile phones they started as
    source

    But what made me laugh was down in the comments section. Because I found a guy there just like you:
    It is not a realistic idea though
    this immediately reminded me of you. But rather than frame another response to you, I thought the response of laughing incredulity by someone else to this person's comment would best serve as a response to your doubts as well
    Seriously??? We can put car sized rovers on Mars and send satellites out of our own solar system, but building a customized smartphone isn't realistic? GET OUTA HERE! LOL!!!
    WorzelGummage likes this.
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