News digest №77. Elephant in a china shop

Rumors of Samsung and Google working together on a new version of TouchWiz, a bright future Windows for tablets and dark days for Jolla …



The expression 'like an elephant in a china shop' is usually used to refer to a clumsy person who manages to drop and break everything he can reach. And without any malicious intent. Although, in fact, the reason for the broken dishes is not so much in the area of ​​the average shop and the size of the elephant, but in its motivation. Elephants are not at all such clumsy animals as some might think. Just why should they care about the safety of porcelain? Now, if bananas or apples were sold in the store, there would be a completely different conversation, here not a single fruit would be trampled.

As for the sellers and visitors of the store, they can laugh as much as they want at the clumsiness and stupidity of the elephant, sincerely considering themselves the kings of nature. Or even start running around him, waving his arms and trying to teach a reasonable and civilized behavior. In any case, all this will have very little effect on the safety of the china shop.

From time to time, many large companies begin to behave like an elephant in a china shop. And usually, too, not at all due to innate clumsiness or stupidity. And simply for the reason that buyers' problems do not always bother them. And no matter how much these same buyers try to shout that the client is always right and the manufacturer still cannot live without them, this will change little.


A classic example of this approach is Samsung's proprietary shell. The cries of “geeks” that TouchWiz lags and shamelessly slows down have been heard for many years. And the threats from the series 'I will never buy their products myself and I will dissuade friends' can be found in the comments to any review. Moreover, the more forum patrons scolded the company for stupidity and short-sightedness, the better the sales of smartphones went.

News digest №77.  Elephant in a china shop

Has the company really failed to optimize its shell over the years? It is very doubtful – with the resources of Samsung, during this time it was possible to rewrite TouchWiz from scratch ten times, there would be a desire. The reason is rather that the Koreans did not see much practical sense in this – the overwhelming majority of buyers pay attention to the list of branded 'chips', and not at all to the speed of scrolling through the lists in milliseconds.

While this has gotten better in recent versions of TouchWiz, the shell is actually lighter and somewhat closer to 'clean' Android than before. But there are still enough dissatisfied with the smoothness of its work, and many people buy the same Nexus smartphones not so much for updates as for a 'clean' OS.

Samsung is still not worried about the problem of geeks with stopwatches, but Google, judging by the latest rumors, is still nervous. According to Phonearena, the search giant is seriously considering helping Samsung optimize its branded shell and get rid of any remaining lags permanently.

Could this rumor be true? On the one hand, Google and Samsung announced a strategic partnership back in 2014. And any problems of any popular Android smartphone automatically cast a shadow on the OS itself – you can't explain to customers that it's not Android that is to blame, but the proprietary shell. On the other hand, Google many times opposed proprietary shells as such, and TouchWiz is not doing so badly now that it suddenly starts panicking out of the blue.

Link to news

Moreover, Samsung themselves continue to work on their proprietary shell, gradually improving and adapting to the style of new OS versions.




You can try to understand in which direction TouchWiz is currently developing from the images above. On the left is the current version of the shell, on the right are screenshots of its new version leaked to the network, adapted for Android 6.0

Link to news


However, Google itself is still the 'elephant'. By touchingly caring for its users where it benefits, a company can be surprisingly thick-skinned in all other cases. Although this is completely normal and natural for any commercial organization, users often react very painfully to such things. Alas, the image of the “corporation of goodness” that has entrenched itself with Google in recent years has not only advantages but also disadvantages.

According to New York Attorney's Office documents, Google can remotely bypass the password on users' smartphones in three out of four cases. Of course, only if he receives an official court order.


To be honest, I would not attach much importance to this news at all, but it caused a surprisingly heated discussion on the network. Although where is the reason for panic, it is completely unclear. The fact that such things as search warrants, wiretapping of telephones, SORM-type systems and other similar things exist in the world seems to be no secret to anyone. And the fact that in the event of a court request, Google will be able to bypass a simple graphic key or PIN to unlock a screen of a couple of numbers, in the picture of the modern world absolutely nothing changes. Not to mention, if you do store secret Pentagon databases on your smartphone, no Google will save you from problems anyway.

Link to news


Microsoft is another 'elephant', famous for its complete disregard for the opinion of the owners of china shops. And this company can be understood – until recently it seemed to her that the whole world was supported by it alone and the empire Windows was absolutely not in danger. And suddenly it turned out that the PC market is not rubber at all and that phablets and tablets are coming into fashion, and the land is not at all on one, but on three elephants at once: Windows, iOS (OS X) and Android. And the three of them to stand on one turtle became cramped for them.

Everyone knows how events developed further. In the beginning – attempts to create your own mobile OS. Then – the idea to cross it with Windows for desktops. The resulting hybrid called Windows 8 never really became popular, and Windows 10 became, to a certain extent, a return to the origins.

Ubuntu_min  Offtopic: empire of tiles, version ten

However, no one refused the idea of ​​a 'single' Windows, and the same 'ten' is designed not only for laptops and PCs. Although it seems that the emphasis has nevertheless shifted from smartphones to tablets, which are much more suitable for the 'single' Windows.

Statistics are a lie. You can play with numbers as you like, seemingly without stopping to outright deception, but also without telling the whole truth. You don't even have to talk about forecasts, if you want to adjust the facts, you can fit absolutely any theory. Still, it can be interesting to find out the opinion of this or that company about the near future.

For example, Strategy Analytics estimates that the share of tablets with Windows will reach 18% by 2019. iOS will occupy 23%, and Android – 59%. Once again, I note that we are talking exclusively about tablets, and not about all mobile devices in general.

As for me, to think something about Windows for several years ahead is a priori thankless task. What and when he decides to arrange Microsoft is hardly known even in the company itself, so forecasts should be based more on intuition than on logic and statistics. And the overwhelming majority of predictions about the fate of WP, of which there have been thousands in recent years, have not come true even close. And yet it should be noted that Windows 10 was received by the manufacturers of mobile equipment much warmer than its predecessor. Even the recently announced compact tablet Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 will get a special version at Windows.

Ubuntu_min Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Mi Pad 2

Personally, here I feel myself in the shoes of the same china shop assistant who vainly indignates at the clumsy actions of the elephant. I am absolutely not interested in tablets, and even more so tablets on Windows. All I want is an OS that is maximally adapted to the PC, in which there would be no 'mobile' compromises and adapted to the 'fingers' interface elements. Such is the selfish view of things.

Microsoft itself, of course, has completely different interests. Windows 10 has already become a serious compromise; the company will definitely not go further in the wake of conservative PC users. The elephant does not care about the problems of the buyers of tableware, he goes where he sees fit and does what he considers right.

The only question is where exactly all this will lead him. Let's assume that Strategy Analytics' forecast comes true and that tablets on Windows are expecting really solid growth in the coming years. Is this good for the company? At first glance, the answer seems obvious. Actually, it was for this Microsoft that I fought from the very beginning, it was the stagnation of the PC market and the popularity of mobile technology that forced the company to take up the mobile (and then the 'single') version of its OS.

News digest №77.  Elephant in a china shop

It's just unclear what kind of tablets Windows will become popular, who will buy them and why. Will they be compact tablets that people will buy to replace some iPad mini? Or will it be something in the spirit of Surface Pro and will serve as an affordable replacement for a laptop all on the same Windows? In the first case, the company acquires new users, in the second, it eats away sales from itself. Considering that the tablet market is already going through hard times, I doubt very much that a lot of people will decide to buy a tablet on Windows as an additional device and will collect a bunch of devices in the apartment for Windows all colors and sizes. Especially if fate, how much time and effort Microsoft spends on convincing that Windows on a tablet is no worse than on a laptop.

Link to news


You can scold companies as much as you like for not being painful and listening to the opinions of their users and potential buyers. But it could not be otherwise – most buyers will not understand what exactly they need, until you show them this 'something'. And the development of devices should be done by professionals, not commentators on forums. It is very fashionable to play a game called 'the customer is always right' these days, but it always has clear boundaries. Those companies that cannot correctly draw such a border do not stay long in this world.

From time to time, some people come up with a brilliant idea – let's take into account all the wishes of the fans and make a 'smartphone for people' or just be as open as possible with our future buyers and from the very beginning we will offer them to fund our project on a crowdfunding service like Kickstarter. Let's not be like all these ossified clumsy corporations and go our own way. Let's make the world bend under us.

And in words, all this always sounds very beautiful, but the result of all such attempts for some reason is almost always the same.


I am very sympathetic to all such endeavors, from Ubuntu Phone to Jolla Tablet at Sailfish OS. The road will be mastered by the walker, and any path always begins with the first step. But sometimes you want such startups to be a little more pragmatic and take a more sober view of things. They remembered that a bird in hand is better than a pie in the sky. Probably, in this case, the final product would not be as good as the ideal device they dreamed of. And they would lose part of their slightly naive charm. But on the other hand, these companies would continue to live and develop their ideas further. And this is much better than just dreaming in vain.


News digest №77.  Elephant in a china shop Spillikins # 304. Nokia's amazing metamorphoses in tablets

Apparently, very soon the list of charismatic losers will be joined by Jolla, which is already experiencing very serious financial difficulties. Negotiations with the investor, which was supposed to help finance the Jolla Tablet, are frozen indefinitely. Half of the employees were laid off, an application was filed for debt restructuring. The future of both Jolla Tablet and Sailfish OS itself is now very uncertain.

Link to news

Sometimes miracles do happen. Everyone remembers the story Android, which was also just a dubious project by a group of enthusiasts. Or about a mobile empire Apple, originally built on the stubbornness of one single person. Or the same one iPhone, who put much more technically advanced competitors on the blades with just his idea. Great examples of how sometimes the impossible is possible. That you just need to go a little beyond the usual framework, to look at long-familiar things from a different angle.

The only pity is that for one such miracle there are dozens of rudely destroyed castles in the air and shattered hopes. Startup enthusiasts usually don't like to think about it, but in vain. Sometimes it's better to learn from the mistakes of others.


Rate article
About smartphones.
Add a comment