With regards to the Android platform I will concede that out of the box the OS isn't very compelling. A friend of mine who develops mobile aps for a geocaching service was perhaps overly kind when he described it as 'framey.' I'm often less kind describing it as a clunky Java clone of the mobile OS X that apple developed for the iPhone.
What makes the platform so popular is it's potential. Think of Android as a sort of Linux for phones. Through it's open source development structure it has the ability to evolve quickly and for developers to take full advantage of and even improve the platform. The wide availability and open platform also allow for the creation of a wealth of aps to take advantage of the platform and hardware. We will soon see the Android apps dwarf anything iPhone or WiMo ever dreamed of with many of them offered as open source and for free.
In Android's defence the poor performance was mostly a back-end issue.: they were rushed to market on a poorly optimized platform. I believe most if not all used the standard reference implementation of the mobile Java VM with little optimization for the hardware they were running on. To date a great deal of Android phones have adhered to the 'bargain basement' anyone can join in promise and put out ridiculously clunky and underpowered phones using whatever hardware sounded good and was dirt cheap. Thankfully manufactures and Android developers have started to refine the platform, tune it, and optimize it. I hope we will see an effort to homebrew optimized JVMs for the phone's hardware.
Another benefit of Android's open licensing that I'm hoping hardware developers will start to run with is the ability for easy upgrades. As hardware manufactures don't have to invest in licences for their old equipment I'd like to see them actually start to support their old devices and distribute software upgrades as the platform evolves. While selling new hardware is always good it's not realistic to expect users to shell out $600+ every time there is a new device just so they can get the newest version of the platform. Providing free upgrades to the device's base software as the platform evolved and providing users with new features would be a great way to breed consumer loyalty. I'd be willing to be people would even be willing to pay for the upgrades. Look at Apple with the OS X upgrades... people pay for those all the time without nearly as much fight as PC users do with Windows. Hell, if a service provider and/or hardware manufacturer invested the time to protect my smart device investment with regular updates they'd certainly earn my continued business and free word of mouth advertising.
Thankfully, HTC really took Android and ran with it. Their customization of the platform for the Hero is awesome and their expansion of Sense for the HD2 has blown most reviewers away. I'm sure that in a future Android offering they would only work to further those developments and really create a compelling, open mobile device with the power to really keep up with the most demanding of power users.
As for the WiMAX upgrade. Sprint would be absolutely daft not to push CDMA + WiMAX phones ASAP. They chose the early leader for 4G and ran with it so they could make it first to market. Verizon began working toward their transition to LTE this year. If Sprint were to delay the roll out of multi-network phones even a little they will loose the ability to take advantage of their first to market push and capitalize on the sizeable investment they have made in a new technology. Remember WiMAX is a new platform requiring new hardware. Verizon and AT&T can roll out LTE by upgrading their existing hardware much like Sprint and Verizon did with their 3G upgrade ages ago. The investment for Sprint and it's partners is much bigger and while WiMAX is based on some ideas from WiFi the tech is for the most part new and completely unproven. I applaud the WiMAX forum for being able to bring in all of the competing tech, like WiBro, and standardize them as well as provide a forward looking spec to address the 4G promise, but without an early home run I think the tech will be bowled over by LTE and other 4G radios. They only way Sprint can come out of this alive is to push on, get the base stations set up and launch, preferably with clearly announced markets and deadlines to create hype and excitement. If they really want to compete with the big dogs they are going to need new customers to provide them with the financial backing to build their network and upgrade it when the spec is finished to reach the 4G promise of 1Gbps fixed/100Mbps mobile first while expanding their coverage and working with other WiMAX providers to maintain their world phone market. They have the head start but, if they don't push their advantage and capitalize on the investment with an aggressive forward strategy to win new customers with compelling new devices to take advantage of the new net it will be all for not.
The Dragon would certainly be a Hail Mary device for Sprint. ARM7 opens some new doors to the device and as one review posted by MrVirginia noted it would be THE phone to have. If HTC chooses to match the creature comfort features of the iPhone and expand on their own innovations like the nav doc of the Leo to really make the phone quick, easy and intuitive to use it would certainly draw a sizeable market share if it was marketed properly. Granted Sprint didn't even really market the Hero or the Pre which are their most compelling devices currently so, I'm not sure they will do much if they did get their hands on a sweet, must have, piece of hardware for the first time... ever.
Ever wonder if you need to use a stylus with the HD2? The following video and article tries to answer that question.
And this here has got to be the longest video to date regarding the HD2. The actual video is over 36 minutes long, the HD2 segment is about 3+ minutes.
Fast forward to 29 minutes for the 3 minute HD2 segment and see the device impress the pants of the hosts. Unfortunately they claim the HD2 is not coming to the US, but fortunately we know better.
I don't think they are listening apparently the group you want to get in touch with doesn't have e-mail as I asked how to contact them (they probably don't have any internet or buttons or indoor plumbing for that matter although they do have a fine selection of quilts). They probably think of cell phones as some sort of witchcraftery.
ATTN: Product Management Group
6391 Sprint Parkway
Overland Park KS 66251-4300
I don't think they are listening apparently the group you want to get in touch with doesn't have e-mail as I asked how to contact them (they probably don't have any internet or buttons or indoor plumbing for that matter). They probably think of cell phones as some sort of witchcraftery.
ATTN: Product Management Group
6391 Sprint Parkway
Overland Park KS 66251-4300
Here's another supposed contact but it says for media inquiries only. (Guess someone can pull the ole "I work for major Electronics/Cell Phone Internet Blog and we would like to know.........etc.) It should get some type of react, anyway.
Michelle Leff Mermelstein
**For media inquiries only**
I know one thing though, you let T-Mo release that HD2 in the states before Xmas, I will say F*** Sprint faster than 12 hungry dirt monkeys in a banana factory.
I understand being tired of WM 6.x. Have either of you actually used Android? I was curious what you liked about it as the first version didn't blow any wind up my skirt.
boe, below is a link to where Android is going. I fiddled with the current version on the Hero yesterday and it is rather slick. It seems with Google, they are advancing the iterations quite quickly to address flaws, bugs and the like (Which we all know cant happen with Microsoft until they reach the 1 million user complaint quota).
Take a gander: (you too smotr)