iPhone 7 Plus/8 Plus Earpiece Glitch After Screen Repair - Solved!

Earpiece Not Working After Screen Replacement On iPhone 7/8 Plus Plagues Many

8 Plus Earpiece Glitch.jpg

If you’ve cracked your iPhone 7 Plus or 8 Plus and had the LCD assembly replaced, there’s a fairly good chance you’ve run into this annoying glitch due to a design flaw in these two iPhone models.

After removing the flex assembly from the original broken screen and transferring it over to the new LCD assembly, many repair techs have reported stories of the earpiece speaker failing to work. I have run into this myself on at least 1/4th of all the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus repairs that I have done.

Apparently, the flex cable is super sensitive and cannot be bent in the slightest manner without causing the earpiece to stop working. But some say that it occurs when you don’t replace the small black piece of insulating tape that sits behind the proximity sensor. Others claim that it’s due to the earpiece itself. But I have found that these two theories aren’t exactly right.

When you pluck out the flex assembly to move it to the new frame, you have to be super careful not to damage the cable. But even when exercising extreme caution and applying low heat to soften the adhesive, you can still end up with a dead earpiece once you are done.

The flex assembly has the earpiece conductor leads, and also contains the noise canceling microphone, proximity sensor, and the front facing camera. But what is odd is that only the earpiece assembly seems to sustain damage when it is moved.

Whatever the case, this boils down to a design flaw. After dealing with this common issue ever since the release of the iPhone 7 Plus, I have not been able to nail down a definitive answer on what is causing the problem. But I have figured out a fail-proof workaround.

When you have a 7 Plus or 8 Plus screen repaired, it is best to get a high quality replacement LCD assembly that comes with a new proximity sensor flex cable pre-installed. These cost a little bit more than the plain replacement screens, but having the new earpiece speaker and flex assembly installed from the manufacturer completely eliminates the chances of running into this issue.

It’s best to let the manufacturer test the screen and proximity flex assembly to insure all of the components are working, rather than taking the chance on moving that super-fragile cable and ending in complete frustration when your customer can’t use their phone without their ear buds. There is nothing worse.

I’m going to keep looking into this issue, and hope to pinpoint the actual reason this problem occurs. Until I figure this out, my recommendation on iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus screen replacements is to go with the pre-installed flex assembly & new earpiece. It’s definitely worth the peace of mind!

If you’ve got some advice or an opinion of why this glitch is happening, I’d be super grateful if you’d share it in the comments section. As always, thanks for checking out the story, and for supporting the blog!

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru



Smartphone Water Damage! What to Do When Your Phone Takes a Dive

THE GADGET GURU'S ADVICE FOR DEALING WITH WATER DAMAGED SMARTPHONES

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Summer time is that fun time of year that we get the most occurrences of water damaged phones. It’s hot outside and people are often swimming, boating, playing in the fire hydrants and sprinklers to escape the heat.

Since we are so attached to our beloved smartphones and can't be without them for even a few minutes, we sometimes lose all sense of mind and go head first into the cooling water, forgetting that our phones are tucked away in a pocket or in the clutch of our hands.

Swimming holes can spell disaster for technology. But as summer comes to a close, there are still plenty of other ways that smartphones can meet their demise in a watery grave. One of the most common is actually the toilet bowl. As a matter of fact, I just got a toilet-damaged phone in the shop last week.

Whatever the case, it’s critical to know what to do when your smartphone takes a dive in the swimming pool, the beach, or a hopefully-fresh toilet. 9 times out of 10, just from lack of being taught, people do the wrong things and end up roasting their phone when it could have been saved.

That being said, here’s what you need to know if you EVER have the misfortune of taking your smartphone for a refreshing swim!

1) Do NOT check to see if your phone still works by activating the screen. If you do, you might short out the backlight or fry the logic board. After a phone gets wet, the last thing you want to do is put a surge of electricity through it. If the screen is asleep and you press your home button or power button waking it up, just to check to see if it still works, you could cause the battery to dump ALL of its remaining electricity into the phone.

2) If the phone was already off, do NOT try to reboot it. It might turn back on, but that could be the last time it DOES turn back on after you short out the logic board.

3) Do not set it out in the sunlight to dry. The sun will bake the LCD assembly and ruin it.

4) If you happened to have put your phone in a bowl of rice for a few hours, or even days, don’t test it and turn it on until you take it to a repair shop. No matter how long you leave it in rice, it’s not going to suck up all of the moisture trapped inside of the phone.

Those are the don’ts. Read those 4 points again to make sure it soaks in (no pun intended.) Now let’s move on to what you should do after your phone has gone skinny dipping!

Once you retrieve the phone from the water, dry it off as quickly as possible and wrap it in a towel or absorbent cloth. And again, DO NOT TURN IT ON. Remember, if you turn the phone on, all of the electricity left in the battery might discharge all at once and burn up your phone. It will sound like French fries dropping down in hot grease. You might even smell smoke. This isn’t the barbecue you want at your family outing. Leave the barbecuing to the grill.

Next, get your phone inside if you can and put it in a bag of rice. Believe it or not, I’ve heard reports of people putting their phones in COOKED RICE. Yes, that has actually happened. Please don’t put your phone in cooked rice, and don’t pour gravy over it. And don't butter the rice. Dry, UNCOOKED rice is what you want. The rice will absorb some of the moisture, drawing it away from the inside of the phone and get the drying process started at least. A Ziploc bag is best.

Once you get the phone in the rice, contact me (or your local smartphone repair shop) ASAP. An extra word of advice, don’t try to dry out your phone with a hair dryer or heat gun. You could end up doing more damage to the phone. Just get it in the hands of an expert who knows what they’re doing, someone who knows the proper amount of heat that can safely be applied.

When I get a phone that is water damaged, the first thing I do is open up the phone to check for water. If there is water, I blot out as much as possible, and then I dry the logic board and components with a professional heat gun. I know the limits of heat a phone can receive before it can be damaged.

Next I remove the battery, and check the connectors for moisture. I can usually tell if a battery has been ruined just by sight. Once I determine the condition of the battery, I check for the most minimal clues that the logic board still works. Then I let the phone continue to dry overnight.

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Get great deals on official refurbished iphones on amazon!

Sometimes the LCD assembly will be fried, which means it needs to be replaced. The backlight of the LCD assembly can get zapped and black out the screen. You can tell if the phone’s logic board is still okay by the LED charging light. The battery is then checked with an amp/voltage meter to see if it is still functional.

If the phone does not boot, my last choice is to disassemble it completely to give the logic board a solvent bath which forces out any remaining water. At that point I can try again to see if it will boot up. Sometimes this works, and sometimes it does not. But it is the last option for recovery.

It’s hard to say what percentage of phones can survive water damage. I’ve had a phone dropped in salt water that was entirely rusted on the insides that I was able to recover, and I have had phones that showed very little traces of water that ended up not surviving. It’s very unpredictable.

But the best method of dealing with water damage is to prevent it from happening in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Now let’s move on to my best advice to keep yourself out of harm’s way when it comes to your precious smartphone.

Things to do to prevent water damage:

  • Leave your phone inside before you go out to the swimming pool or the creek. Keeping your phone as far away as possible is best. Remember that water splashing out of the pool onto your phone can cause just as much damage as a phone that has been fully submerged. It doesn't take much!

  • Give your smartphone a break and be one with nature. Enjoy the outdoors undisturbed and uninterrupted from the distractions of your phone, and it will be safely waiting for you when you return.

  • Use a LifeProof case if you can’t be away from your phone while swimming. Even though they aren’t very good at preventing breakage from dropping, it will give you a better chance of survival in water if it is accidentally submerged. But remember, no case can provide 100% protection against water damage even if they are made for that purpose.

  • Last but not least, if you don’t have insurance on your phone, get supplemental insurance coverage NOW. You don’t have an option of owning a smartphone in 2017 without insurance, because these new devices are just too expensive and they are very intricate and susceptible to damage.

  • Double last but not least, backup your phone to the cloud RIGHT NOW. You don’t know how sad it makes me to tell a person who hasn’t ever backed up their phone that their precious pictures and videos are lost forever. Back up your phone on a regular basis. Better yet, set your phone to do automatic backups.

I hope you never have to deal with with a smartphone water disaster. But if you do, please remember my tips, and share with everyone you know. You might save a friend from suffering significant smartphone misery!

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru

 

Top 5 Ways You Can FUBAR Your Smartphone & How To Avoid It

MOST COMMON WAYS SMARTPHONES GET FOULED UP BEYOND ALL RECOGNITION

Smartphones help to make us smart, when they are taken care of. But people are stupid, and can tend to be careless. When you combine mindless busy people with expensive smartphones, you get some pretty common mishaps that spell disaster for your sanity and your bank accounts.

In order to help you avoid disaster and the devistation that comes along with iFUBAR'ing your iPhone (or other Android device), let's look at the top five mishaps and hope you will keep these in the back of your mind before you do something stupid.

Just so you know, I have done three of these. So I am your primary example of smartphone user stupidity! That being said, let's look at the Top 5, each with my tips on how you can avoid each type of FUBAR stupidity.

1) Toilet Baptism - Did you know that 30% of smartphones end up in the toilet? I was surprised to learn this truth. Water damage can spell the end of your smartphone, especially if you try to turn it on and check it after giving it a swim.  

How to avoid: go back to reading magazines and books during bathroom time. For goodness' sake... you probably need a 10-minute break from that ratchet little device anyway.

2) Death By Buttocks - I did this one myself, just 4 months ago. You're busy doing something, but you want your phone close. So you shove it in your back pocket. Forgetting it is there, you sit down on something. For me, it was an old car seat cushion on the floor. I was working on a car. Even with the padding, my butt cheeks applied enough pressure to ever so slightly flex the LCD and destroy it. The glass didn't even break, but no more display.

How to avoid: get a fanny pack, no more back pocket stashing. Remember that you won't remember stashing it back there in the first place.

3) The "Tuck-And-Forget" - I cannot tell you how many times I have done this, and I never learn. With this destruction method, it involves getting in your car. Your phone is in your hand, and you figure you'll just tuck the phone in between your legs whle you drive, so you don't drop it in under the seats or step on it. As soon as you tuck it under your legs, you forget it's there. When you get out of the car, the phone shoots out like a torpedo and skips across the parking lot.

How to avoid: Mount a smartphone holster on your dashboard.

4) The Finger Fumble - This is the most basic and common way to FUBAR your smartphone. You think you have your device securely in your hands, and for no apparent reason, your fingers fumble the phone and it takes a nice long trip down to the ground. What makes this worse is the "catch-the-phone-with-your-foot" save method, which only makes it worse. Each and every time I have tried this save, I end up drop kicking the phone and sending it another 10' through the air, only to suffer an even harder fall.

How to avoid: get a big fat solid case. You will never solve the finger fumble, it will happen. You can only minimalize the damage it causes!

5) The "Set-It-And-Forget-It" - We've all done this at some time or another. It usually ends in a most tragic way. It starts with you loading something into your car. Your smartphone is in your hand, so the closest place you can put it is on top of your car (or on the trunk deck). By the time you load your stuff, you've forgotten where the phone is. You peel out, the phone slides off the car, and falls perfectly underneath your tire to die a quick death of mega crunching. Seems like a stunt crew would have trouble reproducing this sequence of events, but it works like a charm when it's your expensive smartphone.

How to avoid: put a sticker on your car that says "Do NOT place expensive objects on this slick, shiny surface, you putz!"

None of us want our smartphones fouled up beyond all recognition. So recognize these tips, and save yourself from frustration and the depletion of your bank account! Do you have any FUBAR stories you'd like to share with others? Chime in the comments section and tell us all! You might save us all!

Carlton Flowers
Chief FUBAR Prevention Expert

My Top 5 Reasons I Won't Get A New iPhone

TOP 5 - WHY I WON'T BE BUYING A NEW IPHONE ANYTIME SOON

Here's the first of a series of "Top 5" lists! Today's top 5? Why you won't see me in line anytime soon buying an iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6, M, Mega, Mini, or anything else they come out with. Here we go!

1) It's Too Small - my eyes are too old. I can't read text on the screen. That just sucks. Make it bigger Apple, and maybe I'll think about it. Sadly, even the rumored iPhone 6 is said to only have a 4.7" diagonal display. That's so 2010.

2) No Text Reflow - Apple joins the idiots at Samsung on this one. Panning side-to-side to read sentences after zooming in on text is just plain stupid. Unless I fall and hit my head, and become stupid, I'm not signing up for this kind of reading abuse.

3) They Break - All you people who think iPhones are like "jeweler's quality", you can keep them. Drop it from 2' and it's toast. I feel sorry for all the people with a brand new iPhone 5S that they dropped the first month and destroyed the phone. I'd rather buy a rubber ball to bounce on the concrete versus a $750 glass and metal computer.

4) They Malfunction - iPhones do stupid things for no reason. I'm sitting here right now with a friend's iPhone 5S that vibrates, and makes annoying sounds. But the screen won't come on. Not even with a hard reset. It's a known issue. But like always, Apple won't admit this for at least 12 more months and after 1,507,327 more complaints.

5) Apple Thinks We Are Stupid - I don't want my smartphone force-fed into my mouth on a baby spoon like Gerber products. I want to be treated like I am halfway intelligent by my smartphone manufacturer. The arrogance at Apple is and has always been something that I completely don't care for.

That said, I must go to work. I'm reading some tech blog posts on my brand-new Apple iPad Mini with Retina display. And before you call me an anti-Apple troll, I never said I didn't like the iPad!

Carlton Flowers
Top 5 Techno Babbler

 

Apple iPhone 5C Fruit Fest - Hot Or Not?

AUDIO POST - THOUGHTS ON FRUITY IPHONE 5C

Check it out folks, I'm still jabbering on about the iPhone 5C and all of its colorful greatness. There are a few more points that I cover in this short audio post that I threw together from my smartphone today, and some of the same points I made in yesterday's audio post.

Come join me as I continue on with my discussion about the iPhone 5C, and hear my thoughts on what I would pick as a second smartphone device! Click the image below to launch your device's audio player, and hit me up in the comments section!

Carlton Flowers
Audio Podcastasaurus

CLICK IT!

 

 

Rant Alert! What Is With All The "Plastic" Samsung Yip Yap?

ARE SAMSUNG PRODUCTS CHEAP PLASTIC LOW QUALITY JUNK?

I must be on an island all by my lonesome... I'm the only blogger on the planet who doesn't constanty berate Samsung for making cheap, flimsy, plastic-like products.

Is it just me, or is it actually appear that every noteworthy blogger and tech junkie reviewer seems to slam and smear Samsung smartphones for having a cheap build? I see this happening almost daily when I search for Samsung stories.

I've noticed a repeating pattern. The prognosticators will predict that the next big Samsung smarphone will come in new bullet-proof heavy metal packaging, parting ways with their previous plastic design. Then the product is released, and said prognosticators pummel Samsung for failing to provide a new "higher quality" build.

But has the thought ever occured to these writers who constantly complain about the plastic casing that Samsung might have an actual reason for sticking with their basic design? Wouldn't it stand to reason that the #1 selling smartphone manufacturer would be doing this on purpose?

Somewhere back in history, someone equated bulk, breakability, and heaviness with "quality". And this opinion has somehow stuck in the minds of the tech world. If a smartphone doesn't pass the basic weight test, the product must be "cheap".

Writers continue to implore Samsung to produce a "higher quality" device, or suffer sagging sales if they continue to keep the same stance. But the sales success has not stopped.

I'm guessing that I am the sole tech blogger who believes lighter, thinner, less breakable smartphones are what people want. After breaking each and every iPhone I've owned, I'm left with no desire invest a dime in a heavy device that can't survive a drop.

All one needs to do in order to be swayed to my line of thinking is to watch videos of drop tests. Drop an iPhone, an HCT device, and a Samsung smartphone from 3' high to a nice unforgiving concrete surface. I don't need to tell you the results that you will plainly see.

So for all of the critics and complainers, you can keep cursing Samsung and pleading with them to ditch their plastic design concept on their next series of smartphones. I for one sincerely hope that Samsung turns a deaf ear to the anti-plastic yip yap, and continue manufacturing durable, less breakable devices.

As far as the up-and-coming Samsung Galaxy Note III is concerned, I say wrap it up in plastic. Stick to your guns, and I'll be the first in line to buy. If you break with tradition and create a heavy, bulky, breakable Galaxy line, I'll say you will have made the dumbest smartphone move possible.

Hopefully someone at Samsung headquarters will see my silly little rant. Maybe it will help them keep on keeping on, making smart smartphone design decisions as they should.

Until then, the critics can keep buying iPhones and the likes, along with their bulky $75 monstrous Otterbox cases... because they have to. Ha.

Carton Flowers
Plastics Proponent

 

 

Which Is Easier? Android Or iOS?

ANDROID VS APPLE - SIMILAR DIFFERENCES?

Okay folks, the topic of today's SoundCloud podcast is the following question: "Which is easier to use? Android or iOS?"

This question has come up from time to time, and the answer used to be a resounding iOS. But that's not necessarily true anymore.

"Tune in" to the podcast and hear my reasons why this discussion is a moot topic. You might be surprised to hear what I have to say about this.

I'm an Android fan who has 2 Apple iOS devices on the side. What do you carry in your pocket? Which operating system appeals to you, and why?

Sound off in the comments section and let the world know!

Carlton Flowers
Geek Podcaster Supreme

 

 

3 Stupid-Simple Things Keeping Me From The iPhone

THE 3 SLAP-YOUR-HEAD SIMPLE THINGS APPLE REFUSES TO GIVE ME

It has been a year and a quarter since I defected from the Walled Garden of Apple. I traded in my iPhone 4 to get a Samsung Galaxy S2, which I'm still using.

I've got a backup iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 4th Gen for WiFi use, but Android is my main operating environment experience.

If I counted everything, there would be quite a laundry list of things that Apple seems to refuse to give me to make me happy (it's all about me).

But looking back, I would have stayed if I could just get three stupid-simple things. I'll share them with you now.

Thing 1 - A Back Button

When running an app that doesn't have an on-screen back button, the only thing you can do to go back a step is to hit the home button and re-enter the app. To me, that is a huge waste of time, even though it only takes a moment. But how simple is the solution?

I love my back button on my Android device, and now I can't live without it. I constantly use the back button to backtrack though my screen taps, especially on Facebook. No on-screen back button on the app? No problem. I have my Android soft button always there waiting for me to give the command to "back that thang up".

Thing 2 - Text Reflow

This is the most maddening of all things that Apple had deprived me of. It's quite possibly one of my most favorite features of Android devies. But for whatever reason, Apple prefers to remain hard-headed about this, turning a deaf ear to the many inquiries about adding this capability to the Safari browser.

When I'm using Opera on my Android device, I can zoon in on text to make it bigger. My browser will re-flow the text, wrapping it downward so all I have to do is scroll down to read. With my old trusty iPhone, I get to pan sideways to read sentences that fly off the right side when you zoom in. I'd rather bang my head up against a brick wall than pan side to side trying to read an article on a smartphone.

Thing 3 - Keyboard Choices

Even though I absolutely love the perfect layout of the iPhone's keyboard, I want variety. Apple has no plans to provide that, when it comes to text input. Don't hold your breath waiting for cool things like Swype for an iPhone. Because it ain't gonna happen.

When I'm on my Android device, I switch from my iPhone Clone keyboard to Swype, then Swiftkey, and more. Once I burn out on a particular keyboard and layout, I  can move to a completely different keyboard that allows me to keep my mind fresh.

I have found my time period to get sick of a particular keyboard is about a week. After that, I have to move to a different style of keyboard to freshen my mind and cut down on typos. It's completely a mental thing, but I seriously enjoy the choices for text entry on Android devices.

So there you have it. Sure, there are 10 or 15 more things I could drone on about. But these three stupid simple things would have been enough for me to tolerate the balance of other things I would have had to give up hope on.

How do you feel about your iDevice? Have you ever thought about these issues? Are you secretly desiring these things, hoping that Apple will some day bend? Or does it not cause you to lose a single minute of sleep? Toss your opinion into the hat in the Disqus comments section!

Carlton Flowers
Spurned/Burned Apple Fanboy

 

New Social Media iPhone App Developed By Mizzou Graduates

"TEXT THAT Q" LAUNCHES IN JANUARY OF 2013! THE STORY OF AN APP

Almost 2 years in the making, and TextThatQ has launched! It is the newest concept of a social media app to hit the world. After lots of hard work and 2 beta testing periods, the app is now live.

TextThatQ was an idea created by Jake Seeman, a Mizzou graduate and chemical engineer. It was programmed by fellow Mizzou graduate, Stephen Lindhauer. The concept? A place to ask anything about life's craziest questions in complete anonymity.

Users can post questions to the social community with their own set of criteria, deciding what people should receive their question based on common interests, hobbies, age, and more. It allows people to interact in a way that removes the embarrassment of asking their most pressing questions.

Some prefer to ask silly questions, and some ask questions on rather serious topics dealing with a range of issues. These include male-female relationshis, personal challenges, family problems, and personal growth. All the while, participants are much more willing to open up knowing that they remain anonymous.

Once a question has been posted and a user recieves an answer, they can give it a "thumbs up" or a "thumbs down". These actions are rewarded with points, or a deduction of points is made. But after the question has been answered, the two participants can carry on a conversation at length.

The app has been in development for nearly two years, and my role has been to head up the marketing efforts. It has been a long, fulfilling journey, and I've learned a lot about what it takes to develop and roll out a successful app.

Now that the app has been released, we have decided to make two new key additions to the core group, which includes web development expert Jason Piper and marketing mogul Tim Largent. It will take the effort of all 5 team members and more to see the app hit the level of success that it is headed for.

With the huge surge in smartphone use in society, app development has exploded. This is what originally attracted Jake Seeman into the rapidly advancing sector. As far as we can tell, there are no boundaries to how far it will reach.

I'll be reporting back on how we are doing with the rollout of the app, and sharing everything we learn. It has already been quite a journey, and we have seen some of our dreams come true. In the meantime, check out the YouTube video demo of the app, and then download it to your iPhone/iPod/iPad here!

Do you know someone who has developed a mobile app for Android, iOS, or Windows Phone Mobile? We'd sure like to hear the story about its success (or failure). Share in the Disqus comments section!

Carlton Flowers
Vice President of Marketing, CoMo Coding LLC

 

 

 

 

CZ Tech Talk - Upgrade Fever Fries My Brain

UPGRADE FRENZY AND INDECISION CAUSES MENTAL INSTABILITY IN GEEKS

Hey guys & gals. This is one of those posts where Carlton just speaks his mind. I'm not writing this post to win a Pulitzer. I'm just writing it to dump a few thoughts from my mind at the present moment.

Today, I have upgrade fever. It's official. I can't hold it in any longer. I am conflicted. Deeply conflicted. Hopefully you will understand the fullness of my conundrum by the end of this rambling post. Maybe you can even relate.

I have a Samsung Galaxy S2. I love it. It's my beloved smartphone that freed me from the controling confines of the Apple walled garden cult. I will never look back. This is probably one of my most beloved favorite gadgets since the Commodore 64. I'm serious.

But the upgrade frenzy has hit me, and I don't know what to do. I have had a chance to have the Samsung Galaxy S3 for 2 weeks, thanks to AT&T St. Louis, and it was a most wonderful experience. Plus, Postal Jim owns one, and I have had the opportunity to test drive his and compare it side-by-side with my Galaxy S2.

But now the Galaxy Note II is set to launch on AT&T this October. And it is a wonderful, amazing device. It will feature a quad core processor and a newer capacitive induction S-Pen stylus that is even more amazing than the first rendition.

The Galaxy Note II will have a physical home button just like ths Galaxy S III, plus it will have an even bigger display. It's going from 4.8" on the S3 to 5.3" on the Note 2. That's tremendous. This will erase any need for a tablet, that's for sure.

But what truly distresses me is the news that Postal Jim sent me earlier in the week. There are rumors swirling that Samsung will be releasing a Galaxy S4 in February of 2013. Of course that all hinges on the world not ending with the close of the Mayan calendar in December of 2012, but we shall see.

If the world does not implode, what will happen if I have a Samsung Galaxy Note II in my hands, and then the Samsung Galaxy S IV comes available from AT&T with a six-core CPU and more extras than any smartphone has ever seen before?

I really don't know what I would do. I guess that's just the speed of technology. Since making the big switch from the World of Koolaid (Apple iPhones) to the Land of Freedom (Android), I have not gotten used to significant updates on devices within short periods of time.

I'm used to Apple taking baby steps and spending at least 2 years before making a new device that would even wake you up and make you stop and take note. I'm not used to having a new breakthrough cutting edge device thrown in my face every six months.

But I guess that's the price you pay for freedom. Well, unless Apple sues the pants off of Samsung in the near future and they win, and stop them from making devices that are FAR better than their own. What a shame that would be.

So my current thought is that I should go ahead and pay the $199 (or whatever it may be) to upgrade my line as soon as it is possible, and get my grubby hands on the Samsung Galaxy Note II in October. Then when February rolls around, Postal Jim will buy the Galaxy S IV with the six core CPU and a huge 5.0" display, and I will at least be able to play with it and drool over the features until I can get the Galaxy Note III.

That really sounds silly. But I can live with it! Meanwhile, I'm sure Apple will have a phone that comes out giving the Samsung Galaxy S2 a run for it's money... by 2013.

Carlton Flowers
Upgrade Infected Geek

Want A Samsung Galaxy S2? Better Get It NOW

LAST CALL FOR SAMSUNG GALAXY 2 IPHONE CLONE

Folks, this is your last chance to buy the unbreakable version of the iPhone 4. It's called the Samsung Galaxy S2. It could be pulled from shelves in the near future.

After a recent landmark court case proved that the Samsung Galaxy S2 is in fact the iPhone 4S in an unbreakable case with a better display, Apple has decided to bench the superior version of their smartphone. This leaves consumers with the more fragile, smaller version of the iPhone 4S.

If you want to get your hands on the higher quality version that costs about $90 less than the original iPhone 4S, you better hit the link below to get your hands on one for as low as $10. It's still available from Amazon Wireless.

But seriously, my friends, I recommend buying the Samsung Galaxy S3 from AT&T first and foremost, then other carriers, versus the Galaxy S2. But if you don't have a need for the latest-greatest, the Galaxy S2 is an amazing smartphone to have at a great price.

Too bad banning the Galaxy S2 will only lead to stronger sales for the Galaxy S3 and the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 2. But time will probably teach the best lesson.

UPDATE: Sorry, but it is GONE! Sadly, the Galaxy S2 is not for sale on Amazon any longer. But you can check out the great deals on the Galaxy S3 by clicking the links below.

Carlton Flowers
Deal Watcher

Grab a Samsung Galaxy S3 now from Amazon.com from $99 to $189 with a 2-year contract! Click the links below to check them out from the AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint stores on Amazon now!

AT&T Galaxy S3 From $189

Verizon Galaxy S3 From $149

Sprint Galaxy S3 From $99

Solid Proof That Apple Practices Mass Mind Control

UNDENIABLE PROOF THAT APPLE HAS PERFECTED MIND CONTROL

My wife: "Everybody's iPhones are cracking and breaking. They're always brining them to you to fix. How come mine isn't breaking? When is it gonna crack?"

Me: "Honey, you don't have an iPhone. That's why."

Wife: "Huh?"

Me: "You have a Samsung. That's why it hasn't broken."

Wife: "Oh."

There you have it, folks. Not only has Apple mind-washed everyone into thinking that every smartphone is an iPhone, but they've also mind-washed millions of people into buying expensive devices that break.

Plus they've figured out how to make them think it is normal to spend an extra $150 (even multiple times) to replace the fragile screens.

Carlton Flowers
Mass Apple Mind Control Buster

"Life-Proof" iPhone LifeJacket Case - Stupid, Or Super Smart?

IPHONE LIFEJACKET MAKES A POINT... AFTER THE INITIAL SHOCK

I was perusing the web and came across something that just struck me as plain stupid. It was the LifeProof "LifeJacket" iPhone case made for the iPhone 4/4S. My initial reaction? This is just plain dumb! But then I got to thinking about it...

First of all, whenever I see big, thick, ugly cases made for the iPhone 4S like the Otterbox, I just shake my head. Why in the world would you want to wrap a gorgeous, thin, sleek phone in a big ugly brick-like case? I've never been a fan of the Otterbox, nor have I ever been happy that an iPhone requires the need of such a monstrosity.

So when I saw the iPhone LifeJacket waterproof case by LifeProof, I just shook my head. Why in the world would someone want to put their iPhone in something that was even bigger and uglier than an Otterbox? But then I started to think about this...

I myself have submerged and nearly ruined an iPhone. I decided that I could not part with my beloved iPhone 3GS when I went on a 4-hour float trip. I put my iPhone in a Ziplock bag (yes, that was stupid) and thought it would survive the trip. Well, it didn't. The bag took on water, and I almost ruined my phone.

I also thought about how quickly I destroyed my iPhone 4 (within 3 months of purchase) and how devistated I was to stare at the ugly, shattered display. After breaking the device that I could not live without, I thought it would have been much better to have spent the extra $75 on an ugly Otterbox case rather than to stare at the horrid cracks running the length of the phone.

The bottom line? The iPhone is far to expensive and fragile of a device NOT to put it in something that can protect it. It is not a rugged device, and was not made to survive active life. Therefore, you have to protect your investment.

The LifeJacket looks like a joke, but it is shock-proof AND water-proof. If you're anything like me, water-proof is a great thing to have. I like to run, swim, bike, and play in the rain. I would much rather do all four of those things with my smartphone at my side than to do without. Therefore, the LifeJacket suddenly makes good sense.

If I still had an Apple iDevice, this is something I would probably consider buying. Fortunately for me, I'm no longer stuck in the world of super fragile smartphones as I now own a super-durable Samsung Galaxy S2. But I would highly recommend that people check out the LifeJacket before they drop their phone.

Furthermore, now that I have as much experience as I do in repairing iPhones, I can tell you that the quickest way to FUBAR your iPhone is to get it wet. There's no turning back once you burn out your backlight coil & IC chip.

If you're an active person and you own an iPhone, give this a look and protect your investment. You won't be sorry the first time it takes a dive in the toilet.

Carlton Flowers
iDevice Advisor

GET YOUR LIFEPROOF "LIFEJACKET" CASE NOW AT AMAZON.COM!

Own an iPhone 4/4S? Protect that investment now with a LifeProof LifeJacket case on Amazon.com for only $45! It is shock-resistant and waterproof and made for active smartphone owners that don't want to leave their iPhones at home while they are out and about. It is far better to pay $45 now rather than $200 or more later. Be safe, not sorry... and get your LifeJacket today!

 

iPhone 5 - Breakthrough Device Or Boring Do Over?

IPHONE 5 PROMISES TO KEEP ME YAWNING

So we are on the cusp of another grandioso Apple announcement as we near what could be the release of the iPhone 5... would someone wake me up when it's over? Sure, this might be a great device. But I'm seriously doubting that Apple gets me excited like the days of old.

The former iPhone fanboy has lost his love for the sacred fruit of Cuppertino. I miss the "magicness" of the next-iPhone rampups. That magic has faded since I bought my iPhone 4 in 2010. Now that we are about to see what the iPhone 5 will entail, I have no excitement left whatsoever.

Many of my iPhone fan friends are super excited about the 6th generation of the Apple flagship smartphone. They say it will be a breakthrough device that further seperates itself from the Android competition. But looking at the comparison of the rumored digitizer in the photo, I'm disappointed.

The new iPhone, if this happens to be the real McCoy, will look a lot like the current iPhone 4S but only stretched taller. The diagonal on the display will be 4". That's bummer number one. To me, the standard minimum size for a smartphone is 4.3".

They seem to have stretched the limits of the display to the edges, which is kind of nice. But the display is still too narrow, and too small. The home button looks like it will be slightly smaller, and there is a bit of rearranging going on the top of the face.

There are lots of rumors flying about what the iPhone 5 will be packing on the inside. We can fully expect a 4G LTE radio, 1Gb of RAM, and possibly more storage space than previous models. There might be NFC (near-field communication) and a couple of other tricks, but that's about it.

The data connector/charger cable will be different. They are going to have a plug that looks similar to the Micro USB connector, but it will be a proprietary Apple connector.

Rumors are aslo swirling around to the tune of an improved digitizer glass that is less succeptible to scratching and cracking. As fragile as iPhones are, this would be a humongous improvement. But that wouldn't make me want to run out and get one.

From what I gather, the new iOS6 environment will only get Apple caught up to what Google has already accomplished with Anroid 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich". I'm not expecting to see anything relatively new with mobile operating systems with this device.

So while this might be a great device for Apple fans, it just doesn't excite me. I might end up buying one just to have an Apple phone to test out the apps my company develops, but it wouldn't be my primary phone. My Android device will still reign as my main gadget.

One interesting fact is that each new iPhone has outsold all previous models combined. They are predicting the same for the iPhone 5. That being the case, it really doesn't matter how boring the new iPhone is. They are serving their customer base fine enough, and they are gathering new fans to boot.

My prediction is that the iPhone 5 will continue the tradition and break records for smartphone releases, and the loyal following will happy. Some of the sensible fans will complain that it isn't on the bleeding edge, but they will be happy by the end of announcement day.

As for me, I think I'll sleep through this one until we get the news on the next Samsung Galaxy Note!

Carlton Flowers
Bored iPhone Reporter

 

 

Samsung Galaxy S3 Due To Hit The Scene In June

THE US CARRIERS SET TO RELEASE THE GALAXY S3

Hot new rumors are swirling about a June 20th 2012 release of the epic new flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3 on all carriers!

AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint have all confirmed the eventual landing of the new Galaxy superphone, and it's looking highly likely that we will see it hit the carrier stores this summer. The colors of white, blue, and gray have been kicked around, and it will definitely feature a fully redesigned form factor.

One big change that I had originally not suspected to come to fruition is the addition of a physical home button. It looks like the single home button and 2 soft buttons on the left and right are actually going to appear on the phone. I think this will be a welcomed addition that will add to the simple functionality of the phone.

In the previous generation, the Samsung Galaxy S2 and also with the Galaxy Skyrocket, the European versions featured a physical home button while the US versions had the standard 4 Android soft buttons. Now we will see a unified design for worldwide release.

I'm excited about the new 4.8" diagonal screen form factor and thinner design. This should mean that the "bigger is better" design is here to stay with top flight Android smartphones. As the demand for multimedia content increases due to widespread 4G LTE service, it only makes sense.

We still don't know for sure if Samsung will release the Galaxy S3 ahead of the upcomming iPhone 5, but knowing that the next iPhone will also feature a new form factor and bigger screen, you can guarantee that they will not be in a rush to release it early in the summer.

With the rapid growth of the Android market, it might not make a difference. There are enough people in the US that have firmly committed to the Android platform that I don't believe you'll have many ship-jumpers switching from Android to Apple. Both platforms will have a huge level of success, and there's plenty of room in the market for mega growth.

Right now, 50% of the population of this country packs a smartphone. But there is still a significant number of people who have yet to make the transformation from "feature phone" to smartphone. This pool of people might be large enough to even allow the Windows Phone Mango platform to make a serious splash, but at this point I truly believe that Apple's iOS and Android handsets will reap the greatest reward.

We'll be watching for more details as they become more solid. But there's enough exciting information about the Samsung Galaxy S3 superphone to all but guarantee that this will be my next early upgrade in October of 2012!

Carlton Flowers
Galaxy Watcher

 

 

iPhone Backlight Repair - The Ugly Truth

iFUBAR SERIES: WHY IPHONE BACKLIGHT COIL REPAIR IS A FARSE

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December 13, 2018 Update

I wrote this article back in June of 2012, and it remains as the most popular post on my blog site to date. Every month, it continues to pull more traffic than any post I’ve written on my blog site. I’m amazed at how this issue remains, so I have decided to update the article and continue to provide more information about the topic.

The original issue was centered around the scam of eBay suppliers selling backlight replacement coils on the iPhone 4, despite the fact that the repair is nearly impossible for the average person to perform, in addition to the fact that the repair would eventually fail even when performed by a skilled technician.

The issue popped up again with the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and continues to remain an issue for that generation model. The 6S design caused two problems: First, the blowing of the backlight coil when improperly installing a new screen, and second, its tendency to blow the coil when exposed to water damage.

When installing a new LCD assembly on the iPhone 6S/Plus, inexperienced techs often blow the backlight coil by shorting out the circuit when pressing on the LCD connector plug into the board’s port. This is due to the exposed metal connector coming into contact with the pins surrounding the backlight coil, which is placed right underneath the edge of the connector plate. It’s a common mishap that many installers unfortunately stumble upon.

Also, the exposed pins on the backlight coil would equally short out when exposed to moisture trapped inside the phone after being submerged in water, or from the evaporation and/or migration of water inside the phone after being exposed. It’s an issue that has caused a tremendous amount of frustration among iPhone 6S/Plus owners.

Fortunately, this design flaw was addressed in future models and the instances of backlight coils burning out was nearly eliminated on the iPhone 7 model. But there is still apparently a large amount of iPhone 6S/Plus models in use, and that is probably why this post continues to draw so much attention.

My advice to anyone experiencing this problem with a 6S model is to have a certified IC repair shop perform the repair rather than attempting to do this on their own. I have only found a handful of IC board level repair outfits that can successfully do this service, and they are located in Florida, Texas, and New York City. The repair will usually cost anywhere from $25 to $50, and it requires sending the phone off through the mail for the repair, and having it returned to the owner.

I would exercise caution when selecting a repair shop, and only chose those who have an eBay rating of 98% or higher with lots of experience to perform the repair. There are lots of shops claiming to have the ability to do IC board level repairs, but it is extremely important to chose one that has proof of experience.

If you have had a good or bad experience with this repair issue, post your comments below, and I will keep this article updated with any developments as long as it continues getting a large amount of attention.

I’m truly grateful for all of the traffic and comments made to this post. I look forward to keeping you posted with developments, and please take a moment to check out this intriguing program that will help to support the continuation of the blog if you are an avid iPhone photographer! The original post follows below after my affiliate banner. Thanks again!



ORIGINAL POST FROM JUNE, 2012

This is the first of a series of iFUBAR (fouled up beyond all repair) articles that I will be writing, covering all of the pesky iDevices that I have tangled with during the past year.

There are so many things that make after-market iDevice repair folks want to bang their heads up against the wall, I felt like a series was in order. My goal is to educate and warn people of some of the issues they will face before spending piles of cash on fragile Apple devices.

So let's get on with our first topic of discussion, the iPhone dim screen problem!

I actually hate to post this follow up to my previous article on the iPhone dim screen issue, but someone needs to blow the whistle. I have uncovered the ugly truth about repairing iPhones with damaged backlight coils and/or backlight IC chips.

Here's what generally happens...

You drop your iphone in water, turn it on, and there's no backlight. The screen is jet black. The only way you can see the icons on the screen is if you hold it in bright light. Or, you drop the phone and shatter the screen, and upon replacing the digiitizer/LCD assembly, the phone has no backlight.

What happens when you turn on your screen and you see no shining brightness? You have a backlight coil or backlight IC chip that is burned out.

The actual damage done to the phone isn't the culprit. What happens is, you damage the motherboard, and the ensuing short surges the coil/chip and burns it out.

The coil is what regulates the lighting of the LCD panel. When the coil goes, you get no light. The same is true when the backlight IC chip goes out.

The coil is about the size of a grain of rice, and the IC chip is the size of a baby's pinky fingernail. They have to be removed from the board, and new ones soldered in to restore lighting to your iPhone.

THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT IPHONE BACKLIGHT COIL REPAIR

I uncovered the real story surrounding iPhone backlight repair when I offered to help a young friend of mine with his shattered iPhone 4. When I disassembled the phone and installed the new LCD/digitizer panel, I noticed everything worked with the exception of a lit up display. I never would have realized the phone was even functional had it not been for the charging alert sound that fires off when you plug in the data cable.

I searched and searched for articles covering this issue, and finally found information that pointed me in the direction of a faulty coil. Some sites claimed that the coil was the sole issue, and other sites claimed that the backlight IC chip would also potentially be damaged if the coil had sustained damage.

Next, I searched for advice on making a possible repair. I found a few articles that talked about replacing the actual coil and IC chip. I then discovered several sellers on eBay offering replacement coil and IC chips for around $15 to $30. They all made claims that the repair was reasonably doable if you had the right equipment.

In order to remove and reinstall a coil and IC chip, you need a hot air soldering station or an infrared rework station to set a very specific temperature to prevent damage to the iPhone's circuit board. Some claimed that you don't need a soldering stencil to make the install, while others claimed you do.

I decided to look into buying the equipment needed to perform this repair, because no local shop offered such a service. All I needed to do was to find a good repair video or step-by-step instructions on doing the actual repair.

But what raised a red flag for me was when I noticed that the replacement coil/IC sellers on eBay had no suggestions for repair videos on the net. One even assured me that I would find several on YouTube, yet I found nothing of the sort.

My suspicion grew when I noticed that none of these sellers were performing the actual repair service, but only selling the replacement parts. So I did more digging before purchasing the repair equipment.

I finally made contact with an iPhone repair service shop in Springfield, Missouri that mentioned repairing iPhone 3GS coils on their website. After the discussion that ensued, all of my suspicions were confirmed.

The gentleman who I spoke with told me that they charge $100 to replace coils on iPhones, and that no warranty or guarnatee was offered. The reason was that most iPhone replacement coils burn out within a few days of installation. In fact, 2/3rds of the replacements go out within a month of the repair.

The reason this does not work is because it isn't the coil that is malfunctioning. A short circuit on the board causes a surge to the coil that burns it out. So if you replace the coil and you don't fix the short on the circuit board, the new coil will eventually (if not immediately) burn out.

THE ONLY "SAFE" SOLUTIONS TO THE DIM SCREEN ISSUE

It's sad that there are so many scam artists on eBay and Amazon collecting the money of unsuspecting hard working individuals who think they can install replacement coils and IC chips. But until enough people get writing and reporting about this issue, it will probably persist.

There's really only a couple of ways that you can safely remedy the dim screen of an iPhone without completely risking losing all of your investment. That's either replacing and installing a brand-new circuit board, or installing a used board from a broken iPhone.

The sad news is that the integrated circuit board inside an iPhone isn't cheap. It's the most expensive component inside the phone. It has all of the memory, the CPU, the graphics adapter, the backlight coil and IC chip, and more. Everything that makes the iPhone an iPhone is on the circuit board.

To buy a new motherboard (or sometimes called "logic board") for an iPhone 4/4S on eBay, you can plan on digging out $150 to $200 from your pocket. If you're lucky, you might find a used "certified working" logic board for around $100 to $150.

Elsewise, you can take your chances on buying a broken iPhone 4 and plucking out the logic board, but broken iPhones with good backlight coils will cost as much as the logic board alone.

By the time you add up the cost of purchasing a replacement logic board, paying someone the labor to have it installed, and possibly replacing a broken or shattered display, you could spend upwards of $300 or more to get your iPhone 4/4S functional again.

But beware of what you buy. For some reason, there are sellers on eBay who are pushing bare iPhone logic boards for $20 to $30. Upon first glance, it looks like you're getting a steal-of-a-deal buy, until you realize that there are no chips on the board whatsoever.

What in the world can a person do with a bare iPhone 4/4S circuit board? I have no idea. Even if you were gutsy enough to attempt installing all of the components onto a bare iPhone circuit board, you'd have to get special soldering stencils for all the chips, and have some serious IC soldering skills to pull it off.

THE "TOUGH-TO-SWALLOW" IPHONE REALIZATIONS

Here comes the hard truth... the facts that you must understand and accept when it comes to buying and owning  iPhones of any model. If you're thinking about buying an iPhone for the first time, here's what you need to understand!

The iPhone Is A Handheld Computer

Just because you only paid $200 for that iPhone with your 2-year contract doesn't mean you can replace it for $200 if you lose it, break it, or destroy it. What you are holding in your hands is a $700 handheld computer.

That little device has more technology packed into it than what most super computers could boast just 10 years ago. It is a highly functional technologically advanced work of wonderment, not a $200 phone with cute little icons.

If you're not protecting that iPhone 4/4S with a full insurance plan, you had better be wrapping it up in a big fat ugly 1' thick Otterbox case. Okay... maybe the Otterbox isn't really a foot thick, but it might as well be.

Why Apple creates such a fantastic but fragile device that has to be put in big blocky brick-like case to prevent shattering the screen is byeond me. But buyer beware, you better protect your investment or you'll be crying all the way to the bank when you drop it from the slightest height to a hard surface.

Cracked Screen Repair = Potential Further Damage When Reassembled

Just because your iPhone worked after you shattered the screen doesn't mean that it will work after you have it taken apart to install a new LCD/digitizer.

When you drop that precious piece of equipment down to a hard surface and you shatter the screen, there's a good chance that you damaged your logic board. If you're lucky, the logic board survived without any internal damage.

But there's a chance that the micro-sized wires, connectors, and soldering on the circuit board could be cracked or pulled apart or short-circuited due to the shock of the drop. The only thing keeping the phone working is the fact that it hasn't been disassembled.

When you take that poor broken iPhone apart, the force the tightly packed components in the case may no longer keep a broken circuit wire or connector touching and conducting electricity across the crack. Once you get the phone put back together, you could have the ugly surprise of a non-functional smartphone or certain components not working correctly.

A Burned Out Backlight Coil/IC Chip = iFUBAR Disaster

So your iPhone screen is completely dim, and you need a new backlight coil? Well forget fixing it. It's fouled up beyond all repair. Either replace the logic board, or throw the thing in the nearest trash receptacle.

Think you'll get a nice price for your FUBAR'd iPhone 4 or 4S on eBay with no backlight? Think again... it's worthless. There's practically zero demand for used iPhones with burned out backlight coils, because salvagers know better than to try to make use out of a damaged IC board inside of an iPhone.

If you own an iPhone, you better not ever think about risking dropping it in water or getting it wet. If you do, and you short out your backlight coil, you just sacrificed a $700 device.

CONCLUSION

iPhones are fantastic, highly advanced smartphone devices. I owned an iPhone 3GS, and an iPhone 4 myself (I have converted to Samsung Android products). But they are extremely fragile, breakable, and FUBAR-able.

If you're in the market for a new iPhone, you need to realize that the cost of owning one of these devices is not the purchase price that comes with a 2-year contract agreement. There are a few other things you better consider that factor into your overall cost. They are as follows:

  • Otterbox case - $40 to $75

  • Good screen protectors - $10 to $20

  • Insurance and/or Replacement Plan - $60 one time fee to $9.99 per month

  • Data/voice/text plan cost - $69 to $199 per month

If you have taken these things into consideration, you might be ready to own an iPhone. But now you know the ugly truth about what happens when you break or water damage an iPhone without insurance. Be educated and empowered!

Do you have an iPhone 3GS/4/4S repair story to tell? I'd love to hear about it! Also, please share your repair tips if you are a seasoned veteran. We'll see you in the comments section!

Carlton Flowers

iFUBAR Specialist

Blast From The Past - My Thoughts On Microsoft 1 Year Ago

Hi gang! As you might know, I switched blog host providers a couple of weeks ago. In the process, I lost my entire blog. I've decided to start from scratch. But in between my bright flashes of creativity, I'm going to post some of my old articles that I dig up on the Internet Archive's "Way Back Machine" and see how things have turned out since posting.

This is the first "Blast From The Past" post that I wrote on the topic of the Microsoft Corporation's slipping market dominance. I think I would disagree with this article now, especially since Microsoft has made a bold new aliance with the Nokia corporation. What are your thoughts? Post your comments below!

With no further adieu, here is the old post:

I SEE A DISTURBING TREND FOR MICROSOFT IN FUTURE MARKET DOMINANCE

I just don’t get it… what is it with Microsoft these past few years? Microsoft and “monopoly” used to be one in the same in the days of Bill Gates. Sure, they still dominate the world market with some impressive financial numbers, but will they hold their position given their current philosophy and lackluster vision?

It seems to me that the giant in Redmond has become complacent. They have a whopping 88% of the world’s market share in desktop computers with their Windows operating system. Plus, the XBOX 360 has jumped ahead of Wii and PS3. Kinect was the hottest selling gaming gadget for Christmas 2010. But the end result is that Microsoft is resting on its laurels.

However, Apple surpassed Microsoft’s market capitalization in May of 2010 to become the world’s largest tech company. Sure, Apple’s current status as “king of the hill” is not guaranteed to last due to the fact that company value fluctuates wildly based purely upon stock price. But would anyone have imagined this to have happened just 10 years ago? No.

Once upon a time, everyone thought that Apple’s days were numbered before CEO Steve Jobs rejoined the company to bring them back into their glory. Apple was considered the yuppy alternative to computer systems and electronic devices when compared to the standard that Microsoft had set. Developers would never have guessed that their future would be in writing little apps for the revolutionary iPhone.

Now Microsoft has become a reactionary company under the somewhat “visionless” leadership of Steve Ballmer. They’ve handed over the title of “innovator” on a silver platter to Steve Jobs. Instead of keeping the lead role in breaking open new fertile markets and taking huge risks, they’ve sat on their laurels and rested on the security of their flagship products in known markets.

Let’s consider a few of the unproven markets that Apple took the extreme gamble on and led the way, with Microsoft responding late in the game:

The iPhone & iOS Smart Phone Platform

In 2007, Apple released the first generation iPhone. Where was Microsoft? Fooling around with Windows Mobile 6.5, a sad excuse for a mobile phone platform. 3 years passed by before they released the impressive and user-friendly Windows Phone 7 platform, which to me is more intuitive than the iOS operating system. But as great as Windows Phone 7 is, it’s entirely too late. They should have done this long before. The release did not make a big splash, and I don’t see it possible at this time for them to catch up and overtake Apple’s iOS. They missed the boat. Apple will dominate this market for years to come, no matter how good Windows Phone 7 gets, because iOS is in the “perfecting” stage while Phone 7 is in the elementary stages.

The iPod Touch

Yet again, Microsoft let Apple solidify their dominance with the groundbreaking iPod touch before they even thought about getting the Zune out to market to compete. How do you sit on your can and let the iPod touch snatch up the entire market when you created the standard with the Windows operating system? It’s too late for Zune, and the Zune HD will not be the device that wins back the hearts of consumers. They can forget it. The iPod touch is now the standard in portable gaming and music.

Internet Browsers

During the 90’s, Internet Explorer was the only choice when it came to browsers. Netscape was the old standard, but IE quickly erased their lead. Nowadays, Firefox has established the number one position. According to W3 Schools, they took the lead away from Microsoft during 2008. The trend continues for Firefox, and IE is still sliding losing market share and even has Chrome on its heels. I don’t know what the future holds for IE, but it’s not looking very good at this point in time.

The iPad & Tablet Market

Tablet computers aren’t really that new. The Apple Newton was one of the first, and it failed miserably. Microsoft had partnered with several hardware manufacturers to produce various tablets during the 2000’s that never took off. Apple took the huge gamble on releasing the iPad, and set the standard. They practically created the market, only to watch everyone else in the world scramble to make a late entry. Not a single tablet product threatens the iPad now. While there are noteworthy contenders in the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab, the iPad is clearly ahead of the game. Most companies are pushing their inaugural tablet products while Apple crushes the competition with their 2nd generation iPad.

During the time that the iPad was originally released, rumors swirled about the fabled Microsoft Courier. It was an entirely new concept that was in no way similar to the iPad. If they were going to enter the market late, at least they were going to do so with something totally outside of the box. The Courier was supposed to be a brand new concept mimicking a book with two 7″ displays hinged in the middle. The operating system was to be based upon the Microsoft Surface concept (something else that has stayed stuck in the developmental stages, never to be released as a consumer product).

The Courier turned out to be vaporware. Microsoft ditched the project. But why? As large as a company that Microsoft is, wouldn’t you think they’d have the research and development budget to push the project and get it out to market in a reasonable time? Sadly, they did not make the effort. They’ve been talking about releasing tablets for 2 years now, and just can’t come up with a workable tablet interface.

Now Microsoft is talking about showcasing future Windows 8 tablet concepts in June of 2011. What the heck is that all about? iPad 2 is on sale right now, and they are still talking about showcasing future products this summer? This is so sad it is shameful. In my opinion, they may as well throw in the towel and stick to pushing the XBOX 360 and Kinect products. If I were a major stockholder, I’d be asking for the heads of leadership. Somebody with real vision and and a proven track record of being proactive needs to take control of this company. This is the biggest disappointment of all in my opinion.

I could take this farther, but these are the areas where I see Microsoft hurting the most in the future. I think a serious leadership change is in order for Microsoft. If they don’t initiate some kind of major change in their glass tower, they’re going to be looking like Apple during the late 80’s.

Carlton Flowers
Disappointed Microsoft Fanboy