Microsoft & Nokia Reach Market Dominance In 2015... Or Not


A few years ago, I was on the bandwagon of belief when all of the tech pundits made bold predictions that Nokia & Microsoft would reach total market dominance over Android & Apple by the year 2015. What happened?

We all bought the story because of the reasoning, that Nokia once dominated the world of feature phones, and that Microsoft dominated the world of operating systems. Windows Mobile plus Nokia hardware was supposed to equal unparalleled success in the smartphone market.

But what happened?

All of the cards foretold of fortunes to be made by these two tech juggernauts, and the planets were supposedly lined up to create the stage for the impending takeover of the smartphone world. But now that we have reached 2015, where is Microsoft and Nokia in the grand scheme of things?

Apple continues to dominate with the new iPhone 6 and 6+, with the new iOS 8 platform. And Samsung continues to squash the Android market with its flagship Galaxy products, powered by Android KitKat. But our "match made in heaven" comprised of Microsoft and Nokia seems to be lagging far behind, as they always have.

I thought Microsoft and Nokia had a great start with the Lumia 920 smartphone, and all of the later versions of their device. The operating system was supposed to be super easy to use, and a much better match for those of us using Windows based PCs. I thought I would be a prime target for converting to Windows on my smartphone, since I use a PC and a laptop every day.

But it never happened. I've tested and tried the Nokia devices using the Windows Phone platform. While I did find it easy to use, I worried about not having the ability to find all of my most favorite apps under their system. When I switched from Apple to Android in 2012, I was able to download about 80% of my most used apps on the Android platform.

I'm hard-pressed to believe that Windows will capture the attention of developers around the world and motivate them to bring all of my favorite apps to the Windows Phone market. It hasn't happened yet, and I don't have much confidence believing it will in the near future.

While the Windows-based Nokia devices are super slick and durable, I have found them to be a total pain-in-the-derrier when it comes to servicing and repairing the hardware. As the owner of a smartphone repair shop, I have learned to send Nokia smartphone owners to my competitors down the street. Cracked screen? Busted LCD panel? Take it somewhere else, because it's not worth the headache.

That might be part of the reason why Nokia failed to dominate the market as predicted. It might just be that Microsoft and Nokia never became "cool". Whether their devices and operating system functionality is great, or a pile of crap, nothing matters until their products become a "thing".

The smartphone market is like the fashion industry. Until Microsoft and Nokia become "cool" in the minds of consumers, they will never hit critical mass and dominate the market. I would love to see a competitor break into the Apple/Android monopoly, but I don't believe we will witness such an even for a few years if anything.

In the meantime, It's Samsung & Android for me on the smartphone front, Apple's iPad for my tablet, and my Windows-based custom PC for my desktop.

What do you think the reasons are behind the failure of Microsoft and Nokia to fulfill the predictions of the past? I'd sure like to hear your opinion!

Carlton Flowers
The Gadget Guru

The Future Of Big Smartphones - Will The Trend Reverse?


I've always hated iPhones because of their tiny microscopic little screens. That's why I switched to Android. Every day we see a new jumbo-sized smartphone hit the market. Up until now, this made me happy. But now I can hardly hold one in my hand.

I can't even decide what I want... a huge display for my horrible vision, or something I can actually use with my little hands. But this has me thinking about the normal reversal of trends, just like fashion.

Nowadays, we see people sporting the horrendous fashion trends of the 80's. It's just awful. What's the next bad trend to come back? Could it be micro-sized smartphones, leaving the big honking 6" monsters in the technology graveyard?

Think back to the 80's... remember when it was cool to walk around showing off your brand-new calculator watch? How stupid was it to actually sit in class doing math problems poking on tiny pin-head-sized buttons on your calculator watch? This was stupidity in action.

As time went on, you weren't cooll enough unless you had the next tiny thing. 30 years later, and you're not cool unless you're walking around with a phone the size of an iPad.

As stupid as society seems to be, in repeating really bad fads, do you think the microscopic devices will make a comeback? Or will we continue to life-size all the gadgets that we can't seem to live without?

Just a thought...

Carlton Flowers
Technology Rambler


All-New "CZ Gadget Talk" For Mindless Ramblings


I need a way to let my gadget thoughts flow freely from my mind. When you see this picture, you'll know that there is a mindless short (or long) post coming from the top of my head.

It's hard to write awesome well-thought-out blog posts. It can be mentally draining. Sometimes I will go a week or 2 without a blog post, because I don't have the creative mindset to sound all polished and professional. But I have got to ahve an outlet when I just feel like blurting out random thoughts about gadgets.

Instead of bottling up my amazing thoughts and waiting for inspiration to hit me on organizing it into an award-winning piece that hits page one of Reddit and Digg, the "Gadget Talk" posts will uncork whatever is on my mind at the moment.

Another great advantage? I don't have to whip up some fancy device picture with great graphics and artsy-looking texts. This will be an instant "mind-dump". You can expect a lot of opinion on these posts, and it will serve as a way that you folks can jump on and get a conversation going.

Who knows... these short posts might even inspire one of the regular top notch articles that I am so famous for writing.

Just a little heads up from the Gadget King so you know I haven't fallen off my pedestal of writing greatness.

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Blog Master


The Most Famous Tech & Gadget Battles Of All Time


I came across this fun infographic and I had to share it. It's because it takes me back to the beginnings of my own gadget experience when the first battle raged between BetaMax and VHS. I'm sure the majority of you don't even know what those are.

Over the years, we've seen some epic battles rage on between competing standards in the tech sector. From the VCR to the tape deck to the CD player, history continues to repeat itself as the strongest fight for emergence.

But in the end, both winners and losers become obsolete and a faint memory as technology storms on faster that we can even conceive. It's just a sign of the current times. The minute a new product hits the shelf, it has already been made obsolete by something right behind it about to exit research & development.

Enjoy the infographic and feel free to share your memories and experiences with some of the battles displayed below!

The Search For "Blog Mojo" - Shocking Confessions


Three weeks, four days, 17 hours, 34 minutes, and 15 seconds... is exactly not the amount of time that has passed since my last blog post.

In fact, I don't have any idea how long it has been. So while I am searching for my blog mojo, I'm gonna fill you in on the secrets of my rising and falling site traffic.

When I first started blogging a few years ago, I could not decide what in the wide world to focus on and write about. I had three major topics of interest, and tried to balance them all. I sure thought it worked, but my website traffic said the complete opposite.

I struggled to write every week, with hopes to reach the ever elusive level of 100 visitors per day. I thought it would be an impossible task that would take years to achieve. But I actually hit the goal in May of 2011. That was just the beginning of the excitement...

You see, I got lucky. Right about the time that rumors were flying about the yet-to-be-named Samsung Galaxy S2 from AT&T, I happened to write a story about the "Attain".

That was the rumored name at the time. As luck would have it, I was one of very few writers who wrote articles about the Attain, and I eneded up on page 1 of the Google SERPs for that search term.

I continued to write about the Attain, and I sraped every single bit of information from the web on the details surrounding the specs and the release of the smartphone. My blog traffic started to spike.

By July, I was well into the range of 300 visitors per day and growing. I didn't just write about the rumors surrounding the Attain, I also gave my own opinion and predictions about the release. I hit a bullseye.

During the month of August, leading up to the official release of the naming for the Samsung Galaxy S2, I surpassed 1,000 visitors per day and peaked at 1,350 in one day. This was something that went far and beyond my wildest dreams.

But after the release of the flagship smartphone, while the dust started to settle, so did my site traffic. But I still had a base level of 300 to 500 visitors per day thanks to a handful of informative posts I wrote on various technical topics.

I continued to cover smartphone and gadget news, and caught the eyes of several corporations. I have been given devices from some companies to write about, and I also was blessed to have been contacted by AT&T of St. Louis to review smartphones and tablets. This kept my traffic at a respectable level.

But lo and behold, I had an event that all but killed my website traffic. I had to switch blog site hosting providers from Quansite (of California) to Squarespace. After making the switch, I discovered that my blog site was so big, it was impossible to import all of my old posts.

That meant I was left to start from square one with Squarespace. My traffic took a nose dive as my most popular posts now pulled up "404" errors. But I love the new format of Squarespace and I am not regretting making the switch.

Right now I am suffering from a case of lost "blog mojo", and I am having the hardest time finding my "voice". When I first started blogging, my style was professional and "newsy" sounding. Over time, I started to write with more humor and sarcasm, which is a natural fit for me.

But I still have not found my perfect "voice". Once I do, I think I will successfully rebuild my blog site to its former glory. But in the meantime, I am going to commit to writing about anything on my mind that is related to the tech sector. I might even throw in a few articles that deal with technology and marketing.

So while I continue the search for my mojo, please, I beg you, if you are reading this, encourage me in the comments section and let me know if you like my new "natural" style and tell me what you'd like me to write about.

I hope you enjoyed this shocking confession. And I look forward to your comments!

(Cue the crickets)

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Geek Supreme