Friday, April 22, 2011

Guess which is the best smartphone to buy?

Ever wanted to know which are the smartphones, that are worth the money you put down for them? Well, a number of sites do a good job of tabulating such lists (and I have included one at the bottom of this post).

BlackBerry devices always top any such list but when it comes to using applications on its open source WebWorks-Java based platform, everything that is vital to business purposes needs to be downloaded from their app store and paid for. The free apps available are: Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerry Messenger, the Bible and a game called Ka Glom. A whole bunch of similar games are paid applications. There is a catalogue that lets you browse through their app store.

But most of these snazzy apps are mostly available in the North American market, while Indians can only enjoy the Messenger service and 'liking' things and posting it on their Facebook profile. You can enjoy a 'Miss Malini' fashion cum Bollywood gossip blog and there is even a racing group that keeps you updated about races called 'Souls of Speed'. Also there are case studies of people using the BBM service to run their business. Some phones have built-in GPS - but this feature may not work very well in India, where old fashioned maps still serve a means to an end. Or anyone with a GPRS connection (even on an un-smartphone) can download the Google Maps app.

What about being able to use the Microsoft Office 7 suite, to look at documents and Excel spreadsheets for getting some work done? Well, for that, try the Micromax A60. It looks like a BlackBerry but works on a pre-installed Android platform and you can work on Word and Excel files on the phone. Since, someone I know has bought this phone at Rs 7,000, it is really the most value-for-money deal.

Micromax A60 Android Mobile Phone offers you the following features:

•Android 2.1 Eclair
•Full Touch Screen
•3.2 MP Camera
•Voice Assisted GPS Navigation
•Android Market
•Accelerator Sensor
•HSDPA 7.2Mbps
•HSUPA 5.6Mbps

You can actually mix business and pleasure with this one! I would suggest skipping the BlackBerry.

See this comprehensive list of smartphones

See this for more on smart devices -

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gen Y prefer being conscientious consumers: Report

If you want to know what makes the millennials (Gen Y generation) tick in the current economic scenario, and at a time when everything from earthquakes and terrorist acts are a part of life? Then take a look at the findings of this Euro RSCG report 'Millennials: The Challenger Generation'.

This report states that this generation is not as frivolous as they are made out to be. Surprisingly, survey respondents from the US, UK, France, India and China all wanted to win their parents' approval, looked up to them for advice (over media, peer and web sources) and felt that sustainable corporate practices was the way forward.

So in light of the above, the report divulged that "nearly two-thirds of millennials believe reducing consumption is an important pathway to global change. And nearly half believe the things they consume have more power to change things than the people they vote for. In other words, product choices trump politics. And so do corporations: 40 percent believe corporations have a greater capacity than governments to create change, while only 27 percent disagree. These figures show a real disaffection between youth and politics; there is little sense of faith in politicians and governmental leaders to solve the world’s problems."

Even when it comes to seeking jobs, this generation is looking to work for socially-minded brands that puts the environment ahead of profits. The report states that "Research by Experience, Inc. in the U.S. found that 81 percent of college students and recent graduates said it’s important to them to work for a company that is green-friendly, green-conscious, or green-certified. And 79 percent said that, faced with two similar offers, they would be more likely to accept a position with the organization that is greener.

It may not be entirely altruistic: 67 percent of our millennial sample believe the most successful businesses in the future will be those that practice sustainability, a notion with which only 7 percent disagreed."

Graphics are from the report.

Click here for more:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Smart saving-n-earning movement is on

The wave of smart spending and earning habits is spreading across the globe and here are some facts to prove it.

In India, we have a culture of accumulating things just as people in the West do - and we either give it away or prefer to exchange them for newer things at exchange fests. The results of a poll that I requested AZ Research - a marketing research firm - to put up on their Facebook page, gave some fresh answers. The question asked was 'How do you like to sell/dispose of your seconds?

The answers are in the below graphic, but a third option that people are looking to explore now are - selling their seconds through a site. So selling through sites, will bring in money for well maintained possessions - and that is an income stream that has not been explored in depth, nor has its potential been understood as yet.

Click to enlarge the image

But my own preferences apart, abroad as well, people are cutting down on frills since last year. Also more people were going online to find bargain deals - this is in fact their prime reason for being online, as suggested in this Comet Technology Census, done by polling 2,600 Britons.

This poll reveals that "Comet’s technology-centric count found that 84% of people use the net at home to search for deals, pushing online banking into second slot and scouring the news into third place. Social networking, despite the hype, made it only to seventh most popular web activity."