So, Whose Fault Is It Anyways?
For as long as we have been here, we have always been faced with difficulties, lack of support, faulty hardware, and seemingly locked-beyond comprehension devices. Nine times out of ten, all the blame will go against manufacturers, you know… those multi-national evil corporations that do nothing else but to bring us the very products that we seem to spend our money, time, and energy on. Apparently, these faceless entities have everything in their control and will give nothing in return to us mere mortals. That is a world wide perception of facts in this technology world of ours, but is it the right perception?
The world as we know it is a global economy with many companies closely tied up in their operations and business practices. In fact, they are so tightly bonded that the demise of one company could send a ripple effect throughout the entire industry. If you don’t believe me, look at what happened when the big 3 US automotive companies started having issues. Every company upstream and downstream from their production plants were having issues and going bankrupt: Delphi, SKF, etc, which were part of the supply chain, and car dealers all over the world. This was mostly because of management decisions at some point or another.
So, where am I going with all this explanation about the workings of our global economy? Simply put, our mobile companies are no different than the example I just put out. Every decision they make has great influence over the market, the future releases, and virtually everything they do. Over the last 4 years, things have sped up considerably thanks to the evolution of mobile systems, maybe a bit too much, to the point that a lot of the decision making has been based on meeting deadlines as opposed to releasing more quality tested products. Basically, it is no longer up to a single company or individual to say “your device will be receiving regular updates and fixes.” Fact of the matter is that this may actually never happen again. So, when you have situations like what happened a few months ago within our very own forums of people bashing Samsung for not releasing Froyo updates for the Galaxy family, was it really Samsung’s fault? Was it the carrier’s fault? Maybe Google had a say in things as well. Same goes for HTC, albeit, HTC was more blatant in saying that it was the carrier’s request that the Sensation line of devices would be locked like that. There are other companies like Sony, who just have a culture of locking things down and offering limited support and life extension to their products. I put them as an example of an extreme as many of their products have no other company between them and the end customer (Playstation products in general). So, really there is no one else to blame in their case.
Thankfully, it seems that the playing field has been shifting quite a bit recently. HTC and Samsung are getting closer to developers and are beginning to focus more on the end user, as it is them (and not the carriers) who ultimately purchase their products. Motorola and Sony are also beginning to see the light at the end of this dark tunnel that they had been travelling through as well. It seems that the rest of the industry will have to follow suit if things keep up.
So, what are your thoughts? Who do you normally blame when things don’t go the way you expect them with your new $400-$600 toy? And most importantly, are you blaming the correct culprit? Please leave a comment.
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