Friday, October 1, 2010

Late Friday News: Judge gives OK to Philly newspaper sale to hedge fund; Fast Company goes slow; Globe to create new separate website, and charge for access

It's the end of the week and time for the usual information dump:

A judge has given the OK to the bankruptcy sale of the Philadelphia newspapers, a sale valued at $139 million. Now the papers will be owned by hedge fund company Angelo, Gordon & Co.

"We look forward to operating the company out of bankruptcy, revitalizing the Inquirer and Daily News, and building the most successful regional portal in the country," new publisher Greg Osberg is quoted by the AP as saying.

Well, if it's a nightmare being owned by a PE firm, what's it going to be like being owned by a hedge fund?


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Fast Company has come out with its first iPad app called the Fast Company Reader -- it should more properly be called the Slow Download Reader based on the performance of the app (see at right). And what do you get after waiting for it to download an article? A pop-up ad.

The app is clearly dependent on the servers of the publisher to pull in copy as this free app weighs in at only 2.6 MB. In reality this is an RSS reader for the iPad, an odd approach for a magazine to take.
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I suppose it should be pointed out that the publisher, in this case Mansueto Ventures, has decided to create an unique product for the tablet platform rather than simply create a replica edition. Normally I would congratulate them for this approach. But I'm not sure this works -- I mean that literally, I'm not sure this works.



The Boston Globe is taking a rather unique approach to creating an online paywall: it announced it is launching a brand new website that will be behind a paywall, Boston.Globe.com. At the same time it will be maintaining its current open site at Boston.com.

According to a story posted on the current website, the Boston.com site "will have limited access to journalism that appears in the newspaper, but will have wide-ranging access to content the Globe’s newsroom produces throughout the day for the website".

The new site, at BostonGlobe.com, "will contain all the stories and other content from the day’s paper as well as exclusive reports, in-depth news, analysis, commentary, photos and graphics, plus video and interactive features."

Interesting, no? The problem I see is that stories written "for the website" go on one site, whereas stories written for print go . . . on a website. And where does breaking news go? Wouldn't that go on Boston.com just as it does now? Probably, which means the free site would prove more valuable to web readers than the paid site.

"Our research shows that Boston.com currently attracts several different types of users. Some are readers whose main interest is breaking news and things to do, while others want access to the entirety of The Boston Globe," said publisher Christopher M. Mayer.

I like the boldness of the approach, but I have my doubts about the philosophy behind it. Most web readers want the information contained in a daily newspaper, but they want it presented online in its native format. My own preference would be to create a tablet version of the Boston Globe and charge for that, while maintaining one free website.

But, I must say, I like to see experimentation and the Boston Globe crew is certainly doing that. I'll be interested to see the new site and to find out if their plans work out.

All I want for Christmas is an app

Last week I was at one of those big box chains and couldn't help noticing that they were loading up with Christmas decorations, plastic trees, and lights designed to burn out and frustrate their owners. OMG, its Christmas season in September, thought to myself.

So today is the first day of October and I wouldn't want to get my Christmas list to Santa and his elves too late -- after all, they are probably busy up at the North Pole treading water.

So here goes:
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I want an app for Christmas. Ever check out those 'build your own app' sites? What a rip-off. A few bucks for building the app, then $30 a month for maintenance. Are you joking?

Last weekend I was playing around in iPhoto after getting an e-mail from Apple. They were promoting the ability to create photo books right in iPhoto, then order a printed copy of the book. The prices were high, though I suppose they were reasonable enough.

But playing around with the book formats I thought to myself "wouldn't this be great as an app?" The consumer could create their own book app then submit it to iTunes as a way of making the book available to friends and family. Apple could even make some money at it by making the apps $1.99 each -- or just charge something like $19.99 for building the app -- it's all done automatically anyway.



I want an ad agency that recognizes quality for Christmas. I received a couple of magazines produced by Cygnus the other day, both were those ad-for-edit styled publications where one page of advertorial faced a full page ad. Even still, the magazines -- special issues I suppose -- were anemic looking. But what amazed me was that anyone bought those ads at all. Didn't the thought cross the minds of the media buyers 'who would read this junk?'

But agencies, especially in the B2B area, continue to press for favorable editorial to the point where magazines are dropping all pretense of editorial integrity. This is nothing terribly new -- everybody knows that -- but it has gotten to the point where many editors are totally numb and just produce their magazines by rote.

The problem doesn't totally lay with the agencies, of course. Many clients are just as sucked into the ad-for-edit scheme. There are media companies out there, generally run by the Brits I'm saddened to say, that have made it their complete business plan: magazines that contain 100% advertorial, company 'profiles' written specifically so as to secure advertising. These magazines are rarely audited, always quote fake circulation numbers, and are right there on the edge of criminality. How do they get away with it? Advertisers love to get editorial coverage, even poorly written pieces that no one in their right minds would read.



I want a better VC industry for Christmas. Thank you VCs, you've destroyed the B2B media industry.

In the tech field, VCs used to invest in new companies, sit on the board, interfere with all sorts of things, but they never told a programmer how to create their products. But somehow, we in the B2B media industry, got stuck with VCs who believed they knew something about running a publishing company -- they didn't, they don't, they never will. VCs know how to get money from investors, that's what they are good at. But instead we had VCs which became PEs which became Gordon Gekkos. What's left of the industry is hardly worth talking about.

For reasons I don't understand, the media investment class believed that the way to make money in B2B media was to buy lots of magazines and destroy them. It would like buying up a block of houses, tear off their siding and roofs, and then try to sell them off again at a profit. What a surprise that the strategy didn't work.

But there is now a new opportunity for the investment class, a chance to return to the idea of company building. With mobile and tablet publishing booming even now, there are opportunities galore to build new companies that can be web first, tablet first, mobile first, or any combination you can think of. The fragmentation of the market that is killing print can be a huge opportunity if looked at from the perspective of an investor.

Unfortunately, I think we have a better chance asking Santa for some sound media investment than those in NYC who call themselves media bankers.

So, what do you want for Christmas?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jaguar Cars Limited releases tablet edition of their customer magazines; custom publisher Haymarket Network creates iPad-native edition

It's a strange fact, but true, nonetheless, that some of the best tablet 'magazines' so far produced have come from the car companies. One of the first was Das from Volkswagen. Developed by Readershouse Brand Media, the app was one of the first tablet magazine apps released for the iPad and it remains a pretty good example of the art having been updated in late August.
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Since the release of Das a number of other automaker magazines for the iPad have come out including apps for Audi's Italian division, Mercedesmagazine from Daimler, and several supporting BMW brands.

Yesterday Jaguar released its own corporate promotional magazine. Unlike some of the others, this one was not produced by the ad agency but is a product of Haymarket Network, the custom publishing division of UK-based Haymarket Media Group.
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I admit to being a Jaguar owner -- lucky me -- so the magazine would naturally be of interest. But I also knew that these auto apps have been impressive. Opening the app, however, I suddenly expected the worst -- would this just be another replica edition of the print publication?

No, this is a good adaptation of the magazine for the iPad. Stories can be reached by swiping, but the app incorporates scrolling for reading the actual stories. The use of hot links within pages that open up larger photos is well employed, as well as some stories (such as the Le Mans timeline) that uses swiping to advance the story.
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The app weighs in at 269 MB, which is typical of these magazines that contain both portrait and landscape modes, animation and video content.

Although some have complained about this, I don't see what the fuss is about (maybe some writers were short of ideas that day and needed to produce some copy -- I know the feeling). I think it is worse that some aggregators pick up these stories as serious criticism.

The fact is that these tablet editions are going to be hefty. The question is should these editions be downloaded whole through iTunes or should the app be a shell that requires a download of each issue by the user once the app is installed? The shell technique allows the publisher to update copy on the fly without having to submit an app update to Apple. And what a pain that would be! But I suppose that replicates the experience of producing a print magazine -- but that is not necessarily a good thing.

Morning Brief: WoodWing accommodates the Samsung Galaxy Tab; small publishers and the 'digital divide'

Good morning:

WoodWing passed along another press release, this one noting that they will be working with Samsung to bring its digital magazine production solutions to Samsung's new tablet, the Galaxy Tab.
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Samsung's tablet will run Android, which for those hardware manufacturers that want to attract media products to their tablets is a good move. I think most developers recognize that in addition to creating for Apple's iOS devices, building for Android devices is equally important.

"Tablets have already proven to be the perfect device to enjoy reading magazines and newspapers," Erik Schut, President of WoodWing Software is quoted as saying in the release. "We're honored to work together with Samsung, bringing our Digital Magazine solution to the GALAXY Tab. For publishers, this is also great news, as they can be present on the GALAXY Tab at an early stage."



Digiday Daily has a nice post today from Scott Portugal that I'd like to retweet: it concerns the challenges small ad agencies face in working on digital campaigns.

Portugal says "The problem is scale. Despite their innovative energy and often more agile approach, small agencies lack the staffing and bandwidth it takes to plan, buy, negotiate and execute digital campaigns at profitable scale."

I suggest you read the article, and if you are media exec try substituting the word "publisher" for "agency" and see if it still rings true.

The same issue, of course, faces small publishers trying to create products for mobile and tablet devices. If there is one thing I've noticed working for and with small publishers, it is that many media firms are falling behind in technological skills. As someone old enough to have experienced the move to desktop publishing, I remember the issues involved in the move. But generally companies made sure they had internal capabilities, staff with the technical expertise necessary to teach others in production on Photoshop, Quark and other systems.

How many small publishers today are sending their art directors or production personnel to training to learn app development, or are working with companies like WoodWing? Instead, outsourcing continues to be the solution of choice. As a result, the "digital divide" is getting larger.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tablet Briefs: research starting to put a face to mobile users; WoodWing adds partners; TV and mobile devices

Nielsen released a survey report that attempts to put a face on the mass of new mobile users. According to the report, Connected Devices Playbook, iPad owners (not surprisingly) are tending to be younger and male, as compared to users of other devices. This isn't a surprise since the iPad remains one of the only mobile OS driven tablet devices out there, and young males are generally the early adapters of electronic devices.

Additionally, the report says that Kindle users tend to skew wealthier -- again, no surprise since the Kindle is primarily a device to read books, and the demographics of this group are well known. If only iPad book readers were surveyed I would assume the demos would have looked more like the Kindle. But since many consumers see the iPad as a gaming device, and purchase it for that purpose, the demographics become a bit more diverse.
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The Nielsen study also tries to nail down the differences in responsiveness to advertising, but I think the results are a bit premature and don't show a large enough variation to be significant. Nonetheless, the blog post from Nielsen should be of interest and you can read it here.

To me, since the iPad remains an unique product these comparisons between it and phones and e-readers are not very revealing -- but once other tablets are released that are better competition to the Apple's tablet then these kinds of studies become more important. Equally important will be research that compares tablet readers to print and online readers.



WoodWing continues to work to expand its offerings and capabilities in the area of cross-media tablet publishing. This morning they announced a new partnership with VidiGo and the developer XDAM.
VidiGo develops and markets innovative solutions for creating and managing broadcast-quality audio and video content. VidiGo’s products enable broadcasters, production companies, publishers and news agencies to automate audio and video production workflows. The company provides all needed components – from ingest and asset management to live production and play-out. VidiGo’s solutions are designed so that everyone can plan, design and produce audiovisual content easily and quickly in a cost-effective way. More information is available at www.vidigo.tv.

XDAM is a multimedia submission portal that provides rapid uploading, news/live-event editing, approvals and delivery. LiveShoot, one of XDAM's core features, creates and manages a LiveConnection between the editor and the photographer or submitter. Images and videos are viewed seconds after they are shot anywhere in the world. Users can edit in real-time and push final content to WoodWing Content Station with one click, enabling live-publishing faster than ever before. More information is available at www.lightboxnetwork.com.



My own "research" results:
For me, the iPad ended print subscriptions -- at least most of them. For the first time in my life I now live in a household that only receives a newspaper once a week -- on Sunday, of course. Yet the total count of publications I "subscribe" to has skyrocketed as I experiment with new publications available through the iPad.

Since arriving by UPS on Saturday, April 3rd, the iPad has become the default weekend and off-hour Internet device. Thanks to instant-on grabbing the iPad is the easiest way to get the weather, find a baseball score (Giants up by two games with five to go), get the latest news, etc.

But one of the biggest changes in our household came when I bought the Component AV Cable for the iPad. That cable allows you to connect your tablet to the TV to watch videos, Netflix streamed movies, and other things that developers can think of and work into their apps. The iPad does not automatically display what is on its screen to the TV, so it can not work as a second display -- so surfing the web, for instance, and using the TV as a display is currently not possible (though I understand a few developers have released apps that mimic this).

The real change has come in television viewing habits: my youngest daughter now watches far less network and cable "TV" and more movies, videos and TV shows from Netflix and YouTube through the connected iPad. The television is on the same amount of time as usual, but now the cable box is on about half as long. And thanks to the way the cable is designed, with an attached cable that is plugged in to charge the device, the iPad, when not in use as a personal reading device, is permanently plugged into the television.

This, along with the soon to be available Apple TV and Google TV, is going to have a profound effect on television viewing habits -- and, therefore, television advertising. A revolution in television advertising is about to happen and if the networks and cable channels are not shaking in their boots they aren't paying attention.

iGIZMO converts its Flash-based online magazine for the iPad; online-only pub feels more at home on a tablet

It is often the extremes that point the way. Take Balthaser Studio's old Flash site, you wouldn't use it to create the New York Times, but it certainly showed off what could be done with online technology.
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That may be the way the new iGizmo iPad app might be looked at by other publishers. All the video and animation and eye candy does not make iGIZMO a great read, but it certainly is an interesting iPad app.

The iGIZMO Magazine app is free to download from iTunes. The app weighs in at 266 MB so you know all the content is there for offline reading. (The other way to do this is to create the shell app, then force readers to download the issues one at a time.)

If you are not familiar with iGIZMO, it is a UK-based tech magazine owned by Dennis Publishing, and until now, was entirely web-based. iGIZMO is one of those magazines that the Brits do very well, a veritable paradise for PR pros, what I used to call a shlock-fest, if you get my drift. But that's the content, let's look at the app.
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Right off the bat the app includes an introductory video on the TOC page -- great idea and good place for it since there is no editor's page. But all this is in the website version -- except that the website is Flash-based. There is video galore in this magazine (and its app), though I will admit that much of it was pretty silly (and every time the word "screen" was pronounced "squeen" I had to chuckle).

Since this app pretty much duplicates the web edition what is the value of an iPad app? Well, for one thing, reading magazines on the web is pretty much a dead-end. Though there are tons of vendors out there pushing Flash-based flipbooks, I've never been an advocate of them -- the web reading experience is simply a different animal than print.

But tablet reading, e-reading if you will, is more of a leisure-time activity and so iGIZMO's magazine will find a more natural home on the iPad than online (imo, of course). So what this app shows is that all those bells and whistles that can be used online, such as video and animation, can be duplicated on the iPad, despite the lack of Flash. In fact, many of the things one finds in the online version are better in the app: swiping of pages, scrolling down to more content, full screen video, etc. If there were millions more iPads (or other tablets) out there I'd say dump the online version and create a different kind of website, then do the magazine exclusively for tablets. But we're not quite there, of course, so that will have to wait.

Below are a few more screenshots, and for the next few days or so you will find iGIZMO's promotional video at right and on the TNM YouTube Channel.

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Left: Lot of video and animation can be found in both the online and tablet versions of iGIZMO; Middle: wow, nice car, and nice use of pinch-to-zoom;
Right: video, video, video, done in the same spirit as the Shopping Channel.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

General Mills brings out an iPad cookbook for the Spanish speaking market; joins the Betty Crocker app in iTunes

In an interesting move that is sure to garner it good customer feedback, General Mills has released a new iPad cooking app for the Spanish speaking market. Well designed, with useful tools for the home cook, Que Rica Vida Recetario is sure to please a part of the market that has so far been under served by developers and publishers.
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Maybe it because I like to cook, but from the first day I received my iPad from Apple back in April it was clear that this tablet would be perfect for the home cook. The tablet's bright color display is perfect for displaying food photographs. And the fact that the device can play video makes it perfect for cooking demonstrations.

But few cooking apps currently utilize the video function. The reason for this is probably that producing video will take time. My guess is that within a year we will start to see a whole new genre of cook books being produced specifically for the iPad.

General Mills released an iPad app early on. Their Betty Crocker Cookbook for iPad app is also free, which was very generous on their part. The app was released in June and has not been updated since.
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The new app from General Mills is free to download from the iTunes App Store and so far hasn't gotten much press. I searched online and could not find a release from General Mills promoting the app. The only real article written about it is in Spanish and says "Por fín un receteriario en castellano para nuestro iPad" (Finally a cookbook in Castilian for our iPad).

That article alone is a good sign that General Mills was very wise to invest in this new iPad app. I'm sure we will see even more apps like this in the months ahead, as well as apps that bring cooking demonstration videos into the mainstream of the book publishing business.

If Que Rica Vida Recetario has a flaw it is simply that in iTunes the app description is in English, and the language identifier says "English", as well. Maybe they will fix this so as to make clear this is a Spanish language cooking application.

One other note: screenshots are generally in portrait mode, but I decided to take these in landscape -- that is the way a cook would orient their iPad in the kitchen, and as you can see General Mills has made sure the app works in both portrait (as seen in iTunes) and landscape (as seen here).

Monday, September 27, 2010

RIM unveils 'BlackBerry PlayBook' tablet; runs its own new OS; won't hit the store shelves until early 2011

The maker of BlackBerry, Research in Motion, unveiled its plans for a seven inch tablet called the 'PlayBook'.

PC Magazine says its aimed straight at the iPad, while Computerworld says its aimed at enterprise customers. Frankly, they are both just guessing.

I say wait until it is released and see -- but that won't be until some time early next year. The world is still waiting for one of these companies to announce AND delivery a product in a reasonable time frame. Is RIM scared that their customer base is migrating elsewhere?

Spec-wise the product will be interesting: it will run its own BlackBerry Tablet OS, a dual-core 1 GHz processor, and will have front and rear facing cameras.

The announcement was made at RIM's developer conference in San Francisco (BlackBerry DevCon 2010). And while the company has nothing physical to show at this point, they (of course) have a video:

Condé Nast brings out New Yorker iPad app, subscription solution will have to wait; more Hanley Wood tablet apps

For magazines like The New Yorker that have a solid and loyal print subscription base, creating an app for the iPad is a bit of the problem -- actually two problems: one, how do you translate a predominately text oriented publication to tablets? and two, how do you accomodate all those print subscribers who will not want to pay twice to access the magazine?
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Well, the answer to question number two is "answer to come".

The fact of the matter is that right now Apple is not easily providing a way for publishers to deal with the issue of print subscribers versus tablet subscribers so for now, at least, everyone has to pay full pop to access The New Yorker on the iPad. Not surprisingly, inside iTunes new readers are praising the iPad app introduced for The New Yorker by Condé Nast, while current print subscribers are screaming.

The app is free to download, but once installed each issue will cost the reader $4.99. One would guess that this will be temporary as Condé Nast and other publishers works out the details with Apple.


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Left: The beginning of the help section; Middle: scrolling down reveals more of the section; Right: a sample table of contents, presumably of the new issue.


For now we'll pass on reviewing this app. The New Yorker, in my opinion, needs a bit more time to judge as a magazine, so let's give the app some time, as well.

In the meantime, here are a few screenshots of the free area of the app -- the help section which also includes an introductory video which you'll find amusing which I've embedded below.



Late update: here is a link to an editor's note concerning their iPad app.



Last week RR Donnelley released a new replica app for its B2B publishing client Hanley Wood and its magazine Remodeling. Two more apps have now hit the iTunes App Store for Hanley Wood magazines, each using the same model as Remodeling.
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The apps for Architect, a magazine Hanley Wood created in 2006 (they also acquired and closed down a potential rival in Architecture magazine) and Builder are both free to download and require no in-app purchases. Because issues can be downloaded they can be read offline, perfect for reading on a plane. But if you want to avoid loading up your iPad with B2B magazines you can also access the issues online from within the app.

The media and music businesses struggle to succeed in the modern era, share many of the same problems

What a weekend: I hopped on a plane early Saturday, landed in Washington DC, checked into my hotel and ran off to the French embassy for a concert by two bands -- one from Montreal, the other from Belgium -- then off again the next morning for my return flight. Quite an effort just to go to a concert, but it was certainly worth it (and thanks to Priceline it wasn't than much of an expense).

But sitting in that concert, and then discussing the travails of the modern music business with the bands, record "executives" and members of the audience, my mind returned often to the problems of the media business. You see, both "industries" see themselves as fighting an uphill battle against the Internet, fragmentation and other issues. Neither really sees themselves as "industries" and therefore fail to make decisions based on long term strategy.


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The Internet
Very few actually blame the Internet for the failings of their publication, but many realize that the Internet has created some unique challenges -- first among these is the fact that so much content is readily available for free.

The music business has been dealing with this issue for quite some time. Not only do many consumers download their music free-of-charge through websites and music sharing vehicles, but even the paid download services, like iTunes and Amazon, are not being handled very well. (One band told me of their frustration that their early CDs were now out of print, something that shouldn't happen since it is easy of make these recordings available through download services.)

For the media business, file sharing is not much of a problem (though it is growing in the book publishing business). The real issue is that free news content found online, either through newspaper websites, or through aggregators like Google News, is competing with paper products. The one-to-one relationship between product and price is broken in a world where content is as available as air.

Fragmentation and oversupply
The media business knows all about fragmentation, but one rarely talks about oversupply. In the music business this is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. A few decades ago the music you bought was limited to what was available at your local record store. One regularly browsed the shelves of stores looking for something new. Occasionally word would leak out about a new store and one would walk in with the same excitement a kid feels on Christmas morning.

The alternative to the store was the mail order service, now the butt of many jokes among old-timers. Who, over the age of 50, doesn't remember the Columbia Record Club and its monthly mailers? (Don't forget to send in that reply, otherwise you'll be shipped the latest Trini Lopez record!)

Today, I sometimes complain, there is too much music. I literally have thousands of CDs, many that never get played. When I went to the concert I knew I wasn't as familiar with the bands latest releases as I should have been.

In the past, your local newspaper was your source for all news -- local, regional, national and international. The same AP story you read on happenings in Washington DC was the same story that appeared in the newspaper a few hundred miles away. But your local paper, or maybe network TV, was the only place to get that news. This created opportunities for other news products like the news weeklies.

Today I can read about the Obama administrations moves to increase their Internet wiretapping capabilities (don't get me going) on the NYT website -- and, according to Google News, I can read about it on 450 other website, as well.

This oversupply effects the likelihood that unique bands can be discovered. In the case of the bands I listened to this weekend, they have more obstacles because their music is complicated, sophisticated, and difficult to understand for some -- gotta love rock bands with bassoonists!

News suffers from the opposite problem: you take the same story, with the same facts, and then try to attract readers online and in print -- how do you do it? No surprise then that we are seeing some parts of the news industry move away from straight reporting and moving to creating news content and programming that tries to reinforce the prejudices of the audience -- partisan journalism brings in the audiences, after all.

Marketing and Social Networking
I actually remember the days of having a fairly large marketing budget. When I was CAM at a daily newspaper in Northern California I used to be radio advertising on a regular basis, some as trade-out, but much of it paid advertising. Writing radio ad scripts was actually part of my job description. Can you imagine that today?

Today marketing budgets are almost nonexistent if you are in the media business. Imagine what it is like running an extremely small record label where your artists are doing very well if they sell 10,000 copies -- do you really have the money to buy a full page in Rolling Stone for one of your artist's CDs?

And so both industries try to market on the cheap. Thank Good for social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, right? Yeah, right. Both industries struggle getting comfortable with social networking tools, though I think this will change real fast -- it has to.



I was speaking to members of one of the bands yesterday at the airport -- they were on their way home to Montreal, me to Chicago. They had played at a rock "festival" the weekend before and I was curious how many people attended. I knew this wasn't the equivalent of Woodstock, but I wanted to know how many people would attend a "festival" of this kind of music. They estimated 400 people.

I was a bit stunned. I had imagined that today, in the era of the Internet, it would easier to get the word out about an event, easier to sell CDs across borders, easier to reach your audience.

Sadly, I had overlooked the new challenges these musicians were facing -- just as we in the media business are facing. The introduction of web publishing and smartphones and iPads hjas created great new opportunities for the media world (and the music business) but we all know that it hasn't solved our problems, in some cases it has even made things harder.

Nonetheless, this weekend was a good reminder that the best artists (and journalists, and media executives) will continue on because they simply love what they do, and they know their audiences need them to continue. It was a wonderful weekend, filled with great music, camaraderie, and adventure -- but it was a bit depressing, as well. Much like the media business.

Ya gotta love the honesty

How did I miss this one?

Back on the 21st Engadget reported that Nokia's Anssi Vanjoki had this to say: mobile manufacturers who go the Android route are doing no better than Finnish boys who "pee in their pants" for warmth in the winter. (or something to that effect, this wasn't a direct quote, it was in Finnish after all.)

Gotta love it. And there is a lot of truth there, but it won't stop many cell phone manufacturers from ... you know ... doing just that.