Resolutions (and disclosures) for 2012

A few mobile and wireless rules and admissions before the new year

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Mind Your Head sign

I’m going to take a break from getting worked up about Android and other big-picture mobile concerns. As we close in on 2012, I figured it was time to make some resolutions about what this blog, and its author, aims to do in 2012 to make it a better read. There are lots of places to read about mobile technology. A blog like this must have a viewpoint, a mission, and a few rules.

1) Don’t take actual glee in BlackBerry’s descent

Sure, the company couldn’t have had a worse 2011, unless it all turned out to be some kind of Marxist performance art. And very few would bet against a bankruptcy, sale, or some other kind of cataclysm for the BlackBerry maker in 2012. But we’ve already learned everything we can from Research in Motion and the BlackBerry platform in 2011: when you refuse to innovate, confuse your customers, and do nothing to help the app developers who want to do something neat on your platform, you’re going to fail. And fail, and fail, and fail.

2) Treat every statistic as suspect

It’s relatively easy to measure how many apples were sold in the U.S. in a given month. They’re grown by producers, shipped to distributors and stores, and then sold, lost to spoilage, or otherwise repurposed. Relative to smartphone sales, that is. There are numbers on how many phones were shipped to carriers and stores, how many were sold to customers, and numbers on phones that were activated, returned, and given as free upgrades. Each of those smartphones has avenues for buying music and apps, which can be downloaded, purchased, downloaded again, and so on.

So here’s a resolution to poke holes and question the variables of every number quotes in any analyst report, press release, or fast-spreading news story. Smartphones aren’t apples. At least not the kind you can eat.

3) Lay all disclosures on the line

I believe a writer has very little to lose in letting their audience know where they’re coming from. In the very competitive mobile space, I think this is especially true. So I’ll lay out a few disclosures about my relationships with the major smartphone and mobile players here, and maybe in a more easily linked spot in the future:

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