Technology in the middle of the world


By Marco Jardim
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

As my first article here in GAS, I thought would be a good idea to pinpoint the differences between blogging in “technologically-updated” places of the world and one that is several months behind all others. If there are any Australians reading this article, they will probably relate to parts of this article.

When it comes to how updated a country is, in terms of technology, one may consider that the world has 3 poles: the United States, Europe and Asiatic countries. Although I happen to be fortunate enough to live in one of those poles, Europe, we are usually the last of the 3 to see the release of some of the newest products, with the exception being cellphones. But since I live on a small island in the Atlantic Ocean, I’m not physically “attached” to Europe, and the delays are further increased.

In the title above, I mentioned the “middle of the world”, what I meant by that, is that if you were to try to find the middle between the 3 technological poles in geographical terms, you’d either find yourself near Europe or on a random part of the Pacific.

In America, cellphones with QWERTY keyboards are quite popular for business, and the consumers there tend to support American-based companies and products. If we were to look at some of most popular tech-products released in the past few years, we’d realize that some, if not most, of them are American: Motorola RAZR, Xbox 360, Intel processors, Nvidia graphic cards, Apple «insert any Apple product that isn’t the Apple TV here».

In most cases, it’s safe to say that whatever becomes popular in America usually ends up becoming popular in Europe also, but the same can’t be said about their popularity in Japan due to various reasons that I will leave for another article.

Here, in Europe, or at least where I live, it’s pretty safe to assume that Nokia is the dominant cellphone manufacturer and it has reached a state that is very close to the one Coca-Cola has, or in other words, some might refer to the product by it’s brand instead of it’s category. Most people I know will either say: “I bought a new Nokia”, or “I bought a new cellphone”, and the later phrase is used when that cellphone isn’t a Nokia.

The European consumer tends to be more sensible than the American. Since we get to read the American’s reviews beforehand, sometimes by a few months even, we tend to choose our products a bit more carefully. Europeans are already “used” to waiting (but not satisfied with doing so). So unless there is a strong necessity, they can hold on without purchasing some product because it’s next version, which was already previewed/reviewed in America is much better.

Unfortunately, here where I live, most companies aren’t as sensitive when it comes to carefully choosing what products they want to sell, therefore most of them end up with many outdated products for many many months and almost always for the price that they were originally sold for.

Thankfully, the situation has improved a bit in the past few years, due to the coming of some national or European-based super stores. But since even those are too few, compared to the number of people who want up-to-date products, many times we end up having to settle for the second best. And here in Madeira Island, sometimes choosing the second best product might bring you back a couple of years, in terms of how old the product is.

So where does this leave me, as a tech blogger? Well, quite sincerely; it leaves me in a very awkward position. By the time I manage to get my eyes or hands on a “new” product, it’s already been reviewed many times, and most of the readers are already biased. What I usually, is to look at a couple of reviews, see what most readers disagreed with, and try to not follow the same “path”, without striding too far from my own opinion.

In the following months I will be bringing you technology news and opinions and I’m glad to be a part of the GAS team. I hope you enjoy my articles as much as I enjoy writing them, and I hope to discuss them with you all through my stay at this blog.





8 Responses to Technology in the middle of the world

  1. I wouldn’t worry because many [GAS] readers (including this one) live outside of those 3 “technology” poles as well. Also, you can still review software and talk about other stuff without necessarily experiencing it first-hand.

  2. I wouldn't worry because many [GAS] readers (including this one) live outside of those 3 "technology" poles as well. Also, you can still review software and talk about other stuff without necessarily experiencing it first-hand.

  3. I know exactly how you feel! I live in Iceland, and although Iceland is considered pretty far ahead in technology it’s almost always the technology that isn’t efficient for most of the population.
    LCD and Plasma for instance, o.k. I admit they’re not recent here in Iceland but the trend of owning one is. I get mail with brochures advertising there “latest” LCD/Plasma TV’s ^o) While in the U.S. it’s HD or Blueray :( It isn’t fair! :|

  4. Well it seems as the manufacturers assume that the market in Europe is too small, or wouldn’t jump on the product right away thus waits with releasing it here.

    Might be to generate buzz from the other “poles” so we here in Europe get all amped up about it, so it sells out instantly on release?

    I really don’t know what the deal with that is.
    But this phenomena with EU always being picked last might be that there is no big competition here so the companies don’t have to rush the product here to punch the competition in the face, could it be like that? And if we suddenly got some companies that did some serious competing with the big companies would that make product releases coming to EU much faster?

  5. I know exactly how you feel! I live in Iceland, and although Iceland is considered pretty far ahead in technology it's almost always the technology that isn't efficient for most of the population.

    LCD and Plasma for instance, o.k. I admit they're not recent here in Iceland but the trend of owning one is. I get mail with brochures advertising there "latest" LCD/Plasma TV's ^o) While in the U.S. it's HD or Blueray :( It isn't fair! :|

  6. Well it seems as the manufacturers assume that the market in Europe is too small, or wouldn't jump on the product right away thus waits with releasing it here.

    Might be to generate buzz from the other "poles" so we here in Europe get all amped up about it, so it sells out instantly on release?

    I really don't know what the deal with that is.

    But this phenomena with EU always being picked last might be that there is no big competition here so the companies don't have to rush the product here to punch the competition in the face, could it be like that? And if we suddenly got some companies that did some serious competing with the big companies would that make product releases coming to EU much faster?

  7. @krillz – Look at what Nintendo are doing with their first-party game, and hardware, releases. They usually release the same product within a month throughout the most relevant markets (with the order being Japan > US > Europe > Australia).

    It’s not just the innovative hardware and the fun games that are putting them on top. They are paying more attention to the gaming industry in global terms, rather than just focusing individually on each country.

  8. @krillz – Look at what Nintendo are doing with their first-party game, and hardware, releases. They usually release the same product within a month throughout the most relevant markets (with the order being Japan > US > Europe > Australia).

    It's not just the innovative hardware and the fun games that are putting them on top. They are paying more attention to the gaming industry in global terms, rather than just focusing individually on each country.