Friday, November 21, 2008

Gadgets to avoid buying this holiday season

According to Pegoraro at Washingtonpost, It's pretty much all negativity, explaining why five kinds of gadgets aren't worth your money this holiday season: Blu-ray high-definition players, XM and Sirius satellite radio receivers, set-top Internet video boxes, phones running Google's Android software and e-book readers like Amazon's Kindle.

My inbox has yet to fill up with "how could you?!" or "Ugh" e-mails from publicists for the companies that make these things, but I'm pretty sure those messages are being composed as I write this.

I understand why they might feel a little blindsided -- I've said complimentary things about all of these things in the past. See, for example, my assessments of such Internet video receivers as Apple's Apple TV and Roku's Netflix Player; T-Mobile's G1 Android phone; and Amazon's Kindle.

(Then again, I've long been a Blu-ray skeptic, and I thought the Sirius-XM merger was a dumb idea from the start.)

If you ask me about these five gadgets again in late 2009, I might be far more optimistic about them -- almost all of their failings are not the result of any technological limits, but business decisions made by companies who could do better. Android phones, for example, should be a much better choice once more than one carrier and manufacturer offer them. On the other hand, companies can be awfully stubborn about admitting they've made a mistake (Apple comes to mind in particular). So I'm really not sure. How about you? How do you think these five gadgets will be doing a year from now?

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