Samsung Galaxy Note Review

By , December 31, 2011 7:32 pm

If you haven’t read the specifications of the Note you can do that by clicking here

The foremost significance of the Note is its size: 5.3″, compared to 3.5″ of iPhone

iPhone 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note vs. iPad 2

iPhone 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy Note vs. iPad 2. Image Source

  1. Perfect solution for me: ONE gadget that works as both a phone and a tablet which CAN fit in my pants’ and jeans’ pockets
  2. The large screen minimizes mistyping for my thumbs. I always messed up with iPhone and similar-sized screens. The minimum I’m comfortable with is landscape Samsung Galaxy S II. It took Apple’s competitors 4 years to make decent pure touch-screen phones.

    Samsung Galaxy Note S II

    Samsung Galaxy Note vs. Samsung Galaxy S II

  3. The virtual keyboard of Galaxy series is better than that of HTC Sensation, I feel like the animation of Sensation bounds back at my finger too hard
  4. The touch screen is not as responsive as that of HTC, but is still good
  5. The Super AMOLED screen is terrific
  6. Most of the time I don’t need to zoom in while surfing
  7. I feel like the browser is not as good as Safari. However, Adobe Flash is a plus.
  8. I can slip the tablet into my pocket without a bulge. In fact, because the tablet is thin, it lies neatly along the pocket compared to thicker models like Blackberry Torch 9810Samsung Galaxy Note Review thin
  9. The stylus is think enough, and control feels just right
  10. Battery lasts for a whole work day which is beyond my expectation
  11. The design is sleek and on par with that of iPhone 4S
  12. More customization compared to iPhone 4S
  13. Memory: even with devices of 16Gb, Android 2.3 still partitions 2Gb for system memory. At least 500Mb is occupied by the operating system. 2Gb system memory is not enough for applications.

Why hasn’t Case-Mate released a Barely There for Samsung Galaxy Note?

Tai Tran’s Guide to Amazon Kindles, 2011

By , December 26, 2011 12:31 pm

guide amazon kindle dx fire touch keyboard basic mobile device

Why Twitter never took off in Vietnam

By , December 23, 2011 11:38 am
  1. Vietnamese users like colorful, emotional, right-brain products. Twitter is analytical, left-brain. Right-brain: Tumblr, daily life, emotional messages, visual.
  2. Vietnamese users are unfamiliar with Follow, and have no incentive to learn the concept.
  3. Twitter is individualistic while Vietnamese in general are collectivistic.
  4. Vietnamese users haven’t had the need to follow influencers. In fact, many social influencers are not tech-savvy. Early Twitter adopters are geeks and online marketers who are not appealing to mass users.
  5. Vietnamese sentences are longer than those of English, on average.
  6. Early adopters started to use Twitter in 2007-2008 when smartphones were costly to mass users. When smartphones are much cheaper now, Vietnam Twitter is deserted. Also, it took too long for to roll out SMS service.
  7. Twitter offers no gamification.

Would Weibo clones do any better than the wave of dead Twitter clones in 2008? We’ll see.

The real competitors of Foursquare

By , December 21, 2011 1:28 pm

foursquare american express amex deal

As a small(er) merchant, I am tempted to ask Foursquare:

Why do I have to run a campaign on Foursquare when other marketing channels are available to me?

  1. Search
  2. Context ads
  3. Facebook ads
  4. Groupon
  5. Contests on Facebook page & Twitter

On product level, Foursquare’s competitors include Facebook Places and Gowalla, which was acquired by Facebook.

On monetization level, Foursquare’s competitors are all marketing service providers available to SMEs. When Foursquare wants to scale, it’s going head-on with, gasp, Google, Facebook and Groupon.


By , December 20, 2011 7:45 pm
  1. Four men venture into a cave, one returns alive. Truth lies in the mouth of the survivor [Hanh Truong].
  2. If one person knows the truth but nobody believes him, that is not a truth.
  3. There is no guarantee that what everybody believes in is the truth.
  4. Many three-year-olds vigorously defend the truth that Sandy Claws Santa Claus exists. Older folks have more truths to defend.
  5. There’s no guarantee that a truth a smart man believes in is not a story slipped to him by a smarter man.
  6. If you like to think that half a truth is not a truth, how can you be certain that your determined truth is not half a greater truth?
  7. Whatever guys tell girls to get ’em in bed are never truth.

Photo: Dilbert 7 March 2009

How leads Vietnam Groupbuying market

By , December 20, 2011 10:20 am

NhomMua statistics as collected by DealCuaTui as at 20.12.2011

  • Revenue VND 240.5 billion
  • Market share 36%
  • Highest revenue per month except for June, September and November 2011

Other statistics

  • Over a million vouchers sold
  • Brand equity is among top 2 in the market
  • NhomMua is recognized to feature the top merchants by many buyers

How they do it

  1. Strategic partnership: Rebate Networks which specializes in Groupon cloning
  2. Extensive investment in advertising
  3. 360o advertising: web banners, building LCD, elevator LCD, coffee shop LCD, taxi LCD. They attempt to cover a person’s full day with their brand
  4. Strong sales team aiming to win the top merchants. Merchant quality is one key factor to retain customers
  5. Signing exclusive contracts with merchants to block other groupbuy players
  6. Win the market to attract investment
  7. Utilizing DiaDiem’s infrastructure data for delivery logistics
  8. Office design that forces sales team to the streets

What about profit?

For a loss leader strategy like that of NhomMua, immediate profitability is not their top priority. Maybe they’re betting on market position and surviving the competition.


High competition from Hotdeal, MuaChung, CungMua, and Everyday.

What next?

With the infrastructure and attention on hand, they may launch:

  • e-Commerce service
  • Logistics service
  • Social shopping service
  • Mobile shopping and other mobile apps

NhomMua and NhacCuaTui’s birthday. Photo from vnExpress

Vietnam e-Commerce and e-Payment, 2012 Outlook, Open Consultant Offline December 2012

By , December 19, 2011 10:22 am

I gave a presentation on “Vietnam e-Commerce and e-Payment, 2012 Outlook” at Open Consultant Offline December 2012.

open consultant offline December 2011 vietnam e-commerce e-payment

You can view the slide here.

The live feed of the event is here

More information to be updated.

BaskinRobbins is back in Vietnam!

By , December 18, 2011 4:22 pm

BaskinRobbins entered Vietnam in 1993 or 1994 with the brand message “thirty-one favors ice-cream”. I was in love with the ice-cream on Tran Hung Dao street.

The imported ice-cream was a luxury. It cost approximately $2 per coup and GDP per capita (PPP) back then was $170! [Source: WorldBank]

To no-one’s surprise, the chain vanished from the country. The last store I saw was on Pasteur street in late 1996 or 1997.

Baskin Robbins is being brought back to Vietnam. The first store opens on 424 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai on 19.12.2011. I also saw a BaskinRobbins store under construction on Pham Hong Thai – Truong Dinh corner.

Still the pink big board I loved. They registered the domain name and the website redirects to It is likely the chain is brought to Vietnam by an RMIT Vietnam student.

Today, BaskinRobbins will have to compete with Bud’s San Francisco ice-cream chain, local Fanny chain, local Godfather chain. Häagen-Dazs also entered Vietnam recently.

Good luck, my favorite ice-cream brand!

How many Kindles has Amazon launched?

By , December 17, 2011 6:53 am

As at today there are 13 models of Kindle currently offered:

  1. Kindle DX Wi-Fi
  2. Kindle DX 3G
  3. Kindle Keyboard (was known as Kindle 3) Wi-Fi with Special Offers
  4. Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi without Special Offers
  5. Kindle Keyboard 3G with Special Offers
  6. Kindle Keyboard 3G without Special Offers
  7. Kindle (was known as Kindle Basic) with Special Offers
  8. Kindle without Special Offers
  9. Kindle Touch Wi-Fi with Special Offers
  10. Kindle Touch Wi-Fi without Special Offers
  11. Kindle Touch 3G with Special Offers
  12. Kindle Touch 3G without Special Offers
  13. Kindle Fire

Models no longer offered:

  1. The first Kindle
  2. Kindle 2
  3. Kindle 3 with Special Offers

Nevertheless, the number of models are distinctively different enough.

  • K-Basic for basic reading without extensive note-taking. This is currently the smallest and lightest.
  • K-Keyboard for those with the need to take note and web-surfing
  • K-DX for larger screen
  • K-Touch for those who crave for haptic interaction
  • and K-Fire for a tablet

Except for K-Fire, the e-Ink technology in the models are essentially the same.

When will Amazon launch Kindle Fire 3G?

Kindle 1 vs. Kindle 2

Kindle 2 vs. Kindle DX

Kindle 3 vs. Kindle 2

Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, Kindle Basic

Why I was banned from Twitter search and hashtag and how I resolved it

By , December 17, 2011 3:09 am

twitter account issue issues problem ban

Sometime in 2008 I was having issue with my Twitter account.

  1. A search of keyword "taitran" did not display my tweets
  2. My tweets were not displayed in hashtag aggregation, for example #barcampSaigon

I DM @support and received no response.

On 1 December 2011 I DM @support again and received a reply

Please file a support ticket so that our agents can check out your account. Mention that you’re not in search. Thanks!

I filed two support tickets. The cases are resolved after two weeks. Here is the response from Twitter:

Thanks for letting us know that your updates were not appearing in Twitter search results. In order to provide the best search experience for users, Twitter automatically filters search results for quality. To understand what might have caused your Tweets to jeopardize search quality, please review this page:

It looks like at some point a third-party website was posting duplicate Tweets to your account. We’ve now updated your account settings so that your Tweets will appear in the search results. Please note that it may take at least 24 hours for recent Tweets to be indexed, and due to the dynamic nature of Twitter’s search algorithm, you may not find every recent Tweet in Twitter search.

So the issues resulted from third-party apps messing with my account. I unauthorized all suspicious programs.

So now my Twitter account is back, full-pledged and healthy.

Hello searches and hashtags, so long!

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