Mobile Convergence, Smartphones & Tablet Computers
Dell’s soon-to-be-released Streak mobile smartphone/tablet raises mobile convergence to a new level.
Take Dell’s 5″ screen device. While smartphone displays are growing larger, tablet computer screens are getting smaller.
The latest Android phones, such as Sprint’s HTC EVO and Verizon’s Droid X, have 4.3″ screens. If this trend continues, the Universe will turn inside out. Big objects will become smaller and small devices will become bigger accelerating the growth of mobile convergence devices.
I wrote an MB post called “Mobility, Portability and Accessibility in a Wireless Age.” In the piece, I commented about how electronic gadgets and other things in our lives (toasters, laptops, hair dryers) are mobile, meaning movable like books and even trucks. Other objects are portable, such as small battery-powered radios but not your fridge (without using a dolly). And the most important category: accessibility. If any electronic or non-electronic device is not accessible, then it’s usefulness is questionable.
“In our struggle to mobilize and portabilize our mobile devices, we should be more concerned about turning these marvelous creations into accessible wireless devices. Cloud computing is great. But if you have to struggle with your inaccessible touch-screened, Androided, AT&T’d, iconized mobile, you might as well buy a ruggedized cell phone. At least it has buttons to push so you can call someone to fix a flat tire on your mobile and portable car.”
Mobile Convergence Future
So the folks over at Dell are feverishly trying to resurrect a company once known for quality personal computers. But since Steve Jobs at Apple and other visionaries have declared the age of mobile, Dell has no choice but to downsize its computers into mobile gadgets and tablets.
- The Internet will drive mobile convergence. With five billion mobile phones on Earth and another five billion wireless devices due by the end of 2011, it’s clear, as Morgan Stanley’s exhaustive report indicates, wireless connectivity is the primary factor driving the future of mobile solutions.
- Despite smartphone feature growth (the “Swiss Army Knife Syndrome”), I agree with Michael Becker who believes single-purpose gadgets, like digital cameras, will compete effectively with mobile phones.
- Smartphones and other wireless-connecting devices, tethered to laptops and other computing devices, will not only provide Internet access but additional functionality. For example, I can imagine a low-cost netbook not only sharing an HTC EVO’s Wi-Fi network but accessing its applications as well. Likewise, some people will buy super-fast wireless modems for their laptops and carry a cheaper mobile phone for phone calls. Boy Genius just revealed Verizon’s LTE USB modem that provides greater functionality.
- The majority of cell phone handsets will not have mobile Web access for many years, hindering mobile convergence growth. However, wireless device Internet access is growing. Around 1.6 billion handsets, are connected to the Web.
Mobile convergence of diverse communication devices continues growing.