Thursday, June 17, 2010

New mobile technology blurs the line between cell phone and PC

There was a lot of new technology introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show at the beginning of the year. Now is the time when that new technology has started to come out and become available to the public.

There is finally word about the Palm Pre coming out soon. The New York Times said yesterday that the phone would be coming out the first week of June. The phone, which has been hailed as the device that may very well save Palm from the brink of bankruptcy, has a new and “revolutionary” operating system called WebOS. Palm hasn’t created a new operating system in many years.

Then there is another mobile device gartering some attention: the new Acer Aspire One netbooks have new features like a multi-gesture touchpad (think iPhone like gestures for a laptop touchpad), a card reader that reads many different formats than just SD or Memory Stick Pro, and one of the largest screens for a “netbook.” At just over 11”, the A0751h is starting to cross into the ultra portable category where 12” laptops can sell for well over $1,500. However the A0751h keeps its price at around $350 MSRP.

With the introduction of new technologies, it is becoming more and more difficult to draw the line at what is a computer, what is a cell phone, and the difference between a netbook and a ultra portable laptop. Sure, when you look at a cell phone, you can see that it is a device that is subsidized by a cellular carrier, GSM phones have SIM cards…But, now there are netbooks that are being subsidized by cellular companies (that even require SIM cards for AT&T). Then there is a whole new category of MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) that are handheld computers that are able to do most of the things that netbooks can do. Look at the picture at the top of the post…

This is a MID, but it doesn’t look too different from a HTC Tilt, or Touch Pro. These MIDs are really blurring the line between cellular device and PC and it’s not like it would be too difficult to put a cellular receiver in any of these devices to make them a cell phone.

I think that one day soon, the computer and the cell phone will be one device. Kind of like how there aren’t as many people carrying around cameras anymore since their phones’ cameras have fairly good resolution (or in the case of the Samsung Memoir for T-Mobile, it has an 8 megapixel camera attached). I wouldn’t mind having a device that did it all…camera, phone, computer. I already have a laptop I leave at home, a Palm Centro for my phone calls, a netbook for taking to school and traveling, and a digital camera…being able to have all of these devices in one place would be great.

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