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Old 07-17-2003, 12:12 PM
Andy Sjostrom
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,177
Default Thoughts Inspiring Article,5104,1062,00.html

The Computer Times article "Get ready for Windows smart phones" lines up a number of relevant aspects of Smartphone benefits as well as challenges. The main theme of the article is the fact that the number of mobile network operators offering Smartphones increases steadily. The two main Smartphone benefits that the article mentions are componentization and enterprise fit.

I believe that, in one way or another, we will see the high end mobile phone market move towards a design and manufacturing model similar to that of the PC market. Off the shelves components are put together and made to power one common operating system or another. The article says: "He said Taiwanese manufacturers would offer customisation 'even if you order about 100,000 units'. For the same volume, Nokia would not do the same, he noted." This is the benefit of componentization. The threshold for new players to enter this market has become much lower the last 18 months. The reason is that building a cell phone based on proprietary components and developing a proprietary operating system alone is much more expensive than using more common components and software.

The Smartphone is powered by Windows and a programming model known to millions of developers working as consultants or in internal IT-shops of large companies. This will undoubtedly lead to a vast number of Enterprise Smartphone application soon. In my opinion, the main missing piece that needs to fall into place is the .NET Compact Framework for Smartphone. The article says: "The Windows smart phones will attract corporate businesses with a mobile field force, say experts. Microsoft already has extensive back-end software offerings for the enterprise."

The three challenges working against the Smartphone, that the article brings up, are branding, support and lack of applications: "Branding is one problem. The phones may be marketed as 'SingTel Smartphones' and Singaporeans who like brands such as Nokia or Motorola may take some convincing...". I firmly believe that Microsoft needs to come up with a simple brand name for its Smartphones. Even though most operators would probably want to stick their own name to the phone at first thought, I believe everyone would benefit if all Smartphones carried one common brand element.

Support is said to be a problem: "Product support is another problem for operators, he added. Phone makers such as Nokia take care of their own repairs here. When it comes to a SingTel smart phone, the operator may have to offer its own technical support". When operators start selling phones as their own product, support needs to be taken care of. This can be resource intensive and has to be planned for.

Finallly, lack of applications: "Mr Andrew Buay, chief operating adviser at Globe Telecom in the Philippines, said that a current lack of applications for the smart phones may slow down their adoption". Applications will come as more and more developers start explore the Smartphone's abilities and potential. And when operators stop the stupidity of locking down phones.

All in all, a very interesting article which inspired lots of thoughts!
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