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View Full Version : Symbian Exec Says "The PDA is Dead"

Jason Dunn
09-05-2003, 08:00 PM
Here's a strong statement for you:"Gadget lovers could find that their mobile phone fulfils all their needs in the very near future. So says David Levin, head of phone software firm Symbian, reviewing the firm's future prospects. He said the falling cost of putting extras, such as cameras, into handsets would mean big changes for the consumer electronics market. But, he added, it would take time for consumers to start using all the features in their increasingly smart phones and perhaps longer for operators to work out ways to generate significant amounts of cash from new services."You know what? I think he's right, to a certain extent. The PDA will always exist in some form, but in next five years we're going to see cell phones becoming more and more powerful. I know that for myself, my Smartphone does much of what I need day to day when I'm mobile, so much so that I don't carry my Pocket PC around as much as I used to. That's a big change in my behaviour! But by the same token, my wife (who uses an iPAQ 1910) had no desire to use a Red-E Smartphone that I had here! 8O She said she didn't want to do her email on such a small screen. The idea of using an iPAQ 1945 and a Sony Ericcson T68i, both with Bluetooth, intrigued her though. She wants the phone to be as little as possible, and she wants to use it only as a phone. I offered her a Nokia 3650, but she felt it was too big to be used as a phone. Very interesting, no? She wants the bigger touch-screen of the Pocket PC, and the smallest phone possible. So for her, the PDA is certainly not dead.Is the PDA dead for you, or alive and kicking?

09-05-2003, 09:31 PM
For quite some time I have thought that I would need 2 devices - Pocket PC AND SmartPhone. The PPC for the more intensive data-centric work, like looking over my various spreadsheets and documents, running remote admin software, etc. The smartphone for the usual voice-related stuff, viewing e-mail quickly from various accounts, direct-dialing my contacts synced from Outlook, checking my calendar, maybe doing some moblogging, etc.

I like the smartphone-only idea to a degree because I carry my phone EVERYWHERE (while I usually leave my PPC at home when I'm not working), but I don't know if it will ever allow me to practically run remote admin software or play with Word and Excel files quite like a PPC can. Plus, I'd like to be able to talk on the phone while checking things on my PPC. I don't think I could talk and work at the same time on my smartphone.

09-06-2003, 10:54 AM

I can understand the needs of your missus on having 2 separate devices instead of one. PDAphones have reached their physical limits as to how small (read prortable) they can go, and the emerging smartphone products - although offering functionality of PDAs - won't cut it for more robust work that requires maximum viewability on-screen (such as web browsing.)

So I definitely think that PDAs still have a long way to go. In fact, I forsee that they will GROW in size, and ultimately merge with the sub-category of mini-notebooks, offering laptop-grade horsepower with the portability of an existing PDA. A good example will be Sony's UX50 "PDA". (http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start;sid=51i9op8-1sy9qaBnSti3qdAuWyEdQiykfDw=?CategoryName=hp_UXSeries&ProductSKU=PEGUX50%2fUKIT1&Dept=hp)

09-07-2003, 02:02 AM
after using an XDA for a while, i reverted back to a PDA + BT Phone and used to carry it pretty much everywhere, now the PDA only comes with me if I'm going to be travelling or it would substitute instead of bringing a laptop along somewhere

i switched to a Series 60 for the personal phone last year and a P800 for the business phone earlier this year and each filled the gap pretty well, nice OS and pretty feature rich, the P800's MemoryStickDuo was a drawback (already owning a few SD/MMC cards) but a 128MB Duo fits enough to keep me going

i switched to a HTC Tanager based MS Smartphone though over the summer, and find it a good handset (although not as stable as the P800 on both the OS and Telephony side of things) - and after going to the extra expense of purchasing WorldOffLine (offline web cache) and MailCenter (multiple mailboxes) to 'enhance' the OS it's working out well with every day but only for personal use - the P800 is still the business phone

waiting with interest to see the Smartphone 2003 OS and devices, things look interesting...

09-08-2003, 08:04 PM
With the smaller iPAQ h2210, again I take my Pocket PC everywhere. I love the bigger screen for text entry and for showing holiday pictures. But unlike before, I can imagine walking around with just a smartphone on occasions where you'd want to pack as light as possible. For generic use, it simply wouldn't be enough for me.

09-08-2003, 09:29 PM
Two years ago I wanted 2 devices and bluetooth. That way I could choose the correct cell carrier/phone for the area Afterall I didn't want to be forced to upgrade my PDA to get some new phone features.

Today things are pretty much the same and very different. The upcoming (Treo 600 and XDA2) converged devices fit my feature list. Both look like they have SDIO so WiFi is a possibility. But I don't want to kill my phone battery w/ WiFi.

Just not sure yet. In fact the only thing I'm sure of is that battery technology moves too damn slow.