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View Full Version : Embracing Innovation

Robert Levy
10-13-2003, 02:00 PM
The past week has been full of big announcements in Smartphone-land. Things started out with the disappointing warning that Smartphone users will be unable to use MSN Messenger for a while (starting Wednesday) as we wait for Microsoft and mobile operators to release an updated version with added “security” features. This was followed up by the much-hyped Mystery Partner announcement which turned out to be Sierra Wireless. The new Voq Smartphone, while being flaunted for its innovative flip-out keyboard design and custom software enhancements, has taken some abuse in our forums and other discussion boards around the net for its unusual body shape. Personally, I prefer devices with a more original look but regardless of the Voq’s appearance there is no denying that having additional manufacturers building Smartphones is a good thing. Another thing we can count on is that mobile operators and other manufacturers will be watching the Voq to evaluate how consumers react to the keyboard and software enhancements. If Voq owners send more text messages, emails and instant messages than other users (and I expect that they will), we can count on more Smartphone devices in the future to come loaded with some type of integrated keyboard. <br /><br />This leads us to the other big announcement of the week: Orange is now officially going to carry the “SPV e200” Smartphone which is packed full of the things that the geekiest of us have long been clamoring to get in a Windows Mobile-powered device. Modeled after the HTC Tanager (which Orange calls the e100), the e200 adds Bluetooth and integrated camera. These two additions, along with the much improved Smartphone 2003 operating system, push the SPV line of Smartphones far beyond the level of functionality available from other manufacturers. Again, the industry will be watching this device closely to see how it is received. There is an important distinction between this and the Voq though. The e200's success will be determined largely by 3rd party software developers. The Voq’s keyboard makes things more pleasant when data entry is required but this will work for all applications right out of the box. For the e200, we have to look towards software developers and see what they can come up with to take advantage of the integrated camera and Bluetooth connectivity.<br /><br />It’s exciting to see both of these devices officially announced as both enable new sets of usage scenarios. Each of these will meet the needs of users which were left unfulfilled by the previous breeds. Pocket PC hardware design has reached a level of stagnation where there are many manufacturers doing pretty much the exact same thing. But with Smartphone makers working hard to differentiate their products we have the opposite going on here. This strong, positive momentum is something to be embraced and cherished.

10-14-2003, 05:45 AM
This is an exciting and exhausting time in smartphoneland. Evertime you turn, there is a new product being announced. I am waiting for a combo device with BT, WIFI, a camera and a keyboard. :lol: Am I asking for too much? Just stay tuned. I am waiting with my trusty treo 180 until there is a "shakeout:. This is worse than being a 5 year old in a candy store.. Keep the info coming, Robert...

10-14-2003, 05:20 PM
I'd love to see an OEM like Dell revolutionize the whole game with a modular design. I'd love to pick a phone case and then customize it with options like a PC. I understand that it's a lot more complicated because of the size, but if someone can pull it off they'll be rewarded in the end. After all, isn't that the point of an operating system like Windows?

Foo Fighter
10-14-2003, 08:18 PM
I'd love to see an OEM like Dell revolutionize the whole game with a modular design.

Dell has officially shelved its Smartphone plans. You won't be seeing a Dell MS Smartphone now. :(