Friday, November 27, 2020

Thoughts on 3GSM 2008

February 13, 2008 by · 1 Comment 

I swung by Barcelona to check out the latest and greatest in the phone world. I must say that this is one impressive conference. Just waiting in line to register was awe-inspiring.

I’m not going to cover new phone releases, for many of my peers have done so in a more timely fashion, but I do want to make some general comments on where the phone manufacturers seem to be headed this year.

The impact of the iPhone is clear. LG with their Soul phone and Prada phone, and Samsung with their Armani phone and F480 demonstrate this influence. I must admit I very much liked what they’re doing too. It will only be a matter of time until all the players are closing in on Apple’s innovations. Touch is where 2008 will be played.

However, one thing that is holding back these devices back is the lack of a truly extensible and open platform. The F480, as nice as it is, for example, still won’t be able to load all the really powerful apps that a Symbian or WinMo device can. I’m not saying that Samsung should make a phone that runs these platforms, but perhaps they should create a new ‘lite’ widget-based platform open and easy for developers to contribute (other than through Java). This would give Apple, Symbian, LinuxMo (in general) and WinMo a true run for their money.

In the future, the platform issue may be less relevant as manufacturers, in general, push towards browsing the ‘real web’ on the mobile. Many manufacturers were emphasizing phones with browsers that can do the real web, or at least use real web standards, but I’m not sure that we’ll be moving away from WAP any time soon.

Over at Nokia, I was disappointed to see that there were no new E-series devices released, but the new N96 and Navigators were nice to play with. Their design deceives you into thinking they’re touch devices, they aren’t. I had the chance to play with these devices and although they are a step up, I didn’t feel moved by them, I think they perhaps felt more like a step upgrade rather than a whole new direction. The new Nokia Maps does looks very promising though. I fell in love with the N810, but I ran out of pockets.

From Sony Ericsson, there were some cool new devices and Bluetooth accessories that caught my attention, but the prize was the new WinMo device, which points toward SE making a serious entry into the corporate market. Interesting.. and the device looks pretty suave too.

I also got to see the mockups of the new Garmin Nuvifone.. very cool. Lets see how it performs when it comes out later this year. High expectations from these excellent UI guys.
For my pictures (few) of the event.. go here

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