I recently received a catalog fromthe other day, from whom I purchased my first Tapwave Zodiac. I love Mobile Planet catalogs, and this issue is devoted to “The Latest in Windows Mobile Powered Devices,” supposedly containing “An amazing variety of Windows Mobile devices.”
So I opened it eagerly to see what it had, because I love convergent devices. Here’s the list:
i-mate JAQ: 200MHz, 64MB RAM, 128MB ROM, 2.8″ 240×320 screen, QWERTY keypad
Fujitsu Siemns LOOX T830: 416MHz, 64MB RAM, 128MB ROM, 2.4″ 240×240 screen, QWERTY keypad
BenQ-Siemens P51: 416MHz, 128MB RAM, 128MB ROM, 2.83″ 240×320 screen, QWERTY keypad
MIO A710: 520MHz, 64MB RAM, 128MB ROM, 2.7″ 320×240 screen (no keypad! shocker!)
E-Ten G500+: 400MHz, 64MB RAM, 256MB ROM, 2.8″ 240×320 screen (no keypad)
i-mate SPL: 200MHz, 64MB RAM, 128MB ROM, 2.2″ 240×320 screen, phone keypad
i-mate Smartflip: 200MHz, 64MB RAM, 128MB ROM, 2.2″ 240×320 screen, phone keypad (but it’s a flip phone! call AP!)
Samsung SGH-i320: 416MHz, 120MB “User memory”, 2.2″ 240×320 screen, QWERTY keypad
i-mate JAM: 416 MHz, 64MB RAM, 64MB ROM, 2.2″ 240×320 screen (no keypad)
i-mate JAM 128: 416 MHz, 64MB RAM, 128MB ROM, 2.2″ 240×320 screen (no keypad)
Yesiree bob! An *amazing* variety of Windows Mobile devices! They are all sooooooooo different! You can get 240×240! Or 240×320! Or be a rebel, and get 320×240, and with no keypad! Yowza!
Talk about a lack of imagination on the part of WM Smartphone designers. I’m reminded of a roomful of students, all of whom are copying off of the same test paper. Can’t these guys break the mold a little? Yeesh. Why the heck any of these companies would expect someone to pick their particular brand of vanilla phone over another, I have no idea. Reminds me very much of the days when all PCs where beige boxes with absolutely no attempt at differentiation. I thought we were done with those days, but apparently not.
And don’t even get me started about the names of these things. No wonder the RAZR sold so many units.
But never fear, device lovers; I am sure that it is just a phase. It seems pretty clear that Nokia, HTC, Samsung, and all the rest saw how successful Blackberry was, and didn’t want to miss the boat. I am sure that once they are over their fevers, there will be more innovation, and we will begin to see more clamshell devices, more convergent devices, or at the very least more devices with a screen larger than 3″! Why not sell a phone with a big screen and no keypad, but with built-in voice recognition and an included Bluetooth headset? Or include a Bluetooth keyboard that is half or 1/3 size, but not attach it to the phone? I’m sure some innovative engineer in Korea or Japan or Mountain View is dreaming up something right now.
But in the meantime, allow me to repeat: Yeesh.