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Gerald Nunn

I agree the cell phone companies should concentrate on making the best cell phone possible while including the ability to synch your phone with Outlook to get PDA data in a read only fashion. Personally I'd love to be able to browse my appointments, contacts, notes, etc on the cell phone but have no interest in updating them on a small device.

BTW, ever see "Earth: Final Conflict" on TV. Awful show but they do have the coolest PDA. It's a small tube that you pull open to view a thin plastic screen that displays info. This allows it to be compact and light for carrying purposes but gives a largish screen size when in use. I believe IBM is working on this. This thing, if practical, would solve the convergence form factor problem IMHO.

William Volk

You should take a look at the Nokia 3300 phone.

Qwerty Keyboard and a small cell phone form factor.

http://www.forum.nokia.com/main/1,6566,015_006,00.html

realist

>pitch devices that were everything for everyone

Aren't we in an era where it will be custom everything from everyone? Why not have users custom spec their device on-line to their needs and have it delivered to them? We aren't that far from this level of customization, and the PDA market is getting small of enough where this is actually possible (haha).

niraj

check out the nokia 6800. I just got it last month through AT&T Wireless and love it. While it only supports GSM, it has great RF. It syncs with Outlook over IR (contacts, calendar, to do lists). It has an XHTML browser and supports J2ME apps (comes preloaded with a POP/IMAP client)... and supposedly, it will support Blackberry software by the end of this year. All this for $150!

Also, with the HS-1C camera headset accessory, you can add picture taking capability.

may

Yes I agree that manufacturers should stop trying to make something that is all things to all people. However I think it belies our age when we think of the phone as primarily a voice communications device. Text communication (SMS, IM, and Email) and visual communication (a camera) are features I think are important for the younger set. (and if any phone designers are reading this, please make a phone with a retractable ear piece!)

Mahlen

I agree that, for now at least, convergence requires tradeoffs, and that the tradeoffs made should be reflected in how you market and price the item. For example, after replacing my Palm and cell phone with a Danger Hiptop (aka T-Mobile Sidekick), I realized that this was a good device for me because i'm much more of a data person (email/AIM/Web) than a voice person. Fortunately, the pricing at the time (unlimited data, costly voice minutes) reflect that as well.

Despite that, it's good to have a little bit of camera. The teeny images the older Hiptop make aren't worth printing out, but they do convey a face reasonably well. I'll bring a real camera if i want a real image.

It would be good if the marketing and pricing of all these devices correctly convey their respective strengths and weaknesses, rather than pretending to be all things to all people. Of course, in ten years, the tech may have improved to the point these compromises won't be necessary.

mahlen

tlack

Disagree completely. I think in a few years we'll look back on our pockets bulging with many semi-related devices and wonder how we ever did it. We're close already; my digital camera has an optional decent MP3 player. Most people's PDAs also do MP3s, and many now have cameras. The PDA-Cellphone thing is still a bit off but I have no doubt that usable, convenient converged devices are inevitable. Is it great, currently? Of course not; we're still in version 1 (or 2). But new devices like the Sony Clie flip-thing have me convinced that we're making rapid progress.

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