The dawn of Smartcomputers, S60 Touch vs. OS X vs. Android vs. UIQ vs. Windows Mobile
November 21, 2007 by Dario Soltani
Access to portable communication, everywhere, all the time.
By the end of the 90′s telecom and information technology was tha shiznit of the business, everywhere you turned people were talking about mobility and connectivity. Internet was God reinvented and huge investment companies slammed millions of dollars in business which they believed would revolutionize how we lived and worked. Telecom companies promised huge profits and the stock exchange was glowing hot. Everybody, both private proprietors and investment funds were involved, whether they knew it or not in some way or another. What happened next can be described as massive IT-death, the false Gods didn’t meet up with the huge expectations, panic erupted as these heavily overvalued companies couldn’t show any profits. The investors fled searching for the next place of worship and most of the companies ceased to exist.
The ideas of mobility were somehow forgotten or put aside. The telecom prophets stopped chanting and instead tried to defend themselves and the millions they had embezzled. Some blamed the consumers saying they were not ready for all this new technology, some blamed the technology itself saying it was not ready for the consumers. As most times when these kind of things happen, the arguments were pathetic. Somehow CEO’s with fancy educations in economics and marketing forgot basic marketing processes; the consumer decides what to buy and the market adapts, producing what the consumer needs. The opposite situation is when a company produce merchandise nobody needs. As nobody will buy the merchandise the company won’t be able to make any money and likely cease to exist.
The 20 Worst Venture Capital Investments of All Time according to InsideCRM
- Amp’d Mobile: Received 360M dollars, went bankrupt 1st of June 2007.
- Procket: Received 272M dollars, was sold for 89M dollars.
- Webvan: Valued to 1,2B dollars, went bankrupt in 2001.
- Caspian Networks: Received 300M dollars, shut down.
- Pets.com: Received 50M dollars, shut down.
- Optiva: Received 41,5M dollars, bankrupt.
- Kozmo.com: Received 250M dollars, liquidated.
- Cue Cat: Received 185M dollars, no longer exists.
- DeNovis Inc.: Received 125M dollars, shut down.
- Point Cast Inc.: Received tens of millions of dollars, said no to a 400M dollar purchase proposal, later sold for 7M dollars.
- Etoys: Went bankrupt.
- All Advantage: 135M dollars gone
- Fast Forward: 54M dollars gone, company went bankrupt.
- Xoma: Never made any money, even though they started in 1981.
- Flooz.com: Received 50M dollars, went bankrupt.
- Vanguarde Media Inc.: Received 60M dollars, crashed.
- Pixelon.com: Spent 16M dollars in a short period of time.
- Bolt Media Inc.: Shut down after spending 60M dollars.
- DigiScents: Spent 60M dollars, ceased to exist.
- Boo.com: Known for spending 120M dollars, went bankrupt.
Things have changed, now – almost ten years later – the technology is more consumer friendly, most of the world is connected to the internet, wireless networks are everywhere and the speeds are ‘good enough’ for most consumers. Almost every person owns or has access to a mobile phone capable of connecting to the internet, even in remote areas of the world. Today consumers like me wants to be connected, no we need to be connected, all the time – everywhere.
This time it’s going to happen, we will become mobile all the time and everywhere using our cellphones, err no smartphones, err no excuse me… I mean smart computers. Some might say it’s already happened. What’s a smart computer? Well I just made up the word, but the concept has been here for quite some time. A smart computer is a device that gets you connected everywhere all the time basically. Smart computers are used to communicate, by making calls, surfing the internet, sending and recieving e-mails etc. Isn’t that what smartphones do? No it’s not. Smartphones are phones with computer like capabilities. I’m not talking about phones, I’m talking about computers with the ability to make calls.
- Traditional portable computers are big and not really very ‘portable’. We carry them around in a special bag and pick them up when we need to get some work done, usually working for at least one hour at the time. You turn it on and wait a minute or so for the OS the load. Next step is usually to connect to the internet. The whole process from where you want to get some work done and until you actually can get started working usually takes a few minutes.
- Smartphones on the other hand are basically phones built to make calls with, but with the significant difference that you can do other things with them such as taking photos, surf the Internet or send e-mails.
- A smart computer is a computer built to be mobile and with the ability to communicate everywhere all the time in many different ways. They focus on being portable and fast as the user carries them around in their pockets and use them for about 30 seconds at a time. At the same time they make it possible to do many of the things people use portable computer to do. You pick it up, you do what you need to do and then put it back in your pocket.
Google, HTC, Blackberry RIM, Skype, Nokia, Apple, Microsoft, Symbian and UIQ are all very aware of this, just to name a few of the companies involved. Ever since Microsoft went public with their plans to getting serious about mobility with Windows Mobile in 2003 the trend has been obvious. Apple launched their iPhone using the OS X platform, Google has big plans with the new Android platform, Symbian is about to release S60 Touch, Nokia is already ahead of others with their N800 & N810 internet tablets where they actually decided to remove ‘ordinary call functionality’ using SIM-cards and only use VoIP services such as Skype. UIQ is Sony Ericsson’s and Motorola’s attempt to keep up with the game, Motorola is by the way also flirting with Microsoft using their Windows Mobile platform in some of their high end devices.
Niklas Savander, Executive Vice President, Technology Platforms as of April 1, 2006.
Next week Sony Ericsson will announce their new online music service just as Nokia did some time ago. Nokia’s also been buying a series of companies who deal with online services such as music distribution and map services. Nokia’s biggest buy was Navteq which they payed about 8 billion dollars for, an amazing sum of money! Nokia will also go through a major reorganization starting in January 2008 as a step in adjusting to this new market with open platforms and smart computers. Another inidicator is Niklas Savander becoming Executive Vice President of Nokia’s new Services and software department. All in all we can say Nokia’s changing focus from hardware to software. Just like Google Labs, Nokia’s Beta Labs will make new software available at a beta stage, so that users can try them out and send Nokia feedback before the software is released commercially.
These are some of the things I’ll focus on when I meet up with people at Fast Track. All this is good news for us consumers, 2008 will be the year of mobility!