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gadgets

It’s the software, smartphone?

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I don’t have a smartphone, but I used to have Palm m100 (original), and Palm Tungsten E. I did not use it for power point, calendar or anything serious, the main functionality I used is its real player. It got 128 M SD card, so I can store about 30 songs on it.

Palm Tungsten E2 pic

Today’s smart phone is much more sohpiscated. Besides traditional voice capability, email, messaging (instant, text and multimedia), some phones also got web browsing, MP3/video playback, camera and video capturing, word/excel/power point editing. As I understand some blackberry can do SAP, IBM Lotus, or used as a remote control for home applicance (source: RIM June 25 conference call).

Market

Smart phone market suddenly becomes crowded after Apple jumped into the pond a year ago. Now we got phones like blackberry, HTC, iPhone, LG Voyger, Motorola Q, Nokia N series, Palm centro and Treo, Samsung BlackJack and Instinct, etc. OS-wise, we got blackberry, Windows mobile, Mac, Linux, and Google Android is scheduled to release late 2008 or early 2009.

So what do you pick? While I think some consumers will pick touch screen, or WOW factor (coolness of a brand, Apple) one would get from his/her friend. For enterprise users (CIOs of middle to large organizations, small business owners), they will pick service and application, not cool factor I listed earlier. The cool factor may be there for a while, but it could also go away quickly. Some people joked that now that iPhone knockoff is so popular (cheap) in China, will those white collar workers continue to embrace it?

Referece: this article is partially inspired by Threse Poletti and Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg “Companies that can master software are going to do better“.

(Update) An WSJ blog about smartphone players.

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