Everything Cell Phones

August 1, 2004

in Mobility

To me via Smart Mobs.

The handset is rapidly consuming every other aspect of mobile consumer electronics: PDAs, cameras, GPS receivers, MP3 players, DVD players and game consoles. In the process, the SoC companies and intellectual-property (IP) providers that had planned to make a living in each of those areas will be drawn in — for the most part, to their doom.

Convergence is being driven by a simple consumer want: “Don’t make me carry a bagful of toys when one will do.” Two electronic gizmos in a package are better than one, as long as the form factor doesn’t get out of control or the user interface become inscrutable. This is what’s happening with second- or third-generation PDA/cell phone combinations, which are rapidly spreading through the ranks of professional users.

At the same time, the very cellular handsets that are bringing them nothing are destroying the SoC vendors’ original markets. Free handsets with 2- to 3-megapixel cameras, good MP3 players, decent organizers and good videogames will decimate each of those standalone markets. The only survivors among mobile consumer devices will be high-end niches temporarily beyond the reach of the handset’s electronics

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