Featuring analysis from

  • DisplaySearch
  • Solarbuzz

Can the Smartphone Do it All?

With the evolution of faster applications processors, availability of better mobile productivity apps and increasing size of mobile displays, today’s smartphones deliver a broader set of features that overlap with what traditional mobile PCs and even newer generation tablets provide. Smartphones keep integrating, converging and evolving and have already replaced countless single-purpose devices, such as MP3 players, personal navigation systems, digital cameras, pedometers, remote controls and more. On the one hand, the processing power, display capabilities, and improving user interfaces available on smartphones make them increasingly competitive with tablet and mobile PCs in content consumption, and in many cases creation. On the other hand, the convergence of applications and functions has highlighted voice as a key point of differentiation for smartphones, but with VoLTE (Voice over Long Term Evolution) and cellular modems, tablet and mobile PCs will be able to function more like phones. At that point, the tradeoff will truly be between convenience (size, portability) and performance (screen size, processor, memory, battery, power consumption, heat dissipation).

Some other things to consider:

  • How will the smartphone differentiate itself from mobile PCs and tablets, aside from screen size?
  • What are smartphone makers working on to advance the smartphone revolution? How does the industry visualize the future of smartphones?
  • When will we start to see mobile PCs, tablet PCs, and smartphones converge, if ever?
  • Are there any smartphone characteristics that mobile PCs and tablets will never be able to emulate?

These are some of the questions that we’ll discuss with industry experts in the “Shifts in the Device Environment” session at USFPD Connected Devices: Performance vs. Convenience, March 3-4 in Santa Clara, CA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Pogson/711775019 Robert Pogson

    Convergence is the key. Consumers have already decided a smartphone is a small cheap computer they can use for almost anything. Tablets, notebooks and desktops will all have to fight for share in the new universe of devices. I expect to see monitors, keyboard, mice and projectors that work with smartphones just as well as tablets, notebooks and desktops. I expect that most consumers will be able to choose their computer on price/performance from any style. I expect that businesses, governments, schools and organizations will all follow that lead. Unlike monopoly which stifles innovation, choice in the market will now eliminate all barriers to computing whether it is on price, performance, portability, size, complexity or maintainability. We are witnessing the personal computing revolution that was hijacked by Microsoft now free to evolve naturally, with the fittest surviving. The future of IT will be about diversity, not a small set of narrowly defined options.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Pogson/711775019 Robert Pogson

    Convergence is the key. Consumers have already decided a smartphone is a small cheap computer they can use for almost anything. Tablets, notebooks and desktops will all have to fight for share in the new universe of devices. I expect to see monitors, keyboard, mice and projectors that work with smartphones just as well as tablets, notebooks and desktops. I expect that most consumers will be able to choose their computer on price/performance from any style. I expect that businesses, governments, schools and organizations will all follow that lead. Unlike monopoly which stifles innovation, choice in the market will now eliminate all barriers to computing whether it is on price, performance, portability, size, complexity or maintainability. We are witnessing the personal computing revolution that was hijacked by Microsoft now free to evolve naturally, with the fittest surviving. The future of IT will be about diversity, not a small set of narrowly defined options.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Pogson/711775019 Robert Pogson

    Convergence is the key. Consumers have already decided a smartphone is a small cheap computer they can use for almost anything. Tablets, notebooks and desktops will all have to fight for share in the new universe of devices. I expect to see monitors, keyboard, mice and projectors that work with smartphones just as well as tablets, notebooks and desktops. I expect that most consumers will be able to choose their computer on price/performance from any style. I expect that businesses, governments, schools and organizations will all follow that lead. Unlike monopoly which stifles innovation, choice in the market will now eliminate all barriers to computing whether it is on price, performance, portability, size, complexity or maintainability. We are witnessing the personal computing revolution that was hijacked by Microsoft now free to evolve naturally, with the fittest surviving. The future of IT will be about diversity, not a small set of narrowly defined options.

  • jp

    The basic allure of the smart phone is texting and voice calling. If internet mail and surfing media is your thing, then a small Galaxy or iPad Mini is your choice. If you are working on a job, you need a computer, usually a desktop with multiple screens or at least a laptop if you are a road warrior. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops are complementary devices, not competing products. I have at least one of each. How about you?

  • naniyattenda

    Smartphones are just smaller tablets for the pocket. They are for people who don’t want to carry arround a bigger tablet and just want a pocket sized device to do their stuff. The size is the only difference. There are people who want more mobility and people who want more convinience by a larger display and are ready to carry arround bigger tablets.

  • Tina Teng

    Three key differentiators are pocket-able size/convenience, usability and voice capability (voice on 2G and 3G). However, the significance of voice capability will diminish when we no longer rely on voice communication or Voice over LTE becomes a norm ‘and’ operators will no longer restrict voice function to mobile phones. We are seeing OEMs designing smaller tablets to address the need for convenience; at the same time, we are seeing OEMs designing smartphones with 6″ ~7″ displays to address the need for usability.
    Operators now have the full control of the voice capability. Usability is somewhat associated with the size. The evidence of various sizes of phablet and tabphone is telling me that OEMs haven’t found the optimal size yet for all use cases. We’ll probably need a technology breakthrough to really converge these two categories together such as flexible display. Until then, tablets and smartphones are complementary to each other.