Dawn of the Digital Convergence

It seems that the major players are about to launch new convergence devices (PDA + mobile phone and sometimes camera all-in-one combinations) that will give those of who carry a PDA and a mobile phone something to really think about. I’m currently using an iPAQ 4150 as my PDA with a Sony Ericsson T610 mobile phone. This combination allows for bluetooth dialing of contacts and transfer of information between devices in addition to bluetooth internet browsing using the PDA’s better screen and date input when a WiFi hotspot is not available. I like the combination but if I had both devices together in one device that optimized the form factors of each separate device, such a device would make me stop and pay attention.

Well, PalmOne has been at it for a little while with the Treo 600. It’s one of the best “smartphones” out right now in a nice slim package that combines all the above devices expertly. If it had WiFi, it would be a killer–but don’t fret; a rumored Treo 650 will likely have higher screen resolution, a replaceable battery, more memory, WiFi, 1.3 megapixel camera and who knows what else. My only complaint is the price tag that comes with these devices from the mobile phone carriers. The current Treo 600 will cost you $449 as an existing T-Mobile subscriber and $499 with carriers where you don’t have a current subscription. I guess that’s about what you would pay for a stand-alone PDA with no phone service but it just seems expensive when almost they give phones away normally. Maybe I’m buying too many devices too soon (don’t let my wife hear me say that).

On the Pocket PC side, many are holding their breath for the Motorola MPx Pocket PC phone. This thing will include all the bells and whistles but efforts have been made to balance the powerdrain of the feature set with the device size so the MPx will not run on the fastest processor nor include a huge battery to keep things as slim as possible while maximizing battery life. Hopefully the MPx will take advantage of the larger memory capabilities of its latest iPAQ cousins.


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