Are you making compromises to have a single converged device?

Summary:Some people like to carry the latest and great gadgetry and prefer to connect them all with wires or via wireless technology while others like to have a device that does it all in one. The decision comes down to what your needs are and what you are willing to give up to have a single device or carry multiple devices.

I was reading Jason Dunn's latest blog entry on The Two Inch View about digital media players and convergence and wanted to add my thoughts on the discussion regarding mobile device usage. There are two camps in the mobile device world, those who want one device that does it all and those who prefer multiple devices working together. I used to be a two+ device guy with a dedicated PDA, a mobile phone with the ability to connect to it via Bluetooth, IR, or a cable, a dedicated digital camera, and a dedicated MP3 player or satellite radio player. However, I discovered a Pocket PC Phone Edition a couple of years ago, followed by the Treo 650, and I haven't gone back to a two device solution since then.

I believe there are good reasons for both of the alternatives and it really comes down to whether or not you are willing to compromise to reduce your load. Multiple device owners can argue that they can upgrade each individual component if newer technology is released, they can get better battery life out of individual components, they generally get more functionality with a device dedicated to one or two primary functions, and they can replace individual component if one piece is lost or broken. Single converged device owners can argue that they only have to carry one device, they only need to carry a single charger on the road, they don't have to worry about connection issues between devices (dropped Bluetooth connections or unwieldy cables), and a single device is usually cheaper than multiple devices with more specific and higher functionality.

My primary mobile device, not counting my UMPC, is the Nokia E61. This device meets many of my needs, but doesn't have an integrated camera and that is a tradeoff I am willing to make for convergence. I think each of us has to decide what we are willing to compromise to have a converged device, whether it be battery life, storage capacity, camera, or another feature as the "perfect" device really hasn't been released yet. Are you a one or multiple device person?

Topics: Mobility

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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