Many of us believed that Palm was on the ropes and getting ready to go down for the count at the end of 2008, but they came out swinging at CES with the announcement of the Pre and WebOS. Motorola was a leader in the mobile phone business for years, but has not done well in the smartphone space and in early 2009 we heard they would be looking to Android in the future. The Motorola DROID is the talk of the town at the moment and the Motorola CLIQ just started selling at T-Mobile this week. Will 2009 go down as the year that Palm and Motorola showed us all they were back and ready to compete?
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
I was spending the day at the Ferries 2009 conference in Seattle and towards the end of the day tried to send some text messages and make calls home to pick up my daughter, but nothing seemed to work. My T-Mobile data connection worked just fine, but both voice and text services were down. I then checked out Twitter and heard from others around the US that were experiencing the same thing. This service outage appeared to last for about three hours for me and everything is back up and running just fine.
Sony Ericsson has been known to make some compelling smartphones that had sleek, solid designs at high prices, like the XPERIA X1 I purchased and then returned earlier this year. Today we see the announcement of their first Google Android device, the XPERIA X10 and I have to say this device is lustworthy with its 8 megapixel camera, custom Mediascape interface that is highly focused on media (a weakness in all other Google Android devices), Timescape technology that recognizes connections between contacts, content, and media, and much more.
I stayed up late last night and watched Josh reveal the Twitter Peek device on the Late Night show with Jimmy Fallon. The new Twitter Peek has the same form factor as the Peek email device, but it only does Twitter. The Peek Classic cost $19.95 and has a monthly cost starting at $15 for email while the new Twitter Peek will cost $199 and includes lifetime Twitter service or $99 for six months followed by $7.95 per month after that. I guess if you are a die hard Twitter fan and don't have a cell phone that supports a Twitter client (every smartphone has clients) then this may be something to look at.
I've been a fan of the REDFLY Mobile Companion for a couple of years and purchased the C8N in November 2008. If you remember there are two models of the REDFLY Mobile Companion, the C7 and C8N, that give you a large display and keyboard to use with your Windows Mobile device. Celio Corp has been working on expanding their driver support and we saw a concept for Android back at CES. Today, we see the launch of a BlackBerry driver for selected BlackBerry devices, which makes the most sense considering there are so many BlackBerry devices in enterprise.
The lineup of cell phones has expanded a bit, but a significant number of what we see in that category are updates to existing models. The real innovation in the mobile phone world is in the area of smartphones where we see the Apple iPhone, Palm WebOS, Google Android, RIM BlackBerry, and Microsoft Windows Mobile devices taking us to places we have never been before. This holiday season there is a huge selection for you to choose from on every carrier and several exciting devices will be launching throughout November. There are so many to choose from that we can't cover them all here so I will present you with one smartphone from each carrier and one SIM-unlocked one.
Even though 2009 was a difficult one for many in regards to finances, the mobile phone market continued to grow and manufacturers continued to roll out some excellent phones for the consumer. In this issue of the 2009 Holiday Gift Guide we will take a look at two selected mobile phones from each of the four major US wireless carriers. I know the lines between feature phones and smartphones are no longer clear cut, but we will have another Guide edition for smartphones that will include those devices running Windows Mobile, Google Android, RIM BlackBerry, Apple iPhone, Symbian, and Palm WebOS.
The T-Mobile G1 was the first Google Android device launched in the US. We also now see several other companies launching Android devices with the Samsung Moment, Motorola CLIQ, and Motorola DROID. All of these new devices from others have physical QWERTY keyboards while HTC only has the G1 with a keyboard and the rest, including the upcoming HTC Eris, all having only a touchscreen interface. I love the HTC Sense found on the HTC Hero, but no matter how hard I try to accept a touchscreen only device I keep going back to a physical keyboard. Where is the HTC Google Android device with QWERTY keyboard?
Most of the excitement in the mobile phone space this week focused on the announcement of the Motorola DROID on Verizon Wireless. Looking at the Verizon Wireless press release archive page you have to scroll down to the 6th or 7th story to find that the RIM BlackBerry Storm2 was also announced this week with availability occuring a couple of days ago on Wednesday, 28 October. Crackberry.com has a detailed review that covers the device in detail and it looks like the Storm2 is the device that the original Storm should have been. RIM tried some different things with the Storm, primarily with their clickable display, that took away from the BlackBerry experience and this no longer seems to be the case.
The biggest news in mobile technology this week was the Motorola DROID announcement from Verizon Wireless and we spent a large junk of MobileTechRoundup show #188 talking about the device and Google Android. James, Kevin, and I haven't yet held the DROID so we are reserving final judgement on it, but it sounds like James may be the only one who may pick up the device since he already has a Verizon account. Google Maps Navigation beta is installed on the DROID and may just have wiped out PNDs, but Microsoft is helping with the shutting down of the MSN Direct service on 1 January 2012.