ViewSonic said Tuesday that it is launching an effort to make a 3G smartphone joining the ranks of Garmin and other non-traditional players entering a crowded market.
It's fascinating to watch a bevy of players come at the smartphone market from different angles. Garmin's Nuvifone (Neverfone?) looks to take advantage of its GPS heritage. Apple stormed the smartphone industry with the iPhone. And now ViewSonic wants in on the act with its display technology as the big selling point.
In a statement, ViewSonic reasons that the 3G move will give it a hook into the market of lower screen sizes. The smartphone will launch in China, then Europe and then the Americas. ViewSonic argues the move "falls in line with the convergence of televisions, computers and mobile phones." And ViewSonic has been expanding into PCs and projectors.
Simply put, consumers want larger screens with better contrast and ViewSonic wants to give it to them.
The problem with this grand plan? The 3G smartphone industry is crowded and ViewSonic will compete with rivals---Apple, Motorola, Nokia, Research in Motion---that have more economies of scale. Meanwhile, it's no picnic getting these devices certified with carriers.
ViewSonic says it is well positioned to play in the smartphone market, but time will tell.