December 30th, 2008
What’s up with the personal digital assistant (PDA) these days?
Says one blogger, they may be obsolete already.
Yet despite delivering the initial promise of the Newton — yes, you can scribble anywhere on the screen and it will decode your notes; yes, it does the agenda and contacts and notepad stuff well; it also takes voice memos; it’s got a decent word processor and spreadsheet on board; it’s a desert topping and a floor wax — it’s fundamentally obsolete.
It turns out that people don’t want that stuff in a notepad-shaped machine. What they want is a mobile phone that does the address book/agenda stuff — and is an entertainment gadget besides, with a camera and music player built in.
Kind of like what the iPhone offers, right?
Now that most smart phones, the iPhone included, come with contact and appointment applications, is there a need for a dedicated machine to handle day-to-day business tasks? The numbers seem to say “no,” and the popularity of the iPhone and RIM’s own BlackBerry back that up. Even as far back as 2006, the outlook for PDAs looked grim.
Shucks, even my 30 GB iPod video comes with some of the functionality, at least in terms of reference data, of a PDA. What do you think? Is the PDA idea extinct?
December 2nd, 2008
Here I thought J.D. Power and Associates only ranked cars. It turns out, however, that smartphones are also on their to-rate list.
And guess who’s number one?
Apple’s iPhone ranked above RIM and every other smartphone maker in this year’s Business Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study. Apple wasted no time in bragging about the accolade: I spotted their full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal last Tuesday (above). And why not? J.D. Power and Associates ranks “ease of operation” the highest in its study (27% of the final score), and what’s easier to use than the iPhone?
Says the company in their press release:
Apple ranks highest in overall smartphone customer satisfaction with a score of 778 on a 1,000-point scale, performing particularly well in the ease of operation, physical design and handset feature factors. BlackBerry manufacturer RIM (703) and Samsung (701) follow Apple in the rankings.
The ad appeared on the back page of the A section of the Wall Street Journal, and aimed its message directly at enterprise professionals. Apple’s ad highlights the “enterprise support” and “hundreds of of amazing business apps in the App Store.” Any questions about Apple trying to attract the suit-and-tie crowd have been answered.
And here some fools think Apple is scared of RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry (money quote: “the number of shortcomings in the iPhone 3G far outweigh those found in the Storm.” Right-o).
With great rankings like those from J.D. Power and Associates, what’s there to be scared of?
October 14th, 2008
Owning an iPhone and a Newton, it’s always fun to poke around at other mobile operation systems when I get the chance. The other day, I put my stylus on a Palm for the first time, and got to play around with it for a bit.
Gizmodo puts all the major smartphone OSes – RIM’s Blackberry, Apple’s iPhone, Windows Mobile, for instance – against each other in a run down of features, pros, and cons.
The only classic mobile OS in the bunch is the “basically dead” Palm OS in the Centro, which is sad, considering (a) the Palm OS looks so dated with the other systems and (b) Palm succeeded where the Newton did not in a lot of ways. Now it’s a dying system.