Thursday, February 12, 2009

Around The Corner And Back Again

With the GSMA Mobile World Congress right around the corner, the web has been buzzing with all sorts of cool mobile rumors and even some true and official announcements of new devices. The first exciting word from the web is that the North American version of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will arrive February 26th at a price of about $400 according to The Nokia Blog. Personally I think the price is a bit steep, but the fact that it's an "unlocked" device with a nice big touchscreen and running the latest S60 5th edition OS makes it almost worth the price of admission. If it were not for the Nokia N97 coming a little later down the road, I may have gone for the 5800. It will be interesting to see how well the 5800 XpressMusic sells in the states.

Speaking of XpressMusic phones, there's been word that a slim and trim Nokia 5630 XpressMusic phone is also around the corner. Interestingly, it will be powered by S60, have HSUPA, and will be N-Gage capable.

Next up, Archos is set to deliver an Android-powered internet tablet at the Mobile World Congress also. The specs so far are pretty amazing, but we'll see if their Android tablet hybrid is powerful enough to compete with other Android-powered devices along with WinMo, Palm, and Symbian powered smartphones. Oh, and don't forget about the possibility of Nokia showing off a new Internet Tablet update of their own. At the very least, Archos would benefit from the Android Market when the device ships.

And of course we can't talk about Android Market without mentioning that Nokia is to launch it's own application store and may announce it at Mobile World Congress as well. It really is amazing how many application stores have cropped up in such a short amount of time. First we have the Apple iPhone App Store, then we got the Android Market, we heard earlier about Samsung launching their application store at MWC, and now Nokia is jumping in on all the fun. I think the whole me-too approach to the mobile application store phenomenon is still a bit too immature, and some may even say it's just a fad, but this is where the future of mobile is headed and I see this as just another paradigm shift that coincides with the history of the personal computing industry.

We've seen similarities between how computers were and how mobile is becoming before, but the similarities blur quite a bit when you can put a device as powerful as yesterday's computers in your pocket comfortably. I imagine many incredible and unique applications will arrive that will bring a new dimension and richness to the mobile experience going forward. It's one thing to have a few major companies provide software that works on a particular mobile platform, but another thing all together when anyone with a good idea can offer everyone a chance to experience that idea directly. The future is very bright for mobile indeed.


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