Where Google and Microsoft missed out.


The year is 1998. Palm is HUGE. Their PDA is one of the most useful devices in the business and collegiate world. Cellphones are big ugly clunky bricks.

Fast forward 5 years. 2003. Palm is dying, Microsoft’s PocketPC platform is taking off. Dell, Toshiba, Acer, Compaq, HP, all great platforms to run on it, a universal software platform with some universal hardware accessories (just some though). Phones aren’t clunky, but they aren’t shiny sleek computers that make your Grandma’s old Pentium look like an Atari compares to a Playstation 2, but they’re getting there.

Fast forward 5 more years. 2008. The smartphone is starting to take off. Handheld PDAs aren’t as common to see anymore… but people still do not want to shell out for the data plans, so they’re using 2006, 2007 tech. Some people have the first incarnations of the iPhone that they paid top dollar for. Others are using Windows Mobile, a more than capable Platform. Android is but a shadow of what it will be, with rumors of the first devices starting to sprout.

Fast forward 5 more. 2012. Apple has their iPhone 4s (and that doesn’t stand for slim, super, smart, spectacular, or anything of that sort that means anything good), Google has their array of who knows how many different varieties of Android phones, and Microsoft is starting to make a dent with Windows Phone, and their partnership with Nokia. But… where has the PDA gone?

Apple has their iPod Touch, and I read something a few months back about some sort of Samsung Android thing… maybe? And Microsoft had their ZuneHD, but it wasn’t much of a PDA. Apple seems to be the only one with a non-dataplan dependant digital life companion (as they might call it)

I own a ZuneHD, but I don’t use it as a PDA. I have my smartphone. But for the numerous people on campus that I see with a dumbphone, there are also numerous people who have their iPod Touch sitting next to it. It provides Internet content, it’s slim so it doesn’t take up much space, and it can do stuff. You can get your emails on it, you can sync a calander to it. It plays music, movies, tv shows, games. It’s like a Palm on steriods (and just a Palm, seeing as the display resolution is 480×320, same as my T|X).

before I got my smartphone, I used my T|X. Before I had that, I used my M500. I’ve also got a few Compaq iPaq’s, HP Journadas, Toshibas, Handsprings, you name it. I’ve got PDAs that I collect, mostly because nobody uses them. They’ve all upgraded to smartphones… except those who haven’t.

Why hasn’t Google put more effort into getting an Android PMP or PDA out on the market? There is about 1 that I can even remember hearing about, let along remembering a name for with the mess that is Android. And Microsoft? Their Zune is all but dead in the eyes of the public… so they need to reboot. Call it Zune 7, call it Zune Mango… call it what you will, just rip out the Phone from Windows Phone and make a dang slim PDA that does what WP7 does without letting me call or text over a cell network. Apple is whooping their butts right now, cleaning the floor when it comes to selling devices to those who don’t want data plans. Not everyone is lucky enough to just slap a SIM card into whatever phone they want and get it to work. Sure, there may be solutions like people making custom ROMs and whatnot, but what about those of us who are on Verizon, Sprint, or other natzi like companies that force users to pay insane prices for data and offers crap for selection. Verizon offers one (1) Windows Phone, about 30 Android models, 2 Windows Mobile devices (yes, they offer more “outdated” phones than modern ones) and a plethora of dumphones and featurephones. Sprint may have a slightly better selection, but that is offset with the worst service that I have ever seen.

Why can’t they just realize that not everyone wants a smartphone, and some people would like to have a PDA\PMP\music thinger. Please?

 

–me

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About Author
Someone who feels the need to help others using the information that I have discovered. If someone else finds it useful, I'm more than happy to have helped.

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