Mobility Meets Mobility
Smartphones Versus UMPCs
Mobility and efficiency have always been important for executive workers, more so in our global and connected society. Over the years, many devices have been spawned to fulfill these requirements. Ever since the emergence of the first "smartphone" way back in 1992 named Simon, consumers have increasingly favored such electronic mobile devices to help manage and schedule our work lives and real lives. In short, a compact and improved version of the good ol' FiloFax .
As we speak, the world of handheld mobile computing now can be roughly divided into two major classes of devices, smartphones and the relatively young invention known as the Ultra Mobile Portable Computer (UMPC). Unlike smartphones and its straightforward merger of communications and computing, UMPCs were actually designed to be a cross between a smartphone and a normal laptop, possibly making it an even more niche hybrid device. Back in 2006, Microsoft, Intel, Samsung and others came together to lay out the specifications for the UMPC segment. Intended to be a full-fledged computer running on hardware small enough to be pocket-able, UMPCs are therefore new entrants to an already saturated handheld market.
Smartphones on the other hand, have come a long way since the days of being a "file of facts" replacement. While the FiloFax is still around (and still retailing at premium prices for their leather bound goodness), there are currently sufficient variations in both hardware and software platforms for the smartphone such that tracking every change and feature can be both confusing and challenging. If you look at the broader picture however, it's perhaps a good thing that there happens to be a diverse variety of options available to the consumer now, catering to their various needs and personalities. Competition drives innovation, without which we would probably still be using the pen and paper to record and plan for our day to day activities. Not that practicing your handwriting is a bad thing, but progress is always good, yeah?