Think Smartphones Need More Memory? Just Wait.

Luca Filigheddu complains about memory limitations of the Blackberry platform and goes on to explain how the App World experience provided by the maker of these devices is a joke. He does correctly point out however that compared to an iPhone which doesn’t allow multitasking; the RIM experience has some advantages. My experience has been that on a Windows Mobile phone, running out of memory is a constant problem as well. I have tried loading up the Motorola Droid with apps and didn’t notice any memory problems in a short test.

I believe that Luca’s point is an interesting one because he expects a simple phone to have enough memory to run many apps while we still have problems having enough memory on base-level PCs and netbooks. The point is we expect the smartphone to do everything a PC can and even more when you consider the device’s ability to take advantage of embedded GPS.

An interesting thing about RIM is they are perhaps the most focused vendor on optimizing the mobile experience from a technology standpoint. Their protocols are streamlined to minimize bandwidth and battery use for example. And still, the company has challenges with memory use.

These tradeoffs will become greater over the next few years as smartphones begin to enter docking stations to become primary devices.

Think about this idea for a second. No more second device to worry about. In my case, I have a smartphone, desktop and laptop – I may not know what to do with myself if I only need to worry about one of these.

As this shift happens, these tiny mobile devices are going to have to evolve somehow to be able to power massive monitors, etc.

Interestingly, Apple may be in a tough spot if this idea becomes reality because the company may cannibalize its own PC and laptop sales. Google, Nokia and RIM however would probably love the concept of cannibalizing PC sales.

A response from Apple could be a purpose-built device which takes its Mac Mini which adds a docking station allowing the iPhone to integrate with a full desktop experience in seamless Apple-like fashion.

If you think the smartphone wars are going to be duller in the future, you would be wrong. Thoughts to dwell on while sleeping off your New Year’s champagne are smartphone as desktop, tablet as desktop and Web-based operating systems which tie it all together.

  • Brendan
    December 30, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Nice article… I agree that people have almost given up hope on PCs and expect them to fail, yet the smartphone market turns their head when one device doesn’t have enough memory to run so many applications. If it hasn’t been so obvious yet, I believe this clearly shows where we’re headed!

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