Consumer Gadgets Eclipse Business Phones

The maddening division between consumer and business mobile devices continues to grow and as the trend picks up steam it is apparent consumers are the winners and businesspeople suffer. This is not to say the problem isn’t in some ways necessary.
Case in point was the amount of time it took for Research in Motion to put cameras on their Blackberrys. Many corporate customers actually didn’t want cameras on phones it purchased and this is the reason many of these e-mail workhorses seemed so featureless for so long.
This weekend however it really hit me. Consumers are getting unbelievable products and businesspeople are left wondering why our devices are so boring and devoid of features. The iPhone is a great example of a device which many businesspeople want but wouldn’t purchase because e-mail synchronization was clunky and calendar synchronization not available.
In addition, the lack of a real keyboard was a deterrent to adults who have fingers thicker than a chopstick.
When I read the PC Magazine review of the LG VX10000 Voyager I realized the split was only getting larger. I wrote about this phone two months ago and figured this device would have the best features of an iPhone while also having a full keyboard so business users such as myself could rattle off e-mails and even blog entries at a rapid clip.
What surprises me most about the Voyager is the fact the phone has features that rival a home entertainment center; Stereo sound, two 400×240 screens, QWERTY keyboard, 2 megapixel camera, built in antenna to view eight channels of broadcast mobile TV, GPS, video recording, etc. I can imagine using the dual screens to drive intimate presentations of a person or two while both you and your audience can see the same information.
This could be an absolute killer business phone. But surprise… It doesn’t sync with your calendar or address book. And I wonder if it even supports PowerPoint.
And this is where the frustration comes in. Yesterday I ranted about the HTC/Verizon 6800 and how it has added virtually no features in two years. And this is frustrating for a businessperson like me and should be for you as well.
The chasm between what you want and what makes sense for your business needs continues to expand and as it does there seems to be a growing need for a business device which rivals the Voyager. After all, I may want to take a break from e-mailing and watch some TV. Moreover, I may want to stream the news to my bluetooth headset as I work.
It seems the phone manufacturers can’t seem to focus on two markets simultaneously and moreover consumers too lose out when this happens. Last time I checked, consumers have address books and surprise, some have calendars as well. Yet mobile device makers seem to make smartphones that don’t sync very intelligently or at all. What’s so smart about that?

Hopefully the situation will get better soon but in the mean time as the chasm grows, so does the frustration among business users who want the best of everything and can afford it but just can’t seem to find it.

Where does this leave someone like me? I am seriously thinking of stopping by my Verizon Wireless store tomorrow and upgrading my XV6700 to a Voyager. In the future, I may miss all my meetings and not be able to call anyone in my address book — but at least I will be able to watch videos with full stereo sound. I imagine the first song I will download and listen to will be from the Rolling Stones… You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

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