Will the laptop and smart phone converge in the future? Nokia is lending more credence to that idea, with the company's comments yesterday that it may develop its own laptop. In an interview with Finnish broadcaster YLE, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said his company was "looking very actively" at the laptop market. ??
The laptop business is very crowded at the moment, with netbooks being the largest sector for growth--it seems as though we see more and more netbooks everyday. So it may seem like a strange idea for Nokia to jump into such a crowded market. But it looks like the world's largest cell phone maker wants to get some experience building computers as the smart phone and the laptop start to join forces.
"We don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a mobile phone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging," Kallasvuo said, according to Reuters. One thing Kallasvuo didn't mention, however, was whether Nokia would come out with a netbook or full-size laptop, or if the company would try to base its computer on the Symbian Mobile OS. ??
Kallasvuo's statement comes just one day after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer expressed similar sentiments about the convergence of mobile computers and phones into one device. Other companies are also crossing over between smart phones and laptops in anticipation of the "mobile singularity." Computer maker Acer announced its line of Tempo smart phones last week, HP has been producing smart phones for years, and rumors of a Dell smart phone started to circulate earlier this year. And some mobile carriers are getting in on the act, offering subsidized 3G netbooks with data plans.??
Tech prophets and fortune tellers look forward to a day when you'll be able to drop your smart phone into a monitor and keyboard shell, when you want a full-sized keyboard or when your computing needs get more advanced. You then just pull the device out to use as a mobile phone and mini-computer as we do now. However, before this future becomes reality we need smart phones that have more computing power and storage capacity than currently found on most devices. I have no doubt that this will happen, but we're not quite there yet. The other issue is whether you will be willing to part with your current computer set up for this "more advanced" way of computing. It seems to me that it will take a long time to win people over.??
By now, for example, the laptop should have killed the desktop, but people keep buying them. Granted, desktops are cheaper and less popular than they were, but laptops have started dropping in price too and yet enough people still opt for the larger screen and bigger keyboards to keep desktops afloat. And what about the laptop? I love my notebook, because it can do any computing task I need it to do and I can take it anywhere. I don't really see myself hunting down a workstation at the local cafe or library just to expand my smart phone into a computer. I suppose I could just carry around a laptop shell for my smart phone, but that just takes me back to two devices, so what's the point? The smart phone-PC may be the future, but will it really be much better than what we have now?