Chinese people with phablets always carried theirs in their briefcase (if they were male), or in their purse ( female).
So effectively, Chinese phablet useers always carry a briefcase or purse, because they have a phablet.
One Chinese businessman while we were in a car together had both his phabet and laptop in his briefcase.
I wonder how many use a phablet instead of a laptop,
He told me how he was originally embarrassed to talk into such a big phone, but now he is used to it, because many people have a phablet.
Yes, if everyone else does it, it stops being embarrasing.
Did you get any impression of what brands were used? I'm curous about the number that might have been home-grown Chinese brands. I'm quite certain there are brands in China I've never heard of that will have fair market shares in China because of proximity to the local market and because they are Chinese brands.
DMcCunney, Chinese people with phablets always carried theirs in their briefcase (if they were male), or in their purse ( female). One Chinese businessman while we were in a car together had both his phabet and laptop in his briefcase. He told me how he was originally embarrassed to talk into such a big phone, but now he is used to it, because many people have a phablet.
There's some new smartphones that use eink display and last a week at the price of worse user experience and less uses. Maybe they will be what replaces the feature phone on the use cases you mentioned?
Assuming you could reasonably enter text, they can be used for many kinds of apps. They would still lack video capabilities and camera capabilities, thought.
I often wish I could just dock it whereever I want to work and use it instead of a laptop.
I'm not aware of any other than the Motorola you mentioned, but I haven't looked. What I'd be interested in, short term, was a phone and tablet combo, which would work stand-alone, but would work together when desired, like the phone pairing with the tablet and serving as a modem when I wasn't around a wifi hotspot. (I've been told ASUS has such a thing, but it hasn't been released here yet.)
But I think what you mention will come to pass. The technology gets steadily smaller, faster, and cheaper, and you can now put the sort of capability that used to require a desktop or laptop in a phone sized package. My PDA has a faster processor and more RAM than my first Windows desktop, and the trend has simply hastened.
We are seeing phones with dual-core CPUs and video displays with 3D hardware acceleration. I don't see a reason why your phone couldn't be your primary computing device, that you just plugged into a dock when you weren't traveling, and the dock would connect to a large display, keyboard and mouse, networked external storage, and your router.
It might not have the full power of a desktop/laptop, but you might not need it. The increasing move to the cloud is bringing to pass the sort of environment Bell Labs anticipated with their Plan 9 OS, where the user's workstation connected to compute servers, data servers and the like, and the actual work was done elsewhere, and simply displayed on the user's workstation. It didnt matter where a particular resource actually was. Everything mounted off the user's workstation and was seen as local. As long as sufficient bandwidth existed, you could be in NYC, the resource you were using could be in SF, and you neither knew nor cared.
Thanks Frank. And you're quite right about the role of feature phones in banking in emerging countries. I personally know of people who write banking apps for feature phones.
The number of people of all ages who use smartphones for shopping is still relatively small -- even among Gen Y (it's almost unheard of for Boomers, although they own the most smartphones). And only a few percent of those with bank accounts use mobile banking.
How long do you think it will be before the majority of people shop and bank on smartphones? Do you think banks can close their branches then? Do you think we'll still have ATMs around in 10 years? Or will we just download some e-cash to our phones?
That's a good way to put it, DM. I'm a creative type and I know my phone is a powerful computer. I often wish I could just dock it whereever I want to work and use it instead of a laptop. As far as I know, there's only been one phone like that -- a Motorola, I think. Does anyone know of others?
Re: your final questions, "How many people already use smart phones for banking and retail? Do you think you could bank on a feature phone instead? Could you do without both now? In the future?"
Of course, in the industrialized world, millions of us use smart phones for mobile banking and for online purchases. I actually used to be able to do mobile banking several years ago on my last feature phone -- an LG env2 that ran the BREW OS -- until my bank changed it's online banking system and no longer supported my BREW OS phone and it's tiny browser. But even today, my bank supports certain mobile banking features like balance inquiries via SMS to any phone that can send & receive text messages.
I have read that in developing countries, a great deal of mobile banking gets done via SMS using feature phones. Clearly the banks in those countries have greater motivation to support mobile banking via SMS, considering the much lower smartphone penetration among their customers.
As to your last question, there is no question I would not want to give up mobile banking or mobile shopping. Both are huge time savers, and I would not willingly give up those hours of free time.
But I wonder: how many people could get by with a large phone and no tablet?
A fair number, depending on the size of the phone and what they did. I suspect many tablets are selling to people who did formerly use a phone for such things, but found a larger screen desirable.
One point I've tried to make elsewhere is that tablets are half-duplex devices. A friend bought an iPad, and called it a Media Consumption Device. He was quite right, as that was what it would be used for, and the UI was optimized for allowing you to quickly select the media you wanted to consume,
The communication was almost entirely one way, from the site with the media to the user viewing it.
If you simply want to consume content, a phone or tablet is fine. If you want to create content, the equation alters dramatically.
I have, and still occasionally use, a folding keyboard that connects via IR to my Palm OS PDA. I got it because I had a good word processor that ran on the PDA and could create or edit documents on it, but attempting to do any significant text entry or editing with the on screen keyboard or Grafitti handwriting recognition was actively painful. Should I acquire a tablet, an external keyboard will be a must have accessory.
I haven't had a chance to play with one to form an opinion.I'm unsurprised there are people who like them.
But one question that arises is how you carry one. I was in a conversation with a woman on another forum who sometimes SSHed into servers she administered from her phone while she was out. A larger device, like a tablet, was out because she really didn't like to carry a bag, and a larger device would have required one.
That wouldn't bother me, as if I'm out for anything other than a trip to a local shop to buy something, I have either a shoulder bag or a backpack, and carrying a netbook or tablet is part of the reason for it.
My cellphone is tiny, and lives in a holster I can clip to my belt, if I don't just slip it in a pocket. But the display is too small to meaningfully do something like SSH into a server, even if it had the ability to do it.
I don't have a problem carrying two devices - one for calls/SMS, and one for everything else, and if I'm going to carry two, the second will be large enough for me to work comfortably.
How did the folks you saw in China carry their phablets when they weren't actively using them?