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maclag
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Yes but...
maclag   2/1/2014 11:26:02 AM
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I'm not an expert in the field, but how does it affect the signal strength and reliability to use a device that's deep inside a bag rather than in the open air?

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Mediatek aster
junko.yoshida   1/31/2014 2:23:14 PM
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@alex, I did a follow-up interview with MTK and posted a following story:

MediaTek Going Wearable, Chinese & Cheap


http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1320842&

MTK would not tell us the price of the SoC, except for saying
"it's in sigle digit" US dollars. But to make a long story short, it is priced "suitably for $20 to $50 wearable devices," according to the company.

AZskibum
User Rank
CEO
Re: smart un-phones
AZskibum   1/28/2014 2:22:43 AM
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"I tend to think of the phone feature of my smartphone as a minor feature."

I think that is true for large numbers of people, and for them the BT dialer might even be more attractive, either in feature phone form factor or wristwatch. They usually pull out the big smartphone or phablet to do things other than voice calls, but on those occasions when they do actually need to talk to someone, or there's an incoming call, the BT dialer serves a very useful purpose.

It is indeed ironic -- even crazy -- to think there's a market for a simpler device for doing voice, so the user isn't inconvenienced by having to use a smartphone as a phone. But this truly makes sense for a lot of people.

Caleb Kraft
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Blogger
smart un-phones
Caleb Kraft   1/27/2014 10:31:56 AM
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I tend to think of the phone feature of my smartphone as a minor feature. I use it less than most other parts of the phone. Mine is mainly an email/text/music machine! I can certainly understand people wanting something simpler as well. Sometimes simple is sexy.

DMcCunney
User Rank
CEO
Re: Gee, looks like a remote control...
DMcCunney   1/26/2014 1:53:18 PM
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@Bert22306: I encounter people all the time who only have a smartphone, because it can do all of the things they need, including calls, web surfing, and email.

While I completely agree with your point about eventually being able to dock the smartphone, to turn it into something truly multipurpose, I still have a hard time fathoming the quote above. Even though it gets repeated over and over again. Or let me put it this way. One can certainly survive without a PC, but let's not pretend that a smartphone can replace the PC. The truth is, one can simply learn to do without, using the old tried and true methods instead.


Oh, granted. Using just a smartphone wouldn't work at all for you.  It wouldn't work for me, either.  It does work for the folks I think of, because the smartphone covers their use cases. 

Consider the reports of burgeoning smartphone use in Africa.  The users probably don't have a desktop/laptop/netbook, and inadequate infrasctructure would make it problematic if they had,  If you don't have a reliable source of electricity, or the network infrastructure we take for granted, how do you use such devices?  But with a smartphone, you can web surf, do email, handle banking...all the things those folks might need to do.  All they need is a way to recharge their batteries, and a lot of local infrastructure development is taking place to make it possible, like solar, water, or wind power to create the needed power.

The folks I encounter here doing that likely had a PC, and may still.  But their smartphone has become their main computing device because it does 80% of what they normally need to do, and can go with them everywhere.

A smartphone might do 80% of whgat I normally do, too, byt there's still that other 20%, and for the 80% it will do, the form factor will make doing it painful.  As mentioned, most odf what I do really wants a much larger screen than a practical phone can have, and a full sized keyboard and mouse, too.

Alex_m1 has it right when he says But you're right , content creation is better at a pc.

alex_m1
User Rank
CEO
Re: Gee, looks like a remote control...
alex_m1   1/26/2014 9:17:14 AM
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Bert:


Printers and smartphones: while this is a bit new, some printers have a cloud print option. You just download an app and send to the printer.

There are also apps that let you scan a document and send it.

But you're right , content creation is better at a pc.

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
Re: Gee, looks like a remote control...
Bert22306   1/25/2014 7:54:01 PM
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I encounter people all the time who only have a smartphone, because it can do all of the things they need, including calls, web surfing, and email.



While I completely agree with your point about eventually being able to dock the smartphone, to turn it into something truly multipurpose, I still have a hard time fathoming the quote above. Even though it gets repeated over and over again. Or let me put it this way. One can certainly survive without a PC, but let's not pretend that a smartphone can replace the PC. The truth is, one can simply learn to do without, using the old tried and true methods instead.

Here's just the latest example I ran into just now, immediately before going to the EET site. I had to fill out a request for State authentication of a document. The process includes filling out a form you download. The form comes as either a .pdf or a .doc, and has to be filled in (either by typing into the form itself, or downloading and writing by hand), then it has to be printed out and snail-mailed with the notarized document you want authenticated by the State.

While the exact nature of my recent transaction might not be extremely commonplace, I've certainly had to do things similar to this on countless occasions, for one thing or another. So sure, I suppose I could have called the office and had them snail-mail me the request form, the old-fashioned way (although that was not listed as an option!).

Or, how many times have we all had to scan a signed document, then e-mail it somewhere, for situations that don't require the same rigor as an original signature? 

How do you any of this if all you have is a smartphone? How many smartphones can interface with a printer/scanner, for example? So the reality is, you either have to go to some Internet cafe, or use your PC at work, or somehow defeat this notion that the smartphone "is all you need." These are just examples involving non-technical work, that virtually anyone would encounter. Never mind creating documents, or needing a lot of display area, writing software, and all the rest.

alex_m1
User Rank
CEO
Re: Mediatek aster
alex_m1   1/25/2014 1:16:45 PM
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Thanks.

DMcCunney
User Rank
CEO
Re: Gee, looks like a remote control...
DMcCunney   1/25/2014 1:10:42 PM
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@junko.yoshida: Depends on what you mean by convergence.  We are seeing the same functions, but where they are performed and what performs them changes.

I think you are onto something here.

In other words, once we start carrying such a powerful portable device (aka smartphone) in our pocket or purse, we can just pick and choose a different user interface unit (keyboard, remote controller, glasses, watch, etc. ) of our choice -- and suddenly morph that powerful portable device (CPU) into something else...


Pretty much.  Computers are tools we use to do work.  They are multi-purpose tools that can do more than one kind of work.  But the different kinds of work may need different interfaces, and a mismatch between the kind of work and how you interact with the computer can be deadly.

I still own and use a Palm OS PDA. It has more speed, RAM, and storage than the desktop I ran Windows 3.1 on.  That trend has only continued.

I encounter people all the time who only have a smartphone, because it can do all of the things they need, including calls, web surfing, and email.

Given the steady advance in speed and power and reduction in size of components, "a computer in your pocket" is a current reality.

My issue with a smartphone as main device is form factor.  I simply need a larger screen for most of what I do than a phone can have.  "Phablets"  are an uneasy compromise between having a portable device and having a big enough screen.

If I can plug my smartphone into a dock connected to large monitor, keyboard and mouse, many of those concerns go away.

My ideal might be a tablet with a 10" screen as base unit.  That gives me a screen big enough to get by with when traveling.

Plug it into a dock with large monitor, full size keyboard, and mouse, and I have a workstation.

Add a remote control dialer like what you mentioned and a BT headset and I have a phone.

Put something like Google Glass or a smart watch into the mix and I may have something else.

It means in practice that I'll always carry the tablet around, but since I normally carry a shoulder bag or have a backpack, that's not an iassue for me.

Nobody happens to make a system like I envision, but I think there's a market for it.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: iPad Mini Straight Up, with a feature phone chaser
junko.yoshida   1/25/2014 9:19:04 AM
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@matthew, wow, "iPad mini straight up, with a feature phone chaser" is a great way to frame a new product category. Imagine a possibility it brings!

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