Mobile Prediction

The 8525 has been on the market for about 1.5 years (Cingular shipped it in November 2006). It has a 400 MHz processor, 128 MB flash and 64 MB RAM. It takes microSD cards, and at least in the summer of 2007 2 GB cards were common. It comes with almost everything you could ask for. My main issue is missing GPS, and if you’d think of it as an entertainment device it does not have builtin radio or TV.

Assuming Moore’s Law holds for mobiles too (of which I am not completely sure), then 4.5 years or 6 years (depending on which version of the Law you subscribe to), the 8525 power should double three times, to about 3 GHz processor, 1 GB flash (or equivalent), 512 MB RAM and taking microSD or similar worth 16 GB. Apart from the processor these actually don’t look too impressive, considering that the iPhone came out roughly 6 months after the 8525 with 620 MHz processor, 16 GB flash. So let’s up the flash or equivalent memory for our future phone to 32 GB, and given that Sandisk is promising 12 GB microSD this year it seems we can fit 32 GB in microSD easily.

So I am looking at a higher end consumer PDA with 3 GHz processor, 512 or more MB RAM, 32 GB internal flash and 32 GB removable memory coming out 2010-2012. I wouldn’t actually be surprised if 100 GB in storage could be broken, but you’d have to pay premium. It will have everything the 8525 and iPhone have except better, and will include GPS, maybe radio and tv, and it is going to be powerful enough to replace a regular computer for most people. The processing power, memory and storage are enough for the tasks that most people use computers for: browse the web, use email, instant messaging, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software, view photos and videos and so forth. Of course, with the GPS, it will also function as your navigator. You only need to add wireless full sized keyboard and wireless full sized display to be as productive as you are right now with a regular desktop or laptop. And with some new user interface ideas coming around, maybe we won’t be so tied to the keyboard or giant displays anymore.

The future is going to be small.

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