Tag Archives: mobile computer

Mobile Computing: What’s in a Name?

source: maemo.nokia.com

Smartphones (aka “converged mobile devices) have been around in one form or another since 1992.  The moniker itself has elicited snickers and outright derision, but the mobile industry grasped for a good description of where cell phones were headed and this is what stuck.  It still sounds silly, but has defied reason by surviving… but probably only due to lack of a clear competitor.   Continue reading


maemo.org growing pains

Nokia’s launch last year of the N900 mobile computer introduced a bit of disruption to their normal business model.  The ripple effect naturally propagated down to the lowest levels and had a huge impact on the semi-independent community, maemo.org.

Before subjecting you to an epic article, I want to point out that change was anticipated, but have to admit with some embarassment that when talk of adding cellular capability to Maemo devices gained traction, I was one of those naive souls downplaying the potential impact.  I assumed two things, both unfortunately proven incorrect:

  1. the consumer cost of a phone-capable tablet would be fairly low
  2. Nokia would platform the product and continue offering “slate” form factors with no cell phone embedded along with cell-enabled models

But others more prescient grasped very early that even if either or both of these played out (which they sadly didn’t), adding that GSM/UMTS radio introduced the devices to a largely different demographic… one that could significantly shift the priorities of maemo.org.

Continue reading

Use cases for Mobile Internet Devices

As an extension of a previous article on how to make Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) compelling, I have decided to start a series devoting individual articles to particular use cases, one per article.  I am using the broad term here because I’m not focusing on unique products or brands per se but rather the product type.  Of course, knowing Nokia mobile computers (formerly internet tablets) as I do, many of my examples will relate to them.  I welcome examples referencing competing products from readers.

I’m going to start with a use case that does not get a lot of attention but is near and dear to my analytical heart: mobile auditing and inspection in production, shipping or other operations.  I really think the devices have a great deal of untapped potential here!

So stay tuned, and if you have a use case you would like to see explored, feel free to mention it!