WES 2006: Competitive Realities of Mobile Devices

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Our friend Mike Persaud is back again with some more WES coverage. This time, Mike relays to us what he learned during the “Competitive Realities of Mobile Devices” panel discussion. Fun stuff.

Research analysts from OVUM, Forrester, IDC and the Yankee Group held a panel discussion about the competitive realities of mobile devices. What does that actually mean? Well, I will try to explain. Mobility has moved from a ‘want’ to a ‘need’ — we are now expected to be connected wherever we are, with an eye towards increasing productivity. Access to the corporate network from anywhere is now taken for granted just like the dial-tone. However, with almost two billion mobile devices connected worldwide, the enterprise accounts for a very small percentage of this, the majority being consumer devices. Despite the need for enterprises to have real-time access to crucial data, consumers are driving the need for higher bandwidths to receive richer services such as Mobile TV. The slow enterprise adoption is mainly caused by security and compliance concerns.

Handset design still needs to be improved. The key issues for handsets today include performance (network and device), multimedia support, usability, security and (most importantly?) battery life. All converged mobile devices are dependant on battery life, which unfortunately does not subscribe to Moore’s Law. Because today’s mobile users require of bare minimum of 48 hours of battery life before recharging, manufacturers and designers are caught between a rock and a hard place to improve the functionality and feature set of their devices while still supplying enough power for any usable length of time. The representative from Forrester stated that he believes truly convergent devices are far enough away that we will continue to accept divergent devices in the interim – i.e. a data device with a QWERTY keyboard and a voice
device.