ThoughtPiece: Evolution, Revolution, and the BlackBerry

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The success of the BlackBerry. With the BlackBerry solution, data again assumed an important role in the mobile equation. Now voice was not only mobile, but so was that other wildly popular form of communication, email. The new paradigm was that data was significant in the world of mobile communications.

The camera phone. What started out as a fad in Japan in 2000 was to become a revolutionary development in mobile technology. In 2005 there were around 600 million digital cameras sold, and approximately 500 million of those were camera phones. Camera phones have demonstrated the paradigm that multimedia has a place in mobile communications technology.

The release of the Palm Treo 600. With the popularity of voice and data in the mobile world, it was only natural that companies would try to create devices that merged these functions into one. However, the design considerations for voice and data devices are often at odds with each other, and so a manufacturer must make the right tradeoffs to create a successful hybrid. Palm was the first to do so with its Treo 600 model and created the first popular smartphone design. The new paradigm was mobile voice plus data in the same device.

What’s next? Could the movement of RIM into the consumer space with the Pearl and other upcoming models signify the next great leap forward? I believe it could if RIM is successful at bringing mobile data outside of the domain of the enterprise market into the broader mainstream consumer market. The evolution of both pagers and cell phones was to move from enterprise to consumer market. That may happen again with mobile data devices and in particular, the BlackBerry.

So, thoughtful readers, what are your opinions? What do you view as the milestones of mobile technology, and what would you predict to be some future milestones?