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Summary:

Cell Phones, have evolved so quickly from the late 1990s when they looked like ugly plastic bricks and had sound quality of a computer speaker. Today you can play games, listen to music, watch full motion video, surf the internet, and send text messages and email […]

Cell Phones, have evolved so quickly from the late 1990s when they looked like ugly plastic bricks and had sound quality of a computer speaker. Today you can play games, listen to music, watch full motion video, surf the internet, and send text messages and email on these little wonders. Oh yeah, you can talk on them as well. San Diego Union Tribune has a nice feature on the future of cell phones, a very Qualcomm-centric vision of the future. “Two years from now, I don’t think they’re even going to be called phones, but I don’t know what they’re going to be called,” Jeff Belk, senior vice president of marketing for San Diego-based Qualcomm told the Union-Tribune. “A good rule of thumb is that anything you see commercially available in Japan or Korea usually takes between 12 and 24 months before it finds its way to our shores,” Belk said. Well they think downloadable music, television-on-phone, location based services and micro-customization could be big in US in 2005. Talking about LBS, Wave Market has just launched Crunkie which is a location-based group social networking cum blogging application. Oh, looks like we got all the buzzwords in one sentence.

By Om Malik

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  1. The whole cell phone as a PDA concept just cracks me up. First of all, the damn screen is too small. I know the big companies plan on incorporating music into the phones and maybe even incorporating a subscription service to compete with iTunes. The only way it would work at all is with a touch screen and a stylus. If that’s the case, then why not incorporate a phone into the Palm and not vice versa?

    They’d have to go with on-demand instead of allowing consumers store their own music on the phone because portable hard drives are still way too big. Flash memory is a possibility but I still think it’s too expensive and most consumers won’t bite on being able to only store at most 250 MB of music.

    It’s funny, most of the cell phone companies focus on marketing gimmicky crap like downloadable ringtones instead of providing useful services, like improved phone quality. Yeah, Cingular and Verizon claim to have perfect service, but have you tried to use it in an elevator? They need to keep working on that first and then add the bells and whistles later. In fact, who needs the bells and whistles? Why can’t we just have phones??

    All of this hype reminds me of the fallout around 3G and how videoconferencing never really emerged. Stupid cell phone companies. To top it off a lot of scientific research has been done on radiation within the last two years and the reports are a tad bit ominious. Check out PubMed for yourself and see what I mean.

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  2. Crunkie? Do they have to pay licensing fees to Lil’ Jon?

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  3. “Cell Phones, have evolved so quickly from the late 1990s when they looked like ugly plastic bricks and had sound quality of a computer speaker.”

    Are you talking about polyphonic ringtones? Because, I’m pretty sure the vocoders do not produce better voice quality now than they did in say 1998 (although they give you that quality in less bandwidth). The looks part is dead on though. I can’t believe anyone ever thought those early Startacs looked sleek.

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