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Summary:

Back in October I wrote about the myth of all-day computing, noting that the need for a 24-hour battery cycle is perhaps diminishing in the face of altering and fragmenting usage patterns – particularly the rise of the netbook and the iPhone. Indeed, last week ReadWriteWeb […]

Time to Leave the Laptop BehindBack in October I wrote about the myth of all-day computing, noting that the need for a 24-hour battery cycle is perhaps diminishing in the face of altering and fragmenting usage patterns – particularly the rise of the netbook and the iPhone.

Indeed, last week ReadWriteWeb and the BBC’s celebrated Ian Forrester noted that the iPhone is Apple’s Netbook, representing almost half of all traffic through wifi networks.

Regardless of hyperbole, there’s mounting evidence that cellphones are indeed displacing laptops. Back in October, the Wall Street Journal published a piece on whether it was Time To Leave The Laptop Behind, analyzing the impact of smartphones on laptop usage.

Some of the more interesting findings from Nick Wingfield’s article included…

  • Mobile workers rely on their laptops to create PowerPoint presentations and do other heavy-duty computing. But then they leave the laptops in their offices, homes or hotel rooms and take their smart phones out into the world — to client meetings, say, or factory visits.
  • ‘road warriors’ are going even further, ditching their laptops entirely and doing all their mobile work from smart phones.
  • in a survey of 1,402 technology users, only 3% of smart-phone users said they rely exclusively on a smart phone when they’re on the road. 52% said they could envision using a smart phone in the future as their sole computing device.
  • 12,000 of Verizon’s field technicians have moved over to BlackBerrys….replacing 1’500 laptops and eliminating the need to buy 5-7’000 more in the future.

Though the laptop sales remain undiminished, usage patterns are certainly fragmenting and will only deepen as performance increases and prices decrease. Already, I’m finding myself using Mail, Twitterific and Google as much on my iPhone as my MacBook Pro.

I wonder how many other web workers are seeing their attention dividing increasingly between their smartphone and laptop.

  1. I currently use a Blackberry, but only really use it for email and phone calls. The browser is crap, so it’s useless in that function.

    I’m considering switching to an iphone early next year, so that will probably change.

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  2. I would say that I am a heavy smart phone user, but I’m not ready to shift to it exclusively. I use the phone for email, Twitter and to surf the web. I would be lost without the phone, especially when I am on the go. I respond to short emails, but I hold off on longer emails or important responses until I get back to the laptop. Anything involving too much typing or heavy graphics is usually a laptop activity for me, and I don’t see that changing in the near future.

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  3. While not a cell phone per se, I find I can get all I need to get done just by carrying my Nokia N810. It’s nice to be able to slip it out of my pocket, send a quick email, and slip it back. I can’t be that subtle with a laptop.

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  4. [...] Malik | Wednesday, December 24, 2008 | 6:45 AM PT | 0 comments Are cellphones really displacing laptops? [WebWorkerDaily] Don’t expect mass enterprise iPhone adoption in 2009. [TheAppleBlog] The [...]

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  5. [...] Malik | Wednesday, December 24, 2008 | 6:45 AM PT | 0 comments Are cellphones really displacing laptops? [WebWorkerDaily] Don’t expect mass enterprise iPhone adoption in 2009. [TheAppleBlog] The [...]

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  6. james braselton Saturday, March 28, 2009

    HI THERE YOU ARE RIGHT MY SPRINT INSTINCT DOSE AS MUCH STUFF AS MY APPLE G4 IBOOK EXCEPT THAT CELLPHONES DO NOT HAVE UNRELIABLE HARD DRIVES TOO FAIL NO WOUNDER COMPUTER COMPANIES ARE NOW OFFERING A SSD SOLID STATE FLASH DRIVE OVER HARD DRIVES

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