What Features Will Superphone Have in the Future


In September 2008, John SanGiovanni, co-founder of Zumobi came up with phrase “Superphone” and described what he thought were key ingredients of a superphone. In the two years since, many of the new Internet-centric phones have come closer or surpassed John’s ideal mix of features. Of course, the likes of Google have tried to jack the phrase superphone, positioning it as their work.

Back in 2008, John pointed out that from a hardware perspective, the superphones should have at least a 320-pixel display, hardware accelerated graphics, 3G connectivity and location-sensing technologies.  Today, all those features are standard.

So earlier today when we read this piece in Cellular News which cited Strategy Analytics’ claim that there will be 100 million superphones sold by 2015, I wondered what will be the superphone of tomorrow. Strategy Analytics says that superphone is a top-of-the-line smartphone with a super-sized display (over 4 inches) and a processor faster than 1 GHz.

I am not sure if that’s really the case. By 2012, folks like ARM are promising dual core processors running at 2.5 GHz. The evolution of displays as shown by the Retina Display means that the sheer size of the screen isn’t enough of a determinant. Instead, we should be looking at display size in combination with the screen resolution. Of course, we should expect these devices to support all sorts of major wireless networking standards, including whatever 4G technology takes hold. I’m betting these devices will have closer to a terabyte of memory inside and will also have the ability to interact with larger desktop and television displays.

But those are my ideas — what do you guys think is the “super phone” of tomorrow?

Related GigaOM Pro Research (sub req’d): For Phones, the Future Is Multiple Cores


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