Bob Egan's weekly column
November 15, 2004
Meanwhile, vendors continue to expand their 3G PC card modem offerings, with new models from Kyocera, Sierra Wireless and Sony Ericsson. This trend is likely more an artifact that reflects operator intent rather then handset manufacturer innovation design misstep.
CIOs and IT managers are well advised to consider whether handsets are the best devices for giving employees wireless access to enterprise resources. This recommendation doesn't obviate the requirement for enterprise IT to install an architecture and procurement policy the controls the purchase and network attachment of an array of phones and PDA's with wireless connectivity to their networks.
When it comes to smartphones, vendors continue to favor a Swiss Army knife approach to handset design, which so far has produced more ergonomic misses than hits. A prime example is the increasingly common use of flip-open QWERTY keyboards, which make handsets such as the Sierra Wireless Voq top-heavy and thus impractical for typing. Based on our discussions with CIOs and IT managers, enterprises believe that today's handsets are good primarily for voice and have some potential for inbox management (e.g., deleting spam or simple email awareness) rather than reading or composing e-mail. Enterprise users tell us that with the exception of BlackBerry handsets and the Treo 600/650, all-in-one devices in general have too many ergonomic trade-offs.
We're also disappointed that few handset vendors are responding to the wide availability of EDGE and growing CDMA2000 1xEV-DO coverage. Almost all new enterprise-focused devices support 1XRTT or GPRS rather than DO or EDGE. A prime example is the Audiovox PPC 6601, which has a processor capable of supporting DO, yet is limited to 1X.
Although some EDGE and DO handsets are available, they're all consumer-focused because they include cameras, lack keyboards or both. (Examples are the Audiovox CDM-8940 and LG VX8000.) We see no evidence that this situation will change through 1H05, based on the recent product releases and what we see in vendors' pipelines.
Mobile Competency email@example.com