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RETROSPECTION: My personal 2002's Tops and Flops
Posted by Arne Hess - on Tuesday, 07.01.03 - 15:01:00 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 8443x
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2002 is gone as well as my vacation; but I used the time between Christmas and New Year to thought about the Pocket PC tops and flops for 2002. Here is my very personal and subjective retrospection:


  • HTC Wallaby aka O2 xda and T-Mobile Phone Edition
With the Wallaby, HTC did the biggest coup I think. As good the iPAQ was (not from the quality but at least from the overall impression) as better is the Wallaby and it was the first real available Pocket PC Phone Edition and showed us what is possible in the future.
  • Option GlobeTrotter GPRS PC Card
With the GlobeTrotter GPRS PCMCIA card, Option released the first GPRS enabled GSM PC-Card this year and not only the first GPRS card but also the first triple band GSM card. The overall function of the GlobeTrotter card really impressed me, it works stable on a Notebook as well as on Pocket PCs and is still - in reality - the fastest GPRS device I know about. Even if my Notebook is Bluetooth enabled as well as my cell phone, I'm still using the Option card for mobile data.
  • Audiovox RTM-8000 GPRS CF Card
Audiovox was the first supplier who was able to deliver a CF sized GPRS card which works pretty good, from the hardware point of view. The flop for sure is its software integration (see below).
  • Socket Communication Bluetooth Kit
The Socket Bluetooth CF card is simply the best Bluetooth card you can get today for your Pocket PC. If you need a wireless connection to your cell phone or even with your Desktop PC, the Socket card is the best choice.
  • MMS
MMS = Mobile Multimedia Messaging is the most important 2.5G technology beside GPRS which became reality one year before. MMS enables you not to transmit texts or predefined icons only but transmitting emotions through pictures and sounds. I'm pretty sure that MMS will become a successful follower of SMS even if it will never displace SMS.
  • Action Engine
Action Engine is a new kind of web based application which makes the Pocket PC even more useful in combination with a wireless connection. The idea behind Action Engine, to link different information, is a great service enhancement and I hope to see it introduced on more GSM network operators in 2003!
  • Spb GPRS Monitor
The GPRS Monitor closes the gap of functionality a Pocket PC Phone Edition provides today and its rich features beside the pure data counting makes it for me as the number one GPRS counter!
  • V2R Caller2Picture
Caller2Picture adds that kind of fun to your Pocket PC Phone Edition you might used to use with your cell phone but not adding fun only, with its functionality to add different ring tones per contact it also adds a real value to a Phone Edition I've missed.
  • MTUX SideX
SideX is a complete new application engine which adds more convenience to your Pocket PC. With SideX 2003 it becomes even better!
  • Syncdata OutboxBuddy
Finally my E-Mails get a signature and I can automatically send a Bcc to my Desktop PC

  • HP Jonada 928 WDA
The long awaiting WDA became available in selected countries only. For me, this was one of the most disappointing news of 2002. It's a fine device like all Jornadas before and it really makes me sad to see it was discontinued. The WDA was the first loser of the HP/Compaq merger.
  • Sendo
No comment…
  • Audiovox RTM-8000 GPRS CF Card
As good and proper the hardware itself works, as bad is the complete user interface as well as the driver integration. Here I expect a major software/driver improvement for 2003 to make it to a complete top for 2003!
  • Location Based Services
Long time announced but never became a real value for the customer. Neither on a WAP enabled mobile phone nor on a wireless Pocket PC.
  • GPRS Price Structure
The mobile operators are still to voice focused! They still don't realize that today's GPRS tariffs are prohibitive and will not give GPRS that breakthrough it needs to establish a functional 3G customer base.
Also it seems that most network operators never have heard anything about price elasticity and with that tariff schemes the operators can not install a frequent user customer base! Pretty annoying!

Final Conclusion

Overall, 2002 was a successful year from my point of view. We got a lot of cool new devices which makes it even easier to stay online today and also we got a lot of additional services which supports the features, the wireless devices comes with. Also the developer community realized pretty fast the possibilities of the new devices and services and delivered some useful programs.

Unfortunately the mother of all wireless services, the network operators, didn't realize the possibilities and which strong additives the got from the industry! It's not enough to launch a Wireless Pocket PC only and releasing a Pocket Internet Explorer optimized web page, the value comes from the combination of device, tariff and application. So far the operators try to understand the device topic only but they are still to far away from understanding the combination of all success factors!

My wishes for 2003 are:

  • To see more Wireless enabled Pocket PCs
  • To see more Smartphone 2002 based cell phones
  • To see the operators will move from a voice carrier to a voice and data carrier!
  • Cheers ~ Arne


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