The Reality of Convergence is Still Divergence.

I spent yesterday at a Nokia marketing event in Toronto and decided to only take my three mobile devices to see how I would deal with maintaining essential contacts and information flow (email, Twitter, Facebook, voice calls, web browsing) without having a full laptop available. The devices: a Blackberry 8820 (GSM/EDGE/WiFi), a Nokia N95 (WiFi only) and an iPhone 3G (3G HSPA and WiFi). For about 2 hours we were in a studio where there was video shooting. During this time I had to turn off the carrier radio as it could cause interference with the video equipment; yet all three devices continued to have WiFi access. So what did I accomplish during the entire day?

  • Blackberry 8820: read and sent email via both GMail and Blackberry mail, received a Skype call via iSkoot, followed and submitted Twitter messages via Twitter4Skype running as a Skype chat session in iSkoot, checked out and tracked the Blue Jays game, used Google Maps to get to the Nokia event, made a couple of local phone calls.
  • Nokia N95 (first model): demonstrated SlingPlayer Mobile and Qik.com to Nokia personnel; made a Truphone call to Minnesota, took photos of the event with 5 MP camera.
  • iPhone: lots of high quality web browsing; follow Facebook activity, read GMail.

Each has its own virtues – especially the Blackberry QWERTY keyboard, the N95’s video applications and the iPhone’s web browsing experience; yet I could not have done all these activities on a single device. Having WiFi on all three devices helped maintain contact while not able to use the carrier’s wireless services. Just as important is that I am still getting used to not having to worry about mobile data plan usage with Rogers’ new 6GB/month data plan rates as a result of the iPhone launch three weeks ago – at a $30/month lower cost than my plans for 25MB/month two months ago.

But the “convergence” coup d’état of the day was carried out by iotum CEO Alec Saunders. He had to host his daily SquawkBox call from the hotel lobby using iotum’s CalliFlower service. He followed the web page activity on his iPhone that had a WiFi connection to his Nokia E71 using Joiku and the Rogers Wireless data service; he made the voice call into the session using his Blackberry over the GSM voice channel. Key here is the need to follow the web page while talking on, and listening to, the call.

Seems like there’s still many paths to follow before we see total convergence on a single device.

Tags: Mobile life, Blackberry, Nokia, iPhone, Rogers, Alec Saunders, CalliFlower, SquawkBox, Joiku, twitter4skype, iSkoot, GMail, Facebook, Truphone, Qik.com, SlingPlayer

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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