Symbi-who? In my years of providing IT support for the latest-and-greatest smartphones and mobile devices – Newton, Zaurus, BB, iPhone, etc – I have never (knowingly) come across a Symbian system. I had always viewed Symbian as  niche player right alongside something like Psion. So imagine my surprise to find out that Symbian is the leader in the smartphone market. I guess I have been configuring “Symbian” but never really knew it!?!

So where is the disconnect? The problem is mine. I think I have to re-define smartphone in my own mind. For me, “smartphones” came into existence with the BlackBerry and then naturally evolved into being synonymous with multi-purpose app-expandable platforms such as WinMo and iPhone. The (market) reality is that rudimentary “smartphones” are just a tad shy of this – fully-functional devices capable of email, MMS, and some limited app support. The Nokia N70 and Motorola Razr I’m sure are great phones, but nobody would ever confuse them with the swiss-army-knife functionality of something like Android.

Such non-genius “smartphones” are more than satisfactory for most people, as evidenced by their worldwide popularity. But I’m interested in true mobility, in handheld mobile computing. There has long been the marketer’s image of the business user sitting on the beach, connected to the office via laptop and still getting work done. Extend that to a Droid, an iPad, a Pre, and that is what I envision of when I think of smartphones and mobile computing.

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