by Mike Masnick

Exactly What We Don't Need: Full Length Movies On Mobile Phones

from the because-it's-there? dept

People in the mobile industry keep talking up the prospects of mobile video. There are networks being built devoted just to the ability to serve up broadcast video to mobile phones -- ignoring, of course, the fact that people buy their phones to communicate, not to be fed info. Still, at least in some cases, providers have realized that if they must provide mobile video, it should at least be short enough and flexible enough that a user on the go can view it "in between" whatever else they're doing. Apparently, Vodafone Germany hasn't thought things through that much, as they're offering up a full length movie over a 3G connection to users. Of course, what's likely to happen is that enough users will check it out, simply for the novelty of the offering. Then, the company will declare it a success, and you can expect more feature-length movies to make their way to mobile phones where almost no one will watch them.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Jan 2005 @ 3:27am

    Roll down screens?

    What if they get those roll-down screens everyone was talking about in the next two or three years? Then maybe people could watch movies on the subway, or what have you.

    Definitely not a "we need this now" service, but maybe more useful in the future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jared, 11 Jan 2005 @ 9:29am


    And just how much would it cost to watch a movie over a 3G network? You'd have to have an unlimited data plan, or else you'd only be able to watch the first 5 minutes or so.

    How demanding is that going to be on your battery life and your processing power?

    But, if you wonder what the point of movie enabled phones are, what was the purpose of the camera phone? This just shows, though, that phones are no longer phones. They haven't been since the cameras were installed in them. PDAs will be phased out and become extinct. Phones will be/are the new "PDA". They will only get smaller and smaller with more and more hardware and software. There's nothing to stop it, either. The teenie-boppers will kick and scream unless they have the latest capabilities purchased for them by their parents.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve Mueller, 11 Jan 2005 @ 10:33am

    The Extinction Of The PDA

    The demise of the PDA is greatly exaggerated. Saying that phones will kill the PDA is like saying the PDA will kill the laptop.

    While phones may well get smaller and have more PDA features integrated into them, unless a new display technology becomes available (fold-out screens, virtual displays, direct neural input, etc.), people are going to prefer reading things on larger screens.

    Also, without any other hardware, inputting data is much easier on a PDA (handwriting recognition or virtual keyboards) than on a phone. Again, unless something major happens (like perfect voice recognition or direct neural output), people are going to prefer entering data on a PDA to entering it on a phone.

    PDAs have those better input mechanisms and larger screens (and faster processors and more memory), so I doubt they'll go extinct any time soon. I suppose it's possible that your phone could eventually become your central data repository and communicate wirelessly to input and display devices, but that day isn't here yet. For example, there are several Bluetooth keyboards available for Pocket PCs, but how many work with smart phones?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jared, 11 Jan 2005 @ 10:46am

      Re: The Extinction Of The PDA

      Yes, most phones need better input systems, but they are out there. Take the Nokia 6800 line. All the 6800 series phones come with a full QWERTY keyboard. Very handy. I have a 6800, and I love it. Not a smartphone, but I do wish more and more phones would pick up the full keyboard feature without being extremely wide.

      As far as screens go, the Audiovox SMT 5600 does a pretty good job on screen size for as small as the phone is. It will only be getting better and better. Give it a little time, and PDAs will become passe'. PDAs didn't replace laptops and still haven't because they aren't near as powerful. Phones are just about as powerful, and you already have a data plan included with the phone. Buying a seperate one for wireless access with a PDA is ridiculously expensive. It won't happen tomorrow, but they're going to get less and less popular, especially among administrators and management.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve Mueller, 11 Jan 2005 @ 2:48pm

    Less Popular Doesn't Mean

    PDAs may certainly become less popular, but "less popular" doesn't mean "extinct". Desktops are still being sold even though laptops can pretty much do anything a desktop can nowadays. (In fact, desktops may still be more popular than laptops, but I'm not sure.)

    However, I think the PDA will still fill a niche that neither the laptop nor a smart phone can. PDAs will certainly be pressured by phones on the low end and by ultra-portable computers (UPCs) like the OQO on the high end. However, phones have drawbacks, as previously mentioned, and UPCs have problems with instant access and battery life.

    I won't claim PDAs will be around forever certainly, but I think they will for the next several years at least. There seem to be plenty of people who are quite happy with Pocket PC Phone devices, which are PDA-sized units with full phone functionality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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