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Mobile phonograph August 4, 2006

Posted by James Warren in geeky stuff, mobile, music.

Further to my gibbering earlier, the other week I saw this and this and a whole lot else besides and it’s made me think about the future of portable media.  By way of a quick (non scientific and incomplete) overview, flash memory technology is allowing mobile phone manufacturers to incorporate xGB MP3 storage into their handsets.  This makes them a compelling alternative to (for example) Nano and Mini owners.  Throw the phones’ wireless capability into the mix and their increasing ability to handle email, internet and multiple media (multimedia sounds so very 90s, don’t you think?) and you have a practical and cost-effective solution to an all too familiar problem – too many blooming devices.  To illustrate this one of my very good friends has discarded his (almost brand) new Nano because he’s just picked up a Sony Ericsson Walkman phone.  To quote him (he has a work Blackberry too) “I’m just fed up with carrying so many things around.”  Interestingly, the reason he bought the Nano in the first place was because his ‘proper’ iPod was too heavy to carry in his suit pocket.

The answer?  Handbags for men.  Of course the real answer lies in yet further convergence in the area of mobile devices.  But will the phones eat the iPod market, or is there an alternative?  What I singularly failed to mention in my previous post was that an iPod with 3G wireless connectivity could also be used as a phone (durr).  And a portable email device.  And heaven knows what else besides (Jobs would doubtless include built-in camera, given Apple’s creative heritage, with some simple edit s/w and integrated upload to an Apple version of flickr/YouTube).

In one fell swoop, Apple does to the PDA/mobile email/phone market what it did to the MP3 market all those years ago.  The super-rich celebs, meejah and city types (not to mention the less-impoverished PRs) would ditch their boring practical corporate Blackberries for sophisticated sexy sleek designer iPads before you can say ‘Look at this shiny monochromatic hunk of converged gorgeosity – see how successful, cool and rich I am?  By the way, I also have a great sense of humour, am fantastic in bed and know how to operate a spin dryer.’

Blackberry Ripple June 17, 2006

Posted by James Warren in apropos of nothing, mobile.

As I was growing up, raspberry ripple was my favourite flavour of ice cream (closely followed by mint choc chip, fact fans).  These days however I am exposed on a daily basis to Blackberry ripple.  This is the term I have coined for the peculiar effect achievable in a full train carriage by getting one's Blackberry out.  One by one, all other owners of these mobile email devices then dig into their pockets/bags and get theirs out too.  So, within 30 seconds of one device being unleashed, half the carriage is full of commuters using theirs.  Seriously, try it yourself if you don't believe me.  Works every time.

Is this strange phenomenon anything to do with a new virulent work ethic among UK business people?  Or is it simply a case of classic one-up manship?  "I too am an executive of import and influence because I am able to connect remotely to my email – and the company could not function without my constant input.  Oh and I'm better paid than you because mine has a colour screen."  I'll let you decide.