Going forward to the past

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I got to thinking of the insanity and vanity of humanity today. How did I get to doing that? I was looking at the array of devices that we carry around today.

Four years ago, we all wanted to carry one device. We were screaming “Convergence”. Now, we are cool if we carry more than one. And we are cutting edge if we have a phone, a smartphone, and a tablet in tow. I know those who also have a laptop in a backpack in addition to the afore-mentioned gizmos.

Four years ago, we threw away the stylus. Now, it is becoming fashionable again.

Four years ago, huge mobile devices were bricks. Now, the bigger, the better. These huge devices that we celebrate today used to be derided as “bricks” and too large just five years ago.

I tweeted a bit about this and someone responded with this:

Nada. Those bricks were THICK and HEAVY. This Note Im using is thin, bigger screen. More pleasing than tiny monochrome screen.

Thick, maybe. Heavy? Let’s see. The Nokia E90, which was the grand-brick of mobile in 2007 (that’s five years ago), weighed 210g. The closest devices to being bricks back then include the Nokia E61i which weighed 150g.

Note that the point of my musing is that we are returning to things that we abandoned years ago – bigger, heavy, stylus, and multiplicity of mobile devices, regardless of how the devices are classified.

In 2012, the original Galaxy Note weighs 178g. Guess what the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 3100 weighs? 345g. BlackBerry PlayBook WiFi-only weighs 425g. The new Note 10.1 weighs 600g!

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So much for mobile devices back then being heavier.

Ahem, monochrome screens four years ago? 2008? I think not. In 2008, mobiles with monochrome screens were feature phones at the lowest rung of the ladder. In 2008, the E90 Communicator had a 4.0-inch, 800 x 352 pixel, 16 million colour display.

The truth is that we are going full circle the same route we abandoned years ago. Yes; today’s devices are much more powerful and much friendlier to use. They are thinner, but by far longer and wider. They certainly are bigger.

And it sure is odd to see someone carrying around a 4.7-inch smartphone, a 5.3-inch tabphone or a 7/10-inch tablet, plus a netbook or laptop in tow? Yes; we are going insane little by little.

No; I dare not suggest that we are suffering from insanity. Suffering? No; we are enjoying every minute of it.

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

0 thoughts on “Going forward to the past

  • August 18, 2012 at 10:09 am
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    Nice one, Mr. Mobility. Good insightful revelations. Maybe the world revolves in circles. Maybe we would soon go back to the dark ages. But one thing is clear to me, though. Those things we did before, those things that we believed were so lame, those stuff that constituted a “generation gap” between us and our grandfathers in times past, Are the very things that are coming into fashion today!

  • August 18, 2012 at 10:18 am
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    Do we use all devices the same way we did four years ago, or are we using them differently? Since I got my tablet I use my laptop differently. Likewise my phone use has changed because things that were exclusively done on PC are now done on mobile. I can’t remember last time I used IM on a PC!

    Fashion goes in cycles, so why not technology? So no, it’s not any form of insanity – it’s called change.

  • August 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm
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    it was king Solomon that said there is nothing. new under the Sun. indeed as the earth is a circle so we are moving in circles indeed

  • August 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm
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    Yeah, I think Noni captured the scenario perfectly. Though we seem to be going back to those things we believed were unfashionable, something has changed here. Yes the screens are now bigger even as the phones are getting thinner, that’s just to meet change in usage pattern.

    Most of what we would rather do on PCs four years ago we are now doing comfortably on phones, helped by bigger screen sizes. Also, the touchscreen technology demands bigger screens for effective use and better user experience.

    Because we now do a whole lot more on our mobile devices, we need it to have better battery life which means bigger batteries that add to the weight of the devices even though we would prefer less weight.

  • August 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm
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    My elder brother and his wife came to the house to visit this evening and we got to talking. My brother is an engineer but when it comes to IT stuff, he is aware of what is going on generally but I wouldnt go so far as to call him a geek.

    As we were discussing on the dining table, one thing led to another and we ended up talking about exactly what is on this post. As far as I know, my brother doesn’t read this blog but he shared almost the same sentiments as Mister mo. He talked about how back in the day, the Motorolas and Sagems of the time were always very bulky and people complained of that alot later on, phones got smaller and sleeker only for them to be returning back to being bulky now.

    His wife also chimed in to the discussion using Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note as prime examples of those extra large devices. These are the devices that are in vogue with their circle of friends and at their office.

    This goes to show me that even not too techy or average users are more aware of the trends in tech than we know and also have the same issues that we do with it. Overall, it was a fun conversation.

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