The end of mobile convergence?

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The concept of convergence in mobility is focused on one device handling every task required by the user. In the beginning, we had PDAs and mobile phones. Then as the idea of convergence gained ground, PDA features began to be incorporated into phones and the smartphone was eventually given birth to.

For years now, the smartphone was the champion of convergence. But that concept does not look like it will see mass adoption anymore unless and until certain factors on ground change.

Let’s face it, power users are pushing their smartphones too hard these days. Take my situation – my Nokia N8 has an always-on 3G connection, busy synchronising my mail, contacts and calendar via Microsoft Exchange.

My Twitter account also stays connected all the time. There’s yahoo Messenger when I need it, and the ocassional web browsing. I also enjoy music on my device. Lastly, there’s voice calls and SMS.

Put all these together on a touchscreen slab, and with current battery technology on mobiles, you know it is insanity for me to expect the N8 to last through a full day.

This is why I am becoming increasingly convinced that we are soon going to witness the end of convergence. With a tablet, I would be able to move certain tasks off my smartphone, thus improving its battery life by stretches.

This was my experience while I had the Apple iPad. Music, appointments, email, social networking and web browsing were moved completely to the iPad, and my phone had less to do.

On the phone front, I had a very capable phone, SMS, and a superb camera. This resulted in longer-lasting batteries on the phone. And less worries.

This is my perfect combination. I am likely to adopt this combination. This means that when picking a primary smartphone, I will always be on the lookout for the following features:

  1. Excellent call quality
  2. Good SMS functionality
  3. Top-notch camera

As for my choice of a tablet, I do not know for sure yet. I want a tablet with 3G radio built-in. I would also need hotspot functionality, so i can share its internet access with my netbook when I do need to use that.

The iPad 2 springs to mind immediately, especially also considering its superb battery performance. However, I do not like the lack of a phone and SMS interface on the iPad range (for loading airtime and subscribing to data plans) – and please don’t mention jailbreaking to me. Not interested.

But even some of the Android alternatives lack these features too. Its a jungle out there, and choosing a tablet is becoming a daunting task.

Still, I am only in the conceptual stage of this plan. I will cross that bridge when I get there. Or perhaps some new, great development in mobile phone batteries will arrive and make this article obsolete.

In the meantime, let’s hear from you: if you were to adopt a phone-and-tablet strategy, what would inform your choices? Comments please.


  1. i still believe improvement in battery technology for smartphones will address this issue. The idea of carrying multiple gadgets around is still cumbersome to me.

  2. ‘With a tablet,I would be able to move certain tasks off my smartphone, thus improving its battery life by stretches.’

    I am taking this to the bank right away.

    ‘– and please don’t mentionjailbreaking to me . Not interested.’

    Going into an analphylactic SHOCK! What?

    ‘i still believe improvement in battery technology for smartphones will address this issue.’

    So do I.There are hybrid cars. WHY not hybrid phones that use solar to augment the phone power?

    Samsung has all the sizes for mobile devices. Samsung, be the leader, and produce hybrid phones.

    Or develop radically different battery technology.. One of the ‘Laws of Physics’ has been Violated! Violate more, and give us better barriers!

    Then Yomi’s ‘digital divergence’ theory can be shot to smitherens! 😉

  3. Tested out a Samsung Galaxy tab 10. 1 recently and its really worth owning. WiFi hotspot, calls, sms and ussd functions were all present not to mention honeycomb Android. @ Yom: Think this could work for you?

  4. I have been thinking along these lines too. A Blackberry 9900 and a samsung galaxy tab 10.1 will definitely fit the bill for me. I can’t tolerate the restrictions of the ipad.

  5. Just curious, so how do iPad users in Nigeria add airtime? I thot there was a Sim menu (at least for MTN) that allows you to do that? Or do they have to pop out the SIM and load it using a phone? Thanks

  6. you can load your airtime through any of the top up channels e.g quickteller using your debit card. you can as well pop out the sim and load it through another phone, but you will be needing an adaptor since its a micro sim.

  7. calls on galaxy 10.1? I don’t think so. except you are talking about VOIP. cellular calls is a no no. My wife owns one. I have been researching tweaks and mods that can make calls possible and none yet. If there is way, please holla.

  8. I think the samsung galaxy Note looks good. It has a 2500mah battery. But i guess that wouldnt still be enough anyway..lets hope for d best in battery technology

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