technology notes… mobile and embedded.

iPhone and the advent of the HLOS

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I was listening to a talk last week on what is happening in the mobile phone business. It was by a person closely working with higher officials of various players in this space.  Here are some excerpts from that ‘talk’.

Apple’s iPhone has truly changed the game in this industry. Though many were talking about a ‘Mobile internet’ experience on phones, no one gave that business a compelling device,and a nice browser to use. (I think our ideas were seriously crippled due to over use of windows internet explorer). With the advent of iPhone, this area has finally caught attention.

Impact on modems:
A very important component in the mobile phone is its ‘baseband’ or the ‘modem’.This component is
responsible for managing the various connectivity options in mobiles. Mobiles were advertised
for their connectivity (like 3G /GSM/GPRS etc). But the future modems would be supporting a plethora of connectivity options like GPRS/3G/HSPA/WiMax etc  and most of this would be integrated into a
single silicon. In other words connectivity cannot remain a USP for a phone. And competitors could easily bring in phones with all that you have in 6 months.

Usability ,the real USP (at least for now):
Though many were talking about Usability and user experience..it has now become THE most deciding factor. This was the example that was cited to explain how  usability matters:   Few years ago Motorola launched its RAZR a groundbreaking design and made lot of money. But other operators and OEM’s were able to quickly come up with similar hardware and better designs. So the niche was gone and RAZR was no longer unique.

It has been almost a year now and no one has been successful in getting an iPhone killer.You may have touch,you may have connectivity but there is something unique with the device that’s not easy to replicate/reproduce. There is TMobile G1 (based on Android) .But  apparently ,its finesse is not even close to version 1.0 of the iPhone software.

So,what does this mean to mobile phone business:  The market is no longer about technology. Its more of ease of use and ‘feel good’.Technically, it also means that traditional OS’s, traditional frameworks with minimal attention to Usability may go away. This market will be populated with more and more of what is called as ‘High Level OS’ or HLOS. High Level OS’s are complex operating systems ,with support for most if not all of the functionality that a desktop OS would support.


Written by sujai

October 22, 2008 at 11:52 am

Posted in opinion

Tagged with , , , ,

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