The Smartphone has been a tough place to make money. We all know that any PDA company worth anything either has a Smartphone, or otherwise data oriented device, or is planning one. The Nokia 9300 is one of the least talked about new breed of devices, though it packs a ton of potential. Maybe we gloss over it because it doesn’t run Palm OS or Windows Mobile, but it has a full keyboard, large display, productivity software and EDGE. It’s smaller than some of Nokia’s prior models and brings in a pointer stick similar to some notebooks. It will cost an arm, and potentially a leg, but it looks great and promises a great deal of productivity on the run.
There’s no new news on this unit, our contacts at Nokia are quiet. There’s only one provider in the US it would make sense for Nokia to work with though; Cingular’s EDGE network would make the 9300 scream. The concern that anyone who’s watched this industry for even a few months has, is will it be released? Will the Nokia 9300 meet the same fate as the Motorola MPx and other devices that looked great on paper, even better in concept design, but failed to make it to distribution for whatever reason?
I certainly hope not. As PDAs get larger and notebooks get smaller, data devices like this that are more notebook oriented will probably gain a lot of share. The input method is familiar and easy to get along with and the hardware is even powerful enough to do most things a notebook can do. The main downsides are dealing with usability limitations and extra costs associated with miniaturization.
With notebooks getting smaller and pushing more functions into diminutive cases, and PDAs getting somewhat larger and certainly more robust, where’s the middle ground? Sony is one of the kings of small notebooks and tablet type devices; their U series offers a lot of potential. Next week they’ll be announcing notebooks with built-in GPRS modems to get online with a mobile phone carrier, something we use PCMCIA cards or Bluetooth connections to phones for now.
It’s hard to tell what’s going to make it and what won’t. Perhaps the Nokia 9300 is a good next step.
The 9300 I played with at the CTIA show in March
Nokia 9300 Overview:
- Advanced voice features: handsfree speakerphone and conference calling capability
- Full keyboard and two 65,536-color displays
- Messaging options: email with attachments, SMS and MMS
- Office applications: Documents, Sheet, and Presentations
- Organizer (calendar, contacts, tasks) and email with PC synchronization via Nokia PC Suite software
- Large memory storage: 80MB built-in memory plus MultiMediaCard (MMC)
- High-speed data connectivity with EGPRS (EDGE)
- Mobile Internet connectivity
- Tri-band (EGSM 900/1800/1900) operation for use on five continents