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Mobile Conundrum: One Device or Multiple Devices?



gadgets-arrayThe quest for a “one device to rule them all” probably still exists for many who like to consume or create their data on the go. I have to admit, it still does for me. But, with the coming wave of eBook readers, multi-touch PMPs, the rebirth of UMPCs, and other small mobile devices, it looks like consumers have lots of choices and those choices include just how many devices they will choose to use for their needs.

The question this brings to mind is a simple one. Do you want “one device to rule them all” or are you content/happy/thrilled/satisfied to do your mobile chores on multiple devices? I know several folks who have Kindles and they love the devices. But I haven’t been able to pull the trigger on a purchase of that device because I can read eBooks on my iPhone. Of course there already exist many platforms for eBook reading, and it looks like we will have more in the days ahead. Some will have more functionality than others and differentiators will be keys to some and not others.

The same could be said of navigation. I never went in for a stand alone GPS device preferring to use what I could on whatever smartphone I was using at the time. Were those solutions as good as the stand alones? Probably not in most cases. But they got the job done.

So much of this comes down to personal preference and in many ways that’s what creates the markets for entire ranges of devices. Think for a second and give us some feedback on how you view your mobile scenario. Are you a “one device” or  multiple device person?




    11/02/2009 at 9:42 am

    well i’m a geek so for me more devices means more things to play with (like trying to get all things to talk to each other over bluetooth or wifi).

    but thats not to say i drag multiple devices everywhere. If i know i dont need a device for something, and have a chance to drop it of or leave it at home, i will do so…

  2. SAM

    11/02/2009 at 10:00 am

    You don’t have just a hammer in your toolbox to fix your sink,
    so a person has more than one “gadget” for whatever job they
    need it for.

    One can never have too many gadgets!

  3. Stuart

    11/02/2009 at 10:17 am

    I don’t think there will ever be a “one device that does it all” because there are often requirements that conflict with one another. Sometimes a small pocketable device is needed but I would hate to read a large document on my cellphone. The swiss army knife might contain a “spork” but I prefer to use a fork and spoon that are separate. That being said, I don’t have many dedicated devices but I tend to look for gadgets that have at least two functions and where functions overlap I hope there is some compatibility. I’m happy that soon most mobile phones will have a common charging solution so “one plug that does it all” would be something I can dream about.

  4. Rodfather

    11/02/2009 at 11:40 am

    I’d like to have one device, and always tend to try to push out the max potential from each device. It doesn’t always work out that way due to needs or basic pain in the ass trying to make it do too much. Even with the netbook and previous UMPC’s, I’ve tried to add GPS capability or attempt to edit HD video.
    I’m in the same boat with you eBook readers and GPS nav devices. I’d rather have a device that does both.. or I just don’t want to spend the money on single purpose devices. The navigation or even google maps is ‘good enough’ for my purposes.

  5. Sumocat

    11/02/2009 at 11:45 am

    1D2RTA was one of my original goals with my Electrovaya Scribbler Tablet PC as the base unit of a modular setup, but the technology just wasn’t up to the challenge at the time. Tablet was great, particularly with its 12-hour battery, but add-ons, such as camera, wireless Internet, etc., weren’t. I’m now fairly sated having a handheld + Tablet PC combo, using my iPhone for most tasks and pulling out the big Toshiba Tecra M7 for heavy lifting, but I’m still looking at ways to go 1D2RTA.

  6. Chuck

    11/02/2009 at 12:19 pm

    It’s not one device, but one battery to power them all for a full day that is needed. As long as additional functionality requires multiple batteries, then we need multiple devices.

  7. GoodThings2Life

    11/02/2009 at 12:24 pm

    When my smartphone has enough battery power to get a combined usage of 4-5 hours of talk AND 4-5 hours of music AND 4-5 hours of PUSH data activity, THEN AND ONLY THEN will I consider converging my devices.

    Until then, I’ll enjoy my Zune HD for media and Touch Pro 2 for staying in touch with people.

  8. Ryan P

    11/02/2009 at 12:30 pm

    I want to carry as few devices as possible around with me, so I stick primarily with my BlackBerry, and use that as a music player, crippled and lousy as it may be. That said, I am willing to cart my PSP around with me because it is important to me to have a quality gaming experience on the go.

  9. Ben

    11/02/2009 at 5:15 pm

    I want one device to rule them all, but currently it doesn’t seem possible to create such a device that would not only last all day but fit in one’s pocket.

    However, no matter what, I think the omnidevice will always lose to a specialized device at a specific task. Sure, your phone can take pictures, but you don’t use it to take the family photo at xmas because it kinda sucks. It can do gps, but people with serious gps needs are going to stick to their dedicated device. People who read a lot of novels and such aren’t going to want to use a phone for their ebooks. There will always be a place for a specialized device for people with demanding needs. For everyone else, the omnidevice will serve them just fine.

  10. Ralph

    11/03/2009 at 5:41 am

    I’d be happy with a two device solution!

    My smartphone (Omnia) does quite a bit but when I’m driving I also need a dedicated GPS and my Helix XM player. The Helix plays recorded programs/music or live XM radio. A full laptop is also necessary if traveling for any length of time.

  11. Mark H

    11/03/2009 at 3:27 pm

    Definitly one device or as few as possible. I find the minimal approach works best when you’re mobile – more stuff creates more hassle, as well as more weight to carry around. I have thought about getting an ebook reader but I don’t want another device that just does one task, my iPhone or TabletPC should be up to the task.

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