Back at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011, I made a prediction that Integrated Portable Devices (IPDs) were the way of the not-too-near but not-too-distant future.
What is an Integrated Portable Device? Think ASUS Padfone. Think ASUS Transformer. Think the KT Spider concept devices. And then think larger where the integrated “addons” continue being compatible with future phones (so when you upgrade your phone, your tablet, laptop, and other things get “free” upgrades). Then think larger where your “addons” are cross-manufacturer compatible (your PadFone’s tablet display is compatible with your Motorola Atrix Droid 17). This also gets even more exciting with announcements like Canonical’s Ubuntu on Android.
Fast-forward to now and we’re starting to see these things actually take off in their most infant of stages. What we have next year will hopefully be significantly different, and better, than what we get this year but everything must start somewhere.
As I have had more conversations with people over the past year with this changing paradigm, I’m beginning to see that there is more to this than originally expected. Previously, the thought was, “Why wouldn’t anybody want something like this? They keep all of their technology yet it only gets better for “free”! Plus, this is the ultimate integration in multiple devices since there is no need to sync or share data.” But what I’ve been hearing has been a mix of that and “But I don’t want to have to give up my phone to use my tablet” and “I don’t want my daughter monopolizing my phone in order to read an ebook”.
Clearly, there will be the 35% of us who need 2 dedicated tablets or a dedicated laptop or even 3 different cell phones for various reasons. But there will be the 65% of us who never use more than a single device at a time that would GREATLY benefit by IPDs allowing their entire technology budget to be cut in half as well as many “data sharing” technical support issues being eliminated.
So I bring this philosophical question to you. Are you ready to have your cell phone power your other devices? Would you like to be able to buy a “10inch tablet upgrade” for your Galaxy Nexus for $150? Why or why not?