Mobile
Commentary
7/22/2009
01:45 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
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Samsung Mobile Internet Device Runs Windows Mobile 6.1

Samsung will be shipping its mobile internet device (MID) sometime in August. It will run Windows Mobile 6.1 and be capable of using WiFi and WiMAX, but won't have any cellular capabilities nor any voice calling features.

Samsung will be shipping its mobile internet device (MID) sometime in August. It will run Windows Mobile 6.1 and be capable of using WiFi and WiMAX, but won't have any cellular capabilities nor any voice calling features.The specs are impressive enough. It will have a large 4.3" screen and a four row slide out QWERTY keyboard plus 4GB of onboard storage. I am not sure why at this late stage of the game it will be launching with WinMo 6.1 instead of 6.5 according to WindowsForDevices. I've seen no word yet of an upgrade being made available.

I still am not clear on the purpose of this device. With no cellular modem, you will be somewhat limited as to where you can use it. By using the Clearwire WiMAX network, it should beat the current speeds of existing 3G networks. However, if you look at the Clearwire coverage maps you'll see they are in just a few cities and in few, if any, rural areas. It looks nothing like the coverage maps we are used to seeing with cellular providers. It will also work with Sprint's WiMAX network, but its coverage is also rather anemic right now. They just announced the launch of the high speed network for Atlanta, Portland and Las Vegas. Don't get me wrong - WiMAX could be the next major high speed network for all of us, but it is too early to launch a device that relies exclusively on that for mobile users.

Companies operating in covered areas could make good use of the device. WinMo 6.1 is a good platform to build applications on. The high speed network would allow employees roaming in these cities to keep in touch with the corporate servers.

Consumers, however, are a different story. Consumers are generally interested in email, web browsing, listening to music, watching video, chatting, playing games and more. WinMo 6.1 makes a decent phone and does a lot of things reasonably well, but not many things exceptionally well, and with competition like the Pre and iPhone out there, you need to excel in a few areas to stand out.

I've seen a few users that have bemoaned the passing of the pure PDA, a device with no phone capabilities, but I am not sure there are enough users like this to make the Mondi, or the whole MID market for that matter, a success, at least from a consumer point of view.

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