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Users Don't Really Want Device Convergence: Study

Survey finds that users like the separate functions of phones and PDAs, although vendors will likely "cherry pick" PDA features and add them to phones.
While many consider the convergence of mobile phones and PDAs to be a fait accompli, that's not necessarily what users want, according to a study made available this week from research firm Forrester.

The study and survey noted that device vendors obviously believe in the convergence of the two types of devices or they wouldn't be adding wireless connectivity to PDAs and PDA functions to phones, the study noted. But each form factor has its strengths and a survey run as part of the study found that users don't necessarily want convergence.

"PDAs stand out from phones in their input capability -- via keyboard or touch screen -- and personal information management (PIM) applications like calendar and contacts," the report said. "But only 6 percent of mobile phone owners say that a keyboard or pen input is important in their choice of phone, and only 10 percent say that PIM applications matter."

In addition, few phone users actually use the PDA features built into in their devices, the study notes.

Instead, the study concludes that, rather than full convergence, phones will "cherry-pick" features from PDAs in the future instead of fully converging. For example, address books in phones will synchronize more fully with desktop PIM information, according to the study.