Half phone, half tablet
Last week in Barcelona, the Mobile World Congress saw the great and the good of the phone world come together to prod at each other’s touch screens and match apps. One of the hits of the show was a new pair of gadgets from Asus, which are an intriguing step towards the integration of the smartphone and tablet markets.
They are called the PadFone Infinity and the Fonepad.
The PadFone Infinity uses Android with a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm 800 processor. It’s a smart looking machine too, wrapped in the sort of aluminium that usually keeps Boeings safely off the ground. The screen though is where the big news is, at five inches (1920 v 1080 pixels) it’s heading towards tablet territory. The quality of the camera, a 13-megapixel model, shows how much Asus want to make of their superior visual quality.
All very exciting, but surely that’s still just a stand-alone phone? Well, not quite. The PadFone Infinity Station is a dock that turns your phone into an Android tablet. Asus, a Taiwanese company who last year were the world’s fifth largest PC producers, already make a line of Infinity Pad tablets, and the PadFone is a logical extension of that range. The station is also a charger, and Asus says you can get an impressive 17 hours of battery life from it.
The Fonepad is another attempt to mix the tablet and smartphone. It comes with a seven-inch screen (1280 x 800), runs with an Intel Atom Z2420 processor and a promised 10 hours of battery life.
Reviewers have compared it to the Google Nexus 7 tablet. However, it’s not yet running the latest version of Android.
The Fonepad should be available in the USA soon, and it will cost around $250. At today’s exchange rate, that’s just about £166. Not bad, when Apple’s iPhone 5 is still listed on their website at £529.
The question is whether the public is ready to buy what are essentially very large smart phones, or very small tablets. If they are, this could open up a completely new market sector.
Asus’s latest products only go to emphasise the big news online, which is that the future of the internet is mobile browsing. If your site isn’t set up to be viewed on screens like the Fonepad’s, then you’re already missing out on customers and could find yourself struggling with even lower visitor numbers in future.
Ask Toolkit about our mobile optimisationservice. Soon having a site that can’t be viewed on a smartphone will cease to be an option for any site with a future and we can help you find a whole new generation of customers.
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