Monday, December 05, 2005

Signs I'm Getting Old - Technical Convergance Edition

I realize that I'm way the hell outside the target demographic for them (technically savvy, yes, but way too damb old), but I'm not sure I get the latest mobile convergence represented by portable everythings like the Nokia N-series. Okay, so the N80 has "a three-megapixel digital camera, email, MP3 player, personal organizer, game console, and WLAN connectivity". I read that as a crappy camera, a miniscule MP3 capacity until expanded, a game console with a tiny little screen and a personal information manager. What good does having all of this in one package do if each of the things that it does, it doesn't do very well? The N91, which is focused more on the music, has a 4GB hard drive for MP3s but a lower-res camera. Oh, and unlocked versions (in other words, the ones you can get without signing up for a 3-year commitment to some cell service) are running around $1000 US.

There's something really wrong with the TV ads that they're running for convergence devices like these as well. You see the cute 20-something bopping down the street listening to her tunes, switching over to pick up a 5-second phone call, then switching back to her tunes. Tell me, when is the last time you saw Miss Thing walking down the street (or having a coffee at Caribou or checking out at the drugstore or sitting in the waiting room at the dentist's office) when she wasn't actually
talking on the phone? Incessantly? Loudly? Something tells me the MP3 component isn't actually going to get much use.

Like I said, I know I'm the wrong demographic and maybe in part it goes back to my discussion of MP3s in general a few weeks ago. I want a higher definition camera, my video games on a bigger screen with better graphics, my MP3s (when listening to a compressed format is acceptable) in the smallest formfactor possible (trying going for a 4 mile run listening to your tunes on an N91) and my cellphone to be as unobtrusive (and as little used) as possible. For the folks that they are marketing this stuff to, it appears (to me at least) that lower quality is an acceptable tradeoff for convenience. Me, I'll continue to festoon myself with various Eagle Creek bags to lug my crap around in and endure the snickers of the younger, hipper, lo-fi generation.


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