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Smartphones Becoming Computer of Choice in Developing Countries

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the computer-of-the-people dept.

Cellphones 187

An anonymous reader writes "The build-out of 3G networks in developing countries, plus ultra-low prices from the likes of Samsung, will make the smartphone the sole computer of millions of citizens worldwide. And by 2016, 97 percent of smartphones are expected to use touchscreens. Now, don't get me wrong — I carry an iPad and an iPod Touch in my backpack and love touchscreens — but I still like a phone that fits in my pocket. However, I'm going to be in the minority five years from now, when the majority of wireless communicators will be smartphones."

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Developing countries (4, Informative)

ge7 (2194648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417110)

Speaking as someone who spends a lot of time living in Asia, it already is somewhat true. Unlike in US or Europe, people in developing countries, especially Asia, tend to visit webcafes instead of having their own computer. Some do, but it's much more common to go out. You can find these in almost every corner too, they're cheap to use and they have drinks and beer too. This also makes it a bit more social.

People go to webcafes to do everything that needs an actual computer, and otherwise stay connected to internet via smartphones, which are a lot cheaper to use too.

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Pocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417130)

How does an iPod touch not fit in your pocket? What kind of of pants are you wearing?

Re:Pocket (1)

rphenix (1454817) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417148)

How does an iPod touch not fit in your pocket? What kind of of pants are you wearing?

Skinny jeans?

Re:Pocket (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417222)

in america they'd be big fat lard-ass jeans where the fabric is cryin' for mercy. a lot of them can't see their genitals or their toes.

Re:Pocket (2)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417408)

If you can see your genitals while wearing jeans, you are doing it wrong.

Re:Pocket (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417596)

Possibly it depends on the (size of) genitals too?

Re:Pocket (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417626)

If you can see your genitals while wearing jeans, you are doing it wrong.

Depends on the person in the jeans. Camel toe [wikimedia.org] can be aesthetically pleasing.

Re:Pocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37418240)

What? There are no fat people other than Americans? Quick someone give the frenchie a cheese burger and some freedom fries, obviously they've fallen behind.

Re:Pocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417350)

Skinny jeans?

Sure, but if the OP was wearing skinny jeans, then he/she probably can't fit a non-smart candy bar phone in them either ...

Re:Pocket (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417180)

Skintight hipster faggot-pants, I think. No wonder the submitter remained anonymous.

I wear ordinary jeans (the sort people in developing countries would likely recognize as jeans), and my N900 comfortably fits in the pocket, even with the extended battery back on it. So did my N810 before that, and my N800 before that. Obviously an iPhone would be no trouble, but I don't swing that way. In fact, I've never seen any smartphone that wouldn't fit in my pocket.

Re:Pocket (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417854)

If I wear normal, regular fit Levi 501s then anything in the pockets gets bent when I sit down.

These days I have to wear pants with pockets in the legs to carry all my gadget stuff ("cargo pants" in the USA). The only other choice is to carry a little handbag with me (but that's not happening).

I guess all the "huh?" comments are from Americans where 'baggy enough to hide the flab' is the norm for trouser size.

Re:Pocket (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418396)

Or maybe the "huh?" are from people who can wear regular fit 501s and still fit stuff in their pockets...

Re:Pocket (1)

rednip (186217) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418486)

If I wear normal, regular fit Levi 501s then anything in the pockets gets bent when I sit down.

If your phone bends when in your pants, you should probably be replacing it anyways, sure with 501s sometime keys and other things hurt if they get caught up the wrong way in those relatively tight fitting jeans, but they were most 'dangerous' with smokes in a soft pack. Why you seem to imply that Americans don't wear tight fitting jeans or how you'd get that impression, probably some shouldn't, but there are plenty of people who pull it off well.

I'm not sure why you choose to include the pedestrian 'American's are fat' narrative for not being 'able' to wear the only truly American clothes, and then tie that into the idea that a smart phone doesn't fit well in a pocket. However, I only carry my phone on my left side pocket and my wallet and keys in the other front pocket. When I used to smoke, my cigs went into the cell phone pocket, and that sometimes got uncomfortable in jeans. Especially if I had a 'box' of them and it was beneath the phone. As phones got thinner and lighter, it was easier to ignore it. Eventually, I needed to touch my pocket, just to see if my phone was there. The iPhone in part reversed trend by increasing the width and height, not so much that it's become a problem yet. Maybe a 5" screen would convince me otherwise, but I still sometimes touch my pocket to assure the presence of my phone.

Re:Pocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417326)

I always find it rather uncomfortable, having a wallet, smartphone, keys, and sunglasses in my pockets at all times. But, I deal with it and keep filling my pockets with this stuff.

I'm wearing the normal kind of pants one would wear in an office i.e. not jeans or shorts.

Re:Pocket (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417456)

why have you got sunglasses in your pockets at all times? poof

Re:Pocket (1)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417800)

why have you got sunglasses in your pockets at all times? poof

Lives in a sunny country?

Re:Pocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37418070)

Then he should be wearing them, shouldn't he?

Re:Pocket (1)

shitzu (931108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417590)

This is exactly why i use a smartphone. It allowed me to ditch the ipod, navi etc AND it fits in my pocket. No need for a backpack.

Re:Pocket (1)

fbobraga (1612783) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418498)

This is a major reason that made-me not to buy/use an iPhone up to now (besides the overpriced "behavior" of Apple products): it' too big to fit comfortably on my regular pockets - and that's why I just bought a Galaxy 551 [samsung.com]

Re:Pocket (1)

fbobraga (1612783) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418514)

the same applies to Galaxy S and Galaxy S2 [samsung.com]

* I made bold tag error in my previous post :P

Not Just Developing Countries (4, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417140)

I already probably do half to two thirds of my browsing, email, and related tasks on my smartphone these days. An awful lot of what we do with computers is arguably trivial stuff that doesn't need screen real estate or big computing power.

My laptop is gathering dust!

Re:Not Just Developing Countries (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417156)

I find it a pain to type more than just a few sentences on a phone.

Re:Not Just Developing Countries (1)

Dark Lord of Ohio (2459854) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417268)

I find it a pain to type more than just a few sentences on a phone.

I have a multiple sclerosis, which impairs my vision and coordination little bit and I don't have a problem with that at all.

Re:Not Just Developing Countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417356)

I have a multiple sclerosis, which impairs my vision and coordination little bit and I don't have a problem with that at all.

That`s an incredibly positive attitude.

Re:Not Just Developing Countries (1)

dslbrian (318993) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417316)

I already probably do half to two thirds of my browsing, email, and related tasks on my smartphone these days. An awful lot of what we do with computers is arguably trivial stuff that doesn't need screen real estate or big computing power.

For basic content viewing, and simple web browsing small touchscreens work ok. However for anything requiring more precision than the finger sized blob a touchscreen sees, they absolutely blow. I can barely stand editing a couple sentences on a smartphone, and I can't imagine using it to do the things you would do on a regular computer. Try writing a thesis on a smartphone, or here's one - does anyone code android apps using only an android touchscreen device? That would be agony. At minimum I think one would want some kind of dock with an actual keyboard/mouse to do any kind of real work on such a device. Even then you would also want to plug into additional storage. Perhaps someone will make a killing with a low cost docking station.

ironically, the HP touchpad has that (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417342)

The HP touchpad has an inductive charger that doubles as an adjustable-angle stand. It also has a bluetooth keyboard. As for storage, just use a NAS over the wireless link.

Re:Not Just Developing Countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417370)

?Try writing a thesis on a smartphone, or here's one

I really wish people would stop posting this kind of thing. The phones will support bluetooth keyboards and wireless monitor connections. It'll talk to the same devices you are able to use today; it'll just fit in your pocket when you want to carry it around.

Please, can a million slashdotters STOP already with this nonsense about lack of keyboard and monitor? IT WON'T BE TRUE. The companies working on these devices are aware of this issue. Wireless keyboards already are supported, and monitors are being worked on - this will be there in two more smartphone generations.

Re:Not Just Developing Countries (1)

raodin (708903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417470)

Some android phones (Droid X2 for example) already have HDMI ports and support mirroring.

Run the compiler on the device (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418312)

"or here's one" -- You cut off the rest of the sentence: "or here's one - does anyone code android apps using only an android touchscreen device?" Coding on a device requires more than a Bluetooth keyboard; it also requires the ability to run the compiler on the device.

Re:Run the compiler on the device (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418424)

I'm pretty sure you can run GCC on Android. Developing would still be a pretty hellish experience, though, even with a wireless keyboard and a display.

Re:Run the compiler on the device (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418444)

You don't have gcc on your phone? Why on earth not?

Re:Not Just Developing Countries (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417504)

Perhaps someone will make a killing with a low cost docking station.

Asus are hoping you're right.
http://event.asus.com/mobile/padfone/ [asus.com]

Re:Not Just Developing Countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417500)

but you _have_ a computer.

a lot of people haven't used a computer and maybe only seen a computer few times, but are using internet connected phones capable of running computer programs.

Plenty of smartphones fit in your pocket. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417158)

Why does it have to be either/or? Case in point, the HP Veer (if those morons hadn't dicontinued it to focus on trying to be the next SAP some day).

Re:Plenty of smartphones fit in your pocket. (2)

DJ Rubbie (621940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417168)

Or just get bigger pockets.

Re:Plenty of smartphones fit in your pocket. (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417242)

My pockets in my jeans can fit a 7" tablet without much issue.

I have never understood what people complain about with their tiny 3.5" phone.

Re:Plenty of smartphones fit in your pocket. (1)

Dark Lord of Ohio (2459854) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417256)

My pockets in my jeans can fit a 7" tablet without much issue.

I have never understood what people complain about with their tiny 3.5" phone.

I guess few bricks would easily fit too? :)

Re:Plenty of smartphones fit in your pocket. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417348)

My pockets in my jeans can fit a 7" tablet without much issue.

American obesity FTW!!

(ok, really Australia but don't let facts get in the way of a joke)

Re:Plenty of smartphones fit in your pocket. (0, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417586)

My pockets in my jeans can fit a 7" tablet without much issue.

I have never understood what people complain about with their tiny 3.5" phone.

Most of the space in mine is taken up by my 14 inch dick.

OLPC? How about OSPPC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417164)

The days of OLPC are numbered and smartphones will replace them.

Re:OLPC? How about OSPPC? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417520)

Almost there:
http://blog.gadgethelpline.com/80-google-android-handset-sells-big-africa-huawei-ideos/ [gadgethelpline.com]

$80 Google Android handset sells big in Africa – Huawei Ideos
Chinese phone manufacturers Huawei who specialise in budget white label handsets seem to have hit the correct market in Africa as its Huawei Ideos budget smartphone has taken off in Kenya bringing a huge jump in Android sales to the country.

The problem is with software distribution (3, Interesting)

Casandro (751346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417188)

In a nutshell there are 3 different ways to handle software distribution. (with some overlap)

1. Anarchy: This way is typically done on Windows. You either use a search engine to type in "$program free download" and follow the first link, or you download the source-code and compile it yourself. This requires the user to be able to evaluate the software themselves. There is no guide. This works perfectly well with competent users, but can lead to large problems with the masses.

2. Dictatorship: You have a pre-made "app-store" which only lists programmes which went through some sort of censorship process. There is typically only one to choose from and typically you have no way to influence the rules or decisions. This is the way it's now typically done on newer smartphones, for example on iOS/Blackberry/WP7/Android. Since you cannot control what code you have running on your system, you have very little control about what your system is doing.

3. Communism: (in the sense of community) You have list of recommended programs which can be easily installed. That list is compiled by a community which you can join if you have proven to be competent or at least ask why they have done a decision in a certain way. If you don't like that decision, you can always go to another community and often even mix 2 for the greatest benefit. Installing software yourself is discouraged but not forbidden. You can always just do that.

The big point why this is so important is that computers are now extensions of your brain. This means the software running on your computer influences how you think.

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417210)

"The big point why this is so important is that computers are now extensions of your brain. This means the software running on your computer influences how you think."

True. From the moment computers became easily portable and always connected, we have almost the equivalent of unlimited memory. Even if you don't remember or know something, it's probably a few touches (the new term for 'clicks') away. I wonder what will come after the smartphones... wearable computers anyone? :)

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417214)

exactly my opinion. Also with a smartphone you can not really learn more about the smartphone. That means how to program it, open it and upgrade parts etc. As a result there might be fewer persons who learns about computer on their own, which is bad for the IT industry. Of course most people won't become programmers but I believe that this harms innovation.

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

Casandro (751346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417248)

Well actually this is not a fault of smartphones as such. For example the maemo line of smartphones actually had a normal bash shell so you could program it on the phone itself. It is, in a nutshell, just a matter of software.

Besides even before the smartphone craze, there were lots of little programmable portable computers which would now be considered smartphones (without the radio).

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417266)

I learned programming on my TI-83 calculator... mostly I was bored in class, but without it, I never would have understood loops and such, which led me into web development

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

Casandro (751346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417270)

Exactly. Why does a modern smartphone have be be less powerfull than a programmable calculator?

Re:The problem is with software distribution (3, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417690)

Agreed - modern smartphones are MUCH more powerful than the 8-bit computers we started with as a kid.

The N900 has a video out, so you can plug it into your television. Add a couple of Bluetooth input devices and you've got the equivalent of the 8-bit computer revolution - without the software. This is the space the Raspberry Pi is trying to aim for. Even though the Pi is much cheaper than a smartphone, the extra utility of the smartphone may make it a "necessity" where the Pi is a luxury.

The thing that got us hooked on computers was necessity - you had to learn something, to use them at all. Once you learned something, you developed an appetite for more. The availability of user-friendly GUI is what stunts this instinct these days.

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

xaccrocheur (470934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418272)

Guys, hello ? The N900 / Maemo platform got canned pretty badly by Nokia. It's almost like they did the whole "Maemo / internet tablet" line to study the impact that a really cool, innovative, user-empowering platform would have, in order to NOT do it. To their defense, this system spawned a whole hard-core community of geeky users, and before they knew it they RTFM like there's no tomorrow, dismantled the phone, wrote custom low-level drivers, gathered assemblies, voted to define politic directions, heck now that the platform is dead, they downright have the high hand over the system updates. This, depending on who you ask, is either a dream, or a nightmare.

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417980)

And for the S60, you can download a Python shell from Nokia's website, complete with API access to the phone (camera, contacts, etc).

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418348)

Besides even before the smartphone craze, there were lots of little programmable portable computers which would now be considered smartphones (without the radio).

Those were called PDAs. Archos still sells an Android-powered PDA called the Archos 43 Internet Tablet. They're good for people who want to run smartphone apps but can only afford dumbphone monthly service, such as children under legal working age.

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418434)

Not to mention the iPod Touch and many other devices.

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417374)

there's nothing really stopping you programming your phone, however there is a bit of a barrier to entry on the iphone & windows phone (you need a mac and whatever apple's ide is called or a windows pc and a free copy of visual studio) but android is pretty open by default, and it's even feasible (not easy or fun) to write programs directly on the phone.

Re:The problem is with software distribution (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417540)

android is pretty open by default, and it's even feasible (not easy or fun) to write programs directly on the phone.

Actually, with SL4A it IS sort of fun, especially if you add Amarino into the mix

"Scripting Layer for Android (SL4A) brings scripting languages to Android by allowing you to edit and execute scripts and interactive interpreters directly on the Android device. These scripts have access to many of the APIs available to full-fledged Android applications, but with a greatly simplified interface that makes it easy to get things done."

Let the certificate expire and (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418352)

however there is a bit of a barrier to entry on the iphone & windows phone (you need a mac and whatever apple's ide is called or a windows pc and a free copy of visual studio)

The barrier to entry is not only that but also a $99 per year certificate. Let that expire and all your homemade apps disappear.

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

xaccrocheur (470934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418200)

(...) there might be fewer persons who learns about computer on their own, which is bad for the IT industry. (...)

Yeah, because "the IT industry" wants insightful, informed and tech-savvy users, they demonstrate that every day. Right. IMO it's quite the opposite : The PC market with its "anarchic user paradise of freedom of choice and free information" is seen as an accident that mustn't be reproduced.

Re:The problem is with software distribution (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418342)

1. Anarchy: This way is typically done on Windows.

No, Microsoft has a rather extensive website which indeed includes information on Windows software. They operate in a state of benevolent neglect with typical market manipulation. And as you state, there is no pure communism.

Android is not a dictatorship (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418362)

Dictatorship: You have a pre-made "app-store" which only lists programmes which went through some sort of censorship process. There is typically only one to choose from and typically you have no way to influence the rules or decisions. This is the way it's now typically done on newer smartphones, for example on iOS/Blackberry/WP7/Android.

All Android phones with Android Market have adb install, which lets the user install apps outside of Android Market over a USB cable. Almost all also have "Unknown sources", which lets the user install additional app stores. Even AT&T phones nowadays allow this [tgdaily.com] .

Communism: (in the sense of community) You have list of recommended programs which can be easily installed.

I take it you're referring to the process used by GNU/Linux distributions' repositories. But the criteria for those tend to include being licensed as free software and free cultural works, which typically means no high-production-value video games and no tax return preparation software.

Japan as well (4, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417196)

In Japan a lot of people either don't have a computer at home, or don't have internet access(they usually have a laptop in that case). However the reasons are probably a bit different, the Japanese can obviously afford computers, but since even now most Japanese people don't take work home with them, there really isn't an overwhelming need to have one.

Re:Japan as well (5, Funny)

Dark Lord of Ohio (2459854) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417304)

In Japan a lot of people either don't have a computer at home, or don't have internet access(they usually have a laptop in that case). However the reasons are probably a bit different, the Japanese can obviously afford computers, but since even now most Japanese people don't take work home with them, there really isn't an overwhelming need to have one.

oh man... thats so sad... what they do when they come home after work???? no facebook? no.... ehm... porn?? no news, no email, no skype, no ichat? just your wife kids and stuff??? I ain't going there, no way!

Re:Japan as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417330)

LOL, you expect the average working person in Japan to have _FREE TIME_ to spend? They don't, and when they do get home the only thing they want to do is watch brainless variety shows.
 

Re:Japan as well (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417594)

LOL, you expect the average working person in Japan to have _FREE TIME_ to spend? They don't, and when they do get home the only thing they want to do is watch brainless variety shows.

So there is something that the West manufactures that the Japanese want then.

Re:Japan as well (1)

zerojoker (812874) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417338)

> what they do when they come home after work???? if you come home from work at 11pm, maybe you just want to sleep? Japanese folks are required to do long hours a lot, not matter if the overtime actually makes sense or not.

Re:Japan as well (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417402)

Actually printed porn is still quite popular in Japan, esp. when compared to the US and Europe where it is in serious decline. Maybe thats related to the % of the population that has computers, maybe not. Hard to say.

Re:Japan as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417422)

Most people I know do have computers. But that might be because a lot of them are students or their children are, not sure. However most of the daily internet needs, mail, games ,fb have long been satisfied by mobile phones here.

We just need an entry to the 'Net. (1)

Kensai7 (1005287) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417198)

I use my desktop for gaming and serious data manipulation, my laptop for everything else (video, communicating, office work, etc). I don't have a tablet yet, but I can see it substituting all my other uses, minus the most CPU-intensive. If a tablet can do this, newer generation smartphones can do it as well. Computing power goes up, the only limit is the physical limit which makes it difficult to enter data and watch it comfortably.

But for most casual PC jobs (e-mailing, tickets, show times, etc) smartphones are already great. And if your tablet can fit in your backpack, your smartphone can fit in your pocket!

Re:We just need an entry to the 'Net. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417994)

I'm still waiting for a cheap hybrid; a laptop with a touchscreen where I could simply detach the screen and use it as a tablet (even if it's just a screen, battery and wireless link to the base).

I know you can just plug in a keyboard/mouse combo to a tablet, but that feels like a poor hack of a laptop, and besides I want a 12" screen minimum.

Where are 12" tablets? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418378)

I know you can just plug in a keyboard/mouse combo to a tablet, but that feels like a poor hack of a laptop

Unless the keyboard is built just for the tablet, as in the case of the Eee Pad Transformer.

and besides I want a 12" screen minimum.

A 12" tablet may not fit in the kind of bag where a tablet is carried.

97% of smartphones are expected to use touchscreen (2)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417234)

That's truly a shame. Unless it's in addition to a keyboard, of course.

Re:97% of smartphones are expected to use touchscr (1)

AC-x (735297) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417906)

I'm sure in the future, as there is now, there will be smartphones with touch-screens and built in keyboards.

Would you honestly prefer having to cursor through all the apps on your smartphone instead of using a touchscreen?

FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (1, Interesting)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417236)

First they try to steal "apps" for things that are not applications, but rather channels of content.

Now a smartphone is a "computer"? In the sense of "general-purpose computing device" it most certainly is not. And neither is a fucking tablet.

I love my Android phone. But it is a communications device. It is not a computer.

I wouldn't mind having a tablet. I'll probably get one this year or next. It'll be great to surf and watch films with. But it's a content-consumption device. It is not a computer.

But I guess "Smartphones Becoming Communications Devices of Choice in Developing Countries" doesn't sound as sexy.

And while I'm busy ripping the submitter (and idiots in general) a new one--what does this have to especially with "developing countries", anyway?

The build-out of 3G networks in developing countries, plus ultra-low prices from the likes of Samsung, will make the smartphone the sole computer of millions of citizens worldwide. And by 2016, 97 percent of smartphones are expected to use touchscreens.

I see "worldwide". I see nothing about "developing countries" in there. Do you?

ExecSummary: In 5 years, most mobile phones will use touchscreens. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417250)

Okay, okay, I missed the bit about expanding 3G networks in developing countries.

But it's still Captain Obviousness, and I'm still pissed that I got suckered into wasting my time reading this.

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (2)

grcumb (781340) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417676)

Okay, okay, I missed the bit about expanding 3G networks in developing countries.

But it's still Captain Obviousness, and I'm still pissed that I got suckered into wasting my time reading this.

Tragically, it's not as obvious as it might seem to us geeks. In Papua New Guinea there are 55 thousand Facebook subscribers. 50 thousand of them access the Internet exclusively through their phones. But government is so blind to the incipient demand that they actively promote some of the highest Internet prices in the world. Reports like this are quite useful to those of us trying to make people realise that Internet + smart phone actually means something to the development of a nation.

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417296)

Yes, smartphones are computers, you twit.

Computer - Also called processor. an electronic device designed to accept data, perform prescribed mathematical and logical operations at high speed, and display the results of these operations.

Now please go fuck yourself in the face with a computer (your smartphone).

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417398)

I suggest in turn that you go fuck yourself with my dad's hearing aid, since it contains a CPU, processes data, and is therefore a "computer".

Moron.

love and kisses,

Z.

(Captcha: "battler". Heh.)

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417428)

Now a smartphone is a "computer"? In the sense of "general-purpose computing device" it most certainly is not. And neither is a fucking tablet.

What the hell are you talking about? Smartphones are computers with cellular radios. The phone functionality is just another app.

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418414)

Smartphones are computers with cellular radios.

Does a general-purpose computer require all of its applications to have been approved by the computer's manufacturer?

The phone functionality is just another app.

And a smartphone-sized computer without phone functionality is called a PDA. So why can't I buy a PDA anymore without it having other severe disadvantages? These may include complete unavailability in my country (Samsung Galaxy Player/Galaxy S Wifi) or lack of multitouch and lack of access to applications exclusive to the platform's primary market (Archos 43 Internet Tablet).

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417434)

Smart phones and tablets are just as much general computing devices as our computers of the past were. The fact that I can run Frodo, DosBox, and UAE on them means that to claim they are not general-purpose computing devices you must redefine computers in their entirety.

iOS != general-purpose (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418450)

The fact that I can run Frodo, DosBox, and UAE on them

...applies only to Android. Tablets that run Android are general-purpose; tablets that run iOS are not.

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (1)

LordWabbit2 (2440804) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417632)

The computer I learnt to code on was an 8088 - if memory serves me right it's clock speed was 4.7khz (with turbo), it had a whopping 640k of memory and a humongous 20mb harddrive. It was a huge beige box which was heavy enough to use for cover when under automatic weapons fire. My current phone runs at 1ghz, has 768 mb of ram and 16gb of storage. It also fits in my pocket and is not suitable for cover under any weapon fire (including potatoe guns). How is the first one a computer and not the second? I think you need to wipe the shiit out of your eyes and take another look at the world around you.

It takes a $99 per year subscription (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418426)

An iPhone or iPad is not a general-purpose computer in the same way that a video game console is not a general-purpose computer: it won't run homemade software or any other software obtained outside a centrally censored source. It takes a $99 per year subscription to the iOS developer program to turn an iPhone or iPad into a general-purpose computer.

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417682)

And fuck apple in general. Peddlers of bullshit. Destroyers of freedom.

i havent read tfa, but as to the phone being or not being a computer, the N900 is pretty much a debian gnu/linux machine.

On the maemo forums I stumbled across a thread about someone buying up "all" used N900 from ebay uk. Apparently they can sell them for more than what uk:ians wanna pay in some other country.

i agree the ios:s and androids are more like comm devices, but yo dawg, I can haz asterisk on my n900 if I wanna...

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418334)

Now a smartphone is a "computer"? In the sense of "general-purpose computing device" it most certainly is not. And neither is a fucking tablet.

Congratulations: 3:57 AM and already I'm seeing the dumbest thing I'm going to see all day. They have input, they have output, and they can run arbitrary, general-purpose code. That makes them a general-purpose computing device, yea, even my shitty LG flip phone. I can write any Java Applet I want and load it on the phone, that makes it a general purpose computing device.

I love my Android phone. But it is a communications device. It is not a computer.

Oh, you're trolling. How much did that UID cost you?

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (2)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418470)

I love my Android phone. But it is a communications device. It is not a computer.

I think you're a bit off there. At least, for me, its an information device.
It gathers, stores, shows, and send out information. The communication part is just a subset of that.

If I see something funny or interesting, I take a picture or a video of it. If I think of something, I can save the idea in via audio, text and/or drawings. If i'm on a trip, I store all travel documents, with all the needed references on the phone, and it also shows me where I should drive to get there, and remembers where my hotel is. I read books on it, listen to music, watch movies, play games, read the latest news, get weather forecasts, read / create barcodes (nice way of sending data to another device, actually), I have google authenticator on it, Rift authenticator, my calendars, calculator, clock/alarm/timer, public transportation routes, password safe, programming language references....

And then you have communication tasks in addition to that.. Yes, it's a lot of stuff in that small phone, and I do worry what will happen if it get lost / stolen. I have some precautions, but they can be defeated.

Re:FUCK MUDDLEHEAD APPLEMARKETNEWSPEAK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37418488)

>Now a smartphone is a "computer"? In the sense of "general-purpose computing device" it most certainly is not. And neither is a fucking tablet.

Except that it is. My Samsung Galaxy S2 is s dual core and held personal computing device that also has the ability to make phone calls.

What a man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417246)

"Now, don't get me wrong — I carry an iPad and an iPod Touch in my backpack and love touchscreens ..."

Brilliant. Simply fabulous.

my pocket... (1)

Dark Lord of Ohio (2459854) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417254)

I have an iPhone and it fits ok into my pockets, and I wear regular pants, not some hiphop pants with pockets so large that you may carry few pounds of potatoes inside. And a Big Mac. And still there is room for more.

Low prices? (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417294)

The summary mentions ultra-low prices from the likes of Samsung. What, exactly, does this mean? What counts as an ultra-low price?

trend also expected in the west, w/ bluetooth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417346)

It's a commonly known fact inside the industry that smartphones will take over a large faction of what people used to use desktops for, because they will be powerful enough to do so.

At this point a bunch of slashdotters typically hyperventilate and point out the lack of keyboard etc. But bluetooth lets wireless keyboards talk to the phone for those times you need one, and when you don't, the whole device fits in your pocket. The same portable gadget becomes BOTH your mobile device and your desktop-replacement. It'll even talk wirelessly to full sized monitors for when you need one. That is very much the developmental direction.

And this is a good future: it means no more microsoft, for one thing. It also gets rid of the huge power hungry noisy beige box we used to all have under our desks. It's more of a Star Trek future, and we'll see it inside a decade, judging by tech company roadmaps I've seen.

Really usable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417380)

Using a smartphone as a computer is like using a hairdryer for cooking chicken. Computers are bigger, faster, more comfortable and prevent humans from becoming single-fingered nearsighted beings. Smartphones are OK for going here and there and for telling your wife you are in a traffic jam or to find out where the hell is the restaurant you are trying to locate. But at home, it is ridiculous to be seated in the sofa, with a crazy finger doing useless work (ergo, writing to social networks, watching youtube videos and other stuff).
Try writing your PhD thesis on a Smartphone or tablet. Or try playing games in a smartphone and compare the experience to using a computer. Or even try to compare watching youtube videos on one device and on the other. Anyway, smartphones are good for what they were designed for but computers are still the best choice for doing high-level stuff.

Re:Really usable? (1)

Geeky (90998) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418412)

On the sofa I use a tablet, as I'm just casually browsing while watching TV, or showing someone some photos. It's fine for that, and I don't need a real keyboard.

That's enough for many people I know. Relatively few are power users who need more, unless they're serious gamers. For me, the main reason I still keep a real PC is for photo editing.

Phone to fit the pocket? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417570)

`(...) but I still like a phone that fits in my pocket'

Perhaps it's time they started designing pockets for smartphones rather than the other way around?

After all, piece of clothing is easily 1/10 to 1/100 the price of a smartphone.

No room for a smartphone in my pockets (1)

Mike Mentalist (544984) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417592)

I already have a portable calculus and a chequebook taking up all the space.

Once I fell over and the calculus broke and stuck into my leg. The chequebook came in handy then because I don't have health insurance.

Re:No room for a smartphone in my pockets (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 2 years ago | (#37418300)

calculus [wikipedia.org]

abacus [wikipedia.org]

HTC Aria/Liberty/Intruder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417796)

Whatever the model of HTC happens to be called in your country, the Aria/Liberty/Intruder definitely fits in my pocket. It is actually smaller than my old Nokia dumbphone.

I have a smart phone which fits in my pocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37417832)

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro (needs a shorter, snappier name) is a pocket sized, keyboard toting, touch screen, Android running, 1GHz powered, dinky smart phone.

Re:I have a smart phone which fits in my pocket (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417876)

Feel for you man. I bought a sony once too. Worst decision I ever made.

Small pockets? (1)

AC-x (735297) | more than 2 years ago | (#37417892)

I can't say I've ever had any trouble fitting even relatively big smart phones (Nexus S) into my pocket, but perhaps OP would like to take a look at the Xperia Mini [sonyericsson.com] ?

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