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Friday, February 17, 2006

High-res screens for mobiles

One more quick post on 3GSM.

The coolest piece of tech I saw was Toshiba's tiny, cellphone-sized 2.4-inch screen - capable of full VGA (640x480 pixels) resolution. Epson had a similar, slightly-larger version.

It was absolutely stunning. This is what mobile TV, viewing pictures and other applications needs.

According to the Toshiba representative I met, high-end phones in Japan should start to ship with VGA screens towards the end of the year.

I want one.

A side-issue here. In my view, the growth curves of undrelying handset capabilities - screen, processor, memory - are outstripping the ability of wireless networks to exploit them fully. A VGA screen needs 4 times more data than a QVGA (320x240) one. Add in an iPod's-worth of flash memory, and again the cellular network won't be able to fill it up effectively. Yes, HSDPA and EV-DO are fast, but the backhaul is still a bottleneck. Net result? Yet more reasons to bypass the network, using WiFi, USB, Bluetooth, UWB or removable memory cards instead.

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