1. mozartpc27's Avatar
    Ever since the ill-fated Thorsten Heins introduced the term "mobile computing" to the BlackBerry lexicon, it's been both the watchword of the promise of a reorganized BlackBerry, and the most effective symbol of the company's fatal lack of an apparent, defined vision of itself and it's place in the market. In short: "mobile computing" does indeed sound like The Next Big Thing, if only we had the answer to the question - What do they mean by mobile computing? I am wondering what the rest of the community envisions when you hear that term, but below I outline where I think BlackBerry (or someone else) is taking this convergence of cellular and desktop computing technology.

    I assume the reason what I am about to outline hasn't happened yet has to do with concerns that the FCC would try to block it, and companies are trying to work their way around it. But, to me, the obvious thing that any of the big 4 (Google, Apple, Microsoft, and BlackBerry, in my opinion in that order) could do to both consolidate their business models and squeeze out interfering middlemen is to own their own network - that is, to own cell towers that distribute wireless signals (or, more grandly, satellites). To avoid a charge of monopoly, these companies could (and probably should) continue to offer their devices on the "classic" carriers. So what would be the difference? If, say, you were to buy a BlackBerry Directly from BlackBerry, that ran on BlackBerry's own network, without a 3rd party carrier, they could offer anyone buying a phone (or any other device) in this fashion (as opposed to through, say, Rogers or Verizon for example), essentially a "cloud hard drive" on the company's own servers to go with it. In other words, with each subscription of $100/month or whatever, in addition to wireless service, you would also receive a large chunk of cloud storage.

    Doing this would, first and foremost, liberate any of the Big 4 from providing ONLY cell phones (and perhaps tablets) on a "4g LTE" (or whatever is next) platform. I am envisioning a base line offer would be a "4G LTE" laptop (or perhaps a convertible laptop/tablet but with - please! - a much more substantial and better keyboard than the Surface offers). You buy that for cost + monthly service fee. It can make calls through its infrastructure, and it has local storage, but all documents AND APPS are simultaneously installed on your cloud drive. Then, you want to add another form factor, like what we now consider to be a phone (I think this distinction will eventually become meaningless, except as it refers to the size of the physical object)? You pay cost of item + small monthly fee on top of your current level (like they do with tablets now), and in exchange they increase the storage size of your cloud drive. I envision these companies offering every imaginable form factor on this basis, from "traditional" smart phones to "connected" desktops (with bigger internal machinery - RAM, graphics card - for graphic processing for games, video editing, etc.), even to servers for creating private networks within the "BIG" network.

    THIS would add up to truly "mobile computing.". This is what I think of. If a company like BlackBerry started doing this, you could compute from anywhere, all the time, always remaining plugged in to your own private network, and the world wide Web. You could do it from any device you own. You could log in remotely from guest devices.

    BlackBerry has the term "mobile computing," but not necessarily the vision, and they certainly don't have the resources at this time. Of the big 4, Google is pretty clearly the closest to making this play - they have/offer everything that would be required, or could very quickly, except for the owning of their own towers so they can sell direct. I suspect they haven't gone there yet only because of fears of the FCC. Because BlackBerry is based in Canada, and since their market share is currently so small, I could see them slipping under the FCC's radar in a way Google/Apple/Microsoft can't.

    But will they?

    What do you all think? Is this close to what you picture when you envision mobile computing? Or do you think of something else?
    Last edited by mozartpc27; 12-06-13 at 12:27 PM.
    12-06-13 12:16 PM
  2. heymaggie's Avatar
    I don't understand how the data service is obtained in your model. Are you expecting Blackberry devices just to use just wifi or is the company going to be building cell towers?
    12-06-13 12:27 PM
  3. mozartpc27's Avatar
    I don't understand how the data service is obtained in your model. Are you expecting Blackberry devices just to use just wifi or is the company going to be building cell towers?
    Building/buying towers.
    12-06-13 12:29 PM
  4. anon1727506's Avatar
    I think the CLOUD is Mobile Computing today and in the future - devices may mean very little and pretty much be interchangeable.

    Apple, Google and Microsoft all have a head start on the idea of Mobile Computing.

    Google - Look at Chrome and how it carries all you settings to any device you use. Doc are pretty much accessible on any device.

    But MS has an edge - With Windows 8 every device is the same - same UI, same app & with Office 365 and SkyDrive Pro hosted on a SharePoint server within your organization you can setup and access files (email, word, excel... all office doc) from anywhere. With a VPN connect and terminal services you can access inhouse programs and databases.

    Not sure what the flying under the FCC radar even means, but flying really low can be dangerous.... you can clip a tree or a unlighted tower and it's all over.

    There are some neat ideas about having one "smart" mobile device with docks at work or home for larger displays and input devices. This is only going to work when that is a cheaper alternative than current setups. BlackBerry might have an advantage here with any issues of security.... But they have to survive the next few years, first.
    12-06-13 12:43 PM
  5. anon1727506's Avatar
    Building/buying towers.


    In which markets?

    All over the world maybe? Just asking but what do you think it would cost to try and build their own network?
    12-06-13 12:46 PM
  6. dehdude's Avatar
    I think your close, because it is the cloud.. but you don't need multiple from factors..

    For a clue where BlackBerry is going with this look at fuse whereas your mobile is displayed on your desktop.

    I think the cloud will hold all the data and apps, and the mobile device will be connecting to this. It can then display on multiple dumb screens via a dock but in the future via miracast

    No sense buying a 700$ PC that has the same access or abilities as the phone.

    With QNX they can also have a CPU share calculations as long as passing the messages does not have any latency. Therefore for bigger projects desktops will still be needed, and can share the resources of your phone, but for most people the phone will be the only expensive device required.

    Posted via CB10
    12-06-13 03:28 PM
  7. heymaggie's Avatar
    I don't understand how you build towers when you have 1% smartphone market share. Do you think they just build these things wherever they want? Isn't ATT just catching up with verizon for US coverage after how many acquisitions, spectrum buys, and billions? What kid of cell phone plan only works in certain cities? Have you read about how long it takes to get a single tower approved in most cities?

    And what kind of carrier doesn't offer the iPhone, Android, or windows mobile?
    12-06-13 07:23 PM

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