Energizer is releasing a new inductive charging system this October at Target stores and on Target.com. It’s officially called “Energizer Inductive Charger”
The new charging pad will charge any QI (Pronounced Chee) enabled device or a device with a QI accessory. Energizer will have the first two of these accessories available at the same time. They are starting with the iPhone 3G and 3GS sleeves and a BlackBerry® Curve™ replacement battery door. They say they will have more accessories available at a later date. Ultimately, doors and sleeves will not be required as manufacturers begin introducing new devices with the Qi standard built in.
Imagine sitting at your desk and just putting your smart phone on a nice looking pad and not having to plug it in to keep it charged. Or at the end of the day, just put your gadgets on the pad at the bedside and they will be all charged up in the morning.
In the past, these inductive chargers all had a different standard and had to speak the correct language to work. QI is an open source standard so any QI device and charger can work together. QI does require metal to metal contact to work.
I’m looking forward to having a charger like this for my smartphone (Droid).
For more information about these new products check out: Energizer Inductive Charger.
To read more about the QI (pronounced Chee) standard, go to The Wireless Power Consortium home page.
Back in the very early part of the 1990’s, the tech world villain of choice was IBM, and the underdog was Microsoft. As the 1990’s progressed, IBM began to move into the background and Microsoft took over the role as tech villain.
Windows 3.0 was the version that really started making waves in a big way. It was buggy and unreliable, but it offered a glimpse of the potential personal computers presented. Windows 3.0 made it possible to pick from a wide variety of standardized computer hardware parts and put them together and have a working personal computer that could do rudimentary multitasking. Windows succeeded because it worked on an open hardware platform. That same open platform forever cemented The Windows’ Curse.
In 2010 the new tech villain is Google. Smartphones are the new computers of choice. Google Android is the new Windows 3.0 morphing into 3.1, 3.11, and Windows 95.
My fear is that Google Android is doomed to repeat the muddled path of Windows.
Here is why.
My HTC Evo was recently updated to Android 2.2 “Froyo.” All well and good. However, the Android apps I have installed are constantly being updated. Fine – I can see how that would happen. However, I’m noticing that some of them no longer work. Incompatibilities are creeping in. The latest victim of Android upgrade fail is the latest Android version of the Foursquare app, which causes my phone to spontaneously reboot a few seconds after I open the app.
The Windows Curse is in very real danger of becoming The Android Curse.
The open platform is both a blessing and a blight. Open platforms are great so long as they are small. Once they become the majority market leader, their very openness makes them vulnerable to of errors of confusion as well as a giant security target.
It’s probably time for some company to start producing antivirus and antispyware software for Android phones. And it may also be time for some of us to start fleeing for the higher ground of walled garden dictatorships.
With a reported 150,000 units sold in the first week, and a nearly instant price cut, the Blackberry Torch doesn’t appear to have met RIM’s expectations. But I’m unsure how it could have been any other way.
To start with, 150,000 units is a good opening figure for any company with the single exception of Apple. Compare it with the HTC Evo 4G and Palm Pre, both of which sold in broadly similar numbers. Frankly, this tells me that at any one time, there are only about 150,000 people ready to upgrade.
Secondly, while I know plenty of people who have work-supplied Blackberries, I know of only one friend who has one as a personal phone. Thirdly, companies tend to purchase in batches and rarely upgrade to the latest phone just because it’s out. Consequently, I think 150,000 units for business-orientated (smart)phone are good opening figures.
RIM with the Blackberry brand has something that no other phone really has – its association with business. If you have a Blackberry, it says you are serious about business. Obviously, RIM has to defend its territory and often the best form of attack is defence, but it’s too easy to get into Apple-beating mode when faced with the iPhone threat.
There’s no doubt that the battle lines are drawn between Apple, RIM and Android. All are vying for the top spot but RIM has the corporate foundation to push out from. With Microsoft down and out at the moment, RIM should be locking down the business market tight. The Torch is a great phone for that as it’s generally considered to be the best Blackberry ever from the reviews, even if it’s not quite up to Android, iOS and WebOS standard.
RIM needs to forget about the opening numbers game and go for the long-term.
Imagine a school that passes out Amazon Kindles instead of printed textbooks. No books at all, zilch, zero, nada – everything electronic. Printing costs could be completely eliminated, along with a myriad of associated problems – replacement books, textbook obsolescence, and book disposal to mention but a few. A single high-battery-life device such as a Kindle would suffice for replacing all books.
Let’s take this electronic book thought experiment a bit farther. The next logical step would be for the teachers to pass out tests and other traditional paper handouts electronically, eliminating paper altogether. At that point, the Kindle or other reader or tablet would have to be able to allow student interaction, say on a multiple-choice test.
The stickiest problem with this scenario would revolve around having an easy-to-use input system on these devices that allowed students to write phrases, paragraphs, papers, and draw images or diagrams to send back to the teacher.
All of this technology already exists in various forms. Perhaps the iPad comes close to meeting many of these requirements, but some form of the dreaded pressure stylus input would still be needed. Also, two separate devices would be needed – a reading screen, and an input screen on which to write, type and/or draw.
Are we there yet? Not quite, but we are getting close. With the success of the Kindle, iPad, smartphones and maturing touch screen technology in general, the day of eliminating the need for tons of paper is finally becoming a practical, desirable reality.
IDC‘s latest press release on mobile phones and smartphones in Europe shows the sector grew 8% in the past year, that smartphones represent over a quarter of all phones shipped and that current leader Nokia is losing market share.
The total mobile market grew 8% year-on-year with over 42 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2010. Of this, smartphones were 12 million units, representing 28% of the market and up 57% on last year. Mobile phones actually dropped 4% showing the trend towards the more powerful devices.
Overall, Nokia still rules the mobile market, with just under 33% of the market in the first quarter but this is down 9% in the year. Samsung runs a close second with 29% of the market. No-one else has anywhere near the market share of these two. Even Apple and RIM only have 7.0% and 5.6% respectively.
Looking at just the smartphone market, Nokia is still out front with nearly 41% market share, but again this is well down from 57% last year. Apple is second with 25%, closely followed by RIM with 20%.
HTC comes fourth with 7.5% and consequently, Android outsold Windows Mobile for the first time. No sign at all of Palm’s WebOS devices which anecdotally have only sold well in Germany.
To honest, anyone familiar with the space doesn’t need IDC to tell them that Nokia is struggling. Partly it’s because the smartphone range isn’t great, but I think Nokia just isn’t hip anymore. Forgive me if I’m being shallow but Apple = cool. Blackberry = cool. Android = cool.
The full tables are in the press release but they’re not labelled very well. The first table is the total mobile phone market, the second table is the smartphone market.