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Wireless-Enabled PDAs and Smart Phones

The Phone as Computing Platform

Mobile computing and communications devices--PDAs and cell phones--are converging. PDAs are being equipped with voice capabilities, while virtually all cell phones are being enhanced to support emerging wireless data networks, including CDMA2000, GPRS and EDGE. Essentially, these devices are sophisticated computing systems that you should consider standardizing, just as you would desktop and laptop computers. You'll need to strike a responsible balance between giving users some choice and ensuring that the device is appropriate for enterprise wireless data applications.

While some vendors try to hide it and others flaunt it, all these new converged devices include powerful multitasking OSs with advanced network subsystems. Consumer-oriented phone manufacturers often use proprietary OSs on their devices, making them unsuitable for enterprise data apps. However, many newer converged devices rely on widely supported commercial OSs.

Worldwide, the Symbian OS has the greatest presence in the smart-phone market. With the backing of industry heavyweights?226-130? including Nokia, Sony/Ericsson and Samsung, the Symbian platform is hard to ignore. Unfortunately, it's somewhat lacking in third-party application support. Complicating matters are the multiple variations of the Symbian OS. Thus, while the Nokia Communicator 9000 Series and Sony/Ericsson P900 smart phones each rely on Symbian, your apps may need tweaking to run on both.

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