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Changes over time in my industry - RonO's Ramblings

May. 4th, 2009 03:49 pm Changes over time in my industry

Back in 1997, I purchased a Qualcomm NGP (Next Generation Phone) cell phone to use on the PrimeCo system that was launching in the Chicago area. {I chose PrimeCo, even though I couldn't get a Motorola phone, since they were, at the time, using Motorola infrastructure and that was the part of Motorola I worked for}.

Not too long afterwords, I left Motorola and came to work at Sony. While there, I was very familiar with the Qualcomm TGP (Third Generation Phone)/Sony Standard Phone since most of my work was targeted towards the Sony fork of that product, and the closely related Z100 and Z200 phones. Eventually, I got one with Sprint service, and held onto it for a few years until I got my first small flip phone -- I had an analog Motorola flip phone for a while previously -- a Motorola phone with AT&T wireless service.

Since then, I've regularly carried a Nextel flip phone, a Motorola Razer, a Samsung flip phone and most recently my T-Mobile/HTC G1. In each case, I quickly got used to a phone of a given size and didn't think too much about the size of the previous phones.

Recently, I've been doing testing using one of our FFA ("Form Factor Accurate") test devices, which have all felt like overly large, clunky, candy-bar phones.

Then, a week or so ago, I noticed a display in the lobby of the building I work in. This display provided a brief history of Qulacomm, and has several sample products. Included in this sample are both an NGP and a couple of TGP's. It took me a moment on my first inspection to confirm that the TGP's were TGP's -- I had to look carefully to see the jog-shuttle that only Sony (and Qualcomm by dint of the partnership) had on their phones. I was then amazed. I haven't actually taken an FFA down to do a comparison, but it looks very much to me like the FFA is just about the same size as the phones that were being made 11-12 years ago.

In some ways, I'm almost blown away by not only how much more capable today's phones are than just a relatively few years ago, but also by how much smaller they are.

Of course, I'm sure that this is in some ways an application of Moore's law.

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