LTE Smart Phones Just Not Compelling Enough Today!

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A quick rant. It bugs me that the current crop of LTE smart phones, even those demonstrated at Mobile World Congress this week,  just aren’t compelling enough yet. These devices have nice screens and all are striving for that thin, simplistic framed, glossy look that’s oh so desirable, however although the web experience is blazing fast when in LTE coverage areas, it’s boring after about 24 hours. After that 24 hours you start thinking about how many times you need to see an outlet for some electrons too. Now for tablets, LTE is awesome. All I do is browse the rich web at blazing speeds in my hotel room since the wifi is all choked up. On the other hand, the Smart phones are 1-2 generations away from being the replacement for the status quo. Firstly, need some technology improvements to help the battery life and cost, mainly though we need the operators to deploy is more compelling applications (I don’t mean phone apps) such as VoLTE. When I only need 1 radio (most of the time), so I get great battery life and smaller form factors and I get good or better voice and a good data experience, that is what I consider compelling. After this happens we get to the really cool stuff since the operators can reclaim 3G spectrum for 4G and etc…

From what I can tell, the device vendors are the hold up. The IMS/core is nearly ready, the standards are not finished but work arounds are possible (emergency services etc…) yet there are no devices that I have seen with an IMS client that also functions in circuit switched mode. How difficult can that be? BTW, the alternative and more sinister ending is the OEMs don’t want to finish the spec because they are milling the 3G network operators for as much as they can… either way…Grrr.

I guess I am just cruising down Gartner’s HypeCycle, perhaps in the Trough of Disillusionment, therefore I should be on to the Slope of Enlightenment next, Yes!


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