by Mielle Sullivan, Janus Networks
Last week I wrote about Verizon’s plans to make netbooks. On Sunday, another news story broke about the convergence of cell phones and computers. Confidential documents from T-Mobile have revealed that the company will release a home phone in early 2010 and, sometime after, a tablet PC– both powered by Google’s OS, Android.
T-Mobile has confirmed it has Android opperated devices in the works, but did not comment on details. However, the documents state the phone will have a docking station and come with another device that synchronizes data. The tablet PC will have a seven-inch touchscreen instead of a keyboard and basic web functions like email, weather checking and the capability to “manage data across different home devices.”
All in all, the functionality of these devices is not incredibly tantalizing, but the news does point towards a trend of more interconnected home devices. AT&T already has the HomeManager and Verizon has the Hub, both of which do about the same thing for home phones as these T-Mobile devices would. The addition of the Android OS makes these new gadgets more interesting. Android allows for much more flexibility and probably much smoother communication between devices, especially as they evolve to do more. T-Mobile might be dreaming of a home with several smart devices, all communicating seamlessly. Such devices could include digital cameras, televisions, computers and security systems. The company’s Cameo photo frames already receive pictures via email.
As demand for wireless data and management across different devices increases, it will be interesting to see how far wireless carriers, and Android, will be able to push themselves into different spaces like the home and personal computing. The open source flexibility of Android may aid T-Mobile in its expansion into these spaces. But I expect competitors, particularly AT&T and Apple, to offer their own solutions as well. Ironically, home may be the new telecommunications frontier.
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