Friday, March 20, 2009

Fixing the Simple Things

Jason Lackey

Free markets are funny things. Like other organic processes such as evolution, they produce some funny things and odd tangents, like the platypus, along with occasional bouts of real progress, such as the opposable thumb or prehensile tail.

In some ways the mobile phone market is in flux - new features and capabilities are rapidly being introduced, but it is not always clear where the real value can be found. Certainly we are getting more and faster hardware for our hard earned Euros, Pounds or Dollars, but in a world where many people claim that they just want a phone so they can make some calls the trend toward more and better functionality runs against what some customers really want - smaller phones that are easy to use with long battery life.

Dutch Giant Philips, with their Xenium Series, is going to delight a bunch of people in China, Russia and similar markets where the phones will be sold. Unlike just about anything else on the market, the Philips Xenium X500 will offer *two months* of standby time on a single charge, which can be mixed and matched with up to 16 hours talk time or 40 hours of mp3 joy.

While the other specs may not be hugely impressive, the battery life of the Xenium phones should go a long way to addressing one of the biggest mobile subscriber complaints - short battery life. At least for those who can buy these phones.

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