Hard drives in phones not soon, says IDC

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May 5, 2004
 

New research from IDC, says that the incorporation of hard disk drives (HDDs) into mobile handsets will require a number of further evolutionary steps before HDD-enabled mobile phones will represent a beneficial investment for consumers and enterprises.

"The addition of HDD storage will eventually address many of the limitations that have kept converged devices from reaching their full potential," said Alex Slawsby, senior research analyst in IDC's Mobile Devices service. "Handsets already have the killer application of wireless telephony, and adding increased storage will make them a viable option for extensive music, imaging, reference, and business applications."

Today's MP3-enabled phones, for example, can only store about 8-12 4MB songs. In contrast, a new breed of HDD-based phone, similar to an HDD-based MP3 jukebox players, could easily hold several thousand songs, images, or hours of video.

Although ultimately promising, HDDs have not yet achieved the economies of scale necessary to attract the masses. "Cost, size, and power consumption are prohibitive factors," said Dave Reinsel, IDC research manager, Hard Disk Drives and Components. "Flash memory is sill the best near-term option with rotating storage solutions too costly, too large, and too power hungry for all but the highest-end, business-class mobile phones."

This will not change until HDD technology improves further and the price of such drives drops below $50, and arguably below $30.

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2004


4Q04
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Ericsson gets MTN South Africa 3G CDMA contract
Global UMTS TDD Alliance Hits Membership Milestone
Emtel becomes first 3G Network in Africa
Alcatel wins Libya 3G & EDGE deal
Samsung developing dual-mode 3G/GSM phone
Siemens Backs New Flash-OFDM Technology for Data
Alcatel wins Libya 3G & EDGE deal
Algeria Telecom Selects Huawei for 3G Trial
GSMA asks India to safeguard its 3G future
CDMA 1xECDMA 1xEV-DO deployments grow
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Alcatel wins Libya 3G & EDGE deal
Algeria Telecom Selects Huawei for 3G Trial
GSMA asks India to safeguard its 3G future
CDMA 1xECDMA 1xEV-DO deployments grow

3Q04
CDMA 1xECDMA 1xEV-DO deployments grow
Mobile IP Alliance Formed with Nokia and NEC
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2Q04
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1Q04
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Five million European 3G users by end of 2004, says report
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2003
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3G
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Regional news for UK 3G network
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Japan to test 3.5G service
Motorola C835 UMTS/GSM 3G
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Hutchison UK Reveals More 3G Pricing, Launch Details
3G Patent Platform starts
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Ericsson and TI JV on GPRS/ 3G handsets
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