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BW Businessworld

Mobile Technology: Upgradation And Innovation

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The wheel of innovation in mobile technology has embarked on a never ending journey to evolve the mobile phones into smart devices and the momentum of this phenomenon has been increasing exponentially. Any and every kind of technological advancement in mobility has become synonymous with the term Upgrade associated with the three important aspects of every smartphone; Hardware specification, Operating System, and Applications. Today, the core focus of all mobile phone manufacturers is to undertake extensive R&D in all the aforementioned aspects and develop smartphones with progressively sophisticated mobile technology embedded in them.

The chief components which make up the essential hardware of a smartphone and determine the capabilities include the processor, the battery and the screen. The industry has witnessed a surge in the complexity of processors. We have smartphones running on dual-core, quad-core, octa-core processors and the next generation will see a lot many cores powering the devices. The performance of any processor depends on two major factors - architecture and clockspeed. These two factors are considered together and not individually while building the best possible processor for a required output. If a processor has a higher clock speed but low-power architecture, then it may not be able to carry heavy processing tasks as a high-power yet moderate clockspeed processor would. Multi-core processors give a push to user experience where the device could easily carry out multi-tasking with a few apps running in the background.

It goes without saying that higher the number of cores, higher is the battery consumption. Due to higher power consumption, phone makers are developing higher mAh batteries to fuel the efficient operations of their smartphones. Modern day processors have also started featuring power management and power control features built-in which further boost the life and strength of the phone battery. On top of that, we also have various power booster apps which help in optimising the battery usage and ensure a longer operation time of the smartphones subjected to heavy usage. There are two challenges which exist with regard to the power consumption of the phones. The devices either drain their batteries at ever-increasing rates while continuing to get faster or they maintain their current, not-great-but-acceptable battery life while sacrificing huge increases in speed. So, there is a need for striking balance between these two extremities and develop the best combination of processor chipset and battery.

Unlike mobile phones of yesteryears, the display in today's phone is the primary point of interaction with the user. If it's not up to the mark, chances are high that the user will end up frustrated and dissatisfied with the device. Touch screen smart phones started with resistive screens and moved onto capacitive screens. Now we have numerous types of smartphone displays like TFT, IPS, OLED, AMOLED, Super AMOLED, Retina Display, Gorilla glass and the list to lengthen every day.HD displays seem to be the order of 2013 and every major smartphone manufacturer has jumped on to the wagon by aggressively churning out phones with HD display. Simply having an HD resolution doesn't always guarantee that the display will be good, since it all depends on the type of panel used and the touch sensitivity. Another important aspect is the ability of the display to cope under sunlight. Users tend tousetheir phones as much outdoors as indoors, so it's important that the display is legible even in bright daylight.

Anyone who is an avid smartphone user will always be keen about new software upgrades for the operating system. Upgrades add new features, fix bugs, enhance security protocols, increase the efficiency of existing features, and provide a fresh, new and better user experience.Software updates are no longer limited to fixing small bugs but rather adding up more innovation into the operating system. They boost the 3G and Wi-Fi performance, increase the efficiency of battery, introduce new improved UI, enhance camera operations and lot more. A powerful OS should also have the capability of enabling smooth operations of the latest applications without any snag or glitch. There is a galaxy of applications available today for both consumer and enterprise usersand there is a growing need for upgraded apps to sustain user interest in the face of technology advances. The application ecosystem can make or break the positioning of an operating system in the market as it is one of the primary factors which determine the purchasing decision of a potential smartphone buyer.

For any smartphone manufacturer, it is imperative that they live up to the expectations of their target market and in order to do that, they need to ensure that they innovate their products at a healthy rate. The process of improvising the features and capabilities of the devices which includes upgrading the Operating System, the existing Apps and the hardware specifications helps in developing better devices and meet the aspirations of users.With the fast paced evolution of smartphones, the devices have become more sophisticated and laden with high end capabilities of multifarious functionality. This evolution has now become a self-sustaining process and thus a tri-pronged approach is required to ensure simultaneous upgrade of the hardware, operating system and the applications ecosystem. A lag in any one of these three aspects will pull down the entire prospect of developing a cutting-edge up-to-date smartphone.

Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director, BlackBerry India