Mobile email? Just use iBurst mobile broadband
Isn't it amazing that 6 years from the big hype show organised by our friendly GSM operators for the UMTS license bid (those who watched the 2000 UMTS auction will recall how exciting it was but glad they weren't footing the bill - or so we thought), we are still debating about how impractical it is to try to make use of a small device - the mobile phone - for visual large screen usage - like with a computer or TV.
The Blackberrys is great because it REPLACED the (US) PAGER, not the email on a computer. Moreover , the guys at BB built the server end AND the full wireless data network because 2G was just not a reality in those days and as usual mobile operators preferred to get voice traffic (you can listen to your emails right?) rather than the more efficient text or instant messaging traffic.
The future is quite simple: get some decent mobile broadband as it is available with iBurst operators and someday, if we believe everything Intel tells us, mobile Wimax. iBurst is now available in the UK (Northern Ireland), Scandinavia (starting in Norway) and a few other countries in Europe are launching it end of 2006 and early 2007. It has been running and is now out of negative cashflow in Australia and South Africa for over 2 years. 3 other operators also launched this summer in Malaysia, Lebanon and Canada.
Then all the human users reading this will just turn on their laptop and get their emails, work on those urgent ones - including attachements or Intranet stuff - and have another beer in the pub rather than do 45 minutes of traffic jams to get to the office and send it on time.
Anything urgent can come with SMS or SMSMail - the simple use of Outlook plug-in (or Notes for those IBM purist) email client with the OutlookSMS plug-in. And as another reader correctly mentions, someone might actually call you to see if you're awake!
Let's get back to reality and leave to the R&D lab guys the all in 5 small, yet big, phone that works as a radio, MP3, computer, alarm clock - all of which it does manage to do if you read the manual or have spare batteries - and just continue to use iPods, radios, alarm clocks and many fashion accessories out there which also do the job a good deal better.
The words "stick to the netting" will also make a few ideas come back into place after more billion dollar right offs from the GSM operators as well as some not too happy killer mobile application companies.