Then, last week, HP announced it was withdrawing completely from the hardware business, whether in terms of laptops, desktops, smartphones or tablets.
So now only Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s vastly improved mobile OS, Android and Apple’s iOS remain to fight over the world’s smartphone customer base. Nokia has more or less given up on Symbian and will concentrate on producing Windows 7 devices as a hardware manufacturer. HTC will carry on producing cute and serviceable candy-bars for both Android and Windows 7 while Apple will continue to do, presumably, what Apple does. RIM meanwhile have a foot in each corner. They have retreated to their proven customer base with the introduction of a restyle up-to-date version their best BlackBerry, the Bold, while refusing quite to let go of the Playbook or the hybrid Torch, a BlackBerry that thinks it’s a multitouch but isn’t too sure.
I have that new Blackberry Bold 9900, a Playbook, an HTC HD7 Windows phone running “Mango” and an Android HTC Sensation as well as an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4 (both running iOS 5 and the iCloud with Lion OS X 7.2 beta because I’m a sad nerd who forks out for a developer’s account) – I have run, and always, will I suspect, run as many devices alongside each other as I can for the foreseeable future.
But then, as AOL and Psion and Nokia and Palm will tell you, the future is not very foreseeable at all. And I can see that it never will be. Er … I think.
I do shed a tear however for the demise of Palm and their WebOS. Any turn of events that reduces biodiversity in the smartphone sector saddens me, and I mourn and memorialise the ingenuity, imagination and innovative genius of Palm and its original founders.