Cell phones once relied solely on megabytes of internal memory. They were simple devices that held our list of contacts and occasionally a personal ring tone or two. As we moved into the era of smartphones, users needed more space to store thousands of contacts, applications, and multimedia, which is where expandable memory came into place. Expandable memory allows us to store and view as much data as early laptops and computers contained, but in a more compact device. Smartphones can do virtually anything on today’s desktop PCs and laptops can do. But at times, working off of a small screen is inconvenient, especially if you have some down time in your hotel room.
Asus’s Padfone and CMIT’s TransPhone are two devices in development to make smartphones even more versatile devices. The two new devices will allow owners to dock their smartphones, which will allow them to use their smartphones capabilities with the functionality of a tablet PC. In other words, it works as an “enhancement shell” for your smartphone. It’s not quite clear what type of OS each will be running. Pictures reveal HDMI and USB ports. CMIT’s device is reported to include a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and SGVA display. It would be interesting to see if the attachments will include the options for external memory or battery life.
The possibility of docking your smartphone and using it as a larger tablet PC sounds very intriguing and possibly a trend other companies may move towards. An iPad and iPhone accessory combo would seem like an obvious move Apple or a third-party electronics company would develop. For the consumer, the Tablet PC attachment seems like a more affordable alternative to purchasing a brand new tablet PC with an additional data plan. Unfortunately, no pricing has been announced for either device. We’ll have to keep a close eye on where this technology will go and what impact it will have on the tablet PC and smartphone market.