One of the more fun parts of my job is that I get to look at a lot of different devices. Recently, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X-10 Mini-Pro (which is quite a name) captured my attention. It isn’t the largest screen or fastest phone you can buy but it may mark the beginning of a trend of a new breen of devices. That’s the subject of my latest Engadget column.
As platforms mature, they tend to fragment into products that can meet specific needs. That’s true of everything from cars to toothpaste. It’s going to be true of smartphones as well. The X10 Mini Pro shows what the future of feature phones will look like. A device like this, optimized for communication, loaded with social media applications and running with a $15 dollar date plan would have tremendous appeal to younger audiences. In many ways, it may be devices like this that deliver on the vision Microsoft tried to establish with Kin — but with the platform flexibility and data pricing that Kin lacked. Long term, the X10 Mini Pro isn’t the phone for me, but I suspect it and devices like it could very well be in the sweet spot for some segments of the market. It’s nice to see that when it comes to phones at least, less can beat Moore.