High-end smartphones have advanced so much in the last two years that the line between phone and computer has blurred. Still, it almost seems surprising that Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion, told CNET Asia that he considers his company's first touch screen device to be a small netbook computer. After all, we are taught that the number one function of a cellphone is to make phone calls on the fly. But times have changed. The current smartphone can browse the web, call up videos from YouTube, act as an MP3 player, and allow you to read and compose e-mail among other things. Lazaridis noted that cell phone sales have declined at a rate of 5% per year compounded over the last 5 years. Smartphone purchases rose at a 58% pace over the same time.
So what does RIM's co-leader see for 2009? One thing he is looking forward to is the opening of the BlackBerry alternative to the App Store in March. On a broader scale, next year Lazaridis sees an emphasis on network speed with more web applications.
Tomato or tom-at-toe. Potato or po-tat-toe. Smartphone or netbook computer. What do you think? What do you want your phone to do in 2009?