Almost every magazine article on mobile phone growth in recent memory, has proclaimed that mobile phones and PDAs are essentially turning into hand-held personal computers. But are they really? How comparable really are today's mobile phones vs. personal computers of today and yesterday?
This post from Schrep's Blog, titled "Mozilla and Mobile" gives a hint of where they are, discussing Mozilla's plans for an upcoming mobile Firefox browser that'll provide a PC comparable experience on a variety of hand-helds over time (see Techmeme discussion here):
"Getting a no-compromise web experience on devices requires significant memory (>=64MB) as well as significant CPU horsepower. High end devices today are just approaching these requirements and will be commonplace soon.
For example, the iPhone has 128MB of DRAM and somewhere between a 400 to 600 MHz processor. It is somewhere between 10x-100x slower on scripting benchmarks than a new MacBook Pro and somewhere between 3-5x slower than an old (IBM Thinkpad) T40 laptop on the same wifi network.
But rapid improvements in mobile processors will close this gap within a few years. There are chips out there today that are faster than the one in the iPhone and integrate graphics, cpu, and i/o (wifi/3g/wimax) on one die.
Intel has recently re-entered this market which will keep things interesting. Most exciting of all ARM has announced that by 2010 devices will be shipping with a processor 8x faster than what's in the iPhone!"
That'd get a 2010 iPhone close to a MacBook Pro's performance today.
It's funny how long "obvious" technology trends take to really happen, and how fast they change everything when they actually do.