From Asus Eee News, Mods and Hacks -
ccording to Om Malik, he checks his email on his iPhone-Nokia E61i-Blackberry while in the bathroom, crossing the street and during dinner at a busy restaurant. And he is not alone in his email obsession.
An AOL survey shows that checking email on the portable devices has doubled since 2004. Americans who carry a mobile email device have some really strange addictions:
* 59% are checking email in bed
* 53% in the bathroom
* 37% are checking email while they drive.
* 43% check their email first thing in the morning.
* 40% have checked their email in the middle of the night.
* 83% have checked their email while on vacation.
* An average email user checks mail about five times a day.
With so many users requiring just about 24/7 access to email wherever they are, it is little wonder the global market for wireless email is projected by Palo Alto-based research firm The Radicati Group to grow from US$6 billion in 2007 to nearly US$25 billion in 2011.
To date, the dominant player in wireless email has been RIM, whose Blackberry was the first device to enable users to check their email effortlessly while mobile. Their handsets resemble mobile phones and PDAs and are just as easy to use. However the service is not free and is often bundled with mobile phone service operators' subscriptions.
While the Blackberry supports email attachments, viewing these can be a pain with the limited small screen. Editing, if possible, is even more tedious.
Now here comes the Asus Eee. It is actually small and light enough to toss into large ladies' bags, trendy messenger bags, or students' backpacks. Meaning it is likely to be carried around by users. Well, not exactly the way they would bring a mobile phone along without thinking twice. But at a price point that is actually cheaper than most smartphones, chances are if the user usually totes a bag, the Asus Eee will be inside.
While the Asus Eee, with its projected 15 second boot-up time, does not offer the always-on convenience of the Blackberry, coupled with Wifi, it clearly can be used to do email. So what if I have to wait a few seconds longer to access my email? If I have a few minutes to kill and I have access to free WiFi, the extra seconds won't hurt. Moreover, the Asus Eee might even have a hibernate mode that will reduce the boot-up time even further.
Of course, the Asus Eee obviously does not provide as smooth a user experience for email as the Blackberry does. But it clearly provides a very interesting alternative - and a free one at that. It even allows for more efficient viewing and editing of attachments.
With services like Mobigram and Muztah popping up that offer free international text messaging on mobile phones/handsets via WiFi, 3G and GPRS, suddenly international communications have become extremely affordable - as in free (well assuming the WiFi service used is free). Use the mobile phone to text short messages via Mobigram or Muztah, use the Asus Eee for longer email messages, especially those with attachments. Of course, for some users, the Asus Eee can arguably replace mobile phones, what with its ability to do IM and VoIP. But that's for another post.