Mobile and portable trends in technology today

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In the computer industry there is a drive to decrease the size of the electronics we use. In addition to size, another important factor is the efficiency of the product itself. Consumers and manufacturers refer to these two desires as mobility and portability. The first computer, the ENIAC was nearly 63 meters square and could fill an entire building. Today a product with far greater computing power can be found inside any graphic calculator. Mobility and portability are two main driving trends in technology today. All around the world people are utilizing devices with the intention of making mundane tasks easier. By making technology more portable people have been able to increase efficiency in the work place, as well as their everyday lives has increased.


At this time mobility and portability are prominent concepts in the computer industry. At this time there are fully functional computers which can easily fit into a jacket pocket. There is a desire among manufacturers to converge as much as possible into one portable device. Within this report there will be information about several highly capable and converged devices. In addition the impacts of how mobile and portable products have affected our environment.


The purpose of this report is to discuss how mobility and portability effect has direct influences on the themes of virtualization, convergence, and green IT. The intention is to inform those who are reading this report of the IT trends of mobility and portability.


The information within this report has been obtained from sources such as:


These sites were among the most useful that out group had come across while investigating how mobility and portability affect the computer industry.


Below you can find definitions of the technology related terms used within this report:

  • IT - Information Technology - The development and maintenance of computer and server systems.
  • RoHS - Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive - restricts the use of six hazardous materials in electronics solder.
  • ENIAC - Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer - The first computer, which weighed 30 short tons and took up 63 meters square.


Included in this report are contrasts between the good and bad of some mobile technologies. In addition the impact of mobility and portability on convergence, globalization, and green-IT are discussed. Some things we will not be talking about are recommendations derived from our findings due to time constraints. The report we have compiled will progress through the following headings:



Portability is a trend of information technology that is dedicated to evolving the technology we use into a smaller form that can be taken anywhere. Mobility is a trend of information technology in which the data we need such as e-mail or office work can be viewed and manipulated on our portable devices. Mobile computing is a generic term describing one's ability to use technology while moving, as opposed to portable computers, which are only practical for use while deployed in a stationary configuration.


Green IT or Green Computing is an information technology theme that is dedicated to environmental awareness while computing [1]. Green computing can be divided into 4 main themes:

  • Green use
  • Green disposal
  • Green design
  • Green manufacturing

The use, disposal, design, and manufacturing are all important points when allied with the word “green”. These four topics can lead to a wide variety of topics, discussions, and eventually lead to a standard shared with the information technology field. Green thinking is thought about in most everyday life: choosing to recycle, choosing fuel efficiency, or even choosing better power consumption for electronics. Green IT addresses portability and mobility by being a general theme and idea though out daily living. Take, for example, a person who buys a new cell phone, they take their old one throwing it in the trash. From there it becomes e-waste and ends up in a third world country, and eventually harms the both the environment and possibly the heath of a child. Being “green” is something that most people forget to incorporate into their daily living. For green computing to really catch on and become a standard in the information technologies field, mobility and portability need to be taken into account. As with most other trends, there are always benefits and disadvantages to new changes.

Benefits and Challenges

One benefit and one challenge to Green IT are:

  • Basic energy consumption.
  • Reliability and quality of green products and practices.

The nations would benefit greatly with better energy efficiency with implementation of solar, wind, and water alternatives [2]. This in turn would generate more job opportunities, and provide energy solutions to rural communities. This will also benefit the world's power grid and help take a mass amount of stress that normal energy consumption causes.

Keeping the quality and cost of green items to be of the same standard of non green items is posing a challenge for the green frontier [3]. One example of this is food containers for restaurants being biodegradable and the possible health hazards that it could cause, they also tend to cost more in the long run. The other arguments are for solar powered buildings, when it is sunny this technology works but if it is cloudy for days on end the buildings will still need to use non green alternatives to light and heat their buildings.


Continuing with the theme green computing and how it complies with mobility is the practice of RoHS [4]. RoHS or the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment [5]. The six substances are lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE); these chemicals can cause many health issues as well as hurt the environment. This compliance enforces the technology and electronic fields to be aware of what chemicals they are using and how this could affect the populace or the environment with their e-waste [6]. E-waste or electronic trash is a big problem since most of North America sends the trash to third world countries causing greater problems to the environment and human health. This compliance really ties in with both mobility and portability for the main fact with lead free solder thousands of portable mobile technologies are RoHS complied. Some examples of RoHS approved portable devices are Apple's IPod, Motorola and Nokia phones, the Nintendo Wii, and Netgear routers.

Benefits and Challenges

One benefit and one challenge to RoHS are:

  • Positive impacts the health.
  • The cost to maintain the compliance.

A clear benefit to Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive compliance is the simple fact that positively impacts health. By removing polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) for example could help eliminate health effects such as cancer and birth defects [7]. In lab rats when subjected to PBDE they grew to have thyroid and liver complications. Another example would be the removal of another RoHS substance polybrominated biphenyl (PBB). In Michigan there were reports of nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, joint pain, fatigue, and weakness reported by many residents who ate PBB contaminated food [8]. However, there has been no conclusive evidence that these substances do cause health risks, there is just the potential to illness, so removing them from products in or around food is going to be a great benefit.

On the other hand one challenge to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive compliance is the cost of the compliance it's self. The RoHS has cost the electronics industry over 32 billion USD to implement and another 3 billion to maintain annually [9]. This roughly costs business $2,640,000 each to implement and $482,000 to maintain annually. The reason this is a challenge is the fact that smaller companies will have trouble reaching to amount thus leaving them to either not comply with the compliance or to shut their doors.

Apple MacBook Pro

One final example to tie together the idea of Green computing and the RoHS compliance is Apple's MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro is leading edge green machine and complies in every way to the RoHS compliance. The factors that make it a great choice if users are looking for a green machine are as followed [10]:

  • Many harmful toxins removed
  • Highly recyclable
  • Reduced packaging
  • Energy efficient

The MacBook Pro has complied with RoHS by removing harmful toxins. The outer shell is made of recyclable aluminum and the display is made out of recycled glass making it highly recyclable. It is packaged in smaller boxes helping the plant by being able to fit more products on boat or plane reducing carbon dioxide. Finally it is energy efficient by using less electricity by tweaking the hardware such as the processor and hard drives. This product is a perfect example of how green computing can be implemented.

Benefits and Challenges

One benefit and one challenge to Apple's MacBook Pro are:

  • MacBook Pro's energy efficiency.
  • MacBook Pro's cost to own.

The MacBook Pro's energy efficiency is a major benefit to both the users who want to save energy, and the environment. They are Energy Star certified to Energy Stars latest efficiency requirements. This means the product complies with Energy Stars requirements to be energy efficient for home electronics. They are so energy efficient they run about one third the power of a light bulb. Powered with new processors, hard drives and software that helps power manage the MacBook Pro this makes this computer one of the best energy efficient laptops out there.

The cost to own a MacBook Pro however is a huge challenge. With a basic 15 inch laptop starting at $1700 CND, which does not give you the extras in hardware that the $2300 one gives, is a major expense. When there are dozens of other laptops out there like Acer, Dell, and HP to name a few with the same specs at a widely reduced price causes a large challenge in Apple's favor. Even with the fact that Mac's tend to have a lower cost of owning in the long run, and be a green machine with energy efficacy and a recyclable shell it still is hard for students and low income households to be able to afford this product with the upfront costs.


Convergence can be thought of as two separate technological devices coming together into one with the advantage of both of them. Convergence is the creation of a multifunction device that replaces two or more devices. Mobile device is a device that can be considered as a carry along easy to move. A portable device is a device that can communicate without physical connections. Convergences in today's technologies have made many devices more portable and mobile. Nowadays it is almost impossible to spot a cell phone that doesn't have a built in camera, voice recorder, camcorder, and much more, a digital camera that is also a video camera. Finding a specific device that just performs a specific task is considered impracticable. Not only are devices getting smaller they are also integrating web technology. A trend in wireless has boomed, not only in the “cordless sense” but also the ability to communicate with the web.

Benefits and Challenges

One benefit and one challenge to convergence are:

  • Makes life simple
  • Expensive

Prior to devices converging it was difficult having everything you need with you at all times. Everyone has had moments in the past where they wished they had a camera to take a photo at the right place at right time. Nowadays that has become a fact of the past as almost every cell phone now has a built in camera. Now when the random need to photograph something comes along it is easy to do so, and you can also upload them and share with your friends instantaneously. Cell phones are being used less for making phone calls with the development of smartphones. Texting, instant messaging, and emailing have become more popular on these devices.

A down side to convergence is the expensive cost of technologies considering most people will use multifunction devices for one thing [1]. Many people want a device that does just a specific task and does it well. Making a device multifunctional and more mobile and portable can create a problem when they become to compact. Mobile phones coming with huge price tags are being avoided by non tech savvy consumer that now would rather have a diverged cell phone as long as it is big enough to use.

HP Pavilion tx2500z

The tx2500 is a new laptop developed by HP Pavilion. This laptop has removed the need to ever buy a tablet pc. The tx2500 is a 12.1 inch laptop that is fully loaded and now has a touch screen monitor incorporated. The tablet like monitor has made the tx2500z the most resourceful laptop on the market. Having the convenience of a full keyboard, alongside a tablet monitor removes the ambiguity of ever choosing between a laptop and a tablet pc.

Benefits and Challenges

One benefit and one challenge to tx2500 are:

  • Interactive
  • the screen looks Washed out

The tx2500 laptop with its integrated touch screen developed by Wacom (the world's leading manufacturer of pen tablets) has made the tx2500z the most resourceful notebook on the market. Now consumer can enjoy the benefits of having a tablet like laptop. The benefit to having an interactive screen is that slow typers can now handwrite there notes faster than most advanced typers and have their information electronically stored[1]. The Touch screen and dynamic digitizer allows for more interactive presentations, and documentation.

A challenge to the tx2500 is that the screen looks washed out. Even thought this laptop has a high end integrated graphic card and specifications you don't get a crisp picture as excepted. The passive digitizer the technology behind touch screen leaves the monitor looking dull.

Verizon Wireless HP Mini311-1037NR

The relatively new Netbook released form Verizon wireless and Hp. The notable feature about this Netbook is that it is parched like a traditional cell phone with a plan. The foundation for Netbook technology is that is portable at 3.22lb and now with the GSM convergence with version you have unlimited web connectivity and mobility. With a two year contract this Netbook can be purchased for less that 200 dollars not including tax. The Netbook is preloaded with windows 7, and the average Netbook specs. The Verizon HP Mini 311-1037NR differs in the aspect it is mobile broadband capable, global and WiFi ready[4]. This means that this Netbook can operate independently of any hotspot. For consumers looking for more computing power than a traditional Smartphone with unlimited network access the Verizon HP Mini 311-1037NR is the solution. This ultraportable device comes with an HD display at 11.6-inchs 92% keyboard makes it compact business and entertainment companion.

Benefits and Challenges

One benefit and one challenge to Verizon HP Mini 311-1037NR are:

  • Unrestricted web access
  • Constricted to a data contract

The Verizon HP Mini 311-1037NR is the ultimate travelers, business man, and student Netbook. The convergence of the two technologies needing no extra accessories required for wireless connectivity. This Netbook has web capabilities not tied down to a hotspot but can be used anywhere a cell phone gets connectivity. This Netbook has solid computing power giving the consumer more flexibility and another solution to a Smartphone. Weighing less than four pounds and no thicker than paper notebook. It is the thinnest HP mini. You can stay connected at excepted speeds of 400-700 Kbps everywhere with email, chat, web conferencing, VOIP, WLAN, and webcam.

The major downfall to Verizon HP Mini 311-1037NR is to be able to get it at a cheaper price a two year contract has to be signed. It is now only available in the U.S for $199.99 not including tax after mail in rebate. The monthly plan starts at 39.99 U.S dollars for 250 MB or 59.99 U.S dollars for 5 GB. The data plan pricing is completive with other competitors but there are penalties for breaking the contract. Also if the user goes over the specified Mb the monthly bill increases substantially


Globalization performs to bringing the people closer around the world by the advanced technology. Term Globalization is normally used in the 20th century. The advances technology really change the way of people's lives. People around the world have become incorporated economically, socially, politically and culturally. People can communicate and travel more conveniently around the world ever than before. As a result, people can do business many beneficial ways and companies become more productive and competitive, high quality of products can be produce and the living slandered is keep rising around the world. Globalization is mostly covering the business side because of advance communication such as, mobility, Internet and media. People around the world keep connected and they can know what happening to opposite side of the globe. This means that mobility and portability is playing most important role in globalization.

Benefits and Challenges

One benefit and one challenge to convergence are:

  • Better Economy
  • Threat to loosing Job

There are many companies around the world doing their business in the global market so people have wide range of option to choose products from so many different countries. People from developing countries are getting more advantages of globalization. Many people doing their jobs in developed countries and they get benefit of currency value in their own country. Increasing demand in the global market will increase production sector which provides lot option for the manufacturers because they make products according to the financial position of their country's people. Competition between the countries and companies keeps price low. Communication between the countries have rise which allows people for better understanding and broader vision all over the world. New advance technology such as, Mobility makes the business easier and more affectively. In many cases people actually do not need to go to the market, they just get all information by the phone or by the internet and the new Smartphone providing both facilities. Because Smartphone not only has standard abilities of phone but it allows using internet with PC capabilities so people can communicate more conveniently.

Globalization is causing many developed countries to lose their jobs as work is being outsourced to the many developing countries. The cost of labor in the developing countries is low as compared to other developed countries. Companies get more profit when they hire people from developing countries. Many companies around the world opening their counterparts in different countries where they can find cheaper labor, but another hand they are transferring the quality of their products to different countries so there is possibility of reduction in terms of quality.


Smartphoneis amobile phonethat offers advanced functions with PC capabilities.For instance, built-in full keyboard, externalUSBkeyboard and VGA connector are main feature of the Smartphone. As Smartphone has invented, people around the world can stay connected each other. Because Smartphone not only has standard abilities of phone but it allows using internet with PC capabilities so people can communicate more conveniently.

Benefits and Challenges

One benefit and one challenge to convergence are:

  • Better Communication
  • Expensive

As we know Smartphones has available all over the world so in the developing countries where people cannot afford purchasing the computer where Smartphone is the only tool for communication and people are able to connect other side of the globe. People around the world can send and receive their e-mails when they are away from their computers. Smartphone also influence to join many social networking sites such as, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and so many others sites which accessible on many Smartphone for instance, Apple iPhone and Blackberry where people can gather around the globe.

Smartphone still quite expensive and it is very hard to buy in developing countries. Smartphone also come with different operating system and so many features which are very hard to operate and understand for those people who are living in developing countries or living in countries where English is not their first language or they not enough literate to use that Smartphone.

Business Software to Mobile Devices

Recently, Sybase and SAP has merged and start business together. Sybase which is leading software provider of enterprise delivered Business Suite software to SAP for iPhone and Windows Mobile. This new advancement will really helps user to access critical business information anytime and anywhere in the world. SAP clients can access their whole suite of business applications from most mobile in the summer 2009.

Benefits and Challenges

One benefit and one challenge to convergence are:

  • Better Business
  • Damage Business

Smartphone can play effective role in business. Now the user can take order, collect their money faster and user can get more satisfied their customers and get more business on the mobile phone with having Business Suite software. SAP has over forty million licenses around the world and which are quickly increasing and all those licensees will require a mobile device to work together. Now the time say good bye to desktop control and welcome to new unwired enterprise.

One of the main downside of using mobile phone for a business that people who try to sell their products may call out of business hours from different places and wastes your time to emphasize to buy their products or leaves too many unwanted calls. Another downside of using mobile phone for business purpose that expense can be so high which damage the business, because some employees can misuse the phone or use the company's phone for their personal purpose.


With regards to mobility and portability throughout this report the following points have been made:

· Green-IT

  • Through the use of renewable energies such as wind turbines a rural community can not only get power, it can also create jobs for those in the area.
  • Although there is a desire to purchase items that are friendly to the environment, often the green products will cost more than a non green product.
  • The RoHS directive is making an effort to use non-toxic materials in the manufacturing of any electronic product due to the negative impact traditional materials can have on health.
  • RoHS can be costly at over 32 billion USD to implement, and 3 billion USD to the electronics industry manufacturers.
  • The MacBook is green being that is is RoHS compliant and energy efficient, however is can be very costly to own.


  • Using a specific device that does one function is considered inefficient, most cell phones incorporate cameras, calculators, voice recorders, and web browser.
  • The convergence of devices have made day to day activities easier by allowing for a variety of easy communication including text, and voice; as well as sharing experiences with others using the video recorder.
  • A person who is not familiar with new technologies could experience troubles using the small keypads, and screens on current multi-function devices.
  • Using the HP Pavilion TX2500Z tablet PC a person can now handwrite complex equations directly on the screen instead of finding ways to type them.
  • New advances have converged a cell phone modem with a Net book allowing a person online access without the need to be in a wireless hotspot.


  • Still need to conclude this section. I think we should edit faheem's part first.
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[8] "ToxFAQsâ„¢ for Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs),”, Sept, 2004. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: Nov 30, 2009].

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[10] “The world's greenest lineup of notebooks,", © 2009 Apple Inc. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: Nov 30, 2009]

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[12] Amanda, "Student Buying Guide,", July, 2008. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: Nov 21, 2009].

[13] Hannah, "HP Pavilion tx2500 Entertainment PC,", July 9, 2008. [Online]. Available:

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[17] " Mobile Phones in Business - Disadvantages” . [Online], Available: [Accessed: December 06, 2009]

[18] " Smartphones and Globalization CAHS 2000 Documentary”, November 11, 2009. [Accessed: December 06, 2009]

[19]” Pros And Cons Of Globalization” [Online], Available: [Accessed: December 06, 2009]