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Pocket PC – Do you know the smartphone’s predecessor?

by ace
Pocket PC - Do you know the smartphone's predecessor?

You probably don’t remember anymore, but before the reign of smartphones, there was already something quite similar to these machines… The Pocket PC!

I remember these machines as if it were yesterday, after all, when I was a kid and helped in my grandfathers’ grocery store, every week I found the ‘Traveler’ who was going to supply the store with food products, always taking notes with his pocket computer, the so-called ‘Pocket PC’, while I looked at it like a fool, asking how was possible so much technology in a machine that at the time seemed small.

But all this raises a question, why so long to appear the first smartphone, if before the existence of the legendary 3310, there were already machines like this?

So I’ve been researching this subject a bit, coming to the conclusion that the slow evolution of pocket PC was derived from some strange, other obvious factors, while others are just curious. Now see the following key points:

  • Frictions between the computer industry and mobile industry
  • Weak or non-existent ecosystem
  • Low-capacity batteries, and components too ‘starving’ energetically
  • Excessive weight
  • Even more excessive price

Having said all this, let’s talk a little bit about the history of this device, starting with one of the first Pocket PCs ever released, the 1993 Apple Newton. A handwriting recognition device, multiple pre-installed apps, pen-mounted interface, etc… But a battery that was a real shame, and a file-passing system too complex. On top of all this, we’re talking about a machine that cost $1,000 in 1993, something like $1,800 in 2020.

Subsequently, we had IBM Simon, the Pocket PC that is touted by many as the first smartphone. However, due to weak application support, it quickly disappeared into the market. Only 50,000 units were sold.

At the time, minimalism was the watchword in the smartphone market!

In 1993, manufacturers wanted to launch the smallest and lightest smartphones possible, while the battery was the biggest focus of the entire device. In short… A very different height from the current one! 😀

So the suggestion that it might be a good idea to launch a more powerful device, but bigger, heavier and with less battery. It was a simple stupidity in the minds of executives of the most varied manufacturers.

Besides, what do you think about all this? Share your opinion with us in the comments below.

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