Superphonedom: Can You Achieve Mobile Nirvana?

It seems like only yesterday I wrote a post about the telcos being deer in the iPhones headlights — here’s an update: most of the mobile ecosystem now finds itself on that highway …with the superphone bearing down on them at 100 miles an hour.

So wtf is a superphone, I hear you ask?

The operative word is platform. The creative potential of this next generation of hardware is defined by the ecosystem that each respective Superphone vendor’s platform will enable.

When features like touchscreens, browsers, location-sensing technologies and hardware acceleration are programmatically exposed through elegant developer tools, a device is two-thirds of the way to superphonedom. Lastly, add an end-to-end international storefront, and a new medium is born.

So says John SanGiovanni, co-founder at Zumobi. In fact, as a guest poster on GigaOm, he has come up with a list of must have’s for a superphone:

A superphone must have:


  • Display with at least 320 pixels on the short axis
  • 3G connectivity or greater (plus additional radios as appropriate…Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc.)
  • Location-sensing technology (GPS, high-resolution signal-strength-based location, or equivalent)
  • Hardware-accelerated graphics subsystem


  • Integrated web browser that supports current desktop development standards
  • Published native developer SDK that allows programmatic access to the specialized hardware/software features listed above.


  • Integrated process for certification and searchable catalog distribution of 3rd-party applications.

No surprises, but the iPhone is the current superphone mobile nirvana. On the eve of the launch of the first Android-enabled phone, we are all eagerly awaiting to see if nirvana is attainable by anyone other than Apple, anytime soon…

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