In the end, it all comes down to *#$%#$?@ batteries! I was greatly amused to read today David Berlind's ZDNet Blog post, "iPhone redux: Is it time for the battery life equivalent of a 'nutrition label' (see example)".
His statements are entirely true. We as an industry do need some kind of "truth in labeling" decree about battery life. I loved his diagram that he came up with (shown on right).
This point was vividly driven home to me a few years back when for about a year or so I was the product manager for Mitel's wireless portfolio and was involved with the rollout of Mitel's IP-DECT solution in Europe. Never in my life did I expect that so much of my time in the product launch would be consumed in dealing with issues around batteries! Being a "software guy", I really had very little understanding of the nuances of power consumption and their impact on battery life. It was definitely a great learning experience! As David Berlind says:
Not only was plenty written about the iPhone’s potential battery life issues, the truth of the matter is that there’s only so much you can ask a battery to do.
Batteries can only do so much - and the real challenge with a mobile device is to find every way possible to reduce power consumption so that the battery will go that much longer. But, as he points out, we want our devices to do so much more....
(Me? I just want to be able to turn on Bluetooth on my Blackberry without having it require daily recharges!)