By now, we all know about the new Kindles that Amazon recently launched in Santa Monica. They are brighter, bigger, and more beautiful. But, did you notice that out of the 5 devices they came out with, only two of them depended on cellular data? The rest were WiFi-only devices. Not just them, but the only Nexus tablet launched by Google was also WiFi-only. We’ve heard a few people doubt those tablets’ portability in the absence of cellular data. And yet, they are selling out like hot cakes. What could the reason be, behind that?
Well of course, the prime factors that influence a consumer to buy a device are software, design, and ecosystem — in that order. Additionally, we’re slowly moving towards a culture where people are no more scared of accessing WiFi connections provided by public locations. Today, we’d find many freelancers working out of coffee shops, or parks, or even in subway stations while waiting for the train. Even companies like Google are pushing for more public WiFi hotspots. One of the examples is a recent deal they made with Boingo to create 4,000 new hotspots for mobile use. And why not? This is the age when we trust in cloud computing, store all our data on services like Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, and Dropbox. Not just documents, but also media files and songs and movies. How high do you think your cellular data bills will run if you had to access all of those over 3G/LTE? Even mobile companies recognise the importance of not clogging their cellular data pipes and use fiber optics to provide last mile connectivity to their customers via WiFi.
Why don’t you stop reading this blog post for a while, and try to recollect how many devices you might have, at your home? 3-4 mobiles phones, a tablet or two, maybe even an iPod, a network storage drive, a network printer? If you’re a tech savvy, then you might also have a gaming console, maybe a WiFi-connected music system too? Remember Nexus Q? And if you’re rich, then you could also have an Internet connected refrigerator! And all of those devices are run by just a small $49 router. Such is the power of WiFi. The time has come when, if one takes away that humble router, one’s life would come to a stand still.
Jeff Bezos, in his interview with Tricia Duryee, was right when he said that people didn’t pay enough attention to WiFi. And it was heartening to see that Amazon took extra care to make sure their devices were super fast on Wireless networks, especially given that Amazon’s tablets were meant to consume a lot of data. It’s got two antennas for Wi-Fi, which smartly select the one with a stronger signal, and less fading. The Kindle HD will also have MIMO, which uses computational brute force to take all the signal echo and make it into something usable. That adds up to Wi-Fi that should be way faster than the competition. 41 percent faster than the iPad and 54 percent faster than the Nexus 7, according to Amazon.
It isn’t far when one will never have to latch on to the cellular network for Internet access. As one moves along the road, one’s devices will simply keep hopping from one fading public WiFi network to another strong public WiFi network. Even voice calls shall be done at the cheapest rates, using VoIP. Sounds like science fiction? Well, the revolution has already started. And SMS has already been assassinated by services like BlackBerry Messenger, WhatsApp and Viber.