Like touching things? The Storm is a great first from Blackberry.

Like touching things? The Storm is a great first from Blackberry.

I’ll admit, cellphones are not on top of most gamers’ minds. After all, a phone must just be capable of calling people, MMSing, and loggin onto Mxit, right? Wrong.

Today, the modern cellphone has either taken over, or completely assimilated markets that used to belong to MP3 players, portable movie players, and PDAs. This boom in the capabilities of the cellular phone was never predicted, and looking at the bricks we used to have 15 years ago… eish; I’m glad that technology advances.

But why would phones be on the minds of gamers and computer geeks, you ask? Well, look at the way Blackberry and HTC have succeeded in edging PDAs out of the market – who needs one any more when the Storm does it all in such a stylish package? Have you seen PDAs as often as you used to three years ago? Of course not, they’re dinosaurs now.

And what of the new co-operation between Microsoft and Nokia to introduce Mobile Office for Symbian smartphones? This would render those silly netbooks useless for quick documents and spreadsheets while waiting on the train or in a traffic jam. Similarly, phones are being used increasingly for checking, writing, and sending e-mails, which means that today your office is truly carried with you in your pocket. Video calling, conferencing, Wi-Fi access and the ability to do things like manipulate your computer or server at home or at work (on certain HTC models) means that this makes your phone an all-in-one wonder. Hell, you can even program it to open your garage door!

Cellphones are also making things like the iPod range look dull because they can play music too. They can download it as well, and there’s no issue of DRM like you get with iTunes. Want to catch your favourite program or rugby match? Well, phones can also do that, but not always as smoothly as one would like. The one major place where cellphones are slowly taking over, as well, is the Internet market.

Microsoft Office for Mobiles will have a massive impact on Nokia's already substantial market share.

Microsoft Office for Mobiles will have a massive impact on Nokia's already substantial market share.

Let’s face it, paying Telkom R530 for a once-off installation of a fixed ADSL line on top of your bandwidth charges and your line rental really isn’t anyone’s cup of tea. Honestly, who wants to drop that much money in one go? That’s why cellphones are becoming more popular for their ability to be used as modems, as well as for their portability. There are no line rental or installation fees; you just plug it into your computer and, within a few clicks, you’re online! Data bundles are still pretty expensive compared to ADSL (R289 for 1GB), but this is expected to drop by as much as 50% when cellular companies switch over to the new Seacom lines.

Those wanting mobile Internet should choose a phone with 3G connectivity (I recommend the cheap Nokia 3120c and Samsung J750) and for those upgrading to a new phone, I suggest you do your research wisely – everything you need may fit in something smaller than your hand!

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