Tuesday, January 09, 2007

War for the '4th screen' (International Herald Tribune)

By John Markoff

SAN FRANCISCO: For functions from e-mail and instant messaging to mobile MySpace and ESPN, computer users are increasingly turning to the "fourth screen" — the one on their cellphones — which is evolving to adopt more characteristics of the three previous generations of screens: movie, television and computer.

That shift may well be underscored on Tuesday when Steven Jobs, the chief executive of Apple Computer, is expected to unveil an Apple phone representing his company's new mobile communications strategy — highlighted by a device that may include Jobs-inspired refinements like a sleek ceramic case and a transparent touch screen.

Industry executives and competitors say that Apple has developed the first of the next generation of devices that are closer to personal computers in pocket form, meaning that they will easily handle music, entertainment, productivity tasks and communications on cellular and other wireless networks. (more...)