I was wondering if I read something wrong in this new article about RIM’s DataSmart technology on the official BlackBerry Blog. Turns out that our BlackBerrys have “DataSmart” technology built into them. Don’t get me wrong most people know that BlackBerry devices are light on data usage and those that don’t can hear Mike Lazaridis yelling it from the rooftops. The thing is I have never heard of this “technology” actually being called “DataSmart.” Have you? I tried asking the oracle (known as Google) and they had also never heard of a BlackBerry “DataSmart” tech before yesterday.
Here is how RIM describes DataSmart:
What is DataSmart technology? Well, the simplest way to think about it is to compare it to zipping large files on your computer. When you use data on a BlackBerry smartphone, it’s almost as if the data is zipped up before it’s sent or received, so it’s smaller and uses up less of your data plan.
So essentially “DataSmart” is RIM’s BIS technology that proxies your data, email, and lots of other things through RIM’s servers to optimize the data usage for your device. Kind of cool that is has a name but really nothing new at all and has been around since the dawn of RIM. RIM does make a great point of touting that this technology lets you do 2 to 4 times as much email, browsing, or Facebook networking on a BlackBerry when compared to other devices. On the other hand you could turn this comparison around and say that Android and iPhone devices do an infinite times more Skype VoIP chatting per megabyte because RIM refuses to help develop/promote VoIP clients that work over 3G.
You can check out more details on DataSmart technology at:
This optimization is sort of a bottle neck for RIM since they do not roll out new technology until they can optimize it. This kind of makes me wonder how they are going to handle 3G Mobile Hotspots on upcoming devices since that will be even harder for them to optimize. Personally I think RIM’s optimizations are great (aka their IM clients) but I feel like RIM sometimes takes it way to far (aka their sadly limited Facebook app).
What this DataSmart tech would really help for is if carriers started going to total metered bandwidth on smartphones. Say for example instead of the current 200MB to 2GB tiers for data we have now that carriers would just say they are charging $0.25 per megabyte. All of a sudden you would want a phone that was as frugal as possible about phantom data. It makes me wonder if RIM can really see the future or if all of this DataSmart tech will become pointless when every device has a 50Mbps LTE connection.
What do you think?