Why Doesn’t My Handheld Have a USB Port?

My Palm didn’t have one. Neither does my BlackBerry. And it doesn’t look like the highly anticipated iPhone will either.

What don’t these handhelds have?

A USB port.

In fact, I don’t know of any handheld that has a USB port. (Of course, I’d be delighted to be proven wrong.)

Why do I care?

Well, sometimes, I have an real (air) or perceived (too-much-effort-required) gap between my laptop and some way of getting Internet connectivity.

For example, I may be at my cottage where my only option for Internet access is a 28.8 kb/s modem connection. Or, I may be at an airport, with only a few minutes before my flight departs, and my only option for Internet connectivity is a daily pass to some wireless service.

In these and other situations, I wish my BlackBerry had a USB connection. If it did, I’d have a painless way of moving data between my laptop and BlackBerry. In my cottage scenario I want to use my laptop to review, create or edit documents and my BlackBerry to transport them via email.

To some extent, I could achieve the desired outcome for the cottage scenario using the Bluetooth capabilities of my laptop and BlackBerry.

In addition to transferring data, I could use a USB-enabled BlackBerry to:

  • Back up to the USB drive my data from my BlackBerry
  • Update the O/S and/or applications on my BlackBerry

And this is just scraping the surface of possibilities …

So again, I ask: Why doesn’t my handheld have a USB port?

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3 responses to “Why Doesn’t My Handheld Have a USB Port?”

  1. Ian Lumb says :

    Perhaps it’s all about form-factor …

    Most of the time, I really wouldn’t want some USB-based appendage spoiling the look and feel of my (ultra-)compact handheld. After all, handheld providers have gone to some trouble to craft memory sticks that are small enough to fit inside my handheld …

  2. John Reiser says :

    My Blackberry Pearl has a mini-usb port through which it charges. When you plug it in to a computer using a cord similar to those that come with most digital cameras nowadays, it asks if you want it to show up as a mountable hard disk. I store stuff on the BB and sync my contacts/calendar this way.

  3. Brian says :

    I just purchased a usb mini male to usb A female converter hopefully to use a usb drive on my bb pearl…any ideas on how to have the bb power the flash drive so that it can read from it?

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