Best wishes to everyone for 2022!
Another unusual year has nearly gone; it was hoped that the disruptions and restrictions would be behind us by now, but it seems not to be the case for a while longer.
Despite the difficulties and uncertainties caused by the pandemic and Brexit, @YellowsBestLtd has been pleased to continue work with our suppliers and serve our Customers, providing Spares and Repairs Solutions and Consultancy and Support Services. Many thanks to all for assisting in our aim of “Keeping Customers Operational” throughout this year, and we hope to continue to work with you in the New Year.
We wish you and your family season’s greetings and most of all to keep well and safe.
Best Wishes and kind regards.
‘Legacy’ telecoms history
The Sagem ADR product range was an SDH Add-drop Multiplexer (ADM) product family designed as a flexible platform for Metro Access and Metro Core, backhauling, microwave radio and Utilities infrastructure networks.
The family included ADR155c and ADR622, STM-1/STM-4 ADM, and ADR2500 ‘eXtra’ and ADR10000, STM-16/STM-64 multi-service NG SDH. This range was managed by the IONOS Network Management System (NMS) which also managed Sagem Primary Multiplexers, PDH and SDH microwave radio and DWDM systems.
The ADR family was deployed worldwide with more than 60,000 units over 5 years.
The ADR platform offers a large variety of interfaces from E1 and E3, Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet, enabling the provision of a wide range of end Customer services. Transmission protection for guaranteed QoS is provided with SNCP, MSP, MS-SPRing as well as common unit and tributary protection.
The STM-16 network units can be used for multi STM-1 or STM-4 and local-cross connect functionality thanks to a fully non-blocking switch matrix.
The modular and flexible housing provided by the ADR155c (2U), ADR622 (6U) and ADR2500 ‘eXtra’ (14U) 19” and ETSI subracks provide a flexible mix of office, street cabinet and equipment room deployment.
Continuing to provide operational service
The ADR family of SDH products continues to provide operational service with various global Operator, Utilities and Transport companies.
@YellowsBestLtd supports requirements to maintain these networks by supplying various spare part items from refurbished and surplus stocks in perfect working order.
There follows a list of the main elements that are typically provided, though other items can be provided. Please let us know of any specific requirements you may have. We look forward to being of assistance.
SAGEM ADR Spares List
|Part Code||Unit type||Description|
|AM101333 / 251 119 665||ADR155c||A155 BLK STM1/4 21E1 19″/ETSI CORE CHASSIS|
|AM101330 / 251 137 402||ADR 21E120||ADR BLK BNC 21E1/120 ITFE CARD|
|AM101328 / 251 137 366||ADR IC1.1||A155 BLK FC/PC IC1.1 OPTIC STM1 CARD|
|251 137 410||ADR LAN1||A155 BLK ADRLAN 10/100BT ETH ITFE CARD|
|AM101360 / 251 131 182||ADR FAN||FAN MODULE|
|AM101670 / 251 137 431||ADR ERE||A155 BLK BNC ELEC STM1 ITFE CARD|
Communicating, or stuck in The Matrix?
The original Nokia 8110 ‘slide’ mobile phone was immortalised in the film ‘The Matrix’ in 1999.
Back then, people used mobiles for mostly … calling people, and the occasional text message. Ok, and a few plays of the game ‘snake’!
It was affectionately referred to as the ‘banana phone’ due to its unusual curved shape, though the only colour you could get it in was black.
Since then, we have had a revolution in data networking and an explosion of app-based touch-screen smartphone slates. So much so that people are finding themselves addicted to looking at these personal pocket computers ‘all the time’.
Consequently, there is now a growing trend of wanting a ‘digital detox’ and to get back to basics with a simple, cheap device that keeps you in touch without taking over your life.
The updated Nokia 8110 4G ‘Banana’ phone
In 2016, HMD Global Oy took over the licence to produce Nokia branded phones, and have since been revisiting and refreshing classic designs including their take on the ‘slide-phone’ with the 8110 4G.
As well as traditional black it’s available in bright YELLOW, making it this time the true ‘banana phone’.
With a design that harks back to those simpler days, it never-the-less comes with a number of advanced features.
What’s Good: Simple ‘Real’ number and calling keys for phoning and familiar ‘Nokia’ menu structure providing Call log, Contacts, SMS. Twin SIM cards for 4G calling flexibility at home and away. WiFi. Removable micro SD-card for expandable storage. Replaceable battery. Music Player, FM Radio and headphone jack. Camera, gallery and video player. Internet Browser and e-mail. Flashlight, Notes, Recorder, Calculator and Unit Converter. Clock and Calendar. Google Maps and directions.
What’s not-so-great: No touch-screen! Small display. Minimal App support. Fiddly ‘old school’ text-entry. Slow and limited internet capabilities. Low-resolution imaging and video, and no front-facing 2nd camera. Cursor keys surprising small and tight to bottom of display making scrolling more awkward than it ought to be. Having to take the battery out to insert / remove the memory card.
What’s Fun: Answering calls with a slide (and end them again by closing. Freedom from ‘smartphone’ addiction, though if you really must, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube can just about be used. And ‘snake’ (though a strange ‘modern’ version), plus some other games and more can be downloaded.
In summary, this is a feature-packed but ‘basic’ mobile which brings an iconic design up-to-date, is fun to have, does the basics and a bit more.
Keeping connected with a digital detox
This Nokia ‘featurephone’ doesn’t pretend to rival ‘smartphones’ in capabilities. But useful as a supplementary device in case of a flat battery, and good for just keeping connected while getting on with life. Handy too when wanting to avoid carrying a very expensive piece of hardware when active or travelling.
There has been a trend to have just one device with as many functions as possible packaged in, with inevitable strain on battery life. It can however be sometimes preferable to use a Hi-Res player for music, a quality camera for photography, a tablet for internet browsing and a phone for – phoning!
So not a complete digital ‘detox’, rather just providing another alternative option to keep ‘plugged in’ to today’s ‘Matrix’ world of communications.
Your technology experiences
If you have fond memories of past technologies, views on future trends or experiences to share on managing your digital life, please get in touch. We’re keen to discuss how we may be of assistance in developing your business and keeping your new and legacy systems operational.
OT and IT: What’s the Difference?
Information Technology (IT) is a familiar concept to most modern office workplaces encompassing the products and networks providing data-centric computing, supporting various business functions such as finance, personnel, management and administration. This has grown to being fundamental to corporations large and small, and continues to rapidly develop in scale and capability.
By contrast, Operational Technology (OT) is understood by utilities, transport, manufacturing and other industrial sectors, as encompassing an array of systems engineering, event monitoring and process control to facilitate operations. Historically, the technologies and products used to implement the required infrastructure have been bespoke and separate from other corporate systems.
The growth of standardisation
With the explosion of computing devices, the internet and communications generally, the underlying IT hardware and software have become ubiquitous and standardised. The majority of businesses now deploy products and networks which are interchangeable with most other global corporations, bringing overall costs down, increasing ease-of-use and enabling global inter-operations.
In recent years, there has been a trend to capitalise on these developments by seeking to replace old OT bespoke systems with widely available and deployed IT products.
The problem with convergence
Despite the advantages brought by a move to using IT technologies to fulfil Operational infrastructure needs, there are some draw-backs.
Although no-one wants systems to fail, and high performance is often a key requirement, in traditional OT systems, there is an emphasis on availability, reliability and ‘mission-critical’ operations, dictating deterministic technologies which standard IT products are not designed to provide. The packet-oriented ‘best-efforts’ nature of TCP/IP networking solutions is not sufficient to provide the performance required. Some operational systems have specific timing requirements, utilising PDH and SDH TDM-based technologies to deliver signalling and tele-protection information.
For years, ‘security’ against ‘remote attacks’ was not an issue, because most OT systems were regionally based and not connected to the wider world. And even those with remote monitoring and control tended to use bespoke equipment which was not widely understood or utilised by non-specialists. With a move to going ‘on-line’, and utilising ‘standard’ IT equipment to fulfil OT requirements, this is no longer necessarily the case. Which brings the possibility of outages due to system or denial of service attacks. ‘Cyber-security’ in recent years has needed to become part of the considerations for OT infrastructure, learning from the experiences of threats to IT systems and ‘denial-of-service’ attacks.
And whilst modern IT communications bring gigabit data bandwidths, OT data needs have remained modest, often to fulfil the unchanged monitoring requirements for an enormous existing deployed network of slow-speed kilobit data devices, such as pumps, valves and actuators.
In short, the needs and desires of businesses for computing devices, networking systems and global communications to provide ever-increasing bandwidth and application support continues to diverge from the requirements of industrial operations, requiring availability, compatibility and mission-critical performance.
Whilst vendors of networks, computing and communications continue to develop advanced technologies to meet the growing needs of IT for businesses, the desired ‘convergence’ to replace OT systems continues to be a work-in-progress.
OT systems tend to be built with longevity as a priority over cost of ownership, due to the challenges of replacement once in continuous operation. Whereas IT products are often ‘written down’ and replaced over a much shorter timescale, with a view to taking advantage of continuous developments to provide higher performance and productivity.
Consequently, technologies that are considered ‘legacy’ by IT professionals continue to be maintained and even further deployed as trusted and proven OT systems to fulfil operational needs.
Your operational systems requirements
@YellowsBestLtd would like to know your infrastructure goals, deployment experiences and maintenance challenges and how we may assist you to fulfil your OT and IT requirements, for both new and existing operational systems. We look forward to understanding your needs for technical support, solutions sourcing, repair services and equipment spares.
Electrical power systems protection
Teleprotection for power systems protection has been deployed by utility companies for many years. It’s purpose is to monitor the condition of the Electricity Grid, isolate faults, disconnecting faulty parts from the rest of the network and thereby prevent damage to critical parts of the power infrastructure.
Teleprotection is a physical interface between the telecommunications equipment and the electrical grid protection relays. When a fault occurs, the protection system switches on circuit breakers or reclosers to avoid a fault rippling through the network. Also, in the event of an outage, teleprotection helps restart power to a part of the grid.
Early teleprotection systems used voice-frequency signalling technologies. These were replaced by digital electrical Tele-Protection Signalling (TPS) equipment using 4 or 8 command channels encoded into a 64kbit/s standard digital data channel, in accordance with the ITU-T G.703 recommendations. This brought dependability and interoperability of systems, meaning that dedicated channels were no longer required as any standard digital transmission network could be used, separate from the power system.
This was later enhanced by the development of Tele-Protection Systems with Optical (TPSO) interfaces, which allowed the direct fibre connection between the teleprotection device and the primary multiplexer.
The IEEE C37.94 standard for TPSO interfaces
The IEEE C37.94 standard defines an optical fibre interface for use between teleprotection systems and digital multiplexer equipment, operating at a data rate of nx64kbit/s.
This allows the interconnection of different vendors teleprotection equipment with different vendors multiplexer equipment, without any restriction on the content of the nx64kbps data, using up to 2km of 50μm or 62.5μm multimode (or up to 20 km of 9μm single-mode) optical fibre.
Critical Systems deployment
Teleprotection systems are typically installed in high-voltage transmission grids where distances are usually greater than in distribution grids and play a critical role in preventing instability in the grid and damage to expensive substation equipment.
Teleprotection systems monitor conditions on transmission lines and coordinate tripping of the transmission lines to quickly isolate faults.
A teleprotection system usually has two components: a protection relay, which executes the actual switching; and the teleprotection equipment itself, which is the interface to the mission-critical communications network.
To ensure that the power systems are properly protected, real-time exchange of status information messages and commands between teleprotection equipment must be reliably transferred with tightly-controlled latency over a deterministic mission-critical communications network, traditionally composed of TDM multiplexers and optical PDH or SDH equipment.
Nokia ‘Dynanet’ TPSO 24204
An example of a vendor’s multiplexer is the Nokia ‘Dynanet’ equipment family. This utilises the TPSO 24204 interface unit for connecting the teleprotection devices directly to the primary multiplexer. This provides four IEEE C37.94 standard interfaces, with nx64kbit/s optical data channels (where n is 1 to 12).
Because of the direct connection, there is no need for a separate converter to change the optical connection to electrical. This eliminates electrical interference and data corruption caused by disturbances from the high voltage power line.
Your operational systems requirements
Let us know how we can assist you to keep your new and legacy systems operational with technical support, repair services and equipment spares. We look forward to hearing from you.
Challenges with maintaining Legacy systems
It can make perfect sense to continue to run existing reliable and proven systems, especially if operational requirements have not changed. Alas, the developing nature of technology means that from time-to-time, issues arise.
Changes to email encyption protocols
Modern computer communication services support the Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption protocol. This aims to protect the information sent and received over a standard Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) connection between two computers while ensuring that they both agree and understand the method of data transfer.
However, the earlier versions of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 have been deemed by the industry to be not secure enough and have been superseded by versions 1.2 and 1.3. You and/or your service provider may have already transitioned to the latest protocols. However, if you have old hardware running legacy software, as support from service providers is withdrawn, you may find your email stops working.
How you can tell if it’s an issue
If you’re using an Apple Mac then the Safari Browser has supported TLS 1.2 for web traffic protection since version 7 in 2013. However, if you’re still running ‘El Capitan’ OSX 10.11 with Apple Mail 9.3, it won’t support TLS 1.2 for email. Other computer hardware and software combinations may also run into problems.
Most browsers including Safari ended support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 in March 2020, and various service providers have either already dropped or soon will withdraw operation of the older TLS protocols.
For instance, one.com will stop support of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 on 17th August 2021. Other service providers may have different end of life dates. If you’re using the one.com service then there’s an easy way to check:
send an email to:
This will provide an automated reply telling you what protocol you’re using (works with iPhones and iPads too), like this:
Other service providers may have similar methods of verifying the protocols, so it’s worth checking with them. Failing that, you may be able to examine the headers of your emails, to look for something like this:
version=TLS1_2 cipher=ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 bits=128/128
Solutions if you’re affected
To ensuring your email continues to function, the options include:
- Updating your operating system. In the case of Apple Mail on Mac computers, this means moving to ‘Sierra’ OSX 10.12 as Mail cannot be separately upgraded.
- Using a different email client with TLS 1.2 support, e.g. Mozilla Thunderbird.
- Using a browser based solution for your email
- Changing your settings to send and receive email without encryption (not recommended)
Balancing New Requirements and Legacy Support
If you want to stick with your current hardware and software choices, this does present a problem, particularly if you’re otherwise happy with your setup and are unable to upgrade.
Alas if you want full compatibility (and security) with the latest industry supported functionality, whilst retaining operation of other legacy applications, consideration has to be made to invest in new hardware to run in parallel with older systems, which continue to be maintained to perform dedicated compatibility functions.
YellowsBest: Keeping Customers Operational
If you have similar or other new requirements and legacy maintenance needs, please get in touch to discuss how we may be of assistance to keep you operational.
New “UK” launch
It’s been a challenging time for businesses generally, and particularly in the United Kingdom, with Brexit in many cases adding cost and time to trading, and Covid-19 restricting travel and networking.
So it seemed an appropriate time to launch a new varient of the Yellows Best Limited website, now additionally utilising “.co.uk” as a signifier of commitment to our home market location.
Keeping Customers Operational
The new YellowsBest.co.uk promotes the same blend of Services and Solutions for “Keeping Customers Operational”, but presented in a different and modern single-page layout, making it particularly mobile device-friendly where ‘vertical scrolling’ is more appealing than using the traditional ‘horizontal tabbed’ layout.
We hope this provides Customers old and new with a welcome alternative, though the original YellowsBest.com will continue to be maintained, along with it’s associated blog for ‘informal’ views and news updates.
Assisting with your requirements
It would be interesting to receive feedback as to how useful you may find this additional site, and whether there is anything else you’d like to see featured.
Of course, @YellowsBestLtd online content ultimately serves the purpose of highlighting the types of services and solutions we can provide. Customers may therefore be prompted to get in touch to discuss their specific requirements, which we can usually assist with.
Rest assured, if you use either contact address:
we’ll receive your message and will be in touch by return. We look forward to hearing from you!
More fun going electric
With the combination of moving to a more sustainable future along with a fitness drive encouraging people to be more active, one thing growing in popularity is the “eBike”, which supplements the efforts of the rider with a low speed assistance from an electric motor.
This means you don’t need to be young or super-fit to enjoy getting out and about, with good speeds and longer distances very achievable. And if you want a challenge, you can always switch the assistance off!
Ebikes come ready built to ride away, but an existing machine can be converted.
The three-wheeler challenge
Given the benefits to two-wheeled cycling from going electric, a similar upgrade to an existing 3-wheeled recumbent trike was called for.
In principle, this is ‘simply’ a matter of adding an electric motor and a battery, which is indeed what was done, but there were a few challenges along the way.
Step 1: choosing the electric motor location
The first major decision to make when converting or purchasing any electric cycle is the location of the motor; there are three options: front-wheel, rear-wheel or bottom-bracket mount. For the Trike, with its two small forward wheels, front mounting is not possible. The rear option would require the replacement of the wheel with one with a hub motor, and anyway this can be considered an inferior location given that the motor drive is separate from the rider’s push of the pedals.
Consequently, a bottom-bracket motor was selected, which confusingly on a recumbent trike is not a ‘centre mount’ because it is located at the front, ahead of the front wheel.
Step 2: Motor selection
There are now an expanding number of manufacturers of electric cycle motors, but some of these are only built into new bicycles, and others are prohibitively expensive kits. However, some very affordable Chinese products are available via AliExpress. The selection of the Tongsheng 36V 250W Tsdz2 model from pswpower was made.
Given the restriction in the UK of a maximum speed of 15.5 mph for powered assistance and limit of 250W, this unit is perfectly adequate for the intended task.
Step 3: Bottom Bracket ‘special’ fit
The ‘Bottom Bracket’ is the place on all cycles which enables the pedals to rotate, with bearings facilitating the movements of cranks. However, there are many ‘standards’ of different manufacturers models, so getting a motor to fit in place is not necessarily straight-forward. The existing Trike had what is known as an Ashtabula or ‘American’ one-piece crank’ (OPC) Bottom Bracket, whereby the cranks for the pedals on each side are formed from a single unit and uses a 51.3mm bearing cup pressed into the frame.
Unscrewing the crank retaining nut was aided by use of a Park Tool HCW-18 spanner. One of the pedals was taken off, the bearings teased out, and the crank fed out. Then a brass drift punch bar helped to hammer out the mounting cups from each side.
The difficultly then came that the mounting shaft of the Tsdz2 motor is smaller than the bottom bracket diameter, and is also offset. Fortunately, there is a perfect conversion solution to this problem already available, called the Eccentric BB adapter. This converts the Ashtabula empty shell to standard BSA size 34mm diameter (68mm width), but also is asymmetrical mounting which perfectly accommodates the offset motor shaft. This though is somewhat tricky to source; eventually located at Luna Cycle in CA, USA.
Fitting the adapter required careful insertion either side, being a close fit and needing gentle assistance with a mallet, also ensuring that the rotation of two halves lined up.
But once fitted, the motor was slid in and the offset mounting ensured that the shaft located without difficulty or fouling of the frame. The retaining bracket was fitted to the motor and secured with two M5x16 bolts, and then the M33 retaining nut was screwed into place and tightened using the special ring spanner tool supplied with the motor.
The fixing block was then attached with an M8x40 bolt, and the motor assembly secured in place using the bridge-plate, needed to prevent the possibility of the motor rotating in the crank when being powered in operation.
Step 3: Cranks and pedals
The cranks then fitted to the motor spindles either side. The supplied 170mm long parts were too long for the recumbent machine, being designed for a standard bicycle, and hence a pair of 152mm cranks were sourced, which matched the length of the original ones, which being an all-in-one unit couldn’t be reused. Neither could the pedals, which were a different screw size, and so standard gauge replacements were fitted.
These feature a reverse thread for the left-hand side, which therefore was secured by anti-clockwise rotation, whilst the right hand naturally secures clockwise.
Step 4: Battery fitment
Next came the addition of the 36V 13Ah Lithium-Ion power source. There are various types that can be used on standard bicycles, including down-tube or top-tube units, and bottle-type, but the recumbent trike doesn’t have space for any of these. Instead, it was necessary to add a rear carrier, mounting over the rear wheel, to house a rack mounting battery purchased through eBay from 167-tradeworld-uk. This wasn’t a completely straight-forward fit, as first the rear axle position had to be slightly centralised to accommodate the brackets, and then 16mm pipe clips were needed be added to the frame behind the seat for attaching the front stays to secure the rack. This ensured that the rack didn’t slide or rotate forwards or backwards in use with the weight of the battery.
With the rack secured, the purpose-built battery housing was screwed in place on the lower row of the carrier. Then the battery was slid into place and secured with its key lock. Charging of the battery can be made in situ, though it can also be removed for this purpose. This was fully charged using the dedicated mains / 36V power supply adapter.
Step 5: Display mounting
An important part of the electric conversion system is the incorporation of a display, which connects the power and controls the cycling assistance, whilst also providing useful data such as speed, distance and charge remaining.
For this project, a VLCD5 display was chosen, ideal for the purpose. Due the limited room and mounting options, given that there are no high up handlebars or top tube on the recumbent trike, the display was mounted centrally on the low steering crossbar. This was secured via the two horizontal attachment loops, thus in use being positioned between the rider’s legs.
The optional remote button control was additionally located on the left handle grip, though this was subsequently found to be of no practical use in operation.
Step 6: Wiring up
With all the main components in place, all that was left was to make the various wiring connections, starting with linking the battery to the motor. The battery came with an XT-60 socket, whereas the motor has 4mm bullet connectors. Also, due to the forward mounting location of the motor, a cable of approximately 1m was needed to link the parts, converting the connection types in the process.
Next, the speed sensor was fitted to the left-hand rear wheel stay and accompanying magnet to the spokes, by means of cable ties. This is the means by which the control unit calculates and therefore displays the speed and distance travelled.
The attached cable contains a splitter which is used to connect to both the display unit and also optional front and rear lights. Chosen for this purpose was an AXA Echo 15 switch for the front, and a Lynx rack mounting e-bike red LED for the rear, both of which fortunately accepted the 2.8mm mini spade connectors on the wiring harness.
This combination cable was again too short to link the display with the sensor, so an additional 1m speed sensor extension N58B cable was added, this having the required 6-pin male/female connectors to plug into the splitter cable and the corresponding motor connection.
Step 7: Powering up and Configuring
The final step was to switch on the battery using the key and control panel with a press of the power button, and then set about configuring the system parameters.
The wheel size was set to 20 inches, and the distance measurement to miles. The i-button on the display module cycles the modes from ODO (total distance), TRIP, AVG (speed) and TIME. The +/- buttons increase/decrease the selected assistance level from ECO (minimum), TOUR, SPEED to TURBO (maximum).
The front and rear lights can be switched on and off with a short press of the power button. The rear battery light can be additionally manually switched on.
A long press of the power button switches the display off.
Finishing up and testing
To finalise the build, some cable sheaths were added to tidy up the wiring, and cable ties secured all the leads. The original flag (useful for visibility for such a low-down vehicle) was cable tied in position against the rear rack.
The eTrike frame was adjusted for the right seating position. Now was time for a test ride!
The completed machine performed perfectly well, providing, as most electric cycles do, assistance from a stationary start up to the legal maximum of 15.5 mph. Pedalling effort is still required by the rider, but the effect is to ‘flatten’ hills (and reducing the need for gear changes), making the experience less strenuous and more enjoyable, maintaining a greater average speed and achieving longer ride distances.
In conclusion, the eTrike conversion was relatively straight-forward, once all the necessary component parts had been identified and sourced. Since recumbent trikes are a somewhat specialised form of cycle, and tend not to be alike, then it is to be expected that a degree of customisation is required to achieve the build of a suitable electric conversion.
Your transformation projects
@YellowsBestLtd assists customers in developing their business and improving and maintaining their infrastructure. Should you have any requirements or plans, please get in touch to discuss how we may be of assistance.
When Giants ruled … mobile communications
A long time ago, great “Dinosaur beasts” of Mobile Communications were supreme. The beginnings were in the 1970’s with the launch of a Motorola handset weighing 2kg. This was followed by other barely portable products with huge batteries such as the Nokia Talkman. Only for the ‘new adopters’ who had to be in touch all the time.
Then came the ‘Bricks’
From these humble beginnings, soon a range of solid, reliable but ‘bricklike’ big and heavy phones appeared, like the Nokia 2110 and the Motorola Dynatac 8000X, as featured in the 1987 movie “Wall Street”. Designed for upwardly mobile business people.
Then came a period of rapid expansion with a diverse range of more affordable products to suit wide consumer tastes. Various forms, colours and accessories became more and more important, with slide phones like the Nokia 8110 as featured in the 1999 film “The Matrix” and flip phones like the Motorola Razr, providing a ‘Star Trek’ appeal.
An expansion of more and more features to make mobiles do more fuelled the explosion of product ranges. Cameras and music players were added to increase the functionality of these increasingly sophisticated and compact pocket-sized devices, such as the Nokia 6230.
A glance at the 2004 Carphone Warehouse catalogue shows how varied mobiles had become, with the top 10 dominated by Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Siemens and Motorola as the biggest manufacturers of the time.
‘Tyrannosaurus’ functionality heavyweights
For a while, the king of the land was the bulky, terrifyingly expensive but impressive (for its time) Nokia Communicator, offering phone, text, email and even fax. Opening up to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard, the range started with the 9000 which appeared in the 1997 film “The Saint” and had evolved by 2007 into the even more powerful E90.
Extinction Event: The Death of the incumbents
But then came biggest shock to the world of mobile communications: the launch of the first Apple iPhone on 9th January 2007.
Like a meteorite striking the earth, this shock spelt the end for many mobile types which couldn’t compete with the sudden demand for ‘touch-screen’ devices using apps.
Indeed companies like Nokia, once the biggest of them all, couldn’t adapt and died a death, as well documented in the BBC documentary “The Rise and Fall of Nokia”
Survival of the fittest
The ‘smartphones’ from Apple and later Android-based from the likes of Samsung became an increasing hit, wiping out much diversity and seeing a seismic shift away from many form factors to the now standard “slate” style of device.
Some ‘featurephones’ as they came to be known have lingered on, and in recent years companies like HMD global, who under licence have taken some iconic Nokia designs such as the 3310 and made a successful relaunch. Diversity is now finally creeping back with new variants such as the ‘folding’ Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2.
Your Paradigm shifts
Any memories or stories to tell? @YellowsBestLtd would be keen to hear your thoughts and experiences of sudden technology ‘paradigm shifts’. Let us know if we can be of any assistance with your future solution or services requirements.