Popularity of the Nirvana Device concept continues to grow, but is it a revolution, or evolution?


“revolutions entail not only mass mobilization and regime change, but also more or less rapid and fundamental social, economic and/or cultural change, during or soon after the struggle for state power.” Jeff Goodwin (professor of sociology at New York University).

So let’s see if the Nirvana Device passes Jeff Goodwin’s key points:

• Mass Mobilization – we have a rapidly growing global/mobile workforce that are looking for solutions to make it more convenient and them more effective while traveling.
• Regime Change – bulky laptops are being replaced by smartphones and tablets. Long live smartphones!
• Fundamental social, economic and/or cultural change – Apple launched the iPhone and iPad. In a strange way, Android and iOS are allies in this revolution, both helping drive change for the mobilized masses.
• Struggle for State Power – As with any revolution, once the change reaches critical mass, there is usually a power struggle at the top to determine the new leader. While iOS and Android may have led the charge to overthrow the laptop together, naturally each wants to be the leader of the new regime going forward.

Based on the above, I think we are in the midst of a mobility revolution, which is enabling the evolution of the Nirvana Device, not a Nirvana Device Revolution.


“Evolution (also known as biological or organic evolution) is the change over time in one or more inherited traits found in populations of organisms.”, Wikipedia.

In the beginning, circa 2007/2008, the Nirvana Devices started crawling out of the tech lab swamps, and onto land. They looked like normal smartphones, but somehow were different. Early versions were sighted at the 2008 CTIA show. It was a new species and we weren’t quite sure what to make of it back then.

In Search of the Nirvana Device at CTIA 2008 (OQO Model 2)
Nirvana Device Search (Celio Corp Redfly Mobile Companion)
Nirvana Device Search (i-mate Ultimate 9502)
Nirvana Device Search (i-mate Ultimate 6150)
The Nirvana device a Smartphone as a PC alternative

One particularly bright technology biologist at Citrix’s Solutions Development Labs, Chris Fleck, found the Nirvana Device species fascinating, and began his studies of the species. Some of his early publications on the species can be found below:

So what is a Nirvana Phone anyway ?

Nirvana Phone could let you leave your laptop home
Do you want Citrix XenApp to run Windows apps on the iPhone ?

As you can see, there were a lot of questions around this new Nirvana Device species.

Where did it come from and how did Heredity impact its early evolution?
What were the driving factors of its mutation from the standard smartphone?
How would Natural Selection and Adaptation impact it further evolution?


Nirvana Devices evolved from “normal” smartphones. So early Nirvana phones shared key traits of earlier smartphones. The core traits pivotal to the survival of the Nirvana Device evolution are it’s ability to provide email, PIM and telephony services, as well as the ability to provide a runtime execution environment for the parasitic applications that relied on the smartphone’s OS for survival. So it is clear that the genetic roadmap of the Nirvana Device was the smartphone.

Natural Selection:

Evolution by means of natural selection is the process by which genetic mutations that enhance reproduction become, and remain, more common in successive generations of a population. It has often been called a “self-evident” mechanism because it necessarily follows from three simple facts:
▪ Heritable variation exists within populations of organisms.
▪ Organisms produce more offspring than can survive.
▪ These offspring vary in their ability to survive and reproduce.

In other words, Apple released the iPhone! And boy did it reproduce!

Smartphone evolution had become stagnate, but a disruption in the environment became more and more prevalent. This disruption would become known as “FanBoys”. Apple FanBoys had become used to an enhanced user experience with their Mac OS systems, and could not find a comparable experience in the smartphone ecosystem. This and other changing environmental factors resulted in the birth of the iPhone, some will say a whole new species itself, which quickly became the dominant smartphone species. The iPhone forced other smart phone species to evolve, or face extinction. Others smartphones such as the Androidifus Mobilinus, commonly known as the Android Smartphone, surfaced and began to evolve in this new environment beside the iPhone. Other members of the species that did not evolve as quickly started quickly loosing population and may eventually face extinction.


Adaptation is probably the strongest influencer of the Nirvana Phone’s evolution.

“Adaptation is the process that makes organisms better suited to their habitat. Also, the term adaptation may refer to a trait that is important for an organism’s survival.”, Carroll SB (2008). “Evo-devo and an expanding evolutionary synthesis: a genetic theory of morphological evolution”. Cell 134.

As more and more users relocated smartphones into new business environments, the smartphone species had to learn to adapt. Nirvana Phone’s had to learn to cohabitate with:
• Large external monitors
• External mice and keyboards that were prevalent in the new environment

As with most species, more advanced smartphones began to adapt and use tools. They learned to use docking stations, which made it easier for them to adapt to their new environment (see Celio’s Redfly as early proof and Motorola’s Atrix as newer evidence). Dominant heritable traits of the species, such as HDMI output, continue to become more prevalent in the species. But most promising for the species is the rapid increase in brain capacity. The brain capacity (more powerful CPUs that is) of some smartphones now surpasses the capacity of the laptop species of just a few years ago (some feel that demise if the netbook species is related to its lacking brain capacity).

Some of Chris Flecks latest research on the species below and background on the changing environment impacting the evolution of Nirvana Devices, including Chris’s time in the wild with Motorola Atrix branch of Nirvana device species:

10 Reasons To Consider Citrix as Part of Your Mobile Device and App strategy
iPhone 4 with Citrix Receiver 4.0 .. is this the Nirvana Phone ?
The “Nirvana Phone” Will Let You Leave Your Laptop Home
Experience the ATRIX and Citrix Hands On with Questions Answered
Living and working with the ATRIX 4G NirvanaPhone Part 1

Most experts believe that the Nirvana Device species is still in its evolutionary infancy. But the species is starting to show strong adaptation capabilities, which will be vital to its survival. As with a lot of species, its biggest threat is humans, and their ability to either enable or deny the species an environment and the natural tools for it to thrive.

If you would like to donate you comments to the “Adopt a Nirvana Phone Foundation “, please leave your comments below with your thoughts on how to best evolve the Nirvana Phone species.