An M-Systems white paper discusses the idea of high-density SIM cards for mobile phones. It asserts that new-generation, high-density SIM cards will offer up to 1GB capacity later this year. (See news item here.)

Add-in memory cards may offer the same levels of memory and, no doubt, a mobile phone's separate, built-in memory will approach this capacity too. The memory can be used for music playing, image and video purposes, the traditional mobile phone 3G applications. But it could also be used for business applications.

Flash memory card manufacturers are developing SW on their cards to work with Windows PCs and offer e-mail facilities or a transaferable PC environment through initiatives such as U3. Applications, files and folders and software settings can be transferred from PC to PC with a U3 USB flash drive.

Could we envisage a U3 smart mobile phone? Smartphones are built for business users and run a full-blown operating system such as Symbian or Windows Mobile. Typically they have built-in flash memory separate from the SIM card.

A U3 smartphone would have a USB jack. Plug it into a PC and, hey presto, you get access to your familiar Windows environment and can read and write e-mails, etc. There are no such devices at present. But the prospect of combining U3 flash application environments with a smartphone is probably exciting the interest of a few suppliers' forward thinkers right now.