WiFi Phones Threaten Status Quo



Microsoft today launched the new MSN Mobile, a wireless phone portal that allows people to access a number of Windows Live properties.

The mobile portal includes easy access to Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Spaces and Live Search.

Almost half of early adopters in the United States planning to replace their cellphones want Wi-Fi capability, according to a recent survey by In-Stat.

The Wi-Fi Alliance will have certified more than 100 different models of Wi-Fi/cellular phones by the end of this year, reports RCR News. In-Stat forecasts more than 50 million phones will incorporate some form of Voice over Internet Protocol support by 2011, and that issues such as limited battery life will be resolved this year.

“Other technologies, such as WiMAX and Ultra Wideband, are also poised to enter the handset market, but Wi-Fi fills a unique niche that WiMAX and UWB cannot match,” said Allen Nogee, principal analyst at In-Stat.

But don’t expect a smooth transition.

T-Mobile refuses connections to Truphone, a VoIP operator that offers cut-rate prices, reports The Register. Om Malik says, that Truphone, a UK-based start-up that has developed a mobile VoIP client that makes it easy to make cheap calls over dual mode (WiFi) phones.

“Other operators have invested huge amounts of money into their networks,” T-Mobile corporate communications head Simon Marks said. “Truphone has no network to maintain.”

Truphone numbers start “07”, so they’re easy to block. UK telecoms regulator Ofcom requires phone companies to interconnect, and Truphone reckons T-Mobile is in breach of Ofcom rules by refusing to accept its rates. However, its rates are only reasonable if Truphone is a mobile operator, so it seems likely Ofcom will be required to rule on the mobility of Truphone.

Engadget and Gizmodo have more on the Sprint Mogul WiFi phone.

Sprint’s Mogul features 256 MB ram, 163MB usable ROM, Windows Mobile 6, Wi-Fi, EV-DO (updateable to rev. A), a slide out keyboard, scroll wheel, microSD, a Qualcomm MSM7500 processor running 400MHz, a 2 megapixel camera with flash, auto-focus and camcorder capabilities, and approximately 20 percent more battery life than its predecessor, the PPC-6700.

PhoneScoop has a video review whille PocketPC Thoughts has a review roundup.

The Mogul by HTC will be available this week online at www.sprint.com and in Sprint business sales channels for $399.99 with a two-year service agreement. The Mogul by HTC will be available in Sprint retail stores in July.

Apple has a corrected chart comparing their iPhone to others. Unstrung has more on the Handset Cavalcade.

In other news, YouTube has launched a mobile version of its video service that is available to any mobile phone on any carrier. Users will not be able to browse all of YouTube’s videos, only a few hundred top editor’s picks will be available. The videos are available in the 3GP standard on m.youtube.com. Unlimited 3G data plans will provide the best viewing experience. YouTube had previously launched video-watching services with Verizon Wireless and Vodafone.

Intel and AMD are betting on mobility, says DailyTech. Intel’s Silverthorne will be a 45nm processor with a die footprint size smaller than a U.S. nickel. Intel aims to grab up to roughly 20-percent of the mobile phone market with Silverthorne and indicated that Silverthorne can also be used in UMPC. Otellini promises the average price of a Silverthorne-based product will be $100 USD.

AMD’s Bobcat is right on Intel’s heels. According to AMD executive vice president, Henri Richard, Bobcat is positioned for the UMPC market — above a PDA platform but below a full-fledge notebook.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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