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  1.    #1  
    Why would any carrier except T-Mobile push a WiFi enabled phone to the market? TMobile has a HotSpot business to push. The carriers dictate the direction of features on phones to the manufacturers. So in that context, it seems highly likely that adding WiFi to a phone is a move which would limit the uptake of the phone by wireless carriers. My bet is that we will only see T-Mobile offer Wi-Fi enabled phones and no one else. It makes sense - you have the delicious option of getting your customers to pay you x cents per megabyte and then you offer them an option which prevents them from hitting their overage limit. I don't think so - the wireless marketplace is greedy.

    For us geeks on other carriers besides TMobile, we will probably have to pay full whack (no subsidy) for WiFi phones to get to play with them. And to restate my original point, few manufacturers will go this route unless they have very deep pockets - namely HP and Motorola.
  2. #2  
    sorry to burst your bubble, but you are wrong on many levels.

    Carriers do not device feature sets....they drive network features.

    wifi will be in phones within the year, and within two years it will be common on "converged" devices.

    Battery is the gating factor with wifi...as they improve that, wifi becomes more realistic.

    Consumers will demand it, and someone will fill the gap.
  3.    #3  
    My bubble is intact :-) I will simply beg to differ. How do you think a phone gets mass purchased by a carrier? It fits a profile for a customer usage determined by the carrier, sometimes years in advance. If it has a feature they dislike or which is likely to be troublesome, they will simply not buy the handset. Danger Hiptops are a case in point - only TMobile carries it. It is too much of a risk for other carriers who did not invest in the project. If they become super-popular then I agree the carriers may come to the table late and bring the phone to market due to demand but this is rare.

    Phones have to be sold twice - once to the carrier and then to the public.
  4. #4  
    For what it's worth Sprint is nearly as invested as T-Mobile in wifi (http://www.thestreet.com/tech/telecom/10180425.html). Given that Sprint has had a huge impact on the Treo's of past, that's two carriers.

    Battery is not a gating factor to wifi. Wifi exists on many portable devices with batteries even smaller than the Treo's. People just have to learn to use wifi responsibly and not leave it on when not in use. Of course this is something the phone could do itself by default (the user could override I suppose).
  5. eugarps's Avatar
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    #5  
    I kind of disagree. With the advent of VoIP, many of us who travel internationally would be happy to sign on with someone who'd offer us WiFi along with their own GSM/GPRS. We'd still use their $ervise$ for in-country calls and be able to phone home for reasonable fees. If big ol' HP can do it, why not PalmOne?

    One other thing, most cellular carriers don't guarantee coverage inside buildings, where most WiFi systems reside.

    A Verizon WiFi to the list!
    Best,

    Bill
    ><(((((`>
    Palm Treo Pro, iPhone 3G 16GB Refurb, Palm TX
    Waiting for Pre GSM!
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by eugarps
    I kind of disagree. With the advent of VoIP, many of us who travel internationally would be happy to sign on with someone who'd offer us WiFi along with their own GSM/GPRS. We'd still use their $ervise$ for in-country calls and be able to phone home for reasonable fees. If big ol' HP can do it, why not PalmOne?...
    Your logical analysis answers your own question: Carriers want you to use THEIR more expensive cellular/LD service than switching to cheap VOIP over their unlimited data network.
    Remember, the "P" in PDA stands for personal.
    If it works for you, it is "P"erfect.
  7. Iceman6's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by eugarps
    One other thing, most cellular carriers don't guarantee coverage inside buildings, where most WiFi systems reside.
    Good point. I think this is what will motivate cellular carriers to require WiFi capability in their business-oriented phones.

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