Can’t wait until the fall to get your hands on a Windows Mobile 6.5 device? Well, fly over to China because the word is that the first of these handsets has sadly already shown up, but as expected the phones are simply knock-offs running what is likely a pirated version of the operating system. Rumors are circulating that the handsets on sale could be copies of the HTC Touch Viva, and worse a search for Window Mobile 6.5 ROM files are already making their way online.
The question, of course, is why anyone would want to buy a knock-off handset with a likely far from complete operating system? And the rumored prices place these handsets at around 1,099 yuan or about $150+. So we’re not talking about small change in a country where many workers make less than that a week.
But it is a worrisome trend, because China is among the world’s largest mobile phone markets. Piracy is bad enough when it is aimed at existing products already on the market, but now that it is starting to effect products that aren’t even out yet! Let’s hope the Chinese can put a stop to these lackluster clones so it doesn’t tarnish the real launch of Windows Mobile 6.5.
Cisco Cleared for WiMAX
There are certain technologies that take a while to really reach their full potential. HDTV, which was delayed countless times, was one of those things that seemed like it would never “get there.” But now, as it is not just ready for prime time but a part of normal TV viewing, it is also one of those things that if you’re like me, you didn’t know how you lived without it.
So this is why I’m being patient about WiMAX. This reporter has been following the trends with WiMAX for some time now, and the promise of broadband almost anywhere is really an amazing thing. But truth be told, most of the time I don’t even think about WiMAX because the rollout has been slow. Of course, it is like building something completely from scratch, and unlike HDTV or even broadband, I can easily live without it.
This week however WiMAX received a major push forward, as it was announced that Clearwire has selected Cisco to supply equipment for it 4G mobile WiMAX network build out. And under this agreement, Cisco will further develop mobile WiMAX/Wi-Fi devices for end users that extend its Linksys line of consumer routers, which will be marketed to consumers for the CLEAR 4G mobile WiMAX service.
This service, which is aimed at consumers, small office/home office and small-to-midsized business users, will roll out later this year. And while Clearwire currently provides mobile WiMAX to Baltimore, Maryland and Portland, Oregon based users, the CLEAR 4G service will be made available to 120 million users in more than 80 markets across the country by the end of 2010.
This isn’t to say that we should expect a streamlined, or even easy roll out. WiMAX will still have some bugs to work out, and some current users are already complaining about slower than expected speeds, but we’re going to need something. Cisco projects that mobile data traffic will increase by a thousand-fold over the seven years from 2005 through 2012, notably as mobile video use increases.
WiMAX might not get here fast enough to please everyone either. For the first time, U.S. mobile data revenue surpassed $10 billion for a quarter during the first three months of 2009. Nearly two-thirds of cell subscribers used some type of non-voice service during this period. This is one of the key findings of a new report from Chetan Sharma Consulting, which showed that Sprint had the highest data average revenue, followed by Version and AT&T.