Wi-Fi Appearing in Smartphones

November 19, 2008 at 12:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It’s encouraging that many of the top handsets are starting to include Wi-Fi. 11 of the top 15 smartphones reviewed by PC Magazine include Wi-Fi! And Wi-Fi support is trickling down into mainstream (less expensive) handsets, as the core chipsets incorporate this as a basic feature. Accordingly, the number of Wi-Fi handsets is expected to double every two years (50% growth per year) [ABI Resrarch, 2009], to the point where half of the handsets will include Wi-Fi in 2012. A previous post discussed the current handsets that work with @Home and include Wi-Fi and UMA software, and included forecasts for lots more Wi-Fi handsets on the horizon.

The top, Wi-Fi capable handsets are (in alphabetical order, not by rank):

  • BlackBerry Curve 8320/8330 Available from T-Mobile for @Home
  • BlackBerry Pearl 8120 Available from T-Mobile for @Home
  • Apple iPhone 3G
  • HP iPAQ 910 (unlocked)
  • HTC Touch Diamond (unlocked)
  • Palm Treo Pro (unlocked)
  • Palm Treo 800w
  • Samsung SCH-i760
  • Nokia E71 (unlocked)
  • Nokia N78 (unlocked)
  • Nokia N95 (unlocked)

But, recall that @Home requires not just Wi-Fi but also UMA software. For details, see the previous post on UMA handsets.

Too bad we can’t just grab our favorite (unlocked, Wi-Fi enabled) handset and use it on @Home. I seriously doubt that there is a way to get a UMA client installed on an unlocked phone of your choice, as a 3rd-party app, since the UMA software is configured to reach inside the carrier’s network. Such an app would typically not be user-configured, nor would the config settings even be visible. But, hey, unlocked phones can be configured for other IP services (MMS, web browsing), so it’s possible.

If anyone knows of a way to get a UMA app installed on an unlocked phone, please let me know!


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