Convergence Drives Handheld Sales
A recovering economy, handheld devices for niche markets, and a bevy of new Wi-Fi-ready phones are creating positive synergies for Wi-Fi. According to Lance Wilson, director of wireless research at ABI Research, a somewhat more bullish economy has prompted the company to raise its forecast for shipments of wireless handsets in 2004, compared to estimates made in the second quarter.
At the same time, he says, "We are seeing the beginning of a trend towards wireless devices — some not including any voice capabilities — aimed at specific niche markets."
One product he cites is the OGO, offered by Cingular. This handheld unit, with its service plan offering unlimited instant messaging and e-mail at a modest cost, is aimed squarely at the youth market. With its big color screen, full keyboard and robust construction, the OGO is, says Wilson, "a very high-quality piece of equipment."