PDA News – WiFi smartphones, Cingular rumors, Google WiFi?

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Qtek smartphones: now with 100% more WiFi

They may not be lookers, but the two newest Windows Smartphones to come out of HTC are beautiful on the inside. Marketed by Qtek as the 8300 and the 8310, they include Windows Mobile 5.0, quad-band GSM/EDGE, 240 x 320 QVGA display, Bluetooth, and WiFi. Yes, WiFi on a WM Smartphone. No word on when or if they’ll be released in the US.



Rumor: HTC Wizard to debut on Cingular October 24th

Always take a grain of salt–or better yet, a shaker’s worth–with reported release dates for converged devices. They are almost always wrong. Converged devices have a bad tendancy to slip, sometimes months past their original planned release. But it’s rumored that internal Cingular documentation, leaked onto the net, proves that the HTC Wizard will be released on the Cingular network on October 24th, replacing the aging HTC Blue Angel, a.k.a. the SX66.

The alleged document also lists another HTC device, code-named “Faraday,” which is listed as replacing the SMT5600 Windows Smartphone on October 21st. No definite information is available on this device, though speculation suggests that it may be a version of the Qtek models seen above.


Rampant speculation: Google to build nationwide WiFi net?

I might not normally post about something like this, but it interested me. Speculation is flying about the idea that Google may be planning a free, nationwide WiFi network, supported entirely by local advertising. The idea springs from a report in Business 2.0, citing “telecom insiders,” and stating that Google is buying up all the unused fiber-optic lines it can get its hands on, along with other large internet backbone connections. The report goes on to point out that Google already has a free WiFi network running in San Francisco, which is paid for by using the access points to offer up advertising for nearby businesses.

This certainly would seem to be a major step forward in Google’s prospective plans for world domination. While the prospect of a huge, free WiFi network may seem ridiculous at first, Google has done some pretty amazing things for no cost. See GMail, Google Earth, Google Maps, et al. Local advertising on the kind of network described would likely be incredibly cheap, both for Google and the advertiser, as well as quite effective. Just imagine the number of business travellers who would ask Google about nearby places to eat. Add to that the fact that with accurate WiFi positioning technology, a Google WiFi connection could hook in to Google Maps, and act as a navigation device. Imagine the applications for a broadband-everywhere network that also incorporates mapping, local services, internet reference, VoIP, and other technologies we may not even have thought of yet. Find the nearest restaurant that delivers, call them up to place an order, give them your exact coordinates, and then track the delivery van, all on the same device.

As Keith Olbermann would put it, I for one welcome our new Google overlords.




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