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Will wireless take off?

Tuesday January 16, 2001 - 1:44 PM EST - By James Hromadka

CDMA and GSM are currently battling it out to be the wireless standard in the U.S. cellular market. During Comdex 2000, AirPrime did a survey of 230 customers and asked them about their cell phones. Less than 10% could identify their wireless standards, and although 60% had Internet access, only half of those polled had browsed the web and only 44% had used email.

It's somewhat ironic that attendees of a technology conference don't have technical knowledge about wireless, which many proclaim to be the Next Big Thing™. I think it also could be because of the delivery method. Do you want to browse the Internet on something that displays 4 lines of text? Many people complain about the Palm OS using a 160x160 screen, but it's a PowerBook G4 compared to the stamp-size of current cell phones.

I don't think wireless usage will really take off until a true marriage of the PDA and cell phone is complete. Products like the VisorPhone and AirPrime SB1000 are a good start, but what I would like to see is Handspring release a thin Visor with a Springboard slot and then release a cell phone module that's flush against the Visor like the Blue Impact TellMan.

What do you think? Discuss it here.

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