Saturday, October 29, 2005

In-Stat: Wi-Fi Finally Comes to Cell Phones

Gemma Tedesco at In-Stat writes a positive review of the Audiovox PPC-6700 (aka HTC Apache) Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone from Sprint. Tedesco luckily got her hands on her husband's handset long enough to say:

The PPC-6700 is a good sign of things to come for embedded Wi-Fi in cellular handsets overall. Even as a data access technology, Wi-Fi brings much value to a smart phone device. But at a street price of approximately $700 in the US, this type of device is still quite limited in its audience.

In-Stat expects that the embedding of Wi-Fi into cellular handsets will be a slow uptake, with penetration into the hundreds of millions not expected until the 2008-2009 time frame. For standard cellular handsets to offer embedded Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi chipsets will need to keep falling in price, and continuing chipset integration will need to occur. This is something that is definitely happening in the Wi-Fi IC market currently, with Wi-Fi chipset vendors really starting to focus on meeting the specific demands of the cellular segment.