New CDMA phones from Samsung coming to Alltel, Verizon

Samsung, the all-things-CDMA handset maker du jour these days, will be introducing new handsets to CDMA carriers Alltel and Verizon soon.

The two new models -- the R510 and U540 -- look identical to existing handsets offered from other carriers -- like the T-Mobile Trace and the Sprint A500. Both, both of these are packing CDMA innards in ultra-slim form factors.

[via Engadget Mobile]

Siemens sees growth in enterprise Wi-Fi equipment

Although Siemens has had some issues centered around its wireless operations recently -- selling its handset division to Taiwan's BenQ at a huge loss -- the company saw increased quarterly results recently on strong demand for its enterprise mobility and WLAN products.

Siemens saw more than 125% growth and has bulked up its enterprise offerings to meet increased demand, and the German telecom juggernaut hopefully will see its fortunes continue to rise. After all, enterprise Wi-Fi is doing anything but going away.

Ruckus Wireless unveils Wi-Fi router/repeater

The name we all love to love -- Ruckus Wireless -- wants you to be able and bridge those outdoor, citywide WiFi networks and those indoor, ad-hoc networks into a single point of connectivity.

How? Why, the company has developed a single device that captures outdoor Wi-Fi signals from a metro network and re-broadcasts them in the home for end-users. In other words, this is a built-in Wi-Fi router (?) and Wi-Fi repeater in one unit.

Nokia wants new ad agency

Looks like Nokia -- the world leader in wireless handset sales but lagging here in the U.S. -- is looking for a new global ad agency.

The company probably wants to grow back its mojo after being so popular in the U.S. marketplace (and elsewhere) just five years ago when Nokia was "the phone" to have.

Recently, Motorola, Samsung and LG have beaten up on Nokia here in the American market quite badly with newer styles, higher-end phones and more selection -- and Nokia has become "not the brand" it used to be.

Windows Mobile smartphones are multiplying

It seems there are a billion smartphones and Pocket PC phones (remember, two different OSes there) running on Windows Mobile.

Years ago, the Palm OS seemed to be a 'favorite' in the wireless handset world -- that mantra, though, is up between Windows Mobile and Symbian now in a "Rocky Balboa vs. Apollo Creed" style of fight.

With that, check out a review of the new "Hermes" Pocket PC device (from HTC, of course) over at MobileBurn.

What makes for a well-designed wireless handset?

That headline begs for responses from all corners. What is a good cellphone design all about? Purely physical aspects like size, weight and curves?

How about software design and user interface (UI) aspects like speed, intuitiveness and "prettyness"? These software and hardware aspects -- plus much more -- makes for a well-designed wireless handset.

What's your favorite?

Wireless data speeds -- who is the fastest?

When testing speed recently among the four wireless carriers in my area -- Cingular Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel and Alltel -- I used a phone from each carrier with a subscription to a data plan as well (for laptops) to give as equalized a result as possible.

So, which carrier turned in the performance to the right? Let me state that Cingular and T-Mobile both offer EDGE speeds in my market (no HSDPA yet), and both Alltel and Sprint Nextel offer EV-DO speeds in my. Not sure about testing HSDPA speeds since Cingular has not rolled that out yet in my market.

The winner? Sprint Nextel's data speeds were the fastest (17% faster than Alltel and about 600% faster than both EDGE systems) -- as I received almost a megabit if DL speeds on the Sprint EV-DO network, with a little over 1/10 of a megabit in UL speeds.

Alcatel-Lucent issues profit warning -- investors sigh

Alcatel-Lucent -- which has a splashy new logo -- said this week that its fourth-quarter revenues will come in below expectations.

Of course, news like this sent manic investors away from shares as share price tanks, which is what happened yesterday as Alcatel-Lucent's stock fell more than 8% after the company's warning to around $13 per share.

With Alcatel-Lucent getting a healthy does of its business from sales to U.S. wireless carriers, may be suffering the same fate as handset makers like Motorola and LG. Why?

Hearing loss from Bluetooth headsets?

I remember hearing about this lawsuit some time ago -- and here it is again. A court in Miami will hear arguments tomorrow about a lawsuit that claims Bluetooth headsets can cause hearing loss.

The suit seeks damages from many makers of Bluetooth headsets -- including Motorola, the world's largest seller of them -- for failing to warn consumers about the health risks.

Heck, many Bluetooth headsets I've used are not even loud enough to hear, let alone cause hearing loss.

Samsung produces world's slimmest "slider" handset

All along we thought that Motorola was overly obsessed with making just about every handset it produces as thin as possible, but rival Samsung has roared back to ensure the world knows that it makes all the thinnest handsets on the planet, in all form factors it can.

Sammy's newest claim is that it has produced the "world's thinnest slider" phone at what I could guess would be less than 10mm thick.

I'm waiting on the paper-thin phone myself.

[via Engadget Mobile]

The lowdown on low-cost wireless handsets

Every wireless handset maker is trying to bring down the cost of handsets these days -- for lower costs of manufacturing (of course) and also to feed the need for emerging markets that need low-cost handsets -- and hundreds of millions of them.

When supplying entry-level handsets to customers in emerging markets, are companies like Motorola and Nokia building brand loyalty that will bring those same customers back to those brands when they are ready to "upgrade" to nicer and more feature-packed handsets?

What do you think?

Was Cingular the best choice for Apple's iPhone?

With Apple's iPhone furor dying down a bit now, was Cingular Wireless the best company for Apple to have done business with? I am sure Apple -- two years ago -- wanted the iPhone to be available to as much of the world as possible.

That decision drove the company to Cingular, as it operates not only the largest-subscriber mobile business in the U.S., but it uses the world GSM standard. Those two key ingredients were what made Apple "pick" Cingular as its partner most likely.

Will you switch to Cingular...err, AT&T... this summer to get an iPhone, though?

Carriers going full-speed ahead on 3G rollouts

With 3G high-speed wireless data becoming the norm now, some of the country's largest carriers have announced new markets for their respective high-speed data services.

Cingular Wireless, Alltel Wireless and Sprint Nextel all have recently launched newer, high-speed data markets across the country. Cingular UMTS/HSDPA is arriving in Rhode Island and Alltel is bringing EV-DO to Tallahassee, Florida. In addition, Sprint is launching EV-DO Rev. A services in South Florida -- just in time for the Super Bowl.

See all the recent launches here.

GPS and Bluetooth to soon come on one microchip

With space becoming an all-important thing in any cellphone these days, Bluetooth chipmaker CSR will soon introduce a single chip Bluetooth and GPS solution.

This is good news for wireless handset makers, who need to get as many functions on chips these days to save space for...well, nothing.

With handsets becoming so small and so slim these days, the space saved by eliminating chips from a cellphone probably won't be replaced by anything -- except less weight.

Don't use your cellphone as an assault device

We all know that the lives of divas and supermodels are, um, hard -- and model Naomi Campbell recently pleaded guilty to soundly thrashing her maid with her wireless handset over a misplaced pair of jeans back in 2006.

Even models have cellphones too, and my guess is that they are either the Motorola RAZR or Maybe the Samsung M610 -- or perhaps the Motorola MODL. Just kidding on that last one.

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