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Week in Review (Week of September 17)

September 22, 2006 in Wireless Industry News

Today’s Week in Review: the 6288 phone, Elcoteq again, Microsoft, and Motorola’s plan to sell mobile phones in vending machines. InstantMoto!

Last week news of Elcoteq’s woes more or less screwed over Nokia, at least in terms of share prices and stock analyst reports. This week, two companies called Perlos and CSR also announced profitability issues this quarter. Both companies are tied to Nokia pretty tightly, so score two more points for the naysayers.

Tuesday brought about another union between Nokia and a formerly-unknown company called Sapio. Sapio is basically a software development studio for mobile devices. Under the terms of the agreement, Sapio would provide mobile printing services to Nokia – sort of an over-the-air printing service. So if you took a picture with your trusty N80 phone, the built-in software would upload it to a printing facility which would then either mail the prints to you or send it to some Walmart where you could pick it up. It sounds like a pretty cool service, except for one problem: the quality of camera phone photos isn’t up to print level…yet. My 2 megapixel N71, on the highest setting (called “Print”) takes pretty much not so good-to-average pictures. One reason is definitely lack of image stabilization (a problem that Nokia has started fixing). But then again I don’t really expect image stabilization on a freakin’ cell phone. So what am I saying? Basically this printing service is useless. (good thing it’s only coming out in Finland!)

As mentioned yesterday, Nokia released one new phone this week: the 6288. It’s a 3G slider with two cameras (2 megapixel and VGA) that’s being marketed as a high-quality video playing device even though any Nseries phone blows it out of the water.

After news of Nokia collaborating with Yahoo! for it’s mobile search application several weeks ago (or was that last week…?), Nokia announced a pact with 100-pound gorilla Microsoft to integrate “Live Search” in it’s mobile search offerings. Live search is basically more of the same search stuff. Stock quotes, weather, movie times, and fun facts via Encarta. Blah blah blah. I guess Google won’t be too far behind.

And of course the biggest news of the week goes to Motorola. Motorola announced that the company will begin selling cell phones in vending machines. Just like Pepsi and gumballs! Called InstantMoto, the machines will sell 12 mid-tier to upper-tier phones (yes, the piece of crap RAZR is one of them) and 18 accessories. The press release also says that one of these machines is currently operating in downtown Chicago, and eventually will be in malls/airports across the country. Wow wow wow.

So that rounds out this week’s Week in Review. Have a nice day.

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