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Wireless Week in Review (Week of November 19)

November 23, 2006 in Wireless Industry News

This year’s quiet Thanksgiving Week brought out the good, the boring, and the decidedly useless news. In this entry: studies on mobile phone sales, the Serene, more Motorola acquisitions, and a bit on the iPhone.

On Wednesday, research firm Gartner released the results of study focusing on mobile phone sales in the third quarter. The result? A 21.5% increase in global phone sales (up to 251 million units). Gartner also raised its expectations for the fourth quarter. The study boosted the shares of manufacturing giant Nokia, who still commands 35.1% worldwide market share of cell phone sales.

BusinessWeek just did a preview of the Bang & Olufsen “Serene” phone, a $1200 high-tech triband flip phone appreciated for its design rather than its feature set. The Serene features a circular keypad, a screen located on the bottom half of the flip rather than the top, and a one-touch opening mechanism. Unfortunately, the battery life is good for a mere 3 hours of talk time, the camera is a mere 0.3 megapixels, and the ringtones are still Stone Age polyphonic.

Motorola’s company-buying spree continued as the #2 cell phone manufacturer acquired Netopia, a maker of DSL modems and routers. Since Motorola’s already a major player when it comes to cable modems (there’s a very good chance that those of you on cable are using one), and the Netopia acquisition could add some nice exposure into the DSL market. Not to mention that Netopia has some very high-end clients such as AT&T, Verizon, and Swisscom AG. Yeah, this doesn’t really mean too much for the wireless industry.

Months and months of hope and hype, and there still isn’t very much concrete information available for Apple’s rumored iPhone. This is, of course, due to the fact that Apple has been extremely tight-lipped about the product, refusing to comment on any rumors or speculation. The iPhone is expected to be a much higher quality product than the previous garbage dubbed the ROKR (manufactured by our friends at Motorola). Unfortunately for both Apple and Motorola, the ROKR never really took off.

That’s all for this week. Tune in next time for another edition of the Wireless Week in Review.

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