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WIRELESS: Is Wi-Fi coming to Smartphones soon?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Saturday, 06.12.03 - 15:00:14 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News - Viewed 7217x
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According to an earlier article at and another newer article on InfoWorld, SyChip - the ODM of the SanDisk and Socket SD Wi-Fi cards, is currently developing Smartphone drivers for these cards:

Chip design company SyChip is testing software for its SDIO (secure digital I/O) WLAN (wireless LAN) card so it can be used to add Wi-Fi capability to smart phones.


With the card and the software, smart phones can use a WLAN to transmit data and double as a cordless VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone when linked to a corporate IP telephony service, said Navi Miglani, SyChip's director of marketing.


During a session at the Wi-Fi Planet Conference & Expo in San Jose, California, Wednesday, Miglani showed a Windows Mobile-based Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. i600 device with the SDIO card and a beta version of the driver software. A final version is due out in the first quarter of 2004, along with software for Palm OS-based smart phones, he said.

While this is definitely good news and really appreciated, I would like to add several thoughts here:

  1. I wonder if carriers like the idea. As we know today's cellphones are mostly sold through operators and are mostly heavily subsidized. If a Smartphone becomes Wi-Fi enabled to use a WLAN to transmit data and double as a cordless VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone the carrier might lose revenue - especially because we get more and more Wi-Fi HotSpots all over the world.
    In fact - from my point of view - this could slow down the interest of carriers to pick-up the Smartphone platform. Of might might drive carriers into the wrong direction to release Smartphones without SDIO enabled slots!
  2. With the current available card size and the location of the SD slot with all current available Smartphone (on the side not on top), I wonder how convenient the use can be:

Don't get me wrong, Wi-Fi enabled Smartphones are really appreciated but I think the risks are quiet high and also today's hardware isn't the greatest to be used with cards which looks out of the device!

Cheers ~ Arne

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