Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all-in on “Throwback Thursdays,” drawing on our archives to resurrect top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on those sepia tones, set the date for #TBT, and enjoy the memories!

Smartphones outperform PDAs

STAMFORD, Conn.-Two new studies show that the market for personal digital assistants continues to shrink as more and more users are drawn to smartphones. “Through the end of 2004, smartphones will have a negative impact on the lower end of the PDA market, as many individual users will find the email and personal information management capabilities of smartphones acceptable,” said Todd Kort, director . Analyst in Gartner’s Computing Platforms Worldwide group. “These users will tend to be less interested in lower-end PDAs that have provided these capabilities.” According to new PDA figures from Gartner, the number of device shipments worldwide decreased 5.3 percent in 2003 to a total of 11.5 million units. Gartner said PalmOne Inc. held the top spot, closely followed by Hewlett-Packard Co., Sony Corp. and Research In Motion Ltd. Similar numbers from rival research firm IDC confirm Gartner’s assessment. … read more

Voice to drive wireless use in 2004

NEW YORK-Deloitte Research expects the number of wireless subscribers to continue to rise during 2004, driven by continued use of traditional voice applications. Deloitte predicts that mobile subscriber penetration rates will continue to rise in 2004, with voice applications continuing to dominate mobile revenues and profits. The research firm also expects color and polyphonic sound to boost revenue. Meanwhile, the group expects mobile data growth to slow due to stagnant growth in consumer text messages. Advances in third generation technologies will continue, but 3G will not yet be adopted by the masses within the year. … read more

Battle for home broadband

CAMBRIDGE, UK-Wireless operators are expected to battle landline operators for a share of the home broadband market, which could be worth more than $100 billion by 2008, according to an Analysys report. “While most of the market will go to consumer electronics companies, content owners, and packagers, broadband operators could generate up to $12.5 billion by providing home broadband services such as communications services, entertainment , IT and security,” said Margaret Hopkins, author. of the report “These services could be delivered over fixed broadband Internet, but many of them could just as well be delivered over TV broadcast networks using mobile phones to provide interactivity.” The Analysys report examines two scenarios. In one, broadband Internet service providers earn up to $38 per month in household income, or a total of $12.5 billion in 2008. In another scenario, mobile operators and broadcasters earn the lion’s share of this income, and mobile operators add $2.26 per month. to consumer ARPU, or a total of $5 billion in 2008. … read more

‘RIM’s biggest competitor is ignorance,’ says CEO

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. faces a number of hurdles, both major and minor. But one challenge dwarfs all the rest, according to Mike Lazaridis, the company’s president and co-CEO. “RIM’s biggest competitor is ignorance,” Lazaridis said. “Our challenge remains and always has been to get someone to try it.” Because, Lazaridis says, once you try BlackBerry, you can’t go back. In fact, the device has earned the nickname CrackBerry from enthusiasts, as legal, financial, and telecommunications executives refuse to travel without it. BlackBerrys (and the new color-screen versions called BlueBerrys) are ubiquitous at high-tech conferences. They are a common adornment in the leadership of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, the trade organization for the wireless industry. Even the federal government has admitted to its addiction, with members of Congress using BlackBerrys to keep in touch during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Dozens of companies compete in the struggling enterprise wireless market. Business spending remains sluggish. Profit margins are slim. But the key to sales, Lazaridis said, is as simple as putting a BlackBerry in a customer’s hand. RIM’s successes in recent months make Lazaridis’ assessment hard to dismiss. In December, the company reported a record quarter with revenue topping $150 million, net income of more than $16 million, and an improved outlook for the year. And Wall Street traveled. Following the release of its quarterly report, RIM’s share price nearly doubled. News of the jump made national commercial headlines. Now it looks like RIM shares may soon break the $100 per share barrier. … read more

Huawei invests in free space optics

HONGKONG-Huawei Technologies Inc. moved to strengthen its US microwave and business offering by investing $2 million in LightPointe Communications Co., a free-space optics firm. Huawei joined other investors in a $17 million financing of the company. Last year, LightPointe had reached an OEM agreement with the Chinese firm to supply FSO products to Huawei. … read more

Sprint says it will stay out of the telecom merger mania

NEW YORK-Sprint Corp. told industry analysts at an investor conference that the company planned not to participate in the merger mania currently plaguing the wireless industry, saying the company would instead focus its wireless operations in growing relationships with wholesale partners and tighter integration with Sprint’s landline operations. “We are very committed to running this business on our own,” said Sprint president and COO Len Lauer. Sprint CEO Gary Forsee added that the company expects to see benefits from the customer uncertainty surrounding its competitors and… read more

Sprint offers Video Mail service

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.-Sprint is offering a new Video Mail phone to customers across the country. The VM4050 phone allows customers to take and send video and audio directly from their mobile phone to anywhere on the Sprint PCS network. The PCS Vision Videophone is manufactured by Toshiba and marketed by Audiovox Communications Corp. Sprint offers the phone for $180 with a two-year contract. … read more

Camera phones get their own conference

MELVILLE, NY-Pulver.com and Next Generation Ventures announced that they will launch their inaugural Cameraphone Summit: The Conference on Cameraphones and Convergent Mobile Media on April 27-30 in Maui, Hawaii. Executives from Nokia Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. will give keynote addresses, and the summit will cover topics from applications to privacy and hardware. “Camera phones are definitely the next big thing for the global mobile phone market,” said Moses Ma, managing partner at Next Generation Ventures. “Industry analysts estimate that 125 million phones with imaging capabilities will ship worldwide in 2005… read more

review the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.

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