The Biggest Wireless Disappointments of 2006

Roundup: These aren't the worst phones out there, but they are the ones that fell furthest from our expectations. (

I try to stay positive, I really do. I whistle in the hallways, crack jokes on Gearlog Radio, and every day wake up my giggling baby girl with a smile.

But the wireless world is full of disappointments—expectations raised only to be dashed, cruelly, often without explanation. I try not to look too closely at the advanced phones coming out in foreign lands which will never be sold here. Its not good for the heart. But when companies dont live up to their promise, I cant help but rage.

My top five disappointments arent the five worst phones Ive seen this year. Theyre the five that promised the most, and didnt deliver what they promised.

Expectations play a big role here, and these gadgets didnt live up to the high bars we set for them.

/zimages/1/28571.gifeWEEK Labs picks the top 25 products of the last 25 years of personal computing. Click here to read more.

I hope my criticism is constructive. Id love this to be a checklist of things I can cross off and laugh about next year.

But for now, these are the biggest wireless disappointments of 2006. Approach them at your peril.

5. Nokia bailing from CDMA. Nokia was never a huge player with Sprint, Verizon or Alltel, but its executives always said the worlds No. 1 cell phone manufacturer would make it a priority to ramp up its CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) line. More competition is good, and Nokia brings ease of use, an unusual design sense, and solid quality to any area it enters.

Then, suddenly, Nokia said it was canceling all CDMA development, and said it would sell rebranded Korean phones instead. Ive reviewed the first rebranded Korean Nokia phone, the 6305i, and its no Nokia.

/zimages/1/28571.gifRead the full story on The Biggest Wireless Disappointments of 2006

/zimages/1/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.