ZigBee Standard Looks to Bump Aside Bluetooth
Yet another wireless connectivity standard will claim the spotlight next week, as the ZigBee Alliance conducts its member meeting at an open house in Berlin, and IC suppliers like Motorolas Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) demonstrate compliance with the recently passed 802.15.4 standard. ZigBee is expected to fill a niche for low-cost and very-low-power wireless connectivity — a notch below Bluetooth implementations — for equipment that needs battery life as long as several months to several years but doesnt require data transfer rates as high as those enabled by Bluetooth. The IEEE 802.15.4 ZigBee standard was approved in May.
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802.11b Chipset Price May Fall to $4-5 in Q3
The price of 802.11b chipsets (MAC/baseband/RF), currently quoted at $5-6, is likely to fall another ten percent to $4-5 in the third quarter due to the entry of several new local players, Taiwanese IC designers said. The price of 802.11b chipsets has been sliding since the first Taiwanese chip designer entered the market in the third quarter of last year. According to US-based research firm Allied Business Intelligence, 802.11b chip prices will average US$6.06 this year, compared with US$16.06 last year.
Read the full story on: DigiTimes
Cellular Handset Shipments Grew 16 Percent in 1Q 2003
Mobile telephone handset shipments increased 16 percent in the first quarter of 2003 compared to the first quarter of 2002, but for most handset vendors profits were squeezed in the competitive market, according to market research company Strategy Analytics. Strategy Analytics maintained its projection of 455 million units to be sold in 2003. Shipments to the GSM standard grew 13 percent and market leader Nokia reaped the benefits. Nokias total shipments grew 18 percent, while expanding profits nearly two percentage points year-on-year. Shipments to the CDMA standard grew 49 percent year over year on strength in the Americas markets.
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Palm to Add Net Phoning to Wi-Fi Device
Palm announced Thursday that it is joining forces with several partners to make more services available on its Tungsten C handheld, which comes with built-in Wi-Fi support. Palm is looking to add Net-phoning capabilities to the Tungsten C as well as additional security and the ability to more easily identify and use hot spots — areas where wireless Internet access is available through Wi-Fi. The Tungsten C is Palms first handheld with Wi-Fi built in.
Read the full story on: CNET News.com
Music Industry Hopes Phones Will Be New Revenue Source
Hip-hop star Nelly did it. Madonna is doing it. And British rock group Radiohead plans to do it — boost music sales by reaching out to fans through mobile phones. With sales of CDs on a three-year slide, the music industry sees mobile phones as powerful outlets for promoting artists and distributing music for profit. The recording industry hopes to drive CD sales and, eventually, direct sales of songs over mobile phones. That vision remains far from becoming reality, however. The U.S. wireless market is about two years behind Europe and Asia, and its not clear how interested Americans will be in using their phones to buy or listen to music.
Read the full story on: USATODAY.com