Cellphones Featuritis

The New York Times writes:

There is a digital land rush going on, driven by rapid advances in technology that make it possible to put more and more tools of higher and higher quality into phones. The recognition that talk is only part of the cellphone’s future -that it is becoming a personal window into an evolving blend of communications, computing and media – has the existing players in the cellphone market scrambling, and new entrants looking for a way in.

Wireless carriers like Cingular, Verizon Wireless and Sprint are rolling out high-speed networks that can handle television, movie clips and music, in addition to all kinds of information, from e-mail to news. They are searching desperately to find a money-making future beyond talk, which is destined to become a mature business, highly competitive and less profitable.

Handset makers like Nokia, Motorola and Samsung are introducing the next generation: multimedia phones. The latest entrants, announced last week by Nokia, include a model that can hold up to 3,000 songs, and another phone that doubles as a high-quality camera and video recorder that can shoot and store an hour of video. Media companies – from Time Warner and Viacom to Google and Yahoo – are looking to the cellphone as a new market for their entertainment, news and search products, and software makers, led by Microsoft, have also entered the fray.

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Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.