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A Gadget Guy's Dilemma

Techstination feature for Wednesday, February 28, 2001

A gadget guy's dilemma... carry one device... or two? I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. Palms and PocketPCs are everywhere. So are wireless phones. Now there are PDAs that are adding wireless phone capability... and phones that function as PDAs. On the surface... they sound like great ideas... .allowing you to use your wireless phone plan to connect to the Web and email. But at OminSky... a wireless data service leader... Chief Technology Officer Elan Amir is betting what consumers will want... .are separate devices... .phone and PDA... .that are connected by new technology called Bluetooth...

"You're not going to pass up on your small little phone that is optimized for that and designed for that. On the other hand, you're not going to view the Internet on that phone. With Bluetooth technology these two devices can work together. And from OmniSky's perspective, we're very committed to Bluetooth. We intend to make sure that our service, as soon as Bluetooth becomes widely available, we intend for our service to inter-operate with those Bluetooth devices."

The wireless phones with Bluetooth technology... .will serve as the gateway to the Internet for handheld and notebook PCs...

"The issue from your perspective is people want to have these tiny phones to put in their shirt pocket. At the same time, to browse the Internet, you need a bigger screen." "That's exactly correct."

And wireless phones or PDAs that can do both... he argues... are too big. The first trickle of Bluetooth devices are arriving on the market now. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.