But with a bit of help from Intel and Microsoft, Sierra Wireless
is taking a big leap into handsets aimed at businesspeople.
Its new Voq phone, which will ship in the first quarter
of next year in the U.S. and Europe for an expected price of $250 to $350, will be
the first to use a new 200-megahertz version of Intel's powerful, energy-efficient
Xscale microprocessor and the 2003 version of Microsoft's Windows Mobile software.
As such, it represents the latest bid by the twin titans of PC technology to stake
out a place in the booming mobile-phone arena. Creating mobile phones from building
blocks such as Intel processors and Microsoft software is a direct challenge to the
mobile industry's traditional model -- and threatens to introduce PC-like commoditization
to the business' high-end "smartphone" segment.
I absolutely love my Pocket PC Phone Edition phone, and look forward to seeing the
price for phones like this come down in part due to developments like this.