Where have all the SmartPhones gone?

My cellphone troubles have driven me to drink: enough for me to break my other New Year resolution: no digital buys in 2004. Well that one lasted exactly about 22 days, thanks to T-Mobile’s chronically sick network. I have since taken my own advice, and started shopping for Treo, or anything which goes under the moniker, SmartPhone. Given that I can switch to pretty much any service provider, I cast a wide net, in my search for a SmartPhone.

Verizon seemed to be a good bet, but one quick phone call later I realized that the much vaunted (or maligned) Samsung i600 was not in stock. Oh wait, they had one left, but I had to sign a two year contract. If I could make such a long term commitment, I would have been married by now. But that’s another story. Next up Sprint. Treo 600 and Samsung i500 were two options, but the Sprint folks told me that unlikely that I could buy one today, tomorrow or for next two weeks. AT&T Wireless was my next stop: Motorola MPX200 seemed to be a good option. Nada – none in stock. (I got to test it for a day, and while I was not impressed, I was still willing to give it a shot.) No Treo 600 either, at AT&T Wireless as well. Well that left Cingular, and you know what I think of them and T-Mobile.

Bottom line: all this buzz about Smart Phones is a missed opportunity for cellphone companies. Palm which is behaving like an anorexic film diva could have done well it had met the demand for Treo 600, but never mind. I hope the planning guy was among the 12 percent work force cut they recently made at the company. What about Motorola? All the buzz, publicity campaigns where there are no handsets in stores.

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