We’ve long felt that Wi-Fi is a must for smartphones, and while some of you disagree, Sprint’s (s S) on board. Fierce Wireless is reporting that the carrier will require Wi-Fi in their “PDA equipment,” which sounds like smartphones to me. Sprint is introducing RIM’s (S RIMM) BlackBerry Tour this weekend, and like Verizon’s edition, it isn’t equipped with Wi-Fi. That will change next year as Sprint is reportedly planning a version of the Tour that includes a Wi-Fi radio.
Some dissenters in the past felt that their 3G radio is more than enough signal. Not to harp on a hot topic again today, but it’s in areas where carriers have those pesky bandwidth caps that Wi-Fi can be a huge lifesaver. Aside from gaining faster throughput, you’re not hitting your data cap when using a Wi-Fi network for voice, data, or media. Verizon (s VZ) hasn’t yet made the commitment to include Wi-Fi on every handset, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them to follow suit at some point.
This may be another one of those U.S. challenges, so if any readers outside of our country can share the Wi-Fi handset landscape with us, please do.