Sony-Ericsson stops CDMA phone production for North America

by Todd Ogasawara

Earlier this week (June 24) Sony-Ericsson announced it would stop making CDMA phones for the North American market (Sprint PCS and Verizon Wireless provide CDMA/CMDA1xRT for a large part of the U.S.).

In April, Sprint PCS announced that it would soon sell the first Bluetooth-enabled phone for the CDMA/CDMA1xRT market: The Sony-Ericsson T608. So, what happens now? If no other CDMA phone manufacturer steps up to the plate to produce a Bluetooth enabled phone for the North American market, it means that a large number of customers will not be able to take advantage of using their Bluetooth-enabled PDA (Palm OS or Pocket PC based) with two of the largest carriers in this part of the world.

Verizon Wireless already sells the Samsung i700 Pocket PC Phone Edition (2002 based device). So, their customers at least have an option of purchasing an all-in-one voice/data product. However, as a Pocket PC Phone Edition user myself (GSM/GPRS variety), I still want and appreciate having the option of switching back to two separate devices (Bluetooth-enabled phone and Bluetooth-enabled Pocket PC 2003) for a best of breed combination.

So, at least for now, it looks like GSM/GPRS is the way to go in the U.S. if you want to have a Bluetooth-enabled phone provide wireless data service to a Bluetooth-enabled PDA.

What do you think about this?


2003-06-27 12:20:13
Sprint could care less
They don't wish to enable anyone to hook a PDA (or laptop, for that matter) to any of their 3Gish phones. Their $15/month 'unlimited' data deal gets in the way of their bottom-line thinking (or is it the other way around?)

Sprint has stated in the past that Bluetooth is 'too complex' for their customers. I'm not certain whether to be insulted, or relieved that very few folks will be able to figure out how to use their data services via their existing handsets. If enough customers did, it would spoil the nice bandwidth for the rest of us that know how...

2003-06-30 05:18:02
Bad idea.
Using GSM/GPRS, and the carriers who provide it, is too great a sacrifice to avoid a simple USB cable.
2003-07-16 07:39:21
Not too fast there!
Don't start putting the nails in the coffin of SonyEricsson's T608. Many stories on the web have indicated the T608 may still have life in it. Sprint business representatives have suggested it will be sold in July.

This report could be completely wrong, but it would seem an awful lot of R&D, and promotion, have been put into this phone. There's even a petition online with over 1000 signatures of Sprint customers saying they want a phone with Bluetooth and if they don't get it -they'll switch carriers. This phone is not dead yet!

And who cares if Sony/Ericsson leaves the CDMA market? While the departure doesn't auger well for either the T606 or 608 and successor models ~ one or both should sell well and serve to fill a market niche presently not met.

2003-07-16 07:43:26
Check out this review of the T608
This is a very nice phone according to the review that can be read at this address.

I love the review about reception, particularly with an internal antenna.