The iPhone’s New Competitor

On January 14, 2010

Palm Pre PlusIt is uncertain at this point whether the iPhone will ever be free of the shackles of AT&T.  It has to happen eventually, quite possibly this year.  However, Verizon and Palm are doing something quite brilliant in case it doesn’t, and everybody benefits except AT&T.

Palm is adding software to the soon-to-be-released Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus that will allow either phone to act as a WiFi hotspot.  No more searching for WiFi.  You’ll be able to take a hotspot with you wherever you go and use your iPhone or iPod touch with it.

Supposedly, it’s possible to install a program on Windows Mobile to turn your phone into a hotspot.  I’ve tried it on my Verizon VX9800 and it didn’t work.  In its defense my phone (and operating system) is two years old now, a lifetime in the computer world.

Obviously, other operating systems such as those by Microsoft and Google will eventually have to respond to this by offering WiFi access of their own.  Perhaps even Apple will join the fray.  After all, this sort of access only affects the wireless providers and not the device manufacturers.  The providers aren’t bothered because most plans have a data cap and they can make additional money from people that go over that cap.

Nonetheless, this new technology offering is a bit of a game changer.  I currently don’t have any information regarding the price or availability, however with it the iPhone will have a new competitor in the form of the iPod touch.  What do you think?  Will this technology wean people off the iPhone?