Here’s an interesting review of the year in Internet access appliances, from a site devoted to news about Net devices. As the review points out, wireless access to the Web really started to take off in 1999, with Sprint PCS introducing a Web phone service, and Nokia selling WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) cell phones like hotcakes.
The review predicts that 2000 will see a boom in non-PC Net devices, but errs (I believe) in predicting that boom will start with fixed appliances such as set-top boxes connected to TVs. These appliances haven’t experienced a boom yet; why should 2000 be any different? Clearly, Internet-enabled phones offer people something they want and can use — while the set-top box manufacturers still haven’t figured out a compelling way to integrate TV and the Net. That’s why I think the coming year’s boom in Net appliances will focus on wireless devices, starting with cell phones and handheld organizers.
Net Dreams Turned Into Reality In 1999