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Friday, January 06, 2006

:: LAPTOP Magazine • Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device PPC-6700 ::

:: LAPTOP Magazine • Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device PPC-6700 ::Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device PPC-6700
The EV-DO and Wi-Fi-enabled PPC-6700 is powerful and versatile enough to be the only device you take on the road.
Price: $599 ($449 with instant rebate)

by Mark Spoonauer
Date Posted: 01/05/2006

As the first truly formidable competitor to the Treo, the Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device PPC-6700 beats Palm’s device to the punch when it comes to speed, wireless connectivity, and keyboard input. This 416-MHz Pocket PC slider leverages the advantages of Microsoft’s new Windows 5.0 operating system, including soft keys for easier one-handed navigation and PowerPoint Mobile for viewing presentations. It grabs e-mail and downloads Web pages in a hurry thanks to the inclusion of both EV-DO and Wi-Fi connectivity. It’s not the lightest PDA/phone combo, but the PPC-6700 certainly makes the most of its size.

Unlike traditional smart phones, the 6.1-ounce, one-inch thick PPC-6700 takes a bold step forward by incorporating a keyboard that slides out from the left side of the device. This action automatically switches the orientation of the 240 x 320-pixel screen from portrait to landscape, but in most instances there was at least a one to two second delay. Because the keyboard layout is larger than what you’ll find on a Treo or BlackBerry, you’ll be entering everything from e-mail to changes to Word documents quickly and with few errors; no lengthy practice sessions required.

Up front, a useful joystick controls scrolling through documents and selecting items or links. The common dedicated Talk and End buttons make an appearance as well. The most welcome design touch is the pair of soft buttons that you’ll find both on the front of the device and to the left and right of the keyboard. These buttons’ functions change depending on the application and enable you to do more without having to take the stylus out of its holster within the antenna. For example, pressing the Menu button within Outlook Mobile pulls up several options, including Reply, Forward, and Save to Contacts.

The rest of the design is fairly straightforward, with a MiniSD memory card slot on top, a sliding volume control flanked by Launch keys for the voice recorder and Internet Explorer Mobile on the left, and a Launch key/Shutter button for the 1.3-megapixel camera on the right side. That camera isn’t just for show. You can easily attach pictures to outgoing e-mails or to contact entries so you can immediately identify incoming callers.

As a Web surfing and e-mail device, the PPC-6700 shines because of its compatibility with Sprint’s EV-DO network. With speeds in the 400 to 700 Kbps range, we loaded most Web pages within 10 to 15 seconds, and you’ll have no problems downloading attachments to your device using either Pocket Outlook or Sprint’s Business Connection service. Sprint has initiated its EV-DO rollout in more than 75 markets with about 30 business districts fully covered, which will increase to 56 by December. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless has 171 markets fully covered.

Sprint beats Verizon with its monthly data plan: it’s only $15 per month for unlimited data on this device, compared to $49 per month for Verizon’s smart phones. Alas, you can’t use the PPC-6700 as a wireless modem for your notebook using its Bluetooth connection, but Sprint and Microsoft promise a software upgrade to enable dial-up networking capability in the coming weeks. If you decide to use this device as a modem, Sprint will recommend that you step up to a more expensive data plan.

If you find yourself in an area without EV-DO, you can either rely on Sprint’s slower, but tolerable 1xRTT network (50 to 70 Kbps) or turn on the PPC-6700’s Wi-Fi radio using the handy Wireless Manager utility. The connection proved even faster than EV-DO in our tests, loading most Web sites in about six seconds. However, at times we couldn’t connect at all over Wi-Fi, even though the device could see the network.

With 64MB of RAM and 128MB of what Microsoft calls persistent system memory at your disposal, PPC-6700 owners won’t have to worry about their data disappearing should their battery die. With about 4.7 hours of usage time, you can use this for a good chunk of your day before reaching for the USB charger. Adding a MiniSD card will give you more room for your MP3s, pictures, and other files, but keep in mind that at the moment you’re limited to 1GB of capacity, compared to 2GB for fuller size SD card slots.

As a phone, the PPC-6700 performed decently in our tests in Manhattan, San Francisco, and New Jersey, delivering mostly clear audio quality. If you’re in an office or conference room, we definitely recommend engaging the speakerphone, as it was at times difficult to hear the other caller unless we had the handset positioned the right way on our ear.

In addition to Microsoft’s own programs, the PPC-6700 comes with a free trial of Action Info, an application that gives you instant access to news, weather, and other info form such brands as AP News, AccuWeather, Restaurant Row, eBay, and Amazon. If you’re into listening to audio books, check out the pre-loaded AudiblePlayer. You can get $100 cash back when you sign up for a 12-month subscription (

Our biggest gripe with this PDA/phone combo is its display. Yes, it looks great indoors, but we could barely make out the numbers on the Phone screen outside on a sunny day. You’ll either have to hold the PPC-6700 at the right angle to see the onscreen dialpad or slide open the keyboard and use the numeric keys.

The Treo 650 remains number one when it comes to ease of use and sheer value, but the PPC-6700 will reward you for the $50 premium with faster Web connections and the most comfortable smart phone keyboard yet. It’s easily the best Windows Mobile Pocket PC phone on the market.

View QuickSpecs for Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device PPC-6700 >>

Palm Treo 700w Gallery (MobileBurn)

Palm Treo 700w Gallery (MobileBurn)Quick Hands-On Impression of the Treo 700w

Earlier this evening I had the chance to play around with Palm's new Treo 700w, the company's first device to run the Windows Mobile OS. This new Microsoft OS running Treo had much the same physical characteristics of the Treo 650, and even the Windows Mobile OS itself had more than a few Palm-like customizations made to it. Enough so that existing Treo 650 users should feel reasonably at home with the new device.

There is no Windows "home" key on the 700w, as there is on all other Windows Mobile devices I have used. Instead, the green call button handles that function - except when a contact or phone number happens to be highlighted on the display. Another change from the standard WinMobile 5.0 is that when you hold down the OK button you are brought to the running programs list, which is a nice touch.

The keypad layout and such were good, as expected, but the material that the buttons were made out of felt quite hard. Even when compared to earlier Treo devices. None of this will be a real problem in using the device, though, and I expect that the Treo 700w is going to be one of the best selling Windows Mobile devices on the market when all is said and done.

Worlds first mobile Skype Solution - VoSKY™ Call Center @ Mobility Today

Worlds first mobile Skype Solution - VoSKY™ Call Center @ Mobility Today
Worlds first mobile Skype Solution - VoSKY™ Call Center

By agent680, posted 8 hours ago
Reader Comments: 0

Make or Receive Skype Calls from Any Phone, Wherever You Are

LAS VEGAS (2006 International CES, January 6, 2006)- Until now, making a Skype call required being near your computer. Now you can make or receive Skype calls from any mobile phone as well as any handset in the house or office with the VoSKY' Call Center from Actiontec. This small hardware accessory makes it possible to use the Skype service to call across the country or across the world for free or at online rates, wherever you are.

As the world’s first mobile Skype solution, the VoSKY Call Center enables Skype subscribers to use their cell phones to talk to their Skype buddies for free, or to non-Skype users anywhere in the world for the cost of a local call. By plugging the device into an Internet-connected PC and any stationary phone with which it is being used, users have the ability to:

• Place Skype and SkypeOut calls from any mobile or stationary phone, simply by calling the phone number to which the Call Center is connected and following the voice prompts to initiate the call.

• Receive incoming Skype or SkypeIn calls on any mobile or stationary phone, using an incoming call forwarding feature that allows the Call Center to direct Internet calls to any phone number of the user’s choice.

• Get notified on any phone when Skype contacts come online, using a call return feature that enables the Call Center to call any phone number when a previously unavailable buddy signs on. Users can then call that person by pressing the “1” button on their telephone keypad.

These features extend Skype’s reach not only to cell phones but also to consumers who have no broadband connection at home. In that case, the VoSKY Call Center can be installed at the office, and users can call their office number to make Skype or SkypeOut calls.

The product can also be used by Internet cafés in countries with limited home broadband connectivity to provide an inexpensive but revenue-generating long-distance service. Customers can place Skype or SkypeOut calls from home by making a local call to the café and then routing calls through the VoSKY Call Center for a fee.

Skype is now a central part of voice communications for millions worldwide, but until now consumers have been limited to using Skype while being near their computers,” said Gunjan Bhow, Actiontec’s Vice President of Marketing. “Our VoSKY Call Center frees Skype subscribers to use the service from any mobile, home or office phone in the world for the first time.

The VoSKY Call Center plugs into the USB port of the user’s PC as well as any stationary phone with which it is being used. It allows the same phone to be used for both regular and Internet calls, avoiding the complications of needing separate handsets for each. It supports call waiting as well as Skype speed dialing; incorporates state-of-the-art echo-cancellation technology for signal clarity; and requires no network configuration, change in firewall or router settings, or external power supply. Power is provided by the USB port of the PC.

The VoSKY Call Center is available immediately for $69.95 at

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Akihabara News - SCH-i830, the PocketPC phone for Verizon

Akihabara News - SCH-i830, the PocketPC phone for VerizonSCH-i830, the PocketPC phone for Verizon
Samsung presents their SCH-i830, a phone for the US market and more specifically for the Verizon operator. It's similar to the SCH-i730 but this SCH-i830 packs everything into a smaller package! Unfortunately the device runs on 2003SE Phone Edition (and not WM5). It has a QWERTY keyboard and is CDMA EV-DO compatible. The good news is that it's also GSM/GPRS compatible, so it can be used anywhere on this planet!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Provider of TV Movie Channels Looks to Expand to PC's and Video Players - New York Times

Provider of TV Movie Channels Looks to Expand to PC's and Video Players - New York TimesJanuary 3, 2006
Provider of TV Movie Channels Looks to Expand to PC's and Video Players

Starz Entertainment Group is introducing a $9.99-a-month subscription service that will allow people to download movies from the Internet and watch them on their computers, portable video players and television sets.

The new offering, called Vongo, comes at a time when movie studios and television networks are rapidly expanding their efforts to distribute their content over the Internet, experimenting with both paid and advertiser-supported models.

"We see a market out there of people who are saying, 'I want to choose what I want to watch, control how I watch it and watch it wherever I am,' " said Robert Greene, a senior vice president at Starz, which operates pay movie channels under the Starz or Encore name and is owned by Liberty Media, the company controlled by John C. Malone, the cable entrepreneur.

Since 2004, Starz has offered a movie download subscription service, called Starz Ticket, using technology from RealNetworks. But the RealNetworks software does not allow movies to be downloaded to hand-held devices. With Vongo, Starz will shift to technology from Microsoft that will allow movies to be downloaded and watched on portable video players using Microsoft's software.

Until now, portable players have been costly and have found few buyers. But that is starting to change. Lower-priced players are expected to be introduced later this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And of course, interest in portable video has soared with the Apple Computer video iPod, and the popularity of $1.99 episodes of TV shows sold at the iTunes online store.

Microsoft will promote the Vongo service in a coming release of its Media Player software. Separately, Starz will also offer Vongo through Sony's Connect download service. Until now, Connect has mainly sold music, but executives involved with Sony's plans say that this week the company will announce an expansion to video downloads as well.

Starz, which is offering a test version of the service at, has so far not been able to work out an arrangement for Vongo to run on iPods.

This is a significant problem, said Josh Bernoff, an analyst with Forrester Research.

The Microsoft Portable Media Center devices "have not done particularly well so far," he said. "They don't have the momentum that the iPod does."

He said there would be a modest market for Vongo, mainly among people who want to watch movies on their computers, or more likely on laptops while traveling.

Apple is expected to offer some sort of expanded video offering at the MacWorld conference in San Francisco next week. While Apple is closed-mouthed about its plans, there is considerable speculation among industry analysts that Apple will introduce a device that will let people watch video from the Internet on their TV sets.

So far, however, Apple has not offered any subscription services for digital content (subscription services use technology that disables the music or video files on users' PC's and devices if they stop paying their monthly subscription bill). Indeed, Apple's chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, has been outspoken in his belief that consumers want to own rather than rent what they listen to and watch.

As a subscription service, Vongo will allow users to download as many movies as they want for $9.99 a month. They will be able to choose from an ever-changing roster of about 800 movies, including about 300 films in rotation on the Starz cable channel (mainly movies released in theaters one to three years earlier) and 500 older titles.

Several years ago, when Starz renewed its long-term contracts with studios, including those owned by Sony and the Walt Disney Company, to put movies on its cable channels, it bought the rights to use them on the Internet as well. This means that other digital services cannot offer these movies in rental or subscription services during the period covered by the Starz contract.

Most of the other studios sell their subscription rights to HBO or Showtime, which have been less active in digital distribution than Starz.

How much interest consumers have in downloading movies remains to be seen. The legal online offerings so far - Starz's subscription service and pay-per-view downloads from MovieLink and CinemaNow - have attracted relatively few customers. (The pay services have to compete with illegal free trading in movie and television files over the Internet.)

Some argue that most Internet users are interested only in short video clips, like news reports and the humorous video oddities that ricochet across the Web.

Yet Apple's early success in selling downloads of hourlong television programs, a service that began by offering the hit series "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" for the video iPod, is changing that perception.

Mr. Greene argued that Starz had learned from its earlier experience and thought that it now had the formula to attract more customers to download movies.

Vongo will be cheaper than Starz Ticket, which costs $12.95 a month and offers only about 300 movies. Vongo will also be adding some shorter original content, like music concerts and sports coverage.

Starz will continue to offer the Starz Ticket service through RealNetworks, but will put all its promotional effort into Vongo.

Mr. Greene said that the new Microsoft-based service was easier for consumers to use and that the company's deal with Microsoft was more economically advantageous than its deal with RealNetworks, although he declined to be specific about the terms.

Slingbox takes the shows on the road | CNET

Slingbox takes the shows on the road | CNET News.comSlingbox takes the shows on the road

By The Hollywood Reporter

Story last modified Tue Jan 03 05:17:00 PST 2006

Sling Media plans to announce Thursday that consumers can use a wide range of mobile devices to watch their home television from anywhere in the world.

The company is set to unveil new software that adds this capability to its Slingbox hardware this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Jason Krikorian, Sling Media's co-founder and head of business development, said support for mobile devices has been part of the company's vision but that the initial focus was on the PC because of the broadband connection.

"There are solutions for live and recorded TV on mobile phones, but now for the first time you can have full access to every single channel you've got at your house," he said. "It's not just a TV experience on your phone--it's your TV experience, like you have at home when you're on your couch."

The new mobile software works with any device that uses Microsoft's Windows Mobile Platform versions 4.0 or 5.0. A visual version of a remote control pops up on the screen, making it a fairly straightforward process to choose whether to watch television live from one's home cable set-top box or satellite receiver or something on a digital video recorder.

"You can watch your home TiVo from the backseat of a car driving on the 101," Krikorian said.

"You can watch 'Lost' the day after it airs without paying two bucks," added Sling Media's public relations director Brian Jaquet, in a reference to the television programs sold on Apple Computer's iTunes store for viewing on an iPod.

Sling Media does not collect any fees beyond the initial $250 purchase price of the Slingbox hardware. The only additional cost is for the mobile data service at whatever rate the person's carrier charges.

Krikorian said the new software also improves picture quality, besides including more customization options and other enhancements for accessing home entertainment from a remote computer.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Data, Music, Video: Raising a Curtain on Future Gadgetry - New York Times

Data, Music, Video: Raising a Curtain on Future Gadgetry - New York TimesJanuary 2, 2006
Data, Music, Video: Raising a Curtain on Future Gadgetry

The flat-panel televisions will be getting bigger, the MP3 players and cellphones will be getting smaller. And almost everything will be getting cheaper.

But the biggest trend expected at the International Consumer Electronics Show, which begins this week in Las Vegas, is that these machines will be communicating with one another. The theme of this year's show might best be described as Convergence: This Time We Mean It.

For more than a decade, manufacturers of consumer electronics like televisions and audio gear have talked about blending their products with personal computers, so that consumers can enjoy a seamless stream of data, video and music anywhere. It has not happened, because the two industries do not have compatible technology standards and the requisite high-speed Internet connections have not been widespread enough.

This year all that changes, say executives who will be introducing new products at the show. They say that consumers will finally be able to sling images and sound wirelessly around a room or an entire house. The major electronics makers will be showing TV's with computer capabilities and phones that will play video and music, as well as the next generation of digital recording and storage devices.

While technological convergence may now be possible, some fear the industries have not yet made connecting all those devices simple enough for the average user.

"There is still a lot of confusion around the connected home," said Van L. Baker, a market analyst with Gartner, a technology research and consulting firm. "Reducing it will be the challenge to keeping the momentum going."

Getting consumers past the confusion of how to link, say, a PC to a TV will be the next big hurdle.

The show comes after a very good year for consumer electronics. Plasma and liquid-crystal display televisions, MP3 players and digital cameras with five or more megapixels of resolution have been big sellers.

"We don't see any reason that this will slow down anytime soon," Mr. Baker said. "The transition of entertainment from analog to digital, of time-shifting and place-shifting, is just getting under way."

Attendees of the electronics show, the biggest trade show in the country, will be scrambling to get a first glimpse at some of the products that will fuel the growth of the industry, which represents $126 billion in annual sales. The annual exhibition is off limits to the general public, but it is expected to attract 130,000 executives, dealers, journalists and investors.

More than 2,500 exhibitors, a record, spread across 1.6 million square feet, another record, will try to grab their attention. This year, 6 percent of the exhibitors will be from China, illustrating that nation's significance as a major player in the industry. Among foreign attendees, China will rank third, behind Canada and Taiwan.

The show is more than just a display of new technological toys. It is also a forum for industry executives to forge alliances and present new business strategies.

Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, will give his vision of the future in a speech Wednesday evening. Sir Howard Stringer, the chairman and chief executive of Sony, will take his turn Thursday morning. On Friday morning Terry Semel, the chairman and chief executive of Yahoo, will speak, followed later that day by Larry Page, a co-founder of Google.

Intel plans a major announcement about its new Viiv (rhymes with drive) multimedia platform, which will power PC's built to deliver digital entertainment. Intel hopes that Viiv will transform the home computer in the same way that its Centrino platform transformed the laptop into a mobile communications device. Paul S. Otellini, the chief executive of Intel, will give a speech Thursday evening outlining Intel's road map.

Manufacturers are expecting another record year in 2006, but with continuing declines in prices. Across a broad swath of categories like cameras and audio and DVD players, consumers will pay less and get more features. Even in the flat-panel TV industry, prices dropped as much as 40 percent in 2005. This trend will translate into slower revenue growth in 2006.

As for new areas of growth, analysts are predicting big sales of game consoles in 2006 as Sony introduces its PlayStation 3 and Nintendo brings out its Revolution console. Both devices, like the new Microsoft Xbox 360, can be used as the central node for a wirelessly networked home.

Electronics companies will also be introducing new home media servers and TV's that can receive digital content wirelessly from a PC or via an HDMI cable (for high-definition multimedia interface). Another hot topic at the show will be IPTV, or Internet protocol television, which sends programming over the Internet through a broadband connection.

Then there are the companies, like Elan Home Systems, that want to get right in the middle and sell devices to control all the networked appliances. Elan will be at the show introducing a control pad for everything in your house, from electronic devices to the drapes.

While major players in the electronics industry continue to squabble over the format of the next generation of DVD's - Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD - both factions will be showing products that consumers can buy this year. The new players will be expensive, some costing more than $1,000. Still, the industry expects to sell about a half-million of the new players in 2006, mostly as components in PC's rather than as stand-alone devices.

In the audio sector, companies are seeking ways to take advantage of the popularity and dominance of the Apple iPod. Several manufacturers are planning to announce products that will work with the iPod to move music to devices around the house.

Another big trend, said Steve Tirado, chief executive of Silicon Image, a semiconductor maker, is bigger storage devices. "People want a place to consolidate their digital media."

Ross Rubin, the director for industry analysis at NPD, a market research firm, said that apart from home networking systems, some new technologies would make their way to consumer markets this year.

Canon and Toshiba will both present televisions with surface-conduction electron-emitter displays. The technology produces crisper pictures than can be offered by existing flat-panel televisions, the manufacturers say. The sets will go on sale later this year.

Other Asian TV manufacturers will also demonstrate sets built with new organic light-emitting diodes that use less energy and could one day be cheaper to produce than liquid-crystal display panels.

Another notable product development to be seen at the show is the miniaturization of cathode-ray tube technology to fit into flat-panel televisions, allowing what could be the best-quality picture yet. "They will be very high end, very expensive," said Mr. Rubin. But like that of so many products at the show, the price will eventually go down.

Those Born to Shop Can Now Use Cellphones - New York Times

Those Born to Shop Can Now Use Cellphones - New York TimesJanuary 2, 2006
E-Commerce Report
Those Born to Shop Can Now Use Cellphones

Calling all retailers: 2006 may finally be the year that consumers start buying goods with their cellphones.

With people already spending billions on ring tones, wallpaper and games for their phones, analysts and retail executives say they believe it will not be much of a leap to get them to use their phones to buy shoes, books and laptops.

"This will start to show up on the radar screen in 2006," said Roger Entner, an analyst with Ovum, a technology consulting firm in London. "The more different pieces we add to these Swiss Army phones, the easier it is to get user acceptance for the next application. And especially around next Christmas, the convenience of shopping on a computer or a cellphone will beat the mall hands down."

Back in 1999, electronic retailers like created miniature Web sites that could be browsed on cellphone handsets, but these companies overlooked something critical: few consumers owned phones that could render images similar to those displayed on a personal computer. Now, Mr. Entner said, 190 million people in the United States have a cellphone, and at least 150 million of those have a color screen.

Back then, consumers cared little about using their cellphones for anything other than chatting. Now they are quickly accepting phones as multipurpose devices. This year, consumers will spend more than $3 billion on ring tones, video clips, games and other services - to say nothing of the money they are paying phone companies for the extra air time required to use those services.

EBay, which like offered users years ago a way to shop its site on cellphones, plans to introduce to Verizon users this month a new version of mobile phone technology that will allow subscribers, for $4 a month, to browse the site, bid on items and receive alerts whenever they have been outbid. The service, which is already available to users of Cingular and Sprint, is a premium version of a stripped-down program that is available free on any phone with a Web browser. EBay introduced the free version in June.

"These kinds of services are still pretty new in the U.S.," said Chris Donlay, an eBay spokesman, "so I think it'll take a while to get some critical mass, but people are using our service, and they seem to like it."

The initiative costs eBay little. The company commissioned Bonfire Media, a technology company based in Los Altos, Calif., to build the free site, and Bonfire built the premium application on its own. EBay, Bonfire and the cellphone companies share the revenue for the premium version, which has attracted tens of thousands of users, according to Bonfire. The company said hundreds of thousands of people had used the free version.

One of eBay's challengers,, which sells travel services and products for fixed prices and at auction, also recently forayed deeper into the wireless realm. In November it started Mobile O, where cellphone users can use their phones to browse and buy anything on Overstock's Web site.

The service was initially intended for customers of Verizon Wireless, who pay $5 to activate it. Jeanne De Sanctis, chief executive of mRocket, which developed the Mobile O application for Overstock and markets similar services to other companies, said Mobile O would be available on Sprint this week .

Patrick M. Byrne, Overstock's chief executive, has personally helped develop the company's mobile efforts, investing more than $200,000 of his own money in mRocket, and lending Overstock engineers to the project. Should mRocket's service gain widespread commercial success, Mr. Byrne's stake in the company would transfer to Overstock. "We do see the number of orders on Mobile O gradually picking up, but it's still a tiny percentage of our business," Mr. Byrne said. "My hunch is that this is going to start really happening more in '07."

Overstock has begun mentioning the service in its advertising campaigns and featuring it more prominently on its Web site. "I view this as a lottery ticket we're paying maybe $300,000 a year to buy," including staff costs, Mr. Byrne said. "Maybe that's all lost money, but if American consumers ever adopt this, we're first in the game."

Security has been a concern for both retailers and cellphone companies; neither wants to be held responsible by consumers if their credit card information is pilfered as it is entered into their handsets.

EBay avoids that problem by not giving users the option of paying by phone. They can win auctions or even secure most "Buy It Now" purchases using their cellphones, but they must pay for the purchases through their PC's. Overstock allows users to tap in credit card or login information securely, using data encryption methods.

Mr. Byrne said he expected many early Mobile O subscribers to use it to compare prices while they were shopping. Alex Poon, chief executive of Bonfire Media, said he had witnessed such behavior from many users of eBay's mobile service.

Consumer Reports magazine added to the cellphone shopping trend with last month's introduction of ShopSmart. For $4 a month, Verizon Wireless and Sprint customers can use their phones to check prices and read product reviews, among other things, on thousands of items.

Of course, the biggest beneficiaries of these services could be cellphone companies. Chris Matherly, associate director of entertainment products and services for Verizon Wireless, said the company had "seen this migration coming for quite some time."

"Data products and services are growing, and as that happens these early adopters from three years ago want to do more than just download videos and games," Mr. Matherly said.

But even though big names like Consumer Reports, eBay and Overstock have recently given the mobile commerce trend some momentum, Mr. Matherly said Verizon was not ready to put its full marketing muscle behind the idea.

"We're not to the point where you'll see a national campaign for that's Verizon-sponsored," Mr. Matherly said. "We're not quite there yet."