updated 09:15 am EST, Fri February 9, 2007
Zune Phone Preemption
The heavily-rumored Zune phone is likely to show up far earlier than expected, a source speaking to CrunchGear said on Friday. Citing the same contact that first presented news of the Zune phone to the site, editor Matt Hickey claimed that Microsoft was not only in development of the hybrid device for a release in 2007, but that it should reach stores by May -- a month before Apple's official June launch of the iPhone. An official announcement could be made before mid-March.
Such an early release would be possible based on the device's existing development history, the tip said. Although news of the device has only just surfaced, the device has allegedly been in development for some time and was converted into a Zune device as a direct response to the iPhone announcement in January.
The technology news site further claimed that the use of wide-area WiMAX broadband, as hinted at by a recent FCC filing, was likely given the increasing deployment of the technology by Sprint and other carriers. By allowing owners to connect to the Internet within miles of an access point, Zune phone users could both place calls as well as share music between each other on a national basis, instead of resoring to short-range transfers through Wi-Fi.
Notably, however, the OFDM technology in the Microsoft application is not limited to WiMAX and may include variants of 802.11a or 802.11g instead.