According to a Reuters news story, Cingular started shipping a new smartphone (the 2125) today that's based on the new Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone OS. Said the story:
The Cingular-branded 2125 Smartphone, made by High Tech Computer Corp. will go on sale for $199 on Wednesday. Cingular, a venture of AT&T Inc and BellSouth Corp., is aiming the phone at both business and consumer customers, spokesman John Kampfe said.....It will be the U.S. first phone based on Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 software that has a typical cellphone dial pad instead of a tiny computer-style keyboard.
Earlier today, a press release from Microsoft came across the transom with the misleading title Cingular Launches First Windows Mobile 5.0 Powered Smartphone. As the Reuters story points out, that honor actually goes to Palm, Inc. which launched its Windows Mobile 5.0-powered Treo two weeks ago. Perhaps they meant Cingular's first. Anyway, as I said during an interview with the folks at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center, I think Microsoft smartphone operating system is pretty hot and I can't wait to give it a whirl. Microsoft has really stayed the course and stuck to its guns when it comes to what can and should be done with a smartphone OS.
But if I had to pick my dream combination, it wouldn't be either of these first two offerings. If I had my choice, I'd want Windows Mobile 5.0 running on a Motorola Q that's provisioned by Verizon Wireless. As I've written before, the cool factor of a phone is not the most important factor. It won't be so cool if you can't get a connection. Of the major cellcos, Verizon Wireless offers the best connectivity in the places that I frequent (and with its high speed EV-DO network no less) including my house. It may be different for you and never trust the coverage maps. Talk to your friends who subscribe to the different services and see what they say.
Meanwhile, as for those of you that like to argue that the blogosphere is a bad place to find credible information (when compared to the established media), I'd like to point out that while the established media was carrying news stories about the new Cingular device, Microsoft's Scoble had already written about how to use the phone as a modem (yesterday). The blogosphere: Credible. Fast(er).