Samsung Mondi, first WiMAX MID in US...maybe?

This week, Samsung confirmed to Phone Scoop that the SWD-M100 Mondi device demoed at Mobile World Congress '09 is coming to the Clear WiMAX network in the US.

The tablet runs Windows Mobile 6.1, so the 4.3" touchscreen is therefore resistive (i.e., it requires a stylus). It slides up to reveal a QWERTY keypad and 8-direction control pad, there is a 3 megapixel autofocus camera facing outward and a VGA webcam facing the user. It has a microSD slot for memory expansion, but there is not yet a spec telling what kind of onboard memory and processing power it will provide.

Samsung Mondi

The device looks very similar to the Nokia N810 WiMAX Edition mobile Internet device (MID), which was scheduled to come to Sprint's XOHM WiMAX network in the US, but was reportedly discontinued at the beginning of 2009.

Several years ago, Nokia was one of the strongest supporters of WiMAX in the US. But by January 2009, the 4G standard had still only been deployed in two U.S. cities (compared to the 453 deployments that have begun in 134 other countries). Even now, deployments aren't expected to break the twenty biggest U.S. markets until next year. Any technology Nokia conceived in 2005 as cutting edge U.S-exclusive 4G hardware would practically be dead on arrival by 2010.

iSuppli reported today that Nokia has pulled back from outsourcing device production to Electronics Manufacturing Service (EMS) providers and Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) as a result of weak global demand for those devices.

So if the Mondi is going to replace the N810 WiMAX Edition and attempt to be marginally closer to the cutting edge, or at least offer a product that will be in demand, it's certainly going to have trouble doing it with Windows Mobile 6.1.

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