Verizon’s XV6800 Release Date: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Based on my recent conversations with Verizon employees, I think XV 6800 is going to be released in or around November.

Now, please keep in mind that no Verizon manager has come right out and said to me, “Luthar, I assure you that the XV6800 is going to be released in November of 2007 for the Christmas season.”

Absolutely no one has said that!

What I am saying is based on my assessment of nonverbal cues given to me by Verizon employees in lengthy conversations with them. Essentially my prediction is based on reading between the lines in the talks that I have had with Verizon reps.

One Verizon manager, probably in a position to know, said to me clearly, “If I knew the release date of XV6800, I would not be able to tell you.”

I respect that. That’s just being honest with the customer.

But I am more than just a customer. I am an analyst and a professor. I watch the technology scene and try to figure out what is going on. That is what I do.

It’s my business to know what technologies and products are coming out and how these will be impacting organizations and their work environment and quality of life.

My interest in XV6800 is both personal and professional. It’s personal because my old Verizon phone is pretty busted up. Since it is several years old, I am eligible for a discount on an upgrade to a new phone.

For professional reasons, I want to upgrade to XV6800 because it is going to have the latest windows Mobile 6.0 operating software and the windows applications I use at work everyday. Further, the built in Outlook in XV6800 will allow me to synchronize it with my Microsoft exchange server at work. This means that I will be able to get student e-mails and those of other professors on my XV6800.

I don’t know if that is good or bad. I do know that I need a new phone. I am not interested in music or mp3 players and stuff like that. So the iPhone and other gimmicky and fancy looking overpriced phones are out.

I need a phone that gets the job done. For me that is XV6800.

Now, what I am writing today is based on conversations I had with Verizon employees a couple of weeks ago. Things could have changed since then.

I have seen rumors on the net that the XV6800 is going to be released in September, meaning this month! Some are saying the release date is September 17.

However, I am sticking for now with my intuitive prediction based on assessment of nonverbal cues and reading between the lines in my conversations with Verizon employees.

I predict that the XV6800 will be released to regular customers sometime in November before the start of Christmas sales season. Perhaps, from Verizon’s marketing perspective, before or during the Thanksgiving holiday may be the logical time to release the XV6800.

Verizon’s XV6800: Still In The Testing Phase? By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

On July 22, 2007 I asked the question “Where is Verizon’s XV6800”?

Given the rumors of its imminent release since December 2006, http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2006/12/22/verizon-utstarcom-xv6800-the-cdma-tytn-lives/, it is a question many Verizon subscribers who want to upgrade from their XV6700 have been asking.

Here is an early picture claiming to be that of Verizon’s XV6800. It came out on engadgetmobile website in February of 2007 along with a second review of the XV6800 features.

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http://www.engadgetmobile.com/2007/02/09/verizon-xv6800-in-the-flesh/

I followed up my original post on XV6700 and XV6800 by doing an analysis of the legal battle between Qualcomm and Broadcom and its potential impact on Verizon’s introduction of XV6800.

My second post ended on an optimistic note for the early release date of XV6800 based on the recent agreement between Verizon and Broadcom. The Verizon-Broadcom agreement apparently frees Verizon to offer PDA/Cell phones like the XV6800 which have a Qualcomm chip that allegedly infringes on Broadcom patents.

However, there is still no word on the XV6800 release date even after the Verizon-Broadcom agreement which should have ended the mystery.

I talked again to a Verizon’s customer service rep on July 27 on the phone and asked for information on the upcoming XV6800 which is meant to be a successor to their XV6700 model. The Verizon customer rep said that he knew nothing about any XV6800 and they usually get only one week notice before a new product comes out.

I pointed out to the rep that there had already been many discussions on the web of the XV6800 since the Christmas season of 2006 and so it was surprising that no official information is available from Verizon.

The Verizon rep was sympathetic and suggested that I go to phonescoop.com.

When I went to phonescoop.com and looked around I found this. The site has good information about the XV6800 but most of it is common knowledge by now to the XV6800 fans. The phonescoop site does not seem to mention that the XV6800 has 256 megabytes of RAM which is a substantial increase from XV6700.

The next day, on July 28, I visited a large Verizon store hoping for a face to face conversation with an experienced Verizon employee.

After about 10 minutes of waiting, a well dressed gentleman came up to me and said that he could help me. Not losing any time, I asked him whether he could tell me the release date for the XV6800 as I was waiting to buy it.

Here is the Whole Conversation about XV6800.

Luthar: I am very interested in buying the XV6800 when it comes out. Can you tell me anything about its release date.

Verizon Rep (VR): No, I can’t do that. I don’t have that information.

Luthar: Do you think it would be out in two or three weeks? Would that be a good estimate?

VR: I don’t know. I just don’t know.

Seeing that he was not denying the very existence of the XV6800, I asked, “What could be taking so long for Verizon to bring it out..”

VR: Testing. Verizon has to thoroughly test a phone before they release it. If a phone does not pass the tests, it does not get released.

Luthar: What tests, what kind of tests are done on these phones. Is this not just an upgrade from the XV6700? What new testing are they doing?

VR: Tests, tests, tests have to be done to make sure everything works…..

Luthar: OK. Does Verizon have another phone like the XV6800 with a sliding keyboard? I guess what I am asking is that whether there is another phone that I can buy that has some of the XV6800 features. Would one of the Blackberry phones be a similar phone or a close competitor for it for Verizon customers who are waiting for an upgrade to XV6800?

VR: Not really. We don’t have any other phones at this time with the sliding keyboard except the XV6700. Would you like to look at that?

Luthar: I have already looked at that and tried it out. I don’t want to get the XV6700 if the XV6800 is going to be released in a few weeks.

VR: I don’t know when that phone will be released. It could be a few months. It all depends on the testing. If a phone fails the test, it does not get released.

Luthar: A few months? There have been pictures of it all over the web since December of 2006.

VR: I can’t really tell you anything more than I have.

***********************************************

The conversation left me wondering again what the Verizon strategy is.

When Apple was getting ready to release the iPhone, a big media sensation was created that ultimately had people waiting in lines for the iPhone.

Verizon’s strategy seems to be just the opposite and there has not been any official word on the XV6800 release date at all.

For many business people and professors who use windows applications including Microsoft Outlook to synchronize to their Exchange servers at work, the XV6800 is a far superior choice to the iPhone.

Could Verizon be missing an opportunity to market the XV6800 to its customers who could potentially be switching to Sprint to get its twin the Sprint Mogul (PPC-6800)?

Time will tell what is going on behind the scenes with the Verizon XV6800 and how this fits in with the Verizon’s strategy for marketing this device which many consider to have much more utility for their work than the Apple’s iPhone.

Verizon’s XV 6800 Mystery Solved? By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

After thinking some more about why Verizon’s XV 6800 model has not yet made it to the stores, I did some research and realized that there is a logical reason for it. Evidently the problem seems to have now been solved by Verizon and so the XV 6800 should be available in the near future.

Here is the story, I think.

It seems that Verizon’s XV 6800 had been delayed due to the ongoing legal dispute between Qualcomm and Broadcom.

How?

The Facts Follow:

The International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled last month (June 2007) that Qualcomm’s 3G chips infringe on certain Broadcom patents.

Therefore, the ITC banned future imports of products to the US containing Qualcomm chips.

Guess what? High Tech Computer Corporation (HTC) which is the manufacturer of Verizon’s cutting edge XV 6800 and its twin the Sprint Mogul PPC-6800 powers the 6800 models with a Qualcomm chip (MSM7500)!

So, although the legal dispute over patents started with Qualcomm and Broadcom, a number of chip users of Qualcomm in the U.S. are affected including Verizon and Sprint! This explains the delay in the XV 6800. Some of the information on this can be found at the following url.

http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtml?story_id=020001YSTWYW

After the ITC issued its ruling to ban the import of Qualcomm chip based products that infringe on Broadcom’s patents, the reaction by Verizon was predictable and an unhappy one. Verizon and its customers would definitely be hurt severely by such a ban.

The ITC ruling was appealed to President Bush who has the right to affirm, modify, or veto the ruling within 60 days.

Verizon, however, apparently had second thoughts about waiting for President Bush to make a decision on the Qualcomm case. In a brilliant tactical move, Verizon, bypassing its partner Qualcomm, reached an agreement directly with Broadcom that would allow Verizon to sell products containing Qualcomm chips even though these chips may infringe on Broadcom patents.

The Verizon-Broadcom agreement stipulates that Verizon Wireless will pay Broadcom $6 per phone (up to $200 million) for rights to the patent in question.

http://techpolicysummit.blogs.com/tech_policy_summit/intellectual_property/index.html

This will allow Verizon to start selling their latest phones containing Qualcomm chips in the U.S. market without fear of Broadcom as Broadcom has now been paid off. In order to make Broadcom even happier, Verizon also agreed to stop helping Qualcomm to overturn the ITC ban on Qualcomm’s chips. Verizon wireless broke the story on its website last week.

http://news.vzw.com/news/2007/07/pr2007-07-19j.html

Broadcom is clearly the victor here. However, Verizon also won. For Verizon, 200 million dollars to Broadcom is a small price to continue having the dominant role in the wireless market.

Qualcomm, of course, is probably not too happy right now, although publicly they are saying that they like the Broadcom and Verizon agreement. Perhaps Qualcomm likes it because at least the products containing their chips can now be sold in the U.S. by Verizon. According to Qualcomm, serious issues of public policy and public interest still remain regarding this case and need to be addressed. At least, that’s what they say on their website.

http://www.qualcomm.com/press/releases/2007/070719_views_verizon_wireless.html

OK. That’s it and hope it makes sense. I am not sure I got everything right or covered. If there are mistakes in my connecting the dots, please let me know.

Good luck to Verizon, Qualcomm, and Broadcom. Let’s get the XV 6800 out now to the Verizon customers!

Where is Verizon’s XV 6800? By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

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By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Reports have been coming since the 2006 Christmas/New year shopping season that Verizon was getting ready to release the successor to their popular PDA/Cellphone XV 6700.

Verizon’s XV 6700 generally got good reviews when it came out. It’s sliding keyboard and being able to connect to the web made it an early favorite for business people, professors, students, and those who want to stay at the cutting edge of technology.

image

The built in windows mobile 5.0 operating system along with Windows applications and the ability to synchronize Outlook with Microsoft Exchange are some of the attractive features of Verizon’s XV 6700.

Where is Verizon’s XV 6800?

It is now almost the end of July 2007 and I have not seen XV 6800 at any Verizon store. Verizon salespeople and those working in the customer service department have been unable to say anything about the XV 6800 since December of 2006 when the news/rumors started surfacing that its release as the successor of XV 6700 was imminent.

Sprint Mogul (PPC-6800)

Sprint, on the other hand, has released the successor to their PPC 6700. The Sprint PPC 6800 is called the Mogul.

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See the review of the Spring Mogul at the following url.

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/htc-brings-the-goods/the-sprint-mogul-is-here-269646.php

Verizon customers whose one or two year contract with the company has expired are left scratching their head. What should they do? Stay with Verizon’s network or jump ship. The release date for Verizon’s XV 6800 has been shrouded in mystery.

Verizon XV 6800 Release Date

About a week ago, in a casual conversation, a Verizon employee mentioned to me that the Verizon technicians or salespeople were getting some training materials on the XV 6800. If I heard correctly, perhaps Verizon is getting ready to make the big announcement.

Regardless of when the release date is for Verizon’s XV 6800, I would love to know Verizon’s strategic reasons for giving little information to customers prior to this much awaited product coming out.