The $1500 WiMax Handset?

5:15 PM -- It seems as if it might be a trifle costly to be the first kid on your block to own a WiMax handset. Analysts Pike & Fischer claim in a new report that when initial WiMax mobile phones arrive in the U.S. next year at least one model will be priced at $1,500 a pop.

Cellphone makers will have to bring a critical number of WiMax-enabled devices to the market in 2008 in order to keep them affordable for consumers, says P&F chief piker Tim McElgunn, author of the new mobile WiMax report. At least one of the handsets is expected to launch with a price tag of $1,500. And if customers encounter service problems -- such as dropped calls -- they may decide WiMax service isn't worth the price, McElgunn said.

The researchers see this price issue as a key hurdle for WiMax. And they claim that, despite Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s recent problems with the deployment of WiMax, it will still be online way before rival 4G technology from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless .

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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