This could be very nice for people who do a lot of field work such as anthropologists, entomologists or wildlife photographers to send data back to HQ without having to disrupt their work in any significant way. For the average person this looks incredibly stupid but for some it could be an incredibly useful tool.
I have used the previous versions of these phones in the past, in places where no other communications means were available. Under optimal conditions, they worked well enough to get the job done. That being said, one month we had a $70k "phone bill" for 3 phones.
For some situations, this may be the only viable option, but make sure to keep the kiddies away from this device! This is not a FaceBook friendly means of connecting to the 'Net unless you are obscenely rich!
9600 baud? WTF is this, 1993? HughesNet offers 2 megabits, and compared to Iridium's $1.30 per minute price, Hughes is a relatively good deal. Hughes should develop an omnidirectional antenna like DirecTV did for their mobile satellite TV for RV's and campers, and market that.
mavroxur: hughesNet doesn't have satellites all around the world, allowing you to connect and talk to someone using a hand held device (the phone).
Their satellite is in a fixed position and you use a dish to receive the signal from it - depending where you are in US you may have to use larger dishes as the signal is focused in an area and decreases in quality at the edges.
You can't carry with you a 6 feet dish in the Brazil jungle or in some remote island - this is where the Iridium rules.
If you're not Super Rich and Super Dumb.... to have this connection. lol
If you go to a place with no connectivity , it means you want to be away from civilization, so this is of no use to people. Yes, the government agencies and other emergency services will surely find this useful in those areas.
[citation][nom]NatureTM[/nom]9600 baud maximum does not sound faster Sounds like 1992[/citation]
In fact, depending on the encoding, in bauds it could perfectly be 2400 baud. Baud is "symbols" per second. If you use an encoding which encodes 2, 3 or 4 bits per symbol the speed in bauds and bps will be different.