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Wish List

What do people want most in a cell phone?

We all use cell phones-they're a business productivity staple. But where are the entrepreneurial opportunities? A recent study by research firm Zelos Group offers insight into what America's 140 million cell phone users want most and what they don't care much about.

Winners are integrated digital cameras and push-to-talk services like Nextel's Direct Connect. A surprising loser is Bluetooth connectivity. Cell companies see a bright future for data transfers across ad hoc personal area networks, but consumers don't, says Seamus McAteer, Zelos Group senior analyst in San Francisco.

Short message service is also stirring up interest. It may be the wrong time to beam text ads to spam-weary consumers, McAteer says. But a new short-number code system could help phone users retrieve information seen in print, radio or TV ads. Consumers' growing appetite for rich media and two-way interactivity could spell opportunity for content aggregators of downloadable ring tones, screen savers, music, videos and games, McAteer says. Codes could also facilitate opt-in auctions, promotions and B2B transactions.

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This article was originally published in the January 2004 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Wish List.

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