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Is your cell phone passing the test? Smartphones are the latest, greatest, all-in-one gadgets--and they're only getting better.

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This story appears in the May 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It seems an obvious idea: Everybody carries a cell phone, and many businesspeople pack a PDA, too. Why not put the two together? Obvious, sure, but business buyers haven't been that impressed by smartphones--nor have they been willing to pay $400 to $600 to lose the convenience of their inexpensive cell phones. That's changing.

With the advent of broader-band cellular networks, wireless access to office data and applications from far-flung locales is becoming both possible and necessary. For many travelers, the need for wireless e-mail alone "is right up there with food and water," says Todd Kort, principal analyst for technology research and consulting firm Gartner Inc. More PDAs are getting cell phones--and vice versa. Sales of Treo smartphones from market leader PalmOnedoubled in 2004 and should nearly double again this year, says Kort.

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