Amazon and Sprint Expand Wireless Shopping

Giant e-tailer Amazon.com and wireless service provider Sprint PCS made separate moves Monday in the rapidly evolving world of mobile e-commerce.

Amazon.com announced a new URL that allows Internet-ready wireless devices to access its shopping services, and also announced an agreement with wireless phone provider Motorola, Inc. to put a bookmark to the site in its wireless phones.

Meanwhile, the Kansas City, Missouri-based Sprint announced that it is offering a comparison-shopping service and a directory information service, among other new Web-based offerings, to users of its Internet-ready phones.

Amazon Expands Wireless Access Services

The Amazon.com Anywhere business division was formed in October 1999 and has collaborated with wireless Web software development firm Phone.com to develop a version of Amazon.com for mobile users.

Phone.com is one of the leaders in developing the Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) that allows mobile devices to connect to the Internet.

Amazon.com said its new URL, which is designed to work with WAP-based browsers, allows “mobile customers to register at Amazon.com from wireless devices; monitor the status of their purchases; access more in-depth search and comparison information; and check shipping availability for products worldwide.”

In the agreement with Motorola, the two companies said they plan to offer consumers new mobile e-commerce options using an Amazon.com bookmark preloaded in Motorola Internet-capable wireless handsets.

Using the bookmark, consumers will be able to scroll to Amazon.com’s Web site and purchase goods using the Motorola phone. As part of the agreement, Motorola and Amazon.com will also sell Motorola’s two-way radios on Amazon’s site.

New Sprint PCS Capability

The Sprint PCS phones, introduced last September, currently let customers shop and trade stocks online; receive news, stock quotes and e-mail; and connect to the Internet by using the phone instead of a modem.

The new comparison-shopping service will be provided by E-Compare Corp., which lists various retailers’ prices on books, toys, software, drugs and vitamins, pets and more.

“With E-Compare’s online comparison shopping service, Sprint PCS customers nationwide are able to make clear comparisons virtually anywhere, anytime,” said Charles Levine, chief sales and marketing officer for Sprint PCS. “For example, if a Sprint PCS customer is at an electronics store, they can find out if they have the best price in the country right on their PCS phone.”

Go2 to Provide Directory Services

Sprint also announced an agreement in which Go2 Systems Inc. will provide directory and information services to Sprint PCS phone users. Effective immediately, users of Sprint PCS Internet-ready phones can use Go2’s location-based directory to find information from local yellow pages, as well as driving directions, store hours and details about where to park.

The privately-held Go2 plans Friday to expand its wireless service offerings, naming a new head of development for the division. Go2 designs location and e-commerce information for Internet and portable devices.

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