The portable Wi-Fi instant messaging device will offer cheap text messaging (SMS), too: The Zipit Wireless Messenger 2 or Z2 will gain a monthly service plan that allows 1,500 incoming and 1,500 outgoing messages for $4.95. The service will launch in a free trial period Dec. 20, and run through Jan. 31, 2008. The monthly fees would start on Feb. 1. Z2 works with what they describe as "more than 20 cellular carriers," so one assumes that's all the major carriers in the U.S. The device also interoperates with AOL, MSN, and Yahoo IM services.
The Z2 uses Wi-Fi for connectivity, and through a deal with Wayport, has free access at 9,000 McDonald's locations in the U.S. that Wayport operates Wi-Fi at. The Zipit Web site is essentially unusable for adults, designed to appeal to kids with a form of brain damage that doesn't allow them to navigate using menus or simple selection, apparently. It costs $150 and there's free overnight shipping through Dec. 21.