Bluetooth compatibility issues

25 July 2005

An interesting update to an earlier post (Bluetooth bites Altea owner, 18 July) can be found in IT Week’s letters blog. According to Crown Mobile Communications, quite a few Bluetooth-capable smartphones and PDAs are set up so that they cannot be made to work with in-car Bluetooth systems - the kind that meld an external phone with in-car systems such as buttons on the wheel and integrated dashboard displays.

The problem is that the I-Mate’s manufacturer, HTC – which also makes O2’s XDA and similar handsets for other networks – has only enabled its Bluetooth software to work with a headset. It will never work with any car kit.

The only conceivable reason for crippling a phone's Bluetooth subsystem in this way would be to minimise the security risks of snooping attacks. Even if this is the reason, it seems a little short-sighted on the part of HTC.

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