In the cutthroat mobile industry, sometimes it's better to make love, not war. NEC and Matsushita (better known by its biggest brand, Panasonic), sustaining heavy losses in their bids to make an honest buck against larger rivals, have drawn that conclusion and announced a broad-scale collaboration on phone development. Details of the collaboration are ambiguous at best, but NEC president Kaoru Yano insists the brands will not merge, a la Sony Ericsson. Insiders are suggesting, however, that a three-way deal involving Matsushita, NEC, and Texas Instruments is nearing completion and will produce a new joint venture to manufacture 3G chipsets and software. Hey guys, we have an idea to help you on your road to profitability -- how about a North American phone or two?

iPod and the SpeckTone