Cell Phones Seek April Fools' Boost

The CTIA's big confab is set for Las Vegas on April Fools' Day.
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I'm not sure it's an omen, but it turns out that the next big cellular industry trade show begins on April Fools' Day. CTIA's 2009 spring confab is in Las Vegas again this year and runs from April 1-3.

The cell-phone industry -- as most others -- is hoping for some kind of big boost in the economy to lift its not-so-upbeat predictions for 2009.

One such announcement could be coming from


. The Taiwanese handset manufacturer (of


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phone and many others) is rumored to be announcing a "BlackBerry-killer" at this year's show.

According to


, the company is in talks with four U.S. operators to sell the handset, which currently sports the code name "Maple."

Another possible announcement at the show could be coming from the people at

Sirius XM

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says the satellite radio service plans to announce a new iPhone app that could be available within the next few months. Sirius XM is now partners with




Speaking of BlackBerry and

Research In Motion


, they are reportedly looking to hire 3,000 new workers this year, going against the current economic trend. Canada East reports the company aims to increase its workforce in 2009 to 15,000. And that's following last year's 4,000-employee, 50% workforce growth.

"This is the easiest time to say 'I have to be very careful and wind down my investments,'" founder and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a recent interview with

The Canadian Press

. "But this is the exact time to invest -- if you can --because not only is there opportunity, but there are lots of resources out there."


will be in attendance at CTIA in Las Vegas, in a few weeks, to help sort out all of the rumors and facts.

Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.