Mix: AT&T + Wayport, J.D. Power, Smartphone share, iPhone in Russia

AT&T has announced plans to acquire privately-held Wi-Fi service provider Wayport, Inc. for approximately $275 million in cash. The deal will expand AT&T’s Wi-Fi hotspot portfolio to more than 20,000 locations in the U.S. and more than 80,000 worldwide, including Wyndham, Mariott Vacation Club, and Four Seasons hotels, and select McDonald’s restaurants. AT&T recently announced the launch of free Wi-Fi access for iPhone users.

According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Business Wireless Smartphone Customer Satisfaction Study, Apple ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among business wireless smartphone users. The study gave Apple a score of 778 out of 1,000 measured across five key factors; Apple did “particularly well” in the ease of operation, physical design and handset feature factors. “With the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, Apple has clearly differentiated itself from the competition in areas that are most important to business smartphone users,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services for J.D. Power and Associates.

“By making basic applications and features easy to use and providing functionality in a thin, lightweight device, Apple has performed well in exceeding customer expectations.”

Apple placed second in worldwide smartphone marketshare in the third quarter, according to new research from Canalys. The group placed Apple in second in both vendor and OS marketshare, behind only Nokia in phone shipments, which shipped more than 15,485,000 smartphones compared to Apple’s 6,899,010, and behind Symbian in operating system share. Overall, Apple’s iPhone 3G accounted for 17.3 percent of all smartphone shipments worldwide in the third quarter.

iPhone sales in Russia are currently lower than expected, according to a new report. Citing unnamed experts, Pravda reports that only 30,000 iPhone 3Gs have been sold in Russia since the device’s launch nearly a month ago.