It may seem like EDGE isn’t particularly relevant because it isn’t cutting edge (pardon the pun) and it doesn’t offer the same mobile broadband experience that newer technologies like WCDMA or HSDPA do. Despite that, though, EDGE handsets make a big impact on the market. It is predicted that 148 million EDGE handsets will be shipped this year according to ABI Research. That accounts for 14% of the mobile phone market.
Though EDGE is far from the very best technology out there, and is thought to have been passed by in the evolution of GSM, it is easy to forget that it is still relevant in many cases. Many places in the U.S. and elsewhere don’t yet have enough people to have a 3G license in place, so EDGE is the best technology around, and it is certainly better than nothing.
In larger markets it makes sense that companies would downplay EDGE in favor of the better technology, mainly because they can charge more for the faster technology.