New mobile phones

New mobile phones announcements

Archive for December, 2009

RIM To Launch Blackberry For Personal Use In China

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) said Tuesday it will offer its Blackberry handsets to personal users and small businesses in China, and also plans to introduce a Blackberry handset running on the Chinese- developed third-generation mobile-phone technology.

RIM is working on both initiatives with China Mobile Ltd. (CHL), the world’s biggest mobile carrier with 513.5 million subscribers as of the end of October.

Blackberry handsets have been available since 2006 to big businesses in China through China Mobile. The country also has a huge semi-legal “gray market” for smartphones such as the Blackberry and Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone, in which smartphones are brought in from places like Hong Kong.

“We view China as a strategic market, the largest wireless market in the world. And China Mobile is by far the largest mobile carrier in the world,” RIM Co-Chief Executive Jim Basillie said Tuesday at a press briefing.

China introduced 3G mobile-phone services this year, allowing smartphone makers such as RIM and Apple to sell consumers high-end handsets with functions such as high-speed web browsing.

China Mobile operates a 3G network on a domestically developed technology called TD-SCDMA, or Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access. Its two rivals in China use international 3G standards that are widely used around the world. To run at 3G speeds on China Mobile’s network, the Blackberry had to be redesigned to run on the TD-SCDMA standard.

RIM demonstrated a TD-SCDMA-based handset Tuesday, but Basillie declined to comment on when it would be available in China.

“We did a demonstration today,” he said. “Usually, when you have a demonstration, it’s well along the way.”

Neither company would comment on how much the TD-SCDMA-based handset will cost, but China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou said the carrier will offer subsidies. “We provide handset subsidies for all TD-SCDMA phones.”

Basillie said he wasn’t sure how many Blackberry handsets had been sold in China.

“There’s a number that has been sold directly, and quite frankly, there’s a number that have come in through other channels,” he said.

Basillie said RIM is investing in manufacturing and research and development in China. The company procured US$2 billion worth of goods in China for its global operations this year, he added.

China Mobile has repeatedly said it is in talks with Apple to offer the iPhone in China, but Wang declined to say Tuesday if those talks are ongoing. The iPhone is currently available through one of China Mobile’s smaller rivals, China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. (CHU).

China’s third telecommunications company, China Telecom Corp. (CHA), has said it is in talks with RIM to offer the Blackberry in China, though Basillie declined Tuesday to say if the talks are still taking place.

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Etisalat unveils new smartphone BlackBerry Bold 9700

Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, or etisalat, and Research In Motion, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless mobile solution, on Sunday announced the launch of the new BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone for customers in the UAE.

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 offers an extensive array of high-end communications and multimedia features in a compact and refined design that will appeal to both men and women and for both professional and personal use. The handset, a new addition to the BlackBerry Bold series of smartphones, is available from Etisalat with a price tag of Dh2,700.

“The launch of the latest edition of the popular BlackBerry Bold smartphone gives our customers an even greater choice in terms of smartphones with support through Etisalat’s high speed, reliable mobile broadband network,” said Essa Al Haddad, Chief Marketing Officer, Etisalat. “Our customers can stay connected while on the move with coverage across 99 per cent of the populated areas in the UAE to get an unbeatable service experience from Etisalat.”

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone offers top-of-the-line performance, functionality and features with support for 3G HSDPA networks around the world, a next-generation (624 MHz) processor, 256 MB Flash memory, built-in GPS and Wi-Fi, a 3.2MP camera and a sharp, dazzling display. Cutting edge engineering and premium finishes extend to the exterior of the handset as well, with a smoothly integrated touch-sensitive trackpad and a highly tactile, distinctive, fretted keyboard. The dark chrome frame and leatherette back add to the new smartphone’s sleek and elegant look, while the narrow profile, balanced weight and soft-touch sides allow it to feel incredibly comfortable
in one hand.

“The new BlackBerry Bold 9700 delivers state-of-the-art features and performance in a compact and beautifully designed handset,” said Don Morrison, Chief Operating Officer at Research In Motion. “This sleek and powerful 3G smartphone offers an incredibly refined mobile experience that is ideal for both personal and professional use.”

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Google’s Android Phone Marks New Assault on IPhone

Google Inc.’s development of a mobile phone that uses its Android operating system marks a new push by the company to take on Apple Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. in the smart-phone market, analysts said.

Google, the most popular Internet search engine, gave employees an Android handset for testing last week. The device has a touch screen like the iPhone, and users can search the Web on it by speaking query terms.

Google is focusing on the mobile market as growth in its search-advertising business on desktop computers slows. Phone makers such as Motorola Inc. and HTC Corp. already offer handsets that run on Android. Having its own device gives Google more control over how the hardware and software work together and intensifies competition for Apple, said Ben Schachter, an analyst at San Francisco-based Broadpoint AmTech Inc.

“If all of a sudden everyone is getting on the Internet via their mobile device, Google needs to make sure it has an influence on that,” Schachter said yesterday in an interview. “They need to make sure they have influence on how the mobile Web will develop.” He recommends buying Google stock and doesn’t own it himself.

T-Mobile Deal?

Google is in talks to sell the new Android handset through wireless carrier T-Mobile USA Inc. as early as January, a person familiar with the discussions said. The phone’s introduction may slip to later in the first quarter, said the person, who asked to be anonymous because the talks are still in progress.

Creating its own handset reflects Google’s effort to expand advertising sales on mobile devices, a market that may grow to between $2 billion and $3 billion by 2013 in the U.S., up from less than $1 billion now, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. In November, Google announced plans to pay $750 million for AdMob Inc., a mobile-phone advertising startup backed by Google investor Sequoia Capital.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, first disclosed that it was working on a phone in a blog posting on Dec. 12, saying that employees were using the device to provide feedback.

“At Google, we are constantly experimenting with new products and technologies, and often ask employees to test these products for quick feedback and suggestions for improvements,” Google said. “We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities.”

Katie Watson, a spokeswoman for Google, declined to comment beyond the blog posting. HTC Chief Financial Officer Cheng Hui- ming, and public relations official Maggie Cheng didn’t answer calls.

More Google Searches

If the handset sells well, it would push more people to use Google when searching from their phones, said Aaron Kessler, an analyst with Kaufman Brothers LP in San Francisco. The number of mobile searches grew 30 percent in the third quarter from the previous three months, Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said on a call for analysts in October.

Apple’s iPhone models were the second and third most popular consumer smart phones last quarter, according to research firm NPD Group Inc. RIM’s BlackBerry Curve 8300 lineup took first place. The newest iPhone, the 3GS, sold more than 1 million units in its opening weekend in June. Natalie Kerris, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment. Marisa Conway, a spokeswoman for Waterloo, Ontario- based Research In Motion, didn’t return a phone message seeking comment.

Google rose $5.22 to $595.73 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have gained 94 percent this year. Apple, which has more than doubled in 2009, climbed $2.31 to $196.98.

Users Lure Developers

Google needs to attract more consumers to Android phones to spur developers to create applications, said Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein in New York. There are more than 100,000 applications available for the iPhone, while Android has more than 12,000.

“The guy who gets biggest fastest gets the most developers,” Lindsay said. “It’s a fight for scale.”

Google may use the device as a way to show other manufacturers and wireless carriers the possibilities of mobile computing, Schachter said. The company could use its Google.com site to sell the Android phone, just as Amazon.com Inc. used its home page to help increase sales of the Kindle electronic book reader, he said.

‘Seat at the Table’

“Let’s say it’s not a major success — then it shows what’s possible,” Schachter said. “They want to have a very powerful seat at the table.”

Google and T-Mobile introduced the first Android phone in September 2008, a bid to lure consumers away from the iPhone and BlackBerry. Last month, Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola introduced the Droid phone, which can run multiple applications at once and features voice-driven Web searches.

Google’s phone may be “unlocked,” meaning that it wouldn’t be tied to a specific phone network. Customers would then have to sign up for wireless service from a carrier.

T-Mobile and AT&T Inc., the wireless partner for the iPhone in the U.S., offer service plans for unlocked devices. Michael Coe, a spokesman for Dallas-based AT&T, and Peter Dobrow, a spokesman for T-Mobile, declined to comment, as did Michelle Leff Mermelstein, a spokeswoman for Sprint Nextel Corp., the third-largest mobile-phone carrier in the U.S.

Verizon’s Plans

Jeffrey Nelson, a spokesman for Verizon Wireless, declined to say if the company would offer the device. Google could apply to have the device certified to run on Verizon’s network without being part of the carrier’s official device lineup, he said.

“We’re always talking with our friends at Google and looking for new ways to bring consumers the kinds of products and services they want,” Nelson said in an e-mail. Verizon began selling Motorola’s Droid, which uses Android, in November. It announced an agreement in October to develop several devices based on the operating system.

Google has the opportunity to kick-start demand for Android phones, even if Apple’s iPhone still dominates, Lindsay said.

“They’ve put all the conditions in place to succeed,” said Lindsay, who rates Google “outperform” and doesn’t own the stock. “Still, Apple’s got the edge.”

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Sony Ericsson Shows Elm and Hazel

Sony Ericsson has shown off two new phones, called the “Elm” and the “Hazel”, both of which are claimed to be more environmentally friendly than their other handsets.

“The Sony Ericsson Elm and the Sony Ericsson Hazel phones offer consumers a green choice without compromising on features or fun. These mobile phones also give consumers a better voice quality experience, with Noise Shield, Clear Voice and Intelligent Volume Adaptation. Both phones offer an easy-to-use social networking experience featuring the Widget Manager application, which allows users access to their social networking page via the stand-by screen and quickly switch between different social networks.” said Fortunй Alexander, Global Marketing Director at Sony Ericsson.

Both handsets are fairly generic models, with a 5.0 megapixel autofocus camera, over the air backup service and support for A-GPS mapping and navigation services.

Both support GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 and HSPA 2100/900. The Sony Ericsson Elm phone will be available from Q1 2010. The Sony Ericsson Hazel will be available from Q2 2010.

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HTC 2010 Product Roadmap: Legends, Salsa, Buzz

The folks at Android and Me have what is purportedly the product roadmap for HTC going into the new year. The eight phones are divided into four product categories: Design/Lifestyle, Performance, Productivity and Social. Let’s dive in, shall we?

In design/Lifestyle there’s the Legend and the Salsa, due out in March and June 2010, respectively.

Then there’s the Performance line, populated by the Bravo and its 3.7-in. OLED capacitive touchscreen.

The Social scene is comprised of the Tide and the Buzz, due out in April and May 2010.

I think they’re social because they come with Twitter and Facebook onboard, which is what passes for being social with a cell phone these days. I kid. The Buzz is the first image up top.

Lastly, in the Productivity category there’s the Photon, Trophy and Tera, each due out in April and May (no date for the Tera, however). All three phones are Windows Mobile 6.5.

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Nokia 2710 Navigation Edition brings maps, location and navigation to new markets

At a launch event held in the Egyptian capital Cairo, Nokia has unveiled the latest device in the company’s range focused on mapping and navigation, the Nokia 2710 Navigation Edition. The new arrival is GPS enabled and pre-loaded with Nokia Maps, making it the most affordable GPS device in Nokia’s broad portfolio. Read the rest of this entry »

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Plan for HTC Products for 2010: Legends, Salsa, Buzz

The folks at Android and Me have what is purportedly the product roadmap for HTC going into the new year. The eight phones are divided into four product categories: Design/Lifestyle, Performance, Productivity and Social. Let’s dive in, shall we?

In design/Lifestyle there’s the Legend and the Salsa, due out in March and June 2010, respectively.

Then there’s the Performance line, populated by the Bravo and its 3.7-in. OLED capacitive touchscreen.

The Social scene is comprised of the Tide and the Buzz, due out in April and May 2010.

I think they’re social because they come with Twitter and Facebook onboard, which is what passes for being social with a cell phone these days. I kid. The Buzz is the first image up top.

Lastly, in the Productivity category there’s the Photon, Trophy and Tera, each due out in April and May (no date for the Tera, however). All three phones are Windows Mobile 6.5.

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