By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
In contrast, among Android phones whose prices were revealed at CTIA, the opening price for a new Android handset fell to $49 for Sprint’s Samsung-made Optimus, which operates in 3G mode on Sprint’s CDMA 1x EVDO Rev. A network and incorporates mobile Wi-Fi hot spot. Another entry-level Android phone, the touchscreen-only Motorola Citrus, operates on Verizon’s slower 1x EV-DO Rev. 0 data network and could be destined for an even lower price point.
Android, nonetheless, had its share of top-end devices, including Motorola’s Droid Pro for Verizon Wireless. It’s a BlackBerry-look candy bar phone with touchscreen, hard QWERTY keyboard, enterprise-grade features, and mobile Wi- Fi hot spot. It’s also the first U.S.-market Android phone announced to date to operate in 3G mode in CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A markets as well as in foreign 3G HSPA markets. Pricing wasn’t revealed.
Despite its numerical and price-point handicap, Windows Phone 7 sales could exceed some analysts’ expectations. “Our industry checks and discussions with store reps indicate increasing enthusiasm for the upcoming Windows Phone 7 launch,” according to an early October research report by investment company Canaccord Genuity. The company also said its checks “also indicated strong initial sell-in orders.” As for potential sell-through, the company said, “the touchscreen interface and overall hardware performance could be on a par with higher end Android OS experiences.”All told, new Android phones were shown at the CTIA show by LG, Motorola, Samsung, Sanyo and Huawei.
The Android introductions included:
• three other Motorola-made phones for the AT&T network, bringing the iPhone carrier’s Android selection to eight.
• T-Mobile’s second HSPA+ phone, the next-generation MyTouch.
• the T-Mobile’s HSPA version of Samsung’s entrylevel Optimus at pricing that wasn’t disclosed.
• Samsung’s Galaxy-class 3G Mesmerize for U.S. Cellular at $199. It’s similar to Verizon’s Galaxy-class Fascinate and will be the third of five Android smartphones that the carrier is launching this year, with the LG Apex due in November and LG Optimus due in December.
• Huawei’s Ascend for the Cricket-branded prepaid network at $149, making it Cricket’s second Android phone.
• Samsung’s Transform for Sprint at $149 with 3G Rev. A technology. It’s the carrier’s first 3G-only phone to be announced with front- and rear-facing cameras to allow for video chatting, which can be accomplished over 3G and Wi-Fi networks, a spokesman said. The carrier’s two 3G/4G phones also offer video chat.
Sprint also unveiled the 3G Sanyo Zio from Kyocera at $99.99 with two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate. It features Android 2.1 OS, 3G Rev. A technology. The phone was already available for the Cricket prepaid network.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.