By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Samsung Electronics America and Audiovox plan to offer the first cellular smartphones based on the Microsoft PocketPC 2002 OS.
They'll join wireless smartphones based on Palm, Symbian, and proprietary OSs.
Audiovox plans first-quarter shipments; Samsung Electronics, which operates separately from wireless marketer Samsung Telecom, said its model is available in Korea and is targeted to ship in the United States in the third quarter, possibly with changes for the U.S. market.
Audiovox showed its model privately and plans a formal unveiling during CTIA's Wireless 2002 show in March in Orlando.
The phones shown by both companies incorporate third-generation CDMA 1X technology, which is being deployed by Verizon and Sprint PCS to deliver high-speed wireless-data transfer over their voice networks.
Verizon plans to make 1X service available commercially in the first half. At the end of 2001, Verizon installed 1X in cells covering 20 percent of its footprint. By mid-2002, most of Verizon's network will be upgraded.
CDMA 1X, a so-called third-generation technology, offers datarates up to 144kbps, but Verizon' initial deployment will deliver data consistently at 40-60kbps, the company said.
(For Sprint's 1X deployment plans, see Esrey Keynote, right.)
Both phones are equipped with Pocket Word and Pocket Spread Sheet to create documents that can be e-mailed wirelessly from the phones. Pocket Internet Explorer allows for wireless Web browsing, and Pocket Outlook for wireless e-mail access.
Samsung's device, the NEXiO S150, measures 6.1x3.6x0.6 inches and weighs 9.8 ounces. It features 5-inch 800x480 reflective LCD screen, 32MB of ROM and 32MB of SDRAM, VGA port for making presentations from the Pocket PowerPoint Viewer, PIM applications and voice recorder. Options include GPS module, 300,000-pixel digital-camera module, 11Mbps wireless LAN module, E-book reader, removable USB host jack and games. Continuous talk time is 3.5-4 hours, with 96 hours standby time. The battery provides 6 hours of continuous activity.
Samsung didn't specify a price. Changes might also be in the works for the U.S. "We are actively studying the best configuration, including wireless, for the NEXiO product to bring to the United States," said a spokesman for parent Samsung Electronics in Korea.
For its part, Audiovox plans first-qaurter shipments to carriers of the Thera, a Greek word for "opening." It's shaped like a traditional PDA.
The 5x3x0.75-inch device operates on 800/1900MHz CDMA networks. It lacks analog cellular.
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