Cellular Vendors Shorten The Handset Lifecycle
By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 10 2012 - 5:01am
LAS VEGAS –
Shorter product lifecycles driven by faster
technology changes are helping drive up sales of cellphones,
and here at International CES, handset suppliers
will do their best to keep the life cycle short.
“What was once was a long cycle [handset shelf life]
has been narrowed to 90 days,” said Kevin Sinclair, CEO
of franchise chain Wireless Zone. “If you buy a phone today,
within 90 days there will be
a better like-same model.”
To do their part to quicken the
lifecycle pace, such suppliers
as Huawei, LG, Nokia, Pantech,
and Sony Ericsson are coming
to CES to peddle new products.
LG will show its latest 4G
LTE Android smartphone for
the Verizon Wireless network,
and PanTech will show a new
4G LTE phone and its first tablet,
both operating on AT&T’s
4G LTE network.
Details on the other suppliers’
introductions were unavailable
at press time.
At the show, dealers will find:
• a growing selection of TVs
with dual HDMI/MHL (Mobile
High-Definition Link) ports that stream HD video and multichannel
audio from MHL-equipped smartphones and
tablets while charging the portable devices;
• demonstrations by at least two companies of glassesfree
3D technology not just for smartphones’ small-screen
displays but also for larger screen tablets; and
• a Bluetooth-equipped watch that displays information
from a Bluetooth-connected smartphone.
Here’s what dealers will find:
The Milan, Italy, company is bringing its Bluetooth-
enabled I’m watch to the U.S. from Europe to let Android
and iPhone smartphone users view caller ID information,
text messages, app data and the like on its 1.54-inch
color TFT display with 240 by 240-pixel resolution. The
watch also displays Facebook and other social-network
notifications, weather forecasts, stock market updates, appointment
notifications. Price is a suggested $349.
For the Verizon network, LG is launching the 4G LTE
Spectrum, which is similar to the $249 LTE-equipped 4G
Nitro launched by AT&T in December but will come with
a preloaded app to view an HD version of ESPN Sports
Center. The phone uses the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS
and operates in 3G mode in Verizon’s 850/1,900MHz network
and in 4G LTE mode in Verizon’s 700MHz network.
Price and availability weren’t available at press time.
Like the Nitro, the Spectrum features a 4.5-inch 16:9 HD
display with 1,280 by 720-pixel resolution with True HD In-
Plane Switching (IPS) display
said to be 1.4x sharper than
Super AMOLED displays. Pixel
density is 329 pixels per inch.
The Spectrum also features
dual-core 1.5GHz processor,
1080p video capture, DLNA,
Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct, HDMI
mirroring via MHL, MicroUSB
port, 4G hot spot, 8-megapixel
rear camera with autofocus and
LED flash, 1.3-megapixel front
camera for video chats, 4GB
embedded memory and included
16GB MicroSD card.
will demonstrate 720p
glasses-free 3D display technology
for a 4.3-inch smartphone
display, 7-inch e-reader display,
and 10.1-inch tablet display. To date, glasses-free 3D
displays that show 720p HD video in 3D form have been
available only in smartphones from LG and HTC and not in
tablets or e-readers with larger displays. The LG and HTC
smartphones have 4.3-inch displays.
Smartphones whose high-definition
MicroUSB outputs are enhanced with MHL technology
are available in such smartphones as the Samsung
Galaxy S II, Samsung Infuse, HTC’s Evo 3D and Sensation,
the new LG Spectrum launched here at CES, and in
the HTC Flyer and Evo 3D View 4G.
Here at CES, some of the first U.S.-market TVs with
dual-purpose MHL/HDMI ports will be displayed, joining
nine U.S.-market Samsung TVs for which firmware
upgrades became available late last year to add MHL
technology to their HDMI ports. A total of 23 cellphones
worldwide use MHL technology, and many are available in
the U.S., the Consortium added.
When an MHL-compatible smartphone or tablet is cable-connected to an MHL-equipped TV, 1080p
HD video and 7.1-channel surround sound can
be streamed from a phone or tablet to the TV for
viewing. The TV’s HDMI port will also charge
the portable device. Users can also use their
TV’s remote to control the playback of content
from any MHL-enabled mobile device.
Adapters are available to connect MHLequipped
mobile devices to TVs that lack MHL
technology, providing all of the features that
MHL enables, the consortium said.
The company, formerly NetQin,
is a global provider of consumer-oriented mobile
Internet services focused on security. At CES,
the company is announcing a security suite for
Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows
Phone smartphones to protect against malware,
privacy and data threats. A security app for Apple
iOS devices might also be announced.
The company is launching a premium
U.S. smartphone and its first U.S. tablet,
both of which incorporate 4G LTE and the Android
OS. Both will be available this month for
use on the AT&T network.
Pantech already offers a 4G LTE phone
The AT&T handset, called the Burst, will be
available Jan. 22 in black and red at $49 with
two-year contract. It operates in 4G LTE mode
in AT&T’s AWS and 700MHz bands and in 4G
HSPA+ mode in the carrier’s 850/1,900MHz
bands and in international 2.1GHz band. It features
4-inch Super AMOLED 480 by 800-pixel
capacitive touchscreen, dual-core 1.2GHz processor,
Android Gingerbread 2.3.5 OS, 16GB
of embedded memory, MicroSD slot, 720p
video capture, 1080p video playback, 5-megapixel
rear camera with flash, 2-megapixel front
camera and eight-device mobile hotspot.
The tablet, called the Element, became available
Jan. 8 at $299 with two-year contract. It’s
promoted as waterproof and splash-proof and
features capacitive 8-inch touchscreen with a
TFT XGA 1,024 by 768 display. It operates in
4G LTE mode in AT&T’s AWS and 700MHz
bands and in 4G HSPA+ mode in AT&T’s
850/1,900MHz bands and in foreign 2.1GHz
bands. It features a 1.5GHz dual-core processor,
Android Honeycomb 3.2 OS, 5-megapixel
rear camera with flash and 4x zoom, 2-megapixel
front camera for videochats over Wi-Fi, 16GB
embedded memory, 32GB MicroSD card slot,
stereo Bluetooth720p HD video capture and