By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
BOYNTON BEACH, FLA. — Motorola said it shipped its one millionth T900 two-way text-message device less than a year after the first shipments. The keyboard-equipped T900, promoted to consumers for less than $100 after carrier rebate, has its own Internet address so it can send and receive e-mail, but it can also share a user's business or personal e-mail address. Currently, the device can share a user's Hotmail, MSN and EarthLink e-mail addresses, and Motorola MyMail desktop software makes it possible to share a personal or business e-mail address that uses an always-on Internet connection. In a related announcement, Motorola announced another licensee of its ReFlex technology for two-way messaging devices such as the T900. The latest licensee is Korean subscriber-device maker Fine Telecom, whose customers include North American carriers.
SEATTLE — Wireless smart phones based on the Symbian OS will double as headphone MP3 players now that RealNetworks has created RealPlayer Mobile, an audio and video player application. The software is included in the Nokia 9210 Communicator, available in Europe. The software will presumably be included in the U.S. version of that phone, the 9290 Communicator, due in the first half of 2002. It's a 1.9GHz GSM phone that, like the 9210, will also run Java applications written for handheld devices.
REDMOND, WASH. — AT&T Wireless launched a free voice-based information-on-demand service. By pressing #121 on any AT&T phone, subscribers can ask questions in their own voice, and the service will answer by voice. Users must listen to an ad before they get their requested information, which could include weather, traffic reports, driving directions, customized stock quotes, news and movie listings.
SEOUL, KOREA — Samsung Electronics said it has begun marketing a CDMA 2000 1X phone that receives video and audio on demand. Called the VOD phone, it features MPEG4 video decoder, 2.04-inch color TFT-LCD display, and a built-in music player. It supports datarates up to 144kbps. Plans for U.S. distribution were unavailable.
KANSAS CITY, MO. — Sprint PCS signed up its second national distributor, American Wireless of Campbell, Calif., for its new two-step distribution program. Brightpoint was the first (see May 28, page 6). The program expands distribution to small local retailers. Sprint's distributors take title to the phones, create their own compensation programs for dealers, and with Sprint's approval, authorize new dealers.
BEDMINSTER, N.J. — Verizon has begun offering two Motorola phones that incorporate FM stereo radio. The Motorola V120c is expected to retail at $69.99 exclusively through Verizon-owned stores and in RadioShack. The other phone is the Motorola V120c, expected to retail for $399. The two trimode phones feature microbrowsers.
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.