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Smartphones and PDA phones are evolving in new ways.
This month, Sprint plans to offer the industry's first Windows Mobile smartphone equipped with push-to-talk capability. The Motorola i930, which will operate on Sprint's Nextel network, will also be the industry's first Windows Mobile smartphone operating on an iDEN network in the United States.
Early next year, Verizon will offer Palm's first Treo PDA phone based on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 PDA phone platform, complementing Treos based on the Palm OS.
In other smartphone announcements:
Nokia said its N91 music phone is due in the United States in the first quarter of 2006 and unveiled its second music phone, which isn't slated for the U.S. market.
Sprint began offering TeleNav's GPS Navigator application on Sprint-network phones. The Java application, previously available on Java-capable Nextel phones, is now available on the Sprint Sanyo 5600 and 7400 and on the LG 535 to provide turn-by-turn driving and walking instructions.
Motorola's clamshell i930, due from Sprint in October at $499 before promotions and discounts, roams internationally on 900/1,800MHz GSM/GPRS networks; features camera/camcorder; and uses the Windows Mobile smartphone OS to open and view downloaded computer files in Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Word formats, PDF files and imaging files. Windows Media Player 10 Mobile permits playback of music and video.
The phone's Nextel-network PTT capability allows for walkie-talkie communication between the United States and Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and Peru.
The i930 will be available through Sprint's business-direct channels, Sprint stores and Sprint's Web site.
In early 2006, Palm will offer its first Windows Mobile-based PDA phone through Verizon, joining Palm OS Treos. The new model will operate on Verizon's high-speed CDMA 1x EV-DO data and promises to offer some Palm-exclusive features, such as photo speed dialing and the ability to call up a contact by entering only two letters.
Palm said it doesn't expect to release a version operating on non-CDMA networks until the second half.
In other developments, Nokia confirmed that its first music phone, the HDD-equipped N91, will go on sale in the United States during the first quarter, but that its second music phone, the 3250 with removable microSD memory card, won't ship in the United States Both are GSM-network Symbian Series 60 smartphones.
The N91, Nokia's first HDD phone, features 4GB hard drive; EDGE; 802.11b/g; Bluetooth; USB 2.0; dedicated music keys; and playback of music files in the MP3, M4A, AAC and WMA formats. It also uses the industry's standard 3.5mm stereo headset jack. A 2-megapixel camera is included.
Its European launch, originally scheduled to precede a U.S. launch, has been pushed back to the first quarter.
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.