By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Music playback, Wi-Fi and QWERTY keyboards will play a key role in Motorola's next wave of cellular phones.
For the United States and other countries, the company unveiled plans for a series of music-oriented ROKR-series phones with dedicated music buttons; a cellular/Wi-Fi phone that offers VoIP functionality over Wi-Fi networks; and the Q phone, a QWERTY-keypad-equipped smartphone based on the Windows Mobile 5.0 Smartphone Edition, which doesn't support a touch screen.
Motorola's Q phone isn't to be confused with Qualcomm's Q "data phone," introduced March 1997 at the CTIA show by the actors who played Q and Data in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” That phone used circuit-switched CDMA to download short snippets of information such as weather and news headlines onto the phone's display.
Motorola's version, in contrast, looks more like a PDA, though it comes with QWERTY keyboard and lacks a touch screen. It's among the first smartphones to use the Windows Mobile 5.0 platform and when it ships in the first quarter of 2006, it could be available with GSM or CDMA radio. It features the thin styling of the company's RAZR series, at 11.5mm thick. Features include a 1.3-megapixel camera with photo lighting, thumbwheel for single-handed control, stereo speakers, Bluetooth, mini SD slot, mini USB port, speakerphone, voice dialing, music and video playback and large 320-pixel by 240-pixel 65K color display. It plays music in the following formats: MP3, AAC, WAV, WMA, WAX, QCELP and others. Video can be played in the H.263, MPEG-4, GSM-AMR, AAC and WMV formats.
Pricing wasn't disclosed.
Qualcomm said it's “quite happy” for Motorola to use the Q phone name, a Qualcomm spokesman said.
Another Motorola product, the A910 cellular/Wi-Fi clamshell phone, is also due in the first quarter of 2006. It features 802.11 b/g technology and ability to place voice calls using VoIP technology over 802.11b/g. Motorola is developing the phone with Cisco to offer a seamless handoff between an enterprise's wireless LAN and the GSM/GPRS cellular network.
Other features of the Linux/Java-based A910 include music and video playback using multiple codecs, a 1.3-megapixel camera with LED flash, TransFlash memory card slot and Bluetooth.
The company also announced the A728 with stylus and touch screen and the A732, which lets users trace characters with their fingers over the dialing keypad to send text messages. Both are destined for China only.
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