By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New cellphones here at International CES will offer improved MP3 players, digital cameras and streaming-media functions, thanks in part to the rollout of high-speed data technologies such as CDMA 1x EV-DO and third-generation (3G) W-CDMA.
The step-up features will help the industry maintain unit sell-through growth in 2006, as will a growing subscriber base, a proliferation of niche-targeted mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and more outlets selling cellular, suppliers tell TWICE (see roundtable discussion, p. 124). Also helping is the industry's targeting of preteens through such products as the FireFly and LG's new Migo.
Landline replacement is another factor driving sales. A Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) survey released in December found that 17 percent of consumers who bought a phone in the previous 90 days used it exclusively.
Handset sell-through could grow as much as 5 percent in 2006 compared to up to 10 percent in 2005, according to Samsung estimates. In 2005, CEA added, wireless handsets accounted for 11 percent of estimated $123 billion in factory-level CE revenues in the United States.
Here are some of the devices that suppliers plan to unveil at CES:
W-CDMA handsets: LG Electronics, Nokia and Samsung will show the first W-CDMA handsets timed for the launch of Cingular's W-CDMA network, which enables simultaneous voice and data sessions, live video calls, a 10-fold increase in network voice capacity over GSM and high-speed data averaging 220Kbps to 320kbps per user, trade group 3G Americas says.
At 2004's CTIA show, Motorola, Nokia and NEC showed 3G W-CDMA handsets to support the four-market launch in 2004 of W-CDMA service by AT&T Wireless, but AT&T pulled back its W-CDMA marketing and network expansion while it negotiated its merger with Cingular. Only Nokia shipped limited quantities of W-CDMA handsets during that time.
Last month, Cingular launched its W-CDMA/HSDPA network in 16 major markets and plans for most major markets in 2006. While awaiting the arrival of W-CDMA handsets, Cingular is offering W-CDMA/EDGE/GPRS modem cards.
This year at CES, Samsung will show two W-CDMA handsets, one with High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), which boosts average per-user data rates.
Samsung's HSDPA phone is the quadband clamshell ZX20. It's due in June with 1.3-megapixel camera, flash, MP3/AAC player, MPEG-4 video recording, microSD (Trans Flash) slot, music- and video-on-demand streaming and download capabilities, 262K color screen and IM client for AOL, ICQ, Yahoo and MSN. It operates in W-CDMA/HSDPA mode in the 850MHz and 1,900MHz bands and in GSM/GPRS/EDGE mode in those bands and in the foreign 900 and 1,800MHz bands.
Samsung's first U.S. W-CDMA phone will be the 3.7-ounce zx10, a quadband due in the second quarter without HSDPA, which the company will add as a running change within 90 days. It will also get Bluetooth as a running change. The clamshell features swivel-lens 1.3-megapixel camera, MP3 player, POP3/IMAP4 e-mail access, microSD slot, 3D mobile gaming, IR and speakerphone
Nokia's 6282 W-CDMA phone operates in W-CDMA mode at 1.9GHz and in GSM/GPRS/EDGE modes at 850/1,800/1,900MHz. The Series 40 handset lacks HSDPA but features Bluetooth; megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom; and playback of MP3, AAC and eAAC+ music files and MPEG-4 video. Standby time is up to 10 days in GSM mode and to eight days in W-CDMA mode.
LG's W-CDMA phone is the triband CU320 slider operating in W-CDMA mode in the 850/1,900MHz bands and in GSM/GPRS/EDGE in those bands and in the foreign 1,800MHz band. At press time, a spokesman didn't know whether it featured HSDPA.
The CU320 weighs 4.3 ounces and delivers 2.5 hours of talk time or 8.3 days of standby time. Features include Bluetooth and MP3 player.
Here's a company-by-company list of other handsets that will debut:
LG Electronics: The company's third phone with slide-out QWERTY keyboard is the F9200 GSM/GPRS phone, which also features digital camera, self-portrait mirror, IM, and speakerphone. Additional details were unavailable. It joins the company's current GSM F9100 with slide-out keyboard for Cingular and the VX9800, LG's first EV-DO phone with slide-out keyboard.
Also on display: the recently released Migo, positioned as an emergency phone that parents will give their kids, and the GSM/GPRS F7200 slider, the company's first phone with push-to-talk feature.
The dual-band 850/1,900MHz F7200, which Cingular began offering in December, is the carrier's flagship PTT handset, enabling users to talk to one or 20 people instantly.
Samsung: At least 12 new phones, excluding the W-CDMA models and Wi-Fi/cellular model (see below), will be on display for shipment in the first and second quarters.
Of the 12, nine feature Bluetooth, 10 feature digital camera, four feature 1.3-megapixel camera, one features 2-megapixel camera, seven feature MP3 player, five feature removable microSD slot, two are GSM models with push-to-talk and one feature EDGE high-speed data.
Of the GSM phones, four are quadband models operating in U.S.850/1,900MHz bands and in foreign 900/1,800MHz bands.
The four EV-DO phones are the a870, a640, a780, and a930, all with MP3 player and Bluetooth. All but the a640 feature microSD slot. All come with camera, with the a780 and a930 featuring 1.3 megapixels and the a870 featuring 2 megapixels.
The other 1.3-megapixel camera phones are the CDMA 1x d807, GSM/EDGE t609, and GSM/EDGE t719 with BlackBerry software and QWERTY keyboard. They also feature Bluetooth. All but the 7719 feature microSD slot.Quick Takes On Wireless Data Speeds
|Technology||Expected Average Throughputs To Handset (Per User)|
|GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)||40kbps|
|EDGE (Enhanced Datarates for GSM Evolution)||70-80kbps (two downslots); 100-130 (four downslots)|
|cdma2000 1X RTT||50-70kbps|
|cdma2000 1X RTT EV-DO (EVolution-Data Optimized)||300-500kbps, with 1Mbps peaks|
|cdma1X RTT EV-DO (Revision A)||Slightly Improved Over EV-DO Slightly Improved Over EV-DO|
|cdma1X RTT EV-DO (Revision B) Due Q1 2006||5-7Mbps|
|cdma2000 1X RTT EV-DV (EVolution Data Voice)||1-1.5Mbps, with simultaneous voice and data|
|W-CDMA (Wideband-CDMA, (a.k.a. UMTS, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System)||220-320kbps with simultaneous voice and data|
|W-CDMA HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access)||550kbps-1.1Mbps|
|W-CDMA HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access)||Uplink raised to 600kbps|
|Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.11e-based)||2Mbps 1Mbps from handset|
|Source: 3G Americas, CDMA Development Group, Samsung, Lucent, Nokia, In-Stat, Rysavy Research ©TWICE 2006|
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.