By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Wireless-phone carriers and manufacturers announced new options for consumers interested in wireless access to e-mail and the Internet.
In one development, Motorola said it will make running changes in August to the industry's first Java-equipped iDEN-network phones, the i85s and i50s. The changes add secure socket layer (SSL) security to HTTP transfers from the handset to Web sites, and they will allow for over-air downloads of Java-based applications from a Motorola/Nextel Web site that goes online in the fourth quarter. The applications will reside on the handset, and previously manufactured models can be upgraded.
In another announcement, VoiceStream became the exclusive U.S. carrier of the Motorola V100 clamshell-style phone. It's equipped with QWERTY keyboard and positioned primarily as a messaging device, but it can be used to place voice calls through a hands-free earphone.
VoiceStream markets the phone with its new Ping Pong service, which delivers information alerts, two-way SMS, communication with any Internet e-mail address, and AOL Instant Messenger service.
The phone, priced at $149 after a $50 rebate, is available only through VoiceStream stores and Best Buy.
In a third development, Compaq will offer a CDMA2000 1x/1xEV slide-in module for its new Evo notebook computers. The module, with embedded antenna, will be available for carriers' pre-commercial rollouts in the fourth quarter. Commercial availability is planned for the second quarter of 2002. Pricing wasn't disclosed.
An 802.11b wireless-LAN module at a suggested $189 is already available and a Bluetooth module is due in August at a suggested $199.
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.