By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Sprint Nextel and its prepaid Boost Mobile division will offer the thinnest iDEN-network flip phone to date, the Motorola Stature i9.
The 0.6-inch-thick phone will be available through all Boost channels by the end of February at $299 with no contract, credit check or activation fees. Soon after, Sprint will offer it at $199 with a two-year postpaid service agreement and after a $50 mail-in rebate.
Motorola and Sprint said the launch underscores their commitment to iDEN-network technology, used only by carrier Nextel and inherited by Sprint with its acquisition of Nextel years ago.
The device uses Motorola's ModeShift technology on the exterior touch-sensitive controls, illuminating only those controls needed for the application in use, such as music playback. When the phone is powered off, the exterior surface is smooth and lacks visible keys, which provide haptic feedback.
Bellevue, Wash. — T-Mobile has taken its 3G-equipped G1 Android-based phone to consumers nationwide.
When the $179 HTC-made G1 launched in October 2008, the phone was available in T-Mobile-owned stores and select third-party retail outlets only in the 95 cities where the carrier operated its 3G network, which deliver data downloads at speeds up to 1Mbps. The carrier then expanded distribution to additional cities where it turned on a 3G network. Those cities grew in number to 130 in 28 major markets by the end of 2008. Now, T-Mobile said is making the G1 available in all of its markets in all stores operated by T-Mobile Retail and by all “eligible retail partner locations” in those markets. In those markets, the phone would operate on the carrier's slower EDGE data network.
MIAMI — D2 Technologies went to a communications trade show here to demonstrate what it called the industry's first complete reference design for a WiMAX-based wireless phones.
The company called its software solution a turnkey solution enabling manufacturers to quickly bring WiMAX handsets to market. The demonstrated version runs on Linux, but the company is developing versions using the Google Android and Microsoft Windows CE/Mobile platforms in the second quarter of 2009.
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.