By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS -If Las Vegas were New Orleans and wireless phone suppliers were Cajun chefs, they'd be serving jambalaya at their booths.
Suppliers at CES will cook up new phones that incorporate a diverse assortment of electronic ingredients, from PDAs to FM radios and MP3 players.
Among phones incorporating PDA operating systems, Samsung will show a Palm-based phone for the first time, and Kyocera will show its version, displayed at last September's wireless show. Ericsson will trot out its Epoc-based PDA phone.
Motorola will show a new phone with built-in FM stereo radio, and Samsung will show a wristwatch phone. Dealers will also find more phones that access existing e-mail accounts, and more will feature e-mail-like two-way short message service.
Among new Palm-based phones, Samsung's SPH-1300 is a dual-band CDMA phone available in Q2, most likely for Sprint's network because the phone operates on 1.9GHz in digital mode and 800MHz in analog mode. Samsung didn't plan at press time to display a GSM smartphone intended for GSM networks and incorporating Microsoft's smartphone platform.
Samsung will also show a working model of a watch phone due in Q4. It's also a dual-band CDMA unit, and it features built-in speakerphone and microphone so it can be used like Dick Tracy's wrist communicator. For more practical consumers, it offers input for a hands-free headset or an earphone, and it features voice-activated dialing. Additional details were unavailable.
Kyocera's QCP 6035 Smartphone, a CDMA trimode, is due in the first quarter at an expected $499-$549, and will retrieve e-mail from a user's existing POP3 corporate or ISP e-mail account.
Although Ericsson won't have new products for the show, it will display previously announced products, including the R380 PDA-phone, due to ship in early January at an expected price of less than $499. It operates on 900MHz and 1.9GHz GSM networks and features a keypad that flips open to reveal a wide horizontal touchscreen.
No one at Ericsson knew whether the Epoc-based Communicator, shaped more like a traditional PDA, would be at the show. The triband GSM model was planned to ship sometime this year in the United States.
Motorola will show its anodized-aluminum V60 clamshell phone with built-in FM stereo. It also features exterior caller ID display, voice dialing and voice recorder, microbrowser and PIM functions.
Motorola will also show off the two pager-style keyboard-equipped clamshell GSM phones it unveiled at September's wireless show. The devices are intended primarily for messaging but can also be used with a hands-free headset to make wireless phone calls.
One of the pager-like phones, the Accompli 009, is due in the United States in late Q1 or early Q2 at a price that hasn't been released.
The PIM-equipped 009 is a 5.6-ounce GSM triband model that operates in the United States and other countries. It features microbrowser, two-way SMS, access to POP3 e-mail servers, and a Motorola-developed programmable operating system capable of running application programs.
The 009 supports circuit-switched data and GPRS packet-data transmission and will eventually incorporate IMAP4-server access. Motorola expects GPRS services to become available this year.
Motorola's V100 Personal Communicator is expected late in the first quarter at a retail of less than $250. Less featured and more youth-oriented, the 1.9GHz GSM 4.4-ounce V100 lacks GPRS, programmable OS, POP3 e-mail access and PIM applications.
In introducing two new CDMA trimodes, Audiovox will expand its CDMA trimode selection to four models. The entry-level CDM-8100, expected to retail for anywhere from $39 to $99, and the clamshell-style CDM-8900, expected at $99 to $149, feature two-way short messaging service (SMS)-which CDMA carriers are requiring and will probably begin to offer in Q1, the company said. They also offer predictive text entry. The 8900 adds a microbrowser.
Both Audiovox units weigh less than 4 ounces and deliver 220 minutes of digital talktime or 180 standby hours on standard lithium-ion battery, increases of about 20 percent over previous models. Audiovox will be able to incorporate CDMA 1X technology as a running change.
In returning to the U.S. handset market, Siemens will show a triple-band GSM phone whose PIM applications synchronize with a desktop's Microsoft Outlook program via a cable or infrared.
The silver-finish phone, now due to carriers in Q1, weighs only 3.4 ounces with standard lithium-ion battery delivering up to three hours of talktime or up to about 10.5 days of standby. It features internal antenna, voice recorder, vibrating alert and microbrowser.
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.