By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
What happens in Vegas won't stay in Vegas if vendors successfully market the multimedia technologies that they plan to demonstrate here at Wireless 2006.
New high-data-rate W-CDMA handsets will be displayed along with handsets that stream digital video broadcasts over non-cellular frequencies.
At least three handset suppliers, including Motorola and Nokia, are expected to show Wi-Fi/cellular phones incorporating UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) technology for voice-call handoffs.
SonyEricsson and at least one other major handset supplier will show the U.S. market's first 3.2-megapixel cameraphones.
Here's what select suppliers plan to flaunt:
Kyocera: The company's CDMA 1x selection is expanding to include another U.S.-market MP3-playing phone and the company's first phone that opens up to reveal a QWERTY keypad for messaging. The selection also includes Kyocera's first two 1.3-megapixel cameraphones, upping the pixel count from 1.2 megapixels in the Koi.
The QWERTY-equipped model is the 4-ounce Strobe, whose dialing keypad is on the outside when the phone is folded. The QWERTY keypad appears when the phone is unfolded. Features include VGA camera with flash, WAP 2.0 browser, Java and up to three hours of talktime or 150 hours of standby on the standard battery.
The U.S.-market MP3 phone, the trimode clamshell K822 trimode, features dedicated MP3 buttons on the exterior when closed, FM radio, stereo speakers, 30MB of embedded memory and microSD slot for memory expansion. Supported audio codecs are MP3, AAC, AAC+ and protected WMA. It also comes with 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 1.2, and support for BREW and Java downloads.
The second phone with 1.3-megapixel camera is the 3.4-ounce clamshell K342. Features include 5x zoom, integrated flash, Bluetooth, BREW, and MP3 ringtones.
Two 3.4-ounce models in the K320 series sport different cosmetics but share a feature set that includes VGA camera, push-to-talk, Bluetooth, dedicated camera button and MP3 ringtones.
LG Mobile Phones: Two new models expand the company's selection of MP3-playing phones and CDMA 1x EV-DO models. The digital dual-band LG8300 and LG550 are both EV-DO MP3 phones with 1.3-megapixel camera and stereo Blueooth. They will join the MP3-playing W-CDMA CU320, a slider shown at International CES and deployed by Cingular in March at $99.
The 8300 and 550 both feature clamshell design, microSD card slot and MP3 controls on the exterior flip. The 550's exterior MP3 controls look like an iPod clickwheel. The 8300 is a 3.9-ounce with MSN and Yahoo instant messaging, and simultaneous GPS. The 550 weighs 4.2 ounces and features changeable faceplates.
The 8300 and 550 are expected to be available to consumers in the second quarter.
Another MP3-playing phone is the thin Chocolate, a 2.9-ounce EV-DO slider available in Korea but with no announced ship date for a U.S. version. Features include touchpad buttons, external MP3 buttons, 1.3-megapixel camera and 512MB of embedded memory.
One of two other new phones is the GSM/GPRS quadband LG300 clamshell with push-to-talk, push-to-talk over Bluetooth, VGA camera and multiple instant messaging services. It was expected to be available in March. The CDMA 1x LG350 clamshell, without EV-DO, features 1.3-megapixel camera, trimode capability with 800MHz analog and 800/1900MHz digital transmission, Bluetooth, 15x digital zoom and PictBridge picture printing capability. It's due in the second quarter.
Nokia: The company will demonstrate Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) voice handoffs between Wi-Fi and cellular networks, possibly show its first CDMA 1x EV-DO handset (sourced from Curitel) and demonstrate Modeo's DVB-H digital-TV service.
Its first W-CDMA phone for the U.S. market is the 6282, which operates in W-CDMA mode at 1.9GHz and in GSM/GPRS/EDGE modes at 850/1800/1900MHz. The Series 40 handset lacks HSDPA but features Bluetooth, megapixel camera with 8x digital zoom, playback of MP3, AAC and eAAC+ music files and MPEG-4 video playback. Standby time is up to 10 days in GSM mode and to eight days in W-CDMA mode.
Motorola: The company plans demonstrations of UMA-based WiFi-to-cellular handoffs.
Panthera: The company's DVB-H middleware and application software for client devices will get an airing at the Microsoft booth. Microsoft's Windows Media Video is the video codec for DVB-H in the United States. Panthera's application runs on PDA, PDA phones and smartphones using Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.1 OS and on XP laptops.
Samsung: The company plans to demonstrate HSDPA and WiBro (WiMax banded for the Korean market) during the show, where its will also demonstrate the SGH-zx20, its first U.S.-market W-CDMA phone with HSDPA.
In March, Cingular launched Samsung's first U.S.-market W-CDMA phone, the SGH-zx10, at $99 after $50 rebate. It lacked HSDPA. The new SGH-zx20, initially shown at CES, could be the first commercial HSDPA phone available in the U.S., the company said.
The zx20 is a quadband clamshell 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.
The company also plans to demonstrate a phone with 8GB hard disk drive and a separate model with 10-megapixel camera and 3x optical zoom. Both were unveiled in March at the CeBIT show in Germany, but the company has no plans to launch them here. The company has offered HDD phones with 3GB capacity.
Samsung will also host end-to-end demonstrations of HSDPA and WiBro (Wireless Broadband), which promises wireless video calling and wireless data at average downlink speeds of 2Mbps per user at vehicular speeds up to 75mph.
WiBro is a Korean-spectrum 2.3GHz-band technology based on the mobile WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) standard.
Wherify: The company plans May or June availability to consumers of its long-delayed Wherifone GPS Locator phone at a price lower than the originally announced $150.
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