San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Audiovox revealed new details about its camera-phone plans and said it's targeting the fourth quarter for delivery of a videocamera-phone, if carriers outfit their CDMA 1X networks with the needed technology.
In a presentation to retailers here at CES, Audiovox Communications president Philip Christopher said the company plans a return to the United States GSM market after an absence of about six years. He also said Audiovox is considering the addition of push-to-talk capability in future phones for carriers that see the feature as helping bolster their youth-market appeal.
After the presentation, marketing VP Katie Wasserman told TWICE that GSM/GPRS phone shipments probably won't occur until 2004.
By the end of this year, Audiovox might ship the CDMA 1X trimode CDM-9900 with built-in videocamera, which will take 15-second full-motion video clips that could be e-mailed wirelessly or transferred to a connected PC. It wouldn't be used for videoconferencing. The phone will incorporate GPS position-location technology, but additional details were unavailable.
Audiovox offered plenty of details about its first camera-phones, which take digital still images. For 2003, Audiovox plans a quartet of camera phones, not the three previously announced.
The first one available will be the high-tier Toshiba-branded CDM-9600 CDMA 1X trimode, available in March through Sprint. The clamshell-style phone features 6x zoom, VGA picture quality (310,000 pixels), color screen, dual LCD displays, GPS, BREW and Java capability, WAP 5.0 browser, and picture caller ID.
The next camera-phone will be the 3.9-ounce high-tier clamshell dual-band 800/1900MHz CDM-7950, due in May from Verizon. The CDMA 1X phone lacks analog but offers 6x zoom, 350,000-pixel picture quality, macro close-up capability, and built-in flash. Other features include BREW and Java capability, GPS, color screen, dual LCDs, and an unspecified microbrowser. The exterior LCD is a 256-color display.
A third phone, a mid-tier model due by September, is the clamshell trimode CDMA 1X CDM-8900. Its zoom capability will be at least 6x, the company said. A carrier agreement wasn't announced.
A fourth phone is the trimode CDMA 1X CDM-8600. Features include GPS, blue backlight, main 65K-color TFT screen, and exterior circular black-and-white LCD display.
In his presentation, Christopher said Audiovox is the only phone supplier that sells phones to every CDMA carrier in North and Latin America.