By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS — Retail point-of-sale solutions, Cloud-connected cars and Bluetooth speakers will likely outnumber new smartphones and tablets at CTIA 2013, but dealers checking out infrastructure booths will get a glimpse of the power of future smartphones.
Ericsson, for example, will demonstrate Voice-over-LTE, which sends voice over data channels to expand network capacity, and LTE Rich Communications Services, which enables multiple new features. They include video calling without the need for a video-chat app, instant messaging and group chat without an over-the-top app, simultaneous voice and multimedia messaging, social presence, Wi-Fi calling and more.
Dealers will also encounter connected-car demonstrations by Ericsson and GM, which recently announced plans to migrate its telematics services to AT&T’s 4G LTE network in 2014. GM will demonstrate LTE-enabled telematics at the show, and Ericsson will demonstrate in-car TV and dashboard-embedded apps.
For their part, Huawei plans a partner announcement, and Verizon Wireless plans an announcement of its own.
Handset vendors appearing in on-site exhibits or meeting rooms include Alcatel One Touch, HTC, Huawei, Motorola Mobility, Nokia and Unnecto, while ZTE and Black- Berry will host an off-site suite. Neither Samsung nor Sony Mobile plan any presence at all in the city.
Here’s what you’ll find from some key handset and tablet vendors:
Alcatel One Touch plans second-half launches of its first 4G LTE smartphones as well as 5-inch super phones, said Steve Cistulli, Alcatel One Touch senior VP of North America.
The efforts are part of the company’s “near-term goal of shifting our business, that was previously known for operating in the low-end prepaid handset space, to one that offers award-winning designs, cutting edge technology and a full portfolio of low/mid- and mid/high-end smartphones, for the expanded retail area will find smartphones and tablet accessories, Bluetooth speakers, and along with tablets and connected devices.”
Key smartphones on display include the Idol Ultra with 4.65-inch HD display and the Scribe HD with 5-inch HD display. The former is only 6.45mm (0.253 inches) in thickness.
The Idol Ultra feature Android 4.1 OS, 4.65-inch HD AMOLED display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel camera with LED flash, five-point capacitive multitouch capability, no memory card slot, 850/1900 or 850/AWS HSPA bands, and quad-band GSM. Additional details were unavailable.
The Scribe HD features Android 4.2 OS, 5-inch HD IPS display, five-point capacitive multitouch capability, 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, front 720p HD camera, quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 32GB slot, quad-band GSM, and HSPA in the 1900/ AWS bands.
Four other Android smartphones feature Android 4.1 OS, screen sizes from 3.5 to 4.5 inches, capacitive multitouch displays, quad-band GSM, and HSPA in the 850/1900/2100MHz bands.
Among five new tablets, the Evo 7 and Evo 7 HD are 7-inch Wi-Fi models that can be upgraded to HSPA+ 21Mbps or to LTE via a cellular module that can be inserted by the consumer.
The Evo 7 features Android 4.0.3 OS, 1,024 by 600 TFT capacitivemultitouch display, 1GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, 4GB flash memory, MicroUSB port, MicroSD slot, front 0.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.1 and optional HSPA+21Mbps module.
The Evo 7 HD raises resolution to HD, the OS to Android 4.2, and the CPU to a dual-core 1.6GHz processor with quadcore GPU. The tablet also adds dual 2-megapixel cameras. The cellular options include both HSPA+21Mbps and LTE.
Third-quarter availability is planned for both models.
Three other tablets feature Wi-Fi, Android 4.1 OS and capacitive multitouch displays and are due in the U.S. in the third quarter. One 7-inch model features a 1GHz CPU, and the higher end 7-inch model has a dual-core 1.6GHz CPU. The third is an 8-inch model with a dualcore 1.6GHz CPU.
The 7-inch models are the Tab 7 at an approximate suggested retail of $109 and the Tab 7 HD with approximate suggested retail of $149. Both 7-inch models feature 1GB RAM, MicroUSB port, MicroSD slot, and front VGA camera, but the Tab 7 features 1,024 by 600 WSVGA TFT display, while the Tab 7 HD features 1,280 by 800 WXGA display with IPS. Both 7-inch models feature 4GB flash memory.
The 8-inch tablet at an approximate suggested $179 had a dualcore 1.6GHz CPU, 1GB RAM and 4GB flash memory. It also features MicroUSB port, MicroSD slot, front VGA camera and 2-megapixel rear camera.
All five tablets feature Bluetooth.
Huawei will likely show off its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, due this month through Walmart.com and select Walmart stores.
The Huawei W1will be available with a no-contract unlimited-service plan and is designed for first-time smartphone buyers or people upgrading from older smartphones.
Huawei hasn’t said whether the GSM/W-CDMA phone is a 3G or 4G phone. The device features a 4-inch 480x800 IPS LCD display with Gorilla Glass, dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, 512MB RAM and a 5-megapixel rear camera with 720p video capture.
Nokia could bring its latest Windows Phone 8 smartphones, including the new flagship Lumia 925, which is an update of the current flagship 920 and will be available through T-Mobile sometime after June. It will be T-Mobile’ first LTE-equipped Windows Phone 8 smartphone.
In Europe, it will retail for 469 euros, or $608.
The phone is Nokia’s first Lumia-series model to use exterior metal, though the back is polycarbonate. It’s said to use next-generation imaging software to capture clearer, sharper pictures and video, including low-light images. It’s also the first Lumia with a Smart Camera mode that takes 10 pictures at once, enabling users to edit them via a suite of Nokia apps such as Best Shot, Action Shot and Motion Focus.
The main PureView 8.7-megapixel camera features optical image stabilization, autofocus, dual-LED flash and 1080p/30fps motion capture. It comes with 4.5-inch 1,280 by 768 display, dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB memory, 2,000 mAh battery and wireless charging via an accessory back cover.
Another new Windows phone is the globalready 928, which became available exclusively on the Verizon Wireless network on May 16 at $99 with two-year contract. Nokia promotes the 4G LTE phone with 4.5-inch HD display as delivering better low-light camera performance than the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3.
Wilson Electronics will display its latest five-band signal booster, the $1,799-suggested AG Pro-Quint, promoted as the most affordable five-band booster on the market. The device, intended for residential or commercial installs in buildings up to 80,000 square feet, boosts any 2G, 3G or 4G signal operating on 700MHz (band 12 or 13), 800MHz, 1900MHz, or the AWS band (1700/2100 MHz).
An LCD and pushbutton controls let installers optimize gain on each of the five bands for the location where the booster will be installed. It delivers up to 75dB of gain and features cellsite protection technologies to prevent interference with other cellular users.
Also new: the company’s first marine booster, the Marine Signal Booster Kit, retailing for a suggested $639 with marinegrade antenna. It amplifies 2G and 3G signals.
Yota is a Russian company coming to America to show what it calls the industry’s first two-sided smartphone with color LCD display on one side and electronic-paper display on the other for reading books and magazines.
Yota expects its 4G LTE Android 4.2 YotaPhone to be available globally in the second half of 2013.
The phone features 4.3-inch E Ink display, 4.3-inch HD 1,280 by 720 color LCD display, 1.5GHz dualcore CPU, 2,100 mAh battery, 12-megapixel main camera and HD front-facing camera. The e-paper display shows text without requiring users to wake up their phone, and it doesn’t drain a battery as quickly as a color LCD display, Yota said.
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.