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Phones With New OSs, HD Video, e-Reading Debut

3/09/2010 04:16:00 PM Eastern
BARCELONA, SPAIN — Operating system (OS) platforms proliferated here at the Mobile World Congress, where Microsoft unveiled its Windows Phone 7 smartphone OS, suppliers unveiled a lot more Android- based phones, and Nokia and Intel merged their Linux platforms into a new OS for a variety of mobile and home applications.

Samsung also unveiled the fi rst phone based on its open Bada OS for downloading third-party applications.

In other developments at the show:
• Two more phones that record and store HD video turned up from Samsung and SonyEricsson, joining a SonyEricsson model announced earlier this year.
• More phones turned up with fast 1GHz processors, including one model each from HTC and Samsung.
• Motorola unveiled its latest Android- based phone, which is its fourth for the U.S. and eighth worldwide. The full-touch 3G Cliq XT will be available through T-Mobile USA in March.
• T-Mobile unveiled its first HSPA+ device, a USB laptop stick due in March in the U.S. to deliver theoretical peak throughputs up to 21Mbps.

T-Mobile also debuted the HTC HD2 Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone, due in the spring and said to offer the largest touchscreen on the U.S. market at 4.3 inches. The large screen makes it easier on the eyes to read e-books downloaded through an included Barnes & Noble eReader application, view movies downloaded via embedded Wi-Fi from Blockbuster’s fi rst smartphone video-download application, and view live and ondemand TV via cellular through MobiTV’s application. The HD2 will be T-Mobile’s 10th 7.2Mbps HSPA phone.

In OS announcements, Microsoft said Windows Phone 7 phones will be available in time for the fourth-quarter holidays, enabling consumers to take advantage of a user interface that borrows from the company’s ZuneHD portable media player. Handset makers that will offer Windows Phone 7 phones are Samsung, LG, SonyEricsson, HTC, HP, Dell, Toshiba and Garmin Asus. U.S. carriers that will offer the phones include AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile.

For their joint announcement, Intel and Nokia said their merged Linux-based OS, called MeeGo, is designed for use on a variety of devices, including smartphones, pocket-sized mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, connected TVs and in-vehicle entertainment systems. MeeGo’s release is scheduled for the second quarter, with devices launching later in the year.

In offering its own OS, S amsung unveiled the 3G HSPAequipped Wave, a fulltouchscreen phone whose open Bada platform enables third-party developers to create applications that can be downloaded through a Samsung store. The device features 1GHz processor, 720p HD video storage, virtual 5.1 surround, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and 3.3-inch Super AMOLED display. It will be available internationally in April. The company has no plans to bring it to the U.S.

For its part, SonyEricsson showed its second phone with HD-video recording. Like the full-touchscreen Vivaz announced earlier this year, the Vivaz Pro features 720p HD-video recording and playback, VGA video output and Symbian S60 smartphone OS, but the Pro adds a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Both models come in versions that operate in 3G HSPA mode in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands and in the overseas 2100MHz band. A version banded specifi cally for markets outside the U.S. operates in 3G HSPA mode only in overseas 900/2100MHz bands.

The Vivaz Pro will be available in undisclosed markets in the second quarter with 3.2- inch 16:9 touchscreen, Wi-Fi and DLNA certification.

SonyEricsson’s second and third Android phones are the Android 1.6 Xperia X10 Mini and Xperia X10 Mini Pro, both with 600MHz processors. They will join the previously announced Experia X10, also Android-based. All three are available in versions that will operate in 3G HSPA mode in the U.S. 850/1900MHz bands and overseas 2100MHz band. The Mini and Mini Pro are smaller versions of the X10. The X10 and X10 Mini are full-touch models, and the X10 Mini Pro adds slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

The Xperia X10 was due in the U.S. in the first quarter, the company previously said. The Mini and Mini Pro are due in unspecifi ed markets in the second quarter.

New phones with 1GHz processors include Samsung’s Wave, and HTC’s Desire, one of two new HTC smartphones — including the Legend — using the latest 2.1 version of the Android OS. Neither HTC model is available for use in U.S. 3G markets.
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