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Smartphones, Messaging Phones Are Carrier Focus

New York — Smartphones and messaging phones have firmly entered the cellular mainstream as indicated by new models unveiled by AT&T Mobility and Leap Wireless.

AT&T announced the Nokia E71x and Samsung Propel Pro smartphones and four QWERTY-keyboard-

equipped messaging phones. The quartet consists of the Samsung Impression, Samsung Magnet, LG Xenon and LG Neon, and they expand the number of keyboard-equipped messaging phones to seven.

For its part, Leap Wireless announced plans to offer Motorola’s Evoke QA4, a multimedia phone with touchscreen, virtual QWERTY keyboard and slide-down dialing keypad. The 3G CDMA 1x EV-DO Rev. A phone operates in the 800/1900/1700/2100MHz bands. It will be available in all of Leap’s Cricket-brand markets in the second quarter at a price to be announced.

The Evoke slider features 2.8-inch touchscreen with virtual QWERTY keyboard; slide-out dialing keypad; full HTML browser; and home screen that can be customized using integrated widgets to deliver quick access to

favorite Web sites, including MySpace and YouTube, and personalized RSS feeds includingweather, sports scores, stock reports and news headlines. An accelerometer allows for portrait or landscape display. Other features include stereo Bluetooth, A/V playback, POP3/IMAP4 email access, 2-megapixel camera, 8GB MicroSD Card slot and assisted GPS.

At AT&T, the following phones will be available in the coming weeks:

Nokia E71x: Due sometime in April at $99.99 after $50 mail-in rebate, the quadband EDGE, dual-band HSDPA 3G phone is touted as the thinnest smartphone on the market with a thickness of 10mm. The bar-style device, based on the Symbian S60 3.2 OS, features hard QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Symbian-based applications, and such AT&T services as AT&T Navigator and Video Share. 8GB MicroSD card slot, assisted GPS, stereo Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, and 3.2-megapixel camera with auto focus and flash

Samsung Propel Pro: The offshoot of the Samsung Propel, the 3G Propel Pro slider, is due April 14 with touchscreen and slide-from-the-side QWERTY keyboard, Windows Mobile 6.1 OS and Wi-Fi at $149.99 after $50 mail-in rebate.

Samsung Impression: Due April 17, the QWERTY-keyboard-equipped Impression will be the nation’s first commercially available phone with AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) touchscreen. Other features of the $199 phone (after $50 rebate) include slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 3.2-inch screen, 3-megapixel camera/camcorder, camcorder-capable camera and full browser. Additional details were unavailable.

LG Xenon: This model goes on sale April 8 at $99 after $50 mail-in rebate. The quadband GSM/EDGE, 850/1900MHz HSDPA phone features 2.8-inch touchscreen with vibration feedback, display that shifts from portrait mode to landscape mode when rotated to use the QWERTY keyboard, ability to customize the home screen with nine shortcuts, enhanced Flash for an animated user interface, music playback while other applications are in use, 2-megapixel camera/camcorder with flash and landscape viewfinder for holding the phone like a camera, stereo Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR, video playback, MicroSD slot supporting 16GB cards and 80MB of embedded memory. The 3.81-ounce phone is 4.16 inches by 2.11 inches by 0.62 inches.

LG Neon: Due sometime in April, the Neon is a low-cost touch-screen device available QWERTY keyboard, 2-megapixel camera, and access to Instant Messaging, Mobile Email, AT&T Music and the mobile Internet. Additional details were unavailable.

Samsung Magnet: Due sometime in April, the quadband GSM Magnet is an orange and black bar-style phone with WAP browser, integrated VGA camera, predictive text input on the dialing keypad, SMS, MMS, and Windows Live, AIM and Yahoo! Instant messaging. Additional details were unavailable.