Bellevue, Wash. - T-Mobile plans mid-month availability of a second Nokia 3G cellphone that doubles as a portable navigation device (PND) and downloads applications from Nokia's Ovi store.
The new model, the E73 Mode, is a GPS-equipped 3G phone with hard QWERTY keyboard but no touchscreen It's due June 16 in T-Mobile stores, select authorized dealers, and T-Mobile's
. It will be priced at $69.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate with a two-year service agreement for $30/month data plan.
Like T-Mobile, carrier AT&T offers Nokia phones that access Nokia's app store, but T-Mobile is the only U.S. carrier offering Nokia phones incorporating Nokia's Ovi Maps navigation feature, Nokia told TWICE.
T-Mobile's first Nokia phone with the PND and app-download features is the full-touchscreen
, which became available earlier this year at $69.99 after $50 rebate. It and the Mode are smartphones based on the Symbian OS.
Like a traditional PND, both Nokia phones incorporate on-board maps, points-of-interest (POI) data, and routing algorithm. Because the data reside on the device rather than on a carrier's servers, such phones provide multiple advantages over carrier's subscription-based navigation services. Consumers, for example, don't have to wait for maps and route information to download over the cellular network, phones can be used for navigation even when cellular signal is lost, and users don't have to pay a monthly fee.
The E73 Mode, said to be T-Mobile's full-QWERTY keyboard smartphone, features WiFi, compatibility with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, 5-megapixel camera with flash and autofocus, media player, full HTML Web browser, and Adobe Flash.
It also features WiFi voice calling via Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) technology, enabling users to place unlimited WiFi calls through T-Mobile's public WiFi hot spots and through home Wi-Fi routers optimized for the service. The phones are designed to take traffic off congested cellular networks and encourage people to use their cellphone as their primary home phone without using up cellphone minutes and without suffering from poor in-home cellular coverage.
The phone's Switch Mode lets users switch between fully customizable home screens that can be dedicated for personal or business use.
The preloaded Ovi Store app accesses thousands of applications and games, including "Shazam" and "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare." Consumers pay for their apps either through their T-Mobile bill or a credit card.
The phones' maps and navigation data are provided by digital map maker Navteq, acquired by Nokia in 2007.