At 3GSM Congress the Taiwanese company Xcute Mobile exhibited its 3 new mobile phones – the DV50, DV80 and S50. Xcute S80 has impressive specs. It’s a slim model (9 mm) equipped with a 3-megapixel CMOS camera. It supports video capture at 30 fps. Its LTPS-LCD features 640×240 pixel resolution and up to 16M colors. Besides the S50 can play video of MPEG4, AVI, ASF and MOV, and MP3 music. There is a TV-out and an expansion slot for microSD (TransFlash) cards. Measuring 105x50x9 mm it weighs 100 g. The S50 should appear on the Taiwanese market in 3Q 2006. The DV80 and DV50 are similar in specs. Both have a 5-megapixel camera, 640x240x16M color LCD, TV-out and a slot for microSD (TransFlash) cards. The D80 is packed in a slider form and supports Bluetooth. They are expected in shops in May.
Operators and handset makers are moving toward standardizing on just a few mobile phone operating systems. They’re likely to choose relatively open platforms with large developer groups, according to experts at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona on Wednesday — but that doesn’t necessarily mean that end-users will soon be able to freely download lots of new applications, they said.Network operators are pushing handset makers to look for new operating system options on their mass market phones because the operators want to be able to sell customized handsets. Making changes to mass market phones that typically run on very old operating systems is increasingly difficult, said Peder Ulander, vice president of marketing for MontaVista Software, the developer of a Linux based operating system for mobile phones. In addition, operators want to try to standardize on just a few phone operating systems which would make it easier to offer consistent services across a wide range of devices. Vodafone Group currently supports handsets based on more than 15 different platforms, said Dirk Wierzbitzki, group director of terminals portfolio and services at Vodafone. Tweaking each application to work on each platform is expensive, and because the operator must work to the lowest common denominator, it’s not offering the innovative services that it wants, he said. As a result, Vodafone is looking to standardize on two or three platforms, he said. The company announced on Monday that the Symbian OS will be one of them. It may be some time before operators like Vodafone start pushing for Linux-based handsets, however, despite growing momentum from the Linux community for mobile products. “All big operators are considering handsets made with Linux,” said Wierzbitzki. “But there’s not one solution under the head of Linux that constitutes a phone.” He said that the Linux space is too fragmented still in the mobile market, without a single platform that provides all the components necessary to build a phone. “What’s needed is an effort to shape how Linux in mobile should work,” he said, noting that some such initiatives have already begun. Another option for low-end phones, being showcased at 3GSM, comes from Intrinsyc Software International, which offers handset makers a platform for developing mass market phones based on the core of Windows CE. Intrinsyc and Linux-based developers like MontaVista tout the large developer community that can create innovative applications for phones based on their operating systems. However, operators are at least currently reluctant to enable users to freely add new applications to their phones. “As an operator, we like openness but we want a certain degree of, I wouldn’t like to say control, but ability to innovate,” said Wierzbitzki. Operators are worried about increasing their support costs if users can download anything they want and they’re also concerned about opening up the potential for viruses, said Randy Kath, vice president of mobile software products for Intrinsyc. “But the operators will have to make that leap,” he said. Operators will need to rely increasingly on third party developers as demand grows for new types of services, he said.
E28 Limited has successfully demonstrated together with Bridgeport Networks server solution, a dual mode (GSM+WiFi) Linux smart phone performing on-line active call GSM-WiFi hand-off technology on an IMS based environment. The E28 dual mode device successfully performed GSM-WiFi seamless roaming, as well as the active call GSM-WiFi seamless hand-off.The successful demonstration makes the E28 Limited Dual Mode device the World’s First IMS capable mobile phone. The design target of this dual mode device is not to sacrifice any of the characteristics of today’s GSM single mode device in terms of – System stability, easy of use, talk and standby time, size, weight, cost and an attractive form factor. The user interface is further optimized with touch screen for easy “Data” access and navigation, as well as a number keypad for easy “Voice” dialing with a large LCD screen.It is obvious that E28 limited is right on the wave of this revolution and it proves to the world that the Fix Mobile Convergence is becoming a reality. People can be connected wherever they go, whenever they desire and at whatever cost budget they choose.The VP of Marketing & Chief Software Architect of E28 limited, Michael Chu said that E28 GSM platforms are based on TI OMAP 730 Chipset, running on Linux OS. Together with this single chip, tri-core architecture plus E28 limited’s smart phone design know-hows and Linux mobile software ensuring the compactness of the device, and sufficient performance to drive the demanding multimedia and VoIP applications. Features: Dual Mode (GSM Triband / WiFi) MontaVista Linux 262k colors screen QVGA resolution 64 MB flash memory 830 mAH battery VoIP Touchpad 1.3 megapixel camera Transflash slot Mini USB Connection MP3 player Video recording Java
” There is the only color solution – modern black color. The plastic is glossy as in Motorola MPx200. Fingerprints stick to it easily, however it’s not that noticeable. There is a groove of uneven plastic at sides, so the device rests well in hand, not slipping down. The assembly quality is high, there is no backlash. We can’t either call it monolith (plastics gives way in some places, if press there) or say we have complaints. Design has something in common with HTC Magician, the influence of the latter is obvious, the location of key elements and proportions coincide.” Read this review here:
Handango has released their 2005 Year End edition of the Handango Yarkstick, a global report on the state of the mobile content industry. The reports include a 2005 Year End edition as well specific reports for each of the five major mobile operating systems: BlackBerry, Palm OS, Symbian OS and Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Smartphone. Comparing Handango’s 2005 year-end statistics with 2004, the Year End Yardstick reported several new mobile content trends. Surge in Multimedia ContentAlthough mostly absent from the 2004 Yardstick, multimedia was the hot new category for 2005. Overall, multimedia content ranked seventh in the top ten sales by categories. MP3 and music players; DVD/video converters and viewers; ringtone managers and more topped the best sellers lists for each platform. Top titles include Ring Tone Megaplex for BlackBerry, Ringo Pro for Palm OS, Pocket-DVD Studio for Windows Mobile Pocket PC and SmartMovie for Symbian OS. The trend continued with the top search terms. Three of the top ten searches were for multimedia applications. ‘MP3/music’ topped the list in 2005 with 4.94 percent of all searches, ‘ringtones’ ranked fourth with 4.75 percent and ‘DVD/video’ rounded out the top ten with 2.23 percent. Increase in Average Selling PriceThe Yardstick reported an overall increase in the average selling price (ASP) of content, up from $16.96 in 2004 to $20.03 in 2005. Each category also saw an overall increase. The Recognition & Languages and Hobbies categories had the highest ASP at $40.04 and $39.94, respectively. The Medical category — 2004’s highest ASP category — ranked third at $39.34, despite a 50 percent increase from 2004. Personal Finance and Document Management completed the top five at $30.37 and $28.76, respectively. New Phones Adding ContentOnly four of the top ten devices adding content in 2004 — the Palm Treo 600/650, O2 XDA, Sony Ericsson P900/P910 and Palm Tungsten T Series — made this year’s top ten list. The shift highlights the dynamic nature of the market as well as the strength of new devices. New smart devices making the list this year include the Motorola RAZR V3, the BlackBerry 7100 Series and the BlackBerry 7250/7290. The latter were the first BlackBerry smartphones to ever make the top ten list. Palm OS ReportWhile the Palm OS platform boasted more than 2,125 new applications in 2005, this number was down 89 percent year over year. Regarding average selling prices by category, Medical had the highest ASP of all categories at $59.09. Development Tools ranked second at $44.31. For sales by category, the Productivity category generated 21 percent of sales. Combined with Utilities and Business & Professional, the three categories accounted for 47 percent of total sales. The Palm Treo 650 dethroned the Palm Treo 600 as the number one device adding content, pushing it to number two. Other top devices adding content included the Palm Tungsten E, Palm Tungsten T3 and Palm Tungsten T5. The following were the top ten best-selling applications for Palm OS: Agendus Professional Edition Treo Voice Dialing AOL for Treo 650 Agendus Standard Edition PocketMirror Standard Edition Diet & Exercise Assistant SplashID KeySuite SOLITAIRE PACK Ringo Pro You can download the Palm OS Yardstick here. (PDF) Windows Mobile Pocket PCWhile Windows Mobile Pocket PC had the most new applications across all platforms in 2005 with 3,024, like Palm OS, it was also down year over year by 17 percent. For the top ten searches, the term ‘Voice/Voice Command’ ranked as the second most searched term at 3.74 percent, just behind ‘GPS’ at 4.92 percent of searches. Concerning sales by category, Utilities dethroned Productivity, ranking as the number one category with 17 percent of sales. Overall, Utilities, Productivity, Business & Professional and Games accounted for 51 percent of total sales. Software Tools had the second highest ASP across all platforms at $69.99. Hobbies and Medical followed at $49.30 and $39.28, respectively. The top ten Windows Mobile Pocket PC applications were: Spb Pocket Plus Battery Pack Pro Agenda Fusion Pocket-DVD Studio SBSH PocketBreeze Microsoft Voice Command – US Edition Pocket Informant eWallet Pocket Controller-Professional Spb Weather Download the Windows Mobile Pocket PC edition of the Handango Yardstick here. (PDF) You can find reports for BlacBerry, Symbian and Microsoft Smartphone here.