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Informa Telecoms & Media predicts global handset sales to top 1.25 billion by 2011 but 2006 will be the last year of massive overall worldwide growth London, 3rd October 2006 – The rate of overall worldwide mobile handset growth will slow dramatically from 2007, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. The latest edition of Informa’s flagship report, entitled “Future Mobile Handsets”, reveals that saturation in developed markets will start to balance out the booming growth in emerging regions. Informa predicts the number of handsets shipped will still rise from 814.4 million at the end of 2005 to 1.255 billion by 2011. “Handset manufacturers have enjoyed a fantastic time of it in recent years, but they’re really going to struggle to sell as many handsets and sustain the same levels of profitability,” commented Dave McQueen, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media. “The growth in developing markets such as India, China and Latin America is impressive but we are not seeing the same levels of phone take-up per capita. With handset sales in saturated developed markets being much slower and reliant on replacement of old models, the net effect is a major slowdown in overall rate of growth from next year.”Since the slump in the worldwide handset market at the turn of the century, it has experienced double-digit growth year on year. Informa’s predictions, however, reveal this buoyant growth will slow from 2007 onwards, with annual growth rates eventually declining from 15.7% in 2006 to 3% in 2011. The emerging economies are experiencing large increases in subscriber numbers, driven by healthier economies and the availability of low-cost, entry-level handsets. Yet in more developed regions with high penetration rates, growth is largely restricted to active replacement of technologically advanced handsets – with capabilities including digital cameras, MP3 playback, video and broadcast TV – and will not sustain such major increases.1. MARKET CONSOLIDATION CONTINUESConsolidation among handset manufacturers has been prevalent in recent times, and Informa predicts a sustained period of mergers and acquisitions. Intense competition and a shortening handset model lifespan are forcing many vendors and operators to drastically change their business models or risk dropping out of the market. Many – especially in the over-serviced Chinese market – will be swallowed up by dominant leading brands such as Nokia and Motorola who are pulling away from the rest. Pressure will also come as a result of the very low profit margins gained by low-cost handsets sold in some developing territories. 2. FUNCTIONALITYIn developed markets, functionality will become ever more important for handset manufacturers as they attempt to maintain sales in spite of high levels of penetration. The onset of multimedia messaging, in tandem with colour screens, has now pushed the mass-market arrival of cameraphones in most markets worldwide, followed closely by gaming, video download and video streaming. The next key battlegrounds for vendors are music and mobile TV.According to Informa’s findings, 9.6% (120.12 million) of all handsets sold will be equipped with broadcast mobile TV capability in 2011. The strongholds of China and South Korea will dominate this sector over the coming years, but by 2011 the US, China and Europe will have also grown to be key.Informa believes the number of handsets sold with music capabilities will rise from 69.8 million in 2005 to 126.1 million in 2006 – an 80% increase. 2011 is predicted to see 55% of all handsets sold enabled with music playback functionality.Cameraphones, one of the most successful features of next generation handsets, will represent 81% of total handset market sales by 2011. Informa believes this is still a major growth area, especially as operators have thus far failed to capitalise on increasing revenues from cameraphones by focusing the technology on person-to-person messaging rather than activities normally associated with digital cameras, such as uploading pictures onto PCs and either printing them out or sharing them via the Internet. Improved software enabling users to upload images straight onto a personal mobile web blog (moblog) site will help drive the market.Dave McQueen comments, “Whilst the technology has improved significantly to handle many of these added features, future mobile handsets will need to incorporate more powerful processors, greater memory components, enhanced displays and increased battery longevity to cope effectively. The industry must face up to challenges ranging from consumer cynicism and pricing, to network interoperability, compatibility and roaming issues if many of the newer services are to reach critical mass.”3. REGIONAL BREAKDOWNAsia-Pacific has been the world’s largest handset market over the past four years, with sales estimated at 287.8 million in 2005 – 38% in China alone. Growth in the region is expected to continue dramatically over the next five years as penetration is still relatively low. North American handset sales reached 120.1 million in 2005, and a period of extensive network transition plus a flood of new handset models should see this continue in the short term. The market in Latin America is also picking up speed mainly through the large increases in subscriber numbers in what is a highly populated region with low penetration rates. Africa and the Middle East will lag behind the rest of the world over the forecast period, although some countries will experience solid growth, such as the relatively technically-advanced countries of Morocco, Egypt, the UAE, Nigeria, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
“EQO Communications today announced the immediate availability a new version of EQO Mobile, extending the instant messenger services – including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, GoogleTalk, Jabber, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Instant Messenger and Skype – to mobile phones. With EQO, users can access all of their IM services from their phone and exchange free text and picture messages with other EQO users.Designed for “power-users” on online communities, especially teens and young adults who belong to multiple IM and social networks, EQO Mobile serves as a next generation mobile phone book that enables users to:
Synchronize contacts from multiple IM buddy lists and multiple IM accounts
Check who’s online and available with real time presence
Make and receive mobile VoIP calls using Skype
Create and maintain a personalized mobile profile, expressing their mood and location by uploading pictures and text directly from their phone
Exchange web-to-phone, phone-to-web and phone-to-phone text and picture messages with a simple click-to-call or click-to-IM feature.
EQO Mobile now enables users to add friends and see what they’ve posted from their mobile phone. It also allows users to include a call back phone number or IM screen name as part of an EQO message, enabling the recipient to start a conversation using a simple click-to-call or click-to-IM feature. The new version of EQO Mobile and the EQO Me widget are available for free at www.eqo.com.”
“Even better LG VX9900 photo leaked. The poster also answered some of the questions and reveals some of the specifications including a 2 megapixel camera, thinner body, able to open office documentOk to answer a few questions yes its thinner way thinner actually its as thick as the bottom half of the 9800. the camera on this device was 2.0 and took clear shots the pics you see were taken with the 9800. sorry that some of the pics were blurry. This device in its test form could open certain windows based program files such as excel and word. I dont know if thats going to production but thats what was on this guy. Got any other questions ill answer em.” More photos here: