N91 and E70 FCC approved N91 supports UPnP

The Nokia N91, the music focused phone with a hard disk, and the E70, the enterprise focused phone with a gulwing form factor, have been approved by the FCC. The documents available include internal pictures (where the N91’s hard disk is visible) and the user manuals. The N91 user manual reveals the N91 will innclude UPnP support and includes details on the Music Shop application which will allow users to download music over the air to their phones and the PC Music Sync (which uses Windows Media Player Highlights revealed from the manual about the music functionality of the phone include: Music Shop allowing purchase and download over the air from a client application. PC Sync of music files via Windows Media Player 11 (via USB Cable), including Janus DRM protected WMA files. View as a external hard disk and transfer files (via USB, Bluetooth or WiFi/WLAN). Creation and editing of equaliser presets. Creation and editing of playlists via the Music application on the phone. Edit details of music file (ID3 tags editing) via the Music application on the phone. Support for Album Art (including choosing your own image from the Phone’s Gallery application). Set as song as the ringtone of the phone.The Music Shop application is a generic ‘service type’ application and has settings that can be specified by the user (although these can be locked by an operator). This service/settings based architecture is similar to that used in SMS / MMS services. In most instances the user will use the default settings provided by an operator. However the Music Shop application is service agnostic, meaning it can be connected to any service which supports it. The music shop allows you to search for and download music to your N91 directly from the phone.Other new functionality of note includes: UPnP support which allows for the sharing of files (the extent of this functionality is not clear as it looks like a later addition to the manual [see indexes]). Universl Plug and Play will almost certainly facillitate the sharing of playlists and music talked about by Nokia at the phones launch. It should also allow you to play music from your N91 to your home WiFi provided it is UPnP compatiable (or has a UPnP adaptor). Flash Player allow playing of Flash Lite files which may include simple animation or videos or full fledged mobile applications (examples at the Flash Lite exchange). Support for SVG Graphics which are viewed in the Gallery application as Presentations. SVG Graphics are often used for maps and cartoons and maintain their appearance when viewed at different resoltuions.There also details on the usual S60 application including (deep breath) Messaging, Contacts, Calendar, Camera (max. image capture at 1600 x 1200, max. video capture at 352 x 288), Gallery, Services (not the newer KHTML based web browser), Real Player (video and audio), Recorder, Visual Radio, Notes, Log, Calculator, Converter, Voice Commands, Application Manager, IM (now supports saving of Chat transcripts), and Push To Talk.Of course the usual caveats apply – this is a draft manual and is subject to change, and your operator may remove some of the mentioned applications of functions.

Nokia 9300i Communicator reviewed

“What’s amazing about the 9300i (and its close cousin the 9300) is the size of the device. A few years ago the size of a closed 9300i would have been a great size on its own for a new phone (the Nokia 6230 springs to mind in terms of size). And while it’s a little bit bigger than the norm, it’s now possible pull out a communicator in the pub without getting laughed at. One of the biggest benefits to this is that it’s comfortable to use as a phone, it fits nicely in the hand, and can stay welded to your ear with no problems.” Read this review at allaboutsymbian.com

Hamas Portable Media Player VSV20

PMPs are growing in popularity and exposure. The latest update comes from Hama, and it is the Mobile MediaSafe VSV2.An upgrade of the company’s VSV-20, the new PMP sports a 3.5-inch screen, a 30GB drive, and a battery that can last 10 hours. Support options include DivX, MPEG4, and Windows Media 10 DRM. Data transfer can take place via USB, CF, SD, MM MemoryCards, MemorySticks, or MicroDrives. And not as if you need it, but it also has a remote.The size of a deck of cards, the VSV2 has an FM tuner and can also double as a DVR if hooked up to a television.It will be formally unveiled at the CeBIT show in a few weeks and available commercially shortly thereafter. via mobilemag.com

Spb Diary 1.7 Released for Pocket PC

PictureDial Released for the Treo 650“Spb Software House announces the release of Spb Diary 1.7. Spb Diary is a feature-rich Today plug-in for your Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, Notes and Messages. It enhances Pocket Outlook by gathering all of your PIM information in one place. The new version introduces a bundle of new features like the Messages Tab, an auto-height adjustment feature, native birthdays support and integration with Spb Finance as well as improved speed, better usability in the Notes Tab and many other changes. It is the hundreds of small features and improvements that altogether make a product truly useful and this is what we set out to accomplish with Spb Diary 1.7. The main goal for this release was to make Spb Diary so easy and fast to use, that you can almost forget about it and concentrate on your business.”NEW! Messages tab (E-mail and SMS)NEW! Auto-height adjustementNEW! Birthdays and anniversariesNEW! Integration with Spb Weather and Spb FinanceWindows Mobile 5 supportFive PIM Today plug-ins in oneTabs for Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, Notes and MessagesIntegration with all popular PIMsVGA resolution (480×640) and landscape screen support

Review GSM phone Motorola ROKR E2

“And the main problem that Motorola faced with its first phones was high energy consumption, as phones were dual processor. One of them was responsible for a Linux component (which is actually an interface of an application), and another one deal with network functions. The operating system was not optimized for smartphones, which resulted in low indexes and required a more capacious battery. A typical JUIX product worked about a day in real life, or one and a half day at best. So, the company was afraid that European market won’t treat such devices seriously, and that is why they were released only in Asia. Motorola A780 is an example of such a JUIX product, which may be regarded as a representative of the first generation. In fact, support for a touchscreen is no trouble for a JUIX solution.” Read more here:

Despite Holiday Push, Handheld Market Experiences Decline!

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., February 2, 2006 – The worldwide market for handheld devices swelled to its largest quarterly shipment volume all year, reaching 2.2 million units during the fourth quarter, growing 37.6% from the previous quarter. According to IDC’s Worldwide Handheld QView, growth was driven largely by a combination of holiday sales and larger shipment volumes of devices that were introduced earlier in the year. But despite reaching its zenith during the year, shipment volumes decreased 18.2% from the same quarter a year ago. For full year 2005, shipments of handheld devices reached 7.5 million units, a 16.7% decrease from the 9.1 million units shipped in 2004.”Vendors with a global footprint still lead the worldwide market, but more and more, vendors with a multi- or even a single region focus have earned top five worldwide status with their focused shipment distribution,” said Ramon Llamas, research analyst at IDC’s Mobile Markets group. “The departure of other worldwide vendors has opened the door for smaller vendors to improve their position within the market. During the course of the year, several smaller vendors remained within striking distance of beating each other for the number four or five position, and even posed a challenge to some of the worldwide vendors.”Although the market has been under immense pressure by the rise in shipments of converged mobile devices (devices that combine the PIM functionality of a handheld device with telephony), Llamas adds that vendors still remain committed to the handheld market. “New devices continue to come out from the market leaders, aimed at different user types and offered at different price points. With the addition of GPS solutions, multimedia capability, and WiFi connectivity, handhelds offer additional value beyond just PIM for the user.”Vendor Highlights Palm. Palm maintained its position as the worldwide leader within the handheld device market, reaching its highest shipment volumes all year. Palm grew its shipments 109.7% from last quarter, but also experienced a 13.2% decline from the same quarter a year ago. With 45.6% market share, the company more than doubled the second-place vendor, HP. Hewlett-Packard. Growing 16.9% from last quarter, HP remained the clear number two vendor of handheld devices for the quarter, claiming 20.8% market share. Although this marked yet another positive sequential increase for HP, its shipments decreased 33.1% year over year, the largest decrease among the top five vendors. HP more than doubled the shipments of the number three worldwide vendor, Dell. Dell. Climbing one spot into the number three position is Dell, which improved its shipment volumes 10.2% from last quarter, but slipped 9.2% from the same quarter a year ago. As a result, Dell grabbed 8.0% worldwide market share. With several models reaching end of life at the beginning of the quarter, the company experienced strong fourth quarter demand with the X51 series. Although this marked Dell’s return to the number three position after a two quarter hiatus, its position is hardly secure with Acer following behind by just 50,000 units. Acer. After enjoying two quarters in the number three spot, Acer’s worldwide shipment volumes decreased 33.1% sequentially, the only vendor among the top five to experience a sequential decline. At the same time, Acer was the only vendor among the top five to have a positive year-over-year improvement at an impressive 110.4%. By the end of the quarter, Acer earned 5.7% worldwide market share.Medion. Rounding out and returning to the top five vendor list after a two quarter absence is Medion, whose shipments grew an astounding 287.8% from the previous quarter, the largest sequential increase of any of the top five vendors. When compared to its volumes from a year ago, shipments decreased 15.7%. Unlike the top four vendors, the majority of Medion’s shipments have been confined within Western Europe, making it the only company with a single regional footprint to earn top five worldwide honors, and ultimately took 4.3% market share. Top 5 Vendors, Worldwide Handheld Device Shipments and Market Share, 4Q 2005 (Preliminary) Rank Vendor 4Q 2005 Shipments 4Q 2005 Market Share 4Q 2004 Shipments 4Q 2004 Market Share 1 Palm 1,019,464 45.6% 1,174,371 43.0% 2 HP 465,000 20.8% 695,427 25.4% 3 Dell 178,500 8.0% 196,572 7.2% 4 Acer 126,602 5.7% 60,197 2.2% 5 Medion 96,942 4.3% 115,000 4.2% Others 349,067 15.6% 491,849 18.0% Total 2,235,575 100.0% 2,733,386 100.0% Source: IDC Handheld QView, February 2, 2006 Notes: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors. Handheld devices are pocket-sized, either pen or keypad-centric, and are capable of synchronizing with desktop or laptop computers. Handheld devices are designed to access and manage data including office documents, multimedia, and games. Handheld devices do not include telephony but may include wireless capabilities that enable Internet access and text communication. These devices feature evolved operating systems or applications environments such as the Palm OS, Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Linux, or other proprietary platforms with the ability to download, run applications, and store user data beyond their required PIM capabilities.IDC’s Worldwide Handheld QView provides device vendors, software developers, service providers, and component suppliers with timely and accurate information on the worldwide handheld market. The program provides quarterly measurements of worldwide unit shipments and vendor market shares.

Gigabyte gsmart to come out outside Taiwan

Last December Gigabyte released g-smart smartphone under its brand in Taiwan. Now there is some info the device will be released with the name i-teq BOND in the Near and Middle East. The release should take place on February 15. I’d remind you that the smartphone is powered by Windows Mobile 5.0. A peculiar feature about it is that it is equipped with a TV and FM-tuners. The i-teq BOND is likely to come out with the English OS version onboard.The specs of the i-teq BOND:
Standards – GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz) and GPRS class 10
2.4” TFT touchscreen, QVGA (240×320 pixels), 262K colors
2.1-megapixel camera
Intel PXA 272 416 MHz processor
64 MB RAM and 64 MB flash memory
Wi-Fi (802.11b), Bluetooth 1.2.1, IrDA and USB
Slot for miniSD cards
Li-Ion 840 mAh battery
Dimensions – 109×53.5×24 mm
Weight – 153 g via mobile-review.com

RAZR slider out in China

A big trend in mobile phones these days is to get them to be as slim as possible, and many will attribute this phenomenon to the Motorola RAZR thin clamshell. Even Motorola itself has taken the concept of the RAZR and made it into a candybar-like design (the recently available SLVR). The only other main design yet untapped is the slider, until now. Some company in China has created a RAZR clone that has a slider-type design and a large TFT LCD screen. This GSM copycat has an adequate 1.3 megapixel camera and 60MB of available memory at its disposal. Interestingly, this RAZR wannabe is even lighter than the real thing at a mere 90 grams (Okay, so that’s only 5 grams less than the original V3).If you’re interested in picking this up and shocking all your friends when you slide open your “RAZR”, you’ll have to head over to China to grab one at a price of around $215 USD. To keep with the four letter Motorola formula, let’s refer to this thing as the RAZR SLDR. via mobilemag.com

Rumor: New Palm OS Treo in April

Forbes has an article on recent statements made by Caris & Company Equity Research analyst Susan Kalla about Palm. The analyst states that Palm’s stock has seen a sharp increase in recent weeks due to a takeover rumors on Wall Street, but believes the company will remain independent. The real news of the statement is that she believes the new Treo 700 with the Palm OS may be delivered in April, before expectations of May, and may also be released initially at Verizon.The forbes article also mentions that sales of the Treo 700w have been strong and is sold out in many Verizon stores. Kalla also thinks that Palm will also have three new international phones out of four total new phones in 2006, and at least one new model could be for Vodafone. The same analyst previously remarked that the Treo 700p would also have an EVDO radio and would be out before May, in an article last November. via palminfocenter.com

Palm to be Bought by Apple?

Wall Street reporters are having a field day with a letter written by major Palm shareholder, Mark Nelson, calling for the sale of Palm to a larger company. That seems reasonable enough, but now everyone is speculating on potential buyers. A short list from Bloomberg includes Apple, Dell, RIM and HP.Research In Motion Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. are among potential buyers, Nelson, who is the third-largest holder with about 7 percent of the company’s stock, wrote in a letter to the board disclosed today in a U.S. regulatory filing. “Palm will face significant threats to its business,” Nelson wrote. “Now is the time for the Palm board to act, while Palm still has category-leading products, marketplace momentum and a terrific balance sheet.” Competition from devices such as Motorola Inc.’s Q handset and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry may undercut Sunnyvale, California-based Palm’s efforts to increase profit, Nelson said. Palm’s new Treo phone, powered by Microsoft Corp. software, debuted to mixed reviews last month with complaints about the Windows operating system. From BloombergOf course the Apple name is very exciting and seems to mesh, since Palm is in an Apple-esque position in the handheld industry. But would Apple really want a company that offers products based on the Microsoft operating system? Also, Jobs has been vocal about his happiness that Apple left hte PDA business when they did. But at this point it’s more about the smartphones and Palm has built a very good brand with the Treo.Dell is another interesting name. With rumors circulating that the Axim handhelds are going away, maybe they’re looking to replace them with Palm’s units. The Dell rumors point to Michael Dell wanting to get out of all pen-based input though.HP could certainly afford Palm, and with their new management, the company appears to be more nimble and organized. HP has several Smartphone irons in the fire, so could they effectively absorb Palm? HP’s handhelds have not been very good of late though, so perhaps they’re ready to throw in the towel, bringing in experts in the field.RIM has so many legal problems at the moment, it’s hard to imagine they’d be able to divert resources toward buying Palm. Palm deices might make a nice compliment though to their BlackBerry offerings, since many corporations use Exchange rather than RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server. This is all speculation though, these four names might be real or the results of this writer’s imagination. If I had to place a bet, assuming a sale is consummated, I’d put my money on a larger handset manufacturer, though any of these four could be a reasonable fit in unique ways. via bargainpda.com