At the annual display CEBIT in Hannover manufacturers present a great deal of new products. As a rule, before opening visitors do not know what models will be displayed there. Nokia, for example, prefers to announce new models of mobile phones exactly in Hannover. Usually after presentation of a model it appears on the shelves a couple of months later. Let's see what manufacturers offer us this time.
Today we will talk about new phones of the second generation, i.e. intended for the current mobile networks, in particular GSM networks. Conceptual models will be also displayed, but they are intended for third generation networks and therefore can give only a rough idea about future phones. It's connected with the fact that in Europe 3G networks will start flooding the market not earlier than 2005-2007.
Now up the new articles. Motorola, one of the top manufacturers, announced a renewed series of GSM mobile phones. At 3GSM World forum in February in Cannes Motorola announced that they intended to promote GPRS technology in new models of mobile phones.
GPRS technology (General Packet Radio Service) was developed for high speed data transmission via the current GSM-networks. Note that apart from increase in speed (171.2 kbps maximum), the new service offers a new paying system - proportionally to the volume of data transferred, and not to online time. Besides, GPRS will allow to distribute radio-frequency resource more rationally: data packets will be transferred via many channels at the same time (simultaneous use of several channels allow to receive speed gain) in pauses between speech transmission. Voice traffic has an unquestionable priority over data, that is why data rate is defined not only by possibilities of network and user equipment, but also by net load. In GPRS neither channel is taken for data transfer entirely - and it is a main difference of the new technology from the current ones.
Motorola is already producing phones with support of GPRS communication; and it is a single supplier of such devices (it is Timeport 260 model which provides a continuous Internet access). This model is sold by 35 operators of mobile communication.
This year they are going to release 4 more GPRS-models: a small V 120 and a triband V66 will appear in the Q2, and a relatively cheap Talkabout 192 and Accompli 008 with organizer functions and a sensor display are due in the Q3. All these models apart from the v120 will be shown at CEBIT.
Note that a major competitor of Motorola, Nokia, has postponed mass shipping of GPRS-phones until the Q4, 2001.
It's no secret that Motorola phones were always ascetic and lacked for some functions present in phones of other manufacturers. In T250 model the graphics design is completely changed. For the first time they included games (Bricks, Tower of Hanoy, Baccarat), as well as dropdown menus. Plus, now you can see a sender's name on the display when receiving SMS.
Among its advantages I should note the fact that an alarm clock works only when the phone is on. Battery capacity is relatively small (500 mAh), but it allows using phone during 48 hours without turning it off.
The v.120 model has bright front panels, more pleasant case form, and small animated screensavers. Among other revolutionary innovations there is support for mp3 player. Unfortunately, this model will first appear on South-Eastern Asian market, and if succeeded it will reach Europe.
The v66 model is an extension of clamshell phone series (v3688, v3690), but unlike the previous models it supports three bands (GSM 1900 added) and GPRS technology. In all other respects its functions are standard. The estimated price for the first time will be $400.
The T192 belongs to a category of cheap devices but it also features GPRS support. It differs from other Motorola phones primarily in an internal antenna what makes the design more attractive. The model will be produced as three color solutions: magic black, flannel grey, silver ghost. For the first time they will use removable front panels of other colors, animated screens savers (like in the v120), customizable ringing tones, reception of tones with SMS messages. Among other functions there are voice dialing, predictive text input (iTap technology, analog of T9). In the T192 model a user menu is much improved. Another model, which manufacturers developed starting from nothing, is T191.
The T191 model is also inexpensive, but unlike T192 it has an external antenna and is much smaller than the specified model. Since the phones are different their accessories do not fit each other.
In the T series there is a new model T205, which lacks for GPRS support but features WAP browser. The main advantage of the phone is its size - its width is only 7 mm.
The Accompli 008 model is positioned as a smartphone which implements also many other functions. In particular, it's a fullscale electronic organizer with Internet access and e-mail support. A hybrid of a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and a mobile phone is very perspective, and Motorola clearly realizes it. They launched one of the first smartphones but it was intended for Asian market (Accompli A6188). Among advantages there is a large sensor display, handwriting recognition function, a convenient phonebook, a plenty of possibilities for synchronization with PC. Among downsides I should note short working time with a standard battery and a relatively large weight (140 g). Initially there are only two-color solutions: silvery-titanic and dark blue metallic.
So, at the display Motorola will show already available models such as v.50, v.51 (analog of v8088 intended for Asian market), v.100, Timeport 250, Timeport 260. Among new products there will be Timeport T280, v.66, T191, T192, T205, Accompli 008. Announce of other models from Motorola at CEBIT is improbable.
Changing in policy course is quite enormous. Phones are now user-friendly, with some games and a lot of other new possibilities. For example, in the majority of models they included sending and receiving of ringing tomes with SMS messages. No secret that many like Motorola phones for their hidden possibilities, in particular, a popular M Motorola series (m3888) had no clocks, but they can be enabled with some simple manipulations. A user got a phone of a higher class for small sum of money. Such operations can also be made in T2288 and v2288 models which until today had neither clock nor alarm. Now at CEBIT we will see new versions of software for these models with such functions as a clock, alarm and a possibility of sending ringing tones with SMS messages. Such pleasant news which wouldn't have had a place if the company had succeeded. The company told that the Q1 results would be worse than the estimated due to drop in sales in their semiconductor and communacational subdivisions, and now they are decreasing a plank the second time. The first time analysts introduced a forecast according to which Motorola must earn 12 cents per share with the sales volume equal to $88 billion. The results are even worse than in the previous year but now they suppose they wouldn't reach even this level.
The problems are hidden in a slowdown of American economy, the company considers, and structural alteration of demand on technological markets which force companies to change strategies, thus incurring extra costs. Nevertheless Motorola is going to start a strategy of decreasing costs adopting simultaneously new economical conditions.
The first step will be reduction of the stuff, reportedly by 10%, it is 13,000 people. Another step is mobilization of inner reserves and production of really interesting products, in particular it concerns the phones which will be announced at Cebit.
Another mobile grand is Nokia which is also going to introduces several new models. I suppose that one of them will be an entry level model, or a budget model. In this sector of the market the company has no their own share since all their devices cost more than $100 at retail. On the contrary, Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens have models for this low price niche what distinguishes them out in this direction.
The second expected model is a business model with GPRS support, 6310, which is a straight extension of 6210 model in functionality. Apart from GPRS support 6310 model features Bluetooth support. Besides, operating time of the battery increased and now phone can work up to 20 days in standby mode!!!
Another model to be announced is 8310 which will replace the 8210. The phone features wap browser and a built-in fm receiver. And of course an intriguing design.
According to rumors, Nokia has introduced a new youth model 3330. But apparently the model won't be very popular due to its high price. On the other hand, the phones were always renowned for interesting and functional design. That is why I suppose that the sales level will be high enough.
The model differs from 3310 (identical in design and hardware) in an additional game, a phonebook for 100 entries and a new color of the case. Plus, there is wap browser 1.1. This phone can be used with a new accessory from Nokia - Nokia Music Player. Apart from 32 MBytes memory card there is an fm tuner as well as an independent power supply from one AAA battery. Music is recorded in AAC format, the player is equipped with software for conversion of CDs in this format. In this format 32 MBytes can keep up to 1 hour of music. Loading is to done from a PC via USB cable.
They will for sure introduce a smartphone from Nokia - 9210. It's dual-range GSM model with a color LCD which can display up to 4096 colors at 640X200. Beside ordinary functions the phone has support for normal working in the Internet realized by:
A huge advantage is a Memory Card connector which solves the problem of transferring files with user data. The 9210 works with files of all the most popular graphics formats: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. Among downsides is its weight (244 g) and dimensions (158 x 56 x 27 mm).
The model belongs to elite class, that is why it is displayed for several years already despite the fact that it is on sale in several countries. Nevertheless, I can say it's popular. This model follows the life of Nokia 6250, which is also announced but not widely available due to high price and vague positioning.
Ericsson can show at CEBIT their long-developed model R520. It's a triband GSM device with GPRS and Bluetooth support. A built-in WAP browser 1.2 allows to make electronic transactions in order to pay for purchases. In all other respects it's a quite usual model. But note that today Ericsson has no analog models, however they want to get a share on the market of triband phones.
In light of poor results of the last fiscal quarter of Ericsson, and following migration of mobile phones production to Flextronics it's unclear where this model will be produced.
However, apart from R520 Ericsson will show other triband devices, for example T39. The model also features Bluetooth support as well as HSCSD. That's why it will likely compete against the Nokia 6310. Among other innovations there is WAP browser 1.2.1. In this model EMS (Enhanced Messaging Service) technology was first demonstrated which means sending of graphics and ringing calls to other phones. The EMS allows to send calls to phones which has no such support. In future this technology will be a standard for Ericsson phones.
Another triband Ericsson phone is T68. In mass production of the company it is the first time they use a color display (256 colors). Consequently the phone supports video and sound. In other respects it's identical to T39 model.
On the heels of T29sc intended for Asian market the T29 appeared on the European scene. The main difference is in one more game and EMS support.
The T20e, a remake of T20s model hit the streets. A new color of a case is added (Purple Wild), a phone book extended up to 200 locations, plus there is EMS support and one more game. Neither design nor functions have changed.
And at last an interesting accessory from Ericsson. It's a digital camera CommuniCam, which can be attached to practically all new phones of this company and transfer shots by e-mail. The process is controlled from a phone display, the camera can store up to 5 photos at 352x288x24bit. Such shot is transferred approx during 1 minute via the net.
Siemens this year is going to launch 5 new models. Though at the display there will be only one of them, A40. It is an inexpensive budget phone a bit higher than earlier released A35/A36. It will probably differ from them in vibracall and higher price. But reportedly the retail price will hover around $120. The model hasn't yet received the final name, and presumably it will be called B40, in contrary to simple models of A series.
Siemens, displaying its GPRS S45 phone at Cebit, announced that they are going to start sales in the beginning of July, aiming at becoming one of the three top phone suppliers of this standard, together with Motorola and Nokia. Although the company is not ready to name price or forecast for models, it's making aggressive steps to jump from the 4th place in GSM sphere into the 3d in GPRS field. In a year after release of S45, in the second half of 2002 they are going to start production of 3G phones.
They will likely introduce an mp3 player implemented in a phone garniture. It is expected to appear this summer. A release of a such accessory right after Ericsson means that a part of functions in future phones will be implemented by attached accessories. It helps to decrease the price of the basic part (i.e. a phone receiver), and expand functions at the expense of different external modules, e.g. radio, mp3 player or a memo book.
Alcatel will display their first GPRS phone - Alcatel OneTouch 502. In functions it's similar to other business phones, i.e. it features a dictophone, an organizer, a clock for two time zones with a possibility of synchronization with time in a network (the network service is supplied by an operator) and many others.
In this case we can see that many manufacturers prefer to make their model series from a phones with the same design, but different functionality. For example, Alcatel OneTouch 501 doesn't support GPRS, but costs cheaper at the same time. Such approach on the one hand allows to choose a model with necessary characteristics without overpaying to odd functions and, on the other hand, a number of devices with the same design decreases.
As for Sony, they will announce a new modification of their phone Sony CMD-Z5 - Sony CMD-MZ5. As you can see the phone has a MemoryStick slot, though I still can't play mp3 files. Reproducion of music is provided by ATRAC codec (this codec is used in the MiniDisc system). It can be explained by the fact that Sony Music is a branch and earns money selling musical composition.
In this connection a long drawn court examination on Napster network service becomes interesting (it allows users to exchange musical compositions). In this case author's rights are not always complied with, and the majority of audio studios are against this service. Among companies hampering such service is Sony Music. That's why it's likely that playback of musical compositions in Sony phones will be realized with closed algorithms, unlike mp3.
Companies which produce second echelon phones will also participate in the display. In the most cases companies offer a great deal of functions at the same sum of money. Samsung, for example, in their new A300 model which is due to replace A110 and A100 again offers two rechargeable batteries in a standard complete set.
But functionality lays not only in additional accessories but also in modified software. A new model Queen is bright red and is intended only for women. There is one utility that calculates menstrual cycles. Apart from this function, the phone can calculate calorie content of the food. And at last there is a function of synchronization with PC. According to estimation of the South-Korean company the phone is meant for women from 20 to 50 years old, what makes a half of all women.
Benefon will introduce models which are already in production and on sale. I suppose they will show Benefon Track phone, earlier known as Locus. This model was displayed several times, but wasn't put into commercial production. And at last Benefon received quite a big order from Germany. But locus in german sounds not very good that's why they decided to change name for Track. Therefore, at the german display the model will be surely displayed.
Another model expected at the display is Benefon Exion. Outside the new phone is identical to a silvery Benefon Q, which has a very attractive design but costs much and has a lot of drawbacks. The new model is intended for NMT450 networks. This standard is hardly developed anywhere in the world, that is why there are no new models, and Benefon decided to fill this gap.
A small company Sendo which appeared in the GSM sector last year with D800 (the lightest two-standard phone (68 g!)) is expected to announce their S200 model. In functions this youth phone is similar to many others, but it differs in removable panels. Here you can change not only a front panel, but also a rear one and a keyboard. With additional panels you can change phone's form.
All top manufacturers have difficulty in distribution of the second generation phones since this market sector was reappraised and now they have to reduce the planned profit rate. Besides, a delay of new technologies introduction (in particular, of new generation networks) has told upon here. All this made manufacturers find new ways of profit earning, and since usual phones have a lot of functions typical for organizers, the next step was development of smartphones. For example, earlier mentioned Nokia and Motorola models. There is also a model from Ericsson - R380s, where like in the Nokia 9210 Symbian (Epoc) operating system is used. Apparently in the future the main revenue will come not from selling phones to end users but from servicing and software development.
Microsoft is going to launch software (known under Stinger codename) for phones supporting multimedia functions. This software is a crippled version of OS Microsoft Pocket PC intended for pocket computers.
In August 2000 they announced a prototype of the device where Stinger is used. It has all functions of electronic organizers, has a color display, 8 MBytes RAM, Web-browser, Outlook mobile version and audio and video playback support. An estimated price is $800. The Stinger-phone is intended for 100-150 kbps data rate what can be reached in GPRS-networks of so called 2.5-generation (they are due in the end of 2001 or in the beginning of 2002).
According to Microsoft, Samsung, Mitsubishi and Sendo are going to produce phones with Stinger. The following companies are going to test them in different parts of the world: UK Vodafone, Australian Telstra, Deutsche Telekom T-Mobil and Spanish Telefonica Movile.
Sendo has developed a prototype of a such smartphone: z100p.
Today a dictophone and voice features became ordinary things in business-class phones. There is a possibility to write several numbers under one name. Many phones feature connection with a PC, an organizer combined with a calendar and alarm. GPRS technology allows to transfer data at high speed.
Development of hybrids is considered today to be a perspective direction. They combine, for example, PDA or mp3 player. More and more often we can see some unique solutions, for example Sendo S200 with a case the form of which can be changed.
We should expect some alterations in the design of phones in the nearest year. The weight will drop down to 60 g. However, an average weight will constitute 100 g. New phones will have almost the same dimensions as the modern ones. It's connected with the fact that in new phones large graphics displays with high resolution will be used.
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