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CeBIT 2003 – first day of the exhibition without usual visitors (11 March 2003). Part 1
This article is better to consider travel notes than a report. It’s a story about the most impressive things, which I could notice on CeBIT on the 11. of March 2003 (first day of the exhibition). I will be very glad if you could feel the spirit of this exhibition after reading this article. So, welcome to CeBIT!
CeBIT – an exhibition, which is held in Hanover in May every year, is a culmination event of the year for the vast majority of journalists, where they can know about new products and change their opinions with companies’ representatives. Our trip was partly organized by Russian representatives of Sony Ericsson, so we don’t have any problems with apartments and tickets. Early in the morning we were in Hanover and hurried to obtain accreditation.
Life in Hanover is concentrated around the current exhibition. Free issue of Financial Times, with a detail description of Centrino from Intel is given to every arriving passenger. In our opinion this action is organized with a help of this company. Not far from that place we could see many other representatives of different companies, who invited to visit their booths. There are also many advertisements in the city. You can see them everywhere, in taxi, on the street, on public transport and etc. Closer you get to a pavilion, more advertisements you see.
At last we reached the necessary place. It seemed that there were not so many people on the exhibition. Usual crowds of people didn’t move from the tram stop. There are no queues to obtain an accreditation, a girl, who gave it didn’t hurry at all. We left the office and caught a taxi to achieve a press-center. If you don’t know, there are special taxis for press, which can drive journalists to different pavilions, as distances are very large. Taxis drivers are one of the most informed people on the exhibition; our taxi driver told that there were too many journalists on the CeBIT 2003 and he didn’t even have time to drive those who wished. On the other hand, there are not so many companies who showed their new technologies on this exhibition. He thought that lesser visitors would be this year compared to 2002. By the way, I could tell that last year was not very successful for the exhibition: lesser area and lesser visitors. Even government support and one more weekend of work didn’t help. Let’s wait and see what will be in reality.
Not all companies were succeed to finishing their exposition in first day, but even not unready booths allow to think that most mobile terminals manufacturers seriously related to this exhibition.
In spite of first-day mess, it was possible to see and try many new products in reality and discuss them with companies’ representatives. It would be logical to tell about Sony Ericsson products first, because almost all the day I spent with representatives of this company, but I’d better do it later, in a separate article, where you know what changes commercial samples of T610 will have and many other interesting things.
In press-center I got a handbill, which invited to visit a booth of Siemens. From under a short title Top Secret I could discern Siemens M55 and diffuse image of Siemens SL55 near it. Taking into account that the company unveiled these products before the exhibition, it was not so interesting, but I wished to try a new “live” smartphone SX1, so I went to that booth.
It was fussy there: workers tried to finish the exposition; a local TV shot a short film about new products. In spite of this all company’s representatives were very polite and kind. A lady from Siemens PR-agency not only gave me a press-release kit, but also according to my request showed me all new phones which I was interested in and clearly explained me all the differences between the models and their positioning. I was really impressed by this professional explanation and the time, which the journalists were spared. I think that it won’t be rude if I thank Andrea Knebel for her help and care.
I’d like to begin product review with a phone, which was actively discussed within several months. Surely, it’s Siemens SL55. The main differences from Siemens S55 is the screen, which is capable to support up to 4096 colors instead of 256, lithium-ion battery and unusual construction, which was firstly applied in Siemens SL10. According to the company this phone is aimed to both women and men. It depends on the phone color. Partly I can agree with this statement, but it seems to me that due to such compact dimensions this phone is regarded to be more women handset. I think that 70% of future SL55 users will be ladies. Taking into account that a new phone copies almost all features of Siemens S55, it can be considered one of the main advanced fashion phone on the market.
M55 is a youth model, based on Siemens S55. But it didn’t have such communication capabilities as bluetooth and IrDA. It has a very aggressive design, but no protective features except microphone diaphragm. In my opinion the design is rather controversial. It seems to me that in reality this phone looks worse than on the photo. From functional point of view, two side LED, which are lighted while incoming call, are not very interesting solution. Like SL55, the screen of M55 supports 4096 colors, but the quality of a picture is not good, though contrast was increased.
It is expected that the phone would be available in June; the price is not known yet, about 200-300 Euro. Company’s representatives said that it would be higher than 250 Euro. It means that Siemens won’t have a model, which will cost 150-250 USD except CL50, which is considered to be a niche solution. It’s doubtful that marketing managers don’t see this gap, so in May or June we could see a new model (may be two new models) from Siemens.
Now few words about such product as Siemens SX1. I could try it only few minutes, then the battery run out and we couldn’t revive it. But, anyway, we could notice some details. As we assumed before, it is not handy to input text information. You should use two thumbs to do it and hold the phone with two hands. I liked the screen very much, the phone is equipped with TFT display and it is really great. At first, I even thought that I was given a dummy, not a live handset, as the picture was very clear.
Some interesting things were shown while German TV shot the clip, not the girl (on the photo), of course. She is a human.
I mean 3 kits, which were variously decorated. They are useless, but look nice.
There are also beautiful posters in this booth; here is only one example.
A new DECT phone line was also introduced on this exhibition. But we didn’t have an opportunity to look at it at that day. You can read about them at site of the company, though we wrote almost about all models in our news. I will try to view them within the next days and share my impressions.
Published 13 March 2003
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