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February 2003: New products. Part 1

February always is regarded to be a dress rehearsal before March. Some of new products have been shown on 3GSM congress in Cannes. The main players didnt open all secrets and the most interesting models would be introduced on CEBIT. Second players hurried to show almost all new models to appeal customers attention. Lets view the new products, which were introduced in February, and estimate their influence on the market.

Alcatel. Four new models of this manufacturer were announced on 3GSM congress; here you can view a detail article about them. Now we would like to notice some facts, that were not included in it. Firstly, these models would be available only in summer or even in autumn on the market, what make them not so attractive for users, as they dont have any special, unique capabilities. Till that time a color screen would be a standard feature and base models, which would have 4096-color displays would cost around 100 USD. In autumn it would be typical for middle class phones to have 65K-displays. Alcatel should follow stiff price policy in such conditions. The company always stood out by its low prices compared to other manufacturers and it allowed Alcatel to be a rival in this field.

For the first time during several years the company decided to increase its product line, but its doubtless that the company would be able to increase its European market share. We think that increasing of product line is some kind of risk in the current year. From spring onward leading manufacturers would also reduce their prices. Its obvious that customers would prefer more famous brands, such Nokia, Motorola and Siemens if the price and functions of the phones are the same. In case if handsets of popular brands have richer features and cost only 10-20 USD more, customers would not have preferences for Alcatel either. So, only a good sales policy could help the company. Even presence of very cheap phones, which should be demanded, couldnt increase market share. Statistics showed that users of low-end phones are not always loyal and often buy phone of other manufactures in future. It is the main problem of Alcatel, because the company will try to support its market share at the expense of cheap low-end phones. An original offer, namely Alcatel OneTouch 320 is not very attractive as far as functions is concerned, sales of this handset would be based on the price. When a similar one with a color screen substitutes this phone, time will pass and prices for such phones as Motorola C350, Nokia 3510i will fall down and overcome 100-USD barrier. We can presume that soon we could see many cheap low-end phones equipped with color screens.

We have a pessimistic forecast. We think that if the company doesnt considerably reform its product line, it couldnt provide sales increase on the market. Low-end phones allow only to support current position. From margin point of view, the company doesnt make much profit on the low-end phones, that is why this segment is also not very interesting. It means that the company couldnt spend much money on R&D and marketing. So, the only thing to do is considerable reduction of prices or the border of damping. Lets wait and see whether our assumption is real.

To the beginning

Links to the new articles:

Philips. The other European player was also very active and showed two new phones Philips 330 and 630, which are aimed only to Asiatic market according to official manufacturers declarations. But we have information that these models and two other ones were showed to European operators and as a result we could expect that they would be available in Europe too.

First difference of the new models is absence of the word Fisio in the name of the line. Now these models will have only numbers. The first phone, which opens the line, is Philips 330. This handset targets to youth and made in iMac style: bright exterior, compact dimensions. Absence of the external screen is compensated by a transparent edging, which is lighted while incoming call. It is very unusual designers solution. The phone has rather simple features. We noticed that official press-release indicated wrong operating time of the model. In fact it is twice shorter. It is expected that this phone would be available in Europe in the end of June, the first price would be about 120 Euro, later it would fall down to 100 Euro or less.

Full specifications Philips 330

Philips 630 is a middle class folder phone with a color internal screen. It is based on the same platform as Philips 330, but has richer capabilities. For example, it has 256-color service indicator. Certain colors can be assigned to the phone numbers in the phonebook. It is expected that this phone would be available in summer and the price would be about 250 Euro.

Both phones support 32-tones polyphony and a possibility to download new melodies. Specifications resemblance can be explained by the same based platform, which is made by Cellon International the main developer of phones from Philips. In near future such models as Philips 830 (65000-color display, clamshell, integrated digital camera) and 530. Probably, it will be on Cebit.

Full specifications Philips 630

To the beginning

LG. The company tries to offer both revised versions of old products and new models, which have very unusual design. Many users have already heard about G-series phones since announcing of LG 510. The main difference of these models is GPRS support. Until recently such kinds of phones werent produced, but there were a lot of rumors about them. In February the situation was changed and LG introduced several phones with GPRS support simultaneously. Mostly, these models are well-known: 5200, 5300, 7000, 7020, but instead of W-index they have G-index. LG G5210 is a new phone, but it differs from W5200 only in new shape and design. LG G7000A is a copy of W7000 in design features, but it is equipped with 65K-color STN screen like LG W7020. Its interesting that during year 2003 both series (W and G) will be available on the market. The manufacturer thought that not all users require GPRS technology now. Exact price of the new models are not known, most likely variation in prices would be about 10-15 USD. Phones deliveries began in the end of February.

Now we have information about three new phones. First one, W1300 is a successor of LG B1200. It has the other design and Wap-browser, but remaining features are the same.

LG G5310 supports MMS, Java and has fancy design. Other features are similar to LG G5300.

There is no much information about LG G5400. Most likely it doesnt have any considerable differences from current models. The phone support MMS-function and Java.

It is expected that in spring a new model of 7000 series will be launched, LG G7040. The main difference from LG G7020 is an external OLED-display. It will be the first folder type phone of this company, which has such kind of display.

Apart form these models LG announced its first worlds DBDM (Dual Band Dual Mode) phone for both CDMA and WCDMA modes.

LG-K8100 comes with a 2.2-inch and 260,000 color TFT-LCD screen and an embedded 300,000-pixel (VGA grade) camera, working in both WCDMA and cdma2000 1x systems. There have been concerns that a lack of development of DBDM phone would be in the way of launching WCDMA services. However, it is now fully addressed with DBDM phone developed based on single-mode phone technologies. LG-K8100 is fit for the next generation mobile multi-media service with all the sophisticated features including VOD, multi-media, entertainment and high-speed data transmission.

To the beginning

Links to the new articles:

Siemens. Siemens officially announced its new smartphone SX1 and a new entry level phone 55. As we have already written, the main difference between A55 and Siemens A50 is the other type of connector, which is similar to new 55-series. Other changes are not significant: handsfree mode and 16-tones polyphony.

Full specifications Siemens A55

A great interest was raised by a new smartphone, SX1. New detailed specifications are not available yet. But it is known that this device is worked under Symbian and is based on platform 60. The TFT-screen has a resolution of 176x220 pixels and it can show up to 65000 colors. SX1 is a tri-band phone, which has a handsfree speaker, MMC-cards slot, mp3-player, FM-radio, bluetooth and integrated digital camera. The standard delivery kit will include a cable for synchronization with PC (USB-connection). Later more data about this model will be available. The phone weighs 110 grams. It would go on sale in spring; price is unknown yet.

Full specifications Siemens SX1

It sounds strange but SL55 would be officially announced only on CEBIT, though we knew almost all about it and almost nothing about Siemens SX1. Besides, we could see such phone as 55/MP55 on this exhibition.

As it was promised earlier, on the 15. February the company showed a full line of Xelibri phones. On the photos below you can see these handsets, details can be read here.

Besides, the company introduced a new DECT-phone. It seems that nothing could be added to a DECT-phone Comfort series. It has all features, which could be necessary, including automatic redialing, sending SMS messages and Walkie-Talkie function. But S100 (handset S1) has more capabilities, for example it supports EMS standard, so, one can send and receive melodies and small pictures. It is also possible to create concatenated messages (up to 640 characters) and use predictive text input to do it quicker. Its interesting that this predictive text input is an own Siemens elaboration. Its not popular T9, according to press-release it is called Eatoni. But the method of text inputting is the same as in T9.

Now it is possible to set a logo, which will be displayed in the stand-by mode together with the name of base station. Other capabilities are also not usual. Up to 200 phone numbers can be stored in the phonebook, only one number is assigned to one name. Several phone numbers can be added to VIP-group and special ringing tones can be defined to these numbers. Besides, voice dialing is also available, up to 30 voice tags can be added to names.

Speakerphone is realized in full duplex mode. It means that, when you speak, a loudspeaker and a microphone can work simultaneously. Predecessors of this model didnt have this function. Such feature as conference-call is also available. You can use one external line and two internal ones simultaneously, so, 3 headsets at once. Other capabilities are similar to series Comfort 4000 (Walkie-Talkie, Baby Sitter and etc).

The phone weighs 130 grams, it is equipped with Ni-MH battery. According to the manufacturer the phone has up to 170 hours of standby time and up to 13 hours of talking time. First deliveries would be in April. Most likely, two colours would be available (Espresso and IceBlue). An expected price is 149.95 Euro, just headset would cost 129.95 Euro.

To the beginning

To be continued>>>

 

Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
Translated by Maria Sennikova (maria@mobile-review.com)

Published — 11 March 2003

 

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