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January 2003: New products. Part 1

Several significant events took place in January. In the beginning of the month Motorola unveiled its plans for the current year. A little bit later Siemens proclaimed its view on the development of mobile market. January was a small rehearsal before CEBIT to a certain extent. Some manufacturers have already showed their devices, which would be announced on the exhibition, others keep a secret, though there are a lot of rumours about their products. Lets view the most interesting events of January and the products, which were announced at that time.

Motorola.The company introduced several devices simultaneously and roused a great interest to its products. Lets view them one by one. Firstly, Motorola unveiled a new car kit with Bluetooth wireless technology. Its capabilities are almost similar to rival products from Nokia, SonyEricsson. There is only one exception. This device is compatible with a wireless bluetooth mp3-player, which the company is going to announce only in 2003.

Then, Motorola introduced several new products, one of them is a new Motorola C350. Practically this handset is a new version of C33x. A new model has almost the same features as these phones, or better to say phone. It differs in a colour STN display, which can show up to 4096 colours. The same display is applied in Motorola T720. Most likely, interchangeable covers of other models 33 series are suitable to 350. Its interesting that Motorola C350 will be available in Russia already in the second half of February, its two weeks earlier than in Europe. An expected price of the phone is about 180 USD or less, such conclusion we can make comparing rival products produced by other companies.

The second phone - Motorola T725 was based on Motorola T720i, it differs from initial phone in EDGE technology support. Theoretically, it allows to transmit data at the speed of 177 kbps (an operator dependant function). The other new feature is appearing of the third band - GSM1900. All other features of the models are the same; only a delivery kit can be different (other Java games, for example). An expected availability of Motorola T725 is the second half 2003.

Motorola Accompli 388c is a renewed version of 388, letter c in the name of the model proves this it is really so. There are slight differences in phone software. The main one is that a new screen capable of supporting 65,000 colors was added. Its interesting that operating time of this smartphone is the same as in the previous model. Either a company was succeeding in reaching great energy saving or first specification are fallacious. This phone is expected in the first half 2003.

Motorola E380 is aimed to youth market and basically it repeats Motorola C350 by its capabilities. Main differences are additional games and some slight changes in functions. It is the first phone from Motorola with a front cover, which has a translucent window that covers a display. Besides, there are several colour schemes, which can help to personalize incoming calls. You are free to select any color you like and assign it to a name from the phonebook. An expected availability of this phone on the market is May-June 2003, an expected price would be about 270-300 USD.

Motorola A835. Motorola began to produce this phone still in autumn in Germany, but only now is following an official announcement of this model. There are no principle differences from earlier unveiled 820, the new model has a little bit different design but it is based on the same platform. New detail is that the phone has 256 Mb of dynamical memory. Other capabilities are traditional: an integrated camera, which allows to record video (mpeg4), a wide phonebook, organizer and others. An expected commercial availability is the second half 2003.

In contrast to other phones v600 belongs to another new class of phones. Look, it is the first quad-band phone, which supports GSM850/900/1800/1900. A world roaming, except Japan, becomes really available with it. Another capability is an integrated camera, which enables to make images of high resolution and send them via integrated mail client or as MMS messages. This phone supports Bluetooth technology, remote synchronization and other features, which were already used in other models. In a fashion class v600 will be that model, which will stimulate launching of next models. A very unusual stylish design is used in v600 a front cover is made by analogy with modern consumer electronics. A screen with a blue backlighting is placed under a translucent plastic.

We would to refute declarations of several web-resources that out of new phone line, only Motorola C350 would be available in Russia. Apart from this model, such phones as Motorola V300 (Asiatic version V290) and Motorola V600 would be also delivered. Two latter phones would go on sale in the middle of 3Q and an expected price would be about 400-450 USD. V600 is a successor of v60, so the price is obvious.

Deliveries of 336 have been already begun. Several suppliers were able to purchse interchangeable covers for this model. Such models as 333, 332 would be also available in Russia, they would apper within 1-2 months. Earlier, it was said that only C336 would be officially deliverd to Russia. All standard phones are available only in silver color.

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Siemens. Rudi Lamprecht, Member of the Managing Board at Siemens AG and President of the Board, Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group, stated on press-briefing, which was held in the beginning of January in Moscow, that Siemens would emphasize the development of simple but fashion phones. Now Mr. Lamprecht lifts the veil of mystery and told about new phone line Xelibri. Originally the line consists of 4 phones, one of which you can see on the photo below. Other three handsets will be introduced during London Fashion in the middle of February. Now you can visit a site Xelibri, which counts down time till this field date.

Dont try to find new functions in Xelibri phones. The company positions them as fashion accessories; technological features play only the second role. The main phones capabilities are a possibility to make a call, receive and send SMS messages. The phone has integrated handsfree mode and supports polyphonic ringer. Dimensions of the phone and scarce features allow to assume that these phones are based on revised (cut-off) platforms, which the company used to produce other phones. Such solution is logical, because in this case the company gets easier service and reduced primary cost.

According to official information of the company, launching of Xelibri phones is a revolutionary event in the market of fashion accessories. To some extent its only a marketing announcement, because Siemens only realized an idea of Nokia, which produced several phones based on one platform and different only in design. Now we speak about phones, which have unusual design and cut-off functionality. An expected price of the new model is about 275 Euro, maximum 400 Euro. Its not obvious, whether customers purchase fashion accessories instead of technological phones, well see it later. It is presumed that new collections, which consist of 4 handsets, will be shown every autumn and spring. Beginning of sales is expected in April in the following countries: China (Hong-Kong), Italy, France, Germany, Singapore, UK. The collection would be available on other markets in September. But it would next generation of Xelibri.

Mr. Rudi Lamprecht noted that launching of a new line would be an important element of marketing strategy. By the way, on the next slide you can see polarization of the market according to Siemens, in the near future.

Its interesting that a separate division of the company would deal with Xelibri phones. It has own president - George Appling. We can compare this division with one branch office from Nokia, namely Vertu. It also produced fashion phone of unusual design, but it made them of juvenile materials. Siemens is trying to occupy another niche, which is not typical to Vertu and it can become a leader in this field. High price of new phones can be explained by 2 things: popular brand and unusual design. Siemens thinks that it will attract young users to Xelibri line. These phones will have a short life cycle because fashion phones change very quickly. So, sales level of these phones wont be comparable with sales level of usual phones. This fact explains, why the new collection wont go on sale in all countries simultaneously. Its not profitable to start scaled expensive phone production. Firstly, the product will be offered to the most loyal users, which are ready to purchase it. Then, after first sales, first comments of users and press, the company will launch it everywhere. The strategy is very reliable.

And at last we decided to publish several passages from the comments of Rudi Lamprecht and George Appling in response to the new line without translations.

XELIBRI XELIBRI-Produkte sind Modeaccessoires, mit denen man telefonieren kann. Die meisten Menschen lassen sich beim Kauf von Mobiltelefonen davon leiten, wie das Handy aussieht, und viele lassen sich auch gerne in der Offentlichkeit damit sehen. Das Mobiltelefon hat also tatsachlich das Zeug zum Modeartikel, vergleichbar mit Armbanduhren, Handtaschen und Schuhen, dem entsprechend viele kann man auch davon besitzen - fur jede Gelegenheit ein anderes Fashion Accessory Phone, passend zur Stimmung, zum Anlass, zur Kleidung, so George Appling, (President von XELIBRI).

Dazu Rudi Lamprecht, Mitglied des Vorstands der Siemens AG: Der Start unserer neuen Marke ist ein wesentliches Element der Strategie von Siemens mobile und folgt gleichzeitig der aktuellen Schwerpunktbildung in der Branche: modische Handys zum einfachen Telefonieren auf der einen und multifunktionale Gerate auf der anderen Seite. Wir werden weiterhin, sozusagen als Vollsortimenter, modernste Technologie in allen Formen anbieten, angefangen von Mobiltelefonen mit sowohl einfacher als auch komplexer Funktionalitat, mobilen Applikationen, Netzinfrastruktur und schnurlosen Endgeraten bis hin zu drahtlosen Komponenten. Unser neuester Entwicklungsschritt tragt zur zusatzlichen Wertsteigerung der Marke Siemens bei.

Lets turn from official part to more interesting one, for example, to products that are not unveiled yet. Until recently we could only view pictures of Siemens SL55, there wasnt any precise information about it. Now we were succeed to know some new facts about it. Firstly, the phone has the same opening system as Siemens SL10 or Nokia 7650; you can reply a call if you open a keypad; any tone can be assigned to this process. Respectively, if you close the keypad, phone call is interrupted. New types of icons appeared on the screen: WAP over GPRS and used type of a phonebook (either from SIM-card memory or phone memory). Its very convenient.

Main menu interface is similar to Siemens S55; there are no differences between them. Submenus structure is very easy. You will get used to it quickly. The phone is equipped with 4-way navigation joystick, but it cant be pressed. Right soft key is usually used to select this or that menu item. Phonebook capabilities resemble Addressbook of S55, it has the same fields and it is also possible to assign pictures to names. Up to 500 phone numbers can be stored in the phone memory. There are 9 caller groups in the phone.

General speaking, SL55 is similar to S55 by features. But it doesnt support bluetooth and equipped with the other battery type Li-Pol of 500 mAh capacity. We cant confirm rumorus that the phone has MMC-card slot. Now we dont have such information. Respectively, a capability of the phone to play back mp3 files is also under a question. The handset will be available in three colors. In our opinion blue one is the most nice, orange color doesnt look so pretty.

A new interesting information was heard about new DECT model line from Siemens. An official announcement of these DECT-phones would be in the end of January or beginning of February, the company would introduce several models simultaneously. Now you can look at one of them, its interesting that design of this model is similar to mobile phones from Nokia, namely Nokia 6610. We should note that such similar design features are typical to the new DECT-phone line. The phone, which you can see on the photo below, is named Active M. Due to the special material, the phone is shock-, water- and dustproof. This handset can be very useful in plants, where it is very easy to drop the phone and break it. According to preliminary information phone body is proofed against scratches. So the phone doesnt require delicate handling and looks always neatly. Technological phone features are almost similar to Comfort 4000 series. Also a keypad backlighting is available. Keys shape was specially elaborated. It enables to work even in gloves. In the near future well tell about several new DECT-phones from Siemens.

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Sony Ericsson. This company is one more favourite of the last month. The first information about new T310 and its review appeared at out site. We had reasons not to publish full specifications of 610 and its review. Probably, in several weeks there will be an official announcement of this model, and then, we could publish these materials.

Traditionally long before official announcement an information about new Sony Ericsson T606 appeared at the site of FCC. The phone is aimed to American market, it supports such standards as AMPS 800 / CDMA 800 / CDMA 1900. Technological features are similar to Sony Ericsson T68i, because these two handsets are based on the same platform. The new model has a different display; it is TFT- 65K screen, which has a resolution of 128160 pixels. Menu icons and screen view in the stand-by mode were also changed. In contrast to other models, a power on/off key is located on the top of the phone now.

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Samsung. In March Samsung is going to begin sales of V200, which has an integrated camera. It will be the first but not the last phone with such feature. To the end of 2003 the company plans to equip all phones with digital cameras, color screens and polyphony. Samsung policy is based on the assumption that year 2003 would be devoted to MMS. According to new visions Samsung also decided to change models indexes. From this time onward , , Q, S series wont be available. Other models with other indexes will substitute them. New indexes will be given only to phones, which will be worked out in 2003, old elaborations will have old names. Later well talk about new phones classification from Samsung.

Samsung will show a new phone - Z100 on CEBIT. It will be the first UMTS clamshell phone of this company in the European market. It also supports GSM900/1800, other features are similar to Samsung V200. The phone has 40-tones polyphony. It measures 95 x 50 x 26 mm and weighs 120 grams. The difference is that an integrated digital camera supports V GA-resolution (640x480 pixels) and internal display is capable to show up to 262 000 of colors. Besides, the phone supports MMS-function, Java, GPRS (class 8). Up to 2 Mb of memory can be used. The phone will be available in 4Q 2003.

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To be continued>>>

 

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

Published — 4 February 2003

 

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