Archive | June, 2008

iPhone 3G pricing for India leaked?

29 Jun

As both Vodafone and Airtel have started pre-booking the iPhone 3G, rumours about its pricing and availability have also started making the rounds. According to the latest buzz, Airtel will offer the iPhone 3G for as low as Rs 12,000 with a monthly subscription plan of Rs 699 spread over a period of 18 months. However, what will be bundled in the plan (minutes or data download) is not yet clear.

Vodafone, on the other hand, is expected to offer the iPhone 3G for a flat rate of Rs 32,000. What’s more, it is also rumoured that Vodafone will launch the phone in mid-August in India while Airtel will offer it sometime in September. We are already preparing to queue outside Vodafone Stores, come August!

Nokia patents touchscreen device with multi-function USB strap

27 Jun

This one has to be amongst the most ambitious patents that we have seen from Nokia in the recent past. The Finnish handset major has bagged a patent for what it calls “a portable electronic device having a cable that functions as a carrying strap, a stylus, a data cable, and a power cable.”

Cutting away the patent jargon, Nokia’s TOUCHSCREEN device has a USB cable tucked away neatly in a cavity below the touchscreen. The cable can act as a hand/neck strap, headsets and even a stylus. The device looks kinda cute in the patent and having the USB cord attached to the device ensures that you don’t leave/lose it. But the bigger question is whether this is going to be one of the phones in the touchscreen ‘portfolio’ that Nokia intends to launch later this year?

Verizon to get MOTOZINE ZN4

27 Jun

Moto is trying hard to keep afloat at a time when everyone is after the company to spin off its handset biz. Especially at times like these, it gives us pleasure to unveil the MOTOZINE ZN4 that is expected to be rolled out on the Verizon Wireless network in the United States. Details are scarce at the moment and we can’t say anything about the OS or its features. All we know at the moment is that it will be available in two colours – mahogany and dark grey – and is expected to be an all touchscreen phone without any buttons below the display. 

We have seen pictures of the back of the device and it doesn’t resemble any of the phones that were leaked in a video, earlier this year. The back of the device has a curved finish (like the Pebl, if you may) and there is also space for a hinge on the top (the metallic hinges found on many Moto clamshells). In all probability, this one would be a clamshell or like the Ming with a transparent glass cover. We’ll keep you posted as and when we get more details about this one.

Pre-book iPhone 3G on Airtel, Vodafone in India

26 Jun


While some folks across the globe will flaunt their shiny new iPhone 3G on July 11, Indians can pre-book theirs on both Vodafone and Bharti Airtel, like right now! Both the carriers are still tight-lipped about the pricing and availability of one of the most hyped phones in the short history of cellphones. Vodafone subscribers can go to www.vodafone.in to pre-register their iPhone 3G while Bharti Airtel subscribers have to send iPhone as a text message to 54321.

But mind you, this pre-booking business neither ensures that you get an iPhone 3G nor does it bind you into getting one when it is launched in India. It is a tool employed by all carriers to get an idea of potential buyers and stock their inventories accordingly.

Motorola finally outs the ZINE ZN5

25 Jun

We have been following the evolution of Motorola’s rumoured (till now) ZINE series from a mystical Kodak co-branded 5.0 MP camera phone to actual leaked shots. Now almost six months later, Moto has finally let the cat out of the bag and we ‘officially’ unveil the MOTOZINE ZN5. As speculated, it carries a 5.0 MP camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, a 3.5 mm audio jack and TV-out capabilities. The Kodak co-branding gives it the Kodak Perfect Touch technology, which we believe is an image editor for pictures clicked via the phone. The phone will be launched in China first in July. Well, as we always say with Motorola, it’s better late than never. Congratulations for your first true camera phone, nearly three years after the term was coined.

Open OS movement becomes stronger as Symbian joins the fray

25 Jun

After the LiMo (Linux Mobile) Foundation and the Open Handset Aliance (Android), we have yet another consortium that hopes to make a difference in the mobile industry by going open source. Biggies like Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and NTT DoCoMo have joined hands to form the Symbian foundation to develop a new open source mobile operating system. Under the agreement, Nokia will acquire Symbian completely while Motorola and Sony Ericsson will contribute technology from UIQ, a company that the handset vendors jointly hold. NTT DoCoMo will contribute technology from its MOAP(S) or the (Mobile Oriented Application Platform) that it employs on its range of Symbian phones.

Eventually, the Symbian Foundation will come out with a unified platform that borrows the best technologies from all the foundation members. The success of the Symbian Foundation will be critical to global market leader, Nokia, which is facing a severe threat from Apple’s iPhone and expects further erosion of its market share once device based on Google’s Android operating system start shipping later this year or early next year.

Another founding member of the alliance, Sony Ericsson, is also finding it difficult to counter the iPhone with its current Symbian UIQ platform. Earlier this year, the handset vendor announced its plans to sell a high-end device based on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system and is expected to hit the shelves in the fourth quarter of this year. Relying solely on Windows Mobile would hurt Sony Ericsson as it has to pay a royalty to Microsoft for every Windows Mobile device it ships.

Industry sources reveal that handset vendors have to pay Microsoft royalties in the range of US$30 to $40 for every device shipped. This cost is eventually passed on to the end consumer. However, if the Symbian Foundation is able to deliver a high-class mobile operating system platform, a vendor like Sony Ericsson will be able to do away with such royalty by using the new Symbian-based operating system than Microsoft’s Windows Mobile.

Having said that, we are yet to see any path breaking phones arising from such alliances. While the LIMO Foundation does have a few products, none have been best sellers. As far as Android goes, reports in the media indicate delays in the implementation of the operating system on handsets. Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to gain traction with handset vendors for implementing its Windows Mobile platform. This year, Microsoft hopes to ship as many as 300,000 Windows Mobile devices in India alone, with brands like Asus, HTC, LG, MWg and Samsung.

The real test for these operating system alliances will be next year, when, hopefully, consumers will be able to see commercial handsets running on these ‘open’ operating systems.

Asus launches affordable WiMo PDA phone

25 Jun

Asus has launched the P320 – a Windows Mobile PDA phone priced at Rs 12,900 in the Indian market. Running on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system, the tiny device packs in a GPS receiver, Wi-Fi connectivity and a 2.0 MP camera. It is powered by a 200 Mhz TI OMAP 850 processor and has 128 MB of ROM and 64 MB RAM. Nothing mind-blowing over here but you can’t expect anything better at this proce point, can you?