Futuristic phones play it cool in Cannes

18th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, Feb 18 (AFP) - A new style of pebble is set to hit the beaches, and elsewhere, along with clams and even razors. The PEBL and RAZR, among the hottest new phones around, were unveiled at the influential 3GSM World Congress technology trade that closed its doors here Thursday.

CANNES, France, Feb 18 (AFP) - A new style of pebble is set to hit the beaches, and elsewhere, along with clams and even razors. The PEBL and RAZR, among the hottest new phones around, were unveiled at the influential 3GSM World Congress technology trade that closed its doors here Thursday.

The 3GSM congress is one of the key annual events for the mobile industry and the billion-plus mobile phone users around the world. Just like the big Paris and Milan fashion shows, the congress acts as a shop window for the latest, must-have models that will hit the high streets in the next few months.

After the mobile transformation led by the camera phone a couple of years ago, spearheaded by Sony Ericsson, the word on everyone's lips at this 3GSM was music, as phone makers vie with each other to build on the runaway success of the iPod.

One key announcement for mobile music lovers tired of juggling their phones and digital jukeboxes was news that Sony-Ericsson will leverage Sony's music expertise to produce a Walkman phone capable of downloading and storing music tracks.

The Japanese-Swedish group promises the new Walkman phones, due out later this year, will have large memory, good quality headphones and be compatible with most online music services.

"Music is the next big thing in mobile multimedia," Nokia's Anssi Vanjoki stressed at a press conference here. "We see 2005 as the year when music really goes mobile," he said, adding that Nokia sold 10 million phones with integrated music players last year.

Thus it was no surprise that the vast majority of the new phones launched at this year's show were designed with music as a key integrated feature. The mobile phone's shift into music, video clips and games downloads is also being boosted by the coming of age of the faster, more powerful, third-generation (3G) mobile networks and phones.

With 3G phones now notching up "explosive growth" in Japan according to Japanese mobile heavyweight NTT DoCoMo boss Masao Nakamura and starting to make headway elsewhere, all the major phone makers are pushing new ranges of the all-singing, all-dancing 3G phones.

Detailed below is only a small selection of the 3G and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) models previewed at this year's show. But they are amongst the handsets that created the biggest excitement amongst the 38,000-plus delegates who attended the event.

Motorola, which is slugging it out with Finland's Nokia and South Korea's Samsung for pole position in handsets and mobile devices, created quite a stir with its trio of 3G handsets (due out in the last quarter 2005) and sleek new design range based on its very successful RAZR model.

With not so easy-to-remember names made up of letters and numbers, the 3G range includes what Motorola describes as the stylish and smooth E1120.

Designed like a sleek, smooth chocolate bar, the E1120 has a powerful three-megapixel camera with a digital zoom and enhanced video capabilities, while the E1060 is the multimedia phone with dedicated internet browsing for the music fanatic.

But it was Motorola's strongly designed new GSM phones that were the most attention-grabbing, particularly the PEBL V6. With its softly rounded shape, slightly thicker than the ultra thin sleek RAZR, the clam-shaped, hinged PEBL, includes Bluetooth to provide email and the Internet access and a camera.

The GSM Association's best handset of the year award went to Samsung for its extremely successful D500 slide-up, slide-down fronted phone launched in November 2004.

The Korean maker also won kudos for its three new 3G handsets, which are amongst the smallest, lightest models around. Its SGH-Z130 even has a rotating LCD screen that provides a wide-view screen for the phone's video functions. Music lovers who don't want to go down the 3G path could also choose the SGH-E720 which offers excellent video recording, MP3 music playing plus a high-quality camera with zoom.

Sony Ericsson and Nokia also rolled out a big range of impressive, powerful new entertainment-rich phones.

But the biggest buzz of all wasn't around the new 3G phones or must-have cool-look GSM ones. The largest crowds were gathered around the phones of the future designed to let users watch TV on the move.

Both Nokia and Samsung showed handsets for TV viewing that are currently in the trial phase. Perhaps 2006 will be the year the TV truly goes tiny.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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