Hanover, Germany (March 14, 2005)–The hi-tech CeBIT expo, which is expected to draw 500,000 visitors, opened last week in Germany. Cell phone manufacturers are reportedly going after the portable music player market with a vengeance with handsets that also offer high-resolution cameras plus FM radio and even television reception.
The new Samsung SGH-i300 mobile phone is designed for multimedia use as an MP3 or compressed video player. A built-in 3GB hard drive can store a reported 1,000 music tracks and features a Microsoft Windows OS.
Sony Ericsson recently announced its Walkman Mobile phones and has unveiled the first of them at CeBIT. The Sony Ericsson W800 is touted as the first product to combine a mobile phone, a high-quality digital music player with up to 30 hours of battery life and a 2 Megapixel camera. The W800 is supplied with stereo headphones and plays both MP3 and AAC file formats. A 0.5GB Memory Stick Duo provides storage for around 150 music tracks or 10-12 full-length CDs.
Nokia’s new 6230i features a 1.3 megapixel camera and handles AAC, MP3 and M4A music formats as well as streaming video. The handset incorporates Nokia’s new Visual Radio technology, which allows user interaction via a GPRS connection with compatible broadcasts picked up on the device’s built-in FM receiver.
Samsung also introduced a commercial handset that utilizes the broadband HSDPA or high-speed downlink packet access network, referred to as 3.5G technology, which allows users to watch live TV and other services. The company has already launched a handset, available only in Korea, that picks-up local analog TV broadcasts in that country.
3G industry leader’s NEC’s N940, launched over a year ago, allows customers to watch up to 60 minutes of analog TV programming on a 2.1-inch LCD, but is available only in China. The company says it currently has no plans to release it elsewhere.
Nokia has partnered with MTV and the Finnish national broadcaster to assess customer demand for mobile TV services. Many industry analysts are skeptical about consumer uptake, believing that shorter video clips are more appealing.
The highly anticipated new Motorola phone that leverages the friendship between company chief executive Ed Zander and Apple’s Steve Jobs to become the first mobile enabled with iTunes software was conspicuous by its absence.