What Happens In Vegas, Certainly Will Not Stay In Vegas This Time
March 29, 2010 2 Comments
by Elias Shams
I decided to take a break from Awesome Washington DC last week. So, I headed to Vegas for the CTIA event.
Ton of awesome wireless gadgets and technologies were unveiled during the event. Those of you couldn’t make the trip, here are some of the highlights that made the most buzz.
As a classic geek, first thing first – looked for the booths with the best looking babes. They were all fantastic looking, one hotter than the other one The angels were all over the place. Surprisingly, there were more brunettes than blondes this year which I like
As for the wireless phones, starting with Sprint and their glorious 4G WiMAX initiative:
More WiMAX markets
Sprint Nextel and Clearwire that currently offer WiMAX services in more than 20 markets covering more than 30 million pops, unveiled additional market for offering its “4G” service to cover 120 million potential customers by year-end.
The additional markets will include Los Angeles, Miami, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City and St. Louis. The new market announcement follow the news earlier this year that it would begin offering WiMAX services in Boston, Denver, Kansas City, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Awesome Washington, DC.
Given their rival, Verizon Wireless plans to cover more than 100 million pops by year end with its LTE-based network, it will be interesting the competition between the two companies and their technologies.
Clearwire used the announcement to go after AT&T Mobility by stating that Apple’s upcoming iPad would be 4G compatible using its embedded Wi-Fi connection hooked up to a WiMAX-enabled mobile hot spot device. AT&T Mobility will provide embedded cellular support for the iPad device.
EVO 4G WiMAX Smartphone
The nifty device lets you browse the web “up to 10 times faster” by providing a Wi-Fi hotspot that uses Sprint’s 4G network. The downside: It’s another device to carry with you.
The phone has a 4.3 inch screen, which is designed for video viewing and Web browsing and is 30 percent bigger than the screen of the Apple’s iPhone, Sprint said.
The device, which runs on Google software, has an 8 megapixel camera for taking photos and video and a second camera on the front for applications like video chat.
The device will support Sprint’s CDMA network, as well as the higher speed WiMax network operated by Clearwire, in which Sprint has an ownership stake of roughly 56 percent. Analysts had expected the phone to be called Supersonic, which Sprint said was the code name for the phone.
Sprint is hoping its WiMax service will help it stem years of customer losses, as it is the country’s first fourth-generation 4G phone.
The phone also has a little kickstand that allows it to be placed at an angle for video viewing.
Sprint also introduced the rugged Motorola i1 smartphone, its first push-to-talk Android-powered device that meets military specifications for protection against dust, shock, vibration and blowing rain. The device is supported on the Nextel Direct Connect push-to-talk network. The device will be available in summer 2010.
Samsung Galaxy S
The EVO 4G wasn’t the only Android superstar to debut at the show. Also powered by Android 2.1, the Samsung Galaxy S boasts a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1GHz processor, and a 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture; it is also the first phone with the new Smart Life user interface. Super AMOLED technology has touch sensors on the display itself as opposed to creating a separate layer (Samsung’s old AMOLED displays had this extra layer), making it the thinnest display technology on the market.
Samsung is teaming up with Skiff to deliver wireless e-reader content from various magazines and news publications. The Galaxy S also supports HD video playback and a variety of video formats. And of course, you’ll be able to download lots of games from the Android Market. Pricing and carrier have not been announced.
Kyocera unveiled their first Android phone, the Zio. The Zio isn’t the company’s first smartphone, however; six years ago the company introduced the Symbian-based 7135. Though it will be affordable and targeted at first-time smartphone owners, the Zio packs some pretty solid specs. It has a bright 3.5-inch WVGA display, a full HTML browser, Wi-Fi connectivity, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and, of course, all the Google services that come with Android.
Motorola i1 (Sprint Nextel)
Another Android first: Motorola launched the i1, the first push-to-talk Android phone on the market launching this summer on Nextel’s iDEN network. iDEN phones are typically targeted at people who work in construction and other outdoor industries–they’re built to withstand all environments, and generally, they’re not the slickest-looking devices. The i1, however, has the specs and the features of a midrange smartphone. It sports a bright 3.1-inch touchscreen, a 5-megapixel camera, and four touch-sensitive buttons with a 5-way navigation wheel.
While pricing hasn’t been announced, Sprint told me that the Motorola i1 will be “competitive” with other Android smartphones.
LG Remarq (Sprint)
LG’s first green phone, the Remarq is constructed from 19 percent recycled plastic. It also contains no hazardous materials, and 87 percent of its parts are recyclable. And yes, its packaging is made from recycled paper that can also be recycled after use. Other earth-friendly features include a low-energy charger as well as an eco-calculator to reduce your carbon footprint. The Remarq will be free with a 2-year carrier contract in early May.
LG Cosmos (Verizon)
If you’re looking for an inexpensive messaging phone on Verizon, check out the LG Cosmos. The Cosmos has a roomy slide-out keyboard, Bluetooth, and voice-command capability. The Cosmos also comes with a 1.3-megapixel camera with 2X zoom. For social networking, the Cosmos offers quick access to Twitter, Facebook, and other services.
The LG Cosmos is available this week from Verizon Wireless for $30 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a new two-year contract.
LG Partner Program
LG also announced that it is starting a new partner program to deepen the ties between its handsets and mobile business software. The program is focusing specifically on the company’s Windows Mobile devices. Enterprise application partners include Citrix and Good Technology, while notable development shops include Antenna Software, Pyxis Mobile, and Sybase.
Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus (AT&T)
While Palm didn’t announce any new handsets at CTIA, the company did announce a new carrier partner. The Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus will arrive on AT&T in coming months for $150 and $50 respectively. Almost identical to the Verizon model, the Pre Plus ships with 16GB of internal memory, a Touchstone-compatible back cover for inductive charging, and a keyboard that’s slightly improved from the original Sprint version.
The Pixi Plus is also basically the same as the original, but comes with Wi-Fi connectivity. Under AT&T’s unlimited data plan, the devices will have access to the company’s Wi-Fi hotspots. In addition, the phones come with some AT&T-only services like AT&T Navigator and AT&T Address Book.
HSPA and netbook from T-Mobile
T-Mobile is upgrading its national 3G network to High Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) technology. By the end of 2010, T-Mobile expects to have HSPA+ deployed across the breadth of its 3G footprint, covering more than 100 metropolitan areas and 185 million people.
The carrier also launched its first netbook, available for $200. The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 offers built-in access to the T-Mobile WebConnect service. The 3 lb. netbook features Microsoft Windows 7 and an Intel Atom N450 processor.
AT&T Workbench for iPhone
AT&T unveiled a new native application for iPhone use in the enterprise. AT&T Workbench for iPhone enables businesses to provision, deploy and control enterprise web apps in a secure environment.
Available for download from the iPhone app store, Workbench helps extend existing enterprise application services to iPhone through secure web apps hosted in a managed environment, so enterprises can deploy key business applications in a secure manner, even on employee-purchased devices.
Workbench, developed in cooperation with Antenna Software, is an enhancement to the AT&T Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP).
AT&T also announced two new mobile web applications for Oracle CRM On Demand that are now available on the iPhone. AT&T MEAP Sales for Oracle CRM On Demand enables sales teams to have access to their critical customer and sales information in the field.
AT&T MEAP Pharma is designed for sales teams in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries to provide real-time and offline access to Oracle CRM On Demand For Life Sciences on the iPhone.
Verizon VoIP and Enterprise Solution
Verizon announced additional details about its Skype Mobile offering which is now commercially available on nine 3G smartphones, including BlackBerry Storm 9530, Storm2 9550, Curve 8330, Curve 8530, 8830 World Edition, and Tour 9630, as well as DROID by Motorola, DROID ERIS by HTC and Motorola DEVOUR.
Skype Mobile uses the Verizon Wireless voice network for the wireless connection of the Skype-to-Skype calls. Customers need a Verizon Wireless smartphone and data plan to use Skype Mobile. Skype-to-Skype calls will not be charged against their monthly minute allowances or data plans. Verizon Wireless customers can visit skype website to purchase Skype Credit to make Skype Out calls and make calls to international landline or mobile numbers.
Verizon is targeting enterprise customers with two new offerings.
Along with the new version, the carrier is introducing new Field Force Manager-only plans, providing business customers with cost-effective options to coordinate with field workers. Verizon Wireless customers who want basic tracking capabilities without voice plans will have the option to select Field Force Manager-only Limited (24.99 per month) or Basic ($34.99 per month) plans. These Field Force Manager-only plans will be available on the LG Accolade, CASIO G’zOne Rock, Motorola Barrage and Samsung Convoy.
The new Field Force Manager-only plans do not apply to 3G smartphones. A $49.99 per month premium option adds job and workflow management features and audible and map-enabled driving directions. This option also requires a qualifying voice plan. The Limited plan offers management of field teams, including details of current and past travel history. The Basic plan offers the same features as the Limited plan plus ocation-validated mobile timecards and basic job dispatch.
Meanwhile, Charge Anywhere and Verizon Wireless are offering a new enterprise billing option that enables businesses to have the Charge Anywhere service billed to their monthly Verizon Wireless statements. CHARGE Anywhere offers business customers the technology to accept and process credit and debit card payments from their Verizon Wireless phones. The solution is available for Android, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices.