March 11, 2005 4:00 AM PST
CeBit picks up the buzz on new phones
Manufacturers gathered in Hannover, Germany, this week to show off products for the upcoming year. Many of the phones will initially be launched in Europe before making their way to North American markets.
The handsets reflect the latest trends in the cellular industry, including the addition of high-quality cameras, built-in digital audio players and wireless networking connectivity.
South Korean electronics giant Samsung is demonstrating a phone with an integrated 7-megapixel digital camera, the SCH-V770. The phone comes with a 3x optical zoom, flash, manual focus and 32MB of memory. No plans are in place yet to bring the 7-megapixel camera phone to the U.S. market.
Instead, Samsung is focusing on launching a 5-megapixel camera phone in the United States this year. In addition, it aims to have a 2-megapixel camera phone in the U.S. market in the second quarter. Pricing for the 7-megapixel and 5-megapixel cameras phones haven't yet been set, but the 2-megapixel camera phone will cost about $249 to $299, according to the company.
At CeBit, Sony Ericsson is showing off the W800 phone, the first Walkman- branded cell phone. The handset comes with a digital-audio player, FM radio tuner and 2-megapixel camera. The W800 will have 38MB of free memory for music and images.
Additional data can be stored or accessed through the Memory Stick Duo card slot. The phone, due to come out this summer, will play back MP3 and AAC music files. Pricing hasn't been set for the phone, but representatives said the W800 will be a midtier phone (high-tier phones cost $450 and up).
Motorola is demonstrating its 3G Motorola V1150 phone in Hannover. The sleek phone will come with an integrated 2-megapixel camera, two-way video calling and a new Motorola ticker technology called Screen3 that streams news and entertainment from Motorola.
The V1150 and pricing information will come out in the second half of the year, a company representative said.
Motorola said the launch of its E790 phone, which will connect to Apple Computer's iTunes music service, has been delayed, after the company spoke with cellular carriers. The company is expected to unveil the ROKR phone later this month at a music event in Florida. The ROKR phone will connect to iTunes.
Market leader Nokia unveiled a number of phones at CeBit. Among them was Nokia's 6230i, which it was demonstrating for the first time. The 1.3-megapixel camera phone is expected to come out later this month with 32MB of memory and a multimedia card slot. It will also feature Bluetooth personal-networking technology and will come with a digital-audio player and FM radio.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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