opinion


New Year; new handsets; more iPhone stuff

It’s a good thing the gargantuan industry shindig that is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in the first week of January. While much of the mobile industry is still rousing itself from its festive slumber, we can always rely on a torrent of gadget launches to keep us going.

And this year, Motorola and Sony Ericsson were first off the starting blocks. Moto introduced a handful of new devices, primarily focusing on the ‘phone as a music player’ market, with a nod towards the movie fans in the shape of the Z10.

The Moto Z10, with its now familiar kick slide design and a slightly underweight 3.2 megapixel camera, proposes “filmmaking on the fly”, by allowing consumers to create, edit, share and consume multimedia on the go.

Covering the music bases meanwhile, are the ROKR E8, which has the ability to change its keypad layout depending on whether it is in ‘music’ or ‘phone’ mode; and two low cost music phones – the W230 and W270.

Sony Ericsson opted for the fashionable route, with the Z555i clamshell phone and two new Walkman devices – the W350i and W760i, which also packs GPS.

Parent company Sony also made headlines by confirming Skype capabilities for its PSP handheld console, to be made available this month.

Yahoo also tried to rock the boat, with a mobile strategy that didn’t go anywhere near as far as its big web rival Google.

Meanwhile, Intel shook up Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative by withdrawing support and funding for the project after a major fall out between the two companies. The OLPC alleges that Intel had been using its position on the OLPC board to undermine the distribution of the XO device to kids, in favour of selling its own Classmate low cost laptop.

Intel was due to show off an Intel-based design of the XO, but the plug has been pulled on this announcement too.

Rocking the mobile advertising boat with a controversial concept, Pudding Media has announced that it’s been given $8m in funding for its “voice monetization” platform. The Pudding platform analyses voice calls in real time and then serves ads it deems to be relevant to the caller by voice, text and display.

And it may be 2008, but Apple iPhone news is coming out like its still 2007. Now a Chinese company has released a SIM card adapter, which allows a user to put their own SIM card from any network into the gadget, which then slots into the iPhone SIM slot and manages to bypass the check the iPhone makes to see whether a valid SIM is being used.

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