Web Phones Contain PDAs

NEW ORLEANS (03/01/2000) - From low-priced phones for your kids to multifeature smart phones, new mobile phones all have Web fever.

LGInfoComm USA and Sprint PCS announced a new smart phone here at the Wireless 2000 show put on by the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association). The LGI-3000W CDMA digital smart phone looks like a regular voice phone until you flip open the face and find a personal digital assistant inside it. Sprint PCS plans to start distributing the Web-enabled smart phone this summer priced at around $399.

LG InfoComm also unveiled three new wireless CDMA handsets that use Phone.com Inc.'s WAP 3.1 microbrowser. The new models are the light, flip-style LG-110 with PIM functions; the trimode LG-210 with a hands-free speakerphone; and the clamshell LG-510 with a second display for caller ID when the phone is closed.

LG InfoComm did not provide information on pricing and availability.

Kyocera's Colorful Web Phones

Kyocera, which recently acquired Qualcomm's handset line, announced two Internet handsets. One is the tri-mode 2035, which also comes in a dual-mode version; the other is the model 3035.

A consumer product, the model 2035 phone can take on a new look with one of 15 changeable color fronts priced at less than $20 each, says Tim Boyd, senior director product line management at Kyocera.

The 2035 phone includes productivity tools like a calculator, stopwatch, alarm clock, and countdown clock. Like the model 3035, it uses a bitmap display and weighs just 4.5 ounces, Boyd says.

The 3035 phone has a large display that can hold up to seven lines of text. A built-in speakerphone and voice-activated dialing let you use the phone hands-free. Both the 2035 and 3035 are data-capable and can support Wireless Application Protocol-compatible Internet microbrowsers, says a Kyocera spokesperson.

Resizing Smart Phones

Many models of smart phones are so large you're almost better off with a separate phone and personal digital assistant. But at a mere 6.5 ounces, the 1.9-GHz LGInfoComm CDMA smart phone offers a Web-ready phone and a PDA in a phone-size package.

"It's one of the smallest, lightest CDMA smart phones," says Y.B. Shim, president of LG InfoComm USA. The phone has a built-in speakerphone and a 12-line LCD display, and includes version 3.1 of the Phone.com microbrowser.

Like Ericsson's R380, which features a PDA running on the EPOC operating system, the LGI-3000W has a flip face that hides the PDA when you're making calls. The LGI-3000W phone runs LG InfoComm's proprietary software.

"If you leave the face closed, it acts like any phone. Open it and you have a high-resolution desktop with PDA functions," says Andrew Sukawaty, president of Sprint PCS. Sprint also distributes smart phones from NeoPoint but Sukawaty called LG InfoComm's entry "the best smart phone you'll see this year."

NeoPoint, which shipped the first smart phone with a Web browser, will release new smart phones this year too, he says.

NeoPoint was unavailable for comment. At the company's empty booth a mime distributed cards that read, "Shh, we're being quiet right now."

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