The Nokia World 2009 keynote took place today (middle of the night for me in the US) and a couple recently announced devices were shown, three new ones were announced, and several services were showcased. Keep in mind my take on the event is from a US perspective where we are unlikely to see subsidies like they will in other countries. You can check out images for these products and services in our Nokia World 2009 image gallery. We found out more details about the Booklet 3G and saw the N97 mini, X6, and X3 announced, and heard about some new services for the N97 available now in beta.
Smartphones and Cell Phones
It seems everyone in business has a smartphone today to keep connected to the office and enjoy their time away from the office. Matthew Miller provides you with news, commentary and in-depth reviews of the latest in mobile phones sporting iOS, Android, Wi
Matthew Miller started using a Pilot 1000 in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since.
I have been spending a lot of time with my T-Mobile Touch Pro2 over these last few weeks and it has made me pause and think a bit more about firmware updates and how they relate to mobile phones. In the late 90s and early 2000s we never really thought much about upgrading our devices and we purchased them knowing exactly what their functionality and capabilities were while paying hundreds of dollars. If you look at the feature phone market, buyers still appear to think this way when they purchase the latest messaging, touchscreen, or camera-focused mobile phone. With the launch of the iPhone it seems people have started making purchasing decisions on whether or not a phone could be upgraded and have features added later in the lifecycle. This mentality has resulted in kudos for the iPhone, WebOS, some BlackBerry, select few Windows Mobile, and many Android devices while slamming Symbian, T-Mobile branded Android (who may not get future updates), Windows Mobile (selected devices may be upgraded), and BlackBerry devices. It seems to me that modern smartphone makers may have suckered us into thinking that upgradeability is always a good thing.
Microsoft finally confirmed a date for the release of Windows Mobile 6.5 today with the announcement of 6 October availability. There were not a ton of details in the press release, but I did see that T-Mobile USA was not listed as a carrier in the list and it will be pretty disappointing if their brand new T-Mobile HTC Touch Pro2 (see my first thoughts) is not upgraded to WM 6.5 since it is a pricey phone that has the horsepower to be upgraded. However, much of what people will see in WM 6.5 has already been implemented by HTC in the HTC Touch Pro2 so there may not be that compelling of a reason to perform the upgrade anyway.
As I have mentioned in the past I have a rather small personal music collection so I enjoy streaming music and subscription services that let me listen to a ton of music from several genres. I have been a subscriber to the Zune Marketplace (check out my thoughts on the service) since they started giving you 10 free songs a month, but do have some issues with the service since it is still not easy to find MP3 only files and if you forget to download the 10 free songs you lose them. Today Napster launched their new mobile site, m.napster.com, that gives you the ability to discover and download your music over the air.
I don't think it has ever been officially stated, but rumors have shown that we can expect the excellent HTC Touch Pro2 (see my initial impressions) to come to at least the four major US wireless carriers. T-Mobile was the first a few weeks ago and today Sprint announced the Touch Pro2 will be available starting 8 September for the same $349.99 price that T-Mobile sells the device for. Unfortunately, you will have to pay $100 more on Sprint and wait for a mail-in rebate while T-Mobile has no mail-in rebate. There are a couple of hardware and software bonuses with the Sprint model compared to the T-Mobile model though.
It's that time of year when kids go back to school and people start to think of ways to stay connected and in touch. If your kids are like mine, text messaging is used 90% of the time compared to voice calls on mobile phones and they are all about the QWERTY keyboard for easier, faster texting than a phone keypad. Every carrier realizes this too and has a lineup of QWERTY phones to meet these texting needs. Let's take a look at two of the best QWERTY phones available from each of the four major wireless carriers.
James, Kevin, and I record the show on Macs and both of them were tracking their Snow Leopard package using the Palm Pre as we started MobileTechRoundup show #181. James then asked about apps driving people to buy certain phones and we chimed in with our thoughts. Sony announced a new Reader device and one is on the way to my house. The Nokia N900 was a big news item of the week, along with the Booklet 3G. There are Motorola Android handsets being announced soon and Kevin and James will be there in person to hear the news and hopefully get some hands-on time.
I have the Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets and while they can be fun to use from time to time, but their performance and speed holds them back. Today Nokia announced the rumored N900 running Maemo 5 and with T-Mobile USA 3G support I am putting my Nokia N97 for sale. The N900 is the latest Linux-powered Internet Tablet with GSM/HSDPA and just about every other wireless technology you could want.
Nokia posted a press release this morning for an upcoming mobile service that I think could have a significant impact on the world. Nokia Money is a new financial service that will allow the millions of people who have a Nokia device and no bank to conduct basic financial transactions. It may not have much of an impact in the US or other developed countries, but in areas where banking is not as vital it could be huge. According to Nokia's press release there are more than 4 billion mobile phone users and only 1.6 billion bank account around the world today.
I received an email yesterday from a Microsoft representative regarding their Unlimited Potential Group's announcement for a new mobile software application. The funny thing about the email was that it stated the OneApp application was designed for feature phones to access mobile apps like Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger, and more around the world (and especially in emerging markets). Looking at the list of compatible devices we see a lineup of some of Nokia's finest S60 smartphones, including the E71, N95, N85, and N96. I think someone may want to educate Microsoft on their competitors since these devices are much more than just feature phones and are high end Nseries and Eseries devices.