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  1.    #1  
    Here's a very interesting article my the MobileReview team, a very knowledgeable website who do in-depth reviews and tend to get their hands on devices before everybody else..

    This is just an excerpt, the actual article is much longer, and has many pictures.

    Devices on Symbian core
    The market of Symbian-based devices tends ever to monopolization. Nokia fortifies its positions, Sony Ericsson keeps the stability. Panasonic announced it closed the GSM-phone direction as well as the smartphone direction, BenQ-Siemens turned down Symbian. There are just two nominal rivals left - Samsung and Lenovo, which can't make a strong competition to Nokia. The Finnish company stays the price and technology leader.

    The lion's share of smartphone sales falls on Nokia's S60 platform. We can say that the Symbian destiny is in hands of Nokia. In 2006 the number of new S60 models by Nokia will double (8 models have been already announced, which will be commercially available in 2006).

    We won't speak about the models announced and much discussed, let's see what is to expect in 2006. All new products will be based mainly on the S60 3d edition platform. Several models, for example, the budget Nokia 2250 will be based on the old S60 version. Old programs are incompatible with the new S60, they need to be recompiled and signed. About half a year will pass, till we have a necessary set of programs for the new operating system. The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi pair will become the standard as the miniSD memory standard.

    This is the clamshell with 3-megapixel camera (3x optical zoom - for the first time) and a large screen. The model is in a classical shell with the functionality of Nokia N80. In various combinations we'll see such functions as HDD, large internal flash-memory, mobile digital DVB-H, satellite GPS navigation. There won't be a Nokia model that would absorb all these functions. In the second half of the year Nokia will step over the 3-megapixel line. The company will keep on experimenting with the form-factor.

    By closing the development of the Series 80 platform Nokia faced a temporally vacuum, when the life cycle of Nokia 7710 is approaching to the end and it's still far till the touchscreen in the S60 platform. In part it is replaced by Nokia 770, but this is the PDA, not the communicator. The company redeemed BenQ P31, a UIQ communicator, from BenQ and called it Nokia 6708. Thus the company hit 3 goals: the model filled the vacuum, there appeared a direct rival to Sony Ericsson communicators, money wasn't spent on the development.

    Sony Ericsson.
    In addition to the already announced Sony Ericsson P990 (the review is here) the company is preparing a simplified version with the keyboard similar to some BlackBerry models. The device will have smaller size and there won't be a camera. The models will emerge on the market with a short time gap. A fundamentally new device is to appear only in 2007.

    Nokia is the unconditional leader in the Symbian-segment, Sony Ericsson is staying apart. Other companies are following with at least a year's technological gap and a limited model line. The year of 2006 won't break this alignment of forces, it'll only strengthen Nokia's positions.

    Windows Mobile devices
    This operating system is trying to win its share of the market. If in the Symbian-segment we'll clearly see the monopolization, the Windows Mobile segment in 2006 will show us a burst of the number of manufacturers (we mean manufacturers and not trademarks). Until this year the big share of new smartphones and communicators was recorded by the Taiwanese company High tech Computer (HTC). In 2006 this trend will be broken for the first time, the company will get strong rivals, but keep its leadership in sales volume and the number of new models. It's hard to believe, at least 16 vendors (mainly Taiwanese companies) will fight their place under the sun. And there will be ever more trademarks for the devices.

    Vendors of Windows Mobile smartphones / communicators in 2006:

    Quanta Computer
    Wistron (Annextek)

    Last year the company's plans were published in the Internet (specs, photos), so we can talk about them in details. In all, the company expects to release 6 communicators and 2 smartphones in 2006. 4 of them support UMTS and another 4 - GSM/EDGE. The majority of new devices (except for modifications of old models) will be switched to microSD memory standard.

    Let's have a look at the upcoming models in the light of the current models:

    HTC Wizard - the model with the side sliding keyboard. It had been developed in two directions. Firstly, we have a UMTS version, HTC Hermes, the models are similar in design and functionality. Secondly, HTC Herald is set for the end of the year, it's the same HTC Wizard but in thin shell (18 mm thin), with less capacious battery and microSD memory standard.
    The keyboard-less HTC Magician has got the successor HTC Prophet (the European premier has been suspended till March, read the review here), not everybody welcomed the model enthusiastically. HTC Magician will be really continued in 3Q 2006. This will be HTC Trinity based on Intel processor, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, A-GPS and HSDPA support. The design has been inherited from HTC Prophet.
    A fundamentally new model, HTC Muse , will come out in the mid of the year. It has been obviously created under the iPod popularity. It has a square (2.4") LCD, there is enough space for the digital keyboard, but instead we see a big navigation and soft keys (that makes it closer to the iPod design). I'd note 4GB of built-in flash-memory, an FM-radio, a remote control, a TV-out. We see the device is first of all oriented at the opportunity to listen to the music and watch video, including on a big screen. The weak points are the square LCD and the lack of Wi-Fi, in the rest the model is interesting.
    Another new direction is with the navigation model HTC Artimes. It lacks Wi-Fi and UMTS, however it attracts attention with a GPS-receiver, a digital compass and a scrolling wheel instead of the navigation button (like in Samsung i300). The release date is set for the mid of the year.
    At last we see a clamshell among HTC smartphones (HTC Star Track). There will be also a UMTS-smartphone (HTC Breeze). Both models will be slim. The release date - the end of 2Q-the beginning of 3Q.
    What won't we see by HTC? Independently of Motorola the company has started developing a slim smartphone with the QWERTY-keyboard and landscape screen orientation. The model has got the code name HTC Excalibur. Should we mention that it was very like as Moto Q. Following the Motorola announcement HTC decided to cancel its model. Besides we won't see the successor of HTC Universal. The heir of HTC Universal will come out only in 2007. Now let's mention the companies, which will release HTC products under their brands.

    (HTC production). The company took the course on communicators instead of PDA. It plans to release 4 new models in 2006 - 3 communicators and 1 smartphone. In the beginning of the year HP will introduce HP iPaq hw6900, an update of HP iPaq hw6515 (the review is available here) with Wi-Fi and one slot for expansion, Windows Mobile 5.0. By the end of the year the company will unveil two more communicators. One of them will be a slightly changed HP iPaq hw6900, the other will have a sliding keyboard like HTC Wizard. Besides the company will release HTC Tornado smartphone in slightly different design under its brand (the review is available here).

    Fujitsu Siemens
    (HTC production). In the middle of the year the company expects to release its 3G communicator with the QWERTY-keyboard and the square LCD (like Palm Treo 700w and HP iPaq hw6xxx), it will also have built-in GPS. There will be both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The model will get the index FS Pocket LOOX T810/T830 (the modifications differ in the camera availability). It will be announced in 1Q and offered for sale in the end of 2Q.

    (HTC production). On early dates of the new year there has appeared the first Palm model powered by Windows Mobile OS - Palm Treo 700W communicator. According to the company the demand suppressed all expectations. The leaders of Palm turned to speak much surprisingly and unveiled their plans for the year (after a shareholder of Palm had published the info): in 2006 there will be 4 new communicators. During 6 months the Treo 700w will be exclusively manufactured for Verizon CDMA-network, and only then we see a GSM-version for the rest of the world (summer 2006). Palm Treo 700p is the same 700w, but with Palm OS Garnet and a higher quality LCD. It will be an exclusive for the US network Sprint for some period. The model under the code name Hollywood is the top of the line with the support of 3G-networks and the absence of the external antenna. It will be introduced in 2Q. And finally the last model - the budget Lowrider, the approximate price is $300. Well, we've finished with HTC products.

    The company has impressive plans - the release of 2 smartphones and 3 communicators. In April the company will demonstrate its communicator under the code name Galaxy (see the photo above). It features an ordinary digital keyboard and needless to say Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, a 2-megapixel auto focus camera. In 3Q there will be the announcement of the model called Mars standing out for 3G support. And later we will see Mars II, which will have a side sliding keyboard like HTC Wizard. Asus P305 smartphone will be announced in April (a dull 3G-clamshell), it will be replaced by the Scorpio model in the end of the year, it will differ in a better camera and built-in GPS, the miniSD slot will be replaced with the microSD slot. It's hard to believe that Asus will complete its plans, most likely we'll see 2 models on the market.

    This Korean company will offer 4 new GSM-devises based on Windows Mobile. They are Samsung i300x with higher capacity disk and new OS, Samsung i400 with 10 GB HDD, Samsung d300 smartphone, a slim slider with the functions of Samsung i750, new OS and a 3-megapixel camera.

    It's a relatively young player on the market. There is just one announced model - Kinpo S600 (known under Qool trademark). In future it will get Wi-Fi and WM 5.0 operating system. In 2006 the company plans to release 7 (!) communicators, gradually upgrading the functionality of the initial model and using slider and side slider form-factors. One of the models will be with built-in GPS. I'd note the "planet" code names of the products, for example, Jupiter, Titan, Mercury. Most likely we'll see maximum 2-3 models by Kinpo in 2006.

    A new and ambitious manufacturer has already managed to stand out with its unique slider GIGABYTE g-Smart (a built-in analog TV-receiver, for the first time). The company plans to release 6-8 new communicators in 2006 (with such functions as GPS, digital TV DVB-H, extended multimedia opportunities like in HTC Muse).

    We've told you about the most interesting models. We'd also note the Acer communicator expected in the middle of the year, the return of MiTAC and the market entry of Tatung (however, with one model).

    Conclusion and trends
    We've summed up the PDA market in the beginning of the article, here we just draw main forecasts for communicator and smartphone market in 2006:

    Two main operating systems on the market - Symbian and Windows Mobile derivatives - will keep their positions, Symbian leading greatly (the lion's share falls on Nokia). Linux OS won't get outside the Asian region;
    There will run diametrically opposite processes inside the segments: growing monopolization around Nokia in the Symbian segment and a burst of the number of vendors in the Windows Mobile segment;
    The growth of Windows Mobile OS share will depend solely on the success of negotiations with operators, international companies/brands like Dell. "Paper" plans of many companies are deliberately impossible to held more successful negotiations;
    There will be kept the trend to unify smartphones and communicators, branches of one operating system will be merging.

    Technological trends in 2006:
    Manufacturers refuse MMC memory standard and its derivatives in favor of miniSD and microSD, the overwhelming majority of devices will use these very memory standards;
    Half of the devices will support 3G, some models will support HSDPA (3.5G). The GPS-receiver will be found often - one of the main trends;
    Wi-Fi will become the standard for the most devices;
    There will appear special multimedia-oriented devices with large memory size (large built-in flash-memory will be more frequent than HDD);
    Devices with the support of DVB-H will come out in the second half of the year;
    The side slider form-factor (like in HTC Wizard) will be most popular;
    Windows Mobile devices will be after Symbian-devices in camera quality, 2-megapixel resolution will be the typical one. Half of the devices will be offered for sale in 2 modifications - with the camera and without it;
    Business card recognition will become the standard utility.
  2. #2  
    I still don't believe in the 700p. But I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon sign the exclusity of the 700w with Palm. Look at what they are doing with the Moto Q and the Samsung 730.

    I am very interested in Fujitsu's new wm5 gps smartphone. It's basically a much smaller and neater iPaq 6500.

    As for HTC phone. They are as competitive as ever. But they are sadly mistaken if they think I will downgrade to miniSD card. I am willing to put up with Palm's ****ty 240x240 screen or even switch to a Moto Rckr E2 before they pull the SD card out of my cold, dead hand.

    I think symbian has missed its chance out side of europe. It's just not as competitive to the power users. For example, they didn't have a commercial GPS package out until late 2005, and it was UK only. Now all the Taiwanese laptop OEM have jump on wm5. Symbian has no chance outside of Europe.
  3. slinky's Avatar
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    Yowsa. The 700p is exactly the same as the 650 except with an "updated" LCD. I'm guessing that means WiFi will work with the 700p, you get EVDO, and you might - emphasis on might - get another 32 MB of RAM. For the price they want to sell it, too little, too late, and definitely too much. I'm keeping my 650 or will be long gone to another network when it comes out.
  4. #4  
    aw i was hoping for an update to the 6700 this year. something a little bit thinner, higher res screen, and better camera.
  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by whatever7
    As for HTC phone. They are as competitive as ever. But they are sadly mistaken if they think I will downgrade to miniSD card. I am willing to put up with Palm's ****ty 240x240 screen or even switch to a Moto Rckr E2 before they pull the SD card out of my cold, dead hand.
    I don't like mini-SD either, but if Palm doesn't get on the ball and release a Palm OS phone soon with some serious features, I'm gone to HTC for the time being. I'm giving them until March to make an announcement.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by morphiend
    aw i was hoping for an update to the 6700 this year. something a little bit thinner, higher res screen, and better camera.
    The article seems to imply that a number of OEM's are looking at that design, but only in the later part of this year.

  7. #7  
    FYI, the mobiletechreview article states that the Moto Q has been canceled but other sites like ppcts refute that. Considering the past track record and number of MVP type M$'s, I'ld rather wager on the latter source imo...
    aka Gfunkmagic

    Current device: Palm Pre
    Device graveyard: Palm Vx, Cassiopeia E100, LG Phenom HPC, Palm M515, Treo 300, Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 700p, Axim X50v, Treo 800w

    Please don't PM me about my avatar. For more info go here.

    Restore your Pre to factory settings using webos doctor and follow these instructions
  8. #8  
    Even if the '700p' is a 650 with EVDO, it's good enough for me to upgrade. I really don't mind the lousy Blazer browser. Remember it will support 4GB+ SD card.

    edit: that website is pretty...plain looking.
    Last edited by whatever7; 01/23/2006 at 07:59 AM.
  9. slinky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever7
    Even if the '700p' is a 650 with EVDO, it's good enough for me to upgrade. I really don't mind the lousy Blazer browser. Remember it will support 4GB+ SD card.
    But why would you shell out $400-600 for a phone PLUS a long term contract just for 2+GB of storage? What can't you fit on a 2GB SD card that justifies this? That is, unless you just have money to burn...
  10. Iceman6's Avatar
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    I have a 2GB mini-SD card in my 6700. What's the big deal?
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    That is, unless you just have money to burn...
    Finally - he begins to catch on ...
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by slinky
    But why would you shell out $400-600 for a phone PLUS a long term contract just for 2+GB of storage? What can't you fit on a 2GB SD card that justifies this? That is, unless you just have money to burn...

    It's actually not a bad deal. See, if I sell the Treo 650 now, I should be able to put up another 150 to buy the 700p, assuming Sprint will price it at the 6700 level. I will have new warrenty for my phone. With my unlocked Treo on TMobile, I am completely naken. There is no gaurantee that the 650 will go on for another year without any problem. I have already dropped it in the toilet once , thank god nothing came of it.

    I also get pretty decent corporate discount with Sprint, which make it as cheap as TMo with the T-Zone plan. It's time for me to get some real internet without monkeying with the 8080 port business. I really want to try out MobiTV and live traffic apps.

    2GB is nice but I am still pusing it. Whenever I went on a roadtrip I had to delete some albums so I could put new audiobooks in. These suckers take up alot of space.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman6
    I have a 2GB mini-SD card in my 6700. What's the big deal?
    The big deal is your 2giger came out 1 year later than the SD version. And my digicam and waterproof mp3 player use SD cards.

    I also has spent TONS of money on Treo accessories, so I rather stay with Treo if it's possible. And I still view it a better hardware revision than the 700w. That is, if the 700p is REAL. I am one of the biggest 700p non-believers in this forum so I will believe it when I hold it in my own hands.
    Last edited by whatever7; 01/23/2006 at 11:06 PM.
  13. #13  
    Hay whatever, I am with you!! take care, jay

    PS: No external antenna is also a plus, in addition, the latest story going around is it will be up to 1/3 thinner or a flip or a pull out keyboard, so who knows. However, I still like the palm platform better.

    Read the reviews, (not the reader reviews on this site), I mean the pro reviews, as they seem to look at smartphones as if you have never used one before, as part of thier review.

    They all seem to complain of the clutter and extra work to do things using windows platform. That is one of the reasons, why I want to stay with Palm. It is much easier to use. Also supporting Palm is health for windows. Lets face it for most of us, windows has a complete lock on home and office computers. It has cassed a stifling in creativity, becasue we are all locked into Bill Gate's vsision of how things should be. It is ALWAYS HEALTHIER, in terms of technological breakthroughs for thier to be compitition.

    From the begining, Palm has made it easy to use and fingure out. I was able to pick up my Treo 300 my first palm unit when it first came ou. I never looked at or touched an other PDA, yet I was able to figure it out 1, 2, 3.

    Yet windows, on computers and PDA/Smartphones, makes it clunky and more complicated.

    Read the reviews of the Treo 700w on the wall st journal site, the ny times and pc mag and they all agree, the Windows platform is too cumbersome. In fact, it was only thru Palms insistance, that the 700P is as easy to use as it is.

    I look at it this way. Windows gave us DOS and we more than likely will still be using a variation of DOS, if Apple did not design the LISA which was the foreruner to the MAC. Apple made a computer that anyone could use, who never saw a computer before.

    Palm is the same way!

    I hate to think that Palm will become a niche player as Apple has become, (in terms of it's computer sales, not total sales including IPOD lines. However, IPOD lines are not helping Apple make inroads against Micorsoft, where all the big money. After all Apple only makes 4 to 6 cents per song).

    Ok so much for my rant for the vening, take care, jay
    Last edited by ilovedessert; 01/23/2006 at 11:40 PM.
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