December 2005

GIGABYTE Pocket PC Phone includes TV, 2.1mp camera
Taiwan's Gigabyte Communications unveiled the g-Smart Pocket PC Phone that includes some impressive features. The very compact device (4.35 x 2.1 x 0.95, 5.5 ounces) sports a 416 MHz PXA272 CPU, 64MB RAM, 64MB ROM, 801.11b WiFi, Bluetooth, a Mini SD card slot (a 256MB card comes with it), and a small 2.4-inch TFT display with 240 x 320 pixel and 262k color, and runs Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC. Now for the interesting part: the g-Smart, which is a GSM/GPRS phone, also has a 2.1 megapixel digital camera, an FM radio receiver, analog TV, and a navigation system. No information on availability outside of Taiwan. Our take:Another tour-de-force device that we may or may not see stateside. It's also an example of the "everything-and-the-kitchen-sink" approach manufacturers take in trying to figure out what, exactly, consumers want in a convergent device. -- Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2005 by chb

Windows Mobile and Windows XP in the same device
It's become somewhat of a Holy Grail of mobile computing: how does one get all of Windows into a device small enough to carry in your pocket, yet with enough battery life to also use it as a PDA and smartphone? The OQO (see our OQO review) took a respectable crack at it, but it's not a phone. CNET now reports of DualCor Technologies' impending release of the cPC, a little box that combines full XP with Windows Mobile 5.0. Supposedly a 6.5 x 3.3 x 1.2 little thing with a 5-inch screen, the cPC uses a super-low-power 1.5GHz Via chip, a gig of RAM and a 40GB disk to run Windows XP (the Tablet PC Edition no less, despite a lack of an active digitizer) for a respectable 3-4 hours. The cell phone side of the cPC uses Windows Mobile 5.0, shares the disk but has its own 128MB of DRAM, a gig of flash and a PXA chip, and can truck along for 8-12 hours in that mode. Sounds a lot like a Hybrid car, doesn't it? The DualCor website doesn't have any info yet, so we'll have to wait and see. [see CNET report] [see patent app] -- Posted Friday, December 16, 2005 by chb

Microsoft new entertainment and devices division subdivided
CNET reports that in the wake of Microsoft's September decision to organize the company into three major divisions (business, platform product and services, and entertainment and devices), the entertainment and devices division has now been subdivided into four units of its own. The units are a) entertainment business, b) interactive entertainment, c) mouse and keyboard, d) mobile and embedded business. The latter includes all the mobile devices we're interested in, and it is headed by Pieter Knook. -- Posted Thursday, December 15, 2005 by chb

Microsoft aiming for less expensive Smartphones
DigiTimes reports: "Microsoft plans to team up with Taiwan ODM handset makers and own-brand handset vendors to manufacture sub-US$300 PDA phones in a bid to help the company expand its share of the global OS (operating system) market for mobile devices, according to sources at Taiwan makers and vendors.

Microsoft has already exchanged ideas about the potential project with its major partners in Taiwan, including High Tech Computer (HTC), Quanta Computer, Asustek Computer, Acer, Mitac International, and BenQ, the sources noted.

Most Taiwan makers generally support Microsoft’s plan to optimize its mobile operating system, but they said there still is a long way to go before the software vendor and local handset makers can jointly bring down overall production costs for PDA phones."
-- Posted Friday, December 9, 2005 by chb

TV Guide Mobile
Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. , a provider of television information and guidance, and mobile media specialist Handmark announced the availability of TV Guide Mobile(TM, a dynamic new television listings and content service designed for Palms, Treos and Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and Smartphones. Through a yearly or monthly subscription, TV Guide Mobile provides consumers with the content and personalized tools they need to get the most out of the world of television. [see Handmark's TV Guide page.] -- Posted Wednesday, December 7, 2005 by chb

Phone and GPS PDAs fueling PDA market
The Taiwan PDA industry, according to DigiTimes estimates, will ship a gratifying 13.73 million PDAs in fiscal 2005. Of those, 5.06 million will be PDA phones (a huge increase), 4.43 million will be GPS PDAs (a big increase), and 4.25 million will be conventional PDAs (a substantial drop). -- Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2005 by chb