It would appear that the PC’s popularity is lessening in Japan, as overall shipment has declined for the last five quarters. Taking its place are flat panel TVs and cell phones, according to analyst Masahiro Katayama. He added that kids there spend more time using their phones, advanced game consoles, and smart phones to access the Internet than computers. PC makers have taken to marketing low end products in countries for have those who will become first time users. While we suspect that this trend will continue, there is no way that we could ever completely give up our comfortable QWERTY keyboard and widescreen monitors for tiny finger pads and minuscule displays.
Read More | USA Today
Nokia has unveiled their lightweight BH-101 at SEMA in Vegas this week. You can get up to 8 hours of talk time and 180 of standby on the Bluetooth headset. The ear piece can function with EDR 2.0, Handsfree v1.5, and Headset 1.1. It features an adjustable earloop for use on either side and Nokia reports that the headset will be out just in time for the holidays with an estimated €30 (~$43.00.) We find now that when we see folks walking around in public with an earpiece that they become as instantly annoying as those who speak extra loudly on their cell phones.
Read More | Nokia
While the Palm Foleo died on the vine, the concept may live on. I-Mate, makers of many fine Windows Mobile based smart phones is rumored to be working on a “shell” to go with their new Ultimate line. While the new shell would not contain any processor or memory of it’s own, it would feature a 1024x768 screen and a full sized keyboard to act as a dock for the smart phone. It is still unknown if the shell would feature batteries to increase runtime, but if it does that could be a killer feature for todays power-hungry HSDPA chipsets.
This seems like it would be a better approach than the Foleo. It would be cheaper, provide similar functionality, and allow a user to select which form factor they want (laptop vs. cellphone) at any given time as simply as clicking the phone into the larger frame. If this comes to market in a timely manner and offers a good user experience it could signal a new style of cellphone based computing—and a step into the “world of tomorrow”.
Elecom has released their EHP-IE10 Series Earphones for those who want to make a minor fashion statement. Available in 8 different styles, they feature an impedance of 32 ohms, a playback frequency of 20Hz to 20kHz, and a pressure response of 99dB/1mW. The eardrops have a f 13.5 mm driver unit, a 1.2 m cord, a f3.5 mm stereo mini-plug, and weighs only about 7g. You can pre-order for JPY1,200 (~$21.27.)
Blackberry has announced that their latest phones, due out in November, will feature unlimited music. Omnifone, in cooperation with mobile device maker Vodafone, plans to debut the inexpensive service in November in the U.K. before releasing it to the rest of the planet. Customers will only pay a weekly fee of £1.99 (~$4.59) for the service that is about 10 million songs strong in 30 countries. This service will allow direct downloading even when on the go and may be adaptable to Vodafone mobiles and 2.5G and 3G handhelds without an upgrade.
Read More | The Courier Mail
RIM has released Facebook for Blackberry Smartphones. Announced at the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment show in San Francisco this week, T-Mobile will be the first to utilize the software application. You can do everything that Facebook offers including sending and viewing messages, instant message notification, poking, making new friends, and uploading. You can also set a unique ringtone alert. Free to download, remember that data charges may apply. By the way, our DIY purplish Sonic was made in one of Facebook’s applications. That’s reason enough to sign up.
Read More | Mobileburn
If you are right in the middle of a DS or PSP video game and it looks like your batteries will die before Link does, hook up Thanko’s handy Charger Bracelet. It will give your game system up to an extended 4.5 hours of life. The device will also work with cell phones so you don’t have to hang up on your spouse/partner/boss until it is your idea. Connect the bracelet by USB to your computer for a recharge. The charger will set you back JPY 4,980 (~$44.00.)
Audi has decided to include a mobile phone as part of its A1 Metroproject Quattro concept hybrid. The handheld acts as a phone, video and audio player, and supports both 3G UMTS and WiFi technology. Before sliding it into it’s slot on the dashboard, it will also start your car, unlock it by remote, and heat it up before you are forced out in the cold.
There’s more. The A1 will alert you by snapping an image on digicam in the car if someone likes your new purchase as much as you do and decides to borrow it. If that occurs, it will track the thief’s wild ride by GPS. We would just be happy to use that feature to let us know where we parked before the lot got overcrowded with hordes of Holiday shoppers.
Read More | Motor Authority
October 24 has been chosen as the debut date of the new T-Moblie Sidekick LX. The new cell phone is thinner and has a larger HD LCD swivel screen than its predecessors. Available in midnight blue or espresso brown, it features picture messaging, IM, a cam, web browsing and e-mail capabilities, and a custom designed MySpace Mobile application can be downloaded. Check with T-Mobile for price and contract requirements or register with the site to keep informed about the Sidekick’s coming out party.
Read More | Sidekick
The Pacemaker can turn anyone into a portable DJ, or at least will give that impression. The black handheld device has a 120 GB hard drive inside the system that they describe as “peanut butter and jelly sandwich size.” It has the ability to preview tracks, adjust speed, split and cut loops, alter levels, add special effects, and more. One side has a color display and the other a touchpad, and it will support almost any audio files. The Pacemaker comes with software for mixing and will save the results automatically. Both PC and Mac compatible, the included charger allows 7 hours of use or 20 hours of listen time. The device will be available December in Europe and early next year in the U.S. for €520 (~$743.00,) which will give you plenty of time to save up for the purchase.
Read More | Pacemaker
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