Budget and Friendly Phones

Budget and Friendly Phones

CTIA 2009
PCB News  PCBANews
ElizabethWoyke,03.30.09, 06:00 AM EDT


The big wireless showlikely will showcase lower-end gadgets.
Smart phones are all the rageand poised to replace computers. Butwhen CTIA, the wirelessindustry's biggest U.S. trade show, kicksoff Wednesday, industrywatchers expect some lower-end phones tograb attention from theirflashier counterparts.
This emerging category ofphoneslooks sophisticated, often come with a full Qwerty keypadandprovide quick access to the Web and e-mail. But they lack someofthe more PC-like features of true smart phones, such as anopenoperating system.
Some of these devices arealreadyavailable. Like the Pantech Slate, a super-slim messaginghandset,which AT&T (nyse: T - news - people ) currently offersfor freewith a mail-in rebate. Industry insiders say more are onthe way,due, in part, to the economic downturn.
"Think of them as the netbooksofthe wireless world," Asmundson says. "They open up the apertureforsubscribers to get into data services without spendingafortune."
Smart phones will still makeasplash. Research In Motion (nasdaq: RIMM - news - people )hasrevealed plans to unveil its long-awaited mobile applicationstore,BlackBerry App World, on Wednesday. RIM is also rumored tobelaunching a mobile TV service for BlackBerrys.
HTC, which debuted theworld'sfirst Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people )Android-poweredhandset last fall, could announce a North Americanrelease for itsnew Android phone, Magic.

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