i-mate
The new JAQ by i-mate is one of the new smartphones at the CTIA show.
By Columnist
msnbc.com
updated 9/13/2006 11:34:57 AM ET 2006-09-13T15:34:57

Smartphones are red hot here at this year’s CTIA Wireless I.T. and Entertainment 2006 show. Little phones, big phones and handsets of all different sizes, colors and styles being displayed here at the show will be headed to a phone store near you.

And all those shiny new smartphones, with all sorts of features, bells and whistles come from different manufacturers and run on a bunch of different operating systems — from Palm, RIM/BlackBerry, Linux, Symbian and Windows Mobile.

The big announcement which has been the talk of the show actually happened thousands of miles away from here. Palm announced their first GSM, Windows Mobile handset which runs on GSM networks. The Treo 750v is a world phone which will be marketed by Vodaphone in Europe for the next few months — and should be available for sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.

I had a look at the 750 at the show and am happy to report it’s the first Treo to lose the antenna on top, which makes the 750 look sleeker than previous Treo models.

Nokia announced the availability of their e62 smartphone via Cingular Wireless. It is a terrific handset with can receive all sorts of different email formats — including Microsoft Exchange and Blackberry mail.

Motorola
Motorola's A1200 is available in three colors
Next, a great-looking Motorola smartphone which also runs on the Symbian operating system (similar to the e62 above). The A1200 works on the GSM/GRPS/WCDMA bands with Bluetooth and the Opera Web browser. It is currently available in the Far East, Middle East and parts of Africa.

There were some interesting Windows Mobile smartphones being touted here too.  HPC is a handset manufacturer famous for not being famous. HPC has been making cell phones that have someone else’s name on the outside — usually the brand name of a cellular provider.

Now, HTC is releasing an interesting looking line of smartphones that use their own name.  Cingular, Sprint and T Mobile will all be marketing HTC phones beginning in a few months.

There were also some designs from a new company called i-mate. Their JAQ phone has a full QWERTY keyboard on the front and their SPL model is a smaller, candy bar shape with a keypad/keyboard. Both have Bluetooth and can handle Exchange 2003 SP2 push e-mail.

HP
The iPAQ name lives on.  Model hw6940 has built-in GPS and Wi-fi
I was also able to play with an interesting smartphone from HP. The iPAQ hw6940 is another Windows Mobile handset which operates on GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks — and has built-in GPS and Wi-fi. The iPAQ is currently not sold by a carrier in this country — but can be purchased (unlocked for use with Cingular or T-Mobile) on the HP Web site for $599.00.

Netgear
Netgear's Skype phone also works with other Wi-fi providers.
Cellular phones aren’t the only interesting new items I saw at the show. Wi-fi experts Netgear were showing their new VoIP wireless phone.  There are two models, one which works on the Skype network and another which can be programmed for use on other internet phone services.

The programming is interesting too. The Skype model can be plugged into your computer and can self-program your account information — including your phone lists. Very cool.

San Disk
San Disk's MiniSD memory cards now available in a 4GB size.
There were also announcements about video over cell phones — better and better cameras being built-into handsets and an increased use of phones as portable music devices. San Disk announced the availability of 4GB MiniSD, high capacity flash memory cards.  That means you’ll be able to carry as much music as a 4GB iPod nano on your cell phone.  The even smaller microSD card is now available in up to 2GB sizes. 

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