Today at ITU Telecom World 2006, Microsoft and Amoi Electronics unveiled four new Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0-based Smartphones which will be offered at lower price points than ever seen before in the China market. These GSM/GPRS/EDGE-enabled phones are powered by an enhanced, cost-effective solution from the Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) OMAP-Vox platform, as announced earlier this year during the 3GSM Congress in Barcelona.
The first solution in TI's OMAP-Vox product family, the OMAPV1030 GSM/GPRS/EDGE chipset is specifically designed to deliver enhanced multimedia functionality and support for richer operating systems at a reduced cost. Amoi Electronics is the first device maker to launch Smartphones using this lower-cost, high-performance chipset architecture.
In the past, Smartphones running robust operating systems required a more expensive dual-core chipset to power a rich user interface, data networking, and additional personal and business applications. The OMAPV1030 solution enables Amoi to achieve high-quality performance and lower-power consumption coupled with advanced affordable multimedia features to Smartphones.
The first of the four Smartphones, the Amoi E72, is expected to sell at a retail price below RMB2,000 (US$ 250), the lowest price ever for a Windows Mobile 5.0-powered Smartphone in China.
Prices for the other three models, the Amoi E75, Amoi E76 and Amoi E78, will be announced in the future.
Available in various form factors - slider, candy bar, or with QWERTY keyboard - these Windows Mobile-powered Smartphones include the Messaging and Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5.0, which supports Microsoft Direct Push Technology. This provides busy mobile professionals with always-on access to up-to-date information in their E-Mail, calendar, tasks and contacts, helping them to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues.
The Amoi devices offer the same entertainment and lifestyle experience of other Windows Mobile-powered Smartphones. These light-weight and slim devices offer music and video capabilities in a familiar experience with Windows Media Player 10 Mobile. With TI's BlueLink 5.0 Bluetooth solution support, users can conduct over-the-air synchronization of data with their desktops as well as enjoy stereo-quality music on their Bluetooth stereo headsets. The Amoi Smartphones offer digital cameras (up to 2 mega pixel) that can also shoot video, and the high-quality color screens enhance the viewing of video clips while on the go. Internet Explorer is also offered on all of the new Amoi Smartphones for a rich Internet browsing experience.
According to a report by Analysys1 the Smartphone market in China is expected to grow at 50 per cent over the next three years, with sales volumes anticipated to reach 17.64 million in 2008. This growth has been driven by increased user awareness, converged devices, better designs, the enrichment of third-party applications, and the popularity of high-speed wireless connectivity.
"We strongly believe in the potential of a mass market for Smartphones in China as well as other developed and developing markets in the world," said Mr. Li Xiaozhong, President of Amoi Electronics, Co., Ltd. "Our partnership with Microsoft and Texas Instruments has allowed us to offer the Windows Mobile Smartphone experience at lower price points than ever before."
"Microsoft is very excited to be a part of the innovation that Amoi and Texas Instruments have brought to this new line of lower-cost Smartphones,"
said Pieter Knook, Senior Vice President, Mobile Embedded Devices and Communications Sector, Microsoft Corp. "The lower price points will help us extend availability of advanced features like E-Mail, streaming video or mobile services to a wider segment of customers enabling them to work or play wherever and whenever they want."
All four Amoi Smartphones feature robust hardware specifications and will run all applications designed for Windows Mobile-powered Smartphones.
Product specifications will be released shortly before commercial availability.
"TI remains committed to delivering open solutions that foster development of lower-cost Smartphones. Our OMAP-Vox platform was architected with the mainstream consumer in mind to deliver a high-quality, multimedia experience," said Richard Kerslake, Worldwide General Manager, 3G and OMAP Business, Texas Instruments. "Leveraging our robust OMAPV1030 processor and Bluetooth technology, as well as Microsoft's Windows Mobile software, Amoi is delivering personal entertainment and communication capabilities to the masses."
All Amoi devices will be commercially available in China by January 2007. It's not known yet if the devices will be be launched later in other parts of the world as well.
Cheers ~ Arne