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COMPETITION: Sony Ericsson unveils the new P990 UMTS Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 10.10.05 - 12:31:56 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 20695x
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This will become heavy competition for the HTC Universal, I'm sure because so far, the Universal was the first and only UMTS-enabled PDA. However, today Sony Ericsson emphasized its continued commitment to Symbian OS with the announcement of its next generation smartphone to the global development community. The P990 will be the first commercially available smartphone to adopt the enhanced Symbian OS version 9.1 and UIQ 3 software platform. This flagship UMTS smartphone is Wi-Fi enabled, has a 2 megapixel camera with autofocus and features a new hardware keyboard beneath the flip-down keypad. The phone will start shipping during Q1 of 2006.

The P990 is the next in a line of successful Sony Ericsson smartphones - the P800, P900 and P910 – and is based on the same proven concept and recognizable form factor. All have been popular with users, operators and software developers thanks to their powerful productivity features. Operator feedback and download statistics from the Sony Ericsson Application Shop have shown that consumers, both business and personal, are interested in using their smartphones to the fullest potential. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) can be as high as 4 to 5 times that of more traditional voice-centric mobiles.

To ensure a large proportion of applications are available on the new Symbian and UIQ software platform when the P990 goes on sale, Sony Ericsson has decided to announce the smartphone well in advance of availability so that developers have time to create and certify as many applications as possible.

"The technical prowess of the P990 will be brought to full life by applications from the third party developer community," said Jan Wäreby, Executive Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing. "Demand for applications on the P800, P900 and P910 has been very high. Our smartphones have been recognised as the most advanced and useful on the market, and we want to maintain this reputation with the P990 by ensuring there's a rich supply of top applications for enterprise, productivity, leisure and gaming when users make their first visit to the Sony Ericsson Application Shop."

As with its predecessors, the P990 is designed to be first and foremost a great mobile phone. It also offers all the benefits of UMTS including video calling, high-bandwidth multi-media downloads and the ability to browse the Internet with full HTML pages. These are viewed in landscape on the new Opera 8 browser. In addition, the P990 is prepared for all major push e-mail clients enabling full e-mail access with attachments, anywhere, anytime.

The P990 has multiple text input methods enabling it to support all users' needs and preferences. Writing e-mails is made easier by the new hardware keyboard positioned beneath the flip-down keypad on the main body of the phone. Reading them is made simpler on the large 2.8 inch QVGA touch screen. Multi tasking – being able to browse the Internet, send and receive files at the same time as talking – is now possible due to the enhanced capabilities of the new software platform.

Memory has been extended in order to handle all multi-media downloads and e-mail attachments. Memory Stick PRO Duo up to 4GB will be available in the market at launch and the P990 now has up to 80 MB user free memory. A 64 MB Memory Stick PRO Duo is included in the box, preloaded with a VPN client and trial version of a virus scan package.

The combination of UMTS and WLAN features will also significantly improve the efficiency and flexibility of applications such as e-mail, browsing the Internet/Intranet and video telephony. WLAN, available in hot spots all over the world, acts as a complement to high speed 3G services, enabling widespread access to corporate network services.

Other new features include automatic time zone change to the Calendar diary and updated PC sync software with extended synchronization possibilities. Additionally the 2 Megapixel camera with autofocus, digital zoom, photo light plus the bright TFT screen and video recording provide a high quality imaging experience.

In a separate announcement today, Sony Ericsson Developer World and UIQ Technology outlined their plans to support UIQ 3 developers.

Developers can program in C++ or Java to create powerful professional and personal productivity tools for the P990. The smartphone is based on Java Platform 3 (JP-3). It supports four new Java Specification Requests (JSR's) including Web Services (JSR-172) and is the twentieth phone from Sony Ericsson supporting Mobile Java 3D, demonstrating the company's leadership in this new technology. Standard Java applications can be run with either the flip-down keypad open or closed.

The P990 will be commercially available in Q1 2006. The variants will be:

  • P990i Dual mode UMTS (2100MHz) - GPRS 900/1800/1900 for Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa
  • P990c Dual mode UMTS (2100MHz) - GPRS 900/1800/1900 for Mainland China. Launch for mainland China dependant on availability of 3G services.

The P990 will be available in 4 hardware keyboard variants: QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY and Russian
The P990 will be demonstrated in booth # 124 at The Smartphone Show 2005 in the ExCeL Centre in London on October 11-12, where Sony Ericsson is headline sponsor. Rikko Sakaguchi, Senior Vice President and Head of Product & Application Planning, gives a keynote presentation.

Cheers ~ Arne

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