The Tokyo Business Show 2004 opened yesterday with a light show and pounding music that highlighted Vodafone on center stage. They have taken a beating in the marketplace — and the press — lately over the lack of new handsets, but here are 5 fresh-for-summer models that should make the critics, and customers, take notice. The V602SH from Sharp would seem to be pick of the litter with its industry-first, 2x-optical-zoom camera and huge, swivel-style LCD screen. The sleeper surprise unit, upon closer inspection, has to be the V401D from Mitsubishi with its Super-CCD Honeycomb 2-megapixel camera and — another industry first — a side-mounted finger tracing control feature to operate screen scrolling and camera zoom!!! We were in for another treat afterwards wandering by the DoCoMo booth to see they had just rolled-out the new micro-mini Premini by Sony Ericsson. If you couldn’t make it out to Tokyo Big Sight in person then we hope you’ll enjoy this quick video clip from our adventure. Program Run-time 2:37 – Coded for Broadband Connections Only.
Regular Wireless Watchers might have noticed the quick shot of some ‘behind-the-glass’ future-style wallet-type handsets in this video program. You can look forward to an interview with Vodafone’s in-house design development team in the near future.
One of the bigger news items from Vodafone was the Flash Memory card e-commerce announcement last week, the full story on that being worthy of a program unto its own.
The little Premini by Sony Ericsson is a pretty interesting candybar-style miniature handset. It handles voice, i-mode, Web surfing, and email (but no camera), all packed into a 69-gram palm-size frame. With a semi-transparent, 1.3-inch TFT liquid crystal display pushing out 65,536 colors and with 100 hours talk time, this unit is targeted at the 30-something salaryman who needs a mobile communication tool that truly fits in a shirt pocket and without all the extra gadgets.
As fitting a title as it was in 2002: “Reporting from the Heart of Japan’s Mobile Revolution” for Wireless Watch Japan.
— Ken Gai