Kyocera Makes a Splash in Vegas

Kyocera announced three new CDMA handsets at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas yesterday. The new models introduced included the Neo E1100, Mako S4000 and Adreno S2400. All three of the phones are tri-band models, targeted at primarily at carrier customers operating in South America, and will be available in Q3 2008 at affordable price points. The news came on the same day that Kyocera finalized its acquisition of Sanyo’s mobile phone division, making it the 6th largest globally, and unveiled its first-ever GSM handsets.

Sharp Bluetooth Watch from Citizen

SoftBank Mobile is promoting this iVIRT-M watch, made by Citizen, as an added bonus feature to accompy their 920SH handset by Sharp. According to the details provided it “connects via Bluetooth, so incoming calls, mail, and S! Quick News will always be right at hand”.. we’re not sure if the pun was intended. In addition to functioning as a remote camera shutter, it features a 64-color LCD and can even display mail pictographs. It’s not clear whether the Citizen unit can also function with Sharps 920YK device, recently introduced with a bundled E*Trade stock market application.

Willcom Introduces New Smart Phone

Willcom, Sharp and Microsoft held a press conference yesterday at the Okura Hotel to announce the new W-Zero3 ES smartphone. The 3rd model in their series from Sharp this latest unit weighs in at 157grams and measures just under 18mm thick. Boasting a 3.3 inch VGA (480×800) LCD touch-screen display and the so-called xCrawl jog dial with Windows 6 OS running on Marvells PXA270 520MHz processor and Wi-Fi enabled this device will be available on order here by the end of June. WWJ was on-hand for the event and will post video asap, more details after the jump.

Panasonic PEAKS 3G Phone

We’ve noticed an unusually agressive ad campaign for the new P903iTV phone from Panasonic over the last few weeks. This latest handset, which was released in late February as the follow-up to the Japan’s original 1Seg. digital tv debut unit for DoCoMo, touts an improved “vibrant screen” display. Like Sony with the Bravia line or Sharp’s trendsetting Aquos brand before them, Panasonic has based this product on the same “PEAKS” processor technology used with their home television offering. Check-out this video from their website which is running here in prime-time TV slots.

SoftBank Mobile Announces New 3G Phones

SoftBank Mobile Announces New 3G Phones by Mobikyo KKSoftBank Mobile rounded out the Japanese operators spring handset announcement rush this week by announcing a new fleet of models – Flash site Here – with major bling factor. According to the companies announcement most models will be available by March which is traditionally the busiest handset replacement month of the year in Japan as the new academic and fiscal year begins on April 1st. Masayoshi Son did his best Steve Jobs impersonation, black turtle-neck and all, however there was no announcement related to the recent news from MacWorld.

Models of interest include the 911T by Toshiba, a candybar slider with a huge 3-inch screen running on high speed HSDPA has a 3.2-megapixel camera, 1GB of internal memory, 1Seg digital tv, it’s FeliCa m-commerce enabled and comes complete with a pair of Oakley Thumps which connect via bluetooth. Other new handset highlights include; the 812SH Pantone series by Sharp (pictured right) with 20 different colors to choose from, the 812T Kodomobile model designed especially for children and Nokia’s E-61 Communicator – labeled as X01NK – which has Japanese Kanji text input and comes Wi-Fi enabled.

There are three new phones from Samsung including the 708SC slider which claims the title for the worlds thinnest 3G handset at a mere 8.4mm thick and the 707SC Swarovski Crystal version which is a follow-up to the earlier 705SH model [.jpg image] which sold-out the day it was launched last fall.

There have been over 30 new handset models announced by the three main operators during the last week for content and application developers, industry wags and ultimately the marketplace at large to chew over.. whew! WWJ subscribers login for more comments, photos and a video-link to watch the actual presentation (70 minute runtime) from the press conference held in Shinagawa on Thursday.

Sprint Announces Sanyo M1 Handset

Sprint and Sanyo have announced full availability of the M1 handset [.jpg image] as Sprint’s first phone with 1GB of internal memory. The M1’s key features include Bluetooth, a 2.0 megapixel camera with auto-focus, storage for up to 16 hours of music with nine equalizer settings for fine-tuning the listening experience. The unit also has external i-pod style music controls and a large external LCD for optimal usability.

Handset Makers Sued over Bluetooth

Three major electronics companies have been sued by a foundation which claims that their use of Bluetooth wireless technology infringed on patented work at the University of Washington. According to the lawsuit, Bluetooth-based computers, cell phones and headsets made by Matsushita, Samsung, and Nokia have violated four patents, including one that was issued for research done in the mid-1990s by Edwin Suominen when he was an undergraduate student at the University of Washington.

SoftBank Announces 5-Megapixel Cameraphone

SoftBank Mobile announced yesterday it will begin sales of the Sharp 910SH [ .jpg ] 5-megapixel cameraphone in October. According to the specifications, the new model touts a 2.4-inch VGA view finder with blurring correction and a multi-point auto-focus system. Also noted, it has a 3-speed optical zoom feature, bluetooth and QR barcode reader along with face-recognition capability for its embedded FeliCa osaifu ketai (wallet-phone) function.

SoftBank Announces First Branded Handset

According to a company press-release today SoftBank mobile will release the first handsets branded with it’s corporate logo (replacing Vodafones) starting Sept. 2nd. The Sharp 705 series 3G phones will be limited to 10,000 units and feature the usual specs. with 2 mega-pix. camera, ASV display and bluetooth on-board. They have also released images of the popular 1Seg digital TV enabled 905 model, made by Sharp as well, with the SoftBank logo however no details were provided about it’s availability.

LG Ships New i-mode Handsets to EU

The LG L343i with i-mode on-board appears to be coming soon to O2 in the UK and in some other markets as well. It’s a low-budget GSM / GPRS unit and the handset spec. is very basic with a 128×160 pixel 262K colour TFT display, VGA resolution (0.3 megapixel digital camera) plus Bluetooth but no data card. Reminds us of the early i-mode days (circa 2001) here in Japan.