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2004 Holiday Pre-Preview

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Sep 21, 2004, 7:00 PM   by Rich Brome

On-the-scene report from the Holiday Spectacular media event in New York. Plenty of hot info and new photos of the latest from Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Siemens, Sony Ericsson, and more.

It's almost that time of year again... time for companies to start getting their ducks in a row for the all-important holiday shopping season.

With Halloween still almost six week away, it's not something most of us want start thinking about just yet. (Including me, hence the extra "pre" in the article title.) But part of any smart company's holiday promo strategy is getting coverage in the magazines that will hit the stands during the peak shopping season, and print magazines usually have very long lead times. With that in mind, 50 tech companies converged on lower Manhattan earlier this week for the "Holiday Spectacular" media event, to show off their holiday wares to the New York press.

Phone Scoop was there, as were Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Siemens, Research In Motion, and Wildseed. While no earth-shattering announcements were made, everyone had a little something new to show off.

Siemens announced two new phones for the U.S. market: the S66 and CT66. However, as usual for Siemens, both models are simply U.S. versions of models already announced for Europe, with few differences other than frequency bands supported.

Still, the S66 is a very notable model. It sports a very large color display, megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and an RS-MMC memory card slot.

Wildseed was also exhibiting at the event. Their first SmartSkin phone - the Curitel Identity - was recently launched by Cellular One / Dobson, a smaller regional carrier. Additional carriers are pending.

I covered Wildseed's SmartSkin concept in depth in my 3GSM report back in February.


Wildseed's main new product was the first gaming SmartSkin. Featuring the game Mortal Kombat, the skin includes extra buttons that transform the phone into a gaming device. That's one of the really neat aspects of the SmartSkin concept - that new hardware features can be added as easily as snapping on a new faceplate.

And it makes a lot of sense for Wildseed to focus on gaming right out of the gate, since graphics performance is one of the phone's strongest areas. But games are not the only way the Identity puts its graphics prowess to use. In fact, smooth animation and slick transitions are completely pervasive in the phone's menus and interfaces. And in camera mode, the viewfinder has one of the fastest refresh rates I've ever seen.

About the author, Rich Brome:

Editor in Chief Rich became fascinated with cell phones in 1999, creating mobile web sites for phones with tiny black-and-white displays and obsessing over new phone models. Realizing a need for better info about phones, he started Phone Scoop in 2001, and has been helming the site ever since. Rich has spent two decades researching and covering every detail of the phone industry, traveling the world to tour factories, interview CEOs, and get every last spec and photo Phone Scoop readers have come to expect. As an industry veteran, Rich is a respected voice on phone technology of the past, present, and future.


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Oct 28, 2004, 8:05 AM

P910a/ Cingular (AT&T Wireless)?

Rich or any Cingular/AT&T reps,

I noticed it said it should be shipping late October. Any update on that? Do you know what this price is going to be?

Oct 11, 2004, 7:34 PM

Hey Rich...

I asked a T-Mobile territory rep about the P735 and he said "as far as I know we're not going to carry it". This has me kinda worried. I noticed in the pics the phone does say T-Mobile on it and the WAP button has the t-zones logo on it. Is it still scheduled for release with T-Mobile? The release is supposedly before the end of the year. Do you have a more specific date? A month?

Oct 5, 2004, 11:36 PM

Anything for cingular coming soon??

what phones are going to come out in october for cingular. if not october then nov and dec..thank you

Sep 22, 2004, 3:16 PM

Nothing new for Verizon?

Looks like there's no new phone for Verizon
this December.
The Samsung N330 is new.

There are also other phones in the pipeline, that just weren't new at this event, like the Motorola A840, V260/V265, the LG VX-8000 and VX-6100, and the Audiovox 9900 & 8910.

Sep 23, 2004, 1:04 AM

new sanyo(s) for sprint?

i hear about 2 new sanyo phones for sprint, seems to either be really hush hush, or mabey the phones just arent worth talking about, i need a new cell, trying to decide if the new ones are worth the wait
lmao sprint 😛...half the coverage isnt good and they always seem to have some kind of problem with every new phone that comes out. switch carriers 😁
Sanyo wasn't at this event.

Sep 22, 2004, 6:02 PM

Sony s710a

Any idea what the targeted price point will be on the SE s710a?
i heard the s710 was gun be around $700-800?...i hope that the s700 isnt this expensive!

Sep 22, 2004, 4:22 PM

Any of the SE for T-Mo?

Any of these new SE phones going to be released for T-Mo? I love SE, but not the lonely T610.
It's possible T-Mobile could get the K500 around Christmas. Definitely not definite, though... 😉

Sep 22, 2004, 10:24 AM

V550 and the V505

Doesn't the V550 look remakably similar to the V505 already available through AT&T wireless?
Yes. That's the standard V500-series design.

Here's how the model numbering works:

Start with the V500. That's the base model with quad-band and Bluetooth.

Then the V505 and V525 are just cosmetic offshoots of the V500, created so that certai...
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