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3GSM 2005

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Samsung 1 Nokia 6681 Nokia 6101 IXI / Sanyo  

IXI Mobile has been trying to promote their PMG (Personal Mobile Gateway) technology for a while now. The concept is interesting. Instead of expensive, swiss-army-knife, do-it-all phones, IXI believes people should be able to pick and choose among a collection of small, single-purpose devices, and only carry the ones that they need on any given day.

So you might have a really small phone, and then a separate camera, and a separate messaging device, that are all linked via PMG, (which, by the way, works over a Bluetooth wireless connection). Part of the idea then is that the camera can be a really good camera, and the messaging device can be a really good messaging device.

And messaging is where IXI has set its initial focus. Their first major product to market was the Ogo, which launched with AT&T Wireless last year. It was a big bulky, though, and had limited features. Part of the bulk came from it having a full GSM/GPRS radio inside, so it could work as a standalone device. But IXI's true vision has always been that the phone is at the center of a PMG network, and something like a messaging device can be smaller because it only needs Bluetooth inside, using the phone to connect to the carrier's network.

And that's where the new Sanyo WiPOQ Multimedia Messenger comes in. This ultra-sleek, ultra-small (only 15.5 mm thin) device provides SMS, MMS, IM, email with attachments, web browsing, contacts, calendar, and Java gaming. The idea is that you simply pair it with a Bluetooth phone, (any Bluetooth phone with dial-up networking or LAN access profiles will work) and then it uses the phone's connection to access the Internet and do its magic.


So the idea is that you can carry a really small Bluetooth phone all of the time, plus the WiPOQ when you need its features and the large screen and QWERTY keyboard. Then you can leave the WiPOQ at home when you go out on a date, etc. What makes this different from previous alternatives is that everything works through your existing service and billing, and there's no swapping SIM cards.


The WiPOQ will be available in Europe in the 3rd Quarter, through both carriers and regular retail channels. Three different versions will be available, with varying levels of memory and preloaded software. Sanyo is also planning to come out with other WiPOQ devices, including a media player model and a TV-focused model.

Interestingly, the WiPOQ is made by a completely different division of Sanyo than the mobile phone divisions. In fact, the company formed a totally new division - the Wi Mobile Technologies Group - to manufacture and market the WiPOQ devices. The new division collaborated with US-based ComSciences on the design of the first WiPOQ. So bottom line - this doesn't imply anything about Bluetooth on Sanyo phones - or in fact anything to do with Sanyo phones at all.

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