Q1 2006 smart mobile device market report

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Apr 302006
 

The latest report on the smart mobile device market (defined as “handhelds, wireless handhelds and smartphones”) from research firm Canalys reveals that APAC device sales in the Asia-Pacific region have overtaken those in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) for the first time as smart mobile device Q1 2006 global shipments increased 55 percent compared to the same period last year. Nokia remains the top vendor with a 51 percent marketshare. In second place is now RIM which bumped Palm down to third. Mitsubishi and Sharp followed in fourth and fifth.

A look at the traditional handheld market shows a 25 percent decline with four of the top five vendors (Palm, HP, Dell and Acer) all showing double-digit decreases.“It is in the converged device arena that we are seeing the biggest changes,” said Canalys senior analyst and research manager Rachel Lashford. No wonder Palm and HP are switching gears.

A look at the story on operating systems shows Symbian’s global share in smart mobile devices at a record high of 69 percent followed by Microsoft at 12 percent.

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Take your bar with you

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Apr 292006
 

JUSTINCASE Portable Bar

The weekend is here and wherever you are, you may be in the mood for a cocktail. Fortunately, you can now take your bar with you, courtesy of JUSTINCASE Portable Bar Systems. In 3 minutes, you can have your bar set up without the need for any tools. Fully open, it measures 140 centimeters in length and 95centimeters in width (about 55-inches x 37-inches) and is high enough to integrate all standard kitchen and catering equipment. It comes with back-lit inserts, stainless steel legs with level adjustment, 2 power sockets and fluorescent lighting. Quite a few customizable options are also available.

There are a couple of downsides: It weighs a fairly hefty 27 kilograms and the drinks are not provided!

Source: Gizmodo

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Juggler: A puzzle game with a twist

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Apr 292006
 

Juggler

SurvivorSoft has released Juggler, a puzzle game that might remind you of the Rubik’s Cube minus one dimension. The object of the game is to line up matching pieces in rows. The challenge lies in the way you move pieces. You don’t just move one; you rotate pieces around a central one. The fastest time wins!

Fortunately, you can start with a 3×3 board and gradually work your way up to a 6×6 board. There are 15 different playing fields, 8 different styles of board tiles and best scores can be uploaded to a ranking web site for ultimate bragging rights.

Juggler is available for $9.95 from our affiliate Clickgamer in both a QVGA version (with square screen support) and a VGA version.

Source: Pocket PC Thoughts

Favorite 2005 Games from Smartphone and Pocket PC Magazine

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Apr 282006
 

Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine (formerly Pocket PC magazine) announced its 5th Annual Best Software Awards 2005 winners back at the end of last year. It has now followed this up with a list of the judges’ favourite games. The purpose of publishing these comments is to give insights into a variety of products – not to show how the judges voted.

It’s quite an impressive list of games, just in time for the weekend. And among the favourites are two that we reviewed: Curse of the Pharaohs and Mastersoft Sudoku.

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Treo 700w Updater 1.10 available again

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Apr 282006
 

Palm Treo 700w

The Palm Treo 700w Updater 1.10 for Verizon Wireless smartphones has returned to the store after being pulled a few days ago. It comes with the Microsoft MSFP which will enable direct push technology (email, calendar, contacts and tasks) when used with Exchange Server SP2, other enhanced email capabilities like auto-synchronization of email accounts based on user settings, updated memory management, picture and video enhancements and a new Wireless Manager interface to control your wireless radios.

This new version comes with a new installation process that should address issues reported by some users. If you successfully upgraded with the first version, you will not need this new edition.

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Nokia to open stores in US

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Apr 282006
 

Nokia will open 2 stores in the US by the end of the year. These “flagship stores” will sell the complete line of North American Nokia products, including the recently announced N93 (I guess that this answers the question of whether it would hit North American shores), N73 and N72. This is a departure from the norm where Nokia and other cell phone manufacturers sell their products through carriers’ stores where they are typically bundled with service plans.

Following a model used by Apple and Gateway, the stores will be staffed by Nokia employees promising a deeper product knowledge than you might get today. it will also allow Nokia to offer products which are a little lower volume, and a little targeted.

The first store is scheduled to opne in June in Chicago and a New York store will follow by the end of 2006.

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Nintendo Revolution unveils real name: Wii

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Apr 272006
 

Wii

Codenamed Revolution for the past year or so, Nintendo has has unveiled its next gaming platform’s name: Wii (pronounced ‘We’). The name is supposed to conjure up thoughts of cooperation as players come together and the two i’s in the logo play off the idea of two people standing next to each other. The new name will be supported by a marketing campaign that will explain the new name as Nintendo readies Wii for launch towards the end of the year. A video on Nintendo.com has already launched.

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Chapura releases PocketMirror 2.0

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Apr 272006
 

If you’re looking for a more powerful option to synchronize Outlook with your Windows Mobile device, PocketMirror 2.0 just released by Chapura might be what you are looking for. The new version of PocketMirror adds support for both the Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Editions of Windows Mobile 5.0.

With ActiveSync, your synchronization options are limited. PocketMirror adds functionality like the ability to synchronize multiple Outlook folders (eg, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks) and subfolders to your mobile device and the ability to synchronize Outlook folders and categories on your PC with corresponding categories on your Windows Mobile handheld or smartphone. If you use the Business Contact Manager (BCM), an Outlook add-on in some Office suites, PocketMirror 2.0 will let you synchronize that information with your Pocket PC.

PocketMirror 2.0 is available for $49.95 USD from our affiliate PocketGear.

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DeveloperOne announces CodeWallet 2006

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Apr 272006
 

CodeWallet 2006

CodeWallet is a secure business and personal information management tool. The latest version for the Pocket PC, CodeWallet 2006 for Windows Mobile, comes with improved synchronization with its desktop version, card formatting enhancements, expanded language support, improved installation procedure, improved user interface and more.

On the desktop side, new features and enhancements include a professional style printing style to create hard copies of all of your important data, secure printing and the ability to be installed and run on USB keys.

CodeWallet 2006 comes in 2 versions, each available for $29.95 USD from our affiliate PocketGear: A Mobile Edition and a Desktop Edition. Trial versions are also available.

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Vinyl iPod skins from GelaSkins

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Apr 272006
 

Gelaskin

Most iPod protective cases out there do just that: Offer protection for your iPod. Gelaskins combines the protection that you get from a high-grade vinyl skin with a printed pattern that makes the case a little more interesting. Choose from works by artists like Van Gogh or Monet or a pick from a variety of other patterns like a fractal, the Tokyo subway map and many more. They come with a precut click wheel cover and a Gelascreen, transparent screen protection to ensure complete coverage.

The Gelaskins are available for $14.95 USD each. If you buy three, you’ll get a fourth one for free.

Gelaskins is a Canadian company!

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Public Beta for ActiveSync 4.2

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Apr 272006
 

Microsoft has released ActiveSync 4.2 as a Beta Preview. The new version promises to fix issues related to Microsoft Outlook synchronization and Desktop PassThrough. USB connectivity issues should also be resolved with this release.

I have not seen any information that indicates that there were any changes for WM2003 devices; all the changes appear to be focused on WM5.0. So, if you don’t want to lose the ability to synchronize over a network connection and are using WM2003, you should consider skipping this version as it does remove that functionality.

Note: Because this is a beta, the ActiveSync 4.2 Beta Preview should not be used on production systems in mission-critical environments.

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Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 updated

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Apr 262006
 

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2

When Aspyr first released Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, it was only available for the Dell Axim X50v and X51v. A new version has been released that makes the game available on a few more PDAs. Otherwise, it’s the same game with the same nose/tailslides, nose/bluntslides, lip tricks, nollies, manuals that you cound find in the first version.

The requirements are still pretty steep: A 500MHz processor or faster, 28MB of free RAM, an SD Card with 128MB of free space and Windows Mobile 2003 or Windows Mobile 5.0.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is available for $29.95 USD from our affiliate Handango. Unfortunately, a trial version is not available.

Source: Pocket PC Thoughts

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The Eco Crib for green parents

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Apr 262006
 

The Eco Crib

Just a few days ago, I told you about the Intellicot. So, you think it’s a little much? How about an ecologically friendly baby crib from Mothercare, a UK company? Sure it lacks all the high-tech gizmos of the Intellicot but it is made of recyclable heavy-duty cardboard (the packaging is recyclable too). It sports a funky print and is fire retardant. It also breaks down into a flat package, making it easy to travel with. It is suitable for babies up to 3 months old.

The Eco Crib is available for about $50 USD (£27).

Okay, no more crib stories for a while. I promise!

Source: Gizmodo

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The slimmest Flash drive: The PQI U510

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Apr 262006
 

PQI Flash drive

PQI (Power Quotient International) out of Taiwan has released what it calls the world’s slimmest Flash drive. At just 3 millimeters in thickness, they may just be right. It comes with 16GB of storage and measures 85 x 54 x 3 millimeters (not much more than a credit card). The USB connector retracts into the card when not needed.

Pricing and availability information are not available yet but the fact that one of the three designs available, Iron Gray, Metal Silver or World Cup, suggests we could see it in time for the 2006 World Cup in June.

Source: Gizmodo

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More Nokia phones: The N72 and N73

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Apr 262006
 

Along with the N93, Nokia also announced the N72 and N73 cellphones.

The N72 is a tri-band GSM/EDGE phone with a 2.1-inch display. It also comes with 20MB of internal memory, Bluetooth 2.0, an integrated digital music player, FM tuner, a 2MP camera with integrated flash and more. It will be available in pearl pink or gloss black.

Nokia calls the N73 a multimedia computer in a compact and savvy exterior with exquisite photography features and integrated stereo speakers. It will be available either for 3G or quadband EDGE/GSM networks and comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA display, 42MB of onboard memory, 3D stereo speakers, an integrated digital music player, FM tuner, Bluetooth 2.0, a MiniSD slot and a 3.2MP camera with mechanical shutter and autofocus. It will be available in silver grey/deep plum, frost white/metallic red and frost white/mocha brown colour combinations. Like the N72, the N73 will run the Series 60 3rd Edition Software on the Symbian OS.

The N72 will be available in June and the N73 will hit the street in July 2006. It remains to be seen if these make it to North American shores.