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LG intros Optimus Sol E730 smartphone in India


LG has introduced the Optimus Sol E730 smartphone in India. Packed with loads of features the phone runs on the Android OS, v2.3.4 (Gingerbread), and uses a Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor. It supports GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, as well as HSDPA 900/2100 MHz. Measuring a sleek 122.5×62.5×9.8mm, it weighs about 110g. The ultra AMOLED capacitive touchscreen supports 256K colors. The panel is 480 x 800 pixels and 3.8 inches (~246 ppi pixel density).

LG Optimus Sol E730.

LG Optimus Sol E730.

Some other significant features include: Corning Gorilla Glass protection, card slot microSD, up to 32GB, 2GB memory included, with internal memory worth 1 GB storage, 2 GB ROM and 512 MB RAM. For data, it uses GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32-48 kbps amd EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps. Speed offered by the LG Optimus Sol E730 include HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 2.9 Mbps. For WLAN users, there is support for Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, DLNA, etc.

The phone comes with a 5MP camera, which however, pales, (as would many other released and to be launched mobile smartphones) when compared to the recently announced Nokia 808 PureView that has 41MP sensor with high-performance Carl Zeiss optics and new pixel oversampling technology.

Some of the camera features in the LG Optimus Sol E730 include geo-tagging and face detection. Again, videos can be made using the 720p@30fps capability, which otherwise dwarfs against the Nokia 808 PureView’s full HD 1080p video recording and playback with 4X lossless zoom and the world’s first use of Nokia Rich Recording.

Well, this phone too does not have a stylus! Actually, all or most of the Android OS based smartphones are coming without the stylus, and one wonders why! The phone uses a standard Li-Ion 1500 mAh battery, with stand-by time of up to 100 hours and talk time up to 4 hours.

As for the applications or apps, they are all standard now on smartphones! Even the LG Optimus Sol E730 is packed with loads! Besides the regular ones — such as Alarm/Clock, Browser, Camera, Contacts, E-mail, Facebook, FM Radio, GMail, Google Search, Maps, Messaging, Music, News and Weather, there are some new ones as well. For instance, SmartShare alllows you to play and share content from any wireless device via this mobile phone. It requires Wi-Fi settings to operate.

The LG Optimus Sol was priced at Rs. 19,000 at the time of release.

Wireless leads in global semicon spends!

February 1, 2012 2 comments

Interesting, but not surprising! Wireless is now leading in the global semiconductor spends!! I was having a chat with a Frost & Sullivan executive this morning, and he mentioned telecom. Of course, that’s the key driver!!

According to IHS iSuppli, wireless has now displaced computers as the top semiconductor spending area for OEMs in 2011. And, this trend may continue in 2012, going by early indications. Noteworthy in the wireless march has been the tremendous success of Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

As per IHS iSuppli, the global spending by the world’s top OEMs on microchips for wireless products was $58.6 billion in 2011, up 14.5 percent from $51.2 billion in 2010. This has led to wireless leading computers as the world’s largest OEM semiconductor spending segment in 2011. Notably, tablets and mobile handsets have led the way!

With many more companies developing smartphones and tablets, this trend does not appear to buck any time soon. It is further expected that the wireless segment will continue to generate the highest growth over the next two years. Smartphones are definitely a part of this, as are tablets.

Back in late 2000, at the ITU World Telecom in Hong Kong, the first mobile phones with Internet browsing were being touted. As were 3G and Bluetooth! Those were the days when ‘WAP is CRAP’ made more headlines and bore the brunt of many ‘telecom jokes’. Why, in early 2002, I even wrote an article for Electronics Business Manufacturing Asia (EBN Asia), on Bluetooth,  which was still trying to find its bearings. I can’t locate that article anymore, but some of the comments in that article are worth remembering. One comment was whether Bluetooth and WiFi could co-exist!

One magazine had said, “The future of Bluetooth wireless technology is becoming decidedly mixed as proponents and analysts continue to question not only how soon the short-range technology will take off, but also whether the technology is fundamentally sound.”

Thankfully, all of those days are behind us! Today, Bluetooth is firmly entrentched, as is WiFi. And, on the mobile phone!!

In 2003, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) unveiled a new ‘five-minute ready’ program created to challenge and guide Bluetooth product developers and manufacturers in the Asia Pacific region to deliver devices that give consumers a “five-minute out-of-the-box experience.” I had met up with Anders Edlund, marketing director for Bluetooth SIG in Singapore, and had a clear understanding of the technology. Today, I believe, the Bluetooth SIG is advancing standardization of active 3D glasses using Bluetooth!

SonicWALL on securing mobile devices!


Shubhomoy Biswas, country director, SonicWALL India.

Shubhomoy Biswas, country director, SonicWALL India.

Welcome to the new year, everyone! 🙂 Thanks to Dixita at MutualPR, I had a conversation with Shubhomoy Biswas, country director, SonicWALL India, regarding securing mobile devices.

First, users have come to expect secured access “anytime, anywhere”, whether over 2G or 3G networks or Wi-Fi, for both personal and business tasks. What is SonicWALL’s take on this?

Biswas said: “Smartphones and tablets operate in two worlds: they can connect to the corporate network over wireless, or bypass the network entirely using mobile cellular connections. This means they might download malware from the web over 3G/4G, and then disseminate it to the network over the corporate WiFi network. Transferring data in and out of the corporate network, smartphones are beyond IT control. At the same time,  IT needs to provide enterprise workers with secure access to network resources from tablets and smartphones.

“Today’s new workforce believes that their personal technology is better than what they have at work. Sixty-nine percent will use whatever application, device or technology they want, regardless of source or corporate IT policies. Less than half will stick to company-issued devices. This consumerization of IT has particularly affected the business use of smartphones and tablets.” Read more…

Lava Mobiles launches classy S12 smartphone!

October 26, 2011 1 comment

Lava S12 mobile phone.

Lava S12 mobile phone.

Lava Mobiles has introduced the classy S12 smartphone. The phone’s smooth curvature and slim arc back gives it an easy palm-fit. It is only 1.3cm thick and has a matte leather finish. The S12 runs on Android 2.2 (Froyo) and works on quad GSM band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 2100 MHz.

The S12 supports 3G, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA 384 kbps. It uses a Qualcomm 7227 600MHz processor, and is WiFi, A-GPS and EDGE/GPRS enabled. The Lava S12 allows connecting to the Internet with either 3G or WiFi. It has a 3.2-inch HVGA (480×320) display.

Some other features include 5MP camera with 2X zoom, Android music player, Android video player, Bluetooth v2.1, Android browswer, 120MB storage and extenal memory expandable up to 32GB. The home screen has the feature to change to an engaging 3D user interface, allowing the user to switch between various screens using a single gesture.

Like many other smartphones, the Lava S12 allows users the opportunity to do much more than simply calling or messaging. For business, there is Moneycontrol, while users can access Gmail, as well as Google Maps and Latitude. There is Google Places as well, besides a Voice Search app.

Users can download froma a range of Hungama.com content, such as songs, ringtones, videos and wallpapers. Saavn allows you to listen to latest Bollywood songs, etc., and has a smart search that delivers fast results. TuneWiki is yet another app that plays music, and streams Internet radio and videos. Then, there is YouTube, and a year’s free subscription of Zenga TV – that allows you to watch MTV, Colors, Headlines Today, Movies, etc. The TOI app provides news.

For those who book air or rail tickets, there’s Ngpay. You can also use it to book movie tickets or for shopping. For the social networking buffs, the S12 has Facebook, Twitter and Nimbuzz apps built in. Those looking to do some work on the move can take the help of Adobe Reader. The SlideIT feature is an innovative keyboard. It can be used to send/type emails, SMSs, or for chatting.

I could not find a stylus, and wonder how easy it will be for users to type. Perhaps, this is the only drawback!

The S12 has in-built smart sensor technology as well. Its Pocket Mode feature makes the incoming call alert convenient, and the Quiet ringer on gesture feature can silence phone calls by simply sliding a hand over the phones.

The phone uses a 1,300 mAh, Lithium-ion battery. It supports a talk time of GSM up to 650 minutes and UMTS up to 485 minutes, and a stand-by time of GSM up to 590 hours and UMTS up to 650 hours. The phone itself weighs 120g with the battery and measures 117 x 57.5 x 13.4mm. The Lava S12 can be bought online from Lava Mobiles’ website for Rs. 8,500.

Will you remain mobile (on phone) all the time?

June 25, 2011 Comments off

Perhaps, most of you will! I won’t!! And I stand by it!

This evening, by chance, I had a very interesting conversation. It centred round the mobile phone. Especially, the features. Well, at the end of the conversation, it led to me remarking the statement that forms the caption of this story.

First, let me make it clear that I started off my career in telecoms, at the time when there was neither any Internet nor mobile phones. My first look at a mobile phone was way back in 1992, the same year I first saw the Internet — in its early avataar!

However, nothing, till today, has made me give up my liking for acquaintances and good conversation. If I am correct, the way mobile phones are now targeted and advertised, it seems you should remain mobile all the time! And now, with the social networks booming, the mobile phones have become a great way to stay connected via such networks.

I don’t really know about you and the young generation of  today, but I am sure — I can live without being bothered (or bombarded) with phone calls and messages of all kinds. Nor do I really think that highly of social networks. Trust me: I started Twitter only middle of last year — after already winning two world titles. Even Facebook, I joined only at a friend’s insistence. Till today, I only use that to wish friends on their birthdays.

So, let’s get back to mobile phones. Will you remain mobile all the time? To do what? Work? Play? Chat? What’s being forgotten here is: all of these activities are done on your mobile phone — which is meant for you to communicate.

Sometimes, I am puzzled, when folks show me their latest phones that have over 100 applications. When I ask how many they use, their answer (combined) veers toward some five or six good ones. And also, those applications are in permanent use — like some mail or chat function, or some social network. Has anyone even given a thought to any other areas besides these?

I have even seen some executives carry presentations on their mobiles. Please carry on doing so — it’s worth the task.

Tablets likely to transform ICT industry landscape: Computex 2011

June 1, 2011 Comments off

Stephen Su, general director of IEK, Taiwan.

Stephen Su, general director of IEK, Taiwan.

According to Stephen Su, general director of IEK (Industrial Economics & Knowledge Center), Taiwan, tablets are likely to transform the ICT industry. He was delivering a keynote at the Computex 2011 pre-show conference being held in the city’s well known Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC).

Tablets are now said to be moving from ‘experience’ to ‘industry.’  Tablets will provide more innovative user-interface experiences as well. More cost will be spent on the user interface on tablets, as far as BoM is concerned, he added.

Further, tablets are likely to change the transactional model of the ICT industry, and will emerge as the new ‘service platform’  for the integration of ICT and the other industries as well.

In this scenario, Taiwan is now well poised to once more play a leading role among mobile devices. The country not only has leading mobile device manufacturing capabilities, it can also supply most of the required electronic components, said Su.

The next step will be to strengthen the technology of key components, terminal design, application platform and service innovation. In future, Taiwan could go on to become te leading development and innovation center in the world, he added.

Earlier, he said that there was a cross-over evolution among mobile devices. In smartphone usage, messaging and apps had overtaken voice. As for non-voice usage, heavy media content was currently being accessed regularly on the Apple iPad than the iPhone.

The iPad users are said to be spending more time with media content other devices. The users’ response has shown that the iPad truly affects the usage of other devices, besides smartphones. Smartphones will soon impact the growth of mobile phones, PMPs and PNDs. However, the tablet will mostly affect the netbook and e-reader, while gradually impacting the notebook, Su noted.

Consequently, there has been a transition in the mobile device industry —  from product to the ecosystem. More companies are now creating their own ecosystems, such as Apple, RIM (Blackberry), Nokia Ovi, Samsung, etc.

Three types of smartphone platforms — closed, hybrid and open — are shaping up for the ecosystem based competition. Innovative applications are said to be leading the development of key components.

Mobile devices are now focusing more on the experience, than on the product. Cloud services are being offered  around the clock for experience offering.

As a result, tablets are likely to transform the ICT industry, noted Su, as it is now moving from ‘experience’ to ‘industry.’

Evolution of wireless market and emerging trends: Qualcomm

May 17, 2011 Comments off

Matt Grob, SVP, corporate R&D, Qualcomm.

Matt Grob, SVP, corporate R&D, Qualcomm.

At the ISA CXO Conclave, Matt Grob, SVP, corporate R&D, Qualcomm, said that the company is a world leader in next-generation mobile technologies. It is celebrating 25 years of driving the evolution of wireless communications. It is making wireless more personal, affordable and accessible to people everywhere. Qualcomm is also the world’s largest fabless semiconductor company, #1 in wireless, and #9 in semiconductors.

Qualcomm’s unique business model is to be a technology enabler for the entire mobile value chain. It has continued strategic R&D investments, totalling more than $15.4 billion in 2010.

Industry trends
The 2G to 3G migration is currently taking place, with over 3.1 billion 3G subscriptions likely in 2015.  As for the emerging region growth, China leads with 640 percent, followed by Latin America at 465 percent and India at 168 percent, respectively.

Qualcomm is also said to be enabling the mobile broadband in India with 3G and LTE. Besides growing the LTE TDD ecosystem in region, it is building partnerships for long-term strategy and establishing 3G/LTE as best technology path for operators. Qualcomm is also driving the device evolution and growing the market by creating more choices for operators and consumers. It is developing low-cost 3G handsets for emerging markets using 1+ GHz mobile processors and supporting multiple popular OS.

The smartphone industry momentum has ensured that the ecosystem is benefitting from and driving growth. There has been as much as >25 percent YoY data revenue growth from leading operators. OEMs have launched 100+ new smartphones in the first half of CY 2010. The total mobile apps downloads from developers is likely to move up from 7 billion in 2009 to 50 billion by 2012.

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