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Carriers Counter iPhone with High-End Handset Launches

  • Posted: Friday, July 18, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Apple, iPhone

By Rhonda Wickham

Following the long-awaited launch of Apple’s iPhone 3G, both Verizon Wireless and Sprint hope to steal a little thunder with high-end phone introductions of their own that will hit store shelves this weekend. (In an ironic twist, the triad of devices share a nod to the number 3 – iPhone 3G, Verizon’s Chocolate 3 and Sprint’s Treo.)

Verizon Wireless will launch the LG Chocolate 3, the third generation of the popular Chocolate music phone. The new flip-style device supports all of the latest features in mobile music technology, including V CAST Music with Rhapsody subscription music service. The device will be available in black or light blue and will allow customers access more than 5 million songs, create playlists and load songs on their phones.

The LG Chocolate 3 sports a built-in FM transmitter so customers can play music through a car or other stereo system, dual speakers and Bluetooth headset for wireless stereo sound. The device also includes a 2-megapixel camera and camcorder and supports VCAST Video and ESPN MVP.

The LG Chocolate 3 is the first Verizon Wireless phone to feature Dashboard, a graphically rich portal powered by Adobe Flash Cast technology. Dashboard delivers personalized multimedia information and entertainment services directly to the phone. It features 13 channels – Mobile Web, VZW Showcase, Get Channels and Search, as well nine more to customize the wireless experience. Verizon Wireless customers can select from News, Community, Comedy Central, MTV News, IGN.COM, FOX Sport, Tones & Extras, Sports, ESPN, Music, Entertainment, Weather, Business, and Games channels to appear on their phones.

Sprint plans to launch the latest Treo smartphone, the 800w, on Sunday. The device will feature EV-DO Rev. A data speeds,Wi-Fi with a 1-touch dedicated key, GPS navigation, a 1.3-megapixel camera, Windows Mobile 6.1 and Live Search for Windows Mobile.

Matt Thornton, telecommunications equipment analyst at Avian Securities, said the new Treo 800w is likely to face tough competition at Sprint stores from Samsung’s Instinct and RIM BlackBerry’s Curve and Pearl. [WirelessWeek]

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