Sharp has developed a widescreen Windows Mobile-based PDA for a new Japanese cellular carrier that will begin service next month.
The EM-One is compatible with EMobile’s high-speed third-generation data service that will launch on March 31 and offer download speeds of up to 3.6Mbps. Also packed into the device is 802.11b/g wireless LAN, Bluetooth and a tuner for Japan’s mobile digital television broadcasts.
A full qwerty keyboard slides out from behind the display for typing, and the device also sports a camera, although its 1.3-megapixel quality is a little low compared to cell phones.
Running Windows Mobile 5.0, it has a 4.1-inch widescreen with WVGA (800 by 480 pixels) resolution. Preinstalled software includes Internet Explorer Mobile, Opera Mobile, Windows Media Player 10 Mobile, a PDF viewer, image and video player software, a bar code reader, dictionary software, and versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
It will cost between 39,800 yen and 95,000 yen (US$33 and $795), respectively, depending on the service plan and won’t be available through other carriers or in other countries.
It measures 140 by 70 millimeters and is 18.9 millimeters thick. It weighs 250 grams including the battery pack.
EMobile is one of two new cellular carriers planning to launch service this year in Japan. The company has built a wideband code division multiple access network for data services that will offer high-speed downlink packet access from launch. EMobile is owned by Japanese broadband provider EAccess and hopes to tap into the market for wireless data services.
Cellular data services are popular in Japan, but mainly for downloading content to cell phones or looking at mobile Internet sites. As a result, data charges are tailored so carriers can make money from services that typically involve shifting a small amount of data. That means surfing the wider Internet from a PC is often an expensive proposition because of the much greater amount of data involved.
EMobile will offer flat-rate services for PC owners in addition to users of the EM-One, it said Tuesday.
-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)
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