Nokia unveiled a new C5 smart phone model on Tuesday, hoping to benefit from a booming demand for cheap smart phones and from rising consumer appetite for mobile social networking.
The C5 handset will be one of the cheapest smart phones from Nokia, selling for 135 euros ($183), excluding taxes and subsidies, and hitting the shelves next quarter.
It is products like this that will grow Nokia market share in the smart phone segment and help them to increase their average sale prices.
Volumes on the smart phone market are seen surging in 2010, with some analysts forecasting up to 50 per cent growth, as handset vendors are pushing advanced features, once exclusive to pricey top-end models, into cheaper and cheaper phones.
Nokia continues to lead the global smart phone market with an around 40 per cent market share, but it has lost ground to Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s Blackberry.
The Finnish firm is in the midst of a massive revamp of its smart phone offering and has said in 2010 almost all of its smart phones would have a touch screen, a full keyboard or both, compared with less than half in 2009.
After introducing the C series — focused on personal social networking — Nokia has four smart phone product families. The E series phones are for business users, X series for youth and music, and N series for the most advanced models.
It plans to use the new names across its smart phone offering.
Nokia has historically flooded the market with phone models little different from each other, with additional confusion arising from their four digit names, which have been hard to differentiate for consumers.
However, the new naming of X series phones may also create confusion as Sony Ericsson has used the name for few years — X1 and X2 smart phones are from Sony Ericsson, while Nokia has launched the X3 model.
Sony Ericsson’s new flagship device is the X10, while Nokia is also widely expected to launch an X10 cell phone.
Computers take to mind reading:
Devices allowing people to write letters or play pinball using just the power of their brains have become a major draw at the world’s biggest high-tech fair.
Huge crowds at the CeBIT fair gathered round a man sitting at a pinball table, wearing a cap covered in electrodes attached to his head, who controlled the flippers with great proficiency without using hands.
He thinks: left-hand or right-hand and the electrodes monitor the brain waves associated with that thought, send the information to a computer, which then moves the flippers. But the technology is much more than a fun gadget, it could one day save your life.
Scientists are researching ways to monitor motorists’ brain waves to improve reaction times in a crash. In an emergency stop situation, the brain activity kicks in on average around 200 milliseconds before even an alert driver can hit the brake.
There is no question of braking automatically for a driver. There are various things the car can do in that crucial time, tighten the seat belt, for example.
Using this brain-wave monitoring technology, a car can also tell whether the driver is drowsy or not, potentially warning him or her to take a break. At the g.tec stall, visitors watched a man with a similar “electrode cap” sat in front of a screen with a large keyboard, with the letters flashing in an ordered sequence.
The user concentrates hard when the chosen letter flashes and the brain waves stimulated at this exact moment are registered by the computer and the letter appears on the screen.
The technology takes a long time at present — it took the man around four minutes to write a five-lettered word but researchers hope to speed it up in the near future. The user concentrates on the corresponding light, depending on whether he wants the robot to move up, down, left or right and the brainwaves generated by viewing that frequency are monitored and the robot is controlled.
The technology is being perfected for physically disabled people, who can communicate and operate other devices using their brain.