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Motorola announces another Linux/Java phone

Jul 27, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 46 views

Motorola has announced its third mobile phone based on Linux and Java software. The A780 is expected to ship in Q4, 2004, and will woo enterprise and home users with features such as a PDA-like quarter-VGA color touchscreen, claimed 240Kbps GPRS data download speeds, Bluetooth networking and synchronization, PDF and Microsoft… Office file viewing, a 1.3 megapixel digital camera, mp3 playback, 48MB of removable TransFlash storage, and more.

(Click for nice big image of the A780)

The A780 will be a quad-band GSM phone — which means it supports the 800/850 and 1900MHz bands used in the Americas as well as the 900/1800 bands commonly used around the world.

The phone utilizes the classic Motorola flip-phone form-factor, but the phone buttons are actually positioned on the outside of the flip-lid. Opening the phone reveals the full expanse of the PDA-like 240 x 320 color touchscreen.

According to Motorola, the new Linux phone will support “EDGE,” or Enhanced Data Rate for Global Evolution, a data networking technology theoretically capable of supporting Internet access speeds of up to 240Kbps. EDGE technology was trialed earlier this year in New Delhi, India, and Motorola says operators can upgrade existing 2.5G “Horizon Macro” base stations to support EDGE.

The A780 supports wireless synchronization over Bluetooth using something called “Motosync.” Motosync appears to be completely new jargon coined just for the A780, yet the phone is already said to offer “expanded” Motosync capabilities. Motosync presumably requires some sort of PC-side software, which can be used to wirelessly syncronize e-mail, calendar, and contact info via Bluetooth between the phone and a PC. The A780 can also connect with “compatible Bluetooth devices,” which presumably includes Bluetooth printers, PCs with Internet-to-Bluetooth routers, and more.

The phone includes a Java J2ME MIDP 2.0 runtime engine with 3D graphics that “can accommodate the coolest applications from games to productivity tools,” according to Motorola. The phone is supplied with software that includes fileviewers for PDF, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, Opera 7 web browser (supports WAP 2.0, WML, xHTML, and HTML), mp3 player, video recorder/player, 3D games, PIM, and a message client supporting MMS, SMS, IM (WV), POP3, IMAP4, and SMTP.

Additional features include a fullscreen viewfinder for the camera, hands-free speaker phone, speaker-independent voice dialing, and a TransFlash Memory Card for removable file storage.

Motorola GM of GSM/TDMA products Rob Shaddock said, "The Motorola A780 [is an] office companion, entertainment source, design icon [and a] a true must-have."

Motorola's previous Linux/Java phones included the ground-breaking A760 announced in February of 2003 and the multimedia-oriented E680 announced last March. Previous Motorola phones used MontaVista Linux, Qt/Embedded, and Belcarra USB software.

Motorola also announced today that a deal with Apple will bring an Apple-created version of iTunes software to “all” of Motorola's mass-market phones by mid-2005.

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