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Two new Linux phones coming in Japan

Oct 27, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Japan's largest mobile carrier last week announced six new phones with support for PTT (push-to-talk), multiple numbers, and other advanced features. NTT/DoCoMo's 902i-series phones includes Linux-based models from NEC and Panasonic, as well as Symbian-based models from Fujitsu, Mitsubishi,… Sharp, and Sony/Ericsson.

DoCoMo began offering 901-series phones at about the same time last year, in time for Asian New Year and gift-giving season. This underscores the often-touted advantage that Linux gives device makers to set their own release schedules.

DoCoMo's 901-series also included models from NEC and Panasonic based on Linux. The NEC N900iL and P900i offered such advanced features as WiFi/VoIP capability, and shared a common Linux foundation based on MontaVista Linux. The new 902i-series phones are also based on MontaVista, a spokesperson confirmed.

New features in the 902i phones include support for PTT-over-cellular technology licensed from Ecrio, and the ability to support more than one phone number identity card simultaneously.

NEC N902i

NEC's N902i features a four megapixel camera based on a CCD (charge-coupled device), with an image stabilization feature claimed to reduce blurriness in low-light settings, such as indoors. The phone has a 2.5-inch “QVGA+” (325 x 240) LCD main display supporting 262K colors, DoCoMo says, as well as a 1-inch, 120 x 90 sub display supporting 65K colors. The sub-display displays the time when the device is closed. The phone has a MiniSD card slot, for storing photos and other user files.

Other claimed features include:

  • Size:
    • 4.2 x 2 x 1 inches (106 x 51 x 25mm)
    • 4.5 ounces (127 gm)
  • Battery life:
    • 520 hours standby (stationary)
    • 390 hours standby (moving)
    • 140 hours talk time
    • 90 minutes of “viewphone” time

Panasonic P902i

Panasonic's P902i aims to appeal to music lovers, with music jukebox software and support for BlueTooth headphones. An available 1GB MiniSD card can store about 250 songs, the company says. Users can change sound quality settings on the fly, and purchase music from online providers.

Additional claimed features include:

  • Two-megapixel CMOS camera
  • Dual displays:
    • 2.4-inch QVGA (320 x 240) LCD display supporting 262K colors
    • 1-inch sub-display supporting 4K colors
  • Size:
    • 4 x 1.9 x 0.7 inches (102 x 49 x 18.3mm)
    • 3.9 ounches (109 gm), without case
  • Battery life:
    • 500 hours standby (stationary)
    • 350 hours (moving)
    • 150 minutes talk time
    • 100 minutes “viewphone” time


DoCoMo has not yet published pricing or availability details for the 902i series, but the Linux-based models appear to fall into the mid-market “feature-phone” category. Research firm Strategy Analytics expects feature-phones to comprise the majority of global mobile shipments by 2010.

Mid-market “feature phones” represent the highest-volume near term opportunity in mobile phones, according to Strategy Analytics, while smartphones will see faster growth in terms of percentages

Feature-phones are also the market segment targeted by MontaVista with its Mobilinux mobile phone distribution, which quietly began shipping in September, the company says. The new 902i-series phones are based on MontaVista's older CEE (consumer electronics edition) distribution, however, which has a 2.4-series kernel.

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