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Sun 13 Oct 2002 04:00 AM

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Siemens beats competitors with early wrist camera coup

Mobile phone maker Siemens stole an early march on the competition on Gitex opening day, when Sheik Mohammed stopped by for a demonstration of their new Wrist-phone.

Mobile phone maker Siemens stole an early march on the competition on Gitex opening day, when Sheik Mohammed stopped by for a demonstration of their new Wrist-phone. Service manager Ala’a Ahmed said he thought the two phones he was wearing (one as a pendant, the other on his wrist) just caught the Crown Prince’s eye.Klaus Burger is in charge of pre-development of both models and says the company is hoping for a quick launch, perhaps even early next year. Observers might think it needs to be, with competitors like IBM expecting to offer similar products to the market inside two years.Burger explained that the pendant, which is marginally larger and heavier than the watch, offers more facilities, like a 128Megabyte Mpeg-3 player which gives over an hour of CD quality playback with download capabilities. Both models feature a 16-bit VGA digital camera and the capability to send the pictures via GPRS or GSM to other picture-ready mobiles or computers.” Both units are aimed at the top-end market and are expected to retail worldwide at around $1,000, though the company believes that the secondary, mass market will enable quick reductions.Burger says size is the big challenge. “We didn’t know how small we could go,” he said, “size was a big issue in terms of having a keyboard, so we went for voice activation. I still hope we can get it smaller, though, perhaps down to the size of a regular wristwatch.”

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