CTIA Fall 2008 has finally come to a close. Though it was a relatively small show in comparison to its spring counterpart, we still heard quite a number of announcements about the latest cell phones and mobile applications. We've compiled them all in our CTIA Fall 2008 blog, plus we have plenty of slide shows and video of the new handsets as well.
The big announcements came from Sprint on the first day of the show. They debuted five new upcoming handsets, the Samsung Rant, the Samsung Highnote, the LG Lotus, the Motorola i576, and the HTC Touch Pro.
The Rant is a slider handset with a QWERTY keyboard not unlike the LG Rumor, with a 2-megapixel camera and EV-DO. The Highnote is set to be one of Sprint's flagship music phones, with a stereo speaker as well as a 3.5mm headset jack. The LG Lotus is a fashionable messaging phone with a unique square shape, and the Motorola i576 is a rugged IDEN phone. The Rant, the Highnote, and the Lotus will also be the first three devices to support Sprint's new user interface called One Click. Last but definitely not least is the HTC Touch Pro, a Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone that's almost like the HTC Touch Diamond, except it has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Sprint also announced its new Ready Now retail experience, where they train all their customer service representatives to better assist customers with their phones.
Virgin Mobile also had a couple of announcements here at the show. First it introduced the new Helio by Virgin Mobile branding, signifying further collaborations with its newly acquired Helio division. Then it surprised us with the new Virgin Mobile Shuttle, the first-ever 3G handset from Virgin Mobile. It features EV-DO support, as well as location-based services previously found on Helio devices. Aside from the Shuttle, Virgin Mobile also launched new colors for some of its devices.
Though they weren't at the show technically, we did see a few Motorola handsets at the Mobile Focus show on the first day of CTIA. We took a look at Motorola's latest Rokr phones, as well as the much-awaited Motorola ZN5. The ZN5 is a beautiful handset equipped with a stunning 5-megapixel camera in partnership with Kodak. We also got a hands-on with the LG Invision, which was already soft-launched online, but will be officially launched in the retail channels later this year. It's the latest handset to support AT&T Mobile TV, AT&T's live streaming TV service.
Even though they didn't show any new handsets, Verizon released a few new services at the show. They include new music apps, a new V Cast mobile site, a mobile version of NYTimes.com, City ID, a Facebook partnership, new V Cast channels, and access to popular social networking sites. Nokia didn't make any handset announcements either, but it did reveal it is now offering Microsoft Activesync for all S60 phones.
Just prior to the show, RIM also revealed the RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220, which is RIM's first ever clamshell device. It's a quad-band phone with a 2-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, and a rather large internal display. The new Pearl is slated to come out for T-Mobile, but price and availability are yet to be determined. RIM also introduced the BlackBerry Curve 8350i, the first ever BlackBerry with IDEN. Also on the smartphone front, Sony Ericsson teased at the launch of the Xperia X1, but only in Europe, and Velocity Mobile is finally shipping its first smartphone.
On the applications front, Yahoo announced a social networking app for the iPhone, Microsoft introduced a new mobile browser, RIM announces 'lifestyle' apps for the BlackBerry, QuickOffice demos iPhone apps, and the opening of Viigo Beta to the public.
Several industry topics also popped up during the show, like the so-called openness of cell phone carriers, Real Networks adding Internet video to its voice services, the rising cost of text messages, and the mobile 'tween market. AT&T also announced it's improving its location-based services and A-GPS network.