updated 10:25 am EDT, Mon October 2, 2006
izenMobile Krma Smartphone
Hybrid cellphone manufacturers and content providers are very rare, as the cost of maintaining both is often extraordinarily prohibitive. Even so, San Diego startup izenMobile plans to launch offering both and may well trump more conventional rivals. Its new Krma phone is already an example of this practice at work. Though it has the slim profile of a smartphone and has media-friendly hardware such as a a 2.2-inch screen, 2-megapixel camera, a FM radio, the Krma also uses Microsoft's PocketPC OS -- a relatively powerful interface normally reserved for larger phones with full keyboards.
The reason for this feature becomes clear through the other half of izenMobile's strategy. Owners of the company's cellphones will have access to remote services that are seldom available to the average user. Each phone will be able to store as much as 25GB of music, videos, and shared data on distant servers, saving the trouble of synchronizing with a computer to back up information or share it with a large group. izenMobile has not said when the phone or its accompanying service will ship, but it plans to target the Americas during the initial launch.