updated 02:30 pm EDT, Tue October 28, 2008
Willcom shows new handsets
At a press conference on Tuesday, Willcom announced the release of a few updated and new handsets as well as new technologies and services. The Willcom 03 slider phone, introduced earlier this year, will be available in a new black color starting November 7th and includes a new feature that translates roughly to "hand-painted chat" that allows users with compatible devices to chat live by drawing or writing on the devices' touchscreen. Another new service, dubbed Willcom meeting, will launch on November 4th and allow as many as seven users to talk at the same time, with invitations to the conference call that can be sent via e-mail.
As for other new hardware, the Willcom LU (WS023T) is the first Toshiba-designed handset to use Willcom's W-SIM card. The handset is meant to act as a fashion accessory, as its name reportedly means Luminous You. The handset sports a 2.4-inch, 240x320 display and has a 2-megapixel camera that can read QR codes. It will also be capable of infrared communications and features a microSD card slot in addition to its embedded 2GB of memory. A NetFront browser is included and Java applications supported as well. Priced at the equivalent of about $455, the handset is available in white, black or pink and due for an early December release.
Another noteworthy new device from Willcom was the WX330J, unique in being waterproof to IPX5/IPX7 standards. Otherwise, the handset has a 2-inch, 240x320 display, a NetFront browser and Java support, as well as an optional IrSimple infrared communications module. The WX330J handset, available only in brown, will be available for purchase beginning November 13th online, priced at the equivalent of about $386.
The company's Honey Bee handset was updated with the Honey Bee 2, or WX331KC, which adds a 3.1-megapixel camera and a choice of new colors that includewhite, pink, blue, green and black. In addition, the updated handset offers infrared communications via IrDA and a newer version of Opera for web browsing. Integrated memory is fixed at 14MB, with another 4MB dedicated for e-mail. The PHS handset with 3G data networks access sports a 2-inch screen with 240x320 resolution and will be available in Japan early in November, with prices set at the equivalent of about $300, representing a very slight increase over the original handset. [via Impress]
Willcom Honey Bee 2 (WX331KC)