Optical/IP Networks

CTIA Bits: AT&T, T-Mob Lead Handset Charge

Just ahead of the start of the annual CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2009 show in San Diego this week, U.S. carriers have unveiled several new handsets that will be on shelves in time to catch holiday sales.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has been the busiest of the big four cellular vendors, unveiling new phones and a deal with mobile browser maker Opera Software ASA . The No. 1 GSM operator in the U.S. is launching six phones in total today:

  • High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) is delivering two phones for the operator, using the new Windows 6.5 mobile operating system. The $300 HTC Tilt 2 is a 3G communicator-styled device with a QWERTY keyboard and 3.6-inch display. The cheaper HTC Pure also runs the new version of Windows and offers 3G connectivity, while sporting a touch-screen and 5-megapixel camera.

  • Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) is providing AT&T with a $200 3G multimedia touchscreen phone, called Mythic, that offers mobile TV support, a music player, and AT&T's Navigator GPS application. The $99 Flight loses the touchscreen but adds a QWERTY keyboard and personal organizer functions, as well as a choice of shell colors.

  • Pantech Co. Ltd. is delivering two 3G Windows mobile phones for AT&T. The Impact has both an outer touch-screen and a flip-up display with a keyboard beneath, while the Reveal has a more traditional design but also features a full keyboard.
AT&T is also revamping its mobile browser with the help of Opera. The pair announced today that Opera Mini will power the att.net browser on AT&T phones, including some of the handsets unveiled today. The carrier says that the browser will offer users a "full HTML" experience.

T-Mobile International AG , meanwhile, is dipping into the Android well once again. The carrier has officially unveiled its long-rumored first Samsung phone based on the Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) operating system. The operator has also started pushing down the latest update of the Android OS -- version 1.6, a.k.a. "Donut" -- to existing users.

For more about T-Mobile's current domination of the Android phone market, see The Android Shopping List.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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