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CTIA Bits: Big Fun in San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- CTIA WIRELESS IT & Entertainment -- MediaFLO USA Inc. 's release of a dedicated personal wireless TV were among the early indicators here that companies are getting serious about mobile fun. (See FLO Unveils Handheld TV.)

Here's a sampling of other items making news here during the opening day of the show:

  • About that wireless TV from MediaFLO... Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) has previously only offered its FLO TV service on handsets through carrier and OEM (original equipment manufacturing) partners. The FLO TV Personal Television represents the firm's first attempt to deliver a standalone mobile TV player to the market.

    The touch-screen device has a 3.5-inch diagonal screen, measures 4.4x3x0.5 inches, and weighs just over 5 ounces. FLO says its battery supports more than 5 hours of TV viewing or 300 hours standby. The device will be offered with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $249.99 and subscription service that starts at $8.99 per month.

  • Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) has also just revealed that it will launch a cheaper new "international" version of its Kindle e-book reader with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T). The firm says the deal will allow it to offer global downloads across 3G GSM networks.

    The previous versions of the Kindle are basically U.S.-only products because they use the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) CDMA network. The latest deal will allow much greater international roaming capabilities for a user on the move, via AT&T and its global partners. The new Kindle is expected to launch on October 19 and sell for $279. In other news from the Kindle-sphere, Amazon has cut the price of the U.S.-only product to $259 from $299.

  • Verizon Wireless , meanwhile, is freshening up its V CAST multimedia offerings with a flood of new releases. On the content side, the carrier is teaming up with the likes of MTV Networks for TV shows and The Big Ten Network for college football games, and has juiced up its mobile game offerings.

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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