Phones have traditionally been like high school movie stereotypes: there are the sexy phones that look good but can also do lots of stuff if you actually give them a chance, smartphones that are all brains, and barebones handsets that do the bare minimum and just get by. But Motorola now has broken the barrier with a rugged smartphone. Think of this as one that can play like the jocks, but still do the things an honor student can do.
The MC55 series of handsets are powered by Windows Mobile 6.1, and feature WiFi, GPS, push-to-talk and even a bar-code scanner. Aimed at the enterprise users, these new models are also notably more durable than most handsets. Under the hood these phones feature Marvell Xscale processors and have 3.5-inch touch screens. The MC5574 model even includes a full QWERTY keyboard for sending and receiving e-mail and IM. The MC5590 model is a WiFi-only model, and can thus make VOIP calls over a LAN, while the MC5577 model also adds the same functionality with the bonus of making cellular calls.
The MC55 handsets further include Bluetooth and microSD card slots, plus the usual digital camera, which doubles as a 2-D scanner and bar-code reader. The MC55 line is now available from Motorola and is available in bulk orders for businesses. And while this series probably isn’t right for all needs, for those special enterprises this line proves Motorola is still in the handset game.
MetroPCS Counters Boost Mobile
It is normal to see price wars with airlines and even soda companies, but consumers can now look forward to mobile price wars. Fierce Wireless is reporting that MetroPCS is looking to counter Sprint’s BoostMobile $50 unlimited plan.
According to the site, MetroPCS has introduced a new flat-rate plan that will coincide with the launch of the Research in Motion Blackberry Curve 8330, the first smartphone in the flat-rate carrier’s arsenal. The phone will even be available later this week at Best Buy stores, along with select MetroPCS outlets in key markets including Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento.
And while the flat rate pricing might sound very attractive, the selling price of $449 sounds a little steep. Didn’t they get the memo that we’re in a bad recession?
PayPal and the Mobile Space
The word is that PayPal will likely become another option for making payments via mobile handsets, including the billions of lower-end phones. This is a way to provide a payment option for individuals who would like to buy apps, music and even games yet don’t have a credit card or bank account. Of course this begs the question as how exactly those individuals are buying a handset, but the fact is that many people do rely on disposable and pay-as-you-go phones.
PayPal is also working on building an SDK (software developers kit) to further make it easier for developers to integrate PayPal into future products. The good news is that PayPal will add no fees to the consumer, as it is the seller or vendor who pays for the transaction fees.