SoftBank Announces 19 Handsets for Summer 2009

May 21, 2009
Shinya Saeki, Nikkei Electronics
From the right, Dante Carver, Kai, Aya Ueto and Kanako Higuchi, who play the Whites in SoftBank Mobile's commercials, President Masayoshi Son, Suguru Egawa and Masumi Kuwata
From the right, Dante Carver, Kai, Aya Ueto and Kanako Higuchi, who play the Whites in SoftBank Mobile's commercials, President Masayoshi Son, Suguru Egawa and Masumi Kuwata
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Nineteen models will be released in 61 colors in the summer of 2009.
Nineteen models will be released in 61 colors in the summer of 2009.
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Sharp's "Aquos Shot 933SH" equipped with a 10-Mpixel CCD camera
Sharp's "Aquos Shot 933SH" equipped with a 10-Mpixel CCD camera
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Sharp's "mirumo 934SH" features a "memory LCD."
Sharp's "mirumo 934SH" features a "memory LCD."
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Various images being displayed on the memory LCD
Various images being displayed on the memory LCD
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Sharp's "Solar Hybrid 936SH" features a solar cell module.
Sharp's "Solar Hybrid 936SH" features a solar cell module.
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The "Photo Vision HW001" (left), Huawei Technologies' W-CDMA digital photo frame, and the "Photo Vision HW001 KT" (right), or a Hello Kitty model
The "Photo Vision HW001" (left), Huawei Technologies' W-CDMA digital photo frame, and the "Photo Vision HW001 KT" (right), or a Hello Kitty model
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Samsung Electronics' "830SC Emporio Armani Model" designed by Giorgio Armani
Samsung Electronics' "830SC Emporio Armani Model" designed by Giorgio Armani
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The new "Disney Mobile" handset, "DM004SH"
The new "Disney Mobile" handset, "DM004SH"
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SoftBank Mobile Corp announced May 19, 2009, its new mobile phone handsets to be released in the summer of 2009.

A total of 19 models in 61 colors, including one with a 10-Mpixel camera and another equipped with a solar cell module, will be released. SoftBank Mobile will start to release the new handsets in May 2009.

"This is our largest lineup ever," President and CEO Masayoshi Son said.

The "Aquos Shot 933SH" of Sharp Corp is "the first mobile phone that features a 10-Mpixel CCD camera in Japan," Son said. Not only its mechanical button but also its touch panel can be used to shoot photos.

The camera has an "automatic scene recognition" capability to recognize scenes such as portraits and night scenes and automatically choose a shooting mode from eight different kinds. Other capabilities include "face priority auto focus," which can detect up to five human faces, and "megapixel continuous shooting," which enables to shoot ten 1-Mpixel pictures in series.

The "mirumo 934SH" of Sharp is a handset equipped with a sub display that features a memory function to maintain the display even when the power supply is cut off. When closed, the handset can display a clock, weather forecast, e-mails, etc, on the sub display. Also, equipped with a built-in UV sensor, it can indicate the intensity of ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Sharp developed the sub display panel, which is about 3 inches in size and has a pixel count of 456 x 240. Compared with the previous model, "831SH," which uses a monochrome OLED panel as its sub display, the power consumption of the 964SH is about 1/500, according to SoftBank Mobile.

"The 964SH continuously displays information in standby mode," Son said.

Sharp's "Solar Hybrid 936SH" features the company's polycrystalline silicon solar cell module.

"No other manufacturers but Sharp could realize this handset," Son said. "With this handset, we no longer need to worry about charges."

SoftBank Mobile did not reveal the conversion efficiency of the solar cell. But he said, "With a 10-minute charge, the handset can run for about two hours in standby mode and for about one minute when making a voice call."

Digital photo frame with communications capability

As its new products for summer 2009, SoftBank Mobile announced two terminals that have no voice call functionality. They are the "Photo Vision HW001," a W-CDMA network-compatible digital photo frame manufactured by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd of China, and "IdeaPad S10," a low-priced mini notebook PC manufactured by Lenovo Group Ltd of China.

The HW001 can automatically display images attached to an e-mail sent from, for example, a mobile phone without the need for special settings. Its LCD panel is about 7 inches and has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels (wide VGA).

It supports image data in JPEG, GIF and BMP formats. The capacity of the built-in memory for data storage is about 384 Mbytes. SDHC cards with a capacity of up to 8 Gbytes can be used as external memory. The "Photo Vision HW001 KT," or a "Hello Kitty model," will also be available.

Armani model to be released

SoftBank Mobile unveiled the "830SC Emporio Armani Model," a handset co-developed by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and fashion designer Giorgio Armani. With LEDs embedded on its side, it displays the characters "Emporio Armani" in red, blue and green when switched on or receiving a call, for example.

Moreover, the company announced the "DM004SH" for "Disney Mobile," a mobile phone service that Walt Disney Co (Japan) Ltd offers in Japan as a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator).

The other models announced this time include Sharp's waterproof "935SH," NEC Corp's "931N" featuring a wireless LAN module and "930N," which measures 13.9mm at the thinnest part, Panasonic Mobile Communications Co Ltd's "931P," which can generate and insert three intermediate frames between frames of 15fps 1seg broadcasts, and Samsung Electronics' "Omnia Pop 931SC," which has a touch panel on its front.