Microsoft looks set to play a significant role in the mobile phone market over the next year if the recent announcement by Austrian manufacturer Tel.Me is any guide - the T939 is a WAN handheld running Windows CE, incorporating a 2.1 megapixel camera with a flash and autofocus, a hard keypad, handwriting recognition and a 160 x 240 pixel TFT Touchscreen running at 18-bit colour depth.
The T939 will be available late this year in Asian and African countries for a suggested price of EUR599 (AU$1000).
Currently Microsoft-powered phones offer digital cameras with VGA resolution (640x480), which equates to 0.3 megapixels. The recently announced Motorola MPx100 and Mpx have built-in cameras of 1.3 megapixel, but the T939 has leapt a generation by besting the 2.0 megapixel mark, and beginning to encroach on the space normally associated with purpose-built digital cameras. Quite clearly the camera phone and digital camera markets will begin to converge over the next few years, but the Tel.ME phone will catalyse the convergence by setting a new benchmark for camera phone performance.
Viennese-based Tel.ME is a manufacturer of MP3 players and smartphones and its new phone which also includes a video player, Instant Messaging, Microsoft Office, web browser, Sync ML and handwriting recognition, immediately moves Tel.Me into the Premium Business segment.