Wed, Jun 27, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Chunghwa, phone makers have high hopes for Mobile 6


Local telecom operators and mobile device makers are expecting to usher in a business boom with Microsoft Corp's latest Windows Mobile 6 operating system (OS).

"Windows Mobile 6 will serve as a strong boost to our third-generation [3G] subscriber base," said Chang Feng-hsiung (張豐雄), executive vice president of Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), the nation's leading telephone operator.

Chunghwa Telecom is currently promoting the CHT9100 and HTC Touch, two smartphones running on Windows Mobile 6 and both developed by High Tech Computer Corp (宏達電).

The telecom operator has seen 7,000 or so new clients sign up for its 3G service so far, thanks to the new Windows Mobile software, Chang said.

The momentum will translate into more than 2.2 million 3G subscribers by the end of the year for Chunghwa Telecom, whose current 3G client base stands at 1.4 million, Chang said.

Chang was speaking yesterday at the launch of Windows Mobile 6. Executives from device makers Asustek Computer Inc (華碩電腦), E-Ten Information Systems Co (倚天資訊) and Giga-byte Communications Inc (集嘉通訊) were also present.

E-Ten chairman Simon Hwang (黃杉榕) echoed Chang's sentiments.

"The Microsoft OS offers an easy-to-use interface and its development tools are simple for device makers to maneuver in their phone designs," Hwang said.

The Canalys research firm estimated, however, that Symbian is still winning over global users, with a 67 percent share in last year's smartphone OS market, up from 63 percent in 2005.

Microsoft was second with a slightly reduced 14 percent share, and Research in Motion (RIM) came in third with 7 percent, followed by Linux at 6 percent.

But Microsoft is convinced that the share gap will be reduced with the new software.

It expects that 20 million mobile phones running on Mobile 6 will be sold worldwide during fiscal 2008, which starts next month, said Jason Lim (林有生), Microsoft's regional director for mobile communications business in the Asia-Pacific region and Japan.

More than 20 models running on Windows Mobile 6 will be launched over the

next six months, Lim said.

Also see story:
IPhone expected to bolster emerging smartphone market

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