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10/5/2010
02:51 PM
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AT&T Toughens Up Its Smartphone

Do you work outside a lot? Are you concerned about how well your smartphone can stand up to Mother Nature? If so, AT&T might have a product that interests you.

Do you work outside a lot? Are you concerned about how well your smartphone can stand up to Mother Nature? If so, AT&T might have a product that interests you.The vendor announced it is now offering the rugged Motorola ES400. The phone is designed for individuals who work in industries, such as manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, retail trade, construction, transportation, utilities and government. The Microsoft Windows based phone designed to withstand dust, shock, rain, humidity, solar radiation, altitude and extreme temperatures.

The phone features a customizable user interface that enables mobile workers to capture photos, videos, barcodes and documents. The device features a 600 MHz ARM 11 processor,256MB of RAM and 1GB Flash) and a microSD card slot, supporting up to 32GB of additional storage. For the international executive, the smartphone runs on GSM HSPA and CDMA-EVDO networks. The product includes a 3 inch color touchscreen and PenTile technology designed to improve picture clarity without eating up battery life. A biometric fingerprint reader is designed to ensure that only authorized workers access the device.

Intense competition is evident in the smartphone market. Not only are vendors trying to deliver the next "hot" new system, but they are also trying to carve out new niches in this space. As noted, many professionals could potentially benefit from using a rugged smartphone, so AT&T is focusing on an area of need. The major bugaboo with the device is its Windows Mobile foundation. Increasingly, business professionals have been trading in such devices for more appealing systems, such as Apple's iPhone and Google's Android. So while the ES400 may gain some traction in the short term, its long term future is open to question.

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