Japanese unveil video mobile phones

Thursday, March 01, 2001
People will be able to listen to music stored on a new type of mobile phone.

Matsushita's new devices will also be capable of delivering streaming video and snappy web surfing.

The phones are designed for the next big step in wireless telephony services - 3G, or Third Generation, whose global debut is set for the Tokyo area in May.

Japan has the world's biggest net-linking mobile phone market, with some 30 million users. That's one in every five Japanese.

People use phones to view animation, exchange e-mail and instant messages, play simple video games and view train schedules, stock prices and restaurant guides.

But the introduction of 3G by NTT DoCoMo promises to turn the portables into even fancier commodities.

One of Matsushita's mock-ups comes with two screens, side-by-side, for web surfers who insist on looking at two sites at once.

Another has a stylus to scribble messages over e-mail and photos.

A new technology, called Bluetooth, will allow people to use cordless earphones to listen to music stored on phones.