When I got home last night, the new issue of Wired magazine was waiting for me. Its cover story is all about how businesses need to "Get Naked" - come clean to the public and press about what they're really up to in their offices, labs, and factories - in order to succeeded in today's connected world. Funny how that spoke directly against my experience at CTIA all week, as two of the new products generating the most buzz on the show floor were shrouded in hype-inducing mystery and whispers of behind-closed-doors previews.
Apple once again cast their shadow over a major trade show without even paying for a booth. First they introduced iPhone at MacWorld San Francisco while all of their new competitors were over at CES in Las Vegas, and now they've got some CTIA buzz without even suffering a cross-country flight to Orlando. AT&T COO Randall Stephenson made news at CTIA by holding the forthcoming handset aloft during his keynote speech and announcing that his company has received over one million calls asking, "When's iPhone coming out?" Click through below for a short video from Stephenson's keynote, and also to check out CNET's breaking rumor/scoop that AT&T allegedly confirmed June 11 as date when folks across the land can get iPhones of their own.
Helio made waves, as well, holding closed doors previews of their forthcoming smartphone, "Ocean." Based on what I could gather on my own, and a sweet video preview of the device put together by Eric and Eric over at PhoneScoop (great guys who I had the pleasure of hanging out with at Sprint's UpStage party), Ocean looks to be neck-and-neck with iPhone as the must-have new handset.
A three-layer slider featuring separate dialing and QWERTY layouts, Ocean features an entirely reworked user interface and slick new Web browser meant to get the most out of Helio's 3G data services. The Ocean sports a 2.4-inch, 260K color high-resolution QVGA display viewable in both portrait or landscape modes, external stereo speakers, a 2.0-megapixel camera with digital zoom and flash for photos and over two hours of continuous video recording. The Ocean is planned for launch in spring of 2007 at a suggested retail price of US$295. Helio CEO Sky Dayton has been quoted as saying Ocean is the phone he dreamt of creating when he took the company's helm, and between its innovative "no click" search features, support for multiple IM protocols, and full HTML Web browser with some very cool looking zoom and micromap features, I'd believe it.
Watch iPhone at CTIA Video: http://www.iphoneworld.ca/news/2007/03/29/iphone-at-ctia-wireless-2007-video
View and watch Helio Ocean hands on preview: http://www.phonescoop.com/articles/ctia_2007/index.php?p=d2