Asustek smartphone hits market ahead of iPhone

Asustek launched a smartphone with a touch-sensitive screen, running Windows Mobile 6, just days ahead of the launch of the iPhone

Taiwanese electronics maker Asustek Computer launched a Windows Mobile 6 smartphone with a touch-sensitive screen on Wednesday, just days ahead of the launch of Apple's iPhone.

Asustek's new handset, the ASUS P526, wasn't meant to be an iPhone rival, nor is the timing auspicious, being so close to the launch of the iPhone, the year's hottest product. Development on the device started a year ago, and Asustek has simply followed its own timeline, according to Sannie Lee, a spokesperson at Asustek, talking to the press on the sidelines of Asustek's news conference in Taipei.

Andy Wu, account manager in the mobile communications department at Asustek, said the touch screen functions and other parts of the ASUS P526 were all planned into the design well before the iPhone was announced.

"The iPhone announcement did grab our attention, but I wouldn't say it had any impact on the way we designed our handset," he said.

The ASUS P526 has a 2 megapixel camera, TomTom navigation software for its built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver, Skype's Internet telephony software and an application that enables the handset to store business cards by taking a picture.

It launched in Taiwan on Wednesday and will reach Hong Kong by the end of this week, Lee said. Later this year, the company hopes to market the P526 in Europe and elsewhere. In Taiwan, the phone costs NT$18,800 (US$574).

The P526 comes with car attachments such as a dashboard mount to make it useful for a driver. Its battery will last four hours when used for talking, and it has 150 hours of standby power, Asustek said.

The handset has a 2.6-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) screen and -- unlike the iPhone -- it also has a keypad. The P526 will operate on GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks in the 850, 900, 1800 and 1900MHz bands. It works with GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) data connections, but does not operate on 3G (third generation) mobile networks.

It comes with 128M bytes of flash memory for storage and has a Micro SD card slot.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?