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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

April 3, 2006 at 11:30 AM

CTIA: Off to the races

It’s Monday, two days before the official start of CTIA Wireless 2006, the big annual mobile trade show, and already there’s a slew of announcements trying to get out before the bell.

Here’s a taste of what’s already announced:

— M:Metrics found that owners of portable music devices, especially owners of the Apple iPod, are more than twice as likely than average mobile subscribers to use music and video applications on their mobile phone and to express a willingness to pay for such services in the future. The Seattle research firm says that shows people want their phone to be a multi-purpose device and want to access content from their mobile phone.

— Research firm Telephia announced today that more than 20 percent of the top deck slots — meaning the main screen showing a wireless carrier’s storefront on the phone — are occupied by poker game titles. (We might add, that it’s very fitting news for a convention that’s about to start in Las Vegas).

— Sprint said it will start to sell the Motorola C290. It is the first Motorola phone that has Sprint’s PCS Vision service, which allows consumers to download the latest images, ringers, games, and other applications. The phone, which is $179.99 or $29.99 after rebate, has a large display and sleek design. For more information, go to this Web site.

— Research firm Informa Telecoms & Media said today that it expects three themes to dominate this year’s show. They are wireless broadband, mobile TV and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). An MVNO is a service provider that uses another carrier’s physical network to launch its own branded cellular service, much like how Amp’d Mobile uses Verizon Wireless.

— AOL announced today a mobile browsing service that automatically adapts Web pages for the smaller mobile screen. The service can be used by wireless subscribers with Web-enabled phones. It also debuted MapQuest’s new service that makes it easier for consumers to access MapQuest.com on mobile phones.

— The AOL announcement coincided with a report that came out this morning about cell phone use in America. It was conducted by AP, AOL and the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The report found that people aged 18 to 29 and minorities are more likely than others to use their phones as personal computers, digital music players, cameras and more.

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