Swiss-based Telepong Inc announces the successful development of a prototype mobile terminal aimed at the tweens market. It is targeting early adapters who mainly use their phones for non-voice-applications such as text messaging and gaming. It is precisely these consumers who are likely to pioneer new services such as EMS, photo messaging, music messaging and interactive, java-based games.
Founded early in 2001, Telepong has recently completed the prototyping phase of the first handset together with its partner Flextronics Inc. Production is to start in the first quarter of 2002. The product launch in major European markets is planned for June 2002.
“Our handsets are not meant to compete head-on with classic voice-centred mobile phones,” Telepong’s CEO Christoph Atzwanger, emphasises. “They are closer to game and messaging consoles and are focused on enabling and supporting non-voice 2.5 G and 3 G services.“
The Telepong device runs on a Linux-based operating system and has a high quality GPRS module, a 65K color display and a WAP 1.2.1. browser. It is EMS enabled and comes with a camera interface and a joy stick for embedded easy-games. It also features an organiser, a proprietary sound composer and messenger, and polyphone ring tones. The proposed pricing is under €350.
Telepong plans to market its devices in partnership with selected European carriers while making use of the know how and youth-oriented credibility of its two founders UCP, operator of the leading youth messaging portal uboot.com, and life-style camera manufacturer, Lomographic Society.