Panasonic's new GD series phones released

Panasonic has released locally the latest in the GD mobile phone series. But how successful are these handhelds likely to be in a region where the latest features and functions mean (almost) everything?

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By  Kate Concannon Published  November 13, 2001

Panasonic has newly released a trio of GD series mobile phones with a view to solidifying its presence in the handset market. But with this mixed-bag range of phones, none of which come with GPRS capability as standard, is Panasonic likely to capture a market that is looking to the local arrival of 2.5G services?

Of the trio, the GD 95 has the most serious, business-like appearance, however, it possesses some rather playful features that Panasonic hopes will make it “very desirable”, including a brand new GUI, joystick navigation, and a polyphonic ringer made up of three tone layers to give a more textured ring sound.

The GD35 also has a list of helpful and somewhat redeeming features, including a personal planner, genuine user friendliness and T9 (pre-emptive text input), which should make sending out an SMS all the faster.

The third new phone, the GD75, shares the GD95’s updated GUI, polyphonic ring and joystick navigation. It manages to put these features away in a casing that embodies very different aesthetics (a little oddly shaped, and reminsicent of the Philips Savvy perhaps?) and will certainly appeal to some users. The GD75 can also claim its place as the first handset by Panasonic to have an internally placed antenna.

But will these handy, albeit less than unique, talents save the latest GD handsets from a nasty defeat by rival manufacturers, who are busily delivering GPRS enabled mobile devices?

It seems unlikely, given that a number of these rival products come equipped not only to make use of initial GPRS services, but also offer the potential to take advantage of faster service as networks develop.

Dedicated Panasonic phone users looking to upgrade will opt to wait for a unit offering superior future-proofing, and so this surprising lack of GRPS capability may well mean the trio's undoing.

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