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Quest for the perfect mobile phone

By CNN's Diana Muriel

A Sony Ericsson phone with attached play pad is on show in Geneva.
A Sony Ericsson phone with attached play pad is on show in Geneva.

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CNN’s Diana Muriel looks at the latest gadgets on show. 
SPECIAL REPORT

GENEVA, Switzerland (CNN) -- One device capable of performing the functions of a laptop, personal organizer and mobile phone may not be too far away.

Such a device is just one example of the latest phone gadgets, and those planned for the future, being showcased at the ITU Telecom World Conference being held in Geneva this week.

The biggest challenge for companies exhibiting at the conference, which is staged every four years, is figuring out which combinations of the latest features consumers most want in one device.

NEC is still waiting for operators to say what functions they want on their phone -- although the company knows real-time television access is one of them.

However, the product will not be available on the market for at least another year.

Nokia's N-Gage phone, which has a gaming system, is already on the market.

Microsoft, in conjunction with Motorola and Orange, launched its latest "Smart Phone" in Geneva on Monday. It allows customers to use their phone to download e-mail and synchronize data on the handset wherever they are, while their PC is in the office.

Microsoft's Pieter Knook said: "Every operator wants to build a new business on data and these devices are all about enabling that business -- that's why we're in the phone business now."

Data-driven business is what has made Japanese company NTT DoCoMo's I-Mode such a success.

"I-mode is especially powerful for users to access Web sites -- 85 percent of total access is to Web sites -- just 15 percent is for the transmission of e-mails," said company president Keiji Tachikawa.

"When the era of 3G [Third Generation] arrives with faster transmission speeds then Web access will become much easier for customers."

But some remain skeptical about whether the perfect phone really exists and whether putting too many features into one device will mean quality will suffer and the machines will become too complicated to use.

Jacopo Bargellini, from Activa, said it was like creating the perfect person, which was impossible.

"You cannot have it. You can have one that is handsome, that is sympathetic, but maybe is not so skilled -- the problem is you can't have everything with just one device I don't think it will be the future."


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