Sucheta Dalal :NTT Docomo launches mobile handset with detachable keyboard
Sucheta Dalal

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NTT Docomo launches mobile handset with detachable keyboard   

November 11, 2009

 Japan's NTT Docomo has announced a series of 19 new mobile handsets in that country that would be launched over the next year. There is one interesting handset among the new devices called as 'Separate Keitai F-04B', the world's first handset with detachable keyboard.


The F-04B handset is manufactured by Fujitsu and can be separated into a display unit and a keyboard unit. Both the units, when separated, can communicate with each other through Bluetooth. Last year, Fujitsu exhibited the prototype of F-04B at the CEATEC event in Japan.

The 3.4-inch LCD panel of the display unit is mounted with a touch panel that allows users to input characters. Therefore, it is possible to make a call, send an email and watch 1seg digital TV broadcasts without the keyboard unit, the company said.

When the two units are attached together, the F-04B becomes a slide handset. When they are separated, the keyboard unit allows QWERTY-style typing. If one of the two units is lost, it is possible to make the lost unit emit light and sound (the Keitai Search function).

Each of the display and keyboard units is equipped with a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of about 800mAh, NTT Docomo said. To charge the batteries, the two units have to be joined together, and the power terminal on the display unit is used.

The F-04B comes with a 12.2MP camera with face-recognition autofocus and various shooting-assist functions.

When combined with an optional projector unit, the F-04B can project a movie or still image stored in the handset. The pricing of the projector unit as well as the F-04B has not been determined yet. This phone will be available during the second quarter of 2010.

NTT Docomo serves over 55 million customers in Japan, including 48 million using 'i-mode', the world's most popular mobile email and Internet platform, and 51 million using 'FOMA’, the world's original 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA.

India's Tata Teleservices has partnered with Docomo for its GSM mobile services and has ruffled the feathers of all incumbent mobile operators by launching its 'pay-per-second' scheme. Docomo, the largest mobile service provider in Japan, is also known for its advanced handsets. Can we expect some of these handsets to enter India through the partnership between Tata and Docomo? – Yogesh Sapkale [email protected]

-- Sucheta Dalal