Finnish phone maker Nokia and mobile operator StarHub have jointly announced the launch of an i-mode version of the popular N70 handset in Singapore. According to the joint press release issued today, this is the first time Nokia is launching an i-mode phone in Singapore. More importantly, Singapore is also the first market to release the N70 i-mode handset.
« Users who are more accustomed to the Nokia user interface can now experience StarHub’s easy-to-use suite of i-mode services with Nokia N70, » said Goh Li-Li, assistant vice president of i-mode Services at StarHub. Other than the i-mode application platform and a new silver-black exterior casing, the new N70 comes with the same features as the original N70. The price of the new N70 handset is expected to range from S$288 (US$181.96) to S$488 (US$308.31), depending on the mobile subscription plan, and will be available from June 24.
Unfortunately, StarHub has confirmed that users of the non-i-mode N70 will not be able to upgrade the firmware to activate i-mode in their handsets. The mobile operator has told CNET Asia that customers can expect more i-mode-enabled terminals from other manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson and Motorola in the second half of 2006. We are guessing the handsets to be the new Sony Ericsson K610im as well as the i-mode versions of the Motorola L6 and L7.