Kyocera goes GSM

After eight years in the handset business, Kyocera is finally branching into the GSM market. The handset maker, which has made only CDMA devices, is launching four new GSM handsets and targeting the Latin American market.

The E4600 is a quad-band multimedia slider phone with an MP3 player. The E3500 is a quad-band clamshell with a 1.3 megapixel camera and expandable memory. These phones will be priced in the mid-tier range and targeted at business professionals.

The E2500 is a candybar phone with an MP3 player and the S1600 is a low-end candybar phone that supports MMS, SMS and WAP.

According to John Chier, spokesman for Kyocera, the GSM phones are geared to the carrier customers who are switching from CDMA to GSM in Latin America. "We want to re-establish or maintain some customer relationships that were in jeopardy because of the migration of technology," Chier said in an interview with FierceWireless. "This will also serve as a bridge to W-CDMA, which will be bolstered by our acquisition of Sanyo."

Kyocera is expecting its acquisition of Sanyo to close today.

The handset maker is also debuting several new CDMA handsets, including the Neo E1100, which features a 1.3 Megapixel camera and supports the AWS band.  -Sue  

- See our slideshow of the two new handsets here.