iPhone counted in billions, Palm knows where you live and waterproof phones

It's the weekly Pocket Picks round-up

iPhone counted in billions, Palm knows where you live and waterproof phones

Kia Ora!

As a rule we give it some chat about whatever exciting oddities our Pocket Picks research ninjas overhear, then we talk about the week’s new hardware announcements. This week it seems like we’ll just have to skip to a very extended end, as it’s gone handset crazy out there.

But first it’s worth saluting the iPhone for clocking up a staggering 500 million downloads in little over six months. This is the kind of cash that blows anyone’s skirt up, and it’s quite astounding to think that the next milestone we’ll likely be reporting on - probably within 2009 - will be the 1 billion mark.

There aren’t many aspects to the mobile industry that are counted by the billion, so this is definitely a Wayne’s World-style ‘we’re not worthy’ moment.

Okay then, that’s the iPhone eulogising out of the way - let’s talk Palm. The Pre is another device that’s shaping up in the consumer’s eye a lot like the iPhone did.

Perhaps it’s not going to be counted by the billion any time soon, but it’s not even out yet and there’s a distinct feeling that it’s completely awesome.

When entering details for an appointment, you can add a location that the Pre looks up using its built-in GPS. In order to make sure you’re properly reminded of your appointment, the Pre actually checks how far away the location is and whether or not you can get there on time - alerting you accordingly.

Not a bad feature at all, though it’s one less excuse for being late for those boring meetings.

But when will you be able to get your hands on this little gem? Still no word, but there’s a rumour circulating that Vodafone is vying for exclusivity on Palm’s hot new handset.

A cryptic message appeared on the provider’s forum that lets us know Vodafone’s been looking at the Pre and is very interested in acquiring it – with a casual allusion toward Palm-o-philes keeping a close eye on the company’s new products listing.

It also seems like we’ve been waiting for the Android to kick off properly for an eternity now. There’s still no Marketplace, but already we’re hearing talk - and seeing leaked pictures - of the follow model for T-Mobile’s G1.

Although these pictures of the G2 are quite a scoop, they’re also not that informative, other than perhaps confirming that the Android powered handset has shed its slide out QWERTY.

Just in case the G2 isn’t revamped enough to encourage you over to the Android side, there’s intriguing news that Samsung is looking at entering the Google powered market. Again, however, details are thin, but at least it’s been officially confirmed and Samsung promises it within the year.

Which is more than Australian manufacturer Kogan Technology managed in 2008, when problems hit its Treo-style, budget range Android handset, the Agora.

It seems incompatibility issues are still plaguing the device, which was poised for worldwide release - to the point that refunds on pre-orders have been offered. Mainly, however, this seems to be a simple screen resolution issue, and certainly no-one would complain about the delays if the handset wound up with a better looking screen.

But the handset that’s really got us all squeaky and excited is from Fujitsu. We’ve not heard much from this manufacturer lately, but the news of a new waterproof mobile phone is the kind of electronics that clumsy oafs like us love to hear.

It’s only rated for a dip up to one meter, so you’ll not be making calls from the bottom of the pool, but at least you wouldn’t be shelling out next time your handset went in the bath or down the bog (and you’d be able to run it under the tap if you lent it to a homeless person to borrow).

Kia Ora!