Modu going touchscreen, confirmed for UK 2010

Modu has confirmed to Pocket-lint that it is working on a new touchscreen device which it plans to launch in the UK, US, Japan and Western Europe in 2010.

The device, currently called Modu 2, promises to build on the current iteration that saw a soft launch in its home country of Israel at the end of July.

"We've sold 1000 units," Dov Moran CEO of Modu told Pocket-lint before commenting that feedback so far has been very good.

While 1000 units isn’t Palm Pre or iPhone 3GS levels, the company still has high hopes for the mobile phone that can fit into a number of different jackets to suit your needs.

"The full launch with Cellcom will be in October," Moran tells us, before confirming launches in Russia, India, The Philippines, Greece, Romania and parts of South America before the end of the year is up.

Why not the UK or USA?

"The device just isn't good enough for demanding Brits and Americans who like to surf the internet and stay connected," says Moran before outlining that the company has plans to announce a new phone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February next year.

"We are talking to a number of operators," confirmed Moran, however wouldn't be drawn on which UK carriers would be taking the handset and accompanying jackets.

The model will come with the same dock connector as the current model, however be a very different form factor.

"We aren't expecting the Modu 1 and Modu 2 to be in the same markets," Moran says when we questioned how the two would sit side-by-side in the same market.

Instead it will get 3.5G connectivity and a touchscreen display.

In true Modu style touchscreen naysayers will still be able to get a qwerty keyboard jacket for easier writing.

"The benefit the Modu has over the iPhone is that you not all applications can be created by software alone," says Moran after we asked why you would opt for the Modu over handsets from Apple, HTC and Nokia. "We provide higher flexibility."

That flexibility has yet to be tested though. The 1000 new owners of the Modu were given a limited choice of optional jackets when they bought their new handset with the vast majority of options not becoming available until October.

Moran again has high hopes for the success of the jackets: "We hope to sell around 2 jackets per user when they become available."

The favourite jacket so far? According to Moran "the picture frame" that allows users to connect their miniature mobile into a large screen jacket to share their images.

We will keep you posted.

UPDATE: Following the story being picked up in the international press, it seems that some publications have mis-read into one of the quotes suggesting that the current Modu isn't good enough for anyone.

To clarify, the "The device just isn't good enough for demanding Brits and Americans who like to surf the internet and stay connected," quote comes from a question we asked Mr Moran on why the Modu 1 wasn't being released in the UK.

Moran's opinion was that modu intends to enter these markets with the right products and technology that meets local customer expectations and that UK and USA mobile phone users are considerably more demanding and more advanced in their phone usage than those of other countries, implying that for a phone to be successful in those markets it would have to come with 3G connectivity as standard. It did not mean that the current model is lacking in any way.


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