Puma Phone now available somewhere you probably don't live

We never thought we'd live to see the day where we were talking on a shoe, Get Smart-style. Technology still hasn't advanced nearly enough to make authentic shoe-talking anything more than a distant dream, but the next best thing -- a phone from a shoe manufacturer -- is now available. Actually, "available" is a bit of a stretch since the Puma Phone has only launched in nine European, African, and Middle Eastern countries so far, but we'd hope that a wider launch is on the way. And hey, to be fair, we bet the solar panels on back work spectacularly in the African sun. Pricing will naturally vary by locale, retailer, and subsidy, but you can generally look to find it for about €399 ($500) SIM-free.

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New device from PUMA and Sagem Wireless being unleashed by first operators

Paris, 01 July 2010 – PUMA AG and Sagem Wireless today announced operator and retail partners in eleven European markets as part of the first wave of PUMA Phone launches. The first mobile operators and retailers including the PUMA Phone in their portfolio today will see the device on sale in Germany, UK, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Austria, Greece, Romania, Macedonia and Slovenia.

In addition, a first distribution agreement has been inked in the UAE. Reflecting PUMA's long standing commitment to sport in Africa, the PUMA Phone will also be carried by operators in Uganda, Madagascar, Kenya, Mauritius, Cameroon, Botswana, Tunisia and Senegal in a first wave of launches.

First unveiled at Mobile World Congress 2010 and now launching this month into key EMEA markets, the PUMA Phone combines on-board sportslifestyle features and technology with a unique user interface and connected services to create a complete PUMA experience. Targeting 18-30 year old subscribers who lead an active lifestyle, the PUMA Phone is custom designed to reflect the DNA of the PUMA brand.

"Whether it is the Unity Kit at FIFA World Cup 2010 or the groundbreaking yacht design for the Volvo Ocean Race, PUMA is unlike any other sportlifestyle company. The PUMA Phone is consistent with everything PUMA stands for – joy, environmental responsibility and individuality," said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of PUMA. "Using the device to directly connect with the PUMA community through services such as live sports feeds and m-commerce, the PUMA Phone delivers not only a rich PUMA experience, but uses sustainable technology such as integrated solar that is completely consistent with our mission to become the most desirable and sustainable sportlifestyle company."

The PUMA Phone is an active smartphone combining Internet, messaging, and GPS localisation capabilities with solar charging, video calling and Bluetooth photo sharing to create a wearable fashion accessory for the active lifestyle. The PUMA WORLD portal aggregates rich media content services from PUMA into a single intuitive and entertaining mobile user experience where users can interact with multimedia content from, download PUMA applications, and access PUMA products through m-commerce services.

Thierry Buffenoir, CEO, Sagem Wireless, said: "This step into connected lifestyle devices and services is a strategic move for both PUMA and Sagem Wireless, which is reflected in the quality of our operator partners who are joining with us to deliver the PUMA Phone. The connected services and m-commerce opportunities will enable mobile operators to create and access new channels for reaching niche communities with highly customised products and services that drive data usage."

The PUMA Phone will be available through mobile network operators, select mobile phone retailers and on PUMA online store from June 2010, with additional European and international markets following. The PUMA Phone is available SIM-free for Estimated Retail Price (ERP) of €399, or subsidised by local operators as part of a contract bundle.

Key features of the PUMA Phone include:

* Integrated solar cell, with charge indicator (one hour of sunshine provides power for one hour and 30 minutes of MP3 play or enough energy to send about 30 text messages)
* Touchscreen: 2.8 inch thumbable screen with 240 x 320 QVGA resolution and TFT wide viewing angle
* Camera: 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash and x6 zoom; Bluetooth photo sharing
* Video: VGA video call camera; full screen video playback, with video recording and streaming and progressive video download
* Music: wide range of music formats with playlist support and FM radio
* Memory: microSD 2GB memory card supplied with the phone
* Localisation: GPS, compass, geotagging, routing and mapping
* Sports: pedometer, GPS tracker and stopwatch
* Internet: Open internet browsing, with WAP Push
* Messaging: Mobile email client and mobile web mail notification; instant messaging; MMS and SMS
* HSPA and W-CDMA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM connectivity; Bluetooth; USB 2.0
* Talk time up to 5 hours with 350 hours stand-by time; video call time 140 minutes; music player time 24 hours; video player time 5 hours
* Tablet form factor; 115g weight and dimensions of 102mm x 56mm x 13mm