Alcatel? Who’s that? Maybe you’re more familiar with Lucent Technologies. Lucent was a telecommunications company established back in 1996 through the “demerger” of the former AT&T Technologies business unit from AT&T Corporation. Lucent went on to become a well-known name in enterprise-level telecom equipment, providing medium- to large-sized companies with VoIP, PBX, and PSTN phone solutions.
Lucent’s stock roared from $8 to $84/share but was ultimately another victim of the Dot Com Bubble’s collapse. By October 2002 their stock was worth only 55 cents. In December 2006 Lucent was acquired by Alcatel SA of France, forming Alcatel-Lucent.
Since then Alcatel-Lucent has been fairly quiet. However, in early 2012 the sleeping giant began to awake. The company was added to MIT’s 2012 TR50 List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies and won the Mobile World Congress Best Infrastructure Technology Award. Both awards centered around Alcatel’s lightRadio — a technology that promises to reduce the size of cell towers to tiny cubes.
Now, less than a year later, Alcatel has just made some pretty bold announcements at CES 2013, including, but not limited to, the world’s thinnest smartphone, measuring in at only 6.45mm! How thin is that? To put it in perspective, it’s 15% thinner than the iPhone 5!
The Alcatel One Touch Idol Ultra is a mid-level device, running a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with an eight-megapixel camera, and running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Not bad for such a thin phone! While they’re at it, Alcatel is taking a stab at phablets with their One Touch Scribe and One Touch Scribe X, both with 5-inch HD screens. To round out their product offering is the entry-level Alcatel One Touch Idol, which is still only 8.15mm thick. While none of the devices have earth-shattering specs, they all share a commonality: their thickness — or lack thereof.
To some it might seem that Alcatel’s claim to fame will be the relative thinness of their smartphones and phablets, and we’re not going to discount that. We are, however, very much interested in the technology that’s gone into the lightRadio and how Alcatel may apply that in these and future devices.
Suffice it to say, Alcatel wants in the game, and it looks like they’re going to be a viable player in 2013!