The next mobile phone form-factor trend: get square

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The Independent Tech

Mobile makers are embracing compact, square mobile designs in 2010. The young, fresh designs are being targeted at young mobile users who want a compact phone that will fit into their pocket.

A range of mobile phones have been spotted sporting a square screen or square form-factors. Recently released phones rocking square looks include Nokia's 7705 Twist, Sony Ericsson's Experia X10 Mini Pro, and a phone called the Copy Nokia e81 made by a company called Nokla (with an l).

Motorola is reportedly gearing up to release its next Android-powered MOTOBLUR handset - a square touchscreen slider with a full QWERTY keyboard. A leaked photo of the "square Moto" first appeared in Android-centric technology blog DroidDog on April 9. The yet-to-be-announced device reportedly runs on Android 2.1 and features Motorola's proprietary social networking aggregating software, MOTOBLUR.

In India, Mobile handset manufacturer Zen Mobile is trying to woo Indian consumers with a square-shaped device called the Z90. The 2.4 inch device was revealed on February 11 and comes with a touchscreen that swivels around to reveal a keypad.

In March 2010, a Chinese company by the name Shanzai released a square mobile phone called the Qiao Sheng A45. Like the Copy Nokia e81, the device pandered to image-conscious female customers with its integrated make-up mirror and pink lacquered finish.

Microsoft has also embraced the square factor with the April 12 announcement of itsKin One - a 67 x 67 mm "Social Phone." Kin One packs in an almost-square touchscreen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a palm-friendly slightly rounded form-fitted casing.

The square devices are mostly in the low to mid-range price bracket and seem to be targeted at consumers aged 15 to 35.