Solar-powered cell phones designed by LG, Samsung

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LG and Samsung will both unveil next week cell phones that you definitively won’t want to keep in your pocket. They have developed prototype handsets that are recharged by solar panels built into the case. Samsung’s phone is called Blue Earth and is a touchscreen model with rounded corners designed to loo like a “well-rounded pebble,” according to Samsung.

LG didn’t release much information about its prototype phone, but images from the company show what appears to be a version of its KF750 Secret handset with — like the Samsung phone — solar cells covering the rear of the phone’s case.

Microsoft is crying foul over recent comments made by an Adobe executive that Silverlight has “fizzled” as a competitor to Adobe’s Flash. In his blog, Tim Sneath, director of the Windows and Silverlight technical evangelism team, accused Adobe Executive Vice President and CFO Mark Garrett of “living in a fantasy world” if he thinks that Silverlight adoption is waning.

Sneath was responding to comments Garrett made when answering a question about Silverlight and the competitive landscape at the Thomas Weisel Partners Technology & Telecom Conference 2009 in San Francisco on Tuesday. In his comments, confirmed Thursday by an Adobe representative, Garrett said Silverlight adoption was strong when the technology was right out of the gate but has tapered off in the past six to nine months.

China Unicom is reportedly sending top executives to meet with Apple in the U.S. next month as rumors that the operator plans to bring the iPhone to China gain steam. China Unicom executives are going to the U.S. to negotiate with Apple over the introduction of the iPhone , and are likely to set a release date, according to a report carried by, citing “knowledgeable sources.” China Unicom plans to launch WCDMA 3G services in May.

In recent months, Apple had been rumored to be holding talks with China Mobile Communications, the country’s largest mobile operator, about selling the iPhone in China. But those talks were always a long shot due to technological and business reasons, and lately rumors have been circulating that China Unicom is talking to Apple about selling the iPhone.

Asustek Computer (Asus) plans to offer fewer versions of its Eee PC netbooks this year to avoid confusion and lower production costs. The company, which pioneered the netbook phenomenon with the Eee PC, put out over 20 different versions of the device last year, with different names such as the Eee PC S101, Eee PC 1000H, Eee PC Surf and more. This year will be different for Asustek. The company will simplify the production and marketing of the Eee PC by reducing the number of models, CEO Jerry Shen saod at an investors conference in Taipei on Thursday. Although last year’s Eee PC strategy gave users a much wider range of choices, it did not help Asustek fight off competition from newcomers.

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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