When T-Mobile Germany announced plans to offer the first cellular-wireless Pocket PC with a VGA screen and a clamshell design, it declined to release many details on this device.
Since that time, however, two other European wireless carriers have also said they will offer this model, and they were much less reticent. The details they revealed confirm many of the earlier rumors about this Pocket PC.
Both Vodaphone and Orange are going to offer versions of this handheld, though each of them will call this device by a different name. To Vodaphone it will be the VPA IV, while Orange will call it the SPV 3G. To prevent confusion, Brighthand will always refer to it by the code-name its developer gave it: HTC Universal.
Newly Confirmed Information
When closed, it will be 5.2 inches wide, 3.2 inches tall, and .85 inches thick (131.6 by 79 mm by 21.6 mm).
At this point, no carrier has said which version of Windows Mobile for Pocket PC the Universal will run. This is a strong indication that it will be the new version of this operating system, code-named Magneto, which Microsoft is expected to released later this year.
Coming to the U.S.?
As its designer, Taiwan’s High Tech Computing, is offering this device to multiple carriers, its possible the Universal may be released in the United States.
As one of its most significant features is support for UMTS high-speed wireless networking, and the only U.S. carrier that has committed to UMTS in the near future is Cingular, then there is really only one U.S. carrier likely to offer this handheld.
A Few More Details
It has been known since T-Mobile Germany first announced the Universal that it will use a clamshell design with a screen on one side and a QWERTY keyboard on the other. In addition, its “twist and flip” screen will be able to rotate and then be closed down over the keyboard, allowing the device to be used in a tablet configuration.
As previously mentioned, it will support UMTS, so it will have typical data transfer speeds between 400 Kb/s and 700 Kb/s. This is significantly slower than Wi-Fi, but much better than the fastest speeds offered by GPRS or even EDGE.
This device, in addition to its GSM/GPRS/UMTS capabilities, will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Supposedly, it will automatically switch between whichever Wireless Network is best at any given moment.
The HTC Universal will have two cameras, one next to the screen for video conferencing, and one on the other side for images and video. Reportedly, the internal camera will be VGA, while the external one will be 1.3 megapixel.