PDA News – Verizon rumors, Opera leaked, Samsung i830?

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Reports: Verizon XV6700, Treo 700w to be released January 5th

Well, there’s nothing that gets us back into the swing of things like a good rumor. In this case, there’s been buzz going around that January 5th is the date that Verizon will be unveiling their version of the HTC Apache, also known as the PPC-6700. Verizon’s version of the EVDO device is expected to retain the existing Bluetooth and WiFi, but nothing is guaranteed.

January 5th is also rumored to be the release date of the Treo 700w, Palm’s first Windows phone and a Verizon semi-exclusive. It’s possible that these two release dates are accurate and connected, or simple speculation. This because January 5th is also the first official day of the Consumer Electronics Show, which often brings with it ample new toys. We’ll have feet on the ground for the CES, so we’ll be sure to bring you all the information that will fit in print. Stay tuned.


Opera for PocketPCs leaked; proper release expected soon

We mentioned awhile back that Opera, the Norwegian web browser upstart, was planning an updated version of their Windows Mobile web browser that would bring compatibility with all Windows Mobile 5 devices. Also mentioned seperately was the fact that this browser would be making its debut on the Sharp/Willcom W-ZERO3 PPC phone in Japan, with broad availability to come some time in January. 

Well, the W-ZERO3 is out, and–possibly as a convenience to users of the device–Opera posted the installer for Opera 8.5 Mobile on their website. Although this version was locked to the W-ZERO3, some impatient power-users figured out how to modify it for use on all devices, thus jumping the gun on the official release. It’s currently unclear whether the proper version will be free, as the desktop and Java Micro versions are, or if it will be for pay, as the existing Windows Smartphone version is.


Verizon to release Samsung i830?

Speaking of Verizon-based PocketPC phones, the word is that we’re drawing near to the release of Samsung’s sort-of successor to the i730. I say “sort-of” because usually, unless you’re HP, your upgrades don’t have fewer features than the model they’re replacing.

The good news is that the i830 adds GSM on the 900 and 1800 MHz bands, so the device can roam in Europe and elsewhere overseas. The bad news is that the i830 won’t have WiFi, which the i730 did. Nor, for that matter, will the i830 have Windows Mobile 5 or Bluetooth 1.2, which the i730 lacked. More bad news is that Verizon locks their GSM-capable devices to Vodafone, which is one of their parent companies.

According to reports, the device should be available January 10th to business customers, and January 24th to everyone else. The price: a whopping $820 bought outright, and a cattle-stunning $700 with a two-year contract. Yeah, that’ll fly.


Sony return rumors false

There’s been some information circulating over the last week or so, claiming that Sony is going to return to the handheld market with a new line of Clies in 2006. These rumors were started by a user on Palm OS enthusiast site 1SRC, formerly ClieSource. The chance that these rumors are accurate is about as close to zero as you can get. With the company struggling in its chosen markets, there’s no way that Sony will reenter a market that they decided to leave in the first place.



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