Smartphone 2002 Debuts in Europe

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The first handsets running Microsoft’s Smartphone 2002 operating system debuted in Europe yesterday. Orange SA, a wireless service provider, and Sendo, an electronics manufacturer, demonstrated new devices. AT&T said it plans to release handsets running this OS in the U.S. by the middle of next year. Samsung also said it would release at least one Smartphone 2002 device, though it didn’t commit to any time frame.

Orange SPV Smartphone 2002 is a version of the Win CE operating system specially redesigned for mobile phones. Handsets running this OS will have a 220 by 176 pixel screen and have a joystick for user input, not a touch screen. They can access email and the Web, make phone calls, play games, and run other types of applications.

Yesterday, Orange SA announced the SPV, which stands for Sound Pictures Video. It is a tri-band GPRS phone and includes an SD/MMC slot, which supports SDIO. It is 4.3 by 1.7 by .8 inches and weighs 3.4 ounces. It offers 2.5 hours of talk time and 100 hours of standby time.

It will sell for ?180 with a service contract in the United Kingdom beginning October 28. The SPV was made by High Tech Computer (HTC).

Jean-François Pontal, CEO of Orange, said, “With the SPV, we now are able to deliver a suite of advanced services well before the advent of third-generation networks, including photo messaging, advanced messaging services, video streaming and access to high-quality information and content, even across the Web.”

At the same time, Sendo’s announced the Z100, which is a tri-band GPRS phone that includes an SD/MMC slot. It offers 16 MB of RAM, 4 hours of talk time, and 100 hours of standby time.

The Z100 will sell for ?200 including VAT with a service contract. It can be used with T-Mobile in the U.K. sometime in the next few months and several other European wireless carriers are in the process of approving this handset.

During the official launch, Socket Communications announced that it’s optimizing its SDIO networking products to work with Smartphone 2002. The company recently released a Bluetooth SDIO card for for Pocket PCs.

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