February 18, 2002 5:00 PM PST

HP dials in Pocket PC for new handheld

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Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday is expected to unveil a new version of its Jornada handheld in Europe that can make cell phone calls and send and receive e-mail wirelessly.

The Jornada 928 Wireless Digital Assistant is powered by Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system, in tandem with the software company's latest application, Phone Edition. The application, expected to be unveiled at the 3GSM World Congress conference in Cannes, France, allows handhelds running Pocket PC to send and receive data, such as e-mail, as well as to make voice calls.

HP is also expected to unveil the new Jornada at the Cannes conference Tuesday.

The company is one of many handheld makers looking to push wireless services, but it is the first to use the Pocket PC 2002 operating system. Alternative handhelds using the Palm operating system already have products on the market.

Palm's second-generation wireless handheld, the i705, provides ?always-on? wireless e-mail access through the company's Palm.net service. Competitor Handspring on Feb. 10 began selling its Treo communicator, a Palm OS-based handheld that doubles as a cell phone.

As the battle for market share in the handheld industry heats up, manufacturers continue to look for ways to add new capabilities to their products as a way to explore new sources of revenue and grab new customers. Business applications, such as wireless e-mail, have been at the forefront of many companies' strategies, taking a cue from the popularity of Research In Motion's BlackBerry e-mail pagers.

The Jornada will allow voice calls over GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) networks. In addition, the Jornada incorporates voice-activated dialing and wireless Web surfing.

A device similar to the one launched initially in Europe and Asia this summer will be available in the United States by the end of 2002. Pricing for the Jornada device and the required wireless service has not been set.

The Jornada uses a 133MHz Texas Instruments OMAP 710 processor and contains 64MB of memory and a lithium-polymer rechargeable battery. Like its predecessors, the Jornada comes with a CompactFlash Type I slot for expansion cards. The device is 0.7 inches thick, 3.1 inches wide and 5.4 inches long, and weighs 6.8 ounces.

 

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