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1/9/2008
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Alltel Wireless Adds Touch, A Windows Mobile Smartphone

The Touch has Alltel-specific apps such as a service that converts incoming voicemails to text and sends them to the phone's text inbox.

Alltel Wireless, a U.S. cellular carrier with more than 12 million customers, on Wednesday began offering a Windows Mobile-based smartphone called the HTC Touch, with some features specific to the carrier.

The Touch, which was first introduced by HTC last June in the United Kingdom, uses TouchFLO technology for navigating through the phone's menus with a finger swipe. Apple's iPhone operates in a similar fashion through a fully touch-screen interface.




The HTC Touch from Alltel uses an Alltel-specific application called Voice2TXT that converts incoming voicemails to text and sends them to the phone's text inbox.
(click for image gallery)

The Touch is both suited for mobile professionals and consumers, since it combines multimedia features and Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 Professional operating system. For example, the Touch comes with Outlook Mobile, which allows IT departments to easily integrate the phone with their Microsoft Exchange servers for "push" e-mail, as well as Office Mobile, Windows Live, and support for thousands of third-party applications.

The Touch's home screen provides one-touch access to e-mail, text messages, calendar appointments, and contacts. Additional features include a 2-megapixel camera with video capabilities, Windows Media Player, expandable memory through a MicroSD memory card slot, and Bluetooth.

Alltel isn't the first wireless carrier to offer the Touch in the United States. Sprint made the smartphone available to its customers late last year for $250 with a $100 rebate. Sprint's Touch uses a 3G cellular technology called EV-DO, as does Alltel's Touch.

Alltel, however, said there are features that differentiate its Touch from Sprint's. The Alltel version has a panel on the touch-screen interface called the cube that lets customers access the latest smartphone applications to personalize their phones, the company said.

Like the other U.S. carriers, Alltel customized the Touch with Alltel-specific applications such as Voice2TXT from Spinvox -- a service that converts incoming voicemails to text and sends them to the phone's text inbox.

The Touch from Alltel costs $200 with a $100 rebate and a two-year subscription.

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