T-Mobile's Wing Phone Beats Apple's iPhone To The Wi-Fi Punch - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

T-Mobile's Wing Phone Beats Apple's iPhone To The Wi-Fi Punch

The Wing is available for $299 with a two-year contract, and offers extended battery life, a 2-megapixel camera, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Taking a page from Apple's iPhone, T-Mobile Tuesday unveiled a Wi-Fi equipped mobile phone. Developed by Taiwan's High Tech Computer Corp., the T-Mobile Wing is also the first U.S. phone to run Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 operating system.

Like the iPhone, which is scheduled to ship in about month, the Wing operates on relatively slow GSM-based wireless infrastructures; Wi-Fi technology gives the phones access to high-speed data networks.

The Wing, which features a full slide-out qwerty keyboard, was developed exclusively for T-Mobile. It's available for $299 with a two-year contract. T-Mobile said the new phone also offers extended battery life, a 2-megapixel camera, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 connects easily with Microsoft Office documents and HTML e-mail, enabling users to use e-mail in original HTML format with live links to Internet sites. A Microsoft Live Search function can be used for online searches.

The Wi-Fi capability will let users connect to the Internet for high-speed access. While there are a handful of Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phones on the market, mobile phone service providers have been reluctant to market them because they can support free or inexpensive VoIP phone calls.

As the mobile phone market becomes even more competitive, T-Mobile and AT&T are striving to break out from their slower GSM-based infrastructure. They have faster network architectures under development, but Wi-Fi capability gives them a quick fix. Verizon Wireless, Alltel, and Sprint already offer high-speed data access through their advanced CDMA2000 EV-DO service, which is still an expensive option for users.

While T-Mobile's Wing is the first phone built by HTC that's equipped with Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 to go on sale in the United States, HTC notes that it has been selling similarly-equipped phones in Europe for months. Earlier, HTC had developed the MDA phone for T-Mobile.

"The T-Mobile Wing is 30% smaller than its predecessor, the T-Mobile MDA, and is packed with broad functionality that enables users to experience the best in connectivity, productivity and mobility," said Todd Achilles, VP of HTC America, in a statement.

The Wing has a 2.8-inch diagonal color display made up of 240x320 pixels and features music and video playback capabilities.

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