Verizon Wireless Rolls Out Fresh PDAs And Smartphones - InformationWeek
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12:51 PM

Verizon Wireless Rolls Out Fresh PDAs And Smartphones

The devices run the Palm OS or Windows Mobile 6 and will be available for the holiday buying season.

Verizon Wireless on Thursday announced a new lineup of personal digital assistants and smartphones that will be appearing in stores over the next few weeks.

The first in the lineup is the Samsung SCH-i760 smartphone, which will be available online this week and in stores starting next month. The SCH-i760 features a touch-screen that can be navigated with a stylus, a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out horizontally, and a separate dial pad for making calls. It uses Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 Professional operating system, which comes with the ability to read and edit documents in applications such as Word and Excel, as well as review PDFs and PowerPoint presentations.

The Samsung SCH-i760 from Verizon Wireless features a touch-screen, a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out horizontally, and a separate dial pad.
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The smartphone costs $350 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year subscription.

The Verizon Wireless XV6800 resembles a mini-computer with a hidden slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The carrier calls it the "ultimate connectivity device" because it uses a high-speed wireless broadband network for data access and also comes with built-in Wi-Fi. Just like the SCH-i760, the XV6800 also runs Windows Mobile 6 Professional, and includes some multimedia perks like a 2.0 megapixel camera and Windows Media Player.

The other business-centric smartphones Verizon Wireless is making available are the Palm Treo 755p and the SMT5800.

Despite its slim frame, the Treo 755p packs a large touch-screen and a full QWERTY keyboard. It comes with 60 Mbytes of dedicated memory that can be expanded through the miniSD slot with up to 8 Gbytes of additional memory. The smartphone uses the Palm OS platform, but it does support native Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint application, in addition to PDF documents. One advantage of the Palm OS is the thousands of applications that can be downloaded to work with the platform.

The Verizon Wireless SMT5800 doesn't stand out as a breakthrough device, but it does the job when it comes to accessing the Internet, calendars, contacts, tasks, e-mail, and music. It has a five-way navigation key and slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and uses Windows Mobile 6 Standard, a version of Microsoft's mobile platform designed for handsets that don't have touch screens.

Verizon Wireless hasn't disclosed pricing or availability for these devices, saying only that they will hit stores in time for the holiday season along with its other recently launched devices.

In a separate but related announcement, the carrier on Thursday introduced new technology that will send system software updates wirelessly to new phones. The technology is supplied by InnoPath Software and it will alert Verizon Wireless customers to upgrade firmware directory on their phones. It will be introduced in new phones later this year.

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