The Hiptop, a cut price GPRS personal digital assistant (PDA), is gearing up to launch this Autumn.
Its developer, Danger, has announced a series of alliances for manufacture, software and channels to market for both business and consumer use.
The company claimed that the end-user price could be half that of a typical PDA/phone combo. It includes a mobile phone, calendar and address book, email, web browser, MP3 music player and gaming facilities.
Mobile operators are hoping that the low price and high functionality will kick-start GPRS take-up as a stepping stone to third-generation services.
John Arledge, vice president of business development at Danger, told vnunet.com: "There are a ton of companies with PDA devices limited to the enterprise.
"But the mass market is under $200 [£130], mostly from cellular phones. This is the space Danger is playing in and we're looking for a killing."
The first implementation of the Hiptop, which can be branded by the supplier, will be called Sidekick. The monochrome handheld will be available across the US from T-Mobile this Autumn.
T-Mobile USA operates the only nationwide GSM/GPRS voice and data network, having recently acquired VoiceStream Wireless.
But Arledge said that Orange could be the first supplier in Europe ahead of T-Mobile, with the UK the first country in the first quarter of 2003.
Technical agreements are in place with Intel which has integrated GSM/GPRS radio technology from Beatnik Inc for an audio engine with a 12-voice synthesiser, Kyocera Corp in Japan for digital camera technology and TTPCom which provides its GSM/GPRS protocol stack.
Initially the device is being manufactured by Benchmark Electronics in the US, with Flextronics working on future design features as well as assembly. But Arledge confirmed that Danger is also negotiating with mobile phone companies.
"From day one the Hiptop will be fully featured for consumers, but work is in progress to add functionality for enterprises," he said.
A partnership with Seven Networks is in place for ensuring secure, real-time access to enterprise applications and data, including Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes email and documents.
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