Orange and Handspring announced yesterday that they would work together to develop next-generation smartphones for the European market.
Handheld manufacturer Handspring said that, under the terms of the agreement, it would develop advanced business and personal smartphones designed to integrate closely with Orange's back-end network systems.
"By customising Handspring's advanced wireless applications and intuitive user interface for Orange's services and back-end systems, we can deliver solutions that will make a difference in people's lives," said Ed Colligan, president and chief operating officer at Handspring.
"We look forward to building a strong position together in this category."
Richard Brennan, an executive vice president at Orange, said: "We are pleased to be working with Handspring which has proved to be one of the leading innovators in smartphones."
Commenting on the announcement Chris Jones, senior analyst and director at European research firm Canalys, said: "In Europe, we expect shipments of smartphones to exceed those of handhelds in 2003.
"But for vendors to succeed they need to develop good relationships with mobile network operators in as many countries as possible."
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