Nortel demonstrated its forthcoming Orbitor Java mobile handset at last week?s GSM World Congress in Cannes, France.
The unit, which will be launched late summer with Cellnet, will enable users to send and receive voice and data calls. Messages will appear on a large touchscreen pad onto which users can handwrite notes or press icons to activate calls.
Users can also ?dial? telephone numbers by speaking into the device and send drawings created on the pad to another Orbitor. Filtered emails could also appear on the screen initially as headlines, while the entire text could appear in newspaper column format.
Nortel is aiming the product at people who want to send and receive text, including Web information, as well as make and receive phone calls in one device. Although it is targeted at users of personal digital assistants and laptop users, it would not attempt to replace the need for laptops to create spreadsheets or large text documents.
Explained Phil Terrett, business manager at Nortel: ?Most of the industry has tried to make existing devices, such as laptops and PDAs, mobile. But there has always been a compromise. We?ve taken a device which everyone is comfortable with - a mobile phone - and added the best of everything.?
Nortel is working with Cellnet to port the mobile network operator?s Genie Internet service onto Orbitor. Cellnet subscribers instruct Genie?s Web site to transmit personal reminders and Internet information, such as local restaurant names, to their phones. With Orbitor, users will be able to receive alerts and the choice link to the source via email or phone by pressing icons.
Terrett expects the device to be price at ?much lower? than #1,000, the initial price tag of the Nokia 9000, the industry?s first attempt at integrating voice and data services in a single handset launched in 1996.
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