By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New PDA phones unveiled by HTC at CTIA Wireless 2008 included the company's first unlocked GSM phone, called the Touch Dual, and a Verizon-network version of its Touch.
The Touch Dual PDA-phone, based on the Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS, is due in the spring through Best Buy's Web site and brick-and-mortar stores as well as through HTC's Web site. It is among the industry's first phones to incorporate the Windows Mobile 6.1, which will also be available as an upgrade to the company's other PDA phones beginning in the spring. Expected retail is $400 to $500.
The Dual is a worldphone with touchscreen, virtual QWERTY keyboard and slide-down 20-key keypad that can be used for QWERTY-like typing, not just for dialing, thanks to predictive text software and the imprinting of two letters or symbols per key.
The quadband GSM/EDGE model also operates in W-CDMA HSDPA mode in the U.S. 850/1,900MHz bands with theoretical download speeds up to 3.6Mbps. Other features include 2.6-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth 2.0, microSD slot, five-hour talktime on standard battery, 2-megapixel camera, HTC time and weather display, and multiple messaging options, including Microsoft Direct Push enterprise email.
A Verizon-network version of the Touch PDA phone, dubbed the touchscreen-only VX6900, also debuted, joining CDMA 1x EV-DO Touch models from Sprint and Alltel. The EV-DO device was scheduled to be available in April at $349 after rebate through Verizon-operated outlets and online. The phone, based on the Windows Mobile 6 Professional OS, will get a downloadable Windows Mobile 6.1 upgrade by the end of 2008. In the third quarter, the Touch phone will get a downloadable upgrade to faster EV-DO Rev. A wireless-data technology.
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