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Nokia Targets Cellular Fashionistas

Fort Worth, Texas — A trio of fashion-oriented GSM handsets targeted to U.S. consumers evokes the Art Deco era but adds “an edgy, modern-day twist,” the company said.

The three include the active-slider 7280, which lacks a dialing keypad to reduce size to a mere 4.53 inches by 1.26 inches by 0.75 inches. White accents highlight a gloss-black finish, and the display turns into a mirror when the backlight is off. The 850/1800/1900MHz GSM/EDGE world phone, expected to retail for about $500 to $600, uses an iPod-like jog dial to scroll through and select phone numbers. Consumers also use the jog dial to select alphanumeric characters to compose messages and dial numbers not contained in the phone’s directory.

The 7280, due early in 2005, is targeted to consumers who want a second phone for use during special occasions. Consumers can swap SIM cards to transfer phone numbers from their main phone to their fashion phone. To speed up the composition of SMS messages, the phone features predictive-word technology instead of predictive text technology. It also features Bluetooth, infrared and VGA camera. Talk time is up to three hours; standby is up to 10 days.

The 900/1800/1900MHz 7270 features folding gloss-black/etched stainless-steel body, VGA camera, GPRS, EDGE, push-to-talk and red and black textile wraps. It’s due late this year or early next year at an expected $350 retail. Talk time is up to four hours; standby is up to 11 days.

The 7610, likely due in October, will be the company’s first megapixel camera phone for the U.S. market. The candy bar-style 850/1800/1900MHz phone, retailing for about $399, features GPRS, Bluetooth, Java, POP3/IMAP4 email, voice dialing and extended battery delivering three hours of talk time or up to 10.4 days of standby time.

In another announcement, Nokia unveiled its latest PDA phone, the 9300 Communicator. The 850/1800/1900MHz GSM device is the company’s smallest and lightest Communicator to date and will probably be available in the first quarter in the United States, the company said. Features include Symbian Series 80 platform, GPRS, EDGE, infrared, Bluetooth, BlackBerry e-mail redirection, POP3/IMAP4 e-mail access and 80MB user memory. Like other Communicators, it features display and dialing keypad on the outside, but when folded open, it reveals a QWERTY keyboard and landscape LCD display. Unlike previous versions, it folds completely open to so that the screen and keyboard are one the same plane.

It will probably be available in the United States in the first quarter at an unannounced price.

Unlike the recently announced 9500 Communicator, it lacks built-in Wi-Fi.