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Wireless-IM/MP3 Player Debuts

A second-generation wireless instant messaging device from Zipit Wireless adds MP3 player, photo viewer and Wi-Fi streaming of Web radio stations and PC-stored music at $149.

Like its predecessor, the handheld Zipit Wireless Messenger Z2 incorporates Wi-Fi 802.11b to let users access AOL, Yahoo! and MSN instant messaging accounts without having to sit at a PC.

Wireless IM service for Zipit Messengers has been available through home Wi-Fi networks and free public Wi-Fi networks, but in another advance, supplier Zipit Wireless said it reached an agreement to give Zipit users free Wi-Fi service at almost 9,000 Wayport-enabled McDonald’s restaurants in the United States. Free Wi-Fi service for Zipit owners is targeted to launch in mid-November 2007.

The Z2 will be available in October through the company’s Web site.