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Orange WAP woes continue...

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Orange is still suffering a shortage of WAP phones, while its rivals are scooping up spare handsets. Demand is outstripping supply on the Orange Nokia 7110e (navi-bar WAP phone), the company confirmed. It received a shipment from Nokia today, but was unable to say how big the order was, or how long stocks would last. According to one source, keen customers are "told to call the customer support number between 10am and 12pm daily - when news of a new shipment may arrive". And it could get worse: Orange has scheduled a big ad campaign to flog even more WAP phones but, as it is unable to meet existing demand, the promotion could create even bigger order backlogs. Orange said it was only receiving sporadic deliveries of the phones, priced at £129.99. "We continue to get deliveries through from Nokia – though they're slower than we'd hoped," said one representative. Orange claims to have sold 25,000 of the phones since the handset's launch last November. It splits deliveries equally between existing customers wanting to upgrade phones and new customers. Its problems in meeting orders were first highlighted in January. "The demand for this phone is incredible," said the representative. Orange says it has already sold more of the devices than its Motorola V3688s – the compact phone that nearly gets humped by a tortoise in the TV advert. One of the reasons given by Orange and Nokia for the shortages was that its phones demanded different software in handsets for their menu structure. Orange was unable to clarify how long customers could expect to wait for its shiny Nokia WAP phones. Meanwhile, BT Cellnet has revealed plans to offer pre-pay WAP phones from 3 April. It will have a Mitsubishi Trium Geo Internet package at £99.99, with plans to introduce handsets from Siemens and Alcatel. To overcome the WAP phone shortage which has plagued Europe, Cellnet has bought a number of handsets and hopes to be able to provide half a million to the UK market by June, The Times reports. Orange's WAP sales figure makes interesting reading. Last month the Financial Times stated there were a total of 15,000 WAP phones in the country, of which just 6000 had been sold. Nokia said it was not aware of any other networks suffering a shortage problem on this model. ® Related Stories Motorola unveils phone-in-a-watch WAP device Orange WAP phones in short supply

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