Amstrad leaks like leaky thing over ‘Web phone’ launch

Exclusives mount up

Details of Amstrad's mystery Web surfing product have started to leak out ahead of this week's launch. A screaming exclusive from ZDNet UK revealed the "smartphone", developed jointly with BT and manufactured in Asia, will offer a personal information manager (PIM) as well as GSM capabilities. The price, said to be so low that "you couldn't get a cup of cappuccino in the West End for it", is expected to be subsidised through Amstrad taking a cut of airtime or subscription charges. Meanwhile, the Financial Mail on Sunday dubbed Sir Alan Sugar's launch as: "the most important mass market electronic product since he kick-started Britain's personal computer market 15 years ago". It reckoned the device was similar to a 'Web phone', without needing a monitor or TV screen to access the Internet and send emails. The gadget was more likely to cost around £200, it reports. Sugar has booked the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London for Wednesday's announcement, the same venue where Amstrad launched its cheap PCs to the masses. "Amstrad made its name in PCs and word processors by coming out with a cheaper product, and we reckon this is going to be another bonanza product," a source told ZDNet UK. "Sugar has always said that he wished he had a percentage of the monthly subscription Sky charges when he sold dishes, and this will generate that kind of revenue stream." Amstrad's share price was buoyant in anticipation of the announcement, up 80 pence to 610 pence, its highest share price in ten years. The Register will be at the QEII on Wednesday to bring you the latest on Sir Alan's Web toy.® Related stories and links ZDNet: Amstrad to launch 'smart mobile' Sugar steals Virgin's 'unrewarded entrepreneur Sugar flogs Spurs(.co.uk) to BskyB Viglen dips toe into net investments

Sponsored: 10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity