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PDA vendors target Euro cellphone market

Sharp, Casio prep mobile phone-equipped electronic organisers

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Sharp and Casio are separately working on PDAs with built-in cellphones aimed at the European mobile data market, the Nikkei newswire reports.

Sharp's plan is to extend its Zaurus family of electronic organisers with a Mitsubishi-designed, mobile phone-equipped model. Mitsubishi will likely build the device on Sharp's behalf, in its French factory. It's also probable that both companies will market the product separately, Sharp as a PDA with built-in cellphone features, and Mitsubishi as a phone incorporating organiser functionality.

The device is expected to be launched in Europe early next year.

Casio's timeframe is a slightly more defined - the company will show a working prototype at next February's CeBIT show in Hannover, and ship the device sometime next Spring. The product will form part of Casio's Windows CE PDA line, and will contain cellphone technology developed by Siemens.

Again, the two partners will market the device separately, each from their own perspective on the market.

This Autumn, Casio will ship a PDA with a built-in GSM and GPRS transceiver in conjunction with Vodaphone AirTouch. This device, aimed at the UK market, isn't designed to be a cellphone too - instead it will be promoted as a wireless Net access tool. Vodaphone will use the gadget to market its mobile multimedia service. ®

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