Microsoft's Canary phone – the first pics

What a Stinker!

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Orange UK is evaluating a reference design for a Stinker smartphone (aka Microsoft Smartphone 2002) produced by contract manufacturer HTC, according to documents received by The Register.

The network is already believed to have struck a deal with Sendo for its much-delayed Z100 phone, also based on the Stinker platform.

The vanilla Canary reference design contains few surprises. It's based on Texas Instruments OMAP 720, weighs 95g and is a triband GSM/GPRS device. Delays in getting Microsoft's GPRS stack to stay up long enough to salute have contributed to delays in shipping Stinkers so far, as Microsoft itself has acknowledged. HTC claims the device allows 3 hours talktime or 100 hours of standby. There's USB and MMC support. The Canary boasts a 176x220 64,000 colour display.

And it looks like this:-

MS Canary

click to enlarge

There are a couple of omissions: there's no Bluetooth capability, nor any support for MMS the multimedia messaging service. Networks are looking for picture messaging to drive up ARPUs (revenue per user).

HTC assembled the mm02 XDA, a one-off deal that emerged, we understand, after Compaq cancelled an earlier agreement.

Orange declined to comment on specific plans. A spokesperson for Sendo said that the company was confident that its ability to offer additional services for the networks, and custom application bundles such as a Java VM, would allow it to differentiate its smartphones from Canary-based rivals. Sendo uses Celestica as its contract manufacturer.

Having failed to interest any of the top tier phone manufacturers in Stinger, Microsoft has been busy striking deals with the networks themselves. Although it recently retracted a comment in which it had done deals with all the major European and Stateside carriers, there are a few more as yet unnannounced deals yet to emerge. ®

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