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Motorola set to launch pen-driven Symbian phone

And to announce an MS deal. Grief...

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Motorola's remarkable and protracted silence on the subject of Symbian phones has been broken at last - the company does have one, the A920, and a serious and interesting bid it looks too. The documentation on the unit filed with the FCC (which frequently hosts useful pictures of products you hadn't previously heard of) shows a 3G device which includes support for the US 1900 GSM standard, which may suggest the company will aim it at the US market first. But on the other hand, that 3 on the front does kind of look like a Hutchison one, doesn't it?

But questions, questions. It has a large screen with buttons above and below, which means it may be intended to act as a games-playing device in landscape mode. It has a video camera, which sort of also fits with youth, but is virtually compulsory these days anyway. What, though, is that thing over on the left of the rear view that looks like it slots in?

This and the suspicious lack of a keyboard does seem to point inexorably to a stylus phone. UIQ? Register sources suggest that this almost certainly is not the case, and that Motorola will - as it tends to - be using something of its own devising. And the A920 will be one of the few Symbian OS 7.0 phones, joining the P800 and the BenQ we mentioned yesterday. Whatever, it does look like we have a serious bid at last from the slower moving one of the founding Symbian partners.

But that's apparently not the last of it. It seems likely that the disruptive Motorola-Microsoft announcement that didn't happen at GSM World last month is now due for next Tuesday. We're told it's likely to be an HTC design, rather than anything home grown, so that won't necessarily signal a deep and long-term commitment to Redmond. But we'll still then have Linux, Symbian and Microsoft platforms from Motorola. Maybe the company was offended by the way the Linux move was widely-hailed as a coherent, logical and viable strategy, at last. ®

Those nice FCC pictures:
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