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The first mobile phone based on the reference design worked up by Intel and Microsoft is set to arrive in Europe by the end of September, the handset's vendor, Mitac, has revealed.

Mitac's phone, branded the Mio 8380, runs Microsoft's Smartphone 2002 operating system on a 200MHz Intel PXA255 processor backed by 16MB of PC100 SDRAM. The clamshell case contains a 2.2in, 16-bit colour, 176 x 220 transflective TFT screen. There's also a 64 x 48 subsidiary mono LCD that displays phone status information.

The 143g phone features an integrated 110,000-pixel digicam plus an SD card slot for memory expansion. The 8380's radio supports GSM and GPRS communications at 900, 1800 and 1900MHz.

Mitac claims the Mio's rechargeable Li-polymer battery yields two-three hours' talk time - 100 hours on standby.

The Mio 8380 was launched in Taiwan back in June. At the time, it gave no date for broad roll-outs. However, Mitac's Mio web site is now saying the device will ship in Europe at the end of Q3.

At the same time, it is believed, the company will launch a second smartphone in the Far East, followed by its third such handset toward the end of Q4. Mitac has said that it's not restricting itself to Microsoft's smartphone OS, and may evaluate operating systems from other vendors. So there's no guarantee its other smartphones will be based on the Windows Mobile variant. ®

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