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Smartphone 2003

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Over in Taipei, Mitac is showing its second Microsoft smartphone, and the first to be powered using Smartphone 2003 software.

The clamshell Meo 8390 uses a 200Mhz Intel Dalhart processor, has an SD card slot for expansion and sports a VGA-grade camera. According to Digitimes, Mitac hasn't yet announced any carrier deals for the 8390. It has promised a third by the end of the year, however. With its smartphones sales expected to number 80,000 this year, Mitac is a modest player even by Microsoft standards.

The 8390 is aimed squarely at the Asian market, although Mitac said that the predecessor, the 8380 would be available in Europe.

As with several recent clamshell models - it has two LCD displays: one on the front displaying the time and caller ID. Just what cost-conscious carriers are looking for. (Russell Beattie has a succinct explanation of the difficulties of the clamshell design here:

"Completely unusable with one hand, unless you got that finger-tip grip just right and the flick perfectly practiced. Most of the time you end up sorta gripping half the phone with your shoulder or chest or something while you claw at the phone with your free hand trying to get it open, yelling 'Hold on! Hold on!'". Indeed, North America's affection for clamshell phones is as perplexing as the British aversion to mixer taps. ®

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