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Group Sense updates Palm OS smart phone

Adds integrated keypad

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PalmSource smart phone licensee Group Sense PDA's latest handset will not be using the mobile operating system supplier's phone-oriented Garnet OS - at least, not yet. Instead, the upcoming G88 device will run Palm OS 4.1.2, the company announced today.

Hong Kong-based GSPDA already offers the Palm-based Xplore G18 dual-band (900/1800) GSM/GPRS handset, which it launched last July. Group Sense became a Palm OS licensee in December 2002.

The G88 sports a 2.2in 16-bit colour screen and a 320 x 240 digicam. Memory-wise, it contains 16MB of ROM, 16MB of RAM and 22MB of Flash storage on an internal memory card. It supports text and multimedia messaging, WAP, email and Java applications.

The phone's case slides open to reveal a numeric keypad, and there's a five-way navigation control "to fit the natural habits of mobile phone users", as GSPDA puts it.

GSPDA didn't reveal any other specs., but the use of Palm OS 4 means it has to be based on a Motorola Dragonball processor, most likely the 33MHz VZ used in the G18. Indeed, the two handsets' published specifications are remarkably similar, suggesting the only big difference is the G88's integrated keypad.

The company said it was currently in negotiations with "several" mobile networks, though no indication was given as to which territories they operate in. The G18 is currently available through TA Orange, a joint venture between Orange and Telecom Asia. ®

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