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T-Mobile unveils Wi-Fi PDA-phone

Sports slide out keyboard too

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T-Mobile has revealed that it is indeed planning to offer a third incarnation of its MDA (Mobile Digital Assistant) PocketPC-based phone that will feature a QWERTY keyboard and Wi-Fi support.

T-Mobile MDA IIIThe MDA series is currently offered by T-Mobile's German operation, but given the noises the company has made this year about integrating its GPRS, 3G and Wi-Fi networks, it may well be considering broadening the MDA's availability.

Either way, the third version of the handset, which is expected to run Windows Mobile 2003 for PocketPC Phone Edition, will go on sale in September. In addition to the slide-down keypad and 802.11b support, it has a greater battery capacity than its predecessor that will allow it to run 25 per cent longer. T-Mobile also said it would provide Blackberry push email compatibility in Q4.

Unlike previous versions, the MDA III is not believed to have been made by Taiwanese ODM HTC. Since HTC's machines also provide the basis for O2's XDA devices, it's not possible to say whether the MDA III will also emerge as the XDA III.

Whoever manufactures the MDA III for T-Mobile also produces the CU928 for Chinese telco Daxian. The CU928's spec includes Bluetooth support but no Wi-Fi, and a 640 x 480 digicam. The latter at least seems a likely MDA III feature, given the presence of a camera icon on the publicity shot. The MDA II had Bluetooth, so it seems likely its successor will too.

The CU928 measures 12.5 x 7.0 x 1.9cm. Given the visual similarity with the MDA III, the T-Mobile device will be the same size.

T-Mobile did not provide pricing information. ®

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