Best Buy sells Motorola MPx220 smart phone

Launch due later this month, but on sale already

US retail chain Best Buy has begun advertising and selling Motorola's keenly anticipated Windows Mobile 2003 smart phone, the MPx220, to residents of southern California.

However, Motorola isn't going to launch the handset formally until 18 October, sources familiar with the company's plans informed The Register.

Spotted in yesterday's local papers by PhoneMag, Best Buy is advertising the MPx220 for $500. Buy it with a Cingular contract and you can have it for $350. Take out a two-year Cingular contracts and you pay $350 now, but get a $100 mail-in rebate coupon.

And, dashing to a Best Buy in San Mateo, the website discovered that the MPx220 is indeed on sale. It even went so far as to snap up a couple.

PhoneMag's own sources suggest an 18 October launch too. The Best Buy store guy claimed the company had signed and exclusive deal with Motorola and Cingular.

Motorola posted a preliminary MPx220 launch release on its web site in June 2004. A month later, it came clean and formally launched the handset, which had been the subject of speculation since the previous December

At the time of the announcement, Motorola said the MPx220 would ship in Q4 this year.

As previously reported, the handset features a 176 x 220 270,000-colour display and an integrated 1.23 megapixel digicam with a 3x digital zoom and flash. It will offer quad-band support - 850, 900, 1800 and 1900MHz - GSM and GPRS connectivity.

The handset supports Bluetooth, and includes 64MB of Flash ROM. There's a Mini SD card slot capable of taking a 512MB memory card. The unit weighs 113g and measures 8.9 x 4.8 x 2.7cm. Its design is broadly similar to that of the 200, but the screen hinge is mounted further down the keypad half of the clamshell device. The 220 will be offered in silver - which is what Best Buy has - and black colour schemes. ®

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