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Orange preps latest own-brand smart phones

SPV M500 and SPV M2500 in the pipeline

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Orange looks set to become the latest mobile phone network to rebrand HTC's 'Magician' compact PocketPC-based phone, according to its Dutch website.

Orange SPV M500The network is also preparing to release the keyboardless version of HTC's 'Blue Angel' PocketPC phone, which Orange already offers as the SPV M2000, other sites suggest.

It's not clear when the Magician-based handset, dubbed by Orange the SPV M500, is expected to ship, or whether it will be made available in other countries. Magician is already available from a number of phone vendors, such as i-Mate, which sells it under the Jam brand.

It's clear from the specifications that the M500 is based on Magician, though the case design doesn't exactly match HTC's standard casing. The tri-band Windows Mobile 2003-based handset contains 64MB of RAM and a 1.3 megapixel camera, the Orange Netherlands site says. It's got Bluetooth and supports MMS, the site adds.

Meanwhile, Orange is also gearing up to offer the SPV M2500, a handset based on HTC's 'Alpine' design, better known as the O2 XDA IIi, according to MoDaCo. The M2500 lacks the M2000's slide-down QWERTY keyboard, but features a higher specification: more memory - 128MB of Flash to the M2000's 96MB - a faster processor - 520MHz Intel PXA272 to the older models' 400MHz PXA263 - and a better camera - now at 1.3 megapixel from the old 300,000-pixel job. Both models sport a 3.5in 240 x 320 LCD and tri-band GSM/GPRS radio.

The site also claims that i-mate is preparing a version of Alpine, to be called the PDA2. ®

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HTC 'Magician' PocketPC phone
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