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HTC 'Universal' 3G, Wi-Fi phone to ship 'late Q3'

T-Mobile MDA IV, Vodafone VPA IV, etc available soon after

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HTC Universal - aka MDA IV, VPA IVHTC's eagerly anticipated clamshell 3G smart phone, 'Universal', will go into volume production by the end of September, the company's CEO said yesterday.

That narrows the device's launch down somewhat from the "sometime in the second half of the year" timeframe HTC had previously given.

It also ties in with guidance given by T-Mobile, which announced in February it would offer Universal as the MDA IV. Then, the network said the device would ship in the summer. By March it had delayed the handset to the autumn.

Both Vodafone and Orange have also indicated they plan to sell Universal under their own brands later this year. HTC itself didn't acknowledge Universal until Microsoft launched Windows Mobile 5, aka 'Magneto', last month.

HTC CEO H T Cho said the company may ship a second 3G handset later this year, but in any case will next year increase the number of 3G devices it offers. He also said the company will have shipped some 4.9m handsets in 2005, up from 3.7m last year.

HTC said it made sales totalling TWD5.1bn ($163m) in May, up 81.3 per cent on May 2004's total. ®

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