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Motorola unveils would-be Blackberry beater

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Motorola QMotorola yesterday announced the Q, a smart phone it hopes will do for RIM's Blackberry and Palm's Treo devices.

Well, not until Q1 2006 at the very earliest, which is when the company plans to ship the product, network support permitting.

Motorola claims the Q is the "thinnest, lightest" handset with an integrated QWERTY keypad. It measures 11.5 x 6.3 x 1.1cm apparently, which is certainly thinner than the 2cm-thick Treo 650 and the 1.8cm-thick Blackberry 7780, though the Palm device's face is smaller. Unlike the Treo, the Q has no antenna stub.

The Q's display is a 2.4in, 320 x 240, 65,536-colour job, and the handset also incorporates a 1.3 megapixel digicam with a flash. There's a Mini SD slot for memory expansion, and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. There's a USB port for wired connectivity. The keypad is backlit, and Motorola has built in speakerphone capability.

The device will run Windows Mobile 5.0, and supports voice-activated dialling.

Separately, Motorola CEO Ed Zander, speaking at yesterday's Motonow conference, said the company's iTunes handset would be formally unveiled within the next two months or so and would ship later this quarter. Recent reports suggested the handset may debut at the Virgin V Festival, a UK music event taking place next month.

Motonow also played host to a preview of Motorola's ROKR music-oriented 3G handset, which may or may not be the foundation for the iTunes phone, though the version Motorola talked about yesterday was not iTunes-compatible. The company also showed off the PEBL and SLVR handsets, the latter a candybar-configuration version of its RAZR V3 handset. ®

Motorola Q

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