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Orange unveils latest smart phones

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Mobile operator Orange today launched its latest own-brand smart phones, both running Windows Mobile 5.0 and manufactured by Taiwan's HTC.

The candybar SPV C600 is the successor to the SPV C500, improving on the older model with the addition of a 320 x 240 colour display and a 1.3 megapixel digicam. The C600 contains 64MB of memory. Its quad-band radio gives it universal GSM coverage.

The handset supports EDGE technology for faster GPRS data transfer rates of up to 247Kbps, though as yet EDGE is only available on Orange's networks in France, Poland, Slovakia, Romania and Belgium. These countries, along with the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Slovakia, should all get the C600 by the first week of November, Orange said.

The SPV M3000 is Orange's version of HTC's compact Wizard wireless PocketPC. It offers the same form factor as Orange's M500, but incorporates a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Like the C600, the M3000 boasts a 320 x 240 display offering 65,536 colours. Sliding out the keyboard automatically reformats the display from portrait into landscape mode.

The unit contains 128MB of memory, expandable using MiniSD cards, and provides Bluetooth and 802.11b wireless network connectivity. It too supports EDGE.

The M3000 will be available in France, Poland, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Romania by the end of the first week of November. There's no word yet on UK availability.

The price will vary by territory, and what kind of tariff the owner selects, but Orange said it expects the device to sell for under €350 (£238). The C600 should retail for under €250 (£170). ®

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