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Motorola promises 3G Q PDA phone for Q4

Ready for network testing then, at least

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3GSM Motorola's would-be BlackBerry-beater, the Q, will ship by the end of the first quarter, the company promised yesterday, before going on to announce a 3G version of the QWERTY keyboard-equipped PDA phone. The wait for the UMTS model will be longer: even the networks won't get their hands on it until "late Q4".

Earlier this month, it appeared the CDMA Q might not debut until April - past the original Q1 2006 timeframe Motorola highlighted when it announced the handset back in July 2005. In September 2005, Motorola chairman Ed Zander suggested the device might ship early, in December of that year, though this didn't come to pass.

It has also been alleged Motorola has canned a proposed GSM/GPRS Q, and indeed, Ron Garriques, head of Motorola's phone division, yesterday said the UMTS version will "expand the capabilities and geographic reach" of the handset, suggesting GSM connectivity will only come as a back-up for the 3G Q.

Motorola reiterated the CDMA Q "is expected to be available this quarter", but admitted that as yet "no operator customer relationships have been announced and pricing hasn't been disclosed".

Motorola claims the Q is the "thinnest, lightest" handset with an integrated QWERTY keypad, measuring 11.5 x 6.3 x 1.1cm. 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. ®

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