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Nokia ships E61 'BlackBerry beater'

E70 coming later this month

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Nokia's would-be antidote to Research in Motion's BlackBerry, the E61 smart phone, has started to ship, the handset giant said today. Initial units went out late last week, the company admitted, as it begins to ramp up global shipments.

The revelation, made in a Reuters report, follows a deal struck between Nokia and iPass to equip the E61 and other members of the E series with access to iPass' worldwide Wi-Fi hotspot network.

nokia e61

The two firms said Series 80 and Series 60 versions of iPass' Connect client-side application will ship this summer and at the end of 2006, respectively. The Series 60 version targets Nokia's 9300 and 9500 Communicator devices.

According to a Nokia spokesman cited by Reuters, the E60 candybar handset shipped last month. The other E series machine, the E70, which sports a fold out keyboard, 75MB of memory and a two megapixel camera, will ship later this month.

The E61 is a 11.7 x 7 x 1.4cm BlackBerry-like device with a micro QWERTY keyboard, quad-band radio with EDGE, Bluetooth 1.2 and 802.11b Wi-Fi. It too has 75MB on on-board memory, expandable using MicroSD cards. It supports VoIP calls and ships with a variety of third-part email tools, including BlackBerry Connect.

nokia e60, e61 and e70

The 144g unit contains a 1,500mAh battery, enough for between four and seven hours' talk time and 9 to 11 days' operating in stand-by mode. ®

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