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Verizon to ship $300 Motorola Q on 31 May

BlackBerry-like smart phone arrives at last

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Verizon and Motorola have confirmed that the carrier will begin selling the handset maker's Windows Mobile 5.0-based smart phone, the Q, on Wednesday, 31 May, and that the deal will be an exclusive one. Speculation had centred on a 29 May launch, but what's a couple of days when Motorola's already missed its Q1 2006 deadline?

Availability will be initially limited to online orders, Verizon said - consumers will able to buy the device in the carrier's shops on 5 June.

Verizon will charge $300 for the handset, though it will knock $100 off the purchase price for buyers willing to sign up to one of its voice and data tariffs for at least two years. The carrier is offering three airtime packages priced at $80, $110 and $179 each including 450, 1,350 and 4,000 minutes of voice calls, respectively.

The company said each package comes with "unlimited" access to its EvDO high-speed data network, but the TS&Cs limit usage to "internet browsing, email and intranet access", so presumably it will pounce upon anyone who tries to run Skype on the handset.

Motorola announced the Q in July 2005, originally shooting for a Q1 2006 launch window. Pitched as an alternative to RIM's BlackBerry devices, the Q sports an array of push email options - including Good Technology's GoodLink, the firm announced today - and a micro-keyboard. The display's 320 x 240, the dimensions 11.5 x 6.3 x 1.1cm. There's a Mini SD slot for memory expansion, and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. ®

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