AOL plays Xtreme games with Cybiko

America Online-backed Cybiko is preparing to launch a faster and curvier version of its handheld for teens.Dubbed Cybiko Xtreme, the wireless handheld received approval this week from the Federal Communications Commission and is due to be launched in the middle of next month.

America Online-backed Cybiko is preparing to launch a faster and curvier version of its handheld for teens.

Dubbed Cybiko Xtreme, the wireless handheld received approval this week from the Federal Communications Commission and is due to be launched in the middle of next month. A blurry picture of the device is posted in a pop-up screen on the company's Web site, with a message that the device is "coming soon."

Cybiko introduced its original device in May 2000 and has sold roughly 500,000 of the units so far, spokeswoman Johanna Navari said Thursday.

The new device appears to be smaller than its predecessor and features a design somewhat reminiscent of the underside of a hip sneaker. It will sell for $139, which includes a coupon for a free MP3-playing attachment. In addition to playing MP3s, a Cybiko Xtreme can display related images, a technology it calls MXD.

The handheld comes with 2.5MB of memory and includes organizer functions, a scientific calculator and a four-language dictionary. --Ian Fried, Special to ZDNet News