CeBIT: Ericsson announces Symbian-based Smart Phone

Swedish mobile phone specialist Ericsson, today demonstrated a new computer-cell-phone based on the EPOC management system. EPOC is marketed by mobile-phone consortium Symbian as an alternative to Microsoft's Windows CE.

The R380 Smart Phone is as big as an ordinary mobile phone only with a flip-top keypad that opens to reveal an integrated screen (Ericsson: "large landscape display"). R380-users will be able to exchange emails, receive Internet content, send and receive faxes as well as manage a diary. Integrated touchscreen and manual input recognition functions are designed to improve the ergonomics of the device.

"By concentrating on a large display and user-friendly interface, we were able to integrate multiple functions into a device that is no larger than an ordinary cell phone", said Jan Ahrenbring, vice president of marketing and communications at Ericsson Mobile Communications.

Ericsson's telephone-computer should be available "beginning 2000". With the introduction of the Smart Phone, the Swedish firms joins other cell-phone manufacturers fighting to promote hybrid devices that mix phones with PCs. Ahead of Ericsson, Nokia and Panasonic (among others) have already released conceptually similar devices onto the market.

Thanks to ZDNet Germany for this report. Translated by Sophie Handrick

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