Siemens on Monday announced a new phone that it says incorporates full BlackBerry functionality.
The triband SK65 phone will offer e-mail management through a
licensing deal with Research In Motion, which makes the popular
BlackBerry e-mail device. SK65 customers will be able to manage e-mail
with Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes.
The keyboard is tucked into the phone, and when it slides out, the
device has a crosslike shape, the company said. A customer can type on
each side of the display. The phone will be available to retailers in
November, but pricing details have not been announced.
Siemens has launched two other "premium" phones this year: the S65
compact business handset and the SL65
, an updated version of the SL55
a "slider phone." A slider phone is one that is more compact because
the keypad slides into the phone's earpiece. The company hopes to
launch another high-end handset before the end of the year.
Siemens said it expects high-end phones that offer e-mail access to account for 20 percent of the wireless market by 2006.
The SK65 also fits into work that Siemens is doing on an initiative
to offer products that support convergence of wireline and wireless
networks, the company said.
Siemens plans to consolidate its fixed-network solutions and
wireless products for businesses as well as service providers under a
new communications group, which will begin operating Oct. 1. That group
hopes to offer "unified solutions that enable all forms of
communication, such as PCs, PDAs, mobile phones and wireless modules,
to interact seamlessly, as if they were all part of a common network of
networks," Lothar Pauly, CEO of the new group, said in a release.
The SK65 follows a new trend of cell phone makers seeking to add e-mail functionality to their devices. Recently, Motorola announced that some of its new handsets will come loaded with BlackBerry messaging software.