SBC plans email device for the masses

Big US telco looks to bring Net-based communications to the little guy.

American telecommunications giant SBC will next month launch an email-only handheld device, designed to bring the Internet to a wider audience.

Dubbed eMessage, the device will feature a 7-inch by 10-inch keyboard with a flip-up display screen that can be attached to a standard phone. Available only in America, the eMessage will cost around $180 (£110), and an extra $10 for a monthly email service.

SBC marketing vice president Steve Dimmit said of the device: "eMessage will bridge the information technology gap for the 50 percent of US households that do not have a home computer."

BT launched its own email phone, the Easicom, in May.