Sendo X hits Europe's shops

Sendo's Symbian smartphone is now on sale in five European countries, but the UK has to wait a little longer

UK mobile phone manufacturer Sendo launched its flagship smartphone in five European countries on Monday.

The Sendo X is now shipping in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Sendo is understood to still be in discussion with UK mobile operators, but hopes to launch the smartphone in Britain sometime this summer.

The Sendo X is based on the Symbian 60 platform. It includes a range of high-end features, including a VGA video and still digital camera with a 4X zoom, a flash and automatic red-eye reduction.

The phone comes with 64MB of memory -- of which 32MB is available to users built-in -- which the company said is enough to store 1,000 high-quality pictures. It also includes photo-editing software, allowing users to personalise an image before sending it as an MMS.

Birmingham-based Sendo has been through a rollercoaster couple of years, and is currently engaged in a legal fight with Microsoft. The two companies were initially partners, but plans to develop a Windows-powered smartphone suddenly collapsed in November 2002.

Sendo subsequently sued Microsoft, claiming that its trade secrets had been stolen. This lawsuit is currently proceeding in Texas.

There had been fears that Sendo wouldn't recover from the collapse of its alliance with Microsoft. But it has survived, and revealed this week that it shipped one million handsets in the first three months of this year -- the first quarter in which it has achieved this. The launch of Sendo X may help the company strengthen its position.

"The addition of the Sendo X to our range of mobile phones will drive further market share gains," said Hugo Brogan, Sendo's chief executive.

"These share gains underline the strength of Sendo's core philosophy of producing customised handsets for network operators."

ZDNet UK's Munir Kotadia contributed to this report.