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T-Mobile apes O2 with PDA phone roll-out

Brief: T-Mobile's MDA III is a PDA with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and keyboard, and it's a GPRS mobile phone. It's also strangely familiar...

T-Mobile has launched its version of rival O2's XDA II handheld computer with built-in mobile phone, aimed at corporate users.

Since the hardware is virtually identical, T-Mobile's MDA III has the same features as O2's XDA II: a 39-key keyboard that slides out from underneath, built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPRS mobile phone. The device has a 400MHz Intel Xscale processor, 128MB of RAM, and runs Microsoft Windows for Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Second Edition. It has a 640 x 480 pixel digital camera on the back.

The only difference between the two devices seems to be that while O2's device is a quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz) status, T-Mobile says its device is a tri-band phone. The lack of 850MHz support on T-Mobile's device means that O2's will have better coverage in the Americas where the 850MHz analogue band is still widely used.

T-Mobile said it is talking to partners about a GPS bundle, and could have a 3G version available in future, but declined to provide dates.

The MDA III is available now with a contract for £279.