O2 announced that it has further plans for its integrated pda and mobile handset - the xda - and will introduce an xda II later this year. In addition to all of the existing features, the xda II will offer best in class capability for both consumer and business customers. The xda II will be available in the UK, Germany and Ireland before Christmas 2003.
For consumers, the xda II will offer a built-in digital camera and full multimedia messaging capability plus the opportunity to play high quality, colour games thanks to inbuilt Java technology. The 65,000 colour display ensures that both photographs and games are sharp and clear. Customers will be able to download games from the popular O2 Games Arcade - offering a constantly changing choice of colour 'arcade' style games. The xda II will also offer access to O2's music service enabling users to select, retrieve and store the latest chart hits onto the device - and listen to them in CD quality stereo sound.
For businesses, the xda II will be triband, and therefore may be used worldwide. It will also offer optional wLAN capability and Bluetooth for seamless connectivity. Customers will be able to access a range of business services and applications, including Xmail [see note to editors], Microsoft Mobile Information Server and Extended Office which offer the ability to access corporate email on the move. O2 will also be working with its numerous business partners to offer further solutions for the xda II.
The xda II will run Microsoft's latest Phone Edition of Windows Mobile 2003 for PocketPC, and retains its sleek stylish design. The xda II will also feature an O2-branded 'control pad', designed to drive incremental data usage by creating a complete O2 user experience, and enabling customers to access services quickly and easily. Colour, sound and visuals will make the experience truly intuitive.
Kent Thexton, chief marketing and data officer,mmO2, commented: "Even today, a year after its successful launch, the xda from O2 is a leading device of its class. The xda II reinforces our commitment to lead in the mobile data space. Combining a high specification product, outstanding functionality, customer focussed packages and transparent pricing, we believe the xda II will leverage the success of the xda and continue to win us market share in this market."
Key features are of the xda II are:
triband capability to enable seamless use worldwide
an integrated 640x480 pixels digital camera and full multimedia messaging functionality
Bluetooth and optional Wireless LAN capability
a faster processor (Intel Xscale 400 MHz) facilitating faster use
improved talk and standby time
the Phone Edition of Windows Mobile 2003 Software for Pocket PC
customer focussed packages for ease of use and understanding
also available as a pre-pay option
Sales of the widely acclaimed xda continue to show steady growth finding a firm following amongst technology-friendly adopters, many of whom are in the small business segment. More than 64,000 devices have been sold in UK, Germany, Ireland and Asia.
Figures from Context highlight that for the voice-enabled PDA market, O2 has a 36% market share in Western Europe, a 59% market share in UK, and an 80% market share in Ireland . As well as winning excellent reviews, xda users are using its functionality to the full and are consistently amongst O2's heaviest data users.
Also today, O2 in Germany announced that it will launch the "xda NaviKit" this summer. This kit will extend the xda CarKit to an extensive navigation system, including a GPS receiver, an adapter and unlimited navigation inside Germany in the first 12 months without additional costs. The software is easily installed on the xda, and will enable the customer to view real-time traffic information so that they can choose the quickest route to the destination. The driving maps and route selections are displayed in full colour for complete ease of use.