HP has leaked (by mistake or a PR stunt?) a series of slides with specifications and detailed information on a not yet announced series of HP iPAQ hw6700 Mobile Messengers devices, rumoured to be released in early 2006. Dave's PDA has the screenshots.
The original iPAQ hw6500 series was announced during the 3GSM congress 2005, and so far introduced by only a few operators around the world, mainly in Germany and some Asian countries. The original iPAQ hw6500 Mobile Messenger has built-in GPS and keyboard, a square screen, and connects to GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks. It also has a SD and miniSD slots for expansion, which is nice, but the whole thing is based on a slower Intel Xscale CPU running at 312MHz.
It is running Windows Mobile 2003 though, which may be a problem in this high tech market segment, knowing that Microsot has just announced Windows Mobile 5.0 with some nice enhancements in security and messaging - and how users like to always have the latest in terms of OS and updates.
The leaked specs for the new hw6700 series shows the GPS, keyboard and square screen still there, 128MB ROM and 802.11g Wi-Fi. It has no SD slot (only miniSD) and at last it runs the Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 OS.
What I don't understand though is why it is still connecting to GSM/GPRS/EDGE. Why not 3G UMTS? Why the support for 2.5G (GPRS) and 2.75G (EDGE) only?
The Vodafone group, the largest mobile operator in the world has no EDGE network and most operators in Europe have deployed UMTS, bypassing the EDGE entirely (some have EDGE in Europe and some are even deploying CDMA in that region too, something no one thought possible a couple of years ago), so HP is certainly restricting the market coverage to the US and Canada, where EDGE is more common.
What's the problem with mobile device manufacturers? I don't know if most ever heard of 3G network (either UMTS or CDMA EV-DO), except for HTC.