Sprint is today launching the Sprint PCS Vision Smart Device PPC-6700, the first converged handheld device in the US with Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 software direclty from an operator.
The PPC-6700 operates on the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network, providing the device with access to CDMA 1xRTT and CDMA 1x EV-DO, plus Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) and Bluetooth wireless technology.
CDMA EV-DO networks are capable of data speeds up to 2Mbps (megabits per second) but experience has shown average speds of 500kbps (kilobits per second) up to 700kbps in other countries.
The new handheld looks like a standard Pocket PC with Phone, but its touchscreen can slide to the side, revealing a full QWERTY keyboard. When open the screen orientation changes automatically from portrait to landscape viewing mode.
Also available is a built-in 1.3-megapixel camera with video recording and still pictures capturing capabilities.
The PPC-6700 reproduces the Windows-based PC experience and utilizes a new suite of Microsoft Office software, including the addition of PowerPoint Mobile for viewing presentations on the go and Excel Mobile with enhanced attachment-viewing capabilities. Also new is the ability of Word Mobile to edit files without changing their structure and content format.
The PPC-6700 also supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for over-the-air synchronization of email and calendar information with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.
Packaged applications include Action Info and AudibleListener. Users will have a 30-day free trial of access to content from their some established Internet brands, including eBay, Amazon.com, FOX Sports, AP News, AP Stocks, Microsoft MapPoint, AccuWeather, Restaurant Row, and Zap 2 it Movies. This information and content will be supplied by Action Engine.
This is one of the first devices based on the HTC Apache platform, designed by HTC, a smart device manufacturer. Similar devices will be available in other CDMA networks, including Telecom New Zealand.
The PPC-6700 will be available through Sprint business sales channels for a suggested retail price of US$629.99. The device will be offered nationwide in Sprint Stores and online later this year.