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Mobile phone network Orange today launched in the UK, France and Switzerland its anticipated take on the HTC Universal clamshell form-factor smart phone, the SPV M5000.

As Orange's first 3G-enabled PDA, M5000 will become the flagship model of the company's business-oriented Signature device line-up, a range of corporate-oriented handsets from a range of manufacturers and aimed at volume buyers. According to Orange, the Signature phones provide a consistent user experience and ease of management, regardless of manufacturer, price or form factor. That, it said, results in reduced deployment costs.

Mobile phone network Orange today launched in the UK, France and Switzerland its anticipated take on the HTC Universal clamshell form-factor smart phone, the SPV M5000.

As Orange's first 3G-enabled PDA, M5000 will become the flagship model of the company's business-oriented Signature device line-up, a range of corporate-oriented handsets from a range of manufacturers and aimed at volume buyers. According to Orange, the Signature phones provide a consistent user experience and ease of management, regardless of manufacturer, price or form factor. That, it said, results in reduced deployment costs.

The M5000's casing operates like a mini Tablet PC - from a traditional table form-factor the screens opens and swivels round to site above the device's QWERTY keyboard. It runs Windows Mobile 5.0 with an Orange-customised front-end. The display is a 3.8in, 640 x 480, 65,636-colour job. There's a 1.3 megapixel camera for photos, along with a more basic, front-mounted version for 3G video calls.

The PDA contains 128MB of Flash storage for ROM and data, along with 32MB of RAM. There's an SD card slot to add more memory.

The unit provides Bluetooth wireless connectivity in addition to its 3G and 2.5G mobile phone links. Curiously, Orange continues to omit Wi-Fi from the product's specifications list, but an Orange yesterday spokeswoman confirmed that 802.11 wireless networking is indeed part of the M5000's spec.

Orange said the M5000 will go on sale for £400/€600, depending on tariff. It will be shipping in the UK, France and Switzerland in October. The handset will come to the network's other territories by the end of 2005, it added.


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