HP makes first foray into smartphones

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HP makes first foray into smartphones

IPaq 514 Voice Messenger offers 'voice attachments'.

HP has unveiled its first smartphone, the iPaq 514 Voice Messenger, which runs Windows 6.0 and is aimed firmly at the enterprise market.

The iPaq 514 comes with Wi-Fi and 3G, and an HP system for sending messages known as 'voice attachments'.

"If you want to send a long message, or a more emotional message than is possible with a keypad, voice is the way to go," said David Rothschild, vice president of HP's Handheld Business Group.

"A voice attachment in an email offers a lot more emotion than in text, and allows more flexibility in reply."

Voice attachments are stored in .wav formats and automatically appended to an email reply with one button push. In a demonstration, a 10 second message was created with a file size of 17Kb.

The new model is the first iPaq to ship with a numeric rather than Qwerty keyboard, for which the voice attachment system is designed to compensate.

Other features designed to attract enterprise users include new security software that allows the phone to be locked down or wiped if it is lost or stolen, along with remote diagnostics and application installation.

"Set-up, diagnostics and security are big headaches for corporates," said Gene Wang, formerly chief executive of Bitfone and now vice president of marketing at HP's Handheld Business Unit.

"As we saw with the BlackBerry outage last month, losing email is very painful. Nothing is less cool than a phone that does not work right."

The iPaq 514 Voice Messenger will be launched next month.
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