Nokia 9210 Handset Packs Color, Java, Net Access

Nokia Corp. has incorporated a host of Internet and PC-centric features into its forthcoming 9210 Communicator GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) handset, unveiled Tuesday at a conference in Prague hosted by the Finnish mobile phone giant.

Aimed squarely at mobile professionals, the clamshell handset's software package includes support for Java applets and file compatibility with Microsoft Corp.'s popular Office suite of productivity applications, while its PIM (personal information management) software can also be synchronized with Lotus Development Corp. applications.

The 9210 is also the first Nokia GSM handset to feature a high-resolution screen capable of displaying 4,096 colors, the Espoo, Finland-based company said in a statement. Scheduled for release in the first half of 2001, the clamshell handset also features a full keyboard for entering text.

Unlike its predecessors, the 9000 and 9110, Nokia's new 9210 Communicator device is based on the EPOC operating system from Symbian Ltd., and has added support for PersonalJava and browser software capable of displaying Web sites in full color, Nokia said. The Web browser software also supports frames and can access text-based, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)-compliant Internet content.

To take advantage of the unit's support for the Java programming language, the handset will ship with a 16M-byte memory card that will allow users to install additional Java-based software programs, which Nokia said could range from corporate applications to entertainment content, including video images.

Nokia is not alone in betting on Java support as the next big advance in mobile phone handsets. Many of Nokia's rivals, including Motorola Inc. and L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co., are also readying Java-enabled handsets. The 9210's more PC-centric features include the ability to create and send files that are compatible with Microsoft's Word wordprocessing and Excel spreadsheet applications. Nokia said that users also will be able to view slides created on PowerPoint, Microsoft's popular presentation software.

In addition, the unit also complies with the emerging SyncML standard for synchronizing e-mail and other data. It ships with calendar, contact and to-do-list applications that are compatible with popular applications including Lotus' Notes and Organizer as well as Microsoft's Outlook and Schedule+, Nokia said.

The handset's more mundane capabilities include up to 10 hours of talk time and standby time of up to 230 hours.

Integrating all these capabilities, however, comes at a price: the 9210 measures 158 millimeters by 56 millimeters by 27 millimeters and weighs in at 244 grams -- making it both significantly bulkier and heavier than most current mobile phone handsets on the market.

The dual-band handset can be used on both 1.8GHz and 900MHz GSM networks, which are common throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. Nokia did not announce plans for a version that could be used on networks in the Americas or Japan.

Supporting High Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD), the 9210 offers data transfer speeds of up to 43.2K bps (bits per second) on networks that have been upgraded to support the higher data rate. Most GSM networks, however, support data speeds of only 9.6K bps.

Pricing information was also not available, but mobile phone handsets are often subsidized by service operators keen on signing up users for longer periods of time to secure a steady stream of revenue.

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