RealTime IT News

VZ Wireless Targets The Single-Minded User

Responding to the popularity of multi-tasking handhelds, Verizon Wireless is introducing a new PDA phone for its business customers and more flexible rate plans.

Samsung Telecommunication's i730 runs on Microsoft's Windows Mobile software and is available for large-account customers today and will be available for consumers July 7.

It features a full slide-under keyboard and color touch screen for viewing Web pages in Internet Explorer and documents in Pocket Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and PDF formats.

The South Korean handset maker's new PDA phone also has built-in Wi-Fi and an MP3 player, and it allows users to exchange data with other Bluetooth devices. A Samsung spokeswoman said the i730 is being sold exclusively through Verizon Wireless.

"The i730 combines the familiarity of Windows Mobile software with the innovative design of Samsung that will be a popular choice for mobile professionals," Suzan DelBene, a Microsoft marketing vice president, said in a statement.

The device will sell for $599.99 with a two-year contract and is available in 1,900 Verizon Wireless Communications stores, including those inside Circuit City, Best Buy and RadioShack.

In related news, Verizon Wireless said it will start new rate plans on Monday that bundle voice minutes, unlimited nights and weekends for calling and data access from a PDA, Smartphone or BlackBerry.

Verizon Wireless, which is owned by U.S. regional telecom Verizon Communications and British carrier Vodafone , said the new plans recognize that users are "increasingly dependent upon a single wireless device for voice and e-mail."

With nearly 46 million subscribers, the Bedminster, N.J.-based carrier is the second-largest mobile operator in the United States behind Cingular Wireless.