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Cingular Debuts Windows 5.0 Smartphone

Cingular today introduced a new smartphone, the first such gadget to be powered by the Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system.

Equipped with Bluetooth wireless support, quad-band international roaming and support for the EDGE wireless data network, the Cingular 2125 Smartphone is being marketed as a business-to-business communications device for mobile employees on the go.

Cingular 2125
The Cingular 2125
Source: Cingular

But it will also suit consumers nicely by providing the usual features, including e-mail, game playing, photos and Web browsing.

Customers can tap into corporate and personal e-mail applications on the phone, such as Microsoft Office Outlook Mobile and Microsoft Exchange Server, GoodLink from Good Technology, Cingular Xpress Mail and MSN Hotmail.

The 2125 also features wireless messaging applications, including MSN Messenger and Cingular's multimedia messaging service (MMS).

Because the device uses Windows Mobile 5.0, it will be support Microsoft's Messaging and Security upgrade pack with direct push e-mail technology when Cingular launches it in the first half of 2006.

Cingular 2125 users will also benefit from Windows Mobile persistent memory storage, which retains information even when the device's battery is depleted.

In other features, the 2125 also includes tools for music and video playback, with Windows Media Player 10 Mobile, a stereo headset jack, and a 1.3 megapixel camera.

The device supports MP3, AMR, AAC, WAV and WMA, and MPEG-4 video streaming. Users can add more memory for their applications because the 2125 has a mini-SD expansion card slot.

The Cingular 2125 can be purchased for $199 with a two-year contract and voice plan.

Microsoft software on Cingular devices in hardly a new phenomenon.

Thanks to bullish forecasts that predict a multi-billion-dollar converged device market from researchers like IDC and Gartner, the software giant is seeking to put as much of its software stack on handheld communications devices as possible.

Cingular is the leading wireless carrier, so it makes sense that it would make the first Windows Mobile 5.0-based smartphone.

Cingular spokesman John Kampfe told internetnews.com that, to this point in the U.S., Windows 5.0 has been embedded in personal digital assistants, which are a little more data-centric. They are also more pricey than their smartphone brethren.

For example, Sprint sells the Smart Device PPC-6700 for $449. The Cingular rival said on its Web site that it was the first Pocket PC Phone Edition device on Windows Mobile 5.0 available in the U.S.