COMPUTEX - E-Ten launches handsets, in talks with Quanta

E-Ten launched a pair of new smart phones that use Microsoft Corp. software, and said it's in partnership talks with Quanta Computer.

E-Ten Information Systems Co. launched a pair of new smart phones that use Microsoft software and revealed it's in talks with the world's largest notebook computer maker to co-develop and market handsets.

The company launched its OG500 handset at last week's Computex IT show in Taipei, a GSM mobile phone with PDA (personal digital assistant) functionality, that also includes GPS (global positioning system) so users can tap into mapping programs to ensure they're never lost. The device runs on a Samsung Electronics Co. S3C2440 processor that runs at 400MHz. Users can talk as long as four hours on the phone before its battery runs down, or use the PC functions for 10 to 15 hours.

The handset also takes pictures with a 1.3 megapixel lens with 4x zoom, as well as movies. A built-in microphone captures sound for voice recordings and movies.

The company also released an upgrade to its OM600 smart phone, with a new 2.0 megapixel camera lens to replace the older version's 1.3 megapixel lens, and 256MB of memory instead of 128M-bytes. It also supports push e-mail technology and runs Windows Mobile 5.0. The smart phone supports Wi-Fi, so users could surf the Internet and even download Skype Ltd.'s telephony software and use the handset for VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) phone calls.

E-Ten is relatively new to developing handsets based on the Microsoft OS. The company is more well known for its PDAs and GPS devices. But the success of home town rival High Tech Computer Corp. and its Microsoft-based smart phones has prompted other Taiwanese handset makers to enter the market fray.

Its recent entry into the market is a disadvantage for E-Ten, but the handset maker is working on a development and marketing deal with Quanta Computer Inc., the Taiwanese notebook maker, that could speed up its progress. Quanta has been a global player in the IT field for years, producing laptops on behalf of multinationals such as Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. A pact between the two companies would enable E-Ten to extend its sales reach and customer list.

"We're in discussions with Quanta, but nothing's been finalized yet," said Sylvia Pan, an assistant manager at E-Ten.

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