Cingular Offering New Windows Phone

The beginning of an expected flurry of Windows Mobile 5.0 devices over the next several months began on Monday as Cingular released the 2125 Smartphone, an apparent update to the SMT 5600 that the carrier offered through Audiovox.

The 2125 is very similar to the 5600 -- in fact it is being marketing as the upgraded version of that phone -- although it offers quad-band GSM technology. Other features include a 1.3-megapixel camera, EDGE data, 64MB of SDRAM, Office Mobile, Pocket MSN, a stereo headphone jack, and Windows Media Player 10. The phone runs on a Texas Instruments OMAP 850 200MHz processor.

Cingular will offer the 2125 for $299 USD before a $100 mail-in rebate with a two year service contract for new subscribers.

The phone is based on the HTC Faraday. Missing from the 2125, however, is Wi-Fi support, which many of HTC's models overseas have included in recent releases.

Jupiter Research senior analyst Joe Wilcox says the thing to watch is how Microsoft integrates the operating system, or the next-generation of Windows Mobile code-named "Photon," into its Windows Live Services.

"That's certainly what I would recommend to Microsoft. Office Live would make loads of sense for the mobility market, particularly smaller businesses that are the target of the services," he said.

Wilcox added that the phone is more powerful than his first Windows home computer he purchased in early 1994. He said such power is important; for many small businesses the phone is the primary computing device.

Cingular is also expected to release the HTC-designed 8125, codenamed "Wizard," sometime next year. Fellow GSM carrier T-Mobile is expected to also carry a version of the device as well as the HTC Tornado, a 2125-like smartphone, starting sometime in early 2006.

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