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HP Releases Pair of Business Smartphones As It Takes On iPhone, Blackberry

The world's biggest computer manufacturer is hoping to make a big splash in the corporate mobile market as it releases two new smartphones - the weirdly named iPaq Voice Messenger and iPaq Data Messenger - aimed at two different markets.

The Voice messenger will appeal to those looking for a more traditional Candy Bar smartphone and sports a 2.4-inch QVGA display with 20-touch keypad and full internet connectivity - that includes voice, email and internet.

As for the Data messenger model, it is also a 3G model but comes with a sliding keyboard with a 2.8-inch touchscreen display.

The two phones - which have been designed inhouse for the first time - come with Windows Mobile 6.1 and GPS capabilities as well as a 8GB storage (thanks to a tiny microSD card) and a 3.1 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and 5x digital zoom.

Both phones will be available either as standalone for £333 and £399 respectively or through Vodafone's Business in November.

In addition, HP iPaq customers will be able to download four business software applications from HP's Answer (opens in new tab) to Apple's App store out of 250 currentlay available.

HP will have a hard time though competing against the Blackeberry range of smartphones, Apple's iPhone, Nokia and Android-based phones.

HP has less than 3.3 percent of the global smartphone marketshare, behind third placed HTC and Sharp and only a fraction of RIM's 17 percent marketshare.

Nokia however, remains on top with 47.5 percent of the smartphone pie. And the market could get even more crowded if Acer and Dell decide to join in the party.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.