Telstra and Motorola have taken a page out of start-up in the business Datawind’s book, with a ‘made-for-messaging’ pocketable computer that resembles a PDA without the confusing office applications.
The ‘hiptop slide’ from Motorola in partnership with Telstra is a pocket-sized mini-computer with colour screen that offers simple applications including SMS, web access, instant messaging, email, and dedicated MySpace button, pitched at young, savvy technology users who like to stay in touch.
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Unlike Datawind’s $399 Pocket Surfer 2 which doesn’t lock users into a plan, the hiptop slide, which was modelled on its big-brother the hiptop3 and the Side-Kick in the US will be available on a $30 per month unlimited data plan for 24 months (totalling $1,399) from Telstra.
“The hiptop has virtually all the features you could want to express yourself; instant messaging, SMS, web access and more. It’s the essential gadget to have this summer to be in touch,” said Telstra consumer segment director, Tim Copper.
Designed by Motorola, the hiptop slide comes with a range of multimedia features including an integrated music player, 1.3 Mega pixel camera with flash, expandable memory and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Automatic backup and sync for phonebook, calendar, task lists, notes and on-device photo-gallery means you can schedule social outings.
The Pocket Surfer 2 and the hiptop slide are examples of a new breed of PDA-like devices that are not overcrowded with applications and technology, providing instead simple-to-use necessary applications like internet access and email, targeted at specific age groups and user profiles.
While the Pocket Surfer 2 is targeted at business users who want light-weight internet access when travelling, storing their files and data on their office server for increased security if the device is lost, it still indicates a move away from do-it-all smartphones and PDAs to a more simple, consumer-friendly device.
“Motorola is thrilled to be part of the exciting hiptop movement that’s taking the world by storm. This sleek new handset continues Motorola’s ongoing commitment to providing the coolest devices on the market with the latest in innovation and design” said Motorola Australia and New Zealand national marketing manager, Stephen Amiet.
Available in midnight blue, the compact hiptop slide features a 2.4-inch colour slider screen and a QWERTY keyboard. A unique trackball allows for easy navigating – just roll it with your thumb up, down and side to side, and press to reach your desired destination, says Motorola.
Telstra has partnered with MySpace to develop a MySpace Mobile experience for hiptop users – Hiptop owners can exclusively download the MySpace Mobile application from their hiptop device.