Sierra Wireless announced today the Voq line of professional phones and value-added
software for business users. New Voq-branded professional phones will be based
on Microsoft Windows Mobile software for Smartphones and will feature both a
familiar phone keypad and unique flip-open QWERTY thumbpad. The Voq product
line also includes other hardware and software innovations for easy information
navigation and retrieval, compelling text entry, and email that is automatically
updated. The first Voq model will support global markets by operating over the
GSM and GPRS wireless networks and is planned for commercial availability in
the first half of 2004.
The Voq professional phone is based on Windows Mobile software for Smartphones,
which enables users to synchronize their most important information from Outlook,
browse the Internet, listen to music, and customize their phones with personalization
options. It has a 200MHz IntelÂ® PXA262 processor with stacked flash memory with
value-added hardware and software product capabilities that include:
- A familiar 12-key dial-pad for full mobile phone functionality and a
unique flip-open QWERTY thumbpad for easy text entry
- A remarkably simple way to store, navigate and retrieve information
- Secure, automatically updated e-mail requiring no desktop redirector
or dedicated server. The e-mail solution supports standard enterprise email
systems including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, and Novell Groupwise
- Software upgrade options with advanced e-mail functionality and support
for existing Virtual Private Networking (VPN) security systems.
These capabilities are the result of extensive primary market research into
the communications needs of mobile professionals. Sierra Wireless has an active
IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) program and has applied for patent protection
to cover the unique hardware and software differentiators it has conceived in
the Voq product line. "Sierra Wireless has expertise in providing wireless data
solutions for business users, and we're pleased to welcome their new handset
based on our Windows Mobile software," said Juha Christensen, Corporate Vice
President of the Mobile Devices Division at Microsoft. "The Voq brand of Smartphones
from Sierra Wireless combines the power and familiarity of our Windows Mobile
software into an exciting and unique design."
"Sierra Wireless has done a great job creating a family of computing and
communications devices with very innovative designs," said Ron Smith, senior
vice president and general manager of Intel's Wireless Communications and Computing
Group. "With the power and performance of the Intel processor and memory components,
the Voq professional phone has delivered convergence and mobility for the business
"Voq leverages our own expertise in enterprise wireless data and our existing
channels and relationships," said David Sutcliffe, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of Sierra Wireless. "Busy professionals and corporate users need a wireless
solution that can deliver compelling voice and data functionality in a single,
pocketable device. We are investing in expanding our product line to meet these
needs and are doing so with a continued business focus on growth and profitability."
The company has an existing global network of wireless operators and corporate
technology channels and expects to take Voq to market under co-branding arrangements
with some of these channels. Voq hardware and software products will be in network
operator and end user testing programs in Europe and North America through Q1
of 2004. In addition to working closely with Microsoft and Intel, Sierra Wireless
is partnering with Flextronics International Ltd., a global leader in wireless
handset manufacturing, to manufacture Voq products.
Hmmm... Interesting concept I don't want to comment now if I like it or not...
;-) But well, why not. Voq is picking up here the idea Nokia already introduced
with its Nokia
6800. From flip-phones to flip-keyboards - seems to become a new trend.