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Handspring ships VisorPhone

Mon Dec 18, 2000 - 9:56 AM EST - By Marcus Adolfsson



Handspring today began selling its VisorPhone Springboard expansion module, combining the power of voice communications with the simplicity and versatility of the Visor.

VisorPhone is available now at Handspring.com with competitive service plans available in select regions from Cingular Wireless, a leading GSM carrier in the United States.

Handspring will be rolling out service coverage on a regional basis over the next several months, beginning with Pacific Bell Wireless and BellSouth Mobility. Handspring also expects to be adding both VoiceStream and Powertel later in the new year.

For customers with access to Cingular Wireless services, VisorPhone can be purchased for U.S. $299, with the simultaneous service plan activation.

Customers can also purchase the VisorPhone without a service plan for U.S. $499 from Handspring.com, and use with their existing GSM service.

"We are pleased to be shipping the VisorPhone this month after initially introducing this ground breaking Springboard module this fall," said Ed Colligan, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Handspring. "VisorPhone will bring a whole new voice communications and computing experience to current and future Visor customers and we believe it will truly change the way people communicate with each other."

Handspring expects to sell VisorPhone through physical distribution channels in the U.S. in the first half of 2001.

VisorPhone Service Plans

VisorPhone operates on the GSM standard, the most widely used digital phone standard in the world, and is designed to function exclusively with the Springboard expansion slot. The GSM standard allows users to receive wireless coverage in over 4,600 cities and towns throughout North America.

Handspring is selling service plans from Cingular Wireless initially with an expanded rollout expected in early 2001. This regional rollout will make VisorPhone first available to PacBell customers in California and Nevada on the West coast and to BellSouth Mobility customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Eastern Tennessee and Coastal Georgia on the East coast.

The service providers, not Handspring, determined pricing plans based on current competitive offerings. For a full list of pricing plans and options, simply type in your zip code on Handspring's website and click on the "Buy it!" button to see what service is available in your area. Pricing is in line with plans offered for mobile phones today. Additional carrier information and activation details are provided at Handspring.com.

Customers can purchase the VisorPhone without a service plan for U.S. $499 from Handspring.com.

About the VisorPhone

VisorPhone is a compact mobile phone module that extends slightly above and beyond the top and back of Visor itself. VisorPhone contains a battery, speaker, antenna, and three buttons: one to power VisorPhone on and off and two that allow a user to switch between voice and text messaging functions.

As with all Springboard modules, all software needed to use VisorPhone is included in the module itself. Springboard modules are self-installing and self-de-installing and can run in place so there is no need to transfer software between Visor and the module. The process is automatic and fast. To use VisorPhone, a person simply inserts the module into the Springboard slot. When powered on, VisorPhone will automatically register to the GSM network. When the module is removed, software is automatically deinstalled, leaving Visor in a clean state. The Visor need not be turned on or off, or applications closed, to insert or remove VisorPhone.





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