Sendo Ltd plans to turn the tables on Orange SA and hardware partner High Tech Computer Corp (HTC) by being the first vendor to offer a Windows Smartphone-based device to the Italian and Spanish markets.
According to a spokesperson at the launch of Orange's SVP, Sendo plans to launch its much delayed Z100 handset "in November" on selected European networks. These include Spain's Telefonica Moviles and "two out of three" of Italy's operators.
The device will also be launched into France, with SFR, and the UK, with T-Mobile, at the same time. Orange's SPV is set to make its retail debut on the majority of its networks on November 11. Z100 pricing looks set to follow Orange's aggressive example - the SPV will retail for around 179 pounds ($276.7) - way below the 299 pounds ($462.1) Sendo quoted to ComputerWire in July.
The spokesperson described the impending introduction of the Z100 as a "small victory" for Birmingham, UK-based Sendo, which has had some of its thunder stolen by Orange's and HTC's rapid introduction of the rival SPV.
Sendo, which was set up in 2000 by three top Philips telecoms executives, looked for a long time to be in pole position to deliver the first device to market using the Windows Powered Smartphone 2002 software.
However, despite Microsoft's vested interest in the company - the giant invested $12m in Sendo in mid-2001 - the Z100 has had a slow gestation since Sendo first announced its intention to build a device around Stinger, the pre-production version of Windows Smartphone, in February 2001. "We won't announce products three years in advance in future," said the spokesperson.