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Nokia handset supports DIY cover designs

Bring your own pics

Tired of spending 20 quid a time for phone covers? Well, Nokia has the answer: make your own. Its new handset, the 3200, provides room to insert your own pictures between the phone's innards and its transparent covers.

Each handset will come with three cut-out designs - just snip them out and stick them underneath the covers. Or print your own - on plain, 60-136gsm paper, using non-conductive inks, mind - suggests Nokia.

There's some method to the company's madness. It will offer free post cards, available through retail outlets, each of which includes "ordering codes" to speed the download of "matching wallpapers and ringing tones". In short, more stuff to pay for.

The handset itself is a typical modern phone, with a built in 352 x 288 digicam, tri-band GSM/GPRS support, polyphonic ringtones, 4096-colour 128 x 128 colour display, MMS functionality and Java. The 3200 features Nokia's XHTML browser for post-WAP web surfing.

The handset also includes a built-in torch for those dark winter nights, and an FM Radio to keep you cheerful when walking home by torchlight.

The 3200 supports EDGE (Enhanced Global Rates for Global Evolution) technology - the enhancement to the GSM network to offer improved data transfer rates - up to three times the capacity of GPRS. Or it can be used to deliver GPRS performance to three times as many customers - which must be tempting to mobile telcos given the problems they are increasingly experiencing with GPRS saturation. EDGE is also increasingly being considered as an alternative to 3G WCDMA technology.

Shipping is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2003. ®

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