Orange to launch ‘laptop-style’ phone for business users

21 Sep 2005

French mobile network operator Orange is increasing its focus on the high-end business segment with the launch in Europe of a new ‘laptop-style’ phone that combines 3G technology and handheld computing, to provide a high powered terminal for the corporate user. The SPV M5000 device is among the first to use Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 5.0, which the US giant hopes will help it in its long-running quest to gain a hold on the wireless market. The M5000 will be available in early October priced from GBP400 (USD720) in the UK and USD730 in Europe, before subsidies, putting it in direct competition with Nokia which champions the rival Symbian O/S. Orange, which is owned by France Télécom, is keen to appeal to the business segment, which it believes represents opportunities for growth. With demand in the consumer segment slowing across Europe as cellular penetration approaches 100% in many countries, the cellco has turned its attention to the business market where saturation levels are under 30%.