Motorola launches ‘smartphone’

Inc. unveiled its highly anticipated “Q” cell phone Monday, joining other manufacturers in aiming for businesspeople who want their e-mail to go.

The Q, which has a QWERTY keyboard and runs a version of Microsoft’s Windows, enters a crowded field dominated by Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry and Palm Inc.’s Treo smartphones. Samsung Corp. and Nokia Corp. have similar devices.

Motorola said the Q will be available for Verizon Wireless customers on May 31. A version running on technology compatible with Cingular Wireless will be available at the end of the year, although Motorola didn’t specifically name the carrier.

The phone will cost $199.99 with a two-year Verizon Wireless contract.

Motorola Chief Executive Ed Zander said that while the Q will initially target corporate customers, there is more potential for the device among “prosumers.” The phone is designed to replace the regular handset, the e-mail pager, and the digital music player.

While complimenting the BlackBerry, Zander said that for mass adoption, the device has to contain software familiar to businesses. For now, that means the use of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Mobile operating system.

Motorola has spent roughly two years developing the device, which has seen delays due to the integration of software and technology like Bluetooth. The device was initially expected to launch earlier this year.

Motorola has made a few phones with Windows Mobile before, but they were poorly reviewed and never launched in the United States.

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