Dell hawking unlocked phones

Six models of Nokia and Pharos brand enterprise-class phones show up on Dell.com.

What hath the iPhone wrought? Perhaps more computer companies selling fancy phones.

Just as Apple prepares to sell its long-awaited combination smart phone and iPod, six models of unlocked Nokia and Pharos phones have cropped up on Dell's Web site. The Nokia E61, E61i, N73, N80 and N95, and Pharos 600 and 600E are available to be used with any GSM carrier. Prices range from $383 to $736, a bit pricier than when buying directly from a wireless carrier, which subsidizes the price with a contract.

Nokia N95
The Nokia N95 is now available sans contract from Dell's Web site. Dell.com

The phones can be found under the small business accessories tab on Dell.com, indicating the target audience is enterprise users and business travelers rather than general consumers. There's also a variety of corresponding Nokia Bluetooth accessories for sale.

Though Dell has been selling third-party products for years, phones are new to Dell's offerings.

Update: A Dell representative confirmed that offering third-party handheld products, ranging from MP3 players to unlocked phones, was part of a strategy switch away from pen-based PDAs and toward multifunction phones when the company axed the Axim handheld in early April.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur. E-mail Erica.

 

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