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"Smart" phones raise IQ

Geoworks says its partner Nokia is the first to ship a new breed of "smart" cell phones that can browse the Internet, handle email, and allow faxing.

    Geoworks says one of its partners, Nokia, is the first to ship a new breed of so-called smart cell phones that can browse the Internet, handle email, and allow faxing through its operating system.

    Nokia's 9000 communicator, which is shipping in Europe, uses a specially designed 24-MHz 386 chip from Intel and has 8MB of memory, with 4MB reserved for the Geos OS.

    Geoworks is banking on this latest generation of personal communications devices as the next hot consumer item because of its ability to integrate voice and data transmission capabilities. The company, however, isn't satisfied simply supplying the operating system. Geoworks is also developing content and applications for smart phones in partnership with other firms.

    U.S. consumers will have to wait until sometime in 1997 to get hold of smart phones, however. Currently, few regional cellular communications markets have the necessary digital cellular infrastructure in place that will enable use of all available features.

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