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HP to merge handheld with cell phone

Hewlett-Packard joins the convergence movement and plans to release a Jornada handheld that also acts as a cell phone.

Hewlett-Packard announced Tuesday that it will offer a Jornada handheld computer later this year that also acts as a cell phone.

An HP representative told CNET that the device, which will use Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system, will come out this fall in Europe and Asia and sometime in the second half of the year in the United States.

HP made the announcement at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France, where Microsoft announced separately that it will begin trials of its Stinger smart phone later this year. Meanwhile, German electronics giant Siemens said at the show that it will build its smart phone around Symbian's operating system.

Kyocera and Samsung have already announced plans for similar combination devices that use the Palm operating system, while Sagem and Mitsubishi have said they will make combo devices based on Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.

In Europe and Asia, HP's new device will use the GPRS and GSM communications standards, but the U.S. standard has not been announced. HP also has not said whether the product will look more like a phone or resemble the existing Jornada handheld. The company did not release pricing.