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HP gets FCC nod for wireless iPaq

The company wins approval to start selling an iPaq handheld that uses both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless technologies.

Hewlett-Packard has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission to start selling an iPaq handheld that uses two types of wireless connectivity.

Such approval--in this case technically granted to contract manufacturer LG Electronics--is required before a wireless device can be sold in the United States.

As previously reported, the iPaq model contains both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technologies as well as a thermal fingerprint scanner to ensure that the device's owner has sole access to data.

According to FCC documents, HP's new iPaq will use Intel's 400MHz XScale chip and have at least 64MB of memory, along with a TFT screen with a 240-by-320 pixel resolution display. In addition, the device can act as a remote control for televisions, VCRs and other gadgets. HP first introduced that feature with its 3950 and 3970 iPaq models, which debuted in June.

The iPaq that won regulatory approval this week is part of HP's new 5400 series, and one of two iPaq handhelds HP has said it plans to introduce for the holidays. HP is also planning a low-end device that is thinner and smaller than previous iPaq handhelds.

HP has not announced pricing or a release date for either device. An HP representative said a device with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will be available for the holidays, but would not give any further details.

HP's new crop of handhelds will compete against existing Pocket PC-based devices as well as forthcoming gadgets from Dell Computer and ViewSonic.

HP has stuck with the iPaq name following its acquisition of Compaq Computer, choosing to phase out the less popular Jornada line.