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iRiver Europe breaking into the cell phone biz

iRiver Europe showcases its first cell phone at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2008.

iRiver's first cell phone. CNET Networks

In the United States, iRiver is more well known for its MP3 players and PVPs, but in Europe, it's hoping to break into the cell phone market. With a small booth at GSMA Mobile World Congress, iRiver showed off its first GSM handset. Though a bit mysterious with no official name (it bears a striking resemblance to the iRiver W7, one of the company's PVPs) and spec list, we do know it features a 3-inch touchscreen and Linux-based operating system. iRiver also showcased its GPS capabilities and multimedia functions, which was one of the better highlights--not surprising considering the company's roots. I played with the user interface a bit, and I wasn't terribly impressed. I found it lackluster, and it wasn't intuitive. The company plans to bring it to the European market in the third quarter. When asked about U.S. availability, the iRiver representative said he didn't know.