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Nokia, HP put wireless words into print

The handset maker and Hewlett-Packard are working on an application that will let customers print content from their cell phones.

Nokia on Tuesday said it's working with Hewlett-Packard to let customers print content from their cell phones.

Nokia, which sells about 39 percent of the world's cell phones, plans to add printing capabilities to its Series 60 cell phones, including more advanced wireless devices like the handset maker's n-Gage gaming phone. Nokia has teamed up with HP to design an application for the phones and expects to sell printer-friendly cell phones sometime later this year. The printers and cell phones will connect using Bluetooth, a powerful but short-range wireless technology.

HP believes modern wireless devices have grown sophisticated enough to receive and store information that someone would want to print. For example, camera phones could print snapshots, or a traveling salesman storing his calendar on a cell phone could print out his day's itinerary, Nokia said.

But U.S. customers may balk at such features, having shown little enthusiasm to do anything other than make calls on their phones, according to analysts.

Nokia is the third handset maker to sign on to HP's effort, launched in October. Both Research In Motion, which helped develop the printing feature with HP, and SonyEricsson intend to add the same feature to some of their own wireless devices, company representatives said.

RIM and HP already are selling the technology directly to businesses. Companies are charged $35 per person, per year, to outfit businesses with 100 or less employees. The price drops to $18 per user, per year for more than 100 employees, up to 1,000 people, HP said.

HP also is working with PalmSource to make the technology available for handhelds based on the Palm operating system, HP said.