Sendo Drops Smartphone From Its Plans

Company scraps plans for Z100 phone as it switches from Microsoft's Smartphone 2002 platform to Nokia's Series 60.

British phone manufacturer Sendo plc. this week announced that the company is scrapping plans for its Z100 phone, which is based on Microsoft Corp.s Smartphone 2002 software.

The phone had been scheduled for shipment by the end of the year in Europe and Asia.

"It has been a very difficult decision for Sendo given its leadership position in the development of smart devices," reads a statement on the companys Web site. "We are disappointed that we will not be able to ship the Z100 given the high level of interest shown in the device."

Instead, Sendo has switched camps and has licensed Nokia Corp.s Series 60 platform for smart phones. Officials said they chose Series 60 because it is "flexible" and uses industry-standard technology such as Java.

Although Sendo is a small company, the news is a blow to Microsoft. Sendo was the first company to announce plans for Smartphone 2002, previously known as Stinger, two years ago. And Microsoft took a minority stake in Sendo last year. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates showed off the Z100 phone at several trade shows over the past 16 months, promising that several operators had plans to sell it.

Samsung Electronics Inc. and Mitsubishi Inc. have announced plans for Smartphone 2002, but have yet to announce shipment. Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. said the company is evaluating the OS. Toshiba may ship a device based on Smartphone 2002 "when its ready," said Rod Keller, executive vice president of Toshibas computer systems group in Irvine, Calif.