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New U.S. cell phone building block for mobile Web
Posted: 09-Apr-2001 [Source: Reuters]

[Several carriers to begin carrying Java-enabled phones soon but programing for the 'small screen' remains scare.]

by Peter Henderson, San Francisco -- "Promising to make those tiny cell phone screens helpful and friendly, three big U.S. companies have introduced a handset that could help set the foundation for building a mobile Web.

"That vow has been made before, but this time telephone and personal organizer makers whose products are basically incompatible are falling into line behind one technology, a new version of Sun Microsystems Inc.'s (NasdaqNM:SUNW - news) already popular Java language that can run on almost any system.

"I believe the phone is going to become the ultimate long- range clicker," said Scott McNealy, chairman and chief executive of Sun, referring to a tool for interacting with the Internet/Web.

"He made the comment during a teleconference with mobile telephone services firm Nextel Communications Inc. (NasdaqNM:NXTL - news) and handset maker Motorola Inc.(NYSE:MOT - news), whose new i85s phone using the Java language is being offered by Nextel in a joint project of the three firms.

"Java's new micro edition, J2ME, piggybacks on a phone or personal organizer's base software. With so many devices on the market, this gives developers a clear standard to work with.

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