XDA III, or is that XDA IV?

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When push comes to shove our favourite connected PDA of recent times is the O2 XDA II. We like its size, ease of use, upgradeability and big screen for web surfing. An Opera web browser (which is so much better than Internet surfing than Pocket Explorer) and a push e-mail for the XDA II would make us very happy, though we are told these aren’t far way.

It isn’t just us in the XDA II fan club though. According to O2, which incidentally unveiled some pretty impressive figures today (click here for more) the XDA 2 accounts for more than third of the UK wireless handheld market.

Not entirely sure what O2 means by that. In its release it says ‘Handheld device is defined as a pocket-sized device aimed primarily for data and integrated wireless communications.’ So does this include the Sony Ericsson P900, Orange Treo, Nokia smartphones? Only O2 knows.

As the device is selling so well O2 now has something of a problem. That’s because HTC, the Taiwanese company that makes the devices, has already lined up what should in theory become the XDA III.

The new model is similar to the XDA II, yet includes integrated Wi-Fi, twice the amount of storage and a pull down QWERTY keyboard.

Overall it sounds like a pretty impressive upgrade. However, the first XDA IIIs which are wearing T-Mobile’s colours are about to go on sale in Germany as the MDA III, have received pretty indifferent reviews. Apparently the keyboard is rubbish, the battery life is severely tonked by the Wi-Fi and reviewers are a little miffed that HTC hasn’t upgraded the screen.

So O2 may choose not to slay its golden goose and miss out on the XDA III all together.

Instead O2 might plump for the next generation XDA which was unveiled recently by HTC. The XDA IV, which O2 may confusingly call the XDA III, also features Wi-Fi, the keyboard and more storage, only this time it will have a better screen, faster processor, and crucially be compatible with 3G networks. It ought to have a mega pixel camera too.

Sadly it won’t be available anywhere until at least early 2005.

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