O PAULO, BRAZIL, Dec. 11, 2002 — Gradiente, one of Brazil’s leading manufacturers of electronic consumer goods, has announced the launch of the Gradiente Partner, the first Microsoft Windows Powered Pocket PC Phone Edition available in Latin America. The hand-held device offers a convergence of data, voice and high-speed internet access — essential tools for people who need mobility, agility and productivity in their daily lives.
The Gradiente Partner, the first Windows Powered Pocket PC Phone Edition released in Latin America. Click image for high-res version.
To make this launch possible, Gradiente entered into a ground-breaking partnership with Microsoft to provide a user-friendly interface using the Pocket PC Phone Edition operating system adapted to Portuguese. The Pocket PC includes a mobile phone and access to wireless data, in addition to compact versions of products such as Microsoft Outlook, Internet Explorer, Word and Excel. Gradiente chose the Microsoft operating system because they found Windows powered Pocket PC to be the most complete and best suited operating system for this line of equipment.
The PDA market in Brazil is growing rapidly, with the number of units sold jumping from 180,000 in 2001 to 250,000 in 2002. In the coming years, PDA sales are predicted to exceed 360,000 in 2003, and 640,000 by 2005.
Wireless PDAs will account for an estimated 60,000 units in 2003. With the launching of the Partner, Gradiente hopes to be a forerunner in the wireless PDA market and reach 30 percent market share.
Gradiente is targeting the Gradiente Partner for several markets: corporations, primarily large and medium-sized companies; retail chains; mobile telephony operators; and Web-based sales. Of these target audiences, the most significant one will be the corporate market, which they predict will account for over 50 percent of sales.
“The Gradiente Partner is a revolutionary product,” says Eugenio Staub, president of the Gradiente Group. “Its launching in partnership with Microsoft is the first step for the company to start operating in the field of wireless data. This segment is still small, but I believe that it has a great growth potential, mainly in the corporate market. And with Gradiente Partner we will assume the leadership of this market.”
“Mobile Internet, with devices such as the Pocket PC Phone Edition, will enable individuals and companies to realize their full potential,” says Orlando Ayala, global vice-president of marketing, sales and services of Microsoft. “The mobile industry is a strategic priority for Microsoft and we have been investing strongly in creating truly innovative technologies for this market. We are very excited about the partnership with Gradiente, a leading and visionary company which has a deep understanding of the desires and dreams of the Brazilian consumers.”
“Brazil is the first country in Latin America to receive this product. This is yet another demonstration of our commitment to Brazilian consumers and we are convinced that Gradiente Partner will be a winner on the market”, says Emilio Umeoka, president of Microsoft’s Brazilian subsidiary.
Integrated Mobile Phone
Gradiente’s objective is to offer its customers the most technologically advanced product best-suited for user needs. The company spent over two years researching the technology before arriving at Gradiente Partner. “Our equipment is the only one that offers, in addition to the work tools, the option to speaking on the cellular phone without needing to use any other device or accessory,” points out Moris Arditti, vice president of development and new business of Gradiente.
Compact, with a very modern design, the Gradiente Partner uses GSM/GPRS technology and operates with wireless voice and data. This device runs a 32 bit operating system with multi-task capabilities, so the user can use software such as Word and Excel while making a phone call.
All of these features transform the Gradiente Partner into an essential work tool to help company executives be more productive. With Partner, Gradiente consolidates its presence in the field of telecommunications, investing ever more in innovative projects to launch products on the Brazilian market in line with the company’s convergence strategy.
Gradiente Partner will be manufactured in Brazil, with future plans to export them to other Latin American countries.
Gradiente will spend an estimated US$2 million marketing around the launch of Gradiente Partner. The campaign will be launched in the second half of December with an ad for product pre-sale. Pre-sale orders can be made over the site at www.gradiente.com , and the first batch of devices will be available on the market still in the first quarter of 2003, at a suggested price of R$4.599,00 (US$1,200).
Pocket PC Phone Edition
The Pocket PC Phone Edition is the most recent addition to Microsoft’s family of mobile products, combining the best features of a hand-held computer and a cell phone, with wireless access to data. Users can communicate via voice and text to access personal and corporate information, allowing users to work on key tasks for their work or personal life from any location.
With compact versions of widely used Microsoft software, such as Outlook, Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, Windows Media and MSN Messenger, Pocket PC devices store essential information for the professional user, such as e-mails, an agenda, contacts, tasks, and notes. The Pocket Word and Pocket Excel are entirely compatible with the respective PC versions, and allow great personal productivity at any place, or any time.
Pocket PC Phone Edition allows access to the Internet, allowing e-mail, access to Web pages via Internet Explorer, instant communication via MSN Messenger. With Windows Media, it is also possible to listen to music or watch videos.
The Pocket PC Phone Edition offers the convenience of a complete cell phone, with several advanced functions: call notification, user ID, customizable ring tones, vibration mode, integration with contacts of Pocket Outlook, note-taking, logging incoming and outgoing calls, conference call and speaker calls.
The product is fully integrated with PCs and servers that use the Windows operating system, facilitating data integration. Furthermore, Microsoft industry partners have developed thousands of applications developed for Pocket PCs available on the Web, both for professional productivity and personal knowledge and entertainment.
Microsoft and Gradiente will promote a series of partnering programs with software developers for the Gradiente Partner in Brazil.
Gradiente Partner has a 32-bit Intel processor, Strong ARM AS 1110, 32 MB RAM with possibility of expansion with SD cards and Multi Media Card, voice encoding system FR/EFR, and Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Pocket Internet Explorer, Pocket Outlook, MSN Messenger and Windows Media software.
It allows fast and intelligent one-touch writing, with touch-screen writing recognition, dimensions of 72.7×17.8×129.0 mm, 201 g, embedded lithium polymer battery. It also has an MP3 player, digital recorder, high luminosity color screen, visualization of photos and films, electronic agenda and organizer.
Included with the Gradiente Partner is a USB docking stand to enable easy synchronization with a PC, a CD with software for synchronization with Windows, two touch screen pens, stereo head phones with microphone, an adapter and portable charger, manual and instruction guide.
Accessories for the Gradiente include: a car battery recharger; external battery; USB cable for synchronism which simultaneously charges the battery; traditionally-sized keyboard; small keyboard; head phone with attached microphone; button for receiving calls and noise-reducing circuit; optical pencil; leather wallet-type cover with dividers for cards; and a leather cover.
About Gradiente Eletronica
Gradiente has been operating on the Brazilian market of electronic products since 1964. Over these years, it has become a leading manufacturers in the industry and one of the preferred brands by consumers. With 1,800 employees, headquarters in So Paulo and three plants in Manaus, the company makes products in the audio and video segments, telecommunications, IT, entertainment and electronic security.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
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