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PocketSurfer 3 coming next month

IFA: Free web access device to get an upgrade

PocketSurfer 2 supplier Datawind looks set to launch the third generation of the portable internet access device at the end of September.

The company is at IFA showing off the current version of the PocketSurfer - which was released in the UK last September - but said it planned a "major announcement" at a London press launch on September 30, and rumours suggest the PocketSurfer 3 could be unveiled.

The company's CEO and founder Suneet S. Tuli wouldn't discuss the specifics of the product announcement, but did say his company would continue to sell the PocketSurfer 2 as a low-end alternative to the new model when the latter goes on sale towards the end of the year. The third-generation device will be priced similarly to the current model, which costs £179.

PocketSurfer 2 review

Datawind has also been working with operators to drive down the cost of using the PocketSurfer when abroad. Currently, those taking their PocketSurfer 2 overseas must buy pre-pay credits before accessing the web, and data charges are 25p per minute. However, we were told to watch for news of a "significant price drop" at the end of September.

It's also likely that Datawind will reveal details of current PocketSurfer 2 owners' second-year subscription costs at the London event. When the company launched the device last year, customers paid £179 for the hardware and were given a year's free web access. At the time, Datawind said it hoped online advertising would help subsidise the cost of web access in the second year, but was unable to provide specific details of how much users would be expected to pay on a monthly basis. Full details should be available on September 30.

And while Datawind has been largely focusing on the UK market over the past year, the company is now striking deals with operators in other countries to bring the device to those markets. He said Spain and Nigeria would be the next two countries to get the device.

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