Swisscom agrees to sell IXI’s Ogo

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REDWOOD CITY, Calif.-Swiss carrier Swisscom announced it will sell IXI Mobile Inc.’s Ogo messaging device. The carrier plans to sell the GPRS gadget-which features a QWERTY keyboard and no voice functions-for around $37 with a two-year service agreement.

The deal is notable for IXI, which recently shut down its software business to focus on sales of its Ogo wireless messaging device. IXI previously sold the device through AT&T Wireless Services Inc., but Cingular Wireless L.L.C. discontinued sales of the device following its acquisition of AWS.

IXI launched in 2001 with its personal mobile gateway product, which the company proffered to wireless carriers and handset makers. The technology allowed a user to buy a low-end, Bluetooth-capable mobile phone and then connect it to accessories like a camera or keyboard. The goal was to allow users to mix and match wireless accessories to suit their tastes.

IXI even managed to sign Sanyo North America Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to its idea. Samsung released a Bluetooth phone using the company’s technology, but it faired poorly. Sanyo also developed several prototypes based on the company’s technology.

Failing to score successes with handset manufacturers, IXI then decided to develop the Ogo device using a contract manufacturer. Swisscom stands as the company’s first carrier deal following Cingular’s decision to not support the device.

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