updated 3/29/2007 11:22:04 AM ET 2007-03-29T15:22:04

Philips Electronics is introducing a mobile phone with a built-in compartment for an ordinary AAA battery to power the device when the main battery runs low.

The Xenium NRG handset was developed in collaboration with battery maker Energizer Holdings Inc. and Techtium Ltd., an Israeli chip maker specializing in battery management technology.

The AAA battery inserted into the phone can be of any brand or type, whether rechargeable or disposable. In the case of a rechargeable, the phone will recharge both the main battery and the backup AAA when it is plugged into an electrical outlet.

The companies say the AAA battery can provide up to three extra hours of talk time. They did not disclose how much the Xenium NRG would cost, when it would go on sale, or in which countries.

The new handset is based on the same Techtium technology that was used to develop Energi To Go, a portable backup phone charger that Energizer introduced last year. That device is also powered by standard AAA batteries.

"Service providers tell us they want to increase (revenue)," said Itai Green, Techtium's chief operating officer. "But when people run out of power, the providers can't make money" from calls, text messaging and other non-voice services.

Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics NV announced in February that it was selling its remaining cell phone operations to China Electronics Corp.

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