The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved for sale in the US an Axim X3 personal digital assistant (PDA) from Dell with both a Bluetooth and an 802.11b chip.

Adding a Bluetooth PDA to its lineup would fill a hole for Dell, which thus far has not released an Axim with that feature. Bluetooth is a short-range wireless networking technology that is used to connect mobile devices, such as PDAs and cell phones, or accessories such as headsets.

Dell's competitors in the PDA market, such as Hewlett-Packard and Palm, introduced several models with the technology built into their PDAs in 2003. Technically savvy users look for Bluetooth in a PDA, but general users have had less interest in the technology, which can be complicated to set up, said Alex Slawsby, an analyst with IDC in Framingham.

Dell had planned to include Bluetooth in one of the first X3 models unveiled in October, but decided to hold off and offer the more expensive version of the X3 with 802.11b wireless only, Slawsby said.

At the launch of the X3, Dell's second generation Axim, a Dell executive said that most of the demand for Bluetooth devices has come from Europe and the company would eventually offer a Bluetooth device.