IFA - LG unveils iPhone-like 3G handset

LG has unveiled its second iPhone-like handset and this one packs several important features the iPhone doesn't: 3G and high-speed cellular data networking.

LG Electronics's battle to beat the iPhone is far from over. The South Korean electronics company has unveiled its second iPhone-like handset and this one packs several important features the iPhone doesn't: 3G and high-speed cellular data networking.

The LG-KS20 bears a strong resemblance to the iPhone thanks to a shiny front-face that is devoid of almost all buttons.

The phone is compatible with 3G WCDMA (wideband code division multiple access) networks, the 3G standard being deployed by most operators around the world. That means it will work in countries like Japan and South Korea, where the iPhone won't at present.

It also means faster data networking. WCDMA supports speeds of around 384k bps (bits per second) in its basic version and the LG phone will also work on networks that have been upgraded with HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) data networking at speeds up to 3.6M bps. That's significantly faster than the EDGE (enhanced data rates for GSM evolution) data network on which the iPhone operates.

Like the iPhone the LG handset also packs Wi-Fi.

Other features include a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0 and an MP3 music player. It's 12.6 millimeters thick, which makes it about a millimeter thicker than the iPhone.

However the LG handset is missing one feature that some customers will consider of utmost importance: Apple's OS X operating system. The LG handset runs on Windows Mobile 6.0 and despite advances from previous editions the software is still often criticized for being harder to use and clunkier than the Apple operating system.

The LG-KS20 is getting its unveiling at the IFA electronics show in Germany this week.

Earlier this year LG unveiled its first iPhone-like cell phone. The handset was developed with fashion house Prada and went on sale in Europe and Asia earlier this year at a premium price. The company hasn't revealed the price of the LG-KS20 but it should hit Europe in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

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