Samsung unveils its iPhone killer

New media-centric phone to be unveiled at this week's 3GSM World Conference

Samsung unveiled a new media-centric phone clearly designed to be an iPhone killer and said it will show off the device at this week's 3GSM World Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Like Apple's iPhone, Samsung said its Ultra Smart F700 will have touch-screen capabilities and play audio and video files. The 2.78-in. display will support resolution of 440 by 240 pixels, the company said in a statement yesterday. Also like the iPhone, Samsung's device will be small -- roughly 4 in. long by 2 in. wide and about 0.66 in. thick.

However, unlike the iPhone, Samsung said its device will also have a pull-down QWERTY keyboard and support for 3G, specifically HSDPA, which has speeds theoretically as high as 7.2Mbit/sec. The iPhone has no 3G support but, rather, supports only slower so-called 2.5G technology such as EDGE.

Samsung's Ultra Smart F700 Samsung's Ultra Smart F700

In addition, the Ultra Smart F700 will sport a 5-megapixel camera, a microSD slot for additional storage and Bluetooth support, according to Samsung. However, it will not have Wi-Fi support, a shortcoming it will share with the iPhone.

"The introduction of our Ultra Smart F700 reflects the needs of today's consumers by including features such as touch screen, enhanced connectivity to mobile Internet and access to an array of multimedia content," said Geesung Choi, president of Samsung's telecommunications network business. "The Ultra Smart F700 is a good example of how the mobile phone will evolve in the future."

Perhaps most intriguing are the things that Samsung didn't say in its statement, such as how much the device will cost, how much memory it will have, when it will be released and which cellular operators will offer it.

The technical specs provided by Samsung indicate it would run on Cingular's network in the U.S. Cingular Wireless will be the only cellular operator in the U.S. offering the iPhone, and it already offers other high-visibility phones from Samsung, such as the manufacturer's BlackJack smart phone.

LG Electronics already has announced a similar device designed by Prada, and other phone vendors are expected to follow suit.

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David Haskin

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