Samsung takes aim at emerging markets with REX phones

The company has lauched four new dual-SIM phones with touchscreens

Samsung Electronics has launched REX, a new series of "smart feature phones" that it will sell in emerging markets.

Countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia and China will drive much of the volume growth in the global phone market in 2013 and beyond, according to market research company Canalys. In total, developing markets will contribute 70 to 80 percent of the growth this year, it recently said.

The REX family consists of four devices: REX 90, REX 80, REX 70, and REX 60, which all combine EDGE with Wi-Fi, including 802.11n, for network access.

The phones are based on Samsung's Handheld Platform and use versions of its TouchWiz interface. They come with Opera's Mini browser and a number of services for chat and social networking, including Yahoo Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Samsung's ChatOn.

Like many phones developed for countries such as India, the REX phones can use two SIM cards. Users can switch between a maximum of five SIM cards without first turning off their phone, according to Samsung. The use of dual-SIM phones are ideal for business trips to different coverage areas or as a way to get better tariffs, it said.

Earlier this week, Nokia and LG Electronics also announced new dual-SIM phones, which Samsung will compete with.

The REX 90 is the biggest of the four with a 3.5-inch screen and a 3.2-megapixel camera. The REX 80 and 70 both have 3-inch screens, but the latter model has a 2-megapixel camera instead of one with 3.2 megapixels. The REX 60 is the smallest of the newcomers with its 2.8-inch screen and a 1.3-megapixel camera.

Pricing and availability wasn't announced.

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Tags smartphonesbrowsersinternetsocial networkingsoftwareapplicationsinstant messagingconsumer electronicsInternet-based applications and servicesSamsung Electronics

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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