Samsung launches feature-packed phone-PDA

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. launched a wireless handheld device in South Korea Monday that combines a phone, a TV, a camera, and a camcorder in what is the beginning of a line of feature-packed gadgets that the company plans to roll out this year.

The MITs M400 is powered by Microsoft Corp.'s Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition software and its multiple-functionality represents the company's latest charge toward what it sees as a booming market for converged devices.

In fact, Samsung said Monday that it plans to unveil six or seven new multifaceted products, which it calls mobile terminals, globally later this year. They will support operating systems from Microsoft, PalmSource Inc. and Symbian Ltd., as well as Linux, the company said.

The MITs M400 is geared toward the Korean market, with a Hangul, or Korean script, version of the Pocket PC software, co-developed by Samsung and Microsoft.

The company showed a prototype of the device at the Telecom Asia show late last year.

Besides phone, camera, TV and camcorder capabilities, it also has an MP3 player, and serves as a two-way radio and has wireless infrared links for exchanging data with other devices. The MITs M400 will sell for one million won, or approximately US$800, a spokesman for the company said.

The handset has a 3.5 inch TFT-LCD (thin film transistor liquid crystal display) that can be adjusted for portrait or landscape viewing. The 300,000-pixel camera and camcorder can also be swivelled 270 degrees for taking still shots or clips.

The device comes with 128MB of memory, expandable to 512 MB and is based around Intel Corp.'s PXA250 XScale processor running at 300MHz.

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