Samsung prepares two Palm-based phones

Samsung Electronics is preparing to launch two new Palm-OS based mobile phones in the US.

Samsung Electronics is preparing to launch two new Palm-OS based mobile phones in the US.

The first of the two devices to appear from the South Korean electronics maker will be the SPH-I330. The handset is an updated version of the SPH-I300 handset and was originally scheduled to hit the market in April but is now expected in September, according to Samsung. Like the previous model, it will be sold through Sprint PCS Group.

The handset is a tri-band unit, compatible with code division multiple access (CDMA) at both 800MHz and 1900MHz and the analogue AMPS technology. On the CDMA side, the telephone supports Sprint's recently launched CDMA2000 1x network, which offers users packet data rates of up to 144kbps.

The main face of the handset is dominated by a large touch-screen LCD screen capable of displaying 256 colours. Other features include a GPS receiver for accurate location finding, speaker phone, infrared sensor, 16-tone ringer and a Web browser for wireless Internet access. The telephone is based on version 3.5 of the Palm operating system and will run all standard Palm applications.

The second telephone, the I500, will be a tri-band model compatible with CDMA, including CDMA2000, and AMPS and is expected to be offered through Sprint PCS.

The I500 looks less like a PDA and more like a conventional mobile phone. Samsung has chosen the popular clamshell design for the handset, a move that necessitates moving the graffiti writing area from directly beneath the display to just above the phone keypad on the lower part of the folding handset.

On the upper half of the telephone just below the main screen, which is a colour touch-panel display, there are four quick launch buttons which provide fast access to commonly used applications, such as the address book, date book, memo pad and to-do list.

The telephone may also support an external keyboard and come with a cradle for synchronising with a personal computer.

The company is also expected to launch a phone based on Microsoft's Windows Powered Smartphone operating system. The SCH-I600 was detailed last week and a sample provided for testing carried the logo of Verizon Communications.

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