Samsung Phone Features a Hard Drive

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Samsung Electronics has developed a cell phone that runs on Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system and includes a hard drive. The new handset will be shown this week at the CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany, the company says.

The SGH-I300 offers 3GB of storage space, which is considerably more than that available in any cell phone currently on the market, and is Samsung's second phone to feature a hard drive. The first phone, the SPH-V5400, was unveiled in September last year and offered 1.5GB of space. That handset was the first cell phone in the world to include a hard drive.

Putting a hard drive into a cell phone hadn't been possible until recently when a new generation of compact, 1-inch drives with low power consumption came onto the market. The drives in the Samsung phones are similar to those used in some portable digital music players, such as Apple Computer's IPod Mini, and the phone maker is employing them so that it can offer similar music player functions on the handsets.

"It's a logical extension to add an MP3 player to a cell phone," says Christian Collins, senior manager at Samsung's mobile phone overseas marketing group, in an interview in Seoul last week. "The key is more memory and with a hard drive it's easier to do music."

Worldwide Reach?

Unlike the previous phone, which was aimed at the South Korean market, the new phone is based on the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) standard used in most of the world, except South Korea and Japan. The tri-band phone features a 1.3-megapixel camera and support for a host of video and audio standards.

Users can store multimedia files on the phone's hard drive for playback on the device or use the storage space as a portable hard drive for any type of file, says Samsung. The phone supports Bluetooth, IrDA infrared, and USB connections.

The handset takes the candy bar form-factor and measures 4.4 inches by 1.9 inches by .8 inches. It weighs 4.6 ounces.

No launch date or price for the handset has been decided, says Erin Lee, a spokesperson for Samsung Electronics in Seoul.

The phone is the latest of a handful of phones from Samsung to run on the Microsoft operating system.

Also at CeBIT this week, Samsung Electronics is showing its new SCH-V770 handset. The phone is the first to feature a 7-megapixel digital camera and also comes with a 3X optical zoom lens.

More coverage of the giant CeBIT technology show in Germany can be found here.
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