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1/19/2007
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LG Prada Phone Looks Like An iPhone Knock-Off, Or Is It Vice Versa?

Both phones feature touch screens, use the slow Edge wireless data network, play music and videos, have digital cameras, and can check e-mail and access the Internet.

Barely a week old, Apple's iPhone already has a knock-off -- a slim, buttonless, touch-screen cell phone from LG Electronics and fashion house Prada Group. Or, is the iPhone a knock-off of the LG Prada Phone?

Announced Thursday for delivery in Europe next month, the $780 Prada Phone features touch-screen technology that is similar to the $500 iPhone, which is scheduled for delivery in the U.S. in June.

The two phones have other things in common: both operate on the slow Edge wireless data network, both play music and videos, both have digital cameras, and users of both can check e-mail and access the Internet. The iPhone will have Wi-Fi capability, which the Prada Phone lacks.

Apple has the advantage of its charismatic brand as well as its wildly successful and desirous music capability. The Prada Phone has its own fashion charisma, and includes some music capability. It includes a slot for memory cards. Apple's iPhone has no external memory slots, but the company says its internal flash memory capacity -- in 4-Gbyte and 8-Gbyte models -- is large enough to handle most mobile applications.

The Prada phone was designed with electronics by LG, which traveled to Prada's offices in Milan where the metallic black exterior was created.

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