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Samsung & Adidas Take On Nike And iPod

The companies launch a fitness phone called miCoach, which combines a mobile phone and audio, to battle rivals.

Samsung has entered the fitness audio race and is using a combination mobile phone and music player to try and overtake Apple.

Samsung teamed with sportswear company Adidas for the miCoach phone, which has a 2-inch screen, 1 GB of memory, a 2-megapixel camera, and USB/Bluetooth interfaces.

Samsung-Adidas miCoach
(click image for larger view)

The Samsung-Adidas miCoach provides audio inspiration for the fitness-minded.

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The handset provides personalized, audible feedback; the miCoach "system" also includes a heart-rate monitor, a stride sensor chip to fit all Adidas running footwear, compatible Adidas apparel, and a Web site for creating specifically tailored training programs. Prices will range from from around 200 to 400 euros ($304 to $608).

The vendors are looking to compete against the Nike+iPod, which uses a sensor chip in the shoe and an iPod nano plug-in to offer heart rate, cadence, calories burned, and other information. While the Apple Web site says the package works "exclusively" with Nike shoes, user reviews also posted on the site report good results with other brands.

The basic Nike+iPod kit is $29; an iPod nano ranges from $149 to $199. Unlike miCoach, the nano has no phone; Apple's given no indication it intends to support the Nike package on its wildly popular iPhone.

Samsung and Adidas said miCoach is part of a two-year research and development effort, which included input from the Athletes Performance Institute, a training center at Arizona State University. They also said miCoach was the first result of a larger strategic partnership they intend to pursue.

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