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10/16/2007
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Samsung Unveils Smartphones With Symbian Software

The phones offer features such as GPS, fast 3G data speeds, cameras, and a Symbian version of Google Maps.

Samsung on Tuesday unveiled several smartphones that run on Symbian's mobile platform and come with the latest features, including location-based services and mapping.




The The Symbian-based Samsung i560 is a fashionable smartphone intended for "trend-setting bloggers and young techie users," according to Samsung.
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The phones are being showcased at this week's Symbian Smartphone Show in London, where Symbian has announced efforts to make developing for its platform easier and more economically viable. Symbian is the largest mobile operating system maker, with a 72% worldwide market share.

Samsung's phone lineup includes the i550, i560, and i450, which was introduced last week.

"The introduction of Samsung's new Symbian OS-based smartphones is testament to our strategic focus on the open OS phone market," said Geesung Choi, president of Samsung's telecommunications network business, in a statement.

The i550 is the first Samsung phone to include GPS. The candy bar-like smartphone uses HSDPA third-generation (3G) cellular technology for data access, offering speeds of 3.6 Mbps, according to Samsung. Using built-in GPS, users get voice-activated turn-by-turn driving directions, walking directions when the phone is in pedestrian mode, and mobile maps.

Symbian customers can expect more smartphones based on the operating system to come bundled with location-based services. Also on Tuesday, Google made available a free Symbian C++ version of Google Maps that was developed by Google for Symbian smartphones. Users can download the client application for S60 3rd Edition here.

Symbian said it offers thousands of mobile applications that can be downloaded on the i550 from its S60 library. S60 is a software platform for mobile devices that uses the Symbian OS. The smartphone has 128 Mbytes of RAM, 150 Mbytes of internal user memory, and a 3.2-megapixel camera with video editing functionality. It will be available in Europe starting next month.

For those who are fashion-conscious, Samsung is suggesting the i560 smartphone, which is intended for "trend-setting bloggers and young techie users," the company said. The phone is 16 millimeters thick and has a mirror coating on a liquid crystal display. It's enhanced with built-in GPS and Internet applications.

The i450 is intended for music lovers. The dual slider smartphone comes with a music player and an amplifier for better sound quality. The phone also uses HSDPA 3G technology, so that downloading music can be done at faster speeds. It also provides access to Symbian's S60 library of applications.

The smartphones will start shipping before the end of the year, along with other Symbian-based phones recently rolled out by Samsung, such as the i400, launched in September, and the i520, launched in July.

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