Samsung Brings Its First GSM And GPRS Products To Market

By Joseph Palenchar On Sep 24 2001 - 6:00am

Samsung is launching its first GSM phones to complement its portfolio of CDMA models.

The line extension, along with such new products as the $500 SPH-I300 Palm-based PDA-phone, available through Sprint, are part of Samsung's plan this year to "expand the breadth of our product line up and down [in price]," said senior sales and marketing VP Pete Skarzynski.

The GSM pair, the SGN-N105 and GPRS-equipped SGN-Q105, are scheduled to ship to carrier VoiceStream by the end of September, said Skarzynski. Their availability would follow shipments of two new CDMA phones that will be available this month through RadioShack stores for use on the Verizon network, he added.

Both GSM phones are dual-band world phones operating on foreign 900MHz networks and U.S. 1900MHz networks.

The entry-level, 3.14-ounce SGH-N105 features circuit-switched browser, two-way SMS, four-line display, voice dialing andone-touch browser access. It also includes11 games, PC synchronization, Personal Information Manager (PIM), 100 phone-book entries, voice-activated dialing, voice command for hands-free navigation through menus, T-9 text input software (predictive speller for easy text input), voice memo, and removable active flip.

The high-end 2.9-ounce SGH-Q105 offers GPRS at a 57.6kbps download rate and 28.8kbps upload rate. It features 10-line 128x128-pixel electroluminescent LCD screen, two-way SMS, voice dialing, one-touch browser access, PIM, 100 phone book entries, T-9 text input software, PC synchronization, and downloadable graphics. Talk time with the standard battery is 2.5 to 6.0 hours, and standby is 80 to 120 hours, depending on reception conditions.

Supplier interest in GSM phones has grown since AT&T Wireless began installing GSM in 10MHz of unused 1.9GHz spectrum nationwide to complements its 800MHz cellular network. AT&T is also interested in dual-mode TDMA/GSM handsets, but Samsung has said it has no plans for dual-mode TDMA/GSM phones.

The new trimode CDMA phones are the entry-level 3.9-ounce N-150 and step-up CDMA trimode 3.5-ounce T300, which will likely retail for around $199, Skarzynski said. They feature whisper mode to enable subscribers to speak softly in public places when talking on them.

Also due late this month: a CDMA E911 phone incorporating Qualcomm's gpsOne location technology.

A smartphone based on Microsoft's Stinger operating system is due in 2002, using either GSM or CDMA technology, he noted. Previously, the company held out the hope it might be available late this year.

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