New York — Samsung launched five new 3G phones in the smartphone and touchscreen market segments, which continue to post growth despite this year’s worldwide decline in factory-level cellphone shipments.
All models will be available outside the U.S., but at least one and possibly two will make it to U.S. shores. The
model scheduled for U.S. availability later this year from Verizon Wireless is the touchscreen-equipped Omnia 2 smartphone, whose U.S. version will feature EV-DO Rev. A data capability and Windows Mobile Professional 6.1 OS. No price has been announced.
Samsung is also in discussions with U.S. carriers to offer the touchscreen Jet as an EV-DO phone or as an HSDPA phone. It features speedy 800MHz applications processor and proprietary Samsung touchscreen OS. Neither the Omnia 2 nor Jet feature hard QWERTY keyboard.
The other three phones announced today, all in the Omnia series, are HSDPA and HSPA models targeted for sale in other countries with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional or 6.1 Standard OS.
With the five introductions, Samsung is:
· expanding its assortment of smartphones, touchscreen phones and phones with hard QWERTY keyboards;
· expanding the use of its Touch Wiz touchscreen user interface, which has been upgraded to a 2.0 version that adds motion response, six-sided rotating-cube display, downloadable widgets, three customizable widget screens and ability to access select applications even when the phone is in locked mode; it appears in the Omnia2 and Jet, joining five U.S. phones with the earlier version of Touch Wiz; and
· expanding its selection of models with AMOLED displays, which deliver higher contrast, greater outdoor visibility, lower power consumption and more fluid video in a thinner package compared to traditional LCD screens; in the U.S., only Samsung’s Impression, launched in April by AT&T, features AMOLED display.
Also with the launches, Samsung is expanding selection of Windows Mobile smartphones upgradable to the 6.5 version of the OS from 6.1. All four Omnia phones are upgradable. In the U.S., the Omnia 2 with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS will join the similarly upgradable Propel Pro and Jack phones, which use the Windows Mobile Standard 6.1 OS.
In updating previously announced product plans, senior VP Omar Khan said:
· Samsung’s WiMAX-equipped Mondi mobile Internet device (MID) will be available “very shortly”; the company previously said it would be available in the second quarter; and
· the company’s first phone equipped with Google’s open-source Android operating system is “on schedule” for a U.S. launch, but he didn’t elaborate.
In launching the Omnia 2 smartphone and the Jet, both touchscreen-only phones with Wi-Fi, Samsung promoted their incorporation of the TouchWiz 2 user interface (UI) and wide-VGA AMOLED displays. The Omnia 2 is promoted as offering the industry’s largest AMOLED cellphone display at 3.7 inches. The Jet features 3.1-inch-wide VGA display.
The Jet is also Samsung’s first phone with dedicated 800MHz application processor and proprietary Dolfin Web browser. The processor’s speed exceeds the processing speeds of phones with 300MHz processors, delivering instant touchscreen UI responsiveness, simpler multitasking, 3-D navigation and fluid Web browsing, Khan said.
The Dolfin browser lets users keep five Web-page windows open simultaneously, each capable of simultaneously loading a Web page in the background. It also lets users launch a favorite Web site widget from the home screen, and it features one-finger zoom, integrated ad blocker and a multipurpose address field. The field lets users input a Web site, search for text on a Web page or perform a Google search.
Other Jet features include 30 preloaded widgets, 5-megapixel camera, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and 30 fps video recording. For overseas markets, it features 900/21000MHz 3.6Mbps HSPDA data technology.
In comparing the Omnia 2 to the current touchscreen-only Omnia available from Verizon, Samsung said the new model adds ability to update the Windows Mobile Professional OS to 6.5, Touch Wiz 2.0, and a TouchWiz interface that’s more deeply integrated with the phone’s applications and features. For overseas markets, the Omnia 2 features 900/1900/2100MHz 7.2Mbps HSPA, 30 fps video recording and FM radio with RDS.
In the three Omnia phones not due in the U.S., Touch Wiz 2.0 appears in the Omnia B7300, and AMOLED appears in the Omnia B76210, which lacks a touchscreen but features horizontal-sliding QWERTY keyboard.